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Newsletter 9 2012 - 27 July

friends in your prayers in the coming weeks. Tragedies such as these have an impact on a community and the St Mary’s community has been deeply saddened by these events.

Dear parents, I hope that you had an opportunity to take some time to relax during the school vacation period. If nothing else, not having to rush children along each morning and having the chance to take a break from school routines can seem like a holiday in itself. The girls returned on Monday looking refreshed and prepared for a busy Term 3. Our Year 12 students looked slightly less refreshed as they spent much of the break studying, as they commence their Trial HSC exams next week. As you can imagine, this is a stressful time for the girls as they begin to gear up for the end of school activities and the HSC exams. We wish them every success as they prepare for their Trial and HSC exams. You may be aware that Mrs Pat Turek, our Languages Coordinator, suffered a very sad loss during the holidays, with the death of her husband Peter. The loss came after Pat’s home was ravaged by fire, with the family losing all of their personal possessions. One can only imagine how a family copes with such tragedy and how they are able to resurrect their lives and continue on. However, Pat and her children, Allie and Daniel, are doing just that, they are honouring Peter’s memory and they are resuming life as best they can. I would ask that you keep the Turek family in your thoughts and prayers at this very difficult time. You may also have read that a Year 7 student from Holy Spirit College was killed on a quad bike at the end of the holidays. Molly Lord was a student at St Brigid’s and St Joseph’s primary schools and a dear friend to many St Mary’s girls. I would ask that you also keep the Lord family and Molly’s many

We are grateful to Fr Ron Peters for his compassion, his thoughtfulness and his great service to our community at this time. We are very fortunate to have Fr Ron ministering to us in this community and we pray that he is able to sustain himself at this difficult time. I have included a letter from Ron to each of the communities who have been touched by these tragic events. The letter gives an insight into the way that Christian communities come together and care for each other. I pray that we will be able to continue to support and sustain each other and sustain Pat Turek and her family, and the family and friends of Molly Lord, at this time. Mr Gerry Sozio, our wonderful Dean of Studies, has been appointed to the staff of the Wollongong Catholic Education Office, as an advisor in the area of curriculum. In this role Gerry will be working with schools across the diocese to support students and enable staff to provide the best education possible. Gerry will basically be doing for the diocese what he has done for the students and staff of St Mary’s for the last six years. In congratulating Gerry, I also acknowledge the tremendous contribution that he has made to education at our college. Gerry is highly respected by staff and students and much loved by our community. He will commence in his new role in mid-August. Dr Joanne Hack will work in the curriculum area until the end of Term 3, at which time we hope to have appointed a new candidate to the position.


P&F meeting 6.45pm in PLC

3 Aug

Year 8 zoo excursion

7 Aug

Year 8 subject info night 6.30pm

8 Aug

Year 9 reflection day

17 Aug Good Samaritan Day 24 Aug Staff professional development day - no students 31 Aug Father’s Day breakfast 7.30am For student enquiries and notifications, please ring Student Office on 4226 3969

grandparents who love us and who enrich our lives by their presence. The next meeting of the St Mary’s College P&F will be held on Wednesday 1 August commencing at 6.45pm in the Polding Learning Centre (entry via Market Street carpark). This will be an excellent opportunity to view the new furniture purchased by the P&F, to learn more about the proposed college building projects, and to gain insights into the direction of education into the future. All parents are very welcome to join us on 1 August for this very important meeting. I pray that you and your families have a peace filled and relaxing weekend. Yours sincerely, Frank Pitt, Principal

The college held a beautiful assembly and morning tea to honour grandparents on Wednesday 25 July. Grandparents’ Day provides us with the opportunity to thank grandparents for the wonderful support they provide, for the great wisdom they share, and for the love and care they provide. I am told that it is a great privilege to be a grandparent; my experience is that we are greatly privileged to have

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



A fantastic effort by the St Mary’s chess team saw them narrowly defeat Cedars Christian College in a never-before-reached Round 3 of the knockout Regional Chess Competition.

