From the Principal

Celebrating 130 Years and more

Dear Parents, Students and Friends

On 2 July this year we celebrate 130 years of Marist College North Shore. In 1884 the Parish Priest of North Sydney, a Jesuit, Fr Kelly (Kelly House) invited the Marist Brothers to open a school on this site. It would, in fact, be only the fourth school opened by the Marists in Australia.

It was another 4 years, in 1888, that the school was opened with three Marist Brothers at the helm.  The Principal was Br Walter Moore (Moore House). He was a good leader and teacher but unfortunately was very sick with tuberculosis, and sadly died in 1891 at the age of 31.  The youngest brother was Br Michael Murphy, aged 20 , and the third brother was Br Wilfred Priestman, aged 41, who had no training as a teacher.

It would be reasonable to think that with such a relatively inexperienced staff and a very unwell principal that the early years would have been a struggle and the school slow to progress. This, however, was not the case. By the end of 1888 the enrolments had grown to over one hundred students.

North Sydney in 1888 was a very different place than today, it was a very poor town with a poor community. The workforce was made up of workers, labourers and tradesmen, building up this side of the harbour. As school fees were not paid regularly, to stay financially viable each year the parish priests had to support the principal of the time, helping to manage the college debt.

1888 was one hundred years after the First Fleet arrived in Sydney Harbour. There would have been members of the Cammeraygal, Gorualgal people still living in the area. There was no Harbour Bridge and only ferry transport from Sydney.

There was no Federation of Australia, the Northern Territory and ACT did not exist as States. Rugby League did not exist - No Manly Sea Eagles! There were very few roads in this area, no railway, no radio and no TV. 

What was present from the beginning of the school was a great relationship between the Jesuit priests of this parish and the Marist Brothers. The Jesuits have been a constant influence on this school over all of these years and are still influencing us in ways of their Ignatian Spirituality.

When I look at photos of boys from this early school they looked a bit rough not the dignified young men that we work with today. But in other ways they could be our students today.

From the outset, this school grew with the care of the Marist Brothers. Their charism was present and I believe that we owe a debt to the founders of this school and to the teachers and students over the years. It is the value they placed on family spirit and their relationship with Jesus and his good Mother that have carry us through many years and it still continues today. 

Here we are today. The beneficiaries of 130 years of the Marists and of Marist College here at North Sydney. We have traditions and values in our school that have been handed down through generations, from older brothers and from older students to younger brothers and younger students over the many years. To today where we are seeing great strength in our current senior leaders and our 2018 Year 12s who have begun so strongly as a group.

We have this legacy of a great school and it is up to our school community to make sure that our values and beliefs get passed onto to as many students for future years.

Tony Duncan

From the Assistant Principal

Goal setting and more

The beginning of the year is a chance for each student to set goals for the academic year. As active and continual learners, it is essential that each boy takes the time to plan, put into place and reflect on how they may achieve their personal best throughout 2018. Parents and students this week had the chance to sit with the Tutor to set out a plan for the goals for the year. By setting achievable goals, the boys take ownership of the direction that they take in their learning and therefore, have the opportunity to reflect on the goals and measure how they are going. 

With goals setting in mind, I would ask each boy, no matter whether in Year 7 and just beginning or Year 12, to continue to challenge and extend themselves. Successful, self directed learners place high expectations on themselves and their peers to always do their best. The College’s continued emphasis on Growth and Fixed Mindset concepts support goal setting and is well placed to support the goal setting process. Often times, success breeds success, and so I would encourage all students to set expectations and goals which are not only achievable, and therefore successful, but goals which continue to challenge and create opportunities for growth as independent learners.

