Volume 29 Issue 12 - 18 August 2017

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

This week the College received the NAPLAN results for our current Year 7 and Year 9 students. We will have the letter out to families later in the week, so you should get your letters next week. As the exam is held in May, the Year 7 results are a better reflection of the achievements of the girls in primary school. The Year 9 results reflect the growth or learning gain of the girls whilst they have been at St Patrick’s College. We are delighted with the results of the girls. We are particularly delighted with the growth shown in the Year 9 girls. The College has had a targeted approach to Numeracy and Literacy over the years and this is now clearly having a very positive effect.

We are also thrilled with the number of Year 9 girls who have achieved the minimum benchmark of Band 8 for the HSC in one or more of the exams. Our results show that 63% of the girls received a Band 8 or above in Reading, 80% achieved a Band 8 or above in Writing and 58% achieved a Band 8 or above in Numeracy. These are well above the state average. The statistics also showed that 77% of Year 9 girls achieved expected or above their expected growth in Reading and 65% achieved above or at expected growth in Numeracy. In addition to this, a significant number of the girls who did not achieve Band 8 actually achieved Band 7, which will invariably grow by the time they wish to begin the HSC in a few years. We will be in touch with those girls and families who did not receive a Band 8 and outline the further opportunities to meet the standard. If you have any questions concerning your daughter's results, please feel free to contact Mrs McGeachie (Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching) or Mrs Eileen Kelly (Learning Enhancement Coordinator) at the College.

Whilst we have just received this year’s NAPLAN results, we are also preparing for next year's exam as well. Next year, the exam will be online and as such we are testing our readiness for this next week. The girls in Years 7 and 9 will be completing a mock test to see how our system will cope with almost 300 students accessing the NAPLAN website and at the same time  accessing our wireless system. There will be no results and the test is a trial  but this will be crucial in alerting all involved on what would need to be corrected so that when we do this next year, it will be a smooth operation.

Last week, I had the pleasure of working with the Student Leadership team and Ms Stephanie Dunn as they discerned who would hold the various leadership positions at the College for 2017 – 2018. It is always such a pleasure to work with these girls as they express their passion for the College and their desire to ensure the best for others. The list of the girls and their positions are held in this edition. I congratulate them for being recognised within their cohort as leaders and I wish them well as they embark on their journey of leadership  for the next 12 months. We will hold a ceremony to induct them in the following weeks.

In 2017, the Sisters of the Good Samaritan celebrate 160 years.  They began in 1857, when five sisters commenced their formation as Sisters of the Good Samaritan in Sydney. They were called to provide direct assistance to the needy, focusing on caring for destitute women and children. The Good Sams understood the importance of education and established schools and orphanages across Australia. At their height, there were over 100 Good Samaritan schools across Australia. In 1948, they were called to Japan to help the victims of the Nagasaki bombing. The women who left for Japan, left knowing they would not return. The sisters later established clinics in Kiribati, the Philippines and Timor Leste. Today, there are close to 230 Good Samaritan sisters in Australia, Japan, Philippines and Kiribati. In September, the sisters will gather together in Chapter to choose their new congregational leader. Sr Clare Condon has held the position for the past 12 years and will leave a legacy that we in Good Sam schools will be forever grateful for. I ask that you keep the sisters in your prayers as they prepare for this new chapter in their lives. If you are interested in getting to know what the sisters are now involved in, you can subscribe to the newsletter 'The Good Oil', which can be found on the Good Samaritan Sisters website http://www.goodsams.org.au/.

The College has established two new awards. One is for any student who represents the state in an activity. This is the Waratah Award. The second award is the Green and Gold Award which is for representation on a national team. The criteria for both awards are included in this edition and can be found on the website. The awards will be issued at the end of year award ceremony. The College isn’t always aware of the levels of participation of the girls in events and competitions outside of the school, so we are encouraging you to let us know of any who would be eligible for either of these awards. Each nomination will go before a panel to ensure it meets the criteria and then the award will be given at the end of the year.

Finally, as we continue to hear about the racial tensions and violence in Charlottesville, USA, I will leave you with a short reflection by Margaret J Wheatley.


Sue Lennox - Principal 

It's not differences that divide us.
It's our judgments
about each other that do. 


