Decorated Rubbish Bins !

Over the past semester the lunchtime art club (under the direction of Amy Devereux and Madeline Scott) have been decorating the Library’s grey rubbish bins to make them more noticeable. The students are using their own designs, and researched how to achieve a good result with paint. Here is a sneek preview of the first completed bin, with Kovida from yr8 who designed and painted this fabulous , colourful bin. Many thanks to the students in the Art club!


Hygge in the Library

This week the Library has been celebrating all things “Hygge” ( pronounced Hoogah)

Hygge is a Danish word for creating a warm and cosy atmosphere, and enjoying the good and simpler things in life with good people.

We held an event after school for staff to relax and enjoy hot chocolate and Danish pasties. Staff and students have been encouraged to stock up on reading  material to help keep the winter chills at bay.

National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June and NAIDOC Week 2 July – 9 July

Some resources for all ages for National Reconciliation Week, which starts tomorrow, and NAIDOC Week in July……

from Lindy Hathaway Dickson College

National Reconciliation Week 27 May – 3 June and NAIDOC Week 2 July – 9 July Reconciliation is about building better relationships between the wider Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, for the benefit of all Australians. This year is also the 50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum which voted to change how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were referred to in the Constitution, so that laws could be made for them. It is also 25 years since the High Court’s Mabo decision which granted land rights to Torres Strait Islander Eddie Mabo and supported native title.

This year’s theme is Let’s take the next steps. The NAIDOC Week theme is Our languages matter, which celebrates the role of indigenous languages  in cultural identity, history and spirituality. AIATSIS map of indigenous Australia (languages and groups): Reconciliation Australia also links to: Share Our Pride –  clearly presented information into the history, lives and cultures of Australia’s First People. Recognise – the people’s movement to recognise Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the Australian Constitution and to ensure that it is free from racial discrimination.

Some useful videos for National Reconciliation Week: What is National Reconciliation Week? (NITV 4 min. video and slides): Who we are (8 min.): Follows the lives of 6 exceptional young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who share their stories about their families and communities. Journalist Stan Grant’s powerful speech about indigenous history in Australia (8 min.):

Right wrongs – new resource This excellent resource from the ABC, AIATSIS and NSLA has just been released. Short videos and information explore developments since the 1967 referendum which changed how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were referred to in the constitution. Sections include: Controlled but not counted; Fighting for change; An extraordinary vote; The legacy; Where to now?|Secondary_email|20170524 ABC Splash Lots of resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures, including videos about indigenous languages. Also includes the Sorry Day digibook and 1967 referendum digibook.!/topic/494038/aboriginal-and-torres-strait-islander-histories-and-cultures ABC Indigenous Access the latest Indigenous stories and features from ABC Radio, News & Current Affairs, TV and iview. Counted (ABC TV and iview 26/5/17, 7.30pm) Stan Grant takes us on his own personal journey & speaks to the heroes of the 1967 referendum & their grandchildren.

First Nations Convention 300 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders are gathering at Uluru this week to discuss how to achieve constitutional recognition for indigenous Australians. It appears likely that there will be a consensus on the need for meaningful reform such as a prohibition on racial discrimination, an elected body with a role in laws affecting indigenous peoples and support for a treaty. NITV – National Indigenous Television Informs, educates and entertains its indigenous and non-indigenous audiences. Great documentaries, news, personal accounts and perspectives. Explore topics and link to videos: Social issues, Cultures, Arts, Social Justice…

NITV programs include: NITV programs on demand: Movies on NITV: The point: Current affairs and news for all Australians, with indigenous perspectives. Hosts include Karla Grant and Rae Johnston, acclaimed tech and pop culture journalist. Custodians: 5 minute profiles of Aboriginal traditional  owners, showcasing their country. Our stories: Emerging filmmakers from regional and remote areas share stories of their life, history, culture and communities. Bushwhacked: 2 young guys explore remote corners of Australia in search of weird and wacky creatures. The Dreaming: Animated stories explained by elders. Little J and Big Cuz: Provides a young indigenous audience with ‘relatable’ characters and offers an insight into traditional Aboriginal culture, country and language. Includes online educational games.

