Login to read the full newsletter
with your parent password

14 November 2014


From the Principal

Dear parents, friends, staff and students

This week we have marked Remembrance Day and also the twenty-fifth anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall.  Both these events have led me to reflect on the conflicts and tensions which are still prevalent in our world today. Often we think that there has been no other time in history when there were so many conflicts around the world but recently I heard an historian suggest that, in fact, this is not necessarily the case. There have always been wars, tensions, scuffles, incursions and combat between groups of people. These days, however, the nature of the weapons and technologies available make the impact of these events even more devastating and the immediacy of communications means that we are much more aware of these events wherever they occur in the world. Even during World War I there was much less information available about the nature of front line combat and the information took much longer to be disseminated around the world.

The bringing down of the Berlin Wall came about largely through the action of thousands of people in Germany and other countries and the realization of some within the Soviet regime that they could no longer hold back the tide of overwhelming public opinion. It was a turning point in the Cold War and the beginning of a radical rearrangement of the former Soviet Republic. It is a timely reminder to all of us of the power of people acting together for good, something of which I reminded the girls at Assembly this week. As a College we have focused this year on Peace and I can see in the many events that have taken place that the actions of large numbers of our students and staff have worked to improve relationships within communities and hence to enhance the sense of peace in our world.

We welcomed to our Assembly a representative of JCA who accepted a donation from Year 11, funds raised at their recent social evening.  Also many students and staff participated in the recent JCA Fun Day. It was a source of great pride to see the large numbers of students who stood during Assembly indicating their involvement in some social justice, outreach and other mission programs this year. Congratulations to everyone who has 'added their peace to the Bennies puzzle'.

This week we welcomed our incoming Year 7 students for Orientation Day. With the help of our current students and staff the girls were made to feel welcome and comfortable at MSB. We look forward to welcoming them more formerly at the beginning of the new year.

Those who make peace in a warring world
are more priceless than the price
of all the weapons we use to make war.

Those who make peace in the face of bigotry
are co-creators of a world
not yet aborning.

Those who make peace
in the face of discrimination, and money, and hatred, and spite
are those who save the world from itself.

May they come soon-in numbers,
unarmed, open-hearted, and laughing.

Then let the world
dance a victory dance.

(P87, God Speaks in Many Tongues, Meditate with Joan Chittister on 40 sacred texts)

Mrs Maria Pearson

Back to Top

Mission News

Over the next few weeks Homeroom groups will be collecting non-perishable items to contribute to Christmas hampers for families in need. This Hamper Drive has been a prominent part of our College life for over 30 years now and we look forward to continuing our commitment in 2014. Once again this year we are working in partnership with Josephite Community Aid (JCA) to ensure that our service of providing material assistance to families in need can continue. Our partnership with JCA also includes our Wednesday afternoon tutoring and the Family Fun Day Picnic. This year the proceeds from our Year 11 Social with Marist College North Shore have also gone to JCA.

Each Homeroom will receive shopping bags and students are invited to bring in suitable, non-perishable items to make up the hamper. The families who receive our hampers will hopefully see it as a reminder that they are not alone, despite the difficulty of their circumstances. Christmas can be a particularly stressful time when resources are stretched to the limit. Our aim is to provide some simple staple items to help take some pressure off the family finances and free up some money to allow people to buy the things we all take for granted such as gifts for children and special Christmas foods we all enjoy. We would like our hampers to contain high quality though not necessarily expensive items. We do not want families to feel that we are giving them our unwanted items. Rather we want them to share in the sorts of items we will be enjoying with our families.

Some items that would be suitable for our hampers include:

  • Biscuits, snacks and confectionery
  • Canned foods and soup
  • Tea, coffee, sugar
  • Cereal
  • Cordial, fruit juice, soft drinks
  • Condiments, oils, sauces and spreads
  • Rice, noodles, pasta and pasta sauce
  • Desserts, cake mixes etc.
  • Bathroom and cleaning supplies
  • Kitchen and laundry supplies
  • Special Christmas items

Other gift items such as vouchers and gift cards are most welcome.

