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13 February 2015

From the Principal

Pope Francis called for last Sunday to be a day of prayer, reflection and solidarity with people all over the world who are victims of human trafficking. He offered his encouragement to those working to end the trafficking of “men, women, and children” who are “enslaved, exploited, abused as instruments of work or pleasure, and often tortured and humiliated.” During the recent Immersion Trip to the Philippines our students and teachers had an opportunity to meet Fr Shay Cullen, an Irish Columbian priest and founder of an organization called PREDA, who is working to rescue victims of abuse and trafficking. It was very confronting to hear of the extent of this problem in the Philippines and meet young girls and boys who had been rescued from horrific situations of abuse. Whilst this is an unpleasant topic it is important that we are aware that this form of abuse and slavery still exists in the world and that some Australians are involved in perpetuating such practices. It is also important that we make our voices heard in the battle to eliminate the degradation and exploitation of people anywhere in the world.

Students and staff have now well and truly settled in to normal school routines. This year the College has an enrolment of 1020 girls. We have been increasing enrolments over the past four years. The final year of this expansion phase will be 2016, after which student numbers should settle at about 1050 in total. This number ensures that we can continue to offer a very broad curriculum and at the same time provide the level of individual care and support we wish to offer our students. I encourage parents to make contact with the College if you have any concerns about your daughter(s).

Our new classrooms are in action and parents will no doubt be pleased to see that the Uniform Shop is in the process of being relocated to the room opposite the College Canteen. Hopefully this will allow people to wait without exposure to the weather.

God of all people,
Born into poverty in an occupied land,
Driven from your land as your family fled violence,
Living alongside the marginalised and the oppressed.
Dying between criminals to the jeers of the crowd,
Open our eyes, that we who seek to follow you may recognise your face
in the faces of those who are enslaved.
Open our ears, that we who seek to hear your word, may recognise your
love in the stories which are often drowned out.
Open our hearts, that we who seek your way of life may be bold in witnessing
to your longing for justice and peace.


Mrs Maria Pearson

Mission News

As we settle into our work for the year students in all years are being offered the opportunity to take part in some of our service learning, formation and mentoring programs offered through our Mission Team work. Members of our College Mission Team are currently inviting students to be involved in a wide range of programs, some of which are one-off experiences while others include involvement throughout a Term or Semester. All of these programs are voluntary and provide an additional feature to our work over and above the experiences we provide for all of our students.

Year 7 students are being invited to consider joining one of our 'Big Sister' groups which meet on a fortnightly basis throughout the year. These groups are led by a team of our recent ex-students who guide the younger students through a process of reflection and action based on the methodology of the Young Christian Students Movement 'See, Judge, Act'. The aim of these groups is to allow students to reflect on situations that arise in their lives from a faith perspective and to look at appropriate responses that bring the values of the Gospel into play. This will be the fourth year of this program being offered in Year 7 and we look forward to another worthwhile year of engagement.

Year 8 students also have opportunities to join these small groups with students in their Year group. The program in Year 8 is known as 'Sisterhood'. Additionally Year 8 will have the chance to begin their service learning experiences through the SOJAD program in partnership with St Edmund's School at Wahroonga. On Monday 2 March students in Year 7 and 8 will be invited to take part in a Social Justice Forum being organised by the Year 10 Future Problem Solving team.

Year 9 students likewise have the opportunity of taking part in the small group reflections through the 'Step Up' program as well as volunteering their time to be involved with programs with senior members of our community through the Jamieson House program, which take place on a weekly basis and involve our students playing games, carrying out activities and generally socialising with the nursing home residents. On Monday afternoons a small group of students travel to South Western Sydney to take part in a tutoring program for young refugee students who have recently arrived in Australia through the St Vincent de Paul 'SPARKS' program. On Wednesday afternoons, a similar initiative takes place in partnership with Josephite Community Aid 'JCA'. Both of these programs involve students volunteering on a weekly basis for the semester so that they can enjoy the development of close relationships with the young students they meet.

