Mercurius issue 2 – Feb 2020 - 26 Feb 2020
Principal’s Report

Principal’s Report

Dear Fortians, Parents and Carers,

It has been a tumultuous start to the year. After an unprecedented and catastrophic fire season, students and staff prepared to return to school for the start of the 2020 school year only to be faced with daily changing advice surrounding the emerging Novel Coronavirus. A few weeks into the school term Sydney was hit by severe storms causing flooding and power outages including areas in the Inner West. Fortunately, Fort Street was not one of the schools that lost power and almost all of the damage to our buildings caused by the storms has now been attended to.

It was a great disappointment that the annual Fort Street Swimming Carnival which should have been held on Monday 10th February was cancelled, particularly as the forecast did not match up to the weather reprieve that we ended up experiencing on the actual day. Despite all of this, students and staff have enjoyed a positive start to the year. Year 7 have settled into their new school and appear to be thriving at High School, Year 10 peer Support students are enjoying their leadership roles working closely with Year 7. School photos have been taken and almost all students have now received their student ID cards.

It has been wonderful to see students reoccupying the newly refurbished school library and I thank the P&C for hosting the library re-opening on Wednesday 12th February. It was delightful to see so many parents and staff in attendance on the evening. Our new library is now filled with natural light and incorporates the careers adviser’s office, the learning centre and a dedicated senior study area. The final finishing touches including signage, a few pieces of additional furniture and potted plants will be complete by the end of term.

Later this year works will commence on an outdoor volleyball court to be located between the current basketball courts and futsal courts thanks to funds raised by the P&C and the cricket nets, lanes and associated retainer wall will also be replaced thanks to two successful grant applications – one from the Australian Cricket Infrastructure Fund to the value of $20 000 and the other from the NSW ICC T20 World Cup 2020 Cricket legacy Fund to the value of $15 000.

Speech Day was held on Friday 21st February and was a great success. It was a wonderful celebration of talent, outstanding contributions and achievements of Fortians throughout 2019. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Honourable Michael Kirby for his inspiring keynote address and also for the generous time that he gave to our prize winners and guests both before, during and after the event.



An Incredible Lifeguard – Gavin Xu

An Incredible Lifeguard – Gavin Xu

Gavin Xu, a Bexley LEA trainee, had recently performed an incredible in-water rescue of a 10-year-old boy.

Gavin was the lifeguard on duty. He identified the boy in need and immediately followed through with a rescue. Gavin retrieved the boy from the water and had to administer CPR. He was joined by his lifeguard team and supervisors within seconds and together they were able to save this boy’s life.

We are so proud of Gavin and in awe of his composure and strength. Well done Gavin!

To all of our parents, please let this remind you of the importance of your role supervising your own children. We’re very lucky this event included saving someone’s life and not the heartache that could have been.

(Article courtesy of Angelo Anestis Aquatic Centre newsletter)

School TV – Moving To A New School

Moving to a new school is a big deal! Your child is going to meet lots of new people and be thrown into new situations. That’s bound to make them feel lots of different emotions. They may feel worried and anxious, but also excited and happy – all at the same time!

It is considered to be one of the most important transition periods of a student’s life and can present some significant psychological challenges for both students and parents.

Making new friends, learning new routines, discovering new environments, accepting new cultures and adjusting to new learning practices is all part of the process. Some children will sail through this period of change, whilst others may need a bit more guidance. It is important to give your child the chance to feel comfortable in their new space. This may take a few months, but ensure you keep the lines of communication open and check in regularly with your child to see how they are settling in.

In this Special Report, parents and care givers will be presented with a number of strategies that can be deployed to help ensure a smooth transition. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we 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 your special report

Duke of Ed at the Fort in 2020

Duke of Ed at the Fort in 2020

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is an internationally recognised youth program, founded by the Duke of Edinburgh. The Award will see participants provide a voluntary community service, develop a skill, participate in a Physical Recreation activity and embark on an Adventurous Journey.

This year, all 150 Year 9 students will be participating in the Bronze level. Fort Street is one of the only schools in Sydney who offer the program to the entire cohort. The Year 10 Duke of Ed Leadership Team will be guiding and mentoring the Year 9’s this year. The Bronze Program was launched with an information evening on Thursday 6th February and is already off to a great start with almost all of the whole Year 9 cohort already having setup their online record books. A mentoring program for the Bronze participants will assist them with logging hours for their activities as well as preparation for their four day camp in September.

In 2020, there will be over 70 students from Year 10 and over 50 students from Year 11/12 working on their Silver and Gold levels respectively. This is a record number of participants for the Fort Street program.

Congratulations to Aidan Limnios (Year 12), the most recent achiever of the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award. This prestigious award will be presented by the Governor of NSW. During the assembly on Friday 7th February, 13 students received their Silver and 49 students received their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award.

Ms Caroline Jerrems, the Fort Street Duke of Edinburgh Award Coordinator, has been instrumental in the growth of the award program at Fort St High School. The Duke of Ed leadership team appreciates and applauds her ongoing passion and commitment to the success of the Program.

Jade Do and Peter Tran (Year 10)

Fort Street Social Sports Clubs 

Fort Street Social Sports Clubs 

Sport has got off to a quick start at The Fort this year as record numbers have turned up for lunchtime basketball, volleyball and table tennis clubs as well as our new after school volleyball club under the tutelage of Coach Ziya. All clubs are free of charge and available to any student who is keen to play. No previous experience or registration required, just turn up and bring some energy.

