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24 July 2015


From the Principal

This week featured one of the more moving occasions on our College calendar when we farewelled and thanked the Leadership group from the Class of 2015 and formally inducted the Leadership group for the Class of 2016.

Next year is our Jubilee year and our newly elected Captains have the added responsibility of leading us during this most significant year. The idea of jubilee is an ancient biblical tradition originating with the Jewish people and subsequently being taken up in the Christian tradition. It is worth mentioning as well that Pope Francis has declared 2016 a Jubilee Year for the universal Church with a focus on the mercy of God.

The biblical idea of a jubilee year focuses on the restoration of what had been lost, the liberation of all people and of the land, the notion of homecoming, the cancellation of debts and the renewal of all of creation. Jubilee is a vision of justice and liberation. It is a vision taken up by Jesus as he said

'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,' (Luke 4:18)

The idea of jubilee contains the sense of new beginnings and restoration. In our relationships with one another, jubilee invites us to put aside past wrongs and hurts and to offer forgiveness and reconciliation with one another. It also calls for us to think further about our commitments to justice. What we can do to extend the influence of our work for justice and how can we enhance the effectiveness of what we do.

We are also asked to think about the immediate relationships we have with our peers, our families and our teachers. Are there entrenched attitudes that are preventing us from being truly respectful of one another? Can we embrace the jubilee sense of wiping the slate clean and making a fresh start making hospitality a reality in our relationships with others?

We are asked to think seriously about our use of resources and the excesses of our life styles. Our stewardship in the light of jubilee is more demanding and more insistent, underlined by the Pope’s recent encyclical 'Laudato Si' and highlighted by the absence of appropriate action by our political leaders it increasingly falls to the leaders of our future to show the way.

Leadership is a challenging role and we live in challenging times. But I am confident that we have in our midst young women of great strength and conviction, courage and character and most of all young women of vision for the future. We wish them well and we pray for God’s blessing upon them as they take on their leadership roles.

Paul Lentern
Acting Principal

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Mission News

This week I would like to highlight an article by Sister Clare Condon SJS which appeared in the Good Samaritan publication the Good Oil . She tells of her recent experience in attending an event organised by the Australian Human Rights Commission which identified the extraordinary actions of four very ordinary women: Rosie Batty, Jackie French, Drisana Levitzke-Gray and Juliette Wright. Each of these women have their own story, a story that as Sister Clare points out ‘is one of courage, resilience, strength and determination’. Read the full article Powerful Personal Stories of Courage here.

In the course of the many Social Justice and Service Learning Programs we participate in, both our staff and students are blessed to meet such ‘ordinary’ people who choose to make decisions that impact in such positive ways on the lives of others. Sister Clare identifies this as having ‘purpose in life and a desire to bring goodness and happiness into their own lives and the lives of others’.

I have also witnessed this ‘goodness’ in the various ministries of the Good Samaritan Sisters. In travelling to Timor Leste and to the Philippines in recent years the humanitarian programs run by the Sisters are nothing short of life-giving to those who receive them. Feeding, health, safety and of course educational programs are changing lives and allowing people, particularly children, a future with hope.

Last Thursday evening, six of our students and three of our staff had the pleasure of attending the Beecroft Major Issues and Theology Dinner to listen to a young woman called Latika Bourke. Latika is Indian and was adopted by an Australian couple who lived in Bathurst. Latika is another woman with an amazing story. From an Indian orphanage, she took up many opportunities, worked hard and is now an accomplished National Political journalist for Fairfax Media. Latika has a particular interest in adoption issues and has received several awards. Another ‘ordinary’ woman doing extraordinary things.

Every Tuesday morning at 8.10am Staff begin the morning with prayer in the College Chapel. This is a very significant way to start the day as it allows time to reflect on our lives and our relationship with God and prepare for the day ahead. Students are encouraged to join staff in communal prayer.

