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Morning Herald about Paul Tranter’s
investigations into what is now
being tagged the ‘Bubble-wrap
������ Also in this issue there are many
���� ﬁrst-hand accounts of excursions,
events and activities that took place
in and around Blue Gum in the last
half of 2005. If you’re starting to
get enthused by all this fun and
“There’s nothing like school holidays to make you really, really interaction, never fear because
appreciate school!” I wrote to a friend via email recently. As I hit the you can join in too. The BGCG will
send button, my inner child (admittedly somewhat muﬄed within this again arrange a ‘parent’s night out’
busy, tired parent’s body) called out ‘No, don’t sell out! School holidays dinner this term and the Friends
are the best!” And this started me thinking about my own childhood of Blue Gum will host the ﬁrst
holidays, comparing that to my children’s experiences, and this led me Seasoned Slow Sunday – Summer
once again to thinking about the presentation in September by Dr Paul Games on February 26 at Hackett
Tranter of UNSW entitled “Creating Child-friendly Cities”. which promises to be a wonderful
afternoon of ‘low-tech’, hands-on
This fascinating presentation set out how and why Australian cities and fun.
their suburbs of today have become anything but ‘child-friendly’ (including
startling comparisons to some European countries). Many schools are 2006 is indeed a milestone for Blue
compounding the problem and we, as parents, are often unwittingly Gum Community School which
exacerbating the situation. now welcomes students from
Preschool through to Grade 6. We
This was by no means a ‘doom & gloom’ talk, nor was it one of blame. would encourage new families
Rather it clearly identiﬁed the symptoms, traced the causes and then gave to immerse themselves in the
some sensible solutions, many of which we could all start implementing social events held within this ever-
right now. expanding Blue Gum Community.
I am very pleased to announce that Dr Tranter will be the Special Guest Thank you to the many families that
Speaker at the ﬁrst Blue Gum Community Group meeting for the year, have taken the time during the
on Wednesday 15 February, 7.30pm at the Ainslie Football Club. As with holiday season to contribute to this
all BGCG meetings, everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend this issue. We trust you will enjoy it and
inspiring presentation. would love your contributions and
feedback for inclusion in the next
You will ﬁnd further details about Dr Tranter and his work inside this issue issue due out in Term 2.
along with a thought-provoking article by Jane Cadzow for the Sydney
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End-of-Year Celebration Concert
Tskydayand thedarken, theenough, but the
he started out calm
rain fell hard by late
afternoon…. The ﬁrst attempt at December
2005 ‘Blue Gum Cabaret Show’ could not go
ahead because of a fallen tree and power
As ‘take two’ approached there was a hint of
anticlimax. However as soon as we arrived at
the carpark there was electricity in the air –
and it wasn’t a broken power cable this time!
After dropping the kids oﬀ at the meeting
places, we entered the Hall and were handed
the delectable Degustation menu prepared
by the everlasting Corri. Our taste buds were
now beginning to tingle as the hubbub of
the full house ﬂooded over us. Maureen
introduced the night, and paid a teary,
heartfelt tribute to a special person – Sooz.
Maureen must be proud and inspired as she
outlined a future for the amazing school.
With a blaze of razzle and heaps of dazzle the show began with the
dashing Bec introducing acts. The K/1 class started with a blaze of Guest book comments:
colour and stunning sea creature costumes, swimming to the rhythm
of an underwater ditty. From the spirit of the sea to the ancient spirits Wonderful, inspiring and
of Australia’s land – Aboriginal dreaming - the El Castillo class gave a surprising
haunting and uplifting dreamtime of Australian bush animals.
What fabulous talent!
We then feasted on a humorous version of the Iron Chef from the 3/4/5 Great eﬀort; well done!
class. It was Blue Gum versus the Iron Chef and of course Blue Gum won
the day. There was even a be-heading of a live (K/1) ﬁsh. Well done Blue Gum; a
fantastic fun ﬁlled extra
The engaging acts continued to ﬂow in glutinous syrup. Preschool special extravaganza
showed us their chicken act in honour of their new chicken coop. The
1/2/3 class gave us a lesson in bridge building by ﬂuorescent light sticks Fantastic eﬀort from all
and a mechanical beat. They then followed with a drumming and dance
extravaganza. The 3/4/5 class also showed us the illusions and tricks of Thoroughly entertaining
ﬂuorescent movement in the dark. The years 3, 4 and 5 students and – the dancing, the singing
teachers gave us an entrancing and professional Indian inspired dance & the light show
which I’m sure made many a proud parent think that their babies were
growing up so quickly. The ﬁnishing act was about the wind and its What a spectacular
rhythmical and peaceful billowing around Mt Ainslie. performance ! – such
talent, the pride of every
The grand ﬁnale involved all - culminating in the “fat lady singing”. (We
hope that 2006 brings much song (and not so much crying) for Sooz). student (& teacher) shone
through in an outstanding
It was truly an outstanding show which highlighted the quality of the performance.
school. Those in the audience who did not know about the school
would judge it as a sophisticated, entertaining and funny performance. Fantastic! & amazing!
For those parents who do know the Blue Gum way it had a deeper Thank you to all the BG
entertainment value. It was entertainment of the heart that came from
an understanding that the children actually directed and inspired much family for a putting on
of the performances and were highly motivated and self-organised in such a wonderful show
their delivery. It was also a tribute to the staﬀ of Blue Gum. For all those Inspiring & Brilliant,
that were there I am sure that, like me, you had misty eyes. It was a very
special night. Magniﬁcent!
-Jamie Allnutt (Jaslyn)
End of Year @ Bungendore Pool
T he 2005 end of year Whole School excursion to Bungendore Pool was eagerly anticipated. With perfect
pool weather, teachers in togs and two dazzling dads, it was a great way to wind down at the end of a
busy term and year.
The water was cold, but the simple excitement of being there was enough to tempt many a student to jump in
with yelps of delight. The diving blocks were a big attraction, while other students enjoyed the water, taking
turns showing each other their repertoire of pool tricks.
Meanwhile the BBQ was ﬁred up and, after their swim, everyone was
warmed by the 30ish-degree rays and a sausage (or four) in bread.
The Bungendore Pool is a perfect choice for such an excursion. As a small
pool it has a cosy feel about it,
which gives the feel of playing
in a backyard rather than a
large suburban pool. This end
of year treat
is becoming a
great Blue Gum
to by staﬀ and
Five pool pointers for safe summers
Canberra Times - 13 November 2005
Preaching poolthatyoucan seem
fastidious – until
that drowning is
prevent access from outside the
property, as well as from the house
to the pool. Owners of new and
4Superviseis-inEnsure that at least
one adult watching children
when they are or around the
cause of accidental death in established pools should consult pool, or even playing in a backyard
Australia for children aged under the website at www.actpla.act.gov.au with a pool. This responsibility
ﬁve. extends to everyone – including
Australian swimming coach Lawrie
Lawrence developed a water
2Shut theandthe-gate; ensure
Gate Be sure to
that latches self-closing
pool owners and parents. Older
children should not be left to look
after younger ones.
safety program in 1988 called Kids devices work; and secure back
Alive – Do the Five! doors or pet doors.
to do in an
Its main tenets, outlined below,
are still just a relevant. 3Lawrenceswimeven babies can
learn respect, water conﬁdence
emergency can save lives. Do
a ﬁrst aid course with St John’s
Ambulance (6282 2399) or Red
1that is fenced willAhelpcrucial to
Fence the pool - pool
inquisitive children. It is
and skills that one day may save
their lives. There are a score of
local swim schools to choose from;
Cross (6206 6099).
(Ed: In the past a group First Aid
maintain your fence and ensure to ﬁnd one that has been certiﬁed course has been organised by & for
that it complies with current by Swim Australia and meets Blue Gum parents. Would someone
legislation. national teaching guidelines, log like to organise another one this
on to term?)
