13 September 2019

The Archbishop of Sydney Award for Student Excellence

The Archbishop of Sydney Awards for Student Excellence, an annual award ceremony involving 49 Catholic secondary schools, was held at St Mary’s Cathedral School Hall, last Friday 6 September. It is always such a lovely occasion and very uplifting to hear of the wonderful ways in which our young people across Sydney are active in their communities. This prestigious annual award, sponsored by the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher OP, recognises the outstanding young women and men in Catholic schools across Sydney. It is an important way of profiling the very positive contribution that young people make to their school and local communities to change and improve the world. It is also an affirmation of the support that families offer their children, and public acclaim for the commitment and dedication of their teachers.

Congratulations to Luana Di Stefano

Our very worthy College recipient for 2019 is Year 12 student, Luana Di Stefano. As an MSCW college community we are very proud of Luana. The following citation was read at the ceremony last Friday:

Elected as the Liturgy Captain in 2019, Luana shows humility and gentleness in her actions. She attended the Australian Catholic Youth Festival in 2017, and enjoys participating in various Youth Ministry events. Luana has taken part in St Vincent De Paul Winter Sleepout, College Social Justice initiatives and Faith in Action groups as well as Project Compassion. Luana helped develop the College Prayer and regularly leads the praying of the Angelus. At Holy Name of Mary, Hunters Hill, Luana has been an altar server, a member of the parish youth group and a Confirmation Sacramental Program group leader. In everything she does, Luana espouses the Gospel values and lives out Jesus’ message.

New Staff

Three new staff members have joined the College recently, and they introduce themselves to the College community below.

Dr Anne Ireland, Principal

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools -Charter #1, #2, #8, #10 & #11

New Staff Introductions

Ms Dervila Breen

My name is Dervila Breen, and I am a Visual Arts Teacher. I have previously worked at a Marist College in Western Sydney before joining the learning community at Marist Sisters’ College Woolwich.

I am very excited to join the Creative Arts Department here at MSCW and look forward to contributing to the high calibre of artmaking and art knowledge.

Mrs Fionna Andersen

After spending 17 years working in my family business in Goulburn, I moved to Sydney with my husband as he was appointed Year 8 Assistant Coordinator at St Joseph's College. In 2009, I began working for Teacher Training Australia in administration and logistics. From 2012 until this year, I have been at home with my little boy, who is now 9.

I look forward to working with the team in the General Administration Office.

Mrs Maria Marino

As a former Personal Assistant, I was wanting a career change.  I am now working here at the College in the General Administration Office on Mondays and Tuesdays. 

My three daughters have graduated from the College and seeing the familiar faces has definitely been very welcoming.  I am also working at All Hallows Primary School on Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays.

I look forward to working with the team in the General Administration Office.

From the Assistant Principal

CsSPA Dance Showcase

On the evening of Tuesday, 3 September, we had two of our HSC Dance students have their own compositions performed at the CASPA HSC Dance Showcase which was held at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College, Kensington. The two students who had their work selected were Jade Norman and Mahlia King. Their compositions were performed by Olivia Moar, Jacinta De Palo, Emily Hawkins and Ariah Lawson.

The compositions were like none I have seen before and the way they were performed by the girls were a true testament to the gifts and talents they have as dancers! A number of people from other schools and from SCS made comment to me about the compositions and performances. I was so very proud of the six girls!

Thank you to Ms Melissa Cooper-Findlay for the guidance and mentoring she has given the students in the preparation of this work. Ms Cooper-Findlay writes more later in the newsletter.

Request from Sydney Buses

576W Bus - Morning Service

It has been requested that students catching the 576 from West Ryde to the College, need to wait at Stand D on West Parade and no other bus stop. If you daughter catches this bus, please ask her to ensure that she is at the correct bus stop.

Reporting Concerns

From the feedback I have received, there seems to be improvement on the arrival of students to the College each morning as a result of the change in schedules. The afternoon buses also seem to be more punctual than they have been in the past. On occasion, concerns are reported to me by students. I ask parents to continue to lodge concerns on 131 500 or

While I was speaking with someone from Sydney Buses through the week I was informed that there will be less opportunity in the future for concerns to be lodged by phone so I suggest parents use the online process. It is important that the concerns are lodged as the girls’ safety is an absolute priority.

I thank all parents who have lodge concerns in the past. It has led to a response in the improvement of the bus services for the College. We still must insist that the girls use their OPAL Cards to tap on and off. I thank the teachers for insisting on this as welcome the continued support from parents in ensuring their daughters comply with this expectation.

Year 11 Preliminary Exams

This week, Year 11 started their Preliminary Exams. These exams will provide the students with some very detailed feedback with regard to their strengths and areas for improvement. I extend to all Year 11 Students my best wishes and they will remain in my prayers.

To assist students with their preparation for these assessments, supervised quiet study was provided in Jarnosse in Weeks 7 and 8. This was a very successful program for students who participated in it and will continue to run in the future when similar assessment blocks occur. I encourage all students to take full advantage of this opportunity when it is next available.

