Volume 29 Issue 11 - 4 August 2017

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

Welcome back to Term 3. We are very mindful of the Year 12 girls as they sit for their Trials at the moment. They have studied and prepared and we all hope that they are able to reap the rewards of their hard earned efforts during this exam block.

I warmly welcome back Mrs Thomas from maternity leave. It is wonderful to have her back with us. Sadly we had to farewell Mrs Breeze at the end of the term. We wish her the very best in her new role. Sadly, we will also farewell Mrs Stalker-Booth at the end of the week. Mrs Stalker-Booth has been the College Librarian for the past five years and has made a wonderful contribution. We wish her the very best in her new position in Canberra. We welcome Mr McGrath, as the new PDHPE teacher whilst Mrs Caffrey is on maternity leave. 

The term has started with great energy with a number of teams representing the College in a number of fields and achieving commendable success. There is more of their achievements in the body of this edition. The girls appear to be well rested and ready for a good term ahead.

The College is a member of the Alliance of Girls Schools. Each month it produces newsletters with the most current research on issues about children, young people and education. In the July edition, it noted a radical research project completed in Iceland which found that increasing young people's involvement with sport and time with their parents has drastically curbed substance abuse by teenagers. The research is available on the website www.agsa.org.au for your consideration. It emerged that there are four factors strongly protective against substance abuse: participation in organised activities (especially sport) three or four times a week, total time spent with parents during the week, feeling cared about at school and not being outdoors late at night. This ground breaking research was then backed by the government so that programs were put in place to engage young people and parent organisations assisted parents to spend quantity time rather than the occasional quality time with their children. It has made a significant difference on the lives of the children and the families in Iceland. I encourage you to read it and reflect on the findings. 

This week, we hosted the Middle School Parent Forum. Thank you to those parents who attended. Thank you also to our psychologist Mrs Sophie Christodoulides who presented on mental wellbeing and health. It was very informative and all middle school parents will receive the PowerPoint. My thanks also to Mrs Wright for attending both sessions. Next week we will hold the Senior School Parent Forum. The focus this time will be on careers. Mr Damien Williams will present to the parents an outline of the changing world of careers and what the College is doing to support and prepare the girls. I thank him and Mrs McGeachie in advance for their attendance at the meetings. I do hope you will be able to attend.

No doubt you will have heard on the news reports on this year's NAPLAN results. We are yet to receive these results to be able to comment on the results for St Patrick’s College. I would like to reassure parents that this is the first point of entry to achieving a HSC. Girls who do not achieve the benchmark in Year 9 will have ample opportunity to achieve this before they finish their HSC in three years time. We will have further to say about this at the Year 8 subject preferences information evening for parents on 16 August. For parents of Year 9, we will communicate further once the results have come through.

We are currently interviewing all the Year 10 girls  for their subject preferences. If you have any questions, concerning your daughter's preferences, please don't hesitate to call the College for clarification.

This Sunday we celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus. The following is an extract taken from a commentary written by Br Julian McDonald cfc AO

“While his transfiguration on the mountaintop was intended for his disciples and for us to be a reminder not to lose hope, no matter how bleak life may become, Jesus made it clear that lasting transfiguration would come for us and our world through his cross and ultimate resurrection.  In laying aside privilege and special treatment, he reminds us to do the same for the sake of others and the good of our world.  In today’s gospel story, that message is reinforced by the voice of God: “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”

Let’s not forget that there are many other transfiguration moments in our lives as we respond to Jesus’ invitation to reach out to others in love:  “To love another person is to see the face of God.”  (Victor Hugo, Les Miserables)” 


Sue Lennox - Principal 


Santa Teresa Immersion 2017

Kayla M, Teresa S and myself were selected to attend the Santa Teresa Immersion in the July school holidays of 2017. The Santa Teresa Immersion is run by Good Samaritan Education and is a rewarding journey to have participated in. 

Before the July holidays we had a briefing at St Scholastica with the two other Good Samaritan schools that were embarking on this journey with us. On 1 July, everyone met up at Sydney Airport to fly out to Alice Springs. By the time we got to Alice Springs it suddenly hit me that we were no longer in the same state as our families and it was time for us to push ourselves out of our comfort zones and to challenge media stereotypes about Aboriginal communities.

