Balgazette – Term 3, 2023

Principal's Report

I would like to begin this report by acknowledging the efforts of our graduating Year 12 students and our staff who have supported them. Each year our graduating students deal with the stresses around the finality of their journey as a school student. I commend them for their efforts and know that everyone within the school community would join me in wishing them well into the future. With all the stresses of completing their final tasks in their course work, I know they will enjoy the school ball which takes place on the last Thursday evening of this term. I look forward to their formal graduation ceremony later in Term 4. This term has been busy, exciting and at times challenging. We have conducted special events around NAIDOC, House Athletics Carnival and the Women’s World Cup Aspiration Day, which included a visit by the Minister for Education, Mr Buti.

The Arts area conducted their annual exhibition and performance evening and that was a great success. Our STEM workshops in primary schools have continued to be successful. Students also engaged in the Australian Mathematics competition. We have our ongoing program with Ignite mentoring continuing to provide excellent support to our students.

Our careers program across all years has continued to provide excellent opportunities for our students to explore pathways beyond school.

Semester 1 has been busy as usual.  Our Year 12 students are working hard to ensure they complete all assessments as they enter their last full term of study.  Staff continue to support these students and we wish them well.

There have been many exciting learning experiences undertaken by students this term including many career excursions and incursions, interschool sporting fixtures including Lightning Carnivals across multiple sports and after school competitions in football. In addition to this Balga SHS was fortunate to be chosen to develop a program around the women’s FIFA World Cup that will be held across Australia during July and August.  Our Minister for Education, Mr Buti attended our school as part of the project launch and it was great to see our girls football students, led by our Program Coach Ms Sarah Bagshaw, represent our school and our community so well.

Additionally, our partnership with the City of Stirling saw a number of our students engage in a Workplace Learning program.

I commend staff for their outstanding efforts in ensuring our students are provided with an education experience that is of the highest order. As part of our focus on ensuring we also meet the health and wellbeing needs of our students, we have joined with our local feeder primary schools to be upskilled in the Berry Street Education model. This training will continue into next year and then we will implement it across the school in 2025.

I wish to acknowledge the great behaviour and attitude of most of our students. They have worked hard across the term to continue to improve their educational outcomes – well done. Unfortunately, we have had some continuing issues around some students demonstrating poor behaviour on Transperth services.

I remind students and families that this service is available to those students who are respectful and safe when being transported. Behaviours from school to home need to reflect our school pillars and community expectations. It has been disappointing to see this small group of students displaying these negative behaviours. I look forward to all students performing at a high-level next term and hope everyone has a safe and restful term break.

Mr Mark Carton – Principal


Students Return
Monday 9 October

Year 12 Presentation Evening
Tuesday 7 November

IEC/Year 6 Orientation Day
Thursday 9 November

School Board Meeting
Tuesday 14 November

IEC Reporting to Parents
Graduating Class

Thursday 23 November

Last day for Year 11 students
Friday 1 December

Last day for all students
Thursday 14 December

IEC Graduation
Thursday 14 December


We are deep in to that working part of the year in Mathematics and it’s great to see students focused and working with great effort towards their goals. One example of how going beyond and doing that little bit extra can make a difference is Maths Help. One year 10 student who has been attending regularly got 89% in her most recent test, which was a huge improvement. Please remember I offer Maths Help at recess on Monday and Wednesday every week in M12.

A big thank you to Ms Bulloch for running the Mathematics Department while I was helping in Administration for weeks 1 and 2 of this term, our Mathematics staff do an amazing job.

We also had a dedicated group of students complete the Australian Mathematics Competition that involved going to extra meetings and preparation time so well done for valuing Mathematics and we look forward to the results soon. Thank you to Mr Sappl for coordinating this competition.

Finally, a reminder to our Year 12 students to make sure you have completed all of your outstanding assessments, as the end of the school year is almost here for you. Good luck in the exams for our UniPrep students and to all of our amazing Balga SHS students, please continue to work hard every session until your very last day, you will never regret working hard in Mathematics, I can promise you that.

Mr Jamieson Haydn-Smith – Program Coordinator Maths/Science



This term will be the last for our Year 12 students, who have been busily completing their final assessments. The Foundation EALD class learnt about Australian citizenship, including the rights and responsibilities of citizens, and wrote a personal essay outlining their own ideas and experiences about living in Australia. The General English class designed and created an original magazine which included articles, adverts, a front cover, contents page, editorial and a competition. Their imaginations have certainly been working overtime with this task as some of their ideas have been quite unique. The General EALD class investigated values and concerns amongst young people in Australia by surveying their peers and then creating infographics or pamphlets based on their findings. The class found this task highly engaging, as it has provided an insight into the concerns of their fellow students. I would like to take this opportunity to recognise the hard work of our Year 12 English teachers in ensuring our students have had every chance for success in their final year at Balga SHS. Thank you to Ms Bath, Ms Broadhurst and Ms Cockroft for the support, patience, and commitment you have given to your students, I know they truly appreciate your efforts.

The Year 11 students have had a busy schedule and have developed and consolidated their literacy skills, in preparation for the transition into Year 12 next year. Across the four courses we teach, students have undertaken all types of assessments. From oral presentations to reading and analysing different text types, essay and speech writing and research tasks. Our teachers work very hard to ensure that their resources and assessments are engaging and relevant to the students, for them to display their potential.

