From the Principal
Welcome back to term 4. It has started very quickly and before we know it we will be singing Christmas carols and setting up the Christmas tree!
As we finished off at the end of last term we learnt that a few Year 12 students had achieved nomination at the highest level of their area in their Year 12 performance courses with BOSTES. For Dance, I would like to acknowledge Rhiannon B for being nominated in both core performance and major study performance and Alexandra W for core performance for Callback. As well in Drama, Megan K was nominated for Onstage which is the top performances across the State in Drama. Well done to all these girls for their achievements.
Over the course of the break, a few from the community participated in immersion experiences. Madeline travelled with other students from Good Samaritan Colleges to the Philippines to work in the Kinder School. In addition to this, Ms Boulatsakos travelled with staff from Good Samaritan Colleges to Japan on an immersion. Both have spoken very highly of their experiences and I suspect they will have recollections to share in time through the Inside Out.
As we begin to move to the end of the year, several staff move from the College and staff return from leave. Sadly, after over 20 years of service at the College in a number of roles, Mrs Glynn has decided to retire. Having first started as a student at the College, Mrs Glynn has been a long and faithful staff member who was preceded by her own mother as well. We will have a farewell on Friday 2 December, if any ex-students would like to attend. Further details will be coming in subsequent editions. Regrettably Mrs Saywell and Mr Gahnem have come to the end of their contracts and will be finishing at the end of the year also. They both have been highly valued in the Mathematics Department and across the College community.
The Good Samaritan Foundation is having a raffle to collect funds for the work of the sisters. Attached are electronic raffle tickets if you would be so kind as to sell them at work or at home. The sisters will be very grateful. Here is the link to the raffle ticket sales https://www.trybooking.com/230685
The building program continues to make good progress. The finishing date has been delayed a few weeks, hence the reception has stayed in room 11. Thank you for accommodating this change during the term. Once it is all complete, we will be very pleased with the outcome.
We continue to prepare for the 2017 St Patrick's Emerald Dinner Dance. We have secured some wonderful sponsors and are looking for any family members who could donate a few raffle or silent auction prizes. If you are able to assist please contact Danielle Grant or Deborah Renshaw at the College.
Parents with daughters in Years 8 and 10 will have noted the change in Year Coordinator this term. Mrs Ibbett (Year 10) and Mr Ashkar (Year 8) took responsibility for both a year group and their own responsibility for the first three terms of the year, for which I am very grateful. The busyness of Term 4 has necessitated another staff member to take on the year coordinating role for the remaining term in an acting capacity. I thank Ms Glase (Year 10) and Mrs Wright (Year 8) for taking on these roles for the term.
This Thursday, we hosted our first STEM Challenge for girls in Years 5 and 6 from local primary schools. We had 60 girls participate and it was a great success. Congratulations to the A team from St Thomas More Catholic Primary School, who were the outright winners. The girls were unstoppable in facing the challenges and driven in their desire to find the solutions. Our own Year 7 students assisted on the day which was a great learning experience for them. Thank you to all the schools who competed and took the time to escort their girls to such an important event. Special thank you to Ms Lefever, Mrs Nash, Mr Camilleri and Ms Matti for their work on the day.
Finally, McCrindle Research recently released some data on a study conducted for Optus on social media trends. 37% of young adults have regretted a selfie, of those, almost half were females. 41% young adults have been unsuccessful in getting another person to remove a photo they have posted. 67% of parents see the selfies posted by young people as inappropriate. Almost 60% of children taking selfies are concerned that they will attract the attention of strangers online. Only 16% of parents have taken action to force their child to remove their photo from social media presence. Social media continues to be the bold frontier of concern for parents and young people today. Regrettably, it continues to be a concern of young adults as well. I encourage you to continue to be involved in your daughter's social media accounts and provide her with the support and advice that will result in sensible and responsible interactions with her friends and acquaintances. Once a selfie is posted online it is not possible to control where it will go or how it will be used. Girls will need the wise advice of parents and responsible adults to assist them in navigating these very treacherous waters until they have the maturity to make wise decisions themselves.
Sadly, Aunty Yvonne Wright passed away last week. Aunty Yvonne was one of the original elders who established our Aboriginal Education Advisory Committee several years ago. Her funeral service held this week was a lovely tribute. I ask that you keep Aunty Yvonne and her family in your prayers. I will leave you with this reflection from a Carmelite Monastery in Waterford, Ireland.
Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
All is well
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
Only better, infinitely happier and forever
We will all be one together with Christ.
The Year 11 Sport, Lifestyle and Recreation class have engaged in three units this year, Games and Sports Application, Social Perspectives of Games and Sports and Sports Administration.