Sister Liz is the Good Samaritan Sister who is currently living in Santa Teresa and very graciously looked after us and guided us through this experience. She explained to all of us that we weren’t tourists but we were pilgrims on a pilgrim experience. We weren’t there to sightsee and simply take pictures of the community. We were there to live with the community, to learn from them and gain an understanding of their culture and their beliefs.

While at Santa Teresa we volunteered at the Spirituality Centre, the Creche and the Community Centre. At these centres we spent time with some of the local women and children. Communicating with the locals wasn’t difficult but it was challenging in the sense that we had to be mindful of the questions we asked and who we were talking about. In the Arrernte language that is spoken within this community, they are not able to say the word ‘No’, therefore we tried to prevent asking “Yes/No” questions.

The highlights that led me to a greater understanding of what Aboriginal communities such as Santa Teresa are truly like was on the Thursday night. Sister Liz took us out to the bush for the night, to give us a chance to feel that sense of connectiveness to their land and understand the importance of respecting what is sacred to them. Sister Liz communicated in Arrernte language to the ancestors to let them know that we were on their land, that we were respectful and mindful that everything around us had importance to the community.

Being on such a pilgrimage meant experiencing being a part of that community. I also had the chance to meet a lovely lady named Mia who is a Traditional Healer. She held a Smoking Ceremony with bush medicine and used that smoke to heal any of the sick (including myself) and by the next morning I was mentally feeling much better. 

From all of this I could come home knowing that those stereotypes that we are faced with about Aboriginal communities aren’t true. Santa Teresa has been one of the most eye-opening experiences that I have embarked on. It has shown me the importance of culture and relating to not only our own community but with the rest of the world. The people of Santa Teresa invited us in to listen to what they say about their culture and what they believe in.

I believe that going to Santa Teresa helped me in finding out who I am as a person and how I can give back to the communities around me and be able to give others the chance to understand that everyone is important and everyone has the right to be listened to.

Tayla D – Year 10 Student

Ministry Outreach 2017

From 2 to 7 July in the recent Term 2 holidays, Haley M, Merhawit G, Emily M, Lois A and Rachel N of Year 11, underwent a week of physically “going and doing likewise” as they are frequently implored to do. The experience of being welcomed as volunteers was humbling and worthwhile. Their service was welcomed with much generous hospitality. They stayed at St Scholastica’s College in Glebe, and were separated into different groups for their day activities at various service sites in inner and outer Sydney.

Emily M and Year 11 Students - Ministry Outreach Program

This year I was one of five fortunate Year 11 girls who were given the opportunity to participate in the Good Samaritan schools ‘Ministry Outreach’ program. During the first week of the term 2 holidays, 40 students from Good Samaritan schools around Australia stayed at St Scholastica’s boarding school. On the first day, we were introduced to the program, different people and our service groups. The last day was a debrief of our experience. The four days in between were spent at two different service sites. The first site that my group went to was ‘Ozanam Industries’, a workplace for adults with a disability. This was a really good experience although, at times, quite challenging. On the first day, I found it challenging to continue and expand on the conversations that I was having. Once we began working, however, I understood more that this was a normal workplace and therefore “forcing” a conversation was not necessary.

The second day was a bit easier in the sense that I was more comfortable with the environment and I was familiar with some of the employees. The second service site that my group visited was ‘Street Level’ which is run by the Salvation Army. I helped out in the kitchen by preparing and serving food, as well as by sorting through donations in the op shop. Although I found the kitchen stressful at times, it was really lovely to speak with different customers, some of whom were experiencing homelessness or just having a tough time, and being able to put a smile on their face either by serving them or just saying hello to them. The op shop was quite fun because there was just so much to sort through. This job was important and I am glad to have been able to help out the organisation. Overall this was an eye-opening experience and I have made some valuable friendships. I strongly encourage anyone in the future to apply for this opportunity.

Emily M - Year 11 Student


The first day of the experience was a lot of fun, jam packed with ice breakers and trivia, to make getting to know the other 40 people on the trip a lot easier. The second day was our first trip to our designated service sites. Rachel and I went to Food Bank. Food Bank is an organisation that provides community groups around Australia with food and some other resources that they need. It was freezing cold inside the warehouse, so cold that the cold room was actually the warmest place to be because it was at a set temperature of 10 degrees Celsius. We spent the day in pairs, walking the aisles and pulling out boxes and cartons of food. Once the shopping cart had been turned into a tower of unstable items, we would go back to our blue pallet and try to organise the load as best we could. It took a lot more thought than one might think - to strategically place the heaviest boxes in a position which would allow the rest of the items to be completely stable, but in the end it all worked out. On the first day at Food Bank, our team helped ship out a total of 29 pallets and then on the second day we helped to ship 30. It was very rewarding to know that because of us, a community group would have fresh food delivered to them.  

