Mercurius Issue 6 – May 2019 - 16 May 2019
Principal’s Report

Principal’s Report

Dear Fortians, Parents and Carers,
I would like to thank all of the Year 7 parents who attended the Year 7 Parent Forum eveningsover the past few weeks, these were a great opportunity for some of our key staff to get to know our Year 7 parents and also to receive some feedback from and gain a better understanding of some of the key issues and concerns of parents new to High School. I would also like to thank Jenny Curtis (Year 12 parent) for the work that she did in facilitating these sessions.
Year 12 Semester One reports have been distributed and every Year 12 student has had a reflection interview with a member of staff. I would like to thank Mr Morrison, Mr Chapman, Ms Lam, Mr Melser, Mr Hasenbein and Ms Salisbury for their time at the Year 12 maximise your ATAR information night held in week 4, the evening was informative and inspiring.

Coming Up:
Year 7 Study Skills Information Evening- Wednesday 29th May – School Library 6.30pm – 8pm
School Athletics Carnival– Thursday 30th May – Sydney Olympic Park
SRC Conference– Monday 3rd June
Public Holiday– Monday 10th June

Plain English Speaking Award
On Monday 6th May, Lucy Bailey (Yr 12) and Max Collingwood (Yr 11) represented the school in the local finals of the Plain English Speaking Award at Ashfield Boys HS and were successful in becoming finalists.  On Thursday 23rd May they attended the Sydney Regional Final and competed against a tough field, we are very proud of these talented public speakers.  Lucy’s prepared speech was on the meat industry and Max spoke on Chau Chak Wing. The impromptu topic was “A Balancing Act.” Lucy addressed consumerism and Max spoke on the balance between conservatism and progressivism.

Theatre Sports
In week 3, our senior team competed at the Improv Australia’s Senior Heat at PLC. Unfortunately they did not make it through to the next round but they did perform exceptionally well – congratulations. Our Junior team competed in the Australian Intermediate Heat at Ashfield Boys in week 4 and came equal 3rd to Newington and PLC, this team will now proceed to the semi-finals in early June. A further congratulations to the senior team who have been helping this team to prepare.

National High School Mooting Competition
Aarohi Tanawade (yr 12), Yolana Truscott (Yr 12) and Niamh Elliott-Brennan (Yr 12) were involved along with 104 other teams from 85 schools in the National High School Mooting Competition at the Bond University Campus in Queensland on Friday 10th May. The Fort Street team were extremely successful in the competition and have made it to the Grand Finals.
Niamh and Yolana were among 40 students selected for Honourable Mentions for Advocacy – these students impressed the judges with their abilities as oralists, demonstrating a deep understanding of the law and facts and their ability to articulate legal arguments and respond to judges’ questions.

Premiers Debating Challenge
Aidan Ellwig Pollock (Yr 12), Ethan Koit (Yr 12), Finnegan Collins (Yr 12) and John Townsend (Yr 11) participated in the Premier’s Debating Challenge. They put up an excellent debate but unfortunately were beaten.

Silver Duke of Edinburgh Expedition to Barrington Tops and the Myall Lakes

Silver Duke of Edinburgh Expedition to Barrington Tops and the Myall Lakes

On  Monday, 29th April, while most of the grade slept blissfully on their last day of school holidays, 56 students from year 10 awoke bright and early to arrive at school at 6am, ready to board the bus that would take us to Barrington Tops for our Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition. Fitting all our luggage into the bus was arguably just as difficult as packing our rucksacks, but after simply shoving the leftover suitcases into the aisle and hoping no-one would trip over, we were off! The 3-hour bus trip passed relatively quickly, with everyone either catching up on sleep or playing too many I-spy games to count, and we soon arrived at our destination.

Our expedition included 2 days of canoeing and 4 days of hiking. We soon discovered there was plenty of variation between the hikes – some days we climbed up steep, rocky hills; some days we walked along a flat road for 20km, passing the time by singing and retelling in great detail the plots of several iconic movies. Canoeing was perhaps more eventful – we capsized, held our canoes together to make a giant sailboat using a tarp, got stuck in the rapids, and had our canoes taken over by tree spiders – altogether making an extremely fun experience that tested our fitness, teamwork and patience. For our qualifying expedition, we camped next to the beautiful Myall Lakes. Waking up in the morning to the colourful sunrise, to see over 15 swans gliding across the crystal clear water was definitely a highlight! Forgetting our water gear at base camp didn’t stop us from just diving in wearing our regular clothes, and hiking for a day in damp clothing was worth it for the time spent together doing a giant drongo dance in the middle of the lake (even if not a single one of us remembered to bring a towel).

