Volume 31 Issue 6 - 10 May 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

Happy Easter! I do hope you had a beautiful Easter and had opportunity to share in the joy of the risen Christ. I hope that you also had some time to relax with family and friends over the holiday period.

You may have noticed articles and images posted in the local papers of the girls who represented the College in the ANZAC Day March in Campbelltown. Under the direction of Mrs Musico Rullo, a number of girls marched, dressed in the uniforms of women who served in WW1. Some of these uniforms were on loan from the 
RSL and some were made by one of the parents of the girls. More recently the students have been researching nurses who lived in the Campbelltown area and served during the war. It made the degree of risk and the commitment of these women so much more tangible and relevant when it was related to real people. As an all-girls' school, it is important to keep the profile and the significant contributions made by women on the agenda in our area. I would like to thank Mrs Music Rullo for her work in this area and the many staff who walked with the girls on the day.

This week our Year 9 girls went on camp. I walked with the Duke of Edinburgh girls on the Sunday into the camp site. It was a lovely walk through beautiful bush areas and pine forests. Once in the site, we all had to set up. The girls had to prepare their own meals and set up their tents. The night was very cold (2 degrees) and many didn’t sleep very well, however, despite this they were resilient and buoyant throughout.  Midday Monday, Mrs Nash came with the rest of Year 9 and took over the supervision of the Duke of Ed girls.  Over the next three days, all girls will have opportunity to do their own cooking, abseil, bike ride, use the flying fox and sleep in both a tent and an ecocabin. This is a great experience for the girls. They learn they can survive without phones, showers and the regular mod cons. They learn to push themselves and appreciate nature. I certainly enjoyed the days away from the busyness and time with a few of our beautiful students. I am sure when the girls return home they will have some good stories to share with you that they will recall for many years to come. I would like to acknowledge the staff who have taken the girls on camp, as without them they would not have had this experience. Thank you also to Mr Bacca for his organisation.

Wednesday 8 May was our Annual General Meeting of the Company. The Members of the Company and some Board of Directors were present and worked through the documents reporting on the operations of the College for 2018. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated and loyal members. Under the leadership of Sr Elizabeth Delaney sgs, we have been truly supported and encouraged to be our best for the girls and Good Samaritan Education. I would like to acknowledge and thank them for the time and energy they bring to their role in a voluntary capacity. If you would like to read the Annual Report ( as required by NESA) it is available on the website. If you would like a hard copy, please contact the College.

Finally, I would like to welcome Ms Haylee Williams to the College. Ms Williams is replacing Mrs Irwin and will be with us for the remainder of the year. We also welcome Ms Nicole Calka who will begin in Week 3/ Ms Calka is replacing Mrs Foran and will be teaching Religion and HSIE courses.  I am sure you will make both of these new staff very welcome.

I will leave you with this brief reflection on mothers. Wishing all mothers and those in mothering roles a wonderful day on Sunday. Without your unconditional love and selflessness, many of us would not have achieved half of what we have been able to accomplish in our lives.


Sue Lennox - Principal 

A Prayer for Mothers 

All-loving God,
we give you thanks and praise
for mothers young and old.

We pray for young mothers,
who give life and count toes
and tend to our every need;
May they be blessed with patience and tenderness
to care for their families and themselves
with great joy.

We pray for our own mothers
who have nurtured and cared for us;
May they continue to guide
in strong and gentle ways.

We remember mothers who are separated
from their children because of war,
poverty, or conflict;
May they feel the loving embrace of
our God who wipes every tear away.

We pray for women who are not mothers
but still love and shape us
with motherly care and compassion.

We remember mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers
who are no longer with us
but who live forever in our memory
and nourish us with their love.

by Heidi Busse, Author of Bringing Rainforest Adventure Home

Isn’t Easter Over?

