Education & Training & Schools

Condobolin Kids in Camelot

• St Joseph’s Primary School is presenting the Bushfire Press musical production of “Kids in Camelot.”

Playing on the 13th of September and featuring all the students of St. Joseph’s, the performance will showcase the musical and dramatic talent of the local school kids.

The rehearsals for the show have been rigorous and were integrated into the school curriculum, with drama, dance and music subjects being a welcome class rehearsal period.

With a fantasy feel, the musical is about a modern day boy who wakes up in medieval Camelot and the play explores the unusual course of events he embarks on.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $2 for children and can be purchased through the St. Joseph’s Primary School Head Office.

St. Joseph’s gets counted in

On Thursday morning St Joseph’s primary school students raised their voices for the national schools event, Music: Count Us In.

In choral harmony with hand gestures and all, the students watched the live telecast of the event hosted in Sydney, and loudly and proudly sung along.

Music: Count Us In is an initiative supported by the Australian government celebrating the value of musical education.

With 2000 schools participating in the event nationally, schools rehearse then perform the same song, on the same day, at the same time.

Celebrities leant their support to the event with local singer, Shannon Noll, helping with the musical direction of the Sydney event.

Even rock-and-roller turned Federal MP, Peter Garrett, revisited his Midnight Oil roots and sung with students.

Aside from the students’ vocal talent, St Josephs also employed the help of five very keen xylophone players.

This gave the national event a local feel, with Noll’s niece, Lara, joining her uncle in the celebration and rhythmically pounding away on the xylophone.

The St Josephs Coordinator for the event, Bernadette Spencer, said that most of the school term was spent in rehearsal, with the students setting aside about 10 minutes daily to practise the group song.

Bernadette said that it was an easy song and had a great beat so all the students could bop along.

Sad farewell to Principal leaving Condobolin

• Above: Mayor of the Lachlan Shire Des Manwaring with former principal of CHS Bob Carline

After three years of service as principal of the Condobolin High School, Bob Carline has ended his tenure to return to his home in Macksville.

With 34 years of teaching behind him, Bob spoke of how unique an experience his stay in Condobolin was, as the Shire took such a great interest in the school.

“Condobolin hasn’t lost a sense of community,” he said.

Bob became emotional as he expressed how grateful he was to work in a culture dedicated to the community and where teaches don’t just go to work and go home but have complete commitment.

He emphasized the importance of teachers and the significant role they can play in the lives of students.

“As a teacher when you look at a kid in need and you do something small or trivial for them, you don’t know the impact you can have,” he said.

Mayor of the Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, spoke of his gratitude to Bob on behalf of the Condobolin community, for his leadership and great contribution.

Robyn Walsh, who will be acting as the relieving principal until there is a new appointment, thanked Bob for his support and encouragement.

Robyn believes that Bob’s greatest contributions to the school included working closely with the staff and putting a big focus on technology.

In his closing remarks Bob assured the school that this isn’t his retirement, because he isn’t really done with teaching yet.

Stitching their way to success

• Margaret Roberts and Danielle Richards

By Emily Canon

 This school term Condobolin High School in conjunction with the Yawara Disability Centre has launched a beginners sewing course.

Led by experienced Dubbo seamstress Margaret Roberts, the program aims to train students in fundamental sewing skills on a sewing machine.

While the classes were initially intended to only teach the basics of the craft, recognising the talent and initiative of the students, Margaret has set an outcome for the students to get their creative juices flowing.

A fashion parade will be held at the high school on the 22nd of September for the students to showcase their achievements and their newly learnt skills.

Margaret hopes that the fashion parade will also whet the appetite for other students to get involved in the program next term.

She believes that every young person needs encouragement and if you get them believing, they can get excited.

Under Margaret’s guidance the students have been looking through patterns to develop a piece for a fashion show.

Year nine student, Danielle Richards, is a participant in the program and with her handy new sewing ability she has crafted some fine bedding.

The program is not limited to girls, with two boys also participating.

Formula 1 a winner

Above: The two winning teams. EC
















By Emily Canon

Condobolin High School has had great success winning a Formula 1 model racing and engineering competition.