The second service site that my group went to was St Mary’s Villa, a nursing home in Concord. The two days at this site, I found, were the toughest. There was no physical work like the previous two days, but the mental strain was hard to handle. I had never been to a nursing home before, let alone a dementia ward, so just being with a group of elderly patients who weren’t able to talk, or weren’t able to move, was something that took some getting used to. For the first day in this site I stood awkwardly in the corner and watched as my other group members tried to make conversation. I was so afraid of saying something that might send one of the patients into an episode that I didn’t say much at all. In saying that, I did come to realise that not all of the patients in the nursing home had high care issues. A lot of the people living there were just elderly people who could no longer live on their own. Because of this, the Villa always had an activity on. One morning was zumba. On the second morning a Mass was held in the hall. I was extremely surprised at the number of elderly patients who could not walk, or talk, or remember anything really, but were able to actively take part in the Mass. It was quite beautiful to be a part of.

On the morning of the second day, I met a lady named Catherine. She was sitting alone on the lounge in the living room, and the supervising nurse introduced me to her. I sat next to her, and held her hand as we spoke. Catherine was over 90 years old, she was blind, she was mostly deaf, and she had dementia. She was very happy to have a visitor, and even though she didn’t know me, she shared so much of her life with me. I think just having someone there to hold her hand and let her know what was happening around her helped her to relax and be calm. My time at St Mary’s Villa was an experience that I won’t forget.

I had a lot of fun, and a lot of experiences during Ministry Outreach which have made me more aware of issues in our society today. The experience was unforgettable, and truly worthwhile, and I am grateful for having been able to take part in the week.

Haley M -  Year 11 Student


After the first day of briefing, all students were well equipped and prepared to venture into the communites of inner and outer Sydney and break down the barriers of privilege. The first service site I visited was Food Bank located at Glendenning. Food Bank is a non-profit organisation which acts as a pantry to the charities and community groups who feed the hungry. During our time at Food Bank we were asked to split into pairs, with each pair being assigned an order form from a school or charity with a list requesting bulk food items close to their expiry date, which would have otherwise been thrown into land fill. The major thing that stood out to me during this Monday and Tuesday was the sheer quantity of food present within the warehouse. Masses and masses and masses of fruit and vegetables, canned goods, bread, tinned fruits and so much more was stacked on shelves reaching incredible heights. I remember just thinking how glad and thankful I was that a place like Food Bank exists, because it is doing so much good work. It really is a win win scenario, as Food Bank are fighting to end hunger in Australia, while minimising the ever-growing problem of land fill and waste in this country.

On Wednesday and Thursday, it was time to swap over and help at a completely new service site, Ozanam Industries in Stanmore. Ozanam Industries is a special work of the St Vincent de Paul Society, that operates to provide work for disabled adults. The imperative importance of “Don’t dis my ability” is something that frequently played over in my mind as I observed my surroundings at Ozanam. It was evident in the unwavering support, deep care and utmost respect shown for all those working at Ozanam. During our time there, we completed the same tasks as any other worker and also accompanied the employees for morning tea and lunch breaks. A significant moment for me was undoubtedly when I was sitting at the bench, packaging dog biscuits. I looked over to the end of the bench to see Sue, a lovely kind hearted and welcoming lady, who was pretty much completely blind, doing the exact same task as everybody else, packing dog biscuits. This moment just really made me understand that having a disability does not automatically decrease your ability to do things.

On the Friday it was time to wind down and debrief all that we had seen, experienced, learnt, found challenging, found eye-opening, found rewarding etc. This was an excellent chance to gather my thoughts and reflect on a week of my life that I wish every single person could experience and learn from. I am educated and equipped now to correct the stigmas and stereotypes surrounding the hungry or those with disabilities because I was blessed enough to spend time with these genuine, compassionate souls, encountering them first hand, and I can honestly say that it was one of the best experiences of my life.

Rachel N - Year 11 Student

Year 8 Italian Excursion

On Wednesday 26 July, Year 8 students travelled to Club Italia for the annual language excursion. There they experienced a variety of activities including Bocce (bowls), Tombola (bingo) card games and cooking demonstrations. This excursion gives the girls the opportunity to use the Italian they have learnt in class and is a wonderful way to expose them to the language and traditional culture.


