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1997-2003

1997

The members of the Parish council were Philine and Steve Khaw, Pauline and Han deGrave, Narrel Holt, Geoff and Sue Orchidson, Marilyn Morgan, Joan Plunkett and John and Anne Lim.
As said in the 1997 St. Thomas Year book, their aims were as follows:

*to encourage the people of the parish to become more aware of the gifts they have to build up the kingdom and to provide opportunities for these gifts to be used.
*to have overall responsibility for pastoral renewal.
*to develop the Christian life of the Parish in proclaiming the World of Jesus, serving the people and in celebrating liturgy  and Christian Formation.
*to help the Parish to relate better to each other in a community.
*to listen to the lives of Parish members and hear the needs so that positive and appropriate responses may be developed in pastoral planning.
*to be a witness of the Parish community in its style of relating, praying and working together.
*to help the Parish community formulate its vision and to set goals for its mission.
*to enable priests, religions and laity to work together in shared decision making and mutual responsibilty.
These goals have echoed over the many years.

1998

The Parish decided to improve on the technology of the school this year. This was established by the purchase of sixteen new computers for the computer lab. This was done to teach children of the school about cyberspace and communication through it.
In 1998, The School Parish Board introduced a new forum. It was Parent-Board meetings. They were held once a term and gave parents of the Parish a chance to talk one-on-one with a member of the Parish Board concerning issues that the parents had. This was introduced because the Parish wanted to have an improved level of communication with the Parish families. It also made the Parish more 'open' to the community.
Two good results came out of this and put them into a Board/Staff/Parent Working Party. They developed a new procedure for the announcment of class lists on the first day of school and the development of a Parent Mission Statement.

Other Things of Interest:
Wakakiri - A stage show that many children participated in.

1999

The Parish forum Parent-Board Meeting which had been introduced in 1998 had been such a success that they were continued on this year. The Parish also introduced reports of the Parent-Board Meetings in the newsletter. This was introduced because it was thought that this would inform the parents of what was being said in the meetings and what was going to be done about the issues raised in the meetings.
The Parent Mission Statement was complemented this year by the School Mission Statement:

Our Mission as the Community of St Thomas the Apostle, Kambah is to follow Jesus,
The Way,
     The Truth,
          and the Life,
by providing a welcoming and supportive learning environment where we strive to live the gospel values of love and compassion, forgiveness, justice and peace.

Other Things of Intrest:
Bookweek - A week in which we participate in many book-related activities e.g dress up as a favourite book character, write a story for a competition.
Piano and Keybord lessons - Simone Grybatis introduced piano and keyboard lessons.

2000

The Parish made a change this year with the arrival of a new Parish Priest - Father Phil Buckley.
The main event for the Parish was the holy JUBILEE!! Jubilee was celebrated enjoyably by the school and Parish. It was a great blessing for us all.

Other Things of Intrest:
Principal Evelyn Rowllings left the School.

2001

The Parish introduced a new Priest this year - Father Tom Thornton as Administrator.
A new Principal - Mr. Peter Hughes also started at the school.
This year, the Parish celebrated 25 years as a Parish School.

2003

Father Chris Kirwin arrived as Parish Priest.
The Board had improved the financial side of things greatly. They introduced a new uniform item-the polar fleece jumper which was a great hit with the students.
The P&F's fundraising efforts were boosted by Combined Catholic Schools Netball Carnival. They were all exhausted but in the end raised a total of $19,000.

Parish and School Highlights 1997-2003

The English as a Second Language program designed to teach children who speak other languages at home to speak English. Mrs. Janet Oxwell teaches the students and it was funded by a grant from the Commonwealth Government.

The Tournament of Minds program was an annual event. It wasn't really much of a program-more of a tournament. It's about choosing a certain activity and doing the tasks that it requires. You then present it somehow. For example, the team that won this year consisted of Josh Varley, Emma Grist, Michael Taylor and Natalie Tsirimoko. In their project they had to travel back in time and accidentally stop something happening. Then they had to return to the present day and reverse the consequences for their actions.

The S.T.A.R.S program is a very important program. In fact, Our School accepted a grant for the success of this program. The main teacher and coordinator was Lesley O'Leary. S.T.A.R.S stands for
'St. Thomas the Apostle Reading Scheme'. As it is said in the name, S.T.A.R.S teaches many children how to read well and more fluently. In 1997, S.T.A.R.S helped approximately sixty students and our school is very proud of its acheivments!

The School Band has been around for ages. A dedicated group of students play instruments from the percussion, woodwind or brass familes and go to certain places or events and play for people.

Rostrum speeches are where a student gets up and talks about a topic of their choice. For example, the student could be talking about fish. Now, this person would give facts about fish and add in a few jokes about them. The winner is the person who has the most enjoyable speech.

Naidoc Day is a day when students participate in Indigenous activities. They also learn lots of information about Indegenous people.

Active Australia is a sporting activity where the Year 6 students take a group of Year 1 and 2 students and teach them different games and skills. There are 10 groups. There are 2 leaders and 18 children in every group. One of the leaders go to a specific training session while the other leader just learns on the spot.
The activities are divided into a special skill such as throwing or catching and the games are a fun way of younger children learning how to throw or catch.

Mrs. McNicol has conducted the Choir at St. Thomas' for years. They participate in many events in the life of the school and have competed around Canberra in competitions.

Chess has been around for a while at this school. It was first taught here by 'Geoff' and has been a tradition for a long time. Sometimes, certain competitions are on and groups of really good chess players are sent to these.

Sport has been one of our number one things that is enjoyed at the school. We have many sport carnivals and days. These include swimming, cross country running, athletics, netball, cricket, touch football - the list goes on and on.

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