Star of Peace

St Patrick's Marist College

Newsletter Number 7 - 22 May 2019

From the Principal ....

 Thank you to all the families who attended our Mother’s Day Liturgy. It was a very moving and wonderful way to reflect and give thanks for the precious gift of being a mother and of having a mother. Here at the College we give thanks to each of our Mothers, Grandmothers, Aunties and others who play that role, for your wonderful support and love you give to our young people. It does not go unnoticed! I thank Mr Paton for preparing our Liturgy and our P&F team, Chrishani Cogger, Sonja Simpson and Susan Boulous for the exceptional afternoon tea.

Parent partnership and family spirit are very important to us here at our Marist Dundas community. In the coming weeks, we have a number of community events.  Next Wednesday week (5th June), we have our Parent Forum on Study Skills at 6.30pm in the Library followed by our P&F meeting at 7.30pm.  Our Working Bee is coming up on Saturday the 1st June from 8.00am to 12.00 Noon (letter attached).  We have had very strong numbers at these events. It is a great way to connect with other families. We are always seeking new ways to connect with our families and build community. If you have any ideas, please let us know or come along to our P&F evenings where we discuss and share ideas.

The College will be undertaking the Learning  Bar School Survey “Tell Them from Me”, during the period of 3rd June to 14th June, where students, teachers and a group of parents will provide feedback on their experience of our school using an online survey. The surveys are an important part of our whole school evaluation and planning process. You may have been invited to complete the “Tell Them From Me” (TTFM) Partners in Learning survey and as we value the role of parents and carers within our school community, we would greatly appreciate your feedback. The information you provide will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing at St Patrick’s Marist College. Following our survey last year, we engaged in further student focus groups to dig down into the data and as a result, we have made changes to our wellbeing program, introduced a new SRC structure including our Middle School Leaders in Year 9 and committed to the introduction to PBS4L and Positive Education. This week one of our new staff members Ms Heidi McKay began her role as Project Leader for the introduction and implementation of Positive Education.  The survey is anonymous and will take approximately 20 minutes to complete. We will also be sending home a letter regarding the student survey (See Attached). A reminder as always, if you have any concerns please contact us here at the College on 8841 7900.  

Congratulations to our newly elected Student Leaders in Year 9. They will play a key role in our student leadership group and the development of our student norms for the College. I also congratulate all students who nominated for these positions.


Junior Captains:                 Benjamin Goss and Beatrice Harnn

Social Justice Captains:    Anthony Azar and Kaitlyn Chiha

Environment Captains:    Jacinta BouSerhal and Amy Jahja

Formation Captains:        Antonia Al-Yammouni and Mia Boulous

Last Friday turned out to be perfect weather for our annual Athletics Carnival.

Congratulations to all of our students on their involvement during the day. As usual, we closely monitored the weather forecast in the hope that we would be blessed with a sunny day and that is exactly what we had. The morning started very early with a group of students arriving at 6:30 am to assist Mrs Pavlovich in setting up for the day. Our Hospitality students arrived to complete their preparations for the day. They provided a beautiful lunch and ran our café for staff.  I thank Ms Tripodi and Ms Kasmer for their organisation and work with the Hospitality students. The day was fast paced and there was lots of action, particularly with our Championship events. I thank all the students for their enthusiasm, participation and cooperation throughout the day. A special thank you to Mrs Pavlovich for her outstanding organisation of the Carnival.

Over the past week, we have been engaged in the NAPLAN testing. There have certainly been some challenges with the online testing, with NESA offering our students the opportunity to resit some of the tests. Regardless of the outcome. NAPLAN is just one set of data that we use to work with our students. Every single day our teachers engage in formative assessment to determine next steps in student’s learning. As always, if you have any concerns about your child’s progress or additional information that would support us in our work, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Mrs A. Hay

Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning


Each year, teachers have a professional learning day which supports the various learning strategies of the College. This year the Staff Professional Learning day will be on 26th August (Monday). This has changed from the previously advertised date of 22 July. Please amend your calendars accordingly. The 26th of August is a pupil free day and the first day of school for students for Term 3 is 22 July.


Year 10 The next Parent Teacher Interviews for Year 10 will occur on 11 June for Year 10 from 4.00pm to 7.00pm in the Library. Parent Teacher evenings are held twice a year to ensure that there is an opportunity for parents, teachers and students to discuss their learning, refine their strategies, reset goals and refocus engagement. This Parent Teacher interview will also provide the opportunity to discuss Year 11 subject selection options based on the performance and growth within the Stage 5 courses. The Parent Teacher interviews are compulsory to attend and students must attend in full College winter uniform.


