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30 October 2015


From the Principal

Each year, on International Teachers’ Day, teachers throughout the world are recognised for their work. Thanks to the generosity of the Parents and Friends Association (P&F), staff at the College were able to enjoy a beautiful morning tea on Friday, which was much appreciated. Teachers do not choose their profession looking for acknowledgement but nevertheless they are very appreciative when students, families and the community show their gratitude for what is surely one of the most important roles in our community - helping our young people to grow and develop spiritually, academically, socially, physically and emotionally. Many thanks to those parents who contributed to our celebration on Friday, especially those who were able to come along and make sure we enjoyed a lovely relaxing environment.

On Saturday this week we will welcome our incoming Year 7 students and their parents. It is a great privilege to be able to introduce new families to our community and to help them navigate their way around the complexities of a new school. For many incoming students they are moving from a relatively small environment to a large one, and like many schools which have developed over time, just the physical location of buildings can take some time to learn. Thank you to our staff and students who are giving their time to support our new students and families.

Year 11 students have now commenced their HSC courses and will be involved in formal assessments in many subjects this term.  At the same time, as leaders, the girls are making their mark on our community. Last week at Assembly they unveiled their banner and motto, which captured our 2016 theme of Jubilee. We look forward to sharing with our students the excitement of our 50th anniversary, led by the Class of 2016.

On Monday 9 November the Annual General Meeting 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 that 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.

Prayer for Teachers

Almighty God,
We come to you today and give thanks for all our teachers.
Thank you for the way in which they give of themselves each day in the classroom,
Serving and instructing the next generation of this land.
We thank you for them all.
Please fill their hearts with courage now by your mighty Spirit.
Fill them with your strength, so they may rise to every challenge and not grow weary.
Fill them with your wisdom, so that they may be able to make good judgement when guiding and helping others.
Fill them with your peace, so that when stress and anxiety comes it would not overwhelm them.
Fill them with your joy, so that the passion they have for their subject may become an infectious passion that spreads.

We ask all this in the name of Jesus.


Maria Pearson

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Mission News

In last week’s newsletter I wrote briefly about the Synod on the Family which was about to conclude in Rome. At the conclusion of the Synod, Archbishop Mark Coleridge from Brisbane included some very pertinent reflections on his blog. A small taste is included below.

"There has been a genuine step forward on a long and complex journey to try to deal with people in a way the respects the truth ... but at the same time accompany people. Don't just hurl doctrine in their general direction. If there was any word that came to dominate the language of the Synod, it was accompaniment. In other words, you have to walk with people.

"Church teaching has not been touched at its heart, and it won't be, but that doesn't mean to say it's all or nothing. It's exploring that difficult but crucial middle ground where we can walk together. We mightn't agree but we can agree that we're human and we can agree that we'll walk together, we'll listen to each other, we might even learn from each other."

To read the full text of Archbishop Coleridge’s comments or to see further information about the Synod please use the following link:

While the Synod has now officially finished, there now follows a formal period of discernment where over the next twelve months communities have an opportunity to reflect on the Synod document while the Bishops from each Diocese and each Episcopal Conference consider how to follow up the work of the Synod.

Sunday 1 November and Monday 2 November are the Solemnities of All Saints and All Souls on Sunday and Monday respectively.

These two feast days have strong traditions in Catholic history and they invite us to reflect on some significant understandings dating back to biblical times. All Saints Day reminds us that we stand in the midst of a community devoted to the Gospel. While the popular understanding of a saint is someone who has led a life of extraordinary religious character, the letters of St Paul invite us to think about a broader meaning. St Paul often refers to “the saints” in his writings and he clearly intends it to mean all those who seek to follow the Gospel as he himself is striving to do. By St Paul’s definition of sainthood, there are very many more saints in our world than we might otherwise have thought. We are called upon to show reverence to the saints and in line with St Paul’s writings this means showing reverence to one another and not just to those individuals whose “sainthood” is universally recognised. The message is similar to the idea of seeing Christ in others and seeking to treat them as if they were Christ himself. It is a timely and significant reminder to us in our Year of Hospitality.

The Feast of All Souls provides us with an opportunity to reflect on those who have gone before us, to pray to God for them and to ask for their intercession to God on our behalf. In many ways, All Souls Day is an extension of a reflection of the Communion of Saints celebrated on the previous day. All Souls Day allows us to see the Communion of Saints extending back through time and connecting us with all those servants of God who have gone before us. It invites us to reflect on the idea of eternal life and to see our mortal lives as one element of a much bigger picture which is caught up in the eternal character of God and the everlasting life we hope to share with God and with our sisters and brothers who have passed from this life.

