At Hills Grammar we believe that our parents (and their broader families) are critical to the learning success of their children and integral to our learning community. This belief is based on empirical research about parenting and is an important principle of our learning community. The love and support parents & families provide as well as their role model are important in setting expectations for their children about all aspects of school life. The alignment between school and home has in my view, never been more important. We are committed to ensuring that our partnerships are strong and enduring, based on a relationship that is professional and built on trust and openness

We acknowledge the many parent and grandparent volunteers, including the class parents, the Parents & Friends Association and its Executive, very ably led by President, Mrs Dana Coleman. We thank them all for the very important roles that they undertake.

Since the 2016 AGM there has seen some dynamic changes take place within PAFA. These changes have led to many new innovative ideas coming to the school community.  I would like to acknowledge the wonderful role the Acting Principal Michael Smith played in leading these changes.

The driving force behind the structural change to PAFA’s operation was to embrace further responsibilities as outlined in the constitution, which governs the association. This new structure allowed additional members of the school community to be involved in many more diverse activities connected to their personal interests.

We were successful in achieving this through the establishment of the Sub Committees each with their own Chair, being focused on their own particular area of expertise.

The sub committees have been supported by the executive team:

Treasurer Wade Ebrahimi worked alongside the Accounts department to ensure the Association’s finances were sound and accurate.

Vice President Louise Manning assisted with the Major Fund Raising activities,

Secretary Finola Reay went above and beyond the role in the entire process and worked diligently to ensure all Policy and Procedure documents, minutes and financial records were uploaded for ease of continuity.

Outline of Activities from each Sub-Committee 

Minor Fund Raising Sub-Committee under the guidance of the chair Tiffany Tanti introduced many new and exciting concepts:

Father’s Day and Mother’s Day - The children loved the idea of shopping for their preordered gift bag but still ultimately selecting a special gift bag for their parent or grandparent. The success of this idea was absolutely remarkable and I would like to thank both Tiffany Tanti and Kathryn McEvoy for co-ordinating the idea, purchasing the stock, putting the bags together and running the event. Their enthusiasm certainly got many people involved with assisting with packing the gift bags and serving the very excited students. 

The bar has been raised with the reintroduction of the Father’s Day stall and the  revamping of the Mother’s Day stall. The sales increased throughout the Junior School including ECEC and saw senior students as happy customers.

The Junior School Disco - included for the first time the ECEC children with many fun activities to keep all the children entertained.

Annual Shopping Trip  - Julie Parry-Barwick once again did a tremendous job of organising the trip with many new participants.

Tea Towels - were again a popular item and were efficiently organised by Kellie Keen.

Book Fair - has once again proved highly successful under the management of Kathryn McEvoy and Liz Mitchell.

Thank you to this Sub Committee for their incredible amount of enthusiasm and passion.

The Engagement Sub Committee organised the annual:

Staff Appreciation Breakfast - a fun, relaxed morning for all staff. Thanks to Bindi Lilley and Vicky Karetsian for coordinating the breakfast.

The Sports Department and the sub committee initiated increased school community involvement in the Blackmore’s Fun Run.

Community members were actively involved in a Star Weaving Project- One Million Stars to End violence.

The Education and Advocacy Sub Committee  - The new structure initially included this committee chaired by Jodi Ansell and Dilan Jayawardena. PAFA continued funding the schools membership of the NSW Parents Council making use of the various resources available such as live pod cast presentations. The committee organised a highly informative nutritional seminar entitled “Food, Mood and Learning” by two parents Dr Christobelle Yeoh and Mrs Niru Deshpande. PAFA provided funding towards The School TV program, which is online resource for school parents and is available through the school’s website.  Due to much overlapping The Education and Advocacy Sub Committee has been absorbed and it was agreed that would ensure the functions continued though the engagement Committee. Renu McVay and Jodi Ansell now head the Engagement Sub Committee with a new member Christine Ludewig.

The Bliss Ball challenge was a highly successful and informative event. Thanks to all the parents that participated and Niru Deshpande for her Nutritional insight. The committee provided part sponsorship together with the school for a presentation by Dr Justin Coulson entitled ‘Four Secrets to bringing out the Best in your Teen’. The committee hosted an Australia’s Biggest Monring Tea to raise funds for the Cancer Council. The most recent information evening for parents was a talk by Jacqui Van de Veldt from The Resilience Doughnut entitled ‘The Parents Guide to Surviving the HSC’.

The Enterprise Sub Committee chaired by Russell Burns continued to work with the Marketing and Communications Department on establishing a Business Directory for Hills Grammar Community. They have reintroduced Supporter Wear for parents and supporters of the school. I am pleased to report that the SHUS has exceeded expectations this year despite the introduction of the new uniform.  Kathryn McEvoy continues to be employed by PAFA to manage the SHUS.

The Co-Curricular Committee chaired by Andrea Curr has had its main focus this year working with the sports department focusing on consolidating the new structural changes with the sports clubs. Andrea has also worked closely with Katie Melides to set up improved operations of the Sports Kiosk, which serves the sporting community at Hills Grammar. PAFA continues to employ Kimberlie Palmer to run the Sports Kiosk on Saturdays and whenever required. The committee is now focusing on establishing relationships with other co- curricular areas such as music and drama with a drive to get parent involvement from these sectors.

The Major Fund Raising Committee chaired by Lisl Dobson who is organising the schools 35th Anniversary Spring Fair which promises to be a great fun day out for the whole family. At its heart is our goal to raise as much money as  possible to support School’s planned Learners Walk and to see the greater school community uniting for the benefit of all. Thank you to Lisl and her subcommittee for your tireless effort, I certainly know that you have left no stone unturned in order to achieve the ultimate goal.

As is evident from all these activities undertaken by the outgoing committee proficiently supported by Liz Pellinkhof and Cate Redman of the Marketing and Communications Department, it is apparent that we have provided extra ordinary support to the school community through diverse activities. The intention is to build on the foundations that have been laid and continue with the familiar events that both the students enjoy and parents/ carers appreciate. This will be achieved with the increased involvement of the community in areas of interest.

Once again I would like to thank the Acting Principal Michael Smith and the outgoing committee for their continued support and dedication to the PAFA Committee 2016/2017 and look forward to consolidating our efforts in the coming year, although not in the capacity of President.