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Newsletter 4 2012 - 23 March 2012

Parents may be aware that the college is introducing the study of a third language in 2013.

Dear parents, The first term is almost at an end and we seem to have so much still to do. The wet weather has impacted on a number of our activities, with the Year 7 camp and the welcome BBQ having to be postponed, a number of sporting carnivals cancelled and many college activities disrupted. In spite of the weather, we have continued to provide students, both on and off campus, with opportunities to pursue their interests and to deepen their knowledge and understanding in the areas they are studying. Throughout the season of Lent, our students have been focusing on ways in which they can be neighbour to those in need. They have been supporting Project Compassion through fundraising and they have committed to acts of kindness and small acts of self-denial. A number of Lenten activities have been undertaken with the aim of providing students with experiences that help them better understand this season. There has also been a fundraising challenge underway, with activities including pancake sales on Shrove Tuesday, bake offs with the production and sale of many cupcakes, and a gold coin trail, all organised to support our mission efforts. The college will reflect on the events of Holy Week on Tuesday 3 April with liturgies focusing on the Stations of the Cross. The liturgies will bring girls together in year groups to spend time in prayer as we prepare for the Easter season. Traditionally Holy Week liturgies at the college have been beautiful in their simplicity and prayerfulness as the girls reflect on Christ’s passion using contemporary symbols and experiences and I am sure this liturgy will continue this tradition.

We will be introducing Indonesian for our junior students and as an option for girls wishing to commence Indonesian Beginners in Year 11. Mrs Jodie Harris, a teacher at the college, has been studying Indonesian for a number of years and has qualified to teach this language to HSC level. The obvious question is why introduce the Indonesian language to St Mary’s? The answer lies in research about our relationship with Indonesia. Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, believes that Australia’s relationship with Indonesia is arguably our most important. It has been broadly reported that unless Australia reinvests in Indonesian studies, we risk losing the comparative advantage provided by linguistic expertise, and the consequent economic, political and strategic benefits from our relationship with Indonesia.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 28 Mar Year 7 Middle School and & Year 12 parent/teacher 3 April interviews 3.45pm-7pm SGN 4 April

Year 7 2013 applications close

5 April

Easter holidays commence

23 April Term 2 commences: STUDENTS TO RETURN IN WINTER UNIFORM 25 April Anzac Day public holiday For student enquiries and notifications, please ring Student Office on 4226 3969

In short, from an Australian perspective, Indonesian is the language of the future. We will provide more details of studying Indonesian in future newsletters. The St Mary’s Parents & Friends Association very generously granted funds for a number of college projects at the March P&F meeting. A grant of $24,000 was provided to the PLC for new furniture and the creation of new research areas, a sum of up to $15,000 was approved for the renewal of college sports shirts for all sporting codes, and $3,000 was granted to the Creative Arts Department to help with costs for the construction of stage sets for the upcoming production of Godspell. My most sincere thanks to the P&F for their generous support of the college and for the wonderful work that they do. I pray that you and your families have a peace-filled and relaxing weekend and that, as we continue on our Lenten journeys, we might take time to reflect on our lives and on our relationship with our God.

HOLIDAY MESSAGE As this is our final newsletter for the term, I wish you and your families a blessed and holy Easter and a wellearned holiday. The college staff and I thank you for your support throughout Term 1 and we look forward to working with you next term. Frank Pitt, Principal

Love of God · Love of Learning · Hospitality · Stewardship · Peace


EASTER MASS TIMES 5 April Holy Thursday: St Francis Xavier 7.30pm - St John Vianney 7pm - St Therese 7pm St Joseph’s 7pm. 6 April Good Friday: St Francis Xavier, St John Vianney, St Brigid’s and St Therese 10am and 3pm - St Joseph’s 9.30am and 3pm. 7 April Easter Vigil: St Francis Xavier 7.30pm - St John Vianney 6pm - St Brigid’s 7pm St Therese 7pm - St Joseph’s 6pm. 8 April Easter Sunday: St Francis Xavier, St John Vianney and St Brigid’s usual Sunday timetable - St Therese 9am and 11am - St Joseph’s 7.30am and 9.30am.

