All posts by Lisa St

Twinkle toes artists

The children at the GAP got to enjoy some artistic experiences as usual last week, but this time only using their feet. Imagine using your toes to paint, hold a paint brush, or try to knead and shape play dough! It provoked lots of conversation and was a lot of fun too.

A Fair Chomp

Some of the children at the GAP joined their teacher Lisa-Marie starring in an ActSmart video to share one of our tips about being green.

By replacing our old bar heaters for more efficient reverse cycle heaters, we have reduced our carbon footprint and now save ourselves over $1000 a year. As our young GAP friends in the video will tell you, that’s a fair chomp!

We have posted the ActSmart video on our Facebook page for your enjoyment.

Our Solar Panels are on

Some say the Turner Scout Hall is a power house of energy and sunshine! That’s all the more true since our solar panels went on today.

The children at the GAP sang a traditional German children’s song about busy tradespeople (Wer will fleissige Handwerker sehen? (sing along if you wish)) while the installers Carn and Ambrose were hard at work on the roof installing the panels and Rhys was wiring up the inverter.

When the workers were finished, the children came outside to admire the panels and talk about what they were for and why we are “keen to be green”.

Thanks to Mark and the team from Captain Kilowatt who organised it all for us, and Eshan at ActSmart who helped us with our feasibility study and picking the right components.

We are very grateful to the ACT government: Our contribution of $5,000 was matched by the ActSmart program, and we are now the proud users of a 6.48kW solar system with Jinko panels and a Fronius inverter.    

Based on current electricity consumption, and using our new SmartMeter, our investment will pay for itself within 3.5 years. 


Outrageous Picnic in Haig Park

The Monday scouts and venturers enjoyed an outrageous picnic in Haig Park. This wasn’t just any picnic!

White table cloths, a candelabra, colourful table lights, classical music and black-tie waiter service were the order of the evening. All set up under twinkling coloured lights in the park at night.

Table settings before the scouts arrived

The scouts had each brought something yummy to contribute to the picnic – home-made bread, delicious winter soup, dips, crudite, drinks and German desserts using Oma’s secret recipe.

The main course was “freshly delivered Turkish pide”, courtesy of a Cathy (in a pink flamingo costume, of course, because you know, it’s scouts and an outrageous picnic) and her team from the Haig Park experiments project.

Our fancy menu, auf Deutsch

As it was a scouting event, there had to be plenty of silliness. Our black-tie venturer scout waiters were harnessed and tethered to nearby trees with bungee cords, making it highly entertaining to see them try to deliver food and drinks to the tables.

Scouts enjoyed a three course meal. At each of the three courses, an envelope was delivered and its enclosed instructions were read out: During the Vorspeise, scouts could not feed themselves, but had to feed those next to them. During the Hauptgang, scouts caught speaking anything other than German had their food swiped by a waiter and had to beg (auf Deutsch, natuerlich) for it to be returned. During Nachtisch, scouts had to be blindfolded with beanies or scarves, and eat without seeing anything.

Then the bill arrived at the table. Oh dear! Rather expensive! Nearly 1000 Euros, including the Mehrwertsteuer and Gastronomie fees. The scouts were given three options for payment: cash, sing, or wash the dishes. Predictably, they chose the singing option and were given the lyrics and forced to sing four German children’s songs as a choir. It was really good fun!

We are grateful for the wonderful support of the Haig Park Experiments team.

Keen to be Green report: This event produced about 200 grams of waste to landfill. A great result, Pfadfinder scouts!

Teaching job vacancy at German Australian Playschool

One of our staff members is returning to Germany, leaving a desirable vacancy as an assistant teacher at the GAP! Here is the job ad:

The German Australian Playschool caters for 3-5 year olds, in Turner ACT, and is run by a small team of dedicated professional educators, offering a wonderful program in German, in a loving caring environment. 

The position on offer is as an Assistant Teacher, three days a week, starting 14 October until 20 December (with an extension possible afterwards). The hours are 9:10-3:40 Mondays, 8:40-5:10pm Thursdays, 8:40-3:40 Fridays.  The GAP operates during ACT school terms, and is also open for limited days during holidays and school term breaks. 

The minimum requirements for Assistant Teachers at the GAP are to: 

* speak fluent German
* be wonderful with children aged 3-5 years old
* be a good team player
* be eligible for (or already hold) a Working with Vulnerable People Card
* be prepared to undertake (or already hold) a First Aid certificate in Australia
* have a valid work permit to work in Australia (or be a citizen or permanent resident)

The ideal candidate will also have:
* prior children’s services or early childhood teaching experience
* be a native German-speaker
*hold a diploma in early childhood education (or a certificate III and be working towards a diploma) or equivalent, or similar overseas qualification. Talk to us about your qualifications.