Snakes were spotted, food was snatched by the occasional bandicoot, and everyone was relieved we only had to sleep in a rain-filled tent for one night! However, all this only added to the experience, and though we were all glad to be warm and dry and heading home on the last day, most of us already missed the time spent with our groups and guides. We look forward to completing our awards, and for some of us, moving onto Gold!

Caitlin Showyin and Jordan Mai
Year 10

Study Skills Online Handbook and Year 7 Event

Study Skills Online Handbook and Year 7 Event

FSHS subscribes to an online study skills handbook that has study skills for every stage of High School. There will be a study skills introductory evening on 29 May in the school library for Year 7 students and their parents/carers with Dr Prue Salter.

If your child is struggling to make study notes, then ask them to explore the unit Summerising. If your child is about to take a test, ask them to try Test Taking Techniques.

If your child has problems with their handwriting, look at the Writing Skills unit. Maybe they could try writing with a special pen.

Most units take around 15 minutes to complete.
The unit on Managing Workload is for everybody…

Learn more at the Brain and Memory unit of
Our school’s subscription details have been emailed to all students via DoE email.

Penelope Starr
HT Student Wellbeing


Many students say ‘I don’t have a good memory’ but there are many barriers to developing a good memory that are able to be overcome. Here are the top 3:

Henry Ford once famously said, “whether you believe you can, or you can’t, you are right”. This refers to your mindset or mental attitude, and the concept that your mind is powerful enough to enable your thoughts to create your reality. If you have a negative attitude to your memory, it will likely reduce your chance of developing and maintaining a good memory. There are some simple steps you can take to start making changes to negative thoughts. Be aware that negative thoughts are just a habit, and habits can be changed with a little effort. Awareness is the key to changing a habit, as you need to consciously be aware of the current habit before you can change it – so start catching yourself in the act of making negative statements. Affirm your intention to improve the way you think. Then correct the negative statement you just made, and make it into a more positive one.

The first stage of the memory process is encoding the information that is to be remembered – thus the brain uses the senses and emotions to process the information and form a memory. Here are some ways in which you can be less absentminded:
– Setting an intention to become more attentive.
– Sitting up front where there are less things to distract you, especially if you have difficulty paying attention in class.
-Taking notes in class to ensure you listen.

Stress will increase the likelihood of being distracted, resulting in low concentration meaning that information may not be encoded accurately – and thus cannot be later retrieved. Stress may also result in mental blanks. For example, if you’re stressed before an exam, you may not be able to think clearly and access and retrieve the information you need. The best thing to do is to take ten deep breaths and calm down to allow your mind to focus.

School TV

It’s never been more challenging for parents to raise happy, healthy and resilient children.
Like never before, parents need to be informed with clear, fact-based information on the many challenges faced by today’s youth. Topics such as youth anxiety, depression, self-harm, drug and alcohol use, cyberbullying and many others need clear explanation and guidance.

SchoolTV is a new ongoing resource that is now available to our parents. Each edition will address a major topic with expert interviews, fact sheets, parent quiz, recommended apps, books and much more. SchoolTV aggregates information from many great resources such as BeyondBlue and ReachOut, amongst others. SchoolTV provides a single stream of independent factual information that saves parents time and confusion of searching online across multiple sites for information.

You can access the SchoolTV archive here: SchoolTV newsletter

Senior Drama Production – Dinner & Show Update

Senior Drama Production – Dinner & Show Update

Fort Street High School P&C is delighted to support the Senior Drama Company’s 2019 production – Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses.

The Senior Drama Nights are a wonderful opportunity for the entire school community to come together and indulge in an evening of entertainment.

Tickets available here: or from the school office.

DATES: Wednesday 5 June 2019, Thursday 6 June 2019
6:00 PM (dinner) 7.00PM (show)

Fort Street High School – School Hall
Parramatta Road, Petersham, NSW 2049

Performance and Dinner Package – $15
Performance Only – $10 (Dinner will also be available each night for $10 subject to availability)

Year 10 Business Studies

Year 10 Business Studies

Year 10 Business Studies went on excursion to Sydney Tower Restaurants to find out about how they manage their marketing and operations as a case study for our HSC.

We first met outside Pitt Street Mall towards Market Street. After we all arrived, we were greeted by Anita and went down to the basement of the Sydney Tower. This is where the food is received and stored. It is also where the majority of the cooking happens as the kitchen on the top of the tower is too small. We were given a tour of the commercial kitchen, which is something we had not seen before. During this tour we were able to talk to the executive chef, which explained to us the importance of temperature control and controlling cross contamination. After this, we went up to the tower and were shown the a la carte restaurant. Thankfully, it was a clear day and we were able to see the city and beyond very clearly. We could even see our school. Anita then dismissed us at the buffet upstairs where we spend the next 2 hours eating. The food was great and the view even better. The restaurant then began to rotate, showing us a 360º view of the city.

