Star of Peace

St Patrick's Marist College

Newsletter Number 13 - 28 August 2019

From the Principal ....

There are few statements that speak to the heart and convey an eternal truth like that of Aristotle who reminds us that ‘humans are social beings’. Our relationships have an enormous impact on who we are and they continue to influence us on so many levels throughout our lives. Our Catholic faith also reflects this truth in providing us with one clear vision and command, “to love one another as Christ has loved us.”  This vision and direction points to the essence of our human relationships and love becomes the measure, the value and the connection of our faith. The Catholic mystery of God’s self in the Trinity of persons highlights how relationships are core to life itself and how Christ continues to call each of us into a loving relationship to change and transform us into the best version of ourselves. It is this best version of ourselves that we share with one another through our relationships.

We see these positive, faith filled relationships alive here at the College. Our Walkathon was a real example of the positive relationships that is shared as we worked together to raise much needed funds for those in need in various Marist projects around the world. Some $36,000 has been promised and I thank all our students and families for this response and encourage us now to bring our sponsorship into school.

Later that evening we also held our annual Winter Sleep Out with over 100 students from Years 9 to 12 braving the cold to sleep outdoors in solidarity with the thousands of homeless persons across Australia. Much needed food was raised to share with various organisations in our local community. This event also highlighted the leadership of our Year 12 Social Justice students: Claudia Sobral;  Peter Litsas; Anton Sheridan and Ashley Doueihi who provided an outstanding program for all involved. A special thanks to Mr Moussa and Mrs Ledesma for also braving the cold and sleeping out.

On Monday teachers took time to work with representatives from NESA to build capacity in their understanding and application of determining grades and developing adjustments to Stage 6 assessment. This professional learning provided time for our teachers to work with each other in the various subject areas in creating new assessment which reflects the new Syllabi developed by NESA ensuring all students ability to access and demonstrate their learning and to experience success. I would like to thank and acknowledge the wonderful morning tea provided by our P&F and to Chrishani Cogger our President for her work and organisation of it. The P&F have provided this morning tea for staff each year on this day and it was a beautiful assortment of foods and treats, thank you!

I would like to recognise and congratulate our Drama and VET teacher Ms Renee Lyons who has been awarded the Rotary Teacher Excellence in Vocational Education award. Ms Lyons makes an enormous contribution to our Entertainment VET course here at the College and this work extends to other aspects such as our College Musical and various assemblies. We also congratulate Sophia Mandziy of Year 7 who has been selected to receive a Minister’s Award for Excellence through the Community Languages School in her study of Ukrainian. She will be awarded on Monday at the University of NSW.

As we move towards celebrating with our grandfathers and fathers this weekend, as a College we will celebrate with them on Thursday morning with a liturgy and breakfast. The relationship we have with our fathers is an important and central one and we remember all our dads and granddads especially those who are now at rest with God and those who may be experiencing illness or hardships at this time. We thank our P&F, for their support in catering for this wonderful event and for Chrishani Cogger our President for her preparations and organisation. I thank all our granddads and dads in being with their child here at the College on this day.

 Let us thank God our Father for those who have fathered us in life…

 One night a father heard his child prayer:

 God, please make me the kind of person that my daddy is.

 Later that night, the father prayed:

 Heavenly Father,

Please make me into the man my child thinks I am.

May I be a reflection of you.


 Mary our Good Mother, Pray for us

Mr Jason Scanlon

Acting Principal

Assistant Principal - Innovation, Teaching and Learning


Year 11 End of Course Examinations commence Friday 13th September and conclude Monday 23rd September. Students are reminded to ensure that they are on time for their set exams, to wear full College winter uniform for every exam and to bring all required equipment. As stated in our last newsletter, this year is the first time students have not experienced a Mid-Course Examination period as per NESA requirements, so it is vital that students are able to use this first experience to monitor their use of time management, rehearse at home and ask teachers for feedback on practice papers. 

