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School Ethos


Ruth Mussger



- excellence 
- respect 
- working together – students, staff, parents and community

These values were developed in year level workshops with students in 2001. Our values are integral to our school motto:

“Sic itur ad astra”

“Ngunangk tuldar witjunggildkur toran”
“Together we gather the stars”

Our school vision has a vision of every student striving for their personal best.

Students have been interested to know more about the school motto. ‘What is Latin?’ they have asked.

The school motto comes from a Latin book called The Aeneid. We have, written by Mr Tom Hogarth, a letter which is treasured by the school.

Mr Hogarth wrote:
‘A speaker at the School’s Presentation Night in 1994 translated the motto as “Reach for the Stars”. “Sic itur ad astra” is a direct quotation from Virgil’s Aeneid, Book IX, line 649.

The words are spoken in this poem by the god Apollo, from his throne in the clouds, to young Iulius who has just won a series of victories in the Trojan wars.

Apollo says, “Per ardua sic itur ad astra” – by striving so we reach the stars.

In actual fact Apollo goes on to tell Iulius that what he has done is all very well but it wouldn’t hurt to cool it a bit and let peace reign for a while”.

The story of Apollo comes from the Ancient Greeks, and was told by story tellers thousands of years BC, before what we call year 0 or Before Christ.

When the Romans conquered the ancient Greeks they made the story their own. Latin was the language of the Romans, who lived in what we now call Italy. Romans invaded what today we call England. The Roman invasion of England was more than two thousand years ago, yet Australian school students still learn Latin. A little more than two hundred years ago the English invaded Australia and brought Latin with them.

Hence the Latin symbolises a history of migration. Australia is a multicultural country where people from many other countries have made their home.

We work with a Ngarrindjeri translation. We have for a number of years had Ngarrindjeri as one of the languages taught in the school. Consultation with the local Aboriginal Elders Group and historical records gave us the translation in the old, traditional dialect.

Thus, in our logo we are acknowledging our Aboriginal heritage and our migration heritage.

And so we have a very powerful motto for our school, considering its history.

It is through working together, with respect, that we can reach excellence.

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