Volume 20 - 11 Dec 2015



It’s Christmastime! There are only so many shopping days left! Have you put lights on your house yet, sent out cards, and bought sufficient gifts? Do you need something new to wear for the annual Christmas party? Have you planned the meal yet? Have the kids outgrown their outfits from last year? Who needs haircuts? Anyone require new shoes? Did you get paper and tape and ribbon—and did you remember that you have to mail these things by the 16th or postage is extra? Have you stayed in budget and on diet? Do you have everything? Do you have everything? Do you have everything?

Stopping to experience the gift of Advent and the season of Christmas requires wilful action on our part to avoid being swept along by the Yuletide frenzy brought on by retailers and excessive exposure to Christmas schlock 24/7. The sacred still is, but we have to lift the tinsel from our eyes to see the true Christmas star.

We all know that Advent, the four weeks prior to Christmas, is a time of blessed waiting, when we are meant to deepen our understanding of the gift that is Jesus. However, the secular traditions of the season often crowd our hearts. Without vigilance, we forget the true wonder of the Incarnation. Christ is with us. He is present; he is here. We can touch Our Lord. The reality of Jesus as fully human—such that if we lived then, we might approach his mother and ask to touch the unspeakably soft hair of his blessed head—is. We would inhale the fragrant sweet scent that is only found on a newborn and hopefully, recognize it was time to rejoice with all of heaven at his coming. So how do we help tame our family and tame our lives so we can become a quiet stable, ready to welcome and house the Holy Family and Our Lord?

  • Get an Advent wreath.Even if you’re late to the party, get one. Light it at every meal. It is a simple way of calling all of us back to the purpose of this holy season. The calming experience of actual fire and light in an electric and often virtual world cannot be underestimated.
  • Walk with Mary and Joseph.They are the silent actors in this Christmas pageant every year. They yield their lives to God’s will, despite being told “there is no room in the inn.” The absence of words in their witness is telling to us. They are not overwhelmed with worry, despite the trials of travel and being with child. They are not anxious about many things. Offer the business of your daily life as a prayer to do God’s will for all around you. Offering up one’s daily struggles is not easy, but rest assured, it is a holy act of the will.
  • Fast from the secular world en route to work.The news will still be there when you get to your computer. If you are driving with children, have the oldest one read the readings for the day aloud. If not, use the time to listen to the rosary on CD or simply pray. Prayer and silence are a good way to remove the outside pressures the world brings to this sacred time. Listen for the words God is whispering to your heart.
  • Use purposeful decoration.Why do we decorate with lots of red? As a sign of Christ’s sacrifice and his blood. Why do we use gold during the Christmas season? As a mark of his kingship. Why do we put up lights? To remember that Christ is the Light of the world. It’s not about the reindeer—it’s about the dear One who reigns. Set up the nativity set with the three kings and shepherds stationed far away from the scene. Each day, move the various figures one step closer. Jesus is placed in the manger on Christmas Eve after Mass, so the stable starts out bare and grows fuller as the season progresses. Growing anticipation is part of the joy of this Advent season, which leads to the next suggestion.
  • Make time for unrushed loveliness.Strive to create a sense of beauty as a way to acknowledge the Creator of beauty. Just as God allows a baby to gestate for nine months before we have the joy of seeing a new soul, and just as the light from our brightest star takes 403 years to reach us, so also we must allow decking the halls to take place over the course of four weeks. Don’t race to get it all done. There is pleasure to be found in decorating that cannot be discovered if the sole goal is to be finished and check one more item off the to-do list.
  • Plan family time.Sit with your family and make a list of the traditions you hope to look forward to again next year. Pick and choose and talk about those choices, and then follow through. Involving others in Christmas preparations makes them less of a burden. Involving your whole family will lead to moments when you are surprised by joy, like I was when my 21-year-old took it upon herself to put out our nativity scene and tree.
  • Practice the generosity of kings.Before you hit Westfield, hit your wardrobe. Clear out those shoes, those coats, and those other extras that could be a source of warmth and comfort, beauty and pleasure to others in need. Make room in the inn, and teach your children to do the same.
  • Practice the simplicity of the shepherds.They brought only themselves to the King of Kings. Bring yourself to adoration, Mass, and confession before Christmas. Bring yourself to Jesus, for we are all invited to come to the stable.
  • Sing joyfully with all the choirs of heaven.Every time we attend Mass, we are in the presence of the communion of saints, and the hymns and carols of Christmas are made for being sung with others. Expose your children to a choir, and let them discover the beauty of being part of a whole host singing with their whole hearts.
  • Invite others to come to the feast.If you know of family or friends who have been away from the Church or who are estranged or lonely, you can be the stable for others. Offer to bring them to Mass. Invite them to dinner, even if they say the equivalent of “Bah, Humbug.” Love is messy, active, and real. It requires that we not seek our own comfort, but instead seek to be the source of comfort to others. Make someone feel warm and welcomed and fed—or at least give them the opportunity. Who knows, one day, they may come to beg your pardon, to join the meal, and say, “God forgive me for the time I’ve wasted.”



