Government Grants for Faith Communities (Ref: 30/24)

Stronger Together Safe Places for Faith Communities Program 2023-24

The NSW Government has committed $15 million to support the safety and security of places of worship and other places where faith communities gather regularly.

The Safe Places for Faith Communities Program provides grant funding for places of worship and other eligible places where faith communities gather regularly.

The program aims to enable faith communities to:

  • Come together safely to profess, practice and maintain their faith and religious heritage
  • Reduce the risk of harm to people or damage to property
  • Build community resilience, wellbeing and cohesion.

The grant amount available for application is $5,000 to a maximum of $250,000, exclusive of GST.

Click here to apply for the grant.

Grant funding is provided as a one-off payment. The funding is non-recurrent. The project must be completed and funds expended by 30 June 2025.

The total grant program funding is $15 million. $5 million is available for application in this funding round of the program. The next round of grant programs will open in the 2024-25 financial year.

Professional Learning

Program Released: Connected Catholic Communities - Belonging and Flourishing - 2024 Symposium (Ref: 31/24)

Catholic Schools NSW is pleased to release the program for Connected Catholic Communities – Belonging and Flourishing | 2024 Symposium to be held in Sydney on Tuesday, 12 March, including a Masterclass with Dr Anne Henderson on the afternoon of Monday, 11 March.

As the demands and pressures of contemporary life increase, our schools are often called upon to be more responsive to an array of complex family needs.

Evidence shows that addressing the health, wellbeing, and relational needs of students, families and the community fosters optimal learning and development and a sense of belonging and connection.

The Masterclass and Symposium will be an opportunity to continue the conversation and build capability through evidence-based practice, creating flourishing Catholic communities that meet family needs holistically.

Who Should Attend?

Similar to the highly successful inaugural Symposium held in November 2022, we are again bringing together stakeholders from a range of education settings, including early childhood services, schools and universities, along with other ministries of the Church, such as parishes, social services and health to explore the possibilities of enhanced school-community partnerships.

What’s the Imperative for this Work?

The CSNSW Connected Catholic Communities initiative responds to Plenary Council Decree 3, which calls on those responsible for Catholic education to: “identify and respond to the needs of the diverse and distinct circumstances of Catholic schools in Australia” by building partnerships that enhance the vision of Catholic education as an instrument of evangelisation and an essential dimension of the contemporary mission of the Church.

The recommendations of the Expert Panel of the recent Review to Inform a Better and Fairer Education System also provides further impetus for this work, calling for “steps to embed and strengthen linkages between schools and other services, such as community, family, health (including speech and occupational therapists), and disability support services”.

Keynote Speakers:

The keynote speaker and Masterclass facilitator will be international researcher and practitioner Dr Anne T Henderson, who will be focussing on the theme of Belonging. We will also be launching the CSNSW Discussion Paper: “Reimagining Services and Work in Schools: Transformational opportunities for the community, students, and workforce”.

Don’t miss this important event for our Catholic community with these three simple steps:

  1. Mark your calendars today.
  2. Fill in the Expression of Interest so we can connect with you.

Share with your colleagues – both inside and beyond the school gate.


Results Analysis Package (RAP) Training (Ref: 26/24)

Teachers are encouraged to take advantage of online training on 13 February 2024 which aims at developing an understanding of Results Analysis and how to use the Results Analysis Package (RAP) data sets to create teaching and learning goals.

This training will be provided by NESA staff, with concurrent sessions suitable for both beginners and those at an intermediate stage.

Session: An Introduction to the Results Analysis Package (Beginners)
Date: Tuesday 13 February 2024
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Register via this link

Session: An Introduction to the Results Analysis Package (Intermediate)
Date: Tuesday 13 February 2024
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 pm
Register via this link


Final Offering HSC Data Analysis Seminars (Ref: 27/24)

Teachers, school leaders, and system officers are invited to attend a series of seminars presented by Dr John DeCourcy, discussing the intricacies and importance of understanding and analysing HSC Data.

The Seminar Programme spans the following 3 seminars, some with multiple times, and each with a particular audience in mind. Those thinking of registering are reminded to ensure they have a functioning NetID login and that they can access both the HSC Data Analysis Users portal and an online Tutorial within that portal designed to support intending participants.

