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17 May 2018

The following information has been provided by Queensland Catholic Education Commission and Non State Schools Transport Assistance Scheme.


Semester 1, 2018

Bus Fare


  • Does your child attend a school outside the Brisbane City Council boundary?
  • Does your family spend more than $20/week* on fares to and from school (* $15/week if you hold a concession card)?
  • Does your child travel on a publicly available bus not owned or associated with the school?

Students With Disability

  • Does your child have a verified disability that requires transport assistance to and from school? 
  • Has your school’s learning support teacher assessed your child’s travel capability rating as ‘semi-independent’ or more dependent?

Visit our website to see if you qualify for financial assistance to help with the cost of transport and apply at by 31 May 2018.

Late applications will not be accepted.

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School Review and Improvement Survey

17 May 2018

This year our school will be participating in a School Review and Improvement Survey managed by Research Australia Development and Innovation Institute (RADII).

As well as school staff and students from Years 5 - 12, all parents are invited to participate in the survey. The survey provides valuable feedback for the future directions of our school. It would be appreciated if parents could update their contact details prior to the 24 June 2018. This will ensure delivery to the correct parent email addresses are available.

On Monday, 23 July 2018, RADII will send all parents a personalised invitation to complete the survey online. If both parents' email addresses are on file at the school, the invitation will be sent to both parents. However, the survey will close once the first person has completed it. If you do not wish to complete the survey, simply delete it. The survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete. You can complete the survey from anywhere you have access to the internet.

The survey will close on Sunday, 12 August 2018 for parents. We encourage you to be very honest in your responses to the surveys. All responses go directly to RADII so they are confidential and anonymous. When the surveys are completed, and responses aggregated by RADII, overall data is sent to us so that we can then share the findings with you.

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Play it Safe with your Devices

17 May 2018

Electricity can be a big risk to young people, so the Electrical Safety Office have published new resources to help parents and teachers protect kids from electrical risks.

The attached Playing it safe with your device poster has tips for mobile and tablet users on how to protect themselves and their device.

Visit to download more general safety tips.

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High Expectations - 7 Qualities of a Good Learner

1 May 2018

As you are well aware, the learning journey of your child started with you, you are their first teacher in their early years. This relationship will, and should, continue on throughout their life. As parents we have a very important role in guiding and shaping our children to develop good attitudes towards learning, good study habits and work ethics. In many cases this occurs through osmosis, they absorb this attitude toward learning just through the environment we create at home and our own attitude toward learning.  

We have just completed Parent/Teacher interviews for this semester and this action of interest and involvement in your child's education is one of these actions that's send a very clear message to your child that you value learning and that learning is lifelong. Chapman (2015) asserts that patterns of academic achievement and positive school adjustment indicate the attitudes of parents towards schooling and are crucial for the success of the child. There is a large body of evidence, spanning several decades, identifies the benefits of continued parental engagement throughout schooling for student learning outcomes. Parental engagement has been shown to improve students’ self-esteem, school attendance, and behaviour at school. In fact, John Hattie (2008) has conducted a meta analysis of over 68 000 peer reviewed studies that have included over 25 million students to ascertain what teaching strategies and influences are there out there that actually make a difference to student learning.

From these studies he has developed Visible Learning strategies, approaches or influences and one of these is effective parental engagement where he estimates could add the equivalent of 2 or 3 extra years to your child’s education. 

At Mary MacKillop Catholic College our job is to continue on the educative journey of your child. This is not to say that we are 'taking over' the educative journey of your child, moreover we are continuing it and adding to this journey in partnership with you. We understand that God has a purpose for each and every person and through our mission [statement] we are working with you to "Form faith filled people of integrity who strive for excellence"Our teachers continually set themselves High Expectations around the development of learning experiences and assessments for the education of your child and we are continually looking at how we can improve the rigour of our classroom practice and our impact on the learning of your child. 

