News from the APRE

15 February 2019

The first few weeks of Term are flying by and I wanted to highlight a few dates this Term for events coming up in the religious life of the College to note in your family calendars. Parents are welcome to join our College community for these celebrations as well as our junior and senior school Assembly times. Other significant dates for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, Eucharist and Confirmation will be advertised shortly.

College Masses and Liturgy

Whole College and commissioning of Junior school leaders Friday, 1 February

Whole College and commissioning of Senior school leaders Friday, 22 February

Ash Wednesday – Wednesday, 6 March

St Joseph’s Day Tuesday, 19 March

Parish Sunday Masses

The students of Mary MacKillop Catholic College have been invited to lead the ministries and prayer at the Parish Sunday Mass once a month during school term time across the year.

This month the Mass will be on Sunday, 24 February at 8:00am. For new families to our College the Parish Masses are held in the MacKillop Centre here at the College each Sunday. For The upcoming Mass on 24 February the students and families of Year 4 and Year 8 are being asked to lead prayers. Notes will go home to these students before the end of the week.

See below the proposed schedule for future Parish Weekend Masses for the year ahead.



Student Helpers

Sunday, 16 February


Years 4 and 8

Saturday, 16 March

Saturday Evening Vigil

Years 6, 10 and 11

Sunday, 26 May


Years 5 and 9

Sunday, 28 July

Catholic Education Week


Sunday, 25 August


Years 3 and 7

Sunday, 27 October

8:00am – Children’s Mission

Years 1 and 2

Sunday, 24 November




Caritas Just Leadership days

These days target Leadership and awareness of social justice for Junior and Senior school leaders across the diocese. Both days are planned and lead by the Caritas team and volunteers. Our local Catholic schools in Toowoomba are kindly hosting students from across the diocese on these two days.

Thursday, 28 February -  Just Leadership Days for Primary at St Thomas More’s, Toowoomba

Friday, 1 March -  Just Leadership day for Secondary St Joseph’s College, Toowoomba


Peace and blessings

Rosie Harrison


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College Fees

15 February 2019

Please note that School fees are due today (15/2/19) unless you have a direct debit or payment plan in place with the Business Manager.

We draw your attention to cancellation of enrolment fees from our 2019 Schedule of Fees:


It is a condition of enrolment that a minimum of one terms’ notice from the date of receipt of the Notification of Transfer form is given for withdrawals. Failure to provide this notice, will result in one terms’ fee being invoiced to you. One terms’ notice is defined as the last day of the preceding term. Exceptions to this is at the discretion of the Principal. Contact the Enrolments Officer to discuss your intentions.

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Host Families Wanted - Japanese Exchange Students

15 February 2019

The College is again hosting Japanese Exchange Students in 2019.

The exchange students will be visiting the College from 24 March to 1 April, and we are still in need of 2 more families to host these students.

An allowance of $30 per day is given to the host families to help cover some of the basic costs 

The experience and cultural exchange for both the host family and the exchange student is priceless!

The exchange students also pay for all their own excursions and entry costs if you
take them out on the weekends.

If you are able to assist, please contact Julie Camm by email at

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HP Active Pen (Stylus) Available for Senior Laptops

15 February 2019

The Senior School have now received their laptops.  We hope that these will make a really strong contribution to learning at the College.  We do have a number of the compatible HP Active Pen (Stylus) available for these laptops.  Please note that these are not a compulsory item, and students can access the curriculum fully without them.  If you do want one for the laptop, they are available from Senior Reception for purchase at a discounted price of $60 each.

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Uniform Reminder - Required Sports Shorts

15 February 2019

The only sport shorts that should be worn are the College sport shorts which are either the former Champion/On Track brand or the new Hanbro brand with the Mary MacKillop logo. These shorts are available in all sizes from Hannas.

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Tourette Syndrome: Deconstructing the myths

15 February 2019

Tourette Syndrome (TS) affects approximately 1 in 100 young people.  It is a disability that has personally touched the lives of many within our school community. We are all on a journey together as we develop our knowledge and understanding of Tourette Syndrome, and accurate education is vital in this process.

Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder, which is expressed through multiple involuntary movements and uncontrollable vocalisations called ‘tics.’  TS can affect the brain’s ability to inhibit impulsive behaviours and language that most of us are easily able to suppress each day.  It’s kind of like having “faulty mental brakes,” resulting in tics that can appear at times disruptive and/or inappropriate.

Some examples of tics may include: facial tics, forceful eye blinking, nose twitching, head jerking, foot stamping, tapping things, clearing the throat, coughing, sniffing, barking or shouting.  Whilst less common, some people develop tics that cause them to use offensive language (coprolalia), or even repeat words spoken by others (echolalia). 

