From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
Winter has come with a vengeance! The cold winds and the rain have certainly made all of us realise that we are well into winter. This is also a time that people start to develop sniffles and colds. I hope you are all able to keep warm and dry indoors if you are feeling too unwell for work or school.
Over the past few weeks Year 10 have been participating in the subject preferences process. They have heard information from several staff on various subjects. They have had to complete a checklist that identifies what the specific requirements are for each of the courses. At the conclusion of this process they will be able to rule out the courses that they know they will struggle to perform in and highlight the courses that will enable them to shine. Next Monday we have the information evening for parents and girls. It will finish off the process with subject markets and stalls for girls and parents to have final questions answered. I wish the girls well as they decide on the courses they prefer and begin to think of the last years of school.
This week is a big week for students and staff. We have the musical performances at the College, which will be fabulous. We also have five teams in the first elimination round of the NSW Catholic Schools debating competition this Friday. Unfortunately the teams are split across two venues, however, we wish them every success and hope that they each have a good topic that they can debate well.
The first week of next term 23 to 27 July is a pupil free week. There will be no student supervision provided at the College during the week. The staff will participate in staff professional development, including curriculum development, student and staff wellbeing presentation by AIS and the staff spirituality day. It is always a very productive week as staff return from the break refreshed and ready for the term ahead. Thank you for your support over that week.
Finally we have the NAIDOC assembly on Monday 2 July at 2.00pm at the College. You are welcome to attend and join us for the afternoon. It will be a great assembly, which has been organised by the Year 11 Aboriginal Studies class. Sadly Sr Patricia, who was a strong supporter and colleague of Sr Kerry, passed away during the week. We will keep Sr Patricia and the sisters of the Order of Our Lady’s Nurses in our prayers as they mourn the loss of one of their own at this time. We will also keep Sr Kerry in our prayers as she continues her mission in Minto.
We pass on our best to our families who are celebrating Eid at the end of Ramadam. Let us all reflect, as a community, on the beautiful reflection by Jenny Childs, on the love of God.
Sue Lennox - Principal
As the sun scatters the mist
at the dawning of a new day,
So you calm our fears and anxieties
if we trust you.
You give us strength and courage
to live our daily lives
knowing you are with us
and we do not walk alone.
As the midday sun warms us,
we feel your protecting arms around us
and sense your loving presence.
As the sun sinks in a kaleidoscope of colour
you give us hope and renewal.
Jenny Child – Celtic Prayers and Reflections
Learning and Teaching
On 6 June, 25 leaders from Good Samaritan schools and Good Samaritan Education visited our College for the beginning of the annual Assistant Principals Conference. We commenced our conference with an acknowledgement of country presented by Joeann Tanginoa, a welcome dance presented by some girls from our Pacific communities and an opening address delivered by our College Captain, Natalie M. The following is her speech.
Natalie M - College Captain
"I’m very pleased to have been asked to share my thoughts with you about the benefits of attending a Benedictine school. In an effort to best explain my experience I’ll take you on a journey back to my first day of high school in 2013.
At the start of that day I clearly recall Mrs Lennox telling the current Year 12 students that this was the moment we could choose to leave our ‘past self’ behind and invent our ‘future self’. As a scared and shy Year 7 student, I didn’t envision that in almost six years’ time, as a result of being nurtured in an environment based on our 11 Benedictine values, I would feel safe enough to come out of my shell and get involved in all aspects of my school community. In addition to my own growth in confidence, I’ve had the good fortune to watch our cohort grow too, each of us discovering the differences that make us unique. Our range of diversities, encouraged and celebrated by all members of our College community, are currently driving our interests and our plans for when we once again leave our ‘past self’ behind and embark on the next chapter of our ‘future self’.
The journey we have taken during these past six years at St Patrick’s College has been made easier to navigate due to the annual celebration of a chosen Benedictine value. The highlighting of values is designed to help us strive to accomplish the positive changes each value can bring to our College community. This year we are celebrating Communio through the lense of community, diversity and humility, and as a leadership team, we have tried to celebrate the diversity within our school as a means to achieve the benefits of this Benedictine value.