Often students approach exam preparation in ways that are not particularly advantageous to them, such as by highlighting copious amounts of dense text or simply reading over notes. These ‘passive strategies’ are time consuming and place little cognitive load on the student, therefore having limited impact. Students are advised to rather engage with acquired knowledge and skills by applying their learning, condensing content into diagrammatic forms such as concept maps and creating ‘new knowledge’; expressing their new ideas, opinions and judgements. It is also advised that students engage in meta-cognitive questioning to develop deep understandings and guide next steps.. This synthesis and meta-cognitive reflection upon learning is an action requiring thinking and it is this act of thinking that transfers to ‘learning’ and learning retention. 

Some tips and hints for examination preparations from our Study Skills partner, ‘Elevate’, can include:

  • Utilising the syllabus to frame study

  • Structuring, organising and condensing notes

  • Conceptual approaches to learning to develop deep understandings

  • Utilising practice exam papers and submitting them to teachers for feedback

  • Using this feedback to amend errors and ensure constant improvement over time

  • Collaboration and sharing of knowledge/skills with peers for learning retention

  • Being familiar with how exams look and the sections to be completed

  • Practising answering questions under correct examination time frames 

  • Knowing the techniques that assist you in managing stress and anxiety

In cases of misadventure, please contact the College – Mr David Bonora – the Year 11 Pastoral Leader of Learning to inform of your son/daughter’s absence. A reminder that in cases of illness to also obtain a doctor’s certificate on the day of the illness and return it to Miss Hagarty the following day.


There has been a change of date for the Year 11 Parent/Teacher Interviews, from 29th October to the 6th November. 


A reminder that Year 12 are to maintain their focus, motivation and application during this period, post Trial Examination and pre Week 10 Graduation. These final weeks are known to be incredibly important for student success, as working with feedback received from the Trial HSC exams together with increased practice of examination style questions can lead to significant gains and greatly improved performance.  Furthermore, a number of courses are still completing the content and theory during this time, especially those that have contained a practical component or major HSC work. 


Thank you to Mr Chris O’Connell for coordinating the proposed St Patrick’s Marist College combined Modern History, Ancient History, Society and Culture, Visual Arts and French overseas tour to Pompeii, Rome, the Vatican, Berlin, the Somme and Paris. A number of  families attended the recent information evening on Tuesday 27th August and I encourage interested students to submit their formal expression of interest by Monday 2nd September. 


On Monday, Mrs Lisa O’Neill (NESA Metropolitan Liaison Officer) assisted staff in developing a refined mastery of the Common Grade Scale, together with Stage 6 Authentic Assessment and inquiry practices. As part of NESA’s stronger HSC standards, schools are being guided to provide students with a range and variety of assessment approaches that develop deep understandings as opposed to an emphasis on rote learning of surface knowledge and the simple replication of examination style questions throughout the internal assessment phase. Lisa led staff through a mixture of theory and practice, the day culminating in an afternoon collaborative faculty session where Stage 6 assessment tasks for Terms 4 and Term 1 2020 were ideated.  

Ms K. Maish

Acting Assistant Principal: Innovation, Teaching & Learning

Instructional Leader/Learning Coach 

Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing

Jersey Day - Friday 30th August

This Friday, 30th August, students are invited to wear their favourite team Jersey to the College.

Jersey day was initiated in 2015, when a young man, Nathan Gremmo's life was tragically cut short in a car accident. Nathan's short life was honoured when his family decided to donate his organs to those who desperately needed them in the final stages of their illnesses. Nathan's generosity is his legacy and it is an important one. The school is not asking for donations, but simply asking for students and families to have a conversation. Much like the one that Nathan had with his family. The aim of Jersey Day is to start the conversation. One organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of many people. Effective transplantation treatment can save lives, restore health and improve quality of life.

Australia is a world leader for successful transplants. In 2018, 1 782 lives were saved through transplantation which is twice the amount of lives in comparison to 2009.

Students can wear their jersey to school under their blazers and participate in what is an important current issue of discussion. We hope all students choose to get involved.

Mr D. Moussa

Youth Ministry Co-ordinator

2019 Leader Profiles


Freddy Zeater has been a student of St Patrick’s Marist College Dundas since Year 7.  He now has the opportunity to thrive in the role of House Captain for Paul.

