Volume 29 Issue 6 - 5 May 2017

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

Welcome back to school and to Term 2. You will have noticed that the media at the moment is filled with the announcement made by the Prime Minister of the new funding model know as 'Gonski 2.0.' Part of the report is that a number of Catholic independent schools will lose  a significant amount of funding over the next 10 years. I would like to reassure you that St Patrick's College has at no time been overfunded by any of the governments, so is not one of the 24 schools that will be most impacted by this change. If the model does in fact align funding with need, we could see a modest increase in our funding for the next funding cycle. As there is little detail at this point, we will have to remain hopeful for a better outcome for the girls at the College. It is our belief that all students in Australia are entitled to education funding, regardless of the sector they choose to provide that education.

Last week, Year 9 girls participated in their camp. This is quite a gruelling camp as there is no mobile phone access, no showers, no flushing toilets and girls sleep in a tent one night and very basic cabins the other. The purpose of the camp is to build resilience. It is the third camp the girls will have attended and each builds on the skills and capabilities of the one prior. Why do we see such value in building resilience in the girls? Our girls, your daughters, live in a very challenging world. They are constantly bombarded with messages both written and in images of what they should do, should look like and how they should act. The mold is very narrow and unfortunately when they don't fit it, or try to change it, they will find resistance. It is at those times they need to be resilient. They need to be able to reassure themselves that they are okay, that they are good and that they will get through the adversity. Spending three days in the bush, feeling very much out of their comfort zone, helps them to appreciate their own strengths, skills and qualities. In walking out of the bush, they realise that they made it and in spite of the many challenges, they enjoyed themselves. These are rare experiences but very valuable in their development into healthy young women. 

Almost every month we come across material that the girls are accessing that has concerning content. You may have come across some of these: a Netflix series called '13 Reasons Why'  or a new website called 'Blue Whale'. Both expose girls to very disturbing concepts that can have a significant impact on their health and safety. Sadly, neither of us can protect the girls 24/7 from this type of material. So it becomes crucial that the girls recognise material that is high risk for them and that they feel comfortable to seek advice from you or the College. They need to be resilient to be able to avert the influence of these websites and films and differentiate between what is fiction and what is fact. They also need to be protected by parents and schools through the use of clear expectations, structures and rules which provide them with security and stability. It is not easy raising girls into young women in this day and age. However open communication, being curious and interested in what your daughter does and what she is interested in will contribute to a level of trust between you that will be invaluable when she finds herself in a situation she is not sure she can manage on her own. If you are aware that you daughter has accessed any material that is concerning, please don't hesitate to contact the College and we can support you and your daughter in managing this. 

On 6 June, we are hosting a presentation from Dianne McGrath who is one of the shortlisted scientists hoping to join the expedition to the planet Mars. Dianne will come to the College to speak to the girls about her work and how she was successful in progressing to the next stage of the competition. If you would like to attend the assembly, you are more than welcome. It will begin at 8.45am in the Mary Sheil Centre. Parents were also invited to attend the opening address of the Year 9 STEM day this Friday. Representatives from several universities and industry will be working with the girls in workshops to build cars, solar panels and other exciting projects. I would like to acknowledge the work of Mrs Debra Bourne and the STEM team, who has organised this day for the girls. 

Last Tuesday, we held the ANZAC assembly at the College. Federal member Dr Michael Freelander, Mr Walter Robinson from Campbelltown RSL and Mr Jeff McGill were our special guests. The girls from the history committee were exceptional in conducting the assembly. Multi media presentations, poems, playing the bugle and introductions were all done by the girls. I would like to acknowledge Mrs Fran Musico Rullo  for her work on the assembly. It was a very moving and fitting ceremony to mark ANZAC Day. 

Finally, I would like to wish the debaters all the best as we embark on another season of debating this year. We have a large contingent of debaters, madame chairs and timekeepers for this year. It is wonderful to see so many girls give up their Friday evening to contribute to this very worthwhile activity. I would like to thank Ms Pulham for her organisation and hard work in providing the opportunity for the girls. 

In closing, a final prayer as we celebrate the Easter season. 


Sue Lennox - Principal

God is on the Loose

The tomb is empty
The stone laid back
The womb is full
The stones cry out for joy
Risen one stand among us
Speak your words of peace
That we may participate
In your just living

Year 12 Japanese Continuers Excursion

During the recent Term 1 Holidays, students from the Year 12 Japanese Continuers Class travelled to Kirrawee High School to participate in a two day intensive workshop in the Nihongo Japanese Tanken Centre.

Year 12 Japanese Continuers Students
Over the two days, students were only to speak Japanese and focus on activities to prepare them for the HSC exams. All the students found it a very worthwhile experience as they were able to practise everything they have been learning in class.
As the students continue their studies, we wish them every success in the HSC exams.
Julian Nash - Japanese Language Teacher

Year 9 Camp

St Patrick’s offers our students a wide range of opportunities that promotes and develops the qualities of resilience, community, teamwork and care and compassion for others and the environment. With that in mind, a key event that supports such key elements within our students' holistic education is the Year 9 Camp.

Year 9 Camp

On Wednesday 26 April, our students travelled to Belanglo State Forest to engage in a camp that involved their participation in activities such as abseiling, canoeing, raft building, flying fox and group initiatives. The girls hike into the camp site and spend two nights under the stars – one in eco cabins and the other in tents. At the same time, the individual groups learn to be self-sufficient, which involves cooking, cleaning and generally looking after each other throughout their time together.