"Club Italia was a wonderful experience, I have learnt so many new things. One of my favourite things we did would have to be playing Bocce (Italian Bowling). I unfortunately didn't win but it was still fun anyway".

(Ashley Espinoza 8.1)
Julian Nash - Languages Coordinator

Junior and Senior Dance Groups

On Tuesday 1 August the Junior and Senior Dance groups attended the St George Dance Eisteddfod at Hurstville's Marana Auditorium.
Many schools from across Sydney competed against one another in both the Contemporary Dance and Jazz Dance sections. As the first competition for the year, we are proud of the St Patrick's Dancers and their performances on the day. The students constantly displayed true sportsmanship, supporting not only their own teams but cheering on the other schools that also took to the stage. 
3rd Place - Senior Contemporary 
Highly Commended - Junior Jazz
Overall 'Best Choreography Award' for Senior Contemporary
Emma Randell - CAPA Teacher

Year 11 Hospitality and Business Services Excursion

Last Friday, the Year 11 Hospitality & Business Services classes went to Sydney Tower to gain an insight into the Hospitality industry. The girls were fortunate enough to walk through the food preparation facilities and gain an understanding about how the tower caters for over 600 people a day. 

The tour started with an introduction to how the business operates, the technology being used by the establishment and the exceptional processes used to produce a large amount of food everyday. The day ended with the girls sampling the amazing food from the Sydney Tower Dining Buffet and experiencing the revolving dining room at the top of the tower. The girls should be commended for their excellent behaviour and the way they positively represented the College on the day. A special thank you to Mrs Durrington for organising such a fantastic excursion. 

Olivia Matti - Hospitality Teacher

Term 3 MISA Teams

Congratulations to the following girls on gaining selection in Term 3 MISA teams.

The Year 9-12 Soccer Team with former Matilda Catherine Cannuli

Year 7 Oz Tag

Bridie L, Olivia S, Irene M, Jessica A, Tahlia M, Tvara S, Lily M, Jade J, Brynn W, Ashalea W and Stella B. Coach Mr David.

Year 7 Netball

Charlotte F, Olivia Z, Amala A, Lucy O, Bianca R, Ella F, Katarina S, Ashlee P, Elisha L, Grace K and Maddison M. Coach Mrs Lawrence.

Year 8 Netball

Evana S, Piper A, Hannah S, Kassandra S, Amadee T, Briana C, Chantel S, Jazmyn D, Maya B, Veronica W, Lily W, Hannah P and Georgia R. Coach Mrs Nash.

Year 9-12 Soccer

Paris B, Tara B, Kiarra B, Annalise C, Ana C, Tahnee D, Emma G, Lily M, Andrea M, Emma O, Molly O, Julia P, Kate R, Sally S, Amy S, Kayla W and Hariette W. Coach Mrs Tacca.

Year 10-12 Volleyball

Emma L, Anita P, Eseta R, Lyliann V, Samantha J, Uini V, Astes A, Esther M, Dryandra M and Florence V. Coach Ms Cornett.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Congratulations Jarian H

Congratulations to Jarian H of Year 9 who has been selected as part of the Australian Youth Weighlifting Team to compete at the Commonwealth Youth Championships in the Gold Coast later this term. A strong performance in this event will see Jarian qualify for the Youth Commonwealth Games being held next year. Best of luck Jarian.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Jarian H - Year 9 Student

College Athletics Carnival

On Thursday 8 June, St Patrick’s held its annual athletics carnival at Campbelltown Athletics Stadium. We were once again blessed with a fantastic autumn day which was in stark contrast to the deluge of rain we received in the days preceding. Participation rates were once again very high, reflecting the hard work and dedication of the PDHPE faculty in preparing the students for the day. Added to this is the supportive and reassuring atmosphere that is evident throughout the day and gives many students the confidence to step outside their comfort zone and enjoy the day in its entirety.  

Once again, there was a wealth of talent unveiled on the day, which made for some very exciting yet friendly competition. A big thank you must go to all students and staff for their efforts throughout the day. I must also comment on the positive feedback I received from the Stadium Coordinator and First Aid Officer about the way our girls conducted themselves in and around the venue. It is always a pleasure to hear such positive feedback. Congratulations girls.

