May 28 - June 3  2023: Issue 585

Sunday Cartoons

Sunday cartoons returns this year. This Issue:  Superworm loves to show off!

Sydney in 1928

Published by NFSA May 2023

This film is silent. From The Film Australia Collection.  Made by the Cinema and Photographic Branch 1928.

Trains at Central Station with the Grand Opera House (formerly New Adelphi Theatre) in the foreground. Circular Quay, commuters, trams and ferries; Manly beach. City traffic on King St and George St, Palmer's department store, the Royal Exchange Hotel, Harrington's camera shop, Martin Place and the GPO. Macquarie St (showing the Dixson wing of the State Library of NSW under construction) and the city skyline. Sydney University. The Domain and the Royal Botanic Gardens. Government House and the Art Gallery. Boys play cricket at Rushcutters Bay park. Apartment blocks in the city and Potts Point including the Astor, Manar, Carisbrooke and Carinthia. View of the harbour overlooking Darling Point.

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards 2023: Optional Theme This Year 'The Winding Road'




Primary school and secondary school entries can be submitted anytime during the competition period.

1. Teacher/parent register account online *If you have already created an account, skip to step 3 and log in*

2. Check email for link to verify account and create password

3. Log in to your account

4. Purchase tier of entries *Please note we’re only able to accept credit card payments at this time*

5. Enter student details and submit poem(s) (cut and paste or type in poem content direct to the webpage)

6. Repeat step 5 for every student/individual poem.

*PLEASE NOTE: If you’re registering as an individual student, put your HOME address in your personal details and not your SCHOOL’S address! The address you list is where your participation certificate will be posted!*

Please read our Conditions of Entry here before registering for the competition.


Have a read of the judges’ reports from the previous year. They contain some very helpful advice for teachers and parents alike!

It is recommended for schools to appoint a coordinator for the competition.

Only a teacher/parent can complete the registration form on behalf of the student/child.

Log-in details: username is the email address and a password of your choice.

Log-in details can be given to other teachers/students for poem submission in class/at home.

Log-in as many times as necessary during the competition period.

Teachers can view progress by monitoring the number and content of entries.

Individual entries are accepted if the school is not participating or a child is home schooled. Parent needs to complete the registration form with their contact details. Please indicate ‘individual entry’ under school name and home postal address under school address.

Invoice for the entry fee will be sent to the registered email address within 2 weeks.

‘Participation certificate only’ option available for schools where pre-selection of entries has been carried out. Poems under this option will not be sent to judges, students will still receive participation certificate for their efforts.

Please read the Conditions of Entry before entering. Entries accepted: March 1 to June 30, results announced during early September.


Check out our learning resources or browse the previous years’ themes and winning entries.

For more information contact our Project Officer on 02 6742 1200 or email

Picnic in the Park in Avalon with special guests Peppa Pig and Busy Izzy

On Saturday 3 June Picnic in the Park is heading to Dunbar Park, Avalon!

Families can join the fun event from 9am -1pm on Saturday 3 June and see Peppa Pig, George Pig and their friend Sammy, for the live stage show: Peppa Pigs 'Taking Turns'.

Meanwhile  bust a few moves with Busy Izzy and Friends on the grass while soaking up the atmosphere and other exciting entertainment.

Guests are encouraged to pack a picnic, grab family and friends and head down for a fun, family day out.

Features of Picnic in Park, Avalon include;

  • Peppa Pig's 'Taking Turns' live stage show
  • The Busy Izzy and Friends show
  • Music and dancing
  • Entertainment and activities
  • Snacks and coffee vans

Time: 9am - 1pm

Location: Dunbar Park 59 Old Barrenjoey Rd, Avalon NSW 2107

Cost: $10 + booking fee. Tickets are limited and must be pre-purchased. Please purchase 1 ticket per person (including children, 0-12 months free). Guests will be required to present their ticket on the day (mobile preferred) to gain access to the event.

Tickets available HERE

Stick Insects

The Phasmatodea (also known as Phasmida or Phasmatoptera) are an order of insects whose members are variously known as stick insects in Australia.

The group's name is derived from the Ancient Greek φάσμα phasma, meaning an apparition or phantom, referring to their resemblance to vegetation while in fact being animals. Their natural camouflage makes them difficult for predators to detect.

Members of the order are found on all continents except Antarctica, but they are most abundant in the tropics and subtropics. They are herbivorous, with many species living unobtrusively in the tree canopy. 

Some species have wings and can fly!

Photos by Selena Griffith, taken in Elanora Heights

Curious Kids: who was the first person to speak English?