Fencing around new pools must www.swimaustralia.org.au Reprinted with permission
Now… breathe in deeply
Canberra Times - 15/1/05
be temple. But
probably look after if a
Do not skip abut in the sunshine
however: the latest advice is to
reduce your workout. According to
subjects were forbidden from
working out for two weeks, while
the other half stuck to their normal
better. Peta Bee oﬀers some tips the American Council on Exercise, gym regime. Assessments at the
for healthy living. “abbreviated ﬁtness programs” US Uniformed Services University
are the way forward for the time- were repeated after one and two
First, the good news: the best starved, they believe more eﬀort in weeks, with the results showing
way to start working on a healthy less time can have pleasing results that the “exercise holiday” left the
new you is to potter about in the on the waistline. subjects feeling worse than if they
garden. Pruning, weeding and had completed a week of intense,
tending to your ﬂower beds Being more optimistic and looking exhaustive exercise.
can help to rid the body of
tension in the same way as on the bright side can extend According to NHS statistics,
yoga. your life by up to 12 years ... people over 50 are
prescribed three times as
In a three-year study conducted Research by the American College much medication as the rest of
with the therapeutic horticultural of Sports Medicine has shown the population, yet 55 per cent
society, Thrive, researchers at that 30 minutes of high-intensity of them fail to take their pills
Britain’s Loughborough University exercise at 80 per cent of your regularly. Such non-compliance is
found that gardening had a maximum aerobic capacity is as a problem that accounts for 40 per
positive eﬀect on the emotional good as an hour at a workload of cent of all hospital admissions and
health of people with stress, 60 per cent. indirectly contributes to 125,000
depression or other mental health deaths a year. If you are forgetful,
problems. Sceptical? Don’t be. Being more use Post-it notes.
optimistic and looking on the
Dr Jo Aldridge, who led the bright side can extend your life Having more house plants in
research, found that gardeners by up to 12 years, according your oﬃce or at home is another
had more time for self-reﬂection to a study of 1000 men and positive health move, say scientists
and relaxation, boosting their women by Dr Eric Giltay of the at Washington State University.
mood. Psychiatric Centre Delﬂand, in They found that workers who have
the Netherlands. He found that a plant on their desk experience
Speaking of mood enhancers, the those who were positive about less fatigue and stress.
even better news is that coﬀee the future and about relationships
addicts can be healthy, too. Or had a 55 per cent lower death rate Researchers at Oslo University
healthier, at least. Weaning from all causes. The Mayo Clinic found that more plants led to an
yourself oﬀ a java habit is easier in the US found that optimists improvement of concentration
said than done and can be a outlived pessimists by, on average, levels of one-third and a 45 per
source of stress if you are a 12 years. cent reduction in headaches.
caﬀeine junkie. ... workers who have a plant
You also Most importantly
But you can at least do your have to on their desk experience of all, be good to
waistline a favour by switching eat less. less fatigue and stress. yourself. Research
to calorie-friendly versions at Emerging shows that people
Starbucks. That grande mocha studies into the beneﬁts of calorie with high levels of guilt abut their
Frappuccino contains at least 290 restriction suggest that consuming lifestyle are more likely to go to
calories, whereas an americano a third fewer calories could enable the doctor or suﬀer from colds
with milk will set you back 15. humans to extend their lives by or ﬂu. A study by Hull University
a third. At America’s National found that guilt over enjoying
Getting outside is another easy Institute of Ageing in Baltimore, Dr things like eating sweets lowered
way to a virtuous 2006. Warnings Mark Mattson found that mice fed levels of immunoglobulin A,
about the risks of too much every other day lived longer than associated with a strong immune
sunlight, along with lifestyles that those allowed to eat at will. system. So stop beating yourself
see us spending more time inside up if you indulge occasionally. Life
than out, have led to some of us Yo-yo exercising should go the is way too short.
not getting enough vitamin D. same way. Not only does it fail
Long known to be important for to get you fully ﬁt, but it also Peta Bee’s books include Living
calcium absorption and healthy cramps your mood. Forty regular with Asthma and The Body Bible.
teeth and bones, vitamin D’s main exercisers underwent mood and
source is the sun. ﬁtness tests before half of the Reprinted with permission
Our experience @ Blue Gum pre-school
WGumweof fellaround the
into the Blue
changed from a shy boy into one
now growing in conﬁdence and
always eager to learn.
deeply appreciate because we
know that without them there
would be no Blue Gum.
corner. But we began looking
into the campus after hearing Some of the things we love about Initially we had no plans to send
many positive things from friends Blue Gum are the focus on science Jack on to the primary school.
who already had children there. and the environment, and the However pre-school has been such
way in which a child’s interest in a positive experience for us all that
Our eldest son, Jack, began in El a subject can quickly turn into we have decided to send him and
Castillo when he turned three and a learning journey for all. We now look forward to watching his
our second son, Charlie, started are constantly amazed at the development continue. He can’t
last year. Their younger brother, questions Jack asks and the way wait to start so that he can go to
Hugo, is now on the waiting list! In in which he tackles a problem. Blue Gum ﬁve days a week instead
the three years since Jack entered The dedication of the staﬀ is of three!
the Blue Gum atmosphere he has something we acknowledge and
Michelle and Ben Curry
Walking the dog leads to talking, study ﬁnds
Canberra Times - 24/10/05 - Reprinted with permission
DA Melbourne studymeetfound people walking their dogs were
on’t know how to
people? Then try carrying a leash.
more likely to start a conversation with strangers.
A study by urban policy analyst and town planner Virginia Jackson
found 70 per cent of dog owners at parks usually talked to other dog
Also, 96 per cent of respondents said they would say hello to someone
they talked to at the park if they saw them at the shopping centre.
Not surprisingly, dogs were the most popular topic of conversation
Ms Jackson’s thesis was based on the premise that dogs promoted
positive social contact between people.
K/1 Class day @ LEGOLAND
Wthe K/1 class wasnotice that
hen we received
travel to Legoland for one of their
sensible decisions whilst climbing
because it was such a long drop”
Term 4 excursions, we were a bit Esperance reported how this On the way back from their climb,
bewildered. excursion taught the students the a snake and a blue tongue lizard
basics of rock climbing: “Take it in were spotted under rocks, a safe
We imagined what Legoland could turns; put feet on ﬁrmly and try distance away.
actually be like. Esperance thought not to slip oﬀ ; and hold with your
it was going to be heaps of rocks hands on the bumpy parts of the It’s clear that this Legoland
on top of each other that were rocks. If the rocks are really steep, excursion promoted the students’
on either side of a walking track. then do a stomach sliding action.” self-conﬁdence in tackling
A leisurely walk looking at rocks challenging physical situations.
perhaps? Once they reached the top they When I asked Esperance if the
were greeted with a beautiful view. school should take other K/1
In reality it was a very physical They knew it was extremely high classes there for an excursion, her
excursion. The students were – giving the students a ﬁrst-hand reply was “YES! YES! YES! because it
informed of the challenges they insight into the perspective of was FUN!”
were to face and how important it height and depth - it was “a place
was that they were able to make where we needed to be careful Carolyn and Esperance
1/2/3 Class Caving trip to Wee Jasper
O n the 20th of October 2005
the 1/2/3 Class set oﬀ to Wee
Jasper for an overnight trip with
We got into groups to do some activities. We played a game where
someone was blindfolded and everyone else made noises so the
person that had the blindfold on would know where to go. We led the
Barry (our outdoor specialist) person with the blindfold on round the big tree and back.
and Jed (Barry’s Son).
We also went on a mushroom hunt. Kristen knew which ones we could
First we packed the trailer and eat and which we could not eat. We collected the mushrooms to eat
put the sleeping gear in. Once later!
we packed everything, we said
bye to our parents and the rest Next we prepared dinner for everyone. We had pasta.
of the school and hopped on
the bus. We stopped at Yass to After dinner we went caving! It was dark! We brought the note we
have morning tea. Once we had found and climbed down the stairs to the cave. Suddenly a man
morning tea and a play in jumped out and said “How dare you enter my cave!!!” Some people
the park we got back on thought he was scary. He said, “Why have you come?” We
the bus. explained why we came and the note we found. He
then let us into the cave.
As soon as we arrived
at Wee Jasper we Every group got their maps out and
unpacked the trailer. were given a compass, which they
We had a meeting could use. Once the groups lined their
with Barry about Wee compass up they looked for the clues.
Jasper and what we There were messenger bats with the
were going to do clues inside them. We picked them up
then we had lunch. and kept on going. We met together to
After we had lunch get the last clue. One group had it. We
we explored the then went looking for the treasure. We
surroundings and met a Speleologist. He said he had been
made maps of where we were looking for the treasure too. He said he had
staying. Then we passed our maps been looking for the treasure for about 100
onto someone else to look at to years!! The Speleologist helped us ﬁnd the treasure. We
see if they could read it. Most of found the treasure, it was crystals!! The lights had been out so the
them we could read! Speleologist said we could use the
crystals to bring back the light!! So
We had a look in the shearer’s we brought back the light. We got
shed. There was a note we had to to keep the crystals!!
