Farewell to the Class of 2015

The last week of Term 3 has been a busy one with Year 11 concluding their Preliminary year and our Year 12s concluding their secondary education. Our Graduation assembly and morning tea in Yallunga on Tuesday was well attended by staff, parents, relatives and friends of the current Year 12 students. The Graduation Mass and Dinner held on Wednesday, 16 September at St Declan’s Penshurst and Bankstown Sports Club allowed us a formal opportunity to acknowledge the academic successes and qualifications reached by our graduating students. Following this mass, families were able to celebrate with their daughter with each girl recognized for her achievements. The Graduation Mass was a beautiful, moving event with our young adults, the “hearts”, looking resplendent in their school uniform for the very last time. This week has been a series of opportunities for the collective to reminisce on their years of education at the college, their friendships, and their futures.

At the formal assembly, I spoke about the metaphor of the “Heart”, the moniker given to this year group. We’ve all heard of many sayings about a person’s character that include references to the heart. She’s a good person at heart, we say, and mean that we know something of her true, authentic self. If we identify with someone, feel a kinship with them, we say: He’s a man after my own heart. We take heart in encouragement, say things from the bottom of our heart, listen to our hearts, and give them to those we love.

Embedded in our language is the deep symbolic weight we have assigned to this fist-sized, triangular muscle since earliest human history. The heart has been the embodiment of our most passionate (most heartfelt!) emotions for so long that it is difficult to suppress the power of this particular image even if we think of ourselves as modern, scientifically literate beings who know (in our heart of hearts) that all this is just metaphor. After all, we can actually feel the damn thing throbbing in our chests at the mere approach of fear, or anger, or of love. Its beats mark the climaxes and climaxes of our lives’ scenes.

And so we come full circle, back to the metaphor of the “heart,” and what it means to experience a Change of Heart. Again, just like the Heart metaphor I spoke of, we all hope that the Year 12 students leave the College in close communion with the Creator. Our Catholic traditions and teachings have at the very least given you a strong framework to discern with when you are confronted with life’s inevitable challenges. We hope that you continue to encounter your God so that you do not end up with  lack of closeness symbolized by a “hard heart.”YR 12


Our college captains provided their optimistic perspective of what lies ahead for our graduates. Our Year 7 students gave each graduate a rousing “rock star” tunnel as they departed which brought many to tears. On behalf of the college, we wish our Year 12 graduates a prosperous future that provides all that they wish for. We encourage each to return with stories about their journey beyond our college gates as they will always be considered a part of the greater Bethany College family.­­­­



Prayer for our Year 12 students

Lord, we thank you for our graduates’ blessed time at Bethany College,

Grant them the gift of meaningful lives, shared with people who love them

and compassionate to people who need them.

We make this prayer through Christ, our Lord. Amen.


Reflections on Leadership

“Beyond the horizon of time is a changed world, very different from today’s world. Some people see beyond that horizon and into the future. They believe that dreams can become reality. They open our eyes and lift our spirits. They build trust and strengthen our relationships. They stand firm against the wind of resistance and give us the courage to continue the quest. We call these people leaders.” (Kouzes and Posner, 1995, p. 317).


For many of us leadership is much like quality – we know it when we see it but have a difficult time defining or describing it. The quote from Kouzes and Posner captures what many of us think about when asked to describe a leader. As I think about leadership, there are six principles that appear to me to define what it means to be a leader.

  • Leaders must focus on mission and see what is on the horizon. They are the “pathfinders.”
  • Leaders convey and model values for the organization. They serve as “the moral compass.”
  • Leaders must pay attention to their organization’s culture and be proactive in shaping the environment in which others will do their work.
  • Leaders must be risk takers. This may in fact be the litmus test for a leader – what distinguishes those who lead from those who follow.
  • Leaders empower others. They build and foster trust among others and build teams to accomplish the organization’s mission and vision.
  • Leaders must understand themselves. There is a lot of “inner work” that leaders must do.

Further, “What does it take to be a leader?” There are three things that characterize a leader. Leaders are distinguished by their courage, their credibility, and their convictions. Having the courage to lead is perhaps the most important characteristic of a true leader. Leadership is tough because leadership is about change, either initiating change in an organization or steering an organization in a changing, even chaotic environment. Leaders sometimes meet with resistance and must be able to stay the course in spite of obstacles and disappointments. Leadership is ultimately about courage and the will to press on in spite of challenges and criticisms.

Leadership is also about convictions and having the integrity to live by one’s convictions. Leaders must have strong values and beliefs. They must be able to demonstrate these values and convey them to their followers.  Finally, leadership is about credibility. Without followers, there are no leaders. It is the leader’s credibility that encourages others to join the quest, to move toward the horizon, to achieve the organization’s mission.

We recently held a leadership seminar with Year 11 where we pondered the concept of Leadership and all that it entails. As a result, many wonderful students had the courage to nominate themselves for student leadership positions. Not all of them were successful and whilst disappointed at first, I trust that you will come to realise that the process of putting yourself forward, offering yourself to the service of others, is a huge step in itself. With persistence, you will one day realise your leadership potential!