During the recent school holidays, Catholics celebrated Easter Sunday on 21 April. Easter is the celebration of Christ's resurrection from the dead and marks the end of Holy Week, the end of Lent, the last day of the Easter Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday). It is the most important day on the Christian calendar.

Upon our return to school, we held an Easter Liturgy which caused some students to remark, “Isn’t Easter over?”. The answer is no. Easter Sunday also begins the season of Easter, one of the longest season in the liturgical year of the Catholic Church. Because Easter is the most important feast in the Christian calendar, even more important than Christmas, the Easter season continues on for 50 days, through the Ascension of Our Lord to Pentecost Sunday, seven full weeks after Easter Sunday! 

Hence, we are encouraged to keep on celebrating Easter over the next few weeks. As St John Chrysostom announces in this famous Easter sermon, all are invited to the feast:

"Let all then enter the joy of Our Lord!
Both the first and the last, and those who come after, enjoy your reward!
Rich and poor, dance with one another, sober and slothful,
celebrate the day.
Those who have kept the fast and those who have not, rejoice today, for the table is richly spread.
Fare royally upon it-the calf is a fatted one.
Let no one go away hungry.
All of you, enjoy the banquet of faith!
All enjoy the riches of His goodness.
Let no one cry over his poverty, for the universal Kingdom has
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again, for
forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let none fear death, for the death of our Saviour has set us free.

Easter Celebrations

Easter Sunday this year occurred in the middle of the school holidays and because of this, at the end of the school day on the last day of Term One, the St Patrick’s College community paused for prayer and reflection on the events and meaning of Holy Week.

It was thought to be appropriate to send our girls into the holiday break with an opportunity to contemplate what the holiest week of the Christian calendar celebrates, especially during Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday. The prayer service was conducted in individual classrooms so as to create a more intimate atmosphere.  It was also decided that an effective way to present a prayerful reflection of Holy Week was to invite all of the Year 12 girls to lead the prayer. This they did with enthusiasm, great care, and appropriate reverence. It is important for our girls to be given opportunities to minister to each other and this event proved to be an effective example of faith sharing amongst peers. The College community extends its thanks to the Year 12 girls for having taken up this challenge and for facilitating it so smoothly.

Since Easter had occurred during the school holiday, upon our return to Term Two, the College community gathered in the MSC to celebrate the joy and wonder of the resurrection. We proclaimed with great joy that:

“Christ is risen! Alleluia!”
“Alleluia” is the Christian proclamation of great joy!
Alleluia says: “Yes, the job is done!”
Alleluia says: “Victory to our God!”
Alleluia says: “Yes, the promises have come true!”
Alleluia says: “Praise be to God!”
Alleluia says: “ ‘Yes!’ to life!”

The core message of our Easter Liturgy is that we have been granted life and that we may have life in abundance. Let us carry with us the Easter rhythm of dying and rising; the Easter cycle of birth and rebirth; the Easter message of life, hope, and joy!

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

College Photo Day

Thursday 23 May will be the College Photo Day. An envelope will be distributed to your daughter, however, orders can be made online via the website: http://www.advancedlife.com.au/

Year 10 Food Technology - The Food Truck

This has been an exciting start to the term for the Year 10 Food Technology students. The students are working on a student centred task where they are required to produce a business plan for a Food Truck business, prepare and serve food samples and pitch their idea to a panel of investors.


As part of this project, we invited Mr Pig, a Sydney Food Truck, to the College earlier in the term. The Mr Pig team gave the students an insight into the industry, why and how they started their business and the successes and challenges associated with running a food truck. The students were able to ask numerous questions that helped them to develop a concept for their own Food Truck before tasting the amazing burgers. Students were also fortunate enough to jump on board the truck to see how they prepare, cook and serve the food to their customers and explore the facilities on board.

The final component of the task required the students to pitch their business to a panel of investors. This will give the students the opportunity to persuade Ms Williams, Mrs Reader, Mrs Lennox and myself to invest in their business. They will showcase a range of public speaking skills and demonstrate the copious amounts of knowledge they will gain throughout the term.