Initiated by NESA, Year 10 will need to undertake a minimum standard test in Reading, Writing and Numeracy. The test will be held on June 3rd and 4th and can only be undertaken online on a laptop. Students with an iPad will be provided a College laptop to complete the test.

The minimum standard online tests are based on the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) with students' results reported as a level of achievement from 1-4. The test achievement level descriptions describes the skills needed for each of the four levels. Level 3 skills indicate a nationally agreed level of functional literacy and numeracy.

Minimum Standard Reading Test

  • 45 multiple choice questions 
  • Adaptive — meaning it tailors to a student's ability. Questions become harder or easier depending on whether a student is answering questions correctly or incorrectly.
  • Marked electronically according to the achievement level descriptions

Minimum Standard Numeracy Test

  • 45 multiple choice questions 
  • Adaptive — meaning it tailors to student's ability. Questions become harder or easier depending on whether a student is answering questions correctly or incorrectly.
  • Marked electronically according to the achievement level descriptions

Minimum Standard Writing Test

  • One question based on a visual or text prompt with up to a 500 word-response
  • Marked by trained markers according to the achievement level descriptions and the following, equally weighted, criteria: relevance of writing to the topic; structure and sequence of ideas and control of language

Get help on understanding what to expect in the tests.  (Parent Letter Attached)


On the 5th June we invite parents and caregivers to attend a parent forum focused upon Study Skills. The evening will explore strategies and techniques to support your child in their application and approaches to secondary studies. The evening will begin at 6.30 – 7.30pm in the Library. Please book your attendance at this event through this link:

Register your Attendance

Mr Jason Scanlon

Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning

Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

Reconciliation Week

27th May - 3rd June, 2019

What is Reconciliation?

At its heart, reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples, for the benefit of all Australians.

“… A reconciled Australia is one where our rights as First Australians are not just respected but championed in all the places that matter …”

Kirstie Parker – Board Member, Reconciliation Australia

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, Australia’s colonial history is characterised by devastating land dispossession, violence, and racism. Over the last half-century, however, many significant steps towards reconciliation have been taken.

Reconciliation is an ongoing journey that reminds us that while generations of Australians have fought hard for meaningful change, future gains are likely to take just as much, if not more, effort.

In a just, equitable and reconciled Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will have the same life chances and choices as non-Indigenous children, and the length and quality of a person’s life will not be determined by their racial background.

Our vision of reconciliation is based and measured on five dimensions: historical acceptance; race relations; equality and equity; institutional integrity and unity.

These five dimensions do not exist in isolation, but are interrelated. Reconciliation cannot be seen as a single issue or agenda; the contemporary definition of reconciliation must weave all of these threads together. For example, greater historical acceptance of the wrongs done to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples can lead to improved race relations, which in turn leads to greater equality and equity.

“Reconciliation must transcend Australian political theatre and promote a sense of national unity …”

“Reconciliation isn’t a single moment or place in time. It’s lots of small, consistent steps, some big strides, and sometimes unfortunate backwards steps …” 

Karen Mundine – Chief Executive Officer, Reconciliation Australia

Over the five days of National Reconciliation week, our College leaders focus on the 5 actions that can be undertaken to encourage and promote reconciliation within our community and within the larger community.

The five dimensions of reconciliation are:

  • Race Relations
  • Equity and Equality
  • Institutional Integrity
  • Unity
  • Historical Acceptance
  • .

    What is National Reconciliation Week?

    National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

    The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

    Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

    Marcellin Champagnat

    Champagnat Week (3rd - 9th June)

    Each year Marists celebrate the feast of St Marcellin Champagnat, the founder of the Marist Brothers and the person who inspires educators who seek to live the spirituality of Mary, the mother of Jesus. 

    Marcellin grew up in France. He was born in 1789, the year the French Revolution commenced, a year of turmoil. He grew up in a large family and consequently learnt to share life with his brothers and sisters. Marcellin enjoyed his family life on the farm, tending the sheep and developing his entrepreneurial skills through selling some of these sheep. Marcellin’s father was active in the politics of the Revolution, while his mother, a very religious woman, spent most of her time caring for the family. Marcellin’s early days, therefore, were influenced by parents who contributed to his growth in very different ways. 

