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15 August 2014

From the Principal

Dear parents, friends, staff and students,

On Tuesday morning our hall was filled with the beaming faces of grandparents. It was delightful to welcome such a large crowd who obviously enjoyed the musical and dance performances as well as the presentations which formed our assembly. Afterwards many of our guests were able to enjoy morning tea with their granddaughters while listening to our orchestra performing in the courtyard. I thank all the grandparents who were able to attend and everyone who assisted in ensuring such an enjoyable experience.

Mount St Benedict College continues to be recognised in the community for the outreach and ministry opportunities our students and staff enjoy. This week once again a large group of students was able to be involved in Busking for Vinnies in the Parramatta Mall on Friday, with a group of senior students also involved on Saturday.  The hard work of our Music staff in assisting the girls in their endeavours is greatly appreciated - Mr Watters, Ms Webber and Ms Sheehan. That so many students are prepared to give their time to such activities is a reflection of their generosity and hospitality. Congratulations girls!

Access to College grounds

Our College site has fairly restricted parking and, with over 1000 staff and students on site on a normal school day, we are acutely aware of potential safety risks with vehicles moving around while pedestrians are also on the move. For these reasons we ask that parents do not enter the College grounds between 7.30am and 9.00am and again between 2.30pm and 4.00pm . Please drop off and pick up your daughters in the parking spaces on Beecroft Road or alternatively in the side streets on the other side of Pennant Hills Road. The pedestrian bridge and traffic lights provide safe passage for the girls when crossing these busy roads.

Tours of the College were conducted this week for potential students and their parents. It is very rewarding to hear the reasons why people consider Mount St Benedict College as a school for their daughters. Almost without exception their reasons include the fact that current parents and/or students have recommended the College or that they have seen our students out and about in the community and have been impressed by the way in which they conduct themselves. Word of mouth is a very powerful communication tool and I regularly remind our students that their actions are often taken as a reflection of the school more broadly. I am grateful for the many members of our community (parents, staff, students and ex-students) who do their best to represent the College so well and to affirm the good work of our staff and students.


Few can bring the warmth
We can find in their embrace
And little more is needed to bring love
Than the smile on their face.

They've a supply of precious stories
Yet they've time to wipe a tear,
Or give us reasons to make us laugh,
They grow more precious through the years.

I believe that God sent us Grandparents
As our legacy from above
To share the moments of our life,
As extra measures of His love.

'Author Unknown'

Mrs Maria Pearson

Mission News

Last Friday was the feast of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. This Friday we have the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven. This feast, celebrated each year on 15 August affirms the belief of Christians that after her death, Mary was taken bodily into heaven. This belief is understood as a foretaste of the bodily resurrection of all at the end of time. While this feast has been celebrated since the seven hundreds, it was only in 1950 that the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary was formally promulgated. The original celebration of Mary’s assumption derived from the Churches of the East where the feast is known as the “Dormition” or “the falling asleep”.

This week the media carried an unusual report for our Australian situation. It told of a Catholic Nun being arrested in a prayer vigil at the electoral office of the Treasurer, Mr Joe Hockey. The nun in question was Josephite Sister Jan Barnett who was part of a group made up of Christians of various denominations who gathered to pray on behalf of children in immigration detention centres. These prayer vigils are currently taking place in various locations around the country - those praying refuse to cease their prayer and are ultimately arrested. In some cases charges have been brought, in yesterday’s arrest those involved in the vigil were later released without charge. The news report brought an interesting array of responses from the community. Most responses praised the courage and the commitment of the group, some suggested it was not the place of Christians to be involved in such “political” actions. Some supported the sentiment but questioned the approach. One of the group, a retired nurse is quoted as saying; “As a nurse in psychiatric units, I’ve been very troubled by the destructive nature of the incarceration of these people,” she said. "… The psychological damage to them was really quite shocking and remains so.” The full news report can be viewed here. The group organising the prayer vigils is called “Love Makes A Way”. Further information on their work can be found on their facebook page.