Anglo-Saxon village re-enactment event in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, 2008. Simon Annable/Shutterstock
Ad Putter, University of Bristol

Who was the first person to speak English? – Grace, aged eight, Belfast, Northern Ireland

The first speaker of English did not sound like you or me. That’s because language changes all the time. You have probably noticed that the language of your grandparents differs from yours. You can imagine then how very different English was when it was first spoken in Britain many centuries ago.

The earliest speakers of English spoke Old English. I am using the word “speakers” because there must have been more than one speaker: after all, we use language to talk to others.

Old English developed in a turbulent period of British history. This was just after the Romans had left Britain, around 1,600 years ago. The Romans had colonised Britain but they abandoned the country in the fifth century because the Roman empire was collapsing all around them.

Curious Kids is a series by The Conversation that gives children the chance to have their questions about the world answered by experts. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to and make sure you include the asker’s first name, age and town or city. We won’t be able to answer every question, but we’ll do our very best.

The Romans who ruled Britain spoke their language, Latin. But most of the people who lived in Britain when the Romans were there – and before that too – spoke a Celtic language. This Celtic language was rather like Welsh, but again much older than the present-day Welsh language.

After the Romans left Britain, Germanic tribes who were on the move throughout Europe in the fifth and sixth centuries invaded. These tribes were the Angles, the Saxons and the Jutes. The language they spoke is known as North Sea Germanic.

The first English speakers

Once they settled in Britain it became Old English, which is also sometimes called “Anglo-Saxon”. From the Angles comes the word “English” and from the Angles and Saxons together comes the word “Anglo-Saxon”. I teach Old English to students of English at university.

So Old English or Anglo-Saxon is the oldest form of the English language that was spoken and written in England in the early Middle Ages, the period from roughly 450 to 1050. Very few Celtic words were taken over into Old English. The word “brock” (meaning “badger”) is one of the rare exceptions.

Do we know the names of the first speakers of Old English? Two names are mentioned in ancient legends that tell the story of how the Angles and the Saxons arrived in Britain.

According to these legends, the British (when they were still Celtic speakers) asked two Germanic leaders, Hengest and Horsa, to come to Britain to help protect the country after the Romans had left.

Hengest and Horsa arrived in Britain with lots of other people from their tribe and conquered the land. We have no way of knowing if these legends are true, but if they are we have here the names of the two chieftains who brought their language to Britain.

An Old English poet

There is one other name that deserves to be mentioned, and that is Caedmon. He is the first poet in English whose name is known. The story of his life is told by the monk and historian Bede, who lived in the north of England from around 673 to 735.

Manuscript in Latin and Old English
A section of folio 129r of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Hatton 43: a page from Book IV, chapter 24 of Bede’s Latin Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, with an Old English text of Cædmon’s Hymn added in the lower margin. © Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, CC BY-NC-SA

Bede not only tells the story of Hengest and Horsa, but he also tells us about Caedmon, who was a cowherd. Bede wrote that Caedmon could not read or write and received the ability to compose beautiful poetry as a gift from God. The first poem that Caedmon was inspired to create is a poem in praise of God. The first two lines of this poem will give you a taste of Old English:

 Nu sculon herian     heofonrices Weard, 
 Metodes mihte     and his modgeþanc

In modern English, this means: “Now we must praise the guardian of the heavenly kingdom, the Ruler’s might and his plan”.

You might think this is not really English at all. But we still use some of the words used in Old English – “and” and “his” are both in these two lines of poetry. Other words have survived too, though we often spell and pronounce them differently. See if you can spot the Old English words for “might” and “now” in these lines from Caedmon’s poem.

Caedmon looked after the cattle in a monastery in Whitby in Yorkshire. One of my university students studying Old English comes from Whitby and she told me that her school is named after our first named English poet: Caedmon College. His legend lives on.The Conversation

Ad Putter, Professor of Medieval English Literature, University of Bristol

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Curious Kids: how does your brain know how to move your body?

Arjun Burlakoti, University of South Australia

How does your brain know how to move your body? – Ivy, age 8, Victoria

Hi Ivy, thanks for asking such an interesting question!

To answer it, we’ll need to look at some different parts of the brain and what they do.

First, the brain collects information

The front part of the brain plans and makes decisions. It does this after considering the different types of information it receives from “nerve cells”.

This information is called “sensory” information. It comes from touch, pain, temperature, hearing, seeing, and so on.

This is what happens when, for example, we spot someone giving out chocolate on the street, we turn our heads to look at them and walk towards the chocolate.

