Volume 16 - 21 Oct 2016



I recently came across this article by Michael Grose of www.parentingideas.com.au. It describes the language that has been observed to be used by parents who are successful in raising resilient young adults. I share it with you:

Resilient families develop their own words and phrases to help each other get through the inevitable tough times that each person experiences. The language of resilience generally refers to coping strategies as empathy, humour and acceptance. 

Following are eight examples of the language of resilience that you can bring to your family:

1. “Come on, laugh it off.” 

Humour is a great coping strategy and a powerful tool for resilience as it heightens feelings of control. Some children and young people will naturally crack jokes or make fun of seemingly serious situations. This is a fantastic way to release stress and handle feelings of helplessness. As a parent you may need to lighten up tense situations by introducing humour of your own, which is something that many dads do really well. 

2. “Don’t let this spoil everything.” 

The ability to compartmentalise bad events and keep them from affecting all areas of life is a powerful coping skill. Sportspeople, politicians and others who work in the public arena need to be adept at it. When something unpleasant happens during recess, for example, kids need to park their thinking about that event so they can get on with the rest of the day. The ability to compartmentalise thinking is a fantastic life skill kids can learn within their family.

3. “Let’s take a break.”

When kids are troubled by events or spend too much time brooding it helps to do something to get their minds off things for a time. Playing games, spending time together, watching some TV, going out – are all good distracters for worried, anxious or stressed kids. Self-distraction is healthy, providing some welcome perspective. It also prevents kids from replaying awful experiences in their heads, blowing them out of proportion.

4. “Who have you spoken to about this?” 

Resilient people seek solace in the company of others when they experience difficulty. That’s why social connection is such a strong preventative strategy for young people. The promotion of help-seeking behaviours is one of the best coping strategies of all. Even if kids don’t overtly talk about what’s bothering them, it can be immensely reassuring to spend time around others who are empathetic, understanding and willing to listen and help.

5. “I know it looks bad now but you will get through this.” 

There are times when parents can do nothing else but keep their children’s chins up and encourage them when life doesn’t go their way. Being the ‘hope’ person can be hard work, that’s why parents need to be supported by resilient people and workplaces too. It helps to be mindful that a child or young person’s resilience is nurtured by the presence of at least one supportive adult. You may have to be that person!

6. “What can you learn from this so it doesn’t happen next time?” 

One of the common attributes of optimistic people is their ability to find a learning, or look for a message, in difficult or negative situations. Parents can help kids reframe events to help them see things differently. For instance, rather than regarding a public speaking opportunity as problematic and a chance to look foolish it’s better to reframe it as a challenge and a chance to shine. It also helps when parents model reframing so kids see you changing how you view seemingly negative or worrying situations.

7. “Don’t worry – relax and see what happens!” 

If you’ve ever been driving to an important event only to be stuck in traffic then you would know that there are some situations you just can’t control. The only way to cope is to accept what’s happening because worrying and fretting won’t get you anywhere. Similarly, parents with a resilience mindset can help kids understand what’s worth worrying about and what’s not, and that some things won’t change no matter how much kids fret or beat themselves up!

8. “This isn’t the end of the world” 

While most of us catastrophize at times, jumping to the worst possible conclusion, it is a habit that only exaggerates anxiety. When kids constantly think the worst case scenario, challenge their views. “Yes, you could end up not knowing anyone at camp but you won’t be the only one. Besides you’ll probably end up making new friends like you generally do.” 

Bring resilience into your everyday language

Resilient parents focus on building children’s and young people’s strengths for the future, while helping them cope with the present difficulties and challenges they experience. 

The key to promoting resilience lies in the language that parents use. My challenge for parents is to make resilience an integral part of your family’s proprietary language. You’ll know you have succeeded if your children as adults remind you, when they hear any complaints or whinges from you in your dotage, to ‘hang in there’, ‘this too will pass’ and ‘find the funny side’. 

Granted they may be phrases you don’t want to hear, but at least you know that you’ve drummed into your kids some important core messages that have stayed for life.

(This an extract of an article written by Michael Grose and published in Parentingideas Magazine Issue 9.) 



Our mantra:

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

What’s Been Happening in Religious Education

October has traditionally been a time devoted to the praying of the Rosary.  According to a fifteenth century account, Mary appeared to St Dominic in 1206 after he had been praying and doing severe penance because of his lack of success in combating the Albigensian heresy.  Mary praised Dominic for his valiant fight against the heretics and then gave him the Rosary as a mighty weapon, explained is uses and efficacy and told him to preach it to others. From this point forward, the Rosary has been attributed to many miracles and has been a powerful force in the lives of many Catholics.

