Volume 32 Issue 11 - 29 May 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

From next Monday all students will be back at the College. We look forward to this and hope the girls enjoy their return to onsite learning. As we return to a normal program at the College, the Inside Out will resume to fortnightly editions.

You will have heard in the media that a few schools have closed recently as a result of a positive diagnosis of someone in their community. All the safety measures in place in a school will not be able to negate all risk of this happening. At St Patrick's we have a number of safety measures in place as outlined in previous correspondence that align with the recommendations of AHPPC. Should we find ourselves in such a situation, we will communicate with you immediately. You will have the option of collecting your daughter from the College or use the transport that we are able to organise to get your daughter home safely. We will inform you of what the College is doing to clean the site and when it is safe for the girls to return. In conjunction with the Department of Health, we will contact trace those people who may have been exposed and will need to self-isolate. For those girls who need to self-isolate, work will be in their Course Canvas pages, so they can continue with their study. More detailed protocols will be on the Remote Learning site by the end of next week. My preference is not to outline these procedures to you at this point, however, it is our belief that it is best that you have some insight of what will be done should we be in that situation. You can be reassured that all will be done to maintain the safety of the girls and keep you informed.

We have a number of whole school events coming up that will test our capacity to be creative and innovative. We consider these events very important and worthwhile which is why we have refashioned them to fit in and meet our current regulations. I hope you will be able to join us for the Restart 2020 Liturgy, parent/teacher/student day or the Year 11 2021 subject preferences evening.

Tuesday 26 May was Sorry Day. The following day begins the nationally recognised Reconciliation Week finishing on 3 June, which is the day of the Mabo High Court decision.  The theme for the week this year is  ‘In this Together’. It really resonates now as our country faces the biggest crisis since it was in war. Twenty years ago, over 20,000 people marched across the Harbour Bridge in support of reconciliation. On that day, Mrs Louise Ibbett lead a group of girls from the College walking behind the College banner. I am not sure there has been as much achieved since then, as was hoped on that day. When we hear that vulnerable people in our community are those aged 70 years old and over, except for Aboriginal people aged 50 years old and over, it is a strong argument that the inequities and disadvantage continue to prevail for Aboriginal people. It is my hope that we, as a College and a nation, continue to work for reconciliation to eradicate disadvantage. I will leave you with a prayer from the Wontulp B-Buya Indigenous Theology Group on Reconciliation.


Sue Lennox - Principal 

Reconciliation Prayer

Holy Father, God of Love,
You are the Creator of all things.

We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history and the sufferings of Our peoples,
and we ask your forgiveness.
We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures

Our hope is in you because you gave your Son Jesus to reconcile the world to you.
We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another,
as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son.

Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better future for our Nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly the resources of this land.
Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to
improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities,
especially the disadvantaged.
Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.

May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families,
our communities and our Nation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group 13 March 1997 Brisbane, Qld).


National Sorry Day and National Sorry Week

National Sorry Day occurs annually on 26 May and National Reconciliation Week is a national campaign held each year from 27 May to 3 June to celebrate and build on respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous peoples.

Our Sorry Day Prayer service was led by senior students. (L to R) Emily, Stephanie, Mackenzie, Janaya, Bindi, Natalie, Breanna

Many adults may know the expression, “Sorry is as sorry does”. Each year, 26 May is designated as National Sorry Day and, as a College community, we started the day with a prayerful reflection. During the prayer it was noted that on 13 February 2008, the Australian people heard broadcast from the Australian National Parliament the historic words of the Apology to the Stolen Generations. Reflecting on the past (and present) mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, then Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, said, “The time has now come for the nation to turn a new page in Australia's history by righting the wrongs of the past and so moving forward with confidence to the future.” They were brave words arising from a genuine desire for Australia to become a better nation. 

However, “sorry is as sorry does” and it is with regret that the hope-filled words of the Apology have not yet been transformed into meaningful action so as to make a substantial difference to the quality of life for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders. It is the challenge presented to all of us on each Sorry Day—the challenge to make things far better for Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders.

Our St Patrick’s Christian community formed in the Benedictine tradition and “established as a school for the service of the Lord” (Prologue to The Rule of St Benedict), is called to be “a light to the world” (words from the College Prayer) and to seek justice wherever there is injustice. Our first response to an event such as Sorry Day is to be aware. This is the first stage in the Catholic approach to social justice: the See, Judge, Act model. We need to firstly “see” a problem; to acknowledge what is happening to others; to face reality. Once we acknowledge the truth, our next challenge is to make appropriate judgements as to what we are called to be and do in the reality we face. In another way of putting this, judging is the process of determining what actions are necessary for the injustice to stop. Once we have decided on such actions, it is incumbent on us to follow through with enthusiasm the  solutions.

Regrettably, it seems that we as a nation still have a long way to go in the process of full reconciliation as we have heard the news, during this very Sorry Week, that an extremely profitable mining company was legally able to destroy the Juukan Gorge 1 and 2 Aboriginal rock shelters dating back 46,000 years. These sites had deep historical and cultural significance. While ever our nation keeps putting profit as our top priority, we will continue to erode the dignity of people as well as disrespecting the planet that gives us life.

