Volume 29 Issue 8 - 2 June 2017

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

I am watching the NRL State of Origin 1 game as I work on this editorial tonight and I have to say, it is wonderful to see the Blues finally looking so strong at Suncorp Stadium! My sincere condolences to our Queensland families who will be feeling just a bit gutted at the moment. The competition is the best of three games, so the final outcome could be anyone’s.

At the beginning of the year, the College moved to a different information platform. It has proven to be a bumpy transition and we continue to have problems with the integrity of the data in the new system. Please bear with us as we continue to work with the company to iron out the difficulties. Our staff have been excellent in working and responding to your concerns, however  the program has been problematic at times, which has worked against staff efforts. We expect to have it rectified in the coming weeks. We appreciate your support and understanding.

The last day of this term is Benedict Day. Over the last few years, we have held a mass and an academic awards ceremony. From this year we will no longer hold the academic awards ceremony at this time, as the majority of our courses run across the whole of the year. We will explore ways of acknowledging academic achievement throughout the year. The end of year awards will remain the same, acknowledging academic achievements, effort and include our special and prestigious awards. The day will continue to have the Mass for St Benedict and we will have activities and stalls raising money for the Good Samaritan Foundation. Please feel free to contact myself or Mrs McGeachie if you wish to discuss this further.

Next Tuesday, we have Ms Dianne McGrath visiting the College. She has been shortlisted as a finalist to be one of the people to travel on a spaceship to the planet Mars. It is expected that the successful people will never return back to Earth. Dianne will speak to the girls at assembly on Tuesday. This has been proudly sponsored by the P&F.  If you would like to listen to her address, please feel free to attend the College. It will be held in the Mary Sheil Centre beginning at 9.00am.

Finally, this week falls in Reconciliation Week. Flanked by Sorry Day, the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the Mabo Decision, it is a week when we reflect on where we have journeyed towards reconciliation.  The theme for this year is ‘Let’s Take the Next Steps’ and refers to the need for constitutional reform to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to take a rightful place in the country. To be informed on the constitutional recognition movement, please click here.

I will leave you with a reflection on Reconciliation Week. 


Sue Lennox - Principal 


Reconciliation Prayer: 
Holy Father, God of Love
You are the Creator of this land and all good things
We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history
And the suffering of our peoples.
And we ask your forgiveness.
We thank you for the survival of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures
Our hope is in you because you gave your son Jesus
To reconcile the world to you.
We pray for your strength and grace to forgive,
Accept and love one another,
As you love us and forgive and accept us
In the sacrifice of your Son.
Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history
So that we may build a better future for our nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly the resources of this land.
Help us to bring about spiritual and social change
To improve the quality of life for all groups
in our communities,
Especially the disadvantaged
Help our young people to find true dignity and self
esteem by your Spirit
May your power and love be the foundations
on which we build our families, our communities
and our Nation.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen

A Timely Call To Action

On Tuesday 23 May 2017, myself and 13 other girls travelled to the annual Social Justice Forum, hosted by Mount St Benedict in Pennant Hills. Without even realising it, this experience was exactly what I needed. This forum was undoubtedly what I needed to be a part of right now. I often find myself feeling so frustrated and angry at the state of injustice in the world that I neglect to focus on the positive side of things. I tend to look at where we as a society are at right now, and compare this to where I ideally want us to be. It’s safe to say we are a long way off.

This realisation unfortunately leads me to overlook the vital work that is currently being done by multiple individuals and organisations, who are trying to find solutions to these pressing matters that I feel so passionately about. This forum enabled me to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who related to the feelings of frustration and anger that I felt, and more importantly the forum taught me that these feelings are okay. In fact they are important. The very second unjust actions stop being shocking, the second we become accustomed to seeing injustice after injustice occurring, the second we lose anger at what we see, is the exact moment we have lost to these injustices. 

The workshops I attended, included the ‘Diocese of Broken Bay’ and also ‘Our Common Home and its People Cry Out’ genuinely opened my eyes on issues that I thought I had a high degree of understanding in. There is always more to learn.

All in all, this forum has been a powerful tool in reminding all who attended that the time for talking is well and truly over. The time for meetings, powerpoints and even speeches is over. It's over. If we as society are genuinely serious about resolving these issues, we need to express this through actions. Actual, real, visible, physical changes. It is time to stop cautiously tiptoeing around the corners of these issues, and actually tackle these issues head on, with the knowledge that the power of the people is, was and always will be the most crucial tool of all. 