Donna Dempsey
Acting Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

MIAT Forum

On 16 July, six girls; Lara Zschech, Marnie Lamb, Genevieve Khoo, Mary Cook, Sarah Fitzsimmons and Jessica Corcoran, were accompanied by three teachers; Paul Lentern, Donna Dempsey and Gail Davey, to attend the Beecroft Major Issues and Theology Forum (MIAT) at the Pennant Hills Golf Club. The night consisted of socialising, prayer, dinner, interesting discussions and a speech from the keynote speaker – Latika Bourke. Latika Bourke was born in Bettiah in rural North India, she was then sent to an orphanage where Penny and John Bourke adopted her at 8 months old. Latika was raised on a farm in Bathurst as one of three adopted and five biological children by the Bourke family. Even though the family of eight stood out in the country town of Bathurst, Latika said she never felt any less part of the family because she wasn’t the only one adopted.

Latika is currently the National Political journalist at Fairfax Media and she tends to focus on a number of Australian social issues such as adoption, immigration and same sex marriages. This year Latika received the Elizabeth O’Neill Award for journalism and has recently published a memoir, “From India with Love”. It is a chronicle of her life journey and confronts the issue of what it is to be “Australian”. The memoir helped her to discover her cultural heritage and find peace with who she is.

If your daughter is in Year 11 or 12, the next MIAT Forum dinner will be held on Thursday 3 September. The guest speaker is Mat Tinkler, Director of Policy and Public Affairs from the Save the Children Fund. He will be discussing issues involving children in both Australia and overseas. Please stay tuned for further information.

Lara Zschech

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Curriculum News

Technology News

The College was privileged this week to be visited by Nao, a 58-cm tall humanoid robot. He is small, cute and round. You can't help but love him! He moves, recognises you, hears you and even talks to you!

The Nao robot is being taken up by schools across Australia as an interactive, educational and easily implemented tool to engage students. Interactive and fully programmable, Nao is the most widely used humanoid robot for learning Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Thanks to its many capabilities, intuitive software and dedicated hands-on exercises, Nao is the ideal platform to attract students to the sciences and teach them.

Staff and students at Mount St Benedict College spent time getting to know Nao as the College explores options to engage girls in the area of programming and robotics. Students interacted with Nao during a lunchtime getting him to sing and dance to the group. Some students tried their hand at simple programming and demonstrated how easy this new technology is.

Staff and students were fortunate to be able to see first-hand the steps that robotics within education have taken in the last few years.

MSB students currently take a robotics unit in Year 10 as part of the subject Information Software Technology.

See Nao in action

Stewart Duncan
Head of ICT

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Pastoral Care

Positive Education and the IRC

Earlier this year the staff of the IRC brainstormed how we could support the Positive Education initiative of the College after we were all involved in the professional development opportunities offered to staff last year.

Here are a few examples of the activities and support we have been offering:

Mindfulness Colouring:

Have you heard about the number of colouring books being released in book stores/online recently re mindfulness?

Working with your hands is one of the best ways to soothe anxiety and eliminate stress as the colouring in prompts you to meditate on your artwork as you mindfully and creatively fill pages with colour. The IRC staff have been placing sheets of colouring in for the girls to complete each week to draw on the girls' creativity and support the girls in developing peace and calm.

Maker Space Monday - Creativity in action:

Many libraries both public, university and school have been introducing a 'Maker Space'. So what is a 'Maker Space'? Maker spaces are collaborative learning environments where people come together to share materials and information, and to learn new skills. Maker spaces are not defined by a specific set of material or spaces, but rather a mindset of community partnership, collaboration and creation.

This Term we have introduced Maker Monday in the Collaborative Space at Lunchtime where students can come together and try new things. All students are welcome to become involved in the many and varied activities occurring at this time.

Wellbeing IRC Collection of Information Resources:

The IRC staff have collected together and are continuing to purchase a range of book resources which support student wellbeing. These resources recognise the importance of maintaining healthy relationships and having a responsible lifestyle. A permanent display of these resources has been created and students are welcome to borrow these resources throughout the year.

