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MAY 2015

HSC SUCCESS College ranks 59th in NSW – Top Catholic School in the Hills District

MYBENNIES Launch of Year 7 Integrated Program

NEW COLLEGE HAT Smart Addition to the College Uniform

Principal’s Message At the end of last year I had the opportunity to travel with a small group of students and staff to the Philippines. Visiting Manila, Bacolod and the Subic Bay area we were able to see firsthand some of the work being done by different agencies to address issues such as homelessness, extreme poverty, trafficking of children and lack of education. A highlight was the visit with the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in Bacolod, where the Sisters run a Kinder School for children aged 5 to 7 years, a feeding program for people living in urban slums and a centre to educate and train women in cooking, parenting and other important skills. The work of the Sisters in various parts of the world is always inspirational – to see the difference their ministries make in the lives of people, truly gives us reason for hope. I hope you enjoy reading about the Philippines experience. Our year began once again with some refurbished spaces and five new demountable classrooms which will provide us with the space to proceed with our proposed Master Plan over the next five to ten years. The next stage of the Master Plan should include new purpose-built Creative and Performing Arts spaces and a performance space with retractable tiered seating. All these improvements and those of recent years help to create pleasant learning spaces for students, which allow them to engage in developing the skills they need to make their way in the 21st century. It was clear from the HSC results gained by the Class of 2014, and the various tertiary pathways they are pursuing, that our

girls take advantage of the opportunities for learning which are offered to them. We are immensely proud of their efforts and achievements. They certainly maintained the fine record of consistency and excellence established in recent years. Our biennial musical production this year is Hairspray. The cast has been rehearsing since last year and as always we are looking forward to the production in June. I am always inspired by the talents of the girls (and the staff) and their willingness to get involved and share their gifts with the whole community. MSBESA continues to develop the connections between exstudents and current students. We are very grateful for their various contributions – through the Sr Hyacinth Scholarship, gifts to our graduating class, the mentoring program which is in its early days and the annual Beyond Bennies, which gives our current students the opportunity to hear the different life journeys of ex-students. This year, in a change from recent years, the entire school population was able to hear our speakers during a full College Assembly. We are blessed to have a very supportive parent community who work with us to enhance our students’ experience of school. Both through community building and financial assistance with amenities, the efforts of the parents help us to ensure that the entire community works together to give our girls the best experience possible. Throughout the pages of this edition you will find stories which tell of the passion and enthusiasm of both our staff and students. I hope you enjoy sharing the successes, celebrations, activities and learning which have taken place over the past few months. I hope you will find inspiration, as I do, as you turn the pages and see the ways in which our community develops through the involvement of all our members.

Children at th e Good S Bacolod Kinder amaritan School

Maria Pearson Principal

ex-students: MSB Teachers and MSB ise Hillier (nee Den Christina He (nee Liu) and BESA meeting. MS ent rec Schiemer) attended the

Above: Nicole Wheeler, Catherine Bray, Angela Tan and Debbie Eddington were some of the ex-student representatives at the MSB Open Day MSBESA display.

nt acon, ex-stude Annaleen Ch ay D n pe O on representative

From the

MSBESA President

Catherine Bray

Ex-students were warmly invited to attend the Mount St Benedict Ex Students Association’s (MSBESA) annual ‘Beyond Bennies’ event which was held as part of a full College Assembly on 29 April in the College Hall. This change of format is compatible with our aim to expand the reach of our activities within the school. We believe it will enable all students to hear the journeys and inspirational words of wisdom from ex-students. This year our guests were from the class of 1985. As the Assembly also commemorated Anzac Day it was appropriate that one of our speakers, Megan Turner (nee Mullins) served with the RAAF for many years in various roles and locations both within Australia and overseas. Jane Huxley, the Managing Director of Pandora Internet Radio and formerly the chief executive of Fairfax Digital, also spoke. The Association participated in the College Open Day. It was lovely to see so many ex- students planning for their daughters to attend their Alma Mater. Currently there are 70 ex-students with daughters in the College. Hence the tradition of the Mother Daughter photograph continues and will be held at 8:30am on Thursday 11 June on the oval. In order to assist the students with career information and selection, the Association is launching a program connecting students in Years 10 to 12 with ex-students. Students will be

referred through the College Careers Department. If you are interested in sharing your career experience please register via Bennies Connect: I would like to acknowledge the generousity of the Association Members who form the 2014/2015 Committee: Melissa Woolnough (Vice President), Nicole Wheeler (Secretary), Angela Tan (Treasurer), Margie Drake, Debbie Eddington, Karen Maher and Vicki McClure. Also in keeping with our vision of ensuring the Association is making a relevant contribution to the school, exstudents Christina He and Denise Hillier who are current teachers at the College have joined the Committee. We thank them for their commitment and insights. If you are an ex-student but not a member of the Association please consider becoming a member via the Alumni website