Rachel N – Year 11 Student

English Extension HSC Study Day

On 21 May the Year 12 Extension 1 English class went on an expedition of epic proportions to Newington Boys' College to become enlightened about the vast galaxies of the Science Fiction genre.

We learnt from previous successful explorers of the Extension 1 course, who bestowed upon us their knowledge and tips for braving the stormy seas of the HSC. We then journeyed to the chapel of the College, where the Holy Grail of the Science Fiction genre was revealed to us. We were also given invaluable knowledge about our prescribed texts, and unlocked the secrets to creative writing for all our English courses. Our expedition was funny, insightful and inspiring. Every adventurer should consider making the (star) trek.

Georgia and Renee - Year 12 Students

7 Connect - Promoting Ancient Rome

This term in Connect, Year 7 students have been learning about Ancient Rome. Our collaborative project was to create a multimodal advertising campaign to entice visitors to explore the wonders of the city. We were able to choose a topic to research, such as the Colosseum, the Forum, Roman Celebrities, Culture and Beliefs. Each member of our team had to create either an audio or a visual item to contribute to our promotional campaign.

On the day of presenting in Week 6, we were allocated a space to set up our display for a Roman Travel Expo. Students from different teams came to look at our promotional items as we also tried to persuade our teachers to visit Ancient Rome. Once our group’s work had been assessed, we were able to explore some of the other group displays. After presenting, I was given a survey to complete about my favourite displays and promotional items. This day was interesting to me as I could see everyone's campaigns and all the ideas that were put into the topic we had learnt about.  

Candice H - Year 7 Student

YMCA NSW Youth Parliament 2017

Each local MP is allowed to nominate one student or young person from their area for the YMCA NSW Youth Parliament and our local MP, Greg Warren nominated me. This program allows young people to voice their passions and ideas in a parliament setting to propose change for the future. We have the opportunity to create solutions for the problems facing NSW and discuss/debate these issues in NSW Parliament House in front of MPs.

We attend two camps. The first is a Training Camp at Baden Powell Scout Centre in Pennant Hills, which is from 4 July to 7 July. At this camp, we meet other participants, committee members and program volunteers. This camp is when we begin to talk about our areas of interest and undertake parliamentary training.

The second is the Residential Camp at Cockatoo Island (Sydney Harbour) from 23 September to 30 September. This camp is the main component of the Youth Parliament program. Here we continue to work on our Bills and Reports as well as recreation activities. Four days of this camp will be spent at Parliament House debating our issues. We will also be visiting Government House.

I have been assigned to the Women's Affairs Committee, where we are to report on matters regarding the performance/effectiveness of Government departments, statutory body or corporation on the following areas: Health, Women, Prevention of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Family and Community Services, Social Housing, Aboriginal Affairs, Disability Services, Ageing and Multiculturalism.

I feel like this has been the best personal achievement I have had during my high school years. When I was in Year 10 I honestly wouldn't imagine myself being nominated for this program.

I am really excited to be a part of this program and cannot wait to be able to voice my ideas and opinions about issues we are facing today.

Payten S – Year 12 Student

Year 11 Student Breanna in Limitless Dance Company

Dance is an ever evolving aspect of the St Patrick’s community.  There are so many talented and versatile young dancers and we are proud to support the achievements of these students as they aspire to professional careers in the Australian Performing Arts.

At the end of 2016 Breanna W (Year 11 student) received an email which contained an offer to be a part of Limitless Dance Company’s 2017 debut of ‘SE7EN’ as a company trainee. At the time, Breanna states, “I couldn't believe it. My aspiration to be a contemporary dancer professionally was starting”.

Limitless Dance Company is a contemporary based company created in mid 2015 to provide new paid performance opportunities for contemporary dancers in Australia. They are an independent creative company that pushes the boundaries of dance both artistically and conceptually; creating compelling and innovative new works.

The work SE7EN revealed the precarious stability of the concept of self and the notion that there are several different sinful entities inside all of us. The dancers were transformed into erupting, powerful creatures projecting a range of physical impressions and emotions.