To further support the staff of the College in their professional learning in Positive Education a Bennies LibGuide has been created with a range of online resources which staff and parents may access to discover more about positive education

Mrs Sharon McGowan, Mrs Rebecca Shiels, Mr Oscar Kirby, Ms Angela Gibson
and Ms Jane Copper – IRC Staff

Sharon McGowan

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College News

MSB G&T Community Education Workshop

Thursday 13 August
5.00pm - 6.30pm
in Room B307

Would you like to find out more about the MSB Gifted and Talented Program?

Would you like to work in partnership with other parents and teachers by participating in the 6th MSB Community Education Workshop?

Would you like to receive MSB professional development certification?

You are most welcome to attend this interactive workshop.

Topics include:

  • MSB G&T Program and Acceleration Policy Overview
  • MSB Excellence Program
  • Future Problem Solving Program
  • Gifted 201-identifying giftedness, academic & social emotional needs, friendships, over excitabilities
  • Personality Types
  • 100 words of Wisdom
  • Research articles and focus questions

RSVPs are essentail as there are limited places available. Please RSVP to by Thursday 6 August.

Refreshments provided.

Feel free to email Mrs Liz Dirckze if you require further details.

Elizabeth Dirckze
Coordinator of Teaching and Learning

From the Fees Desk

Term Three instalments are due Friday 31 July. 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

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Representative Sport

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 Trainings Term Three Week Three

Download Attachment

NSW All Schools Cross Country Championships

In freezing and muddy conditions last Friday five tough MSB runners competed against the best in the State at the NSW All Schools Athletics Championships at Eastern Creek. Congratulations to Elly Gallagher (U16) 10th and Capri Vidler (U15) 15th for terrific results. Any result on that day, at that level in those conditions is one that the girls should be proud of. Particular mention to one of our incoming Sports Captains Kirsten Simpson who ran with only a days notice after being called into the NSW CCC team last Wednesday night!

PHOTO: L to R Jemma Gallagher (Y9), Capri Vidler (Y9), Elly Gallagher (Y10) and Kirsten Simpson Y11 (absent – Alicia John Y7).

BBSSSA Netball Championships

What a fabulous day last Wednesday at the Broken Bay Netball Championships! Not only was the weather fine but our girls achieved sensational results winning three out of the four competitions – Y7, Junior and Intermediate, with our Open team only losing their Semi Final by one goal to the eventual winners.

It was great to see our supportive parents there in great numbers again and many ex-students attending as umpires – we had seven current students and four ex-students officiating and as always I was very proud of their presentation and the commitment that they display in their roles.

As hosts of this Carnival there are so many people to thank for assisting to make the day run so smoothly – Ex MSB parent Lisette Smith again coordinated the pool of neutral umpires for us; a busy job before, during and even following the day - thank you so much again. Hills District Netball Association again provided a high quality venue and staff to open up the control areas and run the canteen. Thanks to Miss Clark and Mrs Simpson for running the day and to the very talented MSB coaches Mrs McGregor, Mrs Walsh and Year 10 students Olivia Giacomelli and Charlie Folkard for selecting and preparing our teams - the great results are testament to the time that they committed.

Here are the reports from the coaches –

Year 7 Team

The Year 7 Junior team had a fantastic day at the Broken Bay Netball Carnival at Pennant Hills Park on Wednesday 25 July. The team of eight Year 7 students played an incredibly high standard of netball and all the girls gave 100% throughout the whole day. At the beginning of the Carnival we as a team decided that at the end of the day we wanted everyone to have an equal time on court and we just wanted to have fun - winning was going to be a bonus! Nevertheless, we went through our Pool games undefeated, our biggest win being 22 goals to 1. We then went through to the Semis and from there to the Grand Final. We played against rivals Mater Maria and had an amazing first half, going into half time winning by six goals. After a few positional changes the girls went back out onto the court and made the school proud, becoming undefeated champions, winning the Grand final 13 - 7. All the girls should be incredibly happy with themselves as they played consistently throughout the whole day, never giving up and never complaining, no matter how cold it was! We are so proud of every single one of you and we hope you all had a great time at your first high school netball carnival. Hopefully there will be many more to come!!

