Mercurius issue 15 – October 2019 - 23 Oct 2019
Principal’s Report

Principal’s Report

Dear Fortians, Parents and Carers,

Welcome back to Term 4. I hope that all students and staff have had a wonderful spring holiday. Students across Years 7 to 11 have all made impressive starts to the term, settling into their routines very quickly since their return to school last week.  As we move into the warmer months I expect all students to be in full school uniform both at school and as they travel to and from school. I appreciate the support parents give to the school in assisting their children to adhere to the school uniform policy.
Our thoughts are with Year 12 as they continue with their HSC exams over the next fortnight finishing on the 8 November. We wish our students all the best.
Year 11 students, having completed their Preliminary courses in the last three terms have begun their HSC course work this week. There has been a slight variation to the school timetable to accommodate for the newly established extension classes (History, Science, German, Maths and English).

Being World Teachers Day this Friday 25 October, the staff at the Fort were acknowledged for the wonderful work they do every day of the year on behalf of our students. At Fort Street High School, we are proud that we are working to make a difference in the lives of our young people.

Congratulations to:
All students and staff who attempted and completed the seven bridges walk on Sunday 27 October. The total raised throughout the campaign was $11,404.
Jean Hinchliffe – Year 10 for her performance at the State Drama Festival on Thursday 24 October (evening performance) and Friday 25 October (matinee and evening performance) at the Seymour Centre as a member of the NSW Public Schools Senior Drama Ensemble.
Staff Member of the week – Brett Scovell (Mathematics teacher) and Janette Levy (School Administration Manager) who are both extremely deserving candidates of this award in weeks 1 and 2 of Term 4, 2019.

Fort Fest
Our biennial FortFest is being held next year on Sunday 31st May 2020. As always, it’s going to be a terrific Fort Street High School and community event. It is a fantastic opportunity to promote a positive school image amongst our local area, get lots of school families together and raise some welcome funds for the P&C and therefore the school.

As you can imagine, a great deal of time and effort goes into the preparation and running of an event like this and as much help or support you can offer would be greatly appreciated. In this early stage there have been a few parents who have agreed to start the process of organising FortFest2020, but they are looking for a team of about 14 or more to begin the preparations this term and follow them all the way until the day itself. They will be meeting once or twice this term and then as required next year.

The specific roles they are looking to fill are:

Site Manager
Parent Stall Manager
Student Stall Manager
Publicity Manager
Volunteer Manager
Auction / Raffle Manager
Sponsorship Manager
Entertainment / Activities Manager
Decorations Manager
Merchandise Manager
Sustainability Manager

Information on all these roles can be found on the attached document or on the website link –

If you have a specific skill in one of these areas, or would like to work as a small group in one area, please consider signing up.

The more people who take on more jobs early, the less work there is for everyone to do, the more diverse minds they will be drawing on and ultimately the better FortFest2020 will be.

The first planning meeting for this term will be on a Monday night early in November.
If you have any questions please send them to the designated email address: and the team will be happy to answer them for you.

Juliette McMurray

This month on SchoolTV – Resilience

This month on SchoolTV – Resilience

Resilience is one of those skills that all kids need and should have. It refers to their ability to cope and adapt in situations when confronted with challenges such as adversity, trauma, tragedy, or even stress. It is essential to their mental health and wellbeing as part of their journey to adulthood. It is a skill that can be learned from an early age through the support of an adult role model.

However, being resilient does not mean your child won’t experience any difficulties, but it will better equip them to manage those situations. Over-protective parenting can be viewed as being unhelpful towards the building of resilience. Although this may be a natural instinct, potentially experiencing failure is all part of the process. Encouraging children to take healthy risks will help them trust their capacity to deal with uncomfortable situations and increase their capacity for courage.

In this edition of SchoolTV, parents will gain an understanding of how to support their child’s brave behaviour to help them adapt and build resilience. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this month’s edition, and we always welcome your feedback.

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Here is the link to this month’s edition




One team from Fort Street was invited to participate in the National Titration Competition at The University of New South Wales last month. Fort Street High came 5th in New South Wales, from 22 teams that qualified, and best public school in New South Wales, beating James Ruse and North Sydney Boys.
Crystal Pham was awarded a gold medal for her individual score, an excellent effort and James Nguyen and Amelie Skelton were awarded a silver medal each.
Lastly I would like to thank the students for giving up their lunchtime to prepare for the competition.