Catherine Bray (Anderton 1977) President

May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 3

Top Catholic school in the Hills District Fourth best performing Catholic girls school in NSW Sixth best performing Catholic school in NSW Ranked 59th school overall in NSW

HSC results to be proud of

at Mount St Benedict College

The Class of 2014 continued the record of outstanding HSC results at Mount St Benedict College. The girls returned to celebrate their success at the Academic Assembly in February. Teachers and fellow students warmly welcomed them back to recognise and honour their achievements.

ker, Jessica ders (L to R) Chloe Sa MSB HSC All Roun an and Zaira Rocchi Smith, Emma Haym 4 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

Class of 2014:

The Class of 2014 were accepted into an impressive array of tertiary courses with a number of girls pursuing studies in the psychology, law, business, science, health science, communication, education, engineering and design fields.

The College was ranked as the top Catholic school in the Hills District, the fourth highest performing Catholic girls’ school in NSW, sixth best performing of all Catholic schools in NSW and overall 59th best performing school in NSW. Mr John Muskovits, Dean of Curriculum opened the Academic Assembly focusing the gathered MSB community on the gift of learning and standing in solidarity with young women around the world, many of whom do not have the basic right to an education. College Principal, Mrs Maria Pearson shared her great pride not only for the outstanding HSC results but also for the different stories and journeys to success for the Class of 2014. “I want to assure you that today is about much more than your ATAR. We celebrate the fact that you grasped the opportunities for learning presented to you during your years at the College, the fact that you took the advice of your teachers and collaborated with friends and others to maximise your learning, the fact that you overcame challenges and bounced back from disappointments, the fact that you worked to improve your performances in assessment tasks and learned from your mistakes… Whatever their story, one thing is true for each of the girls we recognise – all of them engaged actively in their studies, in their lessons, with their teachers and with each other. None of these girls was a passive observer. Success is not achieved by sitting back and letting others get involved. In all aspects of life – whether that be social, sporting, in ministry to others, and equally in academic pursuits - success comes through grappling with the issues, taking risks and learning from them, struggling to improve and overcome your own personal challenges.”

Chloe’s address as College Dux was warmly welcomed by the College community. She spoke of the importance of support systems at home and at school, the unwavering commitment and wisdom of the MSB teaching staff and seizing opportunities at each year level. In total 59 students achieved 131 mentions on the Distinguished Achievers List, acknowledging those students who received a Band 6 or E4 (Extension Course). Kirsty Smith was selected and Ellen Schiffler was nominated, for ArtExpress, which showcases a selection of outstanding student artworks developed for the HSC examination in Visual Arts. Keira McEntee was nominated for Callback, showcasing the best of HSC Dance examination performances. The Class of 2014 were accepted into an impressive array of tertiary courses with a number of girls pursuing studies in the psychology, law, business, science, health science, communication, education, engineering and design fields. 90% of the Class of 2014 were offered a place at university, whilst others opted to undertake vocational courses at private colleges and TAFE.

College Dux, Chloe Saker pictured with Mrs Maria Pearson and Mr John Muskovits

Four students were named on the All Rounders List, recognising achievement of a Band 6 (or its equivalent) in ten HSC units (including English). The girls were Chloe Saker, Jessica Smith Emma Hayman and Zaira Rocchi. Chloe Saker was named in the Top Achievers List for Ancient History, achieving seventh place in the State. Chloe also achieved the highest ATAR at the College of 99.55.

36% received an ATAR over 90


achieved an ATAR of 80 or more

89% achieved over 70 or more

May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 5

New Year 7 Integrated Course In 2015 a new learning program MYBennies has been launched as part of the MYBennies Innovation Project.

