Login to read the full newsletter
with your parent password

17 July 2015

From the Principal

O God, who made the Abbot Saint Benedict
an outstanding master in the school of divine service,
grant, we pray, that, putting nothing before love of you,
we may hasten with a loving heart
in the way of your commands.

Last Saturday, July 11 was the Feast of St Benedict, the Patron of our College. This prayer is the Opening Prayer of the liturgy for the feast day and it reminds us of the call to put nothing at all before our love of Christ. It reflects in simple and direct terms the principal goal in life to which we are all called.

As we gather at the beginning of a new term we give thanks to God for the opportunity to rest and recreate during our period away from the College and we commit ourselves to work with commitment and passion in the service of God and of one another.

During the term break we witnessed a lot of activity around the College with significant upgrades to a number of IT facilities to improve our communication with one another and enhance the learning opportunities that the use of technology can provide. We also saw many students and teachers working together during the break, especially groups of Year 12 students who were involved in tutorials for various HSC subjects as well as groups of Year 10 and Year 11 students who were working with a number of teachers in a Josephite Community Aid (JCA) holiday program hosted here at MSB. Beyond the College we had students such as Mr Greg Hume’s soccer team competing in the Combined Catholic Colleges tournament while others took part on the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh programs and a further group, accompanied by Mrs Thea Parle, shared in the Ministry Outreach experience with students from other Good Samaritan Colleges.

JCA Holiday Program

We are very pleased to welcome a number of new students to the College who are beginning with us this term. We trust that these students and their families will soon feel at home in our community.

We are also pleased to welcome some new staff who are joining us on temporary appointments. We welcome Ms Nett Knox who is teaching Religious Education and History, Ms Vanessa Viner and Ms Roanne Thadani who are taking roles in HSIE and History, Mr Christopher Costaganna in Music, Ms Sarah Rose in PDHPE and Ms Sarah Ellison in Languages.

There are also a number of staff acting in positions of responsibility at this time. Mrs Donna Dempsey is acting in the role of Assistant Principal, Dean of Mission, Ms Erin Doolan has the role of Acting Religious Education Coordinator and Mr Michael O’Brien is Acting Assistant Religious Education Coordinator with Ms Christine Takchi in the role of Acting Ministry Coordinator. Ms Jacqueline Saunders is Acting Coordinator of Arcadia House and Ms Rebecca Shiels is Acting Coordinator of New Norcia House with Ms Gabrielle Keats in the role of Acting Head of Creative and Performing Arts.

Paul Lentern
Acting Principal

Back to Top

Mission News

At the end of last term when everyone was looking forward to some much deserved rest and relaxation there were groups of MSB staff and students who were busily preparing for some very special service learning events. Every year our Year 11 students are invited to participate in the Good Samaritan Education Community Outreach program. This experience provides the opportunity to visit a variety of venues who serve those who face challenges of poverty and homelessness. Joining with students from other Good Samaritan Schools, participants experience firsthand the call to live out Good Samaritan Benedictine values and respond in a very practical way to the gospel question – ‘Who is my neighbour?’ A special thanks to staff member Mrs Thea Parle who accompanied students Meaghan Bullmore, Caitlin Harris, Ellie Webber and Katie Morritt as they attended a number of venues including for the first time a holiday program run by Mount St Benedict staff and students.

MSB in collaboration with the Good Samaritan Education Team and Josephite Community Aid provided a holiday club for refugee children. The program was coordinated by our College Chaplain, Mrs Christina He who was assisted by a number of staff and over fifty students. Congratulations to all involved for providing so many fun activities for the students such as Bridge Building and Cake Decorating to name a few and for giving so generously of your time. This initiative builds on a close partnership the College has with JCA which has been established through other programs such as the JCA Fun Day, the JCA Refugee Homework Club and Christmas Hampers.

This term also continues our very special commitment to Mission and Social Justice initiatives within and beyond our community: Year 8 visits to St Edmund's Special School, Vinnies Busking (14 August), Grandparents Assembly (19 August), Father Daughter Breakfast (28 August), Refugee and Asylum Seekers Week (24-28 August), the Year 8 (11 September) and Year 9 Reflection Days (15 September).

Donna Dempsey
Acting Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

Back to Top

JCA Holiday Club

During the holidays, the College hosted the JCA Holiday Club program for the very first time. This is a new concept that arose from the strong partnership the College has established with Josephite Community Aid (JCA),  a community group that supports refugee and asylum seeker families.

