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9 February 2018

Our 61 Year 7 students attended a 3-day camp experience at Emu Gully, Helidon this week. The students were engaged in individual and team building challenges designed to challenge, inspire and empower as well as develop the core values of respect, walking the talk, safety and a positive “Can Do” attitude. In addition, all students were provided with a personal two man tent and mess kit, which they were able to take home with them at the end of the program.

Overall, our students were a credit to themselves and our College. They responded positively to the many challenges and were able to reflect on their personal growth. Congratulations to all of Year 7’s, and thank you to our team of teachers who supported the students. It was a very successful learning experience for all.

*Photos attached.

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Mission Matters at Mary Mac

9 February 2018


On Friday, 2 February, our whole college gathered in the MacKillop Centre to celebrate the Eucharist with Father Brian Noonan. On that day, the Church celebrates the feast of the Presentation of the Lord, which occurs forty days after the birth of Jesus. It is also known as Candlemas day, which we honoured with the blessing and procession of 30 class candles to begin mass.

Our elected Year 6 student representatives did a beautiful job assisting Father Brian. During proceedings, we officially launched the 2018 college theme “Celebrating the Year of Youth” by painting our college symbol designed by Year 8 student Levi Logan.

Congratulations to the following students who received leadership badges following the mass.

Year 6 Student Leaders 2018


Boy Primary Leader:   Liam Samin

Girl Primary Leader:  Monique George

Cultural Leaders: Gabi Stubbings & Chloe Gillett

Pastoral Leaders: Isaac Logan & Natasha James

House Leaders:

Cunningham (red): Lucy Thompson & Charlotte Stevenson Hiley

McCormack (yellow): Lucy Anlezark & Lucie Ramsay

Penola (blue): Mitch Garrels & Ally Suliman

Tension (green): Olivia Clark & Tom Steer

Year 10 Student Leaders 2018

Brock Bishop- Kinlyside, Connor McKerrow, Lincoln Giarratano, Ben Hackwood, Cooper Adam, Zac Dixon, Talia Wallace, Holly Hutchison, Nadia Eastaugh and Ben Ziviani.


Our whole College gathered for our first Friday morning assembly on 9 February, which will become the norm in 2018. It was wonderful to share the joy of Youth with parents and friends who are always welcome to attend. As has been a tradition for many years, we celebrated the gifts and talents of our Prep - Year 2 Stars of the Week and Mrs Anderson’s Year 5 Warrego presented our first teaching and learning class presentation for 2018.

We also celebrated our swimming age champions, announced this year’s swimming carnival house champions, and prayed especially for the sick. (refer below)

Our whole College will only gather for assemblies every second week (odd weeks) in 2018. In the even weeks, there will be two assemblies; a junior assembly in the MacKillop Centre and a senior assembly in Penola 6.

Praying for the Sick
World Day of Prayer for the Sick‚Äč
February 11 is World Day of the Sick, an observation introduced by Pope John Paul II as a way for believers to offer prayers for those suffering from illnesses. The day coincides with the commemoration of Our Lady of Lourdes and is an important opportunity for those who serve in Catholic health ministry to reflect on caring for those who are sick as well as those who provide care to them.

Click here for a Prayer for the Sick

Click here to pray the Litany of Our Lady of Lourdes


  • 8:00 am every Sunday- “Mary of the Southern Cross” Parish Masses with Father Brian.
  • 8:30 am weekly Friday assemblies – refer to the College calendar
  • 8:30-9:00am Wednesday 14 February- whole college Ash Wednesday liturgy where all will receive ashes to mark the beginning of the Lenten season as well as a Project Compassion money box.


On Friday 9 February, our Year 9 CSYMA student leaders represented our College at the Toowoomba Schools Diocesan mass, which will also included the diocesan launch of the Year of Youth. The mass was held in St.Patrick’s Cathedral and led by our Bishop Robert McGuckin. Mrs Worner, Mr Franzmann and Mr Murphy attended.


Student College leaders and staff will represent our College at this special event at St.Patrick’s Cathedral in Toowoomba on Sunday, 11 February. Each year we offer our support to Caritas Australia’s Lenten Project Compassion Appeal, a key response to giving witness to the Catholic Social Teaching of “Preferential Option for the Poor.