Tics are involuntary.  Tics can come and go, or change over time.  Sometimes, people with TS can suppress their tics, but it’s kind of like holding back a sneeze, and eventually the tension mounts to the point where the tic escapes.  Tics can worsen in stressful situations, like learning something new, doing a test, meeting new people, or being in an unfamiliar or new situation.  Tics can also become more obvious when the person is feeling excited, like when playing with friends.  Tics can decrease when the person feels relaxed or is doing something they enjoy and find interesting.

People with TS often experience co-morbid disabilities, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Anxiety, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sleep Disorders, and Specific Learning Disorders.  Often, the tics that we see are just the tip of the iceberg for young people with TS.

Wishing you all a positive and safe return to a new school year.

Amanda Roll
College Counsellor

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Triple P – Positive Parenting Program

15 February 2019

Parenting can be hard work; it’s okay to ask for help and free help is available.

Triple P - Positive Parenting Program is a world-renowned program that helps make raising children and teenagers easier.

It is available free of charge and on a voluntary basis to all Queensland parents and carers of children up to 16 years.

No matter what stage of life your child is at or what challenges you’re facing, Triple P can help you learn simple but proven ways to parent more effectively and give your children the best opportunity to reach their full potential.

The program will give you practical skills and tools, and help build the confidence you need, to:

  • manage your children’s behaviour
  • set family routines and rules that everyone follows
  • develop positive relationships, so you can get along well with your kids and argue less
  • raise happy, healthy and confident children
  • balance work and family without stress
  • create a happy, safe environment where your family can thrive.

What support is available?

How much support and what support you receive is totally up to you.

The program consists of a range of seminars, group workshops and one-on-one consultations, delivered as either one-off sessions or as part of a series of sessions over several weeks or months.

It also includes Triple P Online, an intensive, self-paced online course for parents to learn about the full suite of Triple P parenting strategies.

The range of options available means you can receive as much or as little help as you like, depending on your individual preferences and situation.

How can I access Triple P for free?

Free Triple P seminars, workshops and courses are available.

Visit the Triple P Queensland website to learn more about the program and to find out when a free Triple P session is being delivered in your local area.

You can also search for a free Triple P provider in your local area.

You can register for the Triple P Online parenting course at any time via the Triple P Queensland website.



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Tuckshop Volunteers Wanted

15 February 2019

Welcome back to a new year.

Tuckshop operates 5 days per week at Mary MacKillop Catholic College. It is a valuable service to our students with healthy and delicious fresh food available.

Tuckshop does not function without the help of our wonderful parent helpers. We encourage all of our parents new and current at the College to consider offering your support each term to volunteer through either helping out onsite or through delivering home baking.

An email will be sent out to all families with a voluteer form. We would appreciate any time you can give.

Catherine Rothwell
Tuckshop Convenor

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Year 1 Meet Dr Brushwell

15 February 2019

As part of the year 1 Health unit, Dr Brushwell, an eccentric dentist from Germany came to visit the year 1 students to teach them about oral hygiene. The students were entertained and participated in role plays about the importance of keeping your teeth clean. 

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From the Principal - Mr Chris Gabbett

1 February 2019

Welcome to the 2019 academic year!

It really is wonderful to be a part of your community.  Thank you so much to those parents and children who have made me so welcome.  I really do appreciate it. 

In staff discussions, as well as our whole College Assembly and the Commencement Mass today, we have focused on leadership.  One message I have been very emphatic about is the importance of everyone in the wider school community identifying themselves as a leader.  Leadership is always about much more than just control, authority or visibility, although those things do factor.  In the context of a Catholic school, and very much at Mary MacKillop, leadership is about service. 

In the context of a Catholic College, there can be no greater role than servant leadership.  Servant leadership is a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organisations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world.  The goal of the Catholic school is to ensure that all lives are enriched and kindness, care and justice are key behaviours.  In the Welcome Assembly to the whole College on Wednesday, I spoke to the students about the importance of their own choices, their actions and their willingness to serve.  I quoted St Teresa of Avila, who said, “Christ has no hands, but mine” – meaning that the message of peace, love and justice that He spread can best be maintained by our actions – not just our words. 

I would like to say a huge thank you to Mr Griffiths, our new Sports Coordinator, who planned and oversaw the year 4 to 6 Swimming Carnival this week.  I was only able to be present for the first couple of hours, but I was overwhelmed by the outstanding conduct, spirit and determination of all the young people there. 

I am in the process of initiating a number of in-school projects that will enhance parental communication, teaching and learning, behavior and wellbeing and the leadership of Mary MacKillop.  I would really welcome the chance to share those with you as parents – so please do watch this space regarding a February twilight date where I can present to you my vision for the College. 

I sincerely thank you again for welcoming me to Highfields and Mary MacKillop Catholic College. 

