Star of Peace

St Patrick's Marist College

Newsletter No 2 - 19 February 2020

From the Principal ....

This week we have celebrated the beginning of our school year with our Commencement Mass. It is a wonderful way to start our new school year, we welcomed each of our new students and staff to our Marist Community. My hope is that they each come to love this place and the community of people as much as I do. 

2020 is the 148th iteration of St Patrick’s Marist. So yes we are commencing a new year, but really we are simply commencing the next chapter of our story, the story of St Patrick's Marist College, what has been and continues to be an outstanding, hospitable and welcoming community.

I know that we will continue to do our tradition proud together, to live out our rich heritage. We keep the spirit and heart of what it means to be Marist alive always acting with strong minds and gentle hearts.

This year, we continue to deepen our focus on learning using collaborative inquiry across all areas within the College, as Leaders, as teachers and students. On Monday at our Staff Professional Learning Day, we talked about making learning rigorous and thinking visible at surface, deep at transfer levels. How do we as teachers ensure that we are not doing the thinking for students, that we don’t jump to give them answers, break everything down so it is easy? How do we move students from just waiting for the teacher to give us the right responses, the perfect essay? How do we challenge their responses, make them justify them, how do we ensure that they look at multiple perspects and engage in deep debate with each other?

We want student’s brains fully engaged, we want them collaborating on complex problems. We know struggle equals growth, confusion is key, and therefore we need to ensure there is tension in their learning, so that they really learn in ways that allow them to apply that learning to different contexts well beyond the unit of work. We as teachers are in the learning pit, right alongside our students. What a great place to inquire, to collaborate and grow together.

This year our Formation goal is to bring our mission and gospel to life, to put into action things that will help make a difference in the lives of others. We are focusing on the goals of our mission and I am so excited to see how our plan encompasses every year group. We will be working with our SRC representatives and all students to help create and determine those actions.

We continue to work on our new Wellbeing Framework, in building opportunities to connect, empower and grow each member of our community, with a significant focus on the development of our PBS4L (Positive Behaviour Support for Learning), which will replace our current student management policy. This is already in progress, has already involved students and will continue to involve student input and student voice as we move forward.

We will continue to strengthen our new Year 9 leadership structure, widen their opportunities to engage in authentic leadership and we have developed a stronger model for our SRC processes, meetings and feedback to the College Leadership team about things that matter to students.

I said to students today, “The old saying you get out what you put in, is so very true, this year, jump in, have a go, believe the best in people, every day there is something to be thankful for ,so look for something positive each and every day even if some days you need to look a little harder and always try to be the person who makes someone else’s day better.

Ultimately we want you to grow, to be happy, to flourish and to be successful self aware young people who are inspired by the gospel, be disciples of Jesus in whatever you do, and together help us create one new humanity.”

Peer Support:  Congratulations to Year 10 who are doing a fantastic job working with our new Year 7, I have been so impressed with their enthusiasm and leadership.

Enrolments 2021:  A reminder that enrolments are well underway for 2021. We have already had a significant number of applications and applications close on the 27th March, with first round offers going out on the 6th of April. This year our Open Day will be on the 16th of March. I ask that you share this information with families that may be considering St Patrick’s Marist College for their children. 

Uniform:  A gentle reminder that the girls socks should be ankle socks not sport socks. This means they should be above the ankle. It makes such a difference to the overall look of the uniform. Thanks for your assistance with this.

Need a Hand?:  There are times when things are not going well. Please know that we are always here to assist you. If you are not sure who to talk to, just give the office a call and they can direct you as needed.

Yours in Jesus, Mary and St Marcellin

Mrs Angela Hay


Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning


    On Friday 21 February, Elevate conducted Study Skills seminars for Years 7 to 10.  Since 2001, Elevate has been transforming the way study skills programs are run across Australia. Drawing upon over many years of research into the habits of the country’s top students, Elevate's high impact seminars and workshops help students improve their study techniques, increase motivation, build confidence, and lift exam performance.