So what role does the student play? In developing the most effective learning journey for a child there are three important partners: the parent, the teacher and the student. Effective parent and teacher educators can have a considerable effect on the learning of a student, however, the ATTITUDE of the student is key. A student's attitude towards learning and the importance of learning will determine how they will engage in learning experiences. Maryellen Weimer, PhD (2014) states that any student that aspires to learn well should embody the following Seven (7) Qualities of a Good Learner and these state that Good Learners:

·         are curious 

·         pursue understanding diligently 

·         recognise that a lot of learning isn’t fun 

·         are frightened by failure BUT know that it is beneficial to them 

·         make knowledge their own and make it make sense to them 

·         never run out of questions, as there is ALWAYS more to know, and 

·         share what they have learned. Teaching someone else what you know is the best way to ensure it is not lost but also cement the understanding within yourself. 

My challenge to you [students] is to look through these 7 qualities and honestly evaluate yourself against them. Are you making most of the opportunities being gifted to you by your parents and teachers? Are you doing enough of your own enquiry (curious)? Are you putting in 100% effort with all work that you engage with, completed or submit (diligence)? Have you experienced the feeling of FUN by the fact that you are enjoying discovering new things that you didn't know before? FAIL should only be your First Attempt In Learning as you learn from mistakes (failure is good); Do you ensure you fully understand everything and don't just hope that certain things will disappear like a bad dream (knowledge making sense)? Seek to always know more...learning is a journey; and teach others what you know to help others to succeed also (share your learning). 


Mark Gregson

Assistant Principal: Teaching & Learning

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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

1 May 2018


Over the next six months the College will be promoting its new Credo (Vision, Mission and Motto) in order that it becomes known throughout our community.

The Mary MacKillop Catholic College Credo expresses our fundamental commitment to human flourishing and underpins all aspects of college life. The credo is the watermark that washes through all College behaviours, documents and processes. All college artefacts are to contain links to the credo as aligned reminders of our integrity.

Mary MacKillop Catholic College Credo


We are a Christ centred educational community – engaging minds, igniting hearts, and serving others.


We form faith filled people of integrity who strive for excellence.


We value spirituality, wisdom, justice, respect and resilience.


We celebrate God in all things.




A ‘Town Hall’ forum evening was held on Thursday, 19 April for stakeholders to express their priorities in reviewing and creating an updated College Logo. This has been followed by an online survey sent to all staff and parents. We thank you for your contributions and look forward to sharing the next phase with you.


School Renewal and Improvement Process (SRIP)

In response to recommendations from the School Renewal and Improvement Process conducted in term 1, the Leadership Team will continue to meet regularly to focus on key areas. Our focus will be to introduce strategies and procedures to respond to the many recommendations from the SRIP.

Already many initiatives have been introduced, including:

  • a revised report for junior school students,
  • electronic roll marking,
  • improved communication through a staff intranet, new College App, College Outlook calendar linked to the website,
  • Parent feedback form now on College website
  • Introduction of academic awards in the junior school
  • Program development for senior classes and in preparation for the new Year 11 & 12 curriculum


On Tuesday this week (May 1), we, as Catholic's, celebrated the feast of St Joseph the Worker.

St. Joseph

 “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." -Matthew 1:20

Besides his feast day on March 19 an additional feast, for St. Joseph the Worker, was assigned by Pope Pius XII.  Communism had focussed on May 1 as the Workers’ Day and Pope Pius XII in 1955 declared the same day to be the feast of St. Joseph the Worker.  Joseph (a carpenter) is the patron saint of all working people.

(adapted from: Robert Ellsberg, ALL SAINTS)


God Bless

Peter Murphy

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Let's Communicate - Parent Feedback Form

1 May 2018

Communication builds community!

We are regularly revising the way in which we communicate with our College community to ensure we are all working together to provide the best opportunities for your child, our valued students!

In recent months we have worked on streamlining our methods of communicating with you to ensure we are using the most effective and efficient mediums for all involved. 

After discussions with Mr Murphy and the College Board, in an effort to alleviate the many forms and letters that you receive, we have recently trialled online forms to replace paper permission slips.

These eForms have been trialled with our Sports and Music Departments and our Year 9 retreat days this term. We have experienced an overwhelmingly positive response from this and we will now commence a gradual roll out of online forms.  We understand that some things are better on paper, and know that changing habits can be tricky, so please let us know if you have any questions or concerns!

