From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
It is hard to believe that we are coming up to Easter. The girls have been working hard and I imagine that many will be looking forward to the break ahead. Assessments are coming to a close and activities are winding up. Give a thought for the teaching staff, who after a long term, will be bringing home assessments to mark, books to mark and programs to write. Hopefully they also will have some time with family and friends over the Easter season.
Each fortnight I meet with the girls in year groups for chapel. The process is that the girls sign their name on a sheet alongside their printed name which indicates they are present. All the rolls are lined up in the chapel foyer. After signing in they come into the chapel. At the end of chapel I take the rolls to the office where the attendance is registered. We appear to have a problem with this system at times. If the girls don’t sign on the sheet the office ladies will send a text to inform you that your daughter is not present. The office ladies are following the information they have been given. On several occasions the office ladies have had to endure some very unhappy parents calling to declare their daughter IS present. The office ladies have been berated and had some very unpleasant and inappropriate comments made to them.
So what do we do here? The girls know what is expected of them. The person responsible for this mix up is the student who hasn’t followed procedure. Girls are not to ask others to sign them in, they must be responsible for themselves and their own sign in. We are trying to develop independent students who are responsible for their actions. I don’t believe it should be necessary to call out the names of those who are not present to check all have signed in. Apart from making the girls less accountable, it highlights who is away and it takes time away from more important things. I ask that you impress upon your daughter the importance of signing the sheet at chapel. I also ask if there has been a mix up, your anger and frustration is saved for the culprit not the messenger.
I recently heard Hugh Mackay speak at a clergy and principals day in Wollongong. He is a social commentator who has some very wonderful insights into people and how we live in communities. He spoke on this occasion about our desire as social animals to live in community. We need each other to feel well and adjusted. He spoke about the increasing fragmentation in communities due to our busyness and higher levels of distraction. A symptom of this disconnect in communities is the epidemic of anxiety across all genders and generations. His advice to all present is to build communities of compassion. Where our focus moves from ourselves to our interactions with others. He suggested that we act compassionately because others are in need and we can help. It was an inspirationally address and I recommend his book “Beyond Belief” as food for thought.
The ISCA Research Report 2017 on Factors Influencing School Choice was recently released. In this report the findings found that parents of children at independent schools have long term goals for their children’s education. They choose independent schools for their faith based environment, the good teachers, educational excellence, good facilities and the supportive and caring environment. They also believe their child will receive the individual attention that will enable them to flourish.
Overall our parents appreciate that the education of their girls is an investment in their future. That future reflected in their personal and social development. Finally the report indicates that parents have a high level of satisfaction with the personal and educational opportunities the school has for their child. At St Patrick’s we value the opportunity to travel the journey with you as your daughter develops into a young woman ready to leave school. It is very affirming to read this report and see the alignment with much of what the College has to offer. Please let us know if there is anything further we can do for your daughter. We are very open to your feedback and suggestions.
As we come into Easter, I wish you a very happy and holy Easter. Our Year 12 student leaders have been spreading Easter joy to our community, by handing out Easter eggs during homeroom this morning. See photos below. I hope you will be able to participate in one of the many services available across the parishes during the break. We have included in this edition, a beautiful message that Bishop Brian has sent to all schools in the diocese celebrating the Easter message.
Sue Lennox - Principal
“He is risen!” (Matt 28:6)
Everything that matters in Christianity revolves around this central claim.
Many people attribute great moral teaching to Jesus—his push towards non-violence, turning the other cheek and treating others as we would want ourselves to be treated. Jesus, in many respects, is unrivaled in his attitude towards the outcast, the forgotten and those on the margins of society.
But there is an elephant in the room. He never claimed to be a great moral teacher. What did he claim? He claimed to be the only Son of God and that he would rise from the dead. So, did he?
Well, we know something happened because his cowering followers suddenly found a new bravery. Many went to their death fearlessly and willingly, not to take lives, but offering theirs for the sake of the One who rose from the dead.
For them and for us, Jesus’ resurrection is a moment of redemption. It can redeem our lives from being self-focused, trapped in the day-to-day grind and endlessly searching for meaning in things and people. There is so much more to life than this. We are loved. That is who we are.