Ms Marietta Taliana, Assistant Principal

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #1, #2 & #8

From the Religious Education Coordinator

House Candles

At our Principal's Assembly last week we formally blessed our newly commissioned House Candles. They look spectacular and will add to the faith life of our community. Below is an excerpt of my speech from that assembly: 

“These candles will be used at House events and will become a physical symbol of Christ's presence in these groups. Our College Prayer asks our loving God to “Guide us to build positive relationships through our Houses” and these candles will remind us of Christ’s guiding light which illuminates our path.

But what do I mean by Christ?

As I said to my Year 7 class recently, Christ is not Jesus’ last name. As some of you may know, the word Christ roughly translates to “anointed one” or “blessed one”. When we believe in Jesus Christ, we’re believing in something much bigger than the historical incarnation of God that we call Jesus. Jesus is the visible map. However, the Christ, includes us and includes all of creation since the beginning of time (see Romans 1:20).

As Richard Rohr, an American Franciscan Priest, Academic and Author states, “light is not so much what you directly see - as that by which you see everything else”. In other words, without light we see nothing and with light we see everything. This is why in John’s Gospel, Jesus Christ makes the almost boastful statement, ‘I am the Light of the World’ (John 8:12). Jesus Christ enables us to see as God sees, if that is not expecting too much.”

Scientists have discovered that what looks like darkness to the human eye is actually darkness with tiny particles called “neutrinos”, slivers of light that pass through the entire universe. Apparently there is no such thing as a total darkness anywhere, even though the human eye thinks there is. John’s Gospel was more accurate than we realised when it describes Christ as “a light that darkness cannot overcome”. Knowing that the inner light of things cannot be eliminated or destroyed is deeply hopeful. And as if that is not enough, John’s choice of an active verb, The true Light...was coming into the world, shows us that the Christ Mystery and that God does not just dwell in Jesus but dwells in all of creation. As it states in Genesis, “God saw and light was good”. Hold onto that! 

Our Liturgy Captains will now process down with each of the House Candles. They will light their new House Candle from the College Candle, symbolising that the source and strength of our Houses is our larger College Community. 

Firstly, I ask the Liturgy Captain of Chanel, Tamar Mazmanian, to come forward with the Chanel House Candle. St Peter Chanel followed Christ’s light to the Pacific where he spread the Good News with vigour and courage. We pray that this candle may be a source of inspiration for the girls of Chanel as they reach outwards and upwards. 

I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Chavoin, Eva Vumbaca, to come forward with the Chavoin House Candle. Jeanne Marie Chavoin was the flame that ignited the  Society of Mary, we pray that this candle be a reminder of a woman of strength, humility, realism, and prophetic insight who proclaimed the timeless message of the Gospel by living Mary’s example.

I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Colin, Emily Hansen, to come forward with the Colin House Candle. Jean-Claude Colin was guided throughout his life by Christ, firstly to acknowledge his calling to join the priesthood and then throughout his leadership as the Superior General of the Society of Mary. We pray that this candle will be a symbol and an inspiration for all members of this house to follow Colin’s example to see Christ in each other as they strive for Unity within Diversity. 

I now ask the Jaricot House Captains, Charlotte Chambers and Ella King, to come forward with the Jaricot House Candle. Jesus Christ called us to help those in need, to help those on the periphery of society. Pauline Jaricot worked tirelessly and selflessly for the poor. Inspired by her example, we pray this candle may remind us of Christ’s presence in all of humanity and may He illuminate the right path ahead even if this is the path less traveled. 

I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Marcellin, Rebecca Dearing, to come forward with the Marcellin House Candle. Marcellin Champagnat was set ablaze by the Holy Spirit to bring Christ to the countryside of France through education. He was both passionate and compassionate for the Gospels and he aimed to create a family spirit at his schools and amongst his Brothers. We pray that this candle will inspire the girls of Marcellin to treat everyone they encounter with equality and dignity as they strive to emulate this sense of family spirit. 

I now ask the Liturgy Captain of Perroton, Xiomara Barahona-Gordillo, to come forward with the Perroton House Candle. Marie-Francoise Perroton, was a woman with a vision. She acknowledged that Christ allowed her to see beyond herself and beyond France. Even at the age of 49, she traveled to the Pacific as Christ’s humble servant. She had the courage and determination to turn ideas into action. Inspired by her example, we pray that the girls of Perroton acknowledge the light that led Marie-Francoise on her journey through life is the same source of hope for their journeys. 

We pray that these candles will be the light in which we can see Christ not just in Jesus but in all of creation including ourselves and others. We pray that this may help us develop relationships in our Houses that reflect his love. Together we bless these candles today by together saying our College Prayer.”

The Bishops’ Social Justice Statement 2019/2020 Launch

On Tuesday 3 September, Xiomara, Eva, Gemma and myself along with Mr Ronchetti travelled to Mary Mackillop Place for the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council’s  Social Justice Announcement 2019: "Making It Real: Genuine Human Encounter In Our Digital World”.

