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13 March 2015

From the Principal

What a wonderful Open Day we enjoyed last Sunday. Thanks to the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of our staff, parents and students we were able to showcase the College to our visitors. The weather was on our side, many people enjoyed a cup of tea or coffee with something sweet, courtesy of the Parents and Friends Association; several dedicated mums and dads, assisted by some of our staff and students, kept people supplied with sausage sandwiches; our tour guides admirably represented us as they showed our guests around the campus; musicians, dancers and choristers entertained us; our staff gave their time to share their passion for their subjects and work; and as usual our students were wonderful ambassadors for their College. A huge thank you to everyone for their efforts. At the P&F meeting on Monday night I was told that 1800 sausages have now been cooked since the beginning of the year (Welcome Barbecue and Open Day) – what a fabulous effort.

The Information Evening for Year 7, 2017 was well attended on Tuesday evening. Enrolment offers for 2017 will be sent out around the middle of Term Two. Not all students who are offered enrolment will be required to attend for an interview. It is important that applications for enrolment are returned by the due date, even if there are siblings already enrolled in other year groups.

Next week Year 12 will be involved in examinations and assessments. Year 11 students will have three days of an alternative program while Years 7 to 10 are out on Retreats, Camps and Community Service. While the daily routines will be a little different attendance is compulsory for all students – each of the various activities forms an important part of the total curriculum, helping our students achieve the desired outcomes in all aspects of their learning and development.

There has been some publicity in the media recently about students missing school for family holidays. As a rule, simply taking a holiday is not sufficient reason for students to be granted leave from school. In cases where there are special family events or pressing pastoral reasons leave may be granted. As our students have about fourteen weeks a year when they are not required to attend school, this is ample time to organize family holidays.

There continue to be some parents who drive onto the College grounds between 7.30am and 9.00am, and 3.00pm and 4.30pm. With the recent changes to the car park this is even more dangerous than previously. Please drop your daughter in Beecroft Road or Hull Road and allow her to walk into College grounds. In this way the safety of our students and staff will be protected.

Remember the great value of silence.
Each day there must be time for silence, even in our prayers and meditations.
There must be time within which we neither speak nor listen, but simply are.
Consider the value of silence in community.
Our ability to listen is our gift to those around us.
Too much talk is a sign of self-centredness and insecurity.
If you hear yourself talking excessively, take care.

(J. McQuiston II, Always We Begin Again,: The Benedictine Way of Living , 2011, Pp 35-36)

Maria Pearson

Mission News

On outward appearances this has been a quiet week for our Mission work – Caritas week has concluded, Year 10 Retreat and Community Outreach get underway next week and our Holy Week liturgy is still almost three weeks away. Below the surface, however, much has been underway.

Our Liturgy Portfolio and our Year 9 Ministry Class have been working hard on the preparation of our Holy Week liturgy. This will take place in Homerooms on Wednesday 1 April, our last day of term and the day before Holy Thursday and the beginning of the Easter Triduum. These students have been looking at how we can pray and reflect together on the meaning of Holy Week and Easter in ways that draw on our Ash Wednesday liturgy and our observance of the Season of Lent over the intervening weeks.

On Friday of this week our Year 10 students took part in the preparation sessions for their Community Outreach experience which takes place in Week Eight and Week Nine. At the same time as the Community Outreach is underway alternate groups of our Year 10 students will be taking part in their Retreat. Community Outreach provides a wonderful opportunity for our students to volunteer their time with organisations and agencies that are providing important services to the community in fields such as health care, aged care and disability services. Students always learn a great deal from these encounters with those who are experiencing some level of disadvantage in our community and the opportunity to spend time with people, to get to know them and to hear their stories is most important occasion of hospitality for these young women. It is not surprising that many students feel a little apprehensive about venturing into such work as it is certainly well outside their comfort zone for many. However, despite this initial apprehension, students quickly find their feet and enjoy a wonderfully rich and enlightening experience of service.

Our Retreat program for Year 10 focuses on the idea of choices, a most timely and relevant theme for this age group. Together with their teachers they explore choices at various levels including choices about their mind and body, choices about family, about friendships and intimate relationships, about faith and spirituality and about engagement with our wider world. Our students often identify Retreats as among the highlights of their time at school and we trust this will again be the case for our Year 10 students in the upcoming weeks.