Year 4 Friendship Day, Friday, 16 February (Year 9 CSYMA class will be involved in this day)   

Year 7 Reflection Day, Thursday, 22February

Year 10 Retreat Thursday and Friday, 8 & 9 March

Year 9 Reflection Day, Tuesday, 1 May

Year 5 Reflection Day Wednesday, 22 August (facilitated by Year 10)

Year 4 Reflection Day Monday, 3 September (facilitated by Year 9 YM class)

Year 6 MJR Reflection Day Wednesday, 21 November

Year 8 'Catch the Wave' Monday, 26 November

Gospel Reading- Sunday 11 February 2018

Gospel Reading
Mark 1:40-45
Jesus cures a person with leprosy, who reports his cure to everyone.

Family Connection

This Sunday’s Gospel invites us to think about the choices we make as individuals and as a family. Jesus was faced with a choice in this Gospel. By choosing to heal the man with leprosy, Jesus showed God’s compassion for the sick and the outcast. The man knew that Jesus had a choice and that Jesus could reject his request. He may have expected that Jesus would not help him. The social taboos regarding leprosy certainly gave him little on which to base his hope. In the person of the man with leprosy, we see an image of all those in need. The sick and the outcast of our world are watching us, to see if we as Christians will choose to extend ourselves to others in need of healing and compassion.

As you gather with your family talk about some of the choices you have made as a family (where to go on vacation, what activities to do together, how to spend our evenings, and so on).  How does your family go about making these decisions? What do your choices communicate to others about your family’s values? In this Gospel, Jesus was faced with a choice. Read today’s Gospel, Mark 1:40-45. In choosing to heal the man with leprosy, Jesus chose to show God’s compassion and mercy. All our choices reflect our faith, and others are watching. Conclude in prayer together, asking God to help your family show compassion to others in your family decisions. Pray together today’s Psalm, Psalm 32, or pray the Prayer for Vocations.

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Footpath Construction - Kratzke Road

9 February 2018

Please be aware that construction will commence on the Kratzke Road footpath – west of the College entrance past the football field – on Monday, 19 February.

The footpath will be cordoned off from Monday, 12 February in anticipation of the construction. Pedestrians are requested to cross the street and avoid this area if possible.

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Cyber Safety Information Evening

9 February 2018

A community event, regarding Cyber Safety will be held on Thursday, 15 February at the Highfields Hub (55 Highfields Road, Highfields).

Further information about this event can be found on the attached flyer.


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College Photo Day

9 February 2018

College Photo Day is Monday, 19 February.

Please see the below details regarding School Photos:

  • Photo day is Monday, 19 February. 
  • Catch up day for students absent is Thursday, 22 February.
  • Please check your child’s school bag / homelink folder TODAY for their school photo envelope. 
  • Photos are for students at Mary MacKillop Catholic College only.
  • All orders, including sibling photos must be placed online.
  • Ordering is now open. 
  • Orders placed after the due date will incur a $20 search fee.
  • Students are not required to bring their personalised envelopes on the day.
  • Sibling envelopes MUST be brought on the day and handed to the photographer.

Any queries regarding ordering should be directed to MSP Photography on 07 3848 3946.

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Japanese Student Visit - Host Families Needed

9 February 2018

Our annual visit from the Japanese students is fast approaching.  They are due to arrive on the Monday, 19 March and leave on Wednesday, 28 March.

We are looking for 14 families to host the girls over this time.  They will attend school with their host families children and participate as a family member at home too.  

To volunteer for this fantastic cultural experience, please contact the Japanese Student coordinator, Mrs Julie Camm on 0407 991 226.


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Health Check

9 February 2018

During the past 48 hours we have experienced a number of absences due to gastrointestinal illness.

Gastro is spread easily from person to person and can be spread up to 48 hours after symptoms have stopped.

Poor hygiene, especially not washing hands properly can cause the virus to spread and we will be taking measures at school to reinforce good handwashing. 

If your child has become ill with any gastrointestinal type illness (nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea,  stomach pain and fever) and you have not already alerted the college, please contact us and provide as much information as possible regarding the illness.

We ask parents to keep students at  home and away from others while they are unwell.

Further information can be found on the Quensland Health website:

Gastroenteritis Fact Sheet

Time Out Poster

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*NEW* College Mobile App

25 January 2018

We are excited to launch our new College Mobile App to help communicate better with you!

The Skoolbag App will soon cease to exist for our College, so please ensure you delete this option and download the new version.