Two Condobolin High School teams entered into the competition and both won their respective categories.

The competition has three categories, Development, Pro Junior and Pro Senior. With around 8 or 9 teams in each class it was no easy competition.

The contest is a whole day event and consists of two races; a time trial and a reaction trial.

Each competing team also had to deliver a verbal presentation to the judges with a portfolio and pit display, demonstrating the growth and efforts of the team.

Team Illusion Engineering, in the Development class, had a total score of 71% allowing them to take out their class and winning them a place at nationals.

The team included students Daniel Heinrich, Sarah Cusack, Jayden Krebs and Josh Coote.

The Bullet Racing team, in the more advanced Pro Junior class achieved a score of 86%, the highest score in their category, naming them the winners of the Pro Junior Class.

Bullet Racing team were the carry over champions from 2010 and with this consecutive win in their stride, they will again be going to nationals.

Bullet Racing team members were students Mitchell Coote, Gregory Kuhn, Alexander Howarth, Nathaniel Smith and Akira Gray.

The model F1 vehicles are developed using a hybrid of the advanced CATIA system. This is an exciting technology as F1 vehicles, including Ferrari, have used the CATIA program to design their vehicles.

Through this program students were able to develop an intelligent engineering form for their model cars.

Condobolin High School maths teacher, Dinesh Dohdy, said that the students had put in a lot of lunchtimes and some afterschool hours in preparation for the event, and Leanne Kuhn had been a great support in organising the program.

Condobolin High School sees fruits of cooking labour

• ‘Food For Life’ chefs enjoying their Thai chicken noodle stir fry and apple cinnamon turnovers with custard. KTCondobolin High School’s ‘Food For Life’ cooking program is making a big impact on the diets of local students and their families.

The result of an AUSTAR donation of $2000 following celebrity chef Mark Olive’s recent visit to the school, Food For Life aims to teach students the best way to cook cheap and healthy meals.

Foodtech and hospitality teacher, Shirley Cowan, said the program was also helping to make students feel comfortable working with their parents in a school environment.

“[The parents] are very involved while the kids are at primary school but when they come to high school it all changes,” she said.

“So we decided to incorporate the community with the high school by running this program and getting students to invite a family member to come to school and do healthy cooking with them.

“We’ve been taking the students shopping to buy food to produce healthy meals which they then take back to their families.

“We’ve been showing them the difference between fresh, canned and frozen ingredients in relation to nutritional value and price.

“We’ve also been looking at the price of a home cooked meal versus buying take away.”

Shirley said Food For Life is in its pilot stage but if it proved to be successful the school would look at ways to maintain the program.

“At the moment we’re relying on the donation [to buy ingredients] and that will run out at the end of the year,” she said.

Student Dannelle Powell said she was really enjoying cooking with her family.

“This is good – you learn heaps and it is heaps good having Nan here,” she said.

Minister Rudd to open study centre amidst DA controversy

WCC project management team: Reginal Saddler, Rebecca Merritt, Donna Johnson, Neil Ingram and John Spencer. DGBy Dominic Geiger

Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has confirmed he will officially open the Wiradjuri Study Centre in Condobolin on September 27.

C.E.O of Wiradjuri Condobolin Corporation (WCC), Percy Knight, said Mr Rudd had been chosen as a result of the former PM’s apology to the stolen generation in 2008.

“In that speech he mentioned a new beginning for all Australians,” Percy said.

“He mentioned that phrase three or four times, and that’s what we’ve been trying to achieve with the study centre since 2003.

“The WSC makes a statement about this new beginning and about the stolen generation and says let’s now move forward; let’s make sure that never happens again.

“The study centre takes into consideration how we as Aboriginal people see things and how we learn; it’s a learning centre first and foremost, but it’s also a cultural centre.

“With it, we’re closing the gaps on employment opportunities on a local level.”

Percy said there had been some initial concerns Mr Rudd wouldn’t be able to attend the ceremony given his recent heart operation, but since his recovery the green light had been given for the minister’s visit.