       Prayer during Advent

Father in heaven, the day draws near

when the glory of your Son will make radiant

the night of the waiting world.

May the lure of greed not impede us

from the joy which moves the hearts of those who seek him.

May the darkness not blind us

to the vision of wisdom which

fills the minds of those who find him.

We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen.



Reading school reports with a Growth Mindset

It’s that timvl1e of the year again. School report time. As the school year winds down, many parents ask themselves what they can do to help their children’s school achievement. Most typically their thoughts will run to math tutoring or reading practice, but they should be considering something even more fundamental: their children’s beliefs.

Research now shows that students’ beliefs about their intelligence play an important role in their school achievement, and that parents can influence the development of these beliefs. Students who believe their intelligence is simply a fixed trait fare more poorly, especially as school becomes more challenging, than students who believe their intellectual abilities can grow. When students are taught the growth-oriented view—whether they are inner city middle school students or students at an elite university—they show a rapid increase in their enjoyment of learning and in their grades.

In a study of New York City schools, seventh graders were taught that every time they learn something new their brain forms new connections and that over time their intellectual abilities can be developed. Whereas a matched control group continued to show the poor motivation and decline in grades so commonly seen in adolescents, the group that learned the growth-oriented view of intelligence showed a significant upsurge in their motivation to learn and in their grades.

What should parents do? Research shows that praising the process –children’s effort or strategies—creates eagerness for challenges, persistence in the face of difficulty, and enhanced performance. Next time you are tempted to tell your child that he or she is the next Einstein or future Picasso, stop yourself. Instead, take the time to appreciate what they put into their work, not what the work means about their innate brains or talent. Ask them how they went about it and show them how you appreciate their choices, their thinking process, or their persistence. Ask them about strategies that didn’t work and what they learned from them. When they make mistakes, use these as occasions for teaching them to come up with new strategies. When they do something quickly, easily, and perfectly, do not tell them how great they are. Tell them, “I’m sorry I wasted your time on something too easy for you. Let’s do something you can learn from.” Look for ways to convey your valuing of effort, perseverance, and learning—rather than some empty display of ability. Instead of false confidence in fixed ability, these methods will foster an appreciation for the true ingredients of achievement.

It is now abundantly clear from research that brains and talent alone don’t bring success. The work of Benjamin Bloom and of Anders Ericsson shows clearly that people of outstanding accomplishment—be it in science, the arts, or athletics–are typically no more talented than many of their peers. In fact, their peers who seemed most brilliant at the start often turned out to achieve very little. This is most likely because, believing too much in the power of their brains and talent, they did not put in the effort that all great accomplishment requires.

In short, believing in brains or talent as something fixed and all-powerful works against long-term success in school, careers, and life in general. It’s the wrong mindset. If you teach your children one thing this summer, it should be how to grow their intelligence.




Farewell to staff

At this time of the year, we farewell colleagues who leave us to take up new positions, go on leave and others who have concluded their contractual period with the College.