OLNA testing was undertaken by students in Years 10-12 who have yet to achieve a pass for this WACE requirement. Students were provided with opportunities in the classroom, as well as given preparation activities to take home to complete in the lead up to these writing and reading comprehension assessments. Results of these tests will be received in October.


Our Year 10 classes have been studying the novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie. The novel explores some quite serious topics, through a combination of light-hearted graphics and contemporary-style writing. Speech writing was also examined, with students learning the concepts to create this text type and got the opportunity to put their skills into practice by writing their own emotive speech and presenting it to their peers. Our Year 9 students analysed song lyrics and presented their knowledge and understanding in an oral presentation format. Short stories were examined, with a focus on the elements that are combined to create an entertaining and insightful piece of writing.


The Year 8 classes are currently reading the novel Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson, exploring the main themes of friendship and growing up. They also explored characterisation, wrote a letter, and designed their own imaginary place. The Year 7 classes explored poetry, developing an understanding of the techniques that are used to write this text type and created their own Limerick and Acrostic poems. Students also read an array of fascinating short stories and completed various writing and creative activities in class.


Once again, some lucky Year 7 and 8 students had the opportunity to have a livestream workshop this time presented by Sarah Winifred Searle, winner of three silver Comic Arts Awards of Australia, Lammy Award finalist, contributor to Eisner-winning anthologies and NYT bestselling books. Winifred Searle is a writer, illustrator, and cartoonist originally from New England, currently based here in Perth.


With the school holidays approaching, I would like to encourage students and families to take some time away from screens and read a book. Students can visit the school library and speak to Miss Tammy, who will happily recommend something for you. Reading has been shown to improve vital literacy skills, and it is also a great way to give our minds a break from our busy lives and let our imaginations run free.

Ms Ellie Crowley –  Program Coordinator English/HaSS


National Science Week (13 -21 August) this term was a highlight in the Science area. To celebrate Science Week, teachers engaged their students with hands on activities like Elephant’s Toothpaste, Dry Ice, Lava Lamps, Canister Rockets etc in their classrooms. Students were thrilled at the idea of using Beer goggles and a number of them participated to walk in straight lines to understand the effects of alcohol on their coordination. Students also explored and participated in Escape Room activities on STILE and many competed with each other. Twenty students participated nationally in an online “Australian Science Innovative Competition” and received certificates of credits and participation.

All classes from Years 7 to 10 covered the Chemical Sciences topic. Years 7 students covered Matter, Solutions and Mixtures. They learnt to recognise and safely use different laboratory equipment. They received their Bunsen Burner license after completing practical tests on laboratory equipment. Students progressively learned about separation methods such as sorting, sieving, decanting, filtering, evaporation, chromatography, and distillation. They related these techniques to everyday life like desalinating of sea water for drinking, sea salt extraction and air purifiers to filter air in confined places, etc. They created a density tower made from a mixture of fluids and had fun calculating densities with objects that would sink or float.

Year 8 students studied different types of matter and its properties. They learnt about atoms, elements, molecules, compounds, pure substances, and mixtures and drew diagrams related to these structures. They learnt chemical symbols of the first 20 elements and recognised these on the Periodic Table with their atomic numbers and properties. They learned to work out simple chemical formulas of some common compounds and carried out simple chemical reactions. They had fun using yeast in their exothermic reactions experiments and ‘pop‘ sounds with the hydrogen gas production.

Year 9 students learnt the atomic structure and differentiated between atoms, ions, and isotopes. They learned to use the periodic table, identify ionic and covalent compounds, work out formulas of complex compounds and balanced simple chemical equations. They described general properties common to acids and bases in the home. They learnt to use the pH chart and made an indicator from red cabbage and tested their indicator on various household items.

Year 10 reviewed the atomic structure, chemical formulas, equations, the periodic table and the arrangement of the elements in relation to their properties.  They studied different types of chemical reactions to explain the law of conservation of mass. They learnt exothermic and endothermic reactions relating to photosynthesis and respiration. They could differentiate between corrosive and non-corrosive reactions, complete and incomplete combustion and relate these to everyday examples. They were amazed at the colourful reactions of precipitation and mastered some amazing practical skills. They studied factors that affect rates of reactions and wrote a scientific report on factors like temperature, surface area, concentration and catalysts.

The Year 11 Human Biology class studied Genetics and Reproduction. They extracted DNA from kiwi fruit and observed cell division in a range of specimens. The Year 12 Integrated Science class constructed rockets and studied different types of fuels while the Year 12 Human Biology class completed Infectious diseases, Vaccines, Immunology, Community and Global Health topics. They researched Coronavirus as a global issue and suggested interesting strategies to handle pandemics in Australia. They carried out practicals on vaccinations and modelled herd immunity and how these effect at global levels. They complete their course and leave at the end this term and we wish them the best in their future endeavours.

