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20 November 2015


From the Principal

This week our focus was on Mission Week, as we reminded ourselves of the needs of others in the world, with a particular emphasis on the ministries of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan with whom we are partners. Girls had the opportunity to engage in a range of activities in solidarity with our House partners. The emphasis of our partnerships is the building of relationships, and an important part of doing that is for us to familiarise ourselves with the issues facing the Sisters and the people they serve in the various communities. In this way we can then respond to their needs in ways which are helpful to the particular community. I want to thank Mrs Dempsey, House Coordinators, House Captains and Ambassadors and all the Social Justice Portfolio who helped out during the week as well as students who took the time to participate.

College Uniform

Students and parents are reminded of the College uniform requirements. Students are required to be in full school uniform every day until the end of the year (except where special arrangements are in place). This includes the usual attention to details such as no nail polish, no jewellery apart from the usually allowed pieces, no make-up, no hair colour. I ask parents to assist us in ensuring that girls’ uniforms are correct.

Teachers are busily preparing student reports at the moment. Before term ends all academic reports will be posted. It is a particularly busy time of the year and a time when there are a number of events being planned which require the cooperation of students with staff. I encourage all students to involve themselves in the many events and come along to support the efforts of the organisers, both staff and students.

This week we have been reminded yet again of the vulnerability of our world to those who would incite and perpetrate violence. Every week innocent lives are lost in many different parts of the world and we see daily the reports of people displaced from their homes by war, terrorism and other acts of violence. In the face of such tragedy we pray for peace, which seems beyond our reach, although we know that anything is possible with the grace of God:

Prayer for Peace

We pray for peace:
In times of tragedy from acts of unspeakable evil;
For those in distress;
For those who mourn and grieve;
For those who struggle to bring relief, help and healing;
For those whose hearts are darkened and desire to hurt others;
For ourselves, overwhelmed and feeling inadequate.
In times of tragedy we turn to you, O God,
May we know the joy of hearing your voice
And the comfort of your Spirit.

Maria Pearson

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Bennies Buzz

The latest Bennies Buzz is now available for viewing.

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Mission News

This week we have held our Mission Week focus at the College. This annual event provides an opportunity for us to learn more about the House Partnerships we have with the ministries of the Sisters of the Good Samaritan in the island nation of Kiribati, in Timor Leste, in the Philippines and with the Mater Dei School at Narellan. Our House Ambassadors, together with House Coordinators and our Social Justice Portfolio have worked hard to present a range of interesting and informative experiences for our students to increase our awareness and look at how we can be of practical assistance to the work of these ministries.

At the same time, our Christmas Hamper drive continues through our homerooms and we are currently working through the organisation of our Hamper Delivery Day on Saturday 5 December. We have received offers of help from over 120 of our students, families and staff and we expect to have approximately 55 vehicles involved in delivering hampers. Last week information notes were sent concerning Working With Children checks for our parent volunteers and an information and permission note was also distributed. Please check with your daughter or contact me at if there is any further information needed.

The outstanding response to our appeal for volunteers with our Christmas Hampers is good indication of the generous enthusiasm shown by our students, their families and our staff for the many service opportunities provided through the College. We regard it as one of the strengths of our College community and it is certainly an aspect that goes directly to our core ethos of the Gospel and the tradition of the Good Samaritan.

Each year we review our service learning work and for 2016 we have decided to further strengthen our approach by providing a clear framework where all our students in Year 10 and Year 11 will be able to undertake a significant period of service in the course of each year. On Wednesday 25 November we will be providing information to our current Year 9 and Year 10 students to outline the new approach and to set out the range of opportunities that will be provided through the College for each of these year groups.

We will be asking each student in Year 10 to complete 25 hours of service in their chosen area and Year 11 students will be asked to complete 20 hours of service. These periods of service will be supported by induction and briefing sessions as well as a strong emphasis on debriefing to allow students to reflect carefully on their experience. Students will have the opportunity to choose from service opportunities provided through the College or to propose suitable avenues of service through their own networks or contacts.

As we approach the final weeks of term it is timely to remind people of some significant community events coming up. Our annual Carols on the Mount evening will take place on Tuesday 1 December in the College Hall from 7.00pm. Presentation Day will take place at Hornsby RSL Club on Thursday 3 December between 10.00am and Midday. Finally, our Thanksgiving Eucharist will take place in the College Hall on Friday 4 December at 9.00am. Parents are warmly invited to join us on any of these occasions.

Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

Writing Competition

Congratulations to Gillian Diekman of Year 11 who has won a mystery writing competition which was organised by the Children's Bookshop in Beecroft.

Writers were invited to submit the beginning of a mystery story (the first 300 words) which grabs the reader's attention, offers an introduction to a great setting and introduces some interesting characters. 

Gillian's story titled 'Leo's Grandfather' successfully fulfilled these criteria:

Leo’s grandfather had once told him that if he was ever on the run, duck into a department store, for it was always so impossibly busy you’d get lost in the darned crowd without even trying.