We were fortunate enough to listen to three wonderful speakers Ms Beth Doherty, Bishop Vincent Long and Dr Margaret Van Heekeren. They spoke about various issues surrounding social media and technology and topics ranged from how the internet has created a disconnect in the real world, fake news, exploitation of privacy, objectification and cyberbullying, and on the other hand, how to actually have a genuine human encounter of love, trust and hope online and offline. The announcement focuses on how to be a Good Samaritan in the digital world, loving your neighbour, as to foster an environment that allows human dignity and God's love to be upheld. It is a call to the Church to spread the love of God and reduce the disconnect and hatred across the digital world.

Over the next few weeks, the girls and I will be discussing how to implement the "Ten Steps Towards Genuine Human Encounter In Our Digital World" across the school, so that everyone at Marist Sisters' College student can help achieve Australian Catholic Social Justice Council's goal of a more loving online community. 

Caitlin Green - Year 11 Student, Social Justice Captain 

St Ambrose Parish Blessing for HSC Students

HSC students of St Ambrose Parish, you and your families are warmly invited to a special blessing Mass at 5pm on Sunday, 6 October 2019 at St Ambrose Parish 2 Burke Street Concord West. If you would like to participate in any way in the Mass please email Liz Akerboom at and provide your name and what you would like to do by 27 September. 

There will be a small supper afterwards in the Church grounds.

Mr Daniel Ronchetti, Acting Religious Education Coordinator

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools -Charter #1, #2, #5, #9 & #11

Archdiocesan Year 7 and 8 Evangelisation Day

On 27 August, nominated students were given the amazing opportunity to embark on an eye-opening Evangelisation Day with other schools across the archdiocese at De La Salle College, Ashfield. We had the chance to listen to Josh Angrisano (aka. J Sano), a rapper, poet and Catholic speaker, who is originally from Texas. He incorporated contemporary rap songs with Catholicism while telling us about his faith journey. 

Then we listened to another American speaker, Deacon Harold, who taught us about the importance of the mass, his experiences on the power of faith and how we must regularly practice going to mass. Father Dan McCaughan then led us into a dissected mass, such as explaining the importance of the vestments. Overall, it was a great day and we were lucky to have the experience. 

Jessica Smith, Year 8 Student

Miss Jenny Vu, Youth Ministry Coordinator

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools -Charter #1, #2, #4 & #11

From the Leader of Learning & Curriculum

As the end of Term 3 approaches we prepare to celebrate the journey through school for our HSC Class of 2019 and all that they have achieved. At this present time, students should be taking this valuable opportunity to consolidate learning as well as clarify with their teachers any area they are uncertain about and the most productive exam preparation techniques. 

Year 12 HSC Practical Examinations and Major Work Submission

This week saw the last of our HSC practical examinations and major work submissions. This is a significant achievement for students involved. The performances and major works presented by students is a testament to their hard work and commitment over the last twelve months. The work and dedication by students and with the support of their teachers has allowed them to produce exemplary work. A clear reflection of students talents, creativity and hard work was evident in their individual and group pieces.

Year 12 References and ATAR Collection

All of the Class of 2019 are invited to morning tea to be held at the College on Wednesday 18 December where they will receive their College references. This is also the opportunity to complete the slip informing the College of their ATAR. ATARs are issued by UAC directly to students and the College relies on students sharing this information for College records and so students can be recognised at the High Achievers Assembly in February 2020. ATARs are collected discreetly and used only for the stated purpose.

Mrs Melinda Alvarez, Leader of Learning and Curriculum

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #8

Hypatia's (Girls Academic) Challenge

In August of each year, feeder schools migrate to Woolwich to compete in a series of trials that have become known as the infamous Hypatia’s challenge. This competition sets girls highly rigorous tasks that pushes their mathematical, creative thinking and general knowledge to their absolute limits … and beyond. 

Its namesake was a vivacious female philosopher from Alexandria, Egypt, who lived in the fourth century CE. According to Socrates of Constantinople, she was known for being one of the most prominent philosophers of her age. She delivered rigorous lectures on Plato and Aristotle in northern Egypt, as well as giving lively public debates on the streets and in Forum. On the day, the girls from Sydney’s Inner West and Northern suburbs channelled her genius by embracing all challenges they were set with gusto, good humour and spontaneity. 

Many thanks to all the KLA Coordinators and MSCW teachers who helped in the preparation of the task, and special thanks to Mrs Leanne Mezzina, who organised the logistics of the day. There was also a plethora of student helpers (some of whom were veterans of previous challenges) who turned out on the day to ensure that the day ran smoothly. 

Congratulations to the winners on the day:

  • Year 4 Girls - Villa Maria Hunters Hill
  • Year 5 Girls - St Michael's Lane Cove

Ms Belinda White & Mr David Nally

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #8

Year 4 - Villa Maria Hunters Hill

Year 5 - St Michael's Lane Cove

Investigating with Mathematics Competition

Year 8.1 - 1st Place Achievement

In Term 2, the 8.1 Newman Mathematics class was given the opportunity to participate in the MANSW Investigating with Mathematics Competition. Our class theme for the competition was the “Mathematics of Life”, which prompted our class to explore interesting perspectives and ideas. The Competition challenged us to probe ‘how Maths is evident in our lives’, and allowed us to choose an area or theme that we would enjoy investigating.