    Elevate’s reputation for achieving behavioural change has led the company to become an international leader in education, working with over 1500 schools and 350,000 students in the UK, USA, South Africa and Singapore.

    Elevate’s study skills seminars are designed to achieve behavioural change amongst students. It isn’t enough that students simply understand what they need to do in their study. The challenge in any study skills program is getting students to use and apply the skills they learn. Elevate gets students using the skills from its seminars and workshops by using an integrated process that works. 


    On Monday 17 February teachers spent the day with Dr Michael McDowell.  Dr McDowell is an international presenter, author, superintendent and teacher in the Ross School District, California.

    Our focus was to design tasks that move students from surface to deep and transfer learning through inquiry, so that they will become confident and competent learners. The staff investigated how to make three shifts essential to improving student learning:

    • Clarity: Students should be clear on what they are expected to learn, where they are in the process, and what next steps they need to take to get there.
    • Challenge: Help students move from surface to deep and transfer learning.
    • Culture: Empower them to use that knowledge to make a difference in theirs and the lives of others. 


    It just makes sense!

    The best way to improve is to receive detailed, specific and relevant feedback.

    In an article posted on the Western Sydney University Website “The Importance of Effective Feedback” the following three important points were made:

    • Feedback is Integral to Learning:  Detailed feedback on performance, when effective, is widely considered to be integral to learning. People learn faster and more deeply if they know what the strengths and weaknesses of their performance are and most importantly, how to improve future performance. 
  • Feedback assists the learner to monitor their own learning:  Students tend to become self-regulated learners when they are provided with detailed feedback on performance as well as guidance for future improvement.
  • Feedback directly impacts student experience:  Constructive, well-written feedback contributes to positive self-esteem and an ability to interpret feedback, be it positive or negative, more objectively. As positive self-esteem and self-belief increase motivation to learn and improve performance, effective feedback has a flow on effect on student outcomes through increased success and retention.

      College Dux, Anton Sheridan, was joined by brother Luke Sheridan and Claudia Sobral on stage for achieving the top three ATARs.  They also received an 'All Rounder' Award with fellow recipients: Renee Cunningham; Ashley Doueihi; Peter Litsas; Nalin Mastou and Brendan Mitchell

      Other awards presented on the day included: Brendan Mitchell - First in State in Mathematics Standard 2; Natalia Grodek - First in State in Polish Continuers; Andrew Bidney - Second in State in Music 1; Luke Sheridan - 8th in State for Studies of Religion II and 9th in State for Modern History; Ashley Doueihi - 10th in State for Business Studies and Peter Litsas who achieved 19th in State for Business Studies.

      There were 28 students who received a +90 ATAR.

      The afternoon concluded with a light lunch where family, friends, staff and the award recipients had the opportunity to catch up and talk about their next steps. Our current Year 12 then had the opportunity to meet with our award winners and ask questions about the secrets to their success.

      On Wednesday 12 February our school community celebrated the many successes of the HSC Class of 2019. Each year we invite back the Year 12 Students who excelled in their HSC, especially those who received an ATAR of 90 or above. We also celebrated students who received a State placing in their respective courses and our “All Rounders”, students who achieved 5 or more band 6 results.

      Mr P. Finnerty

      Assistant Principal

      Innovation, Teaching and Learning

      High Achievers

      Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

      Explanation of Absences

      Business Manager


      • New library – we are still organising new furniture for the new library space. CEDP is also working on providing disability access to the library.
      • A block – our builders are starting to fit-out the ground floor as they continue to build the upper levels. There is still a lot of work to do. At times we need to block access to the senior cola area. However, our builders are working with me and attempting to work their schedules around our break times. ETA is mid Term 3 (at this stage).


