Condobolin High School

Condobolin High School hosts Grandparents Day

• Adrienne Richards with her grandfather Dick Richards at the Condobolin High School Granparents Day, which was held last Wednesday. Festivities included morning tea, Family Tree Planting, Family Portraits, Classroom Displays and Presentations, Bocce, Croquet, Golf, Barbecue Lunch, Cutting of the Celebration Cake and Musical Performances. MB

• Marcelle May with her granddaughters Chelsea May and Macaylee Weber. MB

• Dick Richards and Colleen Helyar cut the celabratory cake. MB

Converging on Condo

• Charles Gauci (Cowra High School), Neryle Smurthwaite (Canowindra High School), Michael Sloan (Kelso High School), David Lloyd (Orange High School), Melanie Meers (Anson Street School); second row: : Ann Caro (Lithgow High School), Michelle Barrett (Molong Central School), and Sandra Parker (Parkes High School); front row: Jeff Ward (Principal, Condobolin High School), Kate Wootten (Canobolas Hight School), and John Browett (Blayney High School) took part in the Central West Principal’s Council that was held in Condobolin last week. MB

Principals from across the Central West converged on Condobolin last week.

The Central West Principals’ Council met in the town last Thursday and Friday to undertake new learning opportunities and share information.

“This is an annual event which occurs early in each term where the Principals’ from the High Schools and Central Schools from Lithgow, Kandos, Grenfell, Condobolin and everywhere in between meet to discuss the latest trends and reforms in education, undertake professional learning, share best practice in leadership and management and most importantly network and showcase the excellent work schools are doing in rural and remote education and within their communities,” Condobolin High School Principal Jeff Ward explained.

“The two days were shared between the Wiradjuri Centre and the High School with a network dinner on the Thursday evening. A highlight for most Principals was the boomerang throwing led by local Aboriginal Elder Dick Richards.

“The Principals’ enjoyed his instruction and passion for throwing the boomerang with many of the Principals taking turns to throw with mixed success.”

Mr Ward added the two days was a major success with many of the Principals enjoying the town’s hospitality.

“For those Principals who had been to the Wiradjuri Centre they were amazed at its beauty and grandeur, they also passed comment on how good the High School is looking,” he said.

Mr Ward wanted to thank the Year 11 hospitality class for providing the excellent lunches and morning/afternoon tea’s and the staff for assisting in getting the school ready for the event. 

The Principals also discussed the upcoming State Conference to be held in Sydney where over 500 Principals from NSW Department of Education schools will be in attendance.

The next Central West meeting will be hosted by Parkes High School.

Madi Sinderberry is overall Sportsperson of the Year

CHS presentation and St Vincent de Paul Christmas

Community fruit and veg garden for Condobolin



Condobolin has formed its very own Community Fruit & Vege Growing Group. They will meet weekly at 3.30pm on Wednesdays at St Joseph’s Parish Condobolin. MB

Community Garden for Condobolin

Last Wednesday a group of 10 locals keen and excited to help the community and learn all about producing food in their own garden met at St Joseph’s Primary School.

Condobolin & Districts Landcare Coordinator Libby Roesner organised the meeting to bring together like-minded individuals to learn, work and produce fruit and vegies in the Condo community.

“At this stage, we’ve made a commitment to meet weekly at 3:30pm on Wednesdays at the Catholic primary school to work on establishing a spring vegetable garden there.

This is a great starting point for the group who are a mixture of keen experienced gardeners and those who just want to help and learn so they can try and produce their own food at home.

Teacher Mrs Jennifer Brady at the catholic school is eager to invigorate the vege gardens that she has established at the school with the help of the community group.

Understanding how to grow food is such a fundamental skill and it is dying-out with so much of the food-chain now being industrialised.

Growing food organically and eating it directly from the garden is such a wholesome experience. It’s great for children to learn where food comes from and experience cooking and eating what they’ve produced.

Any community members who are interested are welcome to come along and share or help-out.

Bring your gardening clothes, gloves and tools and a keen sense of learning /sharing.  Anyone who has any seeds/seedlings/mulch or equipment they’d like to donate or share we would appreciate your support as we have no budget at this stage.

We have established strong connections with the Council and High School who are also keen to contribute and see this project succeed.  There is so much potential for sharing of knowledge and skills.

After the school gardens are well established we are keen to move-on to other gardens in the community.