Ms Guddy Litt – LAC Science


For STEM this term the 7.1 and 7.2 students have been developing their engineering design thinking process and project management skills. This process helps students to develop skills such as creative and critical thinking, problem solving, teamwork, communication, and collaboration, etc., that employers are looking for. The students defined the problem they needed to find a solution to including the limitations or constraints that were given. In this case students had to build a marble run with a minimum of 3 turns, using gravity as the primary force, and recycled materials such as cardboard with sticky tape as the main method of attachment. The students did some research to see the designs of marble runs and methods others have used to build tracks and secure them to the backboard. Students built smaller prototypes first to determine the best processes, identified problems with their designs and modified them as needed, before building their final larger marble runs. Finally, the students connected multiple marble runs using dominoes and match box cars to make much larger more complex runs and practiced their ability to communicate and collaborate respectfully to achieve a common goal.

The 7.3 students completed several STEM engineering challenges, including building balloon powered race cars and water powered rockets. For this project, students had to research the designs other people have used to make the race cars or rockets and come up with their own designs. They had to determine the parts that a car or rocket needs to work, and the forces that act on it such as the propulsion force, friction and/or air resistance and gravity which ties in with the concepts they learnt in Physical Science last term. Students in teams, built their prototype car or rocket limited by the materials the teachers could provide. The students then tested and corrected any issues they encountered with their cars in the classroom. Once the teams had successfully built and tested their prototype cars, they went to the basketball courts and participated in a series of races against each other. As in real-world car races, the teams were allowed to correct problems they encountered such as cars not running straight, wheels falling off, and balloons not powering the cars since the straw was squashed or leaking. The winning car was the one that travelled the longest distance in a straight line. For the rockets, students went to the oval and tested their design with Mr Richardson as pictured. Fun was had by all, and the students did a great job practising the design thinking process (plan/design, build, test, re-design) which allowed them to further develop skills employers want.

The 8.1 STEM class began the term by completing the school mapping challenge they started last term. Two students (Lachlan and Day) were able to enter their maps into the “2023 Map My School” competition run by “SheMaps”. Congratulations to Lachlan, he put in extra time at home working on his entry since he missed a couple of lessons at the end of last term. This extra effort paid off since his entry was chosen as the winner for the “Year 8” category gaining him a Tello drone for his enjoyment.

The majority of the 8.1 STEM students were able to participate in the “Big Ideas Challenge” at the Bloom Centre for Youth Innovation at Curtin University. Year 7 to 10 students from seven to eight private and public schools worked together to complete several challenges using the design thinking process and STEM skills. They were introduced to entrepreneurial skills and had to apply it by pitching the solution to their problem, to a panel of judges who determined the winners. Our students were engaged but found some aspects challenging or daunting since they are not used to public speaking. The students said they enjoyed themselves and found the experience useful. They now understand why they need to practice these skills since it is importance for their future employment.

As an extension of the mapping project and to develop some entrepreneurial skills, the 8.1 students had to come up with a proposal for a shade structure to be built in a location around the school. They had to make a one-page presentation with a picture of the structure with a brief description of where it would be, why it was needed, who would benefit and the approximate cost as a pitch to the senior management of the school. Most students thought a shade structure of some design was needed on the edge of the soccer pitch that would protect students from both the sun and rain during their Physical Education classes.

The 8.2 STEM class spent the term learning about solar energy and solar powered race cars using the kits provided by STELR. They had to determine with the help of Mr Ramponi, how to bypass the capacitors which stores the energy produced by the solar panels instead for the cars to run directly from battery packs.

The 8.3 class spent the term initially completing short challenges designed to build their STEM skills especially working together, collaborating, and communicating respectfully. They spent the second half of the term completing the engineering challenge of each team building a trebuchet and catapult. They competed in a challenge to determine the team that could most accurately fire their ballista at a castle wall. They used the design thinking process and practiced their STEM skills.

Photo showing a completed trebuchet (right) and catapult (front) built by Levi and Ali. They worked consistently and were the first group to complete their STEM challenge. Also displayed: an incomplete trebuchet by another group.

Photo showing a completed trebuchet (right) and catapult (front) built by Levi and Ali. They worked consistently and were the first group to complete their STEM challenge. Also displayed: an incomplete trebuchet by another group.

In Technologies, the Year 7 and 8 classes spent the term learning to program the Edison robots using block coding. They learnt about computational and system thinking as part of the knowledge needed for programming. They learnt how to reduce codes by using loops and how to debug code to make it work.

The Year 9 and 10 Middle School technology classes have been learning about storyboarding, the first step in designing and writing computer games.

Ms Ros London – LAC STEM


HaSS History Highlights the Importance of Kindness

The study of History has been the focus of students in Years 7 to 10, this term. Students look at evidence, research different historical perspectives and interpretations, and study the cause and effect of changes and the significance of major events over time and place.

The study of History is crucial to understanding why the world is the way it is, and hopefully assists in the prevention of repeating past injustices.

As part of their HaSS and English studies of World War II, the Year 10 students participated in a Courage to Care Workshop that outlined the horrors of the Holocaust. Students were able to learn from the stories of survivors to develop their understanding of the importance of not standing by when people are being treated in an inhumane way. The message related to genocides around the world, throughout time and stressed the importance of standing up for what is right.