Freddy has led his Homeroom through his role of Class and Vice Captain and is excited to lead Paul House next year. Freddy has achieved multiple academic awards, which have highlighted his dedication and effort towards his work.  His effort is extended to other activities he has participated in, like MCS Basketball and being involved in the College Talent Quest and the School Band.

Freddy’s goal for the school, is to boost the confidence in each student and guide his house Paul to success.  He hopes to achieve an ATAR over 90 and study Property Economics after school.

Written by:  Natalie Summer

Lack of sleep more harmful than social media for teens, study finds

Social media, with its constant presence and judgement from peers, has long been considered a threat to young people's self-esteem.

But new research from the UK, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal, has put forward the idea that lack of sleep has a bigger impact on teenagers' mental health than social media. 

See Full Article

Winter Sleepout

Tonight, in Australia, there will be over 105,000 people homeless, struggling to find shelter and food.  27% of those people are aged under 18. Homelessness is a growing issue in Australia and it is not simply going away.

The Chance for Change Social Justice group held its Annual Winter Sleep Out on the 23rd of August. Students from Years 9 to 12 were invited to attend in the hope of giving them a meaningful experience of what homelessness looks like in Australia today.

It was a cold and uneasy night, braved by more than 135 students, certainly the biggest number we have seen participating in this event. There were many great activities including a Marist scavenger hunt, trivia competition and a newspaper fashion parade.

This year students slept in the Harrington Courtyard to fully appreciate the struggles of those who are homeless. The program this year was designed and led by our Social Justice leaders: Ashley Doueihi, Peter Litsas, Claudia Sobral and Anton Sheridan. These four leaders not only led a great evening, but they have been the driving force behind social justice this year.

As Marists, we are called to be agents of service and change and to lead in the way of Mary. The sleep out was a great opportunity for students to learn about the hardships faced by those less fortunate. This year, as in previous years, students were asked to donate 10 items, which included, foods, gift cards, blankets and toiletries. The items were all collected by the Parramatta Mission and were then distributed by Vinnie’s, the Jesuit Refugee Service and Mission Australia to the many people who find themselves homeless.

A night like this could not run if it was not for the generous  donation of time offered by staff. To that end, I'd like to thank Madame Dunston, Mrs Padden, Mr Bonora, Mr Malkoun, Mr Scanlon and Mr Paton for coming along throughout the night and offering help with supervision and for joining in with the students on the fun. Special thanks to Ms Andrews for helping with the setup before and throughout the evening and then for staying until late to help supervise. Finally to Mrs Lesdesma, who kindly stayed overnight to help supervise, it was a cold and sleepless night, but the kids definitely appreciated her generosity and presence.

Students are encouraged to learn more about social justice initiatives being offered at the College. The Sleep Out will occur again next year, and it is hoped that the number of students participating will continue to grow.

Mr D. Moussa

Youth Ministry Co-ordinator

Business Manager


As part of our WHS compliance, we will be conducting an Evacuation Drill in Week 8 this term.  Emergency drills are simply a routine practice to ensure all students and all staff are aware of our emergency procedures, know what to do and where to go! Our procedures are designed to keep students and staff safe while emergency services deal with a real situation, if it was to occur.

In the unlikely event of a real evacuation or lockdown being required, parents will be notified as soon as it is practical to do so. If your child’s stay is extended beyond the regular time, you will receive information about the time and place that you can pick up. Please ensure that your contact mobile numbers and email addresses are up-to-date.

It is vital that students DO NOT CALL parents, and parents:

  • Do NOT to come to the school. Students will not be released during an emergency, until it is safe to do so. You may be compromising your own safety and that of staff, students and emergency services officers;
  • Do NOT call the school. This may tie up phone lines that must remain open to continue to liaise with emergency services;
  • Do NOT call student mobiles. A lockdown requires silence to not alert an intruder to the presence of students and staff in classrooms.


We finally have our new basketball court with the shade structure available for use!!! Construction of the shade structure turned into a much bigger job due to the surface of the courts. CEDP oversaw the project and now not only does the shade structure cover one court, but the surface of the whole area has been properly asphalted.

The asphalt will be re-painted over the October school holidays.


