A successful Term 2 Information Session and General Meeting…..

What a great gathering at the Information Session and General Meeting held on Wednesday night (18/05/16). With guests showing particular interest in the fabulous information session presented by the Blue Gum High School students (past and present).

The High School students provided a personal insight to their experiences across the school year as well as the skills and interests that they have developed. Students discussed the breadth of experiences and opportunities such as intensive community internships that are offered at Blue Gum as well as the close friendships, resilience and capability they have built. Students described some challenges in their transition to the mainstream college system however all felt they were very well prepared for these challenges. In most cases better able to adapt than their peers, which was demonstrated in the many successes that the students have achieved. We thank the High School students for sharing their experiences with us.

Maureen provided us with an update on recent happenings at the school as well as announcing that the new Blue Gum website is up and running – please have a look at the site www.bluegum.edu.act.au and send in your feedback on the new format and information that is now available.

The next General Meeting will be held in Term 3 on Wednesday 10 August 2016.


Slow Sunday 2016

Slow Sunday
Sunday 5th June
11:00am – 1:00pm at the Hackett campus
114 Maitland Street Hackett

Come along and enjoy some Blue Gum magic with activities, performances and a delicious falafel or sausage BBQ! There will also be the ever popular decorate a cupcake stall, a baked goods stall, and somewhere you can sit chat with other Blue Gum parents.


We need your mad baking and grilling skills!!! We need volunteers for the following:

  • Help to set up the stalls (10:30am – 11:00am)
  • Help to serve/cook the BBQ or serve at the cupcake stall (1/2 hour slots between 11am – 1pm)
  • Your baking skills before the day
  • Help to pack up at the end.

If you can help with any of these please contact Families and Friends of Blue Gum at ffofbg@gmail.com
Bring along your friends, family and neighbours. It’s going to be a lot of fun…

Community Snapshot – Invent an Instrument – Review

A small group of Bluegum students and friends joined instrument inventor and composer Dylan Martorell at Hotel Hotel’s Fix and Make series of workshops at the end of April. The ‘tinkering shed’ where it was held happens to be a large open-plan room where provocative piles of reclaimed resources were stacked on the floor. The kids were itching to get into it as soon as they saw the metal bowls,  bicycle wheels, bits of old camp beds and a pair of bionic stilts…

Dylan showed them two robots (made from upturned rice bowls) that had been set up to turn and ‘dong’ with extended arms in various directions and prompted the kids to collect from the stacks of objects the things they thought would make good sounds. There was a rush for the junk and soon there was an interesting cacophony of bangs, clonks and tings. One participant thought to balance a bowl on a cup allowing it to ring out and soon this idea was taken to the extreme with a delicate tower of a blown up balloon topped by a  metallic xylophone note which collapsed as soon as it was struck, but sounded great.

Next, participants were given drumsticks that were powered by linear actuators from a car’s central locking system. These robotic drumsticks could be attached to objects.  When triggered they could be arranged to strike an object and make a sound. The kids were provoked to hunt out good bases and more objects to strike and create as many instruments as they had time for. So, working groups they built towers from folding beds and metallic chairs on to which they attached the drumstick-arms.

Other amazing sounds were made by experimenting with grounding everyday things such as balls of aluminium foil and sweet potatoes to make a sound from Dylan’s computer.

Dylan triggered the drumsticks to strike the arranged objects at differing intervals from a central program on his computer and once the kids were satisfied their work was done (a-hem, we ran just a little overtime) made the robotic orchestra assembled from ‘junk’ play.



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Parent Information Evening and General Meeting

Please join us on

Wednesday 18th May 2016 at 7:30pm

at our Hackett campus.

Do you have questions about how Blue Gum’s philosophy of strengths-based learning,
slow schooling and outdoor education works beyond the younger years? Or how students who have been nurtured in such a tightly-knit community are prepared for the transition to mainstream college, university, CIT, the world of work etc? Hear directly from High School students (& educators) and Blue Gum graduates who are joining us to share their personal perspective.
Families and Friends of Blue Gum would like to invite you to an evening hosted by
Blue Gum’s High School, with present and past students. Listen to their experiences, ask questions, and see the inspiring learning spaces that Blue Gum offers senior students.
We’ll also have an update from Maureen on the goings on in the school, as well as from
the Families and Friends of Blue Gum.


Blue Gum Picnic

Uriarra East Picnic Area

Sunday 20th March 2016

Picnic from Midday for as long as you like

How to get there

BY CAR:  Follow Uriarra Road; turn off left before you reach the river crossing; about 30 minutes drive from North Canberra

BY FOOT:  You can walk to Uriarra from Holt. You get some nice views of the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee Rivers and also the water treatment plant!!

For those wanting to walk there (there are a few interested families), meet at 10:30am at the parking area 3 kilometres from the last traffic island on Stockdill Drive, Holt.  It is about 4 km one way.

If you don’t think your family are up for walking both directions, perhaps one family member could get to Uriarra by car so you wouldn’t have to walk back (and they could take the picnic stuff too!).

For more info on the walk go to: http://www.tams.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/609630/Murrumbidgee-River-Corridor-Brochure.pdf

What to Bring: Any or all of the following, a picnic, firewood, marshmallows, sausages, ingredients for damper on a stick, swimming gear, spare clothes, a footy, frisbee …

RSVP: No need to RSVP for the picnic but please RSVP if you are planning to meet up for the walk. Contact Tahli (Ironbark CPL) at ffofbg@gmail.com or your class CPL.

Meet the new Committee!

Wow, what a fantastic turnout we had at the Term 1 Families and Friends of Blue Gum AGM on Wednesday last week! We got to hear Sophia talk about Blue Gum’s approach to all things Outdoors. Then we had our Annual General Meeting with many people putting their hands up to join the committee.

Introducing your new committee:

President – Alex Reale with Sierra in Scribbly Bark and Roman in the Cottage.

Vice President – Simon Geach with Jasper in Middle School and Lily in Candlebark.

Treasurer – Lis van Papenrecht with Ruby in Middle School.

Secretary – Toni O’Keefe with Myles in Scribbly Bark.

General Members: Continue reading