From the Principal
Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College
Sue Lennox - Principal
As I write this editorial, we are experiencing hazardous weather conditions with very poor air quality and soaring temperatures never before recorded this early in the summer season. We have had three critical weather warnings in the last week alone. To be honest, I am fearful of what the coming months will bring. Added to this, we have many in our country who are experiencing the worst drought conditions ever. Even our families living in the Wollondilly area are feeling the effects of the conditions, as are those in the more regional areas of New South Wales. We have heard from some high-profile people that these conditions are due to the wrath of God because of the recent decisions made around same sex marriage, abortion bills and other current issues. If we were to believe this, we could conveniently abrogate our responsibility for all the bad things that happen, to God. We could disregard the water restrictions, because God will provide, we could continue to burn fossil fuels, because God will provide, we could access all the Earth's resources without regard for their limitations, because God will provide. One doesn’t have to be Einstein to know that all our actions have consequences. Our current weather circumstances are consequences of the actions we have taken leading up to this point. To ensure the ongoing sustainability of the earth and our own existence, we need to take a more adult view which is one that takes responsibility for our actions. Benedictine spirituality is very much about being stewards of our world. To use wisely and prudently so that all, both now and future generations, have access to the resources. A change is needed and it needs to be a long term change. The drought will break, and the weather will settle, but many in our communities will have suffered enormously. Let’s be there for them so they don’t feel alone and let’s do our bit to change our way of life so we are more mindful of our impact on the earth.
On 1 December, we will enter the Church’s liturgical season of Advent. The purple on the Jacaranda trees always reminds me of this time as the colour of the Advent season is purple. Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the baby Jesus. Whether you are religious or not, we are all very familiar with the notion of the Christmas spirit and that this time is the season of giving. Whilst there is a commercial aspect of Christmas, we are urged to think beyond our own needs and extend our thoughts to others with kindness and compassion.
In that vein, all pastoral classes are currently collecting items for our annual Christmas hampers drive. These hampers are organised by St Vincent de Paul and distributed to families who are struggling in the Macarthur area. We will fill 60 hampers this year. The need is very great and I encourage you to ask your daughter if she has been able to bring in an item for her homeroom. The procession of hampers is part of our closing mass which will be held on Thursday 5 December at 9.30am. You are very welcome to join us then and later for the awards ceremony.
Over the year you may have followed the work of the girls in the History Club and their representation at various local functions and events dressed as the local nurses from the previous wars. This activity has stirred the hearts of many in our community and further afield. Whilst our parent Mrs Zapirain has been instrumental in making or collecting authentic military uniforms, the person behind the creation of the activity and the one who has organised much of the connections with local people and prepared the students has been Mrs Fran Musico Rullo. Her work in this project has been a real gift to the College and the local area. As such, Fran has been nominated in Education HQ’s competition under the Teaching Category of Australia’s Unsung Heroes. We were delighted to learn that Mrs Musico has become one of the five national finalists. I encourage you to follow the link below and vote for Fran in this award. Irrespective of the outcome, we acknowledge Fran Musico as a well-deserved teacher for this award. She inspires our girls and brings passion into all that she leads. We wish her the very best.
Catholic School Parents Australia have created an excellent Parent Engagement Tool for parents with children in primary and secondary schools. The link is below for you to investigate. You will find some excellent material to help your child with transitions and wellbeing. It has great resources and ideas on how to support your child as she/he grows up to adulthood. It is a free service and I encourage you to view its content. http://www.parentengagementcspa.edu.au
Finally, I will leave you with a reflection on Advent taken from the booklet “The Way” created by the Wollongong Diocese.
Sue Lennox - Principal
who is the way,
be a lamp unto your feet
and a light for your path
as you journey towards
the mystery of the
“We are one, but we are many, and from all the lands on earth we come …”
On the evening of Tuesday 19 November, St Patrick’s College hosted a Welcome Dinner for migrants and refugees who have recently arrived and settled in the Campbelltown area. Many of those who attended are originally from Tibet and there was also a family from Syria. This group was gathered together and coordinated by Sana Al-Ahmar, who is a Generalist Settlement Case Worker at Focus Connect’s Campbelltown Office. Sana is assisted by Fatin, who is originally from Iraq. Both Sana and Fatin are a blessing to the people they serve. We are grateful for their efforts in helping to make the Welcome Dinner possible.
Under the leadership of the Benedict Captain, Jessica-Leigh R, the St Patrick’s College Social Justice team worked together to prepare gift bags of “goodies”, set the tables, provide entertain, and host the dinner. It was an occasion to express hospitality and for new bonds of friendship to be formed. As part of introductory words of welcome, the guests heard these words: “We all know that today there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings that are portrayed by the media on a range of issues. We here at St Patrick’s also know that your individual lives present to us stories of courage, sacrifice and bravery. This gathering, in which we share a meal, is for us a symbol of harmony and shared values. We are all members of the human family and what better way to celebrate that than with a meal in the company of friends.”
It is always our privilege to host this Welcome Dinner and we look forward to the next time in 2021.
Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator
Learning and Teaching
In the upcoming Term 4 holiday 26 students studying Japanese from Years 9, 10 and 11 will embark on the 2019 Japan Study Tour. The students have been busily planning and saving for this trip for over a year. We depart Australia on the Friday the day after students break up and will be in Japan for 16 days.
This study tour is a perfect opportunity for students to practise and use the Japanese they have learnt in the classroom. The students will be travelling around Japan for the two weeks exploring the old and new Japan and its unique culture.
In Tokyo, the girls will be going to the Imperial Palace Gardens. They will explore Akihabara (electronic city) and the Sony Factory to see and touch all the latest emerging technology. They will go to Harajuku which has become the mecca for teenage fashion. They will go to Tokyo Disneyland and experience the world of Disney in Japanese. They will spend a day in a Japanese school and travel to our sister school, Shonan Shirayuri Gakuen and spend three days and nights in a homestay with a student family from Shonan Shirayuri.
