Photo: 2020 Senior School Leadership team

Cecil Hills High School Newsletter

25 October 2019
Issue Ten
Another great term of teaching and learning
Art Hub's creative flair
CSI Fizzics
Create a Cake
Touring now
Students shining bright
Sports Shorts 
In a world where you can be anything
Pitt Street comes to Cecil Hills
Students on show
Where are they now?
In our community
Important Dates
Cecil Hills High School
02 9822 1430
50 Spencer Road
Cecil Hills, NSW, 2171

Another great term of teaching and learning

Do the work

Do it now

If there’s something to say, then say it

Find your team, find your voice

Put it out into the world

Do the work

Get it done

When you’re finished, you start the next one


Will it last?

Will it count?

Time will tell


Fill the space

Do the work, pal

Do it well

‘Do the Work’ by Jason Robert Brown from ‘Prince of Broadway’

Year 12

Year 12 are now in the middle of their HSC exams.  In terms of my introductory quote, now is the time for our HSC students to “do the work” and place the capstone on thirteen years of education.  We wish Year 12 all the best with their final examinations and look forward to celebrating their results at the end of the year.

Staffing News

Sadly, today is Ms Mel Scott’s final day at Cecil Hills High School.  Ms Scott has worked with us since 2007 as Head Teacher – PD/H/PE.  In that time, she has provided expert leadership to her faculty with consistently strong HSC results in CAFS and PD/H/PE.  She has coordinated many whole school areas and teams including the diversity team which ran Harmony Day and Aboriginal education.  In our current executive team, she is fourth longest serving head teacher and with many new teachers joining our teaching staff at Cecil Hills HS in recent years, she has a welcomed source of consistency and continuity. 

Ms Scott was successful in her recent application to become Head Teacher – PD/H/PE at the new Oran Park High School which opens in 2020.  Ms Scott has an extremely busy eight weeks ahead to ensure that her new faculty is ready for the new school year, which includes everything from developing teaching programs and ordering sporting equipment, to working out bell times and bus routes in a brand new school.  Oran Park HS is extremely fortunate to have someone of her calibre as an original staff member of their school and her reputation for being extremely organised, highly approachable and her commitment to excellence is our loss and their gain.


On a personal note, I would like to publicly thank Ms Scott for her extensive time relieving as Deputy Principal in recent years.  In this role, she has nurtured and guided four different cohorts of our students who are fortunate to have had her involvement in their education.  Ms Scott is universally respected across our school community by staff, students and parents alike and she will be sorely missed.  We wish Ms Scott all the best for the next stage of her career.  Mr Evans will now relieve as Head Teacher – PD/H/PE and he brings with him extensive experience in leadership roles and faculty management.  We look forward to welcoming Mr Evans into the school executive.

Smiling Mind

I regularly come across research on the benefits of mindfulness as a way for young people and adults to stop, reflect and reset.  Our school is currently exploring some resources to support our students in this area and we are starting a partnership with the Smiling Mind Organisation.  There is a useful app that can be downloaded with free 10 minute daily activities using mindfulness.

Parenting Resource

The website contains a wealth of parenting information covering numerous topics and this month’s focus is resilience.  It is a very useful resource that is worth accessing.


Our 2020 Senior Leadership team was inducted at the recent Year 12 Graduation Ceremony.  All students who stood for election are to be congratulated for doing a fine job of presenting themselves and their ideas to their fellow students. For some of them, simply nominating and completing the election process was a step outside their comfort zone. Such bravery is to be applauded.

School Captains

Helen Merza and Nicholas Xue

Vice Captains

Isabella Rizos and Luke Thai

Student Representative Council 

Cassey Chau, Sian Lim, Nickolas Rizos, Milan Tomanovic

Best wishes and thank you to our outgoing 2019 Senior Leadership Team -

Natalie Narvaiza and Alan Dan - School Captains

Joella Khouchaba and Kosta Tsoukalas - Vice Captains

Monique Grant, Shanelle Pizarro, Keiren Clarke and Nicholas McGann - Student Representative Council

Cooler Classrooms Program

I am pleased to share the following information on The Cooler Classrooms Program.


P&C Meetings

Our next P&C meeting will be held at 6:30pm on Monday, 4 November 2019.  There will be a repeat session at 9:30am on Thursday, 7 November 2019.


I look forward to continuing to work with the staff, students and parents of Cecil Hills High School, the best school in NSW.

