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20 February 2015

From the Principal

This week we marked the beginning of Lent with Ash Wednesday ceremonies. We were reminded of our need to take time to reflect on our lives and turn away from aspects of our lives which separate us from our God. I want to thank the staff and students who spent so much time preparing so that each of us was able to have a prayerful experience. We were encouraged to 'give up', 'take up' and 'link up' - things which would help us lead more meaningful lives.

Traditionally Lent has been seen as a time of 'giving up' something. We should also see it as a time for 'turning to' activities which help us to focus our lives on the person of Christ - we could choose to take time to spend with someone we know who needs companionship, we could choose to spend more time in prayer, we could choose to be particularly conscious of helping someone we might normally ignore. There are so many ways in which we can be reminded of the need to look beyond ourselves to the needs of others. As we focus on hospitality this year, we are especially aware of others and our responsibility to ensure that we celebrate and welcome the uniqueness of each individual.

At Assembly this week we were also reminded that International Women’s Day is celebrated each year on March 8, which is the College Open Day this year.  While there have been many gains achieved for women over the past fifty years, and women certainly have many more choices now than in previous generations, particularly in the developed world, there are millions of women around the world who face daily challenges - sometimes to survive, to feed their families, to provide shelter, to give their children an education. This is in addition to those who suffer violence and abuse. We have much to be thankful for but also much that still needs to happen to ensure that women the world over have the opportunities and rights enjoyed by men. As a College we hope to empower our young women so that they can be agents of change for themselves and for those without a voice.

Years 8 and 9 students were able to enjoy a dance this week with students from Marist College Eastwood. I am sure they were all grateful for the work that went into organizing this event by our student leaders, in conjunction with the leaders from Marist College. Thanks also to those staff who gave up their time on Friday evening to supervise.

Maria Pearson

Mission News

This week saw our commemoration of Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Season of Lent. Our community gathered in House groups to share in the ceremony of ashes to mark the beginning of this important period of repentance and renewal. Our liturgy comprised of a number of stations located in different areas of the school where students were invited to reflect and pray about various themes such as repentance and forgiveness, love and commitment, temptation and change etc. Each station was hosted by one of our House Ambassadors with various groups of students contributing elements such as music, dance, art and drama. Some stations called for active participation while other invited quiet prayer and reflection.

The final part of our liturgy was the ashes rite where we were marked with the sign of the cross on our foreheads and challenged to turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel. Our response of 'amen' is the confirmation of our commitment to meeting this challenge as we move through the Season of Lent.

Lent is our time of preparation for the great feast of Easter. During this important time we are called to reflect seriously on our lives and to ensure that the spiritual dimension is not pushed to the background with the pressure of daily life. The season of Lent allows us an opportunity to look at our lives, to reassess our priorities and to make sure that our energies and our actions go towards things that are of lasting value and those that are of service to one another.

There are a number of visible signs that go with the season of Lent. For Ash Wednesday the visible sign was the mark of ashes that we received on our forehead. There are also the physical acts of self-denial which many of us will take up during Lent. Indeed, one of the things that Catholics commonly speak about is the idea of giving up something for Lent. These visible signs and physical actions are important, but they are also just a means to an end. They are a mechanism to encourage us to look at our lives and to set out to change ourselves for the better.

In our Mount St Benedict community we will endeavour to keep the call to conversion before us in the coming weeks. We will use our prayer together, our reflection and our invitations to serve as ways of ensuring that we make the most of this opportunity for renewal.

Next week, as we continue our observance of Lent we will have a particular focus on Caritas and our response to those in need. Various activities will be offered in class, and at lunch time, as well as before and after school. Early in the morning of Thursday 26 February we will have a representative group of students and staff undertake a trek to express solidarity with people in the majority world who have to undertake a daily excursion to obtain water for their homes. These are mostly women and frequently they have to walk long distances on a daily basis. On Monday 2 March we will hold a forum for our Year 7 and 8 students on the theme of refugees and asylum seekers. This forum is being organised by Year 10 students for the younger students and will include a presentation from a young Iranian woman who courageously made her way to Australia as a teenager, has just completed her HSC and is about to begin her undergraduate studies in Psychology.

Next week on 23 February we also hold our Year 7 Reflection Day where all of our Year 7 students travel to St Benedict’s Parish at Arcadia for a day of prayer, reflection and community building activities. The focus of this day is the Good Samaritan and Benedictine heritage of our community and the God given gifts that each one of us brings to the community.

Mr Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

Ancient History News: 
Sophocles - “Success is dependent on effort”

On Tuesday 3 February Chloe Saker (HSC Class 2014) was presented with the prestigious Alexander Award by the Australian Hellenic Educators Association for her outstanding performance in HSC Ancient History.