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Nine specialist teachers are working together from Religious Education, English, PDHPE, TAS, Geography, History and Drama to deliver the program to Year 7 students which will foster their creativity and problem solving; communication; critical thinking; information and media literacy; global citizenship; collaboration and teamwork; and independence in learning. The Year 7 students are grouped in classes of between 21 - 23 and have the opportunity to work with students from outside their base class. The students will complete three units throughout the year: 1. What’s behind the red brick wall? 2. Going Global – Window to the World 3. MYBennies Choice Project In the first few weeks of Year 7, MYBennies orientation activities were completed focusing on the girls’ individual strengths, strengths they have as a class group, aspects of effective team work, experiences from primary school, discovering the type of learner each girl is and what it means to be an independent learner. The girls also discussed a time when they were engaged in their learning in primary school and how it made them feel, and reflected on what their parents had answered to the same question late last year. In the first week of school the girls undertook a walking tour of the College and were invited to co-create their learning spaces and the courtesy cues the teachers and students will use in the lessons. The girls really enjoyed the first few weeks of activities as they were an opportunity to get to know each other, the MYBennies teachers and to have some input into what happens in the classroom. The first unit: ‘What’s behind the red brick wall?’ is exploring the themes of the physical environment of the College, support structures within and external to the College, Benedictine traditions and Good Samaritan heritage, personal identity, history of the College, House involvement in community and College culture. The MYBennies Year 7 learning program has been developed with consideration of the four design principles of engaged learning; integrated, co-created, personal and connected as part of the College’s involvement in AITSL’s Learning Frontiers project. We look forward to sharing the MYBennies activities as they happen on the College’s social media pages (Twitter and Facebook) and you can also learn more about the College’s involvement in Learning Frontiers at

6 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

Walking Tour visit to the College Chapel

Walking Tour visit to the Blue Gum Forest

Walking Tour complete - time for an iceblock!

Independent learning in open space

MY individual strengths activity

Year 7 discussing engagement in pairs

Our first day

Teamwork in action

Reflecting on parents enagagement comments

Year 7 first day

What does engagement mean to me? May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 7

Changing the conversation about asylum seekers

Mount St Benedict College believes it is important for it’s students to be actively engaged with social justice issues. The issue of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia has been gathering momentum at the College over the past few years in a wide range of areas. A number of ground-breaking projects within the College and externally are striving to change the conversation that the College community, and indeed the nation has about refugees and asylum seekers.

The Junior Social Justice Forum hosted by the Year 10 Community Problem Solving Team

‘Free a child’ Catholic Mission Campaign In 2014, members of the College Choir performed at the launch of the Catholic Mission Campaign at the Queen Victoria Building to seek changes to the policies that lead to children being detained in immigration detention centres. Attendees at the launch were asked to ‘free a child’ with dolls wearing numbered ID tags representing the detained children.

Action led by MSB Social Justice Portfolio In 2012 and 2013 the MSB Social Justice Portfolio organised College participation in the “Detention for Detention” campaign promoted by the Australian Young Christian Students movement. This involved students placing themselves on detention during a designated lunch time to voice their objection to this situation. While “on detention” students wrote messages of support on their hands and arms, photographed these messages and posted them on social media. In May 2015 the Social Justice Portfolio plans to have representatives from a number of schools conduct workshops at the College Social Justice Forum to inform others of their work on this issue and to galvanise support.

8 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

MSB Community Problem Solvers Selected for International Championships – Asylum Seeker Focus The MSB Year 10 Community Problem Solvers (CPS) project ‘Mind Your Language’ have focused on educating the College and wider community about the language used by politicians and the media to describe, and often demonise, asylum seekers. The hard work they have put into this project has earned the team an invitation to the prestigious International Future Problem Solving Conference to be held in June 2015. The girls have been working on this project since early 2014, and since then have sent over 100 letters written by MSB students to Manus Island, distributed quizzes and information packs throughout the school, attended social justice events and spoken with others who are interested in their cause. They even have their own social media pages, which they are using to reach out to people all over the world. The Team held the inaugural Junior Social Justice Forum in early March involving younger grades in their project and giving them the opportunity to participate in social justice activities. Their aim was to offer an alternative view of asylum seekers, a view that is not often seen or heard from Australian media or politicians. The gathered group were honoured to hear the story of Raneem, a refugee from Iraq. She spoke about her hatred for the language used to describe asylum seekers and told the girls about her journey, being smuggled out of Iraq and spending two years in Indonesia waiting for transferral to Australia.

Student Leadership in Sydney Alliance In March 2014 a group of 20 Year 10 MSB students attended a student leadership training day with the Sydney Alliance which focused on developing skills in community organisation for social change. On their return they chose to focus on the area of children in detention as a project. They took the particular view that there were many young people and many schools who were acting independently on this issue and that there was great scope to try and coordinate a more collective action. They recognised social media as a powerful vehicle for facilitating such action and they have spent their time planning a social media campaign that we plan to launch during 2015.

In an effort to understand what is actually happening on the ground in detention centres, the CPS Team recently hosted Sister Margaret Shepherd to learn about the work that she has done with the asylum seekers in Curtain, Western Australia and on Christmas Island. Sister Margaret shared details of the conditions that asylum seekers are living in, how they feel about how Australian society talks about them and the hope that they cling on to for a chance of finding a better life here in Australia. Since the meeting with Sister Margaret, the girls have been inspired to write letters to politicians, and have them countersigned by as many members of the MSB community to represent the emerging youth voice. This year, the girls have many new projects planned that will involve the College and the local community including a mobile art installation and conversations with local primary schools. The Mount St Benedict College community wishes the girls and their coaches every success at the Future Problem Solving Conference in Iowa, USA in June.