We based our project on the monologue of ‘All The World’s a Stage’, by William Shakespeare. This is featured in Shakespeare’s comedy, ‘As you like it’. It states a theory that there are seven stages of man. These include: the infant, the schoolboy, the teenager/lover, the soldier, the judge, the pantalone and the old man. In order to convert this ideology into mathematics, we appropriated the major themes and embraced the characteristics. We adapted the poem to a modern setting and the class was split into smaller groups. Through the selected ‘stage of man’, each group chose an area of maths to focus on. For example, the ‘teenager/lover’ focused on the application of maths in technology. This is inclusive of a variety of mathematics, including graphing, data and analysis.

Our class was delivered the exciting news that we had achieved 1st place in the competition. It is safe to say that we were overjoyed with the news and satisfied with the fact that we were state champions. Our entry now progresses to the national stage and we hope for a good outcome!

We couldn’t have done all this without the encouragement and endless support from our Mathematics teacher, Mr Brett, and the hard work and effort each of us poured into this project. We are honoured to have won and are extremely grateful for the opportunity. 

By Clara Nguyen, Elisa Timpano and Gabriella Michalopoulos 
from 8.1 Newman Mathematics Class

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 , #6 & #8

Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduation Ceremony

Congratulations to Sophie Slater-Phillips

Congratulations to Sophie Slater-Phillips (Year 12, P2) who attended the Year 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Graduation Ceremony held by Sydney Catholic Schools on 20 August.  Sophie was presented with a Graduation Certificate and was inspired by keynote speakers who spoke to the audience about the importance of valuing and celebrating Indigenous culture in our mainstream society to begin to address the challenges we see today.  

Sophie was recognised for her achievements at the College, including her representation as a part of Marist Dragons’ for six seasons.  In 2017, her Under 16s Women's Team represented Australia at the world championships in France where they placed first. Sophie has also contributed generously to extracurricular activities, namely the CaSPA Goodjara Dance group.  Goodjarga provides opportunities for students to develop their connection to culture through storytelling, dance, drama and music. 

It was a very proud night for Sophie and her family, Ms Mastro and myself.

Ms Jenna Cremin, Perroton House Coordinator

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #8

Languages: ‘Passport to Languages MSCW Yr 7 Taster Flight’

Recently, every Year 7 student  participated in the Language Taster session before having to make the exciting decision of which language to study for the Compulsory 100 hours study of a Language in Year 8.  The students rotated and had a brief sample of three different languages. The theme was ‘Passport to Languages MSCW Yr 7 Taster Flight’. Each language had a different destination, flavour and activity for the students.


Students imagined boarding a flight to Paris.  They met and introduced themselves to fellow passengers.  The focus was numbers 0-20 in French. Some of the fun activities were: singing along to a song on numbers, counting the inflight refreshments and Bingo in French.


Students were transported to Rome. They introduced themselves to fellow tourists.  The focus in Italian was the parts of the body. The most popular game in Italian was ‘Simone dice...’ (Simon Says).


Students boarded an imaginary flight to Spain and arrived in Barcelona.  They had a quick tour of ‘las Ramblas’ the famous shopping precinct in Barcelona and discovered that  ‘Zara’ and ‘Mango’ are Spanish fashion labels. The focus was being able to say what colour the garments were in the shop windows. The highlight was a Kahoot quiz and playing Twist and turn game on the colours in Spanish.

Mrs Adelina Boray, Languages Coordinator

Reflection on the Language Taster Day

Recently, Year 7 participated in a Language taster class. We had one hour of learning the basics of Spanish, Italian and French and this was done to assist each person in choosing which language they want to learn in Year 8. We learnt how to greet and introduce ourselves to other people, how to count and  say many other common phrases. These classes were based as if we were going on a holiday to one of the 3 countries and we each had a booklet with activities to complete. It was a really enjoyable way to learn a few phrases in each language and we got to sing along to various songs which were fun and effective. Overall, this was a really enjoyable day and it helped people choose which language they want to learn next year.

Erica Constable, Year 7 Student

Leader of Wellbeing


Mental health awareness is always a significant time of reminding our staff and students about the need to look out for one another, not only during this particular week but throughout the year. Whilst RU OK? Day is specifically on Thursday 12 September, the College had embraced in a number of initiatives for each day of Week 7 and led by the Student Leadership team. The whole school community interacted, shared and engaged in ways to open conversation and connect with one another. 

Asking, ‘Are you OK?’

Whilst we may not always be willing to talk immediately during times of stress or struggle, sometimes that gentle chat by someone asking the question, "R U OK?" ,"Is there anything that I can help you with?", "would you like to go for a walk to chat”, is all it takes to feel a genuine sense of connection and care with no judgement.

We all experience times of difficulty in our lives. Knowing that we have peers, friends, teachers and family that care and would willingly help us to get through some of those challenging moments, can alleviate the build up of pressure or sometimes even sometimes come across as a lack of motivation. Whilst friends/family cannot always 'fix' the situation, they can be encouraged to listen, let them know they care and tell a teacher, school counsellor or trusted adult if they are worried. 

