Missing you already, Mr North!

1 June, 2017

It was with heavy hearts and incredible sadness that we said goodbye to our favourite Gawura teacher, carer, Head of Gawura, friend, Mr North. Mr North left Gawura in Term 2, after a magnificent 22 years teaching across SACS and Gawura to become Principal at Chifley Public School, Matraville.  Mr North took over the reins of Gawura in 2008 where he has been instrumental in growing Gawura to where it is today through sheer hard work and incredible commitment to the families and students. Mr North was always available to take calls, no matter what time of day or night.  His focus was on excellent education and building community relationships which he did with flying colours – he didn’t waiver from that focus the whole time he was steering the Gawura ship. He is going to be sorely missed and we wish him the very best of success in his new role.

David has not moved too far and we know he can’t really escape us! The secondary Gawura students have already caught up with him at the Stolen Generations Memorial Launch in Matraville recently!

We have also left David with a few requests:

  • Please come and visit regularly
  • Please keep your phone on so we can still call you, even if just to say ‘how are you going mate, we miss you!
  • Please send us photos of your new school
  • Please send us updates on Sniffs and Chester (David’s dogs!)
  • Please send us any cool ideas that you pick up in your new school – particularly if it is something like selling more lollies in the canteen!

Before he left we held a few farewell celebrations for him. One of the celebrations was a surprise from all the students and another celebration had a surprise guest Skype in all the way from Canada! None other than our Mrs Crealy! It was 3am in the morning her time so we were very grateful that she joined our celebrations, even if she was still in her PJ’s!  If you missed the photos of David’s farewells, you can view them all here

We wrote a poem about Mr North:

His values and his focus are solid to the core

He is like no other we’ve ever met before

His passion is contagious and a lesson for us all

In the mornings it is David’s heart that first walks through the door


Education is not rocket science’ says David with a grin

Get the kids to school set standards high and support them where we can

Strong literacy support up front you see will set kids up for life

They’ll have opportunities like you and me and choices in their life


What’s your favourite word of the week, said David with a smile

Why ‘Cantankerous’ Sir, Tyreek called out, with confidence and style.

Put it in a sentence please he politely asked knowing full well what was about to come

Mr North can be a bit cantankerous, explained Tyreek – a little bit like my mum


Our families are our beacons, says David, that guide us through the night

And help us help their children with all our will and might

And help he does our Mr North, the pommy from the beach

From sun up till sun down, he’s always within phones reach.


The kids all know that Mr North will always have their back

He is their rock and stalwart help there is no doubting that

He is also their safety bar when trouble brews within

His compassion and his understanding is what always brings them in. 


Mr North is one of a kind who is really second to none.

Don’t get us wrong on certain days he’s a massive pain in the bum.

But he never waivers from his goal like rider and their horse

The goal is educating our Gawura kids and providing life skills of course.


David, we wish you all the very best, at Chifley where next you start

You are a leader, an educator, a mentor, a friend and a man with a very big heart

A quick word of warning though from students and staff, that includes all of us

If you don’t come back and visit us soon we’ll come visit you in the Gawura bus.

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