Theo Leondios
Titration Coordinator

(photo from Left to Right: T. Leondios (coordinator), James Nguyen, Crystal Pham and Amelie Skelton)

Northern Suburbs Zone Gala Day

Northern Suburbs Zone Gala Day

After 2 postponements Fort Street were finally able to attend the Northern Suburbs Zone Gala Day. Under the tutelage of their Year 10 coaches Year 7 had a fun filled day of sport and activity at St Lukes and Cintra Park in Concord. Fort Street participated in the volleyball, European handball, netball, oz tag and football competitions. Our students did a fantastic job representing themselves and the school with great skill and fair play.

A special thank you to our Year 10 coaches who did a great job co ordinating the competitions and their teams on the day. An honourable mention to our mixed volleyball team who won their competition, beating Ryde, who have a first class volleyball program, in the final.

Well done everyone.

Award Winning Archives

Award Winning Archives

It is not often that you get recognized for the regular day-to-day work you do. This week is different as the Fort Street Archives won the Australian Society of Archivists (ASA) Mander Jones Award.

This award honours Phyllis Mander Jones who, amongst other contributions to archives profession, authored Manuscripts in the British Isles relating to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific. In 1996 the ASA introduced this award for publications in the field of archives. The award was given to Iain Wallace and Jules Davies, at the recent ASA Conference in Adelaide, for their archival access contribution to the ‘School History and Archives’ pages of the school website.

The judges noted the ease of usage to historical and archival material on the Fort Street High School website including the digitised and searchable Fortian school magazine dating back to 1899; access to the Distinguished Fortian List; scope of the collection; school’s donation policy; links to social media; volunteers information; and the NSW Department of Education’s Privacy Management Plan.

The ‘School History and Archives’ is one of the most visited pages on the Fort Street High School website. Please take a look, via the link below, at the amazing work done by Iain and Jules. Congratulations!

Chris Egan – Assistant Archivist

P & C

P & C

2019 Annual General Meeting Wednesday 13th November
Fort Street P&C AGM will be held on Wednesday 13th November in the Common Room at school. The AGM is an opportunity for current members to nominate for a position as an office bearer in 2020 as a number of our office bearers are leaving this year as their child at the school completes the HSC. We are inviting any current members to take this opportunity to have a guiding role in the P&C.We also really want to encourage parents who may not want a role but would like to be a general member to come along to find out about the activities of the P&C in 2019 and plans for the future. We hope to see you there!

Futsal Field
One of the major works funded by the P&C in 2019 was the conversion of the old tennis courts into a futsal field. The tennis courts were very run down and were being used for futsal before, during and after school and so the students and staff were keen for this conversion to be undertaken. Next Mercurius we will provide some photos so parents and the community can see the before and after and what some of our hard work has achieved.

Second hand Uniform Stall

The P&C’s second hand uniform stall runs once per term before school from 7.45-8.45 am in front of the school office (the next will be in 2020).
Parents and students are welcome to come and grab a bargain. Price guide: shirts, skirts, shorts, IMP (music program) and sports uniform items all $5 each, jumpers $20, trousers $10, winter jackets $40. Cash only, please bring your small change, condition of clothes as found, no change rooms, no refunds.
The second hand uniform stall relies on uniform donations from the school community. You can do your bit to recycle our uniforms and save landfill. If you have clean washed uniforms to donate, please take them to the school library and they will be placed in the donations bin. All proceeds to your P&C. If you are a parent who would like to volunteer on the stall please contact Sally at Thank you to everyone who has donated and to our volunteers, our front office and library staff for supporting the stall.



Australian Percussion Eisteddfod
In August, our Senior Percussion Ensemble competed in the Australian Percussion Eisteddfod. You can find our performance at 5:19:24 on the Fort Street IMP Youtube channel.

IMP Composition Competition 2019
A reminder that entries for the IMP composition competition are due by the end of Week 3 (5pm, Friday 1 November). The brief is to write a new work for the Sax Quartet, in four parts, one to two minutes long and with stylistic elements from a baroque or classical genre. This competition is open to IMP members from any year group.
Enter using the online form here
Note that late or incomplete entries will not be accepted.
At least two finalists will be selected to workshop their composition with the Sax Ensemble and staff in Term 4 (date tbc). The final winner will be announced by Week 6 of Term 4.

Tour 2021
The IMP Tour in 2021 to Spain & Portugal is going ahead, with a record 96 students attending.

1969 Reunions

1969 Reunions

It was lovely to see such a large turnout of Fortians from 1969 at the recent Fortians Union dinner.  Ian Cohen (Fortian 1969) was the guest speaker on the night and spoke about his lifetime of politics, activism and surfing, and the story behind the photo that ‘went viral’ in the days before social media.