Volume 13 - 30 Aug 2019


Dear Parents, Carers and Friends of Bethany,

This Sunday we celebrate Father’s Day, a day to focus on the importance of fathers or father figures in our lives and the crucial teachings that they have given us. On Thursday we had a wonderful celebration of the Eucharist for fathers and their daughters and I thank each father who gave of their time to be with us. Below I share with you an excerpt of my reflection delivered at Mass.

Earlier this year on the Feast of St Joseph who as we know was Jesus’ earthly father, Pope Francis urged all dads in the world to stick by their children’s side, teaching them, guiding them and loving them. He said

“I ask that you have the grace to be very close to your children, letting them grow, but being by their side. They need you, your presence, to be there, your love” 

St. Joseph’s “great mission is to be a guardian,” the pope said.

The saint is a model for all educators, whether they are teachers, catechists, parents, religious or priests. 

Like an educator, St. Joseph guided and accompanied Jesus so he could grow in “wisdom and age and grace,” Pope Francis said. This is the same thing all parents must do, and “it would be a serious mistake to think that a father and a mother can’t do anything to teach their children to grow in God’s grace,” he said.

Even though God was Jesus’ father, St. Joseph lovingly took on the paternal role and taught the young Jesus various skills, the value of work, reverence for the Lord, and fidelity and obedience to God’s will. He also had to keep his family safe during the difficult period of their exile to Egypt.

So girls spend a moment thinking about how special your father is to you. Fathers, take a moment to reflect on your daughter and how she has grown from being the one who called you daddy, to the young lady she is to you today calling you dad and hopefully still laughing at your dad jokes. In our sometimes dysfunctional world, the special relationship between father and daughter can be perceived as being not so common but this Mass is a testament to such a significant relationship being alive and well.

Our dads are sometimes the people who have paid for our special surprises, worked long hours sacrificing family time to earn a living and the one who was climbed all over when you were little, took you to the park and bottle fed you through the night when you were at that stage and sat through numerous dance concerts and plays, despite his favourite sport team being on TV live. 

Your dad has challenged you, disciplined you, taught you values that you thought you may not have needed and all of this, whilst loving you unconditionally. So on his special day this Sunday, use it as a reminder that Father’s Day should be no more special than any other day. Girls dad still wants that Bunnings Gift Voucher on Sunday but let’s use Sunday to remind us that we should show our appreciation of dad every day as that’s what you also want him to do for you. On Sunday, let dad wear what he wants to wear without you commenting on if the clothes match or not, let him have some “Man Time” and most of all commit to spending some quality time with each other.

Pope Francis urged people to remember God the Father in heaven, but also their own fathers and every father, whether alive or deceased. 

As Bethany students living by the motto of “Together We Grow”, my prayer for all dad’s and their daughters is that growth is measured and valued in the ongoing depth of your wonderful relationship with each other.

Happy Father’s Day and I thank you for the fatherly support that you give to the College on a daily basis. It certainly makes our jobs easier and more of a delight.



Sydney Catholic Schools Indigenous Graduation Ceremony

Last week I had the honour of being present as Lauren Berman attended a graduation ceremony together with all indigenous students across our diocese. It was wonderful to spend time with Lauren and her family and to be amongst so many young adults proud of their history and culture. As Lauren enters her final few weeks at Bethany, she is very keen to work in an area of great passion for her which is in the field of History and ideally in a museum. Congratulations Lauren on being a fine Bethany ambassador.

Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools Vocational Education and Training (VET) Awards Ceremony

This ceremony was hosted on Wednesday evening and was the inaugural awards for students who have excelled in their chosen field of VET studies. Congratulations to Jazmine Di Palma who was chosen to be awarded for her dedication and excellence in Human Services with a Nursing focus. To be one of the thousands of students who study VET to receive this award is a credit to Jazmine and her family. Jazmine has thrived in the nursing environment and has already been accepted into university to study nursing. Congratulations Jazmine.

Design and Visual Arts Evening

Thank you and congratulations to our Year 12 Visual Arts Students and Mr McClean and all of our design students from Years 7 – 12 together with all TAS staff under the guidance of MMrs Rowland for a thoroughly professional showcase evening. From Year 7 who strutted their stuff on the catwalk wearing their freshly made pyjamas to our Year 9 – 12 Elective students, guests were enthralled by the talent contained within all finished products. The design process is especially transferable to all learning areas as girls are encouraged to take a risk with an idea and test its worthiness. For all of the hours of hard and extra work by staff and students, I truly hope that you are proud of your products and the proof that the hard work has paid off.