Please take some time to look through some of these 
RU OK? resources and how to start some of those conversations when concerned for a friend or colleague.  

Starting an R U OK? conversation?

Use these four steps:

1. Ask R U OK?

2. Listen

3. Encourage action

4. Check in

When to bring it up?

Be aware of certain behaviours and signs that can indicate a child might be struggling. The first thing to look out for is changes in behaviour. When people feel low, they often:

  • Withdraw from their friends or their family

  • Lash out at people and get angry or upset really easily, including towards the people they care about

  • Cry or become emotional

  • Lose interest in activities and things they usually love

  • Have changed sleeping patterns. They might be sleeping all the time, not sleeping much at all, or sleeping at strange hours (such as in the middle of the day)

  • Have a changed appetite. They could be eating more than usual, or less.

Useful contacts when a child is not OK:

  • College Counsellor - Ms Becky Salter 

  • GP or psychologist

  • Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800

  • Lifeline on 13 11 14

  • ‘000’ if life is in imminent danger.

Batyr Parent Forum

The date is fast approaching!! Be sure to secure your place at our Batyr Parent Forum. Last year this was a successful night whereby parents could engage in conversation about mental health, concerns and how to open positive conversations. 

This year, the evening will be divided into two parts. The first part is listening to a keynote speaker and their lived experience with mental health but more importantly HOW they moved forward to overcome their challenges. 

The second part will be led by our Q&A panel which will consist of a representative from: The Butterfly Foundation, Headspace (Chatswood), College Counsellor and the Batyr speaker.

The focus area for the evening is ‘understanding our young people and the services available within the community’. A fabulous night of educational learning, take home strategies and a deeper understanding of the variety of services suitable for young people.

Please use the Skoolbag notice to RSVP.

Mrs Sia Mastro, Leader of Wellbeing 

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #6 & #8

A Word from the Counsellor

High Conflict Between Parents in the Home and its Impact on your Adolescents

In families where there is a high level of conflict and animosity between parents, children are at a greater risk of developing emotional, social and behavioural problems, as well as difficulties with concentration and educational achievement.

Frequent and intense conflict or fighting between parents also has a negative impact on children’s sense of safety and security which affects their relationships with their parents and with others. High Parental conflict that focuses on children is also linked to adjustment problems, particularly when children blame themselves for their parents’ problems. 

Every parent has disagreements from time to time, but it is how often, how intense and how we react to and manage these disagreements that make all the difference. This article is about identifying high conflict behaviours that may be occurring between parents in the home, which may have become regular, accepted and perhaps without realising the detrimental impact this can have on our young people in our care.

High conflict behaviours include:

  • Yelling/screaming/loud angry outbursts in reaction to minor or no known issues.
  • Name-calling/Put downs/demeaning comments or gestures.
  • Personal Insults/swearing aggressively.
  • High degrees of anger and mistrust, controlling behaviours.
  • Ongoing attempts to form a coalition with young person against the other parent around isolated issues.
  • Threats of abandonment (such as threatening to leave the house or divorce).
  • Any form of physical aggression (including, pushing grabbing, throwing things or punching things in anger) including getting in one’s personal space, including blocking, slamming doors.
  • Walking out or withdrawing from the argument.
  • Capitulation (giving into the other parent when there’s not really a solution).

 High conflict between parents at home is a problem for young people, particularly because:

  • Young people are emotionally insecure. Constant high conflict undermines young people’s sense of security about the stability of the family. Young people exposed to regular high conflict may worry about parental divorce or personal safety.  It can make it difficult for young people to have a sense of normalcy in the family, since high conflict may be unpredictable, verbally/emotionally or psychologically abusive,  with young people often reporting like they are “walking on eggshells” in their own home.
  • The parent-child relationship may be affected. High-conflict situations are stressful for parents too. And a stressed-out parent tends not to spend a lot of quality time with their young person (at times, turning to AOD). In addition, the quality of the relationship may be affected as it may be difficult for parents to show warmth and affection when they’re very often angry and upset with the other parent.
  • Fighting creates a stressful environment. Overhearing frequent or intense fighting/verbal abuse is stressful and also frightening for young people. Young people may report fearing that one of their parents may get hurt, and may refrain from interfering being afraid to get caught in the crossfire…or they may act-out as a way to interrupt the chaos.

Other repercussions for young people include:

Decreased cognitive performance/higher risk of academic problems: Difficulty focussing, and functioning can be decreased due to lack of sleep and heightened state of arousal...and the increased fight, fight or freeze response.

Increased relationship problems: Anger, and trust issues can arise. Sympathetic nervous system is activated when a child feels stressed which occurs often in  high conflict parent homes, so the young person becomes hyper sensitive even though there may not be a high conflict situation in need of a response, ie young person has a normal falling out with a friend but an overreaction occurs disrupting the relationship.

Higher rates of behavior problems: Sometimes this occurs for the young person to get noticed, to be included, to build connection or the young person is used to getting blamed, and used to higher reactivity, so it simply becomes their “go to” pattern.