Mark Sutton



Award for Academia

Lauren Le is one of our many International Students who attends Cecil Hills High School. Lauren Le is a proud Vietnamese student who has recently been nominated for the 2019 International Student Achievement Award.

Throughout her time at Cecil Hills High School, Lauren has received a High Achiever School Academic Recognition Award for excelling in both Ancient History and Economics. Since arriving in Australia on a student visa, Lauren has excelled academically in her overall studies finishing with an overall fourth place in English, third place in Legal Studies and second place in Ancient History and Economics. 


Lauren has proven that with perseverance and dedication, young students can achieve extraordinary things.  Likewise, Lauren is kind and hardworking and is a well-respected student.   As for the future, Lauren is currently sitting the HSC exams and applying for a Bachelor of Education/Art at the University of Sydney.  Lauren exclaims “I want to be a high school teacher, teaching History and Economics/Commerce.  I have a passion for teaching and helping people as well as spreading knowledge”.


We wish Lauren all the best in her future endeavours and successes. Finally,  on behalf of Cecil Hills High School, it was an absolute pleasure to teach such a high achieving student.


Aboriginal Student Achievement

Ricky Hextall is a proud recipient of the Aboriginal Student Achievement Award presented by the NSW Department of Education.  Ricky arrived at Cecil Hills High School with vast experience in the sporting field. He achieved great success at the School and Zone, Cross Country Carnival finishing in the top 15. Ricky has further represented Cecil Hills High School in touch football. On the team, he is a key player in the team’s success.


Ricky always displays exceptional sportsmanship on and off the sporting field. He is a team player and always encourages his team mates to perform to their best ability. He is fair in ensuring everybody receives a fair go on the field and builds the team spirit up with integrity.


Likewise, Ricky has further represented the school at the Dharawal Language and Culture Camp as a proud member of our Yarn Connect group.  Ricky is always representing himself in a respectful and responsible manner across whole school activities. Cecil Hills High School is lucky to have a student like Ricky Hextall. His achievements have been recognised nationally by the NSW Department of Education Aboriginal and Wellbeing Advisers.  


Whitlam Institute Writing Competition

This year our wonderful students were invited by Ms Kulevski to take part in the Whitlam Institute Writing Competition, presented by Western Sydney University. This is a nation-wide writing competition that was open to all school students from kindergarten to year 12 across Australia. Inspired by Gough Whitlam's commitment to involving young people in global issues, students wrote about  diverse topics including the environment, equality, racism and media.    Student selected to represent Cecil Hills High School were:

  • Ryan Georgis
  • Djordje Kaludjerovic
  • Lena Gian
  • Monika Eftimovski
  • Lara Ly

Students received recognition awards from Western Sydney University. Our students were ecstatic when they found out that their work was recognised by the University. Cecil Hills High School is pleased to have such a diverse group of students represent our school in academia.


It is an absolute pleasure for Cecil Hills High School be recognised nation-wide for our students' writing achievements.


Ms D Kulevski

English Teacher, International Student Coordinator, Aboriginal Education Coordinator

Photo: Art mural created by our Art Hub students

Art Hub's creative flair

Photo: Art mural created by our Art Hub students

Art Hub students have been busy creating murals with aims to make the school environment a more engaging place. This term, we have focused on revitalising the girls' bathroom with positive quotes and images on the doors.

“I really like it! It looks so much nicer” – Year 7 students

“It looks heaps better with all the colours. I hope they do it to all the bathroom doors” – Year 8 students


Don’t fret!  We are planning to expand these designs to all girls' and boys' bathrooms throughout the school.


We  also participated in Kindness Week by spreading kindness throughout the school with bright and colourful chalk drawings.  All students loved the colourful additions to our school and it helped celebrate the essence of Kindness Week.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next artwork.


We invite all students from Year 7 – 12 to come and be a part of Art Hub. Please see Miss Phan or Mrs Verter for more information.


Miss V Phan and Mrs A Verter - Art Hub Program coordinators


Photo: Elena Kozul and Catia Portolesi

CSI Fizzics

Photo: Elena Kozul and Catia Portolesi

Year 8 electives

Last month, Year 8 CSI elective students attended the CSI Fizzics Education Incursion where they practised their forensic skills to solve a murder mystery. The forensic science workshop allowed students to use  fingerprinting and blood typing, facial reconstruction through computer and real models, hair and fibre analysis, fluorescence of oils and DNA comparisons, latent image detection, chromatography and shoe impression casting, evidence collection and more… 


Time was also spent discussing why crime scenes are isolated from the public, why certain evidence is more valuable than others and why a clear chain of evidence is needed from the crime scene to the eventual court case. Students were briefed on suspects and analysed the evidence to come up with who they believed was the perpetrator of the crime.  Well done to Elena Kozul and Catia Portolesi  for catching the right suspect and solving the case!


