From the Principal

Parent Involvement and more

Dear Parents, Students and Friends,

The Rohingya People

Next week Pope Francis will visit Myanmar and then follow directly onto Bangladesh. It amazes me that the Pope is the world leader who has chosen to visit this most difficult situation.

The Rohingya people are a stateless Indo-Aryan people from Rakhine State, Myanmar. There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar before the 2016–17 crisis. They now list more than 900,000 as refugees in Bangladesh and 400,000 remaining in Myanmar. The Rohingya refugee situation in Bangladesh must be quickly becoming impossible.

Being a stateless people is a sad concept. It would be difficult to face every day rejection from your home in Myanmar and unwelcome in Bangladesh. Both countries sit on the dark side of poverty.

Over the weekend the news (ABC) indicated that the Rohingya refugees now face water shortages as their wells are running dry. This on top of the issues of disease makes this a very tough situation.

I think that we should pray for the Pope and for the success of his visit. This is a most courageous venture but also one that may raise the issue of these poor people on the world stage.

Parent Involvement

I have called a meeting this Wednesday evening to discuss parent involvement in our community. Marist has a history of having a most supportive parent community. I am looking for some help in continuing this tradition. We are gathering in the Academic Resource Centre this Wednesday evening at 7pm. The meeting should go for an hour.

Newman Selective Gifted Education Symposium

This year in Year 7 Marist began a Gifted and Talented program called Newman. The program will continue next year with classes in Year 7 and 8. Our Director of Diverse Learning, Carolyn O’Brien, has done some wonderful work in building the foundations for this program at the school. Parents are most welcome to visit our showcase of Newman enrichment activities and projects from Year 7 students including interactive presentations and displays across the curriculum.

Tony Duncan


From the Assistant Principal

Attendance and more

As we progress into the second half of Term 4, some students might attempt to convince parents that there is little learning taking place at school and therefore infer it is acceptable to stay at home. Valuable learning experiences continue to take place until the last day of the school year. Generally, the attendance of the boys at MCNS is quite pleasing and is reflected in their general wellbeing and attitude to learning. I would encourage parents to support the College and ensure that students maintain a regular pattern of attendance and continue with their learning and social experiences for the remainder of the year.

Significant dates for the remainder of Term 4
Years 7 and 8 are in the middle of their Assessment Week which started on Monday 20th November. Year 10 will have a week of activities also beginning Friday 1 December. Year 10 and 11 Champagnat Gold is Tuesday 5 December. The final day for Years 10 and 11 will be Monday 11th December. Years 7, 8 and 9 have Champagnat Gold on Tuesday 12 December and conclude on Wednesday 13 December.

Optional End-of-year Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews
The teaching staff will be available for optional Parent/Teacher/Student interviews on: Thursday 14 December in the College Hall from 9am-11am. No appointments are necessary.

The uniform shop will be open on Wednesday 10am - 2pm. The last day for the uniform shop in 2017 will be Wednesday 6 December.

Marys House
This year MCNS is supporting Marys House, a refuge for Women and Children escaping domestic violence. Year 10 students together with Mount St Benedict College will participate in a dance on Friday (during school hours) to show their support for this charity. They are also selling wristbands to their peers to raise money over the coming week. We invite families to make a donation toward this worthy cause, clearly label envelope with Marys House and hand into the school office by Friday 24 November.

Rick Grech
Deputy Headmaster

Faith Formation

Australian Catholic Youth Festival and Leadership

Australian Catholic Youth Festival

On December 7, 8 and 9 all of Year 10 plus a core group of students from Years 9 and 11 will attend the Australian Catholic Youth Festival. Approximately 20,000 young people from across Australia will gather at Olympic Park and later at the Domain for one of the largest youth gatherings since Sydney hosted World Youth Day in 2008.

At the Australian Catholic Youth Festival, there really is something for everyone. Concerts; talks on life issues such as bioethics, sexual ethics and environmental ethics; vocational information such as marriage and single life, and of course, very Catholic activities such as Catechesis, Reconciliation, Adoration and Mass. The structure of the festival allows students to pick and choose what they want to go to and the great thing is that they will meet so many new people from all walks of life.

It would be disappointing for a ‘spate of illnesses’ to hit during this event as some students have already alluded to. These are official school days and attendance is expected. I can only encourage parents to support us in providing this opportunity for your son.

Unfortunately, for many of our students, they see the word ‘Catholic’ and start to become negative. In meeting with Year 10 last week, I challenged them to be open to new experiences - to be positive and not to ‘have to hate’ their faith. Many expressed negativity before their Reflection Day with Chris Doyle at the start of the year but left feeling energised and united as a group. I am certain that if our boys enter into the Australian Catholic Youth Festival with enthusiasm and with an open mind and heart, they too will benefit from the experience.