This week we have begun work on our annual Christmas Hamper Appeal. We look forward to the generous contributions of our students, their families and our staff as we seek to provide goods that will be of practical assistance to those who are experiencing disadvantage. We are currently calling for volunteers to work with us to deliver our Christmas hampers on the morning of Saturday 5 December. Students are currently being asked to put their names down in Homeroom so this might be an opportunity to discuss this at home if you are interested in helping out. Keep an eye out for more detailed information in next week’s newsletter.

Paul Lentern
Assistant Principal Dean of Mission

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Curriculum News

Geography Big Week Out

In the second week of the school holidays, I was lucky enough to attend the Geography Big Week Out on North Stradbroke Island, which is the second stage of the Australian Geography Competition. This activity is offered to the top sixteen students in Geography in Australia, determined by the results of the competition. Over the week the other students and I participated in a range of geography-related activities, including creating a transect of one of the beaches of the island, conducting quadrat sampling, and conducting assessments of the settlements on the island.

Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable and educational experience.

Isabella Croker, Year 11

The group on the coast of North Stradbroke Island

Moving between activities

Hearing from the supporting academic


The best 16 Geography students in Australia

Dr Paul Batten
Senior Geography Teacher

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Pastoral Care

Monte Cassino News

Monte Casino House has been up to some amazing things. Term Three welcomed the new leadership team of Caitlin Harris (myself) as House Captain, Emma Smith, House Ambassador and Georgina Raine, Vice Captain. Monte has been in full swing in all areas of College life. As House Captain, I am hoping to achieve a great deal and I encourage students to get involved in every opportunity and build Monte Cassino House spirit. My goal over the time I am Captain is to contribute to building Monte’s spirituality, to make it even richer.

Year 11 have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to participate in the St Vincent de Paul program, Vinnies Van. Students participating in the program go into the city on a Saturday night to connect with and serve the homeless and less fortunate with a warm drink, snack and conversation on a cold night. On Saturday 14 November, seven Monte Cassino representatives, Monique Placko, Caitlin Harris, Nicole Zeaiter, Bethany Carr, Penny Morato, Yasmin Hussein, and Abbey Hurst will be going out on patrol. Vinnies Van aims to help break through the barriers of loneliness and isolation that many living on the fringe of society suffer. It is a great opportunity for us to practice this year’s College value of Hospitality. In the lead up to the night, the College Houses are asked to bring in some snacks that we can serve on the night. Such items include:

  • cup of soup
  • instant noodles in a cup
  • pre packed single servings of cakes, muffins, banana bread, muesli bars
  • mini nut packs, dried fruit mixes and other similar food items

Students in Monte Cassino are asked to bring in such items that are individually packaged that can be brought to Mrs O’Kane’s office. Having already been on Vinnies Van earlier this year, I can say, that the experience is truly rewarding.

“I went on the night of the Mardi Gras Festival and served a diversity of people! I also witnessed just how desperate some people in our very own city are. I walked away from the night feeling blessed and extremely grateful for my lifestyle. Vinnies Van is a great initiative and honestly, an invaluable experience that I know the Monte students will enjoy.” Emma Smith, Monte Cassino House Ambassador

In the Creative and Performing Arts Department, the Monte girls have been ‘all over it’. Many of the students were involved in the College production of 'Hairspray' which they had been working on for nearly a year prior to Opening Night which was a massive commitment, but worth every moment. Emily Boffa is actively involved in working on the new songs for the Jubilee Year Masses. Recently, the Monte students have been all over the CAPA stage, particularly with the annual CAPA Showcase, which was thoroughly enjoyable and entertaining. We had many girls involved in this night, particularly in the Visual Arts, Choir and Concert Band, Music, Drama and Dance class performances, and other ensembles. Term Three also saw some of our girls involved in the very successful Senior Dance Ensemble, performing in competitions and showcases across Sydney.

In other news, Madison Ehlers-Casada (Year 10, MC3) placed second in the Future Problem Solving National Championships in the Scenario Writing category. Madison said of the competition: “It changed my ability to write fluently and my entire working method. No longer do I solely focus on the destination. It's about the experience too.” Congratulations girls, keep it up!

Last term, three of the five girls who continued through to the NSW All Schools Cross Country Championships were from Monte! Elly Gallagher who amazingly came 9th, Jemma Gallagher and Alicia Johns all ran in this event and did an outstanding job! It was a very competitive day and these three girls put all their effort into this Cross Country event.