We look forward to seeing what the students produce during this challenging task. During the term, the girls will be pushed to work outside of their normal classroom environment and they will need to rely on each other’s expertise to complete the Business Plan and pitch. I would like to commend the students on their outstanding efforts, their excellent team work skills and the enthusiasm that they have demonstrated so far.

Olivia Matti - Food Technology Teacher

Study Skills Tip For May: Barriers to Developing a Good Memory

Many students say ‘I don’t have a good memory’ but there are many barriers to developing a good memory that are able to be overcome. Here are the top three:

Working Better at Home


Henry Ford once famously said, “whether you believe you can, or you can't, you are right”. This refers to your mindset or mental attitude, and the concept that your mind is powerful enough to enable your thoughts to create your reality. If you have a negative attitude to your memory, it will likely reduce your chance of developing and maintaining a good memory. There are some simple steps you can take to start making changes to negative thoughts. Be aware that negative thoughts are just a habit, and habits can be changed with a little effort. Awareness is the key to changing a habit, as you need to consciously be aware of the current habit before you can change it – so start catching yourself in the act of making negative statements. Affirm your intention to improve the way you think. Then correct the negative statement you just made, and make it into a more positive one.


The first stage of the memory process is encoding the information that is to be remembered – thus the brain uses the senses and emotions to process the information and form a memory. Here are some ways in which you can be less absentminded:

- Setting an intention to become more attentive.

- Sitting up front where there are less things to distract you, especially if you have difficulty paying attention in class.

-Taking notes in class to ensure you listen.


Stress will increase the likelihood of being distracted, resulting in low concentration meaning that information may not be encoded accurately – and thus cannot be later retrieved. Stress may also result in mental blanks. For example, if you’re stressed before an exam, you may not be able to think clearly and access and retrieve the information you need. The best thing to do is to take ten deep breaths and calm down to allow your mind to focus.

Learn more at the Brain and Memory unit of Study Skills Handbook.  

What's New @ your College Library in May...and introducing 'Quick Reads'!

Some great new book titles in the library for students and staff this month!

The 'What's New @ your College Library" newsletter for May is now available, with some wonderful titles in fiction, non-fiction, Biographies / Memoirs, Picture Books and Graphic Novels. We also have a new collection in the Library called 'Quick Reads'. These books are approximately 80-120 pages in length, and are formatted to reduce visual stress - perfect for dyslexic or challenged readers. Reluctant readers are also finding them beneficial as they are short, engaging novels with larger fonts. These books can be found in the library fiction shelves with a blue 'Quick Reads' label on the spine. As always, the library staff are here to help any students find the perfect book for them!   

CBCA Author Talk Afternoon

On a lovely Saturday afternoon in April, the Library staff travelled to North Sydney to attend a Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) event. 

Some of the wonderful books purchased at the CBCA event

The CBCA Annual General Meeting was followed by a series of wonderful talks by prominent authors of fiction for children and young adults. The Library staff gained an insight into the current trends and major themes of Young Adult literature, and were able to purchase novels signed by the authors for the College Library. By attending such events, the Library staff remain abreast of changes and developments in the publishing industry and the library profession, in order to continue to provide great support to the College students and staff in their reading endeavours.

The College Library

College Cross Country

On 9 April St Patrick’s held its annual cross-country carnival on the beautiful College grounds. It was a day that saw four seasons in one, with sparkling sunshine one minute and rain and wind the next. This year saw a change in the format of the carnival where the day started with a competitors race and then continued into a day full of activity and fun. Events that took place on the day included tug-of-war, sack races, pool noodle relays, party games, bin ball and a BBQ, just to name a few. This format was decided upon by the College Sports Council who were instrumental in the planning, organising and running of the event. Overall the day was extremely successful and provides a platform to build on for the years to come. A big thank you to all the staff and students for the way you engaged in the day and the enthusiasm and school spirit you displayed.


