Sunday 30th April 2017

Merrylands East P.S. On Show. 2017.46.

Merrylands East P.S. On Show. 2017.46.

Merrylands East Public School’s principal John Goh and I have been professional colleagues since we were in executive teaching roles in Western Sydney in the 1990s. Early this century, I retired as a school principal close to the time John became a school principal here. We caught up a few years back via twitter and I attended  Teach Meet events where John was host or one of the presenters.

John is both a promoter of public schools and a humble man. He speaks loudly about the need for schools to have the full funding from the Gonski reforms as the students in his school have benefited already from this. I know he would want me to add that to work alongside the staff at his school is a highlight. John does playground duty each morning and often posts a morning selfie on twitter. He’s in the SES and uses social media to let us know about keeping safe in all the weather conditions.

In February 2017 he was part of TedXSydney Salon. The talk  was live-streamed and this is his bio from the site.

John Goh is currently the principal of Merrylands East Public School, in South Western Sydney. He leads a culturally diverse school of around 380 students with 85% of students from a non-English Speaking Background and 10% refugees. John’s dynamic and innovative staff are part of the Microsoft Partners in Learning Program. Together, they have a passion for the use of technology in learning and student engagement. In recent years, John’s school has achieved the United Nations Association of Australia World Environment Day Award for their sustainability programs and infrastructure and the NSW Director General’s School Achievement Award.

Credit:http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/edpod/a-early-start-to-the-day/5563060

I visited John’s school a few years ago and even then I was impressed by the ways in which he and his staff were ‘undoing’ traditional teaching models. John added resources that save the school money including water tanks and solar and in this way, funds can be channelled for students’ needs. He had some spaces transformed and kids were using technology to communicate with kids in remote schools in NSW. He also has an area in the school set aside for gardens and produce grown there has been supplied to the canteen. This school is in an area where many people do not live with a backyard so fresh is always appreciated. John and his staff are helping kids see the food chain in action! I loved the playground signs!

 

Merrylands East P.S. varied its school hours some years back and there have been benefits. Some media about this and other matters can be found on ABC’s Life Matters here  and ABC’s Radio National here

What inspired me to write this post, with John’s permission, was what I saw on SBS TV last Sunday night. I have much pride in introducing this wonderful segment with teacher Lee Hewes and his class. They tell the story themselves  here on SBS!

Credit: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2017/03/08/

I am a proud public education supporter and I hope you enjoy seeing what one school is doing so well!

Denyse.

Joining with Kylie Purtell and bloggers who blog on Tuesdays here.

On the weekend I am linking here with Sammie and friends for The Ultimate Rabbithole.

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Sydney Vistas From 2014. 366/308.

Sydney Vistas From 2014. 366/308.

I often ventured into the city when we lived in Sydney for a solo photography day and a chance to see my city.

These pics, deliberately capturing different vistas, are from that mid-year visit in 2014 where The Rocks was the focus.

I miss seeing the city, especially as I know it has already changed around the harbour at Barangaroo but I am not visiting anytime soon. Traffic!

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Walking almost ‘under’ The Harbour Bridge. Details of the Southern Pylons can be seen.

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From the edge of the water, near The Rocks, with the AMP Building (originally the tallest building in the city in 1960s) prominent. Dad’s office was located in that building.

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Old Wharves and Storage Buildings Now Converted for Offices, Cafes etc. The Rocks.

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From the walk under The Bridge looking to the famous Sydney Opera House with an iconic Ferry going past.

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Viewed from The Rocks, this iconic building is one which was for public housing and its future is yet to be determined by the current NSW Government.

Do you know Sydney well?

Have you visited The Rocks?

Denyse.

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Thanks to these blogging friends for Photo Link Ups!

Trish at My Little Drummer Boys

Sue at Image-in-ing

Jen at Pierced Wonderings

Steph at Stephs Joy

 

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4 Reasons We Don’t Miss Sydney. 366/234.

4 Reasons We Don’t Miss Sydney. 366/234.

When we left Sydney forever in early 2015 we went back more regularly due to continuing to see doctors there, visit family when they invited us, to source items we thought were easier to find there and of course, for me to still ‘feel connected’ as I thought I needed to be.

No more.

Not at all.

Since mid 2016 we have (well I think my husband had already!) realised that we will not return to live there and thanks to changes all round the only ‘family’ reason I have to go there now is to see Dad. We are happier these days if family who live in Sydney travel up to see us on the coast!

