Monday, 12 June 2017 13:27

Issue 9 Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning

  • Inspirational People                                      BACK
  • A True K- 12 Library Experience
  • Human Biology Excursion

Inspirational People
In my May newsletter article I wrote about the presentation I gave at our opening Term 2 assembly which centred on the phrase, ‘If it is to be it is up to me’. I also said I would be following this up with a real-life examples of people who embodied this attitude.
Gudran Sperrer
Gudrun Sperrer runs the Pilpintuwasi Wildlife Rescue Centre on the banks of the Amazon River in Peru.

Gudrun Sperrer is an Austrian lady who has spent more than 30 years running the Pilpintuwasi Wildlife Rescue Centre in a small isolated and impoverished village on the banks of the Amazon River in Peru. The closest city is Iquitos which can only be reached by a 15 minute boat trip, and itself only reached by plane or boat. Gudrun has lived in a rundown house at the back of the centre, with rooms devoted to monkeys, through the invention of the internet, email and every other form of digital technology. She has no government help and any money raised is spent on the animals. It is incredibly difficult to work within the bureaucracy of the country to help the animals, yet she knows that she is helping those she can.

During my time volunteering at Pilpintuwasi last term I witnessed a team from the United Kingdom make a documentary on the illegal trafficking of animals out of Iquitos. The documentary called Peru’s Monkey Business recently aired on the SBS Dateline programme.

The people involved truly embody the spirit of "If it is to be" that we want to stop animal cruelty and conserve endangered wildlife, "It is up to me".
Noga Shanee
Noga Shanee a primatologist and wildlife activist.

Noga Shanee, a primatologist and wildlife activist who lives in Iquitos, invited Ade Adepitan to come and document the illegal pet trade of the area. Ade was born in Nigeria, Africa where he contracted polio as a baby, resulting in a loss of function in his left leg. His family moved to England where he was eventually able to fulfil his dream of becoming a Paralympic basketball, competing at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics. He now uses his profile as an athlete and TV presenter to focus attention on global issues. Despite the jungle terrain of the wildlife centre and the wheelchair unfriendly streets of Iquitos, Ade persevered and has helped expose the corruption and extent surrounding the world’s worst zone of animal trafficking to a global audience.

Noga, who has spent many years fighting wildlife trafficking in Peru has never seen a trafficker spend time behind bars, yet she has never given up. She works with few resources, cannot get support from the very government officials who are meant to enforce the laws and must be careful she does not risk her own life confronting the traffickers.

Ade Adepitan Paralympic basketballer uses his profile as an athlete and TV presenter to focus attention on global issues. 

These three people are not extraordinary people, they are ordinary people doing extraordinary things. At the end of my presentation at the assembly I challenged the students to:

  • Be responsible for their own actions.
  • Consider what they do, impacts others.
  • Start thinking about how they could contribute and effect change through their actions and decisions.
  • Imagine if ordinary people, stopped doing extraordinary things!

Some video links to Pilpintuwasi animal rescue centre:

A True K- 12 Library Experience

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Being a K -12 school, John Wollaston gives our students many varied experiences that they may not receive in a school with separate primary and secondary campuses. On Thursday afternoons the Pre-primary children and one Year 9 English class are in the Library Resource Centre at the same time. Mrs Lourenco, Mrs Godfrey and I were keen to allow a reading session between these two groups.

On Thursday 8 June a group of very nervous Year 9s gathered to read picture books to the Koala class. Once they were reading to their buddy child they relaxed and it was wonderful to see the interactions between the older and younger students. After the books had been read, little discussions broke out and the Year 9s were asked all sorts of questions such as “Where do you eat your lunch?” and “Who are your friends?”

We are hoping to make this into a regular buddy session throughout 2017.

Sharon Hanson
Head of Library Services

Human Biology Excursion
On Thursday 18 May the Year 11 Human Biology students attended an excursion to the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. The students had a wonderful time in the Lotterywest BioDiscovery Centre experiencing a day in the life of a scientist. Old Wollastonian Saiuj Bhat paid a visit to the students. Saiuj is currently completing a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) undergraduate degree at the UWA and completing his Honours year in Pharmacology. A UWA Hackett Scholarship recipient, he was the top student in Pharmacology in his second and third years. Saiuj spends a lot of his Honours work time at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research within walking distance from the main university campus. The priority of the Institute is to recruit and build internationally renowned highly skilled research teams, comprising doctors, scientists, biostatisticians and pathologists, working together with cutting edge technologies to make new discoveries and translate this new knowledge into more effective treatments and cures. 

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Best wishes
Anne Harris
Deputy Principal Teaching and Learning

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