Cecil Hills High School Newsletter

18 December 2019
Issue Eleven
Links to Learning
A heartwarming performance
Junior Focus Award
Another great year
Student success at market days
2020 House Leadership
Sports Shorts
Surf Camp
Bright future for Generation STEM
Speak up workshop
Photographers explore
Yarn and Stars
Recognition breakfast
Year 7 team building
Working with Indigenous students
Street Art
YES Program
New business directory
Showcase extravaganza
Good luck Violeta
DanceSport at its very best
In our community
Cecil Hills High School
02 9822 1430
50 Spencer Road
Cecil Hills, NSW, 2171

Links to Learning


The wellbeing of all students at Cecil Hills High School is such an important element of student development and we are lucky that all teachers, including our welfare team, are fully supportive of the large number of programs offered to our students.


Links to Learning is a 16-week program that is run at Cecil Hills High School through MTC Australia. This program was run each week with a group of twenty Year 9 boys and aimed to help these students re-engage with their school, peers and teachers and ultimately assist them to reach their potential in the classroom and when working with their teachers.


Congratulations to all students on successfully graduating Links to Learning in 2019.  We look forward to working with our Year 10 girls in 2020.


Mr P Hickey, Links to Learning Program Coordinator

A heartwarming performance

Schools Spectacular

Students from Cecil Hills High School Support Unit were once again participants in the Schools Spectacular. This year’s show was held on Friday 22 November and Saturday 23 November at Qudos Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park.

Students from our Support Unit were part of the D’Arts Dance Ensemble which aims to promote dance inclusion for students with a disability. The students performed a dance item to Casey Donovan’s song “Listen with your Heart”.  The students put in countless hours of dancing during rehearsals and it paid off with a dazzling performance on Friday and Saturday night in front of a crowd of over 10,000 spectators, which included their proud family members.


Congratulations to our performers - Christina George, Dane Knudsen and Ruby Wiegold.


Mr N Jacob, School Spectacular coordinator


Junior Focus Award

The Cecil Hills High School Community/School Promotions Team would like to acknowledge the following local businesses for their donation to help create our new Junior Focus Award.


Cecil Hills United Realty Property Group

Club Marconi 

Kemps Creek Sporting and Bowling Club

Liverpool West Rotary Club

St Johns Park Bowling Club


This award is to celebrate the achievements of selected students from our local primary schools and from Cecil Hills High School, who have shown an all-round positive mindset in a variety of areas across the school.


The chosen students who will receive these awards have consistently shown a commitment to the school values, acknowledging that being respectful, responsible and successful are all attributes which allow opportunities to create positive behaviours for learning.


Once again, we thank our valued local businesses.


Mrs A Verter on behalf of the Cecil Hills High School - Community/School Promotions Team

Another great year

Look at me
I'm where I started
Look at me
It's like I've just begun
Look at me
I'm back at chapter one

Yet there's a change that I can see...


‘Look at Me’ by John Dempsey and Dana P. Rowe from ‘The Witches of Eastwick’

HSC Results

In 2019, we have had another amazing effort from another excellent group of Year 12 students.  We have once again attained fantastic HSC results and our school highlights include:

  • 45 x Band 6 results (a score over 90%)
  • 161 x Band 5 results (a score over 80%)
  • Kosta Tsoukalas attained our highest ATAR of 96.65
  • Winston Fok attained 5th in NSW for Business Services
  • Felicity Olivares attained 7th in NSW for Business Services


We are very proud of the commitment we have to excellence in Year 11 and Year 12 and our approach is validated by these strong results.  Well done to all of our students and thanks to our amazing HSC teachers.  In terms of my introductory quote, as it is time for us to go back to chapter one again at the start of next year and do it all again.  I am proud of the fact that students are able to attend their local public high school and achieve absolutely fantastic results.  We are all very proud of the quality education we provide here and this set of HSC results makes our endeavours all worthwhile.