Year 10 students have also been the focus of a lot of conversation lately - not only at MSB but also across the diocese. Bishop Peter has issued a special invitation to Year 10 students in the Diocese to join him in pilgrimage to World Youth Day 2016 in Krakow, Poland. World Youth Day takes place from July 25 – August 1 2016. In conjunction with the central experience of World Youth Day the Diocese is organising three pilgrimages. Krakow via Holy Land (Journey to the Holy Land), Krakow via Italy (Journey through Italy), Krakow via Greece (Journey of Saint Paul’s Journey). The full experience with the Diocese of Broken Bay runs from July 13 - August 5 2016. Those wishing to take part are asked to register their interest by Friday 8 May.

On Friday 27 March the Diocese is holding an official launch of the World Youth Day pilgrimage at the Light of Christ Centre, Yardley Ave, Waitara from 5.30pm - 9.00pm. This launch will give everyone a small taste of the WYD experience, as well as the Polish culture that will be encountered on the journey. Anyone interested in attending World Youth Day 2016 or simply finding out more is encouraged to attend.

Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

Year 11 Parent Teacher night
4.30pm - 7.30pm
Monday 30 March

The online booking system will open on Monday 16 March at midday and close on Monday 27 March at midday. 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.

Mr John Muskovits
Assistant Principal Dean of Curriculum

Year 7s Learn at the Powerhouse

Last week we took the whole of Year 7 to the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney where we all had a wonderful day of learning.

The girls went around in their teaching groups and completed study booklets on a range of exhibitions currently on show. These included; ecologic: looking at sustainable city living, human interface: looking at product development over time e.g. telephone, computers etc, Australian International Designer awards where they was an example of Mark Newson's work as well as the transport and space exhibitions which the girls loved.

There was also a wonderful exhibition of HSC Design and Technology work from students from across NSW. This gave the girls an insight into the fantastic creative opportunities if you take Design and Technology as an elective in the coming years.

Kevin Jones
Head of Department

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The New Age Designers

…….Look out Christian Dior, Chanel and Sass and Bide Year 10 Design and Technology students are on their way in designing new and innovative garments for the Paris catwalk…..

On Monday 9 March a presenter from the Whitehouse School of Design came to Mount St Benedict College and spent a day with the Year 10 Design and Technology students inspiring and teaching them ‘How to Fashion Draw’.

It was a practical and intensive day, which included a wide range of different activities such as:

  • Overview of job opportunities in the Fashion Industry
  • Drawing garments on a fashion figure
  • Rendering techniques using lead and colour pencils
  • Layout and design presentation techniques

At the end of the day, the presenter awarded a student with a one-week scholarship to attend the Whitehouse School of Design. The student will be involved in an ‘Introductory Fashion Design and Fashion Drawing’ short course valued at $380.00.

The scholarship was awarded to the student who showed creativity, flair and interest in designing. This year the scholarship was awarded to Lauren Wilkes, two highly commended awards were also handout out to Claudia Luck and Brittany Dodd. Congratulations Girls! A job well done!

The day was very informative and it was enjoyed by all.

Tania Gosden

Forensic Science Camp 2015

Congratulations and best wishes to our six Year 8 students who have been selected to attend the TAS Forensic Science Camp at The Armidale School 30 June - 4 July this year. The Forensic Science Camp consists of five thrilling days of a crime-solving scenario involving real forensic techniques including fingerprinting, ballistics, DNA profiling and much more. We wish the following girls well on their forensic journey:

  • Dusana Barker
  • Lily O'Brien
  • Annabelle Flannery
  • Lara Bryant
  • Tenee Arthur
  • Natalia Bennett

Sarah Bradstock

From the Studies Coordinator

Impact of Reading from a Screen versus from Printed Material
By Dr Prue Salter

Students now spend a lot of time reading from a screen: computers, kindle, mobile devices. The research into the implications of this are still in the early stages, however current evidence indicates that at this point in time print may be slightly superior to the screen in relation to comprehension, learning, retention and ease of use. However, as screen technology continues to advance, interfaces become increasingly intuitive and personal preferences change from early exposure to reading on a screen, this may change - and may have already changed for some individuals. Technology is here to stay, so the key pieces of advice for students (and parents) are listed below. One of the best articles to read on this debate is by Jabr (2013) The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens .

Advice for Students and Parents:


    Students need to develop their reading, comprehension and learning skills in both arenas. They need to develop one set of skills to build their competence in reading and learning from paper, however they also need to develop a completely different set of skills: digital literacy and navigation skills. Some parents are critical of the use of technology in schools and fearful that students’ handwriting and learning will be affected (Salter, 2013), however in an increasingly digital world it would be irresponsible of schools to neglect developing students’ digital literacy skills. Two of the units that are useful in this area on < are the Reading Skills unit and Technology Tools unit.