Further details on the MSB Community Problem Solvers: Facebook Comps-Mind Your Language Twitter @Mindur_Language

Beecroft Forum Dinner of the Major Issues and Theology Foundation In May 2014 a group of Year 11 and 12 students attended the Beecroft Forum Dinner of the Major Issues and Theology Foundation where Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission spoke. Professor Triggs spoke about the upcoming report on the harm experienced by children who were in Australia’s immigration detention centres. Mount St Benedict students were joined at the dinner by Sister Clare Condon, Congregational Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and recipient of the 2013 Human Rights Medal.

May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 9

MSB Mission in the Philippines At the end of a school year, many teenagers look forward to socialising with their friends and sleeping in. However eight students and three staff members including College Principal, Mrs Maria Pearson decided to challenge themselves with visiting a number of human rights organisations and charities in the Philippines over seventeen days. The Year 11 girls spent eighteen months raising $10,000 to give to four Filipino organisations that work with people in need. During their preparation, the girls learnt about the great divide of wealth and poverty in the Philippines as well as the life changing work that is being done to assist families and particularly children in overcoming the barriers of poverty. The immersion was very much a trip of friendship that allowed the group to witness first-hand the hope that is present in challenging circumstances. The highlight of the trip for many was the visit to the Good Samaritan Kinder School at Bacolod. Here the ministry of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan is truly transforming lives. The Kinder School caters for families who live in extreme poverty with most families living in an area called The Boulevard, a village community that has developed because families have nowhere else to live. Houses are built of any found material and it was evident to the girls to see the extreme effects of malnutrition in the children. The Sisters have begun a feeding program in this area and are able to feed a child for 20 cents a day. The group were fortunate to be able to join them for the Kinder School Christmas party which is the highlight of their school year. PREDA was the last organisation that the group visited, which rescues young victims of abuse and trafficking. This was a confronting part of the trip for most members. The girls reflected that behind the smiling faces of the children they interacted with were often very sad stories. The girls were especially moved to find out that the money they donated will rescue a boy from an overcrowded jail and allow him to be supported at PREDA for an entire year. The entire experience was a transformative one for Mrs Donna Dempsey who was one of the staff accompanying the girls. “The people of the Philippines are resilient and place much of this hope in their Catholic faith. Anyone who has visited a developing country is immediately overwhelmed by the strong contrast between Australians and Filipinos. The technology, housing, medical care and even education are so different and highlight how lucky Australians are. It also makes you aware of the responsibility we have to value what we have, as well as question our ability to live more simply.”

10 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

A History of Hats at Mount St Benedict College Year 7s wearing the new hat

1966 Years 7-8 wore a grey felt bowler (winter) and a cream straw-like synthetic bowler with grey/red/white hat band (summer).

1966 Years 9-12 wore a grey felt bowler hat (summer and winter).

t 1966

College ha

College h

at 1970

A New College Hat There has been a smart new addition to the Mount St Benedict College uniform with Year 7 the first to wear a College hat since 1999.

Introduced after extensive consultation with the College community, there has been a positive response from students, parents and the local community. Girls in the current Year 7 are the first to wear the hat with subsequent Year 7 cohorts to follow. Girls in other year groups are welcome to order a hat from the Uniform Shop if they wish. While an attractive addition to the uniform the purpose of the hat is sun protection with the College being mindful of continuing the sun protection culture that its feeder primary schools have fostered.

1970 Years 7-8 summer hat was changed to a grey soft, lined polyester fabric.

19861999 Years 7-8 summer hat changed to a white strawlike polypropylene, wide brim with red hat band (optional for Seniors).

2015 College hat reintroduced to Year 7 - navy polyweave hat, maroon band with white and grey lines including the crest. Entire College will wear hat by 2020.

May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 11

Student News Girl Power in da Vinci G&T Friday lunch is a time not to be missed.  Around sixty training team members in Years 7-10 puzzle, extrapolate, explicate, connect and stretch their minds in deep thinking challenges.

Inspired by one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Leonardo da Vinci, the girls compete in collaborative teams across 10 disciplines: Mathematics, English, Science, Code Breaking, Engineering, Philosophy, Creative Producers, Art and Poetry, Cartography and General Knowledge. The 2015 theme is ‘Place’. We all live in a unique place that is characterised by its geography, history, pastimes, culture, politics and people. The places we live in, and visit physically and in our imaginations have a powerful impact on our lives. MSB students have started the competition phase with energy and enthusiasm matched with intelligence and effort. Gifted and Talented curricular programs encourage girls to delve into extension curriculum areas, building academic resilience and excellence. We look forward to much success and happy learning in 2015.