The Rosary is Christocentric (ie has a focus on the life of Christ) and focuses on the passion, death, resurrection and glory of Christ.  It also contemplates and honours Mary “because of the mission she received from God, her life is most closely linked with the mysteries of Jesus Christ, and there is no one who followed in the footsteps of the Incarnate Word more closely and with more merit than she” (142 (Mediator Dei).

During this month of October, I would encourage you to pray the Rosary as a means of fostering faith, hope and charity and meditating upon the life of Christ and indeed acknowledging the special role that Mary is able to take in our own lives.  I have included an instruction sheet for your reference and hope that during this month of the Rosary, you may have some time to pray this wonderful prayer.


How to Pray the Rosary (1)


God bless,

Diane Kennaugh

Leader of Religious Education and Mission

Pedagogy Report

Recently, Marinko Colak (Education Officer: Secondary Curriculum, Eastern Region Office) visited the college and met with me to further unpack 2016 Bethany NAPLAN data. The focus was tracking the Yr 9 cohort across their two years at Bethany College and investigating what Year 7 2014 and Year 9 2016 comparative data analysis could reveal. The results were shared with staff at last week’s Professional Development meeting, with faculty time then provided in order for staff to further engage with the data and begin professional conversations within their teams. From here, a departmental representative from each faculty across the college will meet as a collegial team on several occasions across Term 4 to discuss 2016 NAPLAN student writing samples, literacy strategies and possible interventions for 2017. The purpose is to further develop a school wide approach to reading and writing with the intention of increased student achievement. The recent BOSTES release of Band 8 minimum HSC standards has certainly highlighted the need for schools to commit to improving fundamental literacy and numeracy outcomes of students.

On Monday 17 October, Vicki Lavorato (College Principal) and myself attended the UNSW Global ‘Assessment in Schools’ 2016 Conference. We heard from Professor Gordon Stanley (Honorary Professor, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney and former President of the Board of Studies NSW), who presented the latest developments and trends in assessments, especially standardised testing both in Australia and internationally. As would be expected, there are a range of reliability concerns with global PISA testing, least of which is the vast cultural milieu and complexity of translating these tests across languages. Vicki and I also attended workshops in Reporting Student Progress, How to Prepare Schools and Students for NAPLAN Online, Improving Writing in Schools and Formative Assessment: Myths and Realities.

The annual online PAT testing for 2016 has now concluded and I thank the students and their teachers for the smooth completion of these tests. PAT analysis can now begin and will assist in providing a more detailed understanding of Stage 4 student’s abilities and acquired skills in relation to foundational reading comprehension, vocabulary and numeracy.


Katherine Maish

Leader of Pedagogy

Kickstart at University of Sydney – HSC Chemistry Excursion 2016

On Wednesday 17 August, the Senior Chemistry class attended sessions on the Chemical Monitoring and Management and Forensic Chemistry modules, at the University of Sydney. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the School of Chemistry graduate university students.  Each student specialised in one component of our chemistry syllabus.  Most of the stations were completed with the assistance of these university students.

The first station involved our class examining the Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, which is responsible for measuring and identifying the presence and concentration of heavy metals in water.

We performed a firsthand investigation at the second station, measuring the content of sulphur in fertiliser. If sulfur is present in large quantities in our terrestrial and aquatic environments, the biotic and abiotic features of these environments will struggle to survive as this element can combine with water to form a strong acid called, sulphuric acid.

After this our class performed titrations to test the hardness of water (the ability of water to allow soap to lather) after we had perfected our titrations technique at school ! For our final station we examined the structure of a machine that is able to separate an entire mixture for example alcohol and identify the substances present as well as the individual concentration of each substance present within the mixture. This process is called Gas-Liquid Chromatography and is usually coupled with mass spectrometry. This process is used to identify a substance at a crime scene or the concentration and presence of a particular illicit drug that an individual has consumed. These technologies are undoubtedly important in the Science and legal community as it provides accurate and reliable evidence that can allow a jury to come to a decision for a crime that an individual may have committed.

