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21 November 2014

From the Principal

Last Friday evening it was a joy to see the Class of 2014 and their parents enjoying themselves at the Formal. The girls were very relaxed after completing their examinations and both parents and staff were delighted to be able to enjoy the evening with them. It was interesting to note the kind of music they danced to - I am sure I heard some tunes that have been around for a long time and saw some very old favourite dances. We wish the girls every success and look forward to sharing their HSC results with them.

On Monday evening the Parents and Friends Association held their Annual General Meeting. I want to express my thanks to the outgoing Committee members who have worked so hard in organizing and coordinating events during the past year: Mrs Julie Essey, President, Mr Damian Piggott, Vice President, Mrs Karen Farrell, Secretary, Mr Darren Lincoln, Treasurer, Ms Christa Silvia, Social Coordinator, and Mrs Margie Drake, Parent Support Network Coordinator. Special thanks to Mrs Julie Essey who has been a regular contributor to the P&F over the last six years. They have been generously assisted by many other parents at Open Day, the Welcome Barbecue, the International Teachers’ Day Morning Tea, the Dinner Dance and the Second Hand Book Sales. As a school we appreciate being able to work in partnership with parents, to build relationships which ultimately ensure the best possible outcomes for your daughters. I encourage parents to become involved in P&F events, even if you are unable to commit to meetings or take on positions of responsibility. I look forward to working with the incoming Executive.

At this time of the year teachers are busily preparing student reports while, at the same time, planning for end-of-year events and preparing for 2015. It is a very busy time in schools, although often people ask are we “winding down”. I think a better description would be “winding up” to the end of the year. I encourage girls to get involved in the various activities and make the most of all the opportunities available to them. I look forward to seeing parents also at the different events.

This week I have been reminded a number of times of how much we take our health for granted. There are families in our community for whom chronic illness is an ever present part of their lives. Sr Joan Chittister, a well know Benedictine theologian, has reflected on her own experience of ill health as a child, and the vulnerability that comes with admitting our need to rely on others to help us. As I share this brief reflection I ask you to keep in your prayers those who live with ill health and those who support family members and friends through ill health.

The poor and the sick
are those who demonstrate

the secret sickness in us all.

In helping them,
we merit help for ourselves
when we are finally ready
to admit our deep needs,
our great gaping wound of soul,
our desire to be fed,
to be loved,
to be helped,
to be made whole.

We are all in this together,
simply waiting for the other
to carry us along.

(J. Chittister, God Speaks in Many Tongues, p35)

Mrs Maria Pearson

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Mission News

Last weekend, many of the leaders of the world’s largest economies gathered in Brisbane for the G20 Summit. There was considerable media coverage of this event but there was very interesting aspect of the summit which received only passing comment from the Australian media.

On the occasion of the summit Pope Francis had sent a letter to Prime Minister Tony Abbot calling for the proceedings to lead to real improvements in living conditions of the poor, reduction of inequality and in particular, to show solidarity and generosity to refugees.

"I would ask the G20 Heads of State and Government not to forget that many lives are at stake behind these political and technical discussions, and it would indeed be regrettable if such discussions were to remain purely on the level of declarations of principle," said Pope Francis.

"Throughout the world, the G20 countries included, there are far too many women and men suffering from severe malnutrition, a rise in the number of the unemployed, an extremely high percentage of young people without work and an increase in social exclusion which can lead to criminal activity and even the recruitment of terrorists. In addition, there are constant assaults on the natural environment, the result of unbridled consumerism, and this will have serious consequences for the world economy."

Read the full text of Pope Francis’ letter.

Some of the media reports about this letter suggested that the Pope was meddling in politics and commented on the lack of a spiritual message in the letter. These type of criticisms are often made when religious leaders challenge political representatives on aspects of their policies and how they affect people. These connections between faith and the lives of people are at the heart of Catholic social teaching and they are fundamental to the Christian mission of bringing about the Reign of God. The tensions that often arise in these discussions are well illustrated in the famous saying of the late Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Camara who said “If I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. If I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist”.

As this newsletter is published we are rapidly approaching the end of the school year. It is now only a little over one week until our Christmas Hampers will be collected ready for distribution. The hampers will be collected on Monday 1 December in preparation for Hamper Delivery Day on Saturday 6 December. Over the past weeks Homerooms have been collecting non-perishable items to contribute to Christmas hampers for families in need. Once again this year we are working in partnership with Josephite Community Aid (JCA) to ensure that our service of providing material assistance to families in need can continue.

Each Homeroom has received shopping bags and students have been asked to bring in suitable, non-perishable items to make up the hamper. The families who receive our hampers will hopefully see it as a reminder that they are not alone, despite the difficulty of their circumstances. We encourage all our families to help out by sending items in with their daughters over the next few days.

Some items that would be suitable for our hampers include:

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

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

Mr Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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College News

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Student Travel

Travelling to School

If any student needs to change the way she travels to school, she will only be able to do this in the first five weeks of Term One and Term Three. Transport forms may be collected from Student Services and must be returned by the end of term.