Staff and students hosted two weeks of "vacation-care'" style activities for the primary-aged children at JCA including subject areas such as Food Technology, Physical Activity and Sports Studies (PASS), Design & Technology, English, Maths, Science and Geography. Needless to say, the children had a fantastic time and were very excited to come every day. Particularly in the Year of Hospitality, this was a perfect opportunity for our staff and students to welcome these children into our community and share with them our gifts and talents to make their holidays more enjoyable. Many of the JCA children commented on the extensive facilities our school has to offer and how much they would like to come here when they grow older, even though most of them were boys!

It was great to see our staff and students have the opportunity to make conversations and provide genuine friendship for these children. Furthermore, these sorts of experiences align with the College's vision to integrate and provide more meaningful and authentic learning opportunities for our students. It was a rewarding experience for all involved and no doubt, will be one to remember for many years to come.

A big thank you to all the Year 10 and 11 students who gave up their time in their holidays to be part of this program. Also, it would not have been possible without the talents and generosity of the staff who donated their time. Thank you to Miss Lisa Clarke, Mrs Marg Rowland, Ms Belinda Cox, Ms Maree Henson, Miss Alexis Abagi, Mrs Lisa Dean, Mrs Dom Johnston, Mrs Linda Pollock, Mrs Tania Gosden, Mrs Kylie Holmes, Miss Christine Takchi, Mrs Monica Dutton, Mr Todd Garner and Mr Paul Lentern. We were also lucky enough to have the Good Samaritan Ministry Outreach participants be part of the program this year as well who are a group of Year 11 students from all the different Good Samaritan schools throughout Australia who come together for a week of service in Sydney. Thank you to those girls who came and contributed to this program as well.

Christina He
College Chaplain

Good Samaritan Education Ministry Outreach Program

This six day immersion program provided opportunities for thirty five Year 11 students and eight teachers from Good Samaritan Schools along the East Coast of Australia in the term break. MSB had four participants in the program this year. The program was a live-in experience at the Boarding School at St Scholastica’s College, Glebe, a wonderful base for the girls to share together. The outreach service opportunities ranged from nursing homes to soup kitchens, to disability services and entertaining and teaching refugee children. All the girls had the opportunity to visit a range of these service sites which gave them the chance to help many different people in need.

During the evenings they learnt more about the history and values of the Good Samaritan Benedictine tradition through a series of guest presenters and activities, reinforcing the outreach service experiences and learning about issues of injustice and ways to approach these issues.

Some of the service sites worked at included:

  • St Mary’s Villa, Concord: a private aged care residence belonging to the local parish. It was an eye opening opportunity and was gratifying to hear all the elderly people’s stories and seeing them happy and delighting in conversations and participating in activities such as bingo, brain training and mini golf.
  • House with No Steps, Belrose: an organisation that gives the opportunity for people with disabilities to gain employment. The girls worked side by side completing work orders such as packaging supermarket products, mailing preparation and labelling items for postage and delivery,  as well as getting to know their colleagues.
  • Allowah Children’s Hospital, Dundas: a welcoming facility that caters for children with moderate to high needs, providing short term and long term support and care to the children and their families. It was a rewarding opportunity to meet, interact and increase awareness of what life is like for these children and their families and the daily struggles they face.

The connections MSB students made with students in other Good Samaritan Schools was affirming and strong friendship bonds were formed over the course of the program.

The MSB girls have identified ways in which the Good Samaritan Benedictine understanding of service can be applied to the MSB community and they now face the challenge of making their ideas a reality on how to share and articulate their experiences.

We are grateful for the opportunity MSB offered us to contribute in this inspiring and fulfilling learning experience of service.

Meaghan Bullmore, Caitlin Harris, Katie Morritt, Ellie Webber and Mrs Thea Parle

Back to Top

Curriculum News

Year 10 PASS - Q&A with Professional Coaches

Last term, our Year 10 PASS students were privileged to have two professional coaches visit their classes to share their stories about effective coaching practices. Belinda Cox, a current PDHPE teacher at the College, is involved at Gymnastics Australia as the Head Coach of Trampolining (Double-Mini) and also continues to be involved as a Judge at International Competitions. The students learnt a lot about how to design effective training programs and the challenges associated in coaching high performance athletes. They soon recognised the depth and detailed planning that must take place behind-the-scenes in order to help athletes achieve their best.

