Writers on the Road

It’s been so great to have guest speakers back in the school and we always love an author visit. In May we were fortunate to have not one but four fantastic Australian authors run dynamic writing workshops for our Class 8-12 students. Writers on the Road runs as part of the Byron Writers Festival and was organised by English teacher and Class 11 parent, Zacharey Jane. Visiting authors included: Krissy Kneen, Dylin Hardcastle, Danny Teece-Johnson and Dub Leffner. Award-winning author and Brisbane bookseller Krissy Kneen led a workshop for senior Extension students on sensory writing, blending factual and imaginative writing and combining multiple narrative strands. Krystal in Class 12 said, “It’s so inspiring to meet and learn from people who are in the field and to see how the work you do in school can actually equate to something real outside of school.” Thank you for inspiring us all and come again soon!

Poets Out Loud

Could you conceptualise, write and perform a poem in under two hours? How about as a team? Murwillumbah-based spoken word poet Sarah Temporal spent a morning with Class 10 recently and shared her passion for Slam Poetry that had everyone brainstorming, writing, scripting and performing their work in teams of four, all before recess. The poetry and performances the students produced – be it about burning pizza, body image, iced tea, listening, whispering and screaming, on the burden of being the generation to have to fix it all – was brilliant, thought provoking and moving. Great work Class 10!

Student Leadership Day

Ayla and Lenny attend the Student Leadership Day at Government House, Sydney

Attending the leadership day in Sydney was a fantastic experience. It offered me an opportunity to meet fellow students who are also passionate about taking initiative in the world. We met the Governor of NSW, who we had to address as ‘Your Excellency’. Government House was beautiful, however, the formalities felt strange for someone who has never called a teacher Sir or Miss in her life! Afterwards, we visited the Parliament House. This was a great opportunity to meet the local representatives of our regions and I felt quite proud as many of the questions posed to them by students concerned future action for climate change, homelessness, and other socio-political issues. Overall the day was a great adventure-filled granting Lenny and I a deeper look into some of the workings of our government system. – Ayla Rinsky-Bryant, Class 12

Going to Government House and Parliament House in Sydney was an enlightening experience. Talking to other students and watching how the future leaders of the country and industry interacted with the Government apparatus was incredibly thought provoking. Many of the other students, given the opportunity to raise questions with the Governor (Margaret Beazley AC QC) or our local state members, had very incisive points to make that certainly put some of the adults in the room on the spot. To be amongst very politically literate young people, with mindsets indicative of critical thinking, made me proud to be a witness of and participant in the future of our society. I believe there are many great debates to be had and issues to be solved, and the thinkers of my generation certainly have the ability to do so. On a side note, it was pretty interesting to watch the Governor squirm when faced with, to be fair, quite vexing questions. Questions about how homelessness is being tackled in cities like Sydney (i.e. why all the anti-homeless architecture), how flood victims are being assisted, how prison reform is being instituted. – Lenny Dowling, Class 12

Off to the Theatre

Today I, and the almost complete crew of the Class 11 Drama and English Extension elective classes, went to Brisbane and watched the wondrous Jane Eyre at QPAC. Since I haven’t read the book (Extension students have) I was gripping my chair with every twist and turn of the plot. The acting and stagecraft were superb to see. But I have to say the highlight of the excursion for me were our little school bus antics and trying to find a car park that would fit a minivan in rush hour Brisbane madness. With our combined manifestation powers, however, just when we were beginning to give up hope, we prevailed. I apologise to my Year 9 English teacher: the hero’s journey really does exist outside of fairy tales. – Raman Jahns, Class 11 Drama

HS Athletics Carnival

Discover Engineering

The Engineers Australia Newcastle Division would like to invite high school students interested in a career in Engineering to attend a free online event Discover Engineering on Thursday 23rd June from 4.30pm – 5:30pm.

Join in our Discover Engineering forum session to gain insight into the different pathways to a career in Engineering. You will be hearing from all different members of the engineering team (Professional, Associates and Technologists) about how they have reached where they are today. We have also invited a panel consisting of representatives from 3 different universities as well as TAFE NSW, so bring along any burning questions you may have about engineering courses and enrolment.

This FREE event is open to all students from years 7-12, parents and teachers are also welcome to attend. To register, please visit here https://cvent.me/XDEmkr

Set yourself up for your own unique pathway into an Engineering career!