In the recent school holidays, Breanna rehearsed every day from 9am till 6pm with Limitless Dance Company. “These days were very long; however, the experience was amazing. Just dancing with a group of professionals was fantastic, there was so much I learnt, which will be very helpful for the future”.

In the last few rehearsals Breanna was told that she would be performing on stage with the company members for the first time. “I was over the moon! Finally, the day had come, my first professional show”. Breanna says the experience was “simply incredible. The atmosphere, the audience, the response of the people. I loved every minute of it”.

The performances took place at NIDA’s Playhouse Theatre on the 12, 13 and 14 May, the weekend just before Year 11 Half-Yearly Examinations. Breanna managed a very busy schedule, juggling the demands of Year 11 senior studies alongside her regular dance training, the College Musical, dance eisteddfods on weekends and the show. “This experience taught me how to be mature as a dancer, how to manage my time and how to be myself”.

As a young emerging Australian talent, we were incredibly proud to support Breanna in her pursuit of a career in the Arts, in particular Dance, in Australia. She notes, “this show was put together to allow dance in Australia to be recognised and supported. To provide opportunities for Australian dancers and I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of it”.

Breanna has worked extremely hard to get to where she is today. “All the training over the past 14 years has helped me a lot. Dancing every day until 9pm, working very hard every lesson. All these elements allowed for this opportunity. I am so grateful for this experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat”. 

We are so very proud of Breanna’s achievements and her beautiful debut with the company. She displayed technical prowess and a captivating, eloquent performance. We look forward to following Breanna’s many successes in the Arts in the years to come. Well done Breanna from everyone at St Patrick’s College for Girls!

Emma Randell – Dance Teacher

Senior Music Students Performance

The Year 11 and 12 Music classes were asked to be the entertainment at the Annual Wests Community Sport Dinner. They performed the National Anthem and a short medley of songs by Adele.

The Senior Music Students

Kate W sang a beautiful solo and then both classes worked together to produce a rendition of "Send my Love". A big thank you to Mr Joshua Combes, who accompanied us on the night.

 Elizabeth Samyia - Music Teacher

Year 9 STEM Symposium

On 5 May 2017, the Year 9 girls had the pleasure of participating in a STEM SYMPOSIUM. This day highlighted key points such as engineering not being only a profession for males, nor is it just for people that are technology wizards.

For those who don’t know what STEM is, it stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM is important because it pervades every part of our lives.

Australia’s Chief Scientist says

“STEM is everywhere. Our nourishment, our safety, our homes and neighbourhoods, our relationships with family and friends, our health, our jobs, our leisure are all profoundly shaped by technological innovation and the discoveries of science.”

With employment in the STEM area increasing, of significance for St Patrick’s, are the inequities that currently exist in STEM such as the fact that:

  • Girls
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students
  • Students from non-metropolitan areas

can be less likely to engage with STEM education and more likely to miss out on the opportunities STEM-related occupations can offer. Therefore, enrichment days, like our symposium are important for raising the profile of STEM.

We started the day off with an inspirational keynote speech from Destiny Paris, a woman who chased her dreams of becoming an engineer. Destiny spoke about the need for creative thinkers to develop new innovations and fill new and fast-changing jobs.

  • How important it is for students to add STEM skills to their tool belt to help serve areas from – medicine, the natural environment, sustainability in the built environment, creative design and much more.
  • The emerging technologies that will set the scene for the jobs of the future - examples of these include Electro materials used for the Bionic Bra for cancer treatment; 3D printing body parts; Sustainable Building; Virtual Reality applications.

After that, we heard from a panel of university students, including two Engineering students who are on staff here at the College Ms Payer and Ms Stockwell. We had a chance to ask them questions about STEM, university and all things science.

The Year 9 girls where then split across 6 workshops. We had a chance to participate in:

  • A solar car challenge – run by the University of NSW faculty of engineering. Mike Richards brought along a 20 metre track and students designed and made solar-powered model cars.
  • A MouseTrap car challenge run by Macquarie University Engineering team which allowed girls to explore concepts like energy conversion and energy efficiency while designing cars out of recycled materials that were powered by the energy stored in a mouse trap.
  • Innovation and Sustainability in the Material World run by the University of Wollongong’s Engineering outreach group that had students thinking about engineering materials that could be used for making artificial muscles, transistors and computer chips.
  • The Helicar Velocity Challenge, run by Mark Woolley from Wollongong’s Catholic Education Office using a device called a Power Anchor to explore Newton’s first law of Motion. Students had to think about concepts such as aerodynamics and energy efficiency to make the fastest car possible.
  • The Solar cooker challenge had students thinking about the best shapes and surfaces to capture the suns energy to cook a meal without gas or electricity.
  • And finally, the Engineering a Better World by the University of Technology. This workshop had students thinking about how different climates around the world shape the way people live. The girls worked together to create an innovative floating house using recycled materials.

