McAuley News

Term 4, Issue 10 - 23 OCTOBER 2020


Term 4 … What’s In Store?

Teachers and students are all very pleased to return for the final school term. All school terms are productive times, but Term 4 offers some special treats.

We are happy to let you know that excursions are now, once again, permitted. There are some exciting excursions coming up this term, offering excellent opportunities for student learning. The first of these is the Year 7 excursion to Taronga Zoo, taking place on Monday.

We also look forward, of course, to the end of year, to Christmas and a long summer holiday. 

At this time, however, we remember that we still have a quarter of the learning year left, and we look forward to seeing students embrace the opportunities presented to them. We look forward to inviting them into the learning pit to embrace the challenges of problem solving and creativity, to come out of it with new skills and knowledge. We look forward to seeing them collaborate on their learning, using the opportunities to work with each other to synergise their thinking and to produce high quality work. 

We also look forward to sharing this learning with you throughout the term.

Senior Students

For all senior students, this week has been a big week at Catherine McAuley.

Year 11 students have spent the past two days participating in their senior retreat. This event, usually an overnight camp, is being held at school this year. It is a highlight of the senior school experience. It is a time for students to come together to deepen their spirituality and connect with one another in a personal way not possible in usual classes.

Reconciliation and mass took place yesterday afternoon in two special and moving services that invited students to spend some time introspectively examining their own lives, and then celebrating the love that can be demonstrated when we are courageous enough to love deeply. 

Year 12 students started their HSC exams on Tuesday, with their first English paper. It was wonderful to see students return to school feeling reassured and confident in their ability to begin the exam period. They have prepared themselves well for these assessments and we know they will complete them with conviction.

Both English papers and a number of other exams have taken place already. We wish students all the best in their completion of these final assessments and look forward to celebrating with them in December when they receive their results.

Student School Planner

Students are issued with a school planner at the beginning of every year. The school planner serves a number of purposes, including its use as:

  • a source of information about school structures

  • an organisational tool, within which students can plan their out-of-class work

  • a guide to sensible wellbeing and study habits

  • a means of communication between parents and teachers.

I ask you to have a look at your daughter’s school planner each week to remain cognisant of her learning and workload, and to read any communication that may have come from her teachers, and for students in Years 7 - 10, to sign at the end of every week. You are also welcome to communicate with her teachers using this tool.

Parents and Friends Committee

At the Annual General Meeting of the Parents and Friends Committee this week, elections for the 2021 executive team were held. 

We were saddened to hear from the 2020 President, Natasha Swan, that she is not able to stand for the position of President for a consecutive year. Natasha has been an exceptional P&F President, keeping the parents updated of relevant events and activating for the provision of extra school bus services - this is no easy feat. I would like to thank Natasha for her contributions to this position, and look forward to continuing to work with her on the P&F Committee.

We welcome the newly appointed President, Elisabeth Majnaric, and all the newly elected members and thank them for their service.

The P&F meetings this year have been in the virtual form, rather than in-person meetings. It has been wonderful to welcome so many parents to our meetings this year. I invite you to consider joining us in 2021. 

Mary Refalo


The Power of Words

Welcome back to Term 4! I hope staff and students took the opportunity of the break from the regular school week to recharge their batteries and be ready for the final term of the year.

There is an article on the wall in my office about the power of words. There are many sayings in this article but one that particularly resonated with me was “It’s not about having time - it’s about making time” (unknown).

Time is the one thing that is an equaliser for us all. We all have 24 hours in a day. What distinguishes us from each other is how we choose to spend this finite resource.  As we begin Term 4, I thought it was timely to reflect on how we will spend the time remaining in 2020. A few points worth considering are:

  • Term 4 is not the time to slow down but rather to prepare for the final sprint and last hurdle of the academic year.

  • Rather than saying “I don’t have the time”, evaluate the task at hand. If something is important to you, you will make time for it. If it is not, then is this something that should be discarded?

  • Family is something that is important to us all. When prioritising your time, make family time a top priority. 

How To Ask Your Teenager About School

It is not unusual when asking your teenage daughter about school that you get a mumbled “OK” as a response. This usually results in the termination of the conversation. 

You are more likely to be able to have a conversation with her if you ask more open-ended questions such as :

  • What did you enjoy most at school today?

  • What was your easiest class? What was your most challenging class?

  • Which class did you enjoy the most?

