Volume 33 Issue 18 - 26 November 2021

Message from the Principal

Dear Parents and Friends of St Patrick’s College

Sue Lennox - Principal

Over the next two weeks we will see the Year 12 girls complete the HSC and join with them and their families in the celebrations that mark the end of 13 years of school education. We are very grateful that we can gather to participate in these events, given the restrictions and risks of the last few years. Please keep the Year 12 girls and their families in your prayers during this time. It might be hard to believe but in a short time, you and your daughter will also be celebrating her graduation from the College.

Earlier this year you would recall the College conducted a survey called Tell Them From Me. In this survey, we collected feedback from girls, parents and staff on the experience of the girls in their classes, their lessons and their social groups. We have collated that data and engaged an early career researcher from University of Wollongong to assist with the data analysis and the projects going forward. You will receive further information about this in the next weeks, as well as a brief audio which will accompany it. 2022 will be an exciting year as we put into action the key projects that have come out of the needs as identified by our community. St Pat’s is a great school and we will continue to build on our services in 2022 so that each girl can grow and achieve her true potential.

Sadly, Mr Nathan East will be finishing at the College at the end of the year. He has accepted a leadership position in another school, which will begin in 2022.  I would like to thank him for so capably leading the HSIE KLA for the past years. He has been creative and passionate about providing engaging and dynamic experiences for the girls in HSIE. Mr Duncan will also be finishing at the end of the year as he has accepted a lecturing position at ACU from 2022. This is a wonderful achievement for Mr Duncan and we thank him for his contributions and work over his years at the College as the Aboriginal Liaison person, assistant to debating and, more recently, acting Year Coordinator. We wish both staff the very best for their future.

Next week we will be hosting a meeting with our Board Directors and Company Members. We are very fortunate to have the support of such professional and talented experts in our Board, committees and members. They give their time and expertise voluntarily as they are committed to ensuring the College provides the best for the girls in Macarthur.  Their contributions to the growth and sustainability of our College community are invaluable. I am very grateful for their wisdom. In particular we extend our thanks to Sr Elizabeth Delaney, Chair of Members and Ms Anne-Maree Creenaune, Chair of our Board.

Finally, we will host our end of Year Mass and Awards/Assembly on Friday 10 December. The day will finish at 12pm when girls can be collected or make their way home.  The Mass will begin at 9am and the Awards/Assembly will begin at 10.30 am. Unfortunately, parents will not be able to attend on site due to regulations and girls will be in their homeroom watching the events through Vivi. Only award recipients, one year at a time, will be able to be present in the MSC.   Both events will be live stremed to the community. A link will be sent to parents to access the live stream, early in the final week. A letter outlining this has been sent to parents.

Once again, the blooms of the jacaranda tree marks the season of Advent. This is a time for us to prepare for the coming of Christ. I will leave you seven statements that you can use to herald each day leading up to Christmas:

                “Come, O wisdom from above”

                “Come, O Sacred One of Israel”

                “Come, O flower of Jesse’s stem

                “Come, O Key of David”

                “Come, O Radiant Dawn”

                “Come, O God of all the earth”

                “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”

                                                                      Joan Chittester, A Monastery Almanac. 2010



Sue Lennox - Principal


Advent: A Season of Hope & Compassion

Advent means waiting or coming and the liturgical colour for Advent is violet, a royal purple that symbolises the Kingdom of God. Advent then is a period of waiting, of spiritual anticipation, preparation and longing for the coming of Christ and the Kingdom of God.  In this sense, Advent is a season of hope, faith, joy and peace, reflected in the lighting of the three purple and one pink candle in the Advent Wreath. These candles are lit on each of the four Sundays of Advent commencing this year on 28 November.

With Advent in 2021 occurring during a time of a continuing pandemic, Pope Francis recently reminded us of the need for this season to be a time of hope and compassion. He said of Advent, “its lights will be dimmed by the consequences of the pandemic, which still weighs heavily on our time. All the more reason why we are called to question ourselves and not to lose hope. The feast of the birth of Christ is not out of tune with the trial we are going through because it is the quintessential feast of compassion, the feast of tenderness. Its beauty is humble and full of human warmth. The beauty of Christmas shines through in the sharing of small gestures of genuine love. It is not alienating, it is not superficial, it is not evasive, it expands the heart, opening it up to gratuitousness, to the giving of self.”