For any enquiries regarding sport at The Fort please contact Mr Uppal via email:


Ultimate Frisbee

Ultimate Frisbee

2019 was a hectic year, balancing year 11/12 and my love for frisbee. In July, myself and a few other Fortians were lucky enough to compete at the Australian Youth Ultimate Championships in Brisbane, where I was then chosen to represent Australia  in the Asia-Oceanic Junior and Masters Ultimate Championships (U20) in December.

The championships were held in Manila, Philippines where we spent a week, training and then competing. The women’s division was a hard fought tournament with us, AUS, losing to NZ in pool play, but then beating them in semis to go through to the grand finals, where we unfortunately lost to a very strong Chinese Taipei team, putting us second. However, we also won most spirited.

Overall, the campaign was an amazing experience, where I met players from different countries and got to experience how great the Phillipines is, which wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of Ms Arcamone and Fort Street. I hope to help expand the fast growing frisbee community at school, as well as in Australia.

Kayla Chan

Instrumental Music Program

Instrumental Music Program

Welcome back to the Instrumental Music Program for 2020.
A few reminders for all students:
  • Rehearsals are underway so please turn up!
  • Fee payments are due week 5
  • Please check the calendar for performance dates and subscribe to the calendar
  • Read the membership book!
  • If you are going to be away please use the absence notification form
Musica Viva – Strike a Chord
Entries are now open for Musica Viva’s Strike A Chord – National Chamber Choir Competition.  You can access information about the championship here:


Young Mannheim Symphonists

Presented by the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra, the Young Mannheim Symphonists youth orchestra training program is designed to give outstanding young music students the opportunity to discover for themselves the magic of approaching music with an historically informed performance style.

Established in 2014 by the Australian Romantic & Classical Orchestra’s founding artistic director, the late Richard Gill AO, now directed by the orchestra’s co-artistic directors Rachael Beesley and Nicole van Bruggen with special guest conductors, Young Mannheim Symphonists has become an integral part of Australia’s music education landscape.

In 2020, students can audition to be part of the National Winter Academy – a weeklong residential music camp in Sydney in July – and/or to attend one of the three state-based Young Mannheim Symphonists Intensives – five-day programs in Victoria, Queensland and NSW during the Easter holidays.

Students are welcome to apply for both the National Winter Academy and a State Intensive.

More details about the Young Mannheim Symphonists can be found here


Student applications are now open for the 2020 NSW State Music Camps!

Talented music students join together for one week each year to receive expert tutelage and develop their performance skills. Participants rehearse and perform high quality repertoire culminating in a concert for families and friends on the final night of the camp.

Musical activities at camp include participation in a major ensemble (symphony orchestra, symphonic bands, vocal ensembles, stage band) as well as a number of elective ensembles and activities. Elective activities include brass and woodwind ensembles, jazz improvisation, composition, music theatre, percussion ensemble and more.

The camp is residential so all students stay at the camp site for the week.

Dates for 2020

Junior Music Camp (open to students in Years 5-8): Sunday 19 July – Friday 24 July

Senior Music Camp (open to students in Years 8-12): Sunday 28 June – Friday 3 July

For further information and to apply please visit our website


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World Education Program student exchange

World Education Program student exchange

WEP Australia is excited to announce five new student exchange scholarship opportunities!

WEP’s Going Green Scholarships are available for semester and year student exchange programs departing between July and September 2020.

World Education Program (WEP) is an Australian not-for-profit student exchange organisation registered with the education departments/regulatory authorities. Each year, they send hundreds of Australian high school students around the world.

WEP exchanges are first and foremost academic programs with students attending school full-time.

Please refer to the attached flyer for more information. Students can find out more about exchange opportunities by requesting an information pack at WEP.ORG.AU.



Welcome from the P&C
A very warm welcome to all families who are new to the school this year and to all returning families. We’d love for you to get involved with the school community, so if you would like to be informed about P&C events and meetings or would like to know how you can get involved, please subscribe to our mailing list at or join our Facebook group at

Year 7 Welcome at Petersham Bowling Club
Save the date, all year 7 families are invited to a welcome event at Petersham Bowling Club on Friday April 3rd at 6:30pm. Keep an eye out for the invitation email with more details.

Library Opening
We hope that everyone who attended the opening of the stunningly refurbished library had an enjoyable evening.
Thank you to the parents and teachers who did so much work on the night to make the event a success.
A sincere thank you also to all those who contributed to our Library Furniture/Murals/Plants collection. The P&C raised $1894.50 from this and we’re especially looking forward to seeing lots of plants decorating this space.

As requested at the general meeting, we are on the lookout for parents and carers who may be interested in helping us apply for grants for school projects or anyone with innovative ideas on how to raise funds from outside the school community. Please email us at if you are interested in this.

Entertainment Books
Entertainment Books are available for purchase and use now, they cost $70 and 20% or $14 per sale goes to Fort Street. They are only available as a digital copy, no hard copy books this year. Follow this link to ensure the funds go to Fort Street High School

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.

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.

Future second hand uniform dates for your diary are:

Term 2: Wednesday 13 May 7.45-8.45 am, in front of the school office
Term 3: Sunday 30 August, (FortFest – all day, location at school TBC)
Term 4: Wednesday 21 October 7.45-8.45 am, in front of the school office

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 front office 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 and front office staff for supporting the stall.

Fort Street High School P&C Executive