More information about the tutorial, prerequisites, and the entire programme can be found here: Seminars-2024-outline

Please see below for the date and time of each seminar with registration links.

HSC Analysis #1: Introduction to the Analysis

Who: Teachers, KLA coordinators, school leaders and interested persons who have not previously attended an HSC seminar.
1.  Tuesday 13 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm (full)
2. Friday 23 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: Macquarie University City Campus, Level 24, 123 Pitt Street, Sydney.

Programme description:  This seminar proposes to discuss why and how data should be used within schools to shape the direction of pedagogy. It will also cover an introduction to the idea of Comparative Learning Gain and how this can be used to understand HSC data.

Register here:
1. Introduction | Catholic Schools NSW – first session (full)
2. Introduction | Catholic Schools NSW – second session

HSC Analysis #2: A detailed reading of your Analysis

Who: Experienced users, including teachers, coordinators, APs or Principals who have previously attended at least one HSC Analysis Seminar.
1. Thursday 15 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
2. Tuesday 27 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: Macquarie University City Campus, Level 24, 123 Pitt Street, Sydney.

Programme description: Participants will have the opportunity to spend the majority of the seminar in a detailed, guided reading of their own school’s Analysis. This will include a consideration of ways to resolve any problems highlighted by the Analysis.

Register here:
1. Reading| Catholic Schools NSW – first session
2.Reading| Catholic Schools NSW – second session

HSC Analysis #3: Leading your school in the Analysis

Who: Principals, Aps, Leaders of Curriculum or Pedagogy and anyone with a whole school focus.
When: Monday 19 February 2024 from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.
Where: Macquarie University City Campus, Level 24, 123 Pitt Street, Sydney.

Programme description: This seminar will explore the intersection of leadership, data, teacher professional learning and student achievement. Participants will come away having considered a range of leadership responses to their school’s Analysis. Multiple members of a school’s senior leadership team are encouraged to attend.

Register here: Leading| Catholic Schools NSW


Registration is now open: 2024 Catholic School NSW CSSA Symposium – 'Writing across the curriculum’ (Ref: 23/24)

The Catholic Schools NSW (CSNSW) CSSA Symposium – ‘Writing across the curriculum’ will be held on Monday 18 March 2024 at The Amora Hotel, Jamison Sydney.  CSNSW invites Diocesan Representatives, Principals, School Leadership, Key Learning Area Coordinators, Stage 4–5 Year Coordinators and teachers in Catholic education to join us at the CSNSW CSSA Symposium – ‘Writing across the curriculum’.

The Teaching Writing: Report of the Thematic Review of Writing (NESA 2018) highlighted the ability to write is critical to educational success. In response the reformed NSW syllabuses have a strengthened focus on the teaching of writing.

In support of the NESA curriculum reform this CSSA Symposium will explore the theme ‘Writing across the curriculum’ and reflects our shared commitment to engaging in current and emerging issues in secondary education in Catholic schools.  The CSSA Symposium event will bring together education and industry leaders to explore how evidence-based practices in writing can be implemented in a secondary education context. The CSSA Symposium program will engage participants to reflect upon how they can embrace change and optimise learning and engagement within their school and beyond.

Presenters include

  • Paul Cahill – Executive Director, Curriculum Reform, NSW Education Standards Authority
  • Professor Mary Ryan – Executive Dean of Education & Arts, Australian Catholic University
  • Christine Jackson, Principal Researcher/Project Lead, and Annie Fischer, Senior Researcher/Project Lead, Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO)

 Presenters of Writing Workshops include  

  • Christine Jackson, Principal Researcher/Project Lead, and Annie Fischer, Senior Researcher/Project Lead, Australian Education Research Organisation (AERO)
  • Alicia Pringle – Subject Matter Expert: Literacy & Learning Innovation K-12, Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Armidale
  • Catherine Molloy – Supervisor, Teaching and Learning, Sydney Catholic Schools

The Agenda will be confirmed soon.

Event Details

  • Date:                                 Monday 18 March 2024
  • Time:                                Registration opens at 8.15am for commencement at 8.45am – 4:00pm
  • Location:                         The Amora Hotel, Jamison Sydney

The venue is in Sydney CBD and close to Wynard Train Station, the Light Rail, buses or Secure Parking Stations.