During the break, many parents took up the opportunity to attend the Michael Carr-Gregg sessions presented by Catholic Care. There has been a great deal of positive feedback and I would like to continue to support our parents by focusing on some of the challenges about which Michael spoke.

Victoria Shephard and Emily Skillen both played very well and made their opponents work until the very end to defeat them. Mariam Tohmey took the queen in a spectacular move and then game in an impressive comeback win. After nearly two hours of intense play Susan Asi’s opponent capitulated, making it her 3rd successive win as Captain. Well done girls on progressing the team to a record 4th round. Chris Allen

Doing things for others Connect with people Take care of your body Notice the world around Keep learning new things Have goals to look forward to Find ways to bounce back Take a positive approach Be comfortable with who you are Be part of something bigger

(on the right) Susan Asi, Victoria Shephard, Mariam Tohmey and Emily Skillen CROOKED RIVER WINERY Whilst many students were enjoying a sleep-in during the holidays, Year 12 Geography students were visiting the Crooked River Winery at Gerringong to learn about viticulture and oenology. Viticulture is the practice of growing grapes to make wine, and oenology is the process. The girls learned about the winery, the types of grapes grown, the effect salt air has on the wine produced and the impact the winery has on the local environment. They then toured the crushing and fermentation shed, where the winemaker spoke about her role in the production of wine and her educational background. The day was interesting and the students learned about the operations of an economic enterprise operating at a local scale. Lisa Kendell

Our students at Crooked River Winery

MENTAL HEALTH: As many of you would know, our young people face a world of challenges which as teenagers ourselves, we never had or could have dreamed of facing. With this in mind, we as adults need to not only recognise this but do our best to provide support and guidance to our girls. As outlined by Michael, one in five young people will experience a period of mental illness during high school. This equates to a little over 200 of our girls. It concerns me that he also pointed to statistics that indicated of these, 70% do not seek professional help. It is essential for us to take advantage of the community in which we live and acknowledge that what our girls face in the challenges of life is very real. I encourage you to spend time talking and listening to your daughters, providing them with insight and answers. I encourage you as parents to seek help when needed. Michael spoke of the challenge in developing “happy kids” and I would encourage you to take this challenge head on. There has been much research on the value of positive psychology, through the work of Dr Martin Seligman and others. In many ways it is a very accessible branch of psychology. The basis is to find happiness through aspects including pleasure, meaning, mindfulness and gratitude. There are numerous great resources to access including which is a great place to start. At St Mary’s we are blessed with staff who have professional skills and knowledge to support our young people and you as parents. Our teachers understand many aspects of mental illness and how they can support their students within a learning environment. The girls are also supported by our very capable and qualified Pastoral Team comprising of the Year Coordinators and our counselling staff at the Kulilla Centre. If you would like to know more, have questions or would like support, please do not hesitate to contact me or any of the Pastoral Team at any time. Emma Magill




On 7 and 8 June ten students and Mrs Thomas travelled to Belanglo State Forest for a practice Duke of Edinburgh expedition. We were accompanied during our walk through the forest by our OEG leader, Liz Horne.

In the past week our pastoral region has pulled together to be a great expression of the Church. The tragic and sudden deaths of Peter Turek and Molly Lord shocked all of us. However, in the midst of the sadness and grief, our communities expressed beautifully what it means to be “church”.

The group leader helped calm our nerves and organise our equipment, such as packing our bags better so we could fit in the tents. She also revised the key navigation skills we needed and we built on this as we walked. Overall it was a great experience and we only had a couple of mishaps. The campsite was very nice and we shared some bonding time around the camp fire, eating marshmallows. The girls are now working on their new skill development, sports and volunteer work as part of their commitment to the Duke of Edinburgh course, before they tackle the next outdoor trip. Christine Thomas

On behalf of our Lumen Christi Pastoral Region, I express my heartfelt sympathies to both families: to Mrs Pat Turek and her children Allie and Daniel; to Peter and Linda Lord and their children Riley and Emily. What can anybody say in the midst of such tragedy? Only our offerings of prayer and practical support are what we have left when words can’t fully express what has happened, how the families must feel, and how we stand by largely helpless. Only our faith in a compassionate God - even when He seems to be so far away (or event absent!) - can sustain us when we are plunged into an empty chasm. I am so grateful to families and friends who do everything in their power to make these days that little bit more bearable for those suffering. I pay tribute to our school communities for their practical support to the families in so many ways.