The Year 9 students have been studying the first Industrial Revolution and WWI which provided the root causes that lead to WWII. Becoming aware of the terrible impact and huge loss of life caused by these events has ensured the students understand the importance of studying History and the phrase, attributed to the philosopher, George Santayana, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’.

To augment their studies of Civics and Citizenship next term, the students in Ms Spanier’s 10.1 class have enjoyed incursions presented by the law firm KW Mallesons to learn about different types of law and the impacts on young people. The workshops have covered the many areas of law that young people encounter as they move into adulthood. The finale involved a trip into the law firm’s head office in the city for a mock trial and morning tea. This pro bono program runs Australia wide and offers students the opportunity to become involved in the machinations of the law.

In addition, Year 10 students have attended an incursion presented by the Red Cross. The program, called Pathways to Protection is informative and interactive, and is designed to promote critical thinking and build awareness and understanding of people impacted by migration. Once again, the core message of this program encourages young people to develop empathy and awareness of the needs of others.

The students in Years 7 and 8 have been studying the wonders of the Ancient World and the Middle Ages respectively. They have created timelines of their own lives to demonstrate their understanding, before using this skill to create timelines of historical events. This has prepared the students for their visit to The WA Museum, Boola Bardip to augment their studies of Ancient Egypt and traditional Aboriginal civilisations. These studies form the basis for the students to move through Historical epochs as they progress through their school years, to provide a holistic overview of what has gone before.

Ms Mandy Hampson – LAC HaSS


It is that time of year again when we say goodbye to our Year 12 cohort as they move on to bigger and brighter things in the big, wide, wonderful world. Throughout the year, students have participated in a Careers program that assesses their personality type, interest, skills, abilities and values and then suggests study and employment options. This data is then used during a planning meeting to develop a bespoke plan that outlines achievable goals over the medium term. This ensures our students make informed choices regarding their future pathways and has lead to TAFE and university applications for a huge range of courses in the health, building, hospitality, business, automotive, and engineering industries. In addition, to assist with applications, students in Year 12 Career and Enterprise classes participated in an incursion presented by the Multicultural Services Centre, on resume development. This provided some invaluable insights and tips to ensure their resumes stood out from the rest.

With price reductions in many courses, our students are moving into the world of future study and work, well equipped to take advantage of a time of great opportunity. I’m sure they will seize the day!

Ms Mandy Hampson – Yr 12 Careers Practitioner

As the term draws to a close, I wish to reflect on the numerous activities and opportunities our students have been exposed to, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to preparing them for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

This term, we’ve been dedicated to assisting our Year 10 students in crafting their resumes and guiding them through the scholarship application process. It’s always a joy to watch these young minds grasp the significance of such a crucial skill, shaping their academic and professional journeys.

For those intrigued by the world of media, our trip to Northbridge TAFE’s “The Reel Thing” was a revelation. Here, students produced a quick TV music show, getting a hands-on feel for the industry.

In a collaborative venture with the Smith Family, our Year 9 and 10 students were offered a two-day explorative journey. Their first stop was at North Metro Joondalup TAFE, where they explored diverse fields such as hospitality, cyber security and nursing. This was followed by a day at Edith Cowan University (ECU), diving deep into the engineering domain and taking part in an adventurous campus scavenger hunt. Further cementing our association with ECU, their representatives presented to our Year 10, 11 and 12 students about the numerous study pathways available post-Year 12.

Our commitment to inclusivity was on display at the end of Term 2 when our Year 10 to 12 Aboriginal students participated in a specially curated careers incursion, courtesy of the Jobs and Skills Centre from Balga TAFE. From fine-tuning interview techniques to course exploration, the sessions were designed to equip them with essential skills for their professional endeavours.

The vast world of employment and training was brought to our doorstep during the Jobs and Skills Expo. Year 10 and 11 students had the fantastic opportunity to engage with over 100 employers and trainers, broadening their horizons and understanding of potential career paths. Complementing this was the STEM Big Ideas excursion, aimed at introducing our Year 8 students to the plethora of STEM careers and pathways.

Wrapping up our term’s highlights was the announcement of the Chevron Natural Gas excursion for the next term. Out of the 50 eager applicants, 32 were chosen, and we’re sure they are in for a transformative experience.

This term has been a fulfilling blend of learning, exploration, and hands-on experiences. As we set our sights on the next term, we remain committed to creating enriching experiences for our students. Your trust and support fuel our endeavours, and we look forward to more collaborative successes in the future.

Mr Kane Pittard – Careers Practitoner

Aboriginal Language and Culture

Kaya Noonakoort (Hello Everyone)

This term students are continuing to develop their Noongar Language and cultural knowledge. Our Noongar Language focus for this semester is Everyday Conversations, Questions and Responses including Family, Locations, Animals, Descriptions and Actions. In Aboriginal Cultural Studies students are learning about Traditional Aboriginal Lifestyles. This has included topics such as Traditional Housing, Tools, Weapons and Implements and Communication and Artwork. Students have had the privilege of ‘experiential hands-on learning workshops’ with Mr Derek Nannup. Derek also delivers workshops to North Balga Primary students on a Friday. As part of this learning, the Year 10s are currently working on their Certificate 1 in Leadership Course, which includes co-designing a Bush Tucker and Medicinal Garden project at Warriapendi Primary School. Students are working with, and leading sub-groups, with the Year 6 students.

