Priority Items

CERA Open First Round of Applications for Bushfire Relief Grants (Ref: 116/20)

On Monday, May 18, Catholic Emergency Relief Australia opened the first round of applications for grants to support the ongoing recovery from the devastating bushfires of the summer of 2019/2020. The funds are geared especially towards trauma and grief counselling, as well as other mental and emotional support, along with community-building initiatives.

Applications are open until June 5, 2020, with the successful applicants to be announced on June 15. At least $100,000 will be available for community organisations.

Click here to download the application form

Click here to read the CERA media release on the grant applications


NESA HSC 2020 'What Has Changed for Students' Flyer (Ref:105/20)

NESA has released a flyer outlining the various changes that have been made to HSC 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. To download the flyer please click here.

Send Us Your Good News Stories! (Ref: 092/20)

Whether it is teachers going above and beyond to support families and students, or the community rallying behind schools at this time, Catholic Schools New South Wales would like to hear about it. Please direct any good news stories to

Professional Learning

Online Professional Learning for Teachers: Professional Associations (Ref: 089/20)

Many professional associations have moved their professional learning programs online in response to COVID-19.

The Professional Teachers Council website provides direct links to member associations and their professional learning programs.

Professional Associations currently provide a range of online courses across a variety of subjects.

To view the full list of courses please visit their website.

Participation in teacher professional learning aligns with Standard 6 of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST), in particular 6.2.2. In addition, individual events address other specific standard descriptors of the APST.



Support for Bushfire-Affected School Students and Families in NSW (Ref:017/20)

Please refer to the Catholic Schools New South Wales website for a range of resources and information to support bushfire-affected schools, students and families.
Information includes:
– Financial support for families
– Community support
– Mental health support
– How Catholic schools communities and parishes can help

Please note all this information has previously been provided to diocesan directors and school principals via memo over the last few weeks.


COVID-19 Update

Children's Sports, Gyms, and other Indoor Fitness Activities to Resume (Ref: 112/20)

  • The NSW Government announced that children’s sports will be permitted to resume from July 1, with organisations and councils given four weeks to prepare safety plans for the resumption of competitions and leagues.
  • NSW government has indicated that from Saturday June 13, indoor fitness activities like yoga, pilates or group training sessions will be permitted but class sizes will be capped at 10 people, with up to 100 people in indoor venues.
  • Indoor pools and saunas, will also be allowed to reopen from the same date, with restricted numbers. Venues such as gyms will be permitted to hold up to 100 people, providing there is four square metres of space for each person.
  • NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the government was working with the fitness industry and sporting organisations on specific guidelines that will need to be in place before the restart dates.

For more information please click here.


NSW School Vaccination Program 2020 - Update (Ref: 115/20)

NSW Health would like to return to routine vaccination clinics  in the coming months, as students are returning to school.

They would like to offer year 7 and 10 vaccinations in schools where PHU’s have the capacity and schools are supportive

PHUs will negotiate directly with school principals (as is commonly the practice) to arrange vaccination times.

*   Additional measures will be implemented by PHUs to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission in the school setting consistent with expert clinical advice i.e. social distancing and clinic logistics

Further information can be found on the NSW Health website:,


Stay Healthy During the HSC - NESA Campaign (Ref: 113/20)

In any ‘normal’ year the HSC requires dedication and focus as well as the support of friends and family.

This year hasn’t exactly panned out to be a ‘normal’ year, with announcements about changes to the HSC due to COVID-19.

This year NESA is partnering with mental health organisation ReachOut to deliver news, information, guidance and advice to support all HSC students.

You’ll hear from experts, teachers, parents and other students as well as some inspiring spokespeople.

ReachOut’s Study Hub has heaps of info about taking a proactive approach to student’s mental health or where to go if you need more support. ReachOut’s Forums are great for sharing what’s going on for students and get ideas about the best ways to feel happy and well.

Students are being encouraged to follow and use #StayHealthyHSC for regular health and wellbeing updates and information.

View NESA’s range of social media images, posters and flyer to help you get involved and share the Stay Healthy HSC message with your community.


COVID-19 – Latest Updates and Resources (Ref: 060/20)

For the latest updates and helpful resources and advice regarding COVID-19 and it’s impacts on the Catholic Education sector please refer to the COVID-19 Section on the Catholic Schools New South Wales Website. Diocesan Directors and Principals are encouraged to access the COVID-19 Response Portal for relevant resources and information.



COVID-19 changes - electronic signing and virtual meetings and financial reporting extensions (Ref: 103/20)

Due to the difficulties that may be posed in holding face to face meetings and executing documents in the current COVID-19 environment, both the Commonwealth and NSW State Governments have made temporary changes to relevant legislation to allow virtual meetings and electronic signatures in certain circumstances. Extensions to lodge financial reports have also been granted by ASIC and the ACNC. In summary, these changes are:

  • Entities incorporated as companies under the Corporations Act 2001 can hold virtual AGMs and other meetings (eg by Zoom) without the need for a physical location. There are certain conditions that still need to be complied with such as giving all those who attend an opportunity to participate and the use of polls for voting. This legislation is intended to over-ride the provisions of a company’s constitution.  More information.
  • ASIC has also stated it will allow public companies with financial year ends from 31 December 2019 to 7 July 2020 to delay their AGM, so long as this occurs within 7 months after the end of their financial year. ASIC has also extended the deadline for entities to lodge financial reports under the Corporations Act by one month for certain balance dates up to and including 7 July 2020 balance dates.  More information.
  • For entities which are unincorporated associations, the NSW Office of Fair Trading  has stated that AGMs may be conducted when restrictions are lifted or entities may conduct the 2020 AGM, for the purpose of presenting the financial information to members, in conjunction with the 2021 AGM. More information.
  • For entities registered with the ACNC, Annual Information Statement due dates between 12 March 2020 and 30 August 2020 now have an extension until 31 August 2020. The ACNC has also  suggested that meetings (including AGMs) could continue be conducted by video conference where face to face meetings are not possible. Where meetings are unable to occur at all, this needs to be internally documented and explained.  More information.
  • Execution of documents by a company under section 127 of the Corporations Act may be done so electronically rather than with ‘wet ink’ and, where there are two signatories, on separate documents provided each of the separate documents includes the entire contents. More information.
  • Video technology platforms (eg Zoom and Skype) can now be used in NSW to witness important legal documents such as wills, powers of attorney and statutory declarations. A witness must see a person signing the document in real time, using the video platform, to confirm the signature is legitimate.
  • To facilitate the witnessing of NSW statutory declarations during COVID-19, the categories of people who are authorised to witness documents has been expanded in line with federal legislation – this means that teachers  employed on a permanent full‑time or part‑time basis at a school or tertiary education institution and ministers of religion can now witness these documents. More information.

These arrangements will be in place until 26 September 2020 (for the NSW unincorporated association AGMs and NSW legal document changes) and until 6 November 2020 (for the Corporations Act meetings and Corporations Act document execution changes).


Animal Research Authority 2020 (Ref: 078/20)

The use of animals in schools for educational purposes is governed by the Animal Research Act (1985) NSW. Catholic Schools NSW meets a requirement of this Act by issuing an Animal Research Authority to each school annually.

Accompanying this advice is the annual Animal Research Authority for the Principal and teachers who use animals to complete and retain within the school. Both pages of the Authority need to be completed. The names of teachers approved by the Principal to handle animals should be listed on the second page of the Authority, along with each teacher’s signature.

The Animal Welfare Liaison Officer, appointed by the Principal, must also be identified. The Principal is the Animal Welfare Liaison Officer in Schools for Specific Purposes, primary and infants schools. In central and secondary schools, it is generally the teacher most qualified to supervise the use of animals for teaching and research purposes. A full description of the role of the Animal Welfare Liaison Officer can be found at Animals in schools>Compliance>Responsibilities accessed at

The information on page two of the Animal Research Authority must be updated when changes in personnel occur at the school. The Animal Research Authority must be retained at the school and made available to appropriately authorised people including officers of the NSW Department of Education, inspectors from the NSW Department of Primary Industries Animal Welfare Unit and officers involved with, and members of, the Schools Animal Care and Ethics Committee.

If you require further information about the Animal Research Authority, please contact Gerard Delany, State Manager – Education Policy by email

Further information can be obtained via the link below:

2020 Animal Research Authority Catholic Schools New South Wales v1


School Newsletter

Want free healthy eating curriculum materials, class posters and student stickers? (Ref: 114/20)

This year’s theme is Planet Fruit & Veg! and it’s all about exploring the world of fruits and vegetables through the lens of sustainability.

Fruit & Veg Month is a primary school health promotion event funded by NSW Health.

The event will be held during the last 4 weeks of Term 3, Monday 31 August to Friday 25 September.

For more details on Fruit & Veg Month, and to fill out the quick and easy online registration form, go to:

weeks of Term 3, Monday 31 August to Friday 25 September.

For more details on Fruit & Veg Month, and to fill out the quick and easy online registration form, go to:

Olympic Day 2020 (Ref: 117/20)

Olympic Day is a chance to celebrate everything Australians love about the Olympics – sportsmanship, teamwork and doing your very best, both on and off the sporting field. We invite you to help celebrate sport throughout June.

Athletes all over the world are reassessing their goals and with students across Australia returning to the classroom, we’re encouraging you and your class to do the same by setting a goal on 1 June 2020 to be achieved by Olympic Day on 23 June 2020.

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games have been delayed, but the Olympic values of teamwork, resilience, overcoming challenges and respect have never been more important.

Let’s see what we can achieve by Olympic Day!

The resources include:

  1. A video welcome from our Olympians
  2. Olympic Day Activity Guide: The Activity Guide encourages students to embrace Olympic Day and their goal by becoming involved in activities designed to encourage physical activity, challenge their creativity, and learn about Aussie Olympic athletes and sports
  3. Olympic Day Goal: Template for students to commit to their goal by making a pledge
  4. Olympic Day Goal Certificate: For students who complete their goals on 23 June!

Aunty Elsie Heiss Scholarship for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Students (Ref:100/20)

A new opportunity now exists with the Archdiocese of Sydney funding a scholarship program through the University of Notre Dame Australia, aimed at making tertiary education more accessible for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.

The scholarship has been named the Aunty Elsie Heiss Scholarship in recognition of her contribution to the church where she has led Aboriginal Catholic Ministry programs for over three decades at the Reconciliation Church, La Perouse.

Please click here for more information.

Schools invited to apply for a school crossing supervisor (Ref: 076/20)

Schools across NSW are encouraged to apply for a school crossing supervisor in a new round of the Government’s crossing supervisor program.

The NSW Government is currently rolling out 300 additional school crossing supervisors at NSW schools by 2021, as part of a three year $18.5 million initiative to improve road safety for school children.

To apply for a school crossing supervisor, please click here.