  • What do you think you should do more of at school? What do you think you should do less of?

  • What part of the day do you look forward to?

  • If you had to go to only one class every day, which class would it be?

  • If your day at school were an emoticon, which one would it be?

Even if you have a good relationship with your teenage daughter, she might not always open up if she is upset or having a tough time. Always trust your intuition and if you are concerned, try talking to your daughter’s Year Coordinator. Similarly, if you have any concerns regarding the learning taking place in your daughter’s classes, please contact the class teacher directly to discuss your concerns.

Ms Silvana Rossetti
Assistant Principal (Learning and Teaching)

FROM THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL (Pastoral Care/Administration)

Health Concern: Young People and E-cigarettes / Vape Pens

In the last newsletter for Term 3, I highlighted the health concern regarding e-cigarettes and vape pens.

To educate our students on the risks involved in using e-cigarettes the Year Coordinator worked with the PDHPE teachers in planning an educational resource for Year 7 - 11 students. Miss Sharon Brincat constructed an interactive presentation for PDHPE teachers to present within PDHPE classes in the first two weeks of this term. Each presentation was adjusted to meet the different age groups however the message was the same. For the information of parents I have provided the link to a PDF copy of the presentation, however, please remember this presentation was interactive and students participated via the ‘pear deck’ process. I would encourage parents to discuss with their daughter the information presented in this lesson. 

iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology

(from: Dr Prue Salter - The Study Skills Specialist)

Dr. Larry Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University, has a must-read book for parents called ‘iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession With Technology and Overcoming Its Hold On Us'. In this book he discusses changes that occur to the brain's ability to process information and the ability to relate to the world due to daily consumption of media and use of technology. This obsession with technology can result in signs and symptoms of psychological disorders (which Dr. Rosen has labeled iDisorders) such as stress, sleeplessness, narcissism and a compulsive need to check-in with our technology. However, it is important to note the word ‘obsession’. Dr. Rosen is not anti-technology, far from it. Instead, he argues that we need to become more aware of issues that can arise from over-use of technology and then implement strategies to deal with these. Self-awareness and a move towards restorative balance are essential.

Some of the ideas Dr. Rosen discusses are:

  • Ensure your child gets a full night’s sleep and that mobile phones are switched off during the night and ideally in a different room. If a student wakes in the night and checks their phone, however briefly, this will interrupt the sleep patterns for that night and disrupt essential memory processing.

  • Convene regular family dinners (3-4 times a week for 30-40 minutes) where technology is forbidden at the table – parents included! Dr. Rosen points to the fact that many parents are also obsessed with technology and are modelling these behaviours to their children, for example not paying full attention when their child is talking to them, instead answering email on their smartphone at the same time. Rosen believes we are massive self-interrupters and we are training our children that if something buzzes, beeps or vibrates, we should jump and immediately check to see if there is something we should attend to right now.

  • Given the pervasiveness of technology in our lives as well as the fact that technology evokes high levels of mental activity, we need to start taking technology ‘time-outs’ to reset our brains and refresh our capacity to process information.  It is important to recognise that the constant lure of multiple technologies and our obsession with them is overloading our brain. If we want to avoid iDisorder and ensure our use of technology does not make us exhibit signs and symptoms of psychological disorders, then we need to reset our brain on a regular basis. You may decide to take a 10 minute break from technology every 2 hours or you may even decide to allocate at least one day a week where you focus your attention 100% on real life and shut off your technology for a significant portion of that day. During this time you could laugh or talk with friends or family, experience nature or do something active. The aim is to give the brain a chance to slow down and rest by doing something that does not involve electronic devices.

We live in a connected world and we can’t turn the clock back and take away all these fun new technological tools. So the message is, we need to learn to take care of our brains and take some small proactive steps to avoid a potential iDisorder.  

Visit the Dealing with Distractions unit at to learn more about managing your distractions.

Our school’s subscription details are -   Username: mcauley    Password: 189results

Ms Debbie Grigson
Assistant Principal (Pastoral Care/Administration)

Counsellor Corner


Each October, Mental Health Month gives us the opportunity to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. It is celebrated across NSW, ACT and Victoria. Mental Health Month is a yearly reminder of the responsibility we all share to reach out and support our loved ones who suffer in silence.

This year, we are encouraging everyone to make a promise to “Look after your mental health”.