“Of course he could also be called overseas, given his high profile, but we’re going to take a gamble on it,” he said.

Despite a date having been set for the official opening of the centre, WCC is yet to meet all the criteria for the Lachlan Shire Council (LSC) imposed development application on the building.

As such, WCC is yet to be granted full occupancy of the building and is currently occupying the building as a management team.

General Manager of the Lachlan Shire Council, George Cowan, said council was working with the management of WCC to resolve the issue.

“These issues have been ongoing throughout the course of the buildings construction,” he said.

“Council is hopeful these matters can be addressed and the building can be put to use, though these are not insignificant issues.”

Percy said the bureaucratic arm of LSC had been needlessly picky in its scrutinising of the development application.

“I have no problem with the councillors, however the bureaucratic element of the council has been very needlessly pedantic with its due diligence,” he said.

“We are doing our best to deal with these issues, though we feel these issues are not OH&S.

“I have said that if the council continues to be pedantic there is a mood within Wiradjuri people that this day could be a day of celebration or a day of protest.”

Flo Grant, from the Wiradjuri Council of Elders, said it was very exciting to see something which had come from nothing bloom into fruition.

“I’ve been there from the beginning, watching people make their own bricks and build with them; it’s been quite exciting,” she said.

“There are, however, a few issues, mostly from the bureaucratic side, affecting the project.

“We do not accept people not giving back what belongs to us.

“This centre has been independently earned; it’s ours and we’re not going to let it go.”

Condo high students learn from drama legends

Condoboiln High School Students took part in a drama workshop run by The Maids.By Dominic Geiger

Condobolin High School students had the opportunity last Thursday to learn from the cast and coordinators of The Maids theatre presentation at a drama workshop held at the Condobolin Community Centre.

Thirty two drama students took part in the workshop while approximately 120 other students were given a tour of the building and received a sneak peak of the stage and props as they were being prepared for Friday night’s performance.

Penrith based drama teacher and stand-up comedian, Brent Thorpe, said the aim of the workshop was to encourage students to express themselves in ways they usually wouldn’t be able to while in a school environment.

“It’s about letting kids know it’s ok to express themselves and that they do have a voice and it’s ok to use it,” he said.

“We do basic skills training, drama games and we give them a taste of what it is to act.

“The students also had the chance to have a Q and A with The Maids actors and learn about how they got into [National Institute of Dramatic Art].”

Actor Elaine Crombie said the workshops were designed to help children release stress they might be experiencing at home or at school.

“The issues a lot of young kids go through day to day can create something like a tension wire for them,” she said.

“If they don’t have access to ways to express themselves that wire can snap later in life and then that becomes something the rest of the community has to deal with.

“I’m not saying this is the only way, but early intervention like this can address these sorts of issues now.”

Jeans for Genes at CHS

Condobolin High School students participated in Jeans for Genes day last week.

Condobolin High School students had the chance last week to strut their stuff in stylish jeans and raise money for research into genetic disorders for the annual Jeans for Genes day.

Jeans for Genes Day is a major fundraiser for the Children’s Medical Research Institute and is held annually on the first Friday in August.

Students donated a gold coin each in support of the cause and managed to raise a grand total of $151.80.

Teacher Gillian McMillan said she was impressed with the students’ efforts.

“The kids really care about it,” she said.

“They’ve been asking questions and quite a few kids here have family with genetic disorders.

“Considering we’re only a small school I think we’ve done well to raise that amount of money.”

Condobolin Public School variety concert

Condobolin Public School talent at their Variety Night.

By Dominic Geiger

Condobolin Public School (CPS) students put on a concert extravaganza last Wednesday evening with a wide range of different performances delighting a capacity crowd in the school’s assembly hall.

Items presented included singing performances, dances, plays, poetry recitals and a slide show which depicted everyday life in the classroom.

All students at CPS took part in the concert, with each class presenting their own unique performance.

CPS Deputy Principal, Judy Wilson, said the students loved the chance to perform in front of their parents and grandparents.

“The students preformed really well,” she said.