School fees can be paid by billpay at the local post office (most are open on Saturday mornings), credit card over the phone or by EFTPOS or cash at reception. Please consider your child’s personal safety and do not send large sum of cash with them. 

A payment arrangement can also be set up by Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Office if required.

Payment for optional activities, representative sport uniforms, bags / hats / ties, replacement diaries, etc can also 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. If you are paying in cash, please put correct money in envelope. We are not able to give change immediately and students have to be called back to the office later in the day to collect it. 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 sport uniforms. We also sell good-quality second-hand uniforms.

Costs of uniform items are:

  • School Bag $65; Chiro Bag $95, Sports Bag $15, Senior / Junior Ties $20, Hats $20
  • Soccer / Rugby Shorts $30; Cricket Shirt $35; Netball Shirt / Skirt $25; Representative Socks $15
  • Second hand uniform items – various (please ask)


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 the office to collect. Unclaimed uniform items will be added to our second-hand uniform stock and other items will be discarded at the end of every term.


I recently met with our sales representative to review stock levels and ensure that they are adequately stocked for the upcoming summer uniform in Term 4. At this stage, all stock items are sufficiently in-stock. We will meet again later this term.

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

Ms V. Fraser

Business Manager


School Fees

The final school fees are due on Wednesday 28th August unless you are on an approved payment plan.

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


I have been advised by the Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) that due to internal change, the CEDP will be taking carriage of any concession assessments from the 30th September.  This has been done with the Principal’s support.  This initiative has been taken so CEDP can provide a more efficient and consistent process in supporting families in difficulty.  You will still be required to contact me in the first instance


Reconciliations for sibling discounts are conducted by CEDP. If your circumstances change in regards to sibling discounts please notify us immediately. Failure to do so could result in an increase in fees throughout the year and your current payment arrangement may not cover the balance of your account." 


Please note that under the School Fee Policy as set out by the Catholic Education Office Parramatta:  “A Term’s notice (10 school weeks) in writing must be given to the Principal before the removal of a student or a full Term’s Fees will be payable”.  Parents are also required to complete a clearance form. 

Further details on this policy can be found on

Ms Rolla Wadih

School Fee Administrator


Year 12

Last week all Year 12 students received a letter outlining the details regarding Graduation Dinner. It will be held at Brother Emilian Hall at St. Joseph's College, Hunters Hill, commencing at 5:30 pm. The event is for students and their parents only, due to the capacity of the venue being limited. There is a cost for parents attending, as students' cost is covered by school fees. The cost is $80.00 per person (plus booking fee) and should be paid through the Trybooking website. The link is  I ask that all payments are finalised by Friday 6th of September. If there are any concerns regarding payment, please contact myself or Mrs Wadih in the front office. . 

Mr S. Belcher

Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 12


  • Congratulations to Year 8 for their fantastic efforts in raising money for the College Walkathon. The Walkathon was a great success! Please ensure all promised money is returned to the school office by the end of Week 7. 
  • I would like to congratulate all students in Year 8 so far who have received a Commendation Award. Special mention goes to Sara-Maree Wakim for receiving a Gold Award.
  • Jordan Bassett-Smith in Year 8 competed in the Australian Indoor Skydiving Championships last Friday and Saturday in two teams.  Jordan flew in 230km wind in this competition covering a range of fast lines and synchronised manoeuvres with his team mate in a category known as 2Way Dynamic. He was excited to win the Bronze medal representing Australia and was up against overseas competitors. Well done Jordan!


    • Wellbeing and subject selection notes should have been returned by now if not please do so ASAP.
    • Subject selection evening is on the 10th September 2019. The evening starts at 4:30pm.
    • A  reminder to all students, that should they be late four times in a ten week period, an afternoon detention will be issued. This is in line with College policy. We do understand that sometimes things happen that are out of our control and ask for a short note on those rare occasions to explain why the student is late. 

    Mrs N Padden

      Year 8 Pastoral Leader or Learning

      Pencil Challenge

      Congratulations to Year 7 and Year 8 students for supporting and being involved in the attempt to break a World Record with St Mary’s Primary School. Students were part of a human pencil. We will find out if we were successful in 3 to 6 months. They did an amazing job in the heat in ponchos!