                                                                                                                     Belinda Cox - Australian Trampolining Coach

Similarly, Shannon Seebohm, current Head Coach of the WNBL Sydney Uni Flames and U/17 Australian Women’s Head Coach spoke to the girls about the importance of valuing each individudal despite each person having different strengths and abilities. He mentioned that a good coach identifies and communicates to each player their role in the team and that it is important to provide opportunities for them to develop their abilities. Shannon placed a lot of emphasis on developing a good culture in a team and that coaches must always be prepared to keep learning and developing their skills.

                                                                                                Shannon Seebohm - Sydney Uni Flames WNBL Head Coach

Our Year 10 PASS students were excited to hear the stories of two very successful professional coaches who have achieved so much through hard work and passion for their sport. The girls no doubt have learnt many principles about designing good coaching plans and effective management skills that hopefully they will be able to use in all areas of life. We thank both Belinda and Shannon for giving up their valued time to share their work with our girls.

Christina He
PDHPE Faculty

Da Vinci Students Find their Place

The 2015 da Vinci competition held last term at Knox Grammar School was a highlight for Gifted & Talented students. Girls competed in teams of 8 across 10 disciplines on the topic of Place. It is a fitting title for gifted students as connection is a major factor in success and happiness in learning. The teams trained each Friday lunch under the expert guidance of Mrs Mason, Ms Collins Pope and Mrs Donohoo. Places for the competitive team were eagerly sought with up to 60 girls in the training teams.

Our results were as follows. Year 7 placed 5th in Science, 6th in Philosophy, 7th in Code Breaking whilst Year 9 was awarded 2nd place in Art and Poetry and 7th in Creative Producers.

Girls will be presented with inaugural da Vinci badges and certificates during Assembly in Week Four.

Year 7

Year 8

Barbara Therese

Bartolec Sonia

Demasi Myah

Bryant Lara

Mehta Natasha

Chen Elizabeth

Nguyen Chelsea

Kelava Natali

Shakirova Sofia

Kim Catherine

Spencer Katherine

O’Brien Lily

Ward Lillie

Sultana Caitlin

Wilkinson Emma

Barker Dusana

Reserve Wehbe Angelina

Reserve Arthur Tenee

Year 9

Year 10

Dadula Khristiana

Ehlers-Casada Madison

Klauser Lauren

Hendry Emily

Nicholson Grace

Kazakov Diana

Notohamiprodjo Kathleen

Nguyen Trish

Slee Emma

Porvaznik Holly

Sylvester Alana

Spencer Kimberley

Taylor Daniela

Tong Jessica

Trezise Laura

Xiao Yao

Reserve Sandow Nicole

Reserve Merhi Christine

Elizabeth Dirckze

Coordinator of Teaching and Learning

Back to Top

College News

Technology Update

This week the College have introduced some new IT systems for the girls.

Over the term break we have replaced our ageing email system with a new Microsoft Exchange email platform. This new feature rich email service offers students access to email on any device from anywhere. Email users now have vast email space including a 50Gb mailbox and a 150Gb online archive. Email can be accessed using their laptop and or mobile device.

In addition to access to an enterprise level email service, students also have full access to the College Office 365 environment from Microsoft. This service entitles users to unlimited online storage using Microsoft OneDrive for Business and access to business quality video conferencing using Skype for Business. These services will be introduced to students throughout the course of Term Three. This offering from Microsoft also entitles students to install the latest version of Microsoft Office on their home computers and mobile devices (including iPads) as needed.

Another change that has been introduced over the term break is a new printing system. Students can now print from their laptops and release their printing jobs from any of the printers around the College using their new Student ID card. The new ID card introduces tap technology which can be used for printing, in the canteen, for Seniors to sign in and out of College and in the IRC.

Students can now see their printing balance in real time and access a record of their printing history. Next term we plan to introduce the ‘print from anywhere’ feature that will allow users to print from home and tap their card to release their print jobs when next in school.

Students can visit the IRC to top-up their print balance should they need to. It is planned that the system will be interfaced with the My Student Account online service to allow parents to add credit to their daughter’s canteen or printing accounts.

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are due to receive a replacement laptop next year. Device selection activities have already started for this rollout. It is planned that Year 8 and 9 will receive their new devices towards the end of Term Four. Year 10 will be able to collect their new laptops either in the last two weeks of the summer break in 2016 or at the start of Term One next year.

When receiving their new laptop, return of the old device will be required. Should your daughter have any issues with the current device, such as a missing key or missing power adapter, these will need fixing up prior to return. Now is a good time to visit the IT staff to have these issues fixed up before returning the device at the end of the year.