    A chance visit to the family farm by a priest sowed in Marcellin’s mind and heart the desire to become a priest. It was then that his lack of basic education came against him and he had to work hard to overcome this handicap. In the seminary he met a group of young men inspired with a vision of founding a Society of Mary, priests, sisters and lay people, working to rebuild the Church, a humble and serving Church, in the spirit of Mary. 

    Once Marcellin was ordained, the local Bishop appointed him as curate to a small village named La Valla. It was during this time that Marcellin finally believed God was calling him to found a community of Brothers who would help educate young people. In France, after the Revolution, there was a great need for competent teachers and the Church was keenly aware of the equally important need to educate these young people in the Catholic faith. 

    Marcellin’s commitment to his priestly duties included taking every opportunity to teach young people their catechism. He soon got to know the local families, visiting them on foot as often as he could. These people could see Marcellin’s love of God and his special devotion to Mary. His enthusiasm was contagious, inspiring others to also become teachers of the faith. 

    Today’s Marist schools are built on this early tradition, one which continues to enhance school communities. At this time each year we focus on the legacy of St Marcellin, providing us with the opportunity to reflect on these origins and to reinterpret them for our contemporary world. 

    Mr M. Paton

    Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

    2019 Leader Profiles


    Monica began her Marist journey in February of 2014 upon enrolment into St Patrick’s Marist College and has been elected as a College Prefect for 2019. Monica has reached a remarkable level of achievements thus far, including being a Peer Support Leader, Homeroom Class Captain, she has been involved in the Cross Country and been part of the College Band.  As a College Prefect Monica has a vision to “bring more culture and tradition into the College as to allow people to express themselves".

    Monica’s dream job is to be a radiologist and is to be commended on her hard work ethic.

    Written by: Miled Nader

    Student Data Validation

    The College requires accurate and up-to-date student information as part of our duty of care and to support the needs of all learners. To ensure the information we currently have is correct, the CEDP have distributed a survey to all families to validate key information such as contact details and emergency contacts. 

    If you have not already completed the validation survey, CEDP will be re-sending through the survey link via email.  

    We ask families to complete the survey by 31 May 2019. Any questions about the survey can be directed to the Community Liaison team on 9840 5796. 

    Thank you for your support of this important project.

    Opal Card Use

    Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a constant reminder to students from State Transit about the use of OPAL cards.  A reminder to students to ensure they carry their OPAL card at all times when travelling to and from school and to make sure that you remember to always tap on and off on both your journey's.  If there is a review of bus services and there are only a couple of students tapping onto a bus they will cancel that service as they will not continue to run it for a small number of students.

    A reminder that you must 'Tap On' with your Opal card, especially of an afternoon when leaving school. This will help minimise the issues we are having and also make sure we continue to have all of the buses necessary.


    Following is a letter of thanks from Sr Louise McKeogh.  Sr Louise is the Caritas Director for the Diocese of Parramatta.  Our Marist community at St Patrick's Marist, Dundas raised $7230.90 during Lent. A fantastic effort by the College community.   Thank you to our students, parents and staff for their generosity in their endeavours to helping others.

    Mr M. Paton

    Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

    An evening celebrating Women!

    With the success of At The Well during the Year of Youth, Catholic Youth Parramatta is proud to host another evening that brings young women together from across the Diocese for a casual evening of encounter and conversation on topics relating to faith, career, discernment, and relationships.Join the 'women of CYP', Qwayne and Rosie, together with guest panellists Monica Doumit, Maria Pastoors and Alannah Hader. This is a free event with limited spots. Venue will be provided at registration.

    Registration has Opened

    Check out Website here

    Online Safety Information Guide for Parents

    Click here to view booklet

    Time Online - Guide for Parents / Carers

    Click Here for Tips and advice on helping your child have safe and enjoyable experiences online

    Business Manager


    Saturday, 1st June, 2019 (8.00am - 12.00 Noon)

    Following the success and great community spirit during the last Working Bee, we are organising another one.  The grounds of the school are so large and there are always things to do. Help from our parents is always much appreciated to spruce up our grounds.

    The next Working Bee will be on Saturday, 1st June 2019 (from 8.00am to 12.00 Noon) followed by sausage sizzle at the end. A letter with details was sent home last week (and via email) so if you are available, please return the reply slip, indicating numbers so we can plan ahead.