ﬁnd. At ﬁrst we could not see it.
Then we saw there was a platform The Next Day…
where the sheep slept. It was very
muddy. There was a gate and on We got up and had breakfast.
the other side there were places After breakfast we split into two
were the note could be! So we groups. We took turns to go to
opened the gate and looked the wild cave while the other group prepared lunch. When we went
around… we saw some wooden to the wild cave we went over a creek and up a hill. We needed a rope
poles and we looked behind to climb down into the caves. It was very slippery and muddy. When
them where we found the note!! we got into the caves there was a ditch so we had to squeeze past it by
We went back to the shearer’s pressing against a wall of the cave. We saw diﬀerent rock formations
quarters where we were staying and dead animals. Once both groups had been to the wild cave we
to read it. Barry read it out aloud. had lunch.
It was all about
the cave where We then packed up and
we were going hopped on the bus to
to that night!! It return to school.
said there was
treasure in the We all had a fantastic
caves!! There time!
was a map with
clues to ﬁnd the Keane Marsh (Year 3 in ’05)
treasure!! Each of
our groups was
given a map.
1/2/3 Class Wee Jasper Caving Trip
Don a atthe second weekto Weeoffour,Cooradigbeeandembarked
of term the 1/2/3 class
Jasper with Barry
Arriving the shearer’s quarters the
current scientiﬁc exploration. He
lit up the cave with the electric
lighting, revealing the full colour
the troopy was quickly unpacked in the light rain, and everybody spectacle of the crystal formations,
hurriedly gulped down lunch so they could explore the huge which was only hinted at using
grounds and creek bed surrounding the shearer’s quarters. the candles. The class immediately
jumped in, naming the diﬀerent
This was a big trip for the year one people as it was their ﬁrst overnight formations as stalactites and
trip with the class. The veteran overnighters (year 2 and 3 class stalagmites, helictites and
members) helped show the newbies how to set up their bunks after columns.
all choosing their rooms (with four to a room the norm) Many could
not believe that Jed was choosing to sleep in the trailer of the ‘Troopy’ From what I observed, one of
instead of inside the shearer’s quarters although nobody was oﬀering the greatest values of the caving
to swap bunks with him. Maybe from his experience, the trailer is a trip was that it gave the class
quieter option. members the opportunity for
new social interactions with
each other while being in a fresh
neutral location to stimulate
exploring these social dynamics
(not just ‘playing’ with the same
friends all the time). The setting
and the activities encouraged
the students to take on new roles
and responsibilities as part of
their journey of being capable,
competent, independent people.
Being an overnight trip meant
these new experiences and
feelings of independence would
sink in a bit deeper, and would be
carried through after the group
returned from the trip. I had to
laugh when on the last day, I was
asking a couple of them about
The preparation for the night caving trip involved a challenging group their impression of the cave trip,
puzzle to ﬁnd a secret treasure map hidden in a scroll. Barry used when I was promptly told “You’re
the shearing shed for the scroll’s hiding place. Only a few of the class a real chatterbox for a dad - but
were initially put oﬀ by the smell and feel of being ankle deep in the you’re OK”. Straight talking is
sheep poo (even fewer chuckled at the ee-ewe jokes) that carpeted another Blue Gum virtue!
the ground in the holding pens. The scent and thrill of being so close
to solving the mystery meant the group quickly ignored the other -David (Nyssa & Kiera)
sights and smells. It was amazing to watch the team’s focus and
concentration on the task. WEIRD INVENTIONS
The night caving trip into Carey’s Cave was a highlight of the trip. to get you thinking ...
The Cave Guardian mysteriously appeared from the darkness (a few
people nearly jumped out of their skin) explaining the rules to abide m be / sa
by and how he keeps the cave in untouched condition. He got the me dd
p :// le
class involved as teams to solve the puzzle of Carey’s Cave, with each
team member having an important responsibility in solving the puzzle.
Armed with only a few candles to light their way, these capable young
spelunkers worked together as a team and waited dutifully for the
team member to complete their task. The others would sometimes
oﬀer advice but not try to take over the task. It was wonderful to
observe this interaction. Considering it was at the end of a long and
tiring day, this activity was attacked with relish and enthusiasm.
The last task required the class to re-form into a single group, to
decode the ﬁnal message altogether. When the teams had all ﬁnally
decoded the messages to reveal the location of the ‘treasure’, a lost
caving explorer, this marked the transition from ancient discovery to
Belt up and listen ... Kindness: a language
to exper ts on child restraint the deaf can hear,
Canberra Times - 31/12/04 the blind can see, and
the mute can speak
Accident Research Centre has
“The car’s seat belts are designed
to protect adults, not children,” he
conﬁrmed the importance of
restraining small children in belt-
positioning booster seats until
they are big enough for an adult
In preparation for the tests,
Holden engineers positioned the
dummy on the rear seat to imitate
The ﬁndings ﬂag a timely warning,
the way that children sit when
restrained by adult seat belts
with the holiday season upon us A tricky issue that we all have to
and families out on the roads. In frontal crash testing, the deal with at some time during
dummy’s hips slid forward on the our children’s school years is
The project focused on 5-10- seat so that the lap belt rode high head lice. (The good news is, the
year-olds because the vehicle- on the abdomen, rather than on incidence of infestations seem to
occupant death and injury rates the lower hips and upper thighs, lessen in the upper primary years.
for these children are higher than where it should have been. The Yay!) While it seems that there
for younger children. dummy also lurched forward, are as many ways of dealing with
conﬁrming the risk of injury to a the little pests as there are hairs
Between 1998 and 2002, an small child improperly retrained on the average child’s head, it’d
average of 148 children aged without a booster seat. be good to know what works, or
10 and younger were killed or doesn’t, in your household. Send
seriously injured each year in car The Monash centre recommends us your suggestions and we’ll
crashes on Victorian roads. that children over 100cm tall and put them in the next issue and
weighing more than 18kg should (hopefully) share your success!
Of these, 62 per cent were aged 5 be correctly secured in belt- Here are a couple to get you
to 10 years; 32 per cent were aged positioning booster seats. started:
1 to 4; and 6 per cent were under
12 months. They should continue this until • I have found this great comb,
adult lap and shoulder belts ﬁt which I have had great
The Holden/Monash research them properly – usually when results with and would highly
ﬁndings followed a series of they’re between 8 and 10 years recommend. There is a web
crash tests conducted at Holden’s old. site with this brochure which
proving ground using a dummy has some educational info
to simulate a 6-year-old child. The Monash team says a child regarding lice:
should use an adult seatbelt only www.nitpickers.com.au also
The test showed how dangerous when he or she can sit against www.licefreenaturally.com.au
forward movement can be the back of the rear seat with the
during a crash when a child is knees bent comfortably at the • I usually spray the kids’ hair
wearing the car’s adult-sized seat edge of the seat. with a mix of rosemary, tea
belt, rather then being properly tree and bergamot spray. Per
restrained in a booster seat. The lap belt should rest low 250ml: 8 drops of Rosemary,
and snug across the hips and Bergamot and Tea tree oil.
Holden innovation chief engineer, not across the stomach and the Shake and spray. I have also
Dr Laurie Sparke, said the research shoulder belt should be centred seen scrunchies with lavender,
was further conﬁrmation that on the shoulder and chest. rosemary or tea tree leaves in
using booster seats can help to the material.
prevent or lessen serious injury to Booster seats help younger
children in a crash. children who have outgrown child • “A review of the regulation
seats to sit high enough to enable of head lice treatments
He said that while most parents them to sit well back against the in Australia” by the
now used a baby capsule and seat, without having to slouch Department of Health and
a forward-facing child seat for with their knees bent over the Ageing, Therapeutic Goods
younger children, many might not edge of the seat. Administration, can be found
realise that restraining their 5-10- here:
year-olds with seat belts alone Reprinted with permission www.tga.gov.au/docs/pdf/headlice.pdf
could be unsafe.