On 3 March, Meg Connell, Year 12, competed at the regional level against three Lions representatives who were chosen from schools in the Illawarra. For this competition, contestants had to answer questions in a 30 minute interview on leadership, sporting, cultural and community interests, general knowledge and academic achievements. They then attended the “speech evening” where they were required to respond to two impromptu questions and deliver a prepared fiveminute speech. The judges reported that their task was difficult because the standard was so high. Meg spoke eloquently about her views on Perspective, when we talk about our ‘worst day’. She was a stand-out performer and was declared the winner for this section. Although not the overall winner, we were very proud of her presentation, poise and performance. Well done Meg. Thank you to Sr Rita Fitt, Dr Joanne Hack and Mrs Betty Mayhew (ex-teacher) for their attendance, and to Mrs Holt for her assistance in preparing Meg for this opportunity. Liz Davis

DIOCESAN SWIMMING Congratulations to our swimming team which finished 2nd in the girls’ point score at the diocesan swimming carnival last week. In fact, they finished 4th in the overall point score against all the co-ed schools! Five girls and our junior relay team gained selection in the diocesan team to compete at the CCC swimming carnival at Homebush on 30 March.

Meg Connell with Dr Hack and Mrs Davis

Kelsey Hughes was 3 in 13yrs Age Champion, 1st 100m Free; 2nd 50m Free. Kira Steward was 14 yrs Age Champion, 1st 100m free,100m Backstroke, 100m Free; 2nd 100m Butterfly, 50m Backstroke; and 3rd 50m Butterfly. Niamh Bourke was 3rd in 15yrs age group, 2nd 100m Free; 3rd 50m Free, Butterfly and Backstroke. Courtney McGregor runner up 16yrs Age Champion, 1st in 100m Butterfly; 2nd in 50m Free, Butterfly, 100m Free and 200m IM. Madeline Martinoski was 1st in 16yrs 50m and 100m Breaststroke. Hannah Preeo 1st 13yrs 50m Breaststroke. rd

TRIATHLON Five teams represented the college at the NSW all schools triathlon event held at the Penrith Regatta Centre last week. All teams enjoyed the day. Congratulations to our junior team which finished 3rd in the CCC junior teams event. Tasmin McFadden (swim), Chloe Heffernan (ride) and Felicity Carolan (run) participated strongly to win a bronze medal for the event. Congratulations girls. Belinda Sparks, Sports Coordinator NOTICE FOR PARENTS OF STUDENTS WHO TRAVEL BY BUS FROM MT KEIRA

Our junior medley relay team of Kelsey Hughes, Hannah Preeo, Shannon Jenkins and Kira Steward won the event. Thanks to the Year 9 elective PASS class who assisted as timers and runners of results. They did a great job. Best wishes to all girls competing at the CCC Swimming Championships. Belinda Sparks

Premier have informed us that the Mt Keira bus (bus 1) will start from the intersection of Princes Highway and Bellevue Road Figtree at 7.45am which is 8 minutes earlier than its current time. This week’s extended Tutor Group time: the girls working on Lenten activities

For more information please ring Premier on 4271 1322.



The transition back to school can involve lots of adjustments and challenges for both children and parents. The following strategies have been compiled by the Parent Line counselling team to help families in managing some of the challenges associated with difficult transition periods.

On Thursday 15 March the diocesan tennis tournament was held at Beaton Park. The four girls who represented our school were Mary Stanley, Irene Kyriacou and Jessica Cruickshank from Year 10, and Kate Vallotta from Year 12. The girls all played well, but unfortually lost to John Terry High in the second round. The grand final winners were Holy Spirit College. A good solid effort by everyone! Kate Vallotta

• Try to attend to the basics first, like sleep, nutrition, exercise and relaxation.