HSC Drama

Year 12 Drama students represented themselves and the College proudly on Thursday as NESA examiners came in to mark all students on their group and individual performances. Upon talking to the girls and their teachers Mrs Camer and Mrs Iffland, it seemed that the girls rose to the nervous occasion and for many, performed better than they had previously. HSC Drama takes enormous time and sacrifice by all involved. Thank you girls and now the focus transfers back to your theory component.



HSC Supervisors

With the HSC beginning early Term 4, we are in need of HSC Supervisors. To be a HSC supervisor, your time is required to oversee the running of exams in a group or individual capacity. This is a paid form of work where you would be employed by NESA. A Presiding Officer who is the overarching supervisor for all exams has already been employed. If you have the time during the end of October to mid November to fulfil such a role please contact they Principal’s Assistant Jagoda.krstanovski@syd.catholic.edu.au who will forward you the details of our Presiding Officer. To be eligible, you must not have a child in Year 12.


Robyn Rodwell


From the Assistant Principal

This weeks Parenting Ideas article written by Collett Smart (a qualified teacher, author and psychologist) provides some valuable advice to parents about how they can best support their daughters when friendships go wrong. The nature of teenage friendships which can be both an incredible support and a source of joy and in the blink of an eye can be equally a source of much angst and disconnect. It is important to recognise that friendship can play an important role in helping to build connections and positive sense of self. Whilst the way in which girls relate to one another will vary and may even vary depending on what else is happening for them it is important that we don’t expect them to be social at all times. Whether your daughter is part of a large group of friends, has just a few close friends or is most comfortable spending time alone it is important that they are able to develop the skills to navigate the social environment of the school classroom and playground. As parents, our biggest role is ensuring that our daughters know that we are present to them, interested in and care about their friendships and the challenges that sometimes result from these.  

Michael Thompson, in his book Best Friends, Worst Enemies highlights seven important skills that help develop an individual’s capacity to be successful in the friendship arena. 

  1. A positive outlook on friendship  
  2. The capacity to share
  3. Empathy 
  4. The willingness and capacity to apologise when wrong 
  5. The capacity to accurately interpret emotions
  6. Trust 

In many ways these qualities are clearly reflected in our College values where we seek to promote positive relationships through encouraging the girls to accept both themselves and others, in a spirit of welcome and hospitality. Furthermore, we encourage the girls to be women who live out the values of service and justice in a desire to be whole. 

This week our girls have an extraordinary number of opportunities to form connections with one another beyond the playground. Such opportunities provide an opportunity for new friendships to develop as a result of common interests and experiences. On Monday of this week we were able to celebrate and recognise the extraordinary number of extracurricular opportunities for our girls in our extracurricular photo day. The opportunity to be part of a team, be it sporting, debating, dance troupe, band, choir, Duke of Edinburgh or other provide not only a platform for skill development, which helps to build resilience but also an opportunity for connection and belonging, which are strongly correlated to school success both in the classroom and on the playground. 



Jodie Hughes

Assistant Principal


PDHPE Department News

Staff vs Year 12 – Table Tennis

On Friday, 23rd August Year 12 competed against the teachers in a friendly game of ping pong. It was a great time to display our skills.  While we had 5 wins we were still not strong enough to defeat the teachers who won a total of 11 games.

India Mix – Sport Captain



Careers / VET Update

Try A Trade Day at SCCVC for Human Services

On Wednesday the 14th of August, Marie Kekatos and I, Alyssa Lazevski attended the Health Services Try A Trade Day at Southern Cross Catholic Vocational College Burwood. We learnt about various types of skills needed in a hospital working environment. We participated in many activities such as bed making, taking blood pressure, taking blood sugar levels and listening to each other’s heart. It was an enjoyable day as there were many group discussions and a registered nurse with 25 years’ experience shared his many stories about working in the health industry. We are both glad we had the chance to experience what this course has to offer.

Alyssa Lazevski and Marie Kekatos – Year 10

Work experience at Georges River Council

During the holidays, I went to George’s River Council for two days to complete work experience. The first day I spent with the website and system designer, helping Kam design forms and attend meetings about the George’s River Council intranet and public website. The second day of work experience, I spent with the Communications team. I wrote a media release concerning the need for public input about upcoming events in the George’s River Area, and helped transcribe an interview about an interesting story about a woman and her daughter’s amazing garden. I found the experience interesting and educational and I am grateful for the opportunity.

