End of Year Mass

24 November 2017

End of Year Mass

MacKillop Centre

Friday, 1 December 2017

11:30 am - 12:30 pm

All students are requested to attend the End of Year Mass.  Parents wishing to collect their children after Mass are free to do so, but must sign the student out.  Sign out sheets will be available in the MacKillop Centre at the end of Mass. 

All remaining students will be supervised at the College until 3:00 pm.

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24 November 2017


You are invited to contribute to “Being the Change” by donating items of clothing and other goods to St.Vinnies by placing your donations in our wonderful new bin situated opposite the MacKillop Centre in the Junior school on the grassed triangular area.  If you are having a spring cleanout please consider making a donation. Thank you kindly for your anticipated generosity and support.


All are invited to donate to the St.Vincent de Paul (SVdP) 2017 Christmas Appeal.  Prep to Year 6 classes will be donating food hampers while our secondary students will be giving “Shoe Box” gifts. We will offer all of these donations at our final mass on Friday 1 December.

Thank you for your anticipated support and generosity.


Sunday, 26 November:  

  • 8:00 am Parish Mass (“Christ the King” solemnity – end liturgical year A)

led by Bishop Robert McGuckin with a  reception of seminarian Tom Duncan (Rite of Admission to the Candidacy for Holy Orders- The priesthood)

Wednesday, 29 November:

  • 2:20 pm “MAKING JESUS REAL” awards
  • 5:30 pm Year 6 Rite of Passage Liturgy if the Word.

Friday, 1 December:

  • 11:30 am End of Year- BE THE CHANGE 2017 thanksgiving mass


Over the past week many of our students have experienced beautiful opportunities to connect and celebrate with God by engaging minds, igniting hearts and serving others. Thank you to all staff and students for your willingness to share and learn more about God’s unconditional love. In particular, I would like to sincerely thank Mrs Justine Worner for her hard work and support in endeavouring to Making Jesus Real in our college. This lady truly lives the spirit of Jesus and is a wonderful role model for all in our college.

  • Friday, 17 November: Year 4 “Journey of Friendship” Reflection Day led by Year 9
  • Tuesday, 21 November: Year 8 “ Catch the Wave” Reflection Day at Cooby Dam
  • Wednesday, 22 November: Year 6 “Journey & Change” Reflection Day
  • Thursday, 23 November: Secondary Youth Vinnies final gathering and thanksgiving liturgy with Brownesholme residents.


During the month of November the Catholic Church remembers all who are part of the Church– those who have died and are with God, and those of us still here on earth. We especially remember our loved ones who have died and we ask God to give them eternal rest forever

Loving God, sometimes our hearts are heavy with sadness and loss.

Bring us comfort and peace when we grieve, give us strength and courage to move forward and give us hope, so that we may trust in the promise of life with you forever.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

In your loving kindness Lord, accept the prayers we now make to you.

We pray for those of us who have lost friends and members of our families (pause)…. Lord, hear us.

All: Lord hear our prayer.

We pray for comfort and consolation at the loss of loved ones (pause)…Lord, hear us.

All: Lord, hear our pray

We pray for doctors, nurses and carers who tend to those who are ill and dying (pause)Lord, hear us.

All: Lord, hear our prayer

We pray for those who have died tragically and suddenly. (pause)… Lord, hear us.

All: Lord, hear our prayer

We pray for hope in the promise of eternal life in heaven with you God . (pause)…Lord, hear us.

All: Lord, bring us peace.

Loving God, with hope and faith we ask you to accept the prayers we make to you.

All: Amen.

Final Prayer:

Compassionate God, you listen to the prayers of your people. May your constant presence in our lives bring us comfort and peace. May we rejoice that those who have died are with you forever in heaven.

Let us pray for those who have died. Together we pray

All: Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon them. Amen



This Sunday 26 November, we, the Catholic Church celebrate this important feast day to mark the end of the liturgical year A. Jesus, as we know was a king like no other. He was not interested in power, control and ego. He was more interested in the power of building a KIN(G)DOM (as in next of kin) where all could flourish by  honouring the dignity of the human person. To do this he invites us all to focus on fostering RELATIONSHIPS OF FAITH LOVE, FORGIVENESS & HOPE. As we will read below be came to serve by giving witness to the Corporal Works of Mercy and in turn show God’s compassion and mercy.

Matthew 25:31-46
Jesus teaches that when the Son of Man comes in glory, he will judge the nations, separating the sheep from the goats.

Family Connection

In Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus teaches us that we will be judged on only one thing: the acts of mercy we have shown to the least among us. Jesus identifies with the least ones; thus we serve Jesus whenever we serve one of the least ones. The Church calls the actions that Jesus described in today’s Gospel the Corporal Works of Mercy. These works are to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to bury the dead, to shelter the homeless, to visit the sick and imprisoned, and to give alms to the poor. In these actions we show God’s compassion and mercy to those in need.

As you gather as a family, recall the list of the Corporal Works of Mercy. Talk about some concrete examples of how your family might do these actions in your community and then discuss why it is important that we do these things. Read Matthew 25:31-46. Ask: Why does Jesus say we ought to do these works of mercy? (Because whenever we show mercy to another person, we show mercy to Jesus himself.) Choose one Corporal Work of Mercy that your family will act upon this week. Pray together that your family will see and serve Jesus in the least ones among us. Pray the Lord’s Prayer or an Act of Love


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BYOD - 1 to 1 Technology Program

22 November 2017

1 to 1 Technology Program

Mary MacKillop Catholic College implements a 1 to 1 Technology program for students from years 4 to 9, whereby students bring their own designated personal technology device, into the classroom. This provides students with access to expanded resources and content and gives them the opportunity to take greater ownership of their learning. 