Save the Date - Year 7 (2020) BBQ and Year 7 (2021) Information Evening

An information evening for Year 7 (2021) will be held on Tuesday, 25 February 2020.  This will provide an opportunity for prospective parents and community members to learn more about our school and enjoy a guided tour of our state-of-the-art facilities.  Ms Karina Fagan and Ms Amy Preston, our year advisers for this year group, will be coordinating the event in conjunction with Ms Stephanie Haskett, Deputy Principal.  This will also coincide with our normal Year 7 BBQ.  As a result, we invite both Year 6 (2020) and Year 7 (2020) students, parents and families to this double event!  Please save the date and further information will be provided early next year.


Sadly, we are saying farewell to a significant number of teachers.


  • Temporary teachers Ms Shaheen Ali (Science), Ms Kathy Tran (Mathematics) and Ms Olivia Pham (Social Sciences) are all moving onto other schools and endeavours in 2020.
  • Mr Josh Symons has been promoted to Head Teacher – TAS at the newly built Oran Park High School. Mr Symons has only been at our school for a relatively short time but he has made a positive impact during this period and we wish him all the best as he joins an excellent team of teachers establishing this new high school.
  • Mr Sangh Raj and Mrs Phul Raj are retiring after about 20 years of service each to Cecil Hills High School.  This is a significant commitment to the education of our students and we wish them all the best for their retirement.
  • Ms Paula Vella has provided 18 years of service to Cecil Hills High School in both Mathematics and Science and will also be joining Oran Park High School from 2020.  Ms Vella has not only been a popular member of staff but also a source of support for our P&C. 
  • Ms Roshna Sharma in our Support Unit has provided 13 years of service to Cecil Hills High School students and has been our regular 2IC, filling in as Head Teacher many times.  Ms Sharma was successful in her application to pursue a career transition to school counselling and we wish her all the best for this new role.
  • Mr Paul Hickey has been promoted to Head Teacher – Welfare at Bulli High School after 15 years of service to Cecil Hills High School.  Mr Hickey has done an enormous amount for our school in a number of capacities including Year Adviser and Relieving Head Teacher – Welfare.  I anticipate next year that at various times we will be saying “Paul used to do that” as he performed many behind-the-scenes roles including managing our school Facebook account, working with our technology team and always being on hand to help out.
  • Ms Belinda Vidot is our Head Teacher – Administration and she has secured a position as Head Teacher – Administration at Cronulla High School, much closer to home, after 16 years of service to Cecil Hills High School.  Ms Vidot does a massive amount of work to ensure we attract the best teachers to our school and then work with them as beginning teachers.  We will miss her bubbly personality, student-centred philosophy and sense of humour.  I have worked very closely with Ms Vidot in her role and I will sorely miss her expertise and assistance.
  • Mr Ben Condon is an institution at our school and will also be commencing at Oran Park High School next year.  He is an original of our school and started at Cecil Hills High School on 29 January 1996.  Mr Condon has been Sports Coordinator since the school’s first day of operation and he has ensured our school has always had a strong spotlight on sport.  Mr Condon has performed his very public work in running sports carnivals and organising sport, but also churns through a significant amount of other work in his spare time, often late at night, to ensure sporting opportunities are always at the forefront for our students.  At our presentation assembly, it was my honour to announce that our most prestigious sporting award will now be known as the ‘Ben Condon Sportsperson of the Year Award’.   Mr Condon has been given the extremely rare privilege of being able to establish a second high school from scratch and he leaves knowing he has had a positive influence on a generation of Cecil Hills High School students.

We wish all of these teachers all the best in their future endeavours.


Student Dux Awards

We had a fantastic Presentation Assembly last week - a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge  excellence to all students who received awards. Congratulations to our Dux award recipient awardees:


2020 school starting dates

Wednesday, 29 January - First day for students in Year 7, 11 and 12 

Thursday, 30 January - First day for students in Year 8, 9 and 10  

Enabling translation

Enabling translation is a great way to enable readers of multiple languages to read our newsletters. The translation service is provided by Google Translate and while it is not perfect, it is an easy way to add multi-lingual support to your newsletters.