I like da Vinci because it is challenging, but you can collaborate with your friends to solve the problems instead of working alone. I also like how it caters for all different people with a variety of skills, whether you’re good at Maths or Drama. Holly Porvaznik, Year 10 I enjoy da Vinci because it really challenges our minds. Things are never as they seem and you really need to think on a deeper level. It’s great to work as a team to solve a variety of problems and challenges whether they be related to Maths, English, Art, Engineering, Science or Code Breaking. Diana Kazakov, Year 10 I like participating in da Vinci as it is a place where all thoughts are heard. One small idea can blossom into an intricate network of detail filled with imagination. Da Vinci is not only an opportunity to think creatively but an opportunity for many brains to create a masterpiece. One silly remark could be the basis of the next triumph! Trish Nguyen, Year 10 Da Vinci is a great place to meet other people who have similar interests, as well as to bond with friends who share the same love of learning. It’s unique in the sense that every week, we focus on a different subject area. It helps us to not only focus on the things we like and are already good at, but exposes us to new areas that wouldn’t generally be touched on in class. I love going to da Vinci each Friday as it is completely different to anything else I do at the College. We are encouraged to think for ourselves and to widen that thinking in a safe environment where we are given very positive but also honest criticism not only from our teachers but also our peers. Kaecee Dadula, Year 9 12 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

lebrates from left) ce Daniela (3rd ud family with her pro

MSB Excellence Program Welcomes Youngest Graduate Year 9 student, Daniela Taylor is the youngest ever student at the College to complete the MSB Excellence Program, an extension program targeted for gifted and talented students at Mount St Benedict College. Daniela started the program while in Year 7, looking for extra opportunities to challenge herself in both a holistic and academic sense. Since its inception in 2008, only five students have been eligible for the award at the College. To successfully complete the program girls need to complete a 3000 word essay or equivalent, 20 hours of community service, read and write a review of 20 extension reading books, participate in the co-curricular life of the College and demonstrate leadership within their House or the wider College community.

Promotions Enrolling at Mount St Benedict College If you have a daughter in primary school, please remember to “register” her to start at MSB sooner, rather than later (this includes current MSB families). This prevents disappointment for prospective families on the wait list. Please note: Registration for Waiting List forms should be lodged no later than the end of Year 4.

2015 College Musical – Hairspray

It was Daniela’s Lithuanian family background that inspired her independent learning project. She chose to present a webpage so that her project could be accessible to this generation as well as being a resource for the Lithuanian Scouting Association. “I decided to learn about my own background and focus on the history of Lithuania, a country in Europe where my grandmother came from... I did a lot of research on the topics I was talking about including three interviews with members of my family who had experience in particular areas. I then collated my articles onto a website which I created called ‘Lithuania at the Crossroads’,” Daniela said. Throughout the program Daniela was kept busy with her involvement in multiple co-curricular activities including choir, band, flute ensemble, science club and the da Vinci Decathlon. She was also able to develop her leadership skills organising a banner competition for her College House. In addition Daniela enjoyed her community service after school at a local day care centre, valuing the experience to try something new while helping a business in her local community. Daniela’s involvement in the program culminated in delivering a breakfast presentation to twelve members of staff including her mentors; College Principal, Mrs Maria Pearson, as well as her parents and sister. Daniela described some of the activities and service opportunities which she conducted and, in particular, spoke about her individual project. Daniela is quick to recommend the MSB Excellence Program to fellow students, “I encourage other students to take up this challenge as it is a really rewarding experience and you try so many new things. You do however have to be committed to the program as it requires a lot of work in 18 months, but it is a great opportunity to consider.” Daniela and her parents are thankful to her mentors, particularly HSIE teacher, Mrs Emma Hopkins and Mrs Elizabeth Dirckze, Coordinator, Teaching and Learning at MSB.

Hairspray rehearsals are underway with an enthusiastic group of dedicated students. Performances: Wednesday 10 June – Friday 12 June 2015

MSB Golden Jubilee 2016 We are currently updating our archival records in preparation for our Golden Jubilee in 2016. As a result of this process we have discovered some of our publications have been misplaced. If you are an exstudent and you have kept Publications such as Bennies Buzz, Newsletters, School Diaries and photos of significant events and that you would be happy to share a copy with us and/or donate it to the College please contact Michelle Blackman on 9980 0401 or email We are also very keen to obtain old uniforms (including hats) and spare uniform fabric for our collection.

