Volume 3 - 11 Mar 2016

What Year 7 has been up to….

Enlighten Education Workshop Wednesday 17 February

Year 7 participated in the Enlighten Education Workshop called “The Journey”.  This was a full day program that focused on strategies aimed at making the transition from Primary to High School as smooth as possible. Girls were provided with a survival kit of skills focusing on time management, prioritising, creating a positive learning space, stress management and making successful new friendships.

“I learnt that in high school it’s time to solve your own problems stay positive about things and give different things a go. Just try your best”.  Zoe

“Today got us to really get to know other people more and it made me see that it’s just enough being yourself. I liked how nice and fun Fran was to us all”.  Hayley

“I realised that everyone is unique and I’ve decided that I will try new things in high school. Today was awesome.” Kelly

“I liked the ‘What to Pack’ and ‘Stop, Revive, Survive’ workshops the most. They were so helpful and will help me a lot in my future. I learnt that just the simple task of writing your thoughts and feelings down can start making you feel better about things or just help you sort your thoughts out a bit better. Being aware of your feelings and dealing with negative feelings or thinking is very important”. Katrina

The girls are to be commended on the positive energy and enthusiasm they brought to the day. It was really evident that the girls thoroughly enjoyed themselves.


Year 7 Camp Thursday 18- Friday 19 February

Girls were buzzing with excitement as they lined their bags up in Yallunga Hall and then boarded the busses. They embarked on a journey of fun and adventure, destination Youth Works Camp at Deer Park and Chaldercot camp sites. 

Girls arrived at the Camp site and threw themselves straight into the jam packed itinerary which included Dragon Boat Regatta, Billy Carts, the incredible race and the Waterslide activity. Students also participated in the night-time program including indoor games and created fancy dress costumes using noting but newspaper which was followed by a fashion parade.

I would like to thank all the staff who took time away from their families to join year 7, Ms Rochelle Bailey, Mr Damian Bernardo, Ms Christiana Boutros, Mrs Deb Farrell, Ms Connie Georgiou, Ms Kerry Harris, Ms Rebecca Le May, Mr John Raftery, Ms Kirsty Soles, Ms Katerina Stratilas, Mrs Jane Sullivan and Mrs Kathy Vale. I would also like to extend a special thank you to our College Principal Mrs Vicki Lavorato who joined Year 7 on their Camp.




Mrs Laura Rizzo

Year 7 Coordinator


Our Lady of Fatima Peakhurst Youth Group

Peak Youth Meetings flyer.term1 2016 (1)

Brekky Van

On February 27, fourteen Bethany students and six staff members gave generously of their time to attend Brekky Van.  For four hours they prepared and served food, interacted with the clients, packed trucks and cleaned BBQs.
This is an excellent opportunity for the girls to put their faith into action and to act as servant leaders. Their awareness of social justice issues and their willingness to help to help others is to be commended. Many clients on the day commented how fantastic our girls are and noted that we should be very proud of them. 
I would also like to thank those students who sold or bought lollipops earlier in the week as this is how we raise the money to buy the groceries for Brekky Van.
Some comments from the students about their experience: 
“Brekky Van is an experience that everyone should participate in. It allows everyone to help out and reflect on, and reconsider, the importance society places on materialistic goods” – Fiona Pelosi 
“I enjoyed interacting with all of the people that we met” – Dinuki Algama
Brekky van was an extremely memorable experience which enabled me to help those who were less fortunate than me. – Sharlize Lasala 
Thank you to: Ashleigh Grady, Siobhan Navalle, Melanie Stojcevski, Anthea Michalopoulos, Amelia Todoroski, Sarah Borg, Victoria Dakhoul, Christina Ristevski, Sharlize Lasala, Fiona Pelosi, Shana Lee, Dinuki Algama, Clover McCallum, Sophia Perez, Mrs Smit, Mrs Sullivan, Mr  D Martin, Miss Grimm, Miss Gereige and Miss Mirabello for attending. 
Laura Mirabello
Youth Ministry and Student Leadership Coordinator


“The spirit, the will to win, and the will to excel are things that endure. These qualities are so much more important than the events that occur.”

Vince Lombardi – Great American Football Coach

CGSSSA Touch Football

Tuesday 1st March Bethany College participated in the annual CGSSSA touch football gala day.

The College entered two teams with the divisions being a junior (years 7-9) and senior (years 10-12).