Whilst the camp can be challenging, both physically and mentally, the rewards and sense of achievement is evident in every student who attends. For 2017, our Year 9 students embraced all aspects of this camp and truly were an amazing group of young ladies to take away. They were willing to challenge themselves to step out of their comfort zones and gained some valuable life-lessons that in many cases are rare and cannot be bought. Both the staff and I witnessed a special event for these girls and for this we are proud of what they were able to achieve.

A big thank you also to Mrs Matti, Miss Randell, Mrs Nash, Mr Power, Mrs Reader, Mrs Wilson and Mrs McGillicuddy for taking the time away from their families to spend time with each of the groups. Your efforts were major contributing factors to the success of the camp and for this the students and I are very grateful.

Paul Ashkar - Year 9 Coordinator

Diocesan Cross Country

Monday 1 May was a beautiful sunny day for our students to participate in the Wollongong Diocesan Cross Country event. 


Whole Team

Our team was strong in all ages and special mention should go to Joanne S who came 3rd in her final Dio Cross Country race for the College. Other results were: Tara B - 5th, Ruby D - 5th, Amelia A - 6th, Brooke D - 4th. Congratulations to all of the competitors for your excellent participation and behaviour throughout the day.

Elizabeth Samyia - Teacher

Diocesan Under 15s Soccer

On Wednesday 3 May, the Dio U15s soccer team were pumped and ready for the day - this was the first time they were combining their talents at a competitive level, against other schools. The competition proved to be very tough, but the girls played on and didn’t give up, demonstrating their best in every game.

The girls ran tirelessly, as we only had one reserve due to other players being injured, which took its toll during the long day. Sadly the results did not go our way, but the girls played as a well working team with good communication, poise and improved with every game. The goals scored against us were very unlucky and the high balls were just too high for anyone to reach.

We had Angelique H and Alysha B who stepped up as goalkeepers (even though that is not their position) and pulled off some amazing saves! Some other special moments included: Sarah P with her fantastic long kicks down the length of the field, Abby H and Emily A with their great defensive skills, Alyssa A and Ruby D at the front putting the pressure on the opposition, Hannah P and Amelia G being flexible and playing all positions when needed, Ruby B and Loretta T constantly running up and down covering the wings and Chantelle with her fancy footwork, making a big impact everywhere on the field. It was a great day and the girls represented St Patrick’s College with pride. Well done girls on your efforts!

Maria Boulatsakos - Teacher

HSC Help at Narellan Library

HSC Programs are being run at Narellan Library, bookings essential.

Free Community Forum - Meet Mem Fox

Free Community Forum . . . Mem Fox, author of Possum Magic and over 40 other titles, is coming to Thomas Hassall Anglican College to present a parent forum on “Why reading to your children will change their lives, forever.”


Mem Fox Flyer

She will also be promoting her new book I’m Australian Too and parents can pre-purchase books which Mem will sign on the day.  This is a unique opportunity for parents to learn from Mem – who is a very engaging and entertaining speaker, with a great love for children and literature.

Rosebank College - Gala Dinner

Rosebank College cordially invites you to their 2017 Sesquicentenary Gala Dinner

Rosebank College

Important Dates

What's On ...

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator

5 May - Year 9 Day of STEM Incursion, Year 10 Food Tech/Commerce Incursion, CSDA Debating Round 2
8 May - College Photo Day
9 May - College AGM
9 May to 11 May - Year 7 and Year 9 NAPLAN testing
12 May - Years 9,10,12 AIME Excursion, CSDA Debating Round 3
13 May - Mother and Daughter High Tea
16 May - Year 7 - 12 Parent/Teacher/Student Evening
17 May - Year 7 Reflection Day and Mass
18 May - Year 12 Advanced English Excursion
19 May - CSDA Debating Round 4
20 May - Year 7 Enrolment Interviews
21 May - Year 12 Ext 1 English Excursion
23 May - Mt St Benedicts Social Justice Forum, Year 7 - 12 NAISDA Incursion, Year 12 Meeting with the Bishop Excursion
24 May - Year 7 - 12 Parent/Teacher/Student Evening, Year 10 Sorry Day Service
26 May - Middle School Dance, Year 11 Physics Excursion, Year 9 Drama Excursion, CSDA Debating Round 5
30 - 31 May - CCC Football
1 June - Year 9 Next Generation Expo
2 June - Year 10 Drama Excursion, CSDA Debating Round 6
7 June - Year 11 "U Turn the Wheel" Incursion
8 June - College Athletics Carnival, Year 11 and 12 Music Excursion
9 June - Year 8 Reflection Day, Years 9,10,11 AIME Excursion
14 June - Dio Football Knockout (Opens), Aboriginal Parent Forum
16 June - NSW CCC Cross Country, CSDA Debating Elimination 1
19 June - Year 11, 2018 Information Night, Year 11 and Year 12 Vaccinations
22 June - Dio CCC Basketball Playoffs, CSDA Debating Quarter Final
23 June - Year 10 Community Service Incursion, Year 8 Day of STEM Incursion
26 June - NAIDOC Assembly
28 June - NSW Oztag
30 June - Benedict Day, Mass and Awards Assembly, STAFF AND STUDENTS FINISH FOR TERM 2
17 July - Staff Return for Term 3
21 July - CSDA Debating Semi Final