Download Flyer

Marlon Denning’s film The Rock Pool Waltz

Screening at Bangalow Saturday 2nd April 4pm.

Year 9 student Marlon Denning created a short film for last year’s Tobias project “The Rock Pool Waltz”.

It was one of 100 films nominated for Australia’s premier international short film festival Flickerfest.

He was selected as one of 24 finalists to have their films judged on the Big Screen in Bondi Sydney in January this year, and his film won FlickerUp Best High School Short film!

His film is now a finalist in the 2022 Bangalow Flickerfest and Byron All Shorts Film Competition showcasing a the best of short films from the Byron Region, Australia and around the World over 3 cinematic-packed days.

The Byron All Shorts screens on Saturday 2nd April 4pm at the Bangalow A&I Hall

Don’t miss this one-off chance to support our student and the regions local stories & see the best of our local filmmakers, alongside the best in the world.

Flood Recovery Fundraiser: Flickerfest Bangalow & Byron All Shorts 2022 is a fund-raiser for local flood recovery for the Koori Mail’s rebuild and recovery of many indigenous families throughout the Bundjalung nation and the Mullumbimby Neighbourhood centres local rebuild and recovery initiatives. 100% of profits from ticket sales across the weekend will be shared between these organisations.

Flickerfest Bangalow Facebook event

Flickerfest Bangalow & Byron All Shorts 2022 programme details

Matthew Wells returns to deliver theatre workshops at CBRSS.

Due to boarder closures and restrictions, it has been more than two years since UK-based Matthew Wells delivered workshops for Drama students at our school. Matt is an actor, movement teacher and co-Artistic Director of Rhum + Clay. He studied Performance at the University of Western Sydney before training for two years at Ecole Jacques Lecoq in Paris where he first joined the company.

Since 2010 he has been the co-Artistic Director of Rhum + Clay, co-creating all the company’s productions. He co-directed and provided movement direction for the critically acclaimed 64 SQUARES and was Movement Director for TESTOSTERONE and THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. You can find out more about his company at: https://rhumandclay.com/home

Matt is also passionate about teaching, having created and led workshops all over the world, most recently in Kazakhstan, Canada, Brazil, and Venezuela. Since 2004 Matt has choreographed work for Australia’s farthest-reaching touring theatre company, Brainstorm, a company that performs to over 350,000 young people each year.

This year, to accommodate omicron restrictions, Matt created a bespoke workshop for our Class 11 and HSC Drama students that focused on solo performance and movement. HSC Drama students study the work of the late French practitioner, Jacques Lecoq and Matt’s workshop gave great insight into the pedagogy of Lecoq and how these performance training tools may manifest into captivating theatre. Students learned much from the opportunity and we are grateful that Matt was able to join us once again and provide such a rich experience.

Thanks Matt!

Kate Auld delivers a presentation on VFX

Ever wondered about the film-magic behind Harry Potter’s Patronus, or how James Bond executes such outrageous feats, or how Tom Cruise achieves impossible missions? As a Visual Effects (VFX) artist, Kate has worked on some of the biggest films of the last twenty years including: IRON MAN 2, THOR, CAPTAIN AMERICA, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL, JAMES BOND: QUANTUM OF SOLACE, PROMETHEUS, 2040, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PT. 1 and PETER RABBIT.

Kate delivered a half-day presentation for the Elective Drama (filmmaking) students, taking us on a visual journey of how she and the teams she has worked with, create Visual Effects to enhance films. Beyond blue and green screens, Kate took us through the VFX pipeline of Concept Art, 3D Modelling, Technical Direction (“TD” for cloth, hair, water, explosions), wire and rig removal, Rotoscoping, Lighting, Colour Grading, and Digital Compositing.

Thanks Kate, you have already inspired one of our students to create two VFX projects since your presentation!

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2021

To the Class of 2021 – From Claire Sleeman (Class Guardian)

Dear Class of 2021.

It has been my honour and absolute pleasure to have been your Guardian since class 7.

Reflecting back on our first day together when I greeted each of you with a handshake at the door and Malcolm welcomed you all with his rendition of a One Direction song. You were all bright-eyed and eager to learn, I felt excited to be part of your journey through high school.

I have enjoyed all our camps together from escaping cyclonic conditions in year 8, freezing cold weather and winds in Melbourne and the warmth, humidity and culture of the Northern Territory.