Increased risk of eating disorders: As young people attempt to bring back a sense of control to their world through restrictive or over eating, which otherwise feels “out of control”.

Higher rates of adolescent substance abuse/self-harm behaviours: To disconnect numb or escape the emotional pain that may be associated with young people exposed to high conflict parenting.

Physical effects: Sleep problems, stomach aches or headaches, and losing focus or motivation.

A More negative outlook on life: Negative thinking patterns, low resilience and low self-esteem.

When your young people see how you handle disagreements, they are learning problem-solving skills, emotion regulation skills, and conflict resolution skills. It’s also important to think about the message that you’re sending to your young people about loving relationships. If you and your partner treat each other with disrespect, your young people may grow up thinking that it’s OK to do the same—and perhaps they’ll believe it’s OK to let others treat them poorly too.

If you can identify that your disagreements with your spouse or partner may be harming your child’s mental well-being, and involves ongoing high conflict behaviours as described above,  please consider seeking help to learn to navigate your relationship in a more healthy way. Relationships Australia is specifically aimed at helping families and couples learn new ways of managing conflict - they would be a great starting point and can be contacted on 1300 364 277 for your nearest centre or try the the Family Relationship Advice Line Phone: 1800 050 321 Website: 

Please feel free to contact me, the College Counsellor, Becky Salter via or ph: 0435 659 694, if you wish to discuss the above further or are concerned for your daughter’s mental health wellbeing.


Ms Becky Salter, College Counsellor

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools -Charter #8

News from the Leader of Governance and Communication


Sydney Catholic Schools are moving to a centralised digital information management system. This involves moving to a centralised digital student information management and storage platform called ONCE.

In terms of student information, ONCE integrates two systems: COMPASS (operated by JDLF International) and CED3 (operated by CEnet).

This transition will enable SCS schools to better manage the information relating to students, enhancing the ability to manage student welfare and support students in their learning, providing parents and guardians with immediate access to more information about their students, and assisting the provision of quality education to students.

Marist Sisters' College will move to COMPASS in 2020 (families in our feeder primary schools may have already experienced the platform).  The College has already begun preparing for the change from SEQTA to COMPASS. More information regarding the changes ahead will be released throughout Term 4 2019 and onwards into 2020.

Mr Justin Hodges, Leader of Governance and Communication

 This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #8

An Important Message from the Canteen

As of Term 4 Students using FlexiSchool must have their student card. 

Due to security concerns, students that do not have their student card will no longer be able quote their FlexiSchools number.  

Please ensure your daughter has her student card, if lost please order a new one through Jarnosse (the library).

Mrs Clare Scott and Mrs Anita Rebecchi, Canteen Managers

Second Hand Clothing Pool

It’s approaching that time again to check your summer uniforms for size, before you know it, it’s Week 1 Term 4, and uniforms don’t fit. 

Scrunchies and Hair Ties

And to go with the summer uniforms are new navy scrunches at $4:50 and navy hair ties - 4 ties $2:50 and 8 ties $3:50. Available through me and the student office exact change would be appreciated.


All clean donations are greatly appreciated, unfortunately we can use the old style sport uniforms that are not part of the current uniform.

We also have second hand Hospitality uniforms available to purchase.


The Clothing Pool will be open:

Week 9 Monday and Friday from 8:30-9:30am

Week 10 Monday, Wednesday and Friday 8:30-9:30am. 

For all enquires please email me on

Mrs Elizabeth Campbell, Uniform Convenor

Jarnosse News

Year 12 2020 Resource List

Please follow the link which will take parents/students directly into the Campion website for Marist Sisters’ College ordering.

If ordering via the Campion website, the School Code is... E5Y9.

The link is currently on both the student and parent portals.

Ms Celeste McNicholasLeader of eLearning & Information Services

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #8 

Marist Oratory News

On Wednesday 31 August, the College participated in the annual Marist Oratory Competition hosted by Marist College North Shore. This event provides Marist Schools with a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate the public speaking skills of our students. Congratulations to the following students who admirably represented the College on the night:

  • Lucy Donellan (Year 7);
  • Zara Chand (Year 8);
  • Chelsea Colantuono (Year 9);
  • Caitlin Neal-Bartier (Year 9);
  • Tess Van der Zalm (Year 11); and
  • Danielle Dwyer (Year 12). 

A particular congratulations goes to Chelsea Colantuono who placed 3rd in the Year 9 Division and Danielle Dwyer who placed 3rd in the Impromptu Division. 

Ms Belinda White, Public Speaking & Debating Coordinator 

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #6

TDP Competitive Dance 2019


The competitive dance ensembles kicked off the competition season with DanceSpec Eisteddfod held at Abbotsleigh Girls School. This event provided secondary schools with a valuable opportunity to showcase their dance work and was dominated by Brigidine College St Ives and Pymble Ladies College who presented a variety of highly refined and technically precise works across the various styles.

The MSCW dancers performed in Modern, Jazz and Hip Hop and achieved some excellent results, not placing in this competition but scoring highly in all sections. It served as an excellent warm – up for the dancers however, encouraging them to continue to work hard on their pieces and apply the useful feedback provided by the adjudicator Aimee Timmins.

