Volume 31 Issue 12 - 23 August 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

As I write this editorial the Year 12 girls will be resuming classes after their Trial examinations. This can be a difficult time for some of the girls. They have been working hard and preparing for the HSC and invariably, as they receive their results for the exams, some will be pleasantly surprised, and some will be disappointed. The mark of their drive to do well and achieve their best will be demonstrated in their responses to these feelings. Some will decide it is too hard and resign themselves to the fact that they have reached their best and some will see this as an opportunity to go back over what they don’t understand so that they conquer the skills and the knowledge they still need to grasp. The choice the girls make at this intersection of their learning will reflect their drive and determination to achieve their best. With the support of their teachers and parents all girls can look on these Trial results as the practice run. They need to save their peak performance for the exams next term when they will achieve their potential.

The HSC is not an easy credential to achieve. Like all challenges that are difficult and extend us, it requires a great deal of time and energy and a complete investment of the person into the job. It is in fact a rite of passage for many young people. Like many rites of passage, it tests the individual to their limits and transitions them into a new concept of themselves. At the end of the HSC the girls are no longer school students. They have transitioned into a post school person. I encourage all the girls and parents to work with the College to support the girls through this rite of passage. All girls will want to say at the end of their HSC that their results reflect their best work.

Over the past few weeks I have received multiple applications from families requesting leave from school for their daughter. I understand that there are times when it is necessary for families to take their daughter away from school however the girls have 14 weeks of holidays over the year and the expectation is that all holidays are to be taken during this time. As a College, we believe it is essential that your daughter minimises her time away from classes as every absence has an impact on her learning. With 77 minute classes, each lesson missed leaves a big hole in your daughter's learning. Whilst we expect the student to catch up on what is missed, it is never the same than if she was present for the delivery by her teacher.

Recently NESA has shown particular interest in the leave students are taking from school.  Schools are required to be vigilant in the process of leave applications and the reason that they are authorising the leave. For this reason, I would like to draw your attention to the process at St Patrick’s College. Any leave that is five days or more in length requires an application to the Principal. Applications for leave are available on the parent portal or for collection from Student Reception. Completed applications are to be returned to the Principal. The Principal will then decide if the leave is authorised or not. If the leave is authorised, a certificate will be issued to the student. If the leave is not authorised, parents may still proceed with the leave, but it will be acknowledged on the records as unjustified leave and a certificate of leave will not be issued. Any assessment taken during the period of unauthorised leave will be graded as zero unless it was submitted prior to the leave.

For this reason, I ask that you give very careful consideration to any leave you may request which is to be taken during the school term. I also need to inform you that holidays of any form will not be authorised. Leave forms need to be lodged two weeks prior to the leave so that the process can be followed. I will attach the Attendance Policy to this edition for your consideration.

Whilst we don’t have a significant number of students away during the term, I am concerned with the growing number who are taking holidays during term time. If you would like to raise any of this with me, please feel free to contact me at the College.

Over the last two weeks we said farewell to Liam Rixon who was one of the maintenance staff at the College. The Rixon family have had a long association with the College and it was lovely to have had their son also part of the community for a period of time. We wish Liam the very best in the future.

Next week we have the Bishop visiting the Year 12 students. Students from St Benedict's Catholic College and Mt Carmel Catholic College will also be joining us. I hope all the young people will find the time with Bishop Brian very engaging. Friday night we will host the annual Father Daughter Dinner Dance. I do hope I will see you there as it is always a great evening.

I would like to share with you names of the new College Leaders for 2020, the role and the names are listed below. Congratulations girls.

Finally, this weekend is Migrant and Refugee Sunday. I will leave you with a short reflection on Hospitality.

Grant me to recognise in other men and women, my God, the radiance of your own face.

                                                                                                                                Teilhard de Chardin


Sue Lennox - Principal 

College Captain - Imogen M
College Vice Captain - Benedict - Jessica-Leigh R
College Vice Captain - Scholastica - Minduli T
Sports Captain - Ruby D
Performing and Creative Arts Captain - Paris H
Community Captain - Ellie F


“It is not just about migrants”

The 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated on Sunday 25 August 2019. This takes place during Migrant and Refugee Week, marked by the Catholic Church in Australia from 19 - 25 August. In his message for this event, Pope Francis stated that “Our response to the challenges posed by contemporary migration can be summed up in four verbs: welcome, protect, promote and integrate.” As Catholics living in Australia it is most important that we truly reflect on the words of Pope Francis and challenge ourselves to follow our Christian values.

