From the Principal

Reflection and more

Dear Parents, Students and Friends


We are in the last fortnight of the Church season of Lent. The readings at Mass are building towards the Crucifiction of Jesus on Good Friday and then the moment of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. Next Sunday, Palm Sunday, is remembering Jesus entering Jerusalem and the long reading of the Passion of Jesus.

Fr Andy Bullen SJ, Parish Priest of the Our Lady of the Way Parish North Sydney, says: Through the Cross, Jesus enters into the worst that human beings can inflict so that he can be with us in our sufferings - so a gospel of “solidarity”, to use a potent word in recent history.

I have used below the Opening Prayer for the Marist Schools Australia Principals’ Conference last week in Brisbane:

Today Lord, I choose life.

I choose your love and the challenge to live it and share it.
I choose hope, even in moments of darkness.
I choose faith, accepting you as Lord and God.
I choose to let go of some part of my burdens,
day by day handing them over to you.
I choose to take hold of your strength and
power ever more deeply in my life.
May this truly be for me a time of new life,
of change, challenge and growth.
May I come to Easter with a heart open to dying with you
and rising to your new life, day by day.

Combined Concert Night

Last Tuesday evening MCNS hosted a visit from the USA Fort Collins High School Band Orchestra and Choir. It featured 215 music students: a 70 piece band, a 70 piece orchestra, and a 50 piece choir. On the night the Fort Collins musicians joined with our own MCNS 50 piece band to play a concert overture written by our Rod Herbert for Marist in 2007.

The sound on the night was amazing. Our students had to learn a number of complex pieces and had been practicing on Sunday afternoons since last year. It was wonderful to see our students working with the Fort Collins students. Such a great learning experience. We are grateful to Rod Herbert for his inspiration in hosting the night. Rod coordinated the supply of instruments, the catering for the crowd and the concert itself.

CSDA Public Speaking Grand Final at Marist

Again this year MCNS hosted the grand final of the CSDA Public Speaking Competition. Two of our speakers, Ryan Mirabelli (Yr 12) and Taras Myronov (Yr 7) got through to this stage of the competition, which began with approximately 700 speakers from Catholic Schools in Sydney.

The level of the speeches is always strong in this competition. The adjudicators for the senior division said that this senior grand final was a level above previous years. I would have to agree that each of the speakers did a wonderful job.

We are grateful to Janette Durand for coordinating the Marist Team and the CSDA Grand Final. Peter Sherringham oversaw the supply of the hospitality for our guests. Under the supervision of Rochelle Eggins, the Hospitality students did a great job with supper.

Tony Duncan

From the Assistant Principal

Diary, Transport and more

Student Diary

I ask parents to assist your sons in using our College diary so that it can encourage them to be organised, set clear learning goals, develop a study program and to engage in a discussion about the importance of learning. Students should be using their diary to record and monitor any work that is due, either formal or informal. I urge parents to regularly check their son’s diary and discuss their goals and progress in learning.


A reminder that all students must be wearing the correct winter uniform at the beginning of Term 2. Blazers for Year 7-10 students are available for purchase from the Uniform Shop. Senior Blazers are available for collection upon payment of balance owing. Finally, now might be time for the boys to try on their long trousers to see if they still fit. Trousers are also available from the Uniform Shop. The school holiday break is also a perfect opportunity to ensure that the school shirt and long pants fit correctly and school shoes have been cleaned and polished and to visit the hairdresser.

Student Transport

There continues to be ongoing issues with complaints from members of the public regarding boys travelling to and from school on public transport. Support from parents is required to ensure that all boys understand the requirements of travelling and moving in public.

Firstly, boys should be utilising School Bus services as a priority. They must ensure they tap on and off with their OPAL card. Secondly, it is imperative that the safety of the student and other passengers is respected. Finally, when travelling on public buses or trains, it is a requirement that any student must not occupy a seat when a paying adult passenger is standing. This is not only a condition of the free OPAL card travel system, but more importantly, a non negotiable of all Marist boys in understanding how to travel with respect. I have included the student codes of conduct that apply to buses and trains in NSW.