If you know of anyone who would like to read our school newsletter in their own language, see the small box on the bottom left hand side of the front page of our newsletter which allows readers to select which language they'd like to translate to.

P&C Meetings

Our next P&C meeting will be held at 6:30pm on Monday, 3 February 2020.  There will be a repeat session at 9:30am on Thursday, 6 February 2020.


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

Student success at market days

This term, Commerce classes in Year 9 and Year 10 held their market days as part of their ‘Running a Business’ topic.  There were a variety of delicious snacks on sale includng milkshakes, iced teas, cupcakes, pizza, snow cones, Dutch pancakes, stuffed cookies, churro balls, hot chips, nem nuong, kitchen kebab sticks, spring rolls, pide and samosas.


In the lead up to their market days, students learned about the operations, marketing and finance functions of businesses and had the opportunity to develop business plans and advertise their products. To fund their businesses, students made personal contributions which they have decided to contribute to their chosen charities.

The goal of both Commerce classes was to raise as much money as possible to donate to their chosen charities. This year NSW Rural Fire Services, Vinnies Bushfire Appeal and World Vision Australia will be receiving a total of over $2000 in donations from Cecil Hills High School.


Thank you to all the students, teachers and parents who supported our Commerce classes this year.


Ms K Ha and Ms O Pham, Commerce teachers

2020 House Leadership

I have the pleasure of announcing the appointment of 16 students for the House Leadership Team in 2020.  Our newly elected 2020 House Leaders are:



Kylie Nguyen (Captain),  Jasmine Quach (Captain)

Dayna Alahmad (Vice Captain), Natalia Cupac (Vice Captain)



Ilhan Dursun (Captain), Tracey Vo (Captain)

Tayla Davies (Vice Captain), Jason Van (Vice Captain)



Dylan Mustafa (Captain), Gabriella Porreca (Captain)

Jade Issa (Vice Captain), Mooj Mahdi (Vice Captain)


Edwin Tarawali (Captain), Anna Tien (Captain)

Linda Touch (Vice Captain), Aline Tu (Vice Captain)


Mr A Peacock, House Leadership Coordinator / Music Teacher


Sports Shorts

Sydney South West Blues Winners

Congratulations to Georgia Portelli who was awarded a Sydney South West Sports Association Blue in Athletics for her outstanding performances particularly in javelin, shot put and discus in 2019.


Georgia has been an outstanding thrower for a number of years and this is a deserving reward for her efforts not only this year but over a number of years.







Zone Blues Winners

Six of our students received Blues Awards at the annual Bernera Zone Blues Awards ceremony last week:

Bianca Dempsey

Cross Country

Aurmina Shaba


Jarred McKinley


Renae Prasad


Vanessa Parada

Principals’ Award

Thomas Todd

Principals’ Award


These students displayed excellent skill, determination, sportsmanship and leadership in their respective sports and across a number of sports. Congratulations to them all for their wonderful achievement. 



Congratulations to Georgia Portelli (U18 Javelin), Branson Po (6th in the U16 100m and 5th in the U16 4x100m relay) and Zaia Korkis (U16 100m) for competing at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships in Perth last week.


B Condon, Sports Organiser

Staff / Students Farewell Frisbee match

All the best Mr Condon, Mr Hickey and Ms Vidot -  thanks for the good times.


Surf Camp

Year 10 PASS 


Late last month, Year 10 PASS students were given the opportunity to participate in a three day surf camp. The camp took place in various places on the South Coast, with base camp at Wollongong Surf Leisure Resort. 


Day one involved a swim assessment in the morning, a coastal walk and an afternoon surf lesson at North Wollongong Beach. There were some interesting styles of surfing on display, and some great wipe-outs to follow. Day two saw us travel down to The Farm at Killalea State National Park, for a morning surf which came with a lot of improvement. 