If you have any suggestions, questions or would like to help or donate, either turn-up on Wednesdays or contact Libby Roesner on 0499 199 018 or at


Free workshop for parents and supervisors of learner drivers

By Melissa Blewitt

Lachlan, Parkes and Forbes Shires are committed to helping Learner drivers become safer drivers.
A free workshop for parents and supervisors of learner drivers will be held at Condobolin High School on 1 June, commencing at 6pm.
The free two hour workshop, Helping Learner Drivers Become Safer Drivers, will offer parents and supervisors hands-on advice on how to provide the most effective driving practice for learner drivers.
Lachlan Shire Council’s Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer (Relief), Logan Dolbel, who is presenting the workshop says it is well worth attending.
“Parents and supervisors of learner drivers have a crucial role to play in making our roads safer. That is why Lachlan Shire Council have teamed up with Roads and Maritime Services to hold these FREE two hour workshops to offer practical advice to parents and supervisors on how to help learner drivers become safer drivers,” he said.
“The workshop covers topics such as; the new licence conditions for learner and P-plate drivers, how to use the Learner Driver Logbook, the benefits of on-road driving sessions and tips on supervising a learner driver.
“Parents and supervisors who have attended this workshop in the past have found that it boosted their confidence, helped them better plan driving sessions and allowed them to share their experiences with other parents and supervisors.”
Light refreshments will be available during the workshop. Bookings are essential and can be made by calling Mr Dolbel on 02 6861 2364.

Discovering Science

Photos available in colour from the Condobolin Argus.

National Science Week provides a chance to focus on the impact science, engineering, technology and mathematics has on our lives, our economy, our society and our world. Condobolin High School students and teachers visited Condobolin Preschool, Lachlan Children’s Services and St Josephs Primary, encouraging the younger generation to get involved in Science Week. The High School Science students showcased their knowledge and explained the processes involved in making experiments. MB

Condo girls ready to take on the world

Condobolin High School has made its mark at the national F1 in Schools Challenge in Melbourne, coming away with an award for Outstanding Industry Collaboration.

• Condobolin High School’s ‘Sonic Racing’ team of Madeleine Waller, Isabella Swadling, Madison Jollifee and Danielle Fogg with their award for Outstanding Industry Collaboration at the national F1 in Schools Challenge in Melbourne. Contributed

Condobolin High School has made its mark at the national F1 in Schools Challenge in Melbourne, coming away with an award for Outstanding Industry Collaboration.

• The Sonic Racing team’s miniature F1 racing car at the starting line. The car placed fourth overall for speed. Contributed























By Lara Pearce

Condobolin High School has made its mark at the national F1 in Schools Challenge in Melbourne, coming away with an award for Outstanding Industry Collaboration.

The world-wide competition sees students build an F1 racing car, complete with pit display, marketing and portfolio. The challenge is designed to foster skills in engineering, science, marketing and project management.

The all-girl team of Year 9 students Isabella Swadling, Madeleine Waller and Madison Jolliffe and Year 8 student Danielle Fogg attracted quite a lot of attention from judges and spectators alike, with several offering to come on board as mentors for the girls should they enter next year’s competition.

“The organisers loved that the girls were there,” said the students’ IT teacher, Dinesh Dohdy. “They brought the celebrities and politicians and people like [racing car driver] Alan Jones to meet them.”

As well as winning an award for Outstanding Industry Collaboration, the students’ racing car placed fourth for speed and the girls received sixth place overall.

Isabella Swadling, who is the group’s Team Manager, observed that the competition was very male dominated. “There was our all-girl team, another all-girl team and then a few other girls scattered around,” she said. However, they got on well with all the teams and many new friends were made.

The girls have come a long way from when they won the regional competition in Dubbo in July last year.

“Their confidence, their self-esteem and their skills have grown tenfold,” said Mr Dohdy, who has spent countless hours after school and over the holidays working with the students on their F1 racing car, pit display, verbal presentation and marketing materials at each level of competition.

This is the girls’ first year competing in the F1 in Schools Challenge and Mr Dohdy says he is incredibly proud of what they have achieved.

“We were up against the Sydney schools, who have all the materials at their back door, and we basically had to start from scratch,” he said.

“What I have noticed most is how our speaking skills have grown in the way that we speak to outsiders,” said Isabella.

Condobolin High School has made its mark at the national F1 in Schools Challenge in Melbourne, coming away with an award for Outstanding Industry Collaboration.

• The Sonic Racing team ready to take on the national competition. Contributed

Mr Dohdy thanked the town for all their sponsorship and support.