Mr Quinn and his Tutor Group B101 knitting blankets for “Wrapped with Love” OPPORTUNITY FOR PARENTS TO SUPPORT STUDENT FUNDRAISER Throughout lent, students have been enthusiastically supporting Caritas’ annual fundraiser: Project Compassion. This fundraiser is run in every Catholic school in Australia, and seeks to help end poverty and promote justice in the world’s poorest countries. So far, the college has raised over $1,300 from student donations and involvement in fundraisers. However, our hope is to achieve $5,000 dollars by the end of term, and so we are asking parents to join the community in supporting this fantastic cause! Now on the college home page ( is a “Donate Now” link, where parents can make a donation on behalf of the college straight to Caritas. We thank you for your support! There has been an ongoing House competition, where Tutor Groups donate daily and those funds go to the House’s total amount raised. The winning House will achieve substantial points, bringing them up in the year-long House Cup Competition. Currently, Fatima House is winning, collecting over $350. There have also been other fundraising events including a coin line at luchtime, where Carmel house created the longest line. Fundraisers will continue to occur until end of term, so please encourage your daughters to get involved for this fantastic cause! Rachel Hennessy, Liturgy Captain

• Try to have realistic expectations and to prepare for possible challenges associated with adjusting to change and new routines. This might mean cutting children a bit of slack initially as they come home from school exhausted and cranky, making sure they get time for rest and refreshments before engaging in after-school activities. • Check in regularly with your kids and keep the lines of communication open with them. Share funny stories of your own struggles with change and acknowledge that it takes time to get used to new routines. • Try to establish a school/work/home balance, with plenty of “down time”. Parentline Counselling: tel 1300 1300 52. OUR STAFF HONOUR THE LENTEN SPIRIT Last year, St Mary’s staff embarked on a “booksale” project where books were donated by staff and then purchased by other staff. This raised approx $500 of which some was spent on stationary needs for Sr Rita in East Timor, and the rest was sent to areas in Sri Lanka, as identified by our friend and contact, Manori Indraratna. Very poor children at a cancer hospital were given a small gift to brighten their spirits. For some, this was the only gift they had ever received. The donation also bought quality injections for seven children and one very sick adult, so saving their lives. As well, a local Buddhist monk, who voluntarily housed and fed the parents of these children, was given fruit and vegetables.

SMC JUNIOR NETBALL ACADEMY The academy is on a mission to promote girls in sport, to develop individual skills through quality coaching and to assist students in achieving a balance between their academic and sporting endeavors. Congratulations to the girls who have been selected in the academy for 2012. These athletes will also have the opportunity to participate in training sessions, skill workshops and full-day clinics. The girls have commenced training on Tuesday mornings and have shown enthusiasm and commitment towards the academy’s goals. Well done girls! Special thanks to our sponsors: St Mary’s P&F, Landteam (Surveying and Engineering), Simply Water & Sewer, and Greg and Cathy Goodman. The ongoing support that we receive from these organisations and generous people allows us to fulfill our mission in developing young netball athletes. Academy athletes 2012: Perri Moustoukis, Courtney Buchanan, Courtney Temple, Levana Wayne-Boyle, Bronte McHugh, Sophie Patison, Emma Ball, Victoria Smyth, Charlotte Lourey, Charlie Kenny, Elli Burgess, Rachel Cooney, Emily Cassar, Eliza Williamson, Ellie Johnston, Abbey Kriss, Cynthia Tian, Ruby FurneyGoodwin, Ally Williams and Marie-Louise Brennan. Sarah Goodman

Some money was also sent to our long-term orphan, Harshi. Staff and students, and the college Interact Club, helped finance Harshi through her six years of university study. She has graduated with a double degree in Science & Technology and is employed by a university. Harshi purchased a book on Sri Lanka from her first pay cheque and has sent it to the college in appreciation. Much has been achieved in helping those in need and “bringing good news to the poor” (Luke Chapter 4). Liz Davis

Maddison Reid (Loreto House Captain) accepting the swimming carnival House Championship award from Mr Sozio on behalf of Loreto House

Thank you letter from the Cancer Institute Religious & Welfare Services Centre: “Dear Liz Davies, staff and students, Please accept our grateful thanks for your generous donation of Rs 11,000/= in order to purchase Irinotecan 100mg injection for a seriously ill cancer patient. May you all rejoice in this meritorious act. Thank you once again, Rev Wegantale Seerali Thero”

Last Tuesday Ms Harris conducted an Indonesian cooking lesson to a full house of hungry onlookers. On the menu was Nasi Goreng, which was a great hit with all the students - it was gone within minutes.



