DMSC is a Child Safe School
Principal's Report - 13th December
We have made it safely home – tired – but content with the knowledge that we did something positive to help others. Our last few days in Cambodia were action-packed, with us finishing on the school site on the Thursday. Approximately 100 primary aged students gathered to thank us for our efforts at their soon to be completed school, and all students quickly made some special friends and spent much of the day playing. Our students taught a group to play “Duck, Duck, Goose, Goose” (the chasing game) which the Cambodian children quickly learned and absolutely loved!
Pictured below is Bill Morse from the Landmine Relief Fund in Cambodia, an organisation that not only sends teams out to find and defuse all kinds of munitions – still littered throughout the countryside, but they also contribute significant funds to the building and support of schools. Bill had the honour of cutting the final section of ribbon (we all had a turn) to celebrate the tasks that we completed whilst at the school site. Bill and his wife Jill – expat Americans – were truly inspiring, using their wealth, connections in the US and passion, to support the Cambodian people. They permanently relocated to Siem Reap in 2009, after spending six years commuting between America and Cambodia. A documentary has been made about their project work called, “Until They’re Gone”. (You can find it on Amazon.)
On Friday December 7, we spent the day visiting significant sites in Siem Reap. Students were given a brief insight into the horrors that took place in Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot. We visited a Buddhist temple which also has a stupa containing hundreds of human skulls that were retrieved from the killing fields, after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of us also received a blessing from a Buddhist monk, involving the tying of a band around the wrist and some quiet “prayers”. Mr Werner is pictured receiving his blessing.
On Friday night, we attended a dinner show, featuring traditional Cambodian dance and costumes. The precise movements of the dancers were very impressive and the costumes were very intricate and beautiful.
Saturday December 8 saw us head out for a very long and VERY bumpy road trip to Kulen Mountain. Considered a sacred site and one which many Cambodians make a pilgrimage to, it is one of the few mountains in an otherwise quite flat country. Half way up the mountain (after climbing hundreds of steps) there is a Buddhist temple. We had many drink stops on our way to the top, but the going was easier when the path became a sandy track, shaded by jungle.
Before we left the mountain, we also walked to the beautiful waterfall, made famous by the Angelina Jolie film, Tomb Raider. While the locals were swimming in the cool water, we were advised not to, for fear of picking up a bug or two!
For our final day in Cambodia, we took a boat cruise out onto Tonle Sap Lake. This massive inland lake stretches right across Cambodia, actually linking Siem Reap with the capital Phnom Penh. We observed the floating fishing villages and there were also schools, shops, etc – all out on the lake. Many of the families spend their entire lives living out on the lake, with no real need to come to shore.
After our final traditional Cambodian lunch – we were ready to head back to the hotel to shower and then head to the airport. We had a short flight from Cambodia to Vietnam, then only a short wait before our flight to Melbourne. Some were able to get a little sleep on our overnight journey; however a few of us arrived back in Dimboola with no shut-eye for 36 hours! A huge thank you to Mr Werner who drove the bus home from Melbourne.
Well done to the nine DMSC students who went this year – you represented your school with pride and I know you will remember moments of this experience for the rest of your lives. This was a wonderful opportunity for our students and we are definitely hoping to offer this trip again in 2020. It will be open for students in Years 10-12.
Step up classes and Activities
This Friday, our step up classes for 2019 will conclude. All students in Years 7-9 have been working steadily and many of these tasks will contribute towards their assessment grade in Term One next year.
Next Monday and Tuesday, we will be holding a range of end of year activities and students are required to return their permission forms and any money for associated charges, to the office. Students are able to wear free dress; however they should not be in singlets or thongs.
This evening, we are holding our final school council meeting for 2018. Following the formalities of the meeting, all councillors will enjoy dinner together at The Victoria Hotel, Dimboola. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our councillors for their ongoing support of DMSC. The parents, students, staff and community members who are on council are all passionate about our school and keen to see us continue to thrive into the future. Please note that all council members’ names are listed on the front of the newsletter.
Term Four reports will be distributed at Awards Night, next Tuesday, December 18. All students are expected to attend this event in full school uniform. It is always a great celebration of the year that has been and I encourage all families to attend as well.
There will be a short “Christmas” edition of our newsletter issued on Tuesday next week. All present at Awards Night will receive a copy with the students’ reports and we will also email it out and post it on our website.
Dates- 2018 End of Year Dates
- 2019 Starting Dates
We are a Sun Smart school.
A reminder that all students must wear a DMSC wide-brimmed hat in Terms One and Four. Only DMSC hats are acceptable, no caps can be worn.
Hats can be purchased from the office.