Mr Gabbett

College Principal

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New Discus Cage for Highfields Community

1 February 2019

Construction is well underway on a new permanent Discus Cage on the Kratzke Recreational Reserve Top Oval.  The new structure is jointly funded by Highfields & District Little Athletics, Toowoomba Regional Council and Mary MacKillop Catholic College P&F Association. 

The new structure will be tested in the coming weeks when Highfields & District Little Athletics Club hosts the Downs & South West Regional Athletics Championships on 9-10 February.  The addition of a permanent throwing facility provides a safe environment for our budding athletes with the facility to be utilised by the College PE Department and School Athletics Coaching. 

Highfields & District Little Athletics Club would like to thank Mary MacKillop Catholic College for their continued support over the years and in particular the P&F Association for their financial support with the construction of the Discus Cage. 

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Beginning High School

1 February 2019

Beginning high school can be a very exciting time for children and their parents but it can also be scary and confusing.  There are many changes that children face in this transition, and some teenagers can find the adjustment quite difficult and challenging.

Common changes

  • New environment, transport arrangements and routines
  • Being away from brothers and sisters, and leaving “school as they know it”
  • Moving from the "top" of Primary school where they felt quite important and special to the "bottom" of high school, where the older students seem to get all the attention.
  • One teacher in one classroom to many teachers across a number of subjects and classrooms
  • Shifts in friendship groups, friends being in different classes or at different schools altogether
  • Lockers, diaries and greater responsibility in organising oneself
  • Body Image querying as they are surrounded by more developed teenagers- Am I normal, attractive, likeable?


Stresses on the new high school student

With all of the changes above (and more) it is not uncommon for students to feel anxious as well as:

  • Lost and confused
  • Missing friends, teachers and their old school
  • Loneliness and unhappiness while they make new friends
  • Worried about not being able to cope with the work and new demands of high school
  • Worry about not fitting in
  • Worry about not meeting parent expectations
  • Tired and unsettled in general

Teens may show this stress in many ways: Eg.

  • Being irritable and short tempered
  • Being disagreeable and not wanting to talk
  • Swaying between wanting to be treated like an adult and a child
  • Changing behaviour in order to impress or rebel or to push the normal boundaries of what is acceptable

What can parents do?

Firstly, remember that this is an important transition time for your child (and you too) and that stress is normal for children (and parents) at these times. Children adapt as do parents to this new world and it won’t be long before this “new school” is normal again.

  • Reassure your child that it is normal to feel confused and unsure at first and that others feel this way too.
  • Take a bit more time to ask and listen about their day, focusing on what has been going well, not so well and most importantly what is improving as they get into high school. Don’t advise too quickly, help them to draw out their own solutions
  • Remind them that they know how to make friends, and of the success they have had in the past. Remind them that adjustments take time.
  • Encourage them to keep in touch with old friends while building relationships with new friends.
  • Be welcoming to new friends, encourage contact out of school.
  • Help your teenager develop a homework routine and assist them to manage their homework, assignments and study over the first few weeks until the new routine kicks in. Some children need longer than others - gauge the support your child needs and work with them, encouraging responsibility for their own learning along the way.
  • Encourage and support them to join in co-curricular activities and attend functions where they can meet new friends and strengthen existing relationships.
  • Be patient! Cut them a bit of slack in the first few weeks as they adapt; the tiredness and crankiness does improve.
  • Get involved - get to know teachers, other parents and your child’s new friends. Even though it can seem a bit daunting at first, attend school functions, and stick around for a cuppa and a chat.
  • Remember that despite their special moods and those special teenage behaviours, they still need lots of love and support. Parents are usually the best support kids have.
  • Talk to your spouse, friends, family and work colleagues about starting school. Too often we keep the worries to ourselves.


If you feel your child is having some problems adjusting, please don’t hesitate in contacting someone at the College. Your child’s PC teacher, Middle Leader, Guidance Counsellor or individual subject teachers all have the ability to assist and support your child during this transition.

(originally adapted from “Starting High School” –

Wishing you all a wonderful first Term!

Kind regards

Amanda Roll
College Counsellor
Ph: 4698 7777

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Music Department – Extra-curricular Activities

1 February 2019


Mary Mackillop Catholic College offers students from Year 2 to Year 11 the opportunity to sing in a choir. The students have three weeks to decide if this is the activity for them. After this trial period we ask that the students make a weekly commitment for one semester. This allows for effective learning of repertoire and performance preparation. Information on performances will be sent home as they arise. This year we will be trialling the use of a commitment to choir contract which will be sent out in Week 3.

These groups are:





Year 2/ 3 Choir

Susie Fredline

Rehearse on Wednesday’s first break in the music room. Bring your lunch.

We sing first and then have something to eat.

Year 4/5/6 Choir

Susie Fredline

Rehearse on Tuesdays before school from 7:30am to 8:25am in the music room.