It was a day of mixed results with both teams having narrow wins and losses. Each team had six games to play throughout the pool matches with only the top 4 teams from 14 in each division making their way through to the semi-finals. Unfortunately Bethany College was unsuccessful in making the next stage of the competition with our junior team placing 7th overall and our senior team placing 5th overall. Congratulations to the girls who had a long day of matches.




CGSSSA Cricket

Thank you to Miss Cox and Mr Gough for attending the event with the girls.

SCC Swimming

2016 Sydney Catholic College Sports Association (SCC) SWIMMING CARNIVAL

The SCC Swimming Carnival was held on 29 February at Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre. Bethany girls put in some strong performances which resulted in Bethany College finishing third overall. Congratulations to Bridget Cole who was awarded 16yr Age Champion 2016 and Keira Warne 14yr Age Champion.                          

Congratulations to all the girls who represented Bethany College. Thank you to Miss Brennan – team manager; Mrs Oliver, Miss Cox and Ms Summons for attending the event and fulfilling duties; Mr Hull and Courtney Warne as volunteer officials for the night and thank you to all the parents who came along to support the girls.


It’s been a good start to the year for all SCC teams.

RESULTS after Rd.5:

Junior Volleyball – 9th

Intermediate Volleyball –  8th

Junior AFL – 4th

Senior Touch – 1st



Morning Fitness Club began in week 3.

44 students have joined up for term 1. The senior girls are enthusiastic, committed and provide great role models for the younger girls who are all very eager to participate. Breakfast is served at the conclusion. What a great way to start the day!



CGSSSA Soccer                       27 April 2016 –  Meadowbank



Cath Summons

PDHPE Teacher

Study Skills Tips




Does your student find it hard to get out of bed some days and be positive about going to school and learning? It can be hard to turn the day around when students wake up like this and don’t take steps to start their day in a positive way. The approach in the first hour of the day dictates the direction of the day of learning at school.

To ensure students start their mornings well they need to make sure they have a night-time and wake-up routine.


  1. Set Your Intentions Before Bed: consciously decide every night to create a positive expectation for the next morning.
  2. Move Your Alarm Clock Across The Room: so you have to get up to turn it off.
  3. Brush Your Teeth: when you wake up and splash water on your face.
  4. Drink a Full Glass of Water: to hydrate yourself after several hours without water.
  5. Add some of the following ideas to your own routines.

The “Miracle Morning” is a book written by Hal Elrod and he speaks about starting the morning with “Life SAVERS”. The idea is to add some of these to the morning routine or come up with personalised own activities for a positive start to the morning:

  • Silence can be meditation, mindfulness, prayer etc.
  • Affirmation can be a word you use that reminds you of who you are and how to be.
  • Visualisation is an intention (directing your focus) on how you want your day to be.
  • Exercise can be a short walk or stretching or going for a run (exercise is a great thing to do in the morning).
  • Reading something that is positive and enjoyable. What you read “resonates” with you. It gets you thinking and expanding “beyond yourself”.
  • Scribe is about journaling. Writing in your journal about your day gives you insight and clarity about issues. It also helps you realise what’s working and how far you have come.

These tips are courtesy of www.humanconnections.com.au



Robert Gough

Year 8 Coordinator


From the School Counsellor

Stay positive and motivated!

Time flies! We are already half way through Term 1 and I can already see students getting anxious over school commitments. It is really important that you balance your workload with some strategies that help you feel relaxed, motivated and happy. Here are some basic strategies that I recommend:

  1. Focus on your strengths. People often hyper-focus on their flaws and try to find ways to fix them which can often put a downer on your mood. At the end of everyday focus on 3 things you did well in the day.
  2. Positive coping strategies. It is important to incorporate positive coping strategies in your routine including exercise, drawing, and relaxation.
  3. Positive self-talk. The running commentary in our brains can really impact on how we view ourselves and the things around us. Catch yourself having negative thoughts and try to challenge and reframe them in a positive way.
  4. Avoid seeing crises as insurmountable problems.We can’t change the fact that stressful events happen but we can change how we interpret and respond to these situations. Try to work through the present by looking at past events that you have overcome, and what you can do to make the future a little better.
  5. Maintain a hopeful outlook.An optimistic and positive outlook allows you to expect that good things will happen in your life. Try visualizing what you want, rather than worrying about what you fear.
  6. Take time out. Set aside some time to liberate yourself from the psychological bombardment of mobile phones, laptops and other technological intruders. Take some deep breaths and just absorb the joys of just being.
  7. Forgiveness is the emotional equivalent of losing weight. Focus on your goals/values and don’t let the negative effects of grudges/revenge weigh you down or take you off track. Accept whatever has happened and that it cannot be changed, let it go and move on.
  8. Live by your values. Values are different to goals as they drive the way we want to interact with our world day to day. Think about what actions you choose to take that will help you live a life in line with your values.
  9. Keep Learning. We sometimes take learning opportunities for granted. Stop and reflect on how lucky we are to live in a country in which the pursuit of knowledge is so easily fulfilled. Always aspire to keep learning as part of your social, emotional and intellectual growth!
  10. Spend time with family. Make sure you set aside at least one day a week to do an activity with the family without distractions e.g. have dinner together, playing a board game, going for a walk etc. Family time is good for the soul.
  11. Look for opportunities to praise others as this can have a positive and empowering effect on yourself and those around you.