What you need to know:

  1. It’s FREE!
  2. It’s available on iPhone, Android and iPad
  3. You have quick access to the College Calendar, eNews and extracurricular events.
  4. Alerts and Notices will appear on your phone in the same way as text messages
  5. You will need access to this App to find out about important information.
  6. You can subscribe to particular areas. Eg. If you only want to know about Year 2 events and Sport, click on the cog wheel at the bottom right side of the screen and subscribe to those items. The app defaults to subscribe to all.

Download now and ensure you click ‘ALLOW’ to the notifications so that you will receive pop up messages on your phone.

See the attached User Guide for quick and easy instructions on how to download the app and how to best use its features.

For more information or assistance, don't hesitate to contact the College.

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Welcome BBQ - From the P&F

25 January 2018

The College P&F Association would like to invite all new and existing families to join us for a Welcome BBQ on Saturday, 10 February from 6:00pm.

Who: All families from P-10 , new and existing are welcome and encouraged to attend

What: Free Sausage Sizzle, Drinks Bar and Hot Chips available for purchase

Where: Uluru – regardless of wet or dry weather

When: Saturday, 10 February from 6:00 pm

Entertainment: Entertainment will be provided for the evening.


P&F Meeting Date Claimers

Meetings are held at 7pm on the first Wednesday of the month during term time so will be as follows:

7th February

7th March (AGM)


2nd May

6th June


1st August

5th September

7th November

5th December


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College Photo Day - Date Claimer

25 January 2018

Our College Photo day will be held on Monday, 19 February.

Your order forms will be available shortly, from which you will be able to place your orders online.

Please note that orders MUST be placed online this year and no orders will be taken through the College Administration.

More details about the day will be sent to you in the coming weeks.

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Music Programs in 2018

25 January 2018

Welcome to a very exciting year of Music at Mary MacKillop Catholic College! Please tell your children to start warming up their piano fingers, clean their polishing cloths and find their music books, because our Instrumental Music Program and Extra Curricular Music program commence in Week 2!


Please see below for our Music Groups on offer this year:

Guitar Ensemble Mr Jack Hickey Monday 7:45 am to  8:25 am in the MacKillop Centre

First rehearsal is Monday 29 January. Continuing members only. Mr Hickey will invite new members to join this year.

Concert Band Mrs Natalie Otto Wednesday 7:30 am to 8:25 am in the MacKillop Centre

First rehearsal is Wednesday 31 January. Continuing members only, unless arranged directly with Mrs Otto.



Year 2/3 Choir

Ms Susie Fredline Wednesday 10:50 am to 11:30 am in Keppel (first break) First rehearsal is Wednesday 31 January. Any student in Year 2 or 3 can join! Simply turn up the first rehearsal!



Senior Singers Choir

Mrs Natalie Otto Thursday 7:30 am to 8:25 am in Joseph 4 (the new Senior School music room) First rehearsal is Friday 2 February. Any student in Year 7, 8, 9 or 10 can join! Simply turn up to the first rehearsal!


String Ensemble

Ms Teresa Brix Friday 7:45 am to 8:25 am in the MacKillop Centre First rehearsal is Friday 2 February. Continuing members only. Ms Brix will invite new members to join this year.


Year 4/5/6 Choir

Mrs Natalie Otto Tuesday 7:30 am to 8:25 in Keppel First rehearsal is Tuesday 6 February (no rehearsal in Week 2 due to Swimming Carnival). Any student in Year 4, 5 or 6 can join! Simply turn up to the first rehearsal!



Our 2018 Instrumental Music teachers are:

Mrs Monica Brennan – Piano

Ms Teresa Brix – Strings & String Ensemble

Mr Morgan Chalmers – Piano

Mr Martin Crook – Clarinet and Saxophone

Mr Ian Dixon – Drums

Ms Janelle Fletcher – Voice & Brass

Mr Jack Hickey – Guitar & Guitar Ensemble

Ms Rosanne Pietsch – Flute and Piano

The timetable is in the final phases of preparation and will be forwarded to teachers and parents soon.

Please be aware that students in the program last year are automatically enrolled in this year’s program, unless otherwise notified. If you are interested in enrolling your child in lessons for the first time, please fill in the form at the bottom of this article.

The Music Teachers’ Association of Queensland has recommended that the 2018 maximum rate for a fully qualified music teacher is $35 per half hour, which is an increase of $1 since last year. Our music teachers invoice parents directly and therefore choose their own rates, which may or may not be at the 2018 maximum rate.

I look forward to introducing our Instrumental Staff in more detail and detailing all the exciting plans for the 2018 Music Program in the coming weeks!