Prompt arrival is appreciated. Siblings are welcome to sit in the room with us during the rehearsal.

Year 7-11 Choir

Jennifer Langerak

Rehearse on Tuesdays before school from 7:30am to 8:25am in the senior school music room. 


Prompt arrival is appreciated. Siblings are welcome to sit in the room with us during the rehearsal.


The benefits of singing in a choir include improved cardiovascular fitness (including lung function), improved mood and general alertness and cognitive benefits because singing involves many different areas of the brain acting in concert. Singing in a collective can improve participant’s sense of belonging and of being socially included by engendering a positive sense of community.

Professor Graham Welch – Chair of Music Education, University College London

Year 5 Music Group

This group rehearses on Thursday at first break in the music room in the Junior School Music room. Students bring their lunch. The group sing songs together as well as playing numerous tuned and

un-tuned percussion instruments. Composition of the numerous parts is done as a group. Susie Fredline is the best teacher to contact regarding this group.

Composition Groups

There is an opportunity for those students interested in composing their own song to come to the music room during second break on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These are informal groups who are able to get guidance in developing their own music. Contact Susie Fredline for more information.

Other Ensembles

The College continues to develop a number of other ensembles led by various staff.




Concert Band

Jennifer Langerak

Rehearse Wednesday from 7:30am until 8:20am.

Prompt arrival is appreciated with students expected to assist in the set up and pack down of the rehearsal space.

Guitar Ensemble

Jack Hickey

(Please contact Jennifer Langerak if you wish to be involved in this ensemble if you are not a guitar student at the College.)

Rehearse Monday morning from 7:45am in the MacKillop Centre.


Students are to be prompt as this is a short rehearsal time.

String Ensemble

Teresa Brix

(Please contact Jennifer Langerak if you wish to be involved in this ensemble and are not currently taught by Ms Brix.)


Rehearsal is on Friday morning at 7:45am in the MacKillop Centre.


Please arrive promptly.


Concert Band

Concert Band is open to students who play any woodwind, brass or percussion instrument. There is also a few spots available for piano students who are interested in transferring skills to different instruments such as glockenspiel and playing piano to substitute other instruments. If your child is interested to join the Concert Band please contact Jennifer Langerak.

Instrumental Lessons

Instrumental lessons are set to commence at the start of Week 2. If your child has been enrolled in lessons previous and is set to continue you should have been contacted with lesson times.

If you wish to enrol your child into instrumental lessons please contact Jennifer Langerak to begin this process. It would be very exciting to see more Mary MacKillop students involved in extracurricular music.

Lesson are currently available on the following instruments;

  • Brass instruments – Trombone and Trumpet (both available for hire)
  • Woodwind instruments – Flute, Clarinet and Saxophone (available for hire)
  • Piano
  • Drums
  • Strings – Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass (some available for hire)
  • Guitar


2019 is set to be a very exciting year for the Music Department. Please keep in touch with any exciting developments in your child’s music journey as we love to celebrate this as a community.

Music education is not for the talented, it is not a luxury, it is not an add on, it is not a bonus, it is not a nice thing if we had some extra money, it is essential.

Dr Anita Collins (taken from TEDx Talks, ‘What if every child had access to music education from birth?”)

Jennifer Langerak                                          Susie Fredline

Secondary Music Teacher                             Primary Music Teacher


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Welcoming New Staff

1 February 2019

Mr Kris Naiker

Role: Assistant Principal Teaching and Learning – Senior School

Mr Kris Naiker is a passionate and inspiring educator who has been involved in education for 17 years. He started his teaching career in 2002 as a Senior Modern and Ancient History teacher at Christian Outreach College Toowoomba. During his time at COCT, he has worked in leadership roles such as Head of House, Year Level Coordinator, Head of Humanities, Head of Teaching and Learning and in his current role as Assistant Principal-Secondary. Mr Naiker’s leadership was instrumental in improving the academic outcomes and learning pathways of students.  Mr Naiker’s dedication and pursuit of academic excellence was recognised in 2009 where he was nominated for the Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence. In 2010, he was the finalist for the National Excellence in Teaching Award (NEITA Award). Mr Naiker received a Bachelor of Education degree from Christian Heritage College in Brisbane. In 2015, he completed his Master of Education specialising in Curriculum Leadership at University of Southern Queensland.

Ms Bridget Rillie

Role: Assistant Principal Wellbeing – Junior School

Bridget was previously the Assistant Principal Religious Education at Sacred Heart Primary School Toowoomba. She has held various positions throughout her educational career working in the Toowoomba, Townsville and Cairns Dioceses. She has held the positions of APRE, Learning Support Teacher, Director of Teaching and Learning, Head of Campus and recently undertook the role of Acting Principal at St Monica’s, Oakey in Term 3 of 2018, where she built strong relationships with the school community, P & F and Board.