Most of all just enjoy the journey of life!


Katerina Stratilas

School Counsellor

Library News

The Library was a busy place once again for Bethany in Action 2016, with many displays and events occurring in our wonderful Bethany Library. Displays of graphic novels and non-fiction texts and books with red covers caught the attention of students and parents as they explored the school.


We also have some new books available for students to borrow, including the “How to Survive” series that include the titles listed below. The topics covered in these books are relevant to our society today.



2016 Premier’s Reading Challenge

Lib5Don’t forget Year 7, 8 and 9 students, the 2016 Premier’s Reading Challenge opens on the 7th March 2016. The Premier’s Reading Challenge allows students to experience a range of exciting stories, and explore issues that can challenge the way one thinks. With thousands of books to choose from, students have the opportunity to embrace subjects that will widen their horizons and expand their vocabularies. Don’t forget to come and see the Library staff for entry details.






Meanwhile, keep reading.


Mrs Karen Pentland

Teacher Librarian

From the Mathematics Department

Some Maths Trivia! Courtesy of the Maths Prefect – Anthea Michalopoulos (Yr 12)

How many can you do?

(Answers at the end of the newsletter)


1. How can 0.99999… = 1?


2.  Maths trick:

(i) Multiply your age by 7.

(ii) Multiply that answer by 1443.

The answer will always show your age repeated three times


3. Multiply 37,037 by any single number (1 – 9), then multiply that number by 3.

Every digit in the answer will be the same as that first single number.


4. Did you know?

One Googol is the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. The name ‘googol’ was invented by a child (Dr. Kasner’s nine-year-old nephew) who was asked to think up a name for a very big number, namely, 1 with a hundred zeros after it.


There’s not enough space in the known universe to write out a googolplex on paper. A googolplex is 10 to the power of a googol, or 10 to the power of 10 to the power of 100.


5. 10! (that means 10 factorial) seconds is exactly 6 weeks.

10! is 10 factorial. i.e. 10! = 10 × 9 × 8 × 7 × 6 × 5 × 4 × 3 × 2 × 1 = 3628800 seconds.

This is is 42 days, or 6 weeks, exactly



An Evening of Dance



Professional Cadetships Australia





PCA cadetship programs are open to current Year 12 students only. They enable you to combine study at the university of your choice with paid work at leading companies.


Business Cadetships

Cadet placement at UBS, a leading company in the financial services sector.

Applications open: 7 March 2016

Applications open: 11 May 2016


Engineering Cadetships (Technology cadetships not offered in 2016)

Technology Cadets are placed at Westpac in Sydney.
Engineering Cadets will not be placed under this year’s program. 
The Engineering & Technology Cadetships (ETCAD) Program provides Year 12 students with the opportunity to apply for a Technology Cadetship at Westpac. On completion of their cadetship, Technology Cadets are well-placed to pursue a career in IT and in business.

This year Rolls-Royce will not be offering Engineering Cadetships.  

Applications open: 26 April 2016

Applications open: 17 June 2016


For more information, go to: http://www.professionalcadets.com.au/

University of New South Wales (UNSW)Law Admission Test Information Evening
17th March 2016, 6:30pm to 9:30pm, UNSW Law Theatre
Admission processes for Law at UNSW will be changing from 2017. The information evening will provide prospective students with information regarding the test required.


Bond University Medical Program

Bond’s Medical Program is comprised of two sequential degrees – the Bachelor of Medical Studies (BMedSt) and the Doctor of Medicine (MD).