A big thank you to their tutors: Annalise Buttitta, Janice Balayboa and Jessica Forte who put in a great deal of work and creativity in the lead up to this competition. Thank you also to Ms Joanne George who attended the event in support of the dancers and myself. It was wonderful to see so many enthusiastic parents at this event, thank you.

Your effort to inspire your dancing daughters is greatly appreciated.

Ms Melissa Cooper – Findlay, TDP Dance Coordinator

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #8

HSC Dance Showcase

CaSPA HSC Dance Showcase

On the evening of Tuesday 3 September, three exemplary HSC Dance works from MSCW were chosen to be part of the program for the annual HSC Dance Showcase held by CaSPA, a celebration and educational opportunity. This is a miniature version of the larger event held by The Arts Unit, Callback, and allows incoming Stage 6 Dance students to view exemplar practical dance works. The unique thing about this event is the works are all by students from Sydney Catholic Schools. The event was attended also by Bethany College, Mount St Joseph Milperra, The Viva Music, Dance and Drama program, OLSH Kensington and St Patrick's Catholic College Sutherland.

Mahlia King presented both of her compositions danced by Jacinta DePalo in Year 9 and Ariah Lawson and Emily Hawkins from Year 8 and Jade Norman her Core Composition danced by Olivia Moar from Year 9.

The highlight of this event was hearing the Year 12 students discuss their work, showing extensive knowledge and understanding of concepts derived from the dance syllabus. These students have all worked so hard and achieved enthralling performances and compositions. The short 'QandA' session at the end of the performance was so informative, with the composition dancers also providing some insights into the process, all of them reinforcing how important it is to trust your choreographer and be open to their ideas and exploration in the dance studio. A big congratulations to our amazing dance students, thank you to their wonderful dancers and parents for providing transport and encouragement. Thank you also to Ms Marietta Taliana who came to support the MSCW dancers at this event. It was a celebratory evening and showed just how well our Catholic schools are achieving in the Stage 6 Dance Course.

Ms Melissa Cooper – Findlay, Dance Teacher

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #8

Ryde Eisteddfod

Richard Gill Memorial Award for Original Composition

This year Ryde Eisteddfod held the Inaugural Richard Gill Memorial Award for an Original Music Composition. This event was open not only to music composers but, luckily for the creative dance students at MSCW, also dance choreographers. Two students jumped at the opportunity to put their works up for the panel to judge including Kaia Wilkowska from Year 7 and Mahlia King from Year 12. Kaia created a work over Term 1 and 2, mostly giving up her lunchtimes to work with her dancers. Her dance, Young and Beautiful, was performed by Chelsea Colantuono from Year 9 and Charlee Keith from Year 7. 

This work showed so much potential and was greatly enjoyed by the judges although did not make it into the finals. Mahlia King’s work Versus, which was an outgrowth of HSC Major Study Composition and danced by Jacinta DePalo in Year 9 and Ariah Lawson and Emily Hawkins from Year 8 was performed at the finals evening on August 31 and placed first in the competition overall! The judges felt it showed a high level of flair for composition and was an audience favourite. A huge congratulations to Mahlia and her dancers. We are so proud of how well MSCW was represented at this event by her amazing choreography and wonderful dancers.

Ms Melissa Cooper – Findlay, TDP Dance Coordinator

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #8

Ryde Eisteddfod

The annual Secondary Schools Dance Day which is part of Ryde Eisteddfod was held last Saturday 7 September. It was a highly enjoyable day and although the ensembles were missing a few dancers due to the Hills Dance Competition being held at Dural at the same time, MSCW did extremely well and really dominated at this event.

Our Hip Hop and Jazz Ensembles achieved a Highly Commended in their sections and our Contemporary Ensemble placed First in theirs! This was a fantastic achievement as the girls danced against the same competitors from DanceSpec and CGSSSA, showing they had worked hard to improve between events. Virginia Ferris, the adjudicator, commended the girls on their focus and realisation of the technical and avant garde movement style the work had been choreographed in by Georgette Sofatzis, their guest tutor, and refined by myself. I was heartened by this adjudicator’s appreciation of the artform and extremely happy that she recognised the challenge the work posed for the MSCW dancers, especially how well they performed it. Thank you once again to the dance tutors, dance mums/dads and Ms Kathy Reid who came to cheer the girls on.

 Ms Melissa Cooper – Findlay, TDP Dance Coordinator

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #2 & #8

Space School Additional Information Evening

Space School Program

Space School Program Actura Australia, will be hosting an additional evening for any parent who may have missed the Information Evening held at the College recently.

The additional evening will be held at Actura's Gordon office on 21 October, and caters for parents interested in the 2020 program for their daughters. Please refer to the flyer for all details.

Mrs Antonina Arcidiacono, Leader of Administration

This article on College life meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #6 & #8

Sports News

NSW State Award for Dragon Boating

Congratulations to Genevieve Benn who was recently presented with a NSW State Government award in recognition of her selection to represent NSW in the 2019 Australian Dragon Boat Championships.