Australia has a tough offshore detention policy for those asylum seekers who arrive by boat. It was reintroduced over six years ago under the Labor Government of Kevin Rudd. There are approximately 800 refugees and asylum seekers remaining on Manus Island and Nauru. According to the chair of the Australian Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Social Justice: Service and Mission Bishop Vincent Long, Pope Francis is deeply concerned about this refugee crisis. Bishop Long stated earlier this year when he and other Catholic leaders rallied for change, “12 young men have died over these past six years and many more have attempted self-harm out of utter despair”. He also pointed out that international agencies have been appalled by the conditions in which these people live. The four verbs summed up by Pope Francis have no presence in our treatment of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia. More accurate verbs would be to shun, neglect, downgrade, separate. This is a disturbing truth and if we call ourselves Catholic, it is something that we should strive to change.

In Pope Francis’ message, he stresses repeatedly that our call to respond to the presence of migrants and refugees is not just about them, but rather “an invitation to recover some of those essential dimensions of our Christian existence and our humanity that risk being overlooked in a prosperous society”. He insists that,

 “It is not just about migrants: it is also about our fears…

It is not just about migrants: it is about charity…

It is not just about migrants: it is about our humanity…

It is not just about migrants: it is a question of seeing that no one is excluded…

It is not just about migrants: it is about putting the last in first place…

It is not just about migrants: it is about the whole person, about all people.”

At St Patrick’s we have a tradition of welcoming migrants and supporting the plight of refugees and asylum seekers on several occasions through our Social Justice Committee. An instance worth remembering from 2015 is the protest held in support and solidarity with asylum seekers in detention after attending the workshop “Help Break the Fence”. Biannually we also host a Migrant Welcome Dinner for local migrant families. This occurs in late spring (November) at which there is a gathering of relatively newly arrived migrants to the Macarthur area. The Middle-Eastern meal commences with a welcome and prayer of blessing and thanks for the food and the gathering. The community leader offers words of welcome in Arabic. During the dinner, there is also a musical item from one of our students as entertainment. The children who attend the meal are given a "show bag" and after dinner, there is a game of basketball and/or soccer played. It has been a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, share our hospitality and reassure our local migrants that they are welcome in our community.

We are a diverse community, and most of our families in some way or another have been migrants to Australia. Pope Francis’ message for the 105th World Day of Migrants and Refugees is a timely reminder of how we are called to live as Catholics welcoming our brothers and sisters.

Year 9 Liturgy

Throughout the school year, each year group gathers for a grade liturgy so that there is a communal experience of prayer and an opportunity to offer prayerful support to each other. At each of the grade liturgies, one or more of the girls have the opportunity to prepare and present a reflection on the Scripture readings. At the recent Year 9 liturgy, the following reflection was prepared and presented by Molly Q, Grace K, and Tavara S.

In the first reading (Romans 12:9-19), and the Bible in general, we are commanded to do a lot of things, and while listening to it or reading it, all of its orders can seem a little overwhelming. The Bible often asks a lot of us and it can seem impossible to stick to all of its requests. However, we can always break down what it says so it makes a bit more sense. The first reading is essentially helping us to become a more loving, faithful, patient and compassionate person. The second reading (1 Peter 4:7-11) is asking us to forgive our enemies and the gospel reading (John 15:12-17) is simply asking us to love one another. It sounds simple enough when put like that, but not many people know what it entails or how to stick to this command. And it’s hard! There’s no denying that it can be painful to keep away from our temptations, refrain from giving in to our harmful thoughts and find it in our hearts to love and forgive everyone. So, let’s tear apart these readings and find ways that we can become more loving people in our day to day lives. 