Blue Gum Community Group Rock Salt Dinner
TheschoolBlue Gum parents/guardians. TheisGroup aims to support TGum Communityatinviting
hroughout 2005, the Blue
Blue Gum Community Group (BGCG) a group established by Group
and for organised a dinner a diﬀerent
the whilst building a sense of community among the Pre and restaurant each term
Primary School’s parents. The focus for last year was to organise all parents and staﬀ. These
more social activities – a theme we intend to continue and expand dinners gave the adults of our
on in 2006 with events such as a social dinner for parents each term Blue Gum community a chance
(venue suggestions welcome!). to get together and relate to
each other in a relaxed and
The BGCG also seeks to have guest speakers at our meetings, both from enjoyable setting, as opposed to
within and outside the school, to talk about topics of interest. If you the usual whirlwind child-centric
have suggestions for speakers or topics that you would be interested in atmosphere of pickups and drop
hearing, please contact me to discuss. oﬀs.
The BGCG will also organise fund raising events periodically and usually I was lucky enough to escape
with a speciﬁc purpose in mind. For example, our last garage sale held for an evening and attend the
at the Dickson Shops raised nearly $1,000 and these funds were evenly ﬁnal dinner for the year at Rock
distributed between both campuses. The Preschool bought digital Salt in Hawker. It was everything
cameras and the Primary school put their money towards building the I had hoped for in an evening
tree house. oﬀ: entertaining conversation,
ﬁne wine, both delicious and
The BGCG is a good source of information on what’s going on in and interesting food, all of which
around the school and the minutes are distributed after each meeting. created a thoroughly enjoyable
The Group is a great help to the school as it provides a focus for parents evening.
and families to be able to directly support and promote the school.
One way this can be done is by joining an Interest Group which looks The highlight of the evening - at
at a particular issue and then reports back its activities to the whole our end of the table at least - was
group. when we were presented with
the dessert menu. Among all
The BGCG aims to provide activities that will be enjoyed by everyone the highly exotic oﬀerings was
which is why it’s important to have a wide representation of parents a dish served with fairy ﬂoss!
at the Group’s meetings. These meetings are held twice each term in Smiles abounded and eyes lit up
weeks 2 & 8, currently on Wednesday evenings starting at 7.30pm and as we all had speedy trips down
ﬁnishing around 9.30pm. The meetings are not formal and we are very memory lane guided by visions
fortunate that the Ainslie Football Club allows us the use of meeting of ﬂuﬀy, pink confectionary. This
space free of charge. Look for notice of upcoming meetings via a ﬂyer was however, no ordinary ﬂoss, it
on the gate at each campus. Everyone is welcome, please feel free to was imported from Turkey, rose
come along and be part of the group. ﬂavoured no less, and, if I recall
correctly, priced at about $30 a
Further information relating to the activities of the BGCG (and other bag - worth its weight in gold I
school related groups) can also be found in your 2006 enrolment pack. dare say!
Simon Marsh (Keane), Chair Thanks must go to the organisers
email@example.com or 6292 3478 (h)of these dinners and my great
hope is that this ﬁne ﬂedgling
tradition continues to grow on
O ne winter Sunday, we organised
a board games afternoon in the
hall at Corroboree Park in Ainslie. Katrina (Ehlana).
Blue Gum families were invited to
come along and bring their board (Ed: Yes, indeed these dinners will be
games and have fun playing games a part of the BGCG 2006 Calendar.
with their friends and family. We Both couples and singles are very
played games such as Trouble, welcome, so if babysitting is an
Cluedo, Sea Battle and Monopoly! issue, why not take turns (scissor/
We all brought a plate of food or paper/rock or arm-wresting could
drink to share for afternoon tea also work) & come & enjoy an
which everyone enjoyed very much. evening strictly for the adults!)
Those that came had lots of fun and
hope to do this again next year…
By Keane (1/2/3 Class)
Protecting and over-protecting
By Jane Cadzow
Sydney Morning Herald
17 January 2004
O n their screens, they can
vanquish invading hordes,
but in the real world, today’s kids
Be careful on the swing. Don’t go on
the road. Never talk to strangers. Put
on more sunscreen... We don’t just
sure our parents thought we were
precious, too - it’s just that they
didn’t seem to watch our every move.
can’t even walk to school without cushion them against life’s blows That is the biggest diﬀerence. I’m so
Mum. Have we taken the idea of - we bubble-wrap them! “We’re very watchful.” Behavioural scientists tell
protecting our children too far? concerned, rightly so, with protecting us it’s good for kids to escape from
Jane Cadzow reports. children from dangers:’ says Tranter. grown-ups now and then. By middle
“But you’ve got to start to wonder, childhood (from about 7 to 12 years),
When Paul Tranter was a boy, he and have we gone too far?” both boys and girls occasionally
his friends would disappear for hours crave solitude and time for reﬂection.
at a time into the bushland abutting A friend of mine lets her 10-year-old Urban planner Chris Cunningham
their homes on the western outskirts son cycle to and from school- but she says his research with Australian
of Newcastle. “There were old creeps along behind him in the car. city children shows they yearn
mine shafts, Another friend allows for “somewhere to get away from
blackberry ... leaving children her two primary-school- others and create their own world”.
bushes, to their own devices age daughters to cycle But parents on the whole seem
swamps:’ he is important to up and down their unconvinced by the argument that
says, smiling their emotional suburban street - but leaving children to their own devices
at the and intellectual she follows them on is important to their emotional and
memory. “It development. foot. “And what do I do?” intellectual development. “We’re
was just a she asks ruefully. “I call distrustful of the role of free and
fantastic place to be as a child.” Now out as they go past each driveway, independent play in children’s
48, Tranter is a Canberra-based ‘Watch out for the driveway! Slow lives,’ says Cunningham. “We feel
geographer investigating a dramatic down!’” that unless they’re at violin lessons
but largely undiscussed change in or soccer or whatever it might be,
Western society - the clampdown on The same woman and her partner they’re being idle. So we’re not giving
children’s freedom of movement. His have only recently permitted them the opportunity to explore the
research supports overseas ﬁndings their girls, 10 and 8, to go into the world for themselves:’
that adult control and supervision front garden on their own. “Even
of children’s lives has increased when it came Perhaps we are
signiﬁcantly in just one or two to collecting ... Australian killing our kids
generations. What’s more, Tranter has newspapers that children are more with kindness.
discovered that Australian children were thrown onto closely guarded than “Australia now
are more closely guarded than their our lawn, they their counterparts has the dubious
counterparts in some comparable couldn’t go out in some comparable distinction of
countries. the front without countries. having the world’s
one of us being fattest children;’
Swamps? Mine shafts? Don’t even there:’ she says. says Cunningham,
think about it, kids. Australian “They worked out pretty quickly that linking the rising incidence of obesity
parents have become so safety- there must be something wrong to afternoons spent in front of
conscious that we worry about the with being outside without a parent television or computer screens rather
gradient of the slippery-slide at the watching you - and that you didn’t than exploring the neighbourhood.
local park. So reluctant are we to let stay out there for long. So they would He argues that the conﬁnement of
our oﬀspring out of our sight that dash out and dash in.” kids not only creates junior couch
we drive them to the playground potatoes but robs them of their right
and everywhere else rather than Paul Tranter attributes hothouse to “indulge in the caprices of being a
allow them to walk or ride their parenting at least partly to the child”.
bikes. Strapped into the back seat dwindling size of families. The smaller
of the family sedan, chauﬀeured your brood, the more tempting it After all, walking to school or the
to and from school, soccer practice is to treat each child like a rare and local shops isn’t just a matter of
and piano lessons, middle-class fragile ﬂower. And if you have just getting from A to B: it’s a chance to
Australian boys and girls are like one or two children, it’s physically kick stones, pat dogs, dawdle with
pampered prisoners - cosseted, possible to escort them wherever friends and swap notes on the old
constrained and constantly nagged. they go. “Our children are precious:’ lady (possibly a witch) who lives in
says one Sydney mother of two. “I’m the spooky house on the corner. As
Melbourne mother Jill Anderson says, producing the human equivalent of decade, when the average was two
“They need that time to snicker and battery- reared chickens. Our plump children a year. Statistically, they
laugh and carry on together, without 10-year-olds, forbidden to follow are at much greater risk of 1 being
having you there going, ‘What did their instinct to roam, may lack the killed in a traﬃc accident, but the
you say?’” initiative and resourcefulness of the murder of children makes banner
free-range kids of the past: he points headlines, which may account for
Anderson’s younger son, aged 10, to experiments that show primates the perception that it happens
walks home in the afternoons. Her deprived of rough and tumble frequently. “When the death of a
older son, who attends a more in their youth tend to grow into child does occur, there’s just so much
distant school, has used public incompetent adults. “Survival rises media coverage that it gets ingrained
transport since he was nearly 12: she with the extent of experience of risk- in our memory:’ says Australian
remembers her surprise and slight taking:’ he writes. Institute of Criminology researcher
consternation when she realised that Jenny Mouzos. The three Beaumont
most of the other students in his year When Tranter replicated Hillman’s children, who disappeared from
were driven door-to-door: “I thought, study at 21 schools in Sydney, an Adelaide beach in 1966; the two
‘Wow. Am I being reckless in allowing Canberra and Christchurch, he Mackay sisters, murdered on their
my child to get on a train?’” found that Australian and New way to school in Townsville in 1970...