“It was a real eye-opener for the girls,” he said. “We want to help them to know that there is an option to go on and do things outside of Condobolin like engineering and what you learn you can bring back as well.”

“The girls are looking to continue on next season in Term 3, so keep an eye out.”

With new mentors – including a university professor and a professional engineer – keen to help the students refine their skills for next year’s competition, the girls have their sights set on the world-wide competition.

School is out for Condo’s Year 12

Condobolin High School's Year 12 graduating class finished their schooling journey last Thursday.

• The Condobolin High School graduating class of 2014 with their Year Advisor, Melissa Rees: (back) Jye Powell, Danielle Richards, Jed Templeman, Jayden Krebs, Mitchell Coote, Kaine Coe-Williams, Alexander Howarth, Shirley King, Felicity Seton, (middle) Regan Thorpe, Jemimah Yow, Ashleigh Wood, Vivienne Richards, Alkira Gray, Lori Press, Samantha Kennedy, Hanlyn Swadling, Imogen John, Jessie Haydon, (front) Tate Leal, Nathaniel Smith, Anthony Orr, Scott Tanswell and William Moore. KP

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin High School’s Year 12 graduating class finished their schooling journey last Thursday.

They celebrated their final day of school with speeches, gifts, laughter and tears at a school graduation ceremony last Thursday morning, followed by a Graduation Dinner in the Condobolin High School grounds that evening.

Year advisor for the students, Melissa Rees, gave an emotional speech at both occasions, sharing some of her fond memories with the year group, which she has led for the past six years. She concluded with best wishes to the students.

“Smile, know that you have done your best, and know that you have made me one very proud Year Advisor,” she said.

Deputy Principal Clinton Mewburn gave the Principal’s Address at the morning presentation assembly speaking about the many people who have worked together to get the students through to their Higher School Certificate exams – the students, their peers, their teachers and their parents. “I wish all thirty-one students in Year 12 the very best for their future, wherever their future will take them,” he concluded.

Representatives from each year group then had the opportunity to share some stories and in-jokes of their memories of the year group.

Condobolin High School student Tessa Noll entertained the students and their family members, singing ‘She Will Be Loved’, before Mr Mewburn and Ms Rees presented awards and portfolios to each of the Year 12 students.

Year 12 representatives Felicity Seton and Tate Leal responded by thanking all the teachers and fellow students who had helped them, before Alkira Gray and Jemimah Yow presented Mr Mewburn with the Year 12 gift to the school – a soon-be-arriving new lectern for assemblies and presentations.

The students then donned their finery for the graduation dinner under the stars.

The beautiful three course meal was cooked by school staff Bev Small, Sonia Keeley and the Condobolin High Hospitality students. Michael Leal made the Graduation cake and some of the desserts.

The cohort will now be preparing for their HSC examinations, which start on Monday 13 October.

Condo kids shine at Flannofest 2014

Young talent had a chance to shine at Flannofest 2014, with four Condobolin High School students travelling to Sydney to perform in the project.

• Above: Condobolin High School students Joshua Clifford, Lelani Knight, Renee Nash and Emma Kennedy workshopping their performance at Flannofest. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Young talent had a chance to shine at Flannofest 2014, with four Condobolin High School students travelling to Sydney to perform in the project.

Music and drama students from Condobolin joined with teenagers from other schools across New South Wales to perform to over 700 people at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith.

Year 11 student Joshua Clifford and Year 9 students Emma Kennedy, Renee Nash and Lelani Knight conceived and workshopped their performance, ‘Misfits’, under the guidance of music teacher Sam Azon-Jacometti, drama teacher Danielle O’Keefe and Christina Coleman.

“Performing at Flannofest is an exciting experience,” reflected Condobolin High student, Joshua Clifford. Joshua composed one of the performances which the four students presented at Flannofest.

“It lets you have the freedom to let your talent shine in front of 700 people who are strangers to you,” he said. “At the end of the day, these people will remember you for who you were on that stage.”

The students opened with Joshua’s original composition, which was followed by their dramatic piece, ‘Misfits’. They then impressed the crowd with their voices by concluding with the upbeat song, ‘Keep Your Head Up’, by Andy Grammar.

‘Misfits’ is a dramatic piece about inclusion and fitting in, which the students conceived and workshopped together.

“The students worked hard to present a ten-minute music and drama piece,” explained Mr Jacometti. “Our students had the opportunity to work with an industry professional to prepare their performance and were able to deliver it in a high quality manner.”

“The students received great applause and were constantly stoped in the hallways and corridors and appreciated for their performance.”