  • Ms Mary Kleist: Ms Kleist is currently our Leader of RE and Mission and is well known to staff, students and parents for her work in enhancing the Catholic life and culture of the College. She is leaving us after seven years to take up the position of Religious Education Coordinator at Marist Sisters’ College, Woolwich  We are very proud of Mary and wish her well in this new position.
  • Mr Kevin Carragher: After ten years of dedicated service to the Bethany Community, Mr Carragher is leaving us to take up the position of Teaching and Learning Coordinator at St Patrick’s College, Sutherland. He is currently on the leadership team as the Leader of Pedagogy. Bethany was Mr Carragher’s first teaching appointment and we have watched him grow in skills and confidence. We appreciate the contribution he has made to improve the learning culture at our school.
  • Mr Jason Currao: Mr Currao is leaving us after four years in the HSIE and RE faculties, two of which he served as the College’s Assistant Leader of RE and Mission. He is moving to Loreto College Normanhurst to take up an RE teaching position. We thank him for his contribution to the Catholic life and culture of the school.
  • Ms Nelson: Ms Nelson, our Performing Arts Coordinator, is moving off to Maternity Leave as she and Mike await the birth of their baby. We hope the arrival of your bundle of joy is a safe and blessed experience.
  • Ms Samantha Rothwell: Ms Rothwell leaves the College after 2.5 years in a temporary HSIE/English role. We thank her for the energy and enthusiasm she has brought to her teaching role and for all the extra-curricular things she has been involved in in the past year. We wish her well as she takes up her permanent position at Marist Catholic College, Penshurst.
  • Ms Monica Ribeiro: Ms Ribeiro replaced Mrs Pelham this year when she went off on Maternity Leave. We thank her for working so seamlessly with the staff and congratulate her appointment to a position at St Clare’s College, Waverley.
  • Mr Keiran Staples: Mr Staples has been with us for three years in a temporary capacity replacing Ms Cotton. He has been our much valued Sports Coordinator and has been active in ensuring our students get the best competitive opportunities we can muster. We thank him for working so seamlessly with the staff and congratulate him on his appointment to a permanent position at Oxley College in Bowral.
  • Ms Theresa Napoli: Miss Napoli has been with us this term replacing Mrs Rizk in the TAS department. We wish her all the best as she takes up her new job at Our Lady of Mercy College Burraneer.
  • Mrs Black: Mrs Black, a valued part-time member of our support staff for six years, is leaving Bethany to take up an ICT Support Officer role at Georges River Grammar College. We wish her well and thank her for her support of our girls and their laptops over the years.

In the New Year, I will let you know of the changes to our administration structure that will further support our desire to improve teaching and learning at the College.


Parent Satisfaction Survey 2015

Thank you very much to everyone who completed the Parent Satisfaction Survey this term.  In total, 147 responses were received.  Of greatest affirmations were that 96% of respondents identified that their daughter felt safe at the College and that 78% felt that they were very satisfied with the College.

Overall, the results are a strong affirmation of our values and programs and are invaluable in identifying areas for development. The Leadership team will analyse and discuss the detailed response data during our professional development days next week. We noted that 28% of respondents were unsure about the College’s strategies for dealing with the diverse needs of its students and 28% were unsure that the College has high academic standards.  Though each teaching program includes strategies for differentiation for gifted, core and learning support students, this is not being communicated strongly enough to our students.  We cannot take this for granted and it is important to have teachers articulate the differentiation they are implementing daily.   

In 2014, we identified that our Anti-Bullying strategies needed improvement in the timeliness and effectiveness of implementation.  We were pleased to see an improvement in respondents’ advice around this with an improvement in the results for the statement Bullying is dealt with in a timely and effective manner from 58% to 62%. We are especially grateful for the improvement in perception of our academic standards with the response to The College has high academic standards improving from 59% to 65%. We have worked very hard at this.  There was also a 5% increase in the statement around friendliness and approachability of the Leadership Team from 77% to 82%.

Later this term, all staff will analyse the responses from this survey and identify what we can take from it about your perceptions of our work.   While there is a very pleasing commendation of the College, the greatest value is in data that helps us make Bethany even better.