So how do the messages get from the brain?

The brain lives in the brain box in our head. The spinal cord lives in the spinal canal, in the back part of our body.

Tiny nerve fibres that come out of the lower part of the brain and the spinal cord connect many muscles. When they tighten, they make things move.

Some nerve fibres connect to muscles that cross the joints. Others attach to the tongue and eyeball and make them move.

The brain stem is the bit at the bottom of the brain. Shutterstock

Nerve cells send signals among each other, and between all the muscles and glands, including those responsible for making saliva in the mouth and digestive juices in the stomach.

A human brain has more than 100 billion nerve cells and sends messages to make us do things like walk, skip or stand up from a chair.

Different jobs for different parts of the brain

The brain has many regions that coordinate how we move.

One part helps us work out how much force is necessary in making the movement. It also tells the brain to start the movement.

Another part plays a role in the timing of movements.

Children looking at things in the garden with a magnifying glass
Different parts of the brain have different jobs in helping us move. Shutterstock

Different types of nerves also have different roles. Some help us move voluntarily – when we choose to. These nerves connect to the muscles responsible for moving our joints in different body parts, like our arms and legs.

Another group of nerves work automatically. They sense what is happening inside our body without us consciously knowing. These nerves control the muscles in our heart, blood vessels, stomach, intestines, kidneys and other organs, helping them work properly.

What’s the answer in a nutshell?

So Ivy, to sum up, the brain receives information from our senses and uses this to control our body movements.

Different parts of the brain send messages to different parts of the body to get these movements right.

Our brain can also store movements into memories that will be recalled for future use. That’s why you can remember how to ride a bike, even if you haven’t ridden one for months.

Hello, curious kids! Do you have a question you’d like an expert to answer? Ask an adult to send your question to Conversation

Arjun Burlakoti, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Neuroanatomy, University of South Australia

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Curious Kids: How are planets created?

Eight planets, including Earth, revolve around our Sun. Illustration by Tobias Roetsch/Future Publishing via Getty Images
Daniel Cunnama, South African Astronomical Observatory

Curious Kids is a series for children in which we ask experts to answer questions from kids.

How are planets created? - (Saba, 6, Kenya)

Thanks for asking such an interesting question, Saba. When you talk about planets you’re probably thinking of the planets in our solar system – the ones orbiting (circling around) our sun. There are eight of these planets. One of them is where you and I live: Earth. The others are Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

There are many, many more planets way beyond our solar system and our galaxy, the Milky Way. Scientists like us, known as astronomers, have found over 5,000 planets around other stars. We estimate that there may be trillions across the Universe.

How did they come into being? It all starts with a cloud of gas and dust.

Gas and dust

These clouds of gas and dust are called nebulae. They float around in space much like the clouds in our sky. There are some regions with more clouds and some with fewer and astronomers can see these using telescopes.

Nebulae contain gases like hydrogen, helium and carbon. When a nebula becomes dense enough its gravity pulls it together into a very dense core. This is a bit like the water in your bath swirling around the drain before getting sucked down. As the cloud gets dense it heats up. When it gets dense and hot enough the atoms – tiny building blocks for all the matter in the world – in the nebula start to fuse.

This process is called nuclear fusion and produces a lot of energy. And the cloud lights up like a firework. This is how a new star is born, just like our Sun was 4.5 billion years ago.

A small amount of gas and dust remains around new stars in a spinning disc. Planets are formed from this disc of material.


As the disc rotates, the material in it, small bits of rock and ice, lump together and get bigger and bigger. That forms what we call planetesimals, which collide with each other like bumper cars, creating even larger bodies known as protoplanets.

The protoplanets keep growing. While this is happening, they can attract gases from the surrounding disc, creating a thick atmosphere. This process is called accretion and it is how gas giant planets like Jupiter and Saturn are formed. If a protoplanet forms from heavier elements in the outer solar system it can create an ice giant. The planets Neptune and Uranus are ice giants.

Even after the planet is formed it can keep changing over time through processes such as volcanic activity, tectonic movement, and erosion. On Earth, mountains like Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – the country next door to Kenya – formed from large volcanoes. And even larger mountains like the Himalayas have formed from tectonic plates colliding. Tectonic plates are big pieces of the Earth’s outer layer; sometimes they crash into each other and that creates things like mountains.