Statistically, 1 in 5 Australians are affected by mental illness and 1 in 4 young Australians (16-24) experience issues with mental health and for the many more impacted by the current COVID-19 pandemic, and the increased uncertainty and anxiety that has ensued. It is important for everybody including your children to look after everyone’s wellbeing. It can happen to anyone, and it can strongly affect a person’s behaviour, physical health, relationships, ability to do work/school and even affect your perceptions of the world. For further information and support, click on the link provided:

Mrs Suzan Boulattouf 
School Counsellor


For a variety of significant reasons, this year will be remembered for a long time and much will be written about it in the history books of the future. One positive aspect of 2020 is that the Draft New Curriculum (DNC) has taken a significant step in its development with all schools in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta trialling new learning cycles. At Catherine McAuley Westmead last term, our Year 10 students participated in this exciting stage. To coincide with the implementation of the DNC, students, teachers and parents/carers of Year 10 were invited to complete a survey. The feedback provided was invaluable in evaluating the learning cycle and will greatly assist in planning for 2021. A letter below from the Catholic Education Office of Parramatta (CEDP) gratefully acknowledges the support and contributions of the families who completed the survey.

In Term 4, Year 9 are trialling the learning cycle Why is Care of Our Common Home a Moral Imperative?  This learning cycle has been inspired by Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’. Currently students have been studying the ‘Story of Creation’ in the Book of Genesis and are now exploring more closely the different elements of God’s creation. We are looking forward to seeing their learnings in this learning cycle which is very much underpinned by the theology and magisterium of the Catholic Church.

Ms Genevieve Banks
Religious Education Coordinator

Parent Survey Results: Draft New (Religious Education) Curriculum

In Week 8 of Term 3, all parents of students involved in the Term 3 ‘Test Runs’ of the Draft New Curriculum in Religious Education, were given the opportunity to share their feedback and insights. Thank you to all parents who were able to do so. Over 450 parents from across the Diocese have responded and there has been a positive response with the majority of parents agreeing to each of the statements listed below:

  • My child has been enabled to think about their faith

  • My child has connected what they have learned to their life

  • My child has responded positively to their lessons

  • My child has spoken about their lessons at home

Important insights and points of feedback were also provided which, along with feedback from students and teachers, will be read and reflected on by Mission leaders as they continue to refine the Draft New Curriculum. 


Clare and Dobson Houses put much effort into fundraising last term for Mercy Works and the Katilosa Community Centre for the Disabled in Timor-Leste. They held a popcorn and fairy floss stall late in the term which was a great success with the stall selling out in only eight minutes! This was a record in their fundraising efforts.

Clare and Dobson also ran a book stall called ‘Blind Date With A Book’ where students were able to purchase a brown paper wrapped book with all books tagged with their genre and a blurb to help them select the ‘perfect date’.

Thank you to all families who helped in these fundraising efforts. $4778 was raised for Mercy Works! This term the school’s fundraising efforts will go to the Jesuit Refugee Service and will be organised by Veritas, Coolock and Caritas Houses.

Diocese of Parramatta Social Justice Statement Launch

The Diocese of Parramatta Social Justice Statement for 2020 was launched last week on Thursday, 15th October and seven Year 9 student leaders participated in the launch. The title for 2020 is ‘To Live Life to the Full: Mental Health in Australia Today.’ 

Students were asked to think about how mental health can be destigmatised in society and to develop an action plan to encourage inclusivity, openness and awareness of mental health in Australia today through engaging in workshops and discussions. 

Students were challenged to imitate Christ with love and compassion to enable all people to flourish and feel supported through life's opportunities and challenges. The students who participated found the day to be a very informative, important and enriching experience. 

Miss Kate Hogan
Religious Education Teacher

Year 12 Gift To The School

Traditionally each year Year 12 students give a farewell gift to the school. This year the students chose to support the Parramatta Women’s Shelter as a way to support their important work helping women and children affected by homelessness in the local Parramatta community.

The Year 12 students have donated $1500.


Year 12 Class of 2020 Graduate

The Class of 2020 graduated at the end of last term with the Year 12 Graduation Mass held in two sessions on Tuesday, 22nd September at St Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta. The Year 12 Graduation Ceremony followed on Thursday, 24th September and was live streamed to Year 12 parents from the Morley Centre. 

