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23 October 2015


From the Principal

Once again the College has had outstanding success in the National Future Problem Solving Competition, as a result of which the Year 9 Community Problem Solving team has been invited to compete in the World Finals next year, along with at least two of our individual competitors. What a wonderful result and well deserved for students and teachers alike. Congratulations to Mrs Gail Davey for her work with the winning team, and to all the staff who give their time so generously to allow the girls to have these opportunities.

On the same weekend a number of students competed in the AHIGS (Association of Heads of Independent Girls’ Schools) Festival of Speech, with the Current Affairs team placing third against very strong competition. I want to congratulate all the girls who gave their time on Saturday to represent the College, and their parents who accompanied them. Many thanks to Ms Kelly Heaton who supported the girls in their preparation and performances. The ability to speak, present and debate in front of an audience is very important as the girls move through their secondary years and also in many workplaces today, so it is great to see girls becoming involved in this way.

The Creative and Performing Arts Showcase on Tuesday evening enabled students to demonstrate their performance skills and from all reports was most entertaining. Unfortunately I was not able to be in attendance this year, which was disappointing as I always enjoy viewing the artworks and seeing the musical, dance and drama prowess of our students. I have had glowing reports on the quality of the artworks, music, dance and drama performances – congratulations to all those students who have worked to develop their skills and to the CAPA staff who have supported them in their learning – Mr Peter Watters, Ms Susan Webber, Miss Laura Sheehan, Ms Jacqueline Saunders, Mrs Gaby Keats, Mrs Sonia Barnett, Ms Nicola Murray and Mrs Therese O’Kane.

Year 9 students commence their examinations next week. Over the years the girls have been introduced to various strategies to assist them in preparing for exams and I am sure that they have been implementing study plans over the last couple of weeks. It is good for students to have the opportunity to review and revise the work they have done during the year – this helps to ensure that their learning is consolidated and becomes part of their underlying knowledge and understanding of their various subjects, which will form a solid platform for further learning in the future.

On Monday November 9 the AGM of the Parents and Friends Association will be held.  This is an early reminder to parents – put this date in your diary and come along to hear about plans for 2016.  Remember: the P&F at MSB is not a fundraising body – rather it is about community building and developing the amenities of the College for the benefit of our girls.

Joy in Giving

Make us ever eager, Lord,
to share the good things that we have.
Grant us such of measure
of Your Spirit that we may find
more joy in giving than in getting.
Make us ready to give
cheerfully without grudging,
secretly without praise,
and in sincerity
without looking for gratitude,
for Jesus’ sake.

(John Hunter in A Pocket Book of Prayers , 2004, p58)

Maria Pearson

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Mission News

Currently in Rome two Australian Bishops, along with two hundred and seventy seven other Bishops from around the world, are gathered with Pope Francis for the XIV Synod of Bishops on the topic of the vocation and the mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world.

The Synod began on Sunday 4 October and will conclude this coming Sunday 25 October. The two Australian Bishops participating in the Synod are Archbishop Mark Coleridge of Brisbane and Bishop Eugene Hurley of Darwin. Following three distinct phases the Synod seeks first to become familiar with the current situation for families including the current social-cultural contexts and pastoral challenges. It then moves on to reflect on the message of the Gospel in relation to the vocation of family life. Finally it seeks to respond to a range of particular pastoral perspectives including, among others, the areas of marriage preparation, support for couples in the early years of marriage, pastoral care for those who are married outside the Church or are living in de-facto relationships, care of those who are separated or divorced, those who have remarried, single parent families and those living in same sex relationships.

To help Australians engage with the Synod process the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference has created a series of videos that explain what a Synod is and describe the processes involved. Seven Synod videos, each one no longer than two minutes in duration, are available to view and share via the ACBC Synod portal: . There is also a blog which has been running during the Synod process titled, ‘On the Road Together’: .