Despite what we and the rest of the world are experiencing this year, may Advent be a time for us to reflect on a better time to come and what we can do as individuals to give of ourselves and share small gestures of love.

Louise East - Religious Studies Coordinator

“Never see a need without doing something about it.” St Mary of the Cross Mackillop

With this year’s extended lockdown and the continuing restrictions placed on the operating of schools, it has been a challenge to offer our usual outreach to our local communities. Thankfully we have been able to carry on our Term 4 tradition of donating items to create Christmas Hampers in support of the Campbelltown Chapter of the St Vincent de Paul Society. On 13 December the hampers will be distributed to families in our local area and they will be delivered with the assistance of St Pat’s girls who volunteer for the task.

Limited by ongoing restrictions, we have sought other ways to reach out to those in need in our local communities which do not involve direct contact. For example, the Year 10 Community Service groups have this term created Christmas cards which will be distributed to the residents of Carrington Aged Care facility in Grasmere. Carrington is one of the Community Service sites that the Year 10 girls have been attending over the past seven years and it has been difficult during the past two years to be restricted from entering their facility. A typical message on the Christmas cards is:

Greetings from the St Patrick’s College community!

We wish you a very happy Christmas.

We have missed seeing you but we hope that we can start our

Community Service again in the New Year.

We  hope and pray that 2022 is a good year for everyone.

Best wishes from the St Pat’s community.


Similarly, the Nagle Centre has requested that St Pat’s supplies 120 drawstring bags filled with toiletries for distribution to the homeless in our local area. Year 10 girls are to be dearly thanked for their generosity in not only decorating the bags but for also donating the items to fill the bags. Nagle Centre is another of the Community Service venues the Year 10 girls have not been able to attend due to the pandemic. However, the St Pat’s community has found alternative ways to reach out to those needing some help from us. We are proud of our St Pat’s girls who give generously in whatever manner they can, especially in difficult times.

Angelo Gattone - Mission Coordinator

いらっしゃいませ! Welcome to a Japanese Shop!

Year 9 Japanese Elective students spent last week creating and presenting a Japanese shop.

As part of the Fashion, Trends, Food and Culture unit students have been studying, students were asked to create a shop and, as shop attendants, present this shop with real customers. Shops ranged from general food stores, manga shop, a bakery, cafes and clothing stores. Students spent Friday lunchtime welcoming in their customers and exchanging goods and pretend money. This was a great opportunity for students to use the language they had been learning in class in a fun situation. Well done girls!

Julian Nash - LOTE Coordinator

Talented Poets of St Pat's

Writing can be such a cathartic way to process our emotions and the world around us, something that has never been more important than in 2021. Here at St Patrick’s, we are very lucky to have a number of talented writers who have entered various competitions throughout the year.

Our most recent success stories come from the Fisher’s Ghost Writing Competition in which Lyna L from Year 10 was awarded Highly Commended for her poem ‘Before I Fall’. A deep poem exploring the intense emotions one can feel in this challenging world. We also had our very own Ms Marguerite Pulham (English Teacher) win the adult category for her thought-provoking poem entitled ‘Palimpsest’. It explores the changing landscape of our local area and the sacred land on which we live. A huge congratulations to both of these gifted poets!

Ann Treanor - English Coordinator

Science Enrichment: Visit from ICU Nurse Manager

Year 9 students have recently finished a unit in Science looking at Disease. 

Last week a group of these students, along with some Year 10 students wishing to pursue a career in medicine, was given the opportunity to listen to and interview Michelle Dowd, a past student of the College. Michelle is now the Intensive Care Unit Nurse Manager at Liverpool Hospital. 

 Kiara M and Bianca J have written about the experience.