Zealand children were more closely Decades later, we eﬀortlessly recall
When they play computer games, chaperoned than either English or their names and can almost see the
children can marshal armies, lay German kids. Nearly half our nine- faces that appeared in endlessly
siege to castles and blow up year-olds were driven to school, reproduced snapshots. In his book
enemy battleships, but in real life compared to a third of the English The Country of Lost Children: An
many of them can’t cross the road children and only an eighth of Australian Anxiety, Peter Pierce
without Mum. As Melbourne clinical German students. Whereas 80 per contends that our preoccupation
psychologist Andrew Fuller puts it, “’I cent of German 11-year-olds were with vanishing youngsters dates
can win a war but I can’t ride my bike- trusted to use buses, as were 40 per from colonial times, when frontier
to the-shops; No wonder they feel a cent of English children of the same families were haunted by tales of
bit out of kilter.” age, only a quarter of the Australians girls and boys who strayed into
and New Zealanders had the same the bush and never returned. In
Kids who spend all their time with licence. the early years of white settlement,
adults have little scope to climb lost children were the subject of
trees, dig holes, build cubbies or paintings, ballads and pantomimes.
form secret clubs. The author of Pierce says parents in those days
Raising Real People, Fuller believes Kids who spend all were less afraid of predators - human
many would beneﬁt from a little their time with adults or otherwise - than of the strange,
more adventure in their lives. If have little scope to silent Australian landscape itself.
their parents handle them like climb trees, dig holes, Their nervousness about their
eggs, shielding them from even the build cubbies or form oﬀspring reﬂected their own unease
smallest knocks, they don’t have the secret clubs. at ﬁnding themselves stranded in an
opportunity to build up resilience, alien environment: “The lost children
he says. “Then when bad things do are in a sense the surrogates for the
happen, they’re just thrown for six. Why do we keep our kids on such adults who don’t belong:’ The idea
They end up in my bloody therapy a tight rein? Tranter found that, that the wilderness can swallow
room, and I’m sick of it.” Coddled kid in Australia, daughters are more up kids retains a strong grip on the
syndrome, you might call it. Though restricted than sons - and the parents Australian imagination. Think of the
the prevalence of the condition is of girls say their main fear is assault schoolgirls in Picnic at Hanging Rock.
only now being recognised, alarm or molestation. Parents of boys see Remember Azaria Chamberlain. But
bells began ringing back in 1990, traﬃc injury as the biggest threat as Pierce says, the focus of our fear
when British social scientist Mayer but cite so-called “stranger-danger” has shifted since the 19th century.
Hillman established that the freedom as another compelling reason for The possibility that a child might
of English children aged 7 to 11 had keeping their sons oﬀ the streets. Yet wander away is no longer our prime
shrunk markedly over two decades. as Brisbane social planner Wendy concern. “The modern dread is, he
Hillman’s study of boys and girls at Sarkissian says, “When you really didn’t wander oﬀ. He got taken.”
ﬁve English primary schools found look at it, the dangerous ones are
they were much less likely than the ones you know.” The depressing The turning point, he believes, was
students surveyed at the same truth is that more than 90 per cent of the 1960 abduction and murder of
schools in 1971 to have permission Australian child homicide victims are eight-year-old Sydney boy Graeme
to cycle on roads, for instance, or killed by their parents. The number Thorne. Kidnapped for ransom,
travel unaccompanied to school. Half of children aged under 15 murdered Thorne was targeted because his
the children in the original survey by strangers, as opposed to relatives parents had just won the lottery; it
were allowed to catch buses alone; or acquaintances, has averaged just was anything but an act of random
by 1990, just one in seven could do one a year since 1999. That puts the violence. But the hugely publicised
so. In a 1999 paper, Hillman went odds at about one in four million case planted the thought that kids
so far as to conclude that we are - even lower than in the previous could be stolen anywhere, any time.
Thorne had been plucked from a Creeks and caves scare the hell out of medicine saves more from illness
Bondi street corner in broad daylight, parents, who seem to Cunningham and injury, but presumably parental
while he was waiting to catch a bus to underrate kids’ bushcraft. determination to keep kids out of
to school. Since then, says Pierce, we “Children’s environmental skills are harm’s way is having an eﬀect, too.
have come to regard child-snatching well developed by the time they The price we have paid is to change
as one of the perils of urban life want to go and play in these places;’ the way we live.
- “an arbitrary terror that might be he says.”Some environmental savvy
visited upon any dweller in a modern may be instinctive.” In 1960, in a In We Told You So, published in 1968,
Australian city”. As many parents case so celebrated it became the Australian poet Nancy Keesing wrote:
see it, the only defence is eternal subject of a popular song, four-year-
vigilance. Better safe than sorry, we old Steven Walls survived four days Suburbs are known only to dogs and
tell ourselves as we ignore our kids’ in rugged country near Guyra, on children.
pleas to leave the house on their the New England tableland of NSW. They sniﬀ, circle, explore, trespass,
own. When I mention to the friend According to Cunningham, the boy uncover
who drives behind her son’s bike that spent most of that time hiding from Unguessed, circuitous byways and
only one child a year is murdered the thousands of adults who were acquire
by a stranger, she shrugs and says, “I searching for him: “He was frightened Bizarre acquaintances. Children and
don’t want it to be mine:’ of the people, not frightened of the dogs discover
bush.” All of a suburb.
In 1952, when Chris Cunningham
was 10, he and his Not any more, they
nine-year-old brother When Keiren McLeonard heard the don’t. The dogs are on
caught a train from tinkling music of an ice-cream van in leashes. The kids are
their home in the Blue her quiet Canberra neighbourhood, she inside. When Keiren
Mountains to Sydney, decided to give her then six-year-old McLeonard heard
where they spent the tinkling music of
the day exploring
daughter a treat. “We went down the road an ice-cream van in
the metropolis by and there were all these children;’ says her quiet Canberra
rail and tram. “That’s McLeonard, who had lived in her street for neighbourhood, she
probably where I got more than a decade without realising it decided to give her
my passion for cities was home to any kids besides her own. then six-year-old
and city planning daughter a treat. “We
- from being able to went down the road
experience a city independently as It’s in traﬃc that kids are most and there were all these children;’
a child;’ says Cunningham, whose vulnerable, partly because their says McLeonard, who had lived in
research conﬁrms that much tighter peripheral vision isn’t as good as her street for more than a decade
boundaries are placed on kids today. adults’. That the number killed or without realising it was home to any
Studying after-school play patterns injured on Australian roads is falling kids besides her own. “You don’t see
in ﬁve Australian towns (Sydney, is probably due to the increasing evidence of children in any of the
Adelaide, Ipswich, Armidale and trend to keep kids oﬀ the streets, says streets around here;’ she says. Tranter
Lismore), he and colleague Margaret Paul Tranter. As traﬃc volume and points out that in many residential
Jones found that on nominated ﬁne speed have risen in recent decades, areas, it’s not only children who have
days in early summer, only 50 per the number of children walking and made themselves scarce. Adults, too,
cent of boys and 30 per cent of girls riding bikes has fallen. In 2001, about are rarely seen outdoors: thanks
ventured out of their own yards. Of half of Sydney children were driven to sprinkler systems, it isn’t even
those who did go walking or cycling, to school - up from 37 per cent in necessary to stand in the yard with
the median range for boys was 500 1991. The number who caught buses a hose. Adults, like children, are
metres, for girls just 200 metres. Yet, or walked had dropped during the doing less walking. “The percentage
asked where they liked to go, the decade, while the proportion who of trips as pedestrians is falling as
children were less likely to name cycled had halved - from 1.8 per cent the percentage of car trips is rising;’
playgrounds and football ﬁelds than to just 0.9 per cent. says Tranter. “They drive home, they
bushland areas. press a button, the roller-door goes
Tranter says it’s a self-perpetuating up, the car goes in; that’s it. You don’t
Kids of both sexes seem innately phenomenon. The more parents see them until it comes up again the
attracted to wild spaces, says drive their children, the more traﬃc next morning and they drive out...