Last year I led a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during which I had the opportunity to celebrate in the tomb of Jesus. What struck me most of all was that the tomb was empty. We are people of the empty tomb—for Christ is risen. We are not a people who sit in mourning, but rather, we live life in the light of the Resurrection.
We each bear the Light of Christ. This Easter, igniting the Pascal Candle, we will gather together and become a beacon of hope for all to see. Let us continue to pray, reflect and encounter the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus and allow this mystery to draw us deeper into the great love that God has for us. He is risen, yes, he is risen indeed! Alleluia, Alleluia. I pray the blessings of the risen Christ be upon you.
Grace and peace to you this holy season.
Most Rev Brian G Mascord DD - Bishop of Wollongong
To Download Bishop Brian Mascord's Easter Message, click here.
Every St Patrick’s Day celebrated at our College community is a special event. This year’s celebration of St Patrick’s Day was extra special. We welcomed Fr John Ho (Parish Priest of Campbelltown), special guests, parents, teachers, staff and students to a day of celebration. In particular, we expressed our gratitude to Fr John for presiding at our Eucharist.
Our value focus for this year is communio (through the lens of community and humility). In our honouring of St Patrick, we acknowledged him as one who had the gift of bringing people together and building amongst them a strong sense of community. St Patrick can rightly be described as the “supreme community builder.” St Benedict very naturally complements St Patrick because The Rule of St Benedict is an instruction book on how to live within a Christian community. St Patrick teaches us how to build community; St Benedict teaches us how to sustain the community.
The St Patrick’s Day Mass also marked the opening of the school year. We asked God’s blessing upon our community so that we may be guided in our efforts to create a vibrant learning environment in which “the strong have something to strive for and the weak have nothing to run from.” All Are Welcome was the title of the entrance hymn. It was an appropriate start to our gathering as we extended a warm welcome to those new to our College community: especially the Year 7 students and all students new to the College who are joining the other year groups, as well as staff new to our College: Ms Madeleine Lytton, Ms Sophie Lansley, Ms Elizabeth Fenton, and Mr Jared Baca. Welcoming others is an act of hospitality. As noted earlier, St Patrick was a tireless builder of communities. He knew how to draw people together and how to create a place where everyone felt they were comfortable and belonged. St Patrick was also a proclaimer of God’s Word. He spread the Good News of God’s love for all people. That is what we celebrated on St Patrick’s Day—St Patrick’s call to be a community of faith founded on Gospel values.
As a sign of the vibrant nature of this St Patrick’s community, our celebration also included the blessing and official opening of the refurbished areas of the school. The new student services facility, the new general learning areas, and the new staff facilities were blessed and officially opened by the Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan, Sister Patty Fawkner, whom we were privileged to have join with us for that milestone in the long history of our College. We were also privileged to have other Sisters of the Good Samaritan with us, as well as members of Sister Helen Foley’s family, after whom H Block is named.
We also used the occasion to honour a member of our St Patrick’s community who has dedicated 25 years of service to education. We honoured Ms Deborah Renshaw who was read a citation and given a special presentation. Twenty five years of service is a significant milestone and a testimony to the commitment, vision and mission Ms Renshaw has offered to our St Patrick’s College community.
Following the example of St Patrick, we gathered on St Patrick’s Day as a community united in faith and bound by the values we share.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
Learning and Teaching
This fortnight has seen the library a hive of activity as we celebrated many events.
The 'work in progress'
Tuesday 19 March was International Day of Happiness. Girls were invited to add a link to the happiness chain, writing what happiness meant to them. This chain was then draped across the library windows and was very long indeed. The girls were also able to take a happiness diary, which they could fill for the week, and each girl was invited to add colour to the large mosaic print on the table. This mosaic is currently a ‘work in progress’, providing stress relief and down time to students and staff who would like to contribute
The Premier’s Reading Challenge was launched in the library on Thursday 22 March, with a good response from students in Years 7 to 9. They each received their ‘PRC pack’, with catch-ups scheduled for each Monday at lunchtime. There is still time to sign up with great incentives along the PRC journey.