    Finland has long been known as a leader in many educational aspects. Recently it was announced that Finland will no longer teach cursive handwriting in schools. They will continue to teach printing, however, when students would normally transition to ‘running writing’ instead they will learn keyboarding skills. This signals a change in the traditional approach. In Australia there is comprehensive testing being undertaken to look at holding both Naplan and final Year 12 examinations online. There are no indications as to when this will take place. At this point in time, as tests and examinations are still handwritten, students are advised that when it comes to exam time, they should hand write their study notes or if typed then print them out when they are learning them. They should also actively create opportunities to maintain their handwriting skills, consciously choosing to hand write at times when they might normally type. Visit the Writing Skills unit for tips on improving handwriting as well as some special pens that will assist.


    While we have had the ability to dictate into a device for some time, this is still not in common usage. Learning to touch type is a skill that definitely pays off in the senior years in terms of saving huge amounts of time. There are links to free learning to touch type websites in the Technology Tools unit.

On a personal note, I believe we are all on a journey of finding a balance between reading on paper and reading online. When I did my first degrees at uni there were no computers and I would hand write my essays. Later when computers arrived I could not imagine writing directly onto a computer, but instead would create my essay on paper then type it up when I finished. Now the thought of having to write an essay on paper like our Year 12 students do horrifies me, I can now think and plan an essay solely in digital space and am much more comfortable working this way than planning an essay on paper. I never thought either that I would switch away from paper reading. As a life-long avid reader, I actually rent a second apartment to keep my 3000+ books. However in the last two years I have completely transitioned to reading books for pleasure solely on my iPhone (yes I know the screen is small, and it is much better if you are at the beach to be reading a paperback you can leave it without fear of theft when you go for a swim). In fact I have not read physical fiction books for over a year now and am slowly giving my paper books away.

However even though I have tried, I still find it very difficult to take in information from a screen if I am trying to absorb, learn and remember information. I still order my non-fiction texts as a paper copy from Amazon. I printed out my 300+ journal articles for my PhD as I found it impossible to get my head around them when they were filed as PDFs on my computer. We are all at different stages on the journey of being comfortable with learning online. The concept of ‘digital natives’ has been debunked (Bennett, Maton & Kervin, 2008) and we cannot assume that all students are comfortable with technology. Instead it is true that different students will be at different points along this path. Students need to keep both skill sets. In you have to write essays in an exam without the aid of a computer, then you need lots of practise in this area! If you find it hard to remember what you are learning on the screen then make notes on paper, but at the same time also look to improve and develop your digital learning literacy skills as well. In many ways it is a matter of attitude, be open to learning in many different ways and look for opportunities to improve the way you learn in all mediums.

If you are interested in learning more about what the current research says about the impact of reading on a screen versus printed material, continue reading below:

Personal Experience / Ease of Reading

  • Many people who have grown up reading printed material feel that their reading is more effective if they read from paper rather than from a screen.  When describing why they feel this way, they refer not just to the visual sense, but also the way paper feels and is manipulated, which supports their comprehension.   For example, the ability to highlight or jot notes or to judge where they are in a document based on the number of pages left to go. The discomfort that people feel when reading from a screen, rather than paper, is described by Gerlach and Buxmann (2011) as “haptic dissonance”.
  • Many studies such as Mangen, Walgermo and Brønnick (2013) suggest that the ability to identify your passage through a text in a tactile way is important to the learning. So too, is the ability to easily navigate through the text in a non-linear fashion. The opportunity to quickly move back and forward whole pages and chapters at a time is considered by many as invaluable in placing the learnings of any particular passage within the context of the overall text.
  • Currently the technology of e-readers is unable to replicate this in an intuitive manner. Many have the ability to quickly search and scroll through pages, but the instant, subconscious nature of this feature in the printed material is unparalleled in screen technology.
  • Even today’s students, who have grown up using technology on a daily basis, seem to experience this.  A recent study conducted by Wu and Chen (2011) concluded that a majority of tertiary students will begin their research using screen-based text (benefiting from advanced search functions and the like).  However upon choosing the appropriate text will often print it to be able to better digest the text. This suggests that these students have an intuitive understanding of how best to find, comprehend and retain the text.