You will always be notified if there is an online form to complete, so please ensure you are looking in the right places to receive this information.

Where to look:


•For all planned College events and activities

•It’s more reliable and more accessible than ever!

•View on your desktop, phone or tablet

•View via the College Mobile App


•Sent home via homelinks bag, via email or uploaded to the App or website

•For information regarding a student, class activities, excursions, camps, etc.

•Permission slips: An online link within the letter or email or a signed slip, returned to classroom teachers or the office.

MOBILE APP  [this is a must-have App! Important information is sent out regularly via the App and will pop up as an alert on your phone]

Download from App Store (Apple) or Google Play (Android)

Receive alerts straight to your phone or tablet.


•Letters for Permission or Registration for an event.

•Event Reminders


•Absentee eForms

•eNews Link

•Photo Gallery

•Key Contact Details


•From teachers to parents

•From the Principal or College Office with letter attachments regarding upcoming events.


•Emailed fortnightly on Friday’s

•Available any time via our website or app

•Contains all our most recent events, stories and articles from the Principal and Heads of School

•Feature stories updated regularly throughout the week

College Facebook Page

•For promoting the College, student achievements and upcoming events

P&F Facebook Page

•For promoting events and activities conducted by the P&F


If in doubt, the best way to find out is by talking to us directly at the College!


A new Parent Feedback Form is now available via the Parent tab on our website and via the links button on the App.


Should you have any comments, questions or concerns, that are not urgent, please complete this online form and we will respond to you within 48 hours (week days only).

It is our aim that once your feedback form is submitted, the correct member of staff will be notified to address your concern and find the best resolution for everyone involved.

With this form you can also access the College Concerns and Complaints Policy.

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National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS)

1 May 2018

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is an annual campaign that aims to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books.

Now in its 18th successful year, it is a colourful, vibrant, fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6.

Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.

NSS2018's book is Hickory Dickory Dash written by Tony Wilson, illustrated by Laura Wood and published by Scholastic.

This year Prep to year 2 students will enjoy a visit by a Mystery Reader to share the story.



The iParent Resource created by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner provides information about the digital environment and how you can encourage your children to be safe online and to be positive digital citizens. A recently released resource, Screen Smart Parent Tour, provides an interactive tour for parents of 10-14 year olds, and includes suggestions for helping your child explore safely and manage online issues.

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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

20 April 2018

I freely admit, I could not get enough of the Commonwealth Games. I am a passionate ‘wanna be’ sports tragic and spent many hours in front of the TV cheering on the athletes. I am inspired by the talent and dedication of these young, and sometimes not so young, people.

Some time ago, I managed to do myself a minor back injury (old person playing young person’s games) and had cause to visit a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist I visited was Meg McIntyre. She was the physiotherapist for the Australian Women’s Hockey Gold Medal winning team in Atlanta in 1996. Appearing in a frame on the wall of Meg’s reception area is a copy of the team’s mission statement. I read this at our school assembly and have printed it below.


We will win in Atlanta by being ‘the best we can be’ because Olympic Gold is the ultimate challenge in our sport.  We will achieve this by playing beyond our previous performances and by never, never giving up.

I will be the best I can be by:

  1. continually challenging myself to go beyond my comfort zone
  2. making the necessary sacrifices
  3. believing in my ability and the strength of my purpose
  4. valuing excellence, determination and dedication in both training and match play
  5. having faith and confidence in, and being supportive of, my team mates
  6. not making excuses but taking responsibility for my development, performance and for my lifestyle
  7. seeking feedback and making contributions to the programme
  8. being tolerant of differences in others and respecting them for who they are and what they have to offer
  9. accepting disappointments and frustrations and overcoming them by working together
  10. having faith in the course of action chosen for the team and being committed to it knowing that it may not always be my preference


We choose to do this thing NOT because it is easy but because it is hard.