Thursday lunchtimes is ‘Tech Thursday’, overseen by Dr Bourne, Library staff and IT team, and all are welcome; using technology such as Spheros and Minecraft. Using Minecraft, the St Pats library has been built, and now, brick-by-brick, they plan to build the entire college.
Plans are currently underway to launch The Indigenous Literacy Book Swap. The Swap is a great way to ‘celebrate reading locally, and raise much needed funds for remote communities’. The library will accept donations of pre-loved books from the College community. The ‘Swap Day’ will see customers ‘swap’ a gold coin for a book. Monetary donations can also be made via the Library’s Indigenous Literacy Book Swap events page at:
Sue Harradine - College Library
A few weeks ago, the Year 10 Textiles class undertook two workshops as part of our Costume Design unit we are currently undertaking in class. These workshops were conducted by Imogen Ross, a Production Designer who has designed sets and costumes for productions at many venues, including the Sydney Opera House.
At the workshops, Imogen taught us all about the process of producing a costume. We researched many areas relevant to designing costumes for our College Musical "The Queen of Storms" and began the designing process, by listening to Mr Combes talk about his vision for the musical and we then investigated types of clothing that people wore in the Elizabethan and Edo Japan eras. In addition to this, we also had to research the different types of fabric and how they look under different lighting. After hearing all of Imogen's ideas and techniques, we left the workshops inspired. We then had a clearer image of what the characters in the musical might look like. The research that was conducted enabled us to put pencil to paper and draw our own unique costumes.
I really enjoyed the workshops as I learnt so many new things including how to accentuate the characteristics of a character through the designed costume. I am very thankful for the time that Imogen spent with us, teaching all of the techniques and ways to produce an effective and successful costume.
Loretta T – Year 10 Textiles Technology
After our Costume Workshop incursion the Year 10 Textiles students continued with Costume Collages. We then had to get creative and add the last touches by using other materials such as markers, paints and fabrics to build up the layers. Then it was time to bring the ideas we had envisioned to life on paper. Sketching costume ideas was really fun as we were able to add ideas and take away others to find the perfect costume for our chosen characters. We had to consider our character’s qualities and physical traits when designing the costumes. The costumes also had to be practical and strong to last several live stage performances. As a class we helped each other by giving feedback on one another’s designs. This helped us develop a design that was both practical and fit the character brief.
We have now planned our time to help us to stay on track with both our practical and theory tasks. We now have fully developed designs for our costumes and have finished our productions sketches. We have begun searching for different patterns that could be used for our costume production. We have created colour swatches and researched fabrics to see how we can alter, change, dye, distress and use the fabrics in multiple ways to achieve different effects and silhouettes. We are now on the look-out for our final fabrics and resources and look forward to our cast measuring and consultations to begin working on this very exciting project.
Emily M and Sophie S – Year 10 Textiles Technology
On Thursday 15 March, St Patrick’s sent a strong swim team to contest the Wollongong Diocesan Swimming Championships.
Hayley C - 3rd Place Age Champion
The day started off with some strong team performances in the Medley Relay, in particular our Senior team who walked away with a 2nd place overall. We also experienced success in the freestyle relay with the Intermediate girls placing 3rd as well as a 3rd place in the All Age Relay.
Individually, the girls also performed extremely well with Annalise D placing 1st in the 50m freestyle and 2nd in the 100 freestyle, Alana P placing 1st in the 50m backstroke and 3rd in the 50m butterfly, Brianna H placing 2nd in the 100m breaststroke and 3rd in the 50m backstroke, Hayley C placing 3rd in the 50m butterfly, 100m freestyle and 50m backstroke and Ilori P placing 3rd in the 50m freestyle. With all of these students in our junior school, the future of swimming at St Pat's looks very bright.
The 2018 team consisted of Niamh G, Eden G, Hayley C, Annalise D, Brianna H, Emilee O, Jarian H, Amelia A, Tia B, Chantal M, Rory M, Ilori P, Caragh P, Gabrielle P, Hannah P, Bianca R, Monique R, Chantel S, Jermaine D, Isabel L and Alana P.