So now here Leo was, in one of those gigantic stores on Regent Street, trying to hide in public. Shoppers filled each floor and he thought he'd managed pretty well in losing himself while concealing his nerves. As an extra precaution he strode - as well as one can stride in a crowd - to the men's department and bought a new suit and hat on the spot. In a change room he left his current grey suit, now bloody, and quickly transferred the contents of his pockets.

Wearing the black suit once he left the store, Leo jammed on a hat and fished his reading glasses out of a pocket. Sure, it made the street awfully blurry and he wasn't quite certain if that was a fire hydrant or a street lamp he'd just collided with, but any disguise was safer in the long run.

As he made his way past white Georgian buildings extending round the curve, Leo signalled a taxi. Only when seated did he have time to really think, and his thoughts flew back to the sounds which had replayed endlessly in his mind since he’d first heard them: the crack of a pistol, the clatter as it dropped to the floor, and fuzzing black dots descending over his vision once he realised he’d been shot.

When Leo relaxed the muscles in his leg he wished he’d kept something of the old suit to use as a tourniquet. Blood, while less visible on black material, was nonetheless seeping from the wound, staining the taxi seat.

Kylie Holmes

Head of English

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College News

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Mackays Booklists and College purchased lists for 2016 now available

All Booklists and College purchased digital and book resources are now available to be viewed on the Parent and Student portals of the College Website.

Mackays Book List orders can be placed online at: .

Alternatively the Booklist can be printed and returned to Student Services by 2.00pm on Wednesday 2 December.

College Purchased resources will be provided to students on their return to the College for the 2016 school year. Many of these resources are digital and log on details will be emailed to students.

Sharon McGowan
IRC Coordinator

Opal Cards for School Travel

More than 420,000 school students will be provided with an Opal Card at the start of the 2016 school year so they can travel for free between home and school while accessing the ease and simplicity of the Opal electronic ticketing system.

The School Opal Card will be for travel within the Opal footprint covering schools and students travelling on public transport across Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Hunter, Illawarra and Southern Highlands.

“We have more than 2,000 schools from the Public, Catholic and Independent sectors in the metropolitan and outer metropolitan areas whose students will be able to use an Opal Card on trains, buses and ferries to get from home to school,” Mr Piccoli said. “To make it easier for families, students who have a paper school pass this year will automatically be issued with an Opal Card at their school from the start of term in 2016.”

Some parents and students will need to apply online for their School Opal Card, which will be delivered in 2016. This includes parents who have children starting at kindergarten, moving from Year 2 to 3, starting high school, changing school or changing their address next year.

Parents and students who need to apply for a School Opal Card can go to the website

Brochures are available from Student Services.

Amendments to Bus Timetable

Commencing Monday 23 November, Hillsbus advises that the 3606, Castle Hill via Coonara, will now depart the College from Beecroft Road at 3.38pm.

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Representative Sport

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term Four


Australian KO Championships
Monday 7 December


BBSSSA Championships
Tuesday 24 November
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.

Pacific School Games

We are very excited to have two of our students Caitlin Walsh (Year 8 – Swimming) and Shannyn Bissett (Year 9 – Touch) competing at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide over the next nine days.

We wish the girls good luck with their performances and look forward to hearing about their experiences when they return.

Sports Presentation Assembly

Our annual Sports Presentation Assembly will be held next week on Wednesday 25 November at 9.40am. Parents and family members are most welcome. Any student who gained selection into a Representative Sports team in 2015 will receive a medal and should have received an invitation this week in Homeroom.

We are pleased to announce that Michelle Daley will be our 2015 Sports Assembly guest speaker.

Michelle is an ex MSB student and then returned as PDHPE Coordinator in the late 1990s. Whilst young and fit playing AFL one day she fell and badly injured her liver resulting in not one but two emergency liver transplants!!

She now competes in the Transplant Games and has won multiple gold medals for Australia in Athletics and Swimming and set many records at the World Transplant Games.

At the 2014 Australian Transplant Games in Melbourne, she also competed in Cycling and Volleyball as well as Swimming and Athletics and was awarded the trophy for the 'Athlete of the Games' based on overall performances.

The venue for next year’s Australian Games is Sydney.

Michelle’s story is a unique and interesting one that shows how sometimes you get to an elite level in a totally unexpected way.

The College ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ Awards for each year group will also be presented at this Assembly.

Good Luck

To the MSB students competing in Tennis and Surf Lifesaving next week.

Mrs Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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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 November






Lanie Fabian

Sharon Bradford

Kym Lamb

Katie Breatnach


Pipina Varkas

Trish D'Amico


Teena Vicaretti

Sonya Zeater

Rose Lichaa

** Additional volunteers are most welcome **

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

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Community Notices

Good Sams Foundation

Download the Good Sams Fundraiser Form here

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