After we were done eating, we went to the local court. However, the security guard at the court we were booked in to advised we should go to the Downing Centre court complex instead as their court was very small with not much activity. At the Downing Centre we were briefed about courtesy and the court system by both Mrs Jerrems and the sheriff present. We were split into 2 groups as the courts didn’t have too many seats. It was amazing to get an insight into the legal system.

It was probably one of the best excursions we have ever had and the class would like to thank Mrs Jerrems for arranging this assignment for us.

Manit Anand Year 10​

Plain English Speaking Award

Plain English Speaking Award

Lucy Bailey and Max Collingwood accredited themselves very well indeed in the Sydney Regional Final in a very tough field. Lucy’s prepared speech was on the meat industry and Max spoke on Chau Chak Wing. The impromptu topic was “A Balancing Act.” Lucy addressed consumerism and Max spoke on the balance between conservatism and progressivism. We are very proud of these fabulous public speakers.
Ms Schlam

Theatresports Schools Challenge

Theatresports Schools Challenge

Congratulations to the Intermediate Theatresport team who came equal 3rd to Newington and PLC! We are successful in proceeding to the semi finals in early June.

Congratulations also to the Senior Theatresports team who were commended on their excellent use of imagination at the  Impro Australia Schools Challenge held at PLC on 15 May. They had very tough competition in Newington and last year’s winners PLC. The students have really developed their improvisational skills and stagecraft in past few months since Inner West Cup at Newington.

Fort Fest 2020 – Fort Street High School’s Major Community & Fundraising Event

Fort Fest 2020 – Fort Street High School’s Major Community & Fundraising Event

Fort Fest is Fort Street High School’s major biennial community building and fundraising event with a myriad of stalls, entertainment, fabulous IMP performances and fun and games for all. Organising for this event is commencing in the second half of 2019 and we are seeking volunteers to either help out in the organising committee or as stall leaders.

Historically over the past 3 Fort Fests, we have aimed for a distributed leadership model, trying to attract as broad a school involvement as we could manage. Each time we’ve had over 300 parent volunteers, which sounds daunting but it really isn’t hard if set-up properly.

This model has been really successful and together with the involvement of the IMP, it guarantees massive interest and attendance on the day. For a school that is not geographically situated within a community, this is quite an achievement.

Please email Jenny Curtis at if you are interested in being part of this exciting school event.

Instrumental Music Program

Instrumental Music Program

In Concert 
On Tuesday night seventy-five members of Vocal Ensemble performed alongside the Arts Unit Symphony Orchestra and guest artist Casey Donovan, taking centre stage in a choir of seven hundred voices from throughout NSW. The concert was a huge success, receiving a standing ovation.

New Commission from composer Luke Byrne
On Wednesday morning the Wind Ensemble sightread a brand new Australian composition, jointly commissioned by the Fort Street IMP and Sydney Secondary IMP from Sydney composer Luke Byrne. This piece is for bands at the level of our Wind Orchestra, to address the need for inspiring repertoire (especially Australian repertoire) at this level. The movement worked on by Wind Ensemble on Wednesday is a sizzling Balkan-inspired dance. The students loved the work, and it will be a significant contribution to the repertoire. Hopefully we will hear this wonderful new work performed in Eisteddfods, Band Festivals and concerts in the coming years. The Wind Orchestra will perform the whole work at the IMP End of Year Concert in December.

City of Sydney Eisteddfod
It’s Eisteddfod season again, and this year IMP ensembles will be competing in ten sections starting next week and continuing until August. This is a great opportunity for students to perform publicly and all Ensemble members are expected to take part. NB all competing students must wear full IMP uniform (this is different to previous years). Please read the information note which was sent this week for more details. The Eisteddfod is a public event and family members are encouraged to be part of the audience. Check the Eisteddfod’s website for details

Mid-Year IMP Concert coming up!
Friday 28 June  5:30pm Dinner, 7pm Show
Only a month until the mid-year concert, the biggest event in the IMP calendar and a significant fund-raiser wh. Please look out for catering emails coming soon for ways you can contribute. The IMP cannot function without our wonderful volunteer community and the money they help raise each semester.