Charlie and Olivia (Yr 10 Coaches)

PHOTO: Back L to R Charlie Folkard (Coach), Zoe Fajemisin, Georgia Newell, Jade Satuala, Ebony Miller, Madison Lever, Olivia Giacomelli (Coach)
Front L to R Aimee Topfer, Bianca Raad, Chelsea McGregor

Junior Team

I had the pleasure of coaching this group of talented girls who went through the day to finish as undefeated Champions. The team started the day well with some very strong wins including a 32-3 and 32-0 victories (not bad for a Junior team in two ten minute halves) and adapted well throughout the Carnival to continual positional and combination changes. Our defence end was hard to penetrate with Sophie Hayman and Bronte Corke working well to provide tight circle defence and Keisha Murray’s centre pass defence creating many turnovers. Our two captains Annie Dittmar and Jessica Barr were not only valuable with quick transitional changes in the midcourt, but showed great maturity, taking on the extra responsibility for team equipment and ensuring that the team were ready to warm up prior to each game. Our three shooters Caitlin Walsh, Mikaela Quinlan and Erin Gracie all with their own quality skill sets combined well, developing a better understanding of each other’s game as the day progressed and rebounded strongly.

The team displayed some very impressive fluent netball despite never having played together previously and we are looking forward to further team development as we continue training for the NSW CCC Championships next month. Congratulations girls!

Mrs Grant (Coach)

PHOTO: Back L to R Bronte Corke, Caitlin Walsh, Jessica Barr, Keisha Murray, Mrs Karen Grant (Coach)
Front L to R Mikaela Quinlan, Sophie Hayman, Erin Gracie, Annie Dittmar

Intermediate Team

It was great Day for the Year 9-10 Representative Netball team at the Broken Bay Carnival.

The girls played three preliminary games and they won all of these convincingly, St Joseph’s 20-5, Mater Maria 23-5 and St Leos 28-7. The girls were dominant across the court in both attack and defence. The girls commitment was fantastic with such a talented team versatility is very important and a number of players both shot and defended at some stage during the day. The semi final showdown with Stella Maris College saw another dominant performance with a 23- 8 win.

The Grand Final was against Mackillop College who had displayed equally dominant performances throughout the day. MSB were quick out of the blocks and we went into half time with an 11-5 lead. The second half the girls stepped up a gear and finished winning 22-7.

Congratulations to Shannyn Bisset, Capri Vidler, Elise Bond, Kassidy Grant, Sasha Savenko, Lauren Martin, Courtney Harkin and Georgia Dean

Mrs Walsh (Coach)

PHOTO: Back L to R Sasha Savenko, Elise Bond, Kassidy Grant, Lauren Martin
Front L to R Georgia Dean, Capri Vidler, Shannyn Vidler, Courtney Harkin

Senior Team

The MSB Senior team consisted of a group of nine players and whilst some had played in MSB and other represented teams previously, for others this was their first representative netball experience. We progressed well through the round games to finish second in our pool, which resulted in us playing the highly experienced top seeded team, in the Semi Finals. The girls went into the Semi with nothing to lose and unfazed by the calibre of the opposition. With our steady play through the midcourt, strong shooting and committed defence, we controlled the play, leading by one for most of the game.  Unfortunately however, in the dying last minute, our opposition drew level and with the centre pass going their way, they stole a final winning goal just before the bell. This team went on to win the senior competition! Congratulations on a great days play to our dedicated defenders – Alyson, Alyssa and Ashleigh, our dynamic mid courters – Erin, Molly and Georgia and finally our sensational shooters -  Rachel, Alex and Marnie, who under the pressure, shot and rebounded calmly and consistently throughout the day. Our senior players are to be congratulated on the way they played and represented MSB. Special thanks to our departing Year 12 players, Alyssa and Alex who have both represented MSB at Broken Bay and NSWCCC Carnivals throughout their time at the College.