Throughout the year the boys will be given every opportunity to explore ways of achieving their learning goals. I would encourage them to continue to speak with the Tutor and House Coordinator about areas such as study skills, time management and note taking to assist them in succeeding in doing their very best in 2018.
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Faith Formation

Captains Address

Click here for Felix Jenney's Commencement Mass Speech

Commencement Mass 2018

Commencement Mass

Last Friday the College community gathered together for the Commencement Mass to celebrate the start of another school year and to ask for God’s blessings on the year ahead. This Mass is steeped in tradition and really does highlight the sense of community that we have here at Marist College North Shore.

During the Mass, we commissioned our new College Banner. Due to its extensive usage over many decades, the existing banner had become frail and needed to be preserved as a valuable artifact in the history of the College. During the Mass, our College Vice Captain Riley Sanders processed out of the church with the old banner for the final time before Felix Jenney, the College Captain, brought forth the new banner for Fr Andrew Bullen SJ to bless it. It was observed how silent the congregation was as everyone present witnessed this historic moment unfold. 

For his Homily, Fr Andrew focussed on the rich symbols that we have as a school. His special focus was on our Marist Heart. This heart was introduced to the College community in 2012 and since then, the name of every staff member, student and priest has been added to the heart during the Commencement Mass. The Marist Heart is more than just a symbol. It has a great religious and spiritual significance that can sometimes be overlooked. Saint Marcellin Champagnat carried the love of Jesus in his heart and valued every possible opportunity to meet and talk with young people about how deeply God loved them. Through our names being added, we are reminded that we all have, and always will have, a special place in the heart of the Marist College North Shore family and so too, in the heart of Jesus. Fr Andrew reminded us about the flames which sit atop the Heart, symbolic of the fire of God’s love for all of us. Next time you look at the Marist Heart, I would encourage you to reflect on these elements and what it means to you as a member of our community.

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Chess Club

With the new year well and truly kicking off, it would be remiss not to announce that Chess Club is returning for another year of friendly and competitive chess. All members of the College community are invited, regardless of skill level, and no application is needed! Simply come up to Room 19 during lunchtime on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to practice your chess skills with friends and students from other year groups.
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Music Tuition Program 2018

Welcome to the 39 new Year 7 students who have joined the Music Tuition Program offered at Marist College North Shore. I have been impressed with their enthusiasm and organisation they have displayed with the commencement of their first lesson. They have shown initiative in asking questions and have revealed that they have embraced high school with their independence and strong communication skills.

Currently we have 68 students enrolled in Music Tuition ranging form Year 7 through to Year 12. Each student in the program has goals and their individualised pathway as the curriculum is adjusted for their learning needs and interests. Some students use the Music Tuition Program in preparation for the HSC performance examination, some students prepare for AMEB and Trinity Examinations and may students embrace a holistic approach to their education by learning a musical instrument.

There are many benefits in learning a musical instrument including:
  • Self Expression 
  • Intrinsic enjoyment
  • Concentration and focus
  • Self discipline
  • Increases memory
  • Improves time management and organisational skills
  • Develops perseverance
  • Coordination skills
  • Improved mathematical ability
  • Improving reading and comprehension skills
  • Cultural and historical awareness 
  • Social skills in joining the Band
  • To bring enjoyment and happiness to those who listen to music
The music tutors in conjunction with Mr Rod Herbert aim to enhance student’s musical ability and appreciation through the Music Tuition Program and the College’s Band Program. There are many exciting events planned for the Band this year and students can reap the rewards of actively engaging in College life to make the most of their schooling.

There are still openings in all musical instrument areas for those students yet to join or re enrol from last year. If you wish to find out more about the program please contact:
Carolyn O’Brien:
Rod Herbert:

Carolyn O’Brien
CAPA leader of Learning

Newman Program

Parent Meeting

Newman Selective Gifted Education Program
Year 7 Parent Information Meeting

To inform Year 7 parents in their understanding the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program a Parent Information Meeting has been arranged on Friday 23 February in the Academic Resource Centre 5.00 - 5.30pm. The aim of the meeting is to inform Year 7 parents and caregivers, whose son is in a Newman class, what occurs in a Newman classroom and to provide information about the gifted and talented program offered at Marist College North Shore.