  • Many years ago in 1992, Dillon reviewed numerous studies conducted in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and determined that reading from screens was less effective than print.  Most results indicated that reading from screens caused comprehension to be 20-30% less effective than reading from paper.  However, a more recent study conducted by Noyes and Garland (2008) suggests that results are inconclusive in determining a preference for print or screens in retention and that there is only a slight majority of results that support the earlier findings of print having 20-30% faster comprehension. Other studies published have produced inconsistent results, with many finding few significant comprehension differences between reading on a screen or on paper.
  • Other studies (Ackerman & Goldsmith, 2011) have looked deeper in to the subconscious expectations of reading that allows factors such as tactile and olfactory feedback to have such great impact on the retention and comprehension of reading. They found that these subtle expectations and familiarities greatly impacted how much they were able to retain. When they were asked to read on a time limit, the results for screen and print did not differ significantly. When participants were asked to read a text at their own pace, their retention was significantly different when reading on screens as opposed to paper.
  • Ackerman and Goldsmith concluded that the difference is therefore not in the presentation of the material itself, but relates to a more intuitive or subconscious feeling that makes the brain more conducive to learning when reading from a more familiar source, such as print, and less ready to learn when reading from a more unfamiliar source such as a screen.

Learning versus Remembering

  • A British study (Garland & Noyes, 2003) found that when comparing learning from a screen versus printed text, the students recalling information acquired from print were able to access the information much faster and were deemed to have “learned” the material. By comparison, the students who read from screens had to mentally search for information in response to questions and were judged to be “remembering” the material.
  • Obviously in this case the print is superior in terms of learning, but this is an effect that was not considered in many other studies. The long-term retention of knowledge from screen or print has not yet been studied in as much depth as other factors in this debate.
  • Reading from screens may create more stress for the brain than reading from paper and study participants have grown tired more rapidly when reading from screens (Wästlund, Reinikka, Norlander & Archer, 2005). These studies do not identify the cause of this stress. Conclusions drawn are that when reading for long periods of time, paper reading can achieve much greater stamina.


Ackerman, R., Goldsmith, M. (2011) . Metacognitive regulation of text learning: On screen versus on paper. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 7(1), pp. 18-32. doi: 10.1037/a0022086 Retrieved 15 February, 2015, from:

Bennett, S., Maton, K., & Kervin, L. (2008). The ‘digital natives’ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(5), 775-786.

Dillon, A. (1992). Reading from paper versus screens: a critical review of the empirical literature. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 35(10), pp. 1297-1326. Retrieved 15 February, 2015, from:

Gerlach, J., &  Buxmann, P. (2011) . Investigating the acceptance of electronic books – the impact of haptic dissonance on innovation adoption. ECIS 2011 Proceedings. Paper 141. Retrieved January 5, 2015, from:

Jabr, F. (2013). The Reading Brain in the Digital Age: The Science of Paper versus Screens. Scientific American. February 5, 2015, from:

Mangen, A., Walgermo, B.R., & Br ø nnick , K. (2013) . Reading linear texts on paper versus computer screen: Effects on reading comprehension. International Journal of Educational Research, 58, pp. 61-68. Retrieved 15 February, 2015, from:

Noyes, J.M., & Garland, K.J. (2003 ). VDT versus paper-based text: reply to Mayes, Sims and Koonce, International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 31(6), pp. 411-423.

Noyes, J.M., & Garland. K.J. (2008). Computer- vs. paper-based tasks: are they equivalent? International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics, 51(9), pp. 1352–1375. Retrieved 20 February 2015, from:

Salter, P. (2013). Helping or hindering? Technology’s impact on secondary students’ self-regulated learning. In J. Herrington et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2013 (pp. 2271-2280). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved August 22, 2013, from

Wästlund,E., Reinikka,H., Norlander,T.,& Archer, T. (2005) . Effects of VDT and paper presentation on consumption and production of information: Psychological and physiological factors. Computers in Human Behavior, 21(2), pp. 377-394. Retrieved 15 February, 2015, from: .

Wu, M-D., & Chen, S-C., (2011). Graduate students' usage of and attitudes towards e-books: experiences from Taiwan. Program: electronic library and information systems, 45(3), pp.294 – 307.

Learn more this year about how students can improve their results and be more efficient and effective with their schoolwork by working through the units on .

The College’s access details are:

      Username: formsbenonly

Gabrielle Keats
Studies Coordinator

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College News

Year 11 Drama - Running Up a Dress

Year 11 Drama warmly welcome you to attend a performance of Running Up A Dress on either:

Thursday 26 March or Friday 27 March

at 7.00pm

Drama Room

Tickets will be available to purchase on Monday via the front page of the website.

We look forward to seeing you at a performance.