All students selected for entry into the Medical Program will have to complete both the BMedSt and MD to be eligible for registration as a medical practitioner in any state or territory in Australia or New Zealand. Both degrees are awarded at the completion of Year 5.

University Admissions Centre (UAC) Information Evening for Year 12 Students and Parents


Time 6 – 7pm

Sydney Technical High School – Auditorium 686 Forest Road, Bexley, NSW 2207

Please see the attached flyer below for further information.

Scholarship opportunities for future teachers

The NSW Department of Education offers presentations via video conference to groups of students interested in teaching. To register your interest please contact: emma.vandermoezel@det.nsw.edu.au.



Australian Tax Office (ATO) Tax File Number Applications

A tax file number is a unique nine-digit number issued to individuals and organisations to help administer tax and other Australian Government systems. Students need a TFN before they can start any type of paid work.

For information on how to apply visit: https://www.ato.gov.au/Individuals/Tax-file-number/


Job Guide Website Offline

The Job Guide Website was permanently taken offline last week. Fortunately, all information and data can still be accessed on The Good Universities Guide website:



Sydney TAFE Career Guide

The Career Guide provides information on the support services offered, careers index, courses and more.


Australian Business Apprenticeships Centre
The ABAC offers adviser visits that support schools and their students in exploring vocational career pathways. Advisers can help students to build resumes, refine job hunting skills, and find specialist services and support agencies.
Contact:  1300 192 322

University of Notre Dame – Medicine Information Session
Date : 20th Mar 2016 Time : 12.00pm Venue : 160 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst
Cost : FREE Contact : Anne-Maree McCarthy : 02 8204 4404
Those considering studying Medicine commencing in 2017* are invited to attend an information session at our purpose-built Darlinghurst campus. 
The session is designed to help you find out more about the admissions process, an overview of course content, meet current students and tour our facilities.
To register or for further details visit www.notredame.edu.au
*Please note the University of Notre Dame Medicine program is a Graduate Entry program. 

2016 UNSW Science & Engineering Student Parent Evening
Date : 23rd Mar 2016 Time : 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Venue : UNSW Kensington Campus. John Niland Scientia Building (map ref: G20)
Cost : FREE Contact : Scarlet Lung : s.lung@unsw.edu.au / 0293858809
UNSW Science and Engineering have teamed up to present an informative evening for future students and their parents. The event is designed to give high schools students an insight into the degrees on offer from UNSW Engineering and Science.
Register and information at:


*Light refreshments will be served after the presentations. 

Applying to the Australian Defence Force Academy

It is advised that students wishing to study at ADFA apply in year 11 as it is a competitive selection process which may take up to 12 months to complete.

Gaining entry to ADFA is a dual process which requires students to apply directly to the Australian Defence Force while also applying concurrently to UNSW ADFA through UAC.  

An offer to study at ADFA is conditional to meeting the academic requirements of UNSW as well as the mental and physical requirements of the Australian Defence Force. 


Australian Defence Force Careers Information Session

Wednesday March 16th 6:00pm at Defence Force Recruiting Wollongong- Level 2, 96 Crown Street, Wollongong.

Find out more about available roles.
To book your spot, email cptwollongong@dfr.com.au with your details.



Defence Jobs Australia: Learn to be a Leader Facebook Q&A

Wednesday 23rd March, 6:30pm – 8pm (AEDT) @ Facebook

Find out about developing leadership skills as an officer in the Australian Army. On the night, the Q&A will appear as a post on the Defence Jobs Australia Facebook page, where participants can post their questions in the comments section and have them answered.



Australian Defence Force Gap Year

Applications for a 2017 gap year open in March 2016.

The ADF Gap Year program provides an opportunity for young Australians who have finished year 12 or equivalent, aged between 17 and 24, to experience military training & lifestyle whilst gaining new skills over a paid Gap Year.



Defence Work Experience Opportunities
There are numerous work experience programs listed for all aspects of the Defence Force. They will provide an opportunity to get a taste of the job as well as learn more about the ADF and Public Service. 


Defence Jobs Australia Youtube Channel

The Defence Jobs Australia Youtube Channel is the organisation’s sole video channel. The site can be of use to future ADF applicants to research job roles and get an understanding about life in the Defence Force.