Cunningham. In his study, more boys builds up outside schools, “and the As a consequence, the streets are
than girls ventured oﬀ the beaten more the other parents think, ‘Well, perceived as being lonely, dangerous
track but “if anything, girls who it’s too dangerous to let my child places:’
used natural places focused more walk: So they start driving as well.”
intently on the inherent qualities of Tranter credits the independence
those places than [did the] boys, for The number of child fatalities from of the German students in Mayer
whom the landscape was a stage for all causes in Australia has dropped Hillman’s survey to the European
adventure games’: sharply in the past three decades. tradition of strolling and meeting
This is partly because improved in public spaces. In German cities,
the presence in the streets of lots Australia, girls and boys outside the cities remain relatively free spirits - little
of children - and adults gives other aﬀected, so far, by the lock-up-your-children movement. “This really is an
parents conﬁdence to allow their kids urban phenomenon;’ she says. “Country kids are still swimming in the creek.”
to join them, he says. Similarly, the Sarkissian suggests we need to stop thinking of child-rearing as an exercise
excellent public transport system’s in risk minimisation. Rather than calling kids down from the tops of trees, we
heavy usage by people of all ages should be encouraging them to go out on a limb now and then. “It’s quite an
means parents have few qualms interesting paradox;’ she says. “You have to care enough to let them go:’ Of
about letting their children climb course, over-protection isn’t the worst thing that can happen to a child. In
aboard, too. “Adults in Germany many ways, our kids are extraordinarily lucky to have us at their beck and
think they have a greater collective call, ferrying them to weekend sporting ﬁxtures and cheering loyally from
responsibility for other people’s the sidelines. “But I’m wondering;’ says Tranter, “are our children any better
children;’ says Tranter. On buses oﬀ than when they went and played in the wild spaces and had their own
and trams - anywhere, really - kids informal cricket games with groups of friends?” He pauses. “I’m not sure that
who behave badly are watched and they are.”
corrected, adding to the general
feeling of security. Hillman has noted Reprinted with permission from John Mark Ministries website:
that in England, where stranger- http://jmm.aaa.net.au/articles/14000.htm
danger is as much an obsession as
it is in Australia, “we, the strangers, More discussion on this issue can be found at: Where do the children play? ABC
are less inclined to engage in Health Matters - The Pulse www.abc.net.au/health/thepulse/s1365080.htm
conversation with children we do not
know - a perfectly healthy instinct Dr Paul Tranter will be speaking at the ﬁrst BGCG Meeting, details Page 18
- lest our motives be misconstrued. It
has the insidious eﬀect of relieving
Class Rep. / Parent Liaison
us of our societal responsibilities for
keeping an eye on other people’s
children and intervening when we
judge it necessary:’
Theﬁrst. KatrinahomeI wonderedcould would be expectedonofthe way,
name ‘Class Representative’
With a toddler at
be a daunting one perhaps
and Katrina’s new baby Rhiannon
At the same time, our children grow
up thinking the world is a perilous time could have been an issue for us. Would our performance be
place in which anyone who smiles judged??
and says hello might be a prowling Well, as it turned out, not at all, because as 2005 K/1 Class
pedophile. Paranoid parents produce Representatives we basically had fun. Katrina knew some parents
edgy kids. “We live in a society already as her daughter Ehlana was in Grade 1, while I knew not a soul
that seems to have an epidemic with my daughter Esperance just beginning Kindergarten.
of depression in children;’ says
psychologist Andrew Fuller. “There’s After gathering, collating and distributing contact details from
no doubt that kids these days are all parents interested in participating in social activities or simply
much more depressed than they willing to be part of the K/1 community of parents to call or chat to,
were:’ we received a fantastic suggestion from Linda (Andrew’s mum) to
organise morning teas whereby any free parents and younger siblings
Social planner Wendy Sarkissian could catch up.
believes the bubble-wrapping of We decided to hold an “After Drop-Oﬀ Morning Tea” once a term
children is partly symptomatic of - one of which didn’t quite work out - but the other three provided
“a generalised despair about the a morning of chatting, playing, eating, and even a sip or two of
state of the world. There’s a strong champagne. We met at the Botanical Gardens, National Museum of
cocooning desire because it’s too Australia and lastly, gloriously, at Tracey’s (Madeleine’s mum) house, on
scary out there:’ She thinks it would the deck on a beautifully sunny day.
help if parents got out more: “They
drive to and from work, to and from The other purpose for our role was so that the class’s teachers could
the supermarket - they actually don’t let the parents know if there were tasks that needed doing within
know what’s out there. They haven’t the classroom (e.g. ﬁxing books), rather than them having to ask
directly experienced a lot of those each parent individually if they could help, and I think the teachers
areas that they’re advising appreciated being able to do this.
It’s been suggested that the name of this position be changed to
Sarkissian grew up in Vancouver, ‘Parent Liaison’ which we would support, given our initial questions
where she lived beside an Indian about ‘representing’ all the class’s parents. However, we would not
reservation. “It was completely hesitate to be the Parent Liaison for our child’s class again. It was a
forbidden and we were there every fantastic way to meet other parents and family members, including
day;’ she says. “It was rainforest. the opportunity to have a morning to reﬂect, unwind, try to remember
We were sitting in hollow logs names, laugh, compare experiences and views, and immerse ourselves
and swinging like Tarzan. It was in the Blue Gum Community which is US.
magical.” From her observations in
- Carolyn (Esperance) and Katrina (Ehlana)
Primary School Community
OBlue Gum Community2005
n Friday 2 September
School hosted a Community
Shared Lunch, inviting friends
and families of the Primary
School to the Hackett campus
to help celebrate Literacy and
Term 3, 2005 3/4/5 :: SKI EXCURSION
A T H A N K Y O U L E T T E R F R O M A PA R E N T W H O AT T E N D E D
Although it seems like long ago
(Term 3 2005!!!!) I remember being Hi Swift Parrots,
warmly welcomed to the lunch I just wanted to say thank you all so much for my
by the friendly eﬃcient waiters beautiful present. The photo brought back many special
from the 1/2/3 Class. I then had memories of the snow trip for me.
drawn by a I must admit, at first I was a little worried at the thought
couple of of being an adult amongst 22 ‘kiddies’ in a snow shack! I
the creative thought “ohmogosh it’s hard enough to be a mother of two
artists from kids let alone 22”, but as the trip progressed and I got to
Class, whilst know each of you I realised that each and every one of you
everyone actually didn’t need mothering. I began to feel like one of
was the team and not just a ‘grown-up’.
entertained You all amazed me with your skills and how you did
by the ‘street’ performances of
the 3/4/5 Class which included everything for yourselves. I also really like the way that
juggling acts, human statues and you spoke to and acted towards each other, I don’t think
African drumming. I heard a nasty word from one of you about anyone or
We were then invited to sit at
one of the delightfully decorated I actually learned that I could survive without a few of
tables in the courtyard where the comforts of home; dishwasher, running water, flushing
we were served beautiful food toilet, makeup.
that had been prepared by the I also discovered that it is much easier to fall over skiing
students: hot Asian-inspired than it is to try to get up again with skis stuck to your boots!
dishes from the 3/4/5 Class (the
spring rolls were my favourite!); I also want to tell you about how fantastic Veronica and
yummy cakes and desserts from Rosie are (like you didn’t already know). They really care
the K/1 Class; and wonderful about each one of you and are really gifted teachers.
freshly squeezed juices prepared
by the 1/2/3 Class. And as for Barry – well! I nearly split my sides laughing
about his dinosaur story.
After eating we wandered around
to enjoy the entertainment, So Swift Parrots, YOU have actually given me lots of gifts!
where, in true busking style, Cheers,
we were encouraged to show
our appreciation by making a Leona (Joe)
contribution towards the fund for
the School’s new ‘Kitchen Project’.