Whilst written for a hockey team, this is a very clear statement of the attitudes and approaches needed to achieve excellence in any individual or group endeavour. It is code well worth adopting by anyone seriously attempting to be the best they can be, whether at study, sport, cultural activities or in relationships.

Staff Professional Development Day

Last Monday the teachers and teachers’ aides participated in professional development specifically focused on the Reading Improvement Strategy in the primary school and program development in the secondary. A great deal was achieved and all of will impact positively on the teaching and learning occurring in the classrooms. Our sons and daughters are indeed fortunate to be in the care of such dedicated professionals.

Recognition of achievements

At Mary MacKillop Catholic College we encourage students to strive for personal bests. We attempt to give recognition to all forms of student achievement whether academic, sporting, or cultural. Unfortunately we are not always in a position to know about all the personal achievements of our students. To improve our performance in giving due recognition we need your help. Please advise the school if your son/daughter has achieved something and deserves to be recognised in the newsletter. This can be achieved by either a simple phone call, email or a note to school.

God Bless

Peter Murphy

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Student Achievements

20 April 2018

Congratulations to Year 9 student Joshua Roach who recently achieved a personal best time of 55 seconds in the 400m at the Qld State Little Athletics Competition winning a silver medal



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Tuckshop Volunteers Wanted

20 April 2018

We would like to acknowledge and thank all of the volunteers who assisted our tuckshop convenors last term, as well as for the College Open Day.  We appreciate the time you have given to help provide our students with delicious, wholesome food each day.

A new tuckshop volunteer roster is now available on our website.


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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

21 March 2018

“Let us live in such a way. That when we die our love will survive, and continue to grow. Amen”

(Michael Leunig)

Easter 2018


Christianity is a religion of events and things – not just ideas.  During Holy week we celebrate the events and remember the things that are the foundation and cause of our faith and our community. 

The events are the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  The things are the bread, the wine and the Eucharist community.

The events begin with Palm Sunday, when we celebrate the coming of the realm of God. – a realm in which leadership is equated with service.

Then, on Holy Thursday, we celebrate two things: Eucharist and Maundy.  Eucharist is the greatest community act of all where people – two or three or hundreds – gather in Jesus’ name with him in their midst.  Maundy, the washing of the people’s feet by the God of creation, turns worldly values upside down. 

On Good Friday the world stops.  All the grief, pain and desolation of humanity come together in one place and are given ultimate meaning.  Our death is neither meaningless nor final because on Easter Day we celebrate the fact that Jesus rose.

In our religion the things associated with Easter are palms, bread and wine, water, feet, crosses, and candles.  The events of this time are: catechumens entering the community through baptism, Eucharist and confirmation; crosses carried and venerated; fires lit; the Exodus of the Paschal Lamb remembered and renewed.

For Christians this is the most eventful, celebrational, hope filled time of the year.  It is the time when God’s realm and ours are most at one.

I take this opportunity to thank students, parents, and staff for their ongoing support of Mary MacKillop Catholic College and wish you well for the Easter holidays.

High Standards

At an assembly this term, I spoke to the students about success.

Some look at the great successes of others and assume that they are blessed or very lucky. Whilst luck and genetics may have a part in a person’s success, far more often success has little to do with luck.

I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the luckier I get. (Thomas Jefferson)

Persistence and hard work, a dogged determination, striving consciously towards a goal are the more common routes to success in any endeavour. In the words of a former Australian National Swimming Coach, Laurie Lawrence,

Success is the celebration of preparation.

Success in any endeavour is borne through setting high standards and goals and working continuously towards achieving these. Success and high standards require a conscious choice. A decision. A commitment. Discipline and determination.

Success at and beyond school comes in many forms; academic excellence, sporting excellence, excellence in cultural pursuits (music/dance drama/art), excellence of personal character and servant leadership and spiritual formation. Not all of these successes will deliver personal monetary wealth. All have great potential, if applied unselfishly, to deliver something much more significant - an improved world for self and others.

Welcome and Farewell

At the end of this Term, we say farewell to our Head of Music, Mrs Natalie Otto and welcome our new Music Teacher, Mrs Jennifer Morgan. I am sure you will all join me in thanking Natalie for her outstanding contribution towards the growth of our music program throughout her two years with us.