Millions of years

The way I’ve described this makes it sound as though planets are formed quickly. But the process which begins with those clouds of gas and dust takes millions of years to transform into the beautiful and diverse worlds we see in our Solar System and beyond.The Conversation

Daniel Cunnama, Science Engagement Astronomer, South African Astronomical Observatory, South African Astronomical Observatory

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

the bravest fish

Published by Toadstools and Fairy Dust - more stories at the link

'Julius, the Baby of the World' read by Rosario Dawson

by Storyline Online - more stories at the link

The Secret World of Skippyjon Jones


book of the month may 2023: Ocean : a children's  Encyclopaedia 

by John Woodward
Published 2015

Explore the hidden depths of the ocean with this stunning visual encyclopaedia for youngsters. Ocean: A Children's Encyclopaedia reveals the secrets of the seas through stunning images and beautiful photography to engage and educate kids. From the Arctic to the Caribbean, tiny plankton to giant whales, sandy beaches to the deepest depths, Ocean: A Children's Encyclopedia let's your child discover the mysterious world beneath the waves. 

Archive of millions of Historical Children’s Books All Digitised: Free to download or Read Online

Enter the 1: Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature here, where you can browse several categories, search for subjects, authors, titles, etc, see full-screen, zoomable images of book covers, download XML versions, and read all of the 2: over 6,000 books in the collection with comfortable reader views. 

Find 3: more classics in the collection, 800 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.

WilderQuest online fun

The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service is pleased to present the WilderQuest program for teachers, students and children.

The WilderQuest program includes a website and apps with game and video content, Ranger led tours and activities in national parks across NSW. It provides opportunities for families to experience nature, science and Aboriginal culture in classrooms, online, at events and in national parks. The Teacher portal and free primary school resources have been produced with support from our Environmental Trust partners.

Profile: Ingleside Riders Group

Ingleside Riders Group Inc. (IRG) is a not for profit incorporated association and is run solely by volunteers. It was formed in 2003 and provides a facility known as “Ingleside Equestrian Park” which is approximately 9 acres of land between Wattle St and McLean St, Ingleside. 
IRG has a licence agreement with the Minister of Education to use this land. This facility is very valuable as it is the only designated area solely for equestrian use in the Pittwater District.  IRG promotes equal rights and the respect of one another and our list of rules that all members must sign reflect this.
Profile: Pittwater Baseball Club

Their Mission: Share a community spirit through the joy of our children engaging in baseball.

National Geographic for Australian Kids

Find amazing facts about animals, science, history and geography, along with fun competitions, games and more. Visit National Geographic Kids today!

This week the National Geographic for Kids has launched a new free digital resource platform called NatGeo@Home to entertain and educate children affected by school closures.

The three main categories of content on the NatGeo@Home site aim to educate, inspire and entertain. For parents and teachers, there are also separate resources and lesson plans covering everything from getting to grips with Google Earth to learning to label the geological features of the ocean.

For the main Australian National Geographic for Kids, visit:

For the National Geographic at Home site, visit:


Mona Vale Library runs a Lego club on the first Sunday of each month from 2pm to 4pm. The club is open to children aged between seven and twelve years of age, with younger children welcome with parental supervision. If you are interested in attending a Lego at the Library session contact the library on 9970 1622 or book in person at the library, 1 Park Street, Mona Vale.

Children's Storytime at Mona Vale LibraryMona Vale Library offers storytime for pre-school children every week during school terms. Children and their carers come and participate in a fun sing-a-long with our story teller as well as listen to several stories in each session, followed by some craft.  

Storytime is held in the Pelican Room of the library in front of the service desk. Storytime is free and no bookings are required. 

Storytime Sessions: Tuesdays  10.00am - 11.00am - Wednesdays  10.00am - 11.00am  - Thursdays  10.00am - 11.00am

Profile: Avalon Soccer Club
Avalon Soccer Club is an amateur club situated at the northern end of Sydney’s Northern Beaches. As a club we pride ourselves on our friendly, family club environment. The club is comprised of over a thousand players aged from 5  who enjoy playing the beautiful game at a variety of levels and is entirely run by a group of dedicated volunteers. 
Avalon Bilgola Amateur Swimming Club Profile

We swim at Bilgola rock pool on Saturday mornings (8:45am till 11:30am). Our season runs between October and March

Profile Bayview Yacht Racing Association (BYRA)


BYRA has a passion for sharing the great waters of Pittwater and a love of sailing with everyone aged 8 to 80 or over!

 Mona Vale Mountain Cub Scouts

Find out more about all the fun you can have at Mona Vale Mountain Cub Scouts Profile

our Profile pages aren’t just about those who can tell you about Pittwater before you were born, they’re also about great clubs and activities that you too can get involved in!