Mrs Lisa Stevens and Mrs Gabrielle Keats
Drama Teachers

MYBennies Innovation Team Update

New Year 7 Integrated Course

In 2015 a new learning program MYBennies has been developed as part of the MYBennies Innovation Project. Nine specialist teachers are working together from Religious Education, English, PDHPE, TAS, Geography, History and Drama faculties to deliver the program which will help foster students’ creativity and problem solving; communication; critical thinking; information and media literacy; global citizenship; collaboration and teamwork and independence in learning. The students are grouped in classes of between 21 - 23 students allowing students to meet students not in their base classes. The students will complete three units throughout the year – What’s Behind the Red Brick Wall?, Going Global and the MYBennies Choice Project .

The MYBennies Year 7 Learning Program is being developed with consideration of the four design principles of engaged learning as part of the College’s involvement in AITSL’s Learning Frontiers project.  We look forward to sharing the MYBennies activities as they happen on the College Twitter and Facebook pages and you can also learn more about the College’s involvement in Learning Frontiers at .

Learning Frontiers

Mrs Sharon McGowan met with representatives from the Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide hubs in early February. Each hub had the opportunity to pitch an idea to be developed further by the group. Inspired by the conversations at MSB, the Sydney hub pitched “Student-led conferences” as the winning idea. The team then spent two days prototyping the process and building a Toolkit of resources for schools also interested in developing Student Led Conferences in the future.

The Learning Frontiers Sydney Hub has formed three working parties to look at aspects integral to the future of learning. Mrs Rebecca Shiels will be working with the Technology working party creating a shared platform to refine ideas, share resources, experiences and gather data. Ms Maree Henson will be working with the Investigating and Evaluating Design Thinking working party. Mr John Muskovits will be working with the Connected Learning working party investigating ‘What strategies and tools are schools using to engage students via this design principle and how effective are they?’

Education Changemakers

MSB hosted teachers from various schools in the Learning Frontiers Sydney Hub last Friday for a workshop with the Education Changemakers. This dynamic and exciting presentation unpacked design thinking as it applies to a school context, giving participants the chance to engage with concepts related to strategy, innovation, prototyping, leadership, impact assessment and change theory. MSB participants in the day look forward to sharing their insights with the whole teaching staff.

Positive Ed

As we move towards the implementation of Positive Education with students and parents in 2015, a working party, led by Ms Jackie Duncan, formed last year continues to plan strategies which have been used by various staff already. Following feedback from staff, a series of resources is currently under development, including a glossary of key terms for use at MSB and an implementation plan to involve parents and students more in the application of Positive Education in our day-to-day activities.

The MYBennies Innovation Team will continue to keep you informed of our progress in undertaking the important task of improving the engagement of our year 7 to 9 students in their learning.  We encourage you to ask your daughters about their learning, how they are involved in and meaningfully connected with it. We believe that for the girls to be engaged they need to care about their learning and this will lead to success in their learning.

MYBennies Innovation Team -
Mrs Sharon McGowan, Mrs Mairead Ennis, Ms Maree Henson and Mrs Kath Mason

FPS Junior Asylum Seeker Forum

The purpose of the FPS Junior Social Justice Forum, held on Monday 2 March, was to involve the younger grades in our project and give them the opportunity to participate in social justice activities. The evening started with pizza and a chat, before the 17 Year 7s, 8s and 9s took a seat in the Hall and listened to the story of Raneem, a refugee from Iraq. She talked about her hate for the language used to describe asylum seekers and told us about her travels; being smuggled out of Iraq and spending two years in Indonesia, waiting for transferral to Australia. We then ran activities; a word jumble in which girls had to match definitions to their meanings, and an electronic ‘Kahoot’ game in which they had to answer questions about asylum seekers.

Our roles as the leaders of this event were to explain to the juniors why they were there, what our project was about, why we were focusing on language and how they can make a difference as well. Our aim was to offer an alternative view of asylum seeker, a view we as Australians don’t get from our media or politicians. Our aim is to provoke future elders of our community to change the conversation now about asylum seekers.

By Amelia Dunkerley

Nina Selvaggi

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Student Alliance Networking Group

The Student Alliance Network Group aims to empower girls by providing a supportive environment where they can raise awareness and discuss issues that relate to them and network with other girls from around Sydney. This year, there are fifteen girls from Years 9 to 11 who are part of the team. Our commitment involves attending meetings held at school and getting together with other members of the Student Alliance off site once a term. Last Tuesday, for our first off site meeting, ten of us represented the College and attended The Women’s College at Sydney University. Here we heard from eight very successful and inspiring young women who told us about their journey, experiences and shared some wise words of advice.