“They were all incredibly excited and showcased the talent of the school.

“We had a full house and ran out of tickets”.

Judy said both the students and teachers had put a huge amount of effort into the concert in the lead up to last Wednesday.

“The children have been rehearsing last term as well as this term and then they had two big practises followed by a Matinée before the evening performance on Wednesday.” She said.

“The students from St Joseph’s also came over during the day and they seemed very excited about the performance.

“We’ve received a lot of feedback from the audience saying they really enjoyed it and how proud the parents and grandparents are of the kids and what the school has done.”

RFS cadets recognised at high school ceremony

Condobolin High School RFS cadets with their mentors. DG

By Dominic Geiger

Nine Condobolin High School students have been recognised for their completion of a Rural Fire Service (RFS) cadetship training course at a special ceremony held at the high school last Monday.

During the ceremony, the cadets demonstrated their recently acquired skills in a mock car accident and grass fire training exercise.

Learning Development Officer with the RFS, Warwick Parker, said the most important thing the cadets had learned throughout their training was teamwork.

“They found the teamwork side of things a bit difficult when they first started, though once they got the hang of that. they’ve been doing great,” he said.

“They’ve also been learning skills using the hoses, how to fight fires, truck skills and some basic first aid.

“It’s a good thing for the school and a great way to promote the RFS to the community and that’s how the cadets program is supposed to work.”

RFS Cadet, Mitchell Deeves, said he was surprised how much he’d learnt over the course of the training program.

“It was great, we learnt so much,” he said.

“The other thing is, that none of us were friends before we started the program but we get along really well with each other now.”

The Mayor of the Lachlan Shire, Des Manwaring, presented the cadets with their certificates.

“This is a great program, it’s volunteering at its best,” Des said.

“The RFS is having trouble getting volunteers, so I hope these young people will continue to be a part of and support this fantastic organisation.”

Wireless network increases options for Condobolin TAFE students

Darcy Whitla and Donna Edwards are both currently studying Certificate III in Employment Education and Training at Condoboin TAFE. DGBy Dominic Geiger

Condobolin TAFE students no longer have to travel huge distances just to attend classes thanks to the recent introduction of TAFE Western’s Wireless Network.

The wireless network access has been commissioned at all TAFE Western colleges, which stretch from Broken Hill to Lithgow and from Lightening Ridge to Cowra.

Education Support Officer at TAFE Western Condobolin, Sue Henley, said the technology would allow for increased flexibility in how students chose to study.

“I think it’s great; the students can bring their own laptops and can hook up to video conferences which are taking place in Orange,” she said.

“In the same way, teachers in Condobolin can present video conferences here to students in Parkes or Forbes.

“It also gives students scope to take part in outdoor learning if it’s a nice day as they can just use their laptops to connect to classes.”

Sue said far from replacing other forms of learning, the Wireless Network would simply exist as an option for those students who were already tech savvy.

“It all depends on the student,” she said.

“The technology just allows for more learning options.”

TAFE Western Institute Director, Kate Baxter, said TAFE teachers were now able to use online material, video and other resources on the wireless network in every building including trade workshops.

“In addition to the wireless network, TAFE Western has also been developing more online training courses in project management, financial services, information technology, electrical and mechanical engineering, retail, tertiary preparation, children’s services and welfare,” she said.

“We have a goal to have 20 course areas previously not online, delivered using new technology which allows the participation of geographically dispersed students.”

Teaming up to tackle men’s mental health issues

The Richmond Fellowship of New South Wales, the Parkes Spacemen Football Club and Parkes Shire Deputy Mayor John Magill are launching ‘men only’ information evening in Parkes, enabling central western men to learn about the signs and symptoms of mental illness amongst males in rural settings.

It’s believed the evening is the first of its kind in Central Western New South Wales.

WHEN: 11.30am, Thursday 4th August, 2011

WHERE: Cooke Park, Clarinda St Parkes.

The ‘men only’ evening will be held at the Broadway Hotel, Parkes, on Thursday 18th August at 7.00pm.