Ms Ana Golijan

History teacher and  SRC Coordinator

Create a Cake

Cupcake Showcase

Last term, Year 8 Create a Cake elective students participated in the Cupcake Showcase to demonstrate their skills in baking and decorating cupcakes. The theme for this showcase was Halloween, which was very well received.

Both classes were prepared with items required to produce fantastic designs and table settings.  All students are to be commended on their efforts, application and skills.


Ms Petrovska and Mrs Marando

Year 8 Create a Cake teachers

Touring now

Our ANZAC Premier's Scholar


Our very own Tiana Wasif, Year 11, was selected to represent NSW as one of twenty students selected to tour as part of the Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship.  Tiana endured a rigorous process prior to being selected as the Scholar from the school which included designing a project and partaking in an interview in front of a panel.


The NSW Office for Veterans Affairs (OVA) administers the Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship (PAMS) which funds an international study tour for a group of young people. Scholars learn about the causes and effects of world conflicts and visit the  battlefields where Anzacs have fought, to learn about and commemorate their service. 


This year,  the Scholarship  funded a study tour for 20 students to travel to Germany, France and Belgium during September and October. Students visited the battlefields where Australians fought to learn about the causes of the First and Second World Wars, and to commemorate their service.


Tiana has just returned to Australia and will share her experiences with our school community in our next school newsletter. We are all keen to learn from her experiences - welcome back Tiana!


Mrs S Haskett, Deputy Principal (Year 8 and Year 11)




Photo: Ruby Wiegold, Dane Knudsen, Christina George

Students shining bright

Photo: Ruby Wiegold, Dane Knudsen, Christina George

In our Support Unit

Last month,  three students from the Support Unit performed in a dance item titled “A Million Dreams” as part of the Shining Stars Showcase at Campbelltown Arts Centre. The students participated in countless hours of rehearsals before delivering three performances over the two days of the showcase.

The students demonstrated the amazing ability to remember the dance steps to the entire dance routine and displayed no signs of stage fright despite performing in front of a sold out audience that included their family members. Congratulations and well done to the following students - Christina George,  Dane Knudsen and Ruby Wiegold.

Mr Jacob, organising teacher


Work experience

At work experience students were required to disassemble a product which had been recalled. Our students removed the product from the package and proceeded to remove the wire ties, mask, batteries and remote. Each section was placed in a separate box.


The cardboard went into recycling. The hard plastics were stacked, while the remote controls were disassembled at another section by other workers.  Each piece was recycled.

The students performed well and were cheered at the end of their work shift.


Staff were pleased with the achievements of the students in disassembling a pallet load of the product.

Mrs Beadle, Teacher - Support Unit

Photo: Champions - 15 years boys 100m relay L-R Branson Po, Zaia Korkis, William Has, Simon Lim

Sports Shorts 

Photo: Champions - 15 years boys 100m relay L-R Branson Po, Zaia Korkis, William Has, Simon Lim

NSW All Schools Athletics

Six students competed at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships at Homebush recently. Our standout performers were:

Georgia Portelli won Gold in the 16 years Girls Javelin.

Branson Po won Gold in the 14 years Boys 100m. He also placed 5th in the 200m.

Zaia Korkis won Silver in the 15 years Boys 100m.

Cayden Boyter placed 5th in the 14 years Boys Triple Jump, 6th in Long Jump, 7th in Shot Put.

William Has placed 8th in the 15 years Boys 100m.


Congratulations to our star athletes on their medal-winning performances. We look forward to future success.

CHS Athletics

Eleven students competed at the CHS Athletics Championships at Homebush last term. Our students won medals in six events.   Our standout performers were:

Georgia Portelli won Gold in the 16 years Girls Javelin. She also placed 4th in Shot Put.

Cayden Boyter won Silver in the 14 years Boys Shot Put. He also placed 4th in High Jump and 6th in Discus.

Zaia Korkis won Silver in the 15 years Boys 200m.

Branson Po won Silver in the 14 years Boys 200m and Gold in the 100m.

Zaia Korkis, Branson Po, William Has, Simon Lim won Gold in the 15 years Boys 4x100m relay.

Congratulations to our star athletes on their outstanding performances.