A topic that’s often brought up in the readings is that of loving everybody. We are told what the result should be, but not explicitly how to get there. It often seems like an unattainable goal. How can we possibly love everybody, including those who have wronged us? In some ways, it is an impossible expectation, for it expects us to reach perfection, which is not realistic. But the most important thing is that we at least try. The first reading talks about asking God to bless those who have wronged us, not curse them. That’s a start. Praying allows us to reflect on people’s actions. It may give us a new perspective or point of view that gets us back on track. It's widely recognised that talking out problems is an amazing way to find solutions, and who better to talk to than God himself? It doesn’t have to be extensive, long or super formal, but if we take time once every so often to talk about our relationships with God then we will be one step closer to reaching the goal of loving everybody, just as the scriptures request. Loving everybody isn’t just going to happen overnight; it’s a process of forgiveness and understanding and taking just a sliver of time out of our lives to pray can be the start of this process. 

Another common theme in these readings is thinking of everybody as equal. We cannot live our lives in the mindset that we are either inferior or superior to another. This won’t get us anywhere. However, this pattern of thinking is very hard to get out of. We often think badly of ourselves when we see someone else achieve something. Or think badly of others when we achieve something. What’s the harm in just living? The first reading says: ‘Live together in peace with each other. Don’t be proud but be willing to be friends with people who are not important to others. Don’t think of yourself as smarter than everyone else.’ If we put ourselves in this mindset, one where we consider people as friends out of our own interests and not those of our friends, one where we think of everyone as equal, our community will be a much happier and safer place for every member. That’s what we want, right? Our world as a much more accepting and welcoming place for everyone. 

Another thing that these readings talk about is playing to our strengths. In the second reading, it talks about utilising our strengths in ways that’ll be not only beneficial to us but those who surround us. Whatever strength we choose to display, God will be shown through it. Another topic touched in the first reading is being proud of each other rather than of ourselves. It states ‘Wish only good for those who treat you badly. Ask God to bless them, not curse them.’ Always be the stronger person, don’t allow others negativity ruin your nature or your vibe. In today’s society, we constantly try our best to be better than everyone else rather than try our best to just be ourselves. Instead of putting our energy into competition we should put it into prioritising our health, both physical and mental, and our relationship with God. We need to understand that the best way to grow is to grow together. It’s so easy to be kind, compassionate and Christ-like yet it’s barely displayed. We are allowing this to happen by being rude and inconsiderate. Being rude, mean or cruel is not a trait, it’s unnecessary energy you go out of your way to display. We need to allow ourselves to grow alongside each other in peace with God. We need to be the best versions of ourselves whilst also encouraging others to do the same.

So to sum it all up, we can be better friends, better neighbours, better children of God and better people if we just love one another, think of everyone as equal and play to our strengths and what we find true joy in. Even if your friend decides not to follow this path. Even if you hear people down the street making prejudiced comments. Stay true to yourself, stay on your path, continue to believe and know what is right. All we can do now is grow together, love together and live in peace as one.

Molly Q, Grace K, Tavara S - Year 9 Students

Year 7 Theme for Term 3

Year 7 have been encouraged to be the best they can be this term. 

7A's Noticeboard

I have asked the girls to focus on the statement 'Everyday is an opportunity to be...." The girls finished the statement by adding words like "kind", "helpful", "a great friend/daughter/sister", "team player", "loving", "forgiving", "a better student".. etc. Year 7 also focused on the three key words in our mission statement "resilient, independent, life-long learners". I encouraged the girls to be accountable to their words and make them their goals for the term. Below are the photos from the homeroom noticeboards.

Maria Boulatsakos - Year 7 Coordinator

Thoughtful Thursdays

Studies have shown that regular meditation provides excellent benefits to your overall health. ‘Thoughtful Thursdays’ started last term and continues this Semester.

On Thursdays, in rooms A16 or A17, during the second half of lunch, students are invited to participate in a meditation practice for 15-20 minutes. Each week there is a different style of meditation. Students are encouraged to make it part of their weekly self-care practice to improve their overall wellbeing, or attend when they see and feel they really need it. 