A windy day made for more great wipe-outs and some awesome waves.  Lunch break, and back to it in the afternoon for the final session. We were treated with most students standing up on their boards, and the teachers giving it a shot as well.


A nice early night was needed as we prepared for Jamberoo the next day. A short bus ride down to Jamberoo to finish off the three day camp was the perfect ending.  Water-slides and running around resulted in a lot of sleepy students on the way back to school.


Mr M Evans, Relieving Head Teacher -  PDHPE

Bright future for Generation STEM

Global Warming? Renewable resources needed? Lack of blood donations?  Space debris? 


Solving the world's problems left in the hands of Year 10 students


Our fantastic Year 10S students have been working tirelessly creating projects in partnership with the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) for Generation STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).


After weeks of planning and implementing, students were taken to the Casula Powerhouse Museum to present their solutions to the public, other schools, CSIRO staff, the Mayor of Liverpool and the Director of Education for Liverpool.


Liverpool Mayor (Wendy Waller) said she was impressed with the effort the students had invested in their projects. “I saw a lot of problem solving and a lot of creativity in those projects,” Mayor Waller said.


The projects were astonishing to see, that in just a few short weeks students had produced work of such quality.  Anika Yahyavi learned how to solder to connect wires to a working solar powered windmill and lights powering up a model of a neighbourhood. The group of girls working on an alternative to donated blood, created realistic blood bags with a makeshift fridge to store their blood bags. Fairy lights were entwined with amazing realistic depictions of crops and space debris. The extinction of Pandas was investigated, because obviously they are cute!


A special thank you to Mr Miller, Mr Symons and Ms Cheah for helping  Year 10S students in soldering and with engineering equipment.


Thank you, Mrs James, Ms Marks, Mrs Green, Mr Chandler and Mr Brame, for attending the event and supporting our students, who appreciated presenting to teachers of their school.


Miss  S Ali – Science Teacher and STEM project coordinator

Speak up workshop


On 4 November,  students from Year 7 to Year 9 students in our Support Unit had the opportunity to participate in an in-school workshop. The fun interactive workshop was conducted by Jared Ngaika from MirriMirrim (an Aboriginal owned company that supports all Australians to develop their understanding and awareness of our Indigenous cultures).


This program provided students the opportunity to improve their skills related to mentoring as well as empowering students to speak up and ensure that their voices are heard.  


Through a series of interactive, fun and thought provoking activities, this workshop ensured the students understood the strategies and skills required to make decisions in different areas of life including socially, within a school context and in the community.


Mrs  R Sharma, Teacher - Support Unit

Photographers explore

Year 9 and 10 Photography students have been learning about architectural photographers and how they see the urban world in different perspectives.


On Thursday 7 November our students had the opportunity to experience a different type of classroom, as they put theory into practice. They explored and captured the amazing architectural forms that our beautiful city has to offer. They walked from Luna Park at Milsons Point, across the Harbour Bridge, down to The Rocks and then to Circular Quay.

This enabled them to explore, extend and enrich their learning in a non-school setting, which allowed for some creative photography to take place.


Mrs A Verter, Head Teacher - Creative and Performing Arts



Yarn and Stars

Reward Day at Luna Park, Sydney

Throughout the year, our Refugee and Aboriginal students have worked consistently both inside and outside the classroom.  As a reward, Stars Coordinator Ms Rattos and Ms Pham, together with Ms Kulevski the Aboriginal Coordinator, organised a fun-filled day at Luna Park Sydney.