Natalie Otto

Head of Music

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Senior Dance Troupe

25 January 2018

The Senior Dance Troupe sessions will begin Week 3, Monday, 5 February after school from 3:15 – 4:15 pm. 

These classes are a great opportunity for any secondary students who may have an interest in dance to come along and learn a variety of dance styles. Lessons this term will largely focus around the dance style of Jazz and will develop the skills of moving rhythmically to music, while following a set sequence of steps, and choreographing simple routines.

Any students interested in being a part of the Senior Dance Troupe should see Miss Morgan for a permission note.

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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

25 January 2018

Year of Youth

We seek to awaken love and open your spirit to others so that you find and commit to the meaningful life God intends and so make a difference in the world.


Archbishop Denis Hart

We have chosen to adopt the Year of Youth theme, selected by the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, as our College focus theme for 2018. We hope to inspire our young people with hope, courage and compassion lived out in the service of others.

Swimming Carnival

The College Swimming carnival will be held this Tuesday, January 30 at the Milne Bay Aquatic Centre. Students from Year 3 to Year 10 will compete in both competitive and noncompetitive events. All students are invited to wear their House colours and are expected to wear their College broad brimmed hat at the carnival. Parents are welcome to attend to support their children or to assist with running the carnival.


Assembly will be held each Friday morning during the first session of the day. The changed time slot should eliminate end of day traffic congestion and minimise the possibility of heat stress as the assembly takes place in a cooler part of the day.

Student Diary

The College learning management system, Firefly, has the capacity to also operate as a student homework diary. Commencing this year, students from Year 4 through to Year 10 will receive or record their homework on Firefly. Teachers may choose to enter the homework for the class, or allow students to enter the information for themselves. Parents will have access to view their child’s assigned homework through Firefly.

New Staff

The College has continued to grow, the new year witnessing our first Year 10 cohort as well as a fourth stream in Prep. Once again, there are a large number of people newly employed to serve the young people at Mary MacKillop Catholic College and their families.

We currently enjoy a positive reputation across the region. This has resulted in an extremely high quality candidature for all positions. I am pleased to introduce the following new personnel.




Natasha Hess

Prep Aide

Duvessa Carmody

Teacher Aide

Saxon Inskip

Teacher Aide

Christie Mastin-Richardson

Teacher Aide

Bethany Campbell

Office Trainee

Natalie Sleba

Teacher Aide Trainee

Nicholas Joy

Creative Arts Trainee

Jordan Mead

Grounds & Maintenance - Trainee

Ethan Martin

Grounds & Maintenance - Trainee

Sarah Goldthorpe

Junior school Teacher - Grade 3

Sandra Miller

Junior School Teacher - Grade 4 job share with Amy Dwyer

Peta Kingsford

Junior School Teacher – Grade 3

Lisa-Marie Barber

Junior School Teacher – Grade 1

Lisa Kynoch

Junior School Teacher – Grade 5

Carmen Campbell

Junior School Teacher – Grade 5 job share with Shannon Anderson

Tara Garske

Senior School Teacher – English HaSS, RE, Art

Troy Brunner

Senior School Teacher – Technology, Mathematics

Sean Albion

Senior School Teacher – Mathematics, Science, HPE

Andrew Nielsen

Senior School Teacher – HaSS, Japanese

Leader of Pastoral Care

Chris Bracken

Senior School Teacher – English, RE

Leader of Curriculum

Tim Connolly

Senior School Teacher, English, HaSS


In 2018 there are four Middle Leader positions in the senior school. These are divided across two focus areas, Curriculum and Pastoral. The two Leaders of Curriculum are Dean Logan, who will have responsibility over the curriculum areas of Mathematics, Science, HPE and Technology, and Chris Bracken, who will have responsibility over the Curriculum areas of English, HaSS, Language, and Creative Arts. The two Middle Leaders Pastoral are Steve Coren and Andrew Nielsen. Each of these Leaders of Pastoral Care will have direct responsibilities for students in two House groups in the senior school.

In addition to the positions above, the College is in the process of appointing a new Chaplain and an IT Technician

New Buildings

We commence the year with Stage 2 of the senior school ready for occupancy. Three new structures have been created – a new College Administration Building, Technology building, and a large undercover area that will ultimately grow to become a second major gathering centre. The temporary Administration building has been converted to three classrooms plus a Graphics room. Other refurbishments include an expansion of the tuckshop, a second Science laboratory, and a Textiles classroom.