College Logo Rebranding

In the coming days you will receive information about a College Community Focus Group we are conducting in conjunction with a strategic marketing and design company, DMS Creative.  It is the College's intention to create a new logo as we grow towards a P-12 College.  We look forward to your contributions.

Recognition of achievements

At Mary MacKillop Catholic College we encourage students to strive for personal bests. We attempt to give recognition to all forms of student achievement whether academic, pastoral, spiritual, sporting, or cultural. Unfortunately we are not always in a position to know about all the personal achievements of our students. To improve our performance in giving due recognition we need your help. Please advise the school if your son/daughter has achieved something and deserves to be recognised in the newsletter. This can be achieved by email, phone, or a note to school.

Working Bee

I offer my sincere thanks to the many people who have volunteered their services over the past two weekends. Their efforts have returned our grounds to a much more presentable state.

Over fifty people gave their morning last Sunday to mulch, weed, pressure clean and prune various areas of the College. In addition to this, a separate group of people, who had other commitments on the Sunday morning, volunteered their time and effort on the previous Saturday and previous weekend.

Your efforts are highly appreciated. It is truly a welcome return to hear people commenting favourably about the presentation of the College Grounds. Thank you.


God bless










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P&F Update

21 March 2018


Around 90 students attended the senior disco last Friday, 16 March 2018.  Judging by the dance moves, I think it’s safe to assume they all had a great time. Thanks to the parents and teachers who helped before and on the night – these events are simply not possible without your hard work.


A number of parents attended a first aid course last Saturday, 17 March, 2018.

The course covered a wide range of important topics and included two very realistic practical scenarios. Complete with fake blood, this was not for the faint hearted! 

An extended thanks to the New Hope Group, who ran the course hugely discounted rate.


A number of vacancies are still available within our sub committees. If you would like to get involved then please email the P & F team at

  • Arts & Academic
  • Sports (currently no nominations)
  • Learning Support
  • Parent Support
  • Healing Hands
  • Community


We are still seeking class representatives. So far, we have received the following nominations.

Prep Possums - Sarah McAllister

Prep Bilbies - Marianna Harth

Prep Joeys - Daini Ware

1B - Carla Adams

2E - Sonia Sowry

2J - Sarah Ward

3K - Jo O'Neil

3M - Emma Ehrlich

4B - Sonia Sowry

5D - Jo O'Neil

The role of the class representative is to:-

  • Be a point of contact for your parent peers and bring any issues to the P&F meeting either face to face or via email as well as communicate meeting outcomes back to parents.
  • Promote upcoming P&F events and fundraisers.
  • To volunteer at P&F events where possible and help rally volunteer support from your parent group



The following dates have been set for 2018 P & F meetings. We hope you can join us.

2 May 2018

6 June 2018

4 July 2018

1 August 2018

5 September 2018

7 November 2018

5 December 2018

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Tuckshop Volunteers Term 2

21 March 2018

Your ongoing support in time or donated baked goods to our tuckshop is most appreciated.

The Term 2 Roster form is now available online.  Please visit our website to volunteer.


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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

9 March 2018

God speaks when we are still enough to listen

One of the recommended practices during the season of Lent is prayer.  Often times business (busy-ness) obstructs us from taking the opportunity to pray.  Prayer can be as simple as deliberately taking a short time-out and deliberately raising our consciousness to God in and about us.  Take the opportunity to invite God into your life.


School Renewal and Improvement Process (SRIP)

In collecting data for this report over 90 people (parish priest, parents, students and staff) were interviewed.

This SRIP report document, along with other data (RADII, EiCE, NAPLAN, Standardised Testing), the College Credo, and the Diocesan Strategic Plan, will inform the development of our 2019-2022 Strategic plan. The process of developing the strategic plan will be commenced in the near future and finalised by the end of term 3, 2018. Dr Judy Smeed has been employed to assist the College in this effort.

In the coming week, the College Leadership team and our SEL, John Coman, will be meeting to determine immediate responses to some of the report recommendations.