      Most excursions and incursions are included in your School Fees. CEDP have sent school fee statements and flexible payment arrangements have been offered by direct debit, Bpay or Centrelink. This is the best way to pay your school fees, as they are processed via their office on our behalf and reduce our need to handle such payments. You can also pay school fees by Billpay at the local post office (most are open on Saturday mornings), credit card over the phone or by EFTPOS or cash at reception. Please consider your child’s personal safety and do not send large sums of cash with them.

      For large events eg Year 12 Formal, etc we use TryBooking online payments, so that we reduce that volume of cash that we receipt and bank.

      For any other incidental payments to be brought in by students, they must put money into a sealed envelope with student’s name, homeroom, amount and what it is for, on it and students are to put in drop box at student counter. These are not collected by teachers. It would assist us greatly if you could put correct money in envelope.


      In 2019, we organised several working bees following the offer from the P&F whether we needed assistance from our parent community. As the grounds of the school are so large, this is always much appreciated!

      I’m starting to organise a working bee for the morning of Saturday 7th March 2020. Further details will be sent home separately with students, however, if you are interested, please mark this date in your calendar.

      ONSITE UNIFORM SHOP (situated in the 'Book Room')

      The majority of our school uniform is at Lowes Carlingford. Our onsite uniform shop is open on Thursdays (before school and during recess and lunch breaks). We sell school-bags, sports bags, hats, boys’ ties and representative sports uniforms. Costs 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; rep socks $15
      • Second hand uniform and rep sports uniform items – various (please ask)

      We also sell good-quality second-hand uniforms.


      • Light-weight Trousers:  Following numerous discussions during P&F Association meetings in 2019, we reviewed introducing lighter-weight trousers for the boys. After consultation with our uniform suppliers Lowe and the P&F, we decided to go ahead with these new lightweight trousers. Lowes are in the process of manufacturing these trousers for us. At this stage, I have no definite date for their arrival in-store, however, I will keep you updated as I liaise with our representative.
      • Lowes Manufacturers in China:  I have just received an email from our Lowes representative regarding their situation with their suppliers and uniforms coming out of China. They advise that uniform orders, samples, logistics and air freight have all been affected, however, they are working closely with their suppliers to ensure they are up to date with information regarding the impact this is having on their overseas orders. I am liaising with our rep regarding stock levels in-store and in their Australian warehouses, however, they would appreciate our patience and understanding during this time.  

      Extract of their communication:  With escalating contamination, the full impact of the Coronavirus is not yet known. We are closely monitoring the situation with our uniform makers in China and working to determine what impact this will have on our supply of uniforms to school communities.  The situation is very fluid with increasing cases being reported inside and outside of  China. Factories are taking measures to guard against its spread and at this stage are not confident in employees returning to work for fear of contamination.  The factors below may impact our delivery schedule.

      1. Chinese Government has extended the break with CNY by 7 days
      2. Local councils have ask all people travelling interstate during CNY to stay home for 14 days before they are able to return to work
      3. Logistics and transport will be impacted due to lower number of employees and too little stock available for shipping. This will create a flood of garments for dispatch when the threat is under control, potentially causing further delays
      4. Australian Federal Government agencies have advised ship’s crew that if they have joined a ship, or have been ashore in mainland China and returned to the vessel from 1 February, they will not be permitted to come ashore in Australia within the 14-day window from last being in China. If any individual member of the crew has been ashore in China and boarded the ship from 1 February, the entire crew will be required to remain on the vessel for the 14 day quarantine period.

      For vessels, this means that they must remain at sea or off the coast of Australia for 14 days from when they left China. This tactic, which is beneficial in protecting the health of Australian citizens who work at the port and ship pilots, will cause delays and have a significant impact on vessel arrivals. While this is likely to impact all vessels based on delays and port congestion, in particular, this will impact express services to Australia and New Zealand where the transit time is less than 14 days.  This will also affect Airfreight .

      We appreciate your understanding and will keep you updated.

