MSPC Newsletter - Term 4 Week 10, 16th December 2022
It has been another massive year, dominated at the beginning with the floods that caused so much despair for communities of the Far North Coast. In amongst this turmoil we have come out of the restrictions of the pandemic and held our carnivals, had sport representation on many levels in many sports, debating, arts and academic successes.
On Wednesday 14th December we presented our awards for Years 7 to 11. They are a recognition of hard work and good habits. These habits set students up for success both academically and for life. We thank our staff who have guided students in creating those good habits.
This year we say thank you and goodbye to Dianne Marshall, Sam Reynolds, Luke Doepel, Amy Camer, Ashlie Pinter, Michael Levick, Sally Corby, Brittany Gould, Jamie Harvey, Simone Wilkins, Emma Wilkinson, Tom Gresham, Mikayla Greenhalgh, Shaun Tonks, Natalie Grant, Brodie Palmer, Tom McTaggart and Elise Betcke.
We say a temporary goodbye to Mitchel Rice and Majella MacPhail who are spending a year away for 2023. They will return to the College.
Mark and Susan Hoy are taking a well deserved long service leave for all of 2023. They have been fabulous servants of the College and community for many years; Mark for 31 years and Susan for 27 years. They will certainly leave a hole in the Maths department and Languages Faculties.
Other staff who have had significant contributions over a long period have decided to resign: Gregory Culnane - 47 years; Robyn Loweke 42 years; Kevin Wilson 31 years; Paddy Bailey 30 years; Sherree O’Brien 18 Years; Cassie Allen 13 years and Josh McCormack 12 years. We thank them for their support of all we do at Mount St Patrick College and wish them all the best in their next steps in life. May the road rise up to meet them and the wind be always at their backs!
I said to students at the Assembly that if you are not receiving an award, be happy for your peers and put a goal in your mind that in 2023 you will generate those habits that lead to success. The example of Nano and the Presentation Sisters is working selflessly for others’ success. This is the opposite of anything we see on any media that we consume which is typically about ‘self’. On my news app I can subscribe to news from different categories, politics, sport,local news, world news, arts etc. Amongst my selection is good news. Typically the good news is not about individual success, rather it is about people doing good (you could say being the good) for others.
All of us create the environment for success. If we are all striving there will be more success. If Mount St Pat’s is a calm, caring community we will enjoy great success and also be a wonderful culture to be immersed in. That is the legacy of the Presentation Sisters and we should strive for that in ourselves, being the good. I said in my address to students last week, it makes us feel good to do good for others. Christmas is an ideal time for that, thinking of showing love for those in your family, and maybe even further afield, for others in need.
My mother-in-law, who had a large family of her own, would invite people without anyone else to share Christmas with to join her family. Her’s was a family without a lot of material things but a whole lot of love. Remember the gift of Jesus arriving for us at Christmas. Ms McShane recently relayed a conversation to me that she had with a student questioning God’s existence. He felt everything could be explained by science. Science is marvellous, it tells the how, but it doesn’t explain the why. I’m pretty interested in the why. Why the opening chords of a certain song can move me to tears, why we know right from wrong, why we exist. At a Catholic school with Christian values, we would see Jesus as the Why.
Have a wonderful Christmas and treat yourself, and those around you, with kindness.
Be the Good and God Bless,
Assistant Principal - Mission
We celebrated the many blessings of the year with a liturgy in the Sacred Heart
Church on Monday 12 th December. The focus of the liturgy was on preparing our
hearts and minds for the coming of Jesus (Emmanuel or ‘God-is-with-us’) at
At the end of the liturgy members of the College’s Vinnies group presented Mrs
Bryanne Jardine from the local Mary MacKillop SVDP Conference with $500 for the
purchase of vouchers for those in our local community in need this Christmas. Thank
you to parents for enabling your students to support this fundraiser through the
purchase of candy-cane-o-grams for friends, Christmas cookies and a lolly jar
An incredible number of awards were presented to students from Year 7 – 11 on
Wednesday afternoon 14 th December. Congratulations to those who received
Academic Excellence, Merit and Exemplary Behaviour Awards. They are listed later
in this newsletter. There was even a visit from Santa and some of his reindeers and
Best wishes to all of our families for a happy and holy Christmas and a safe and
relaxing summer break. Please try to attend a Christmas service as a family, as this
year Christmas Day actually falls on a Sunday. We need to give thanks for all that we
have received and to acknowledge the ’reason for the season’.