Michelle Dowd is the ICU Nurse Manager for Liverpool Hospital and during the COVID-19 pandemic, she had to do one of the hardest jobs possible. The amount of physical and mental strain Michelle had to endure, she never once gave up or said that it was too hard. Sometimes, she would be on the phone for hours at a time talking to the families of the patients in the ICU who had COVID 19. When Michelle spoke with us, she admitted that one of the most challenging parts of her job during the pandemic was saying to families that they can’t come to the hospital to visit their loved ones. This was really hard on her and the families. Yet she never gave in. She continued to be fearless and never let anything get her down. Michelle Dowd is a heroic woman who wasn’t afraid to admit that throughout the pandemic, she struggled. Yet, everyday she got up and went to work. She got up to help the people who couldn’t help themselves and she did an amazing job. Michelle told us about how her nurses never gave up and how strong they all were, as well as how proud she is of them. All of the workers in the health system, during the COVID-19 pandemic, are amazing and continue to be amazing, dedicated, courageous and resilient people, workers, friends and family. 

The experience that we had whilst talking to Michelle Dowd was exceptionally inspirational. As students, spanning from Year 9 through to Year 12,  all of the girls involved in the visit from Michelle, gained both her personal and professional perspectives of life as a nurse during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the challenges that an ICU Nurse may have to encounter. These challenges were overcome through the use of communication, by her team, the families of the patients and the patients themselves. 

We thank Michelle for coming to St Patrick's College and sharing her experiences with us girls. She showed us how important it is to never give up on what you are passionate about. Michelle is an inspirational woman and is one of the many healthcare workers that should be commended for her work within the community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kate Lefever - Science Coordinator

Plant Biology with Year 8 Science

This term, Year 8 Science is studying plant biology.

In one part of the plant biology topic, we looked at flowers and their parts. Flowers are the part of the plant used for reproduction. During the practical lesson, we had to identify the male and female reproductive organs of the plants.

Beautiful book work by Zara-Jane and Emmalynn

Science 8.6 looked at three different types of Australian native plants. We used dissecting equipment and the students had to make sure that they were responsible with the instruments and stayed safe. We dissected Callistemons, Grevilleas, and Eucalyptus flowers.

During the practical, we had to dissect out the stem, petal, sepal, anther, filament, stamen, stigma, style and the plant ovary. Each part was placed onto a worksheet that allowed us to make comparisons between the different flower types.

There was a lot of variation between the parts of the flowers. Most of them were of different colours and sizes. The students were also told to make notes on their work and our class (and teacher) loves neat bookwork.

Overall this practical was fun and the students enjoyed pulling apart the sections of a flower and identifying them.

Written by Miabella M and Lauren G. Photography by Miabella M. (for 8.6 Science).

Debra Bourne - Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching

CAPA Community Initiative - THE POST-IT NOTE SHOW

Community participation in the Post-it Note Show is going fantastically. Over the last couple of weeks, entries have doubled and we now have over 450 post-it note artworks exhibited on our Online Gallery and even more submitted! Our new Year 7's for 2022 who have just had their orientation, have also been invited to participate and their entries have started to come in also. 

Growing Onsite Library Window Exhibition

We are pleased to be able to show you our growing exhibition in the College Library windows as well as the huge displays and close-up images of the entries on our website that is constantly being updated. We would love to get any last entries from our students, staff and families this week so we can wrap up the final exhibition and run our competition to find our category winners. Please head to our Post-it Note Show Website to view the new entries and find out more information about voting for your favourites. Everyone is invited to cast their vote. 

Tarna Tannous - Acting CAPA Coordinator

Diocesan Sports Award Winners

On Friday 12 November, the 24th Annual CDF Diocesan Sports Awards were held virtually and St Patricks was proudly represented by six students recieving awards. The presentation premiered to a large audience who watched on from the comfort of their own homes. It was a fitting end to a busy sporting year and a positive advertisement for the opportunities available for both students and teachers. 

The awards highlighted the achievements of over 190 talented students who have proudly represented the Diocese of Wollongong at NSW Combined Catholic College events.

This year’s virtual event, proudly sponsored by the Catholic Development Fund, attracted over 550 viewings and provided the opportunity for parents and carers to share the event with their broader families. 

The evening featured recorded interviews with Kieran Woolley who attended Corpus Christi Catholic College – skateboarding and Blake Govers who attended St Josephs Catholic College– hockey who recalled some of their Tokyo experiences–the exhilaration and challenge of their Olympic competition–while also providing advice for current student athletes. 