Student Leadership

I have been very impressed with the work of our Student Leadership Team this term. As they have been settling into their new portfolios, the boys have had opportunities to represent the College in more formal ways. Two of the more recent events were The Archbishop of Sydney Student Leadership Forum and the Marist Student Leaders Gathering in Mittagong. Each of these events explored leadership in different ways and our students came back with new perspectives and tools to help them on their leadership journey. Below, Frederick Krisman shares his experience with you.

Mr Anthony Munro
Director of Faith Formation

Archbishops Meeting

Several of the College’s student leaders (Riley Sanders, Frederick Krisman, Ethan Cook and Felix Jenney) were cordially invited by the Archbishop of Sydney, Anthony Fisher OP, on Tuesday 7 November to participate in a day of discussion with leaders from other schools at St Mary’s Cathedral. The purpose of this was to strengthen the role of the youth in influencing our society, and how student leaders can collaborate with students to foster a safe and supportive learning environment.

Perhaps the most resonating part of this day was Archbishop Fisher’s speech on the nature of our discussions. He explored the nature of our conversations with each other, and that there are clear distinctions between simply talking and engaging in proper discussion. Archbishop Fisher encouraged us, as student leaders, to converse by taking into account the suggestions of our peers, and actively listening. True conversation, according to the Archbishop, is not a one-sided discussion, but rather one which involves the community as a whole.

This speech was a precursor to the discussion activities that would take place, with questions such as how could the Church and school help student leaders being issues of discussion. We were split up into groups with students from other schools to facilitate an inter-school discussion. The Archbishop then listened to some of the thoughts from student leaders around the room, before offering his own responses. This was then concluded with the opportunity for students to ask the Archbishop questions relating to any topic.

Afterwards, we headed to a brief church service, where the Archbishop read out scripture and gave a representative from each school “leadership candles” to take back to school. The candle will be used in all student leadership meetings at the College from now on. The service was followed by a light lunch and a tour of St Mary’s Cathedral by Mr Munro.

I’d like to thank Mr Munro for the opportunity to experience an event such as this. The day provided some interesting perspectives on the nature of conversation, and the role that the youth have in our future society.

Frederick Krisman
Academic Captain 2017/18


Wadeye Immersion students continue to contribute

Last week, some of the Wadeye Immersion students kindly came to my Year 8 English class to assist with the planning of the Indigenous PBL experience. Nick Krahmalov, Will McGarr, Callum Brown and Will Cardwell all benefited greatly from Rohan Geraghty and Jacob Smith's insights into indigenous culture. As a result, the Year 8 boys are planning to develop a network of indigenous food markets to promote this aspect of First Australian society. Thank you also to Cameron Jenkins and Will Geeves; you are keeping the spirit of immersion alive.
Philipa Tlaskal
English Teacher



Newman Program

Newman Symposium

2017 Year 7 Newman Selective Gifted Education Program Symposium

On Wednesday 29 November the Year 7 Newman Selective Gifted Education Program students will be presenting their enrichment projects and activities to the College community. Students have worked diligently developing their creative and critical thinking skills, problem solving abilities, investigating real world issues and processes, collaborative practices, and integrating their personal areas of passion, needs and curiosity.

Each subject will be displaying their enrichment projects and activities coupled with gifted strategies used in the classroom focusing on areas such as; Cultures of Thinking, new technologies and deep thinking protocols.

The 2017 Newman students and teachers would like to invite you to see their enrichment projects and gifted learning experiences.

The Technology students under the guidance of Mr Sherringham and Mr Dowe have forged ahead integrating STEM philosophies into their enrichment project. In groups of four, students have created CO2 drag racing cars through a series of activities embedded in gifted educational practice.

Firstly, the students individually researched the aerodynamics of a variety of machines to inform their designs. Then they used a software program to translate their research into a virtual design where its aerodynamics and design was evaluated and modified. In each group one design was selected to be brought into reality through the three dimensional printer. There will be a ‘race off’ during the Newman Symposium to see the fastest and most aerodynamic design. Mathematics skills will be integrated as times will be measured to provide data for ergonomic evaluation. Their collaborative process was built on research, evaluation, modification, problem solving, and regular check ins which is the foundation of 21st century life skills.

In Science the students under the guidance of Mr Woodham have delved into the topic of Transplantation. The students have explored the scientific and ethical aspects of this topic such as the illegal organ trade, transfusions, artificial limb replacement, artificial organs, future technologies, dialysis versus kidney transplantation, 3D organ printing, and much more. In Music, under the guidance of Mr McDonnell student have used musical software to create a contemporary backing track to accompany their performance. The aim was to improve the boys skills in using music technology as well as developing their musicianship - the digital environment demands a very high level of accuracy in performing and recording.