Chloe ranked 7th in the state for Ancient History with a score of 98%. Amongst the four fascinating topics MSB Ancient History students were examined on was the Greek Bronze Age society of the Minoans.

The MSB community and especially the History Faculty would like to congratulate Chloe on her supreme efforts in the pursuit of excellence and on her well-deserved achievement.

Nina Selvaggi
Head of Department

Society and Culture - Nan Tien Temple Visit

On Wednesday 11 February, the two Year 12 Society and Culture classes stayed overnight at the Nan Tien Temple as part of our HSC study of Buddhism. This spectacular temple astounded us upon arrival and once we checked in we got straight into the Buddhist life. This included watching a drum and bell ceremony and participating in a traditional Buddhist meditation, which proved surprisingly difficult to some of us. Later that day we learnt about important values such as mindfulness, generosity and compassion through the tea ceremony, as well as learning about how to make delicious tea.

The early wake up the next morning was challenging but it allowed us to watch a traditional Buddhist morning chant and participate in Tai Chi.  Being able to participate in these activities has allowed us to gain a better understanding of the nature of Buddhism in Australia. Talks from Monks and Reverends also taught us about how issues such as globalisation, ethics and gender equality effect the daily life of a Buddhist monk.

Overall, we found our visit to the Nan Tien Temple a rewarding experience which will definitely enhance our studies as well as our social and cultural literacy.

Lucy Hatcher and Kate Bradshaw
Year 12 Society and Culture Students


Gabrielle Keats

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College News

From the Fees Desk

The first term’s fees are now due.

If the College holds a Direct Debit Authority to deduct payments automatically from your Bank Account or Credit Card the first instalments have now been processed.

Direct Debit Authorities remain in force until the College receives notification in writing. New authorities can be downloaded from the College website, sub heading Enrolments, Fees.

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

Fiona Barnett
Fees Administrator

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Representative Sport

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


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

NSW CCC Website:

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term One


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


Tuesday 10 March


MSB Swimming Carnival - SOPAC
Wednesday 25 February

BBSSSA Championships - SOPAC
Monday 23 March
MSB Representative Team


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


NSW Cricket Selections - Bankstown
Thursday 26 February
Self Nominated students - see NSW CCC website
Nominations close 26 MAR 2015


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


NSW CCC Selections - Parramatta
Monday 2 March
Self Nominated students - see NSW CCC website
Nominations close 23 FEB 2015

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

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

Representative Sport Trials and Training

TRIATHLON - Tuesday 24 February (lunchtime D101) - optional meeting for triathletes, particularly those who have not competed before.

BASKETBALL - Wednesday 25 February - training in the Hall at lunchtime.

NSW CCC Softball

Congratulations to Erin Morley Y12, Jessica Tong Y10, Hannah Breytenbach Y9, Natalie Tong Y8, Blaise Stafford-Gaffney Y8 and Caitlin Wilde Y8 who represented Broken Bay at the NSW CCC Softball Championships on Tuesday.

A full report will appear in next week's newsletter.

Broken Bay Touch Championships

Our first Representative Athletes were in action this week at the Broken Bay Touch Championships on Monday at Manly. We faced very competitive teams on a hot day with our Senior team making the quarter finals and our Intermediates team bringing home silver medals!.

Many thanks to Mrs McGregor for stepping in to coach the U15 team on the day and Mrs Hickey for her lead up work with that team.

Congratulations to Capri Vidler (Y9), Shannyn Bissett (Y9) and Julia Zubak (Y9) who were named in the U15 Broken Bay team which will compete at the NSW CCC Championships in Term 2 (Georgia Dean (Y9) named as a shadow player for that team) and to Tammy McGregor and Abi Shepherd from Y10 who were selected into the Open Broken Bay Team.

Thanks once again to the many parents in attendance who offered assistance with first aid, tent pegging and assistant coaching on the opposite wing.

Good luck to all of the MSB girls attending the NSW Junior State Cup in Port Macquarie this weekend.

Here are the coaches reports from the day -


We were a very young team with multiple players gaining selection into a Representative MSB team for the first time. To their credit, these less experienced players learnt quickly from any errors and improved greatly throughout the day. Although we only made the quarter finals this year there were glimpses of some great work in both attack and defence and with many of this team available for selection for two more years the future certainly looks bright.

The girls worked very hard in the heat with a team of only ten and it was nice to see students from different year groups developing good friendships.