    The main focus this time will be tending to the re-growth along the fence line of Kirby St (from the bus bay to Kissing Point Rd) as well as the over-grown area along the long fence line of Kissing Point Rd. We will focus on level areas just inside the fences and the fences themselves, not the steep areas. As the school has a limited number of tools, please bring garden gloves and appropriate garden tools (eg rakes, spades, secateurs, whipper snipper, mulching forks, hand saws, mattocks, etc) and garbage bags. Long sleeved shirts are also recommended.  Notification letter with reply slip is attached to this newsletter. 


    Our Account Manager has advised me that a shipment of blazers have now arrived in store. The store will be contacting parents who have already placed an order. Please call the store if you have not heard from them.

    Stocks of the girls summer dresses arrived last week and parents have already been contacted.


    A reminder that most of our excursions/incursions, formation/pastoral/other celebrations etc are included in school fees. The Catholic Education Office sends school fees invoices and offers flexible payment arrangements by direct debit, bpay or Centrelink. This is processed via their office on our behalf and reduces our need to handle such payments. However, you can also pay school fees by billpay at the local post office (most are open on Saturday mornings, too), 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.

    Occasionally students/families need to pay for optional activities, representative sports uniforms, bags/hats/ties, formal, replacement diaries, etc. Payment for these can be made via credit card over the phone or 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. Students are to put in drop box at student counter. These are not collected by teachers.

    If you are paying in cash, it would assist us greatly if you could put correct money in envelope. We are not able to give change immediately. Students have to be called back to office later in the day to collect it, thereby interfering with their classroom learning. Teachers who organise an activity would advise the cost.


    Our Uniform Shop is open on Wednesdays and Thursdays (before school and during recess and lunch breaks). We sell schoolbags, sports bags, hats, Junior & Senior ties and representative sports uniforms. We also sell good-quality second-hand uniforms.

    The costs of the uniform items are:

    • School Bags - $65;  Chiro Bag - $95;  Sports Bag - $15
    • Senior/Junior Ties - $20
    • Hats - $15
    • Soccer / Rugby shorts - $30;  Cricket Shirt - $35;  Netball Shirt / Skirt - $25; Representative Socks - $15


    We accumulate lots of uniform items, water bottles, lunch boxes, etc. Please ensure your child’s name is on their belongings so that if found, we can call them to office to collect.

    Ms V. Fraser

    Business Manager

    School Fees

    The second instalment of the school fees are due on Wednesday 5th June.  If you are currently on a payment arrangement please continue to make your instalments as per the agreement.

    If any family is experiencing financial difficulty or would like to organise an alternate payment plan you can contact me confidentially on – 8841 7955 Monday to Thursday or email

    Ms Rolla Wadih

    School Fee Administrator

    P&F News

    A big thank you to the amazing team of parent and student volunteers who helped with the Mother’s Day High Tea.  We are grateful to be involved in such events and to be able to bless our College community.  We hope our Mothers and Grandmothers had a wonderful afternoon being celebrated.

    A reminder that our Term 2 P&F Meeting is on Wednesday 5th June at 7.30pm in the Library.  Our meeting will be straight after the parents forum on Study Skills at 6.30pm.

    Look forward to seeing you there.

    St Patricks Marist P&F Executive

    Rock of Ages - College Musical

    27 - 29th JUNE

    The College Musical is almost here! Last week at assembly, the enthusiastic cast launched this year’s musical production of Rock of Ages:  High School Edition.

    Comprised of almost 100 students on stage, the Rock of Ages Musical includes a cast of extremely talented leads, an enthusiastic chorus, talented dancers and not one, but TWO, live student rock bands!  Together, they have been learning lines and singing their hearts out, rocking out with new choreography and working on making their characters come alive.  Costumes have been prepared, sets are being constructed and wigs are being styled - that’s right, 80's hair is back and bigger than ever!

    We are really proud of this cross-curricular collaboration, with Visual Art students labouring over visually spectacular scenery and props, our VET Entertainment students planning and organising the back stage operations, lighting and sound production, the VET Construction students have been building sets and stages and our VET Hospitality students are planning the delicious catering for each of the performances.

    We invite you to come along for a night that will have you laughing, singing and dancing along to some of the big hits of the 80s, including “The Final Countdown”, “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Don’t Stop Believing”.