These are only three of the exciting enrichment projects which will be on display at the2017 Year 7 Newman Selective Gifted Education Program Symposium: 
Date: Wednesday 29th November 2017
Time:3.00 - 6.00pm
Location: Academic Resource Centre, College Hall and nearby classrooms

Carolyn O’Brien
Director of Diverse Learning
Newman Project Leader


Vinnies Appeal

For many people, Christmas is a joyful time of year. However, the sad reality is that 13.3% of Australians are living in poverty. Of these, 731,000 are children who may not get their Christmas wish. But your support can make a difference.  This year, Vinnies have helped over 1.3million people - together with St Vincent de Paul - let’s help create a joyful Christmas for these people.

We are asking for our school community to bring in the following items:
Christmas cakes and puddings
Tin hams
Mince pies
Sweets and chocolates
Soft drink
Pasta and pasta sauce
Tinned - tuna, salmon, soup, spaghetti, baked beans
Breakfast cereals
Tea and coffee
And TOYS - aimed at children 10 years or younger.

As a school community we will donate these items to create Christmas hampers.  Each tutor group will be given baskets to fill with the donated goods.  Last year, as a school community, we donated over 75 Christmas hampers - this year I challenge you to do better - to donate more!

Let’s make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate this Christmas.

Your generosity is greatly appreciated - Thank you!

Gabrielle Nicholson
Solidarity Coordinator

School Notices

Christmas Celebrations

Uniform Shop

A VERY BIG THANK YOU to everyone, in advance, who have volunteered to assist with the Year 7 Uniform Fitting Day on Saturday 25 November 2017.

During Term 4 we have experimented with opening the Uniform Shop on a Tuesday morning as well as the normal Wednesday – sadly to say it has not been successful and will not open in 2018, we will however open for the next 2 Tuesdays.  Thank you to the volunteers who assisted me on the Tuesday mornings.

Opening on a Tuesday during Term 1, 2018 is still under consideration.

June Mitchell
Uniform Shop

Supporting Marys House

Community Notices

Darkroom Photography Equipment

With the refurbishment of the Art rooms the darkroom photography equipment is no longer required. The following equipment will be available for students and families to take for their own use at home:
* Photography enlargers

* Timers
* Filters
* Developing tubs and accessories
* Print dryer

* Red safety lights

Please note no chemicals are available nor photographic paper or film.

If you wish to adopt the darkroom photography equipment please contact Carolyn O'Brien by Friday 1st December. After that date the equipment will be dispatched.

Carolyn O'Brien 
CAPA Leader of Learning

St. Mary's Christmas Program


Hospitality Excursion

Year 10 Food Technology Excursion to the International College of Management Sydney

The Year 10 Food Technology class were invited to attend an information and activity day at ICMS in Manly.  Students were introduced to a working industrial kitchen and given a challenge to plate up and style a chocolate dessert creation.

Ingredients were given to make a rich chocolate cake, a chocolate mousse, a chocolate ganache, with fresh strawberries and cream.

The winner for this challenge was Cameron Kong with second place given to Vincent O’Grady.

Lunch was a traditional sit down meal with 3 courses which was eaten and enjoyed in the beautiful ICMS grand dining hall.   After lunch we were given a brief tour of the college facilities and then had some free time before returning to school.

A big thank you to Bryn James and Chef Felix from IMCS for their time and attention to make our visit an enjoyable one.  Also, I'd like to thank Ms Eggins for taking time out of her busy schedule to join us on this valuable learning experience.

Tammie Jakstas 
Hospitality Teacher

Summer programme for Year 11 and 12

The School for Excellence (TSFX) is running free workshops for Year 11 and 12 students at the University of Sydney again during the Christmas holidays.

The following Year 12 subjects will be covered (8 January - 23 January 2018)
: Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, English Advanced, English Standard, General Mathematics, Legal Studies, Mathematics, Mathematics Extension 1, Mathematics Extension 2, Modern History, PDHPE, Physics, Studies of Religion. 

The Year 11 areas to be covered (15 January - 23 January 2018): Advanced Study Skills Program, Biology, Business Studies, Chemistry, Economics, English Advanced, English Standard, Maths Advanced, Maths Extension, Maths Standard, Physics, This program is relevant to all Year 11 students.

For more information, please go to the TSFX website:

Ann McGovern

Director of Teaching and Learning

Students wishing to study overseas

US Embassy information sessions for students wishing to study overseas

Education USA (the official US Embassy source for higher education) will be running information sessions for parents, students and coaches in January for those students who are considering tertiary education in the USA. There are two sessions on offer, one on the 19 January and another on the 24 January 2018. Registration for the event is required and can be completed here:
Ann McGovern

Director of Teaching and Learning