Cecil Hills High School Newsletter

22 November 2019
Issue Eleven

Respectful, Responsible, Successful

Teaching and Learning
We believe in success
Impact Day
Debating challenge
101 doves symbolise peace
Supporting families
Generation Stem
Involve me and I will understand
Year 12 (2020)
Making every bird count
Premier's ANZAC Memorial Scholarship
Where are they now?
Sports Shorts
Important Dates
Uniform Shop hours
Cecil Hills High School
02 9822 1430
50 Spencer Road
Cecil Hills, NSW, 2171

Teaching and Learning

It's a masterpiece I say

They will cheer every word, every letter
I wish I felt that way
I believe I can put it better


‘The Egg’ by Sherman Edwards from ‘1776’





In terms of my introductory quote, while Year 7-10 students are nearing the end of their courses for the year, our new HSC students who commenced in Term 4 (Year 12 in 2020) have assessment tasks in most courses in the next few weeks.  It is important for students to aim for a “masterpiece” by seeking feedback from their teachers to maximise their marks, as these marks count towards the 2020 HSC.


Reading at Home

In 2020, all NSW public schools will take part in a process to strengthen their school targets.  One of the areas of focus is reading.  I will soon send home information on ways to make reading a priority in the family home by purchasing inexpensive book bundles to increase the availability of books in your home.


One study suggests that a student will perform one and half grades better if there are 75 books in the family home compared with none.  As a parent, make sure you prioritise reading time and you lead this activity in the family home to model the importance of reading for your children.

HSC Results and ATARS


A reminder that HSC results are being released earlier than normal this year.  HSC results will be available on Tuesday, 17 December 2019 and ATARs will be released later that day at 1pm.



I was recently provided with this breakdown of statistics for a hypothetical student with 90% attendance:

  • There are 200 school days each year
  • There are 13 years of school education
  • Therefore, there are 2600 school days in total (200 x 13)
  • 90% attendance means a student would attend 2340 out of 2600 days
  • 90% attendance means 260 days or 1.3 years of education would be missed!

We will have a renewed focus on attendance in 2020 with the shared understanding that attendance is critical to a student’s education and that every day counts.


I sent a letter to parents in June 2019 about homework expectations.  It is important to remember that high school students need to have the basics in place as this establishes a firm foundation for learning.  For example, timetables are assumed knowledge for high school students and the following chart can be used to reinforce multiplication/division facts:

Spelling and vocabulary is also very important.  The following website contains spelling lists with online quizzes.  The Grade 6 and Advanced lists are appropriate for high school students.  The website contains printable worksheets which can be used at home.

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 schooltv.me 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 talented students

Thank you to our wonderful staff members who are dedicating  their time and effort to ensure a successful Showcase Event for 2019.  Join us and enjoy an evening of performing arts brought to you by our talented students. Tickets available for purchase now.

P&C Meetings

Our next P&C meeting will be held at 6:30pm on Monday, 2 December 2019.  There will be a repeat session at 9:30am on Thursday, 5 December 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, Principal

We believe in success

Our newest members

We're absolutely delighted to introduce our newly elected Student Representative Council (SRC) members for 2020. They will assist the newly elected 2020 Senior Leadership Team (whom we introduced to you in our last school newsletter).


These representatives are voted in by their current year group and uphold the values of the school  while leading students and being their voice and facilitating communication between students, empowering them to contribute to and develop our school culture of being respectful, responsible and successful in line with our school motto,  "we believe in success". 