Assistant Principal: Mission
Year 10 and 12 Retreats 2023
The Year 10 and 12 Retreats will take place from Wednesday 15th February to Friday 17th February (Year 12 - Term 1, Week 3) and Monday 20th March to Wednesday 22nd March (Year 10 - Term 1, Week 8) at Camp Bornhoffen. This is an important opportunity for students to reflect upon their lives in a very busy year, especially their relationships with family, friends and God. A letter regarding details and costs will be emailed to parents early in the New Year.
These retreats are a very important part of the Mt St Patrick College tradition and are seen as integral to the philosophy and ethos of the College and therefore the retreat is compulsory for all students. It is also an essential part of their holistic development. If students are unable to go for any reason, they must see our principal Mr Paul Reidy and myself. Parents are asked to ring the College if further clarification is needed.
St Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal
A big thank you to all the students and staff who donated to the Vinnies Christmas Appeal. It was lovely to be able to present $500 to the Vinnies representative, Mrs Bryanne Jardine at our Advent Liturgy on Monday 12th December. Vinnies will be purchasing gift vouchers to be distributed to those in need in the local area this Christmas.
A big thank you to all those students and staff who have attended and/or supported Ministry events this year. It has been a busy one, but students have been wonderful representatives of the College and have grown in faith and friendship through these experiences. I look forward to continuing this journey in 2023. It has been an absolute privilege to walk alongside our students as they deepen their faith.
A special thanks to Mrs Angela Finkel and Mrs Cathy Cripps for all their support and work with our Year 9 and 10 Youth Ministry classes. These students have had a fantastic year together and have led some amazing activities here at school and with our local primary schools. Thank you also to our two YMOs Emma and Mikayla for their work at the College and for supporting the students along the way.
As the year draws to a close, we are challenged to spend some time thinking about why we really have Christmas. Without the birth of Jesus there would be no reason to celebrate. At this special time of year we look forward to preparing our hearts to receive the message and light of Christ.
May God's blessing go with us. At the end of this school year we pray that God will keep us safe and give us rest so we start again renewed and refreshed, full of health, fun and ready to come and learn again. Bless our College community, students, parents, carers, teachers and friends. Keep them safe these holidays. May the spirit of Christmas bring us Joy, Peace, Love and Hope - Amen.
Wishing you all a happy and holy Christmas.
Stay safe and well.
Leader of Evangelisation
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
It was great to return to our Awards ceremony after the interruption of COVID for the past 3 years. The students looked proud in their school uniforms receiving their awards, Awards are given for:
- Academic Excellence- First place in a subject
- Academic Merit- Awarded to students by their teacher based on effort
- Exemplary Behaviour
Many students received awards during the presentation and we are pleased with the students who congratulated their class mates and may not have received an award themselves. They can set a goal to achieve an award next year.
Outstanding HSC results for the class of 2022.
The College continues its long history of success in the HSC with 57 Distinguished Achiever results in various subjects. Two students were named in the Top Achiever list:
Lincoln Taylor for Standard English
Anna Dubois for Mathematics Standard 2
Congratulations to every student who tried hard and achieved their best. We wish you well in your future endeavours. Please come and visit to let us know about your future journey.
I would like to wish all students and their families a peaceful and happy Christmas break and we look forward to having the students back in the College enjoying learning and achieving the knowledge and skills to live life to the full.
Assistant Principal: Learning and Teaching
I would like to thank you for your support of our school again this year. It has, in many ways, been a trying year but it has also brought many blessings. I have outlined some strategies below that may help if anyone needs support over the holiday period. I hope that all members of our community have a happy and holy Christmas and a safe and relaxing holiday. I look forward to seeing you all in 2023.
Supporting the mental health of a young person in distress
- Look for warning signs of distress (withdrawn, difficulty participating, irritability, easily overwhelmed, teary, shaky, fidgety, complaints of headaches, stomach aches, etc.) Where possible, act early.
- Ask how they are, and if they need some space/ time away from group (chill out space).