Our class has been ever-changing with classmates leaving and new ones joining us. Co-guardians are also changing, and I would like to take this opportunity to honour Malcolm who was with us until year 9, James briefly in year 10, and for the home stretch Andy.

As much as I am going to miss you all, today is a great day to celebrate with your family and friends. A day when you confidently enter the world of your own creative future since your journey began in kindergarten 13 years ago. You have all worked so hard to get here.

It has been a difficult two years and I would like to thank your parents for nurturing such beautiful resilient children and making my job easier.

Each and every one of you are wonderful talented and creative human beings and I am so grateful to have been part of your lives. I would like to share a quote with you from one of my favourite childhood books The Little Prince:

“The most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched, they are felt with the heart.”

You have all touched my heart and will forever be remembered.

Class 12 2021 Formal

To teachers and staff – From Emma Walker (Class 12 Parent)

On behalf of the year 12 parents, step-parents, and carers, I would like to express deep gratitude to all the teachers and staff at Cape Byron Steiner for the work that you do, both individually and collectively. Our kids have flourished in your care and within this extraordinary school community.

Although we are not privy to the daily ins and outs of school life, we are well aware of the enormous amounts of work that you all do. Beyond teaching and the sharing of your knowledge and experience, you have also cared for the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of our children. You have made them feel safe and valued within the space of their school environment. You have made them feel part of an ever-extending family. These are invaluable gifts that will benefit our kids for many years to come.

Our special thanks also to guardians Claire and Andy for their steady presence and the daily care and guidance that they have given our children and to Alix for the tireless way she has fulfilled her role as the senior school coordinator. We thank you all, so very much.

Graduation Speech to Teachers – From Della Knight (Class 12 Student)

As a waldorphan, I have spent countless afternoons hanging around the staffroom waiting for my mum to finish work and lock up, I have come into school on weekends and holidays to help draw main lesson drawings on the chalkboard and over the years I have gained insight into the world of teaching at CBRSS.

The teachers at our school work so hard for students across the entire high school but especially the HSC students. I have memories of major work teachers frantically replying to emails and receiving phone calls left right and centre the day before major works are due. The working day for some teachers doesn’t end when they go home, they will continue to work into the evening to help students with school and for that, we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. I don’t think any of us would have succeeded as we have without the tireless efforts from our teachers throughout the HSC year. I remember coming into school in the holidays before main lessons started and seeing teachers creating their board drawings, and other teachers planning out the exciting tasks that were to come in the term. All these things have contributed to the most wonderful high school experience and for that we thank you.

Now I want to give a special shout-out to some individuals that were crucial to our classes’ success in the HSC and high school in general.

Alix – you have worked tirelessly over the last two years for our class and we quite literally wouldn’t be here, at the formal, without you. Your dedication to our class is so under appreciated and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you dearly Alix for all you do for our class.

Andy – your upbeat and humorous personality has made senior school so much better. You have such a caring soul and I know you will always be there to check up on people, make sure they are ok and reach out in times of need. Also, we really appreciate your good sense of humour, particularly over the last few years, you always deliver a good laugh.

Claire – you have been with us the whole high school journey and have become a second mother to us all. Your kind nature and caring spirit have nurtured us for 6 years and we are so grateful. We can always rely on you for a comforting hug, some words of wisdom, or a shoulder to cry on.

To our guardians, you have been like our parents at school, and we want to extend the biggest thanks for being with us through this journey. We love you and we are going to miss you and the whole school community.

A speech to my classmates – From Inde Henderson (Class 12 Student)

Tonight we have celebrated and acknowledged the unconditional support of our beloved teachers and family members, for without their encouragement we would not be where we are today.

However, above all we stand together, amidst these crazy times, to celebrate the Class of 2021 and acknowledge the strength, resilience and courage that my year group has demonstrated over these past years. As such, I would like to dedicate my few words to my fellow classmates, who have continued to surprise me with their unwavering kindness, support, love and friendship.

To the class of 2021, as you sit here tonight surrounded by your loved ones and classmates, I urge you to reflect on how much you have grown and achieved over your 13 years of schooling.