Overall Results

Parent Satisfaction Survey 2015

% Agree

% Neutral

% Disagree

1. My child/ren are happy at the College.




2. My child/ren feel safe at Bethany College.




3. My child/ren are interested and engaged in their learning at the College.




4. The College provides a value for money education for my child/ren.




5. The College caters well for the diverse needs of its students.




6. The College has high academic standards. 




7. The College has appropriate facilities to support its educational programs.




8. The College facilities are clean and well-maintained.




9. The College grounds are clean and well-presented.




10. The peer environment at Bethany is positive.




11. Bullying is dealt with in a timely and effective manner at the College.




12. The College maintains high standards of student behaviour in and out of the classroom.




13. The uniform of the College is practical and presents well.




14. The College maintains high standards of presentation and uniform for students.




15. The teachers of the College are knowledgeable and competent in their roles.




16. The teachers at Bethany are caring and take a genuine interest in the well-being and education of my child/ren.




17. The College provides a good range of subject offerings.




18. The College offers a good range of co-curricular activities such as the instrumental music and sport programs.




19. The staff of the College present well and dress appropriately and professionally.




20. The administration staff are welcoming, friendly and approachable.




21. The members of the Leadership Team are welcoming, friendly and approachable.




22. I am very satisfied with the College.





CEO Sydney

After a period of consultation and careful consideration, a decision has been made by the Sydney Archdiocesan Catholic Schools (SACS) Board to change the name of the Catholic Education Office (CEO) Sydney to ‘Sydney Catholic Schools’ (SCS). This name change reflects the focus of the organisation’s new strategic plan New Horizons: Inspiring Hearts and Minds, which places schools at the heart of its vision and mission.

The name change will take effect from 1 January 2016. It is not expected that the change of name will have any impact on the ongoing operations of the organisation or our school


Community News

We keep the following families in our prayers;

  • Grace O’Keeffe (Year 7) whose maternal grandfather passed away this week.
  • The Kondos family who have struggled through the third anniversary of the loss of their daughter, sister and our sister Nicola (who would have been in Year 10 this year).




Our mantra:

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


From the Assistant Principal

Important dates for Term 4

  • 11 December:   End of year Speech and Award Ceremony
  • 14 December:   Last day of school for students
  • 15 December:   Years 7-10 Parent Teacher Student Interviews. 9-3:30 pm
  • 16 & 17 December:   Staff Development Days

Important dates for Term 1, 2016

  • 27&28 January:   Staff Development Days
  • 29 January:   Years 7,11 & 12 resume
  • 1 February:   All students resume
  • 9 February:   Swimming Carnival


7 Ways Mindfulness Can be Helpful to Students

 Want to try something new over the school holidays? Why not give mindfulness a go? There are lots of great Apps out there, for example ‘Mindfulness’, ‘Headspace’, ‘Relax’ and ‘Positivity’. These will guide you through simple mindfulness exercises. You could even try the new mindfulness colouring-in books that are all the rage. But what is it all about and why should you try it?

What is Mindfulness?

Headspace (www.headspace.com) defines mindfulness as “the intention to be present in the here and now, fully engaged in whatever is happening, free from distraction or judgement, with a soft and open mind”.

How does practicing mindfulness help you with your schoolwork?

  1. Reduces anxiety and risk of depression – By becoming mindful, a person stops judging themselves and those around them and recognises that every situation “is what it is”. When you stop judging and comparing, you are able to reduce anxiety.
  2. Increases resilience – resilience is the ability to experience something bad but to not internalise it and to be able to move on, still gaining benefit even from a negative experience. Practicing mindfulness quietens the mind and enables acceptance without judgement, which is key for achieving resilience.
  3. Improves ability to learn and recall information – research by the University of Miami has shown that practicing mindfulness for 12 minutes a day improved attention and memory.
  4. Improves concentration – regular practice of mindfulness may help improve concentration by enabling the brain to focus more accurately and to filter out unwanted or unhelpful messages.
  5. Improves creativity – practicing mindfulness has the potential to allow the brain to unlock and unleash creativity. Creativity is of benefit to all students, not just in terms of artistic talents but also in relation to problem solving.
  6. Helps manage exam stress – mindfulness can help you calm and focus your mind which helps to manage stress related to exams. This tool can be used in the lead up to the exam and also during the exam if stress levels begin to rise.
  7. Leads to better sleep – getting enough sleep is crucial to ensure students have the mental and physical energy to learn. However, as academic and social pressures increase, this can lead to students having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.  By reducing anxiety and stress you can ultimately sleep better and longer.