The results from the competitor’s race were as follows:

12 Years

1st – Siena B (Age Champion)

2nd - Amelia M

3rd - Ashleigh Y

13 Years

1st – Laura Z (Age Champion)

2nd – Bronwyn Z

3rd – Jacqueline C

14 Years

1st – Amy Y (Age Champion)

2nd – Sophia S

3rd – Alyse A

15 Years

1st – Zoe D (Age Champion)

2nd – Ashalea W

3rd – Jessica A

16 Years

1st – Hannah P (Age Champion)

2nd – Piper A

3rd – Emilee O

17 Years

1st – Ruby D (Age Champion / Overall Age Champion)

2nd – Stephanie E

3rd – Ellie F

18 Years

1st – Amelia A

2nd – Andrea M

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Diocesan Soccer

On Friday 3 May, St Patrick’s College competed at the Diocesan Soccer Tournament in Nowra. Although we did not progress to the finals, the girls played amazingly and showed much dedication and team work on the day and the lead up by putting in solid training.

In our first game against St Joseph’s Albion Park we won 4 – 0 with Sianna, Tay and Sophie all scoring goals in the first half and Alannah finishing one in the second half. For this to happen, there was great footwork from Logan, Emily, Lily and Hayley to bring up the ball. We were in high spirits from our first game.

Our next two games were back to back, which wore the team down. All girls had play time on the field, even our goalies Siena and Grace. Against Mt Carmel, Charlotte scored two beautiful goals and Tay with another. Mia and Stevie worked well together at the front and middle with Amy and Jess. We had only one goal scored against us, which was very unlucky.

The third game was straight after and the team was a bit tired, but with great energy from Olivia and Sophie all game. The team hung on and it was 0-0 until the very end when Corpus Christi scored one goal that went over the goalie's head.

Our final game was against St Mary’s and it was tough. The girls hung in there and showed some great passing but unfortunately lost 0-2.

Our MVP was Olivia H who stayed calm and collected in the back and defended so beautifully. Thank you to all the parents, grandparents and family members who came out to support the girls on the windy, cold and wet day. We appreciate your ongoing support. Also thank you to Liam Rixon for driving us to Nowra.

Year 7, 8, 9 team:
Alannah A 7F
Sianna F 7A 
Siena B 7F
Logan L 7F
Amy M 7F 
Stevie F 7D
Hayley C 8A
Grace M 8D
Charlotte T 8A
Mia C 8E
Olivia H 8F
Sophie A 8D
Emily R 8E
Lily M 9C
Tayissa M 9A
Jessica J 9D

Maria Boulatsakos - Coach  

Congratulations Amy, Natalie and Amelia

Well done to Amy, Natalie and Amelia

Amy S, Natalie S, Amelia C

Congratulations to Amy S and Natalie S who recently competed in the Under 17's Australian Netball Championships for NSW. After outstanding individual performances, both girls have been selected in the Australian U17's Team. Unfortunately NSW ended up with the silver medal, behind SA, however to be selected in the Australian team is an outstanding achievement and a great acknowledgement of their ongoing hard work and dedication.

Congratulations to Amelia C on her selection in the NSWCCC Open Hockey Team that will contest the NSW All School Championships later in the year. An excellent achievement for a very dedicated and talented hockey player.

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator

Commemorating Our Nurses - Anzac Day March Campbelltown

During the school holidays, over 60 St Patrick’s College students ranging from Years 7-12 represented the school in the Campbelltown Anzac Day march. School Captain, Stephanie E and Emily W accompanied by Year 7 students Bronwyn Z and Laura Z (who were wearing World War I nursing costumes) presented the wreath on behalf of the students and staff of the College. Aimee C was also given the honour of presenting a wreath with her uncle on behalf of the NSW Police. Mackenzie M and Christabelle A marched with the Air Cadets and Dominique T represented the Army Cadets at the Camden Dawn Service.