Year 10 students have the additional opportunity of taking part in a lunch time mentoring program with Year 10 students from St Edmund’s School who join us for activities focussing on friendship and social skills. This program took place for the first time in 2014 and proved to be a wonderful success. We are looking forward to hosting this again this year. Additionally, Year 10 students will have the opportunity of undertaking training in community organisation and advocacy with the Sydney Alliance and then taking on a community project of their choosing. In April this year two of our Year 10 students will travel to Central Australia for an immersion trip with indigenous communities. On their return we will be looking for opportunities to connect other students with their experience.

Our senior students have further opportunities to be involved in programs such as Ministry Outreach where a group of our students, together with students from other Good Samaritan Schools, spend a week engaging with a range of services for disadvantaged people in the Sydney area. Other opportunities include the Beecroft Forum of the Major Issues and Theology Foundation, Vinnies Van and the immersion trip to the Philippines. We also have a lunch time formation program called 'Connect' which has been extremely well received in recent years. This year we are also hoping to offer a version of the 'Connect' program to younger students as well.

We strongly encourage our students to give some thought to these very worthwhile opportunities. If parents would like to know more about any of these programs they are welcome to contact me or one of our Mission Team members Mrs Donna Dempsey, Mrs Christina He or Mr Michael O’Brien.

Mr Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

Year 10 Information Evening

Monday 23 Feburary
College Hall

The Year 10 Parent Information Evening will address three key areas:

  1. Building a context for Year 10 including research findings in girls education, outline of Mission activities and Academic Care, Year 10 goals and how these relate to your daughter now and in the senior years;
  2. Important Curriculum practices and procedures including Study Skills and Assessment procedures;
  3. Subject Selection Process Year 11 2016 including an outline of subject selection process, courses offered for 2016 and an explanation of Scaling Process and the relationship between HSC and Internal Assessment marks

The College believes that these areas will provide a solid foundation and a smoother transition for the girls into senior school. Your daughter is expected to attend, in uniform. The evening should conclude by around 8.30 p.m.

Mrs Pearson, the College Principal, will give a context for the evening, outlining some of the important issues that are facing Year 10, give an overview of important Mission activities, discuss research findings in girls’ education and outline the new initiative of Year 10 goals through parent and students conversations. Senior students will explain the College’s Academic Care Program and how it relates to your daughter now and in the senior years.

Mrs Gabrielle Keats, the Studies Coordinator, will outline the study skills and assessment expectations which will assist the girls in their planning for the year. There are some significant changes in terms of Assessment procedures from Year 9. This will be discussed in the context of the Assessment Calendar and Handbook which would have been distributed and discussed with the students in a Pastoral Care period before the evening.

In addition, I will explain the Scaling Process and the relationship between HSC and Internal Assessment marks and its relevance to the subject selection process and courses offered for 2016.  This is particularly important as students begin the process of discerning which courses to choose for next year.

I look forward to seeing you and your daughter on this important evening.

Year 12 Parent Teacher Evening

4.00pm - 7.30pm
Wednesday 4 March
College Hall

The online booking system will open on Friday 20 February at midday and close on Monday 2nd March at midnight. Parents will be emailed a password to access the Parent Teacher Online system to allow them to make bookings for the evening. Parents wishing to make appointments after that will need to contact the College.

Year 12 class teachers will be able to request interviews with particular students and communicate this directly to the parent. In this way the Parent Teacher night provides another opportunity for the teacher to address any learning outcomes with the student.

The College has continued with this online system due to very positive feedback from parents; it better empowers the parents to make appointments with their daughter’s teachers and there is less of a likelihood that the form will get lost, misplaced or not be utilised. Students and/or teachers will not be required to chase each other in an attempt to make bookings, thereby arguably increasing valuable learning time.

As in previous years students are to attend in school uniform with their parent(s). A chime will ring every six minutes with a visual digital display of the time indicating a change to the next teacher;

The aim of the evening is for:

  • An opportunity for parents to meet their daughters teachers and continue to foster positive relationships between parent, student and teacher;

  • Students and parents to be given valuable feedback on their learning so the student  can set goals in the HSC year;

  • Discussion of ways in which the teacher and parent can work together to support the student in her learning;

  • Students and parents to develop an objective concept of their capacity and abilities.