Mrs McGregor (Coach)

PHOTO: Back L to R Molly Dover, Erin Frost, Ashleigh McDonald, Alex Wade, Georgia Quick, Mrs Gillian McGregor (Coach)
Front L to R Marnie Lamb, Alyson McGrath, Alyssa Tanner, Rachel Takchi

BBSSSA U15 and U13 Soccer Championships

Unfortunately due to the wet weather this day was again cancelled. BBSSSA are continuing to investigate if there are any further days available for this event and we will notify the girls as further updates become available.


The BBSSSA program is now official and has been emailed to all team members – a draft Open KO team was also included to be confirmed after the BBSSSA Championships. Students and parents are encouraged to visit the BBSSSA website (see address above) to cross reference times and view technical information for the upcoming Carnival at Homebush on Tuesday 11 August.

Good Luck

To Capri Vidler and Shannyn Bissett as they compete at the NSW All Schools U15 Touch Championships this weekend as members of the NSW U15 NSW CCC Team. An U15 All Schools Team will be chosen this weekend from these Championships to compete at the Pacific School Games in Adelaide in Term Four.

Karen Grant
Representative Sports Coordinator

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Co-curricular Sport

MSB Netball

All MSB Netball Club teams will be involved in team photos on Saturday 15 August at Pennant Hills Park.  A schedule of photo times will be publicised prior to the day. Copies of the team photo can be purchased online through advancedlife photography.  Further details will be provided closer to the date.

Rebecca Lewis

Summer Sport Registration

Registration information for summer sports has been sent via email to all students this week. All registrations forms are due to Student Services no later than Monday 3 August to be guaranteed a place in a team. Please note payments are required to be made online before registrations forms can be accepted.


Teams are entered in the Hornsby District Softball Association Competition. The games are played on Saturdays at Hayes Park, Galston commencing early September and finishing in March 2016. The competition breaks over the Christmas holiday period. Training is held one afternoon each week on the College Oval.

MSB enters teams in the

  • Modball competition for girls currently in Years 5 or 6 who are planning on becoming MSB students.
  • Softball competition for our current students in Years 7 to 12
  • Ladies softball competition for our ex-students, mothers and friends.

Download Softball Registration information and forms here.

Please feel free to forward this information to any families not currently at the school who may be interested.


Girls who are current students from Year 7 to 12 are able to join a team in either or both of these touch competitions. Girls are able to enter individually and be placed in a team or can enter as a team of ten players.

Download Touch Registration information and forms here.

Parramatta Touch

Teams are entered in the Parramatta District Junior Touch Competition. The games are played on Wednesday evenings at Doyle Park, North Parramatta commencing early September and concluding late November. There is one game in the second week of the Term Three school holidays. Training is held one afternoon each week on the College Oval.

Loreto Touch

Teams are entered in the Loreto Normanhurst Touch Competition. The games are played on Saturday mornings during Term Four only at either Loreto Normanhurst or Pymble Ladies College. Training is held one afternoon each week on the College Oval.

Rebecca Lewis


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 27 July






Lanie Fabian

Sharon Bradford

Anna D'Ambros

Jennifer Fox

Pipina Varkas

Trish D'Amico

Annette Cullen

Kim Robb

Victoria Papallo

Karen Michie

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

Uniform Shop

Year 10 2015 Senior Uniform Fittings

Appointments have been made for students at the Uniform Shop commencing Wednesday 29 July to be fitted for their senior uniforms. Students and parents have been emailed regarding this and a deposit of $100 is required. If a senior uniform is not needed as a student is not returning to the College in 2016 or if a student already has a uniform from a sibling, please advise Mrs Arane in the Uniform Shop so the appointment can be cancelled.

Contact details are as follows: or Ph: 9980 0447.

Community Notices

Girls Cricket

Sixers Girls Cricket League - U13 & U 17 teams

T20 Girls Cricket - girls aged 8 to 12

West Pennant Hills Cherrybrook Cricket Club Registration Sun 26 July

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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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