Star of Peace

St Patrick's Marist College

Newsletter Number 18 - 20 November 2019

From the Principal ....

Recently our Year 11 students finished their Preliminary HSC course and are now embarking on their final year of school life. So from now on I will refer to them as Year 12 and what an outstanding group they are. Last week our Year 12 attended their Retreat. The overwhelming feedback from students has been positive. The opportunity to step away from everyday life and take time to reflect on ourselves and our faith is immeasurably important and one that most of us struggle to do. This time is so important for our students as they begin their final 4 terms of a 13 year journey.  It is always wonderful to hear about deepening friendships and the forging of new ones through this experience. Our senior retreat is not only a highlight, but one that makes a significant impact on student’s faith journey. I thank Mr Paton for his organisation, Mr Bonora and Mr Moussa for being there all week and for all the teachers that have given up their time to accompany and work with our students.

I often find myself grappling with the level of anxiety in young people today and their decreasing lack of resilience. I was recently reading an article from the Centre for Parent and Teen Communication that discussed resilience and what as parents and adults we can do.

As parents we are always driven to protect our children. We want them to be happy, to feel safe, connected and valued. Given a choice we would bubble wrap them, but of course that is not possible. We can however, prepare them to navigate their world. We can support them to develop the character strengths and human connections that allow them to thrive in good times and rebound (maybe even grow) in challenging times. In other words, we can build their resilience.

Resilience is better than bubble wrap because it is about developing their internal strength, giving them the tools. Resilience is often referred to as the process of bouncing back, of learning and growing in our capacity to handle the next bump in the road, that as we know as adults is inevitable. 

However, the same skills and characteristics that allow us to bounce back from difficult times are the same skills and characteristics that will help us get the most out of our lives. To become the best version of ourselves. Dr Ann Masten a leader in this field, says resilience is not something you are born with. Instead, it is something that can be built and nurtured as a part of development, describing it as ordinary magic. She underscores resilience is not about extraordinary events or heroic measures. Rather, resilience is built when we’re offered meaningful support and love from others. Young people grow to be resilient when there’s at least one adult (more is better!) loving them unconditionally and supporting them to be their best selves by holding them to high expectations.

Loving them unconditionally means that your presence has to be unwavering and reliable. We don’t have to approve everything they do, defend behaviours or actions we know are wrong. What we say is less important than how we listen, or that our kids know we stand by their side no matter what. We communicate with our presence, a solid commitment to making sure they’ll get through challenges.

High expectations are not about getting an A, scoring goals or winning. We know our children, we know their strengths, we know what good character is. We are clear about them, we recognise and celebrate them. These are the things we set high expectations of, that we hold them accountable to, the best versions of themselves. 

Resilience doesn’t mean invulnerability, vulnerability is a part of being human, of being in relationship with others, that is part of living, in all it’s messiness. Our goal is not to suppress or deny emotions, but to nurture and teach resilience in a variety of ways, including when we model coping strategies in stressful situations. We model resilience when we choose healthy coping strategies. Or when we keep things in perspective, and grow from life’s challenges.

Some elements of resilience are best learned through experience. Sometimes we have to learn for ourselves and hopefully grow stronger and wiser through that experience. We can as adults support resilience when we allow for mistakes and recovery within safe boundaries. And when we act as a non-judgemental sounding board as our young people learn through experiences.

What to say (and not say) to Encourage Teen Problem Solving

Treating teens as experts in their own lives empowers them to build skills needed to solve problems. Trust in their abilities. Here are some suggestions to build your “Language of Resilience”, remembering it is always OK when they get stuck to ask “Is it okay if I make a suggestion?”

Talk to young people about what they know, not what they don’t. Say this “Tell me what you understand” Not that: “You are too young to understand”

Talk about their perspective, not yours. Say this “What do you think about the situation, what advice would you give to others in the same situation?” Not that: “I think you should handle the situation this way”.

Talk about their needs, not yours. Say this “How can I support you to handle it?” Not That “I need you to handle this now or I’ll handle this for you”.

Talk about their problem solving not your solutions. Say this “What ideas do you have to improve your grade?” No that “ You just need to study more”.

We are always here to support you in navigating the journey through the teenage years and high school. Always remember our counsellors are also great resources.

You may find the The Seven C’s Model of Resilience useful.

Our final P&F meeting for the year is next Wednesday evening in the staff lunch room. We would love to see you there.

Mrs Angela Hay


Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

NSW Police - Child Safety Handbook

Click on the following links to the new edition of the Child Safety Handbook providing valuable safety resources online.  The current edition has been updated with digital / online safety, light rail safety, metro train safety, dental health, diabetes, etc.