Bridget’s expertise in education lies in providing global vision and direction, policy and procedure writing, behaviour management and student welfare, developing positive school cultures, curriculum development and the capacity to set academic standards for students and staff. She excels at providing strategic direction and building collective efficacy amongst staff to achieve the standards set. Bridget has excellent communication skills and communicates openly with staff, parents, parish and community members to achieve the best academic success for all students.  Bridget is looking forward to working with the leadership team, staff, students and families of Mary MacKillop Catholic College as together, they lead the College to ensure all students achieve success at school.

Ms Rosie Harrison

Role: Assistant Principal Religious Education

Ms Rosemary (Rosie) Harrison has been appointed as the APRE Mary MacKillop from 2019.

Rosie was first appointed in 2014 as an Education Officer - Faith and Religious Education. In 2015 Rosie was appointed as the Foundation Principal of St Joseph’s Weipa. Since then Rosie has successfully managed the establishment and growth of the school from initial plans through to its current position as a complete single stream P-6 school.

Mrs Wendy Collins

Role: Middle Leader Wellbeing, Media Art & English Teacher

Wendy was previously employed at St Ursula’s College for over eight years. During this time she held a number of Middle Management positions, gaining experience across a number of areas. One of these areas was the academic care of an entire year level as Head of Year 11 for the past 4 years.

Mr Brett Lunney

Role: Design and Technology & Building and Construction Teacher

My expertise is all things Woodwork but my passion is Construction.  After many years in the Building Industry, I taught at St Marys College Toowoomba for over 10 years.  In fact I may have taught some of the younger student’s fathers Manual Arts and/or Construction.  I am looking forward to working at your school and hope to inspire both boys and girls to pursue a career in Construction.

Mr Brad Griffiths

Role: Sports Coordinator and Secondary Teacher

I have a keen interest in the health and well-being of young people and firmly believe that physical activity plays a vital role in the development of the whole person. I intend to work hard with the MMCC community to develop a sustainable sports program that allows all students access to activities of interest. We are blessed at MMCC to have many wonderful staff who give freely of their time to provide opportunities for our students, and I’m very keen to support them in the excellent work that is already being done here. I’m excited to be part of a growing school that is poised for great things as a P-12 college in the future.

Mr Ryan Baines

Role: College Chaplain

I have always loved working with people. What a blessing it is to be a part of four wonderful, distinct, Catholic school communities. From my teenage years, volunteering at a Brisbane Community Centre, to involving myself in all things social justice during my high schooling at Nudgee College, to my work coordinating Edmund Rice Camps in Brisbane. Forming positive, right relationships and journeying with young people from all walks of life has always been a passion. My undergraduate studies in teaching inspired me to travel the world. It lead me to study art curation and museum studies at London’s Tate Modern. While completing my Masters degree I worked part time as a Retreat and Ministry Coordinator and then Campus Minister for St Mary’s College. I have taught Religious Education in Roma, Brisbane and Toowoomba for various Catholic Schools. I recently had an opportunity to connect in with the young people at Concannon College at the University of Southern Queensland. In 2019, I am ready to ‘seize the day’ with the young people from St Saviour’s College, St Mary’s College, YCLC and Mary MacKillop College, Highfields so that together we can make Jesus’ core message a lived reality for our world.”

Mrs Caroline Costa

Role: Year 3 Teacher

My name is Caroline Costa, I have lived in Australia for the past 7 years since I emigrated in 2012. I have taught in schools in South Africa, England and Australia. I have been with the Catholic Diocese in differing roles since moving into the country and moving to Toowoomba.  I am married and have 5 year old twins, who are starting Prep this year at Mary MacKillop, and a two and a half year old. I am looking forward to working with the Mary Mackillop staff and to getting to know your children while becoming involved in the school community.

Mrs Kate Murdoch

Role: English Teacher

My name is Kate Murdoch and I will be teaching a mix of English, Drama, and Religious Education. I've had a wonderful start to 2019 at Mary MacKillop and look forward to continuing my engagement with the students and school community!

Ms Lara Wolff

Role: Mathematics Teacher

I am Lara Wolff and have recently moved to Toowoomba from Mount Isa. I come from Good Shepherd Catholic College, Townsville Diocese where I held the positions of Curriculum Leader for Mathematics as well as Mathematics teacher. I have been a teacher for 25+ years and am a passionate advocate of recognizing students as individuals and striving to assist them to achieve to their true potential. I am a firm believer in building positive relationships coupled with high expectations using individual’s strengths.  

Mr Matthew Chivers

Role: Art Teacher

With 20 years’ experience teaching visual art in the state school system and a connection with Catholic education since 2016 I am looking forward to working with the students of Mary Mackillop college who have already in week 1 demonstrated their passion and enthusiasm for the visual arts. Looking forward I anticipate seeing some amazing artworks in 2019.