In the lead up to these special events the school celebrated Year 12 with ‘Nine Days of Graduation’ which saw each consecutive day containing a special surprise for the Year 12 students. 

Day 1 - Year 12 students allowed to wear their jerseys for the reminder of the term.

Day 2 - ‘Congratulations and Good Luck’ banner hung outside the school gates.

Day 3 - Year 9 gave a small gift of lollies to Year 12 students.

Day 4 - Year 10 surprised Year 12 with photos from their time at school hanging in Coolock Court.

Day 5 -  Optional day at school for Year 12.

Day 6 - Year 7 decorated the Year 12 tables in Coolock Court and gave each Year 12 student a cupcake and personalised card.

Day 7 - Year 8 gave a small gift of a ‘HSC Survival Pack’ to Year 12 students.

Day 8 - Year 11 gave each Year 12 student a small bottle to place a memory inside and treated Year 12 to a pizza lunch.


The School Facebook Page and Instagram Page both contain many photos from all of the Year 12 graduation activities and events. 

Year 12 Final Liturgy

Year 12 students gathered for their final liturgy and Year assembly on Wednesday, 23 September. The students were joined by their Homeroom Teachers and members of the school leadership team. The sacred space used in the liturgy was hung with a very special banner - a banner the students made at their Year 7 Camp in 2015 and which contained their handprints from this time. This banner has been with Year 12 ever since and was now used for the last time.

Following the liturgy the Year 12 students had the opportunity to thank their Year 12 Coordinator, Ms Joanne Dae, who has been with the students since Year 7. The students presented her with a bouquet of flowers.

Year 12 Memories

Farewell video with memories of the students over their years at the school.

Class of 2020 Special Awards

The Culture Award -  Raunak K.

The Service Award - Shanice K.

The Sports Award - Jasmine J-H.

Reuben F Scarf Award for Commitment - Porsha H.

The ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award 2020 - Josette K. 

ADF Future Innovators Award - Brooke B.  

Caltex Best All Rounder Award - Elizabeth B.

Sister Barbara McDonough School Spirit Award - Josette K. 

Academic Excellence Award - Alysha S. 

Bishop of Parramatta Award for Student Excellence - Tram N.

The Sister Eugene Dobson Leadership Award - Holli S.

The Catherine McAuley Award -  Avegail M.

Catherine McAuley Tea Cups - A Year 12 Graduation Gift

Year 12 students were gifted with a McAuley tea cup at their graduation this year as a reminder of their time at Catherine McAuley and the Mercy value of Hospitality.

The tea cups were designed by teachers Mrs Lisa Williams and Mrs Marianne Nakhoul as part of their project for the Mercy Formation Program. This program sees two staff members from each of the six Mercy schools in Sydney participate after being nominated by their school principal. The staff involved chose a project to work on which will deepen staff understanding of the Mercy charism.

“The tea cup is a big part of Catherine McAuley’s story and we often hear the phrase ‘A comfortable cup of tea’ as some of the last words Catherine said before she died. We wanted both staff and students to remember the Mercy value of Hospitality and to understand why a tea cup is one of the symbols we use at our masses”, said Mrs Williams and Mrs Nakhoul. 

The tea cups include both Catherine McAuley’s quote, “Strive to do ordinary things extraordinarily well” as well as the Mercy Cross. They will continue to be given out to Year 12 students as they graduate and to new members of staff. In addition, a teacup has been given to each Homeroom to include on their Sacred Space.

Clare Wins House Cup for 2020

Congratulations to Clare House who are the winners of the Catherine McAuley House Cup for 2020.

The House Cup is awarded to the House who has collected the most House points throughout the year. Points are obtained in a number of ways and this year due to many of the Covid restrictions on activities it meant many of the points were earned through various online submissions. The Tiktok competition was one of these House competitions as well as the various photo competitions. Points were also awarded after the swimming carnival and the number of merit certificates and Year Coordinator awards received by students throughout the year.

Place Positions were:

1st Clare House

2nd Veritas House

3rd Mercedes House

Farewell Mrs Brown After 33 Years

Mrs Julie Brown, respected Mathematics teacher, has decided to retire after 33 years at the school. Mrs Brown started teaching at  Catherine McAuley in 1987, first teaching Biology and Mathematics, and then moving to the Mathematics Department exclusively. 