Fee for event registration: $160.00

At this time, it is important to acknowledge the Commonwealth Government for the Non-Government Reform Support Funds that were made available to cover the costs of prior CSSA Symposiums. As of 2024, the CSSA has had to reintroduce a fee for registration to each CSSA Symposium. This fee charged is reflective of covering costs incurred to host the event.

NESA Accredited PD: In process – soon to be advised.

Registration: Registration is available via Eventbrite from Wednesday, 31 January 2024. Tickets are limited, so remember to register early to avoid missing out.

The link to Eventbrite is found here.


Positive Partnerships – Professional Learning for School Staff (Ref: 25/24)

Positive Partnerships will be offering two online professional learning sessions for school staff in NSW and ACT in Term 1.

If you’re looking for ways to understand and support students on the autism spectrum, then don’t miss out on these opportunities.

How do I register?

Simply visit the website to register and secure your place at each session.

Monday 19 February      3.30-5pm AEDT               ‘Diversity of autism’

Monday 26th February 3.30-5pm AEDT               ‘Understanding sensory processing’

Who can attend?

These sessions are available to all school staff. Early childhood and before & after school care / OOSH staff are also encouraged to attend.

These sessions are FREE to attend. School groups are encouraged to share the experience together. So why not arrange to participate in the sessions with some colleagues? This is a great opportunity to share the learning together and to discuss the content in light of your own school context.

Also attached is our semester 1 schedule for NSW and the ACT: 2024 Workshops Schedule – NSW and ACT


Graduate Certificate in Education (Highly Accomplished/Lead Educational Practice) (Ref: 20/24)

Catholic Schools NSW and the Australian Catholic University have been working closely with NESA to have the Graduate Certificate in Education (Highly Accomplished/ Lead Educational Practice) approved by NESA as pilot streamline pathway to Module 1 accreditation as a Highly Accomplished Teacher.

As part of a pilot, teachers who complete the course in 2024 will be awarded a:

  • Graduate Certificate
  • 40 credit points towards a Master Education/ Educational Leadership and · module 1 of an application towards Highly Accomplished Teacher accreditation.

The course has been developed with accredited, highly accomplished and lead teachers. Several teachers who have completed the course have either returned to tertiary study (master level) or continued the work to be awarded higher-level accreditation. This is a fantastic opportunity for proficient teachers to progress their accreditation.

For further information, see the brochure. You can enroll in the course here. The course is Commonwealth supported.


Professional Learning Webinar: How to Support Positive Peer Relationships Among Young People in Online Spaces (Ref: 19/24)

As part of the eSafety Commissions Safer Internet Day, enrolments are now open for a free professional learning webinar on how to support positive peer relationships among young people in online spaces.

The ‘middle years’ or early adolescence (8–14 years) is a critical period of physical, emotional and social development that has important ramifications for present and future wellbeing. Notably, during this time, young people begin to spend more time with their friends and less time with their parents and greater amounts of time connecting online via digital media.

Digital media platforms help young people develop and maintain relationships with friends and family, make new social connections and find support networks. However, there are concerns among professionals and parents that young people’s online interactions also have significant negative influences on mental health and wellbeing and are detrimental to ‘real life’ interactions with peers and adults.

Research suggests there is a strong association between peer relationships and mental health in the middle years. Overall, positive peer relationships such as mutual understanding and support are associated with positive mental health and fewer externalising behaviours, such as aggression.

Given young people interact so much online, practitioners should develop ways to promote healthy online experiences, including ways to encourage positive peer relationships. In doing so, practitioners can play an important role in promoting positive mental health and wellbeing.

This webinar will help you:

  • Understand the similarities and differences between online and offline peer relationships and interactions.
  • Understand the benefits of online peer relationships for young people and some of the challenges they experience while navigating them, including their impacts on mental health and wellbeing.
  • Develop insight into how to support young people’s development of positive peer relationships in online spaces and how families can encourage these positive relationships.

The webinar will be held on Wednesday, 21 February 2024, 1:00 – 2:00 pm (AEDT). Click here to register.