      Our thoughts are with the families and communities of those affected by the virus during this very difficult time.

      Lowes 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.


      We usually accumulate a lot of lost property over the year. If items are labelled, we contact the student to come to the office to collect it. Otherwise, we have no way of knowing who it belongs to. Please ensure your child’s name is on their belongings.

      Unlabelled items are held in the uniform shop, so students who can recognise their item can come and claim it. At the end of each term, any unclaimed uniform items are added to our second-hand uniform stock. Other items e.g. water bottles, lunch boxes, umbrellas, etc are discarded..

       Ms V. Fraser

      Business Manager

      School Fees - First Instalment

      The first instalment of the School Fees has now been mailed out to families from the Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta.  Please contact me if you have not received them or have any concerns regarding your fees.  The fees are due by 18th March if you are not on a formal payment arrangement.

      Any family that was on a payment arrangement in 2019 need to contact me to organise a new arrangement for this year.  

      Payment options are available in your first statement.   Payment of fees can be paid by:  Credit card, direct debit, cheque, bpay, billpay, Centrelink payments, eftpos or cash.  If you are paying with a large amount of cash this can also be paid at your local post office using billpay.

      If any family is experiencing financial difficulty please do not hesitate to contact me confidentially on – 8841 7955 Monday to Thursday or email or   The College is happy to assist any family requiring more time to pay off the fees.

      Ms Rolla Wadih

      School Fee Administrator

      Stay Connected

      Our newsletter, ‘The Star of Peace’ is published fortnightly on our website and through the Skoolbag App which the College uses as it's main source of digital contact to parents and caregivers. A link is also emailed to parents. The newsletter highlights the latest news and achievements from our students, staff and our Marist community.  If you do not receive the emailed link to the newsletter, please contact the College Office on 8841 7900 to rectify.  It is important that an up-to-date email is on file at the College to ensure that not only the newsletter but other important information is delivered to parents/carers in an accurate and timely manner.

      If you wish to provide feedback, let me know of your son/daughter achievements outside of the College or if you have any concerns around communication here at the College please do not hesitate to contact me at 

      Mrs C. Le Mottee


      SkoolBag App

      The College uses the ‘SkoolBag’ app to broadcast messages, show calendar items, reminders and other school notices delivered to your mobile device.  

      Our SkoolBag user database will be updated with the latest emails we have been provided and you will be prompted to download the latest version of the SkoolBag app, change your password and sync your calendar so that you can add school events to your personal calendar from within the app and have access to alerts and content from your mobile. 

      When adding our school, search for St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas when downloading from the App Store and St Patrick’s MC Dundas when on Google play.

      Facebook and Instagram

      The College Facebook page is another avenue to stay connected, view photos and be able to witness events taking place.  

      Like us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with events as they are happening within the College. or you can follow us on Instagram:

      Parents and Friends

      A warm welcome especially to our families who are new to the College.  We are very grateful for this community and the servant hearts of our volunteers who generously give of their time and resources.  We look forward to a great year!

      Dates for the Diary

      • P&F AGM and General Meeting – Tuesday 25 February at 7.00pm in the La Valla Centre
      • Year 7 Parents Welcome Cocktail Night – Friday 13 March at 7.00pm in the La Valla Centre Look out for your email invite that will be sent out shortly.

      Opportunities to serve:  There are many ways to be involved in partnering with the College. The P&F regularly provides their support with College events.  For Example:

      • Open Day
      • Year 7 Parent Cocktail Night
      • Working Bee
      • Mother’s and Father’s Day celebrations
      • Teachers Thank You Morning Tea

      If you have ideas, feedback or would like to be involved in serving please send an email to

      St Patrick's Marist P&F Executive


      Welcome Cocktail Evening

      Parent Representative Council


      Year 9

      Year 9 have had a great start to the year, with students beginning their elective subjects for the first time and enjoying the opportunity to engage with their interests. 