Golden Jubilee 2016 – update your contact details With the Golden Jubilee fast approaching, we need your latest contact details including email address. Register your contact details on, to be kept updated on upcoming events. May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 13

Sporting News Swimming The annual Mount St Benedict Swimming Carnival was held on 25 February, celebrating the achievements, sporting spirit and House support of girls in the pool. Impressively there were 1,050 competitors across the events in the 50m, with hundreds more in the 25m events. The Overall Champion House is calculated using all points for events, participation and war cry. The results for 2015 are:

Overall Champion House

Overall School Champion

1st Maredsous 2nd Montserrat 3rd Arcadia 4th Subiaco

1st Madeleine Emmett Duignan - Arcadia 2nd Christina Kwon - Maredsous 3rd Armelle Kolton - Subiaco

House Participation

Junior Age Champion

The House Participation Trophy is awarded to the House who has the greatest participation across all events, regardless of results.

1st Christina Kwon - Maredsous 2nd Caitlin Walsh - Terracina 3rd Caitlin Sultana - Maredsous

1st Maredsous 2nd Monte Cassino 3rd Arcadia 4th Montserrat

War Cry 1st Subiaco 2nd Monte Cassino 3rd New Norcia 4th Maredsous

14 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

Intermediate Age Champion 1st Madeleine Emmett Duignan - Arcadia 2nd Armelle Kolton - Subiaco 3rd Alicia Marcer - Subiaco

Senior Age Champion 1st Jessica Marcer - Subiaco 2nd Rachael Fraietta - Montserrat 3rd Olivia Taylor - New Norcia

Basketball Our Senior Basketballers brought home silver BBSSSA medals in Term One. The girls went through their pool undefeated and then met a very experienced St Joseph’s side in the final.

Amie Bowrey


Carla T



Carla Takchi (Year 12 - Hurdles) and Amie Bowrey (Year 8 Javelin) competed in Adelaide during the Christmas break at the Australian All Schools Championship as members of the NSW All Schools team.

Our Intermediate Touch team brought home the first BBSSSA medals for the year finishing as runners up in February. Congratulations to Abigail Shepherd (Year 10) and Tamaryn McGregor (Year 10) who gained selection into the Open Broken Bay Team and to Year 9 students Shannyn Bissett, Capri Vidler and Julia Zubak who were named in the Under 15 BBSSSA team. Fellow Year 9 student Georgia Dean was named as an Under 15 shadow team member.

Angela Cloeraine Congratulations to Angela Cloeraine (Year 10) who has been selected into the Australian Under 16 Indoor Netball team. She will now play in an international tournament against teams from South Africa and New Zealand later this year.

Cricket Congratulations to Kate Barry (Year 9) who was selected into the Open NSW CCC Cricket team that competed at the NSW All Schools Open Championships in Bathurst.

Softball Six MSB students: Erin Morley (Year 12), Jessica Tong (Year 10), Hannah Breytenbach (Year 9), Blaise Stafford-Gaffney (Year 8), Natalie Tong (Year 8) and Caitlin Wilde (Year 8) comprised almost half the Open BBSSSA Softball Team that competed at the NSW CCC Championships. This is very impressive considering most are from junior years! Erin and Jessica went on to be selected into the NSW CCC team.

Triathlon We once again had a large contingent of students compete at the NSW All Schools Triathlon with three of our teams placed in the top five of the NSW CCC division.


Jessica To

Erin Morley May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 15

Mount St Benedict College’s

Open Day The P&F

Cake St


The College community warmly welcomed current and prospective families, as well as ex-students to the annual Open Day on Sunday 8 March. Thanks to the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of staff, student and parents, the MSB community showcased the outstanding teaching and learning that takes place within the College.

English duologues were held in the Hall Courtyard

Around 1,000 visitors were able to go on student-led tours, visit and participate in a range of displays, listen to the Principal’s address and enjoy a number of performances including the College Band, Choir and Music Ensembles. Mrs Maria Pearson, College Principal was particularly pleased with how the College community united for Open Day noting, “We were pleased to be able to showcase our College on International Women’s Day, a community where our girls are surrounded by positive female role models among peers, staff and graduates. Our girls and staff wore purple ribbons to mark the day and I received many positive comments from visiting families about our confident and talented young women.”

Open Da

y Passp ort Win ner Zoe Soli ven

16 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

Staff News Congratulations to: Weddings •  Christina Liu and her husband Josef He who were married on 20 September 2014 at Christ the King, North Rocks. They honeymooned in Bora Bora and Europe. •  Andrew Ursino and his wife Susan who were married on 21 September 2014 at Holy Name of Mary Church, Hunters Hill followed by a celebration at Le Montage, Lilyfield. They then hopped on a plane to the Maldives to enjoy the water bungalow resorts.