Open Day

Open Day 2018 will take place on Sunday March 25. This will be a whole College event, commencing directly after the 8:00 am Sunday Mass. Please mark this date in Your calendar.

Building Master Plan

With this newsletter is a copy of the third iteration of a new Building Master Plan for the College. This draft has taken into account the insightful and helpful feedback and suggestions from parents and members of staff collected in the survey in the latter stages of term 4 2017. Many of these suggestions have been incorporated into the draft masterplan. Suggestions include:

  • Introducing separate play areas for Prep students and Grade 1 & 2 students.
  • Development of a Trade Training Centre
  • Rooms made available for use by independent therapists
  • Additional shade and shelter
  • Performance space
  • Improved vehicular access and parking
  • Connection of Highfields Road entry through to Kratzke Road
  • Maximise play space
  • Two storey buildings to maximise play space
  • Kindergarten attached to the College
  • Learning garden
  • Cooling systems for classrooms
  • Large ceiling fans in the MacKillop Centre
  • Relocation of before and after school care to a space where they will rarely have to move from
  • Greater opportunities and options for physical activity

You are invited to respond to the draft masterplan with constructive criticism and additional suggestions to improve our College over the next two decades.

Suggestions should be emailed to

Animals on School Grounds

It is College policy that animals are not permitted on College grounds. This includes when coming to drop off or pick up your child. Please be sure to adhere to this policy.

School Improvement and Renewal

From Monday March 19 through to Wednesday March 21 an external panel will conduct a review of the College. The focus of the review is improvement and renewal. The review will be data based and will examine sources such as NAPLAN Data, Standardised testing, RADII surveys, and Component reviews from the Excellence in Catholic Education (EiCE) component review cycle.

The approach taken in the review is that of appreciative inquiry. Appreciative Inquiry begins with the assumption that there are good things happening in the organisation, and identifying these. It then moves to what people see as areas needing attention, improvement or change. The key principle is that these are placed in the context of what the organisation does well, so it moves beyond a problem solving agenda to an improvement agenda.

A vital source in informing the panel is the lived experience of all members of the Mary MacKillop Catholic College Community. To access this information various groups will be organised for interviews with the Panel. Parent representatives from the College Board and the Parents and Friends Association will be interviewed. Beyond this, all parents in the College will be invited to nominate themselves for an interview. It is my best understanding that the broader the interview base, the more reliable and useful the data collected.

Please give consideration to having your say in this review. Interviews for parents may occur on Monday March 19 or Tuesday March 20.

If you are prepared to be interviewed as part of the School Improvement and Renewal process, please email to invitation to before Friday, February 2.

Following the review a report of findings and recommendations will be published through the newsletter and placed on the College website.

Findings and recommendations from the review will represent a vital data source for the development of the College Strategic Plan for 2019-2022.

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Join our College Team in the GOLD COAST MARATHON 2018

25 January 2018


Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1nd July  (1/2 & Marathon)

Parent organiser Charmaine Schmaling has registered the Mary Mackillop Catholic College team in the 2018 Gold Coast Marathon (this is the 40th edition of the Marathon).

Entries are now open via the website

Password: Celebrate

Early Bird entries close Sunday 29  April 2018.


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25 January 2018

Meet every Tuesday outside the MacKillop Centre - free Fun Run/Walk


Choice of 1,2 or 3 laps of 1.67km (5km)

For more information, contact Mr Steve Moyle.

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Mission Matters at Mary Mac

25 January 2018


Thank you to our parish priest Father Brian Noonan who led a beautiful whole staff mass at the James Byrne Centre on Monday, 15 January.  A mass is structured with four main parts; Gathering, Listening to the Word, Responding and Sending. To begin we all gathered outside in the beautiful natural grounds, before moving to the Christ the King Chapel for the Liturgy of the Word. Next, we moved to the Marian Hall to celebrate the Liturgy of the Eucharist and shared a beautiful breakfast before regathering in the chapel to conclude the mass.

To begin we started with this beautiful prayer:


Loving God in this year dedicated to celebrating the Joy of Youth in our college community, we gather here today to give You thanks and to ask for your blessing upon us as we begin this new year. May we be wise and strong as we exercise our responsibilities enabling others to become the best they can be, by engaging minds, igniting hearts and serving others.

We make this prayer through Jesus Christ our Lord.

During the mass our whole staff also pledged our 2018 College commitment prayer.