Code of conduct for school students on buses

Behaviour on buses

  • Use appropriate language not offensive or racist language
  • Fighting, spitting, feet on seats, throwing things in or from the bus is not permitted
  • No eating or drinking (other than water) - unless for medical reasons or the bus operator gives written permission.
  • Offer seats to adults including people with a disability, elderly or expectant mothers
  • Do not push or shove other people
  • Do not bully or harass other passengers or the driver
  • Avoid attracting the attention of the driver except in the case of emergency
  • Do not play music at such volume that it may distract the bus driver or other passengers.
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Faith Formation

Year 10 Reflection Day & more

Year 10 Reflection Day

On Friday 16 March Year 10 gathered in La Valla Hall to participate in their Reflection Day which was facilitated by Mr Chris Doyle. The students explored what it means to be a good person, a good Christian and a good citizen in society through singing, dancing, praying and discussion based activities. Having focussed on the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God, Year 10 left the day with new perspectives on life and how to treat each other with respect, kindness and love.

I would like to commend Year 10 on how well they entered into the day. They were a credit to themselves and the College.

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Creative and Performing Arts

Art Express

The excursion to the Art Gallery of NSW to visit Art Express involved art students from Years 10, 11 and 12. Attending the exhibition opened our eyes to the capabilities of senior art students across the state. The range of works and exploration of varied media was impressive and provided inspiration for each of us. During the gallery visit we had the opportunity to visit the permanent collection and familiarise ourselves with the gallery space. It was a beneficial afternoon that left most students with a range of ideas to explore in future artworks.

Elliot Inman
Year 10 Visual Arts

MCNS Music Performance Evening Concert

On Tuesday 13 March Marist College North Shore hosted Fort Collins High School from Denver, USA in a combined concert showcasing the incredible talent and expertise in their musicianship. This spectacular event was initiated by Mr Rod Herbert our College Band Coordinator who had the inspiration and vision to connect the two high schools from across the Pacific. There were over 170 students and 10 teachers with 50 parents from Fort Collins High School travelling to Sydney, Brisbane and Cairns to experience our culture, scenery and collaboratively perform with schools. Fort Collins High School has an extensive music program and they toured with a choir which sang selected American folk songs rich in tradition to their culture and experience, a concert band, string band and a full symphony orchestra. Our Concert Band started the concert and the highlight was the combined concert bands in a mega ensemble which performed Star Wars and Mr Rod Herbert’s own composition.

Some reflections from the evening concert:

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! Just plain awesome!!
Wendy Maloney

What a fabulous opportunity for our boys to spend the day with such a huge group of United States visitors this week. I was so pleased to be there to enjoy the concert on Tuesday night. The sheer size of their tour group and the range of musical performances they entertained us with – choir, band and orchestral - was phenomenal. The special combined performance at the end of the concert was a real highlight for me. Congratulations to Rod Herbert and the other teachers who supported him, in coordinating this wonderful event. We should open our doors again to other opportunities to host international visitors.
Jane Partridge

An incredible experience for the College Band to work with the US ensembles seeing the size and scale and level of expertise. Recognising their skill and level and the global connection with music. A rewarding experience for the Band members and for the audience who saw the concert.
Leo Metzker, College Arts and Culture Captain

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Poetry In Action

Poetry In Action returned again to the College this year to take Year 7 on the poet’s quest. There were lots of laughs but also lots of informative points made regarding the beauty and life and how it relates to poetry. What the actors did was show us that poetry is alive and thriving in the 21st century. Here are a couple of student reflections.

Year 7 was lucky enough to experience a performance from Poetry in Action. The title was "The Poet’s Quest", a play about the hero Blake Williams who embarks upon a time-travelling adventure that brings all the joy and fun of language to life.

The performance was dedicated to bringing poetry to life through performance. Everyone laughed and learned with Blake as he mastered the techniques of poetry from some of the greatest poets in history. This play was useful for preparing for Year 7’s next English topic, poetry. All of Year 7 enjoyed the performance because of its entertainment value, engaging storyline and all the tips for writing poetry.

Lachlan Dent

Early morning on Friday a group of three actors (Poetry in Action) arrived and were ready to perform to the whole of Year 7. These actors entertained us with a great adventure through a time travelling, poetic story.

Not only was the story poetic, but it was based on poetry, how it is important and how we can use it in our writing. The marvellous story also fought against mobile phones and other devices, telling the audience to let out your wild imagination and write or speak about poetry.

The story flashed back into the past and explored poets and their work, with these poets the main character (Blake) journeyed through poetry and learnt to be a great writer. However, there was one issue, Blake had gone too far travelling to the unknown future. Poetry In Action pulled off a great performance and later they were to travel across Australia and into New Zealand presenting their creative and entertaining act. I hope to see this group of three again with another extraordinary show. The performance taught Year 7 about rhyme, rhythm, theme and imagery.