UNSW Year 12 Medicine Information Evening

24th March 2016, 6pm to 8pm, Sir John Clancy Auditorium, UNSW Kensington

During the evening information will be provided on the UNSW Medicine degree, regarding application, admissions and tips for the UMAT exam. Registrations open 29th February at 5pm.



Before You Sign Up to a Training Course – Know Your Rights

NSW Fair Trading is running an education campaign to alert consumers about inappropriate conduct by training providers and marketers in relation to marketing VET FEE-HELP courses. The campaign aims to provide greater awareness and understanding to NSW consumers about their rights and obligations before signing up to a training course.



A Career in Radiation Oncology

Students interested in a career in radiation oncology or those exploring their options can use this site to gain better insight into the field of radiation oncology and what the job entails.  Students are able to read career stories and learn how to start a career in this field.



Skills Road: Job Interviews 101 Checklist

This resource provides tips on job interviews and helpful ways to prepare.



University of Western Sydney College: Foundation and Diploma

Foundation Studies allow guaranteed entry to an undergraduate degree at the University of Western Sydney. An ATAR is not required for entry. From Foundation Studies students can enter the first year of an undergraduate degree or complete a Diploma, which allows them entry into the second year of an undergraduate degree.



Aviation Australia Information Sessions

Cabin Crew: Sydney, 29th June, 6.30 – 8.30pm



The HSC and Careers Expo 2016
2nd – 5th June 2016, Royal Hall of Industries, Moore Park, Sydney
The Expo includes exhibitors from tertiary institutions, training organisations, employers, career and gap year resources. Admission is $10 per person, with school group discounts available.



Western Sydney Careers Expo 16                                                                                                               

The Western Sydney Careers Expo 2016 will be held on Thursday 16 , Friday 17 (9am-3pm), Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 June (10am-3pm) at Halls 5 & 6, Sydney Showground, Corner Showground Road and Grand Parade, Sydney Olympic Park. 



Flyer for UAC talk 2016 - 2 page flyer (1) (1)_Page_1



Viviene Gereige

Vocational Learning Coordinator

Year 11 Ancient History Excursion

On Monday the 7th March 2016, the two Year 11 Ancient History classes went to the Museum of Ancient Cultures at Macquarie University in North Ryde.  There, our knowledge of investigating the past was broadened and we were given the opportunity to understand what archaeologists do once they uncover something from the past.  Whilst at the university, we had the opportunity to explore some of the artefacts that they had on display in the museum while also getting the chance to participate in hands on activities with the artefacts.  The artefacts being displayed were made between 2,000 to 5,000 years ago and it was a surreal moment to realise that the way of life over the past 5,000 years has not markedly changed (apart from the few advances in technology!)  On behalf of both Ancient Classes, I would like to thank Macquarie University for hosting us, letting us observe their wonderful museum and for passing on their knowledge to us.  We all had an amazing time and have learnt so much from this excursion that we will take with us for our future studies in Ancient History.  

By: Soriya Farrah






From the Assistant Principal

Important Dates for Term 1

Friday 11 March: Bethany Day. Dismissal approx 2pm. Normal bus times

Thursday 24 March: Holy Thursday. Normal school hours and sport.

Friday 25 March: Good Friday. School closed

Monday 28 March: Easter Monday. School closed

Friday 8 April: Last day of Term 1. Normal school hours.



jr1There is a substantial body of evidence which supports the link between school attendance and academic growth and positive well being and our own HSC data reflects this.

The College has an obligation to monitor the attendance pattern of enrolled students, and thus Pastoral Coordinators regularly meet with students and communicate with parents regarding absences and lateness. Please remember to provide an explanation for student absences, and support your daughter’s efforts to arrive at school on time by discussing morning routines and being willing to try new routines.





JR2Adolescents often find it hard to get out of bed some days and be positive about going to school and learning. It can be hard to turn the day around when you wake up like this and don’t take steps to start your day in a positive way. Often the approach in the first hour of the day dictates the direction of your day of learning at school.

To ensure your daughter start her mornings well, she need to make sure she has a night-time and wake-up routine.

  1. Set Intentions Before Bed: consciously decide every night to create a positive expectation for the next morning.
  2. She could have her uniform laid out ready and bag packed the night before.
  3. Leave electronic devices out of the room- don’t use them as alarm clocks!
  4. Move the Alarm Clock Across The Room: so she has to get up to turn it off.
  5. Suggest she has an easy breakfast ready in case she is running late such as a banana or two, a muesli bar or muffin.