Read More…

Student Leadership Workshop

The new school leaders from Years 10 and 11 attended a student leaders workshop at the end of last term on Monday, 21st September. The workshop gave the students the opportunity to work together to form their leadership direction for 2021 and to decide on the school theme for next year. This theme will be announced in the next few weeks.

Year 11 Students Receive Their Year 12 Jerseys

It was a bit like Christmas morning in Homeroom on Tuesday, 22nd September with the Year 11 students receiving their Year 12 Class of 2021 jerseys. Students will be allowed to wear their jerseys on Thursdays.

Student 3D Modelling Club

Two of the outgoing Year 12 students have recognised a keen interest of many McAuley students in 3D modelling and IT and have set up a 3D Modelling Club. Mr Bob Cavill, TAS Teacher, is supervising the new club although the agenda is very much being set by the students.

Tram N. and Avegail M., Year 12, set up the club because they said they wanted students to become more involved in this area and they wanted students to gain some of the skills which Tram and Avegail say they had to teach themselves. “We also wanted to give back to the school in a way that will leave a legacy”.

At the end of last term Tram and Avegail organised for Jing Luo, an astrophysicist from the University of Toronto, to speak to students via Zoom about the aerospace industry. He was happy to answer questions from students and spoke on how he was able to achieve his goals in his field of work.

The 3D Modelling Club will meet regularly and interested students should see Mr Cavill.


Year 9 Commerce Shark Tank

This year the Commerce teachers had to make adjustments to the very popular Year 9 Commerce ‘Market Day’ activity due to COVID restrictions. As keen entrepreneurs, the Year 9 Commerce students adapted quickly, and this year planned their business and showcased them in a shark tank style presentation. 

Each small business decided on their business structure, created individual roles in marketing, finance and administration, and also designed a business logo to suit their business name. They then created their product and researched their costs including start up requirements and break-even analysis.

Each group presentation required them to introduce their business, demonstrate their product with a prototype and ask for an investment into the business. The teacher and student audience of 'sharks' then chose which business to invest in for a share of ownership.

Mrs Taryn Grima
HSIE - Social Science & VET Teacher


Year 8 Technology Mandatory Making French Toast

Year 8 Technology Mandatory students with Ms Hartman were recently making French toast in class. Their end results certainly looked cafe standard! Delicious! 

Around the Music Classrooms Last Week

A brief video snapshot showing what has been happening in some of the Music classrooms last week. Years 8 and 9 Music classes are shown.

Follow the school Instagram Page and Facebook Page for more ‘Around the Classrooms’. Search for Catherine McAuley Westmead.


School Swimming Age Champions

The school swimming carnival was held back in March (before COVID hit) and a report was included in the newsletter at the time. However our Sports Coordinator has now realised the School Age and School Swimming Champions were not published and the school would like to acknowledge these students. 

Year 12 students who were awarded received their trophies last term while students in other years will receive theirs at the end of year assembly. 

Age: 12s                                             

1st        Elisha H.          Ryan
2nd       Hayley W.       Veritas
3rd        Kenzie M.       Veritas  
Age: 13s       
1st        Irene S.            Clare 
2nd       Samantha T.   Clare 
3rd        Emily G.           Dobson   
Age: 14s           
1st         Sophie F.        Coolock 
2nd        Ava S.             Caritas 
3rd         Ruby W.          Ryan  
Age: 15s         
1st          Liberty T.       Clare
2nd         Chloe A.        Ryan
3rd          Chelsey T.     Clare 
Age: 16s                 
1st          Chloe W.        Dobson
2nd         Michaela A.   Clare
3rd          Hannah H.    Dobson 
Age: 17s   
1st         Freya L.           Ryan
2nd        Aimee H.        Clare
3rd        Renee V.          Ryan 
Age: 18s       
1st         Jasmine J-H.  Veritas
2nd       Elizabeth B.     Mercedes
3rd         Erika L.            Mercedes 
EQUAL 1st      Jasmine J-H.   Year 12 
EQUAL 1st      Irene S.            Year 8 
2nd                  Freya L.            Year 11
EQUAL 3rd     Sophie F.          Year 9
EQUAL 3rd     Elisha H.           Year 7


Tuesday, 19th October - Thursday, 12th NovemberHSC Examinations
Monday, 26th OctoberYear 7 Science Excursion to Taronga Zoo
Friday, 13th NovemberYear 7 2021 Orientation Day


Ex-Students Share Their Career Wisdom With Year 11

Three former Catherine McAuley students participated in an ex-student panel discussion and careers seminar for Year 11 students last week on Wednesday, 14th October.