Some Meditation Facts

  • Meditation can improve your memory, focus and productivity
  • Meditation can help you make better decisions
  • The brain functions better with meditation
  • Meditation reduces stress and anxiety
  • Meditation can improve one’s attention span
  • Meditation can increase kindness and creativity
  • Meditation is a skill that helps us stay in the present moment

    Maria Boulatsakos - Year 7 Coordinator

Year 11 Design & Technology - Child's Products

This year, 11 Design & Technology have been working hard to produce a range of children's products to sell in Target's 2020 Summer Collection. 

As a class, the girls decided on a coastal theme for their products and worked together to develop the colour palette and inspiration for their products. Each of the girls worked independently to produce their own products, however, they constantly relied on each other's feedback and expertise to ensure their products met their agreed design brief. Each of the girls worked to their strengths by designing and producing products using materials they were familiar with. However, some chose to use this project as an opportunity to learn new skills and experiment with new techniques in preparation for their HSC Major Project. 

The girls should be commended for their outstanding efforts and dedication to their projects. They worked well to challenge themselves and solve a range of problems throughout the production of the product. The teamwork skills and words of encouragement every day were outstanding. I am looking forward to working with the girls on producing their Major Design Projects next term. Their products are currently being displayed in the library. 

Olivia Matti - TAS Teacher

10 Food Technology - Arnott's Biscuits

This term 10 Food Technology has been exploring the world of Food Product Development. This topic delves into the world of food products, how they end up on our shelves, how we are convinced to buy them and the many reasons why some products are more successful than others. 



Year 10 is challenged with the task of using the Food Product Development cycle to produce their own version of an existing Arnott's biscuit. The girls have been working hard to gain consumer feedback and implementing their requests into a new flavoured biscuit that could feature in the Arnott's range. Some of the new flavour creations include Lemon & Herb Shapes, Mocha flavoured Tim Tams, Mango Iced Vovos, Red Velvet Tiny Teddies, and Lemon Myrtle Shortbread Creams. The photos below are some of their first trial products that were sampled this week. The girls will now use their consumer feedback to make some minor adjustments to the flavour, texture or appearance of the biscuits before their final product due dates in four weeks. 

The girls should be commended for their outstanding commitment and enthusiasm with this task. They have continued to impress us with their dedication and willingness to challenge themselves to produce high-quality products. 

Olivia Matti - TAS Teacher

History Club Attends Victory In The Pacific Day

The History Club was invited to the 74th commemorations of Victory in the Pacific held at Cabra-Vale Diggers Club on 14 August. Campbelltown RSL Sub-Branch requested our 10 members dress in their war nurse costumes and lead the march to acknowledge the ‘Year of the Nurse’.  The students dressed as nurses were: Chloe K, Bronwyn Z, Laura Z, Olivia M, Eve M, Gianna M, Chantelle G, Emeline L, Abbey C and Tess M. The rest of the History Club marched behind the veterans.

History Club with Guy Zangari MP and Greg Warren MP

Thirty-five History Club members attended accompanied by Mrs Lucette Zapirain (parent and maker of the nurse outfits), Miss Calka, our College Archivist, Mrs Joanne Cavallin and myself. Emeline L of Year 7 was dressed in an authentic World War II uniform and gave an address about the role of war nurses in the theatres of war where Australians have served. She focused particularly on the service of World War II nurses, 78 of whom died, many as POWs of the Japanese. Chantelle G, Olivia L and Caitlin R wore the service medals of their ancestors and presented a wreath on behalf of the College with Eve M in nurses costume and Zara H who is a recipient of the Premier's Anzac Memorial Scholarship.

The History Club members were thrilled to meet Her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley, Governor of NSW and catch up with 103 year old World War II veteran, Bert Collins.

Some reflections of members of the History Club about VP Day

Emeline L reflected ‘I was  honoured  to be able to speak at VP day on behalf of St Patrick's College and the nurses who served in previous wars. I am very grateful and will never forget this great opportunity’

Chloe K wrote ‘On 14 August 2019, I participated in the history club excursion to Cabra-Vale Diggers Club. For this special event, I dressed as the red cross nurse and joined in a march with the rest of the history club girls... I really enjoyed this lovely experience and having the chance to make new friends and meet people who served in the war. Overall, I really enjoyed this day and will remember it for years to come.’