The recommended device for years 4 to 9 is the iPad Air2 Wi-Fi. Year 10 students have the option of either purchasing a laptop or remaining with the iPad, depending on their subject requirements. The recommended laptop specifications include: i5 processing unit, 8 GB, 1Tb hard drive, 14-inch screen, and graphics card. Further information regarding the laptop purchasing model will be made available once confirmed by the Catholic Schools Office.

The Mary MacKillop Catholic College approach is to provide many learning opportunities for every child within our school. While devices enhance teaching and learning in the classroom, they are not replacements for best teaching practice.

All iPad use is directed by teaching staff and used in the teaching and learning of the Australian Curriculum. Students are provided with information regarding care and use of their device as well as responsible use of ICT (Information Communication Technologies.) The College hosts two Parent iPad Information Evening sessions annually.

We understand that students will use their device for personal and non-educational purposes during the holidays. However, in preparation for 2018, students in years 4 to 9 are requested to ensure that all College required apps have been loaded onto their device and that any data that is no longer required, such as photos and videos, are removed.

Additional information, including the College iPad Handbook, iPad FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions), lists of required apps and Parent Resources, can be accessed by navigating to iPad Notices and Documentation for Parents, located at the following site https://www.highfields.catholic.edu.au/learning-teaching/our-technology.html

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Hike for Homeless

22 November 2017

A huge thank you to Mary of the Southern Cross Parish and Mary MacKillop Catholic College staff, students and parents who supported our Hike for Homeless team on Saturday. We had a team of 18 hikers who walked either 5km, 10km or 20km.

There were a few sore muscles on Sunday, but smiles all around.  We raised $1205 for Base Services to continue their work in supporting the ever growing number of people experiencing homelessness in Toowoomba.

Thank you everyone. We hope to field an even bigger team next year.

Justine Worner

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Year 4 Reflection Day

22 November 2017

Year 4 Reflection Day

Last Friday, Year 4 students participated in a Reflection Day based around the theme of the ‘Journey of Friendship’. This was led by Mr Moyle, Mrs Worner and the Year 9 Religion class, who facilitated much of the day. A link was made to the Year 4 Friendship Day at James Byrne in Term 1. Students reflected on how they had grown in making friends, being a good friend and seeing the Spirit of Jesus in others. We looked at Jesus as a friend and why and how we can repair friendships.

As part of their service ministry, Year 9 led games and activities to give the students an experience of friendship. They arrived at 7:30 am to set up and cook a barbeque and served lunch to the Year 4 students. Many students took up the opportunity to walk the Labyrinth at lunchtime. The day finished with a liturgy around the theme of repairing friendships and everyone went home with a memento of the day. Thank you Year 9, Year 4, Mr Hubbard, Mrs Daniels, Mrs Campbell and Mr Moyle.

Justine Worner

Religion Teacher

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Website Under Maintenance

22 November 2017

The College website may be undergoing some maintenance and updates over the holiday period.

If you are unable to access pages on the website, please check back at a later time.

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Lost Property

22 November 2017


If your child has lost an item, please check the lost property bins located under Uluru and the MacKillop Centre, alternatively check with the College Administration office or your child's classroom teacher.  

Lost or found items will be posted to the College App.  Uniforms which are not claimed by the end of Term 4 may be repurposed. 


No reported items lost.


  • 1 x Eye Glasses (purple, Vogue brand)
  • 1 x Gold sandal (Children's size 11)
  • 1 x Pandora look silver ring with pink stone
  • 1 x Floral bead bracelet
  • 1 x Kiwi bird plush toy
  • 1 x White satin square blank
  • 1 x College jumper - Size 16
  • 2 x College jackets – 12 & S
  • Hats – Girls x 1 and Boys x 2
  • 1 x small silver signet ring
  • 1 x Gold sparkly bracelet
  • 1 x Blue digital sports watch
  • Various lunch boxes, locks, keys and earphones
  • Lots of bits a pieces

If the item has made its way back to the owner, please let us know so we can remove it from the list.  

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28 Ways to spend time as a family over the holidays

22 November 2017

Family Time

We all know how important family time is.  But it can be hard when work, extra-curricular activities, and life gets in the way.

Here are some fun and innovative ways to grab some family time over the school holidays:

  1. Tie-dye an item of clothing
  2. Play a game of “20 Questions” (one person thinks of a person/place in time, the other person is allowed 20 questions to try to guess)
  3. Play Frisbee golf (using a Frisbee and a tree in your backyard as the ‘target’)
  4. Cut up fruit to make ‘stamps’ for card making
  5. Start a nature scrapbook to tape interesting leaves and feathers
  6. Plan a backyard movie night
  7. Let your children choose dinner and encourage them to help you make it
  8. Play a game of cards – teach them your favourite game from childhood!
  9. Make a time capsule
  10. Plant something (tomatoes are usually a winner)
  11. Go camping (the backyard counts!)
  12. Take up a new hobby with your child
  13. Create a dress-up box from unwanted clothes
  14. Have your kids teach you how they play handball (you’d be surprised at the rule changes!)
  15. Go for a picnic
  16. Wash the car together
  17. Do some sidewalk chalk art
  18. Create a backyard obstacle course using objects such as hula hoops and skipping ropes, and host your own family Ninja Warriors Event!
  19. Learn about a different culture and plan a meal out to try the authentic cuisine
  20. Check out a local sporting event and cheer for your team
  21. Draw family portraits of each other
  22. Have a board game night – everyone can choose one board game to play
  23. Engage in physical activity together, such as a walk around the neighbourhood, or a bike ride to the park
  24. Go stargazing in the yard
  25. Make a 2018 family calendar using your favourite photos
  26. Have a nature scavenger hunt
  27. Play in the sprinklers
  28. Build a Lego set

Remember, you don’t need to spend money to connect and have fun.  Children and young people crave quality time with their parents, which helps them to feel important and loved.