Back Row: Tianna Raad, Tamaryn McGregor, Sonja Jeffery, Brianna Barr, Abigael Shepherd, Ellen McGurk
Front Row: Whitney Skirka, Georgia Emerton, Olivia Taylor, Charlotte Folkard
Pictured Left to Right


Congratulations to the MSB U’15’s Touch team consisting of Capri, Claudia, Courtney, Elise, Georgia, Jesse, Julia, Kassidy, Lindsay, Maddie, Renee and Shannyn, who were Silver Medal recipients at the Broken Bay Touch Gala Day on Monday. The girls play was outstanding throughout the day, moving through their pool games undefeated without a try being scored against them. Following on from a tight Semi Final, the girls progressed to the Grand Final, however in very hot conditions on this occasion they were defeated. All in all, this is a team of very talented young touch players and a group to watch out for in the future.

It was a pleasure to coach the team and watch them play together as a strong unit with enthusiasm, commitment and great team spirit. The girls should be very proud of their effort and achievements.

Special thanks to the parents who assisted and supported the team and staff on the day.

Back Row: Jesse Smith, Maddison Gardoni, Kassidy Grant, Shannyn Bissett, Julia Zubak, Renee Khamis, Lindsay Mills
Front Row: Capri Vidler, Claudia McKenzie, Georgia Dean, Elise Bond, Courtney Harkin
(Pictured Left to Right)


The MSB Swimming Carnival coordinated by Mrs Lewis will be held next week on Wednesday 25 February.

MSB Carnival Wednesday 25 February

Students who signed up for the 200IM event held early in the morning before the Carnival starts have received an email and will need to catch the early bus to the Carnival, leaving the College at 8.00am. Please be at school by 7.45am. Should you wish to travel directly to the Carnival with your parents a note to Mrs Lewis signed by a parent needs to be handed in by Monday 23 February.

Broken Bay Carnival Monday 23 March

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

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

NSW CCC Carnival Monday 4 May

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

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

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

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

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

NSW All Schools Carnival Monday 18 May

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

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 ALL SCHOOLS Distance Nomination Form (long course times only) and available on the CCC website 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 this carnival. Please see the NSW CCC website if you are a multi class athlete.

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

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


12 / 13 / 14 yrs 


15 / 16 yrs 


17 yrs and over

Referees and Umpired needed

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

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

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

Good Luck

To our numerous Representative Triathletes and our Senior Representative Basketballers who will compete next week.

Student Achievement

Congratulations to Celina Chen (Y10) who will represent NSW at the U17 Australasian Badminton Championships in Melbourne in April.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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Co-curricular Sport

MSB Swimming Carnival

The annual MSB Swimming Carnival is next Wednesday 25 February. The Carnival is held at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, Homebush. Parents are invited to attend. There is no entry costs for spectators and parking tickets can be validated at the pool entry desk for free parking.

Swimming Carnival - Important Information

Swimming Carnival Program

Rebecca Lewis
Co-curricular Sports Coordinator


Macquarie University is the second of the tertiary institutions to be highlighted. UNSW can be found in the Careers section of last weeks newsletter.

Macquarie is renowned for its interdisciplinary research and teaching, highly skilled graduates and first-class facilities.

In fact, CEOs around the world rank us in the top five Australian universities for their graduate recruitment.

Macquarie was awarded five stars in the international QS Stars rating system for its performance in:

  • graduate employability
  • teaching
  • research
  • facilities
  • innovation
  • internationalisation
  • access
  • specialist subjects

A key part of Macquarie's unique learning environment is PACE, an initiative that provides opportunities for students to apply what they are learning within their degree in real-life organisations and environments. Such experiences help Macquarie students develop communication, leadership, professional, and interpersonal skills, which greatly improves their career prospects.

Future Students

Advice for Parents

Parent FAQs


Lucy Elgood
Careers Advisor

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P & F News


The College Open Day will be held on Sunday 8 March and the P&F are looking for volunteers for the Refreshments table and the Caritas BBQ. The P&F are also asking for donations for the refreshments table.

If you can assist please download the OPEN DAY VOLUNTEER FORM and return it to the P&F Box at Student Services by Thursday 5 March.

Please direct any queries to Christa Silvia via email


MSBESA (Mount St Benedict Ex-students Association)  Meeting

Please join the ex-students association for their next upcoming meeting:


Monday 2 March  

 Who's invited:

 Alumni (Ex-students)


 6.30pm ** new start time **


 College Boardroom

Look forward to seeing you there.

Michelle Blackman

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The Canteen opens daily from 8.00am to 2.00pm.

MY STUDENT ACCOUNT - Cashless Canteen

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

Canteen Roster for the week commencing Monday 23 February






Lanie Fabian

Sharon Bradford


Katie Breatnach

Eunjin Susanna Park

Pipina Varkas

Trish D'Amico

Teena Vicaretti

Sonya Zeater

Rose Lichas

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

Volunteers are not required on WEDNESDAY 25 FEBRUARY - SWIMMING CARNIVAL.

Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager

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

Phone:  02 9980 0444
02 9484 4911

General enquiries

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