The first speaker Sarah Cohn went overseas to Kenya and the lack of facilities has spurred her to study Medicine. She is in her last year of a Medical degree and had a strong ambition to promote better health in people but also global environmental care. Her message was “be passionate”.

The second speaker, Hannah Cheese, works at the Indigenous centre, AIM, in Redfern, promoting the value of giving to others. The third speaker Kate Durnell was the first female to attend a football match in Saudi Arabia. Her message was to “fight for the equality of women in the world”. The next couple of speakers were students from the Women’s College. They shared how becoming actively involved in high school outreach programs benefitted them. They also spoke about how social justice does not have to be raising money, it can be raising awareness through other means, stepping outside your comfort zone and volunteering for organisations . Casey Thomas, an Ex-Loreto student, decided to take up sewing dresses made from pillow cases, whilst at school, for young girls in developing countries. Her message was doing something small can make a huge difference. The last speaker, Mia McCarthy, had done a degree in Primary School Teaching but has started up her own business of breakfast Muesli, Yummia, which Woolworth’s began to stock when she was just 23 years of age. She is also studying at Oxford University, she commutes regularly between England and Australia

Throughout the afternoon we were given the opportunity to meet with the girls whom we will be working with throughout the year. Although the idea was a little daunting at first, we rose to the challenge. In doing so we all met a number of wonderful girls from different schools and many beautiful friendships were formed. The afternoon allowed us to hear from the older and wiser women of our community but also allowed us to discuss issues facing women with our peers. Our first meeting proved a massive success, thanks to the teachers and organisers. The Student Alliance Group is consistently growing and anyone that has the opportunity to join, should definitely do so.

Kate Smith, Year 11

Marion Zammit
Student Leadership Coordinator

2015 Youth Women's Leadership Seminar

On Friday 6 March, Tarana and I visited NSW Parliament on Macquarie Street to attend a Young Women’s Leadership Seminar, for the upcoming International Women’s Day. It was a great experience, and we heard from some very well spoken women in parliament who told us about their experiences and challenges as women in Parliament. These were:

  • Carmel Tebbutt (ALP Member for Marrickville)

  • Catherine Cusack, (a member of the New South Wales Legislative Council, representing the Liberal Party)

  • Jenny Gardiner ( Member of the Legislative Council of New South Wales - the Upper House)

Two girls each of from many schools across Sydney attended and we were given an insight into not only how State Parliament operated, but just how significant the influence that women have on passing bills and legislation in Parliament. We learned that globally women only represent 30% of Parliament, which was the minimum percentage the UN gave for women having any influence in parliamentary decisions.

Each speaker felt strongly that the Members of Parliament must represent our communities, therefore how essential it is to have more women in Parliament to voice the opinions of women in society. The idea of feminism was another huge theme of the seminar. All speakers encouraged us to identify as feminists, despite at times the negative association that people may have about feminists or about particular women who identify themselves as feminists. They told us that unless we all identified as wanting equal rights and opportunities as men, (the exact definition of feminism) we could not expect change or improvement in respect and rights for women.

Catherine Cusack gave us an example of political corruption in Cambodia, where a police scandal was revealed where traffic patrol police officers were unreasonably issuing heavy and invalid fines to drivers. The Cambodian government, therefore decided to sack all patrol officers (all of which were male) and replace the entire force with female officers. The problem was solved! This demonstrated the different approach women brought when completing this job and the benefits that it had on the community.

We were also told that the percentage of women in Parliament varies significantly across Australian states. Queensland having the highest percentage, New South Wales the lowest. Globally, we found that the percentage of women in Parliament in Australia (24.7%) was significantly lower than countries including Cuba (45.2%), Iceland (39.7%), Mexico (36.8%),  Mozambique (39.2%),  South Africa (42.3%) and Timor Leste (38.5%)

It was an intriguing seminar that allowed us to ask questions to each of the speakers on topical issues, raised our awareness of the opportunities for women in parliament if we want to see change and the rewards of being part of implementing policies for women in society.

Emma Smith (Year 11)

Marion Zammit

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Student ID Cards

Year 7 have now received their Student Id cards and may now order and pay for purchases with the 'cashless' option at the College canteen.

To activate your daughter's account and load funds please follow the link below.

Cashless Canteen - Comprehensive instructions on how to use this system

All other new students should have received their cards by the end of this week.

If you have any queries please contact Elke Forrest, Assistant Business Manager, via email: or by phone: 9980 0403.