The award was presented by the NSW State Leader of the Opposition, Ms Jodi McKay, MP.  It was a lovely afternoon and Genevieve represented MSCW and Marist Dragons with pride.

Mr Daniel Watts, Sports Coordinator

This article on College life  meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #6

World Dragon Boat Championships - Pattaya, Thailand

Congratulations to the following four students from MSCW who represented as part of the Australian team "Auroras", at the World Dragon Boat Championships, held in Pattaya Thailand in August:

  • Alana Doornbos
  • Sharnae Thiele
  • Meaghan Condron, and
  • Claire Phillips

The students were selected into the Junior division after various stages of trials in September 2018, 85 other Australian paddlers under the age of 18 were also selected, along with 270 Australian’s in older divisions, coming together in Thailand to represent their country. 

4,000 paddlers representing 30 countries from 6 continents competed over 5 days.

After 5 days of extremely tough competition Australia came 4th overall in the medal tally coming home with: 14 Gold; 20 Silver; and 26 Bronze.

The Australian Juniors came 2nd overall. The Thailand team came out on top, they were incredibly strong, with their Junior team only coming second in a race once during the 5 days, this remarkable achievement was taken out by the Aussie Under16’s Junior girls, 0.1 of a second in the first heat of the 500m races. However, in the second heat Thailand really wanted to maintain their undefeated Gold place up on the podium and came first. They inspired the rest of the world to be better and train harder next campaign! 

Alana, Sharnae, Meaghan and Claire all made themselves, their families and their country proud whilst wearing the green and gold. Alana brought home 2 bronze and 3 silver medals, Sharnae coming home with 3 bronze and 3 silver, Meaghan 4 bronze and 3 silver, and Claire 7 silvers!!!

Awesome achievement!

Mr Daniel Watts, Sports Coordinator

This article on College life  meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #6

Meaghan Condron

Alana Doornbos

Claire Phillips

Sharnae Thiele

CGSSSA Dance 2019

On Tuesday 27 August, the TDP Dance Ensembles competed in the annual CGSSSA Dance Competition at Monte Sant’ Angelo Mercy College, North Sydney. This day is always inspiring and provides a valuable opportunity for dancers in our Catholic schools to perform, compete in and celebrate dance. The sections of this years’ competition included Contemporary, Tap, Hip Hop, Musical Theatre, Folk Dance and Jazz. MSCW had a performance in every section!

The girls danced with passion and commitment, demonstrating strong dance technique and safe dance practice as well as excellent performance quality. It was a tough competition and is increasing in size each year. Loreto Kirribilli, St Ursula's Kingsgrove and Santa Sabina did very well, taking out many of the places, with Loreto taking First Place overall. MSCW placed third in the Folk section and Fourth in Contemporary. This is a wonderful achievement as there were 14 schools in the Contemporary section and our performance stood out, with choreography by guest dance tutor, Georgette Sofatzis, an honours graduate of the Ailey School and now teacher at Sydney Dance Company. 

Our dance students were proud to represent MSCW, doing so with enthusiasm and wonderful team spirit. Mr Watts, who accompanied us on the day, and myself, appreciate all the hard work and commitment our dancers put in prior to and on the day of the competition. It was a great achievement to perform in all six sections and MSCW is certainly known as a strong Dance school in the CGSSSA community. I would like to thank all the dance tutors, Mr Watts, Ms George and Dr Ireland for supporting us in taking part in this event.

Ms Melissa Cooper-Findlay, Dance Teacher

This article on College life  meets The Archbishop's Charter for Catholic Schools - Charter #6

MCCS Football

Week 7

Round 6

MSCW Juniors 2 v Nagle 0

MSCW Seniors 5 v Nagle 0

Round 7

MSCW Juniors 2 v Domremy 1

MSCW Seniors 1 v Domremy 0

Week 8 - Semi Finals

MSCW Juniors 1 v Trinity 0

MSCW Opens 2 v St Patrick's 2 - Loss in Penalty Shootout

MCCS Basketball

 Week 7

MSCW Junior v Bethlehem - 38-8 (Win)

MSCW Intermediate v Bethlehem - 10–35 (Loss)

MSCW Senior v Bethlehem - 31-22 (Win)

Week 8

MSCW Junior 4 v Catherine McAuley 19 (Loss)

MSCW Senior 24 v Bethlehem 26 (Loss)

Canteen News

Canteen Roster - Term 3


Canteen Roster - Term 4


Weekly Specials - Term 3

Week 9

Wednesday 18 September and Thursday 19 September                                        
Falafel Wrap with lettuce, tomato, tzatziki dressing                                                                                     $6.00                                                                                                                     

Community News

Jesuit Mission Indian Bazaar at St Ignatius' College, Riverview

Come and join in the fun and festivities at Jesuit Mission’s Indian Bazaar on Saturday 14th September 2019, 9am-5pm at St Ignatius’ College, Riverview. There will be rides, stalls, auctions and more. The annual fundraiser supports Jesuit Mission’s work in over 13 countries, empowering the most vulnerable people to transform their lives and build brighter futures.

More details at

Free Two Hour Workshop