Legal and Policy

Important Update to Commonwealth Statutory Declarations (Ref: 13/24)

Recent changes to the signing and witnessing of Commonwealth statutory declarations now means they can be signed in person or through a video link (such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom). A further option will be available through the myGov app early this year.

Statutory declarations are a kind of legal document used to make a declaration about a set of facts. They can be useful for visa applications, legal evidence, and employment and leave applications.

To learn more about the requirements for witnessing and signing these declarations in person or digitally, visit this link: About Commonwealth statutory declarations. 


Resources for Learning

Safer Internet Day - Resources from the eSafety Commissioner (Ref: 18/24)

As the start of a new school year approaches, parents and carers are being urged to talk with their kids about how to stay safe online after Australia’s eSafety Commissioner recorded a significant increase in cyberbullying reports.

The top five cyberbullying harms reported to eSafety in 2023 were nasty comments or serious name-calling, offensive or upsetting pictures or videos, fake accounts and impersonations, threats of violence, and unwanted contact. Two-thirds of reports (66 per cent) related to cyberbullying of girls, and just under one-third (29 per cent) concerned boys.

This Safer Internet Day (6 February 2024), the eSafety Commissioner encourages more Australians to take three simple actions to improve online safety for themselves and their loved ones: Connect, Reflect, and Protect.

Connect safely by keeping apps and devices secure and reviewing your privacy settings regularly.

Reflect on how your actions online may affect others or your safety.

Protect yourself and others by visiting to find out how to stay safe online and report online abuse.

For more information or to access additional resources, click on the following link:


School Updates & Newsletter

2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations (Ref: 21/24)

2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations

The CSSA, a division of Catholic Schools NSW, creates premium CSSA Trial HSC Examinations by education experts. Our writers and assessors have syllabus expertise and extensive teaching experience to create the CSSA Trial HSC Examinations. In support of the 2024 school year, the CSSA has posted a Letter to the Principal containing essential information regarding the 2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations.

Key Dates to assist schools:

  • The 2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Timetable is from Monday 5 August to Monday 19 August with a security period up to and including 8am, Thursday 22 August
  • The 2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Principal Information Package will be emailed to Principals on Friday 9 February (Week 2, Term 1)
  • 2024 CSSA Trial HSC Examinations online ordering is available as of 9am, Monday 12 February and until 5pm, Thursday 11 April (Week 11, Term 1)
  • Schools must contact the CSSA regarding CSSA Trial HSC Examinations Disability Provisions by 9am, Friday 5 April (Week 10, Term 1)
  • The 2024 Draft CSSA Trial HSC Examination Timetable will be provided in the Principal Information Package and then made available on the CSSA website
  • The 2024 Final CSSA Trial HSC Examination Timetable will be emailed to Principals in Week 1, Term 2 and then made available on the CSSA website

Technological Assistance for Principals:

  • If a Principal requires technological assistance with sign-in to their registered school account in the CSSA website, please email
  • There is a CSNSW verification process in place to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of each Principal and their registered school account with the CSSA.

CSSA website and individual School Accounts:

  • School data in individual School Accounts with the CSSA must be kept up to date by individual schools via the CSSA website |Account Settings.
  • Relevant personnel in CSSA registered schools should ensure that school data available and fields of information on the CSSA website is checked, updated and completed as necessary. This will ensure that your school’s address, phone number, email address and contact details are correct – this information is critical for communication with schools and the secure delivery of CSSA Trial HSC Examinations. Finally, remember to click on the “SAVE” button at the end of the process.
  • For your convenience, the link to the CSSA website is here

Best wishes for the commencement of the 2024 school year and we look forward to working with you.

Monica O’Brien

Head of CSSA Exams

Inform Period K-6 Creative Arts  HSIE, PDHPE, Science & Technology and the 7-10 Geography. History, PDHPE & Visual Arts Syllabuses (Ref: 24/24)

NESA will open a second round of consultation for the K-6 Creative Arts, HSIE, PDHPE, and Science and Technology and the 7-10 Geography. History, PDHPE & Visual Arts syllabuses starting on the 26th of February and ending on the 11th of March.

Please prepare to respond to the Have Your Say survey by watching the Inform videos that summarise NESA’s approach to the reform and the features of the refined syllabuses.

K – 6: Inform Period – Creative Art, HSIE, PDHPE, Science & Technology online presentation.
Click here for the link.