I hope you have a restful and relaxing break, and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year!

Amanda Roll
College Counsellor
Ph: 4698 7777

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Music - End of Year Report

22 November 2017


Congratulations to many of our music students who have recently completed music exams. All students should be very proud of the sustained effort and hard work that was required to be able to play pieces in front of an examiner in an exam situation. Well done everyone!


Congratulations to all performers for a lovely evening of music, drama and dance at our Christmas Concert last Friday! Our young musicians, actors and dancers are to be commended for their dedication to rehearsals and practice for this concert. The evening couldn’t have happened without the many staff, student and parent volunteers who assisted on the night. My sincere thanks goes to everyone who helped in any way to ensure that the night was a success. Big thanks goes to two of our Instrumental Music Teachers, Mr Jack Hickey and Ms Teresa Brix, for all of their work backstage on the night. Please enjoy the photos in the slideshow above.


This week we have had break up parties in our final rehearsal for our Choirs, Concert Band, String Ensemble and Guitar Ensemble. Thank you to all parents and students who bought or made delicious party food to share! There will be no rehearsals for any ensemble in the final week of school.


Please contact Mrs Natalie Otto (Natalie.otto@twb.catholic.edu.au) if your child will not be continuing music lessons next year. One of our Instrumental Music contract clauses states:

  • At the end of the year, unless written notice is received, it is assumed that your child will continue lessons into the following year.

The 2018 Instrumental Music Timetable will be created during the holidays, and we look forward to another great year of music making!

Please complete the 2018 Instrumental Hire Enrolment form (included at the bottom of this article) if you would like your child to commence lessons next year. Please direct any enquiries regarding the Music Program during the school holidays to Mrs Natalie Otto.


Our Ensemble program is growing and we are making some changes next year. Most students enrolled in the Instrumental Music Program will now be expected to become involved in our Ensemble program, which includes our Concert Band, Year 2/3 Choir, Year 4/5/6 Choir, Senior Singers Choir, Guitar Ensemble and String Ensemble.

Being a member of an ensemble is a vitally important aspect of learning music. The skills learnt privately in lessons are complimented perfectly by the skills gained by making music with others. Membership in our Ensemble program is at no cost to parents.

For our vocal students and pianists in Year 2 and above, we expect that they will join one of our choirs.

For our Woodwind, Brass, Percussion, String and Guitar students, your child’s teacher will notify you when your child has gained enough skill on their instrument to be able to join our Concert Band, String Ensemble or Guitar Ensemble.


Thank you to all parents who have taken up the opportunity to hire an instrument through our Instrument Hire Scheme this year. Unless an arrangement has been made directly with Natalie Otto, all instruments are required to be returned in person to the Junior School Office by Wednesday 29 December for a stocktake and assessment of servicing or repair needs.


Mrs Lorraine Fuller, Dr Philippa Robinson and Ms Courtney Feldman will sadly be leaving us at the end of this year.

Lorraine is a highly experienced and talented musician and music teacher, and our brass students have benefitted immensely this year from her brass teaching expertise this year. We wish Lorraine well as she spends next year caring for her family.

Philippa joined us early in 2016 as a teacher of flute, saxophone and clarinet. Philippa has many years’ experience teaching classroom and instrumental music in schools. She has accepted the position of Principal Woodwind Instructor at Brisbane Grammar School. We wish Philippa all the very best in her new role.

Courtney is a well loved teacher of piano and voice, and will be enrolling in PhD studies at the University of Southern Queensland next year. She is unable to continue teaching while studying full time, and we hope that Courtney achieves great success with her future studies.

In some good news, we can extend a very warm welcome to a new staff member, Mr Martin Crook. Martin will be taking on Philippa’s clarinet and saxophone students next year. He is a highly experienced and talented Woodwind teacher. Our other vacant positions will be filled during the holidays.

I’d like to thank all of our Instrumental Music teachers for sharing their musical passion and expertise with our very lucky young MMCC musicians this year. Thank you to all parents for your continued support of our Music Program, and thank you to our wonderful students for being such eager and enthusiastic students in their lessons and rehearsals. I hope you all have a great holiday break, and I look forward to seeing you all again in the new year!

Natalie Otto


Head of Music

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End of Year Extra Curricular Dates

22 November 2017

As we come to the end of the school year, please take note of the final dates for training and rehearsals.

Sports Training - Mrs Kate McWha

Tuesday Athletics 7:00 am – 8:15 am – Remains in Final week

Friday Aqua 7:00 am - 8:00 am -  Concludes Friday 24 November – no training in last week of school.

Sprint training will continue in the last week of the term.

All athletes are then invited to join RUN WILD SQUAD  with Mrs Kate McWha over the holidays.  Charges apply.

For distance running and swimming training over the holiday, please contact Mrs Kate McWha.

Touch Football and Chess - Mr Craig Hubbard

Touch training and chess will not be running in the last week of term.


Dance will continue in week 8 and week 9 as we have a performance to practice for the end of year Mass.

Homework club

Homework club will conclude in week 8, there will be no sessions in the final week of the term.