Year 11 2020 

Sophia Kouch 

Tina Pham

Tijana Banic 

Renae Prasad

Max Krol

Layth Mohammed 

Joban Singh

Brendan Pham


Year 10 2020 

Julia Misitano 

Jessica Narvaiza 

Andrew Gewargis 

Brandon Nguyen 


Year 9 2020 

Jazmyn Rizzuti

Elena Kozul

Djordje Kaludjerovic

Kuber Ihakur


Year 8 2020

Damian Subotic 

Setare Nafisinia 

Allegra Ng

Amelia Lee


Support Unit 

Izack Pokorski (6 months: January - June)

Dane Knudsen (6 months: July - December)

GRIP Leadership

On Wednesday, 6 November, our  Year 12 senior student leadership team  students accompanied a group of younger students at the GRIP leadership conference. GRIP leadership travels nationwide to equip students to achieve their goals in school positions and as individuals.

Along with 600 other student leaders from schools across Sydney, it was an opportunity for our leaders to develop their communication, teamwork, creative thinking and decision-making skills as well as learn core values of generosity, responsibility and integrity. Students attended practical sessions, which were interactive and tailored to students to develop their qualities needed to make a successful leader.

Ms A Golijan and Ms E Occhiuto, SRC Coordinators


National Young Leaders' Day

Earlier this month, twenty of our young leaders from Year 12 (2020) attended the Halogen National Young Leader’s Day at the International Convention Centre Sydney.

Students listened to four inspirational presenters speak about their lives, the obstacles they have faced and their achievements.


Students were particularly inspired by Erin Molan, who spoke about her struggles making her way as a female journalist in the sporting world. She spoke about the importance of resilience, determination and working hard to achieve your goals.

Mr T Robinson, Year 12 Adviser

Impact Day

Year 7 2020 transition

Miss Cupac and Mr Wilcox organised an additional transition day for a group of students, to encourage positive attitudes and feelings towards commencing high school, next year. The day consisted of a variety of team building activities and games, along with some literacy workshops.


The students made friends and enjoyed spending the day with their future Year Advisers at Cecil Hills High School.

We welcome Year 6 students to our  high school orientation day on Monday, 3 December 2019,


Miss N Cupac and Mr C Wilcox, Year 7 (2020) Year Advisers

Debating challenge

This year our school has been participating in the Premier’s Debating Challenge and we have competed against a number of local schools.


Our Year 7 team were carefully selected at the beginning of the year after taking part in try-outs in which they were required to present an impromptu speech on a chosen topic. The five students elected to represent our school have worked tirelessly at after-school training sessions to become the strongest they can be as a brand new team, which is reflected in their triumphant win over a Year 8 team at one point in the competition!


 Our Year 9 and 10 teams have been representing our school since they were in Year 7, reflecting their dedication and commitment to debating and representing our school. They have also stepped up immensely this year by assisting the debating coaches in training and upskilling the junior debaters, imparting their knowledge and experience over the year on to their peers to ensure their success. 


Our Year 8 team are currently smashing it out of the ballpark in the competition as they won the semi-finals last week and are heading in to the regional final! They too have been training very hard after school to improve their rebuttal skills and have been commended by the adjudicators several times on how much they improve each and every time they debate.


A huge congratulations goes out to ALL of our debaters – they have represented our school proudly and are to be commended on their success thus far!


Ms R Hurst, Debating Coordinator


101 doves symbolise peace


On 12 November 2019,  Milos Vidic, Chiara Miceli, Brandon Nguyen, Thomas Sao and Josephine Zucco of Year 9 attended the 2019 Sydney Peace Prize event at Cabramatta High School. The event was a showcase of achievements from students and past and present winners of the Peace prize. This year''s major focus was the #METOO Movement.


On arrival we were greeted,  given a gift bag and were ushered to our seats in the school hall with many students from other local high schools, members of local council and clubs. This was followed by an opening speech from Cabramatta High School’s principal  and school captains.

The event started once the official party entered with a display of cultural diversity led by Cabramatta’s Lion Dancing group and students representing different cultures of peace. After a welcome to country delivered by one of the local elders (Aunty Mae),  the founders of the #METOO movement were introduced to the audience, they were Tarana Burke (from New York) and Tracy Spicer.  They spoke about their stories of hardship and the experiences they have had with harassment, overcoming these and their motives to form the movement. They also were interviewed by the Student Representative Council and responded to some very good questions from students in the audience.