As this is the year of Hospitality, Monte participated in ‘Host a Homeroom’ activity, where Homerooms visited each other and were welcomed with open arms. This allowed all the students from different grades and Homerooms to get together with each other, bringing the value of hospitality to life in Monte Casino.

Written by Caitlin Harris with the assistance of Emma and Kate Smith and Emily Boffa

Therese O'Kane
Acting House Coordinator

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College News

2015 CAPA Showcase Tuesday 20th October

An enthusiastic audience of family, friends and staff were treated to an entertaining evening of all things creative at the Annual CAPA Showcase.

The Showcase celebrated the diverse talents of students in Years 9, 10 and 11 Music, Visual Art, Drama and Dance, and also highlighted the work of the various College Music Ensembles who meet weekly throughout the year.

The evening was hosted by CAPA Captains Emelia Serra and Olivia Turner. The Drama, Dance and Music performances were of a high calibre with a variety of group and individual performances displayed throughout the evening. The Visual Arts exhibition from Years 9, 10 and 11 reflected strong concepts and techniques, as well as innovation and creativity. The students engaged in both traditional and contemporary art making practices and explored social and personal themes.

The technical aspects of Sound, Lighting Vision and Staging for the evening were managed by the year 11 Entertainment class.

The CAPA Department would like to thank the parents, family, friends and staff who attended the event to show their support to these extremely talented students.

View Photo Gallery

Peter Watters
Head of CAPA Faculty

Term Dates for your Diary

2015 Term Dates

Term 4

Sports Assembly Wednesday 25 November
Carols on the Mount Tuesday 1 December
Presentation Day Thursday 3 December
Thanksgiving Mass Friday 4 December
End of term Friday 4 December

2016 Term Dates

Term 1

Teachers return Thursday 28 January
Students return Tuesday 2 February (Years 7, 11 and 12)
Wednesday 3 February (Years 8, 9 and 10)
College Photo Day Wednesday 3 February
Welcome BBQ Friday 5 February
Open Day Sunday 6 March
Beyond Bennies Wednesday 6 April
End of term Friday 8 April

Term 2

Students return Tuesday 26 April
Golden Jubilee Ball Saturday 28 May
Co-Curricular Photos Thursday 9 June
Golden Jubilee Mass / Afternoon Tea Sunday 19 June
MSB Day and End of term Thursday 23 June

Term 3

Teachers return Monday 18 July
Students return Tuesday 19 July
End of term Friday 23 September
Term 4 Students return Monday 10 October
Carols on the Mount Tuesday 22 November
Presentation Day Thursday 1 December
End of term Friday 2 December

Technology Update – Important information for Years 8, 9, 10 and 12

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are scheduled to receive a replacement laptop device for the commencement of 2016.

Students in Year 8 and Year 9 will swap over their existing laptop and receive their replacement device between 16 and 23 November.

Students in Year 10 must return their existing laptop between 27 November and 3 December. Students will be emailed with the exact time when the laptop replacement will take place.

Year 12 students must return their laptop at the Year 12 Exit Day on Monday 9 November.

On the day, students are required to return their laptop, the AC adapter and any accessories (including docking stations etc).

At the time of return, every laptop will be assessed for damage and fair wear and tear.  In the case that chargeable repairs need to be made before the College can return the device to the lease company, the College will proceed with an insurance claim. This will occur an excess charge of $150. This charge will be added to the Student's College fees account.

Missing keys, broken screens, damaged or cracked casing and missing items are not considered fair wear and tear and will be charged.

The new device that is being issued is the Acer Aspire R13. The device boasts an impressive full HD screen, light-weight design, impressive battery life and fast processor. The touch screen can fold so the device can also be used as a tablet.

Mr Duncan
Head of ICT

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

Fiona Barnett
Fees Administrator

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P & F News

P&F Annual General Meeting

Monday 9 November

All parents are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting at 6.30pm on Monday 9 November in the College Staffroom. All positions become vacant and your involvement on the Executive is welcomed and encouraged.

If you are unable to attend, then please email the P&F where a member of the executive can raise any issues on your behalf.

P&F President Damien Pigott with P&F volunteers for the International Teachers' Day Morning Tea

Mr Damien Pigott
P&F President

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Mount St Benedict Ex-students Association AGM/Meeting

Ex-students are cordially invited to our Annual General Meeting of the Ex-students Association of Mount St Benedict College (MSBESA).

This will be held in the Board Room of the College next Monday 2 November commencing at 6.30pm. All ex-students are welcome and there is no obligation to be a part of the Committee.