Further Mindfulness and Meditation Resource

–       http://smilingmind.com.au/

























Jacinta Russo

Assistant Principal


HSC results released Wednesday 16 December

2015 HSC results will be delivered to students by email and SMS from 6am onWednesday 16 December. Students should visit Students Online before 5pm onTuesday 15 December to ensure their contact details are correct.

Students can also access their results online from 6am on Wednesday 16 December, via Students Online or one of the other HSC delivery sites, www.hscresults.nsw.edu.auor www.hsc-results.nsw.edu.au, using their student number and HSC PIN (created when they activated their Students Online account).


Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) Release

Access your ATAR from 9am on Thursday 17 December 2015 on the UAC website. You’ll need your Year 12 student number and your UAC PIN to log in.



Student Holiday Workshops – Positive Career Skills

Date : 14th Dec 2015 Time : 9.00 – 12.00 noon Da te : 21st Dec 2015
Time : 9.00 – 12.00 noon Venue : Turning Point Consulting, Lewisham Cost : 30
Contact : Kathryn Taylor : kathryn@turningpointconsulting.com.au or 0478 570 707
Suited to students from year 10 or 11 and those finished the HSC through to tertiary studies we will discuss business expectations as to:
– How to find a job
– What makes a great resume
– How to prepare for an interview
– What happens in an interview
– How to present best
Options resume review at great discount for students attending.
** Registrations essential **
Read more at http://www.turningpointconsulting.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Student-Holiday-Workshops-Semester-2-2015.pdf
Call Kathryn to discuss or register 0478 570 707

Australian National University (ANU) Sydney Advisory Day 

Date : 17th Dec 2015 Time : 10.00 – 2.00pm 
Venue : The Australian National Maritime Museum, 2 Murray Street, Sydney  Cost : FREE
Contact : Julie Murdoch : Julie.Murdoch@anu.edu.au 
Come along to our Advisory day in Sydney where you will have the opportunity to learn about our programs, student accommodation, exchange programs and support services available to help you settle in to ANU.  We will be there to answer your questions, no matter how general or detailed, so we encourage you to register your attendance and come along to learn more about why ANU is the right choice for you!

Central Queensland University (CQU) Australia Information Session (Online and On-Campus)

Date : 21st Dec 2015 Time : 9am – 4pm
Venue : CQUniversity Sydney, 400 Kent St, Sydney Cost : FREE
Contact : Samara Lovekin : P 03 8662 0854 E s.lovekin@cqu.edu.au
Attend our information session to find out about our extensive range of courses and programs – available full-time or part-time at our many locations around Australia or via distance education.
Our study and training options now include short courses, certificates and diplomas as well as undergraduate, postgraduate and research higher degrees.
Take your time to explore your study options then join us to have your questions answered about your program or course of interest, our flexible study options, entry pathways, how to apply, support services, scholarships and much more.

La Trobe University Sydney Campus Information Session

Date : 22nd Dec 2015 Time : 6:00pm – 7:30pm Venue : La Trobe University Sydney Campus
Cost : FREE Contact : Erin Keech : 0498004091

A La Trobe University Sydney Campus Information Session provides students the opportunity to learn more about our courses, internship opportunities and the academic and support services available throughout their studies. Students will have the opportunity to tour the campus and chat to current La Trobe University students about life at Uni, and staff will be available to answer any questions on the night.
Tuesday 22nd December 2015, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Thursday 28th January 2016, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Thursday 18th February 2016, 6:00pm – 7:30pm
RSVP on (02) 9397 7600 or email sydney@latrobe.edu.au 
La Trobe University Sydney Campus
Level 10, 11 York Street

Australian Catholic University (ACU) Make the Right Choice Information Sessions

Date : 5th Jan 2016
Time : 9am – 1pm
Venue : Australian Catholic University – North Sydney & Strathfield Campuses
Cost : FREE
Contact : Catherine Koopmans : futurestudy.Syd@acu.edu.au / 02 9739 2540
The ACU Make the Right Choice event is a perfect opportunity for students to explore their study options and get their last-minute questions answered before selecting their preferences for study in 2016. On the day, students will have the opportunity to speak to academic and admissions experts at our information expo, tour the campus, investigate pathway options and meet our current students. Parents can also attend the Parent Panel to gain tips on supporting their child’s transition into university. An information session on the updated ACU education course prerequisites and education pathway options for 2016 will also be included. Visit http://www.acu.edu.au/apply2016