Guest speakers – including sufferers of depression and alcoholism – will bravely talk about battles with mental illness and what men in rural areas can do to help themselves of family and friends who may be suffering.

The RFNSW is a not-for-profit organisation providing recovery focussed support programs, accommodation and hope for people with mental illness. Advocating community-based assistance, it is a foremost mental health support provider that has been in operation for more than 30 years.

Ten thousand signatures needed to put road safety first

NRMA Motoring & Services and the Police Association of NSW are calling on motorists across the state to sign a petition to get the NSW Government to put all revenue raised from speed cameras back into funding road safety measures.

NRMA Director Graham Blight said the NRMA would need at least 10,000 signatures so that the issue of directly linking speed camera revenue to road safety funding – known as hypothecation – is debated in Parliament.

“For years we’ve been calling for the revenue raised from traffic fines, in particular enforcement cameras, to be hypothecated to specific road safety measures such as funding road improvements, road safety education and more highway patrols across the state,” Mr Blight said.

“We want the NSW Government in its first term to legislate the hypothecation of the more than $140 million collected by speed cameras each year. The best way to make this happen is to get the 10,000 signatures we need to get this issue debated by Parliament.

“If the Government is serious about reducing the road toll then there is no reason why this revenue can’t be used as extra funding for road safety.”

The NRMA is proposing an independent panel of experts be brought together including the NRMA and the NSW Police Association to ensure that the hypothecation of traffic fine revenue is adequately allocated and expended on road safety measures and that this information is made publicly available.

“We also want the NSW Government to commit to an annual audit of all camera sites across the state to ensure they are only used in places where they make the roads safer,” Mr Blight said.

Willow Bend Sports holiday activities for youth

A number of sporting activities held at the Condobolin Willow Bend Sports Centre have been entertaining school students during their holidays.

By Dominic Geiger

Orange based Octec Youth Connections has been helping to entertain Condobolin youth over the holidays with a number of sporting activities held at Willow Bend Sports Centre.

The activities, which are focused around traditional Indigenous sporting games, have been running in conjunction with Willow Bend’s regular school holiday program.

Indigenous youth worker from Octec, Corey Mclean, said the aim of the organisation’s program was to support at risk youth and engage them in education.

“Through sport, we’re able to connect with them and then promote our message,” he said.

“We target youth from the age of 11 to 19 and encourage them to remain in high school or to enrol in TAFE and other forms of tertiary education.”

During last Thursday’s Octec visit, children played games of tag red rover and a traditional Indigenous game known as Gorri.

“It’s a hunting simulation game, where we use a big bouncy ball to represent an emu, kangaroo or a bird and children throow tennis balls at it,” Corey said.

Manager at Willow Bend Sports Centre, Kelly Jarick, said the centre’s school holidays had been particularly successful.

“We’ve been seeing between 20 and 40 kids show up each day for the activities,” she said.

“We’ve also been providing a healthy morning tea for them, as well as having lucky door prizes and awarding best and fairest awards.”

Tackling speeding issues

Essential Energy crews from across the Parkes, Forbes, Lachlan, Orange and Cabonne local government areas are the first in the region to participate in a new road safety workshop tackling speed on the Henry Parkes and Escort Ways.

The workshops are one of the key strategies of the regional ‘Like the back of your hand’ project which was launched in Manildra in June.

Parkes, Forbes and Lachlan Shire Councils’ Road Safety and Injury Prevention Officer, Melanie Suitor, says the workshops were designed to provide important information about the dangers of speeding.

“We are really pleased that Essential Energy is the first business in the region to sign up their employees for these free road safety workshops.

“Workshops will be conducted with Essential Energy employees at Orange, Canowindra, Molong, Parkes, Forbes, Condobolin, Peak Hill, Tottenham, Trundle and Lake Cargelligo depots.

“In the past five years there have been nearly 150 crashes on the road between Condobolin, Parkes and Orange. Six people have been killed and 60 have been injured. The majority of drivers who crashed were local residents or lived in a neighbouring town. All of the crashes had speed listed as a contributing factor.