After consulting closely with our student body and with the teaching staff, the following Year 11 students will form the heart of our student leadership team. Each of them possesses the qualities mentioned above. We are yet to appoint our House Captains and Prefects. This will happen after their final Preliminary examinations. Our student leadership team for 2016 is:



Christina Ristevski

Vice Captain

Sharlize Lasala

Sport Captain

Grace Robinson

SRC (12)

Stella Dimitrakas

SRC (11)

Chiara Mastrogiovanni

SRC (10)

Jasmin Allotta

SRC (9)

Anastasia Nedelkoska

SRC (8)

Lucienne Pacifique

SRC (7)

Tara Kousoulas

House Captain (Franklin)

Hannah Berghouse

House Captain (Kellerman)

Monica Krstevski

House Captain (Melba)

Tijana Miles

House Captain (Oodgeroo)

Sarah Fisher

Prefect (Creative Arts)

Sabrinna Veloso

Prefect (Debating)

Joanna Vazouras

Prefect (Design)

Sarah Stone

Prefect (Hospitality)

Eilish McIntyre

Prefect (Humanities)

Namoh Webster

Prefect (ICT)

Brooke Cibalevski

Prefect (Languages and Culture)

Isabella Healion

Prefect (Liturgy)

Jacinta Walz

Prefect (Mathematics)

Anthea Michalopoulos

Prefect (Media & AV)

Marissa Faith

Prefect (Performing Arts)

Melissa Lameri

Prefect (Science)

Fiona Pelosi

Prefect (Social Justice)

Zoe Blight

Prefect (Transport)

Niamh McMenamin

We look forward to seeing them ease into their new roles and steer our student body in new and exciting directions!



A Blessing for School Student Leaders 2016

Powerful Spirit of God, you guide us and light our way.

Bless our Year 11 student leaders

as they take on the role as

leaders of our college.

Bless our community as we

encourage and support them in

their leadership role.

We make this prayer through

Christ Our Lord. Amen.


Archbishop’s Award for Student Excellence

This year, our Year 12 nominee for this award is Eugenia Simoes. The citation, read out by Zoe Blight (Year 11, new student leader) stated:

 As a woman of faith, Eugenia has displayed a determination to be involved in the Catholic life of the College, to strive for her personal best and to live life to the full. Eugenia is the President of the Bethany College Vinnies Conference and has been an active member of the Conference for many years. She attended World Youth Day Rio 2013 and regularly participates in the Saturday morning Brekky Van. She is an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, she takes an active role in all College liturgies and is a regular attendee of the Fire and Light Youth Group. Eugenia is an example of living the College motto: Act justly, love tenderly and walk humbly with your God.

Congratulations Eugenia!


Youth Commonwealth Games, September 2015

Grace RGRobinsonobinson of Australia (Year 11 Bethany College and 2016 Sports Captain Elect) poses after the medal ceremony for the girl’s shot put during the athletics competition at the Apia Park Sports Complex on day three of the Samoa 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games on September 9, 2015 in Apia, Samoa. She won the gold medal!










Students Driving to and from school

Bethany College recognises that some parents allow their students to drive to school. As student safety is important, there are some simple conditions placed on drivers and their passengers.

Information for Student Drivers:

  1. Student drivers are to submit the Student Driver Registration Form to the Year 11 and 12 Coordinator. This form details:
  • Parental/guardian consent for the student to drive to, and home from, school
  • The make, model, colour and registration number of the vehicle/s that the student will drive to school.
  • Cars must not be accessed or used during the school day for any reason.
  1. Students are required to adhere to all road rules and to drive in a safe and responsible manner.
  2. Students are not permitted to park in the school grounds.
  3. Drivers MUST NOT carry passengers who have not lodged a Student Passenger Form with the Year 11 and 12 coordinators.

Information for Student Passengers

  1. Student passengers (other than siblings) will need to submit a Student Passenger Registration Form to the relevant Year Coordinator. This form details:
  • Parental/Guardian consent for the student to travel as a passenger on the journey to, and home from, school
  • The student driver’s name and the details of the car, including the registration number

If either Driver or Passenger disregards these requirements, parents will be notified and appropriate consequences will apply.

There are some parents who would view these requirements as draconian and unnecessary. To those parents, I would ask you to look into the history of vehicle accidents involving teens where inexperience coupled with much exuberance and excitement of passengers leads to tragic consequences.  In some recent fatalities, it is the passenger who loses their life. We would never wish this to happen to one of our girls.

As the Principal, I am ultimately responsible for the safety of each girl at school. If a student is not travelling via public transport but rather, travelling regularly in another girl’s car, I need the passenger’s parental consent, in writing, for this to occur.


Year 12 Graduation Photos

To access your daughter’s Graduation photos, visit and use the code HZC FK4 YXH.  Photos will be available online on 27 September.

School Fees

As we approach the final days of Term 3 could I remind those parents with outstanding school fee accounts to finalise these as soon as possible. As always, those parents who may need some extra time are invited to make an appointment to discuss a payment plan with the Business Manager, Mr Lachlan Skeen.



Our mantra:

“Girls can do anything.
Bethany girls can do everything!*
(*except divide by zero)”
Vicki Lavorato