Mrs Monique Cotter

Role: Geography & Biology Teacher

I am Monique Cotter and I will be teaching senior biology and junior science. Prior to teaching, I worked in the environment sector for a natural resource management organisation. I’m very excited to be starting here at Mary MacKillop and look forward to a wonderful year.

Miss Phoebe Burton

Role: Enrolments Officer

My name is Phoebe Burton, I am the new Enrolments Officer at Mary MacKillop Catholic College.

I’m looking forward to meeting you all and showing off this beautiful school to new families, I can already see how easy it will be for me.

Mr Ryan Cavanough

Role: Economics, Digital Technology & HASS Teacher

Ryan joins the Mary MacKillop secondary school team having worked as both a teacher and Curriculum Leader at Downlands College from 2010 until 2018.  He joined the Diocese during the second half of 2018 working for both St Mary’s College and Mary MacKillop.  Ryan is teaching a range of Digital Technologies, Economics and HASS subjects.

Mr Scot McPhie

Role: Science Laboratory Technician      

I am the new Science Laboratory Technician, working on a part time basis, whilst I complete my Environmental Science and Anthropology Degree. As a parent of four children, ranging from primary school to university, I know just how important a good education is for children. I look forward to supporting the science staff here and creating exciting and challenging learning opportunities for our students.

Mr Thomas Moore

Role: Religion & Physical Education Teacher

I am very excited to join the MMCC Community in 2019. For the last seven years, I have taught in Toowoomba Diocese schools, specifically the last five at St John’s Catholic School in Roma. This year I will be teaching across both Junior and Senior Campuses in the areas of HPE, Religion and English. 

I am an avid sports fan; some would call a tragic… I have been lucky to have played cricket at some wonderful places around Australia and overseas including England and the Netherlands many moons ago. Since those times, I have thoroughly enjoyed coaching numerous Rep teams at both the Club and School Queensland State Championships.

I look forward to working with everyone within this flourishing community and providing quality learning experiences for our young men and women.  

Mrs Catherine York

Role: Year 1 Teacher

After relief teaching at Mary MacKillop Catholic College for a few years now, I look forward to working more closely with the junior school and whole College community.

Dr. F. Marc Saccoia

Role: Mathematics Teacher

With a PHD in Mathematics, I have most recently come from Concordia Lutheran College, and have also taught at the Queensland Academy of Science, Mathematics and Technology.  I look forward to my teaching role in the Mathematics Department at Mary MacKillop Catholic College. 

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Uniform Shop Closing Sale

1 February 2019

College Uniform Shop Closing Sale

As the College Uniform Shop will no longer be operating, as of January 2019, a number of items are now being sold at reduced prices.

All items are brand new with tags and may have only been tried on for fitting purposes.

There is only one of each size listed available.  Items will be available from the Junior Reception from Tuesday, 5 February to Tuesday, 12 February 2019.

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Principal’s Christmas Message

7 December 2018

I would like to wish all of our Mary MacKillop parents, students and friends a safe, happy and holy Christmas and holiday season. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of staff, parents and students to Mary MacKillop in 2018.

Walt Disney once said ‘You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful ideas in the world, but it requires people to make the dream a reality’. This is certainly the case as a principal. The reality is that the learning experiences and projects that have taken place this year could not have happened without a great deal of commitment and support from the staff, parents and students.

2019 will be an exciting time as each member of the new leadership team settles into Mary Mackillop and commences work in their various fields.  I have full confidence in the team that have been selected to lead and develop the College into the next phase of the College life. 

Again, a very Merry Christmas to you all and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year.

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Opening Hours over Christmas Holidays

7 December 2018

Opening Hours over Christmas Holidays

The College Administration office located on Kratzke Road will be open from Monday, 10 December to Thursday, 20 December.  We will be closed from 21 December to 4 January 2019, reopening on Monday, 7 January 2019.

Junior reception will be closed from 10 December to 18 January 2019, reopening on Monday, 21 January 2019.


College Uniform Shop Holiday Opening Hours

  • 8.00am-10.00am Tuesday 22 Jan 2019 (fittings and orders)
  • 8.00am-10.00am Wednesday 23 Jan 2019 (fittings and orders)
  • 8.00am-9.00am Friday 25 Jan 2019 (collections)

Uniforms can also be purchased from Hannas Department Store in Ruthven Street.

Bags can be purchased throughout the holidays from the College Administration Office.

The College Uniform Code of Presentation is available via our website. 

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2019 Term 1 Important Dates & Information

7 December 2018

Term 1 in 2019 commences on Tuesday, 29 January. However the Senior School will have staggered starts for new students and all Year 7 students.

Please see the attached document for further information.

For more information on getting ready for 2019, click here.

An email will be sent to all families regarding the 2019 Swimming Carnivals. Please check this information, and ensure Junior School students place their nominations before 28 January.