Nurses with Elwyn Spencer of the RSL (courtesy Jeff McGill)

St Patrick's History Club’s Anzac theme this year has been to commemorate the role of Australian war nurses. The Club put together a presentation recently at a school assembly about the history of Australian nurses from the Boer War until recent times. The presenters demonstrated the great changes from WWI nurses (who were not allowed to marry and earned less than half of males of equivalent rank) to the present day where males are also nurses (and  women get equal pay and can marry and have a family in the ADF).

Bringing this theme to the Campbelltown Anzac Day march, 10 members of the History Club dressed in war nurse outfits and led the march. We have been working closely with Mr Elwyn Spencer from the Campbelltown RSL sub-branch over the past month who have been very supportive to commemorate the World War I nurses connected with Campbelltown. The RSL kindly lent us an authentic World War II uniform (worn by Emeline L) and a 1970s formal nursing outfit (worn by Chantelle G) during the march. Eight other students Bronwyn Z, Laura Z, Molly Q, Olivia H, Olivia M, Eve M, Tess M and Abbey C all wore Australian World War I nursing outfits kindly made by Mrs Lucette Zapirain. A little helper, 8 year old Alessandra from St Peter’s Primary School, came as a ‘junior nurse’.

Each nurse carried a sign with the name and photo of the nurses from Campbelltown- Eleanor Dagma Gjedsted, Ida Mary Graham, Clarice Elizabeth Green, Sister Elizabeth McRae, Elizabeth Chisholm Thomson and Ruth Allardyce Steel. They also honoured Nurse Haultain from Ingleburn who was killed aboard the Centaur in WW2. These students stood for the whole service behind the flag bearers during the ceremony.

After the service the girls received many lovely comments from the community thanking the girls for honouring our nurses who have not received the recognition they deserve, for example, nurses were omitted from honour rolls. Our local political representatives were particularly impressed and we received a lovely letter acknowledging our College’s efforts from Dr Freelander. Our nurses also featured heavily in the local newspapers.

I wish to thank Mr Bettiol, Mr Nash (especially for photography), Mrs Nash, Ms Iler, Ms Bella, Mrs Samyia, Mrs Roa and Ms Pulham for helping supervise the students at the march. A massive thank you to Mrs Zapirain, for her tireless work and attention to detail on the costumes.

The History Club are putting together a display at the College on Campbelltown's World War I nurses. More information to follow.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher


Commemorative Crosses Reach Belgium

In late 2018, all student and staff members were given the opportunity to write a message of hope and thanks to those who have served in war on a wooden cross from the Australian War Memorial. These crosses were displayed in the Mary Sheil Centre during our centenary of the Armistice ceremony. The wooden crosses were then returned to the AWM in December with the intention they  would be sent overseas to be placed on war graves.

Mr Frank Evers with one of our crosses

To my amazement on Anzac Day, I started to receive emails from Belgium from people who had seen our crosses in Australian War cemeteries. The first email was from Georges George Staes from Belgium who said 'I just want to inform you that the cross for Anzac Day and signed by your pupil Jessica D. has found its place at the grave of Cpl Alexander Winsley Murray at Buttes New British Cemetary at Zonnebeke - Belgium. With kindest regards. Georges Staes'  

These people were so touched to see that students all the way over in Australia cared about these fallen soldiers. Mr Frank Evers (reserve - Major (Cavalry) Dutch Army) wrote to the College with the following message:
On April, 25th, 2019 I attended a special wreath laying ceremony on Tyne Cot Cemetry, the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the World (near Ypres, Belgium). After the ceremony I got a small wooden cross, given to me by an Australian officer, made by one of your students, Abi G.. 

I must say I was very moved by her simple but very strong and powerful text. My friend, with whom I served in the Dutch Army, in the 80's, and I decided to take it with us, to Brandhoek Military Cemetry # 3, near Ypres. 