Christina & Josef

Andrew &


Congratulations to:

Farewell to: Anita Howard Anita Howard joined the CAPA department in 1991, contributing 24 years to developing student creativity in the Visual Arts classroom. Anita commenced holding lessons in the Visual Arts rooms in the Basement of the convent before they were relocated to H Block. She has given of her time to help with the College Musical since their inception in 2003. During this time Anita has helped to create some memorable sets and has been Stage Manager on many occasions. Anita has also contributed to the life of the College through involvement in Tournament of the Minds and Debating. In 2012, she was responsible for leading and creating artworks for the East Timor and Kiribati exhibitions where many of her own artworks and those of her students were on display. In 2005, Anita travelled on an immersion trip to the Philippines. We would like to thank Anita for her contribution to the College and wish her the best in her future endeavours.

Leanne Zarb

Babies •  David and Charmaine Greenwell on the arrival of Juliette Greenwell. She was born on 3 January 2015 at 10:30pm weighing 3.18kg and just shy of 50cm long. As you can imagine they couldn’t be happier!! •  Karin Balmer and her husband who welcomed an early Christmas present! Remy Miles Dole was born on the 22 December 2014 at 10am weighing 3.6kg and 52cm in length. •  Kate and Ben Gillies who welcomed Isabella Christina Gillies into the world on 27 February 2015. She was a beautiful surprise arriving three weeks early, a petite weight of 2.2kg and 49 cm long.

Juliette Greenwell

Leanne has been a member of the College staff since November 2001. During this time Leanne taught Drama and Dance. Ms Zarb contributed to choreography in many of the College Musicals and Liturgies and prepared students for many HSC Showcases and Performances. We wish Leanne the best in her future endeavours.

Isabella Christina Gillies

Remy Miles Dole

May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 17

Ex-Student News Carleen Richardson (nee Isley) - Class of 2004 Carleen married Myles Richardson on 28 June 2014 at Christchurch Lavender Bay. She is employed at Meriden College, Strathfield as a Year Coordinator and teaches History, English and Legal Studies. The family photo includes (from left) Mandy (Class of 2007), Nicci (Class of 2011) and their mother, Jenny (nee Woods – Class of 1976).

University Exchanges Four students from the Class of 2012 were nominated and accepted into University overseas in 2015. • Emily Cheeseman – University of Leicester • Katherine Johns – University of Leicester • Chloe Barry-Hang – University of Houston • Rachel Drake is studying a Bachelor of Design (Honours) at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). Rachel applied for the study abroad program and was accepted into the University of Leeds. Rachel will be studying design for six months with the subjects she studies being credited back to her degree at UNSW.

Vale • Gabrielle Dampney (Class of 1983) • Jackie Gallagher (Class of 1985)

Casey Moen (nee de Souza) - Class of 2002 After leaving high school, I completed a Bachelor of Mathematics and Finance (Honours) from UTS. After working in Debt Capital Markets, I joined the fixed income institutional sales desk on the trading floor of Westpac Institutional Bank. I speak to a range of clients including banks, hedge funds, central banks, asset managers globally. I also speak to a range of institutional clients based in Japan. I credit my career path to my two high school teachers - Mrs Mary Ann Dudley (Mathematics) and Ms Miwa Moriwaki (Japanese) who fostered my passion in both of these subjects. I met my husband (Michael Moen) at university and we were married in November 2013 at Monte Saint Angelo College Chapel and Sergeants Mess at Chowder Bay. We travelled to the Serengeti, Rwanda and Zanzibar for our honeymoon.

Casey pictured with her closest friends (who are all ex-students from the Class of 2002): Annette Johnson (nee Siddle), Bernadette Clegg (nee Donoghoe), Emma Lannan (nee Howcroft), Erin Martin, Monika Kenig, Gemma Haskell (nee Watts), Sarah Kennedy (nee Gray), Lauren Chaitow (nee Miller), Laura Bosci (nee Friery).

18 | Bennies Buzz May 2015

Casey pictured with her bridesmaids: sister Samantha de Souza (Class of 1996) and Gemma Haskell (nee Watts) Class of 2002.

Reunions Class of 2009 Reunion – 5 Year Reunion The Class of 2009 gathered at Fagan Park for an afternoon picnic in December where they reminisced fondly on their years at MSB. They all agreed that the five intervening years had flown; with university graduations, travel, weddings and even several children amongst the group! Unfortunately, the busy Christmas period meant a number of ladies couldn’t make it, but given the success of the event, they would like to organise another catch-up in 2015. 