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From the Acting Principal - Ms Charmaine Cridland

30 November 2018

The following article by Brother Damien Rice was addressed to the Graduating Class of 2018.  However the message is just as relevant to our Year 10 students who finish for the year today, and will prepare to embark their final two years of College and pave the way for our ever growing P to 12 College!

"Wrap your life in simple pleasures; too many are lost living someone else’s life or dream."

November 14, 2018

By Brother Damien Price

I WAS out walking the other day and a jacaranda flower falling from a tree beside Schultz Canal got me thinking.

Over the coming days thousands of wonderful young men and women will graduate from Catholic schools all across our land.

What could our fragile faith community say to them and wish them forth with? Here is my go at it.

As you leave us remember life is a journey; enjoy it.

It will have its ups and downs, its twists and turns but value the journey and you will pull through.

Some around you will put all sort of value on titles but remember that life’s truly great titles are the simple ones; dad, mum, friend, brother, sister, mate and that many a king and leader wished they were remembered for these and not wars or other matters of state.

You will make mistakes for no one is perfect but better the risking and the failing than trying not at all.

You will be hurt in love but better to have risked love than grown old wishing.

As you journey may you come to know that the Earth is your mother, be gentle with it, caress it, listen to it and learn to love it; if not for your sake then for your children and their children.

As you journey you will need a compass; make honesty a compass point.

Honesty is often hard and you will be tempted to the easier path but really there is no other way.

All around you, you will see those who live by plastic pleasures and you will be tempted to do the same; march to your own drum.

Don’t die with the music, your music, inside you.

You will have times of hurt and anger, disappointment and betrayal, even with those you love but never close the door of your home nor of your heart; it is never too late to forgive.

In all that you do, be gentle with yourself; the hardest journey is the journey inward and the hardest hurdle to forgive yourself – but both hurdle and journey are worth it – one step at a time.

As you journey you will see violence and war and many will reach for the gun as the solution but remember that the Gospel reminds us that the open hand will always win out over the clenched fist.

Many a war and conflict is fuelled by fear of difference.

Fear not difference, for it is the bearer of wisdom and your enemy is just the friend you have not met yet.

Wrap your life in simple pleasures; too many are lost living someone else’s life or dream.

As you journey you will meet the bitter and the twisted but never mock love; the cynic and the bully crave its company.

Your feelings are a compass too – do not shackle feelings; neither be afraid to cry nor to laugh.

Trust friendship before the share market and integrity before false pleasure.

Judge no one, for your ego will always look for battle when there is none to be won.

Value self – just as you are – and leave the rat race, appearances and status for the shallow and the lost.

Set yourself high goals that stretch your inner self and you will always have a bounce to your step and a sparkle in the eye.

Share a beer or wine with friends but let the reason always be the sharing and the friendship.

Don’t waste too much time looking for answers; live life and enjoy the questions.

Put family before promotions, friendship before perks, relationships before envy.

I lost my dad when I was 17 and I was not there by his bed – so – never leave unsaid what needs to be said, nor leave undone what needs to be done; you will not come this way again.

On your journey when you are in doubt risk and hug and love.

Nurture self-discipline and remember balance; balance in all things.

Honour your body and the bodies of others; you truly are the temple of God’s Holy Spirit.

Cultivate compassion and make the hallmark of your life how you treated others; especially the poor, the weak and the vulnerable.

Never buy an “if only” T-shirt and better the crazy look of adventure over a mildewed mountain of cash.

But in all of this – as you journey – always remember that you never, never walk alone.

No matter what you do or fail to do your God is there walking beside you – the God who is awe, joy, love, peace and hope, and that God will always, always, always love you.

Oh and don’t be a stranger – this broken, fragile and yet beautiful faith community needs you and your dreams – as does this beautiful world.

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From the Head of Junior School - Mr Tim Franzmann

30 November 2018

Report Cards

End of semester reports will be sent home on Tuesday, 4 December, along with student class allocation for 2019. This is earlier than last year and this change will give parents an opportunity to meet with teachers if they wish to discuss the report. 

Transition Afternoon

At 2:00 pm Wednesday, 5 December all students enrolled for 2019 will transition to the classroom and spend time with their 2019 teacher. This will give all students an opportunity to familiarise themselves with the class teacher, room and class cohort. 

Uniform requirements 2019

Please follow the link to the College website for the updated 2019 College Code of Presentation. Please note a few updates in both the junior and senior school. These updates were explained in the last newsletter and many have been communicated throughout the year. 

Thank you for another great year, and enjoy your holidays!

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Mission Matters at Mary Mac

30 November 2018

End of school year Mass

On 7 December the college will celebrate a final Mass for 2018. Parents are invited to join us in the MacKillop Centre at 8.45am for Mass followed by a brief assembly to farewell staff and students.