The Child Safety Handbook App has also been produced by NSW Police Legacy and includes everything we need as a community to protect our most valuable and vulnerable resource – our children.  From preventative measures at home to safety outdoors, from cybersafety to dealing with peer pressures, this App is a resource for every family and school community. The app can be downloaded via the Apple store, Google Play or Amazon Kindle.

Link to the digital handbook - NSW Police Legacy Child Safety Handbook. Here is also a link to the website with assets that can be used -

Business Manager

Evacuation and Lockdown Drills

These are part of our WHS compliance routine practice to ensure all students and all staff are aware of our emergency procedures, know what to do and where to go! Our procedures are designed to keep students and staff safe while emergency services deal with a real situation (if it was to occur).

Following multiple routine drills this year, the evacuation drill in Term 3 included a scenario whereby a staff member will act as the fire at one location, and students and staff in that area had to use an alternate route to evacuate. This worked well, so in the latter part of Term 4, we will practice a Lockdown drill (date to be advised) during either recess or lunch break. The WHS Committee and I are working on the logistics of this.

End-of-Year Finance Close-off 2019

The finance office will close at 4pm on Monday 16th December so that staff can complete end-of-year processes including stocktake of uniform shop items (bags, hats, ties, rep sport uniform, etc). Please ensure that payments of school fees (who are not on arrangement with CEDP), purchases of school bags, hats, ties, etc are completed by this date.

Payments of school fees and other items can be made via credit card over phone, by EFTPOS at reception or cash/cheque can be put into a sealed envelope with student’s name, homeroom, amount and what it is for, on it.

  • Parents/carers are to liaise with finance officer.
  • Students are to put in drop box at student counter and  if you are paying in cash, please put correct money in envelope.

The office will remain open on Tuesday 17th December for enquiries, however, no further finance transactions can be taken.  Any further payments of school fees will have to be paid by billpay at your local post office.

The office will be closed from Wednesday 18th December for staff professional development training.

Office opening in 2020

The office (including finance and uniform shop) will be open again from 8.00am on Wednesday 22nd January, 2020.

Years 7, 11 and 12 return to school on Wednesday 29th January 2020 and Years 8, 9 and 10 return on Thursday 30th January 2020.

Drop off at front of school

As you all know, we have building works at front of the school. These are not expected to be completed until about Term 3, 2020. The builders’ tradespeople have been recently fined by council for parking in restricted parking areas.

Parents/carers must always take care where you are stopping and dropping off/picking up your children for their own safety and that of other children's safety, in particular on/near the crossing outside Gate C, along Kirby St and in the bus bay. Please ensure you always comply with road rules and do not stop where you shouldn't, even if it is only for a moment! If there are no parking spots right in front of the school, you can stop a little further down Kirby Street and students can safely walk a short distance to the school.

Alternatively, please consider whether students can commute via public/school buses. If you would like information about school buses that stop onsite or about public buses that stop on Kissing Point Rd and about bus passes, please do not hesitate to contact the front office on 8841-7900.

Kerb and Gutter Repairs

KK Civil Engineering has been appointed by Parramatta Council to do kerb and gutter repairs on 2 spots on Kirby Street. One is just at the entry of the bus bay and the other is about halfway between the bus bay entry and exit. We have not been advised exactly when this work will be done, but expect it will be sometime in the next week or so. They advised that it will only take a few hours per day for approx 2 or 3 days and they will have traffic controllers and barriers around the work. After discussions with me, they agreed to start after 9.00am each day (to avoid the peak periods).

Please take extra care when you see this road work.

Uniform Shop

Whilst the majority of our school uniform is at Lowes Carlingford, our onsite uniform shop is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays (before school and during recess and lunch breaks). We sell schoolbags, sports bags, hats, boys ties and representative sports uniforms (which are not sold at Lowes). We also sell good-quality second-hand uniforms.

Costs of uniform items are:

  • School Bag - $65;  Chiro Bag - $95;  Sports Bag - $15; Senior / Junior Ties - $20; Hats - $20.
  • Soccer / Rugby Shorts - $30; Cricket Shirt - $35; Netball Shirt / Skirt  - $35; Representative Sport Socks - $15.
  • Second Hand Uniform items – various prices (please ask)

Students know the uniform shop as part of the “Book Room” (facing the main courtyard). This room is currently being renovated, so students should liaise with the Student Desk. Last day for purchases of uniform shop stock items is Monday 16th December 2019.


Lost Property

If items that are found or handed in are labelled, we contact the student to come to the office to collect it. During every term, we accumulate lots of lost property that we have no way of knowing who it belongs to. These items are held in the uniform shop until the end of each term, so that students that can recognise their item can come and claim it.

However, at the end of each term, any unclaimed uniform items are added to our second-hand uniform stock and other items such as water bottles, lunch boxes, umbrellas, etc are discarded.