7-10: Inform Period – Geography. History, PDHPE & Visual Arts online presentations.
Click here for the link.

Scholarships and Awards

2024 Harmony Day Competitions (Ref: 17/24)

Harmony Week is an annual celebration of Australia’s cultural diversity and the benefits it brings to the entire Australian community. In 2024, Harmony Week runs from Monday, March 18, to Sunday, March 24.

Schools play a vital role in promoting ideas of harmony, togetherness, and belonging during this important time. Many schools also take this opportunity to organise events that celebrate multiculturalism within their communities.

One way of being involved in Harmony Week is to encourage student participation in the annual Harmony Day Competition. The competition categories are Poster, Songwriting and Short Film (new category). The theme for the 2024 competition is: ‘Harmony – what can we do?’

Entries close on 12 April 2024.

More details on the competition are available at:


The 2024 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship: Applications Are Now Open (Ref: 22/24)

Applications are now open for the 2024 Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship.

The Premier’s Anzac Memorial Scholarship gives NSW Year 10 and 11 History students the opportunity to travel on a study tour to develop their knowledge and understanding of the history of Australians at war. Accompanied by a military historian, the tour includes visits to significant historical sites to learn about and commemorate the service of Australian men and women in the World Wars and other conflicts.

In 2024, the study tour will travel during the Term 3 Holidays.

Click here for more information and how to apply.


The Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science: Applications Now Open​​​​​​​ (Ref: 16/24)

Applications are now open for the Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science. The prizes are Australia’s most prestigious and highly regarded awards for outstanding achievements in scientific research, research-based innovation and excellence in science teaching.

The prizes will award up to $750,000 each year for outstanding achievements. Information on the prizes for science teaching is on the Science Teaching Prizes page.

There are five science prizes for science and innovation:

  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Science ($250,000)
  • Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation ($250,000)
  • Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year ($50,000)
  • Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year ($50,000)
  • Prize for New Innovators ($50,000)

Each prize recipient receives a medallion, lapel pin, prize money as described above and an award certificate.

Click here for more details, including eligibility criteria and application documents.

Applications close on Thursday, 8 February 2024, 5:00 pm AEDT.


NSW Training Awards: Applications for 2024 Are Now Open​​​​​​​ (Ref: 3/24)

Step up and be recognised with a NSW Training Award! The NSW Training Awards are conducted annually by Training Services NSW to recognise outstanding achievements by individuals and organisations in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector.

Why get involved with the Awards?

As the premier awards for vocational education and training (VET) in NSW, the Awards are a great way to receive recognition for the effort that individuals, Employers and Registered Training Organisations put into VET.

For organisations, the Awards are the perfect platform to showcase the organisations’ commitment to VET. Entering the Awards raises the profile of the organisation and the awareness of the industry to the organisations’ dedication to skills for the workforce.

For individuals, the Awards provide a unique opportunity to celebrate their achievements and hard work. Nominating an individual for an award can open many doors and potentially become a stepping stone in their careers.

Individual Award Categories relevant for schools:

  • VET in Schools Student of the Year
  • School-based Apprentice/Trainee of the Year
  • VET Trainer/Teacher of the Year

Organisation Awards:

  • Industry Collaboration
  • Large Employer of the Year
  • Small Employer of the Year
  • Large Training Provider of the Year
  • Small Training Provider of the Year Awards

National Award categories: (previous successful  school applications)

  • Innovation in VET Award
  • School Pathways to VET Award


Give yourself plenty of time to complete your application. You can still make edits to your submitted application right up until the closing dates:

  • Individual: 17 March 2024
  • Organisations: 31 March 2024

Be sure to access the NSW Training Awards site for:

  • Eligibility and selection criteria
  • Submission tips and videos
  • FAQs
  • Interview preparation videos


Students will be in the final year of their qualification, so generally, Year 12. Teachers/trainers can be relatively new or very experienced.

Winners progress through:

  • Regional Training Awards
    • Interviews: April; Awards: June
  • NSW State Training Awards
    • Interviews: July; Awards: 13 September
  • Australian Training Awards
    • Interviews: October; Awards: November

For an Organisational Award, check you’ve selected the most appropriate category.

Good luck!