I thoroughly enjoyed the event
and it was great to be a part of
what the students do every Friday
for their shared lunches. It was
also a good opportunity to catch
up with other families and meet
- Tracey (Maddie)
Friends of Blue Gum
2005 of Launch NEWS
- Slow Festival
To say thankthe 2005 Slow
you to all those Slow Sunday Community Picnic
Festival, participants and
supporters were invited to an
early evening get together in the
foyer of the Canberra Museum
O n Sunday 30th October the
Friends of Blue Gum hosted
the Slow Sunday Community
also to Brumby’s Bakery, Ainslie
IGA, Eco Meats and Ziggys Fruit
and Vegetable Market (both of
and Gallery on Saturday 22 Picnic held at Coroborree Park, Belconnen Markets) for their
October. Ainslie, to celebrate the end of discounted/donated goods.
the 2005 Slow Festival week. Although not primarily a fund
Thanks to the wonderful eﬀorts Undeterred by the morning’s raising event, over $700 was
of the Festival’s Director, Jodi overcast skies and drizzle, we raised - this included a generous
Hughes, Director of public set up our bbq and food stands donation from Anton (Café 2 U)
relations company Adaptions under cover and inside the and money raised from our Slow
Pty Ltd, this occasion was both main hall. As Murphy’s Law Festival Raﬄe which was drawn
relaxing and lots of fun! Lorenzo’s would have it, the weather at the end of the day. These funds
Café (Nibblez Catering) supplied quickly ﬁned up and soon many will be used by the Friends’ for the
us with trays of delicious hors picnickers could be seen outside continued promotion and support
d’oevres to nibble on while Julie happily playing games in the of the community focus of Blue
Star from Mount Majura Winery park with family and friends or Gum Community School.
invited us to sample some of sitting on picnic rugs chatting
their vineyard’s lovely wines. We away. Lastly, our heartfelt thanks also
participated in a Laughter Yoga go to all those families who
session (using laughter as a form A wonderfully relaxing ambience showed their support by donating
of stress release and relaxation) was created by Benno and Ado gorgeous home-baked goods;
as well as a ‘Slow’ sharing session from Trouble in the Kitchen who volunteering their time to help
where those who volunteered played their beautiful acoustic out on the day; and by coming
their ideas on slowing down were Irish tunes, while Anton from Café along to enjoy what was a lovely,
rewarded with mini Mars bars (to 2 U supplied us with excellent hot relaxing, family event that made
help them ‘work, rest and play’)!! and cold drinks from his mobile many of us ask ‘Why don’t we
van. Our BBQ of organic sausages do this more often?!’ And my
A very memorable evening was and chicken kebabs was very personal thanks go to my fellow
had by all and it provided a popular as were the great variety Friends’ colleagues whose tireless
fantastic opportunity to meet and of homemade cakes and goodies eﬀorts led to the success of this
chat with like-minded people. and plates of fresh fruit, all adding Blue Gum community event!
Some of us even had our happy, up to plenty of yummy food to
smiling pictures displayed in enjoy! - Corri (Nyssa & Kiera)
the ‘About Town’ section of The President
Canberra Times the following Our sincere thanks go to
Sunday! Healthpact for their grant
which enabled us to hold this
- Cathy (Keane) community event. Thank you
Did you know? Canberra Times - 8 November 2005
H ousehold use of anti-bacterial soap and washes in favour of plain soap
and water has increased in recent years. One of the reasons is thought
to be because of beliefs that killed germs are better than those just washed
oﬀ. A discussion panel met recently to advise the United States Food and
Drug Administration on the appropriate use and necessity of anti-bacterial
washes in the average home. Findings in controlled studies conﬁrmed there
was no signiﬁcant diﬀerence in infections in households between those who
use soap and water and anti-bacterial washes. Reprinted with permission
“Absolutely gorgeous – stunning artworks, beautifully presented.
Fantastic variety of artforms, I really enjoyed the exhibition!”
“Thanks – So much talent in one school!!”
“Love the work. Beautiful. Diﬀerent.”
“Fantastic – wish it was permanent (CCHYP)”
“How can you all create such beauty!!!”
“Such a creative and inspiring exhibition of this year’s artwork!”
“Matisse, Picasso and Rembrandt lookout! Blue Gummers
are on the way to becoming famous artists too!”
Student Art and Sculpture
“Fantastic! Amazing!” Exhibition “Inspiring! Brilliant!”
“We loved the beautiful artwork – especially the charcoal portraits. Well done everyone!”
“What fun you all had creating these masterpieces – lovely”
“Thank you to the
Blue Gum family
for a wonderful
“Fantastic array of beautiful artworks, great to
see the preschool’s creativity too”
“Nobody has given me such lovely ﬂowers
in a long time. The art is beautiful!”
“Great beauty and diversity!”
These are just some of the appreciative
comments written in the Guest Book at Blue
Gum’s Student Art and Sculpture Exhibition
held at the Hackett Community Centre as
part of the 2005 Slow Festival. Each class from
both campuses exhibited beautifully framed
and mounted pieces of students’ artwork from throughout the year, with each display accompanied by an
informative explanation of the processes and inspiration behind the pieces. As visitors to the exhibition’s
opening entered, they were oﬀered a single fresh ﬂower, whereupon they were treated to a personal guided
tour by proud students. There was even an interactive element, as everyone was invited to add their own
artfully bent or sculpted piece of cutlery or kitchen ‘gadget’ to a large hanging artwork, which will eventually
ﬁnd its home in the school’s newly decked-out kitchen. In all it was a very professional display and one that
spoke of respect and admiration for these ﬁne artworks and for the artists who have created them.
Switching oﬀ the TV will lead to more
switched-on children, says study
Canberra Times - 4/10/05 adulthood, causing hormone Dr Sigman said, “A ‘dose-response
London changes, which in turn directly relationship’ between the amount
increased appetite and body fat of television children watch
production and damage to the
immune system, leading to a
greater vulnerability to cancer.
and the degree of educational
damage they suﬀer is now
emerging that has ‘biological
increased anti-social behaviour, plausibility’. Television viewing
new research has claimed. is also now linked with stunting
brain development in the child’s
There was also a correlation frontal lobes, leading to reduced
between the amount of TV impulse control and increased
children watch and the degree of anti-social behaviour.
educational damage they suﬀered,
according to the report by Aric “Teachers are under pressure
Sigman, an associate fellow of the to vie for the child’s attentional
British Psychological Society. resources, which have been
damaged by exposure to
And signiﬁcant long-term damage fast-changing screen images.
occurred event at so-called This leaves teachers facing a
modest levels of viewing – generation of children who ﬁnd
between one and two hours a day it more diﬃcult to pay attention
– the report, Remotely Controlled, and thereby learn, but also exhibit
said. poor self-restraint and anti-social
While the average Briton watched behaviour.”
Children now spent more time four hours of TV a day, children
watching a TV screen than they aged 11-15 spent 7½ hours a Dr Sigman suggested children
spent in school, but viewing day watching TV and computers under three should see no screen
even a moderate amount could – an increase of 40 per cent in a entertainment, those over three
dramatically increase their risk decade – the scientist said. should be limited to watching one
of myopia, slow down their hour a day, teenagers should be
metabolic rate and could trigger More than half of three-year-olds limited to 1½ hours and adults up
premature puberty, according to had a TV set in their bedrooms to two hours.
Dr Sigman. It was also found to and the average six-year-old
lead to a “signiﬁcantly elevated would have already watched for Reprinted with permission
risk” of sleep problems in nearly one full year of their lives.
HOW TO HAVE A GOOD START Public Meeting
TO YOUR DAY… regarding the Draft Hackett Urban Design
1. Open a new ﬁle in your PC.
Guidelines (i.e. the Hackett Shops and Former
2. Name it “Housework”. Primary School site)
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN. DIARY NOTE
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5. Your PC will ask you, “Are you When : Tuesday 14 February
sure you want to delete Housework Where : St Margaret’s Church Hall
permanently?” Time : to be advised
6. Calmly answer, “Yes”, and press the
mouse button ﬁrmly. It would be great to have a good show of
7. There, that’s better! Blue Gum families attend.
First Blue Gum Community Group meeting for 2006
7:30pm :: Wednesday 15 February :: Ainslie Football Club
Special Guest Speaker Dr Paul Tranter
will share his presentation Creating Child-Friendly Cities
Dr Paul Tranter
Senior Lecturer/Discipline Coordinator for Geography
School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences
UNSW @ ADFA :: www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/pems/research/tranter
Paul Tranter is a Senior Lecturer in geography with teaching and research interests in the areas of social and
transport geography. His doctoral thesis from the University of Newcastle (1982) examined pathological events
(e.g. accidents) in a time geographic framework. His current research interests include the themes of child-friendly
environments and sustainable cities. He has been with the University of New South Wales since 1980, and has had
several Special Studies Programs visiting universities in Australia, Britain and New Zealand.