They have developed knowledge, understanding and skills that promote confidence and success in games and sports activities that are individually orientated. They have critically analysed the social perspectives that have an impact on sport in Australia and examined the major reasons for participation in sport, and the impact that media, economics and drug use have on sport and explored the type and selection of various tournaments. Finally, they investigated event management procedures and issues influencing the administration of sport. As a result, students developed the knowledge, understanding and skills required to design and implement a significant sports initiative and once a week participated in various practical games and physical activities. Their first two recreation days were at Ten Pin Bowling and Mega Mini Golf.
On Thursday 13 October, the girls had their last recreation day at Cables Wake Park in Penrith. It was a fun-filled day on the inflatable obstacle course and on the wake board course. Many of the girls were very brave and moved out of their comfort zone and pushed through their limits from knee boarding to wake boarding. They faced the cold and gave it a go even after many ‘failed’ attempts. I would like to thank Mrs Caffrey for her assistance in the organisation of the day as if it wasn’t for her, worthwhile experiences like this would not be possible for our PDHPE students.
Maria Boulatsakos - SLR Teacher
In Term 3, I was delighted to have the opportunity to guide our students as they designed and made their very own ‘Textile Gardens’. The inspiration for these came from my recent encounter with works by renowned Textile Artist, Owen Davies, former Head of Education, at the Royal School of Needlework at Hampton Court Palace in England.
The girls demonstrated a high level of creativity when coming up with their designs, incorporating some delightful winding pathways, flower beds and lawns, trees, bird baths, garden swings, water features and fountains, gates and even lamp-posts!
I would like to congratulate all the following girls on this wonderful achievement and hope that it will inspire them to continue to develop their skills in the textile arts. I would also like to thank Mrs Stalker-Booth for her wonderful support of the girls throughout the term.
Year 7 - Jorja C, Siena H
Year 8 - Bianca P, Ines H, Crystal B, Kandice M, Sophie S, Marleina T
Year 9 - Samantha G, Samantha E
Jacqueline Irwin – TAS Teacher
On 7 September I was fortunate enough to accompany Mackenzie M and Payten-Rae S to Mount Carmel to attend the book launch of Anzacs of Macarthur: Men and Women Who Served in the First World War.
Along with other schools in the Macarthur region, we received two copies of this fantastic and painstakingly researched account of the Macarthur region’s 1000 or so soldiers, sailors and nurses who served in World War I. We also got the chance to speak with Bradbury author Lauren Hokin who dedicated two and a half years to this worthy project. It was a thought-provoking and emotional encounter, reminding us once again of the deep gratitude we have for those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them."
Good Samaritan Education Staff Japan Immersion 2016 – a Historical and Cultural Immersion
It was not until 1948 that the Good Samaritan Sisters ventured overseas, receiving the call from Bishop Paul Yamaguchi of Nagasaki, Japan for assistance in rebuilding his diocese and for a teaching order to establish a school for girls. Despite the end of the war being so recent and memories often bitter, there was an overwhelming response to the call from many of the sisters. The first six sisters set sail from Sydney Harbour on the SS Changte… and the rest is our rich history.
I was fortunate to be selected to be one of the teachers from the Good Samaritan Colleges in Australia to attend an eight day immersion experience. The trip, short and sweet as it had to coincide with the inter-state teachers term break, was so valuable and enriching, with memories I will treasure for a very long time.
We started our journey in Sasebo, where the sisters first arrived in Japan. We visited the first convent they ministered in, mostly looking after war victims. In 1952 the sisters were asked to begin their work in the formal education system. They took over a school named Seibi, meaning Place of Beauty, and the sisters accepted students regardless of their religious affiliation and worked hard to form positive relationships with the broader Sasebo community. Their legacy at the school lives on, today it is known as Seiwa College – meaning Holy Peace – and is a beautiful all-girls school, much like our own. Attending the school for the day was one of the highlights for me. The school was very different to St Patrick's College in terms of it’s resources, not as many gadgets and technology, limited whiteboards, projectors and no BYOD to be seen, however, the girls very much the same - polite, respectful and full of life. The Year 12 leaders showed us around each classroom with pride, displaying genuine hospitality and love of Christ and neighbour. I found it very interesting how the school system works there, for example at Seiwa most students don’t get home until 5:30pm at night, after a 7 period day, one lunch break, compulsory clubs after school and then if they are so lucky – tutoring before or after dinner and then more study.
At Seiwa, we were honourable guests at their whole school assembly, where the choir sang three beautiful songs and had a welcoming ceremony from the principal where we were presented with gifts to take back to our Colleges. Then we had the opportunity to be part of a special tea ceremony, a calligraphy class and delighted in traditional Japanese dancing.
Later that day, we also got to visit Our Lady of the Cherry Blossom Kindergarten. The sisters originally provided pastoral care and high quality education to the military families in 1952. Today, it is a thriving school and the young children’s band played two songs for us. They were the cutest little beans you have ever seen and so warm and welcoming of their visitors.