    Performances are on the 27th, 28th and 29th June at 7.00pm. Tickets are available now from Trybooking ( and based on the schools’ previously successful musical Hairspray in 2017, this one will sell out - so get in fast!

    Ms T. Andrews

    Leader of Learning - Performing Arts

    Personalised Planning Meetings

    Online booking Reminder

    Recently, some students of the College received information to take home and share with their families explaining how to plan for and schedule a personalised planning meeting for this year.

    These student centred meetings are facilitated by the Learning Enrichment team and are designed to gain the perspective of students with diverse learning needs. The meetings provide an opportunity for students (and their families), to feedback to their  teachers about what they need to be successful learners.

    Meeting Dates for Year 7-9 Students:

    Year 7 (Facilitated by Mrs Martin)  - Thursday 30th May 2019

    Year 8 (Facilitated by Mrs Thomson):

    • Monday 27th May 2019
    • Tuesday 28th May  2019
    • Wednesday 12th June 2019

    Year 9 (Facilitated by Mrs Thomson)

    • Monday 3rd June 2019
    • Tuesday 4th June 2019

    Urgent:  Booking a meeting with the Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta:

    • Post School Options Team - Years 10-12

    Many students of the College have benefited greatly from the courses and work experience opportunities provided by the Catholic Education Diocese Parramatta - Post School Options Team (PSO).

    We have been able to schedule several dates when the PSO team are available to review and plan with students and their families in relation to transitioning from school, work placement and employment courses.

    The PSO team provides a wonderful service for eligible students at the school, however as they work across all schools in the diocese, the team’s availability to meet and plan with individual students  s limited.

    Therefore, we have been very fortunate to have secured the PSO team on the dates noted below. We would strongly encourage parents/carers of students in Years 10-12 , who received information regarding PSO meeting dates to use the Edval online booking information to schedule an appointment with the College’s Learning Enrichment team/ Post School Options team.

    Further information and student codes for scheduling these appointments are noted  in the letter sent home to eligible students and their families. If you and your son/daughter have already attended a meeting with this team and would like to attend a review, we can only guarantee the availability of the team on the dates noted below.

    Year 10 (Facilitated by Mrs Martin and the Post School Options Team)

    • Tuesday 4th June 2019
    • Tuesday 25th June 2019

    Year 11 (Facilitated by Mrs Thomson and the Post School Options Team)

    • Tuesday 21st May 2019
    • Thursday 30th May 2019

    Year 12 (Facilitated by Mrs Martin and the Post School Options Team)

    • Thursday 16th May 2019
    • Monday 17th June 2019

    If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Catherine Thomson or Mrs Karen Martin on 8841 7900 to discuss further.

    Mrs C. Thomson

    Diversity Leader


    Year 12


    A reminder that the Year 12 formal payments need to be completed by Friday the 7th of June. Payment is to occur through the Trybooking website (

    If there are any concerns regarding payment, please make contact with myself or Mrs Wadih (in charge of School Fees), so we can be off assistance. 

    Mr S. Belcher

    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 12

    Year 11

    At the end of last term and the start of this term Lisa Maltman from The Sleep Connection delivered two presentations to Year 11 on the importance of sleep.  Students gained a greater understanding that sleep is the key to improving motivation, health, mood and energy. From the session a number of key points were identified:

    • Year 11 students are not getting anywhere near enough sleep with the average being around 7.5 hours per night. Students should be getting 9 hours per night.
    • The use of technology is a major reason for sleep deprivation - students should be switching off devices 60 mins before bedtime and putting phones away from bedrooms.
    • Good sleep helps with memory recall which is extremely important in senior school.

    Earlier this term we also had our Year 11 Parent / Student / Teacher Interview evening. Our teachers are a valuable resource that students should access and hopefully students gained some valuable advice that they should be putting into practice in their studies over the coming months. 

    Mr D. Bonora

    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 11 

    Year 10


    An important reminder to all students travelling to and from the College using public transport,  to ensure that they swipe their Opal Card. If this is not done, the data to the bus company will be inaccurate and the decision may be made by the bus company to stop providing a bus service. This will impact your ability to travel greatly.


    There are a number of Year 10 students involved in "Rock of Ages" the College musical, and it has been great to see the commitment and motivation that these young adults have been displaying. We encourage as many students, staff and parents to support this show as it is a wonderful example of what young people can achieve when they work collaboratively. 