As College Captain and member of the Year 12 leadership team, I have experienced many different school community initiatives and opportunities that require us to simultaneously negotiate the challenges of communio, and exercise the need for humility. One such opportunity was when the leadership team made it our goal for 2018 to create an atmosphere of trust and hospitality in our effort to encourage and support other year groups to participate in as many co-curricular activities as possible.
Throughout this, and other initiatives that we have engaged in during our journey at St Pat’s, we have been comforted by the knowledge that the values underpinned by St Benedict will guide us in achieving our goals; goals that ultimately will benefit the College and enrich the school experience for all students, in all grades.
The celebration of this year’s chosen Benedictine value places an emphasis on the teamwork needed to achieve Communio and the unselfishness required to show humility. Both requirements are in keeping with our Christ-centred community which was formed in the Good Samaritan tradition. In fact, teamwork and unselfishness are integral in our mission statement of empowering young women to be independent and resilient lifelong learners. As Year 12 students, we can often become dependent on teachers and other significant people we turn to for support. Rather than accepting such help without gratitude, we have learnt to value the collaborated time and effort spent on our education. In learning to become more open to constructive criticism, a concept we all found quite difficult to swallow at first, we now accept that the measure of our lives is not found in ourselves alone. Our teachers and our parents have modelled to us the importance of the giving of oneself for the good of others. We humbly accept that there is always room to do better, room for us to grow, and room for us to learn and overcome new challenges.
Through the Benedictine education we are taught at St Pat’s, and the differentiated way in which we are taught it, I have learnt the value of social justice; something I’m sure I would not be as confident to speak about had I attended another school. The acceptance of diversity amongst teachers and students alike, both in and out of the classroom, exemplifies our community’s sense of mission. Whilst, I myself, may not have the face of diversity, at St Pat’s we have a vibrant and inclusive faith community, a strong passion for the creative and performing arts, and pride in the celebration of our Indigenous and multicultural communities.
This emphasis on diversity and a celebration of such differences was something I had not been as aware of, or encouraged to acknowledge and celebrate, prior to being introduced to the Benedictine ethos. The acknowledgement and celebration of diversity that the College promotes, has been a prominent part of my individual growth, and is something I hope to pursue when my journey here ends in a few months. Without being exposed to the equality brought about by diversity, I know I would not have found such fulfillment and sense of purpose for the ‘future self’ waiting for me outside of these gates. A ‘future self’ that will leave me armed with another valuable part of our mission statement, and that is to be actively engaged in working for a just society.
As a result of my Benedictine schooling, I, and indeed every girl at St Pat’s, have found that they can, and will, be accepted and celebrated for the person she is. Furthermore, our nurturing community has provided us with the knowledge that within our gates, no matter what, the strong will always have something to strive for, and the weak will never have anything to run from".
Natalie M - College Captain
Cecely McGeachie - Assistant Principal-Learning and Teaching
On Friday 15 June, Year 10 History students and Year 9 Elective History students were lucky to meet Brett Hunt (the son of Frankie in the Redgum song: 'I was only 19') to learn, be entertained and be moved by his personal story relating to family and the experiences of Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War.
Brett Hunt. Photo courtesy Brett Hunt
The Year 12 Retreat is the final in a trilogy of retreats for the senior students. Based on a passage from John’s Gospel (John 21:15-19), the focus of this retreat is an exploration of the question Jesus asks of Peter (his number one Apostle): “Do you love me?”
Through a series of activities and discussions, the girls were invited to re-treat their lives from a new perspective. This enabled them to see things in new and fresh ways and to identify the presence of love in their daily lives. Many of the activities highlighted the giftedness that each of the girls possesses. They were then encouraged to become aware of the ways they may apply their giftedness in the service of the community.