During Week 7 we hosted a NAIDOC Day for our students and local area primary schools. We had 450 students in Years 3 to 6 attend from Balga Primary, North Balga Primary, Warriapendi Primary, Waddington Primary and Boyare Primary.

The day commenced with an Opening Ceremony. Our Wadjak Elders attended as well as special guest, Acting District Director Mr Steve Watson, former Principal, Mr Geoff Harris, and a number of other guests. It was fantastic to see our Elders stand with our students from years 7 to 10 and sing an Acknowledgement to Country song in Noongar Language. A delicious morning tea infused with Noongar Bush Tucker ingredients was prepared by Mrs Jess Owen and team. After morning tea, students from Years 3 to 12 set out for their cultural activity. Some activities included Cultural Dance which was conducted by our Year 9 to 11 students, Badge Making, Face Painting, Art Mural, Boomerang Painting, Story Telling, Cultural Artefacts, Tool Making, Sand Art, Traditional Games, Rock Art, Damper Making, Basket Weaving, Noongar Language and Jewellery Making. McKay Drilling brought two of their trucks to engage Year 11 and 12 students in career prospects. Lunch was served, all students enjoyed either and or both, Sausage Sizzle, Kangaroo Stew and Damper. Our lovely Elders cooked up 20 kilos of Kangaroo and made 12 dampers.

The day ended with presentations for the Year 6 Traditional Games Competition winners, Boyare Primary School and Year 5 Sand Art Competition winners, Balga Primary School. Lastly a Nyumbie Celebration Dance took place in the Sand Art Mural, it was great to see many of our students dance in the Opening Ceremony and in the Nyumbie as well. We would like to thank Mr Olman Walley and Miss Rickeeta Walley, who have been teaching the Cultural Dance lessons throughout the year.

We would like to thank all involved for making this day happen, the day was enjoyed by all.


Ms Donnelle Slater – Aboriginal Cultural Learning Coordinator



Science: IEC 2.4

In Science, IEC2.4 have learned about Light. We talked and read about different aspects of light and conducted experiments to better understand the concepts.

We learned about natural light sources like the Sun and artificial light sources like a torch, natural reflectors like a tree and artificial reflectors like a car. We learned that reflectors need a light source to be seen, which means we cannot see any objects in the dark.

We also learned about reflection. Light travels in a straight line, hits an object, reflects from it and then travels to our eyes.

We learned about refraction. Materials look differently when light travels through transparent materials.

We read about Isaac Newton’s Theory of Colours. We understood that light is made up of all the colours of the rainbow and when they merge, light appears to be white. We discussed that different colours have different wavelengths.

Ms Steffi Selle – Teacher IEC2.4

The Importance of Reading IEC 3.2T

Reading is of paramount importance for students, offering a multitude of benefits that contribute to their academic, personal and intellectual growth.

To maximise the benefits of reading, students should be encouraged to read a variety of materials including fiction, non-fiction, academic texts, newspapers, magazines, and online resources. Developing a love for reading and making it a regular part of one’s routine can significantly contribute to a student’s overall development and success. Class IEC 3.2T has been actively working on developing their reading skills this term!

Engaging with a variety of reading texts and focusing on reading comprehension skills like identifying specific information, grasping the main idea, understanding sequencing, and practising compare and contrast activities are all valuable strategies that have been taught to them to enhance their reading abilities. Improving the students’ reading skills will undoubtedly contribute to their overall academic growth.

Keep up the great work!

Ms Lorraine Marie – Teacher IEC


Term 3 in the Drama department has been productive and exciting. Despite not entering the Youth On Health Festival (YOH Fest) this year, the students have been creating some dynamic and entertaining performances.

The Year 10 students have been developing and honing their performance skills for script interpretation scenes, fractured fairy tales, music stimulus performances and performances based on headlines. They have also been preparing for the written requirements of Senior School Drama. They have been designing and explaining costume and set choices, as well as producing written reflections.

The Senior School Drama class has been creating amusing and thought-provoking presentational performances. The students have been integrating Epic Theatre conventions into their most recent performances. The class witnessed cowgirls falling in love, verbally abusive bosses, conniving and vindictive tax collectors, forbidden interracial relationships and cheating fiancés. Each performance incorporated humour whilst delivering important messages.

We look forward to Term 4. We will be sad to lose the Year 12 students, but are confident the Year 10 and 11 Drama students will continue to grow.

Ms Jenna Broadhurst – Drama


On Wednesday 23 August we held our annual Book Week Dress Up Day to celebrate Children’s Book Week.

Staff and students showed off their costumes at our lunch time parade, hosted by our wonderful MC, Miss Lenka.

It was clear that many students went to a great deal of effort to make their own costumes. We were eager to find out who the judges would award prizes to this year, but first we drew the book raffle. All students who dressed up were entitled to enter the book raffle for a chance to win one of our book sets.

Finally, our Book Week Dress Up Day 2023 winners were announced:
Best Dressed: Jazmyn and Nakita
Most Original: Rayne
Most Amusing: Moo Nay Pay
Most on Theme: Hunta

Congratulations to our winners and thank you to everyone who dressed up as a book character to celebrate Children’s Book Week 2023

Ms Tammy Allen – Library


Term 3 has been a busy term completing NNEI and TAFE applications for 2024. Several Year 10 and 11 students have taken up the opportunity to put in an application. Students will find out next term if they have been successful in gaining a place.

