President’s Report 2015

Mosman High School P&C Annual General Meeting 2015
President’s Report: Tina Jackson

2015 was another very successful year for Mosman High School, helped made possible by the support of the P&C and its many volunteers. This included funding a range of resources to encourage student learning, assisting the School though our network of energetic and enthusiastic P&C committees and providing policy input and participating on panels and consultative committees. Our talks program was once again very popular, tapping into a range of topic areas parents were keen to hear about such as study skills, emotional health and wellbeing, and drugs and alcohol. Through ongoing consultation and discussion with parents and the School, the P&C continues to seek ways to enhance its impact.

Highlights of 2015
Supporting the School and our students

Parent contributions were used to fund a second part-time School Counsellor to supplement MHS’s entitlement to a 3 day a week Counsellor. P&C general funds and funds from the Music Committee were allocated to upgrade the area used for music classes to create a new multi-purpose space. Thank you to Tony Gray who volunteered many hours of his time to design and oversee the building works. Further funds were earmarked for committee projects, ongoing School needs and wellbeing initiatives. As the parent contribution at Mosman High is relatively low compared to other north shore public schools, it was decided to increase the parent contribution by $20 for 2016, taking it to $131 per annum.

Work of the P&C committees

In addition to financial contributions, Mosman High parents gave generously of their time through the P&C’s committees.

P&C Music Committee highlights included Akoosticum in March, the annual Jazz Night, “Pink Flamingo Jazz Club” at Mosman Gallery and the US Music Tour. During the April holidays 50 students from the choir, wind and jazz ensembles performed at some of the world’s most iconic venues including Disneyland, Washington’s Lincoln Memorial and New York City’s Lincoln Center and the Empire State Building.

The P&C Drama Committee supported a number of drama nights rewarding student achievement, hosted the midyear concert, Simply Gold and organised the hugely successful student film festival, Mosfest, showcasing student short films.

The P&C Sports Committee organised a number of activities including the ‘Sports Market’ for Years 7 and 8 and a greatly expanded GAT program competing over Basketball, Futsal, Tennis and Table Tennis. Many of these teams made it through to win Grand Finals. The committee supported a GAT Basketball Squad to tour New Zealand, the first ever Mosman High Sport tour. The Year 8 Basketball team represented the School at the National Championships and the Table Tennis team made it to 4th place in the NSW Secondary Schools Championships.

The P&C Technology and Science Committee helped the School with advice on technology matters and ran extra-curricular programming and robotics classes for students and a girls group. ‘Science in the Lunchtime’ was particularly popular with speakers such as Professor Bill Gladstone on great white sharks, Dr Jodi Rowley from the Australian Museum Research Institute, Professor Adam Micolich on nanotechnology, Dr Alison Beavis on gunshot residue, and Geek Gurl, Carrie Ann Philbin.

The P&C Environment Committee assisted Mosman High Environment Student Group host a clean-up of the shoreline from Athol Bay to Clifton Gardens. The litter collected was sorted according to the methodology provided by the Australian Marine Debris Initiative. Mosman Council awarded the Committee a grant for the student project “A better bag for a better world” which funded reusable calico bags that students decorated and gave away to the public as part of MHS Enviro Week, drawing attention to the environmental impact of plastic bags.

The P&C Art Committee organised its inaugural fundraising event, AnonyMos with artists and students donating art works. The initiative helped raise funds for art excursions and the purchase of an exhibition hanging system and other art equipment. Another highpoint was the Fowlers Gap Excursion, allowing students to create and immerse themselves in outback NSW and the art-making process.

The P&C Wellbeing Committee facilitated parent discussions, sourced well-being resources for the website, researched speakers, organised wellbeing talks and evaluated their success. Highlights included the Paul Dillon talk on ‘Teenagers, Alcohol and Other Drugs: How much influence do parents really have?’ and the production of the Mosman High School Parents’ Alcohol and Drug Resource Book in partnership with the School.

P&C Talks Program

Other talks of note included the HSC Ready panel chaired by Susan Wyatt with speakers on emotional wellbeing, nutrition, healthy sleep habits and study approaches, followed by questions; a presentation from Elevate, which runs programs to develop study skills ability in young people; and Associate Professor Maria Kangas talking about the spectrum of emotional health issues for teenagers from everyday stress to anxiety and depression.

Policy input and consultation

The P&C supported Parent Teacher forums, participated on staff selection panels and provided input into school policy issues through various working groups. We were active in the Northern District P&C group and participated in Mosman Council consultative committees on behalf of the parent body.

Thank You

We are very lucky to have an active and engaged parent body and highly productive partnership with the School. Thank you to all parents, but in particular, thanks to the 2015 PIN Coordinators: Rebekah Brenchley, Karen Kirkham, Maggie Sheppard, Michele Newman, Sara Wilke and Louisa Long, who was also Head PIN.

Thanks to the P&C Executive – Vice Presidents Tony Gray and Amy Rocavert, Treasurer Ian Davies, and Secretary Suzanne Cheetham and to the P&C committee chairs: Susie Ashton Davies, Ruth Marshall and Kyla Janakis, Jane Dampney, Evan Predavec and Ian Davies, Phillipa Tayler, Jane Harlen and Jane Taylor and Catherine Roc.

None of the year’s achievements would be have been possible without the dedication of Susan Wyatt and her team, so it was wonderful that Susan’s leadership was recognised by Mosman Council, who named her 2015 Mosman Citizen of the Year. This honour was well deserved and we are very proud of Susan and the School. It’s gratifying as well that in making the award, Council recognised the high standard and importance of public education. Mosman Mayor, Peter Abelson, paid tribute to the School’s reputation for learning, performing arts and extra curricular activities.

On a personal note, my other commitments have increased this year so I need to step aside as President. It’s been a great privilege to hold this position. I’m passionate about public education and grateful to have had the opportunity to support the School and its hard working staff.

The P&C team looks forward to another successful year ahead.

Tina Jackson