Josephite Sister Jan Barnett, who was arrested yesterday, is well known here at Mount St Benedict College. She is a prominent part of Josephite Community Aid (JCA) who partner with our College in our Christmas Hamper program, the Family Fun Day Picnic coming up in October and the after school tutoring program where a number of our students regularly volunteer. Commenting on yesterday’s prayer vigil Sr Jan is quoted as saying she felt she couldn’t leave without a government commitment to release all children from detention. “All people fleeing persecution have a right to seek asylum,” she said. “It is legal to do so, and the Australian Government has both a legal and moral duty to care for asylum seekers, especially children.”

On Tuesday this week we hosted our annual Grandparents Assembly and Morning Tea. Despite some very chilly weather it was great to see so many of our senior citizens coming along to enjoy the occasion. Our Hall was absolutely packed as our visitors, together with our students and staff enjoyed a wonderful Assembly showcasing a wide range of our involvements from languages to sport, music, dance, travel and of course our commitment to justice.

Click on the photos to view the complete photo gallery on the College website.

After such a wonderful gathering with our Grandparents' Day we can now turn our attention to our annual Father and Daughter Breakfast. This will be held on Wednesday 3 September between 7.30am and 8.30am. To assist us with catering please click on the link below to rsvp. We would be grateful to have your reply by Thursday 28 August so that we can organise our catering and seating for the morning.

In other news, on Wednesday this week, Assistant Principal, Dean of Students Ms Jackie Duncan accompanied a group of our senior students to a lecture at the Australian Human Rights Commission given by Sr Clare Condon, Congregation Leader of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and recipient of the 2013 Human Rights Medal. The topic of Sr Clare’s address was “Sanctioned Violence, What it does to our Society and our Relationships”. On Thursday evening a group of approximately thirty students and staff attended the Beecroft Forum Dinner of the Major Issues and Theology Foundation where former Foreign Minister and NSW Premier Bob Carr spoke.

Friday was a huge day of commitments with about 150 of our musicians taking part in our annual “Busking for Vinnies” at the Parramatta Mall while another group of students headed for St Scholastica's College at Glebe to assist in running workshops for their Foundation Day celebrations. These occasions provide us with wonderful opportunities to contribute to other Good Samaritan communities and the wider community. As a community of faith we are always keen to offer our support and use our talents for the good of others. It enriches us as a community and as individuals it builds our character in fidelity to the call of the Gospels.

Mr Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

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Surviving HSC Introduction to Stress Management Workshop for Students, Parents and Teachers

The Great Debate: Year 10 Science

On Tuesday 5 August Mrs Dean’s and Mrs Mason’s Year 10 Science classes competed in a debate. The topic was , “The award for the most important contributions to the theory of motion goes to Aristotle, Galileo second” .

With Mrs Heaton adjudicating, the debate was off to a fiery start with Mrs Dean’s class giving the affirmative side. The three speakers from both sides had very strong arguments to convey their point, though in the end Mrs Mason’s class came out on top with Mrs Dean's class praised for their high quality presentation.

The debate was a great experience to learn about two of the most influential scientists of time today. We would like to thank Mrs Heaton for her comments and tips and all the girls who spoke for being representatives of their class. We would also like to thank Mrs Dean and Mrs Mason for organising the event.

We look forward to more debates to come!

by Mary Cook and Isabelle Bond

Year 8 Forensic Science Camp

During July I participated in a camp held in chilly Armidale, with two other Year 8 students, Jess Kotzander and Nicole Sandow. The three of us were very grateful to be accepted to The Armidale School Forensic Science Camp which consisted of five days learning about various skills, both scientific and detective. Once given the crime, we were given free rein on science labs, laptops and any research equipment we may have needed to solve our crime and with this, I mean we were given no direction on what to do at all. Though our controllers and some other teachers did check up on us from time to time, the idea seemed quite daunting to say the least but, because of time constraints, we had no choice but to launch ourselves headfirst into the challenge ahead.