Many of Paul’s research interests have had an important element of social relevance. He has applied geographical
concepts and methodologies to the study of such topics as: pathological events (e.g. accidents, depression);
residential privacy; tenant participation in public housing; transport provision in disadvantaged areas; children’s
road safety and independent mobility; local authority attitudes and policies towards sustainable transport; the
health implications and messages associated with motorsport; possible links between motorsport and illegal
street racing; and children’s use of school grounds for environmental learning.
Paul’s current research interests concern ‘child-friendly cities’ and the geography of motorsport in Australia. The
common theme between these two research areas is the relevance of both to our understanding
of ‘sustainable cities’ and ‘healthy cities’. Paul has examined children’s
‘independent mobility’ (their freedom to explore their own
neighbourhood or city without and adult) in Australia and New
Zealand. More recently, working with Associate Professor Karen
Malone (RMIT) his research has focused on how children Health First :: www.healthﬁrst.net.au
experience and learn about their environments in their m BusinessACT :: www.business.act.gov.au
own school grounds. Children’s ability to explore and Youth InterACT :: www.youth.act.gov.au
play in their own environment is widely recognised
as a key component of a child-friendly city. c Sport and Recreation ACT :: www.sport.act.gov.au
CommunityGuide :: www.communityguide.com.au
Understanding more about child-friendly
Older Persons Portal :: www.olderperson.act.gov.au
environments also provides insights for the
o Citizens Advice Bureau :: www.citizensadvice.org.au
creation of more sustainable cities.
Canberra Arts Marketing :: www.canberraarts.com.au
Free ACT Region Community Noticeboard :: www.actco.org.au
Free Community Publicity for Canberra :: www.pcug.org.au/~prellis
Australian Capital Tourism Corporation :: www.visitcanberra.com.au
Canberra Raiders Community Noticeboard :: www.raidersclub.com.au
National Capital Authority - Events :: www.nationalcapital.gov.au/events
Canberra City Life :: www.bcl.com.au/canberra/intgroup/community.htm
Our Community Centres of Excellence Portal :: www.ourcommunity.com.au
Free Canberra classifieds :: www.canberraexchange.com.au/pages/4001.html
Canberra Community Help :: www.doctors-4u.com/Canberra/community.htm
Dataflex ACT Community Noticeboard :: www.dataflex.com.au/about/community.jsp
Australia’s Largest Free Classifieds :: www.cracker.com.au/canberra/community/sitemap.aspx
Volunteering ACT Community Notices :: www.volunteeract.com.au/network/community.htm
ACT Government Major Events :: www.canberraconnect.act.gov.au/comfamily/comonline.html
Free weekly email listing ACT professional development activities :: www.professionalway.com.au
Canberra Times Community Noticeboard :: www.canberra.yourguide.com.au/links.asp?class=Community
FBG - Grant Parent Eﬀectiveness
Success! For Peaceful Parenting and
We are very pleased to announce that Resilient Children
the Friends’ of Blue Gum (FBG) have
been successful in gaining two grants
to stage community activities in 2006:
• ACT Multicultural Grants Program
2005-06 - To assist with the cost
of organising a demonstration of
traditional children's games ($500)
• Canberra Community Grants Program 2005-06 – “Seasoned
Supported by ParentLine, PET:
Slow Sundays”: Building on the community interest generated
by our Slow Sunday Community Picnic Day as part of the 2004 • Helps you yell less – stop those
& 2005 Slow Festivals, this series of four events will each include arguments before they start
demonstrations, come and try options and communal participation • Helps you have the best
experiences, held at the Hackett Community Hall and surrounds. relationship possible with
Each season will oﬀer a diﬀerent focus e.g.: Summer – Games; your children, so you and your
Autumn – Music; Winter – Slow Food; Spring – Renew, Regrow & children enjoy being with
Reuse. ($5,000) each other
DIARY NOTE: First Seasoned Slow Sunday 26 Feb • Helps you raise conﬁdent,
This is our vision for Summer - Rediscovering Games of Old. Diﬀerent considerate children in an
cultural groups sharing their traditional ‘low-tech’ games for children atmosphere of mutual respect
& families. E.g. string games, skipping rhymes, hand clapping chants, • Oﬀers you the ‘how to’ to
cards, board games, stone/marble games etc. Outdoor activities, such help your child become
as kite ﬂying, badminton, bocce, hopscotch, rounders, group skipping, emotionally intelligent
ball games. A time to put aside individual high-tech pursuits, to re-
discover the joy and companionship low-tech games oﬀer. • Oﬀers you an alternative to
reward and punishment – to
All your ideas, suggestions and oﬀers are very welcome and will help help your child develop inner
to make this a truly relaxing, enriching, fun, community and family discipline
• Is evidence based and
Please contact Corri on firstname.lastname@example.org or 6288 9891. extensively researched
The course consists of three-hour
Wishing Sooz & Graham the sessions, one per week, for eight
best of luck in their new weeks. Booking is essential.
adventure and look forward to Date:
Date February 2006
seeing our ﬁrst home-grown 7pm to 10.15pm
Blue Gummer! Hughes, ACT
Cost $240 per person. Includes
textbook and workbook.
PS. It’s not Sooz’s For more information, phone
tummy, but it’s accredited PET instructor:
pretty cool, hey?
Larissa on 0413 451 607
MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM
Please send all membership applications to:
The Membership Secretary
Friends of Blue Gum
PO Box 5083 Braddon ACT 2612
or Fax to: 02 6288 9790
Corporate $80 Individual $22
Family/Household $44 Concession $11
Dr Mr Mrs Miss Ms Other : ..... GIFT SUBSCRIPTION
Surprise a friend or relative with a gift subscription!
Surname : .…...............................................………….
Please supply the following information with
your payment and the Friends will provide
First Name : ..............................................…………... a Gift Subscription Certificate for the recipient.
Dr Mr Mrs Miss Ms Other : .....
Address : .................................................…........….....
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................................................. Post Code : ............
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Phone : ( ) ...........................................................….
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................................................. Post Code : ............
I wish to receive my quarterly copy of The Glob
Magazine by email (preferred) or post Phone : ( ) ...........................................................….
Message for Recipient: ...............................................
Cash Cheque Money Order
Amount enclosed $ ..........................
Cheques or Money Orders should be payable to -
Friends of Blue Gum Dr Mr Mrs Miss Ms Other : .....
Electronic Funds Transfer Surname : ..... ..............................................………….
To transfer payment directly into our bank account
via the Internet, use the following details : First Name : ..............................................…………...
Bank: NAB, Dickson Address : .................................................…........….....
BSB: 082 967
Account No.: 577 408 262 ................................................. Post Code : ............
Name of Account: Friends of Blue Gum Incorporated
Phone : ( ) ...........................................................….
Please make sure the payee’s name and
a contact phone number are included Email: .........................................................................
as part of the transfer details.
An electronic version of this form is available via email: email@example.com
Membership is for 12 months from 1 November.
New memberships after 1 August are valid until November the following year.
Short & Long Sleeve T-shirts
C hildren’s T-shirts, sizes 4, 6, 10, 12
and 14 are available for $15 each.
Size 8’s and new colours arriving soon.
Children’s Long Sleeve Tops, sizes 4, 6
and 8 are available for $20 each.
Adult’s T-shirt’s are available in both
women’s cut (red or black) and standard
T-shirt style (black, navy or grey). There
are a range of sizes for $20 each.
P lease contact Carolyn to place your
Telephone: 6241 0573
All proceeds to Blue Gum Community School.
It’s amazing where and when Blue
Gum turns up. Keep your eyes and
cameras peeled and send us your
spottings for the next issue…
Blue Gum families on
holiday at the Island View
Beach Resort, Narooma
Blue Gum T-shirts at a Hakaraia Hui
NSW ﬁnd a familiar look-
Te Rawhiti Marae, Rawhiti
ing street name.
Bay of Islands, New Zealand