Science Tutorial

Science tutorials have concluded for the year.

Music - Mrs Natalie Otto

Week 8 - 4/5/6 Choir, Concert Band and Senior Singers Choir break up party

No rehearsals in the last week of the term.




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Uniform Shop Update

22 November 2017


The College Uniform Shop, located next to the senior school tuckshop, is now selling a new range of hair ties, clips and bows in the College colours.  Parent supporter caps are also now available to purchase $15 each.


Mondays 2 pm to 4 pm

Tuesdays 8 am to 10 am and 2 pm to 4 pm

Wednesdays 8 am to 10 am


Monday 15 January 8.30 am to 11.30 am (fittings and orders)

Tuesday 16 January 8.30 am to 11.30 am (fittings and orders)

Friday 19 January 9.00 am to 11 am (collections)

Uniforms can also be purchased from Hannas Family Department Store in Toowoomba.


Tuesdays 8 am to 10 am and 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm

Wednesdays 8 am to 10 am and 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm

Any enquiries please email Carolyn Maxwell via carolyn.maxwell@twb.catholic.edu.au

Phone orders welcome (during opening hours only) on 07 4698 7777

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Japanese Students - Term 1, 2018

22 November 2017

✈️Japanese Students

Our Japanese Group Exchange students will arrive in Term 1, 2018.

Please consider volunteering as a host family during their short stay. This is a great opportunity for both the Japanese girls and your family to learn about each other’s cultures.

More details will be available in January.  If you would like to become a host family, please leave your details at the College office or call 4698 7777.

Julie Camm | Prep Teacher Aide and International Exchange Student Coordinator

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Sports Report & Swimming Nominations

22 November 2017

Congratulations to all Year 5-9 players who participated in our annual November Tennis Intra-College Tennis tournament. Overall, we had 25 players nominate. Round game consisted of 3 games, quarter & semi-finals were decided from best of 5 games and the final was contested over a full set. We played sudden death deuce throughout.

Well done to the following students:

Wildcards: Elliott Worner, Lincoln G.

Spirit of Tennis: Grace Bowtell

Year 5 Male: Lachlan Sharp

Year 5 Female: Lucy Anlezark

Year 6 Male: Jackson Stansell

Year 6 Female: Ava Knihinicki

Secondary Male: Elijah Logan

Secondary Female: Holly Anlezark

RUNNNER-UP: Jackson Stansell (2016 Champion)

2017 CHAMPION: Ava Knihinicki (Won final 6-2 on Friday morning  24 November)

Medallions and trophy will be awarded at our final college assembly at 2.20pm on Wednesday 29 November.


Congratulations to all the students who received awards at the Sports Presentation Evening this week.  Photos and full details of the night will be available in the 2017 College Yearbook.

Attached forms:

  • Run Wild Athletics Christmas Holiday Training
  • Term 1, 2018 Sports Date Claimers
  • 2018 Swimming Carnival Nomination Form
  • 2018 Swimming Carnival Important Information



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P&F News

10 November 2017

P&F News – 10 November 2017

Crave Food Festival – Saturday, 11 November

A special Crave Food Festival has been planned for this Saturday, 11th November.  Being Remembrance Day, we are delighted to welcome a display of WWII vehicles (including, weather permitting, a Sherman Tank!) along with an array of WWI uniforms.  This display is made possible by the support of Southern Cross Militaria. 

The usual Crave favourites will also be there including an array of food vendors, Crave hot chips, bar, live entertainment and the outdoor cinema.

Please support this event by coming along with your friends and family.  On this occasion, we are also seeking assistance from parents and friends to ensure the smooth running of the event.  If you can spare as little as one hour of your time either today (Friday), tomorrow (set up in the morning as well as the actual event) or Sunday (pack up), please add your name to the volunteer roster at https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/4090c4fa4a62ca6f94-11th

Twilight Summer Concert and Christmas Carols

The P&F is proud to support the students performing in the Twilight Summer Concert and Christmas Carols by offering dinner, drinks and snacks to families.

Main meal options including slow cooked pork belly with rice and salad ($10; GF), Thai lemongrass chicken with rice and salad ($10; GF), quiche and salad ($6; vegetarian) and hot chips ($4) will be available.  In addition, the bar will be open along with the popcorn and snacks bar.  Cash only on the night please.

Again, this event cannot be run efficiently without the assistance of parents and friends.  Food service will be conducted from 5pm and will conclude when the concert commences at 6pm.  Drinks and snacks will be available throughout the concert from within the MacKillop Centre.  With this in mind, if you will be attending the concert with your family, please consider adding your name to the volunteer roster (http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090c4fa4a62ca6f94-twilight1).  The night has been structured to ensure that even if you have put your name down, you will not miss your child’s performance.  Thank you in anticipation.

Wet n Wild Family Fun Day – NEW DATE: Saturday, 18 November

Tickets for the Wet n Wild Family Fun Day must be booked through Flexischools by 4pm, Monday 13th November. 

Please see the attached flyer for further details. 

This event is open to family and friends of the School so please feel free to invite them along (however, all bookings must be made via a Mary MacKillop parent on Flexischools). 


P-6 Disco

Around 250 students (and some eager 2018 Preppies) attended the P-6 Disco last Friday, 3rd November.  Feedback from children and parents alike has been positive and we thank the parent helpers and teaching staff who attended to ensure the success of the event. 

Whilst events such as this are held primarily for the enjoyment of our children, we are pleased to advise that the night also raised around $2,000 which will be put towards further improvements to the Year 3-6 playground. 