The event then moved outside to the Peace Garden where we were entertained by an excellent drumming performance led by students and Evan Yako,  a refugee who  used drumming to deal with the trauma he experienced as a result of the war and conflict in his country.  Evan arrived in Australia when he was a young boy.


The school showcased the community’s diversity through a video competition (won by two Year 7 girls) musical performances and artworks. Tarana Burke made a very moving speech about speaking up and feeling empowered which got everyone in the crowd involved. The presentation concluded with a dove release, including 101 doves to symbolise peace and was followed by a guided meditation session by a former teacher. Thomas Sao accepted  a wattle tree on behalf of Cecil Hills High School, known for their healing qualities, which we have planted here at school as a sign of peace.


This day was unforgettable.  We enjoyed the presentations of peace from our local community and schools whilst learning about the #METOO Movement foundation from Tracey Spicer and Tarana Burke. We learnt various ways we can contribute to our own community and help victims who have experienced domestic violence and sexual harassment.


Milos Vidic, Chiara Miceli, Brandon Nguyen, Thomas Sao and Josephine Zucco

Year 9 students

Supporting families

Fairfield Family Relationship Centre (FRC) operates 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday at 28 Hamilton Rd, Fairfield and has now expanded its mediation services at Liverpool by way of an outreach service every Monday and Tuesday.  Fairfield FRC is an Australian Government Initiative run by Uniting, and our role is to assist people in overcoming relationship difficulties and dealing with separation.

Our services include specialist mediation for separating or separated couples and families who are experiencing difficulties in making parenting arrangements or settling their property issues.


Other central services include specialist counselling and additional support for adults and children (through the Anchor program) who are experiencing family breakdown and separation.

Our mediation services are provided at low cost and The Anchor program is a fully funded service.

At Fairfield FRC we can support parents and children by informing and referring clients to other services depending on their needs.   If you think that you might need support with any of the above please feel free to call us and we can arrange for an intake interview to determine whether or not our service can assist with your needs.




Generation Stem


Our amazing 10S Science class have been working tirelessly on a STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) project with the CSIRO – Australia’s national science agency!

The students are responsible for coming up with solutions for real world issues, which the students have independently come up with. Using mainly recycled materials the students are showcasing their solutions in a creative way to inform the public.  The projects are looking fantastic, thus far!


They will be displayed at the Casula Powerhouse museum to be viewed by other teachers, parents and the media!  Everyone is invited to come support our Year 10 students!


Miss S Ali, Year 10S Science teacher


Involve me and I will understand

Medieval Day

On Friday 15 November, Year 7 students participated in Medieval Day.  Living History Australia presented a full activity day for our students involving archery, knight battles, Viking games and artefact displays. It was a fun day of bringing history to life!


A few words from the Living History Australia team:

Many people throughout time have said that to understand ourselves we must understand our past. To understand our common humanity we must pinpoint our position on the timeline of human civilisation, we must “use historical knowledge as the compass to position ourselves on the map of human geography” (John Henrik Clarke).

At Living History Australia we aspire to kindle a passion for history and hence a thirst for knowledge in young Australians and encourage children to know their past, to know where they come from and understand the blood, sweat and tears that has gone into creating the world that they live in today.  


“Tell me and I will forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand”
Chinese Proverb


Mr S Griffiths, Relieving Head Teacher - History

Year 12 (2020)

Our  Year 12 (2020) Hospitality students catered for the Deputy Principals' Conference on Friday 15 November, preparing both sweet and savoury dishes, including cupcakes, lemon meringue tarts, Vietnamese noodle salad, barbecued chicken wings, coconut prawns and much more.  It was a wonderful experience and so much fun!


Congratulations to all students - we are very proud of you.  You worked extremely hard to produce an outstanding spread of delicious food for our guests.