Please ensure your child’s name is on their belongings so that if found, we can call them to office to collect.

Lowes Uniform Shop, Carlingford

A reminder that Lowes have recently introduced a customer feedback/complaints email address: for customers who want to know information, or have a problem that cannot be solved at the store level. Customer email and contact details will be sent directly to the Key Accounts Manager to follow up on.

Standard Collection Notice

Please note following the CEDP policy in relation to the collection and disclosure of personal information.

 Ms V. Fraser

Business Manager

School Canteen Licence

School Canteen Licence

Tenders are called for the School Canteen Licence commencing 29 January 2020, for a term of one year (option to renew for a further 1 year).  The school is a Year 7 to Year 12 co-ed high school of 1,010 students and 80 staff.

Please register and download the tender from Tenderlink which will be available on 14 November 2019. The Tenderlink address is provided below.

Ms V. Fraser

Business Manager

P&F Meeting

Dear St Patrick's Marist Parent Community

Our last meeting for the year will be held in the College Staff Room on Wednesday 27th November.  We will be starting our meeting with food (a grazing table) and fellowship at 7.00pm followed by our Term 4 meeting at 7.30pm (which will be a short meeting). We would love to see you all there but appreciate if you can RSVP via for catering purposes. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of the P&F by attending meetings and volunteering at various events.  It has been incredible to see the servant hearts of our volunteers and the impact they have made by blessing this community through various events.  As we reflect on 2019, we look forward to building on all that has been done and making 2020 even better! We look forward to seeing you on the 27th of November!

P&F Executive


Year 11

In Week 5, our Year 11 students spent 3 days at the Marist Brothers Hermitage at Mittagong. What a great time away this was! This spiritual experience allowed students to think more deeply about their relationship with God and one another. An important aspect was when students had the chance to affirm one another. Students should keep these affirmations as a keepsake and reminder of their wonderful gifts. The overwhelming sentiment is that the Year Group is now closer and more united. Students should continue to draw on this special time for inspiration during the next twelve months of their school journey together.

My thanks to Mr Paton and Mr Moussa who facilitated the Retreat and to all the dedicated teachers who attended the Retreat. Also, well done to all students for their excellent behaviour and attitude.

On Wednesday of this week, students had the opportunity to hear from Glenn Gerreyn who runs "The HopeFull Institute". Many important messages were shared and a key aspect was that he suggested that students produce a Vision Board which they can use to focus their attention on in preparation for next year’s HSC.

Mr David Bonora

Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 11 

Year 10


On the 4th of November Year 10 went on the much awaited, annual harbour cruise on Sydney Harbour. This was on one of Sydney's premier luxury boats "The Starship Sydney". I congratulate and thank the students of Year 10 for making this night a success and a true celebration of friendships in the cohort. Students were dressed impeccably and made the night a great success.  Sincere thanks goes out to not only the Year 10 students but also the Year 10 Homeroom Patrons, staff who attended, the College Leadership Team and all of the parents, guardians and friends who assisted in transport. 

Mr D. Berner

Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 10

Year 9

Our  Year 9 student leaders represented the College with great poise and dignity at the City of Parramatta, Remembrance Service at Prince Alfred Park, Parramatta.

Anthony Azar, Beatrice Harnn, Ben Goss and Mia Boulous attended the ceremony and presented a wreath on behalf of St Patricks Marist College.

Lest We Forget.

Year 8

We are looking forward to the Beach Skills day this Friday 22nd November and thank you for returning all permission notes. All students are expected to attend the day even if they are not swimming.

A reminder that the Years 7 and 8 Dance is on Friday the 29th November in the La Valla Centre from 6:00pm - 8:30pm.  Please bring in your permission notes ASAP and buy your ticket using the link on the note. All proceeds go towards the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Appeal. Let’s get Back to the 80’s! There will be prizes for best dressed. 

Please remember that school does not finish for the year officially until the 19th December. Students last day of classes are the Friday, 13th December and all students are expected to continue working as safe, respectful learners. Parent / Teacher / Student Interviews will be held on the Monday the 16th and Tuesday the 17th of December.

Our Homerooms have been busy getting involved in our school spirit for the Champagnat Cup. They have decorated their classroom doors and joined in the Christmas Spirit. We are also collecting perishables for the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Hamper Appeal. If you could please give to those in need it would be greatly appreciated.

Last Thursday was World Diabetes Day. We would like to congratulate Jordan Bassett-Smith who won the 'Little Courage Ambassador Award' for being a 'Type 1 Diabetic Hero'.  This award was given by Rob Palmer and recognises Jordan's incredible courage dealing with his Type 1 Diabetes and his many friends who also live with Type 1. He was awarded this for saving lives many times with his knowledge and assistance to those living with Type 1 Diabetes.