More details on the new laptop rollout will be posted in the newsletter as they become available.

Stewart Duncan
Head of ICT

Girls for Change Leadership Summit

During the school holidays we were invited to represent Mount St Benedict College at the Girls for Change Leadership Summit at Pymble Ladies College. Facilitated by yLead and organised by The Alliance Of Girls Schools Australasia; we were immersed in a variety of workshops which improved upon our leadership, project planning and networking skills. Throughout our time at the two-day conference, we made an abundance of friends from a variety of girls’ schools in Sydney. This was a beneficial and defining characteristic of the summit as we were able to exchange ideas and experiences from our schools, whilst building connections with other students.

The first day of our conference began with a motivational talk from Steph Lorenzo; founder and CEO of Project Futures, which aims to end the cycle of human trafficking in countries such as Cambodia and Nepal. Despite being a young adult, her ability to lead a non-profit organisation and discuss a confronting and uncomfortable issue was truly inspiring. Her captivating talk was definitely a highlight, as her public speaking and organisational skills were applicable to a school situation.

We then participated in a networking activity which involved discussions with members of various organisations including ChillOut, Batyr, Project Futures, One Girl and AIME. This was an exciting activity as we learnt about different projects and had the opportunity to talk to and learn from leaders of numerous organisations.

The afternoon consisted of two workshops led by yLead staff which required us to discover our passions and develop our own unique leadership style. In groups consisting of girls from other schools, we were asked to make an impromptu pitch about a cause we were passionate about; allowing us to analyse our ability to take initiative as well as work in a team setting. We then enjoyed some reflective time where we were asked to journal the day and create a vision board; a concept where a collage of images is used to represent the goals, aspirations, values and personality of an individual.

Day two was all about “Taking Action”. We had the pleasure of listening to several very successful and inspiring women including; Felicity Furey: Co-Founder of Power of Engineering, Glenda Abraham: Executive Manager at Commonwealth Bank, Sharni Kelly: Fundraising Coordinator at Inspired Adventures and Nicole Gibson: Founder of Rogue and Rouge Foundation. These empowered women shared their stories, and gave us plenty of tips about how to take action on the passions that burn within us.

At the end of the day we were divided into small groups based on what cause we were most passionate about, and developed a project pitch using all the tools we had learnt. It was exciting to work closely with other girls who shared the same passion and exchange ideas. By the end of the day each group presented their ideas which all exemplified great thought and detail, demonstrating just how much we had learnt at the seminar.

Although it was sad to say goodbye to the wonderful people we had created friendships with, we knew that we were walking away with the tools and inspiration needed to lead positive change in our own communities and around the world. Overall the Girls for Change Leadership Summit was an AMAZING experience! We would like to thank Ms Zammit for providing us with the opportunity, and strongly encourage other girls to attend the conference next year.

MSB Student Members of The Alliance Of Girls Schools Australasia

Stanbrook Success

Term Two was a very successful period for Stanbrook, displaying it's strong, resilient and competitive spirit to the MSB community.

Early into the term, Stanbrook once again showed it's running commitment and talent by winning the 2015 MSB Cross Country. It was really pleasing to see all year groups participating in this event.

Half-way into the term and many students (not just Year 12) were stressed with assignments, tests, NAPLAN, subject selection, trials for sporting teams etc., but the anticipation and tension was building for the spectacular event that would occur in Week 7 - The 2015 MSB Athletics Carnival! Stanbrook was ready to race, run, jump, throw and even skip our way to the top, armed with our new banner and excited students.

                                                                                                                                                MSB Day Stanbrook Celebrations

In Pastoral Care, the three Stanbrook leaders created an in-house competition to get the girls pumped for the Carnival. For the 2015 Carnival, each year group in Stanbrook would compete against each other to see who had the highest participation. A separate competition was also created between the Year 7s and the Year 12s to see who would participate the most – there were more Year 7s than 12s, however it was the Year 12s last carnival. Whoever lost would have to host a morning tea for the other year group.

Overall, the Carnival was a fantastic day full of laughter and colourful costumes. The girls well and truly lived up to the challenges set for them. As a result, Stanbrook won the title of Overall Champion House which not only made Mrs Dean and I unbelievably proud, but also all of Stanbrook’s teachers and students.