Representatives of JCA will come to the College on Monday 1 December to collect our donations and put them into storage in preparation for their delivery on Saturday 6 December. Hamper Delivery Day on 6 December commences at 8.00am with a BBQ breakfast before volunteers are organised to set out with deliveries. Over the last couple of weeks we have been calling for volunteers to assist on this day and we have already had generous offers from a number of students, staff and parents to help out on Hamper Delivery Day. Additional volunteers are still very welcome. Please contact me if you would like to assist.

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the latest Beecroft Forum Dinner of the Major Issues and Theology Foundation (MIAT). The College was represented by about eight staff and two of our senior students, Rechelle Wehbe and Hannah Akers. The main speaker for the evening was Dr Cassandra Goldie, Executive Officer of the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS). Dr Goldie spoke about the annual poverty report compiled by ACOSS and highlighted the concerning aspects of widening gaps between rich and poor in Australia and the increasing levels of poverty, particularly among children.

Dr Cassandra Goldie, Executive Officer ACOSS with Rechelle Wehbe and Hannah Akers

Dr Goldie also spoke about the relationship between prosperity, economic growth and equality. She proposed that economies which fail to give attention to the fair distribution of wealth will ultimately jeopardise their capacity for economic growth and their prosperity. She also provided evidence to challenge two common misconceptions about welfare and taxation in Australia. Dr Goldie said that with the exception of the aged pension, there has been a decline in expenditure on welfare in Australia. She contrasted this with the media headlines of welfare blowouts and suggestions of escalating numbers of under serving welfare recipients. She also challenged the common perception that Australia is a highly taxed economy arguing that Australia is the fourth or fifth lowest taxed economy among OECD (The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) nations.

In her address, Dr Goldie challenged the audience to enter into mature and informed debate about the future of the Australian economy in areas such as Taxation reform and Welfare reform in a way that promoted a more just and inclusive society for future generations.

Mr Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

Back to Top

Curriculum News

HSC Visual Arts 'Art Express' Nominations

Congratulations to our current 2014 HSC Visual Arts candidates Ellen Schiffler and Kirsty Smith for the nomination of their Body of Work into ArtExpress. Both girls’ works pay attention to the natural world as an inspiration.

Ellen’s work, ‘Tribute to the Cherokee’ pays homage to the Red Indian’s link to the land. Her work give us a timely reminder to respect the land of the indigenous people and care for the environment. Ellen’s striking triptych was made from lino printing using oils on paper.

Kirsty’s work ‘Hugo’ was based on her beloved family dog. Kirsty communicated the message that the Staffordshire terrier breed is often negatively stereotyped as vicious. Kirsty wanted to draw attention to the fact that it is the dog’s environment, either positive or negative, that the dogs are in with their owners, resulting in affection or aggression, respectively. Kirsty’s series of three works are acrylics on canvas.

Kirsty and Ellen worked tenaciously on generating their ideas and persevering to fully resolve their works to a fine standard. Both girls can be pleased with this achievement as Visual Arts has a candidature of 11,000 across the State.

Visual Arts Teachers

Year 10 Palaeontological adventures in Science

As a part of the recent Evolution topic in Year 10 Science, girls got out their palaeontological picks and went digging for fossils in layers on chocolate!

Biology Excursion to Narrabeen Rock Platform

On Tuesday 4 November, Year 11 Biology and Year 11 Senior Science students visited the Narrabeen Rock Platform. The classes had been learning about the local environment and all of the biotic features that can be found within it. However, the original date set for the excursion was cancelled due to poor weather. But it is clear to say that the excursion was very successful.