These workshops changed many girls’ perspectives of science, including me. The workshops had their own mini adventures in them, and we are very thankful for the opportunity to participate.

We thank the Universities and Destiny for coming out to St Patrick’s College and guiding us well on our way with our Next Gen Science Assessment that involves building a model like some of the ones we saw during the Symposium.

On behalf of the Year 9 girls, a big thank you to the teachers who made this day possible, especially Mrs Bourne as the day would not have ran so smoothly without her organisation and preparation.

Stephanie N - Year 9 Student  

CSDA Debating

For the past five weeks, since the beginning of Term 2, 12 teams of highly engaged and motivated girls have competed in the Catholic Schools’ Metropolitan Debating Competition. Each week the debaters lock horns with students from a wide range of Catholic Schools. The girls have performed outstandingly well and I am very proud of them. I am sure that their families agree with me that what their daughters are doing leads to a greater sense of confidence and I thank the girls for their can-do attitude. 

Middle School students receive their Public Speaking Badges

I would also like to extend my sincere thanks to the many girls who have offered their time and talents through chairing and timekeeping. In addition, I extend my sincere gratitude to the staff members who have supported debating as audience members and adjudicators: Mrs Lennox, Mrs Ibbett, Mr Quigley, Mr Williams, Mrs McGillicuddy and Mrs Fetterplace. We are also blessed to receive the wisdom of ex-students and parents Michelle Cooke, Olivia Scotting, Hannah Lennon-Mather, Mackenzie Scott, Jess Taylor, Georgia Colbran and Genevieve Neich as adjudicators. These wonderful women offer valuable feedback to the teams after listening intently to often very close debates. This week, round six sees us battle our intellect and powers of persuasion against St Patrick’s College, Strathfield. Good luck to all teams and thanks in advance to all those who support debating.

Marguerite Pulham - Debating/Public Speaking

Beauty And The Beast

Invitation to our NAIDOC Assembly

College Holiday Opening Times

The College Reception will be closed during the first week of the holidays and will re-open on 10 July 2017. Office hours are from 8am to 4pm.

The College Reception will also be closed on Friday 21 July 2017 for Staff Spirituality Day.

Students will return for Term 3 on Monday 24 July 2017.

The College Uniform Shop will be closed during the school holidays. The shop will reopen on Tuesdays and Thursdays during Term 3, from 2pm to 4pm.

Important Dates

What's On ...

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

2 June - Year 10 Drama Excursion, CSDA Debating Round 6
3 June - Year 12 Japanese Continuers Excursion
6 June - Assembly - Guest Speaker Dianne McGrath
7 June - Year 11 "U Turn the Wheel" Incursion, MISA Debating, Elevate Young Leaders
8 June - College Athletics Carnival, Year 11 and 12 Music Excursion
9 June - Year 8 Reflection Day, Years 9,10,11 AIME Excursion, Year 12 Business Studies Excursion
9 - 11 June Year 12 AIS Excursion
13 June - Senior School Assembly
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
21 June - Year 7 - 9 Cyberbullying Pastoral Incursion 
22 June - Dio CCC Basketball Playoffs
23 June - Year 10 Community Service Incursion, GDay, CSDA Debating Quarter Final
26 June - NAIDOC Assembly
28 June - NSW Oztag
29 June - HSC Dance Evening
30 June - Benedict Day, Mass, STAFF AND STUDENTS FINISH FOR TERM 2
17 July - Staff Return for Term 3
21 July - CSDA Debating Semi Final
25 July - College Assembly
26 July - Year 8 Italian Excursion, Year 11 SOR Excursion
27 July - MISA Debating
28 July - Mater Dei Feast Day, Year 11 Hospitality/Business Services Excursion