North Sydney Campus
Tuesday 5 January 2016, 9am – 1pm                                  
8-10 Berry St, North Sydney NSW 2060

Strathfield Campus
Tuesday 5 January 2016, 9am – 1pm                                  
25A Barker Road, Strathfield NSW 2135
University of Wollongong (UOW) College at UOW Option’s Day

Date : 5th Jan 2016 Time : 9am to 2pm
Venue : Buiilding 67, UOW Wollongong Campus Cost : FREE
Contact : Sherien Khachiche : sherien@uow.edu.au / 02 4221 3950
Still confused about your ATAR score and where it can take you? Or looking to KICK-START your Careers. UOW Options Day provides you with loads of qualified professionals across all areas of the University. UOW College will be on hand to answer all of your questions and help you:
◾Modify your UAC preferences
◾Apply Directly for Pathways to UOW Programs
◾Choose the right UOW degree
◾Seminars across all areas of study
◾See the UOW campus and facilities
For all the details and to register, check out the UOW Options Day website – http://www.uowcollege.edu.au/about/events/index.html


University of New South Wales (UNSW): Canberra Non-Defence Undergraduate Engineering Information Session

Tue 8th December, 5.30pm – 7.30pm, UNSW Canberra at ADFA, Building 32, Lecture Theatre 6, Northcott Drive, Campbell

Learn about studying engineering with UNSW in Canberra as a non-defence student.



University of New South Wales (UNSW) Art & Design Graduating Work

Work from UNSW’s graduating Art & Design students may be viewed on the following website:



University of Sydney Equity Scholarships
Scholarship applications close: Tue 5th January 2016

The University of Sydney offers Equity Scholarships for students commencing in 2016. These are applied for via UAC’s website. Scholarships include University of Sydney Bridging Course Scholarships, Burton Educational Trust Scholarship, Rural Sustainability Scholarships, Environmental Sustainability Scholarships, The William John and Lizzie May Sinclair Scholarship, Roy Frederick Turner AM Scholarship, Graham Daniels Scholarship in Engineering and Information Technologies, Peter Giles Memorial Scholarship in Pharmacy, and Commonwealth Indigenous Scholarships.



University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Science Bridging Courses

Mon 8th February – Fri 4th March 2016

UTS offers bridging courses for students both attending UTS and other universities, who feel their knowledge does not meet the assumed knowledge requirements for their degree. These courses are designed to bridge the gap between students’ high school knowledge and university studies, and serve as introductory information on subjects.



Sydney TAFE: Music and Course Career Night

Wed 2nd December, 6.30pm – 7.30pm, Ultimo

Wed 9th December, 6.30pm – 7.30pm, Ultimo

Get an overview of the courses in music performance, studio recording, live production, music business and music theatre.



South Western Sydney Institute: Design Your Future

Sat 5th December – Sun 31st January 2016, 10.00am – 4.00pm, Armory Gallery

An exhibition offering a unique glimpse into the work of 80 South Western Sydney Institute Lidcombe design students.


2016 NSW Skills List Release

New additions to the Skills List for qualifications that are eligible for government subsidy under the Smart and Skilled program have been added for 2016.



St Patrick’s Institute of Education: Information Session for Year 10 School Leavers

Thu 10th December, 11.00am, Level 1, 65 York Street

Learn about applying for the Diplomas in Business, Management and Business Administration for study in 2016.



Endeavour College of Natural Health: Open Day

Sat 16th January, 10.00am – 12.30pm, 815 – 825 George St Level 2, Sydney

Find out about careers in natural health, get questions answered by staff and students, and get a taste of the Bachelor of Health by attending mini lectures.



Raffles College of Design and Commerce: Graduate Exhibition

Thu 10th December – Sun 13th December, Ambush Gallery, L3 Central Park, Chippendale

Raffles’ Graduate Exhibition will showcase top graduate student works from Fashion Marketing, Digital Media, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Multimedia Design, and Photography.