Jacinta Russo

Assistant Principal




Celebrating Catholic Schools Week 6-12 March 2016

This week, the College celebrated Bethany in Action and Bethany Day within the context of Catholic Schools Week.

One of the major objectives of Catholic Schools Week (CSW) is to raise public awareness of the strengths of Catholic schools and highlight the significant contribution the Catholic education sector makes to our state and nation. CSW is an opportunity to share with the broader community the great things that take place in our schools every day.

The week is designed to be a lively celebration for all who have a stake in our schools – students, staff, families, priests, and parishioners. It is for them to share in the joy and distinctive character of Catholic schools. Schools can, and often do, rely on positive word-of-mouth to build their school’s reputation and promote specific events and programs, but the media role in raising the profile of the Catholic school in the wider community.

The theme for 2016 is ‘I Belong. You Belong. We Belong.’ which aligns with the Catholic Church’s strong focus on supporting refugees and asylum seekers and the need for a compassionate global community.

The theme also ties in with the Catholic Church’s celebration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, which centres on pardon, strength and love.

In this Year of Mercy, Pope Francis is calling on all Catholic communities to extend mercy to those in need, particularly refugees fleeing hunger and war.

Visitors to Bethany were able to witness first-hand all that our school has to offer during Catholic Schools Week. Here is just one of the comments I received this week from a visitor:

“My daughters and I were at your Open Day yesterday afternoon (I also visited your school last year with my husband) and wanted to commend you. Energy, dedication and passion is evident and it is obvious that it permeates through your staff. The teachers we spoke to were brilliant and we very much appreciated the time they afforded us today.Thank you for offering us an opportunity to visit your school.”

My sincere thanks to our Parents and Friends (who ran the BBQ and refreshment stall), staff and students who made the day such a success.

Congratulations to Mya Cox of St Francis Xavier’s school at Arncliffe, the winner of the mini iPad at Bethany in Action.





Myschool website

This week, the Federal Government updated data on schools in their myschool website. We are delighted to report on the Student Gains our school has recorded.

The updated information includes the student learning gains from Year 7 (2013) to Year 9 (2015), our current Year 10 cohort. We are proud of the growth made by all the students within the spectrum of abilities. I include the graphs below that include how the College fared against similar schools across the nation with similar socioeconomic status. We can proudly say that Together, we grow.

Reading, Years 7-9 (2013-2015)


Persuasive Writing, Years 7-9 (2013-2015)




Numeracy, Years 7-9 (2013-2015)













Bethany Day 2016        

The school community if very grateful to Fr Brendan and Fr Janusz for celebrating the Eucharist for us today. We also thank to Mr Culleton for arranging a beautiful liturgical celebration, Mrs Kennaugh, Mrs Moroney, Mr Roberts, Mrs Bennie and the choir, dancers, readers and assistants who helped shape the day and make it special.

In the Gospel today, we have listened to the story that inspires our school’s identity. We know Mary and Martha lived with their brother Lazarus at Bethany, a village not far from Jerusalem. They are mentioned in several episodes in the Gospels. On one occasion, when Jesus and His disciples were their guests, Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him while her sister Martha busied herself with preparing food and waiting on the guests, and when Martha complained, Jesus said that Mary had chosen the better part. When Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha, had died, Jesus came to Bethany. Martha, upon being told that He was approaching, went out to meet Him, while Mary sat still in the house until He sent for her. It was to Martha that Jesus said: “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” Again, about a week before the crucifixion, as Jesus reclined at table, Mary poured a flask of expensive perfume over Jesus’ feet. Mary was criticized for wasting what might have been sold to raise money for the poor, and again Jesus spoke on her behalf.

On the basis of these incidents, I believe we can see Mary as representing Contemplation (prayer and devotion), and Martha as representing Action (good works, helping others).

God used the story of two well-known women in the Bible to demonstrate to us the type of relationship He wants with each of us. I like to think of the story as the Martha syndrome and the Mary solution.

Sometimes we just forget how big our God is and we run around with what I call the “Martha Syndrome” trying to make everything just right when all we need to do is just Trust in the Lord with all our hearts.

Remember, Jesus told us to seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto us. That’s what Mary did. She sought Jesus first. This is what I call the “Mary Solution.” But Martha was concerned about: What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink?