Below appears a statement from the review panel:

The school review panel provides this report to the college principal Peter Murphy and staff following the recent review. The report contains all of the findings and the improvement strategies recommended by the panel. The panel wishes to thank the members of the community who contributed so openly and honestly to the review process. There is much that is impressive in the college, and the reviewers have tried to identify these areas and affirm them. At the same time, the purpose of the review is improvement, and the report provides recommendations for improvement which will inform the strategic directions and work of the college supported by the Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office into the future. Addressing the ‘big rocks’ identified in the report, in the view of the panel, will move the college a long way toward achieving its full potential.


From July 2017 through to February 2018 the College has been reviewing its vision and mission. This is a natural and necessary process that all organisations ought to engage in to ensure that the vision and mission is still current and is truly representative of the aspirations of the organisation.

In light of the growth in the school, the expansion to become a P-12 College, and the evolving culture of the College, the Leadership Team ultimately determined from the review that a revised vision and mission would be created. Below appears the newly created vision, mission, values and motto for the College. Together, these four statements form our Credo.

Whilst the College Leadership Team had ultimate carriage in the development of the Credo, the process of development invited response and suggestions from the school staff, College Board, P&F, and the Parish Council of Mary of the Southern Cross Parish Highfields.

The credo will operate as both cornerstone and reference point for all decisions and actions in the College.


We are a Christ centred educational community – engaging minds, igniting hearts, and serving others.


We form faith filled people of integrity who strive for excellence.


We value spirituality, wisdom, justice, respect and resilience.


We celebrate God in all things.


Recognition of achievements

At Mary MacKillop Catholic College we encourage students to strive for personal bests. We attempt to give recognition to all forms of student achievement whether academic, pastoral, spiritual, sporting, or cultural. Unfortunately we are not always in a position to know about all the personal achievements of our students. To improve our performance in giving due recognition we need your help. Please advise the school if your son/daughter has achieved something and deserves to be recognised in the newsletter. This can be achieved by email, phone, or a note to school.

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Lost Property

9 March 2018


Size 6 and size 8 winter sports jacket (labelled 'White' or 'Neale')

Please return to the College Administration Office.

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P&F Report - AGM Outcome

9 March 2018


Thank you to all who attended the P&F AGM on Wednesday night.  The Committee positions have been filled as follows:-

                President – Leanne Andrews

                Vice-President – Carla Adams

                Secretary – Nicole Bond

                Treasurer – Jade Gardiner

                Communications Officer – Claire Campbell

                Grants Officer – Molly Carrigan


Vacancies still exist on a number of sub-committees.  If you have a keen interest in any of the following areas of College life, please email the P&F at

  • Arts & Academic
  • Sports (currently no nominations)
  • Learning Support
  • Parent Support
  • Healing Hands
  • Community


The P&F is still seeking class representatives within the College.  So far, the following nominations have been received:-

Prep Possums

Sarah McAllister

Prep Bilbies

Marianne Harth

2 E

Sonia Sowry

4 B

Sonia Sowry

If your child’s class does not currently have a representative, please consider putting your name down.  The role of a class representative is to:-

  • Be a point of contact for your parent peers and bring any issues to the P&F meeting either face to face or via email as well as communicate meeting outcomes back to parents.
  • Promote upcoming P&F events and fundraisers.
  • To volunteer at P&F events where possible and help rally volunteer support from your parent group.

The position is a simple but rewarding one.


Please see the attached flyer for details of a heavily subsidized first aid course available to College parents and students over the age of 14 years.  Places are strictly limited so act quickly. 

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Have you downloaded the Mobile App yet?

9 March 2018

Have you downloaded our Mobile App yet?

It's important that you have the App on at least one of your devices to ensure you receive up to date information about daily events at the College.

What you need to know:

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

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

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

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

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College Working Bee

9 March 2018

Our College Open Day is fast approaching and with the recent blessing of rain, we need some help to get the gardens in shape!