Year 3 – 6 Playground

The P&F Committee are delighted to confirm that the first piece of equipment has been ordered for the redevelopment of the Year 3 to 6 play space.  Cellula Design CE008 by Kaebel Leisure Pty Ltd (pictured below) was the clear winner of the parent Facebook poll and we look forward to its arrival in readiness for the 2018 school year.

At a cost of $23,589.91, this purchase would not be possible without the significant contribution from parents who have supported P&F fundraising endeavours throughout the year including Crave Food Festival, pie and mango drives, Kidzshot Photography, discos etc.  THANK YOU! 


SAVE THE DATE - Crave Christmas Festival – Sponsorship Opportunities Available

A spectacular Crave Christmas Festival will be held on Saturday, 16 December.  Please mark the date in your calendar. 

As the Highfields Block Party will not be held this year, the P&F Committee (after being approached by members of the Community to do so) are planning an exciting line up of events and activities for the December Crave.  Ultimately, in addition to being a community event to foster family, friendship and fun, Crave is a fundraising opportunity for the P&F with all proceeds being applied to a major projects fund – currently the redevelopment and enhancement of the Year 3-6 playground. 

Creating a wonderful event for the whole community to enjoy does not come without significant initial outlay.  However, it also brings with it the opportunity to promote our wonderful school and supporting businesses to the broader community. 

The following items have been identified as necessary to create a truly special event and we invite interested families to contact the P&F to discuss sponsorship opportunities. 

  • Children’s activities (eg. Jumping castles, jumbo board games) - $1,500
  • Jumbo slide - $990 
  • Security Guards x 4 - $600
  • Advertising (flyers printed and letterbox drops) - $500
  • Clean-up of grounds - $500
  • Lights (flood lights x 4) - $400
  • Outdoor Cinema - $350
  • Skip Bin - $350
  • Live Entertainment - $200
  • Advertising (newspaper) - $200
  • Cold storage hire - $200

All sponsors will be able to have signs/advertising at the Crave Christmas Festival and will also have the opportunity for their logo to be included on any promotional flyers printed.   Finally, acknowledgement of sponsors will be promoted via the Crave Food Festival Facebook page leading up to the event. 

For further information please email the P&F at Highfields.PandF@twb.catholic.edu.au or phone Emma Ehrlich on 0404 200 832. Businesses outside the School will be approached regarding sponsorship opportunities after Friday, 17th November so please act quickly to secure your involvement. 

Please note that due to existing sponsorship arrangements, we are not in a position to accept sponsorship from any real estate agents. 

Healing Hands

The P&F continues to support school families in their time of need in various ways. 

Thanks must be given to Brumby’s Bakery (Highfields) and Bannock Brae Meats who continue to regularly donate bread and meat products for use in our care packages.  Please return this gesture by supporting these local businesses when you can. 

Thanks also to the parents who provided ingredients and assisted with the recent cook up.  Our freezers are looking much healthier.  The supply of baked goods (for lunch box treats) is still quite low so if can spare some time to whip up a batch of biscuits or muffins or throw together a slice, that would be greatly appreciated.  Containers are available from the Junior School office and the finished product can also be delivered back to the Junior School office.

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Date Claimer

10 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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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

10 November 2017

Jesus brings light and life to all. He said, “I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.” Jesus is often described as the light of life. Indeed, at Christmas we speak of the light of life coming into the world. I recently came across this short reflection which looks at both themes, light and life, in one man’s attempt to explain the meaning of life.

What is the meaning of Life?

A Greek philosopher and teacher ended a lecture asking, “Are there any questions?” In the audience was Robert Fulghum who asked, “ Dr. Papaderos, what is the meaning of life?” Fulghum relates: “The usual laughter followed, and people stirred to go. Papaderos held up his hand and stilled the room and looked at me for a long time, asking with his eyes if I was serious and seeing from my eyes that I was. “I will answer your question,” he said. Then taking his wallet out of his hip pocket, he fished into it and brought out a very small round mirror, about the size of a quarter. Then he said, ‘When I was a small child during the war we were very poor and we lived in a remote village. One day, on the road, I found several pieces of a broken mirror from a wrecked German motorcycle. I tried to find all the pieces and put them together, but it was not possible, so I kept only the largest piece. This one. And by scratching it on a stone I made it round. I began to play with it as a toy and became fascinated by the fact that I could reflect light into dark places where the sun would never shine – in deep holes and crevices and dark closets. It became a game for me to get light into the most inaccessible places I could find. I kept the little mirror and as I went about growing up, I would take it out in idle moments and continue the challenge of the game. As I became a man, I grew to understand that this was not just a child’s game but also a metaphor for what I might do with my life. I came to understand that I am not the light or the source of light. But light – truth, understanding, knowledge – is there, and it will only shine in many dark places if I reflect it.’

‘I am a fragment of a mirror whose whole design and shape I do not know. Nevertheless, with what I have, I can reflect light in the dark places in this world – into the black places in the hearts of men – and change some things in some people. Perhaps others may see and do likewise. This is what I am about. This is the meaning of my life.’

“And then he took the mirror and, holding it carefully, caught the bright rays of daylight streaming through the window and reflected them onto my face and onto my hands folded on the desk.”

Where there is darkness, let us bring light;

Where there is despair, let us bring hope;

Let us walk in the light of the Lord.


Earrings (reminder):

Some students will decide to have another piercing of their ears between now and the commencement of the 2018 school year. Students may only wear to school a single pair of non-decorative studs or sleepers in the ear lobes. Students who are having additional piercing are advised to do so at the commencement of the holiday period. This allows time for the wound to heal and ensures that there is no issue with regard to complying with College requirements.