Our final day was spent visiting the sisters in Nara and sharing in their wonderful journey. They told us the story of these brave young women who answered the call, lived in a foreign country, learned the language, and began to assist the people who became homeless from the 1953 typhoon, landslides and floods. In Nara, they worked tirelessly to assist to distribute food and clothing and fed many people who became homeless from the regular destruction. In 1964 they opened a novitiate and from then on many other significant projects were initiated and put into fruition such as the Asebi Centre which operated a library then led to English classes, conversation groups, Bible Studies and Christmas plays. They also established the first Meals on Wheels for the elderly. It was very special to speak to the sisters who were still living in their beautiful home and enjoy a meal with them. They even showed us around Nara, where we patted the deer and visited the Todaiji Temple with a 15m Buddha inside!
We were also fortunate to visit the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Memorial Museum, the Peace Park in Nagasaki, the Church of the 26 Japanese Martyrs, Glover Garden, Miyajima Island, Hiroshima Memorial Peace Museum and Park and numerous temples and shrines such as Kiyomizudera Temple. I feel very blessed to have been given this opportunity to learn more about our Good Samaritan charism and experience Japanese culture and history. Our story is a very fruitful one and we can learn so much from the sisters who sacrificed leaving their home and comforts to enter another’s garden and make such a profound difference.
Maria Boulatsakos - Teacher
Expression of Interest - This is an incredible opportunity to develop your understanding of the Anzac legacy by applying for a scholarship to visit battlefields and memorial sites where Australians fought overseas. The scholarship is available to Year 10 and 11 students in 2017 with a keen interest in history.
Please see Mrs Musico-Rullo or Mr East if you are interested. Schools can submit an expression of interest and then will go into a ballot which will be drawn on 21 November. The 20 schools selected will then nominate one student each to take part in the 2017 tour.
Follow this link for more information:
On 29 August, two of our most motivated Year 9 girls attended the MISA Youth of the Year Competition at Mount Carmel.
Jasmin H and Kayla I represented our College with great pride and presence. With thoughtfully prepared speeches and confidently handled interviews, the girls really shone. This is what the girls themselves had to say:
Kayla: The speech topic I selected was "beauty standards in modern society". This competition helped me gain a lot of insight on what other Year 9 students in the area were passionate about and what they had to say on the issues that are affecting our society currently.
Jasmin: My topic was Racism. I really benefitted from MISA Youth of the Year because it was a fantastic way to listen to topics and concerns of other young people across a variety of schools. Everyone was very passionate about their topics and the concerns raised really gave me a wider perspective and outlook on local, national and global affairs. It was also a beneficial experience as I saw how much I have improved in speaking and there was great sportsmanship at the end where everyone was congratulating and encouraging each other for their speeches.
In a very strong field of 18 Year 9 contestants, Kayla came away with the top prize: 2016 Youth of the Year! Awesome work- well done Kayla! Congratulations to both Kayla and Jasmin for giving this worthy competition a go. We are all very proud of you girls!
Wollongong Spirituality in the Pub invites you to a conversation on Tuesday, 25 October at the Woonona Bulli RSL Club, from 7.30 pm to 9.00 pm.
The guest speaker is Frank Brassil who will speak about Catholic Social Teaching and the needs of the homeless.
All welcome. Enquiries to Ann 0427 235 955 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
24 October - Year 9 Italian Excursion
25 October - Visual Arts Excursion
26 October - Year 12 Parent Information Evening
28 October - Year 11 Leadership Conference
3 November - Music "Count us In" Excursion
4 November - Big Sister/Little Sister Night In
7 - 10 November - Year 10 Examinations
7 - 9 November - Year 8 Camp Group 1
9 - 11 November - Year 8 Camp Group 2
9 November - Year 7 RE Excursion
11 November - Year 10 Social
13 November - Fishers Ghost Fun Run
15 November - Year 7 2017 Pre-Orientation Day
16 November - Film Presentation "Most likely to Succeed" Community Event, Year 10 Commerce Excursion
17 November - Year 7 2017 Orientation Day
18 November - Middle School Dance, International Games Day, CDF Sports Award Night
25 November - Year 9 Forensics Incursion, Year 10 Community Service Incursion, Aboriginal Education Excursion, Creative and Performing Arts Nigh
28 November - Year 10 HSC Preliminary Readiness "All my own work"
30 November - "The Challenge" (CAPA)
1 December - Year 7 Vaccinations (HPV)
2 December - Year 10 Mathematics G/T Excursion,
6 December - End of Year Awards and Assembly, End of Year Mass, Students Finish for 2016
8 December - Staff finish for 2016
31 January 2017 - Students return for 2017