On: Sunday, 18 MarchFrom: 9am - 12noon

What to bring:

  • Garden Gloves
  • Hat & Sunscreen
  • Spades, forks, garden tools and buckets
  • Hedge or line trimmer (non electrical)
  • Trailer...for some plants that need to go to a good home!
  • Children...but they must be supervised by you at all times!

Click on the attached flyer for more information, and register your attendance via the LINK

We appreciate any time you can give.

If you have not completed a volunteers pack, please collect one from the College Administration Office.

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Camp Australia

9 March 2018

Don't forget to book in for the Camp Australia Holiday Program.

Camp Australia offer before and after school care, as well as a holiday program on site at Mary MacKillop Catholic College.

See attached for a delicious Hummus recipe! 

In After School Care we love cooking healthy, delicious meals and snacks from our Healthy Eating Cookbook. All the recipes in our cookbook support our healthy eating program and are officially endorsed by Nutrition Australia.

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Open Day 2018

23 February 2018

This year, we are hosting our first whole College Open Day, showcasing Prep to Year 10 and invite families to enquire further about our Year 11 options for 2019.

Current families are also welcome to join us and visit areas of the College they may not be familiar with. 

One of the highlights for any visitor to the College is seeing the students in action.

This year, we invite your child/ren to participate in the event, either with their classroom teacher or by assisting us with guided tours of the College.

Please click on the link below to advise us if your child is able to participate in Open Day, on Sunday, 25 March from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.


For further information, please feel free to contact us on 4698 7777.

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From the Principal - Mr Peter Murphy

23 February 2018

Ash Wednesday marks the first day of the Church’s season of Lent. During an Ash Wednesday Liturgy, ashes are blessed and sprinkled with holy water, then all present are signed with the ashes on the head, whilst the words “Repent, and believe in the Gospel” are pro-claimed. The ashes are a sign that we walk with Jesus during Lent, that we are sorry for the times we have hurt others and so become more loving as we put others needs before our own. The ashes remind us that we are preparing for Jesus‟ death and resurrection. The cross is a sign that Jesus gave himself for others, and we must do the same.

Lent is an important season for us as Catholics as it reminds us of a need for a change of heart. Lent is a time of prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Through prayer, we come closer to God so that we are better able to live our baptismal promise to live justly as Jesus teaches us. Fasting joins us in solidarity with the poor, who often have no choice but to go without enough to eat. Giving to the poor or almsgiving is a sign of our commitment to justice and of thanks for all that God has given us.

During Lent, we as a Catholic community are “Walking Together” with Jesus on the journey to Calvary and we see the mercy he shows. Like Jesus, we must show mercy to others. The forty days of Lent gives us time to reflect on our lives and say sorry for any wrong doing as we prepare to celebrate the season of Easter.

School Renewal and Improvement Process (SRIP)

In the past week over 90 members of the MMCC community, pastor, students, parents and teachers, have been interviewed by the SRIP Panel. Members of the panel included Michael Newman (Principal, St Mary’s College, Toowoomba), Jim Midgley (TCSO Director of Teaching and Learning), John Coman (TCSO Senior Education Leader), and Norm Hunter (pervious Principal and Educational Consultant). Essentially, the process involves asking two simple question, “What is going well?” and “What is not going well?”. The panel delivered a verbal report of their findings to staff on Wednesday afternoon. The report contains both commendations of what is going well and recommendations for improvement in areas that are not going as well or may not areas that may not have been addressed. A formal written report should be completed within two weeks. This will be posted on the College newsletter and website.

I offer my sincere thanks to all who came forward to be interviewed. Your generosity of time and candour in offering insightful responses ensured the SRIP was an entirely worthwhile endeavour. 90 people is a significant sample and should provide the College with highly reliable data to inform our Strategic Plan for 2019-2022.

Transport for School Excursions

In recent weeks, I have fielded a number of queries regarding the provision of buses for school excursions.

Two of the queries were directed to the College not providing bus transport for the recent off site educational experiences in Years 4 and 5. Historically, parents had been asked to both drop off and pick up their child from the venue. Having discussed this issue with parents, the P&F, and the College Leadership Team, we will from this point onwards, provide transport for students to all off site educational experiences. The cost of transport will be included in school fees.