By the time we arrived, we quickly forgot how tired we were (as of having to be at school by 7.30am), and started our day excitedly. We split up into two groups and were given leaders whose occupations were either environmental scientists or marine biologists. They supplied all of us with a booklet of information about the many ecosystems that live at the beach (particularly in the rock pools) and helped us decipher a dichotomous key to classify the biotic organisms along the way.

Although the weather was a bit cold to start off with, and everyone’s shoes were completely soaked, it was a great experience to see one another remember the content we had learnt in class and apply it in a practical way; whether it be by counting the organisms in a quadrant or along a transect line, or by testing the pH and salinity of the water.

We would like to acknowledge Mrs Dean, Mrs Walsh and Mrs Bradstock for organising, accompanying and giving us the opportunity to apply our knowledge in a valuable way on this excursion. We would also like to recognise the staff at Narrabeen Rock Platform who taught us all we needed to know about the biotic features of the ecosystems and for taking the time out of their day to do so. It was a rewarding experience that gave all of us memories to keep forever in our last years at Bennies.

Sarah Coen and Lucy Hatcher

Congratulation to our Spyclass Survey winners

Late last Term Year 7 were offered the opportunity to trial a new computer game titled 'Spyclass' to support their learning in Mathematics. As part of the trial the girls were asked to complete a survey with the opportunity to win book prizes provided by Jacaranda.

Congratulations to the following girls who are pictured with their book prize.

  • Andre Fisher
  • Grace Greenwood
  • Lauren Mifsud
  • Krupali Parmar
  • Emma Shehab
  • Rachael Wang

Mrs Sharon McGowan
MYBennies Innovation Leader / IRC Coordinator

Back to Top

College News

The Merit Award Program

Congratulations to the students who have received enough merits to achieve either a Bronze, Silver or Gold Merit.

Merits are awarded for achievement in any of the following categories:

  • School Service
  • Effort
  • Academic
  • Extra Curricular
  • Christian Commitment

Merits also go towards the House Cup with 10 merits equating to 10 House points, 50 merits equating to 20 House points and 150 merits equating to 50 House Points.

Click here to view Merit Report as at 06 November.

Excellent AMEB Results

The CAPA Department would like to congratulate Jessica Griffith (Year 10) on her excellent results in her recent AMEB 7 th Grade Saxaphone Exam, achieving an A+.

Congratulations Jessica.

Student Alliance Update

Being a part of the Sydney based group of the Alliance of Girls’ School Australasia this year has been an inspiring, educational and motivating experience. We have gained awareness and passion for the issues that affect us as women and we have gained friends with whom we can discuss the extent of the problems and solutions. During this year we have met once each term, covering issues affecting women of all ages all over the world. We have discussed gender stereotypes (their effects on both men and women), women in the workplace, domestic violence, our role models, harassment, bullying, the ability of the media to distort our perceptions and so many more. One of the greatest moments of this year was when we showed videos we had created of our schools and we discovered while all our schools are unique we are connected through many similarities, more than we had ever realised. This experience has exceeded our expectations by far. We look forward to next year and future years.

The final meeting for this year was on Tuesday 14 October when three bennies girls (Alex, Elizabeth and Emily) and Ms Zammit (who we simply cannot thank enough for all her work) travelled to the Women’s College within the University of Sydney. The building was an incredible sight as was the portrait of Marie Bashir we passed in one of the corridors. Doctor Amanda Bell, the Principal of the Women’s College gave an impressive speech on her experience of leadership and the Women’s College. We shared in a delicious dinner and engaged in conversation in set groups. Our discussion focused on the highlights of the Alliance, the areas we would like to strengthen and where we would like this group to go. We left feeling uplifted and empowered.

From this point onwards, we have great vision for the Alliance. One of our biggest goals is to expand the Alliance representatives at the College, and we have already begun to undertake an application process to do so. Whilst having larger numbers attend the once a term meetings, we also intend on having a group of students partake in taking action at a College level. This group will hear the information brought back from the multi-school meetings, and together we will all focus on actions we can take within the College. These actions will focus around the issues discussed in the Alliance, those affecting young women today.