“These interactive workshops outline the various issues associated with speeding which impact on all drivers who use the Henry Parkes and Escort Ways. The workshop runs for about 30 minutes and participants are encouraged to complete a quiz which enters them into the draw for a $50 fuel voucher and gives us feedback on what they learnt.

“A copy of all workshop materials will be provided to participating business for use in future staff training and staff inductions.

“We have sent invitations to the larger businesses in the local community to also take part in the workshops. If you haven’t received an invitation but would like to host a workshop at your business please contact me on 6861 2364,” Ms Suitor said.

Essential Energy’s regional general manager, Central Western, Chas MacPhail said Essential Energy is a strong supporter of the Like the back of your hand program and was happy for the regions depot crews to participate in the road safety workshops.

“Essential Energy covers 95% of New South Wales and has over 4000 employees which results in quite a large fleet that last year alone travelled approximately 7 million kilometers, some of that on the Henry Parkes and Escort ways.

“Essential Energy’s number one priority is safety – safety of the public, our employees and the network – so involving our employees in these workshops enhances our already very strong safety culture,” Mr McPhail said.

Other project strategies include; the use of courtesy speed monitor trailers, radio advertising, a radio competition, the distribution of brochures/posters to doctor’s surgeries, roadside banners and regular media coverage.

The Like the back of your hand project is a collaboration between five regional councils along or bordering the Henry Parkes and Escort Ways, including Orange City Council, Cabonne Shire Council, Parkes Shire Council, Forbes Shire Council and Lachlan Shire Council.

Students set to benefit from CHS upgrades

A $1.19 million dollar project at Condobolin High School (CHS) will this term give students access to state of the art equipment in both metal works and horticulture.

The project is part of an initiative which, in conjunction with similar developments at Parkes and Forbes high schools, aims to give students throughout the region the opportunity to take part in various traineeships.

CHS principal, Bob Carline, said students from all three schools could travel to whichever campus offered the traineeship they happened to be interested in.

“Both Forbes and Parkes will also offer food tech,” he said.

“The metal works room has new lathes and welding equipment and for horticulture we have a shed which will be used as a tutorial room and a place for plant propagation.

“[The rooms and equipment] raise the standard of the school so we are now able to offer traineeships and expand the range of courses available to students.

“Part of this project was used in the F1 competition, with $100,000 worth of CAD software now being used in graphics classes.”

Metal works teacher, Darryl Porter, said the new trade centre would benefit the whole Condobolin community.

“Having a trade centre in the school will give students access to industry standard equipment,” he said.

Djembe jamming

Djembe teacher Mark Bennet with students Sharron Haase, Eliza Packham, Heather Blackley, Lanny MacKenzie and Bill Cunningham. DG

By Dominic Geiger

A small but enthusiastic group of rhythm aficionados gathered at the Condobolin Community Centre last Saturday for an explosive djembe drumming workshop.

Djembes are traditional African drums made from carved wood and goat skin.

Mark Bennett, of Rhythm Creature African Drumming, taught the students basic rhythms and breaks before using various recycled materials such as storm water pipes and tyre tubes to create homemade African drums or ‘Dun duns’.

Mark said the best part of drumming is that people don’t need to be particularly skilled to have a great time.

“There’s just such an amazing feeling when you’ve got everyone drumming together,” he said.

“Drumming has been such an important part of societies all around the world; I think it’s very important for people to come together and play music with each other.”

Mark said in addition to being a drumming teacher, he’d also made a number of djembes himself.

“The djembes are made from tree stumps with goat skin stretched across the top,” he said.

“There’s a rumour some people have tried to use kangaroo skin but it ends up being too bouncy.”

Project coordinator at Western Plains Regional Development (WPRD), Heather Blackley, said the plan was to set up a small drumming group involving students from the various Condobolin schools.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get both adults and young people involved with the aim of eventually performing at functions around town,” she said.

“We may even be able to involve the djembe drummers with the RSL Pipe Band.”

The workshop was run through NSW Artstart, Lachlan Arts Council and WPRD Youth Services.


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