Ms M Petrovska & Mrs M Marando, Hospitality teachers

Making every bird count

Bird Life Australia

The Year 7 Science Club participated in the Aussie Backyard Bird Count on 24 October at our Cecil Hills park area.  Students were able to enjoy the nice sunshine and picnic while collecting data of birds. They even spotted a few turtles along the way.


The Aussie Backyard Bird Count happens every year that involves participants downloading an app to help identify and count birds at their local park, backyard, beach or down the main street.

Feel free to join and get involved next year!


Miss A Ha, Year 7 Science Club 

Premier's ANZAC Memorial Scholarship

Tiana returns 

The Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship  (PAMS) gives high school students the opportunity to travel on an international study tour to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of Australians at war.In 2019 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.


by Tiana Wasif, Year 12 (2020)

This year I have been incredibly fortunate to have had the amazing opportunity to represent Cecil Hills High School and NSW as a candidate of the 2019 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship, where I got to travel on a two-week study tour to Europe during the September-October break. The scholarship was funded by the NSW Government and the Office of Veteran Affairs which was offered to students in Years 10 and 11 who had an interest and passion for history.  The process prior to being selected included designing a project and partaking in an interview in front of a panel.  For my project, I designed a blog on a website which was based on the role and contributions women had in both wars and the impact that it created.


The tour began in Germany, then Belgium and lastly in France. We visited multiple battlefield sites where Australians fought as well visiting significant historic sites, museums and memorials throughout the three countries. Before the trip, each student was given the name of an Australian WWI soldier to research. The purpose of the task was to give us a chance to connect with a soldier and see them as more than a statistic.   I was asked to to present my findings at Hill 60 in Belgium after researching Oliver Holmes Woodward, who detonated the mines beneath the German lines in 1917.


In Germany, we visited the Dachau concentration camp, where it initially housed political prisoners, however, it eventually evolved into a death camp where countless of Jews died from malnutrition, disease and overwork; some were executed.


We continued our journey through multiple battlefields and memorials in Nuremberg and visited the Jewish Museum in Berlin. We then headed to Belgium where we travelled to the Western Front, visiting significant battlefields and memorials, including the Polygon Wood Cemetery.  We also took part in commemoration events in the town of Ypres in Belgium where we paid our respects to the 38,000 Australian soldiers who lost their lives there.

Our final stop was France where we got to walk on the shores of Dunkirk and Gold Beach in Normandy, and of course I got to finally see the Eiffel Tower in Paris and eat a freshly baked croissant! What better way to end the trip! The purpose of the tour was to learn about the causes of the First and Second World Wars, and to commemorate the service of Australian men and women in these conflicts.  It was a privilege to experience the stories that defined the world we live in today.


A couple of weeks upon my return to Australia I was contacted by a PAMS representative yet again, lucky enough to have been selected to represent my school, PAMS and NSW at the Remembrance Day Service at the Cenotaph in Martin Place, Sydney on November 11.  Myself and another scholar were asked to recite the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ and lay a wreath in front of the Prime Minister, government officials and a huge crowd:


“Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders Fields"


These experiences have been such a privilege and a great honour. The PAMS study tour and Remembrance Day Service were both incredible opportunities for me to expand on my personal knowledge and what I have learnt at school.  It is one thing from reading about the battles and wars of the past, to actually be standing on the same battlefields as our soldiers once did.


Being a part of this was certainly an opportunity of a lifetime and an experience that I will cherish in my heart forever.





Where are they now?

My High School Years

My name is Christina Alkhamisi.  I graduated from Cecil Hills High School in 2012. I have always had a

passion for law, particularly human rights law and assisting those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged.  I had a passion for advocacy and engaged in the school’s debating and public speaking programs. 

In Year 11 and 12, I studied very hard so I could make a career out of my passion and start my law degree.  My hard work paid off and I got accepted to study law at University after high school.