During my trip last week, I was a bit ‘naughty’ and took a few quick pics when I was stopped in traffic….and so this has made my story via pics….These were taken before after-school and work peak too.

4 reasons we don’t miss Sydney!

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My husband has just returned from a trip to help with getting some furniture of ours back from a family member’s house and he arrived back saying ‘if I never have to travel that way again, in the traffic that is Sydney and with all those traffic lights, then I will be pleased.’

So, that’s our little revelation. Mind you, there might be much for us to see and connect with in Sydney if it wasn’t so darned busy!! And, if it did not take 90 minutes and more, there and back.

We are enjoying our semi-country existence even more so as we settle into this retired life.

What do you think of Sydney’s traffic if you are familiar with it?

Do you live in a less busy area as we do now?

Denyse.

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Joining with Leanne for her Sunday linky over here. Big congrats to Leanne as she posted her..2500th post in a row this week! What an achievement.

 

 

 

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“Find My Phone” Works! 366/154.

“Find My Phone” Works! 366/154.

This post was initially written and published in May 2014. Today it is posted in the week after as The Sydney Writers Festival 2016. I miss events such as these but I am not as inclined to travel to Sydney any more so will be thinking of those who enjoy this festival here! Denyse.

People chilling along wharves before sessions

People chilling along wharves before sessions

On Saturday I visited the Sydney Writers’ Festival at Walsh Bay. It’s located in the area just west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. My friend and I had a great day out. When I arrived home, unpacked my small bag and went looking for my iPhone, I couldn’t find it. Whilst this is not so unusual, by ringing it I find it ‘somewhere’ in the house, or deep in a bag. This time. NOTHING. Ooops.

My day became not so pleasant as I searched for about 15 minutes, then decided to tell my providor (in this case Telstra) so a ‘block’ could be put in the phone’s use. This took less than 5 minutes. Late on a Saturday afternoon I was blessing 24/7 services.  (My phone is so much more than a phone, it’s a diary, a photo album, an organiser and more). Then I remembered “find my phone” the feature Apple has on their many devices. But what to do?? I went on-line at home, and via a phone call to Apple support (thanks 24/7 again) I was led down the very simple path to “finding my phone” activation.

How Did It Work?

  1. My phone always has ‘find my phone’ on and iCloud enabled (critical I would think to success of device being found)
  2. Current apple ID and support enabled.
  3. Once I was onto the right support person, it was a matter of logging on with my ID and then she walked me through the steps of “Find My Phone”.
  4. The final stage (took less than a minute all up, by the way) was my addition of the ‘best contact number’ to an on-screen message which my phone would display stating something like this” “this phone can be returned to its owner by calling XX XXXXXXX thank you”
  5. Within one hour, a call came to our home phone stating that the iPhone had been handed in and I could collect it any time. I went in the next morning (first up!) and did so.

What Did I Learn?

  1. To ensure my phone is not left in a…. portable loo! Yes, that’s where it was and I had no idea. Very grateful to the finder.
  2. Blocking my service to the phone meant no surprises – high charges for calls etc, having a password on my phone and getting the blocking Unblocked as soon as I knew I had my phone back.

Have you ever lost your phone or something equally needed and found it again?

Denyse.

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Joining with Anne from Domesblissity here on Thriving on Thursdays.

Fridays is when I link up with Grace at With Some Grace for Flog Your Blog Friday.

 

 

 

 

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Actually Autumn At Last. 366/134.

Actually Autumn At Last. 366/134.

When I lived in Sydney I could visit the areas west of our place to find ‘autumn’ in its beauty. However, I think even in Sydney with the long warm spells of weather the Autumn trees got confused and many are finally having the leaves turn their different colours until they fall. Where we live now there are few(er) trees like these and I miss the spectacle.

This week as I travelled to Sydney to see Dad, I was hopeful that there would be more for me to see and photograph since last visit. There was. In Telegraph Road St Ives/Pymble. I leave the Pacific Highway at Pymble to drive along this pretty street of houses (ok, mansions) worth millions to Mona Vale Road. I was not disappointed.

How’s autumn looking where you are? Or are you enjoying spring?

Denyse.

 

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Joining my photography friends here:

Trish at My Little Drummer Boys

Sue at Image-In-Ing

Jen at Pierced Wonderings.

 

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Australia’s Fauna. 366/105.

Australia’s Fauna. 366/105.

It may be true that we get to see some of our Australian fauna in the ‘burbs and at night in particular. That’s possums, bats and a few thousand lorikeets, and cockatoos!