There are still opportunities for students to apply for a variety of School Based traineeships and Private training organisations. Opportunities will be advertised outside the Senior School office and on the new display board in the Year 9/10 area.

At the beginning of 2023, Balga SHS partnered up with MPA Skills to offer a Pre- Apprenticeship in Painting. The course will be offered again in 2024 for Year 11 and 12 students. The course will be conducted one day a week on site and requires work experience to complete the Pre-Apprenticeship.

Mr Jason Bristow – VET Coordinator



I would like to begin by announcing the result of the Taste of the Future Competition. This year, Balga SHS was represented by Stephen Lian Thang. On the day, Stephen was focused, determined, and poised throughout the allocated cooking time, demonstrating excellent organisation and preparation skills. His efforts were rewarded as he won third place, impressing the judges with his focus and determination to prepare a traditional Burmese dish. Stephen was an outstanding representative for Balga SHS and should be so proud of his achievements. He impressed one of the judges so much that he offered Stephen the opportunity to complete a Chef Apprenticeship through his restaurant when he has finished school. Absolutely outstanding!

Term 3 has been extremely busy for all other hospitality students as we have had many opportunities to prepare and serve special guests during events held at the school. Our largest event this term was the Women’s World Cup Aspiration Day where we had to prepare and serve food items to students, coaching staff, and special guests from Balga SHS and other schools within the North Metropolitan area. In total, we served over 70 students and 20 guests with the students receiving recess and lunch on the day. It was a mammoth task, and the Hospitality students did an outstanding job before, during and after the event. Our students demonstrated fantastic service skills, and the event went off without a hitch. I would like to personally thank Sarah Bagshaw for inviting our department to cater for the event. I would also like to make special mention of our Home Economics Technicians, Mrs Brigette Ricci for her assistance on the day, and Ms Kathy Prall for the effort and assistance she provided the day before. Both women were an integral part of the planning process, supporting myself, the students, and other staff and, without their teamwork and dedication, it would have been significantly harder for the day to be as successful as it was. During Term 3, the Hospitality classes have also assisted in catering for NAIDOC Day and Arts Night.

There is so much more going on within the Home Economics Department, but I will allow the pictures of students to reflect what students and staff have been focused on. I would like to close by saying a final farewell to one of our long time Home Economics Technicians, Ms Rosie Symes. During the holidays, Rosie made the decision to retire. Rosie was welcoming, caring, friendly, and was always very supportive of the teaching staff. We wish her all the best in retirement. Until next term!

big congratulations to the winning pair, Hayley Bucar in Year 12 and Daria Conlon in Year 8. Great efforts to all the students who signed up for the competition and I look forward to seeing who the winner is next year!

This term, we have had the pleasure of Amber Collier working in Home Economics once a week as an additional technician, but she is not going to be with us in Term 3. On behalf of the Home Economics team, I would like to thank Amber for accepting the role and working so well within our team. I am very grateful for all of the effort she has put into the role.

Next term is the beginning of a new semester, so we will have new Year 7/8 students and our Year 9/10 cooking course will transfer from Fun with Food to International Cuisine. It is also the last term for our Year 12’s, so they will be very busy completing tasks for Children, Family, and the Community, and finalising their theory units for Hospitality. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!

Ms Jessica Owen – LAC Home Economics


Building and Construction 

Students have developed their skills in preparing and building timber house frames. They have also prepared and installed insulation, plasterboard, and external metal cladding.

Our Year 11 and 12 students have also been developing skills in brick paving. This has involved choosing a site, clearing and leveling the space, ensuring a solid foundation through additional materials and or compaction, and topping with clean sand before leveling and then laying the pavers in the chosen pattern. Some of our students were able to apply their learning in assisting with the preparation of the sand art piece for NAIDOC Day.


Our Year 9 and 10 students’ first project for Semester 2 was a wooden spinner. They used the lathe to turn the spinner and also used the drill press, bandsaw, and sanders to create the handle. The students were keen to compete with their peers to see whose spinner would stay aloft the longest!

Digital Technologies 

Congratulations to all of our Year 12s who have completed their Certificate II In Applied Digital Technologies. They can use this qualification for employment or for entry into further training.

Many of our IT certificate students, along with invited Year 9 and 10 students, attended The Big Day In, a conference for students which showcases careers in technology. Students listened to and participated with speakers from BHP, Bankwest, Microsoft and more. Students were able to engage with Virtual reality and speak with education providers and future employers. The attendees were respectful and asked insightful questions. Thank you to Mr Pittard, our Careers Practitioner, who organised the opportunity for our students and also attended.

Mr Liam Penstone – LAC of D&T


Student Mobile Phones are to be turned off as soon as the student enters the school grounds, until 3pm.

Remember: Off and away during the school day

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Sporting News

Our Athletics Carnival was held on Wednesday 30 August and in true Balga spirit, the students of our school showed passion, determination and stellar athletic skills to compete in many different Track and Field events across the day.