"We, the teachers and staff of Mary MacKillop Catholic College, Highfields, conscious of our responsibility to the students entrusted to our care, pledge ourselves to making Jesus known.

We will seek to the best of our ability to inspire in the students committed to our care those Gospel values which are foundational to Catholic School Education and those taught by Australia’s first saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop.  We will seek to do this by word and example.

We commit ourselves to excellence in the education of those whom we teach and serve.

As we embark on the 2018 journey, the Year of YOUTH, we place our hope and trust in you. Pour your blessing upon us, as we face the unknown and the known together.  Bring life and growth to all that awaits us. Open us anew to the familiar. Support us in facing the challenges and surprises that will come to us.

May we, in your blessing, grow in love and celebrate the joyfulness of Youth by using our hands to serve others, our intellect to engage our minds, and our hearts to ignite our spirit.

 Help us to honour our college motto inspired by Saint Ignatius of Loyola to


In 2018 may we work together for the glory of your Kingdom.

This we pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen."



On Friday 9 February, our Year 9 CSYMA and elected Year 6 student leaders will represent our College at the Toowoomba Schools Diocesan Mass, which will also include the launch of the Year of Youth. The mass will be held in St. Patrick’s Cathedral and will be presided by our bishop Robert McGuckin.  Mrs Worner, Mr Franzmann and Mr Murphy will also be attending.



Please refer to the College calendar for a full list of events.


Gospel Reading- Sunday 28 January 2018
Mark 1:21-28
Jesus heals a man with an unclean spirit and his fame spreads throughout Galilee.

Family Connection

The people who heard Jesus teach and saw him heal in today’s Gospel were said to have been astonished and amazed by the authority of his teaching. So compelling were Jesus’ words and actions that the news about him could not be contained; it spread quickly throughout all of Galilee. Two thousand years later, the news about Jesus continues to spread. We are called to participate in sharing the Good News of Jesus with others in our words and in our deeds.

Gather as a family and try to name some amazing things, events, or people. In today’s Gospel we hear that the people were astonished and amazed by their experience of Jesus. Read today’s Gospel, Mark 1:21–28. What did the people who saw and heard Jesus find so amazing? (In Jesus, the people heard and saw the power and authority of God at work.) People should see in our lives the power and authority of God at work. Can you name any modern examples of people in whom you have seen the power and authority of God at work? Conclude in prayer together that we will experience wonder at the work of God in our world today. Pray together the Prayer to the Holy Spirit.


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From the Head of Junior School - Mr Timothy Franzmann

25 January 2018

Welcome back to a new school year which I hope will be filled with many wonderful learning experiences for all of our students. One major change that has occurred in the junior school this year has been the inclusion of a fourth Prep class. We now have a Prep class named Joey’s to go hand in hand with our other Prep classes named Koalas, Possums and Bilbies. Due to the extra students this now creates in our Prep to Year 2 play area, we have made the decision to split the play time for these age groups. Prep children play first and eat second for both breaks and there is no change to Year 1 and 2 eating and playtimes.

In a newsletter last year I featured the idea of T.H.I.N.K.  I have included it again to refresh our thoughts for a new school year.


Before You Speak


T - is it true?

H - is it helpful?

I - is it inspiring?

N - is it necessary?

K - is it kind?


2018 Uniform Changes

Some changes and slight alterations have been made to the uniform code of presentation for 2018. Please familiarize yourselves with these changes and for a comprehensive list of uniforms and expectations please follow the link to our website.

Junior School Girls Dress – No further dress will be ordered as it has a slow stock turnover and is worn by a small percentage of students. It will be phased out over several years.

College Vest – No further vests will be ordered as it has a slow stock turnover and is worn by a small percentage of students. It will be phased out over several years.

Junior School winter uniform - not compulsory until 2019. In 2019 the winter uniform will not be compulsory for year 6 students

Junior Girls winter shirt – the white shirt will be discontinued in 2019 and girls will wear a blue shirt. This change has been made due to the impractical color of the white shirt.

Sports Shoes – Year 1 to 6 students have the option to wear sports shoes on Friday’s only. Only year 3 to 6 Students can change into sports shoes for PE lessons.

Sports Socks – Currently and until further notice students must wear the navy socks with sports shoes. Sports socks will be introduced this year and will become a compulsory addition to the sports uniform in 2019.

Junior Girls Hat – This item is still available but no further orders will be placed. This hat will be phased out over several years and girls will eventually wear the same hat as the boys. Loss of shape once washed causes a visibly hazard for girls. This hat falls off heads easily when running.