Other than learning about the different processes involved in solving a crime, we also had numerous opportunities to meet new people, make friends and have fun through themed nights. Once, it was a trivia night and another consisted of playing space jump with our task force. Both were very good and filled with laughs. We also had breaks throughout the day, fondly nicknamed “compulsory fun”, which truly became fun when about eighty teenagers play duck, duck, goose and human musical chairs together. I would have to say that socialising with the group I was given and many other friends I made was awesome and most definitely my favourite part about the camp. It was an amazing experience and I would genuinely recommend anyone who is interested in Science, crime solving or even someone looking for a good time to attend FSC.

Khristiana Dadula


The CAPA Department were able to display many of the diverse talents of our students at the Grandparents day Assembly.

The College Choir led by Mrs Susan Webber presented their rendition of 'Let it Go' from the Disney Production 'Frozen'.

The Dance Ensemble, choreographed by Miss Emma Powell, presented the dance that they recently entered in at the Sydney Eisteddfod

Andrea Hajje, Casey McBride and Kirsty Smith from Year 12 Music 1 class sang their original Song 'Time Goes By', which was recently recorded and entered into the 'JJJ Unearthed High' Competition.

The Concert Band performed in the newly refurbished Hall Courtyard as grandparents arrived and again during morning tea after the Assembly.

This Friday the students from the College Choir, MSB Concert Band, Chamber Ensemble and Flute Ensemble will perform at 'Busking for Vinnies' in Parramatta Mall to raise Money for St Vincent de Paul.

Also please come along to the HSC DT/Music and Visual Arts HSC Showcase evening on Monday 25 August. Doors open at 6.30pm. Register here.

Mr Peter Watters
Head of Creative and Performing Arts Department

College News

News from the IRC – Children’s Book Week

Next week is Book Week with the theme being 'Connect to Reading'. The IRC has been decorated to celebrate this theme and competition and activities will be running all week. This year we celebrate Book Week at the same time as Science Week 'Food for our Future' so we are connecting for some activities with the Science Department and Science Club girls.

Here are some of the events to happen in the IRC during Book Week:

  • Monday: Connect to reading between MSB and Brigidine College at lunchtime. Bennies Book Club girls will connect via Skype to girls at Brigidine College to have a discussion about author John Green’s books.
  • Tuesday: Author Belinda Murrell will visit connecting with the Year 7 students in their English lesson during the day. Belinda’s novels are some of the most popular texts read by our Year 7 students so it is fitting that Belinda connects with the girls. You can find out more about Belinda here.
  • Wednesday: At Assembly a connection will take place between the Science Club and Bennies Book Club girls and at lunchtime girls can participate in connecting activities in the IRC.
  • Thursday: Competition winners, Best Borrowers for 2014, students who have completed the Premier’s Reading Challenge and the Bennies Book Club girls will attend Morning Tea in the IRC with Mrs Pearson.
  • Friday: Book Week and Science Week comes to an end with the final competition winners announced.

A reminder for parents that if your daughter is participating in the Principal’s Reading Challenge (Years 8 to 12) to read twenty books which challenge the individual reader, it is now time for you to sign your daughter’s log along with their English teacher. These logs need to be handed into the IRC as soon as possible so that book prizes can be chosen and awarded at the Book Week Morning Tea on Thursday 21 August.

For parents of students in Years 7 and 8 participating in the Premier's Reading Challenge the girls only have until Friday 22 August to update their logs online which Mrs Shiels will authenticate for the award to be created. These certificates will arrive later in the year and the IRC will host another Morning Tea with these students to celebrate their achievement of reading twenty books from the set Premier’s Reading Challenge list.

One way we can all support Book Week is to be involved in the Reading Hour on Friday 19 September between 6.00pm and 7.00pm. Drop everything and read with family and friends and celebrate the joy of reading.