School Shoes (reminder for the senior school)

Many parents will need to purchase new school shoes for their sons and daughters in January 2018.  Please remember that the school requires these to be plain black, polishable, lace up, leather shoes. (No high tops, boots or ripple soles, skate type shoes or logos. No buckle shoes or open top shoes. Heels should not be more than 2.5cm.)

Staffing for 2018

The College is nearing completion of teacher appointments for 2018. At this stage there is one teaching position remaining to appoint in the senior school and another in the junior school.  Once the selection process of teachers is completed, a table of teacher grade allocations will be published to parents.

Expansion of the P-2 Play Area

Work continues towards extending the P-2 play area into the property bought at 77 Highfields Road. This area, expected to open in the first half of 2018, will more than double the available play area for P-2. Included in the College development application is the possibility of using the existing dwelling or a replacement building as a new location for Camp Australia before and after school care. The College also intends to introduce a Kindy in this area. Prior to any development, the College has had to apply for rezoning for educational purposes and submit a development application. We look forward to opening up this area for its planned purpose(s) in the near future.

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Colour Run Report

10 November 2017

Our 2017 Colour Run to support MND Australia and the Cancer Council was a great success. 

Here's a wrap up of the day...

Colour Run Stats:

  • 157 Competitors                  
  • 122 Finishers (5km)
  • 30 Volunteers
  • 150 Spectators
  • $2000 Raised


Thank you to our sponsors:

  • A 1 Trophy & Badge
  • Staff and Parent Voluteers
  • Mary Mac Movers Runners 
  • Qld Cancer Council
  • Motor Neurone Disease Australia


1st- Sam Hayes (20.46)

2nd- Ella Rogers (22.55)- Fairholme College

3rd- Fletcher Park (23.17)

4th- Ryley Schmaling (23.20)

5th- Seth McInnes (23.39)

6th- Michael Kenway (23.48)

7th- Tom Oldham (24.10)

8th- Anastasia Topalov (24.25)

9th- Henry Sheath (24.26)

10th- Clayton Pearson (24.27)





William Logan

Alara Williams


Jacob Roach

Rose Coren


Fletcher Park

Anastasia Topalov


Michael Kenway

Ella Rogers


Tom Oldham

Gretel Worner


Sam Hayes

Bec Morgan



  • BBQ

Thanks for being part of this great event. Let's make it a bigger and better one in 2018!

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10 November 2017


Thank you so much to everyone who donated to our annual “SOCKTOBER” Catholic Missions appeal. Overall we raised $ 1000 which will be presented to the Catholic Missions at our Week 8 assembly. An important Catholic social teaching is Preferential Option for the Poor which is at the heart of the mission of Jesus who lived a life of love and service.

 Luke 4:16-18 Jesus’ Mission

When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to

  • bring good news to the poor.
  • proclaim release to the captives
  •  recovery of sight to the blind,
  •  let the oppressed go free,
  •  proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.”



Congratulations to all 41 candidates who received this sacrament last week. In what was a beautiful liturgy, the children listened, responded and celebrated with wonderful joy, energy and respect. They were an absolute credit to themselves, their families and our Mary of the Southern Cross Parish.  Thank you to our sacramental team (Steve Moyle, Beth McCormick, Nadine Dolan & Kristie McKean) who offered wonderful support. On the night it was also great to have Year 3 teacher, Mrs Charmaine Tancred and Mr Brett Rangiira assist with the gospel procession and singing. “Rangiira’s Rock Stars” certainly have a big future!


Congratulations to our newly formed volunteer secondary Youth Vinnies who have started their weekly Thursday afternoon pastoral visits to Brownesholme Village during November. At our first visit, the team shared many insightful life stories with the residents as well as a delicious afternoon tea.

The Youth Vinnies currently includes Isaac Williams, Ebissa Nuccio, Sophie Pade, Cassie Lawson, Josie McQueen, Isabelle Presten, Mikayla Rieck & Holly Hutchison with support from Mr Steve Moyle, Mrs Kristie McKean and Mrs Justine Worner.

The Youth Vinnies meet every Wednesday for lunch at 1:00 pm in P8 and new members are most welcome to join in the fun as we to live the gospel message by serving Christ in the poor with love, respect, justice, hope and joy, and by working to shape a more just and compassionate society.


You are invited to contribute to “Being the Change” by donating items of clothing and other goods to St.Vinnies by placing your donations in our wonderful new bin situated opposite the MacKillop Centre in the junior school. If you are having a spring cleanout please consider making a donation. Thank you kindly for your anticipated generosity and support.


Our whole college will gathered around the flagpole on Friday to pay our respects. The ritual was led by our senior student representatives with assistance from some of our talented musicians.

(Photos attached)


During the month of November the Catholic Church remembers all who are part of the Church– those who have died and are with God, and those of us still here on earth. We especially remember our loved ones who have died and we ask God to give them eternal rest forever.

Loving God, sometimes our hearts are heavy with sadness and loss.

Bring us comfort and peace when we grieve, give us strength and courage to move forward and give us hope, so that we may trust in the promise of life with you forever.

We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.


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Brain Training - How to tackle exam time!

10 November 2017

Exams and brain training

This week has been exam week for the senior students and I look forward to seeing the fruits of their labor. I have noticed a number of students frantically “cramming” before some the exams and other who appear fresh, calm and ready to tackle the challenge. I know that I have had a foot in both camps throughout my educational life and have found that cramming rarely led to any kind of success. This article from the Brain Institutes’ publication The Brain explains why and highlights the effect that devices can have on sleep.