Joeme Severino Year 12


University of Sydney – Viking History

5 October 2pm to 3pm

Nicholson Museum

Historically we have understood the Viking Age as beginning with the devastation of Lindisfarne Abbey by the furious Northmen and ending with three Viking kings fighting each other for control of England – more mutually assured destruction than a meeting of the minds. But was this image of blond-haired berserk barbarians rampaging across the UK and Europe a reality, or is what the medieval chroniclers called the Mare Barbarum, the Barbarian Sea, an artefact of history? 
This talk will present recent developments in the archaeological investigation of the Viking Age, answering this question and plotting the course for research from here.



ACU – I did not get the ATAR / OP / rank

It’s OK if your final school result wasn’t what you were hoping for. We’ve got your back. Use our list of alternative entry pathways to assess your options and create a plan.



ACU – I am an elite athlete or performer

Reach for the top in everything you do. If you’re a competitive athlete or performer, you can accelerate your success with the early entry Elite Athlete and Performer Program (EAPP).  



ACU – I help my community

We want to help you help others. If you’re already getting out there and making positive change in your community, we invite you to apply for the early entry Community Achiever Program (CAP).




TAFE Interactive 2020 Guide Is Here
The wait is finally over! The TAFE NSW Career Guide 2020 – Interactive Edition is now available for you to download.
If you don’t want to download your free copy, don’t worry. We will be sending you a hard copy in the mail very soon.
TAFE NSW offers you and your students a diverse range of courses, from Bachelor Degrees, Diplomas and Certificates. In fact, we have over 1,200 courses to study either face-to-face, full-time, part-time or online.
Our strong industry connections and hands-on learning from our expert teaching staff provide you and your students with the best opportunity, to get the job you want.
You can enable the interactive elements throughout the Guide by scanning your mobile device over the BE symbol. Just search ‘BE Ambitious’ and download our BE Ambitious App from Apple or Google Play stores.



Secure the future with a TAFE NSW Bachelor of IT Degree (Network Security)

With unprecedented demand for professionals who can secure and monitor IT systems and protect the privacy of people and organisations, this degree prepares your students to work in a fast-growing and dynamic field. More info https://www.tafensw.edu.au/degrees/bachelor-of-information-technology-network-security


NSW Fashion Design Studio

With a list of alumni that reads like a ‘who’s who’ of Australian fashion, the TAFE NSW Fashion Design Studio (FDS) in Ultimo is a “fashion school of excellence.” Consistently ranked in the top 20 fashion design schools worldwide*, FDS has over 60 years of creating fashion design excellence.

FDS also has established partnerships with International Design Institutes in India, United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Sweden and the United States that allow final year students the opportunity to complete a fourth year overseas and gain an international degree. Do design, couture, tailoring, patternmaking and construction, styling or media – FDS gives you the skills, experience and exposure you need to be a cut above.



Culinary Apprentice Mentor Program

This program will provide intensive support to Apprentices in the first two years of apprenticeship training. Through the ISMAA program, Australian Apprentices completing an apprenticeship in Certificate III in Commercial Cookery will be provided regular one on one contact with highly skilled mentors who have years of industry experience.



Interested in a career in acting, music, theatre or dance? Here’s what the world’s best performing arts schools have to offer.

The good news is, the options are endless, but that in itself can add confusion to the already difficult question of: ‘which performing arts programs should I apply to?’

A good place to start is researching universities that are listed at the top of performing arts rankings (according to QS World University rankings) – schools that have earned the reputation for being the best of the best thanks to their high calibre faculty, first class performing arts facilities and famous alumni.




Torrens University Scholarships: Hospitality, Business, Design, Health

Torrens University is committed to opening doors to opportunity in higher education. With scholarship opportunities available in every faculty at; Billy Blue College of Design, William Blue College of Hospitality Management and the Blue Mountains International Hotel Management School – Students can apply for a scholarship today. View options, http://www.torrens.edu.au/apply-online/scholarships

Drama Workshops at International Screen Academy

International Screen Academy is offering free acting workshops to schools across NSW for students interested in coming to our state of the art studios based in Waterloo. For more information on workshop opportunities email: ruth.tobin@isasydney.edu.au

Short Courses; Le Cordon Bleu Sydney

Le Cordon Bleu Australia offers a range of one and two day culinary discoveries. Gourmet Short Courses take place in practical kitchens or demonstration classroom and give participants a total hands-on experience from understanding the complexities of artisan bread making; introduction to soft cheese making; mastering chocolate and more. https://www.cordonbleu.edu/sydney/gourmet-short-courses/en


Junior Leadership Weekend Registrations for 2019

Registrations open

Saturday, 7 September 2019 – Sunday, 8 September 2019
Sydney Academy of Sports and Recreation, Narrabeen

Are you in Years 7 – 8 and passionate about making change in your community? Come to Junior Leadership Weekend 2019. On 7-8 September 2019, more than 100 students from across NSW will come together to take part in Junior Leadership Weekend. You will learn about leadership, diplomacy and advocacy in the context of gender equality and inclusivity. You will form connections and friendships with a diverse array of students and work with them to deliver change in your local communities, and beyond.