SVdP Christmas Appeal 2018

A reminder to keep the donations coming for the St Vincent de Paul 2018 Christmas Appeal.   Prep to Year 6 students are asked to bring in non-perishable food items for hampers while our secondary students are asked to bring in gifts suitable for young teens and children to fill a “shoe Box” with gifts. We offer all these donations at our final mass on Friday 7 December.

Year 6 Reflection Day

Last Wednesday, 21 November, Year 6 students were involved in a reflection day. The students reflected on how they have made Jesus real and how they have grown as people throughout their time at the college. Thanks to Mrs Worner, Miss Carrol, Mrs Stevenson, Mr Hubbard and Mrs Dyson-Holland for organising and running a fun and very rewarding reflective day. Thanks also to Mr Joy for teaching the dance.

“On our MJR reflection day, Year 6 got together on the peer support program. It’s been great being a leader and helping others learn about the Spirit of Jesus. We had lots of fun. I loved learning the dance to the Year of Youth song.”   Molly Haig 6M

“Last Wednesday, at the Year 6 reflection day, we had time to gather and reflect on being leaders of the peer support program. Through this program we got to be teachers…teaching and supporting the younger students in the school to learn how to make Jesus real every day. It has been a great experience.”   Sky Warry 6M

Year 8 Reflection Day

Being grateful for all that we have in life is one of the keys to true happiness. Recent studies have found that counting your blessings on a regular basis not only leads to feeling more optimistic and enjoying a greater overall satisfaction with life, it can also have some pretty amazing physical and emotional benefits.

On Tuesday, 27 November, the Year 8 students took part in a reflection day to celebrate and express gratitude. The day involved many games and activities, a shared morning tea as well as reflection and a liturgy to thank God for all of the gifts and positive experiences throughout the year. Special thanks to Mrs Garske and Mrs Dyson-Holland for organising this wonderful time.

Family Connection

In this week’s Gospel, Jesus warns his disciples against the fatigue that can emerge if one becomes consumed by the anxieties of daily life. Many families are too familiar with the kind of fatigue Jesus refers to here. We may be concerned about a family member's health, our job security, our children's education, or any number of other concerns. All these are important matters. Jesus does not promise an end to daily worries and fears, but he does teach his disciples that they will have the strength to withstand anxiety if they stay focused on him, remaining vigilant for his return and praying for strength to endure all tribulations. Through prayer, God helps us stay focused on that which is most important in our lives.

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2019 Schedule of Fees

30 November 2018

2019 Schedule of Fees

Application fee                                         $50

Non refundable enrolment bond              $200

Senior College fee                                   $5100

Junior College fee                                    $2600

1 to 1 Laptop program

Supply of HP Laptop levy                        $130 per term

With the addition of a Senior Cohort in 2019, please remember what is included within our College Fees as taken directly from our current Schedule of Fees.

Excluded from the College fee:

  • individual instrumental/vocal tuition (external tutors)
  • instrumental hire
  • costs for representative teams
  • costs for representative sport
  • costs for subject based immersion experiences (e.g. French class trip overseas)
  • replacements for text books, student ID’s
  • optional courses
  • materials: Year 11 & 12 construction courses
  • calculators, clothing, tuckshop
  • student stationery
  • distance education courses
  • TAFE courses
  • optional: school tours, public performances, valedictory dinner, inauguration ball, senior jersey
  • Bus Transport to the swimming carnival


It is a condition of enrolment that a minimum of two week’s notice is given for withdrawals.  If a student is withdrawn from the College during a term, fees must be paid to the end of that term. 

It is important to note that if your child is undertaking Year 11 construction courses, you will be billed for materials.

Bus Transport to the swimming carnival is also not included and will be billed additionally to your fees.


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Christmas Closures

30 November 2018

Week 9 Activities

Homework club will not be operating next week.  Please make alternative arrangements for your children.

No beginner or advanced chess lessons next week.

After school art classes with Mrs Mitchell and touch training will continue next week.


Opening Hours over Christmas Holidays

The College Administration office located on Kratzke Road will be open from Monday, 10 December to Thursday, 20 December.  We will be closed from 21 December to 4 January 2019, reopening on Monday, 7 January 2019.

Junior reception will be closed from 10 December to 18 January 2019, reopening on Monday, 21 January 2019.


College Uniform Shop Holiday Opening Hours

  • 8.00am -10.00am Wednesday 23 Jan 2019 (fittings and orders)
  • 8.00am -10.00am Thursday 24 Jan 2019 (fittings and orders)
  • 8.00am - 9.00am Friday 25 Jan 2019 (collections)

Uniforms can also be purchased from Hannas Department Store in Ruthven Street.

Bags can be purchased throughout the holidays from the College Administration Office.

The College Uniform Code of Presentation is available via our website. 

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