As always we are looking to improve our practices and thereby improve the learning opportunities for students at the College.

Mr John Muskovits
Assistant Principal Dean of Curriculum

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College News

Future Problem Solving

We are the Year 10 Community Problem Solvers 2015. Our project is called 'Mind Your Language'. It focuses on educating our school and wider community about the language used by politicians and the media to describe, and often demonise, asylum seekers. This project and the hard work we put into it has earned us an invitation to the International Future Problem Solving Conference, to be held in June this year.

We have been working on this project since early 2014, and since then have sent over 100 letters written by Bennies students to Manus Island, distributed quizzes and information packs throughout the school, attended social justice events and spoken with others who are interested in our cause. We even have our own Facebook and Twitter pages, which we are using to reach out to people all over the world.

This year, we have many new ideas that will involve our school and other local areas. A junior social justice forum, more optional activities in school, a mobile art installation and conversations and lessons with local primary schools. If you would like to follow our project permanently, check out our Facebook (Comps- Mind Your Language) or Twitter (@mindur_language).

Mrs Nina Selvaggi
Future Problem Solving Coordinator

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From the Fees Desk

The first term’s fees are now due.

If the College holds a Direct Debit Authority to deduct payments automatically from your Bank Account or Credit Card, payments for weekly, fortnight A and term payments were processed on Friday 13 February. The first monthly payment will be deducted on Tuesday 17 February. Fortnight B payments will commence on Friday 20 February.

Direct Debit Authorities remain in force until the College receives notification in writing. New authorities can be downloaded from the College website, sub heading Enrolments, Fees. Please note that the College does not accept American Express accounts.

If you wish to confirm your payment arrangements or require a copy of your 2015 statement, please contact Mrs Fiona Barnett on 9980 0445 or

Mrs Fiona Barnett
Fees Administrator

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Representative Sport

If your daughter has recently achieved outstanding sporting results please send me an email so that the College can share in her success.


There is a new BBSSSA site under construction - we will advise when it is 'live'

NSW CCC Website:

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term One


BBSSSA U15 and Senior Touch Championships - Manly Vale
Monday 16 February
MSB Intermediate and Senior Representative Teams
B' Up Tuesday 24 February

BBSSSA U13 Touch Championships - Manly Vale
Tuesday 17 March
MSB Junior Representative Team


NSW CCC Softball Championships - Blacktown
Tuesday 17 February
E.Morley Y12, J.Tong Y10, H.Breytenbach Y9, N.Tong Y8, B.Stafford-Gaffney Y8, C.Wilde Y8

Tuesday 10 March


MSB Swimming Carnival - SOPAC
Wednesday 25 February

BBSSSA Championships - SOPAC
Monday 23 March
MSB Representative Team


BBSSSA Senior Basketball Championships - Terrigal
Thursday 26 February
MSB Senior Representative Team


NSW Cricket Selections - Bankstown
Thursday 26 February
Self Nominated students - see NSW CCC website
Nominations close 26 MARCH


NSW All Schools Teams Triathlon - Penrith
Friday 27 February
MSB Representative Teams


NSW CCC Selections - Parramatta
Monday 2 March
Self Nominated students - see NSW CCC website
Nominations close 23 FEBRUARY

Students who wish to trial for sports that are offered directly through NSW CCC will need to nominate through the NSW CCC website as outlined in that information – I encourage you to visit the NSW CCC website if your daughter is an experienced state level athlete in any sport.

Closing dates approaching this month include trials for the Open NSW CCC Tennis, Golf, Cricket and Hockey Teams (U16 and Open Teams). These are State Level team trials and as such only experienced athletes should nominate to attend.