The week after Book Week is Literacy and Numeracy Week and Refugee and Asylum Seeker Week and the IRC will also be involved in supporting these activities. In conjunction with Literacy and Numeracy Week author Claire Zorn will be visiting the College on Wednesday 10 September. Claire is a young author who has been shortlisted for the 2014 Children’s Book Council Award for Older Readers (which will be announced during Book Week) for her first book ‘The Sky So Heavy' and has recently released a new book ‘The Protected’ which is receiving wonderful reviews.

Mrs McGowan (IRC Coordinator) and Mrs Shiels (Teacher Librarian)

A visit to Mater Dei to celebrate the Feast of St Benedict

As the newly elected Arcadia and Subiaco Captains and Ambassadors, we were fortunate to be invited to visit Mater Dei to join with them to celebrate the Feast Day of St Benedict on Friday 1 August. The day began with a Mass, during which we had the opportunity to pray together and celebrate our shared Benedictine heritage with the students and staff not only from Mater Dei, but also with representatives from the other Good Samaritan Schools. Following the Mass, we shared morning tea together in the beautiful surroundings.

Fun activities were located all around the school for everyone to enjoy, including cupcake decorating, face painting and a jumping castle. We were delighted to join in the activities and lend a helping hand when required, while forming new friendships.

The hospitality we received was inspiring and the positivity and strong sense of community that permeates throughout Mater Dei was so evident. It was great to share this amazing experience with students from other Good Samaritan Schools who share our Benedictine values and we found that conversation easily flowed because of this.

We are so grateful to Mater Dei for their kind invitation. Whilst we learn about our House Partner in school, being able to connect with the staff and students at Mater Dei has brought much more meaning to our cause of supporting them. We were really inspired to take their positivity into our own lives by smiling more, accepting others more readily and looking on the bright side of things and we hope we can encourage others at the College to do the same ,through our new leadership roles.

Kristen Pollock (Arcadia House Captain), Rebecca Koelmeyer (Subiaco House Captain),
Emily-Kate Pfeiffer (Arcadia Ambassador) and Larissa Saliba (Subiaco Ambassador).

Student Alliance Networking Group

A lot has been happening for the girls in the Student Alliance over the past term. We have been to a couple of heated meetings discussing relevant issues in today’s society, particularly focusing on the theme of women. From this, we plan to start discussing such issues with our fellow students at the College and allow people to think about issues that relate to women in the 21 st century.

On Tuesday 22 July, we travelled to Roseville College to listen to their input on 'Feminism'. We heard about what ‘Feminism’ is, discussed common misconceptions and goals of the Feminist community. This allowed us to further discuss and develop our thoughts about the over-sexualisation of females in the media, females in power and harassment of women. After each topic of discussion, we were logged onto an online forum to further discuss our views on subjects that had arisen.

We were then given the opportunity to view different videos showing how men were treated in comparison to women. The one that impacted us the most was the video entitled 'Like A Girl' which shows girls being portrayed as weak and incapable. This video opened up discussion about the stereotypes that are associated with being female and we discussed how we should celebrate and be proud of who we are as individuals.

After the meeting, we left questioning how we could further expand on what we had learnt and get others involved, since we felt empowered with the information we had just learnt. We also plan on communicating with the College community through speaking at Assembly and are currently discussing how we can get others involved in these conversations.

Grace Klauser, Year 10

YMCA Youth Parliament

In the second week of the July School holidays I took part in the final stage of my YMCA Youth representative camps at Richmond, along with 120 other representatives from all over NSW. People came from as far inland as Broken Hill and up to Queensland. We were divided up into Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council, from then into smaller committees. I represented the electorate of Epping and I was in the legislative assembly representing the ‘Environment and Heritage’ committee, which I was a sponsor for.