ART NEWS Year 11 Visual Arts has been regularly visiting Wollongong City Art Gallery for an exhibition, lecture or a hands-on art experience. Students recently entered the “Just Imagine” competition in the practical art category. It is my pleasure to announce that we won all prizes: Third prize: Caitlin James Second Prize: Jacqueline McCormack First Prize: Kara Agostinho. Margaret McMahon JUST IMAGINE 2012: Wollongong City Gallery Creative Writing Competition Congratulations Teah Riolo on receiving a Highly Commended award for a short story she wrote in response to artworks hanging in the Wollongong City Gallery. Teah’s story was very imaginative and employed colloquial phrases that engaged her audience. Genevieve Adamson and Isabel Parnell also received certificates for their participation. Well done girls! Franca Barila

Our Duke of Ed students MINISTRY OUTREACH On the second Sunday of the school holidays, five Year 11 girls: Azkah Khan, Claudia Edensor, Laura Sheehy, Liana Isabella and Rebekah Panozzo, and Sister Rita and Mrs Guillaume, ventured off for a life-changing and eye-opening five days spent in the suburbs of Sydney. We were split into various service groups where we gave our time and energy to the homeless and marginalised, the aged and people with disabilities, refugees and the disadvantaged. Our various experiences challenged us to view the world with greater compassion and less inclination to judge. We all agree that this experience was a unique opportunity and we encourage you to get involved in raising awareness and actively making a difference.

My prayer is that, in time, the Lord family and the Turek family will hear God’s gentle voice saying “I am so sorry that you have had to bear this enormous pain. I am so sorry for your sadness and all the hurt, I am so sorry for your anger and your unanswered questions”. I believe God’s sorrow was also expressed in the many ways that so many family, friends, school communities and parishioners rallied together to be an authentic expression of church to our grieving families. So we pray: Peter Turek - rest in peace; Molly Lord - rest in peace. May the souls of all our faithful departed rest in peace. Fr Ron D Peters, Administrator, Catholic Parishes Wollongong FROM THE STUDENT OFFICE... A reminder to parents that a note is required in the morning if their daughter is leaving early - she can then leave class at the appropriate time and be collected from Student Office. Students should not SMS their parents to collect them from school if they are unwell. Our procedure is for the student to come to Student Office and our staff will ring you if it is necessary for her to go home. We thank parents for their help with this.

Teah Riolo at Wollongong City Gallery

Our students at Outreach

WINTER SLEEPOUT DONATION A big thankyou to those who donated money as they left the performances of Godspell. We raised $80 for Mr Pitt and the St Vinnies CEO Winter Sleepout! From the “Production Hobos”

MIDDLE SCHOOL YEAR 8 ENRICHMENT COURSES Year 8 students have been taking part in our Middle School Enrichment Program. The Year 8 Middle School team of Maths and Science teachers have devised fun and interactive individual courses which promote unique learning experiences through problem solving, creative thinking and student-centred learning. Enrichment takes place one lesson per week, and each course runs for one term. Year 8 students will have the opportunity to participate in three enrichment courses in 2012. The courses include My Science Kitchen Rules, Backyard Bacteria, The Space Race, CSI, Maths & Science in Slowmation, Global Traveller, Home Improvement and Sell Me a Story. The Enrichment programs endeavour to instil in our students an enthusiasm and love of learning, which focus on applying their knowledge and skills to real world problem solving. Tracey Sullivan, Middle School Director

TAS NEWS Year 10 Textiles students travelled all the way to the Old Courthouse down in Belmore Basin on 14 June, to visit the members of the Illawarra Quilters group. These ladies showed us many of their quilts and other textile items such as embroidery, knitting and cross stitch. The girls were able to ask questions and watch many pieces being made. Sue Martin

UOW HSC ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS STUDIES DAYS At the end of Term 2 our HSC Business Studies and Economics students attended the University of Wollongong to take part in a series of lecture days aimed at preparing them for their Trial and HSC exams. Keynote speakers included Mr Ross Gittins, Economics Editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, Assoc Prof Braham Dabscheck, an international expert in the field of industrial relations, and Mr Mohan Dhall, Director of PLC Sydney Extension Centre. The students had the opportunity to hear about a HSC topic from someone different, reinforcing the lessons their teachers have been giving them all year. The lunch break gave the students a chance to mingle with the speakers and Dean’s Scholars students.