Representative Sport trials and events scheduled for next week

  • Wednesday 18 February - Lunchtime meeting - Triathletes in D101
  • Thursday 19 February - Junior Touch Trials Surnames A-M (U13) with Mrs Grant
  • Thursday 19 February - Senior Basketball Training with Mr Young


Entries have now closed and a list of all athletes registered will be on the Sports Noticeboard early next week. Reserves are also indicated in case a team member suffers a last minute illness or injury - all changes need to be cleared with Mrs Grant.

A meeting will be held for all students registered on Wednesday 18 March at lunchtime in D101.


The MSB Swimming carnival coordinated by Mrs Lewis will be held on Wednesday 25 February.

MSB Carnival Wednesday 25 February

Students wishing to swim in the 200IM event held early in the morning before the Carnival starts will need to sign up on the Sports Noticeboard prior to Wednesday 18 February and catch the early bus to the Carnival, leaving the College at 8.00am. Should you wish to travel directly to the carnival with your parents a note to Mrs Lewis signed by a parent needs to be handed in by Monday 23 February.

Broken Bay Carnival Monday 23 March

If you wish to nominate for the 200m Freestyle event that is not held at our Carnival but will be held at the BBSSSA Carnival please nominate on the Sports Noticeboard prior to Thursday 5 March - you will need to submit evidence of your time via a website printout or signed by your coach which needs to also be received by Mrs Grant  (can be scanned/emailed or dropped into the Representative Sport slot).

There are multi class events at this Carnival - please contact Mrs Grant if you are a multi class athlete.

NSW CCC Carnival Monday 4 May

Information regarding this Carnival is currently available on the NSW CCC website.

  • 400 Freestyle
  • 100 Backstroke
  • 100 Breaststroke
  • 100 Butterfly

Students wishing to nominate for these long distance events at the NSW CCC Championships (not held at the BBSSSA Championship) will need to return the Broken Bay Distance Nomination form to Mrs Grant via the Representative Sport slot before Period One on Monday 9 March so I can have them signed by Mrs Pearson and I will send off to BBSSSA.

This is a state level Carnival for experienced swimmers only. Only one female swimmer per age division from the entire Broken Bay Diocese will usually be successful (in some cases multiple swimmers may be successful from the same Diocese for an event, particularly if times are quite close or they are different ages). Unsuccessful athletes will not be notified.

There are multi class events at this carnival - please contact Mrs Grant if you are a multi class athlete.

NSW All Schools Carnival Monday 18 May 

This event is the selection trial for the Pacific School Games to be held in Adelaide from Saturday 21 - Sunday 29 November 2015.

Students wishing to nominate for long distance events at the NSW All Schools Championships (not held at the NSW CCC Carnival) will need to submit a NSW CCC Distance Nomination form, with long course times, prior to 3.00pm on Tuesday 21 April to Chris Anschau as directed on the form.This form is also available on the NSW CCC website.

  • 1500m Freestyle Open Mixed
  • 800m Freestyle Open Mixed
  • 200m Breaststroke
  • 200m Backstroke
  • 200m Butterfly
  • 400m Individual Medley

This is a state level Carnival for experienced swimmers only.

Please notify Mrs Grant if you apply for one of these events so that the College can follow up if necessary.

There are multi class events at this carnival, please see the NSW CCC website if you are a multi class athlete.

Remember nominations for all events are very competitive, you will be notified only if your application is successful.

Divisional age groupings for all school swimming carnivals are as follows:

JUNIOR -  12/13/14
SENIOR - 17+

Referees and Umpired needed

In addition to our pathways for students competing in their sports there are pathways for talented referees, umpires.

Currently Broken Bay are looking for qualified and competent student referees for soccer, touch and softball. If you would like further information please contact Mrs Grant.

Qualified ex students or older family members are also welcome to contact Mrs Grant if they would like to referee or umpire at a Broken Bay event which is usually a paid position.