Through a misty and smokey morning, our students arrived at Luna Park early and eager to get the day started. On arrival, students got to enjoy their morning tea under the Sydney Harbour Bridge whilst overlooking the Sydney Harbour. For some of our refugee students, this was their first time viewing the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

With the sound of the rides warming up, the Ferris Wheel spinning and the Dodgem Cars revving, wristbands were distributed and students were ready to get the day started. Students had free time to explore the theme park to its fullest. Teachers also took this opportunity to engage with the students and explore the ever daring rides. Student’s  favourite was the Tango Train and the Wild Mouse. Another favourite was stepping back in time at Coney Island and the Wonky Walk. Cheers and screams could definitely be heard throughout the entire park.


As the sun was beginning to set, unfortunately the excitement had to come to an end. Students packed up and cleaned up leaving Luna Park with sad faces. A sleepy bus ride home was on the cards, where students shared the amount of times they all went on the rides. With the screams and excitement now just a distant memory, the bonding and fun-filled adventure the students shared would last a lifetime.


Ms Kulevski , Aboriginal Coordinator

Ms Rattos and Ms Pham, Stars Coordinators

Recognition breakfast

On Friday 6 December, The Visual Arts and Music faculty put on a recognition breakfast to acknowledge the consistent efforts and dedication of students this semester that studied Visual Arts, Music and Photography.


The faculty would like to thank the parents/caregivers and students for attending the breakfast and celebrating the efforts of their children.


Mrs A Verter, Head Teacher - Creative and Performing Arts

Year 7 team building


On Wednesday 11 December,  Year 7 students participated in a team building day which consisted of various activities including an amazing race, inflatable obstacle course and a reflection activity.


Students completed various challenges and puzzles throughout the day by working together. Year 7 were also given a chance to reflect on their experiences so far. Students were extremely respectful and responsible which ensured a successful day was had by all students involved.

“My favourite part of the day was the inflatable obstacle course”.

“I really enjoyed the amazing race and working with other students in my year group”.

“I thought it was really nice giving and receiving thank you notes”.


Mr A Faga and Ms V Phan, Year 7 Advisers





Working with Indigenous students

Koori Aspiration Program

Throughout the year, Cecil Hills High School has been working with Wollongong University and their new Koori Aspiration Mentoring Program.  Through the Koori Aspiration Mentoring Program, our Aboriginal students are given the chance to work with Indigenous students from the South Western Sydney Region and University volunteers.


The Koori Aspiration Program strives to connect University students with Indigenous high school students across the South Western Region. The program itself is in its first year and an extension from the worldly known AIME program. Within the new program, students meet with University mentors on three separate occasions. Through these three separate workshops, students focused on their aspirations for the future and the importance of being an individual. This is an aspect of the program that Cecil Hills High School proudly supports and actively takes part in.   

Guided by University mentors  and community educators, our students yarned about current social issues, such as climate change, poverty and how to overcome prejudice Indigenous students can face. Students worked in teams to build confidence, perseverance and resilience.


Our students participated in all activities throughout the day, including STEM projects, law lectures and art workshops. Students shared their hopes for the future whilst breaking through learning barriers, building friendships with other Indigenous students from across the region and most importantly connecting with their spirit animals.


The goal of the Koori Aspiration Program is to engage and motivate students to be the best they can be in their studies and sports. Closing the education gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students is at the core of the program and what we at Cecil Hills High School proudly support.   


Ms  D Kulevski, Aboriginal Coordinator

Street Art

This week, Bradley Eastman  is spraying a mural on the J Block Staff room walls and is also leading a workshop with Year 8 Street Art students. This past semester, Street Art students have been working tirelessly to create their own street art projects around the school to create a more engaging environment for Cecil Hills High school students and staff. Students have decorated the school's café door, sprayed the picnic tables, noticeboards and more.

This is an amazing opportunity for our creative students to meet a professional in the field whilst brightening up the school with Beastman’s work.


Keep your eyes open!


Ms V Phan and Ms M Marks, Street Art teachers







YES Program

Every Thursday for 8 weeks 4 of our students attended the "Hair and Beauty Youth Engagement Strategy (YES) Program".  This program provided our students the opportunity to learn the foundation skills in a vocational setting at Liverpool TAFE.   On the 5 December 2019, all four  students successfully graduated from the course.