Junior School Morning Supervision

Teacher supervision in both Uluru and Billabong commences from 8:10 am. If students arrive to school before 8:00 am there are three options.

  1. Attend outside school hours care provide by Camp Australia
  2. Arriving to school between 8:00 am and 8:10 am wait informant of office adjacent to the driveway.
  3. Attend supervision in the College Libraries from 7:45 am.
    1. Monday and Tuesday – Junior Library
    2. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday – Senior Library

No student should be entering the Billabong area before 8:10 am unless they are under the supervision of their parent or adult caregiver.

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College Swimming Carnival Update

25 January 2018

A reminder for our College Swimming Carnival at Milne Bay Aquatic Centre on Tuesday, 30 January.

- House Colours or the College Sports Uniform are the two options for students to wear whilst at the Carnival

- Students must NOT wear coloured zinc, face paint or crepe paper to the pool (as directed by the Aquatic Centre)

- Only swimwear may be worn in the pool (no regular street clothing)

For further information regarding the College Swimming Carnival, please contact the College.

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Transitions and New Beginnings - from the College Counsellor

25 January 2018

Happy New Year to our wonderful Mary Mac school community!

Some of you might be just starting at Mary MacKillop, while others return for another exciting year.

Particularly for our sweet little Preps and our brave new senior school students in year seven, the start of the school year can bring on excitement, but also stress.  Transitions can be hard for all of us, but particularly for young people, who are still developing their resilience, self-regulation, and identity.  Therefore, I have included links below that contain useful information on supporting your child through transitions to junior and senior school.

For prep students and families:

For year 7 students and families:

This year, I am excited to let you all know that I will be here 4 days per week (Monday – Thursday) in my new office, located in the junior school. 

For those new to the College or considering accessing school counselling for the first time, school counsellors can provide a range of services including;

  • Short term, confidential, one on one counselling to address a variety of mental health, life transition and behavioural concerns that may be impacting on a student’s ability to achieve their best in the school setting
  • Educational assessments to support classroom learning
  • Parenting support
  • Critical incident debriefing
  • Small group programs that address commonly arising issues
  • Curriculum support to promote resilience and well-being across the school community
  • Referrals to external support providers as appropriate

I look forward to supporting and working with many of you in the coming months. 

Here’s to a great 2018!

Amanda Roll
College Counsellor
Ph: 4698 7777

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Christmas Greetings from the Principal

30 November 2017

This is the Light which knows no night which overcomes the darkness and fills the world with joy!

Many of our classes from Prep right through to Year 9 have been learning about Christmas customs. One such custom is the Christmas lights. These lights originated in Ireland during English occupation of the country at a time when Catholic faith and religious practise were suppressed. The lights were placed in the window on Christmas Eve while the family prayed and remained there all night hoping that a priest might come by and celebrate the Christmas Mass with them.

Today’s Christmas light displays are far more eye catching and spectacular, but I fear that they are, for many families, quite empty of meaning. The Christmas lights serve to remind us that from a small ‘spark’ of life, appearing as a baby boy born in questionable circumstances, God entered our world in human form. For Christians today the lights so brightly displayed at Christmas should still shine forth as a statement of faith and as both a public and personal invitation for God to enter into and light up our lives.

I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. (Jn 8:12)

Over Christmas and the holiday period I wish God’s blessing on all the families at Mary MacKillop Catholic College and pray that we meet again safely in the new year.

God Bless

Peter Murphy


Attached: Grade Allocations, 2018 staffing and start dates

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Senior students achieve academic success!

29 November 2017

Today our senior school students at Mary MacKillop Catholic College were recognised for a year of commitment to their studies.

While the College's senior years currently only range from Years 7 to 9, and progressing to Year 10 in 2018, they've certainly set the standards high for the years ahead!

Awards received include: Application Award, Excellence and Application, High Achievement, Outstanding Application, Spiritual and Cultural, Honours and Dux of the Year.

Well done to all the senior students who received awards and acknowledgment for the commitment to their studies.

Photos attached.


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About the Master Plan - Complete our online feedback form

24 November 2017

Planning for the future of Mary MacKillop Catholic College

Please CLICK HERE to access the short online feedback form regarding the College's Master Plan.