Students from all year levels dressed up in their faction colours and enjoyed a great day of Athletics and team games to earn points for our inter-house competition.

The participation, engagement and desire to represent our three factions (Walitj, Karak and Doonart) were absolutely brilliant by all students and staff.

Balga SHS has many talented athletes and a huge congratulations goes to all students who took part in the carnival, especially those students who gained the highest points in their age groups to win Runner-up or Champion Girl/Boy for 2023.

Boys Girls
Age Champion Runner Up Champion Runner Up
Year 7 Day Der Htoo Zach Bartorillo Nihal Ali Abdalla Joahar Al-defeari
Year 8 Eh Say Htoo Hai Mohammed Alshami Amaya Yarran Choeying Dolkar
Year 9 Osman Ali Abdikiyo Tha Hser Moo Ruth D Gbangaye Dakota Taylor
Year 10 Baruku Cirhuza Ragheed Mansoor Mary Fiel Scarlett Elliott
Year 11/12 Thanakon Wanyaphon Khi Way Soe Esther Moreno Ordaz Rihanna Dann

Inter House Competition Results

WALITJ: 1st Place – 7433 points

KARAK: 2nd Place – 7229 points

DOONART: 3rd Place – 6796 points

Well done to all students for a great day of Athletics and outstanding participation!

Thank you to all staff for assisting to help the Physical Education Department in achieving a great day for all to enjoy.

Health and Physical Education Team

World Cup Fever hits Balga Tigers (Girls Football Enrichment Program)

With the momentum of the 2023 Women’s World Cup propelling them, the Balga Tigers Junior and Senior Girls teams played two hard fought out games against Carine Senior High School and Emmanuel Christian College only to be knocked out of the SSWA Shield Competition. We are extremely proud of our girls and their effort throughout the year.

Our Year 7 to 9 girls are now looking forward to the Northern Futsal Regional Championships in Week 4 of Term 4 to test out their skills. Training recommences at the start of Term 4 on Thursdays 3-4pm for any student interested in developing their skills.

Balga Tigers meet the Haitian Women’s World Cup team

On Monday 24 July, Balga students from the Girls Football Enrichment Program attended an open training session with the Haitian Women’s World Cup team at Percy Doyle Reserve. The girls were super excited to meet their favourite World Cup Team and were in awe of the players, who were so kind and generous with their time. Some of the students managed to get an autograph from arguably one of the best players in the world, Melchie Dumornay. Dumornay caused the Lionesses (England) lots of problems in their debut match.

FIFA Women’s World Cup Flag Bearers

Twelve of our students in the Balga SHS Girls Football Enrichment Program were selected as flag bearers for the Haiti v Denmark match at Rectangular Park. It was such an exciting opportunity and a real honour for our girls to be there alongside such world class players including their favourite Haitian players Melchie Dumornay and Ruthny Mathurin. Some of our teachers and ex-students attended as chaperones.

On 1 August, 12 students from the Girls Football Enrichment Program attended the Haiti v Denmark match as flag bearers. It was such an awesome experience for the girls. Their conduct and behaviour was of the highest standard throughout the day. I was accompanied at the game by some of our ex-students as chaperones. What a great indication of the connection and ongoing relationships that our students have with the school and football program, even after graduating.

The flag bearers were supported by Ms Meredith Hammat MLA, Member for Mirrabooka, who purchased tickets to the match just to catch up with the girls and wish them all the best running onto the field. It meant so much to them. Also in attendance at the match was Minister for Education, the Hon Dr Tony Buti and Deputy Director General, Schools Ms Melesha Sands.

Department of Education FIFA Women’s World Cup event at Balga SHS

On Friday 4 August 2023, the Balga Tigers and Balga SHS hosted Dianella Secondary College, Emmanuel Christian College, Mercy College and Carine SHS for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Aspiration Day. They enjoyed presentations from world renowned and local football players, a mindfulness workshop, skill development session and the opportunity to compete in a tournament, where girls formed teams across schools in the countries represented at the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The students had a fantastic day and were appreciative of the opportunities provided to them. Feedback from Ms Meredith Hammat MLA, Football West and the Department of Education representatives was overwhelmingly positive, with everyone commenting on the girls’ perfect behaviour, excellent skills and appreciation of the event. The girls are still talking about the day!!

At the end of the event, awards were presented to the winning junior and senior teams and students in the FIFA Women’s World Cup categories. These awards were judged by independent football superstars, and I’m thrilled to share the following Balga Tigers awards:

Choeying Dolkar – Junior Golden Gloves Award
Glancey Bautro – Junior Fair Play Award
Ruth Gbangaye – Junior Player of the Tournament
Dahehpaw Emalays – Senior Golden Gloves Award

A massive thank you to staff at Balga SHS for their support of the Girls Football Enrichment program and the FIFA Women’s World Cup event. In particular I’d like to acknowledge the following people:

  • Jess Owen and her hospitality students for the most amazing spread of food.
  • Learning Support staff and students for putting together the Lego Icons of Play set.
  • The Phys Ed team, for their support of the event and helping regenerate the grass in the cage.
  • Rob Milevski and the Boys Football program for setting up the marquees and for refereeing the tournament.
  • Paul Mansfield for the photos of the event.
  • Joel Allen for allowing us to use his projector and screen for the event.
  • Nik Cullum and Dave Crosby and students for providing and setting up the sound system.
  • Danielle Toy and the Stars Academy students for their Acknowledgement of Country.
  • Last, but not least, a huge thank you to Mr Mark Carton for his continued support of the Girls Football Enrichment program and the event – it would not have come together without it. Also, to Dr Rosemary Evans for stepping in on the day with an inspiring speech and support throughout the day.