Is cramming worth it?

Overstretched students often rely on the time-saving strategy of cramming for exams, but the science says this study technique is highly flawed. Many experiments have shown that ‘spacing’, which involves spreading study sessions apart, leads to far superior results when it comes to long-term retention. In fact, one 2009 study found that spaced learning was more effective than cramming for 90% of participants. Memories fluctuate according to changes in the strength of connections ‘synapses’ between neurons. These can be made stronger or weaker depending on when and how often they are activated, meaning that a memory can be reinforced or forgotten. The more these synapses are activated, the more likely the information will be retained, which explains why revision of previously studied material is preferable to learning it for the first time en masse before an exam. Last minute cramming usually goes hand-in-hand with stress and a lack of sleep, both of which can hinder learning retention. Sleep is thought to be involved in creating long term memories by consolidation; deprivation leads to decreased activity in the hippocampus and poorer recall of ‘declarative’ memories, which are about facts and events. In a study of high school students, UCLA researchers found that sacrificing sleep for extra study time was counterproductive and resulted in increased academic problems the following day.

How devices affect sleep

A large body of evidence now shows that the blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets and computers suppresses melatonin production, meaning that using these devices at night can interfere with the body’s natural sleep cycles. Sleep is known to be important for learning – it’s crucial for consolidating long term memories. Missing out on sleep can also impair attention and short term memory. The teenage brain is particularly sensitive to the effects of blue light. That’s why experts now recommend that teenagers should avoid late night use of devices that emit blue light if they want to get enough sleep.

Family Zone – Cyber Safety Management Program

A number of parents, including myself, have raised concern about the amount of time their children are spending on devices. I recently purchased the Family Zone Cyber Safety management system for my children. It has taken some setting up but for less than $6 a month, I am able to ensure that my family are using the internet safely and at times that I think are appropriate. I use this program along with Guided Access on the iPads.

Brett Lee, internet safety expert states, “Family Zone will help you maintain peace of mind, when your kids are online by ensuring every member of the family uses the internet safely. The tool empowers parents to control internet usage within the home and on each child’s devices. By monitoring the online activities of your kids, you can make informed decisions to effectively manage the amount of time the family, as a whole, spends in front of their screens, choose to moderate or block inappropriate content and restrict features on smart devices.”

There are other apps and programs that perform similar jobs and I encourage all parents to do their research and think seriously about using one of them on their children’s devices.

As I have mentioned previously, as parents we do not need to be technology experts, but we do need to be aware of what our children are doing on their devices.

Family Zone


Setting up child restrictions


Guided access and locking iPads on certain apps/websites


Guided access and time limits



Mr Steve Coren

Middle School Leader

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MJR Report

10 November 2017

This fortnight in MJR we have been re-visiting our theme

for this year. Jesus showed us how to change the world,

a little bit at a time by the way we treat others, by the way we love.

Instead of seeing a need and asking ourselves “Why doesn’t someone do something about that?” We focussed on realising that we are “someone’ and we could do something ourselves.

We watched the following clip https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPeeZ6viNgY

about making that decision to ‘Be the Change’.

Below is the final instalment of the Year 6 responses to MJR that they wrote on our day with Mitch. It is evident that the students not only have gotten a lot out of MJR this year, but also out of leading the MJR Peer Support for the younger students. Parents should be very proud of these young men and women in the making.

Year 6 Responses:

  • Do what you fear, accept challenges, choose to make a difference in life, and accept responsibility for your actions. This is what I got out of the MJR lesson and book.
  • I liked learning more about God Moments and the Spirit of Jesus and we see them when we reflect over our day.
  • I love my MJR book as I like colouring in the pictures and inspiring myself by reading the book. I want to keep my MJR book as it is a book for life.
  • MJR has helped me become a better person and doing the yellow card makes me want to think what sort of a person I want to be.
  • I like it that so many people at our school are enthusiastic about MJR, especially the teachers and Mr Franzmann.
  • Yesterday I learnt that to thank someone properly you use their name and if we build a bridge and get over things we learn to handle our problems in life better.


Mrs Justine Worner

Religious Education Teacher


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Music Exams and Concert Update

10 November 2017


Good luck to Monique George, Keira Lucy and Max Penhaligon who will be completing their first flute exams this weekend. Thank you to their teacher, Dr Philippa Robinson, for her expert guidance in preparing these students for their exams.


Congratulations to the following students who have recently performed on Assembly:

Samara O’Leary Farrelly (Voice)

Jack Haddow (Trumpet)

Adele Adams (Piano)

Sam Jones (Piano)

And a huge congratulations to our newly formed Guitar Band for their premiere performance of Smoke On The Water on assembly this week! Thank you to our guitar teacher, Mr Jack Hickey, for his great work with this band.


We wish our talented students well as they prepare for their performances at our Twilight Summer Concert and Christmas Carols on Friday 17 November. We hope to see many families at this exciting event!

The details of the concert are as follows:

Date: Friday 17 November

Venue: MacKillop Centre

Seating Plan: The audience will be seated on chairs in the hall (there is no need to bring picnic blankets or camping chairs anymore). Students will sit with parents, and parents are responsible for supervision throughout the evening.

Food and Drinks available: 5:00 pm (Food in Uluru, Drinks and Snacks in the MacKillop Centre)

Performer arrival time: 5:30 pm

Concert commencement: 6:00 pm

Performer Uniform: Free dress - bright Christmas colours

All music ensembles will be performing in the concert (Year 2/3 Choir, Year 4/5/6 Choir, Senior Singers Choir, Concert Band, String Ensemble & Guitar Ensemble), as well as selected vocalists and instrumentalists. Some of our talented drama and dance students will also be performing!