Our students at the Old Courthouse 1000 PAPER CRANES

Our thanks go to Sub Dean of the UOW’s Faculty of Commerce, Ms Nadia Verrucci, for her and the University’s continued support of HSC Economics and Business Studies. Terese Coleman, HSIE Coordinator

For the past two terms Year 9 have been making paper cranes for a great cause: to give a wish to our friend Bridget Wall. The idea of making the paper cranes came from the ancient Japanese legend which promises anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish. Bridget has been ill for over a year and a half now and she has never given up on trying to beat her illness. We wanted to do something special for her and introduced the idea of making the paper cranes to Year 9. Our year group were very eager to demonstrate to Bridget that she has been in our prayers and thoughts while she spent days and weeks in hospital and away from school. We presented the cranes to Bridget last Wednesday and she was very surprised, thankful and happy. This made the whole exercise of making the cranes worthwhile. Mikayla Mennilli, Nikita Portman & Serafina Crapis

The Record of School Achievement (RoSA) is the new credential for students who leave school after Year 10 and before they receive their Higher School Certificate. Students and parents are encouraged to visit the Board of Studies site for further information: http:// Some brief points on the RoSA are: • Students will receive a grade for each course studied at the end of Year 10, and the system will be extended to also capture grades for courses completed in Year 11 in 2013. • To be eligible for the RoSA, students are required to meet the college’s attendance requirements. • If a student leaves school before receiving a grade in Year 11 or 12 courses, their RoSA will record the courses they commence. • Students who leave school before they get their HSC will have the opportunity to undertake literacy and numeracy tests. These tests will be offered online. Gerry Sozio, Dean of Studies

Students with the the Herald’s Ross Gittins and Mrs Coleman ST MARY’S SCIENCE FAIR The annual Science Fair will be held on16 August. All students are eligible to enter and prizes will be awarded to the winners and runners-up in each category, which will include junior, intermediate and senior students. Ten students will be selected to present their project at the Regional Science Fair at Wollongong University in Term 4. Students who enter will carry out an experiment and present their work as an experimental report. Their research will be displayed on a trifold board provided by the Science Department. Year 8 and Year 10 students will be able to submit their student research projects (SRP) as an entry.

Bridget Wall, Mikayla Mennilli, Serafina Crapis and Nikita Portman

LEARNING AT ST MARY’S Best wishes to year 12 students as they commence their HSC Trial examinations. Students are reminded to maintain balance as they work their way through this period.

The entry fee is $6, which covers the cost of the student’s display board. To enter, students need to put $6 in an envelope marked “Science Fair”, with their name and Tutor Group. Place the envelope in the Tutor Group box by Wednesday 1 August. Adrian Bell

LIBRARY MAKEOVER COME AND SEE! The new furniture for the PLC (funded by the P&F) has finally arrived and as such, library staff and the P&F Executive invite you to come and have a look at the newly-designed library space this Wednesday 1 August from 6.45pm. Refreshments will be served and this term’s P&F meeting will follow at 7pm with the following topics on the agenda: alternative schoolies; student P&F sponsorship guidelines; Godspell documentary DVD sales; building project developments; update on varied technology trials; Gerry Sozio’s departure. We hope you can make it. Maggie Henderson, P&F Secretary DEPRESSION AND ANXIETY GROUP FOR ADULTS: LIFT, a therapeutic group for adults experiencing anxiety and/or depression, Wollongong workshop: five consecutive Thursdays starting 2 August - 10am12:30pm at Wollongong CatholicCare, 25-27 Auburn St Wollongong. Cost is $20 per session. Call 4254 9316 to book.

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