Held over Zoom, our guests included Seles Sebastin (Class of 2011), Morgan Birtles (Class of 2014) and Emma Seaman (Class of 2016). It was an inspiring morning of hearing about life after school and the amazing opportunities these students have had in securing careers in a field they are passionate about.

Morgan currently works for the NSW Police Force as an Education Support Officer and is in Learning Technology, helping build the new Learning Management System that will assist police officers across the State learn in a new way. Morgan continued her study in Business Administration at TAFE after enjoying Business Services at school. She shared how her experience as a dance teacher and swim teacher helped her realise that she was destined to be in an education role. She recommended that students share what their passions are in an interview as you never know how an employer might value your other interests and skills.

Seles is a Senior Research Associate with Forrester, a global software/ technology company and she studied a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy and Social Science at the University of Sydney. Whilst at university she used her time wisely to get involved in activities and societies to build her network, as well as doing internships at Amazon Web Services and Qantas. She recommends students that study arts carefully choose subjects that will give them in-demand skills and also to talk to a variety of people to gain different perspectives on career opportunities. 

Emma studied a Bachelor of Cyber Security and Behaviour at Western Sydney University and currently works for DXC Technology as a Junior Security Engineer. She was involved in a range of extracurricular activities at school and continued to do so at university, and it was her experience in participating at a hackathon that helped her secure her graduate position. She shared the challenges of adjusting to university academic expectations and learning how to explain technical things in non-technical terms. These skills, as well as working well with diverse people, has prepared her to effectively work with a variety of clients. Emma is continuing to study part time as she completes a Master of Cyber Security Analysis and a Master of Intelligence.

Our panelists shared to Year 11 students many helpful words of wisdom including getting involved in extracurricular activities and leadership, staying disciplined in study habits, and also taking time out to have a break. It was valuable for Year 11 to have some insight into the world of work from our alumni, and to also hear about the nature of roles in a variety of industries.

Students then had an introduction to career planning with Mrs Chahine, School Careers Advisor, which will be followed up with a range of workshops in the coming year.

Mrs Amanda Chahine
School Careers Advisor

Career Workshops For Year 11

Mrs Chahine will be running two workshops in Week 4 and Week 6 to enable Year 11 students to be better prepared as they plan their future career choices. All Year 11 students are encouraged to attend these as there is always something new to learn and career opportunities are changing.

How To Apply For Scholarships and Cadetships - Week 4

This will cover 'who is eligible for a scholarship?', how do I apply?, 'what kind of activities can I include on an application?', what are some examples of scholarships?, 'how can I search for them?' and 'What are cadetships and how do I apply?'

Graduate Recruitment and Using LinkedIn - Week 6

This is essential for all students, whether you are intending to go to uni, TAFE or begin working. We will cover what employers are looking for, how to network, learn who hires graduates, and what you can learn from using LinkedIn in the future.

To attend, students need to respond to the Google form sent out by Mrs Chahine earlier this week.

Enterprising Girls Challenge Competition

The Academy of Enterprising Girls has some wonderful design challenges for you to submit an entry and show your creativity and problem solving skills.

This competition covers a few different skills across app design, general design, community, helping a business or sharing how you've been inspired by other female entrepreneurs. 

The challenges include:

  • Design an app to to help the world during the coronavirus pandemic  
  • Design a poster to promote a community health message
  • Draw a community map highlighting key issues people are facing 
  • Script a pitch for a local business that might be struggling due to coronavirus 
  • Tell us about your favourite Girl Founder

It is worthwhile checking out the details on their website, so see this link for details. Or go to:

Competition closes on 14th December. 


Search Tips To Improve Your Results!

Information is at our fingertips for everyone nowadays including Catherine McAuley students. However being able to locate the information you really need is often easier said than done. 

Three easy steps to improve your searching in Google:

1. Search for more than just isolated facts

Instead of searching for the assignment question in full, doing a keyword search can provide better, well rounded results. Adjusting the keyword in accordance to what you find in your search results you find will help narrow in on the most poignant information for your research.

2. Slow down

Take your time to consider the information you have found and evaluate its reliability. A few extra moments to do this in the initial research phase could make the difference in the end of quality reliable information or shaky information that is the basis of your assignment.