Our Age Champions for the day were,

12 Years – Katarina S

13 Years – Amadee T

14 Years – Piper A

15 Years – Amy S

16 Years – Amelia A

17+ Years – Mercedes S

Overall Age Champion for the day was Amy S.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Diocesan Netball Championships

Congratulations to the following girls on their performance at the recent Wollongong Diocesan Championships. Special congratulations to the Year 11 and 12 Division 1 team on being named overall champions on the day as well as our Year 9 and 10 Division 2 team who were runners up. All teams put in very strong performances throughout the day and we were very unlucky not to have all of our six teams finish in the top two positions. These strong performances will now see our three division 1 teams head to the NSWCCC Championships to contest the State Championships.

Year 7/8 Division 2

A massive thank you to Mrs Arena and Mr McGrath for accompanying the teams on the day, as well as our ex-student coaches Emily and Maddison Kirk. Special mention must also go to our student umpires who were outstanding in every aspect and received a great deal of praise from not only the carnival conveners but also the opposition coaches. Our student umpires for the day were Erin M, Olyvia M and Julia F.

Year 7 & 8 Division 1  – Piper A, Lily W, Hannah S, Kassandra S, Ella F, Chantel S, Charlotte F, Maya B and Olivia A.

Year 7 & 8 Division 2  – Amala A, Olivia Z, Lucy O, Bianca R, Grace K, Veronica W, Ashlee P, Elisha L and Alana R.

Year 9 & 10 Division 1  - Eva B, Paris H, Christina G, Elizabeth C, Olivia F, Rahni W, Stephanie E, Jessica L, Alysha B and Emily A.

Year 9 & 10 Division 2  – Rachel W, Minduli T, Eilidh C, Amelia A, Jade W, Jessica R, Alex F and Julia P.

Year 11 & 12 Division 1  – Samantha J, Megan B, Caprice W, Michaela C, Ana C, Monique P, Jessica S, Georgia K, Analyssa R, Gabrielle M and Kayla G.

Year 11 & 12 Division 2  – Samantha F, Emily M, Joanne S, Tarnee C, Sarah M, Caitlin M, Mia K, Madeline K, Caitlyn O, Natasha T and Anita P.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator




Father Daughter Dinner Dance

Help support the Good Sams 160 Walkers

Magdalene Trivia Night

Magdalene’s Annual Trivia Night. All the money raised is donated directly to the Children’s Hospital in Westmead. This year is the 10th year for the event and is being held on Friday, 1st September 2017.

When: Friday 1st September 2017 at 7pm

Location: Magdalene Catholic High School in the CAPA Building

Theme: Mexican Fiesta (feel free to dress up)

Tickets: $15 each or $125 for a table of 10

Food will be provided and inspired by the theme

Website (More information and bookings can be made via the website): http://www.trivianight.org.au/

Important Dates

What's On ...

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

31 July - 14 August - HSC Trial Examinations
4 August - Year 9,10,11 AIME Excursion
8 August - Senior School Parent Forum
9 August - Year 9 English Incursion
10 to 11 August - Year 11 Leaders Camp
11 August - Year 11 Dinner Dance at St Gregory's College, Year 5 & 6 STEM Challenge
12 August - Year 12 Japanese Continuers Excursion
14 -18 August - Science Week
15 August - CCC Netball Championships
16 August - Year 9 2018 Information Evening, MISA Debating
18 August - Dio Athletics Carnival
21 August - DIO CCC Football
22 August - Sports Assembly (Guest Speaker Emma Swanson)
23 August - DIO Hockey & Volleyball (Opens)
24 August - College Group Photo Day
25 August - Year 9 Reflection Day, Senior School Dance
28 August to 1 September - Literacy and Numeracy Week
30 August - HSC Projects Showcase, Aboriginal Parent Forum, Year 10 Geography Excursion
31 August - MISA Debating
1 September - Father & Daughter Dinner Dance, Years 9, 10, 12 AIME Excursion
8 September - College Assembly, Middle School Dance (St Gregory's College)
9 September - Polynite Performance
13 September - NSW Oztag State Championships
15 September - NSW CCC Athletics
19 September - Year 12 Assembly, Year 12 Graduation Dinner
20 September - Year 12 Graduation Mass and Awards, Years 7 & 8 AIME Excursion
21 September - Year 12 Formal
23 September to 2 October - Year 11 Philippines Immersion