With this final retreat now completed, the challenge for the girls is to keep making time to regularly re-treat their life so as to reflect on where they have come from, where they are in the present moment, and where they wish to be in the years ahead.
I extend a vote of gratitude to the Year 12 Pastoral Team who helped to facilitate the retreat: Mr Ashcroft, Ms Randell, Mrs Ibbett, Mrs Durrington, Mr Muller, and, with special thanks, Ms Dunn, the Year 12 Coordinator whose care for the year group is phenomenal.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
On Wednesday 16 May to Friday 18 May, the Year 11 girls undertook their second senior retreat experience. Following is a report from one of the Year 11 students, Dyrandra M.
As young adults going through school and work, we are sometimes overloaded and we tend to forget who we are, and have to re-centre ourselves. We were asked to consider the question “Who do you say I am?” which is a question Jesus asked his Apostles. The main focus of our retreat was to find who we are as people as well as who Jesus Christ is to us in our lives. Our Year 11 Retreat definitely helped us to re-centre ourselves.
On the first day we started off with a morning liturgy. Thereafter there was an alternating between large group discussions and small group activities. Throughout the whole retreat, every activity we did had a deeper meaning to it. This definitely made us ask more questions about not only who we are, but also who Christ is. Activities such as: the Trust Walk with our peers, the creating of a symbol using clay, the drawing of rainbows using broken crayons, finding a deeper meaning through images that were given to us, the 6-7 stations where we wrote a journal for each, and the dance routine using the songs that were also given to us, all had a meaning and purpose. Star gazing at night and having free time to connect more with each other helped us bond more as a year group. There were many activities we did during the three days that were not only enjoyable but interesting to watch unfold. Overall this retreat helped us to pause and reflect on our busy lives where we noticed and learnt a lot about, not only ourselves, our relationship with God, but also our peers, as well as our group leaders.
Dyrandra M - Year 11 Student
The College Mock Trial team has qualified for the elimination round of the NSW Law Society's Mock Trial competition. This means our team is one of the final 64 teams in the State left to compete for this very prestigious title.
Congratulations to Amy S who recently represented Australia at the International Schoolgirls Netball Challenge held on the Gold Coast in May.
Amy has been playing some outstanding netball at a local and State level and has been rewarded with the honour of representing her country as a result of her consistent and dedicated performances.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
Congratulations Piper A on gaining selection in the NSW Metro Women's U/16 Basketball squad for 2018. The team will contest the National Championships on the Gold Coast in July.
Congratulations Piper on an outstanding achievement.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
The History Club is already making preparations for this year's Remembrance Day service. This year marks 100 years since the end of World War I.
Private Patrick Bugden VC - From Abbey C Year 7
We would love to hear from anyone in our community who has an ancestor who served in World War I. We would like to honour them, record their story and use their photographs in our service.
I can be contacted at the College on 4629 2999 or via email email@example.com
Fran Musico Rullo – HSIE Teacher
The Knitting Group is now in its 12th year, the group meeting in H12 every Thursday lunch. New members are always welcome.
Darcy E - Year 7 Students
Our eager band of volunteers have been working hard on their squares under the guidance of Mrs McCann and former staff members Mrs Evans, Mrs Mills, Mrs McLeod, Mrs O'Brien and Mrs St John. Friend of the College, Mrs Cathy Johnson, also volunteers her time.
We will be continuing Knitting Group until term 4, so we would appreciate donations of knitted squares (cast on 50 stitches in garter stitch), wool and needles (preferably 8mm size 4).
Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher
St Patrick’s College held its second Winter Sleep Out on 4 June. There were over 50 girls who attended from all year groups. Many girls who came on the night expressed their willingness to experience a 'night out’ in solidarity for the families who are homeless.