Congratulations to Felicity Samson, Kaylie Etherington, Tatiana Sivac and Kiara Ripepi.


Ms A Nardo, organising teacher


New business directory

In need of a local vet, plumber, electrician or accountant and not sure how to find one? The Cecil Hills High School Parent Business Directory may have the answer…


The Cecil Hills High School Student Representative Council  (SRC) is creating a business directory as an initiative to support our school community.

Inclusion in the Cecil Hills High School Parent Business Directory publication is open to all Cecil Hills High School families who own or part own a business in exchange for a small fee of $50 per calendar year, payable to Cecil Hills High School.  This publication will be available on the Cecil Hills High School website early next year.


If you would like to feature in the Cecil Hills High School Business Directory, or if you have any enquiries, please contact the school office via email to cecihills-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au by the end of this term.


Ms E Occiuto and Ms A Golijan, SRC Coordinators


Showcase extravaganza


What a fabulous Showcase performance this week!  Our students displayed their creativity and talent with their singing, dancing, musical and band performances. Thank you to all the parents who came to support their students and the school – we had many families attend.

Special thanks to the many staff members who spent much time behind the scenes to ensure this event was a success - especially to the staff members in our Creative and Performing Arts faculty and the many other staff members who offered valuable assistance over the past few weeks.


Good luck Violeta

We are delighted to advise that Violeta Bozanic of Year 10 is a grand finalist in the UKSC (United Kingdom Songwriting Contest) in the under 18s category.  The winner to be announced by the end of this week. Thirteen songs have been selected into the grand final -  five of these are Violeta's original songs. 

All grand finalists will have their work promoted to the UKSC's music industry contacts and are also considered for inclusion on the Best of 2019 Album. They will also receive a personal invitation from the organisers to be part of World Concert Day 2020.


Violeta - good luck from all of us at Cecil Hills High School.

DanceSport at its very best

Congratulations Kiara

Kiara Hawkins of Year 11 competed at the 74th  Australian DanceSport Championships in Melbourne on the weekend of 6th - 8th December. Competing in Ballroom Standard, New Vogue and Latin -  including a World DanceSport  International event,  Kiara and her dance partner (Christopher) placed third in the Ballroom graded event and placed in the top ten for all their other graded events. Kiara and Christopher have collectively been dancing for ten years.


The Australian Dancing Society's 74th Australian DanceSport Championship was  a celebration of Australian and International DanceSport at its very best. 

The ‘Australian’ is not only the premier DanceSport event in Australia but remains one of the key events on the international circuit and within the Oceanic region.  Providing Australian athletes with the opportunity to compete against some of the world’s best on home soil and for Australian audiences to witness the skill, glamour and athleticism of World Class DanceSport.

The program was action packed with two big evenings of action; Saturday night featured two international events - the World DanceSport's Federation Open Standard and Latin.  On Sunday night couples battled it out to become the Australian Champion in all major divisions.


We are extremely proud of Kiara's and Christopher's efforts and we wish them continued success on the dance floor. 

In our community

Starting your HSC journey

As the year draws to a close, we would like to share with you some FREE resources for both parents and students who will be starting their HSC journey in 2020.  The parent guide below has been written by a counsellor who works with both HSC parents and students. Similarly, the free parent seminar will be presented by an expert HSC teacher/marker with over 25 years experience. Fostering a growth mindset -  This parenting guide provides strategies, language and a checklist which provides useful insight to help your child develop a growth mindset and set them up for a successful HSC.

2020 Kickstart seminar

InspirED, in partnership with UTS and Macquarie University, are running a free Maximise your HSC seminar in both late January and early February 2020. This session has been specifically designed to provide students with insight into how they can achieve their best in the HSC.


School Uniform Shop - opening dates and times


Cecil Hills High School Newsletter