      Year 7

      Congratulations to Year 7 for their fantastic efforts in raising money for the College Walkathon.  At the moment we have raised $5648, with 7 Mackillop sitting at $1409. Well done, this money will be donated to our sister school in Trichy, India which will give the children a chance of gaining an education. The Walkathon was a great success and was a beautiful day!  Year 7 are to be commended on their positive attitudes and fantastic costumes. 

      Congratulations to Chelsy-Lee Ordonez De Cross and Chloe Williams of Year 7, who have been recognised for their volunteer efforts assisting students at St Lucy’s, a specialist school for children with intellectual disabilities. They’ve each received certificates of appreciation for their  work during the St Lucy’s school holiday program.

      Chelsy has been volunteering at St Lucy’s since 2016 and is looking forward to working with the Satellite classes on the St Patrick's Marist pupil free day. Chloe is keen to join her again when an opportunity presents.

      We are all very much proud of both of them. Well done girls!

      Mr J. Hornby

      Pastoral Leader of Learning - Year 7

      Key Learning

      Write a Book in a Day

      On Wednesday August 21st, students from Years 7 to 11 took part in the Write a Book in a Day Competition, where over a twelve hour period from 8am to 8pm, two teams of students wrote and illustrated two stories based on randomly generated parameters.

      Overall the day was really fun but very long. When the junior and senior teams separated to write their books, the chaos began with many people, especially in the senior team, brainstorming ideas for this crazy book. These books were made to give to children hospitals as a way of giving the kids, who are going through some very hard times, something to laugh at. Also, all the funds and sponsorship fees go to the Kids Cancer Project, to help fund cancer research.

      I was a part of the illustrating team for the Seniors and we started the day by filling a table with all of our art supplies so that throughout the day we could share everything. Everyone who took part was open to the ideas of others, building on what they said to create a weird and fantastic story. The best thing about the whole day was the bond that we made with everyone who took part, I feel like I've made many new friends from all year groups. I also spent the entire day doing something that I enjoy with my friends, for such an important cause. 

      By Alisha Geraghty

      Year 10  MacKillop

      Information and Software Technology


      On the 19th of August, Year 9 and 10 IST classes participated in an incursion, hosted by the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, about the program MAYA, a 3D graphics creation and editing software used to create environments, characters, objects, props and other effects in a virtual environment. Students were tasked over the day to write their own name in the software using cubes and other shapes, design their own inspired character, and design an environment for the character. 

      During the first and second period of the day the classes learnt about the people behind MAYA and the games created from the software, and learnt about how the software is used. After an explanation, the students dove right in and were tasked with creating their name with blocks, and customising it with different colours and materials. After completing the task, the classes learnt how to access extrusion, and other tools that brought in a wider array of features the students could use.  

      Later on in the day, during the third and fourth periods, the IST classes were asked to create their own character using the software and the new extrude and material tool. Some characters that were created included R2-D2, Wall.E, Kirby, and characters of their own creation. Students could also ask and get help when discussing features not explained, such as lighting.   

      Finally, with practice and a character, students were given the option to create an environment for the character, using animation additionally to give the environment and character an extra flair. After the fifth period had ended the students had created countless cool and unique environments in a space of three hours. 

      AIE taught the students many versatile techniques that could be used to create 3d objects and characters, opening up new opportunities in the graphics and visual design industry. Thank you to AIE for hosting this incursion, and we hope to see you in the foreseeable future! 

      Ms V. Colman

      Leader of Learning - Technology

      Education Perfect Mathematics

      2019 COMPETITION

      Students recently had the opportunity to compete in the 2019 Education Perfect Mathematics Championships.  This is an optional competition, but hard work and lots of maths questions earned us 28th place globally and 11th nationally from 1600 schools. For their outstanding efforts as a class,  Ms Magner's 7MA1 class, were treated to a Pizza Party courtesy of  Education Perfect which they thoroughly enjoyed. 

