Author: wirreandablogging

Peer Support Training

Being a Peer Support Leader is an opportunity for our more experienced High School students to welcome our new Year 8s to the Wirreanda community at the beginning of the 2018 school year. On Thursday 14th November, a dynamic group of Year 9s worked closely in collaboration with Casie Coombe (Vice-Captain), Ms Bruno, Ms Parker, Kadri, and Mrs Millar. In addition, our new Peer Support group were mentored by three of our current Peer Support Leaders from 2017 – Myah, Charlotte and Hayley. The day had a strong focus on creating a safe learning space, showing respect to one another and developing skills in bringing people together.

We began our training day by getting to know one another and learning ‘Icebreaker’ activities that our students can later use to get to know our new community members next year. We collaborated to discover the traits of different leaders, and reflected upon our own leadership skills. Students discovered that many of them shared similar fears when beginning high school. After identifying our collaborative strengths as leaders, as well as areas to improve upon, we explored ways to manage our emotions. As a leader, students may find that their peers seek them out for support. Here at Wirreanda, we firmly believe that life-skills such as leadership, resolving conflict, problem solving and seeking support from the best people at the best time are essential to an individual’s success not only in school, but in the workforce and indeed, life itself.

We learned that meaningful connection to your peers, community and self can assist to motivate people to accomplish more. This was most evident in Casie’s “RU OK?” video in which she examined experiences from her own life and how she actively chose to make decisions that brought her immediate school community together. Students teaching students is a powerful mode of learning which ensures that authentic experiences and opportunities are afforded to our young leaders.

I am excited to see what this group will accomplish in 2018 and look forward to seeing them apply their exceptional leadership skills, strategies and positivity to promote and develop a supportive Wirreanda community. A huge thank you to the staff members involved for your time and commitment to developing the skills of our young people. Of course – the main credit must be given to the amazing young people who gave up their time to become active community leaders. Great effort everyone!

Our 2018 Peer Support Leaders

Olivia C, Jeremy V, Gypsy S, Aurora C, Georgia U, Sara W, Eric Z, Connor M, Morgan W, Max J, Daeshana J-P, Kimberleigh J, Mitchell S, Ben C, Tyler Walther and Danial R.

Yours in community spirit,

Ms Parker


Positive Education Day – Mental Health and Belonging 

On behalf of the Mental Health and Belonging Focus Group, Student Leadership, Year 12 Health class and the Wellbeing Team, I would like to thank all the guest speakers, Katrine Hildyard and community groups for making today such a positive day.

Today, Wirreanda Secondary School conducted a whole day of focus and awareness around resilience, respectful relationships, conflict resolution strategies and mindfulness to help raise awareness around Mental Health and Belonging and to support  R U OK? Day.

This has included:

  • Student workshop sessions. This encompassed students working closely with key guests, with the objective of raising  awareness around Mental Health.
  • Fostering a sense of belonging within our community.
  • Facilitating learning programs that focus on responsibility to connect with, and care for others to boost confidence.

The long term outcome of these sessions as part of R U OK? Day is to continue to develop skills and knowledge in resilience, respectful relationships, and conflict resolution strategies. We hope that this will aid in enhancing our interactions with our school community, and develop meaningful life-skills for our students.

Our lunchtime community event showcased our school’s commitment and awareness of RU OK? Our students had access to a live DJ, activities from the Onkaparinga Council, henna tattoo artists, support and information from Safe Schools Coalition, and a ‘Conversation Corner’.

Throughout the year, we have actively celebrated the diversity of our school community and promoted positive wellbeing strategies to all students and staff. Events such as today are the embodiment of our safe school policy, inclusivity strategies and programs in which all members of Wirreanda Secondary School have:

  • The right to be included and have respect from others
  • The right to learn or to be taught
  • The right to feel safe and secure in their school environment

We acknowledge that Wirreanda Secondary School is a White Ribbon and Safe School Coalition site and promotes respectful relationships amongst all members of the community, to improve the wellbeing of all students and staff.


White Ribbon Day 

Wirreanda Secondary School has committed to the White Ribbon “ Breaking the Silence “ in schools programs as part of the primary prevention of violence against women. We recognise that the primary prevention of violence against women is an important first step to use an educational setting as a platform to raise awareness and build a culture of respectful relationships.
Today we showed our support and raised awareness by;

A lunchtime BBQ that facilitated conversations and enabled us to keep up with already established traditions.
A lunchtime staff v’s students basketball match which attracted many enthusiastic players and supporters.
An area set was up for students to contribute to the ‘rise up’ SOUTHERN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE INITIATIVE supported by the city of ONKAPRINGA to decorate a t-shirt with a message of hope. 
Pledge boards where staff and students were encouraged to photograph colleagues and peers holding a ‘we swear’ poster and post them to social media using the hashtags #decdWRD2016 and #WhiteRibbonDay.
Students represented Wirreanda Secondary School by going to the WHITE RIBBON BREAKFAST at the Adelaide Convention Centre, thank you to Alicia Dean was facilitating the morning.

A fantastic lunchtime event that had music, entertainment, facilitated awareness and as always exhibited a community building a culture of respect.

Huge thanks to the White Ribbon Team – Jamie Maniero, Ben Menzies, Ralf Pirone and James Skehan for organising today’s event.