I still vividly remember watching Year 12s in Year 7 and, apart from being utterly terrified of them, I also remember looking at their major works and assignments and thinking how could they possibly have done that. Whether it was English work or Music, History or Drama, I remember thinking it’s too long or too confusing, too smart or just too hard. To be honest, I think a lot of us, including myself, still felt the same last year, when looking at the Class of 2020, but if this year has taught me anything it’s that there is truly nothing that we can’t achieve.

Time and time again I thought of giving up, the night I accidently deleted my English assignment the day before it was due or when I was told to film my drama major work in my living room. In lockdown, I have seen friends perform HSC Music pieces without backup musicians or create D&T projects without woodwork tools or spaces. And yet, despite all these challenges and obstacles we made it out the other side.

As our parents, older siblings and teachers can vouch for, high school and navigating the highs and lows that come with adolescence, was never going to be easy, let alone amidst a Global Pandemic. Nevertheless, each and every one of you continued to smile amidst it all and persevere with kindness, strength and unwavering courage.

As Winston Churchill said:

“Success is not final
Failure is not fatal
It is the courage to continue that counts.”

And I cannot think of a year group more courageous, resilient and better prepared to step into the world, than our Class of 2021.

As our ATAR results expire and our academic results, good or bad are forgotten, we will be left with our infinitely more valuable friendships and memories of our days at CBRSS. Let us hold onto the values and virtues we have learnt over these 13 years and brace ourselves for the journey that lies ahead.

Know that each of you has my unwavering love and support in anything you choose to do, I could not be more proud of you all.

15 December 2021
The Farm, Byron Bay

Formal Photos by Kate Holmes

Tobias 2021

The Tobias project is a year-long design project done in Class 8. Learning is aimed at developing an understanding of design processes that enable students to manage, interpret, shape and alter their environment to improve the quality of life at home, school, in workplaces, and in the broader community.

The standard of work somehow gets even better each year and this year it was exceptional. Students unveiled their year-long project, ranging from an exquisitely illustrated picture book to handmade jewelry, original music to body care products, a treehouse to a computer game, honey to a hand-carved desk, and much more. The students set up beautiful displays to showcase their projects in the Hall and addressed an audience of Class 7 about the trials and tribulations of their project journey; and the Class 4, 5 and 6 students enjoyed walking through and looking at the amazing displays too. Seeing the fruition of the students’ work is always inspiring and a joy for all in the high school.

In the past few weeks after the Tobias presentation, we have assisted students to create their own web page to share their journey including speeches and process journals.

This year we have compiled each student’s Tobias Project into a website that you can share and enjoy. Click on the links in the right column to view.


Class 10 Special Program

Class 12 HSC Showcase

In lieu of an actual HSC Showcase this year, we have produced this “Virtual Showcase.” Please take time to enjoy some of the amazing and diverse work our Class 12 Students have created over this challenging past year.

Reconciliation at CBRSS

Recently, Paddy Innes Hill graced us with his presence through Guardian class to discuss with the future leaders of the school ( current year 11’s ) the histories, protocols, and respect around flag raising.

Students were attentive and engaged throughout the lesson when discussing the significance and meanings around flag raising. One of the most interesting topics discussed which aroused many questions was how easy it is to offend when performing the act of raising and lowering the flags.

As some of you may have noticed, the school recently purchased and installed 3 flag poles of equal height as part of our reconciliation action plan.

Year 11 students plan to raise the Aboriginal, Australian, and Torres Strait Islander flags on a Wednesday each week which happens to be the main day we have gatherings in Guardian, assemblies, and staff meetings. The flags will also be raised at significant events and festivals.

If you are interested in reading more about flag raising protocols, I’ve included a link here. https://www.pmc.gov.au/government/australian-national-flag/australian-national-flag-protocols

Peter Palmer

Distance Education News

I am pleased to announce that five of our seven Year 11 distance education students this past year have recently received awards for their achievements from Southern Cross School of Distance Education.
Congratulations to
  • Shanti Leimanis-Budden for Consistent Effort and Application in the subject of Chemistry
  • Brianna Hart for Academic Excellence in the subject of Advanced Mathematics
  • Ayla Rinsky-Bryant for Academic Excellence in the subject of Spanish Beginners
  • Lilly Leng for Academic Excellence in the subject of Textile and Design
  • Sophia Ball for Academic Excellence in the subject of Textile and Design
Very well done!
Distance Ed Co-ordinator