Year 7 Gala Day

In Week 7, our students competed in the Bernera Zone Year 7 Gala Day. The boys participated in Soccer, Hockey, Ultimate Frisbee, Volleyball and AFL while the girls played Basketball, Oztag Softball and Ultimate Frisbee. A number of our teams achieved success on the day:

Pool Winners:  Girls Basketball, Boys Hockey, Boys Soccer

Pool Runners-up:  Girls Oztag, Girls Ultimate Frisbee, Boys Hockey, Boys Soccer


Congratulations to all our students for their efforts at the Gala Days, all displaying good levels of skill, enthusiasm and sportsmanship. A big thank you to the year 9 and 10 student helpers for their refereeing and coaching. Your leadership and maturity was outstanding. Your assistance is very much appreciated by the students and PDHPE staff.

UK showcase identification clinic

Introducing our seniors scholarship winner from our UK showcase identification clinic. Jarred on a tough day, with many quality players turning up, showed our EPL Scout that he had many qualities to play football in the United Kingdom and worked hard for the four hours on this event.

Jarred currently plays for Powerhouse Club Sydney United 58 in their 18s team and has also been called up to the 20s team on many occasions. He has already been capped for the Australian Schoolboy later this year. Jarred has won the scholarship to travel to the UK and experience living like a pro footballer (photo courtesy Simon Bennett, Liverpool City Champion - read the Champion's story below).

Jarred McKinley has won a scholarship to travel to the UK and experience living like a professional footballer.  Jarred will also be in training with pro-academies and work alongside some of the best coaches to gain the best exposure.



Mr B Condon

Sports Organiser

In a world where you can be anything

Encouraging positive values

Last term, the Student Representative Council (SRC) launched Kindness Week,  an initiative to promote the values of kindness and acceptance across the school community. Throughout the week, Connect classes participated in activities which encouraged students to think positively, make new friends and perform small acts of kindness for others.


It was evident that kindness was flowing throughout the school all week. The SRC also took kindness to the streets as they walked to the Cecil Hills Shopping Village and stopped along the way offering positive quotes, fresh flowers (kindly donated by Mary's Florist) and also helped shoppers carry  groceries and other shopping to their cars. 


A massive thank you to all staff and students for making the week AMAZING.  We extend a special thank you to Year 8 Street Art and Art Hub students for the incredible and inspiring artwork they displayed around the school. The images and messages certainly captured the spirit of Kindness Week and displayed the creative talents of our art students.


Well done to our Music students and Music teachers who performed on Thursday during lunch. Their performances were excellent and  really showcased the wonderful talents we have at Cecil Hills High School.

Thank you to our Year 7 students for spreading the love with their awesome aerial love heart photo.


Thank you to Mr Alen Sadikovic from SignBlitz for kindly donating an amazing 'Kindness Week' banner to the school and to Mary's Florist for donating fresh flowers.













We hope this initiative encourages everyone to continue spreading kindness around daily.


Remember -  'In a world where you can be anything, be kind!'


Ms Occhiuto and Ms Goljan, SRC Coordinators

Pitt Street comes to Cecil Hills

Lunch time entertainment

During Term 3, a very brave and talented group of Music students at Cecil Hills High School participated in busking performances around the school grounds at lunch time. These students had been part of a song-writing and performance workshop run by Mr Joannides, where students could come along during lunch twice a week to share their ideas for new songs, work on their performance skills and generally enjoy a safe space for like-minded musicians at the school. Some of these students had never even picked up an instrument before! Their initiative and determination to learn a new skill and share their craft was inspiring. The goal for these students was to work towards a busking performance, whereby they would perform the songs they had been working on at lunch for the whole school to experience.

The performances were a huge success and created such a positive vibe around the school. Various locations included the Art quad, TAS quad, and on the bridge looking over the main Quad. So many students stopped to watch their peers perform and give them positive feedback, encapsulating the collaborative spirit at Cecil Hills High School.

It was a genuine pleasure to be a part of it, and these performances will be continuing throughout the school in the very near future and beyond! ​

Tom Joannides, Music Teacher

Students on show

On Friday 18 October a group of students had the opportunity for their artworks to be exhibited in the Fairfield Art Society’s 27th annual exhibition at Club Marconi.


The exhibition was officially addressed by Fairfield Art Society member Joe Briffa, Club Marconi board members and Mayor of Fairfield, Frank Carbone.


The exhibition was judged and the following students received awards in the Youth category on the night.