The Concert Band will be the first item of the evening, so band members are required to come to the stage as soon as they arrive.

In addition to the above performers, all students in Prep to Year 3 will be performing a Christmas Carol. These students will be called to the stage for their performance by the Master of Ceremonies.

Battery operated candles can be purchased from the P & F on the night.

The menu, available from 5:00 pm, is as follows:

  • Slow-cooked Pork Belly with Rice and Asian Slaw $10 (GF)
  • Thai Lemongrass Chicken with Rice and Salad $7  (GF)
  • Quiche and Salad - $6 (Vegetarian)
  • Chips $4
  • Wine $4
  • Beer and Cider $3.50
  • Pre-Mix Spirits $5
  • Soft Drink $2
  • Juice $1
  • Water $1


  • Popcorn $1
  • Chocolates (small) $1
  • Chocolates (large) $2
  • Candles $2

Thank you to the wonderful P & F for the amazing menu! See you at the concert!


Natalie Otto


Head of Music

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2018 Swimming Carnival Nominations

10 November 2017

The 2018 College Swimming Carnival nomination form is available now. Please see the attached document.

Please complete and return by Monday, 27 November 2017.

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Need for Feed Cooking Program on again this term

9 November 2017

This term Mrs Holman facilitated the Need for Feed cooking program run by Diabetes Queensland. A program that aims to educate students on healthier eating choices. The College supported this initiative and we had 16 students in Years 7 and 8 participate. Students created healthy afternoon teas, main meals and the occasional dessert. All students had fun, learnt new skills and went home with a cookbook and something yummy to eat.

The College is in a position to again run this program next term. We are looking for 15 students from Years 7 to 9 to participate.  It will run from 3:20-5:20 pm each Thursday from weeks 1 to 8. If your child is interested, please have them collect the permission slip from the secondary office and return it as soon as possible.

Parent Testimony

Thank you so much Viv and Justine for assisting the students with the program.   Celine has loved the program and we have enjoyed the sampling.  I am going to incorporate the meals into our family menu. Delicious! - Trudi


Students’ Testimony

Sarah Coster: “It was really fun because you got to cook with all your friends and once you finished making it you got to just eat it together.”

Dylan Schmaling: “It was really good with lots of delicious recipes. We got to cooks lots of great recipes and I have cooked some of them at home and the family have really enjoyed it.”

Raegan Pugsley: “The food was the best. I like tasting and I got new skills. I just enjoyed it. I learnt more about healthy eating. I eat pears now.”



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Brand New Tuckshop for Mary MacKillop Catholic College

3 November 2017

The College is excited to announce the opening of a brand new Tuckshop.

As of Monday, 6 November 2017, students at Mary MacKillop Catholic College will reap the benefits of a brand new, purpose built Tuckshop. The new Tuckshop will be situated on the senior grounds, however procedures have been put in place to ensure all year levels across the College have access.

As per current procedures, parents can place first and second break meal orders via the Flexischools website prior to 8:30 am each morning.

For further information about our new tuckshop, please contact the College on 07 4698 7777.

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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

27 October 2017

Some people see things as they are and say, “Why?” 

Others see things that have never been and say, “Why not?”

The asking of good questions is more difficult than giving right answers.

In the coming fortnight students in the senior school will sit their yearly exams. Students in the junior will be assessed across many areas of the curriculum. Success in this process is largely achieved by having the right skills and knowing the right answers.  These things are both important and testable.

A most important skill, or more correctly a particular approach to life, is to question. Some people take a passive approach to life. Others take a more questioning approach. For the Catholic school, learning to question should be of fundamental importance. Our society is premised upon structures and institutions and we need to live within certain constraints, but this never means simply accepting things the way they are.

One of the major advances, both in education and in the church, over the last few decades has been the encouraging and training of individuals to question and challenge the ‘status quo’. Here the image of Jesus as ‘social critic’ serves us well. The power of the question lies in its ability to move us beyond the present into new ways of being and acting. I pray that we are training our youth to question.


Student Behaviour Support

Over 2017 the College has been in the process of reviewing its behaviour support policy. In years past, this policy might have been known as a discipline policy, a behaviour management policy or even a behaviour level system. Such labels indicate a model where behaviour is controlled extrinsically. The problem with such a model is that young people are not specifically learning to take responsibility for their behaviour. Good behaviour and self regulation is best taught and modelled, rather than imposed. The College choice to adopt the language of behaviour support indicates our great desire to develop intrinsic motivation for positive behaviour

Below appear a couple of excerpts from the draft policy:

At Mary MacKillop Catholic College we believe that:

  • Behaviour is internally motivated;
  • We are responsible for our own behaviour;
  • Every action has a consequence whether it be positive or negative;
  • Behaviour is educative therefore it needs to be taught;
  • Quality relationships between all school community members is paramount;
  • Self management can be developed through supportive co management.


The Mary MacKillop Catholic College approach to behaviour support is modelled on restorative practices. We seek to enable students to:

  • Reflect
  • Repair
  • Reconnect

Within this model we work to bring about effective behaviour change rather than impose punitive measures that have the goal of control. We aim to have a respectful environment where high quality relationships enable all members of the community to learn and develop.

A working draft Behaviour Support Framework will be in operation from the commencement of the 2018 school year. This draft will be uploaded to the College website for parental perusal and feedback. Throughout 2019 teachers and students will trial the draft framework and improve upon it.


God bless

Peter Murphy

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