Gospel Reflection by Caroline A

Last week, during our Year 9 Communion Service, Caroline A of Year 9 delivered her insightful Gospel reflection. Copy of this is below.
Caroline A - Year 9 Student

In this Gospel, Jesus visited his friends Martha and Mary, who were sisters. Jesus was close to Martha and Mary’s family because it was their brother Lazarus whom Jesus had risen from the dead. In return, they treated Jesus as if He was a part of their family. Mary was sitting at Jesus’ feet and listening to him teach while Martha was busy doing all the work. Martha became upset because Mary wasn’t helping her. She was getting stressed and started to complain to Jesus like she was saying “Mary isn’t even doing anything! Why aren’t you asking Mary to help me?” So we can imagine Jesus replying to Martha like this: “Martha, why are you worrying and upset about everything. Only one thing is important. Let Mary be, she has made her choice, don’t take that away from her.”

What was Mary’s choice? And what was it that could not be taken away from her?

Gathered here today, we are like Mary, in the presence of Jesus, listening to his Word. But what are we like outside of this Chapel, outside of this school even? Who are you like at home? Personally, I see myself as a Martha quite often, always busying myself with things, forgetting that even if they're good, even if I think they’re the right thing to do, they're not what's important in the end. This may be probably the case with most of us, but this isn’t necessarily bad. It is not bad to be practical and efficient like Martha, for we are still serving God. However the practical actions shouldn’t get in the way of the more important things in life as it will just lead us towards anxiety and worry which is what Jesus doesn’t want—notice he mentioned the fact that Martha was worrying and upset. He did not say that Martha was doing all the work and Mary wasn’t.

I understand this may be confusing and hard to understand as you would think that showing hospitality or being welcoming is better but if you look at it would you  rather spend time with God or spend time for God? Which is more valuable? Which do you think would be more rewarding—knowing Jesus as a distant character that you read about in the Bible or Jesus who you know personally and who ends up being a genuine good friend? At first, having Jesus as a friend who you just want to hang out with may be unimaginable, but it’s not. Being here gathered together in prayer is like being Mary.

We are listening and being attentive. We are challenged to do this and to be listening and attentive not just in this Chapel or in Church but at lunchtime, at home with our parents and siblings, and also with people we may not like or who are different to us. Allowing Jesus to be part of our lives and even the centre of it is not as hard if we envision ourselves as Mary. 

We are human and we make mistakes just like Martha did. Sometimes we don’t know what is best—especially now, today, with distractions all around us and the distractions we create. But it is as simple as asking God for help as he is our helper, always there for us, never leaving us or rejecting us. This Gospel story is reminding us that you can do all the Christian things and deeds in the world, but if your heart is not in the right place, wanting to be by the side of Jesus, spending time with Him and learning from Him in the Bible and through personal prayer, then the things are just things, they don't really mean anything. The practical and the spiritual go hand in hand, they should be balanced.

In the dictionary, balance is defined as an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady, as well as a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

In this Gospel:

Mary chose to be prayerful. Martha chose to serve in action. Mary chose to be quiet and still. Martha chose to be helpful.

Mary chose to sit beside her friend. Martha chose to take care of things.

There is a little bit of Martha and Mary in all of us. Jesus said to Martha “Mary has made her choice, don’t take it away from her.” That choice is ours. God gives us the gift of our freedom to spread peace, to choose love in action, and to have faith. We don’t need to be afraid or feel bad for believing and having faith in God. It doesn’t matter what others may think. Nothing can take that away from you.

Caroline A - Year 9 Student

Social Justice News

Last semester as a College community we were very successful in raising money and donations to help those less fortunate than ourselves.

2017 Winter Sleep Out


During term 1, our focus was on Caritas’ Project Compassion. We set the target of $1,000 per year group, and whilst the majority of year groups were close to the target, a special mention needs to be made to Year 8 and Year 9 for both raising well over the $1,000. We hope that you will continue to show this level of generosity in all future Lenten appeals as you travel into the senior school.

As a community, in total we raised $6,000 for Project Compassion, which is a wonderful effort made by all, and will go to the families and communities in need around the world.

