NESA Consultation for internal assessments

 NESA has reviewed the Stage 6 Languages course school-based assessment requirements, the draft of which is now open for consultation. The link for this consultation is provided below.

The purpose of the survey is to obtain feedback about the draft components and weightings and any proposed mandatory tasks for all Stage 6 Languages courses.

Access the survey here

We exhort all members to respond to this survey, the results of which will significantly impact on all languages. The survey closes on 9 April 2017.

Historiography Workshop

Jo Whiteman, of SCEGGS, has kindly offered to organise a workshop for teachers of Latin Extension and IB. The workshop is being planned for week 3 or 4 of Term 2. Jo will be approaching different speakers to talk about Livy, Tacitus and historiography in general.

In Jo’s own words:

“Teachers who wish to attend the workshop would prepare the following in advance:

  • One Livy passage with short answer questions;
  •  One Tacitus passage with short answer questions;
  • One unseen for Livy;
  • One unseen for Tacitus.

These should be sent (with answers) by email to me no later than Thursday 27 April. The questions and answers could then be collated into a booklet to be available on the day of the workshop.

I propose a modest cost of $30.00 per participant, which would cover the cost of the three speakers, the photocopying of the booklet and afternoon tea. I am basing this cost on attendance of approximately 25 teachers.”

Expressions of interest, volunteers, and any suggestions for speakers or workshop ideas should be emailed to Jo at

Vale (Denis) John Cochrane

It was with great sadness that we received news of the death of our esteemed member, John Cochrane, on 14 February 2017, after a short and sudden illness.  He is survived by his mother and sister.  Funeral masses were held at St Mary’s Cathedral, where he was a member of the choir, on 23 February, and at Christ Church St Lawrence on the following day.  There were some fine tributes to John and photographs in the Sydney Morning Herald obituaries during that week.

John gained his degree from UNE and is best remembered for having taught Latin and French at Blue Mountains Grammar from 1983-86, Ravenswood 1987-89 and St Aloysius 1990-2003, where he served some time as Head of Languages.  Those of us who knew John remember him as a fine academic whose greatest passion lay in the field of Medieval French.  After many years of devoted research, his efforts came to fruition when he graduated from the Australian Catholic University in 2014 with a PhD, his thesis being upon the life of St Dominic. 

John always found classroom teaching and school administration a challenge and his fine academic knowledge was sadly often lost on his students.  He was happiest and most comfortable in the State Library continuing his research into the lives of the saints, which occupied him until his untimely death.

John was a quiet, unassuming man who never desired to be centre stage; in fact, he shunned attention.  He could certainly be regarded as eccentric and was sometimes misunderstood because of it.  I remember how he would arrive at school every day by train (he never held a driver’s licence) with his folding umbrella in the same Grace Bros bag.  One day, he was so late for school, without making contact (before mobile phones!), that everyone was really concerned.  It seemed that he had fallen asleep on the train and woken up in the rail yards at Redfern where he had to make his way across the tracks to the platform!  The vagaries of modern life troubled him; he did not enjoy good health.

Although John lost touch with the CLTA after giving up teaching, he was a regular attendee at meetings and conferences over the years and will be remembered fondly by all of us who knew him. 

Heather Powell

Professional Development Opportunity

We are very pleased to be able to offer to our members the opportunity to attend a course ‘Engaging Latin students in the early years’. We are currently in the process of registering this course with the PTC for 2 hours of TPL.

The course will be run by Steven Hunt, the president of the Association for Latin Teaching UK, lecturer at Cambridge for post-graduate teacher training in Classics, and author of Starting to Teach Latin, an excellent guide to Latin pedagogy published in 2016, who will be in Sydney for a short stay in April.

The topics that will be covered are: differentiation, literacy and cross-disciplinary initiatives, with a mixture of short talks, activities and discussion, followed by dinner.

See the Events page for all details and registration information.