There Noel Chavasse is buried, a captain who got a Victoria Cross and Bar (so two VC's !) and the Military Cross. You can read his remarkable history on Wikipedia. I want to thank your student Abi from the bottom of my heart, she gave me -without knowing- such a wonderful and very meaningful morning, on ANZAC-day !’

Another email we received was from Mr Julian Carroll, an Australian living in Brussels. He was given the crosses made by Lily M and Amy Y:
‘Yesterday, Anzac Day, I had the honour of placing messages from each of these students on graves of two Australian soldiers buried in Belgium…

I placed the message of Amy on the grave of an unknown Australian soldier buried in the Tyne Cot Cemetery, one of the largest Commonwealth cemeteries in the world with 11,956 graves and the names of an additional 35,000 soldiers with no known grave engraved on the surrounding walls. The ceremony yesterday included wreath laying from representatives of the Australian and New Zealand governments and other related entities and individuals.

I placed the message of Lily on the grave of Private H. A. McNamara who died on 7 June 1917 aged 23. That grave is located in the Toronto Avenue Cemetery which is unique in Flanders Fields as the only all Australian graveyard with just 78 soldiers buried there.

I hope that you are able to pass on this email to the two students. Please tell them and their classmates that the school program which arranges to send these type of messages to war graves in Europe are very much appreciated.’

Mark & Linley Tomasini rang the College after having attended  the Anzac ceremony at Tyne Cot Cemetery to tell us they had seen our crosses there:
‘It was a privilege for my wife & I to be able to be at Tyne Cot Cemetery in Flanders Belgium on ANZAC day for such an important service that pays respect to the many fallen of the First World War and particularly from the battle for Passendaele …It is a wonderful thought by your College to produce the tribute wooden crosses that remember not only our Australian soldiers but all those who paid the ultimate price .’ 

Another Australian,  Jessica A from Forbes on a Rotary Youth Exchange in Belgium wrote the following:

‘Today the Australian Embassy organised for us Australians in Belgium to celebrate ANZAC Day here in Belgium. At the end of the ceremony we were given crosses with writing on them to put on someone’s grave. I was lucky enough to have got one from one of your students at St Patrick’s College. I thought it was awesome! Could you please send a message to Kassandra to say that I received her thankful words.

Thank you, Jessica’

It is so rewarding to know that our students and their commitment to commemorating the generation who gave so much is being felt across the seas.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

College Archives

St Patrick's College archive collection has recently been enriched with generous and significant donations of original school memorabilia from three former students.

These mementos, accompanied with written and oral histories, have contributed greatly to our knowledge of our 180 year history. We will forever be grateful to Mrs Phyllis Callahan (nee Baxter) 1934-1939, Mrs Christine North (nee Matthews) 1946 - 1952 and Mrs Diane Stevens (nee Johnson) circa 1951-1953 .  

Joanne Cavallin - College Archivist


2019 Federal Election Information for Parents

See below some information from Peter Grace, Executive Director from Council of Catholic School Parents.

With just one week until the Federal Election, your parent body might be interested in where the major political parties stand in relation to Catholic school education.

The National Catholic Education Commission (NCEC) put four questions to the Coalition, Labor and the Greens. Their responses can be accessed on the Elections page of the CCSP website. Here, you will also find resources that your parents may find useful in the lead-up to the election, including CCSP Fact Sheets on engaging with candidateshosting a forumFAQs and Catholic school funding.

We also have School Funding Facts and FAQs prepared by NCEC.

Finally, the Archdiocese of Sydney has released a Federal Election Guide with  detailed responses from the Greens, the Liberal/National Coalition, the Australian Labor Party, the Australian Conservatives and One Nation to help Catholic voters make a more informed choice when voting in the election. It can be accessed via the link in the media release and is also in this week’s print edition of The Catholic Weekly.

Using your School Opal Card

Tap on and tap off every time!

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

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