Avondale College of Higher Education: 2016 Information Guide



Australian College of Make-Up and Special Effects (ACMUSE)

ACMUSE offers courses in Certificate IV in Make-Up and Diploma of Specialist Make-Up Services as well as a range of shorter courses. These include both accredited and non-accredited courses. Intakes are in December and February.


Coco Republic Design School: Information Sessions

Sat 12th December, 10.00am – 10.45am, 24 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria

Tue 15th December, 6.00pm – 6.45pm, 24 O’Riordan Street, Alexandria

Discover their new timetable with one day masterclasses, short courses and full courses both online and on campus.
Contact: designschool@cocorepublic.com.au



Sydney Film School: Wrap Up Tour

Sat 12th December, 2.00pm- 3.30pm, 82 Cope Street, Waterloo

Get an insider’s perspective on the Wrap Up Tour with directors, teachers, current students and graduates of the Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media courses.


Sydney Film School: Film Festival

Tue 15th – Thu 17th December, Chauvel Cinema, Paddington

Films will be screened across 9 sessions with entry open to the general public.



Australian Academy of Beauty and Spa Therapy: Open Nights

Bella Vista: Wed 16th December, 7.00pm

North Strathfield: Wed 16th December, 7.00pm

Chatswood: Tue 15th December, 7.00pm

Kogarah: Wed 9th December, 7.00pm

Learn more about the courses available by speaking to staff.



Basair Aviation College: Information Session

Tue 12th January, 7.00pm – 8.30pm, Bankstown Airport, 628/23-25 Airport Avenue, Bankstown

Basair Aviation College is the largest flying school in Australia.  Learn about the courses they have to offer by attending a career information seminar.



Engineering Link Group: 2016 Calendar

Engineering Link Group have released their calendar of events for 2016. Events currently organised for 2016 include workshops at UNSW, teacher professional development webinars and other regional events.

To view the calendar, visit:



My Health Career: Is a Degree No Longer Enough? An Experience in International Nutrition

Viviene Gereige
Vocational Learning Coordinator


Christmas Appeal

Thank you to every student who brought in items for the Christmas appeal. Your donations will be used to make up hampers for Catholic Care and St Vincent de Paul. Your generosity means that there will be families who have a little more joy this Christmas. Well done to those home rooms who went above and beyond in their donations, you have a fantastic sense of social justice. Thanks girls. 



Laura Mirabello 
Youth Ministry and Student Leadership Coordinator

‘Big Sisters’ Leadership Training Workshop

Year 9 ‘Big Sisters’ took part in a leadership training workshop on Friday 4th December. The girls demonstrated great communication skills, initiative and creativity. Groups had wonderful conversations debating the decision making process, group agreements as well as evaluating effective leadership.

The girls are to be commended on the energy and enthusiasm they demonstrated and I look forward to working closely with them next year. Year 7 2016, ‘Dolphins’, are very lucky to have such a warm and caring group of girls guiding them next year.

big 1

Mrs Laura Rizzo

Year 9 Coordinator

“Song Makers” Songwriting Workshop

On Tuesday 2nd and Wednesday 3rd December, students from the Year 9 and Year 10 elective Music classes  took part in a 2­ day intensive contemporary songwriting workshop. This was a fantastic opportunity for these  students to gain and build real world skills in co­-writing, arranging and recording original songs and allowed the  girls to explore their creativity and compositional skills. The students were mentored by Robert Conley and  Grant Windsor, both professional producers and songwriters, who guided the students as they composed  original songs. By the end of day two, all students had recorded a market­ready song to a professional  standard. The students are to be commended on the way they tackled this challenging yet rewarding program.


Clare Moroney

Music Teacher

LOTE – A feast for the senses

All our students have been involved in excursions and incursions in this final term and here’s a snapshot of what’s been going on:

Year 11 and Year 10 had the opportunity to view one of Italy’s most popular movies of the year – ITALO, the story of a stray dog that forms a special bond with a young boy and succeeds in having an impact on the lives of all the people living in a small Italian town. If you enjoyed the Australian film RED DOG, then you’d really enjoy ITALO. The day wrapped up with lunch at Moretti’s – great pizza and pasta in the heart of Norton Street, Leichhardt.