Martha’s external behaviour at first appeared to be true servant hood.  She was the one who put on the apron and went to work in the task of serving others.  But her treatment of Mary soon revealed a serious defect in her servant’s heart.  She allowed herself to become censorious and sharp-tongued.  Such words in front of other guests were certain to humiliate Mary.  Martha either gave no thought to the hurtful effect of her words on her sister, or she simply didn’t care.

Furthermore, Martha was wrong in her judgment of Mary.  She assumed Mary was being lazy.  In reality, Mary was the one whose heart was in the right place.  Her motives and desires were more commendable than Martha’s.  Jesus knew it, even though no mere mortal could ever make that judgment by observing the external behaviour of the two women.  But Jesus knew it because He knew the hearts of both women.

Martha’s behaviour shows how subtly and sinfully human pride can corrupt even the best of our actions.  What Martha was doing was by no means a bad thing.  She was waiting on Christ and her other guests.  In a very practical and functional sense, she was acting as servant to all, just as Christ had so often commanded.  She no doubt began with the best of motives and the noblest of intentions.

But the moment she stopped listening to Christ and made something other than Him the focus of her heart and attention, her perspective became very self-centred.  At that point, even her service to Christ became tainted with self-absorption and spoiled by a very uncharitable failure to assume the best of her sister.

Let us,  on this day, remember to put Christ at the focal centre of our lives, no matter how difficult that may be. We try to live out our motto by believing in the best of others not by being self-absorbed.

Our Bethany Day award is dedicated to a student who has most personified our motto:

Over 200 students responded to my survey about who would be a worthy recipient and today I could have given away over 200 ipads. The Pastoral Team (YCs and Mrs Russo) reviewed the nominations and settled on this one student.

Remember we asked for someone who is not just pretty or nice but someone who actually lives out our motto daily. Here are just three of the comments about this student, let us call her X!

X is always kind and generous, she is extremely polite to teachers and students and treats everybody equally. X constantly takes care of the girls around her by going out of her way to write messages to their parents to remind them that their daughter has an early leave or has an excursion etc.

X is the most selfless person I have ever met.   Every day she eats lunch with students that most girls don’t even acknowledge. She talks to them and helps them get to class, not out of pity or to inflate her own ego but out of genuine care and interest.   Last year I missed out on six weeks of school work for a subject we both take. It was a part of the HSC course and around this time you would expect people to guard their notes, but she offered to explain every single thing I missed, let me copy her notes so that I wouldn’t fall behind, and continues to always offer her support if I’m ever having trouble understanding something.  She is hardworking, intelligent, humble and inspires me to become a better person. She constantly puts others before herself and never asks for anything in return. I am proud to call her my friend.

X deserves this award. She is one of kindest person I have ever met that gives up her time to others. When I struggle with maths, she constantly helps me and offers advice. She also treats everyone with respect and will always have a smile on her face. She says hello to everyone and knows when to ask for help. She works hard at school and also works hard building and maintaining friendships. She waits for her friends with we are taking longer to get out of class and countless times has given up her time to explain an aspect of chemistry or just to listen to others. These small things show that she is a kind and compassionate person that therefore upholds the values of Bethany and should be receiving this Award.

Our Bethany Day award winner for 2016 is ISABELLA ALEKSOVSKA of Year 12. Congratulations Isabella and well done on being such a selfless, faith-filled young woman.




35 Years of Service

On the 8 March 2016, during Catholic Schools Week, the Sydney Catholic Schools office held a recognition ceremony for those teachers who have dedicated 35 years or more by teaching in a Catholic school in Sydney.  We have eight such dedicated staff:

  • Mrs Robyn Allan
  • Mr Gregg Conroy
  • Mr Patrick Curry
  • Mr Peter Hulme
  • Ms Wendy Munro
  • Mr John Raftery
  • Mrs Jann Symes
  • Mr Mark Weber



Many of those years have been serving the Bethany College, St Joseph’s and St Mary’s Communities.  Ultimately, the Catholic teacher’s vocation, as are all vocations, is born from Christ’s command, “As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Whether a teacher teaches business studies or maths, history or science, the reason for teaching at all, that call, that vocation is to bring students to an awareness of the first part of that command, that they are loved. And this inspires in them a commitment to the second,  that they are called themselves to live for others. Christ could have chosen any title for himself, any way of life, but from all the world’s possibilities he chose to be called, “Teacher,” and continues his work by calling teachers to do his work today. We give thanks for our teaching faculty and in particular, the eight staff recognised this week. I urge students who come across these teachers to personally thank them and express their gratitude.




Our mantra:

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