Evatt NSW – Australia’s Premier Debating and Diplomacy Competition

Registrations are now open for Evatt NSW 2019. Click here to register now. 

Evatt is a Model United Nations Security Council diplomacy competition for students in Years 9-12. It aims to educate young people about Australia’s place in the world and empower them as active citizens by developing public speaking, negotiation, teamwork, research, and diplomatic skills. More than 2,000 students compete in Evatt.

The competition takes the form of a mock session of the UN Security Council. Teams of two students debate, amend, and vote on a prepared resolution from the perspective of their assigned nation. The students judged the most effective diplomats proceed to the next round.

The competition is named after the notable Herbert “Doc” Evatt, who was an Australian High Court Justice and a leading Federal politician who became President of the UN General Assembly and helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.



Your free guide to a career in exercise physiology and exercise science

The difference between an exercise physiologist / sports scientist / exercise scientist. According to Exercise & Sports Science Australia (ESSA), there is a distinct difference between these three professions.



An opportunity for maths, geography and IT students looking for work experience

The NSW Surveying Taskforce helps facilitate work experience opportunities between professional surveyors and students with a love of STEM subjects. The surveying profession is the middle of a skills shortage. As such, industry members are passionate about introducing this important area to young people. To register, students should visit https://www.alifewithoutlimits.com.au/secondary-students/


Studying in the USA 

Interest in studying in the US is becoming so popular the SAT testing centres in Sydney are reaching capacity well before the registration deadline. Given these test seat limitations, it is imperative for students plan ahead. To help with this, below we have included the SAT and ACT Standardised Test dates as well as 2019 SAT Subject Test dates.

To learn more about SAT Subject Tests we invite you to read our article titled ‘Optional standardised tests for admission purposes to US uni’s – who should take them?’ We have also updated an article which summarises the SAT and ACT as well as an article which provides an overview of the US admission process

Read advice in full here:



Studying in the USA  – Standardised 2019 Test Dates and Information here:



Taronga Zoo – Visit the Zoo While at Home – The brand new podcast from Taronga

Great episodes across most areas of the Zoo. Working at Taronga Zoo is more than just a job – for us Taronga means family. The deep connections that our staff developed with wildlife and the natural world affects the lives of others, near and far. From Sydney to Dubbo, Taronga’s people all have amazing untold Zoo stories that will touch your heart and open your eyes. Hayden Turner invites you to listen in each week and join our family with ‘Taronga Talks’.



National Questacon Invention Convention

Applications close 30 September

The National Invention Convention is an all-expenses paid, five day workshop held in Canberra every January. This program gives 25 delegates aged 14-18 from all around Australia the opportunity to play, make and create with us, designing and developing a prototype that solves a real world problem.

Use tools, tech and materials, work with local mentors and entrepreneurs, and forge friendships that last a lifetime!

The National Invention Convention is open to 14-18 year olds attending an Australian secondary school. Please note that if you’ve already participated in a National Invention Convention then unfortunately you are not eligible to apply. If you’ve been part of a regional Invention Convention please do apply!

Applications for the next National Invention Convention in January 2020 are now open!

Download an application form here:

Application pack – National Invention Convention 2020 – PDF

Application pack – National Invention Convention 2020 – Word doc

Once you’ve completed your application, send it to us at invention.convention@questacon.edu.au






Elizabeth Vrahnos

Vocational Learning Coordinator

Library News

CBCA Awards 2019

The Childrens Book Council of Australia (CBCA) recently presented the Book of the Year awards to recognize literature written for children and young adults.

At a secondary level, the CBCA awards a Book of the Year award for Older Readers (Ages 13-18). The winner for 2019 was Between Us by Clare Atkins. Honour awards were given to Small Spaces by Sarah Epstein and Lenny’s Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee. All books are available to borrow from the library.



NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC)

Today is our last day for those participating in the PRC for 2019. For those yet to finalise their reading logs, all books read must be entered into the PRC portal by 11:59pm tonight (30 August) to be eligible for an award.