In term 2, the focus for the Social Justice Council was on the St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal, and St Pat’s first ever Winter Sleep Out. We heard from Mr Bill George, our local Vinnies representative, who encouraged the whole school to dig deep this winter as we have the luxuries and warmth of our homes, heaters and clothing that many homeless and underprivileged people in our community do not.

These events saw massive success in many ways. The Winter Sleep Out was attended by approximately 60 students and 5 staff members. This event alone raised just over $2,000, which has since been donated to St Vincent de Paul.

On top of this, each homeroom was asked to bring in donations of blankets and clothes to complement the money raised from the Sleep Out. You would have noticed in the classrooms last term that the donations were of an overwhelming number. As a community, our donations were so generous that the Vinnies representative could not fit all of the donations into the collection van.

We know that the support and generosity demonstrated by all of you throughout these events will be extremely appreciated by all the people that are assisted by St Vincent de Paul, and we encourage you all to show the same level of compassion towards all future Winter appeals and social justice events.

Emily W – Social Justice Captain and Ms M Boulatsakos - Teacher


CSDA Debating Finals Series

Congratulations to our 8B, 9B and 11B teams who progressed all the way to the Metropolitan Debating Competition Quarter Finals on Friday 23 June at Marist College Dundas and Santa Sabina Strathfield.

CSDA Debating Students

In this Sydney-wide competition, getting this far, into the top eight teams, is a significant success. The 9Bs and 11Bs then went on to compete in the Semi Finals at St Clare’s Waverley and St Ignatius Riverview on  Friday 21 July, placing them in the top four teams in their year division in the entire competition. The CSDA starts each season with 80 plus schools and approximately 150 teams in each year group, so this is indeed a remarkable achievement.

Congratulations to Chantelle, Siana and Angelina (Year 8, Quarter Finalists) Imogen, Jarian and Gabrielle (Year 9, Semi Finalists) and Rachel, Christina and Kate (Year 11, Semi Finalists).  We are all very proud of you girls. You have conducted yourselves with grace, poise,  teamwork and outstanding intellect. There is no doubt at all that as empowered young women, you are the leaders of tomorrow.

Marguerite Pulham - Debating/Public Speaking


Mock Mediation Update

This year has seen great success for our Year 10 Mock Mediation team in the NSW Law Society’s state wide competition. The girls performed exceptionally well in the first three rounds, scoring a sensational 99.5% in Round 3.

Year 10 Mock Mediation

On Friday 11 August they participated in the Quarter Finals, with a scenario in which both parties were in discussion over the planning of a Gala Ball. Jasmin H and Kayla I (Party A) convincingly played the role of two rich girls who were attempting to plan a venue and organise ticket prices, which had become exorbitant due to the extravagant planning from Party B (Mya M and Lacey M). They wanted three DJs, flamenco guitar players and lavish and exotic food, making the ticket price too expensive for other students in the school.

The mediation saw much debate and plenty of heated arguments, all controlled and guided by our two acting mediators, Rhiannon K and Celine A. Their knowledge of a variety of mediation techniques successfully lead the parties to a realistic compromise and an eventual resolution.

During the mediation, many confidential facts were presented. These are pieces of ‘secret information’ that are given to each party member before the mediation begins. Both parties waited for the most appropriate time to ‘spring’ this information on the others. A special thanks to Isabella C for making a guest appearance with her guitar on the day!

I would like to congratulate the girls on their result, finishing with an outstanding score of 98%. We’re hoping this score will be good enough to put the team through to the Semi Finals. I am quietly confident.

Well done, girls!

Jason Muller - Teacher

Father Daughter Dinner Dance

To book tickets CLICK HERE

Mater Dei 2017 Country Fair

Mater Dei 2017 Country Fair - Proudly supporting children 0 -18 years with developmental delay and intellectual disabilities and their families. Sunday 15 October 2017.

Friday, Faith and Supper Invitation

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

18 August - Dio Athletics Carnival, Vietnam Veteran Day
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, Year 11 SLR Excursion, Year 10 Public Speaking
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, Year 9 Public Speaking
8 September - College Assembly, Middle School Dance (St Gregory's College), Year 11 SLR Excursion
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
22 September - Year 11 SLR Excursion, STAFF AND STUDENTS FINISH FOR TERM 3
23 September to 2 October - Year 11 Philippines Immersion