After lunch we attended our final session, where we were kindly invited by Dr Trent’s brother, Professor Ronald Trent to observe the medical school at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. We performed a firsthand investigation on DNA identification through electrophoresis. Whilst we waited for our electrophoresis results, Professor Trent discussed with us the importance of DNA testing in serving justice in our community. After our results were processed we were able to keep a “fingerprint” of the DNA which then allowed us to identify the gender of the sample analysed.

On behalf of the Year 12 Senior Chemistry class, I would like to thank Dr Trent for planning these thoroughly enjoyable, enriching and hands on learning experiences, which will undoubtedly be a great help to our HSC exams!


Isabella Aleksovska (Year 12 Chemistry student) and Fiona Pelosi (Science Prefect)




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Mater Dei Church, Blakehurst- 60th Anniversary

This year, Mater Dei Church, Blakehurst is celebrating its 60th year.

On Sunday, 30 October 2016 the Parish will be holding a Celebration Mass at 10:00 AM with Most Rev Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP as the Chief Celebrant.

The Mass will be followed by BBQ and light refreshments in Parish Grounds and Michael Kennedy Centre on the campus. It would be wonderful to see current   and former parishioners in our weekend of festivities attending this special event. For more information, please contact Parish Office on 9546 2605 or email:  


School Xchange

www.schoolxchange.com.au  is an online marketplace where parents and students can sell or buy local, good quality second hand school uniforms, school and university text books, sporting equipment or musical instruments. Bethany College is registered with this site.

Whether it’s school uniforms, musical instruments, text books or sporting gear it’s free to browse and buy at any time.

For a small listing fee, you can sell unwanted school items to buyers looking to purchase items at a substantially lower cost. Generally, this will be within our local school community which means no postage and packaging costs.

Schoolxchange has been developed with busy mums and dads in mind and made it trouble-free and easy to use. Just type in Bethany’s name in the ‘find your school option’ or choose the buy or search options to viewall the items listed in a particular category.

Selling Used School Gear Made Easy
The selling process is as simple and as inexpensive as possible. You only pay to list items for sale. It may be a school blazer, netball outfit, athletic gear or a trombone that’s no longer required.
You will need to register first if you wish to sell and you’ll need either a credit card or PayPal account to pay a small listing fee of 10% (less for more expensive items) based on the price you want to sell the item for.
Once registered, you simply key in the details of your item and the price you are seeking. Your listing will stay online until it’s sold and you remove it. We hope you find this site useful.

2016 HSC Dance Callback Nomination Success

Callback is a selection of exemplary practical performances across NSW, from the 2016 HSC Dance Practical examinations. 

Congratulations to eight Year 12 Dance students have had outstanding success this year, receiving a total of Sixteen nominations across all three practical components. Including core performance, core composition, major study performance and our very first major study dance film. These nominations place their works in the top percentage of dance students in the state. To receive sixteen nominations is exceptional and is a testament to the commitment demonstrated from the whole class. 

Thank you to the dedicated composition dancers and the ex-students who mentored the class along the way Teresa Repice, Hannah Fulker, Michelle Newbery and Melena Oldham.

All three components:

Belinda Jones: Core Performance, Major Study Performance and Core Composition ‘Savannah’ (Composition Dancer –Lyric Fidow  Year 11)

Irena Pitsos: Core Performance, Major Study Performance and Core Composition ‘Magnets’ (Composition Dancer –Leah Balaouras Year 11)


Two components:

Hannah Berghouse: Major Study Performance and Core Composition ‘The Runner’ (Composition Dancer –Kayla Jomaa Year 11)

Bianca Cuschieri: Core Performance and Major Study Performance

Lisa-Marie Maglione:  Core Performance and Major Study Performance

Serena Siow:  Core Composition  ‘Asteroid’  (Composition Dancer –Roselyn Pasia Year 10) and Major Study Technology – Film and Video ‘ Fractals’ (Film Dancers –Roselyn Pasia Year 10, Dominique Kulchar Year 10 & Nyah Jones Year 9 )


One componet:

Isabella Bouzianis: Core Composition ‘Social Media’ (Composition Dancer –Tina Moss Year 11)

Karli Karagiannis: Core Composition ‘Traffic Lights’ (Composition Dancer –Alexis Maalouf Year 9)


Well Done Team Dance!