We’re all very excited about these future ventures, and ideas have already begun to arise - such as the possibilities of an 'inspirational women role models' bulletin board, or creation of a workshop to be run during House Assemblies.

Emily Bray (Year 11) and Alexandra Dowd (Year 10)

Philippines Immersion Trip Fundraising Guessing Competition

Image 1

Hillsbus Amendments to Current Timetable

Effective Monday 10 November Route 3604 from Beecroft Road will terminate at Bellbird/Oratava not Oratava/Aiken.

Route 3178 has been removed from the timetable. Students will be able to board Route 635 for travel to school.

Further information, including a map, can be found on the Noticeboard outside the Print room or via the HILLSBUS website.

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.


NSW CCC Website:

Broken Bay Wet Weather Line: 9990 3633

Representative Sports Calendar - Term Four


Australian All Schools Athletics Championships
Friday 5 - Monday 8 December
Carla Takchi (Y11), Amie Bowrey (Y7) and MSB U15 KO Team


Broken Bay Trials
Friday 21 November


Broken Bay Championships
Monday 1 December
MSB Representative Team

2014 NSWTA All Schools State Finals

Photo L to R Jesse Smith, Rachael Marren, Maddison Gardoni, Georgia Dean, Julia Zubak, Renee Khamis, Jessica Barr, Claudia McKenzie
Front Kassidy Grant, Shannyn Bissett, Lindsay Mills, Alice Woodrow, Capri Vidler

Last Friday our Year 7/8 Touch team competed at these Championships in Penrith against some very tough opposition in their pool (the two teams that contested the Final were the only two teams these girls conceded a game to all day).

Many thanks to Mrs Hickey who has worked with these girls throughout the year, to parent Mr Anthony Vidler for assisting at multiple carnivals and to Mr Smith who stepped in at the last minute to coach on the day.

Here is his report -

On Friday 7 November the Year 7 and 8 Representative Touch Football team played in the NSW State Championships at Penrith. To qualify for this Championship they had already been crowned Broken Bay Champions and had won the Western Sydney Schools Regional Championships. So they are a high quality team with an impressive track record. However what they also proved on the day was that they could match their touch ability with their sense of team spirit and humility in defeat. This was because they went down to the two schools who would eventually play out the Final for the Championships. Both of these schools were drawn in our pool so despite two other impressive victories the girls were not able to progress out of the pool stages. In both losses the girls were competitive and played in a great spirit going down within a few tries of their opponents.

Congratulations to team co-captains Renee, Shannyn and Capri for their great leadership of the team as well as to our other Year 8 team members Julia, Claudia, Georgia, Kassidy, Maddy, Lindsay and Rachael who all played strongly and to our mighty Year 7's who will likely be the leaders of next year's junior team - Alice, Jessica and Jesse.

Special thanks to Mrs Grant for all of her expert organisation and to all of the parents who came out to cheer on the team, especially to Mr Anthony Vidler for helping with coaching the girls.

Hopefully this will be a great learning experience for the girls as they continue to grow into great athletes and touch football players of the future.

Mr Mark Smith (Coach)

Big Skip Continues

Since our last newsletter deadline we have seen Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 students compete with the finalists for the Bennies Biggest Skip to be held next Monday starting to take shape.

Here is a report from Erin Morley, one of our Sports Captains, on the Year 7 and Year 8 events:

Year 7 and 8 Big Skips were a success. Girls from both year groups joined in for a fun lunch of skipping and ice blocks. Five girls from each year were selected to compete in the Grand Final. Once these girls were selected everyone joined in for one last jump.