3. You are in charge of the search, not Google

Does Google always know what you mean? Blindly clicking on the “did you mean” button on Google may take you in a different direction - but is it the direction you need to be going? Before preceding, think about why Google is suggesting it.

For high quality reliable sources don't forget to bypass Google and head straight for the databases on the library site available for use at any time, anywhere or stop by the library and ask for help from the original search engine - librarians!

Sourced from - Morrison, R. (2020, February 12). Don’t ‘just Google it’: 3 ways students can get the most from searching online. The Conversation. Retrieved from

Ms Lorenzutta & Ms Sabeh
School Librarians


New Parents & Friends Committee Appointed

The Parents & Friends Annual General Meeting was held this week on Tuesday 20th October 2020. At this meeting the P&F Committee for 2021 was elected. They are:

President:  Elisabeth Majnaric 
Vice President:  Laila Nagawkar
Secretary:  Andrew Millen
Treasurer:  Pauline Poumale 
PRC Representative:  Bill Hopley 
General Committee:  Anna Chawa, Vesna Furjanic, Donna Rodrigues, Sara Sundstrom and Natasha Swan

The P&F Committee can be contacted via their email address:

School Travel for 2021

 2021 School Travel Applications Are Now Open 

 Applications for student travel in 2021 opened from Monday 12 October 2020. 

Students who require a School Opal card or travel pass for 2021 can now apply online. A new application should be submitted if a student is applying for a school travel pass for the first time or requesting an additional pass as a result of a new shared parental responsibility situation (e.g. joint custody). 

Students who have changed school/campus, changed address, repeated a year or received an expiry notification from Transport for NSW for their school travel entitlement should re-apply or update their details

* Applications must be completed by the student's parent or legal guardian if the student is aged under 16 years. Students 16 years and over must complete the application form themselves. 

Where there is a change of distance eligibility based on a student’s grade, the system will automatically update a student’s entitlement if they meet the new criteria. If they do not meet the new eligibility criteria, they will receive an expiry notification via email. 

Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition which is due to expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply. 

Term Bus Pass holders will receive a notification to re-apply. 

If a student needs to update their information or re-apply, they should go online to 

Applications need to be submitted before 31 December 2020 to ensure that current student entitlements are updated and their current entitlement/card remains valid. If their application is submitted after 31 December 2020, the system will automatically cancel an entitlement/card and a new one will need to be issued. 

Students in the Opal network applying for a SSTS or Term Bus Pass entitlement for the first time will receive their card at their nominated postal address. Cards will be mailed out from January 2021. 

Students residing in Rural and Regional (R&R) areas should receive their travel pass at the commencement of the new school year from their nominated operator, this may be distributed via the school or sent direct to their address. Note: some R&R operators do not issue travel passes. Students/Parents should confirm with their nominated operator if they do not receive a pass. 

New Concession Entitlement Cards 

Transport for NSW will be replacing the below cards with Transport Concession Entitlement Cards (TCEC) from October 2020: 

  • Senior Secondary Student Concession Card (16 years and over) – also used by Mature Secondary Students (18 years and over), Distance Education Students and Home School Students 
  • Proof of Age card (when a student under 16 years of age looks older) 
  • Boarder Rail Pass. 

All previous cards will be valid until they expire. Students who require a Transport Concession Entitlement Card should speak with their school administration staff. Enquiries regarding school student travel can be submitted to Transport for NSW at: 



Reminder To Students and Parents

Second Hand Uniforms

Do You Have Any Second Hand Uniform Items for Sale? 

Do You Wish To Purchase Any Second Hand Uniform Items?

The school has had a number of requests regarding second hand uniforms and although our school uniform shop does not sell second hand items directly we have set up an area on the school website for parents to list their items for sale.

If you are interested in purchasing second hand uniform items perhaps you might like to check the school website under ‘Enrolments / Uniform Shop’ and see what items are listed. 

If you are a parent with an item to sell please email with your item details and photos. The school website under ‘Enrolments / Uniform Shop’ gives you more information.

Catherine McAuley Parent Business Directory

A reminder that the school has a Catherine McAuley Parent Business Directory. This directory is a collection of parent owned businesses and is something you might want to consulate when you are next looking for a particular item or service.

If you would like to be included in the directory please fill out this form.