Elke Forrest

P&F News

Open Day

Many thanks to all the parents who assisted with Open Day at the Refreshment Stall and the Caritas BBQ. The day was a huge success and demonstrated the genuine hospitality for which the Bennies community is renowned. The comments from the many families who visited the College regarding the sense of welcome and generosity demonstrated the great reputation the College has in the broader community.

NSW State Election

The NSW State Election is on Saturday 28 March. Both the Catholic Education Commission and the Council of Catholic School Parents have asked parents to consider education as a key issue for the candidates. Below you will find information from the Catholic Education Commission on some of the key concerns around funding.

“The growth of Catholic schools has been largely funded by parents for decades. However, with the rising cost of land, construction and classroom technology, parents will not be able to meet future costs to the same degree.”

Term 1 P&F Meeting

On Monday night we held the P&F General Meeting for Term One. Several topics regarding the College and the broader community were raised for discussion including the Dinner Dance, NorthConnex and broader parent involvement in the educational life of the College. Over the next few weeks more information will be disseminated to all parents.

Damien Pigott

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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.

BROKEN BAY Website: 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 U13 Touch Championships - Manly Vale
Tuesday 17 March
MSB Junior Representative Team


BBSSSA Championships - SOPAC
Monday 23 March
MSB Representative Team

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term Two


MSB Athletics Carnival - HOMEBUSH
Wednesday 3 June


BROKEN BAY Y7/8 & Y9/10 - Terrigal
Thursday 7 May
MSB Junior/Intermediate Representative Team

NSW CCC Selections
Monday 25 May
Self nominated students


MSB Carnival
Tuesday 21 April

BBSSSA Championships - St Ives
Wednesday 29 April
MSB Representative Team

NSW CCC Championships - Eastern Creek
Friday 12 June
BBSSSA Representative Team


NSW CCC 15s Selections
Tuesday 5 May
Self nominated students

NSW CCC OPEN Selections
Wednesday 6 May
Self nominated students

NSW ALL SCHOOLS 15 Selections
Friday 29 May


Broken Bay OPEN Championships - Manly Vale
Monday 11 May (Friday 15 May B/UP DATE)
MSB Senior Representative team

NSW CCC Selections
Monday 25/Tuesday 26 May

Monday 15/Tuesday 16 June

Broken Bay U13 & U15 Championships - Manly Vale
Thursday 18 June
MSB Junior/Intermediate Representative team


NSW CCC Swiming/Diving Championships - Homebush
Monday 4 May

NSW ALL SCHOOLS Swiming/Diving Championships - Homebush
Monday 18 May


NSW CCC Championships - Port Macquarie
Tuesday 16 June (Friday 19 June B/UP DATE)

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

Closing dates for the following sports are approaching - Diving (Closes 30 March), AFL (Closes 23 April), Volleyball (Closes 24 April), Netball U15 and Opens (Closes 1 May). Please remember that these are trials for state teams and as such students must be very experienced for their nomination to be approved.

Representative Sports Trials and Training

Representative Sports Trials and Training Next Week

Tuesday 17 March



Mrs He


Broken Bay Carnival Monday 23 March

Our relay teams had a great session on Tuesday night at C2K Aquatic Centre. Many thanks to coaches Nathan Doyle and Cameron Elliott who used video analysis to work with our relay teams

Due to camps etc please advise Mrs Grant via email immediately if you need to withdraw from an event. The latest Broken Bay Swimming Championship Program and Team List is now available.

NSW All Schools Championships - 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.

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

  • 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 these Championships. 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:


12 / 13 / 14 yrs 


15 / 16 yrs 


17 yrs and over

NSW All Schools Softball

On Tuesday Jessica Tong (Y10) and Erin Morley (Y12) were members of the NSW CCC Open Softball side that competed at the All Schools Championships.


Good Luck

  • To Kate Barry (Y9) next week at the NSW All Schools Open Cricket Championships in Bathurst
  • To the Junior MSB Representative Touch team who will compete at the BBSSSA Championships on Tuesday.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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Co-curricular Sport

Winter Sport - Players Needed

MSB Football / Soccer

The College enters teams in the North West Sydney Womens Football Association Competition. The teams are open to all students from Year 7 - 12 and for all players from beginners through to experienced players. The games are played on Sundays, usually in the mornings, from April through to August. We currently are looking for few more players from Year 7, 8 and 9 to fill these teams. The MSB FOOTBALL Registration Forms are attached and need to be returned to Student Services ASAP.