      A special mention should go to Sebeen Chung in Year 8, for answering over 10,000 questions, earning her an Elite Award and to Sarah Nam in Year 7 who just missed out on the Elite Award, answering 9,800.  William Zhou, Chelsea King, backing up again from last year, and Elizabeth Hogan were also awarded Emerald Awards for answering over 5,000 questions.  Well done to all 103 students who participated this year who together answered 125,000 questions, earned 29 awards and spent over 320 hours online answering maths questions.  Time well spent.

      Ms J. Magner

      Mathematics Teacher

      Whilst I was doing Education Perfect it felt like I was learning a new language. It helped me to improve my maths skills and helped me to understand how important maths is. I had lots of fun and I do not regret those times I spent on the maths competition.  I believe that the skills I had learnt in the maths competition helped me enhance my skills in probability and ratios which we were learning this term. On Thursday our class got a pizza party from education perfect. I really think that Education Perfect helped me a lot and I had a wonderful time while doing this competition. 

      Sarah Nam
      7 Ludovic

      Wheelchair Basketball

      YEAR 9 PASS

      On the 21st August the 9 Physical activity and Sports Studies classes were fortunate to participate in a wheelchair basketball incursion. Our facilitator Rick had Spinapifida and was confined to a wheelchair. Rick was amazing, he was not only an experienced presenter for the Arrive Alive Wheelchair sports roadshow but also an accomplished athlete. He told us all about how he has represented Australia in many sports and has travelled extensively around the world participating in many different sporting events from wheelchair tennis, rugby, hockey and basketball. 

      Although Rick is in a wheelchair he had a very positive attitude. Rick said  “even though you are in a wheelchair your life doesn’t stop” which is so true there is a lot of sports available to play and provide opportunities for all people and sport is a great way to include people of all abilities, bring together people in the community and provide people with a purpose. Rick was a great example of the opportunities provided through sport world with going to international places or playing for your country.

      After the class had a talk with Rick we had 5 minutes to get used to the wheelchairs. Then we tested our speed skills in a race and some relays. It was hard to get the hang of the ‘chairs’. The class then divided into 4 teams and did a 5 a side wheelchair basketball game. The rules were modified but it was really challenging and tested our ball skills and our ability to maneuver the wheelchair. The rounds were close and the games concluded with a penalty shoot out. After the games we had a class challenge of just Rick and Mrs. Haddad against the whole class. Rick’s skills were amazing he was super talented and they won convincingly! This wheelchair basketball incursion was a lot of fun and a valuable experince as it really allowed us to immerse ourselves in the unit we are studying ‘Sport for all’.

      Mrs M. Haddad

      Both Year 9 PASS classes participated in a Wheelchair Basketball incursion on Wednesday with Mr Quigley and Mrs Haddad.  We were instructed by Rick, a national wheelchair rugby and basketball player. Throughout the lesson, we learnt how to use a wheelchair and some skills. We raced each other in relay races and then started our game of basketball. It was a fun experience and allowed us to gain insight on how disabled people play sport. We gained further knowledge on wheelchair sports and the stigma around it. At the end of the lesson, we realised how grateful we are for being able and how disabilities don’t define anyone’s sporting ability.

      Isabella Christoforidis

      From the Library ....

      9000+ eBooks and Audiobooks

      Click here for link to more Library Resources

      Extra Curricular

      Duke of Edinburgh International Award

      An opportunity to participate in the Duke of Edinburgh International Award is coming to St Patrick's Marist in Term 4, 2019.  St Patrick's Marist will be joining up with the amazing team at Youth Advance to deliver the Award, with the first intake of Bronze Award entry level being available to all 14 year old students.

      For all interested students who are already 14 or turning 14 in 2020, a Parent Information Evening will be held on Wednesday, 18th September 5.30- 7.00pm where a representative from Youth Advance will be in attendance.  

      Mrs J. Botto

      Thank You to our Walkathon Sponsors

      Community News

      Columban Art Calendar

      Purchase the 2020 Columban Art Calendar

      Local Library Services

      To help students who require a study space outside of their homes, Parramatta Library is providing a YA Study space for Year 10 to year 12 students during October.

      There will also be a HSC study space at Epping Library during August - September