First contact: Ray Martin takes 6 well-known Australians on a journey where they explore present-day Aboriginal society. 20 inspiring black women who have changed Australia: Indigenous languages at risk: 10 minute podcast. Australia’s indigenous languages could be completely wiped out by 2050 according to experts. The number of traditional languages has dropped from 250 to 120 over the last two hundred years.

Indigenous works from Google Art Project: SBS On Demand A changing selection of films, documentaries and newsclips. Search for “indigenous” programs.

Creative Spirits “Learn about contemporary Aboriginal culture without agenda”. Many resources in many areas including history, arts, people, economy, law and justice, politics and media, spirituality. “Creative Spirits is an amazing collection of history and an inspiring representation of Aboriginal culture”-Michele Hetherington, Aboriginal woman from NSW.<> Teacher and student resources: books, movies, music, TV and radio, infographics…

Black Screen Part of the National Film and Sound Archive – lends DVDs of contemporary indigenous films to individuals and organisations for use at screening events. Books Knowledge of life: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australia (2015) – Kaye Price (ed.) Investigates history, reconciliation, law, art, enterprise, health, education, literature, sport and human rights. The authors of each chapter are indigenous and experts in their field. Each chapter begins with biographical information about the author. State of Reconciliation in Australia Report (2016) – Highlights what has been achieved under the 5 dimensions of reconciliation: race relations, equality and equity, institutional integrity, unity and historical acceptance and makes recommendations for the progress of reconciliation.

Talking to my country (2016) – Stan Grant. “An extraordinarily powerful and personal meditation on race, culture and national identity…. what it means to be Australian; the sorrow, shame, anger and hardship of being an Aboriginal man and what racism really means in this country”.

Excellent book list:

Excellent film and TV list:

2016 Softlink Australian and New Zealand School Library Survey

Findings from the 2016 Softlink Australian and New Zealand School Library Survey are now available.

 The report outlines the findings from the 2016 survey into Australian and New Zealand school library budgets, staffing levels, and for Australian schools, NAPLAN literacy results correlation.

 The full report can be accessed via Softlink Web Site – Resources<>

 Here are some findings which indicate to me that Strathmore SC Library Service is on trend.

 85% of respondents believe that access to the school library from outside the school and outside of school hours is important. This is reflected in the steady increase in school library access, from 47% in 2013 to 66% in 2016. There is continued growth in eBooks and eResources (subscription databases) with 51% and 50% of schools respectively indicating that they are now part of their collection.

There is a strong intention by school libraries to continue to grow their eBook collection, with 33% of schools having purchased eBooks in the last year and 50% of respondents indicating that they would definitely or most probably purchase eBooks in the next 12 months.

 The top three school library objectives in Australian and New Zealand schools are Aligning curriculum with existing resources/practices, Developing information literacy programs and Refurbishing/updating the library or learning centre.

 The three most important services the library provides, as indicated by respondents, includes: Recreational/leisure reading, Resource and collection management and Provision of learning centre and space.


How school libraries can support student literacy rates

Looking for evidence in how school libraries can support student literacy rates?



The WA School Library Association (WASLA) has created an easy to navigate website that is a repository of many referenced articles about literacy, including:


  *   reports from Australia and other countries

  *   articles on reading, digital literacy and reading from the screen

  *   national and international literacy initiatives

  *   infographics on literacy

  *   how libraries are tackling literacy around the world


You can visit the site here:

New books

My best books for 2016

For me there was no big book such as The Goldfinch; The luminaries; The signature of all things or A little life this year.  In 2016 I seem to have read mainly Australian and Women writers.