Danielle Bennie

Dance Teacher 

Year 10 Geography Excursion

On Friday, 14 October, our Year 10 geography students who are studying coastal management went on an excursion to North Cronulla Beach where they undertook a range of fieldwork activities to identify some of the physical and human processes that shape our coasts. On the day, students used geographical instruments along Wanda Sand Dunes to measure wind speed and identify a range of vegetation along the front and back of the dunes. This enabled the students to understand how the wind shapes the dunes and how humans can better protect these important natural areas. A walk to Eloura beach after lunch was then able to showcase the honeycomb ‘seebees’ sea wall that was built to protect the beach and properties from coastal erosion. This provided a good discussion point to think about the major groups with interests in coastal management issues along the Kurnell Peninsular Coast. Overall, this was a great opportunity for students to work as geographers for a day and put their knowledge of coastal management into practice.




Lara Grimm

HSIE Teacher

World Youth Day

Between July 16 and August 7, approximately 660 staff and students from Sydney Catholic Schools attended WYD in Krakow, Poland; the homeland of WYD founder, Pope John Paul II.

After months of preparation, our 17 bus groups headed to Krakow via three main pilgrimages – the Holy Land, Saints of Italy and Prague Direct. Bethany College experienced the Saints of Italy pilgrimage with students from St Ursula’s and Holy Spirit Lakemba. Through the Saints of Italy pilgrimage, WYD pilgrims walked in the footsteps of the Saints of the Church, with a particular focus on the holy cathedrals and churches of Florence, Sienna, Assisi and Rome.  

During the pilgrimages, bus groups had the opportunity for daily mass with their bus chaplain and to come together as a pilgrim community on their journey to Krakow. These bonds were clearly evident when they all arrived in Krakow, ready to journey through WYD week.

WYD week in Krakow was an amazing experience of the worldwide church gathering in celebration and prayer. The Sydney Catholic Schools WYD pilgrims were swept up in the colour, joy and vibrancy of the week through the formal events, as well as the many informal festival gatherings throughout the city of Krakow. From the opening mass of approximately one million pilgrims in Blonia Park to the final mass of around three million at Campus Misericordiae, our pilgrims entered into the spirit of the week with great enthusiasm, openness and resilience. Many pilgrims spoke of their faith being inspired by the events of the week and the witness of the millions of faith filled young people around them.

The WYD pilgrimage concluded with a retreat within the mountains of Zakopane – a place of retreat often used by Pope John Paul II. This was a time of rest, prayer and reflection for pilgrims to begin to absorb and understand their WYD experiences. It was also a chance for bus groups to affirm and acknowledge the community they had created together over the previous three weeks of pilgrimage.

Personal insight by Janice Lewis, Year 10 student:
World Youth Day Krakow 2016 saw 17 Bethany girls along with myself on a three week pilgrimage that followed the footsteps of St John Paul II. Our journey to the city of mercy gave me the opportunity to experience first-hand the diversity and fellowship of the Catholic Church. It was a unique way to deepen my relationship with God, accompanied by hundreds of thousands of other young people from around the world. This life changing experience gave me the opportunity to reflect on my life, become connected to the world around me and understand how I can be a missionary of mercy. I experienced the presence of God in not only the festivals and celebrations that I attended but in the unique and charismatic people I met. This was an extraordinary life changing experience and it certainly won’t be my last world youth day, bring on Panama 2019!


Comments from other WYD Pilgrims from Bethany:

Claudia Allison (Year 10)


Jamie Lewis (Year 10)

We shared our faith with millions of people

Isabella Czarnecki (Year 10)

I will never forget it.

Holly Stansfield (Year 10)

Best experience, that i will certainly never forget. It was amazing to meet new people and be united with everyone around the world sharing in our faith.

Annabel Bennett (Year 10)

A once in a lifetime experience

Georgia Malaxos (Year 10)

Like nothing i have ever felt before.

Tara Lillicot (Year 11)

The best three weeks of my life. We became so close as a group and shared so many experiences we’ll never forget.

Jasmin Juncal (Year 11)

Life changing

Aylah West (Year 10)

An eye-opening experience that I will forever treasure

Chloe Allcorn (Year 10)

I am so grateful for the WYD experience and all the new friendships it has helped me create

Caitlin Micallef (Year 10)

You picture this amazing experience but it’s so much greater than you could ever imagine!

Adrianna Santos (Year 10)

It was amazing to be able to share my faith with people from all around the world.

