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Livewire returns

For four long years we yearned for the return of Livewire and in Term 3 this dream became a reality.

The week-long festival celebrating literature, arts, music, sport, science and more made its triumphant comeback with the theme Dare to Dream.

During Livewire week, the traditional class format in Junior School is typically turned on its head, and this year that tradition continued.

The timetable was fluid and flexible, which encouraged independent curiosity, learning and investigation.

Smiles abounded during the myriad of activities including the showstopping Junior School Concert, doll-making, art classes, a series of 'my dream for you' sessions, quiet story reading time and First Nations cultural learning opportunities.

Dream Dolls

Putting a Livewire spin on the traditional Guatemalan 'worry doll', students from different year levels worked in pairs throughout the week to make their own Dream Dolls. In exploring this ancient tradition, students were encouraged to keep their Dream Dolls close whenever they had a dream or aspiration to share.

“The traditional worry doll originated in the Mayan areas of Guatemala and Mexico to calm children who were afraid at night. According to legend, an ancient Mayan princess was once gifted a similar doll from the Sun God which allowed her to solve any problem that caused worry.”
— Livewire fact


Student took to the main oval to explore the sport of marn-grook, an Aboriginal kicking-and-catching game that originated in Victoria. The game involves similar feats of athleticism to Aussie Rules Football, such as catching the ball high in the air, or 'marking' as it's called in AFL. Evidence suggests AFL was also heavily influenced by marn-grook in other ways.

Students enjoyed playing the sport which is very inclusive, as both men and women have historically been allowed to participate equally, and even on the same teams.

“"One of my favourite activities from Livewire was playing marn-grook. It was fun because we learned better teamwork with other people that we don't normally play with."”
— Oscar Webber, Year 6

Brick Builders

Who doesn't love a little bit of Lego? At Livewire, students' engineering skills were put to the test as they conceptualised and built a Lego creation of their choice. Many students were stunned to learn that working with Lego can even be a full-time job. Perhaps a few dreams were reconsidered that week ...

“"This activity, and Livewire in general, showed that your life can be made up of all sorts of different careers. It doesn't just have to be about academics. You can be a dancer, an illustrator, an author, or even a brick builder! Livewire opened students minds to what's out there in the world."”
— Mrs Bec Pearson

Author visits

It simply wouldn't be Livewire without an exciting author (or two!) taking up residency in the Junior School Library.

Popular children's and teen's author Tristan Bancks ran workshops with Years 3 to 6, while children's book author and illustrator Jonathan Bentley worked with Prep to Year 2.

Tristan is known for his catalogue of work including Two Wolves, The Fall, Cop & Robber and most recently suspense-thriller novel Scar Town which have collectively been shortlisted and nominated for several literary awards.

Jonathan Bentley is the penman behind titles including Bad Bunny, My Fantastic Dad and Cat and Dog, and has illustrated for many prominent authors including Andrew Daddo and P. Crumble.

The sessions with Tristan and Jonathan were exciting as students were challenged to broaden their linguistic and artistic skills.

“"I liked listening to Tristan Bancks, because for one of his stories Two Wolves he said he couldn't stay inside to write it - he had to walk on the beach to set the mood. It gave me some ideas."”
— Lily Altschwager, Year 5

My Dream For You

Cosied up in the Junior Schol Drama room, which had been redecorated for the occasion, students in Years 5 and 6 reflected on their dreams. Each student received a special frame which contained three passages; one they had written for themselves, one written by their parents and one by their teachers.

These passages were based on the theme My Dream For You. While students prepared their own dreams in class, the contributions from parents and teachers to the gift were a happy surprise.

Performances galore

Livewire week was bookended by two amazing displays of performing artistry with the Junior School Concert on Tuesday and the Livewire Finale on Thursday, plus countless pop-up performances throughout the week.

There was never a dull break time as a temporary stage within the Year 1 and 2 courtyard hosted a constant flow of bands, ensembles, solo acts, dramatists, dancers and much more.

The Livewire Finale culminated in a moving rendition of A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman that saw more than a few parents and teachers leaving the Nairn Theatre misty-eyed.

“"The great thing about Livewire this year was that anyone could get up on stage and have their moment to shine with friends clapping and cheering them on. There were no boundaries to what the students could bring to the lunchtime entertainment stage, and I think that was just such a lovely celebration of different talents!"”
— Mrs Nicky Buckley

Traditional Art

Contemporary artist and Kuku Yalanji woman Lalania Tusa visited Livewire for a series of sessions about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture as represented through visual art. 

Many of Lalania's pieces are direct translations of dreamtime stories passed down through generations. She showed students various mediums used in traditional artistic communication, such as rock art and painted storytelling.

Years 3 to 6 enjoyed sessions with Lalania while Pre Prep to Year 2 spent time with Junior School Art Teacher Pat Ciafardini creating their own boomerang designs.

“We had our faces painted by Lalania and we learned how to make a story with dot art on rocks. We also ate some damper with honey."”
— Lily Altschwager, Year 5

Caine's Arcade

This activity was Inspired by the journey of a young entrepreneur from East Los Angeles named Caine Monroy.

When Caine was nine years old, he built his own arcade out of cardboard boxes in the front of his dad's used auto parts store and has since become a successful entrepreneur.

At Livewire, students in Year 5 channelled their inner Caine to build a cardboard arcade for Year 1 students to play. The games were designed during Mr Reed's technology classes throughout the term, and the final results were simply epic.

“"Seeing the Year 1s light up with joy while playing our arcade games was awesome, especially when they won a prize they really wanted!"”
— Luca Egan, Year 5