Year 8 students didn’t complain too much about the recent hot weather because they were able to enjoy the tastes of PURE GELATO during their Italian lesson. There was a catch, however. Unless they conversed in Italian with the professional gelato-sellers (cleverly disguised as their Italian teacher!) there was no gelato to be had. They all passed (and ate!) with flying colours. What about their tiramisù-making abilities? I have a feeling that this classic Italian dessert may feature on menus for Christmas lunch this year. A simple recipe that the students thoroughly enjoyed making.



From all the LOTE staff – Buon Natale!

Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF)

From the 3rd of December to the 6th of December, six fortunate Year 10 girls travelled to Adelaide and had the amazing opportunity to attend the second Australian Catholic Youth Festival (ACYF). Emma Bennett, Melissa Ruz, Niamh McIntyre, Soriya Farah, Lilie Joseph and Paige Perry attended the festival with Miss Mirabello and Mr Currao, as well as Mrs Barnes who was supervising at night.

This year’s festival theme was “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” Mt 5:8. The festival provided opportunities for young Catholics to deepen their relationship with Jesus and become empowered to be disciples of the Church in the world today.

The trip consisted of long hours and limited sleep, however, it was all worth it because it was an experience of a lifetime. Not only did we grow in faith and love for God, we also met an unbelievable number of amazing people from schools all around Australia, in particular those of the Archdiocese of Sydney. Together we united and grew in love, friendship and faith. The approximately 3500 participants of the festival from all around Australia gathered together at the beginning and end of each day, with live music, prayer and inspirational talks from priests, bishops and other religious figures. The rest of the time, we had the opportunity to attend a range of activities, seminars, expos and had lots of fun. Throughout the festival we were able to establish not only a closer relationship with each other, but with students and teachers from other schools (particularly our brother schools Marist Kogarah and Marist Penshurst, as well as St Ursula’s and OLSH), our teachers and God.

One clear message communicated through the festival that made an impact on each of us was that God loves each and every one of us no matter the mistakes we have made, and He invites us to open our hearts to Him. We are thankful for the teachers who gave up their time to accompany us on this amazing trip, and are grateful for all the friends and the memories that we made. We had one of the best times of our lives at ACYF which we will never forget, and recommend others to attend the 2017 Australian Catholic Youth Festival in Sydney.




Laura Mirabello 
Youth Ministry and Student Leadership Coordinator

From the Year 7 Coordinator

As the holidays are upon us it is worth re-visiting cybersafety tips to keep the students safe when they are online.  This includes texting, emailing, online shopping, gaming and social media (skype, snapchat, Instagram etc)

Ten cybersafety tips every parent should know

Keeping your kids safe online is easy with a few simple precautions.

  1. Nothing replaces parental supervision and education for kids about cybersafety.
  2. Set a technology curfew.
  3. Remind your child to never give out identifying information such as your home address, school name or telephone number in a public message such as chat or newsgroups.
  4. If your child posts photos online, use privacy settings to limit access to people they know well.
  5. Remind your child that people don’t always tell the truth online, and they can’t take anything at face value.
  6. Reassure your child that they can tell you anything, without fear of losing the laptop or internet access.
  7. If they get a message or email that’s threatening or rude, they should ‘STOP, BLOCK, TELL’. First step is to tell your child to stop responding to the abuse and then block those people sending threatening or rude messages if they continue. Let your child know that if they are being bullied, or know someone else who is, they should tell a trusted adult.
  8. Never click on any links that are contained in emails from people they don’t know. As well as sexual content, they could contain a computer virus.
  9. If you suspect your child has been contacted by a predator, try to save a copy of the chat log (or whatever form the contact takes) for evidence. Call Crime Stoppers 24-hour line 1800 333 000 to make a formal complaint.
  10. Encourage your child to change passwords to something that is impossible for others to guess.

From http://www.schoolatoz.nsw.edu.au/technology/cybersafety/cybersafety-tips-every-parent-should-know

Further information on cybersafety can be found on the following Government website – https://esafety.gov.au/esafety-information/esafety-issues

Have a happy and safe holiday.

Mr Robert Gough