      Our focus for Year 9 is respect and kindness, and students will begin to look deeply at what this means and looks like in their everyday life. 

      I would like to take the opportunity to share some exciting news about one of our Year 9 students. 

      Over the holidays, Isabelle Nilon (9 Xavier) travelled to New Zealand to compete in the 2020 Colgate  Games, an athletics event encompassing the best junior athletes in the New Zealand North Island. Belle competed in, and won, the Grade 14 Girls 2000 metre Race Walk in a Personal Best time. This has been Belle’s second win in the Colgate Games as in 2018, she competed in and won the Grade 12 Girls 1200 metre Race Walk. 

      Also over the summer, Belle competed in the Trans Tasman Zone Gala Day at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland, where she competed in the Grade 14 Girls events and won the 60 metres, 100 metres, 200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres and long jump, while placing 3rd in Discuss. 

      This is a fantastic achievement and we congratulate Belle on this! 

      If you have any achievements or exciting news about your children, please let me know. 

      Miss C. Basha

      Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 9

      Year 7

      Year 7 have settled nicely into the normality of High School after completing three weeks at the College. We have a Google Classroom for Year 7, where important information is given. Students are expected to check this daily. 

      Camp is on the horizon in Week 6. Parents and students are reminded that all medications for students must be labelled and given to myself on the morning we leave in the Harrington Courtyard.

      Keeping Track starts this Wednesday, from 3.20pm to 4.20pm in the library. Students can only attend if they have returned their permission slip.

      Students are asked to continue their fantastic start at the College in following the school rules and living the Marist values.

      A few important dates:

      Parent Information Evening - 25th February:   It is an expectation that all parents attend.

      P & F Cocktail Evening - 13th March @ 7.00pm: Don't forget to book your tickets! RSVP via the following link

      For catering purposes RSVPs must be in by Monday 9 March 2020.  

      A reminder that no students are allowed to attend this event.

      Mrs N. Padden

      Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 7

      Key Learning Areas

      Learning Enrichment Centre (LEC) 2020

      As a system of schools we respect the sacredness and dignity of the human person. Honouring the diversity of each individual is therefore a fundamental principle of learning and teaching within the Diocese. Meeting the needs of all students is the responsibility of the whole school community.

      OUR TEAM 

      Diversity Leader:   Mrs Catherine Thomson Management of all LEC matters. 
      Overseeing Years 10-12 (

      Diversity Teacher:   Mrs Andrea Harney.  Overseeing Years 7-9 (

      Diversity Teacher:   Mrs Christina Greenlees (Wednesday and Friday). Year 12 (

      R3 Specialist Teacher:  Stay tuned!

      Teacher Aides:   Mrs Elaine Glading; Mrs Nicole Jones, Sonia King and and Mrs Allison Crase-Markarian (Monday and Tuesday) 

      We are here to work in partnership with  students, their parents/carers and college teachers. Some of the services we provide include:

      • Facilitate Personalised Planning Meetings for individual students

      • Identifying and supporting the implementation of adjustments to learning that supports students to participate in their learning

      • Providing direct support to individual students or groups of students within classes or within the Learning enrichment centre.

      • Safe and supportive environment for students who may require a quiet place to work or take a break.

      • Post School Options planning and support for students planning an employment or vocational training pathways

      • Inclusive Life Skills programs for selected students

      • R3 - Reading Intervention - Year 7 and Year 8

      • EMU - Mathematics Intervention Year 7 and Year 8

      • Certificate II Foundation Skills- Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways -Year 11 and Year 12

      • Newsletter - information and updates for students, parents and carers

      • PBS4L - supporting school wide implementation of a positive approach to behaviour management and learning for all students

      • Positive Behaviour Support Planning -  Individualised student centred approach to targeted behaviour management. 