Bronwyn Z recalled, ‘VP Day was a very heart warming excursion. It told us how brave our Australian soldiers and nurses were. I loved the wreath laying ceremony, there were 75 in total. The day was very exciting and I will never forget it.’

Hein J wrote the following reflection:

"The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world ”. This is a quote I think of when I remember VP Day. Recently, the history club had gone for an amazing excursion, here we celebrated and remembered the date that marks the Japanese surrender that ended fighting in the Pacific. Through this wonderful experience we stopped for a time of silence to remember all the nurses and men that served our nation. We also got to meet some very important people such as the NSW governments'. We were the only school who had girls dress up as nurses and wear their great grandparents medals. So let us join and say "LEST WE FORGET".

 All photographs taken by Christabelle A.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

Wollongong Diocesan Athletics Championships

The 2019 Diocesan Athletics Championships were held in ideal conditions on Friday 16 August at Campbelltown Athletics Stadium. St Patrick’s sent a very competitive team to contest the carnival and were rewarded with some outstanding results which included 3rd place overall in the female division.


The team consisted of: Annabelle M, Siena B, Jordanne M, Moyosore O, Mbali J, Emelia B, Alexis M, Ava W, Aaliyah B, Laura Z, Abbie H, Dakoda L, Stevie F, Hannah Y, Tess M, Hope E, Keesha D, Mia F, Charlotte T, Sophia S, Katarina S, Brooklyn S, Amy Y, Amelia M, Ashalea W, Lily M, Lara M, Zoe D, Amadee T, Ellie H, Piper A, Ruby D, Teresa S, Amy S, Kayla M, Olivia F, Emily M and Loretta T.

A big thank you to Mr Muller for the role he fulfilled as team manager on the day as well as his injured assistant Tara B.

We had six students qualify for the Wollongong Diocesan athletics team which go on to compete at the NSWCCC athletics championships at Homebush in September. Those students included:

Piper A (16 Years) – 200m and High Jump

Ruby D (17 years) – 800m

Annabelle M (12 Years) – Long Jump

Katarina S (14 Years) – Shot Put

Amadee T (15 Years) – Discus

Amy Y (14 Years) – Javelin

As well as these outstanding achievements, we also had Piper A and Ruby D named Age Champions of their respective age groups and Amy Y finishing in third place.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Reminders and overdues@TheLibrary

The Library understands how busy school life can be. Lessons, assessments, clubs, extra-curricular activities...it's a balancing act.

Destiny Discover: username and password are College ones

To assist students and staff, the library has an automated email system which emails patrons a reminder that the items they currently have are nearing their due date. The email lists the title and the due date. Because these reminder emails are for 'soon to be due' items, the patron has the opportunity of logging onto Destiny Discover, using their College username and password, and renewing the title if they wish. This reminder also eliminates the angst of items becoming unknowingly overdue.

A subsequent email is sent once the item becomes overdue. At this point, the patron is unable to log onto Destiny Discover and renew the item. The patron must attend the library to return the item or request an extension. If the item is still not returned to the library, billing for a replacement commences.

The library aims to work with our staff and students to make items available for all to borrow. When patrons neglect to return overdue items, it prevents other patrons from accessing our collection. By sending the reminder emails, we hope to minimise the billing for books that have simply been 'forgotten'.

The College Library

Tickets Still Available!

You're invited to the Ovarian Cancer Gala Evening

Please show your support for this important cause, as this is gynaecological cancer that affects 1600 women each year. Four new diagnosis each day and out of this, three will die from the disease. Tickets can be purchased https://www.eventbrite.com/e/believe-gala-fundraising-night-for-ovarian-cancer-tickets-68894305723

Come and join us for a fun evening of raffles, auctions, games, entertainment and a three-course dinner to launch the new ovarian cancer merchandise and raise much-needed funds for research into Ovarian Cancer.

Features Mitch Anderson from the VOICE and comedian Madeline Stewart.

Saturday 12 October 2019
Arrival at 6pm for a start time of 6.30pm

30 Phillip Street, Parramatta

Tickets can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/believe-gala-fundraising-night-for-ovarian-cancer-tickets-68894305723

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

for all events at the College, CLICK HERE