However, it is more common for us to visit places where the various Australian animals are cared for and on display for education and tourist purposes.

One such place was about 15 minutes from our house in Sydney and it was a place I took kids and grandkids too as well as accompanying classes on school excursions.

It’s Featherdale. Have you been there? If you were educated in parts of Sydney it was probably on your school excursion list!

Here are some shots I took when we visited with grandchildren in 2014.

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Native Dog- The Dingo

 

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Wombat

 

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I “think” Potoroos or could be Rock Wallabies

 

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Tassie Devil

 

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Koalas…mostly ‘sleepy drunk’ from eucalyptus leaves

 

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Friendly (!) echidnas

It’s Autumn school holidays in NSW right now so I expect Featherdale and places like it will have many visitors!

What do you know about Australian fauna?

Denyse.

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Joining with Anne at Domesblissity here for Thriving on Thursdays.

Having fun flogging my blog on Fridays here Grace too.

On Monday it’s Open Slather with Alicia at here at One Mother Hen.

 

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My Old Home Town. 366/29.

My Old Home Town. 366/29.

Whilst I was born in Wollongong NSW and lived there till I was 10, I do regard Sydney as my ‘home town’. I lived there, with my parents, on the Northern Beaches, aged 10-20. Then after teaching around NSW with my husband, we settled in North Western Sydney where we lived from 1978-2015.

So I am showing off some pics of my ‘old home town’ taken by me, on one of my day trips into Sydney.

On this occasion, in mid-Winter, I was at Kirribilli on the northern side of the Harbour and used this to my advantage to shoot so close to the Harbour Bridge and then back across, looking south, to the city I know so well.

Enjoy!

Where is your home town?

Denyse.

Love the angles, the strength and the patterns in this magnificent bridge built in 1930s

Love the angles, the strength and the patterns in this magnificent bridge built in 1930s

Looking under the Harbour Bridge across to the Wharf area on the western side.

Looking under the Harbour Bridge across to the Wharf area on the western side.

Pretty areas of grass where crowds gather to watch New Year's Eve fireworks

Pretty areas of grass where crowds gather to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks

Looking up at the magnificent bridge..I did Bridge Climb a long time ago!

Looking up at the magnificent bridge..I did Bridge Climb a long time ago!

The city on a crisp winter's day

The city on a crisp winter’s day

Looking to the city itself. I have many stories to tell about the buildings I see there!

Looking to the city itself. I have many stories to tell about the buildings I see there!

The Magnificent Sydney Opera House. Opened in 1973.

The Magnificent Sydney Opera House. Opened in 1973.

Joining my favourite photo friends over here:

Trish here at Aussie Wordless Wednesday

Jen here for  Photo Friday

Stephanie here at StephsJoy

And Image-In-Ing over here.

Thank you for hosting and having me link up!

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Our First House. 292/365.

Our First House. 292/365.

We bought our first house in early 1978. After teaching in country NSW for over 8 years, it was time to settle into Sydney – somewhere we could afford – and close-ish to our new schools as teachers.

Kellyville was the outer northwestern suburb which was the area we could afford. We’d driven through it many times over the years, along Windsor Road to get to the Northern Beaches to my parents’ place for our school holidays. Just out of Castle Hill, and on the way to Windsor.

We had a small deposit saved and with a loan from a building society, we were approved to buy a brand new 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, brick home, tiled roof, double garage on a so-called 1/4 acre block. Thrilled was our status. We put ducted air-conditioning in, and moved in with one child aged 6 and began our home owning life.

In 1991 this is what the house looked like after additions to the outside and in. By then we had a son in early teens and our 20 year old daughter was driving. The double garage was an office/tutoring centre for hub’s business and the upstairs was a master suite for us. Kitchen and cabinet maker hub had done many renovations including the kitchen and we added an in-ground pool. By 1993 though, the house’s size and location was less than ideal (so we thought) and we were in a position to upgrade to a house/land deal at the new area called Bella Vista. We sold this place for around $205,000.

Our first house.

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Here is the updated photo gallery of ‘our first house’ up for sale. Now. It’s been sold a few times since we did. Last weekend our daughter went to the Open Home. We can no longer  afford ‘our first house’.

 

Sydney Real Estate! Crazy.

What about you? Do you have a house of your own? How’s the real estate pricing where you are?

Denyse x

Joining Jess at I Blog On Tuesdays.

 

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