Class 12 Celebrate

Class 9/10 Art Elective @ home learning

Arlo and Aquila’s fishing adventure

From Arlo, Class 10:
It was “Well Being Wednesday” in the High School and Aquila and I had planned to go fishing out in the Bay. We woke up at 6.00am and I ran down to Main Beach where we met and jumped in his Tinny. We motored around chasing schools of Tuna swimming in the Bay. We managed to hook up to a few and they gave us a great fight on our fishing rods. We were pulling hard to get these powerful fish into the boat. All up, after a few hours of chasing these fish down we got two Tuna, one Kingfish and a Snapper. We were super stoked to get those catches as we had a few more on the line, yet, unfortunately, they were taken by sharks just before getting them into the boat. All the fish we managed to catch in these few hours that morning, all before our online school call for Morning Circle! We then went home to surprise our families with fresh fish to eat and enjoy for the next few weeks. That night I made Tuna Ceviche, inspired by Food elective teacher Paddy Nash.

Ingredients for Tuna Ceviche

– Freshly caught long tail tuna, diced into half inch cubes
– Avocado
– red onion
– radish
– garlic
– coriander
– chili
– chives
– mint
– lime juice
– Put all ingredients in a bowl and squeeze lime juice on top, let this sit and marinate while the citrus of the lime will leave the fish cured to perfection. (“This dish is an easy way to impress friends and family,” quote Paddy Nash:)

Welcome to Frida’s online Art lessons.

Today I met some very arty people. I started the gathering off with my most famous quote:

I don’t paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality.” Frida

It was so lovely to have Picasso, Andy Warhol and Van Gough (in fact three dropped in!) to stop in for a chat about their artwork. Andy was raving about something deep and meaningful which I just loved.
Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it is good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”
Banksy turned up with his spray can. Even a unicorn popped in from somewhere and a koala – how lucky was I!
I realised how opposite I am to Vincent, for he said,
I dream my painting and I paint my dream.” “Be clearly aware of the stars and infinity on high. Then life seems almost enchanted after all.
Even though he was a bit down, I am glad he made it today, it’s good to be amongst friends during this time.

Signing off for now,
See you next time!

Frida Kahlo

Y9 & 10 Surfing Elective – Ash Grunwald Guest Speaker

At the end of last term, the Year 9 and 10 Surfing Elective class were fortunate to have Ash Grunwald over as a guest speaker.

Ash spoke in detail about how he hit a roadblock in his musical career and used a growth mindset to take his guitar playing and singing to the next level. Ash, who is an avid surfer, shared many stories and challenged the class to get out of their comfort zones and be ambitious with their goals. The class were stoked to have Ash come and speak and play a few songs.

Tim Waller

Congratulations Kaia – Class 11

Class 11 student Kaia Walton was invited to perform live at the Brisbane City Council’s official Olympic 2032 bid launch as the closing act which was a huge honour. This picture was taken over the holidays when Kaia opened for The QUBE Effect Awards for which he was a finalist.

Classes 9 & 10 VA Elective – Sculpture and Ceramics

Portraits in clay were sculpted by the students in the sculpture elective in Term 1 by students of Classes 9 and 10. Working from a 2D picture into a 3D form is challenging and the face is only one of 5 hands that make up the total space of the head – so a lot of hair to cover the skull and only a relatively small area to create the features of the face. Gesture and mood was emphasised. Ceramics in Term 2 was a mixture of handmade work and students learning to use the potters’ wheel. Centring the clay takes a student into the centre of themselves where there is the still centre of the turning world… only then can a bowl or cup or vase be magically thrown. Students loved this challenge. The work was decorated using underglaze colours and a clear glaze over the top.
Like the bodies and brains of these young 14, 15, and 16-year-olds, clay is a wonderfully malleable, forgiving material but it never forgets how it was treated, made and formed – such is the importance of a well rounded educational experience, especially with all these elective options that students can choose from.

Teacher Denis Hopking.

Classes 9 & 10 Elective Showcase Semester 1 2021

Subject Selection for Class 12 2023

In the high school right now, Class 10 students are busy giving thought to and selecting their subjects for senior study next year in Class 11. A highlight of this process is the Student Forum, where current Class 11 and 12 students share their perspective on their studies of each subject – Drama, Legal Studies, D&T, Physics, Visual Arts, and so on. The vibrancy and maturity of discussion always makes it a great afternoon. Thank you to everyone who was involved for another great year and for your time, insights and focus.