Enquiries to

MSB Basketball

The College enters teams in the Hills Hornets Basketball Association Winter Competition. The teams are open to all students from Year 7 - 12 and for all players from beginners through to experienced players. The games are played on Thursday (Under 13 - Under 16) and Friday (Under 17 - under 18) evenings at Castle Hill during Terms Two and Three.

Registration forms have sent to students via email and must be returned to Student Services by Monday 16 March. The MSB BASKETBALL Registration Forms are attached.

Queries to

MSB Softball

The Grand Finals of the Hornsby District Softball Association were held on Saturday, with the MSB Hurricanes finishing winners of the Division 3 competition. The season for the four MSB teams commenced in September 2014 with a break over the Christmas holidays. Most of the players in this team have played together since the team formed when they were in Year 6, with some new players who have taken up softball for the first time. Congratulations to all the players - Kaecee Dadula, Georgia Dean, Alexandra Maher, Chantal Masoud, Isabella Nati, Aisling Purcell, Natalie Santelli, Tameela Vijay, Madeleine Williams.  Thank you to their fabulous coach, Mr Joe Nati, and dedicated team manager, Mr Derek Purcell.

The MSB Cyclones had a difficult end to the season as they found themselves short of players with three of their team members changing schools. Thank you and well done on the commitment shown by the girls, especially towards the end of the season. Thank you to our ex-student Paige Hyslop for coaching the girls. Paige is also president of the Hornsby District Softball Association so we very much appreciate her time to continue to coach the girls. Thank you also to Mrs Roza Bindschedler for taking on the role of team manager.

The MSB Storms are our current Year 7 girls who began as a group of shy Year 6 girls, meeting each other for the first time. This modball team showed tremendous improvement in their skills and confidence during the season, with many new friendship blossoming along the way. Thank you to our ex-student Emily Gulyas for being such a wonderful coach and Mrs Kathryn Darcy for keeping the team organised as team manager.

Thank you to all the players and parents for the wonderful support throughout the season. We hope the girls have enjoyed the season and look forward to seeing them back on the diamond next season.

MSB Touch

This Friday evening is Grand Final night for the Barker Invitational Touch Competition. MSB had six teams play in this competition, with two of our team making it to Grand Finals. We wish the girls from MSB2 in the Senior Division 3, and MSB 3 in the Intermediate Division 1 all the best of luck for their Grand Final games. Both games will be played at Barker College at 5.45pm this Friday. Go Bennies!!

Rebecca Lewis
Co-curricular Sports Coordinator

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The University of Notre Dame Australia

Notre Dame is a national Catholic university, centrally located in Sydney’s Broadway and Darlinghurst. Notre Dame provides an excellent university education, grounded in professional experience, and has one of the highest graduate employment rates in Australia. The University offers courses in Arts & Sciences, Business, Education, Law, Medicine, Nursing and Philosophy & Theology. Notre Dame’s excellent pastoral care means students don’t get lost in the crowd and are supported to grow in all aspects of their lives. For more information or to apply direct visit

Future Students

Advice for parents

Early Offer Program

Morrisby Report

The Morrisby Report is a well-established, assessment based career guidance system, that takes into account individual aptitude, career interest, and personality, and blends these together to provide information that is invaluable when selecting senior school subjects, or in starting to think about career direction.

In a recent survey, 91% of students said that they had a better idea of what they would do after leaving school as a result of completing the Morrisby report, and 99% were glad to have taken the tests.

Public Morrisby Report Test Session

Date: Sunday 29 March 2015

Time: 1pm - 5pm

Location: Thornleigh Community Baptist Church Activities Centre

Cost: $132 (which includes the test session, and your individual 20 page bound report). Your school careers adviser is Morrisby trained and will be able to go through the report with you after you receive it.

Assessor: Emma Goodsir, Educational and Developmental Psychologist

To book into this session, please email Emma Goodsir at or call 9875 5150 or 0422 537 627.

Lucy Elgood
Careers Advisor

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Class of 1995 - 20 Year Reunion


When: Saturday 2 May

Please email your email address, so you don't miss out on the final details.

Michelle Blackman


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 .

Canteen Roster for the week commencing Monday 16 March






Kath Darcy


Susan Bell

Karen Khoury

Josephine Vaggis


Rachael Taylor

Carmen Galluzzo


Sarah Cusack


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

Volunteers are required on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. Please call Melissa (9980 0448) if you can assist 

Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager

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Mount St Benedict College
449C Pennant Hills Road, Pennant Hills NSW 2120
02 9980 0444
02 9484 4911
General enquiries:

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