Students from ten different schools from across the state displayed a range of theatrical talents, from comedy to physical theatre, contemporary theatre and vocal performances.

The students were able to practice their performance onstage on Thursday 26 June and then performed to huge crowds in the Q Theatre at 12pm and 7pm the following day.

“I really enjoyed meeting students from other schools and having the opportunity to perform together with them,” Year 9 student Lelani Knight said.

Western Plains Regional Development provided the funding for the students to participate in the project.

Condo girl takes out VET Student of the Year

Condobolin student Jessie Haydon has beaten finalists from Bathurst, Orange and Parkes to win VET Student of the Year for the Central West.

VET Student of the Year for the Central West, Jessie Haydon, cooks up a storm at Condobolin High School. LP


Condobolin student Jessie Haydon has beaten finalists from Bathurst, Orange and Parkes to win VET Student of the Year for the Central West.

Jessie Haydon at the awards ceremony in Orange with her traineeship employer, Sharmane Armstrong. Contributed

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin student Jessie Haydon has beaten finalists from Bathurst, Orange and Parkes to win VET Student of the Year for the Central West.

Jessie attended the 2014 NSW Training Awards ceremony in Orange on Friday 13 June after being finalised for the award.

Jessie is in Year 12 at Condobolin High School, where she undertakes two Vocational Education Training (VET) courses: Hospitality and Sports Coaching.

“I got to the presentation and saw myself on the front page [of the booklet] and thought ‘Why am I on the front page?’ and then everyone was like ‘You won! You won!’,” she said.

“When they called my name, I almost cried.”

Jessie received her award and gave a speech to over 300 attendees, thanking her parents and family, her teachers and her employers at the Condobolin Motor Inn, Sharmane and Scott Armstrong, for their support.

Her Hospitality teacher, Bev Small, nominated Jessie for the award for her work in her Hospitality subject and her associated traineeship, working as a cook at the Condobolin Motor Inn. Ms Small was unable to attend the award ceremony due to illness but offered her support from afar.

“She was on the phone to me crying,” Jessie said. “So I made sure to give her a big thank you in my speech.”

Ms Small said she was thrilled with Jessie’s achievements.  “I nominated Jessie because [her VET course] has made her value her education more,” she said. “She does really well in her VET course, where she is a leader to other students, and she does really well at her job and she juggles them very well.”

“She has well and truly earned the award.”

Jessie works at the Condobolin Motor Inn most evenings. She cooks, cleans, waitresses and helps out wherever she is required, leaving little time for homework on school nights.

“Sometimes I don’t get out of there until 11pm,” she explains. “I have to do a lot of homework in my studies.”

Jessie said that it was her aunt who shared her love of cooking with Jessie when she was little. “We would bake cupcakes for my sister’s birthday and that kind of thing,” Jessie explained.

Jessie has always loved cooking but it was not until she started her Certificate II in Hospitality that she became truly dedicated to her studies.

“I woke up to myself and realised that this is really going to be a hard life if I don’t do something,” she said.

After finishing Year 12, Jessie hopes to go on to complete a Certificate III in Hospitality and work as a chef.

She will now go to compete against the winners of other regions for VET Student of the Year for NSW.

Condo High Athletics Carnival


Condobolin High School held their annual cross country last Wednesday, with strong participation across the events.

Caleb Powell clearing the bar in the 12 & 13 years boys’ high jump. LP

Condobolin High School held their annual cross country last Wednesday, with strong participation across the events

Cameron Charles competing in the javelin. LP














By Lara Pearce

Condobolin High School held their annual Cross Country last Wednesday, with strong participation across the events.

Sixteen-year-old Will Coleman broke the record for the 400m sprint – a record which has been held for nineteen years. Will set a new time of 59.42 seconds, beating the previous record holder Shannon Sloane’s time by 1.68 seconds.

Danielle Richards also broke a record in the 17 years girls’ discus. Danielle achieved a distance of 28.09m, breaking previous record holder Elizabeth Spencer’s record by 2.51m.

The students worked in rotation by age group for the various events, which encompassed javelin, discus, shot put, long jump, high jump, triple jump and the 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1,500m races and relays.

The top two competitors for each event who met the qualifying criteria will have the opportunity to go on to the Regional Carnival in Bathurst on 25 July.

Local girl for VET Student of the Year

Condobolin High School student, Jessie Haydon, is a finalist for an award as Vocational Education and Training (VET) Student of the Year for the Central West.