Good Luck

  • To the MSB Representative Intermediate and Senior Touch teams who will compete on Monday at the BBSSSA Championships.
  • To Erin Morley (Year 12), Jessica Tong (Year 10), Hannah Breytenbach (Year 9), Natalie Tong (Year 8), Blaise Stafford-Gaffney (Year 8) and Caitlin Wilde (Year 8) who will represent Broken Bay at the NSW CCC Softball Championships on Tuesday

Student Achievement

Congratulations to -

  • Kate Barry (Year 9) Who was featured in an article in the Hornsby Advocate last week ( - select Hornsby Advocate 5FEB and go to page 63)
  • The following athletes who gained selection into the NSW Junior Athletics Team that will compete at the Australian Junior and Youth Championships in March after top two finishes last weekend at the State Junior and Youth titles - Katie (Year 8) 1st U16 100m, Elly Gallagher (Year 10) 2nd U17 2000m Steeple Chase, Carla Takchi (Year 12) 2nd U20 Hurdles. Ex MSB students Becky Clark and Maddy Bergfield also gained selection.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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Sydney North Volleyball

Would like to invite you to trial for our 2015 Junior Representative program.

Date: Thursday 19 and Thursday 26 February
Time: 6.30pm - 8.00pm
Venue: Sydney Olympic Park Sports Halls

Cost: $10 per person

All players, boys and girls, aged 11-18 years welcome. Beginner and advanced teams will be selected.

More info available at

Any questions please contact Alex on

Co-curricular Sport

The MSB annual Swimming Carnival will be held on Wednesday 25 February. Please download the Swimming Carnival Important Information for further information. A full program of events will be available in next week's newsletter. Parents are welcome to attend.

Rebecca Lewis
Co-curricular Sports Coordinator

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P & F News

A very warm welcome to all returning and new families for the 2015 school year. By now the girls have settled into classes and routines, and our new Year 7 students are adjusting to life at Bennies.

Mount St Benedict College is a wonderful school. It assists our daughters to balance the many varied aspects of their life - academic, sporting, cultural and most importantly, from the girls’ perspective, social. The College consistently achieves great results in the HSC, enables the girls to participate in a wide variety of sporting and co-curricular activities, opens their eyes to the world and envelopes this all with a Catholic Benedictine tradition that challenges the girls to participate in their faith authentically.

I encourage you all to participate in the parent life of the College. Through the Newsletter and College Facebook page you will be made aware of opportunities to get involved on occasions such as the Dinner Dance and Golf Day, Open Day, College Liturgies, and the Parent and Friends meetings that are held each term.

A word of thanks to all the parents who helped at the Year 7 Welcome BBQ with the cooking, preparing and organisation of the night - in particular Christa Silvia who coordinates all social occasions for the P&F and Sheldon’s Meats of Castle Hill for their ongoing support.

Again a particular welcome to all the new students and their families. I hope you enjoy your time here at Bennies - have fun, get involved and make the most of all the opportunities presented to you.

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Mr Damien Pigott
P&F President

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This week starts the beginning of profiling a range of tertiary institutions that will be useful for senior students and their parents when considering post school options.

UNSW Australia

UNSW Australia is one of the world’s top 50 universities with a ranking of 48 in the 2014 World University Rankings. Located right in the heart of Sydney’s beautiful Eastern Suburbs, UNSW offers you a world-class education, giving you everything you need to catapult your career forward. With over 50,000 students and nine unique faculties, UNSW, can get you where you want to go.

Future Students

Advice for Parents

Parent FAQs

Lucy Elgood
Careers Advisor

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The Canteen opens daily from 8.00am to 2.00pm.

MY STUDENT ACCOUNT - Cashless Canteen

Students may order and pay for purchases with our 'cashless' option using their Student ID card.
Cashless Canteen - Comprehensive instructions on how to use this system
Place a Canteen order.







Kath Darcy


Susan Bell

Karen Khoury


Rachael Taylor

Sarah Cussack

Please notify Melissa if you are unable to attend or would like to be removed from the roster.

Volunteers are urgently required on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager

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Mount St Benedict College
449C Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills NSW 2120

Phone:  02 9980 0444
02 9484 4911

General enquiries

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