I loved Family Skeleton by Carmel Bird. I found this story of matriarch Margaret O’Day trying to protect her families name from a prying Family Historian sweet and darkly funny.  Narrated by the skeleton in the closet, Bird uses many voices to tell this intriguing story.  Blink and you may miss the stunning

Barbed wire and cherry blossoms by Anita Heiss is a love story set against the background of the Cowra incident in the Second World War.  An Indigenous family decides to hide one of the escaped Japanese soldiers and tries to keep it secret from the authorities and their friends and family.  Mary who feeds Hiroshi in his hiding place every day slowly falls in love with him.  There are many complex themes in this slow burn story.

My feel-good catch up read this year was When Rosa came home by Karen Wyld first published in 2013. Mute Angelita wakes up one day to the first of many quirky and eccentric characters who come to her family house.  They are all connected with Rosa who left home many years ago.  Angelita learns why Rosa left home and why she needed to come back in this delightful example of Australian magic realism.

In contrast I walked away from reading The natural way of things by Charlotte Woods feeling as though I had been hit by a truck.  The story of a group of disparate women kidnapped because of their ability to embarrass men was uncomfortable but the writing was compelling.  I could smell the rawness of the characters and the countryside in which they find themselves imprisoned.

An isolated incident by Emily Maguire looked at the media storm which descends on the fictional country town of Strathdee, when a young woman is brutally murdered.  Narrated by the victim’s sister, this story is not so much a who-dunnit as it is an exploration of everyday violence and misogyny

The Dry by Jane Harper is a debut novel that won the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript.  A tragic death forces police officer Aaron Falk to return to the small town from which he fled as a teenager.  Naturally he has to face up the past in this enjoyable Australian Gothic which again shines a spotlight on misogyny and male violence.

I follow Clementine Ford on Twitter and was intrigued to read Fight like a girl.  I considered myself schooled by this passionate, raw and funny book.

Talking to my Country by Stan Grant also got me thinking.  This is about race and identity but it is a book which seeks to speak to all Australians.  I emphasised with Grant’s upbringing in rural Australia and his family’s constant movement

A Murder Without Motive: The killing of Rebecca Ryle by Martin McKenzie-Murray. This was the best Australian true crime story that I have read since The shark net.  There were many facets to this book but I was intrigued by its portrait of the northern Perth suburbs and teenage angst and boredom.

I loved The Road to winter by Mark Smith.  This YA novel is a very fresh Australian take on the dystopian novel.  Finn and his dog Rowdy live alone on the coast until he comes across a runaway who has some very nasty men after her.  Mad Max by the beach!

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd is a few years old but about to be released as a film.  This is a beautiful fable for young readers about a young boy struggling with life.  I highly recommend it to adult readers.


This year I also caught up with Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?  by Roz Chast a memorial to her ageing parents.  This is sad and funny, and although confined to her family, there is much here for anyone who has watched their own parent’s decline.

Badass librarians of Timbuktu was an exciting read and a fascinating look at Illuminated Manuscripts’ and their role in the history of sub-Saharan Africa


Morrissey Autobiography

Morrissey presents his case with palpable bitterness in a book that offers validation in the end.

Bitterness and revenge inform this eponymous autobiography, or at least large chunks of it. Morrissey disses his bandmates, his record label, the press and the judges of the High Court, and he does it with incisive and bombastic logic. So much so that by the end the reader feels obliged to skim any more detail regarding the court case over the royalty splits among the Smiths:

Yes, time can heal.  But it can also disfigure … If the Smiths’ split was designed to kill me off, then it failed. If the Smiths’ court case was a second attempt to kill me off, it too must fail.

I was a Smiths fan but I came to them with the release of The Queen is Dead, which, fittingly, Morrissey believes to be the first complete album from the band. I have also enjoyed Morrissey’s solo output over the years. Reading this book took me back to listening to the Smiths and to Morrissey and, for the first time, to conceding that his solo back catalogue is equal to his recordings with the Smiths.