The Social Justice Group, in particular, Rachel N, our fearless Social Justice leader and her Year 12 team put on a great night. This included trivia, a lip sync battle and mindful colouring along with a very informative guest speaker from Vinnies and a beautiful liturgy. The girls who slept out were sponsored and this money will be well received when we donate it to our local Vinnies chapter. The students watched an inspiring movie towards bed time and then slept on the floors of the classrooms. The girls woke to a very cold morning, a simple breakfast and then had to engage in school based activities on the Tuesday.
As we move to the colder part of winter, may we remember the families and especially the children who are without a home, and reflect on how fortunate we are. Please continue to donate pre-loved winter clothing and blankets to our Winter Appeal which will conclude at the end of this term.
Maria Boulatsakos - Organising Teacher
The Diocese of Wollongong and the Diocese of Parramatta are co-hosting two days of presentations by Fr Hans Zollner SJ. The event is being sponsored by Carroll & O’Dea, Makinson d’Apice and Catholic Church Insurance. The event is also being supported by Catholic Professional Standards Ltd, the Diocese of Broken Bay, the NSW Professional Standards Office and the NSW Ombudsman. Hans will address the most significant issues facing the Catholic Church today, with respect to harmful behaviour including the theological and spiritual implications arising from the abuse crisis and their impact on victims and survivors, together with members of the Church.
Hans is regarded as one of the leading ecclesiastical experts in the field of safeguarding of minors and on areas concerning sexual abuse both in the Catholic Church and beyond. He has been a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors since 2014 and the head of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University (Gregorian) in Rome. Hans is a German theologian and psychologist. Since 2003, he has taught at the Institute of Psychology at the Gregorian and has been the academic vice rector of the Gregorian since 2010.
Both days will be facilitated by Susan Pascoe, the current President of the Australian Council for International Development. Prior to this role, Susan was the Inaugural Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.
The event will implement a pay-it-forward scheme, whereby a Friday ticket will cost $100, and will cover the expense of attendance for one person on the Saturday. Those wishing to attend on Saturday will still need to register.
FRIDAY 31 AUGUST 2018 (approx 10am–5pm) Presentation directed to Catholic Church personnel including child protection and safeguarding professionals, principals, teachers and staff, social welfare leaders and staff, clergy, religious, and other employees and volunteers.
SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER 2018 (approx 10am–3pm) Presentation directed to victims and survivors of abuse, their family, friends, and advocacy and support groups together with faithful members of the Church, particularly parishioners.
To view more information or to reserve tickets please visit www.hanszollner.dow.org.au
What's on ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
22 June - College Musical 7.30pm, CSDA Debating Elimination Final, AIME Excursion Years 9 - 12
23 June - College Musical 2pm and 7.30pm
25 June - Year 11 2019 Information Night, Year 12 Senior Science Excursion
27 June - Year 11 'U-Turn the Wheel" Incursion
29 June - CSDA Debating Quarter Final
2 July - College NAIDOC Assembly
6 July - Benedict Day Mass, Staff and Students finish for Term 2
23 to 27 July - Staff return for Term 3 - Pupil Free Week
8 - 13 July - Year 11 Ministry Outreach, NAIDOC Week
27 July - CSDA Debating Semi Final
30 July - Students return for Term 3
31 July - ICAS English Competition
1 August - DIO Netball, Year 8 MISA Debating (Home)
2 August - Year 10/11 Vaccinations
3 August - Year 11 Dinner Dance (St Gregory's), CSDA Debating Grand Final
6 - 20 August - Year 12 Trial Examinations
9 August - Year 11 SOR Excursion
9 - 10 August - Year 11 2019 Subject Interviews
13 - 17 August - Science Week
14 August - Senior School Parent Forum (9am and 7pm Library), ICAS Maths Competition
15 August - Year 8 MISA Debating (Home)
16 August - DIO Athletics Carnival
16 - 17 August - Year 11 Leaders Camp
20 August - Year 8 Reflection Day
21 August - CCC Netball Championships
22 August - Year 9 Information Evening, DIO Volleyball
23 August - Year 8 MISA Debating (Home)
24 August - College Assembly (Student Leadership Commissioning)