Over the next few weeks Homeroom groups at MSB will begin collecting non-perishable items to contribute to Christmas hampers for families in need. This Hamper Drive has been a prominent part of our College life for over 30 years now and we look forward to continuing our commitment in 2015.  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 will receive shopping bags and students are invited 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. Christmas can be a particularly stressful time when resources are stretched to the limit. Our aim is to provide some simple staple items to help take some pressure off the family finances and free up some money to allow people to buy the things we all take for granted such as gifts for children and special Christmas foods we all enjoy.

Representatives of JCA will come to the College on Monday 30 November to collect our donations and put them into storage in preparation for their delivery on Saturday 5 December. Hamper Delivery Day will commence at 8.00am with a BBQ breakfast before volunteers are organised to set out with deliveries. We are keen to hear from students and parents who might like to be involved with our Hamper Delivery Day. Students will have the opportunity to sign up through Homerooms and this will also allow them to indicate if a parent is able to accompany them on the day. Permission notes and information sheets will be sent to those who put their names down. In the interim, please feel free to contact me if you would like to have more information at this stage.

Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

North Queensland Geography Experience

At the start of the Term Three study break, twenty-five students and three teachers travelled to Cairns for the North Queensland Geography Experience. The five day trip was packed with snorkelling, exploring the Daintree Rainforest, learning about marine life and roaming through Cairns.

After a three hour flight, we attended a lecture and learnt about some of the amazing marine life and fun facts of the Great Barrier Reef. The lecture was a very important foundation for the trip.

The second day was spent on Fitzroy Island, where we had the opportunity to snorkel and visit the Turtle Rehabilitation Centre. Snorkelling and sitting along the Fitzroy Island beaches was an awesome start to this amazing trip.

The following day we had two relaxing hours on a catamaran taking us to the ‘Outer Barrier Reef’. At Hasting’s Reef we had two more hours to swim and snorkel in the crystal clear water off the back of the boat. This was truly a once in a life time experience to see the diversity and beauty of the Great Barrier Reef with our school friends. The experience cannot adequately be described in words.

Another hour brought us to Michaelmas Cay, which is a sand island surrounded by picturesque reefs and an amazing beach, where we were able to see more turtles, stingrays, a vast range of fish, giants clams and even sharks! Everyone agrees that this day was definitely a highlight and an unforgettable experience.

The final full day consisted of hunting for our lunch along the coast with members of the Kuku Yalanji (the Indigenous community north of Cairns) and exploring the Daintree Rainforest.

Overall the trip was an incredible experience that has given both the Year 10s and Year 11s memories that we will never forget and has provided valuable information for Senior Geography. A massive thank you to the teachers, Dr Batten, Mrs Forbes and Miss Sheehan, who helped organise and made the trip such a great success.

Sarah-Jane Eades, Year 11

Dr Paul Batten
Senior Geography Teacher

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Stage 5 Dance Excursion to Sydney Dance Company

On Thursday 8 October, the Year 9 and 10 Dance classes ventured into the city to attend a workshop at Sydney Dance Company and watch a performance called ‘Triptych’ choreographed by the company’s Artistic Director, Rafael Bonachela.

The Workshop began with a warm up to loosen up our muscles so we would be warm and ready to dance. We partnered up and learnt a small section of a duet from the work 'Triptych'. In groups of two we were then given a poem. For this task we had to choose words or phrases we could express through our movement. We were challenged to manipulate our movement through space, focusing on the use of different levels. We then combined the duet from 'Triptych' with our choreographies and joined with another pair to perform it to the class. It was really great to learn about the different methods that Sydney Dance Company dancers use when choreographing, and will be of great benefit to our Dance studies back at the College.

We then sat down in the Roslyn Theatre at Walsh Bay ready to watch the performance 'Triptych'. The work consisted of three dances, Simple Symphony, Les Illuminations and Variation 10. We watched the mesmerising contemporary routine by the members of Sydney Dance Company. We all walked out of the performance stunned and wanting to see more.

I would like to thank Ms Saunders and Mrs Rowland for accompanying us on this excursion and organising this amazing experience, for both Year 9 and 10 Dance students.