The 2020 PRC will not officially commence until March next year, but books that are read from this Monday (2 September) can count towards the 2020 challenge.

Students in Years’ 7 & 8 (Years’ 8 & 9 in 2020) will be able to participate in 2020. Please see Mr Amuso in the library if you are interested.


Featured Display

As reported several weeks, a display focusing on the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in 1969 has been our featured display. Apart from a selection of books focusing on space travel and astronomy, there is also a display of newspaper front pages from major Sydney newspapers. This changes each day to reflect each day of the Apollo 11 mission. Booklets containing all newspaper front pages on display has also been prepared. The booklets will be available after the display has been taken down.


Fabian Amuso

Teacher Librarian

Economic Keynote Address

On Wednesday the 21st of August, two Year 12 Economics students had the opportunity to attend the Economics Keynote Address and 20 year anniversary of the ‘Australia in the Global Economy 2019’ Textbook at Deloitte in the city. It was a wonderful experience where we were able to participate in a discussion about the past, present and future of the Australian economy and gain greater information for our HSC studies. It was also a great opportunity to talk to other like minded economic students as well as ask some topical economic questions to a panel including Ross Gittins and a representative from the Reserve Bank. Thank you to Mr Donlan and Mr Kipriotis for attending with the girls .

Julia Lo Russo

Eastern Region Youth Forum

On Monday the 5th of August, four students from Year 10 had the opportunity to attend a Youth Forum at the Sydney Catholic Schools Eastern Region office. This featured various leadership officials who shared their opinions and visions. Luana, Georgia, Elly and Tejal had the pleasure of meeting and sharing ideas with the new Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools, Tony Farley. 

After listening to Tony Farley’s vision for Sydney Catholic Schools (SCS), we were invited to discuss why parents should send their children to our school. This was to decipher what features in SCS were good, and what aspects we could take from other schools in order to improve ours, which undeniably came with some friendly competition from our surrounding schools. After mixing with other students from different schools, we were asked to discuss what we would like to see from SCS in the future, and what major new ideas and improvements we think will better the faith teachings in our schools. 

Overall, this was an extremely enjoyable experience which broadened our understanding of the needs and improvements of Sydney Catholic Schools. 

                                 Tejal Meisura, Georgia Najem, Elly Vazouras, Luana Rendina



Rachael Ndaira

Youth Ministry and Student Leadership Coordinator

Luka Lesson – Year 8 English

“And they say – “Live by the sword, die by the sword” but the word “sword” has the word “word” in it because our words can be the antidote”- Luka Lesson, Antidote

On the 14th August, 2019, Year 8 was involved in a poetry slam incursion.  Luka Lesson introduced the power of slam poetry to the class of 2023 in a short span of 2 hours, teaching us his writing methods and the clever way he relates real world issues to his poems. The first poem he performed, “When the dust settles,”  is an explicit example of how Lesson weaves his words into a poem closely related to real issues. After he finished performing the poem, Lesson broke down the meaning of this piece, teaching us along the way the meaning behind his work and in each poem composed.

The next poems he performed were both connected to his personal life, and we learned the importance of personal experience and literary techniques such as how all poems don’t have to rhyme.  “Yia Yia” and “Antidote” touched the hearts of many in the room and connected us to the power of words. “A very inspiring poem”- Anonymous

A special thank you to Luka Lesson for opening our eyes to slam poetry and inspiring us all to create and let our thoughts flow free.

– Sienna De Mari

Polyglots Update

On Wednesday the 28th August Ms Cox lead the Polyglots session which focused on Aboriginal languages, in particular the Darug language of the Eora (Sydney) area.

The students enjoyed watching short Youtube clips focusing on the pronunciation of various key words like warami (hello), yuin (yes), biyal (no) and yanu (goodbye). We also looked at various statistics regarding all the different Aboriginal languages present in Australia and played a game of Kahoot. By the end of the session every student could say a few words in the Darug language.

We had a special guest from Sydney Catholic Schools’ Eastern Region Office in attendance, Karen Horder Leader of Learning: Aboriginal Education K-12. We would like to thank Karen for her valuable input. We would also like to thank Ms Cox for organising and leading the session.

All students in Years 7-12 are welcome to attend Polyglots, a group which gathers to encourage and foster the love of different languages and cultures. Further details to come via Compass regarding details of the next Polyglots session focusing on Christmas around the world. Hope to see you there.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela


Enza Criniti

Language Teacher