    Mr D. Berner

    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 10

    Year 9

    This week in the Year 9 Pastoral Care lesson we will be looking at teamwork.

    Individual success and team performance depends not only on individual efforts of team members but on the skill of all members of the team to work together. We recognise that everyone has strengths in different areas.

    We hope students will display more positive attitudes and skills in seeking support from classmates and teachers when faced with challenging work.We will follow this with some team based challenges and ask questions such as

    Why are some people good team players and others less than effective?

    How important is it to one’s success to be a good team player?

    Who are good role models of being a good team player?

    Mr P. Quigley

    Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 9

    Year 7

    Students are reminded to continue wearing the College uniform with pride and to ensure they are following the College mobile phone policy at all times.

    Congratulations to both the MCCS Netball team and the MCS Soccer team who have been very successful throughout their respected competitions so far.  Well done!

    Mr. Jared Hornby

    Year 7 Leader of Learning - Pastoral

    Key Learning



    Monday 13th May, 2019

    Year 11 Standard English were fortunate enough to meet the renowned Australian Poet, Eileen Chong today.  Eileen Chong is a poet based in Sydney, Australia. She was born in Singapore of Chinese descent.

    Chong writes about food, family, migration, love and loss. The Singaporean-Australian poet, Boey Kim Cheng has said that ‘Chong’s work offers a poetry of feeling, rendered in luminous detail and language, alive to the sorrows and joys of daily living’. She feels she is a liminal person – that, as an Asian/Australian she often feels like an ‘in-betweener’. The poet shared what it is like to live in a liminal space as a way of encouraging students to write about their own cultural experiences in poetic form.

    The students learned to appreciate ‘Poetry as Art ‘– and, not to read her poetry in a vacuum.  That we should take pleasure from listening to the sounds created in her poems, to appreciate the musical and conversational quality of language as she conveys meaning about the complexity of personal identity.

    On behalf of Year 11 Standard Teachers and Students, we would like to thank Ms Emily Gray (Leader of Learning, English) for organising this valuable and thought provoking incursion.

    Ms S. Graham

    Acting Assistant Leader of Learning - English

    Sydney Writers Festival


    On Thursday 2nd May, 2019 students who won the 6 word story competition together with the class of Year 11 English Extension I  travelled to Parramatta Riverside Theatre to attend the Sydney Writers Festival Secondary Schools Day.

    US author Neal Shusterman spoke about how he began his career as a Camp Counsellor who resorted to story-telling as a way of calming students down in their cabins before bedtime. Since then he has published over fifty novels and written screenplays for successful Hollywood films. At question time, student Amelia White asked the author how he knew when he was finished a novel. He replied by explaining his writing process; he first writes in longhand, then he types, re-reads and re-types, then he reads the novel aloud. After all this rewriting, the finished product becomes the first draft to be shared with trusted readers. Shusterman advised the aspiring writers in the audience to: write and keep on writing, revise and rewrite, read all different types of writing and persevere.

    Indigenous author Ambelin Kwaymullina read extensively from her book Catching Teller Crow. She advised the students that `your destiny lies within you; you just have to learn how to see it.‘ At question time, student Joseph Arabit asked how an author could repesectfully represent postcolonial themes in their fiction, and Amberlin answered that it is good to interrogate oppression in all its forms, and give voice to those who have been silenced.

    US author Dhonielle Clayton described a writer as a professional liar. She introduced the students to her fantasy series The Belles and explained how it was a jigsaw of inspirations from her childhood in New Orleans, as well as historical research into Geisha culture and the court of Marie Antoinette. Dhonielle encouraged the students to keep a Journal and to tell the truth, even if it is messy, and emphasised that `Writing is Rewriting‘.

    Final author of the day Will Kostakis was a popular favourite, speaking about how after achieving early success, he faced many obstacles to becoming a successful author in Australia. He spoke about how in choosing to write about very personal and particular experiences, he created fiction that had unexpected universal appeal; as many readers found in his fictionalised family members someone familiar from their own lives.

    Students beginning their journey on a lifetime of writing were inspired and encouraged by the advice and shared experiences of the professional authors at the SWF Secondary Schools Day.

     Ms Deborah Harris

    English Teacher

    Noli Me Tangere Musical

    On April 4, 2019 Year 11 Extension I English students and friends gathered at Riverside Theatres, Parramatta, to see the musical Noli Me Tangere, created by Peter Fleming and Alan McFadden. 