Black, Marilyn Mary Fortian 1960

Australian and Olympic sprinter (Athletics Australia Hall of Fame)

Won Bronze Medal for 200 metres Tokyo Olympics 1964

Boardman, Leslie “Les”


1889-1975 Fortian 1900s

Olympic representative /member of the 4×200 Men’s Freestyle Relay Stockholm Olympic Games 1912, won Gold medal came 1st in world record time; event not won again by Australia until 1956

Canty, Judith “Judy” Lilian (Wilson) 1931-2016 Fortian 1949

Competed in the long jump at the 1948 London Olympics, placing seventh. She was seventh in the event at the 1950 British Empire Games. Canty was Australian champion in long jump in 1948 and 1950.

Duff, Lesley Edye “Les”


1896-1959 Fortian 1913

Won Olympic gold/siver medals in swimming; bronze medal in boxing.

Manager of the 1928 Summer Olympics team, Amsterdam

Durack, Sarah “Fanny”


1899-1956 Fortian 1900s

1912 Summer Olympic Games, Stockholm, swam a heat of the 100 metres free-style in 1 min19.8 sec to break the world record. Won gold for the 100 metres, the only individual event for women. Between 1912 and 1918 broke twelve world records and retired from competitive swimming, 1921

Ferguson, June Elaine (Maston)


1928-2004 Fortian 1943-44                                                                                                                               MBE for service to women’s athletics 1967

Won Silver Medal 4x100m relay Olympic Games London 1948 with Fortians Betty McKinnon, Joyce King, Shirley Strickland

Finch,Kenneth Roy “Ken”


Fortian 1951

Represented Australia in basketball at Melbourne Olympic Games 1956

Hardwick, Harold Hampton


1888-1959 Fortian 1905

Won Gold medal 1912 Stockholm Olympics representing Australasia in swimming the 4x 200 relay, won bronze medal in the 400m and 1500m freestyle.

Henricks, John Malcolm “Jon”


Fortian 1954

Champion swimmer won gold medals in 100m freestyle and 4x200m relay at 1956 Melbourne Olympics. Held 100m world record for 5 years

Selected for 1960 Olympics but had to withdraw because of illness

Inducted into International Swimming Hall of Fame 1973

Lane, Frederick Claude Vivien “Freddie”


1879-1969 Fortian 1891-93?                                                                                                                    First Australian to win an Olympic gold medal in swimming

First Australian to break 60 seconds for the 100 yards

Won 2 gold medals at the modern Olympic games Paris 1900 for the 200m freestyle race and the 200m obstacle course.

McKinnon, Elizabeth L “Betty”


1924-1981 Fortian 1938-41

Betty was one of only 5 female athletes at the 1948 London Olympic Games. In the 4 X 100 metres relay her team including Fortian June Maston, finished 2nd.  This was Australia’s first relay medal in Olympic athletics.

She also competed in the 100 & 200 metre races in London.

McLauchlain, Ian J


Fortian 1965

Member of Australian Olympic Water Polo team Munich Olympics 1972

Mathews, Marlene Judith


Fortian 1951

Melbourne Olympic Games 1956  3rd in the 100 metres, 3rd in the 200 metres; 1st in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games 100 yards, 1st in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games 220 yards, 2nd in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games 110 yards Relay (with [Betty Cuthbert

AM 1979 for service to athletics; AO 1999 for service to Athletics/Sports Administration particularly through Australian Track, Field Coaches Association and the Community

Strickland, Shirley Barbra (de la Hunty) At the 1948 London Olympic Games won bronze medals in the 80 metres hurdles and women’s 100 metres race and silver in the 100 metres relay team. 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games she won a bronze medal in the women’s 100 metres and set a world record winning a gold medal in the 80 metres hurdles. In the 1956 Melbourne Olympics she won a gold medal in the 80 metres hurdles and Gold in the 100 metres relay. During her career she set or equalled five individual world records, four in the hurdles, and one at 100 metres, and she was a member of five Australian relay teams which set or equalled world records. At the 2000 Opening Ceremony in Sydney, she was one of several female Australian Olympians who carried the Olympic Flag.
Thomas, Graham Edward


Fortian 1948

Long distance athlete; represented Australia in 3,000m steeplechase in 1956 Melbourne Olympics

Webb Kevyn Parke


1924-1990 Fortian 1939

Australian Representative for rowing, Olympic Games Rome, 1960 (Double Sculls) OAM 1990 for service to Rowing

Weekes, Elizabeth Jane “Liz”


Fortian 1989

2000 Sydney Olympic games Australian team Gold Medal for Women’s Water Polo.    OAM 2001 for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

Woods, Taryn Nadine


Fortian 1993

2000 Sydney Olympic games Australian team Gold Medal for Women’s Water Polo. OAM 2001 for service to sport as a gold medallist at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.