Each committee put forward a Bill about an issue they wanted to address in Parliament; the committees covered were ‘Communities, Infrastructure and Aboriginal Affairs’. My Environment and Heritage group was proposing a Bill to reduce NSW dependency on Fossil fuels and water, initially replacing it through compulsory renewable energy and water tank instillation for new infrastructure. Each member was allocated time to present their Bill to the Speaker of the House and we then took part in a debate over our chosen topic. We were in Parliament for four days throughout the six day camp and each day there were four different matters discussed and debated. I’m very proud to say that our Bill passed through the Legislative Assembly, and was then debated through the Legislative Council, our Act will now be passed onto the NSW Senate committee.

We awoke every morning to 0oC temperatures at 5.30am which was a killer! We would take a bus at 6.30am to the City to NSW parliament. We would not leave parliament each day until 5.30pm so we didn’t even get to see sunlight most days. On Wednesday though it was a day of relaxation we got to sleep in till 9.30am and had a lovely brunch, whilst competing in a war of water bombings, Legislative Council versus Legislative Assembly, it was game on! On Thursday my committee presented our Bill to parliament and I spoke for two minutes on the Development Sustainable Review Liaison committee. This involved talking about the main roles of this department and its publication. This was one of the most nerve-racking experiences I was involved in but it was so rewarding with having both peers' support and family. They travelled to come see me debate for the first time in Parliament.

Overall my dedication to this six month program at YMCA Youth Parliament 2014 has been a challenging but also rewarding experience which I will never forget. I have made so many lifelong friends and met so many amazing and passionate people. I am so excited to be able to be taking part in this event next year and cannot wait. I have walked out of this commitment with a clear mind to seeing other people’s perspectives on things and have become more confident within myself.

Monique Harris, Year 10

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 Three


Broken Bay Championships
Wed 20 Aug
MSB Representative Team

NSW All Schools KO Championships
Thu 28 Aug
MSB Representative U15 KO Team

NSW CCC Championships
Fri 12 Sep
BROKEN BAY Representative Team


NSW ALL SCHOOLS Regional Championships
Wed 27 Aug
MSB Year 7/8 Representative Team

Representative Team Trainings and Trials

  • Monday 18 August: Intermediate (Y9/10) Representative Basketball Call Backs
  • Monday 18 August: Y7/8 Representative Touch Training
  • Thursday 21 August:  Y7/8 Representative Basketball Final Trials or Training

Competitions this week

This week our Open Soccer team were in action in the quarter finals of the NSW CCC Knock Out Competition against Casimir College, Marrickville and our Representative Netball teams competed at the NSW CCC Netball Championships in Penrith. Check out next week's newsletter for a full report.

Good Luck

Good luck to our Representative Athletics Team who will compete at the Broken Bay Championships in Homebush next week.

Mrs Karen Grant
Representative Sport Coordinator

Co-curricular Sport

North West Sydney Womens Football Competition

Our three football teams have just finished their competitions. We have been blessed with great weather over winter with not a single washout game from the start of the competition in April! Congratulations to the Under 15 team who played in their Grand Final on Sunday and won their game 1-0.

Well done to all the players on their commitment to training and games. It was great to have some of our Year 12 students in the Under 18 team, especially those who have been part of Bennies Football over their six years at the College.

Thank you also to all the parents and supporters throughout the season. The teams have had some very difficult games throughout the year and having such a supportive sideline is instrumental to why the girls have enjoyed their football season.

An enormous thank you to our coaches and managers, and parents who filled in when the coach or manager was not available. Your willingness  to commit to taking on coaching and managing roles in our teams is very much appreciated.It is without question that the teams could not compete without you.

Below is a report from each of our teams on their season.

Under 18 Football:

Our Season started off with a bang. We won 11-0 against Mercy! Unfortunately we also had three major injuries in our first game - Abigail, Holly and Caroline were all injured resulting in Abigail having to take the rest of the season off and Holly and Caroline taking a few weeks off to recover.

After the win and injuries of the first game we weren’t sure what to expect for the rest of the season. While we didn’t win our next game, fortunately we didn’t have any injuries! As the season progressed we all became better players. Our team consisted of Ellen, Cassie and Giorgia in the front line, Ashleigh, Sarah, Lauren R and Lauren D in midfield and Talia, Holly, Tahlia, Melanie and Caroline protecting the back along with our super goalie Gabby who made many amazing saves throughout the season.