Hillsbus Amendments to Current Timetable

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

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

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

Representative Sport

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


NSW CCC Website:

Broken Bay Wet Weather Line: 9990 3633

Representative Sports Calendar - Term Four


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


Broken Bay Championships
Monday 1 December
MSB Representative Team

MSB Surf Lifesaving

All students selected into the Surf Lifesaving team have been emailed permission notes which are due on Wednesday. There are still some places available in the U13 swim, sprint and flag events, please contact Mrs Grant immediately if you are interested.

The Broken Bay Carnival will be held at Terrigal Beach with parental transport required.

Ellyse Perry to speak at Sports Assembly Presentation

We are thrilled to announce that Ellyse Perry will be our 2014 Sports Assembly Guest Speaker.

Ellyse Perry is the rarest of athletes, excelling at football and cricket as a dual international.

  • SOCCER - currently plays for Sydney FC (with Natalie Tobin, Class of 2014) and is a Matilda
  • CRICKET - Just last week Ellyse was named Player of the Match when Australia played against the West Indies.

She has achieved all of this at just 24 years of age and has also balanced this with a fulfilling personal life, becoming recently engaged.

We look forward to hearing from her about how you can achieve excellence across multiple domains with hard work.

Our annual Sports Presentation Assembly will take place on Wednesday 26 November at 9.40am in the College Hall. Students who have gained selection into a MSB Representative Sports Team will be presented with a Representative Sport Medal. Parents are most welcome.

Big Skip Final

Congratulations to our 2015 Sports Portfolio for running another successful Big Skip event. This started as a Sports Portfolio initiative in 2009 and has now become a strongly supported fun annual event complete with a perpetual trophy and all!

This year Whitney Skirka of Year 9 won a hotly contested final and will receive her award at next Wednesday's Sports Presentation Assembly.


Congratulations to Emily Boffa, Year 10, who won a gold medal in her division at the NSW State Artistic Figure Skating competition held at Canterbury Ice rink last weekend.

Mrs Karen Grant
Representative Sport Coordinator

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Co-curricular Sport

Parramatta Touch Competition

After ten rounds the Parramatta District Junior Touch Competition began their final series on Wednesday. MSB has had a great season with six out of nine teams qualifying for Semi Finals.

The Under 17 girls Semi Final was always going to see MSB progress to the Grand Final with MSB 5 competing against MSB 6. The Year 10 girls from MSB 5 came away as winners and will play in the Grand Final next Wednesday evening.

In the Under 15 girls we had three games to contest and MSB 7, MSB 8 and MSB 9 played with great enthusiasm. Congratulations to MSB 7 who won their game to progress to the Grand Final.

The Year 7 girls of MSB 11 have been undefeated in the Under 13 competition and kept their record intact with a great win in their Semi Final.

We wish all three teams the best of luck in their Grand Finals next Wednesday. The games are at Doyle Ground, North Parramatta with the Under 15 girls at 5.00pm, Under 13 girls at 5.45pm and Under 17 girls at 6.30pm. Supporters are invited to come along and cheer on the teams.

Loreto Touch Competition

This Saturday is Grand Final day for MSB 16 in the Junior A division of the competition. The game is at 8.00am at Pymble Ladies College and we encourage family and friends to come along to support the team.

The teams in the Intermediate and Senior Divisions play the last games of their rounds this week, with the top two teams on the ladders progressing to play in the Grand Finals next week. We wish these teams all the best, with a few in the running to finish in the top two positions.

Mrs Rebecca Lewis
Co-curricular Sport Coordinator

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P & F News

P&F Committee 2015

Welcome to the incoming P&F Executive: Mr Damian Piggott, President, Mr Francis Bindschedler, Vice President, Mrs Karen Farrell, Secretary, Mr Greg Smith, Treasurer, Ms Christa Silvia, Social Coordinator, and Mrs Margie Drake, Parent Support Network Coordinator. Mrs Vicki McClure will also assist with Social Events.

Dates for your diary:

  • GENERAL MEETING - 9 Mar, 1 Jun, 10 Aug


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 24 November






Therese Davies

Kym Lamb

Angela Hatcher

Lisa Emmett

Melinda Wilkes

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

Thank you to all of our wonderful volunteers who have given their time this year. If you would like to volunteer for next year's roster please submit the Canteen Volunteer form.


Mrs Melissa Arane
Canteen Manager

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Community Notices

Fundraiser for MSB Ex-student

In November 2013, MSB Class of '91 ex-student Sarah-Jane Staszak (nèe Elvin) went into Royal North Shore Hospital to undergo a ‘routine’ operation on a bulging disc in her neck. Unfortunately, she came out of that operation a quadriplegic.

A large network of family and friends are organising a fundraising evening to support SJ’s ongoing treatment and rehabilitation and are inviting support from MSB ex-students and current families.

Read more about SJ’s story or

visit the GIVE IT UP FOR SJ website

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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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