• Above: VET Student of the Year finalist for the Central West, Jessie Haydon, with her Hospitality teacher Bev Small in the Condobolin High School kitchen. LP

By Lara Pearce

Condobolin High School student, Jessie Haydon, is a finalist for an award as Vocational Education and Training (VET) Student of the Year for the Central West.

The award is one of a number granted by State Training Services – the vocational training arm of the Department of Education and Communities – for students and apprentices across the State.

Jessie studies a VET course, Hospitality, at Condobolin High School, in conjunction with a traineeship at the Condobolin Motor Inn. She also studies another VET course, Sports Coaching, at school.

Her Hospitality teacher, Bev Small, nominated her for the award. She said that Jessie was selected as a finalist following an interview with a panel, who assessed her commitment to the VET courses, the benefits that she is getting out of her traineeship, and how both are advancing her career.

Jessie has aspirations of being a chef and plans to do her Certificate III in Hospitality at TAFE once she has completed her HSC. It was her Hospitality studies and her traineeship – where she gets to practice not only her cooking, but her customer service, waitressing, cleaning and all-round hospitality skills – that cemented her decision.

The winner of VET Student of the Year will be announced at a presentation ceremony in Orange on 13 June. If selected, Jessie will go on to a further interview and go in the running to be recognised as VET Student of the Year for the whole of NSW.

“I’m excited and nervous, but happy,” Jessie said of the presentation. “It’s actually pretty cool knowing that if I can win, it will help my career. It’s a good opportunity.”

A Beacon of opportunity

The Beacon Foundation is making important inroads into improving student outcomes for Condobolin’s young people.

• A positive pathway for their future – Condobolin High School’s Year 10 students, having just signed the Beacon Charter, stand with Beacon Foundation National Program Manager, Val Ridley, the CEO of Beacon, Scott Harris, and Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation CEO Jenny Wheatley. KP

By Lara Pearce

The Beacon Foundation is making important inroads into improving student outcomes for Condobolin’s young people.

Last Wednesday 7 May, the Year 10 students at Condobolin High School signed a Beacon Charter, pledging to take a positive pathway for their future. For many, this means continuing their education and going on to university, while others plan to go on to employment, TAFE or a traineeship program.

Students took turns to sign the Beacon charter, as did family members, teachers and local business representatives, who all pledged to help support the young people achieve their professional and personal goals.

As a testament to the talent of local students, Tessa Noll sang Bob Marley’s ‘Is this love?’

This was followed by a speech from the Beacon Foundation’s National Program Manager, Val Ridley, who congratulated the Year 10 students on taking the pledge to take advantage of the opportunities available to them.

“We have over 14,000 people in Year 10 around the country all doing the same,” she said. “You are a part of something much larger. Beacon has been doing this for twenty-five years.”

Owner of Condo Quality Meats, Daryl Nairn, spoke as a former Condobolin High School student and a local business owner.

He shared his journey from high school into various professions, and how he eventually came to be the owner of a thriving small business, despite some setbacks along the way.

“There are times when the business runs smoothly, and there are times when there are many challenges,” he advised the students. “Don’t let it get you down if things don’t go your way. Just remember, it’s your future, so make the most of it.”

Condobolin High Principal, Grahame Stiegler-Peters, said that the day was about encouraging students to think seriously about their future and to develop relationships with businesses.

The Beacon Foundation also held a Cocktail Party last Tuesday evening, providing high school students, teachers and local businesses and community groups with the opportunity to find out more about what Beacon is doing in Condobolin.

Chief Executive Officer of the Beacon Foundation, Scott Harris, spoke at the event, sharing how the Beacon Foundation started in Tasmania and now has grown to cover over 250 communities across Australia, with close to 50 corporate partners.

“We saw the power of the communities standing alongside the students and supporting them,” he said. “This saw the young people going out on a positive pathway.”

The Beacon Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation which works in schools to improve student outcomes and provide them with a pathway when they leave school.

High school students and Beacon Ambassadors, Chloe Houston, Zoe Rodgers, Will Coleman and Emily Habel presented a PowerPoint on what the Beacon program in Condobolin had achieved over the past year, including last year’s charter signing and this year’s business breakfast at the high school on 20 February.

Many local businesses already support the work of the Beacon Foundation in Condobolin, through providing traineeships to students and projects such as Condobolin High School’s ‘business blackboard’, where local business owners present workshops to the students on the real-life business applications of their studies.

The evening provided further opportunities to develop professional relationships.

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