I would like to acknowledge the support of our parents who attended on the day and in particular Mr Lord for his expert management of the team.
Congratulations to Annalise D and Alana P who will now go onto represent the Diocese of Wollongong at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Championships and also to Hayley C who finished in 3rd Place in the 12 Years Age Champion point score.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce the final results from the College swimming carnival held earlier in the term.
Age Champions 2018
The following students were recognised at the College assembly on Tuesday as Age Champions and will receive their certificates and medallions at the Semester One Sports Awards Assembly. Congratulations to:
Hayley C - 12 Years Age Champion
Bianca R - 13 Years Age Champion
Brianna H - 14 Years Age Champion
Emily O - 15 Years Age Champion
Jarian H - 16 Years Age Champion
Niamh G - 17+ Years Age Champion
Overall Age Champion - Brianna H
The winning House for the day was Gilmore.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
We are very lucky to have an abundance of very humble sport stars at St Patrick's and over the holiday break and during Term 1 we have had a number of girls compete at a State, National and International level with outstanding success. Below is a summary of some of these outstanding achievements.
Sarah P and Olivia F – Oz Tag
Congratulations to both Sarah and Olivia on gaining selection in the U17s Australian Oz Tag Squad. The squad will travel to New Zealand in April to compete in an International tournament. This is a huge achievement for both girls, however for Sarah it's extra special as she is only 15 years old and has been placed into the 17s squad rather than in her own age group.
Jarian H – Weight Lifting
At the end of last year Jarian competed at the Pacific Mini Games in Port-Vila, Vanuatu along with five other Australians as part of the Australian Team. During the event, Jarian hit new Personal Bests and set multiple new Australian records in the process. From these results, Jarian is now ranked as the No.1 Youth (17/U) Female lifter in Australia. The goal is to now make the Youth Olympic Games in October however to do this, Jarian must maintain her number one rank as there are only one position in the team.
Natalie S - NSW Netball and Campbelltown Catholic Club's Monthly Sports Hot Shot Award Winner
Congratulations to Natalie on gaining selection in the NSW U/17 netball team – the highest level possible for her age. Natalie will compete as part of the team in April, taking on some of the best rising stars in Australia. Natalie also received the Campbelltown Catholic Club monthly Sports Hot Shot award and was gifted $500 to help cover the costs associated with the event.
Jorja B - Softball
Congratulations to Jorja on her recent selection into the Australian U19 Softball squad, following her success in being selected for the NSW Open Schools team a few weeks ago. Jorja will be competing in Cairns in the Australian All-School tournament in May and in the Australian Squad in Brisbane in July. We wish her every success in both tournaments.
Tara B - NSW Futsal
Tara, along with nine other female futsal players from throughout NSW, was selected to represent NSW in the FFA National Futsal Championships as part of the U15s Girls Lightning team in Canberra from 8 - 12 January 2018. The Lightning team is made up of the strongest 14 year old girls in the State, which is part of Futsal NSW method of developing and exposing these younger players to such an elite tournament, with their aim being to continue developing these individual players hoping that these girls will then be selected into the U15s Thunder team for the FFA National Futsal Championships in 2019. This tournament allowed the girls to play at the national level against the best players from across the country representing their respective States and Territories and to test themselves against the best 15 year old Futsal players within Australia. By the end of the tournament, the NSW U15s Lightning team finished 4th overall, which was an excellent achievement considering that the Lightning team were the youngest squad in this age group at the tournament.
Congratulations girls. As always, I would ask that if anyone is aware of any students who are achieving at a high level in sport, please let me know as many of the girls are very humble and do not pass this information on. It is always a great privlege to recognise and celebrate their achievements and successes with the College community.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
In the last edition of Inside Out, I accidently left out one of our College triathlon teams that competed at the NSW All Schools Triathlon. Sorry girls.
The team consisted of Emilee O, Piper L, and Bridie L (a junior who raced up an age group so the team could compete) and were actually our best performing intermediate team on the day. Congratulations girls.
Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator
On Tuesday 27 March, Mr Anthony Hill from Plastic Pollution Solutions addressed the College assembly. He presented the current waste and plastic situation on our planet and the significant impact it is having on our land and waterways. Mr Hill described the devastating effect that nanoplastics and microplastic are doing to our environment and educated us about the infamous ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’. He also encouraged the girls to be the change and empowered them to implement some active solutions in our school, home, local communities and world.
After the assembly, he addressed the students who are part of the Environment Council in a small workshop. The girls had the opportunity to learn more about the ongoing issues plastic can create for our future and how to step up to alleviate some of these pressures. To conclude, the girls worked together in a trivia activity, a pledge sheet and Q & A session – the girls were very enthusiastic and provided some thought-provoking ideas for future initiatives. Some of the solutions Mr Hill suggested that we can all work on are outlined below and the Environment Council will move forward with some of these initiatives:
- REFUSE - REUSE - REDUCE - RECYCLE
- Using metal, ceramic and glass bottles is best (BPA free that is ok as it can be reused)
- Re-usable coffee cups are a must as most ‘coffee cups’ have plastic in their lining
- Reusable metal straws are great
- Stay away from products with microbeads in the ingredients – this is an exfoliating agent but is made of plastic and has harmful toxins
- If we do use plastic, we should repurpose it through art or in the garden such as hanging plants or as bird feeders hanging from the trees
- Weekly clean ups in the waterways and drains are important
- Recycling at home and school is an excellent step in the right direction
- The use of ‘Redcycle’ recycling soft plastic for furniture is fantastic
- We should cut up the loops of plastic lids at home so animals are not ingesting or entangled by these loops
- Re-usable shopping bags are a must and Boomerangbags.org is a great initiative to look into
- Pick up your own and other waste and plastic wherever you go, you are not a ‘tourist’ you must care and be a steward in all areas - if you see it, don’t just leave it
- Turn away from disposable products and look to reusable
- Using the cash for cans machines is also a great start for education and awareness
- Being aware of turning off lights and air conditioning is important also
Maria Boulatsakos - Teacher
History Club is now in its second year and 2018 is going to be a busy time as this year marks 100 years since the end of World War I.
Molly and Grace making poppies
The College is planning a community Remembrance Day Service on 9 November 2018 which will be attended by our local parliamentarians, our indigenous elders and local veterans associations. Over 50 girls from Years 7-12 have been spending their Friday lunchtimes making paper poppies to decorate the Mary Sheil Centre for the event.
If you have a family connection to World War I that you would like to share with us, we would love to hear from you. Please email Mrs Musico Rullo firstname.lastname@example.org
Fran Musico Rullo and Nathan East - History
The Knitting Group has returned for 2018. Now in its 12th year, the group has a new location in H12 and meets every Thursday lunch.
Eknoor and her knitting
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.
Can you help? We are after squares to go into our blankets - 50 stitches in garter stitch. We use these squares to make blankets for the local St Vincent de Paul Society to use for their welfare cases.
Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher
P & F
As we transition over to the winter uniform, we have arranged for the uniform shop to be open during the school holidays.
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - Creative Arts Coordinator
The Uniform shop is open on the following days:
Monday 16 April 2018 and Tuesday 17 April 2018
9am to 3pm
Thursday 26 April 2018 and Friday 27 April 2018
9am to 3pm
What's On ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
28 March - Easter Liturgy
29 March - Holy Thursday - COLLEGE CLOSED
30 March - Good Friday - COLLEGE CLOSED
1 April - EASTER SUNDAY
2 April - Easter Monday - COLLEGE CLOSED
3 April - Year 9 Parent/Student Information Forum, Year 10 Liturgy
4 April - Year 10 PASS Excursion, Year 7 Reflection Day
6 April - NSW CCC Swimming, DIO Touch Football Selections, Year 11 First Aid Incursion
9 April - Year 7 Vaccinations
10 April - Year 7 Liturgy
11 April - Project Compassion Pancake Day
12 April - Year 12 Hospitality Excursion
13 April - STAFF AND STUDENTS FINISH FOR TERM 1
17 April - Appin Massacre Anniversary
30 April - STAFF AND STUDENTS RETURN FOR TERM 2