I would also like to acknowledge our amazing students, who are a credit to our school. Not only did they represent Balga SHS with pride, but they helped throughout the day and they also prepared beautiful speeches and spoke from the heart. I’d like to acknowledge Beatrice Cirhuza, Moo Nay Paw and Say Lah Shee Paw for their beautiful speeches – they brought the crowd to tears.

What an amazing school football community we have established at Balga SHS with three graduates returning to support the day:

  • Eugene Tona for his DJ skills on the day – the students loved the music whilst playing their tournament.
  • Paw S’Kar Jackson and Bolton Yangi for their speeches and help with the event.

Our students touched the hearts of Ms Ann Gourley, National Female Football Coach of the Year, Ms Donna Douglas, former Captain Manchester United, Ms Venessa O’Brien, former Manchester United and Liverpool and Welsh International player and Ms Naz Ball, Arsenal FA cup winner and Welsh International player. These amazing athletes, coaches and women shared their inspiring journey with the students and at the end of the day Venessa presented the Balga Tigers with a set of brand new strips and new football boots. The girls were so appreciative to receive these items and it’s all down to the students and their positivity, caring nature and team spirit.

Girls Team Award Winners 2023

As Term 3 comes to an end I would like to acknowledge the following students for their outstanding performances, leadership and contribution towards their football team (Balga Tigers) throughout the SSWA Champion Schools Football Competition.

Award Student
MVP Moo Nay Paw
Most Consistent Odeta Cirhuza
Most Improved Scarlett Elliott
Award Student
MVP Ruth D Gbangaye
Most Consistent Jamila Rahimi
Most Improved Ywah Hay Blut Paw

Year 12 Balga Tigers

As we look to the end of the 2023 school year for our Year 12 students, I would like to acknowledge and thank the Year 12 Balga Tigers for their leadership and commitment to their team throughout the year. In addition, I’d like to remind these students of the growth in both skill and maturity they demonstrated throughout their years in the Girls Football Enrichment program. The Balga Tigers have been fortunate to have such wonderful Year 12 leaders who mentored the younger players, assisted with Junior Matches, supported their team, played with heart on the field and have grown into superstar footballers and more importantly, amazing young women.

The Balga Tigers will miss our Year 12s, however we wish them every success in life.

Ms Sarah Bagshaw – Girls Football Enrichment Coordinator

This term the Junior School and Middle School Girls Sporting Engagement Program and our senior school General Phys Ed classes have been focusing on rugby. We have had NRL, Union and Touch rugby instructors out to the school, the students have shown great participation in the codes of rugby covered and have enjoyed learning the games.

Year 11 General Physical Education conducted an experiment in the science labs to see what different energy drinks and acidic foods do to our bones for a nutrition study. We also put an egg in salt water to see what would happen.

Health and Physical Education Team


On August 18 – 20, the 15th CK Classic International Open Taekwondo Championships were held in KL, Malaysia for 2023.

Yadullah Haideri, a Year 11 student at BSHS represented Australia. It consisted of three consecutive days of high level competition and Yadullah won the silver medal. Congratulations Yadullah on such a great achievement on the international stage. We are very proud of you!  And good luck for your up coming WA state tournament.

Visual Arts

Visual Art students are working with fervour to complete the final preparations for Arts Week 2023. This exciting school event provides a fantastic opportunity for students to showcase their talent and creativity. As well as finishing off sculptures, paintings and prints, students have framed work and attached hardware ready for hanging.

Our Be Creative Business Enterprise classes are thrilled to be involved in ReMida’s, ‘Storytellers Project’. Supported by a $69,820 grant from Lotterywest, the project collects 1000 exhibits and stories from people across WA to create a symbolic snapshot of what it means to experience life at this moment in time. Our students will exhibit alongside artists from all over the state, sharing their unique stories and perspectives. The exhibition runs from the September 9 to 22 at Edith Cown University, Mount Lawley campus.

As Term 3 comes to an end, we are filled with mixed emotions as we farewell our wonderful Year 12 Visual Art students. This inspirational group has produced an impressive body of work that demonstrates originality and excellence. Our students have participated in exhibitions and workshops that have enriched their learning and enhanced their artistic expression. We are immensely proud of their accomplishments and grateful for their creative contributions to our school community.

We would like to thank all the teachers and support staff who have encouraged and guided them throughout their time at Balga. We would also like to acknowledge their family and friends who have inspired them along the way. Congratulations class of 2023 on your remarkable achievements at Balga Senior High School.

Ms Cindy Foster  – LAC The Arts

Ms Brodie’s Year 11 students have just completed some incredible portraits on canvas. Inspired by the work of Frida Kahlo, students worked through the enquiry process to create expressive artworks that respond to the theme and inspirations.