Class of 2004 – 10 Year Reunion The Class of 2004 enjoyed their much anticipated 10 year reunion in September 2014 at the Three Weeds Hotel, Rozelle. The night was filled with flowing conversation, many hugs and lots of laughter. The paths taken have been varied and diverse. The Class of 2004 has definitely lived up to their reputation of being interesting, successful, dynamic and intelligent young women!

Class of 1994 Reunion – 20 Year Reunion On Saturday 15 November the Class of 1994 gathered for their 20 year reunion. The venue was Hotel Pennant Hills which was fitting for these ladies who may have frequented Patricks back in the day.   The night began with class photos in the old blazer, some Bennies trivia and a slide show with lots of photos from the 90’s. There were also some very special guests with a couple of ex-students flying in from overseas and interstate and Mr Alan Moran, their principal, joining the Class of ‘94 to celebrate with them. It was a really special night and everyone was reminded how lucky they were to have had Mr Moran as their senior-year principal and to go through school with such a lovely group of girls.

Laurie-An with whale ne swimming shar Nongaloo Rks in the eef Laurie-Anne Keller - Class of 2007 Throughout high school, my goal was to eventually become a Zoologist. After leaving the hall and courtyards of ‘Bennies’ in 2007, I took on a BSc in Biodiversity and Conservation at Macquarie University. After graduating, I was offered a job as an Education Officer at Wild Life Sydney Zoo and Sydney Sea Life Aquarium. I performed shows and tours with Australian marsupials, birds, reptiles, fish and sharks for two years, after which I returned to Macquarie University to further my skills with another degree. I achieved first class Honours studying Zoology, Evolution and Animal Behaviour, but wasn’t sold on the idea of spending another 3-4 years on the road to a PhD. Instead, I travelled Asia and Australia (swimming with whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef!), and eventually found a research project studying the behavioural ecology of birds in Cairns. Together with a biologist, we discovered some fascinating responses amongst different species and published our work in a high-impact scientific journal (Proceedings of the Royal Society B). After a fair amount of excitement, I decided that I needed a bit more adventure, beyond Australia. After multiple applications, interviews and follow-ups, I finally landed an incredible experience to work in New Zealand with a critically endangered animal - the kiwi! This is where I am currently based, as a Ranger at the West Coast Wildlife Centre in Franz Josef Glacier, working with rare species of kiwi from remaining populations of less than 400 birds. I am involved in ‘BNZ Operation Nest Egg’, a program in partnership with the Department of Conservation, which involves removing kiwi eggs laid in the wild for artificial incubation, short-term captive rearing and release of juvenile birds onto a predator-free off-shore island. It has been extremely successful in supporting kiwi populations (since 1995), by increasing the survival rate of each bird from 5% to 70%. May 2015 Bennies Buzz | 19

Dates for your calendar 2015 Term Dates • Term 2 commences

Monday 20 April

• Beyond Bennies (Assembly)

Wednesday 29 April

• Mother Daughter Breakfast

Thursday 7 May

• MSBESA Ex-students Meeting Monday 11 May 6:30pm • Co-Curricular Photos (incl. Ex-student /daughter photo)

Thursday 11 June

• College Musical

Wednesday 10 - Friday 12 June

• MSB Day & end of Term 2

Friday 19 June

Term 3 2015 • Term 3 commences

Tuesday 14 July

• College Tour

Thursday 13 August

• MSBESA Ex-students Meeting Monday 17 August 6:30pm • Grandparents’ Assembly

Wednesday 19 August

• Father Daughter Breakfast

Friday 28 August

• Year 12 Graduation

Thursday 17 September

• Term 3 ends

Friday 18 September

Term 4 2015 • Term 4 commences

Tuesday 6 October

• College Tour

Tuesday 13 October

• MSBESA Ex-students AGM / Meeting

Monday 2 November 6:30pm

• Term 4 ends

Friday 4 December

2016 Golden Jubilee Celebrations • Golden Jubilee Ball

Saturday 28 May

• Golden Jubilee Mass

Sunday 19 June

449C Pennant Hills Rd Pennant Hills NSW 2120 Phone: 9980 0444 Email:

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Term 2 2015

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Mount St Benedict College > Bennie's Buzz Magazine > May 2015  

Mount St Benedict College publishes a school yearbook and magazine which recap the news and events of each year at the school. Graphic desig...

Mount St Benedict College > Bennie's Buzz Magazine > May 2015  

Mount St Benedict College publishes a school yearbook and magazine which recap the news and events of each year at the school. Graphic desig...