Following my passion after high school

Whilst undertaking my law degree, I took pro-active steps to advance my passion by volunteering at a number of organisations that promote social justice and the protection of human rights including the Legal Aid Commission NSW, the Australian Law Reform Commission, Blacktown Local Court’s Pro Bono Program, Justice Connect, the Federal Court of Australia’s International Programs Unit and United Nations Youth Australia.


One of my proudest achievements is being accepted to undertake an International Human Rights Law course at the University of Oxford (UK), one of the leading universities in the world.


After five long years of study, I graduated with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours.  After finishing my Bachelor’s degree, I undertook my Masters of Laws at the University of Sydney. My achievements did not come easy, it took a lot of hard work, sweat, tears and sleepless nights but it was worth it.


Where I am today

I am currently working as a lawyer with the Legal Aid Commission of NSW. Legal Aid is a government funded organisation which provides legal advice and representation to socially and economically disadvantaged peoples and communities. My role focuses on working with young people aged 12–24 years with their legal issues, prioritising marginalised, homeless and ‘at risk' young people. In this field I can see that the work I do makes a difference in people’s lives. I make a difference which is very rewarding. There were many times I doubted myself but my family, friends and teachers at Cecil Hills High School believed in me, and that has made all the difference to me and where I am today.

Full circle

It is amazing to think that just 7 years ago, I was a student at Cecil Hills High School, nervous about my next step in life. Little did I know, with a little hard work and dedication, life would bring me back full circle where I’ll be presenting in the very school I was educated in at the end of this year, representing Legal Aid. With the skills and knowledge you get in this very school, mixed with a ton of grit, who knows, maybe life will bring you back full circle too.


Christina Alkhamisi


Sports Shorts


Congratulations to our former school captain (2018) Jarrod Carluccio for helping our national U19 team qualify for the AFC U19 Championships in 2020.

At the AFC Championships qualifiers recently, the Young Socceroos drew with Laos 2-2 (with Jarrod scoring the equaliser), defeated Macau 6-0 and Chinese Taipei to top their group.

At next October’s tournament in Uzbekistan, the top four qualify for the U20 FIFA World Cup in 2021.


Exciting times ahead for Jarrod.  We wish him all the best in his quest to qualify for the World Cup.




Mr B Condon

Sports Organiser


Important Dates


Monday 25th

Year 7 Swim School week

Year 10 Commerce Business Stall

Tuesday, 26th

Support Unit students to Variety Club Christmas party

Western Sydney Wanderers Cup finals (rescheduled date)

Wednesday, 27th

Year 12 University of Wollongong Day

Year 10 Music performance in McGregor Centre

Refugee homework help program after school

Thursday, 28th

Year 11 - presentation from Legal Aid

Friday, 29th

Year 9 Commerce Start Smart incursion


Monday, 2nd

Year 10 Work Experience week

Year 12 History Extension class to University of Sydney

Tuesday, 3rd

Year 7 (2020) Orientation Day

School Uniform shop open 9.30 am to 12.30 pm

Year 8 Reward Day to Jamberoo Action Park

Year 9 to Questacon

Wednesday, 4th

Refugee homework help after school


Thursday, 5th

Year 9 Commerce Market Day

Friday, 6th

Year 7 Team  Building Day

Year 8 MYOB to Woolworths (from lunch time onwards)

Monday, 9th

Year 9 Leadership camp to Snowy Mountains

(returning Wednesday, 11th)

Thursday, 12th

School Presentation Assembly 9.00 am




Monday, 16th


Wednesday, 18th

Last day of school for all students

January 2020

Wednesday, 29 January

First day for students in Year 7, 11 and 12 

Thursday, 30 January

Firs day for students in Year 8, 9 and 10  

Uniform Shop hours


Cecil Hills High School Newsletter
Year 12 Graduating Class of 2012
Year 12 Graduating Class of 2012
Christina Alkhamisi 2019