MSBESA relies on ex-students to help determine the future direction of our organisation and develop new ideas. At the AGM the President, Vice President and Treasurer will be stepping down from their positions, so we invite alumni who are interested in these positions to join us on the night.

Alternatively, please consider joining the committee, it will only require around eight hours from you across the entire year! If you are a current parent it is a way of becoming involved in your daughter’s school community. MSBESA is also a fantastic chance to keep in touch with your old alma mater and to give something back to the College through your example to current students.

Michelle Blackman

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Representative Sport

Representative Sports Calendar

Representative Sports Calendar - 2015 Term Four


Australian KO Championships
Monday 7 December


BBSSSA Open Team Trials
Friday 20 November


BBSSSA Championships
Tuesday 24 November
MSB Representative Team


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

MSB Representative Open Water Polo

Congratulations to the MSB Open Water Polo Team on a great day at the Broken Bay Championships. Please see the report below, from Madison Nicholson.

The highly anticipated Broken Bay Water Polo Championships were held on Saturday 24 October at Sydney Olympic Park. Mount St Benedict sent a team of eleven girls to the tournament. It was an extremely successful event, filled with enjoyment and excitement from the entire team. Everyone finished the day having learnt something new, not only about the game but about girls in other grades that they may not have worked with before.

We only lost to two teams throughout the day, with those two teams ending up in the Grand Final! Many goals were scored, many obstacles were overcome and it would not have been possible without the help of Mrs Grant and Mrs McGregor for organising the day and Nathan Doyle who was our amazing coach, all of whom we thank very much.

Congratulations to all the girls and bring on next year!

Madi Nicholson, Year 11

MSB Representative Open Tennis Team

Congratulations to Kirsten Simpson, Year 11, Sarah Assaf, Year 9, and Laura Di Blasio, Year 8, who competed in the Open Girls Division at the Broken Bay Tennis Championships this week. It was a pleasure to watch these three talented girls play and once again display outstanding sportswomanship. Led by Kirsten, our Sports Portfolio Captain, at the beginning of each game our girls would wish their opponents good luck, congratulate them on good rallies throughout the match and in defeat, finish courteously in style at the end. The girls served very well and played some amazing shots throughout the sets. Special thanks to Sarah and Laura who took on the challenge to step up and compete with Kirsten in the Open Division. They are players to certainly watch out for in the future. Thank you to the parents for your support and assistance on the day.

Photo: Left to right Laura Di Blasio, Sarah Assaf, Kirsten Simpson

Bennies Big Skip

Last week the Sports Portfolio concluded the heats of the annual Bennies Big Skip for all grades. Following on from Years 10 and 11, Years 7 to 9 got their chance at competing for the trophy toward the end of the week. The amount of girls who joined in was fantastic. There was lots of fun and laughing and once again, it was great to see the amazing Bennies spirit in action at this event. The top five from each year will now compete in the Grand Final on Wednesday 11 November. Thank you to all the girls for having a go and participating in the skip! A special mention to Year 7, who competed in the Big Skip for the first time and skipped brilliantly.

In addition to our Year 11 and 12 finalists, the following girls have made it through to the Final.

  • Year 7

    • Chelsea McGregor
    • Lauren Calabria
    • Madison Lever
    • Ella Garabedian
    • Bronagh Murphy
  • Year 8

    • Mackenzie Wilson
    • Piper Eddington
    • Chelsea Rah
    • Lily O’Brien
    • Milly MacDonald
  • Year 9

    • Kassidy Grant
    • Elise Schaafsma-Fullick
    • Daniela Taylor
    • Kelsey Stokes
    • Maddie Emmett

Kirsten Simpson and Jessica Griffith
Sports Portfolio Captains


Congratulations to the following students on their recent sporting achievements:

Kate Barry who has been chosen as a reserve for the Cricket NSW Metro Under 18s Team. This is a great achievement for her age.

Lauren Thompson on her gymnastics achievements:

  • Results from National Clubs achieving 1st Level 10 All Round, 1st on Bars, 2nd on Beam, 3rd on Floor, 1st Level 10 Team and 1st National Club
  • Trans Tasman Tour at the NZ Gymsports Championships achieving three gold medals - Equal 1st All Round, 1st Bars and 1st Team

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 2 November







Tereza Miletic

Natalie Conway

Jaye Harkin

Simone Williams

Claudia Heer

Kay Munro

Susan Brown

Sylvana Boyd

Joanne McCormack

** Additional volunteers are most welcome **

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

Community Notices

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