Laura Mirabello (Teacher)

It was a phenomenal experience to see the girls grow over the three weeks. They were engaged and interested in their faith in a new, more active way. They commented to me that they were enjoying going to mass (we went once a day for the three weeks) more than they ever had before and that they were finding personalised meaning in the homilies. The spirit of WYD was infectious and it really is a once in a lifetime experience. The girls were beautifully behaved, representing their families, schools and community proudly.


To read more about the pilgrimage and see more photos, please access the official blog at https://aboutcatholicschools.wordpress.com/wyd16bus5/


Laura Mirabello

Youth Ministry and Student Leadership Coordinator


SCC Term 3 Sports

Congratulations to all girls who competed in representative sport last term. The sports we competed in this term were Soccer, Basketball and Softball. The girls represented Bethany College with great sportspersonship and enthusiasm.  The girls can be commended on their commitment to training and Thursday games. We won the grand final for intermediate Basketball against Rosebank College with a score of 19-10. We also made the grand final for Junior Soccer, but unfortunately lost in extra time to Penshurst Marist ‘golden goal’ extra time. An excellent effort from all competitors.



Intermediate Basketball won the grand final beating Rosebank College 19-10


Junior Soccer were unfortunately defeated by Marist Penshurst in extra time


NSW All Schools Athletics Championships

Eva Kostopoulos came 1st in High Jump with a new PB of 1.63m.

She will now represent NSW at the Australian All Schools Championship in Canberra December.


Kelly Wilson came 7th in the triple jump and jumping 10.28m.


School sports Australia Swimming Championships – Darwin

Congratulations to Kiera Warn who travelled to Darwin in September to compete in the NSW team at the School Sport Australia Swimming championships.

Kiera placed 4th in the 13-14yrs Girls 200m Butterfly, 6th in the 13-14yr Girls 200m Freestyle and 5th in the 13-14yrs 4 x 50m Girls relay (B Team).



Kirsty Soles

PDHPE Teacher

Mental Health Month



The start of term also marked the beginning of Mental Health Month. Mental Health Month is a great opportunity to start life changing conversations, tackle stigma and discrimination and break down help seeking behaviours around mental health.

I am urging everyone to make your MENTAL HEALTH a PRIORITY – not just this month but EVERYDAY. Is there a COMMITMENT you can make, or a GOAL you can set to help you achieve or maintain good well-being? Think about the activities that contribute to you feeling POSITIVE, HEALTHY and FULFILLED and the things that add HAPPINESS and SATISFACTION to your life. To make a mental health PROMISE, visit Mental health Australia’s ‘promise wall’: https://1010.org.au/promise/add

It’s important to remember IT IS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. The best thing you can do is reach out. If you need advice, or want to talk to someone there are many services available. I also encourage you to COMMIT to activities that promote well-being and REACH OUT to people that may need some extra love and support.

In the spirit of Mental Health Month a team of Year 8 students sold cupcakes at lunch time. They have chosen to donate all the money they raise to St Vincent De Paul’s Mental Health Service.




Thank you to Alysha Kapila, Dinethi Algama, Isabella Staninovski, Karli Agathopoulos, Evelyn Karavokyros, Alexandra Hammer, Serena Pham, Chanel Reeves and Abby Gillon-Smith.

Over the next few weeks students will also be running the following activities:












Please continue to join in the fun as we celebrate positive well-being!

Katerina Stratilas

School Consellor



Year 12 Leadership Forum

On 12 October, Year 12 student leaders from Catholic schools all over Sydney gathered at St Mary’s Cathedral College for a leadership forum led by His Grace, Archbishop Anthony Fisher. Lucia Maalouf, Emma Bennett, Klaudia Mihaljevic and Nova Gomes travelled with Miss Mirabello to the event, and took part in numerous activities to help us reflect on how to be good, moral leaders. We were able to work with student leaders from a variety of other schools to brainstorm ways in which we can show leadership in our school community, and how we may overcome any challenges we may face as leaders. We were also informed of the Year of Youth occurring in 2018, and how we can involve ourselves as youth leaders in the church, as well as encourage others to do the same. To conclude the day, we partook in a mass led by Archbishop Anthony Fisher. Overall, the day was a great opportunity and we learnt a lot, benefiting from interacting with students from other schools, and are eager to share this experience with the Bethany community.

Lucia Maalouf, Emma Bennett, Klaudia Mihaljevic, Nova Gomes (Year 12)


Images by Giovanni Portelli Photography © 2016