Mrs N Padden

Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 8 

Year 7

The Year 7 & 8 Dance will be held on Friday the 29th of November and will promise to be a great evening! The theme is “Back to the 80’s” and we encourage all Year 7 and 8 students to attend.

 Students will need to purchase a ticket from the link below and return the permission note to their homeroom teacher. 

 Years 7 and 8 Dance (

A reminder to Year 7 that our expectations are still high regardless of the time of year in terms of academia, behaviour and uniform.

Mr J. Hornby

Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 7

National Young Leaders Day

On Monday the 4th of November, the 2020 student leadership team, including myself, was granted the opportunity to attend the Sydney National Young Leaders Day with hundreds of other students from around the area. We arrived at the International Convention Centre that morning with little idea on what to expect but were quickly welcomed into an exciting and jam-packed day full of inspiring people and messages.

Over the course of the day we were lucky enough to have four incredible people speak to us about leadership, hard work and struggle in their own lives. These included John Coutis, Bianca Chatfield, Erin Molan and Lachlan Smart. Each of them spoke passionately about their experiences and the lessons it taught them. For myself, one of the most valuable of these as a  student leader came from Lachlan Smart, the youngest person to fly around the world solo. When recounting his journey, he said, “You can’t risk your life, it’s the only thing you have to change the world with”.  He encouraged us - the youth, to not only be the leaders of tomorrow, but the leaders of today, and affirmed that we all have the ability to make a difference in our community.

Overall, it was a great day for learning and guidance and to meet other young leaders from their own schools. I know that we all were inspired and can’t wait to come back and apply these messages in our own school community. We would like to thank Mrs Dunston for organising this excursion and Mr Moussa for accompanying us as well.

Claudia Ball 

Key Learning Areas

Vocational Education


2019 College Graduates 

Congratulations to Anjali Apana and Sebastian Thomson who recently attended their graduation at Westmead Hospital. Both students successfully completed their two year Certificate III Human Services Assistance course. The course is facilitated by Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) in partnership with western Sydney schools. 

Anjali hopes to study a Paramedicine degree and Sebastian is planning to study a Bachelor of Nursing degree in 2020

Photo: (L-R ) Judith Smith (Leader of Learning Vocational Education and Training); Sebastian Thomson, Carrie Alvaro (Program Coordinator and Nurse Educator);  Anjali Apana;  Rose Mana- Teuku (Nurse Educator)

Food Technology


On the 8th of November, our Year 9 Food Technology students travelled to the ICC at Darling Harbour to attend the ‘Cake, Bakes and Sweets Show’. This is an event for baking enthusiasts of all ages where you can immerse yourself in different workshops, watch demonstrations and shop till you drop on all things dessert. This exhibit helps learn new skills and techniques, ask any questions, get tips from professionals and see chefs create mouthwatering desserts. 

When we first walked in we were extremely overwhelmed, we made our way around the stalls but first we were attracted by this lesson starting, it was a cookie modelling class with different tools and colours to work with, and we thought it was very creative and exciting. After this we then moved on to view different stalls and then came to this cake show where there was a public vote for what cake we thought looked the best. We looked at everything from a koala on a branch, to an emu and then came across this massive cockatoo with models of lamingtons, tim tams, a vegemite tub and anything else Australian. 

There were overall 61 stalls which had a range of fun and exciting cake tutorial shows which taught you so many easy tips, some stalls had decorating equipment, and even some stalls which sold delicious desserts such as macaroons, ice creams and cupcakes. All of the stalls in the cake, bake and sweets show were educational, entertaining and had delicious desserts. We watched a decorating segment for Christmas cookies by Julia Day and became aware of how much the consistency of your icing can make or break your vision for the final result. Through this demo, we also found out a lot about alternative ingredients you can use to strengthen and help your dessert.  

Overall we had a lot of fun and this experience taught us a lot about baking which will now help us with our upcoming exam on food for special occasions and food trends. We would like to thank Miss Tripodi and Miss Kasmer for making this excursion very fun and educational for both Year 9 Food Technoloty classes.


Jacinta Bou Serhal - 9 Edwin

Briana Khoury - 9 Ludovic


Formulas, Faith and Figures

If you haven't already managed to see article by Mr Zaouk in the latest edition of the 'Catholic Weekly', take some time to read about his passion for igniting a love of Mathematics in his students.

"With the recent announcement by the NSW government that mathematics will become a  compulsory subject for Years 11 and 12, teachers and parents everywhere are wondering how to keep students not only participating but engaged in the subject."   Click on the link to read the article in full.

Year 11 Physics Excursion - University of Technology


Thank You to our Walkathon Sponsors

Community News

School Holiday Programs

HSC P.D.H.P.E. Workshops