                                                                                                                                             Stanbrook at the Athletics Carnival

After tallying up the participation cards, the winning year group was Year 8 with 144 points. The winner for the Year 7 vs Year 12 competition was announced. It was very close, with Year 12 wining by just four participation points (126 – 122). The Year 7s put on a magnificent morning tea, which was much needed for the stressed Year 12s, and I would once again like to thank all the girls in Year 7 who contributed and for being so hospitable.

On behalf of myself, Abbie Lincoln (House Ambassador) and Jenna Jardine (House-Vice Captain), I would like to congratulate Stanbrook for their success at the Cross Country and Athletics Carnival and to thank all of the girls, teachers and of course Mrs Dean for all their hard work this term.

Alyssa Tanner (Stanbrook House Captain)

From the Fees Desk

Term Three instalments are due 31 July 2015. If the College has a Direct Debit authority for term payments, they will be deducted on this date.

Current statements of account were posted to all families at the end of Term Two.

Tax Receipts for the Voluntary Building Fund, if applicable, have been posted this week.

If you have any queries regarding your fees account, please contact Fiona Barnett on 9980 0445 or

Fiona Barnett

Back to Top


Class of 1975 40 Year Reunion - Save the Date

Date: Saturday 28 November 2015

Time: 6pm - 11pm

Where: Mount St Benedict Centre, Hull Road Pennant Hills NSW 2120

Cost: TBC

Registration will be launched in the next couple of weeks on Bennies Connect.

Michelle Blackman

Back to Top

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.

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term Three


NSW All Schools Championships
Friday 24 - Sunday 26 July
NSW CCC U15 and OPEN teams


NSW BBSSSA Championships
Tuesday 11 August
MSB Representative team

NSW ALL SCHOOLS KO Championships
Thursday 20 August
MSB Representative KO team

NSW CCC Championships
Friday 11 September


NSW CCC Championships
Tuesday 18 August
Champion MSB Representative teams


NSW CCC Championships - Y9/10
Monday 24 - Tuesday 25 August
MSB Representative team


NSW BBSSSA Championships
Friday 4 September
MSB Representative team

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.

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

Training schedule

Pierre de Coubertin Award

During the last week of Term 2, Year 12 student Abigail Curtin received the Pierre de Coubertin award at the Australian Olympic Academy day at Homebush. Her award was presented by 2016 Chef de Mission and former Olympian Kitty Chiller (pictured with Abigail).

This award recognises not only Abigail's involvement as an athlete in multiple sports, but her contribution as a coach and sportsmanship displayed along the lines of the Olympic ideals.

NSW CCC Open Girls Soccer KO Competition

Due to busy school calendars our girls competed in the next round of the NSW CCC soccer championships during the first week of their holidays.

The game against St Peter's, Maitland was played under unusually hot conditions for this time of year and in great spirits.

Congratulations to Mr Hume and the girls who won the game 2-0 and now progress through to the quarter finals.


The NSW All Schools Cross Country and BBSSSA Netball Championships were held this week.

Good Luck to our U13 and U15 Representative Soccer Teams who are due to compete at the BBSSSA Championships on Monday.

Look out for a full report on these carnivals in the next newsletter.

Congratulations to Erin Gracie (Y8) who was a member of the U13 Baulkham Hills Netball Team that won Division 1 at the recent State Age Netball Championships. Erin is a member of our Junior Representative Team.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

Back to Top

Co-curricular Sport

MSB Netball Club

The MSB Netball Club would like to express our sincere thanks to the College for their ongoing support.  Netball is a great team sport that continues to be very popular with the girls; this year we have 22 teams playing throughout the winter competition.  The new MSB game balls stand out from the rest and look great.

Team photos for all MSB Netball Club teams will be taken on Saturday 15 August.  Further details on times and how to order photos will be given closer to the date.

Thank you from all the MSB Netball Teams.

Back to Top


University of Wollongong Open Day - Sydney Campus

The University of Wollongong will be holding an Open Day at their Sydney CBD campus on 29 August 2015.

Guests will hear all about specialised degrees in accounting, banking and financial services, meet the lecturers and current students, tour the campus and more.

Further Information

Lucy Elgood
Careers Advisor

Back to Top


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 20 July






Kath Darcy


Kym Lamb

Katie Breatnach

Eunjin Susanna Park

Teena Vicaretti

Sonya Zeater

Rose Lichaa

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

Back to Top

Community Notices

The Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Women's Shelter Annual Gala Dinner

Date: Sat 15 August 2015, 7pm
Venue: Hornsby RSL
Tickets: $65

Further information

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}