    The musical was based on the national novel of the Philippines, Noli Me Tangere, by the heroic author Jose Rizal, who was executed by the Spanish for the revolutionary ideas he expressed in his novel.

    The story is concerned with the movement towards freedom and independence from colonialism in the Philippines in the late 19th century. The main characters are torn between tradition and the ideas of the European enlightenment, whilst they are oppressed by corrupt Spanish overlords.

    Year 11 Extension I English students are studying post-colonialism as their core topic throughout this year, and gained a more informed understanding of the topic by viewing the musical.

    Author Peter Fleming visited the school shortly afterwards, to speak and answer questions from the students about the creative process, and the key concepts of post-colonialism that underpinned the narrative of the musical.

    Ms D. Harris

    English Teacher

    Artist of the Week

    The featured artworks are by year 7 students; Caitlin White, Anisha Hati Baruah, Lucy Donnell and Joshua Gillett

    Students in Year 7 Visual Arts classes have explored how artists make deliberate choices to communicate meaning in their artworks. Students were asked to think about the different emotions they experienced in their first days of starting Year 7, and communicate that emotion through creating an expressive self-portrait with symbolic use of colour.

    Students developed their techniques drawing accurate proportions of the face and mixing and applying different materials such as acrylic paint and water colour pencil to achieve realistic tonal effects. Finished portraits become part of an ongoing message here at the College about how its OK to feel a variety of emotions when starting a new school, and that everyone is different.

    Well done to students who achieved outstanding results in this task.

    Mrs R. Duff

    Visual Arts Teacher

    Year 12 Physics Excursion - UNSW

    Thoughts and Reflection

    On the 10th of May, the Year 12 Physics class embarked on a practical depth study excursion with Mr Fung and Mrs Botto to the prestigious UNSW in order to investigate the characteristics of light as a part of one of our assessment benchmarks.

    We were met with very kind demonstrators that guided us through some experiments. The first experiment was an examination of the Diffraction gratings of light. It discussed how light bends in different directions which causes it to split into various colours, observed using ‘spectrometers’. The second experiment discussed the photoelectric effect, investigating how just light alone can cause circuits to generate electric currents.

    It was a showcase of the Physics course being offered at UNSW and it has very much piqued my own interest in becoming a Physicist.

    I enjoyed the tour of the building the most. Our guide, Mr Garrett, showed us through the renowned ‘Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication’, explaining the various research rooms such as the restricted ‘cleaning rooms’, in which not even a single speck of dust can exist in case it contaminates the equipment.

    What we took away from this excursion was not only some knowledge to assist us in our assessment, but even deeper than that, a re-ignition of our passion for sciences. The pure desire for learning about the functions of our world had resurfaced so we are ready and keen for the rest of the year.

    It was an extremely enjoyable and educational day as we also got a bonus tour around the state-of-the-art UNSW’s Quantum Mechanics Department, this provided insight into the extensive research and study we could possibly contribute to in the future. Along with the university students leading our lesson, this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to perform helpful practicals with apparatus unavailable to us at school.

    Overall, the whole class had a great day and learnt many valuable aspects for our HSC. 

    By Joshua Ahn & April Purdon

    Library News

    Extra Curricular



    Friday the 10th of May was the second round of the Catholic Schools' Debating Association debating competition and St Patrick's hosted debates against Mercy College Chatswood. Following setup and pizza for dinner, the debates began.

    Our Year 11 and 12 teams expertly portrayed their sides of the argument, both winning their debates on the topic "that the culture of complaint is corrosive", extending their wins to two from two debates.

    Unfortunately, our Year 7-10 teams went down in their debates. Year 7 and 8 discussed the topic "that our online self is our real identity" and year 9 and 10 debated "that we are prisoners of consumerism".

    All our debaters put up a great fight and we are looking forward to even more exciting news and debates in the upcoming weeks!

    Katrina Astalosh

    Debating Captain

    MCS Chess

    YEARS 10-12

    On Thursday May 9, the Years 10-12 MCS Chess Competition was held in the library hosting eight other schools. Firstly, a huge thank you to Ms Thompson, Mrs Tam and Ms Pavlovich for their fantastic work in organising and running of the day. I know that the students and teachers from all schools enjoyed the day and appreciated all your hard work, without you these fantastic events could not happen and we are so grateful to have such great leaders and passionate people in our school.