Congratulations to:

  • Kylie Nguyen of year 10 with her Youth Prize award for her photographic work titled ‘Fragmented”
  • Bianca Tang of year 10 for her Highly Commended award for her photographic work titled ‘Distorted Vision”
  • Joanna Nguyen of year 7 for her Highly Commended award for her painting titled ‘Cotton Tail”

The following students are to also be congratulated for having their work exhibited.

Stephanie Koval, Krystal Lee

Charlotte McGregor, Tatjana Antonic

Megan Lee, Olivia Mai

Anabela Duric, Kiara Ripepi

Estelle Kumar, Sopheary Yang



Mrs Verter, Head Teacher - Creative and Performing Arts                          

Where are they now?

My name is Olcay Ertek but you can call me Jai.

I was a student at Cecil Hills High School from 2003 - 2008 where I completed my Higher School Certificate.   I'm writing this in the hope that it will inspire new students to pursue their dreams, just as I did.


During my time at Cecil Hills High School, I learned to produce electronic dance music (starting at the age of 15 when I was in Year 9).  In March 2010, not long after I graduated, I was offered a record deal and agreement from a label in the Netherlands called "Fusion Records"- some of you may know my colleagues from there (DJ Zany, Donkey Rollers, etc). From there I was introduced to some of the biggest names in electronic music such as Avicii.  I then changed labels and joined one of my best friends (Cody Black) at a record label called 'WE R Records' which is run by Brennan Heart. 


It was at this point that I decided to form a duo with a very good friend of mine, Elie Abwi, and we formed the group "Toneshifterz" and even released vinyls and albums worldwide. Upon moving to the Netherlands, we had bookings in nearly every country in Europe, USA and Canada every week within the first year. Needless to say, my dreams were coming true before my eyes.


I produced music for Afrojack, Sunny Marleen and of course my own aliases. I performed at Defqon 1 Australia.  I also performed on the mainstage of Defqon 1 Netherlands in 2012 to 40,000 people. I performed at Tomorrowland and countless other very popular festivals around Europe (HardBass 2013 Team Yellow) which had about 32,000 people in attendance and Decibal 2013 which had about 30,000 people.  I never in a million years thought I would showcase my own music for that many people but hey, it happened,


I moved back to Australia in January 2014 and continued to perform here.  As of November 2019, I will be returning to Europe to continue with my career.  I thought  it was impossible to live my dream and I'm sure a lot of you feel the same way.  If I could do it, anyone of you could too.


I'll leave you guys with this:

Impossible is unacceptable.  Chase your dreams and don't give up.  Do NOT wait until it is too late.  So, start making moves and think about what the future could hold for you.


On a final note, I would not be doing what I am today if it weren't for attending Cecil Hills High School.


I wish you all the best in your study, exams and in your future endeavours.


Olcay Ertek (Class of 2008)

Jai Media








In our community

Supporting anxious children


Graduating Year 12 Class of 2019


Positive Parenting Program


Fairfield City Museum


Important Dates


Monday, 28th

HSC exams continue

Year 8 VALID test week

WSU Kirby Cup

Tuesday, 29th

WSU Kirby  Cup

Wednesday, 30th

Year 10 Geography yearly exam

Western Sydney University Open Day Bankstown campus for Year 9

After school refugee homework help program

Thursday, 31st

HSC exams continue

After school study till 4.30 pm in Library


Monday, 4th

Year 7 2020 High Potential and Gifted and Talented Exam

Year 11 National Young Leaders Program

Year 9 Child Studies work experience week

Year 8 VALID test week

Tuesday, 5th

HSC exams continue



Wednesday, 6th

Year 10-11 GRIP Leadership

After school refugee homework help program

Thursday, 7th

After school study in Library till 4.30 pm 

Monday, 11th

CHAMP Assembly in school hall 10.35 am

Tuesday, 12th

HSC exams conclude today

Wednesday, 13th

Year 12 Modern History to Jewish Museum

After school refugee homework help program

Thursday, 14th 

Year 10 - Expanding Your Career presentation (at Club Marconi)

After school study in Library till 4.30 pm

Friday, 15th

Year 7 Art excursion

Year 7 Medieval Day

Year 10 - Expanding Your Career presentation (at Club Marconi)

Tuesday, 19th

Year 11 Western Sydney University day



Cecil Hills High School Newsletter
Catia Portolesi
Elena Kozul
Elena Kozul
Elena Kozul
Elena Kozul
Cayden Boyter
Cayden Boyter
Lara Ly
Ricky Hextall
Olcay Ertek - 2008
Olcay Ertek - 2019
Olcay Ertek - 2019
Olcay Ertek - 2008