I wanted to read the book because of Morrissey’s gift as a lyricist, and the wonderful three-minute vignettes that he creates. His prose writing does not fail in this regard. He is sharp-tongued and funny – and every page gives a great quote.

However, the book opens in a very impressionistic, exhausting voice, which, if it had been sustained, would have made it unreadable. I felt that I needed to come back to each paragraph and stare until I could see the meaning hidden within the words:

Fields are places in books, and books are placed in libraries. We, though, are out here in the now, unchecked and ungoverned.

Finally, however, paragraphs made sense and stories started to unfold and I found the tales of the early Steven Morrissey the strongest and most interesting part of the autobiography, particularly when he writes about his schooling. His descriptions of his primary and secondary education will resonate with those who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s:

No schoolteacher at St Wilfrid’s will smile, and there is no joy to be found between the volcano of resentment offered by Mother Peter, a bearded nun who beats children from dawn to dusk, or Mr Callaghan, the youngest of the crew, eaten up by a resentment that he couldn’t control.

Once he launches into the story of the rise of the Smiths, Morrissey presents his case and we are invited to judge. He is somewhat guarded but his sense of bitterness is palpable and he shows his disdain for his ex-bandmates by never agreeing to a Smiths reunion.

Morrissey famously had many run-ins with the press, who equated his art to his life. The story of him being branded a racist by the NME is well covered. Clearly Morrissey has chosen to write his own story and protect his legacy, and it is understandable that he would wish to put his case, but perhaps a more detached point of view might have been more convincing.

Merely being published by Penguin Classics has exposed him (and Penguin) to mockery in the UK press, but you have to admire the certainty that he shows regarding his own importance in the pop and cultural pantheon.

This is a book of parts and segments. There are a few placid anecdotes about Siouxsie and David Bowie and we get a sense of the difficulties for young pop bands starting out and getting ripped off by the adults supposedly positioned to protect the interests of the talent – an old story and wearing in the end. The book becomes more interesting when, after having spent his venom on his court case, Morrissey begins to describe the turnaround in his career. Do we not enjoy a redemption story as Morrissey CD singles releases reach the Number One spot in the charts denied to the Smiths? Morrissey’s excitement touring in Scandinavia is palpable: the size and youth of the audience provide validation and relevance to a middle-aged pop star. Readers can share his joy as he feels more secure in his artistic legacy:

Peace came at last with Vauxhall and I, streaming out in a lavish flow and leaving me stupid with smiles. A last sun warms, as if it had always been awaiting its chance.

For this reader and fan, the section detailing Morrissey’s solo career and recordings served to remind me that he is a significant popular music figure, who survived the break-up of his band and went on to greater achievements. I came away from this book with a few films and recordings I wish to track down, a renewed sense of the depth of the Smiths’ and Morrissey’s back catalogue and the poetry of the three-minute stories he told to music. The Smiths and Morrissey are constant earworms and Morrissey has convinced me in Autobiography that the law is an ass, and that he was the Smiths.morrissey

Student Reader of the Month for March

Georgia. . . . .yr 11

How often do you like to read?

“I like to read as often as possible; reading for me is an escape and helps me relax.”  

What do you like to read?

“ I love any kind of fiction books that are either wildly different to my life or quite similar,     which gives me new perspectives on my own life.”

List one book that has left a lasting impression on you and explain why it’s memorable . . . . .

“ Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss is an amazing book, if you are looking for an escape from your boring life.       



“The Harry Potter” series by J.K.Rowling is an amazing series and is the reason why I’m             addicted to reading. Even though the series is quite long, I would highly recommend it to anyone!

“I am Malala” isn’t a fiction book but a biography about an amazing ,inspiring woman who is my age, fighting for her and all girls’ rights to education and feeling safe in their own country. Makes you feel her emotion and how lucky you are to be able live in such a peaceful country.”