It was a fantastic presentation and I would like to acknowledge the following students on receiving RED medallions for gaining selection in a NSWCCC team.

Chloe C - Year 7 (NSWCCC Cross Country)

Olivia K - Year 7 (NSWCCC Swimming)

Georgia O - Year 8 (NSWCCC Hockey)

Abbie H - Year 11 (NSWCCC Hockey)

I would also like to acknowledge the following students on receiving BLUE medallions for gaining selection in NSW All School teams

Piper A (NSWCCC & NSW All Schools Basketball)

Hannah P (NSWCCC & NSW All Schools Swimming)

Hannah also recived the extra honour of being recognised as the Wollongong Diocese Para Athlete of the Year which was thoroughly deserved after a sensational year in the pool. 

Scott Ashcroft - Sports and Activities Coordinator


Wellbeing has never been more important than right now. After COVID-19 with its lockdowns, isolations, mask-wearing, remote learning and loss of the physical connections with our family and friends, looking after ourselves and those dear to us is paramount.

Study Skills Handbook on Library page

On the College Dashboard in the Library tab, there is the heading ‘Study Skills Handbook’. This opens The Study Samurai Library; a world of courses and modules aimed at helping you develop good study practices and a healthy sense of wellbeing.

Inside Module 5: Wellbeing, you will find 15 topics: each containing information, videos and quizzes aimed at creating and maintaining peak wellness. Lifestyle factors, creating positive habits, stress and anxiety relief, mindfulness and meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation are but a few of the topics covered.

We encourage you to explore the Study Samurai, and suggest starting with the Wellness module. After all, our body is our temple and a healthy mind means a healthy body.

The College Library

It's time to return your 2021 Library books!

Library books are now due for return!

Library returns chute

A quick but important message from the College Library -  all Library books are now due for return. The exceptions to this include textbooks that are still being used in class, or books borrowed by students in the last week. Students should contact their class teacher if they are unsure if their textbooks are still required. Overdue books not returned will incur a replacement fee, so we encourage students to contact the Library if they have any concerns or questions. 

Students can return their library items in the chute located outside the Library.

The College Library

Makerspace is coming to you

While we’ve been unable to host our Clubs in the Library this term, we’re excited to bring our Makerspace Club out to the playground, with some fun, holiday-themed activities in Weeks 8 and 9.

Ceramic Art

Students in Years 7 – 10 are encouraged to get involved on the following days:






Outside Westview



Shelter Shed






Outside C01

Activities include:

  • ceramic art (materials supplied)
  • t-shirt tote bags (bring your own t-shirt)
  • post-it note art (materials supplied)

To sign up to Makerspace in Weeks 8 and 9 please complete the google forms below:

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Year 10

We hope to see you there.

The College Library

Bound Together Holiday Reading Program – Christmas 2021

The Library’s Bound Together holiday reading program is back, just in time for Christmas.


The program is designed to promote reading engagement by asking students and their parents/caregivers to read the same book at the same time, then discussing what is happening and what might happen. We have chosen some absolute page-turners to encourage you and your daughter to enjoy a book together.

Parents/caregivers of students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will have received an email inviting you to take part in the program over the December / January school holidays. To sign up, all you need to do is email Mrs Shayne Denford, at sdenford@saintpatricks.nsw.edu.au, nominating a first and second preference book from the presentation you received, that you would like to read along with your daughter. We will then loan you two copies of the book and provide you with some discussion questions.

We hope you will enjoy sharing this reading experience with your daughter over the holidays.

The College Library

*** Only 4 Weeks Until Christmas - SPECIAL OFFER ***

Our friends at Grove Estate have a special offer for the St Patrick's College Community.

You can purchase a mixed case (12 bottles) comprising of Rosé, Semillon Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon for only $220. 

*Funds raised will go towards the Scholarship Program

Grab yourself, your family or friends, a mixed case of Grove Estates Award Winning wines!

Simply go to www.groveestate.com.au/shop/fundraise/ and enter STPATS in the ‘Apply Coupon’ section at the cart.

Feel free to share this special offer with your friends, family and neighbours.

The more cases sold, the more St Patrick’s Scholarship Program will raise*.