If you or someone you know would like to join our team, we look forward to hearing from you! 


Enquiries and CVs can be sent to Lisa on gap.director@spielwelt.org.au

German Immersion Primary School update

Help the German Immersion Program Parents & Friends by completing their latest survey.

The German Immersion Program Parents & Friends (GIPPF) have been very busy with their initiative: researching and working towards the establishment and implementation of a German Language and Culture Program in a new public primary school when it opens in 2021, comprising of a German Immersion Program, German language program for the mainstream students, and German cultural events to be celebrated school-wide.

The GIPPF has consulted with the ACT Education Directorate on how to implement this initiative and have developed a strong business proposal. Furthermore, they have received letters of support from key players in bilingual education and German language in Australia.

In August, they are meeting with the Swiss Ambassador and the Cultural Attaché of the German embassy who have expressed an interest in the initiative. They are visiting the German International School Sydney and Froebel Australia, and will be presenting the initiative at the ACT German Mini-conference.

The decision however ultimately lies with the ACT Minister for Education  and Early Childhood Development, Yvette Berry MLA. 

As there is no public primary school in the ACT offering a German language program, this is an important initiative for the German-speaking community to support.

Please help by completing the latest survey.

Keen to be kept informed or help establish the program? Email Brigitta at german.primary@spielwelt.org.au


Landscaping in Haig Park

In response to community consultation, the ACT government is trialling some changes to Haig Park. One suggestion was to formalise the walking tracks into paths.

The Pfadfinder joey and cub scouts volunteered to help spread bark chips along one of the paths. Our Pfadfinder kids sure know how to turn work into FUN!

One of our venturers gets things started for the joeys and cubs

Five cubic meters of bark chips were delivered to Haig Park, and in the dark of night, we beavered away spreading bark and beautifying the trees lining the path.

Filling up the cub and joey scouts’ buckets from the dingo shovel!

We wanted to work quickly so that in the morning local residents would wake to a picturesque path.

The scouts had prepared beautiful natural objects and colourful birds to hang in the trees. There are even two hand-crafted eucalyptus bark baskets for people to admire, which had been created by a parent for our lantern walk.

Hanging the colourful birds (courtesy of Byrd) and natural objects.
A beautiful eucalyptus bark basket

Many hands (and buckets) make light work, and we had time for a few races up and down the path in the wagons, bike trailers, billy carts and wheelbarrows that we had used.

Preparing for the races!
The bike trailer and billy cart were so fast, we couldn’t capture them on film!
Preparing for a joy ride! (photo courtesy of Anna)
Singing one of our traditional scout songs amongst the trees in Haig Park

The sun rose the next morning on our picturesque path, all finished. We hope local residents enjoy the scouts’ contribution to Haig Park.

Frozen Rainbows

In Lisa-Marie’s latest lesson about colours and colour-mixing, the children had a great time painting with blocks of frozen paint. As the little blocks melted, we could paint and mix more and more colours into our works of art. It was really fascinating and lots of fun!

A special guest to the GAP went through the list of colours of the rainbow with the children, and one little girl added at the end, “And don’t forget sparkles!” So it seems that just because we have banned glitter due to environmental concerns, doesn’t mean we can’t still have sparkles in our lives!

Frozen paint on a popsicle stick

Environmental Scientists

The GAP children had an amazing time learning about water, with our resident environmental expert, Paul Doyle.

We wondered, what lives in the rivers? Ducks, fish, platypus, swans, water fowl, yabbies….

What do those animals eat? Small water bugs, small fish, fish eggs, snails, zooplankton, insects…

What else gets into the water and how does it get there? Rubbish sometimes gets washed into the rivers by the rain and through drains.

Paul very kindly brought in some of his scientific equipment and interesting water samples for us to look at. It was fascinating.

We also made platypus puppets from paper bags, and talked about how we can keep our environment clean so that animals like platypus can live in clean water. In fact, we all need clean water to live.

Field Biologists at work

In the past weeks, the GAP children have been talking about sciences like biology, chemistry and geophysics, and performing fun experiments in class. The children are always keen to explore outdoors, so….

We ventured out into the field as biologists searching for animals. And guess what? We found some never discovered before! With the discovery of a new species, comes the prestigious naming rights in Latin, of course.

The photo featured above is Igelus Nicki. Meet some of our other newly discovered geo-flora-fauna below!

Mausus Stock
Hausschuhus Lickibum (don’t ask. It’s Latin)
Fussabdruckus Glitzerbombe
Schlangus Bente