Lauren Simpson, Year 9

Ms Jacqueline Saunders
Dance Teacher

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Pastoral Care

Maredsous Vinnies Van

Thank you and God Bless. These words were the most powerful we have heard throughout last Saturday evening whilst out on Vinnies Van.

Throughout the term Maredsous students and staff were actively compiling a vast amount of food items to donate to the homeless. The College community has been supporting St Vincent de Paul, Vinnies Van night for a number of years, and this month the Maredsous House shone. The contribution from students, parents and staff was overwhelming and so very generous. The vast amount of fresh fruit, muesli bars, cakes, biscuits, crackers, soup was so significant that we could not pack the van with the amount of food that was donated.

The six Year 11 students from Maredsous accompanied Ms Donna Demspey, Ms Jeannette Collins Pope, Mr John Pope and myself on Saturday night into Martin Place to distribute the food and snacks. The hospitality and compassion that the students exhibited on the night was one of the defining moments of the evening. The girls were humble and engaged in conversation with members of the community. They embodied not only the College values, but also the House values and their spirit and giving nature was very much appreciated throughout the evening.

Congratulations to Year 11 students Brianna Taylor, Erin King, Amy Maher, Vanessa Valensise, Julia Manning and Isabella Crocker.

The vast amount of food collected was not able to be used on Saturday, and so the rest of the food will be distributed in the January evening. That means that Maredsous House has contributed to two evenings and have extended their generosity for so many people.

My sincerest thank you to all students, parents and staff who supported us in this initiative and thank you to the staff and students involved on the night.

Vinnies Van has been one of the most rewarding and eye opening experiences that I have been a part of whilst at Bennies. I would strongly recommend it to any girls wishing to take part in Year 11..... Brianna

It was an enlightening experience that enabled us to relate and develop a sense of community..... Amy

I learnt the value of time and how important this was for so many people who were experiencing homelessness..... Vanessa

Mrs Lela Vukovic
Maredsous House Coordinator

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College News

Future Problem Solving Success

MSB competitors at the Closing Ceremony

Last weekend our Year 8 and Year 9 Community Problem Solving teams (17 students) as well as four individual girls were invited to compete at the Future Problem Solving National Finals in Brisbane.

All girls were a credit to MSB with 11 students invited to compete at the International Future Problem Solving Championships in Michigan next June.

  • Our Year 9 team placed first in Community Problem Solving Middle Division (coach - Mrs Davey)
  • Lauren Klauser placed first in Global Issues Middle Individual Comp (coach - Mrs Dirckze)
  • Arabella Young placed first in Senior Scenario Performance (coach - Mrs Dirckze)
  • Madison Ehlers Casada placed second in Senior Scenario Writing and Madeleine Skinner placed fourth in Senior Scenario Writing (both coached by Mrs Dirckze)
  • Our Year 8 team had a wonderful first national competition experience (coach - Mrs Forbes). Special recognition to Jessica Clements and Elizabeth Chen who did not travel to Brisbane but contributed to the Year 8 team preparations.

All 19 girls have been a credit to their College and families. Mrs Dirckze, Mrs Davey and Mrs Forbes are very proud of the girls.

Year 9 Middle Division CPS National Champions

Arabella Young - National Senior Scenario Performance Champion

Lauren Klauser - Global Issues Middle Division Individual National Champion

Year 8 Community Problem Solving Team

Individual MSB competitors - Madison, Madeleine, Arabella and Lauren

Mrs Elizabeth Dirckze
Coordinator, Teaching and Learning

Year 7 Gifted and Talented Future Problem Solving Workshop


Is your daughter in Year 7?

  • Would she like to join FPS?
  • Is she a deep thinker, creative writer or good at researching?
  • Does she like to work with other very capable students?
  • Is she prepared to put in lots of time and effort?
  • Is she interested in meeting other G&T students from all over Australia, if she qualifies for the National Competition?

On Friday 20 November lunch Periods 5 and 6 there is a workshop in the College Bluegum Room for Year 7 students wanting to know about Future Problem Solving. There are limited places so a selection will take place for it. If you would like your daughter to be considered she needs to write 250 words about why she would like to participate in this G&T program. The website will help you to find out more about FPS.