One exception to the above statement will be the College Swimming Carnival. Although, it is my preference for all students to be provided transport to the Milne Bay Aquatic Centre, this is not possible. A number of factors impact to create this situation. Firstly, the most frequently used bus provider for the College has gone out of business, leaving less buses available for hire. Secondly, the transport times in order to complete all the carnival events, align to times when buses are still delivering students to schools or returning them to their homes. As has been the case in 2017, the College will ask parents to both deliver and collect their child(ren) from the Swimming Carnival venue. Bus transport will be provided from the College to the venue and back for children whose families are unable to provide their own transport.

Whilst it would be possible to start the carnival later and finish earlier in order to have access to more buses, this option is not desired. The reason for this is that such a reduction in time would necessitate eliminating many events from the carnival. Another possible option is to two separate carnivals, one for Years 3-6 and another for Years 7-11. This option, whilst manageable, does not promote a one school culture. It also breaks age divisions for the 11 and 12 years age groups. For these reasons, we have chosen to operate a single swimming carnival for all the students. As many parents have observed this year, the atmosphere and level of student involvement at our Years 3-10 carnival was entirely positive and community building.

If in Doubt, Go To The Source

Since returning for the 2018 school year, I have been aware of a number of occasions where parent Grade Facebook pages have discussed events at the College. I respect and encourage all parents to form networks of support and social media can be very helpful towards achieving such networks. Unfortunately, on a number of occasions this year online discussions have been quite negative. The prime reason for this was people not knowing the facts of a situation. Such ill informed discussions cause unnecessary frustration and angst.

It is vitally important that, where issues arise, these are brought to the administration to resolve or explain. In most cases, there will be a reasonable explanation. In any case where the explanation is not reasonable, your query makes the College accountable to change.

I invite any and all parent queries or concerns to be brought straight to the source whenever these arise. Currently this can be achieved through the ‘contact us’ tab on the College website or by emailing the College personnel directly. The old fashioned telephone is also an acceptable approach. To further encourage an approach of, Go To The Source, our Communications and Marketing Officer, Carolyn Spina, is developing an additional option on the College App.

God bless


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Host Families Needed for Japanese Students

23 February 2018

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

We are still in need of three more families to host the girls over this time.  They will attend school with their host families children and participate as a family member at home too.  

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

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P&F News

23 February 2018

P&F AGM – Wednesday, 7 March

The P&F AGM will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, 7 March in the Junior School staff room.  All Committee positions will be vacated and nominations are sought to fill the role of President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Communications Officer, Grants Officer, Fundraising Officer and General Committee members. 

Parents are also invited to participate in the various sub Committees, including Arts & Academics, Sports, Learning Support, Parent Support and Healing Hands, and/or nominate as a Class Representative (seeking one representative from each Junior School class and each Senior School PC group). 

If you would like any further information regarding roles within the P&F, please email

Senior School Disco – Friday, 16 March

A Senior School Disco will be held on Friday, 16 March in the MacKillop Centre.  Further details to follow.   

Parent/Student First Aid Workshop – Saturday, 17 March

The P&F, with the support of New Hope Group, is delighted to offer parents and children of Mary MacKillop families (12 years and over) the opportunity to obtain a certificate in CPR and First Aid at a significantly reduced price.  Further details will be provided shortly but for now, please mark your calendar. 

Year 3 – 6 Playground

Unfortunately, installation of the first piece of equipment in the Year 3 – 6 playground redevelopment was delayed due to weather and prior commitments of the construction company.  Works are now planned for the Easter School holidays. 

Welcome BBQ & Movie Night

The 2018 Welcome BBQ and Movie Night proceeded on Saturday, 10 February.   Thank you to the families that attended. 

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Healing Hands Sausage Sizzle Fundraiser

23 February 2018

On Wednesday, 7 March, the Healing Hands group will be running a fundraiser Sausage Sizzle.

This will be served in first break (10:50 - 11:30 am) from Uluru in junior school (old tuckshop).


Sausage in bread and a juice popper - $2

Ice Blocks - .50c each


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