All schools and colleges are required by TCSO (Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office) to have a building masterplan in place to ensure that they are prepared for future changes. The current master plan has been outdated with developments including the likelihood of 4 streams in the primary, purchase and proposed development of 77 Highfields Road, introduction of 1 to 1 BYODD technology in Grades 4-12, deliberate fostering of growth in creative arts, etc.

ASPECT Architects have been employed to lead us in developing a new building masterplan for the College.

The building masterplan is informed by the College Credo (Vision and Mission), TCSO Strategic Plan, College Strategic Plan, Education Plan and Business Plan.

All staff and parents are asked to contribute to the data that will inform the building master plan.  A survey will be available in the coming days for parents to be able to provide their feedback.

Your thoughts, insights and ideas towards the type of school we ought to become are vital to the creation of a visionary educational plan to inform the building masterplan.

Some of the important areas for your consideration include:

  • Development of Prep - Year 2 play area
  • Introduce a College operated Kindergarten
  • Vehicular access to and from the College. 
  • Location and development of single buildings for whole College Administration, Tuckshop and Library
  • Location of Prep - Year 6 classes to facilitate building expansion as we grown to 4 streams
  • Maximising play areas through the introduction of 2 storey buildings
  • Accommodation to support the growth of Creative Arts 
  • Building to accommodate whole College gatherings
  • Additional sporting and play facilities
  • Future proofing the growth of technology for learning and emerging technologies in education
  • College security and access
  • Development of Vocational education options
  • Religious education and spiritual formation open learning space

I invite and value your thoughts as we nurture the growth of our community.

God Bless

Peter Murphy


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From the Head of Junior School - Mr Timothy Franzmann

24 November 2017

This is the final newsletter for 2017. I hope that during the past year you have enjoyed reading the newsletter and it has kept you up to date with what has been happening at Mary MacKillop.

I am very fortunate to work with a very professional and gifted team of people. I would like to convey my thanks to the outstanding Leadership Team, teachers and support staff I interact with every day. I look forward to working with you again in 2018. Please have a safe and Holy Christmas. 

Finally, I take this opportunity to thank our students for doing their ‘best’ in all they do, and to you, our parents, for your strong support in assisting us to shape the learning pathways for the students in our care.


Recently I was asked by one of the teachers to talk to the students in their class about the way they have been talking to and treating each other. Most of the conversation focused on how we should think before we speak. One young man pointed out the poster they had in their classroom. He said that it had been helpful for him during the year. I thought it would be good to share the content of the poster.

Before You Speak


T - is it true?

H - is it helpful?

I - is it inspiring?

N - is it necessary?

K - is it kind?

We can learn so much from the young children in our lives. Children make mistakes and this is going to be expected. If they don’t make mistakes they don’t learn how the world works and how they interact with others. Children are very good a using clues and prompts from parents, teachers and messages in the classroom like the poster details above. As adults we sometimes forget what it was like when we were a child and the lessons we learnt. Sometimes we need to talk to the children and learn from them about simple ways to help us with our interactions with others. Especially the simple prompts of a poster in a classroom. 

Planning for 2018

Teachers and the Leadership Team are formulating class groups for 2018.  We would hope that all of our current students will be continuing their educational journey with us into the new year, however we understand that in some circumstances this is not possible. If you are considering alternative options, please don't hesitate to speak to myself, or one of the Leadership Team so that we can assist you in making the best choice for your child.  Should you need to withdraw your child, a Transfer and Exit form can be obtained from our Enrolments Officer.


Hats are a common item that find their way into the lost property bin in Uluru. It amazes me how many of these hats do not have a student name clearly labelled on the hat. A very successful practice I have seen in the past is, when student’s names or family names are embroidered on the side of the hat. For the cost of roughly $5, this is a good suggestion for your child’s hat in 2018. This will stop the unfortunate practice of people ripping of nametags on hats and claiming for themselves. Please ensure that the text is white and not too large that it stands out, large enough to read.

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Date Claimers

24 November 2017

Please see the attached calendar for the fortnightly date claimers.  For more details, please CLICK HERE to visit our live website calendar or download our College Skoolbag Mobile App for regular notifications.

Please note: To ensure you receive Skoolbag App alerts, you must enable app notifications on your phone.  Check your device settings to make these changes. So that you receive notices regarding the year levels of your children, please go to the subscription settings in the 'more' tab on the app and choose the appropriate year levels. 

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2018 Book Lists

24 November 2017

The 2018 Book Lists are now available on our College Website and the mobile App.

Orders can be placed online or instore through Highfields News and Post.

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