Applications are due Friday 6 November to the TAS Box outside the Staff Study, please ensure your daughter's name and core class are noted on the application.

This is a wonderful opportunity not to be missed.

The Selection Process

  1. Self-nomination (that means you want to do it )

  2. Written application with signed parent note (there will be a team of teachers and students assessing these)

  3. Teacher nomination

Best wishes and good luck with your entries.

Mrs Elizabeth Dirckze
Coordinator of Teaching and Learning

From the Fees Desk

The balance of 2015 school fees is now due.

If paying automatic deductions by the term, the payment was processed Friday 23 October. Monthly, fortnightly and weekly deductions will continue until mid-November.

If you require a final balance or statement of your fees for 2015, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Fiona Barnett on 9980 0445 or

Mrs Fiona Barnett
Fees Administrator

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P & F News

International Teachers Day Morning Tea

Every year we thank our teachers and staff with a ‘THANK YOU MORNING TEA’.

We need Year 7 and Year 11 families to Create, Bake, Donate and Deliver items for the morning tea on Friday 30 October.

Assistance is also required to assist on the day between 9.00am and 11.30am.

ENQUIRIES: Michelle Schaafsma via email on

Please download the Volunteer Form and return to Student Services by 23 October.

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Representative Sport

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term Four


BBSSSA Championships
Tuesday 27 October
B/Up Tuesday 3 November
MSB OPEN Representative Team


BBSSSA Open Team Trials
Friday 20 November


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.

Good Luck

To our MSB Representative Tennis Team competing at the Broken Bay Tennis Championships, next Tuesday 27 October.

Bennies Big Skip

On Monday the Sports Portfolio commenced running the year group heats of the annual Bennies Big Skip, firstly with Year 11 and then Year 10 on Tuesday. The girls from both year groups enjoyed the competitive and fun filled lunch time, as well as the Zooper Doopers at the end! After two very competitive skips, we arrived at the final five skippers from each year group.  The following students will now progress through to the final.

Congratulations to the following finalists:

  • Year 11

    • Laura Camilleri
    • Kate Smith
    • Caitlin Harris
    • Jenna Jardine
    • Monique Placko
  • Year 10

    • Annie Noble
    • Sabine Spiller
    • Georgia Emerton
    • Sonja Jeffery
    • Grace Gibbeson

In next week’s newsletter we will publish the finalists from Years 7-9, who will join the Year 10 and 11 finalists in the Big Skip Grand Final to be held on Wednesday 11 November.

Kirsten Simpson and Jessica Griffith
Sports Portfolio Captains

Surf Lifesaving

A meeting will be held on Friday 30 October at lunchtime in D101 to discuss details for 2015 and determine MSB nominations for the BBSSSA Carnival on Tuesday 24 November.

Priority in the team will be given to students who are current competing members of a Surf Lifesaving Club.

Students will need to complete the specific Surf Lifesaving nomination form located next to the Sports Noticeboard and hand into the Representative Sport slot at Student Services prior to recess on Thursday 29 October.

Available events are surf swim, sprint, flags and board (students will need to supply their own board) and ironperson.

BBSSSA Open Softball Trials

Trials for the Open BBSSSA Softball team will take place on Friday 20 November at St Ives from 12.30pm to 3.00pm.

Nomination forms are available through the BBSSSA website and close Friday 13 November.

Any student who intends to trial will need to email Mrs Grant for further information and bring in the $10 trial fee in a clearly labelled envelope and place it in the Representative Sport Slot at Student Services.

Please note that this is an Open Representative team and as such only experienced softball players should consider nominating.

Last year MSB had six students selected into this team.

The selected BBSSSA team will compete at the NSW CCC Open Softball Championships in Term 1, 2016.

Gillian McGregor
Acting 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 26 October






Lanie Fabian

Sharon Bradford

Kym Lamb

Annette Cullen

Jennifer Fox

Pipina Varkas

Trish D'Amico


Victoria Papallo

Kim Robb

Karen Michie

** 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

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