At the presentation the following areas will be explained:
  • Characteristics of gifted and talented students
  • The identification process 
  • The core aims and focus of the Newman Selective Gifted Education Program
  • Differentiation, acceleration and assessment
  • Compacting the curriculum 
  • The Enrichment Project, Presentation or Activity
  • The College’s Newman Selective Gifted Education Symposium - Wednesday 5 December 2018
  • Teacher professional development
  • How you can support your son’s learning through partnerships
I hope the information can provide insights into how we at the College can best support the students is achieving their potential.

Carolyn O’Brien
Director of Diverse Learning
Newman Facilitator


Ash Wednesday

On Wednesday 14 February the Marist College North Shore community, in solidarity with millions of other Christians, took time out of the busyness of the day to make space for God and to mark the beginning of the season of Lent.

We listened to the scripture readings proclaimed by our student leaders and staff and then took time to reflect on what Ash Wednesday calls each of us to do regardless of whether we profess the Catholic faith. The boys were challenged to think of Lent as not purely a time for donating to charity and giving up some creature comfort, but to consider more fully the reason behind why these things occur. 

We are called in Lent to make sacrifices not to be miserable and gloomy, but to symbolically and consciously make space in our lives to hear what God is saying to us and reflect on who He is calling each of us to be. In this Lenten season we might all benefit from putting aside some time for personal reflection and examination so that we may take stock of our lives and let go of the habits and attitudes that are no longer serving us so we can better serve God and the world around us.

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P&F Welcome Drinks




This is a forum for all boys and their parents.  
Past high achieving Year 12 students will give valuable advice and tips on how to achieve excellent results.

School Notices

Mannequin Required

One of our Year 12 students requires a mannequin to assist him with his major work.  If you have one available (that can be used until July 2018), could you please contact the school office on 9957 5000.

Catholic Schools Week





MCNS  6/134   Ashfield 91


MCNS 4120
MCNS 6525


MCNS  612
MCNS 43  

Congratulations Adrian

Adrian with School Captain, Felix Jenney

Congratulations to Adrian in Year 8 Kelly 1 who is currently in the Opera Australia's production of Bizet's Carmen. Adrian has been working hard at many rehearsals in preparation for this popular opera full of energy and excitement. Where there are gypsy girls, bull fighters, soldiers and smugglers set in Spain with dynamic energy, love and loss. If you wish to see Adrian, Carmen is on at the Sydney Opera House until 23 March and he will be in 16 performances.

Adrian has been in several operas before including Puccini's La Boheme and Tosca and also an earlier production of Carmen. Adrian started his involvement in operas in 2011 and is now a seasoned performer. What a fantastic achievement and experience for Adrian and we wish him all the best with Carmen and future operatic experiences.

Athletes interested in studying in the USA?

This March EducationUSA will bring Ashley Thornburg, Associate Director NCAA Eligibility Centre (bio below), to Sydney to speak with student athletes interested in pursuing university sports in the U.S. Some of you may have met Ashley when she was in Sydney in 2016.

Ashley will hold two public Information Sessions while in Sydney. One on Thursday 15 March 6:00pm-7:30pm at Meriden School, Strathfield, the other Friday 16 March 5:00pm-6:30pm at Freshwater Senior Campus, Northern Beaches Secondary College, Harbord. These sessions are open to students, parents, careers advisors, teachers, coaches and anyone else interested in the NCAA.

Further information on studying in the US:

Associate Director, NCAA Eligibility Center

Ashley Thornburg is an associate director at the NCAA Eligibility Center. She has been with the Eligibility Center since its inception in 2007. Ashley oversees the amateurism certification department's quality control and customer service efforts. Prior to joining the Eligibility Center, Ashley worked at Indiana University and held an internship with the Horizon League.

Ann McGovern
Director of Teaching and Learning