They will then travel from Tokyo to Kyoto, the old Capital of Japan, on the bullet train travelling at speeds of 300 kilometres an hour. We will go to places including Nara, the heart of Buddhism and visit temples and shrines that are 1300 years old. Students will have the opportunity to dress up in traditional Japanese kimono and shop in the old traditional markets. We will travel to Hiroshima and visit the Peace Park and Atomic Bomb museum which is a very moving experience as they will see the history behind and after the dropping of the atomic bomb at the end of WW2.
It is a very busy trip and the students will have an experience of a lifetime. You will be able to follow our trip on Facebook and details on the College Facebook page.
These students will not only be ambassadors of Australia, but will also represent you and be leaders for each other while on our trip.
Julian Nash - LOTE Coordinator
Thursday 28 November - 6pm - FREE ENTRY
On Friday last week 17 Japanese exchange students from Seien Girls High School visited the College for a day. The students are only in Australia for two weeks and, as part of their tour they came to St Patrick’s College to interact with students.
After a tour of the College, Year 9 Elective Japanese students sang the Cup Song with the students and did some Aboriginal pebble art. The Seien students then did a presentation about their school life in Japan, Japanese culture and played games and origami activities.
The day went so quickly and even though it was such a short amount of time, the girls developed some great friendships and exchanged contact details.
For the Year 9 Japanese Elective class this was a great opportunity to practise their Japanese. I would like to thank the Year 9 students for their hospitality, warmth and behaviour. This left a great impression on the students and teacher from Seien Girls High School.
Julian Nash - LOTE Coordinator
The Lions Youth of the Year competition was an extremely positive experience overall. It consisted of an interview, two impromptu speeches and a prepared speech.
Although challenging, the impromptus were an excellent way for me to express my concerns about the topics given to me: pill testing and climate change. Being given the opportunity to talk about such topical issues that are affecting many people throughout Australia and the world, I felt I was giving a voice to those who don’t have one. My prepared speech was about the effects of the drought. I decided to talk about the impact that the drought has on children and young people because I believe that it is not discussed enough. I was absolutely honoured to be named as the winner of the overall competition and the public speaking component. Thank you to Mrs Pulham for all her support during the competition!
On 11 November the College was represented at both the Campbelltown and Ingleburn services. Miss Calka took the student leadership team to Mawson Park to attend the Campbelltown sub-branch service and to lay a wreath on behalf of the students and the College.
Twenty members of the History Club, parent Lucette Zapirain and myself were invited to Ingleburn RSL. This year’s Remembrance Day service was particularly special as the RSL unveiled a special bas relief in honour of Sr Cynthia Haultain, a World War II nurse from Ingleburn who was killed aboard the Centaur. Mrs Zapirain was able to borrow a real World War II nurse's uniform from the EM Lane Museum at Concord Hospital that Layla B wore for the day. Mr Peter McFarlane of Ingleburn RSL launched a book about Sr Haultain and we have collaborated with him over the past year. Tess M of Year 8 even appears on the cover of the book.
The RSL requested our History Club students to come dressed in their nurse uniforms which covered the span from World War I to most recent. Emily M and Eve M from Year 7 read out the opening prayers of the service and Tess M gave the address. Tess paid tribute to Sr Haultain as well as Abbey C’s ancestor, Paddy Bugden VC and her own great great uncle, William Lyttle King. Lillian M (wearing Elwyn Spencer’s uniform from Vietnam) and Fatima A (dressed in V.A.D. uniform) both presented the wreath on behalf of the College.
After the formalities, the bas relief was unveiled and Olivia L, Layla E and Chelsea P read out a special poem about the Centaur to the audience. One of the highlights of the day was to meet the family of Sr Haultain who were very appreciative of the efforts to which our students had gone.
Lest We Forget
Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher
Mrs Fran Musico-Rullo has been nominated for Australia’s Unsung Heroes in the education category. She is now in the top five finalists and we believe she is worthy of taking out this special award. Please read below and you will understand why!
Fran is an incredible teacher who inspires her students and coworkers alike. She is the founder and leader of our College History Club which now has over 100 student members, thanks to the passion and opportunities she invests into the club. Fran is also the founder and leader of our College knitting club that make hundreds of blankets per year to donate to charities.
She consistently encourages her students and colleagues to apply for scholarships and overseas history tours to broaden their knowledge and understanding of the past. In the past three years, three of Fran’s students have been successful in their application to attend government funded WW1 battlefield tours.
Fran is the colleague we all aspire to be like and we marvel at how devoted and dedicated she is, especially considering the daily challenges and demands of caring for her young family. In addition to her dedication, Fran is a mentor not only to her faculty, but to all members of our College community, always offering sound and sage advice, and willing to offer a variety of support to staff when they are feeling overwhelmed or lacking direction.
This support may be felt through her wise and gentle words of encouragement or through the quiet placement of a book or flowers on your unattended desk. Fran exemplifies all that a teacher can and should be both within and outside of the classroom and is truly an unsung hero.
Vote via https://edhq.typeform.com/to/q8YBdl
Wendy McDonald - HSIE Teacher
If you are looking for a memorable way to get into the Christmas spirit, come join us in Appin for our Carols in the Park event.
There will be live music, face painting, jumping castles, food stalls and more. Carols by Candlelight will kick off from 7pm with performances from a variety of community groups, including our very own St Patrick's choir. The night will come to a close with a spectacular display of fireworks at 9pm. Check out the 'Appin Carols in the Park' Facebook page for further information.
What's on ...
Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator
for all events at the College, CLICK HERE