- Listening & having therapeutic conversations:
- Reassure them of their safety- be emotionally available and present
- Normalise but don’t minimize or dismiss the intensity or importance of their feelings
- Create a shared story- explain/ confirm your understanding of what’s happening for them
- Provide any insight you have, draw on their strengths & likes. Encourage coping skills
- Follow up. Reinforce your care by checking in later.
4. Promoting coping skills
Distraction: re-direct their attention from distress to another activity.
- Focus on the present. Offer a cold/hot drink or something to eat. Chat about inane topics
- Listen to music, draw/ colour in, write, do craft, play a game
- Breathing exercises and relaxation techniques.
If the young person is unable to regulate, or you have concerns about their emotional or physical safety- urgent supports are available. Please do not leave them alone.
Kids Helpline- 1800 55 1800
Mental Health Telephone Access Number- 1800 011 511
24/7 Professional help and advice, and referrals to local mental health services. It is staffed by mental health professionals who will ask questions to determine if the person needs ongoing mental health care and how urgently it is needed.
The Emergency Department at a local hospital is always an option if you are concerned.
Leader of Welfare
FROM THE SPORTS DESK
Parents of Yr 8 students 2022 (Yr 9 – 2023) may I suggest a stocking filler. During Term 3 of their Integrated sport program students participate in a Hockey program at Tweed Border Hockey facilities led by their development officer Mat Bartell. During these 3 weeks all students require a mouth guard. These can be purchased at all local chemists. Some private health providers will cover a mouth guard per year, check your individual plan.
Although 2022 was not the fullest year of sport we have ever had, it was so pleasing to see students return to the fields, courts and ovals around the East Coast. The floods in Term 1 saw cancellations of a number of events but nowhere near the cancellation rates of the previous 2 no event years during Covid. So from me, a massive thankyou to all the kids who attended morning and afternoon training sessions, fought hard and represented well this year. Let’s do it all again and more in 2023. To the parents who drove them to early morning buses and picked them all up late, thank you for your time and patience waiting for buses and being on time.
CAN YOU RIDE A BIKE?
Year 9 – 11 will be experiencing the Northern Rivers Rail Trail as part of their integrated sport program in 2023. The College has purchased some high end mountain bikes and we plan to get the three year groups to walk the bikes over to the trail head at the train station and ride for approx. 1hr during their double sport sessions during Terms 2 and 3. So if you have a child in Year 9 – 11 next year who cannot ride, you have homework over the Christmas break to upskill them to ride a bike.
COLLEGE SWIMMING CARNIVAL
Our annual Swimming Carnival will be held in week 1 of our new school year. It is scheduled for Friday 3rd February. This is a compulsory day for all at our College and a wonderful way to start the new College year and introduce the 4 new House Groups: Assis, Doyle, Ignatius and Romero to the existing 4 houses: Lisieux, Loreto, Lucan and Nagle.
Entry to the Carnival is $3 and needs to be paid at the gate. All students can arrive in House colours but will be asked to change into College Sports Uniform before leaving and walking back to the College to connect with afternoon buses.
We have outgrown the stand and 2 Houses will be asked to set up on the hill under shade tents so see below and bring any items you need.
If you catch a bus to the College normally, please do not ask the driver to stop at the TRAC. Continue to the College as normal and assemble in the Canteen Basement. Staff will walk all students to the pool at 8.47am.
Please adhere to the College’s swimwear policy.
A copy of the College records is below so all our swimmers can set their goals and plan their training sessions over the holidays for the carnival.
SURF LIFE SAVING HONOUR
Lachlan Thomas from Yr 7 has recently been awarded the prestigious honour of being named the male representative for the Far North Coast in the New South Wales Junior Life Saver of the Year. To get to this point Lachlan was selected from within his club (Cabarita Beach), he then had to face an interview panel of senior members of the Life Saving Community across the 10 FNC Clubs and he was awarded the honour at the Byron Bay Nipper Carnival held last week. Lachlan will now represent FNC at the state level where he will attend a week long intensive camp at Narrabeen with all the other Branch representatives. Here attendees will refine the SLS skills, make lifelong connections and a NSW Junior Life Saver of the Year will be announced.
Good luck Lachlan!
Year 11 student Elsie Biles is currently exhibiting her artwork in a group show at Small Works Gallery in Murwillumbah. Elsie is pictured here on Opening Night, with the artworks that she produced during Term 4. These and a series of her other artworks are included in the exhibition. Congratulations, Elsie!