On Monday 5 March our students competed against Edmund Rice College in the first round of the 2012 Mock Trial competition. We were the defence in a case of break and enter where a quantity of BluRay DVDs had been stolen. The girls performed well and won the case on points of law, but unfortunately lost the trial by 1 point.

Last week, John Hattie, a Professor of Education and Director of the Visible Learning Labs, presented to over 180 teachers from throughout the diocese, including a number of staff from St Mary’s. The seminar was based on 15 years of research into what works best in education. In his presentation, Professor Hattie spoke about how effective feedback has a profound effect on student achievement. Our faculties have been developing strategies to ensure that the practice of feedback is of the highest quality. As a college, we will continue to explore effective methods of improving student learning.

Many thanks to the girls for their efforts in preparing for the trial and giving up numerous lunchtimes to go through the case. The team consisted of Gabrielle Bow, Shakira Cappetta, Amelia Carrasco, Maree Harb, Emma Stanley, Claudia Comacchio, Isabella Rosandic and Pearl Corker. Lisa Kendell

Shakira Cappetta, Maree Harb, Amelia Carrrasco and Gabrielle Bow INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY On Tuesday 6 March, five Year 11 girls attended an International Women’s Day Conference at BlueScope Steel. We listened to four inspirational women who spoke about their experiences and the pathways they chose in their career. We found it interesting and inspiring to see what women can achieve. Thank you Mr Bee for taking us - we had heaps of fun! Lucia and Lucy

YEAR 9 CAMP Information has been sent out to Year 9 students about their camp next term. I am aware that many parents will be planning to use the upcoming holiday break to prepare for the camp. Please note that although the camp equipment list is extensive, it is there to provide detailed information. As noted in the list, it is not expected that families will spend a huge amount of money on equipment. Old clothes, including flannelette shirts that keep the girls warm, will be appropriate. When speaking with the girls this week they were encouraged to source any items they may not have through their Tutor Group, family friends, op shops or sales at camping stores. Parents please note that the “knife” was an error and should not be on the list. This does not appear on the list on the website and students are NOT PERMITTED to bring a knife. The college acknowledges that these are considered weapons and are not appropriate for many reasons. The aim of the outdoor education program in Year 9 is to provide the girls with an opportunity to challenge themselves in a safe environment. Through experiences such as these, students have been proven to significantly develop their resilience, peer relationships, leadership and sense of identity. The Outdoor Education Group has been working with young people for over 25 years and are highly regarded in their field. Parents please be aware that an information evening will be held on Tuesday 8 May. This will provide a great deal of information about outdoor education for Year 9. You can also find out further details via the website St Mary’s has a login “Saint” and password “Mary” that enables families to access information specific to our program.

Our students at the International Women’s Day Conference

Should you have any concerns or questions that you wish to discuss, no matter how small, I encourage you to contact me at the college. A small concern, over time, can become unsettling and is often easily clarified by a quick phone call. Emma Magill, Dean of Pastoral Care

Students reflecting on their learning can assist in helping identify areas where further assistance is needed. The following questions should be answered by students at the end of each unit of work: What did I find easy? What did I find hard? What am I going to do about it? In speaking with teachers about their learning, students are able to provide them with information to determine what is required to help bridge the gap of what is understood and what is required to be understood. Students can keep a weekly learning journal. I encourage parents to support their daughters in the regular reflection of their learning. Learning journal reflection questions can include: • • • • •

This week, I was learning... Next week, I am going to focus on... I would like help with... This is what I still do not know... My self-assessment of how well I learnt this week is... Gerry Sozio, Dean of Studies

Mr Sozio, Prof John Hattie and Mr Pitt MESSAGE FOR OUR MOTHERS ... Would you like to be involved with organising this year’s Mothers Day Dinner which will be held on Friday 11 May at Villa D’Oro? Please email your expression of interest to marie.pulford@

16 Harbour Street Wollongong - Locked Bag 42 Wollongong NSW 2500 Phone (02) 4228 6011 Fax (02) 4229 8555