Let us implore our God, that following the example of Jesus, we will “love one another” as we have been loved by a God who nurtures us and who cares for each individual who enters into personal relationship with the God who saves. May we keep striving for a better world for all.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

Being Brave

I recently read an article that was titled “Helping Young Girls Find Their Voice While Developing Friendships” and one particular quote that stood out to me was that “girls no longer have time to partake in girlhood on their own”. I was intrigued by this and so read on to see what was meant by this. It was in regard to the fact that our girls today live in such a structured and sometimes overly controlled world that they feel anxious and uncertain about how to behave and react to some of what we would consider the basic social challenges of life.

It went on to talk about the role of parents in all of this as it is often the parents who are responsible for the scheduling and the structure for their children. And so I then started to think about this in terms of the impact of the pandemic – for now the girls are not as busy, they have very few commitments and they have had the opportunity to take a breath and enjoy just ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’.

So what can we learn from this? How can we change so that we just don’t return to what it was? In speaking with the girls they have enjoyed the time they got to spend with their families, they enjoyed the time they got to do different things, they enjoyed the fact that they got to schedule their own time and most of all they enjoyed more sleep and for many the slower pace of the day.

Whilst I am not saying we don’t go back to the sport, the dancing and the part time work, what I am saying is how can we manage this as a ‘new or different’ way that still works for you and your daughters? Pre-pandemic we all lived very busy lives, constantly trying to multitask, and in terms of the girls, always trying to meet the demands of school, family, work, sport – to name a few. We often had a ‘disconnection’ because of this and add in technology and the pressure really starts to build.

So I am sorry to say I don’t have all the answers but I do believe it is something we seriously need to think about – don’t lose sight of what has been good, but rather add this to the mix to create a new normal for your daughter. After all, as the article concludes “we become stronger by facing challenges and overcoming them”. We learned by doing and so will our children. So, in the face of probably the biggest challenge your daughter has seen, let her BEBRAVE, let her make her choices and encourage her to learn from this time and take away from it a positive experience to build on.

Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students

Introduction of a College Scarf for Winter

The College has introduced a new uniform item for 2020 – the College Scarf.

The scarf, which is navy, is available from the Uniform Shop at a cost of $11.

It is a soft material, polar fleece, and is warm and comfortable to wear.

As this is new, we will be phasing it in for this year and then in 2021, it will be the only scarf that a student can wear with their winter uniform.

Karen Wright - Assistant Principal Students

Historical Fiction Prize for Years 7 to 10

Historical Fiction Prize for Years 7 to 10 (Sydney Living Museums) – Closing date 4 September.

Sydney Living Museums have launched an online photographic exhibition titled ‘A Thousand Words’ featuring 100 photographic images (between the 1880s to the 1980s) from its own collection and the State Archives and Records Authority of NSW see https://atwonline.com.au/.

As part of the exhibition, a writing competition for students between Years 7 to 10 has been developed where students choose one image from the collection and write a story inspired about it between 750-1000 words.

From the website:

The Judges are looking for:

  • An interesting original story inspired by an image from the A Thousand Words exhibition.
  • A story with links to a historical period or event relating to the chosen image.
  • An accurate depiction of the relevant historical setting, including language, landscape, dress, names, dates, technology and other possible elements.
  • Effective and accurate use of historical knowledge and vocabulary in the plot, story context and character dialogue.
  • Effective use of English language to communicate a range of ideas, language forms and features, including appropriate pitch, pace and structure for the story, descriptive language, dialogue and punctuation.

There are two major prizes:

Stage 4 category (Years 7-8)

  • One winner will receive $250 and a 12-month Sydney Living Museums Member Plus One membership (valued at $145)
  • One runner-up will receive $100

Stage 5 category (Years 9-10)

  • One winner will receive $250 and a 12-month Sydney Living Museums Member Plus One membership (valued at $145)
  • One runner-up will receive $100

Entries close on 4 September and more information can be found from the competition website: https://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/writingcomp

For further assistance, please see Mr East or myself.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher


Simpson Prize - Years 9 and 10

Simpson Prize - Years 9 and 10 - Closing date 6 November.

The Simpson Prize is a national competition for Years 9 and 10 students. The competition encourages participants to explore the significance of the Anzac experience and what it has meant for Australia.  Eight winners are chosen from each State and Territory with the opportunity to visit overseas battlefields and participate in Anzac Day commemorations. 

Students write an essay using sources provided and their own primary sources to answer the following question:

“How do lesser known stories from the Western Front expand our understanding of the Australian experience of the First World War?”

Submit your entry by post to reach Canberra by Friday 6 November 2020

Please refer to the website http://www.simpsonprize.org/

For further assistance, please see Mr East or myself.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

National History Challenge - Years 7 to 12

National History Challenge – Years 7 to 12 – Closing Date 28 August

The theme of this year’s National History Challenge is ‘Contested Histories’. This competition is open to all years and can be either an individual or a group entry. Students have the opportunity to research any historical event/personality/debate that is ‘contested’ and present in a variety of platforms from videos, 3D models to essays. The closing date is 28 August and the winners receive medallions and prize money. There is also an opportunity to receive a ‘Young Historian’ trophy which is presented in Canberra (travel and accommodation provided). Please see the website for further details http://historychallenge.org.au/

For further assistance, please see Mr East or myself.

Fran Musico Rullo - HSIE Teacher

Important Dates

What's on ... 

Image courtesy of Joshua Combes - CAPA Coordinator

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