    The day started with several absences for all St Patrick’s Marist College teams.  Luckily for us, we had students rise to the occasion who were key to our success throughout the day,  which was shown in our final standings. Thank you to Adam Selvan (Year 11), Nicholas Leung and Aidan Williams (Year 8) who rose to the occasion and filled these tough positions in the Year 10-12 competition.

    Year 10 A:    Ben Goss (Year 9), Alexander Jalil (Year 9) and Aiden Williams (Year 8) 

    Year 12 A:     Alexander Cutler, Thomas Nagy, Daniel Fazzolari (Year 11)

    Year 12 B:     Nicholas Leung (Year 8), Alexander Chan and Adam Selvan (Year 11)

    After the morning address, welcoming of school and explanation of the days' format, the score sheet was struck immediately with Dundas 12B.  Year 12B had two last minute changes with Nicholas Leung and Adam Selvan late inclusions to the team.  This move later payed dividends with their final silver medal podium finish.  Alexander Chan, when asked about his thoughts on his strong opening win said it was "magnificently done".  Nicholas Leung followed in similar fashion with a win saying "I think I used the knights well, that's basically all".

    Round 2 vs Eastwood 12D saw Dundas 12B come away with a clean sweep, winning 3 from 3.  Adam Selvan told the audience "my heartrate has gone back to normal after winning that game, I was so stressed, man. The opposition was good, we were both equal and these are always the best games to play".

    Meanwhile, Dundas 12A took a while to find their feet, Daniel Fazzolari started the score sheet with half a point in a game that could be titled "Chased but not Caught", a valiant effort and a great learning curve for all students on how to check mate with only a king, knight and rook. 

    Round 2 vs Parramatta 12A saw Thomas Nagy coming away with a win stating that it was an "exhilarating first win, looking forward to winning some more!”  With Alexander Cutler calmly adding on his win that it was "pretty good, I had fun with my first win". 

    At the other end of the library, Dundas 10A had a rough day in the office, with Round 1 and 2 losses to Liverpool and Blacktown. The boys found themselves against highly ranked students in NSW Chess who were eager to exchange queens early in the matches which proved too much for our boys. Goss won his first game in Round 4 against Greystanes B and when asked about his game he said “I am happy and proud to have won a tournament match and this eases the pressure when going into my next matches”.

    Overall, the day was a huge success and particularly highlighted our school spirit. It is a tough game chess, that requires immense focus and strategy. For this, I am extremely proud of how our boys who carried themselves well, shook hands at the end of each game, whether win or lose, and overall the team chemistry was clear and evident.

    Mr A. Shaw

    MCS Chess Coach

    MCCS Hockey

    On Thursday the 9th of May the St Patrick’s Marist College Opens Hockey Team had our first game of the season against Catherine McAuley at Sydney Olympic Park. We started off strong in the first half, with McAuley only scoring one goal. The momentum shifted back-and-forth with patches of brilliance from Thomas and Lowery. It was a great game, and everyone played to the best of their ability, particularly Allison Lee who got knocked down, but persevered and showed determination in getting back up and scoring our first goal of the season. Congratulations to many of the girls who played their first game of hockey, to Ms Botto our assistant coach emparting her knowledge to the girls and we look forward to our next game against Trinity.

    Game 2, Thursday 16th of May, the girls were excited to take the pitch for their second game of the season. For the majority of the first half the ball remained in our attaching 40 with the girls making over 20 circle penetrations but just couldn’t find the back of the net. A couple of close misses and brilliant saves from the opposition keeper only made our midfield and striker lines hungrier to get the onion in the back of the net. This was found in the 18th minute by Botto with a powerful forestick strike which proved to be the decider and our team celebrated our first win. Late in the second half Ball took a fierce hit from a following swing of a Trinity strikers to the chin and went down. We saw blood and no Ball was used for the remainder of the game even though she was eager to get back in the engine room. As the final siren sung, the girls were victorious. A massive congratulations to Zappala who padded up in goals who was the brick wall in our defence, with some even making reference to Zappala as “The Great Wall”.

    All players have displayed a high level of determination and perseverance throughout every game so far. Even when we weren’t always playing positions that we were accustomed to, this only expanded our arsenal and dynamics of our potential roles on the field. As a team we look forward to our next game against Woolwich at 1440 in Lidcombe this Thursday and currently stand in 3rd place out of the six teams.

    Grace Hennebry


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