Congratulations to the finalists-

Year 7 Top 5

  • Chelsea Rah
  • Olivia Staal
  • Elise Allen
  • Olivia Kalocsai
  • Kelly Tintinger

Year 8 Top 5

  • Lindsay Mills
  • Kyara Waaijer
  • Georgia Sella
  • Kassidy Grant
  • Elise Schaafsma-Fullick

Year 10 Yop 5

  • Erin Frost
  • Grace Logan
  • Dominique Boudib
  • Brianna Taylor
  • Rachel Takchi

The FINAL will be held on Monday 17 November where the top five from each year group will 'Skip it Out' for the overall champion.

Good luck to all competitors.


Many of our students have been achieving great things recently, gaining selection into their local area and even NSW teams!

Congratulations to:

  • Bella Duncan (Year 10), Ashleigh McDonald (Year 10), Tamaryn McGregor (Year 9) and Capri Vidler (Year 8) who represented NSW in a European Handball Championship against Queensland on the weekend.

    On Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 November, Ashleigh McDonald, Bella Duncan, Capri Vidler and Tammy McGregor competed in the Australian National European Handball Championships at North Ryde. Ash, Tammy and Bella competed in the U16's Division, representing New South Wales and playing three games against Queensland. The girls won all three games with Bella captaining the team, and therefore were named overall champions and winners of their age group. Capri competed in the U14's Division with her team playing three games against Queensland as well. In the first game NSW fought and won by one point. In the second game the team drew with Queensland and in the final decider, NSW put all their last amounts of effort and energy in, and WON! NSW were awarded the overall trophy for being the champions in both the girls and boys competitions.
    This was an amazing experience. I greatly enjoyed it and had a lot of fun representing my state. I met a lot of new people and formed new relationships. It is a great opportunity to challenge yourself, as I had never played before and realise your potential and what you can achieve. I would highly recommend girls to trial next year as it truly was a rewarding experience. Tammy McGregor
  • Bella Duncan (Year 10) has also been busy gaining selection with Shannyn Bissett (Year 8) (Western Sydney) and Elise Bond (Year 8) (Sydney Academy) into the Academy Netball Programs for 2014/2015
  • Kate Barry (Year 8) who has been selected in the U15s NSW Metro girls cricket team to compete at the National championships in November/December in Western Sydney.

Mrs Karen Grant
Representative Sport Coordinator

Back to Top

P & F News

2014 MSB P&F Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Monday 17 November
Commencing at 6.30pm in the Staffroom

Meeting Agenda

  • Adopt proposed P&F Constitution
  • President's Report
  • Principal's Report
  • All Committee Positions Declared Vacant
  • Voting for 2015 Committee Positions - President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Social Convenor

The proposed P&F Constitution can be found on the MSB website under Community, Parents and Friends, Meeting Dates, 17 November.

Everyone is welcome at P&F meetings so please come along, there will be no pressure to volunteer.

Any questions about the AGM or Committee positions please contact Karen Farrell (P&F Secretary) on 0423 781 783 or email


MSBESA Committee 2014-15

Congratulations to the members who were elected the 2014 - 2015 MSBESA Committee as a result of the elections on Monday 10 November.

President: Mrs Cathy Bray

Vice President: Mrs Melissa Woolnough

Secretary: Mrs Nicole Wheeler

Treasurer: Mrs Angela Tan

Ordinary Members: Mrs Vicki-Marie McClure, Mrs Karen Maher and Mrs Debbie Eddington

Thank you also to Annaleen Chacon and Sue Ellen Adler who have stepped down from their positions as long serving members, your efforts have been very much appreciated.


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 17 November






Van Den Broek

Karen Khoury

Jennifer Campbell

Lisette Smith

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

Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager

Back to Top

Community Notices

Image 1

Back to Top

The content of this email is privileged and confidential and is intended only for the named recipient. If you have received this email in error, please advise the sender and delete the email. You must not disclose, copy or distribute any information contained in this email or take any action in reliance of its contents if you are not the intended recipient.

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

Phone:  02 9980 0444
02 9484 4911

General enquiries

{tag_unsubscribelist} {tag_unsubscribe}