A big thank you to the Under 15 players who helped us throughout the season when we struggled to get enough players to take the field.

We just missed out on making the Pennant Finals by a goal, but our amazing effort and team play in the last game just showed how far we came together as a team.

A final massive thank you to our coach Victor and manager Brian who made the season as enjoyable as it was. We wouldn’t have done as well as we did without them.

Under 15 Football:

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Most of the girls in the Under 15 team were back together again for our second year and it was great to also welcome some new players.

The team came together really well at the end of season for the Round Robin games to make the Pennant Final last Sunday against YMCA winning 1 - 0. Jessie scored our goal off a cross by Katie and Lara made an amazing save to keep the opposition scoreless. It was a great way to end the season. Thanks so much to Bri for coaching us and to James, Mr Rowberry, Mr Williams and the other dads for helping coach us and to Mrs Lilischkis for being our team manager.  We all had a great time playing football together.

Under 13 Football:

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The Under 13 football team have come first on the bottom but what we lacked in goals we made up with great friendships and lots of laughs!

One of the highlights of the season was playing against the Under 15 MSB team in the Pennant Round Robin. The game consisted of many apologies and lots of laughs. On behalf of my fellow team members we would like to say thanks to Nicky for coaching and putting up with us and thanks to Mrs Kelava for being a great manager. Hope to see you all next season.
Photo: Under 13 versus Under 15 Football Game 

Coaching Opportunities

With the summer sport season due to commence shortly we are currently looking for coaches for basketball, softball and touch. We would love to hear from any parents, ex-students or friends of the College who would like to learn more about these coaching roles.

Summer Sport Registrations

Registrations have now closed for our summer sports, however,  there are still places available in the following teams:

  • LORETO TOUCH COMPETITION (Sat mornings) - Year 8 and Year 9 players required

  • HORNSBY SOFTBALL COMPETITION (Sat mornings) - Years 7, 8 and 9 players required

  • HORNSBY SOFTBALL (Sat afternoons) - Ladies team - current/past mothers and ex-students required

We require coaches and managers for each of these teams to go ahead. Please consider how you are able to assist with any of the teams.

Term Three Tennis Challenge

The information and permission notes have been sent to each student via email. Notes and payment are now overdue.

If you have a partner you would like to play with please email through the names, all other players will be matched with players of similar skills and experience.

Please contact me if you have any further questions.

Mrs Rebecca Lewis
Co-curricular Sports Coordinator


What are Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS)?

Schools Recommendation Schemes (SRS) are one way institutions make early offers to current Australian Year 12 students who have applied for undergraduate admission through UAC. SRS aim to facilitate access to higher education for current Australian Year 12 students who might otherwise not be offered a place. SRS applications are assessed centrally at UAC, using school recommendations and non-Year 12 academic achievements.

Further Information

Tertiary Institution Open Days

Dates for Open Days 2014-2015


Class of 1994 - 20 Year Reunion

The Class of 1994 have started to organise their 20 Year Reunion. Should you wish to find out more details please go to their facebook page to join the group "Bennies 1994".

The date to save has not yet been confirmed though they are looking at November.

Debutante Ball Photos

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The Archives Department are looking for copies of Debutante Ball formal photos. If you have a copy of your Debut photo, can we please ask you to either post a copy to Mrs Blackman or email to

Please include the year your Debut was made, location and names if possible.

Photo: Class of 1971 Debutant Ball


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. Comprehensive instructions on how to use this system can be found here . Place a Canteen order here .







Vivienne Flannery

Kathleen Van Den Broek

Jane Shi

Karen Khoury

Lisa Emmett

Kylie Craig

Susan Giacomelli

Sally Lee

Kate McGrath

Melinda Wilkes

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

  Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager

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