      • Case Management - supporting implementation in partnership with Wellbeing/ Pastoral team to provide targeted individual intervention for  identified students

      • HSC Disability provisions applications

      • Professional learning for teachers and others

      Upcoming news and resources:

      We will regularly share information about what our department can provide in  support of students, as well as other resources that will assist parent/ carers  to support their son and daughter at home and at school

      Personalised Planning (PP’s) Meetings

      Please keep your eye out for an invitation for Parents/ Carers to attend a Personalised Planning Meeting. 

      These meetings will occur throughout the year and will provide you with the details to schedule online a time to meet with the LEC team 

      The purpose of the PP is to ensure that students with diverse learning needs to access and participate in their learning on the same basis as their peers. This is done by ensuring that there is collaboration and input from all parties that support your son or daughter.

      Mrs Catherine Thomson

      Diversity Leader

      Music and Drama


      Years 9-12

      Performing Arts students studying Elective Music and Drama in Years 9-12 were fortunate to be offered the opportunity to see a Matinee performance of the musical ‘Les Miserables’ on Friday 14th February.

      This was a wonderful opportunity for students to truly understand the dramatic elements of live theatre with experienced actors and singers on the stage, whilst experiencing the powerful sound of live orchestral accompaniment. One of our talented Drama students Brianna Webster in Year 11, has external connections with the Theatre and was actually working backstage to operate the moving spotlights during the show!

      Thank you to our wonderful Performing Arts Staff for accompanying the students on this day out: Mr Chris Frede, Mr Thanh Nguyen, Mrs Renee Lyons, Mrs Claire Franke and our fabulous support officer Mrs Rolla Wadih who came with us on the excursion even though it was her day off! 

      Ms T. Andrews

      Leader of Learning - Performing and Creative Arts

      College Swimming Carnival

      St Patrick’s once again held our annual swimming carnival at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, on Friday 31st January. It again proved to be an excellent stage to host our carnival that was filled with fun and enthusiasm. It was an excellent way to begin the 2020 Sporting Calendar for St Patrick’s Marist. 

      This year proved to be a memorable carnival based largely on the efforts of the Year 12 House Captains. Their preparation before the carnival, their passion and enthusiasm and their involvement in running the carnival on the day was absolutely outstanding and ensured that the carnival was enjoyed by all staff and students. The House Parades for 2020 were certainly a standout for the Carnival.

      Throughout the carnival the level of participation was excellent, with several new records being set by Alex Lee, Charlotte Moujalli, Elina Myeong and the Chavoin Junior Girls Relay team who broke records in various events on the day.

      Plenty of those who did not get the opportunity to swim in the Competitive events in the main pool, participated in the novelty events and had the opportunity to get wet and have some fun. 

      The House Captains for all houses were outstanding throughout the day leading their House in cheers in supporting their houses. Congratulations goes to Tamsyn Brown and Charlotte Moujalli, the Mackillop House Captains, and the entire Mackillop House members for your efforts on the day.

      The final House points were:

      • MacKillop - 476

      • Edwin -  462

      • Paul - 438

      • Ludovic - 301

      • Xavier - 292

      • Chavoin - 271

      Age Champions for the day will be awarded later this term at a full college assembly.

      Thank you to all students and staff for your participation and positive attitude on the day.

      Mr R. James

      Sports Coordinator

      From the Library...

      Community News

      Walk for Autism

      You are invited to join us in this year’s Walk for autism from 29 March – 5 April 2020. By taking part, you can start a conversation about autism and help foster greater understanding and acceptance. 

       Register Now!

      Walk for autism challenges participants to take 10,000 steps a day for eight days while raising vital funds for people of all ages on the autism spectrum. It is a virtual event, which means you can take part at any time, place and pace that suits you. An estimated one in every 70 people in Australia is on the autism spectrum. It is likely that you know someone, perhaps a family member, friend, workmate – even a student.

      Get involved and step towards a more inclusive future for people of all ages on the autism spectrum.