Thanks to Azra for her BBQ skills, Amber,  Josh and the peer support students for helping with the set up of the day and Jake for assisting with his DJ skills.

Peer Support Training 

On Friday November 4th, a group of Year 9 students participated in the Peer Support training day. This program will link our Peer Supporter students with our new Year 8s to assist them in their transition to High School at the beginning of 2017.

Peer Support students learned a variety of skills to become more effective leaders within our school, this included: learning ‘getting to know you’ and ‘ice-breaker’ activities, discussing and reflecting upon leadership qualities, learning emotional literacy and mindfulness skills and planning how to best support our new Year 8s in 2017. 

The day utilised the skills of various staff and students. Peer Support leaders from this year, (Jett, Mitchell, Layla and Chloe) supported the new cohort of leaders for next year throughout the day. In addition, a range of staff including Ms Bruno, Ms DeGaris, Kadri, Ms Cousins, Mr Maniero,  James and Ms Parker ran sessions to develop the leadership capacity of our students. 

The 2017 Peer Support group were fantastic in participating during the day and demonstrated exceptional leadership skills. Your commitment to making Wirreanda a welcoming, fun and exceptional place to learn makes me incredibly proud to be a member of the Wirreanda community.

Thank you to all students and staff who were involved on the day! 

Em Parker

Reporting to the Community – Cambodia 2016

Congratulations to all the students who presented at both Governing Council and the School Assembly.

The links to the video clips are attached.

Thank you to all who represented the Wirreanda Community. The Wirreanda Cambodia Project team experienced the true gifts that come from giving whole heartedly , this group not only rose to the challenge – they surpassed anything I could have imagined . 

Wirreanda Cambodia Project 2016
Cambodia 2016

Teresa Bruno

Cambodia – Reflections

Our trip to Cambodia has been amazing. My eyes have been opened and the experiences will be cherished forever except when Dante scared me about gorillas at the temples. Teaching the children and constructing the kindergarten has been truely rewarding. To learn, watch and realise how the Cambodian people live, their culture, their way of life, including why the country is so poor. It’s amazing how happy the children are and their want to learn and be at school. As you can see in these few photos there’s a girl holding her 3 year old sister while doing her work at school, this is because their parents have to work and therefore they have to look after their siblings. Also you see the muddy road we have to walk on to get to the school the amount of times we’ve slipped is uncountable but this is what the people live with every day that live nearby the school. I’ve enjoyed every minute of the trip, especially with the amazing teachers we are with.

– Chloe O’Reilly 

During this trip in Cambodia I have made some life changing memories and will forever cherish this amazing experience, I am so grateful that I have been a part of something so fantastic. What made this trip so eye-opening for me was most definitely the kids and how they grew up and what conditions they have been put through. It makes me feel so fortunate for the life I have in Australia. 
I have made so made memories and friendships with the children and it will be so hard to say goodbye to them, I will never forget this experience and there has been so much happiness throughout this trip, I’ve had an absolute ball.

~Amber Goode

Cambodia – Daily Experiences 

It has been a truly humbling experience to watch our students shine, observing them endure heat, humidity and rain all in an effort to build this kindergarten for the students of World of Hope School.The reality that we will be leaving shortly has kicked in and many students have commented on how hard it will be to leave the children and Cambodia.

Students have equally embraced construction and the teaching component of the project, many making bonds with the students in their classes. Students greet the children at the beginning of each morning and afternoon session and conclude the sessions handing out stickers and being surrounded by the affectionate children.

Each day we leave with our buses surrounded by children waving goodbye, a sight that will long be remembered by all.

This evening we were fortunate to observe traditional Khmer dancing and spend an evening out together.

I could not be prouder to work alongside these dedicated students, teachers and volunteers.

Cambodia – Angkor Temples 

Today we visited the Angkor Temples which was an amazing experience. Our tour guide discussed the historical context about each of the three temples we visited. Each temple was built in the 12th century and represented different faiths. The first temple was dedicated to Hinduism and the following two were dedicated to Buddhism. The last temple we visited is where the film ‘Tomb Raider’ (featuring Angelina Jolie) was recorded and produced. This entire trip has been a life changing experience which has had a positive impact on myself. I have connected with all of my peers during my time in Cambodia. The highlight of my trip so far has been being able to contribute my support to the World Of Hope School and seeing the beaming smiles on each of the children’s faces at the end of the day. I would also like to thank Ms Bruno, Ms Parker and Mr Dixon for making this amazing once in a life time opportunity possible and ensuring that we are all safe. Also a huge thank you to Rey for being such an inspirational director and making us all feel welcomed. 
Thank you, Celeste Cameron.

Cambodia – Visit to New Hope 

Visiting the school we worked at 2 years ago made me realise how much of an impact we all made two years ago. I am so proud of what we all achieved and am hoping that we will be able to have the same outcome this year at our new school. My highlight of the day; possibly the whole trip was seeing all those young children grow up and improve on their English skills. To see kindy children in the kindy room we made was amazing! There was an increase in the amount of children that attend in the morning I believe this is due to there being more classrooms and teachers available. 

We finished the morning with the class Eryka and I chose to work with singing us a song “Take me to your heart” This song was sung to us last time and almost brings me to tears every time I hear it. I love those children so much and I can’t wait to come back in my own time.

Cortney Ellingham