Finlay Conlon

JC Burke with Year 11 English

In Year 11 Standard English, the students are studying the novel, The Story of Tom Brennan written by JC Burke. The students were very fortunate to have received a visit from Jane who spoke to them about the novel and how she writes. This novel is studied in the new HSC in the unit of Reading to Write.

On Wednesday 7 March, the Year 11 English Standard classes had a very special guest, to help them in their research for their assessment task. The Year 11 boys are studying ‘The Story of Tom Brennan’, a wonderful book about loss and recovery, and the classes were lucky enough to receive a visit from the author of the novel, J.C. Burke.

J.C. Burke explained the design and original concepts for her work, her ideas and unused approaches to both characters and plot points, as well as her writing style. In her two periods with Year 11, she was able to explain different writing styles and techniques, and how to write in a first person perspective effectively.

Ms Burke even handed around booklets of her original plannings, showing the students how she identifies what should and shouldn’t be used in her story. Her booklets included notes from her editors as well. J.C. explained that feedback and criticism is important for knowing the importance of a story.

J.C. Burke was an informative guest and very helpful to Year 11. She answered important questions about the characters and their thoughts and feelings, and she even gave the boys some laughs with her witty humour.

Burke’s talk to the boys was incredibly helpful, as she helped explain how the writing affects the story, and how she writes dialogue, as well as monologue. After over an hour of her great advice and explanation to the boys, J.C. was given a short, but sweet thank you by our own Caden Becker. After this, she quickly signed the books belonging to the students.

We are very thankful to J.C. Burke for taking the time to talk to us, as we know she is a very busy woman. We hope we are able to have more guests like Ms Burke present to our school in the future to help enhance our education.

Nicholas Davenport
Year 11 English

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Year 7 History

Year 7 History begins with the basic tools and ideas of History, such as Big History, which goes right back as far as the Big Bang which created the Universe.

In Week 3 we carefully handled prehistoric skulls owned by Dr Turner so we could see how our heads have evolved over time.

In order to learn about BC and AD our whole class went down to Manresa Court and stood in a line, we were given a year in BC or AD so we had to arrange ourselves in time order. 

Mr Duncan came in and visited us the day we examined Captain Cooks’ documents and decided which artefacts were secondary and primary sources.

We looked at theories about how all humans started out in Africa, but after we watched a documentary about Mungo Man we realized that maybe the Out of Africa theory was wrong!

We ended up the unit by using our laptops to investigate World Heritage sites and make a poster about one historic site.

Our next topic is Ancient Egypt which we are all looking forward to!

Ben Lucas 
Year 7 History 3


Year 9 Brain Dissection

Year 9 are currently studying about the Nervous System and as part of their learning they performed a dissection of a sheep's brain. The boys were fascinated by the slimy, spongy texture of the brain and were excited to use scalpels to dissect the delicate brain into two hemispheres and make observations of each section.

They also had to identify the brainstem and cerebellum, and make comparisons with the human brain. 

It was an engaging and interesting class for the students, so perhaps this exercise will inspire some of them to become our future neurosurgeons. 

Lee Liao
Science Teacher


Wadeye Clothes Appeal

Immersion Dinner

Our annual Immersion Fundraising Dinner is almost upon us once again. This year it will be held on Friday 6 April in the LaValla Hall from 6.30pm-10.30pm.

Anyone and everyone connected with the Marist College North Shore Community is warmly invited to come along to find out more about the Immersions we offer at the College and also help to raise funds for the communities we visit in Cambodia, India and the Northern Territory.

Guests will experience a wonderful 3 course meal thanks to our amazing Hospitality students and have the opportunity to take part in games or bid for items in our Silent Auction. This is a licensed event so there will be no BYO allowed.

For the night to be a success we need your support. Book tickets for yourself or organise a table of 8-10 friends and family. Tickets are $80 for adults and $50 for students and can be purchased at:
We are also looking for donations that we can auction off. If you or anyone you know are able to donate an appropriate item then please click here for more information. 
In the past the night has always been a great success and we look forward to it being another great dinner with your support.

Gabriel Rulewski
Solidarity & Youth Ministry Coordinator


Assessments and Work Experience

Year 10 Careers Assessment

Year 10 Careers Assessment will take place for all Year 10 students next Tuesday 27 March. A letter pertaining to this has already been sent to parents. Students will need to ensure that they arrive at school on time for the assessment which will take place in the La Valla hall during periods 1-4. Students who are absent on this day, will be able to undertake this assessment online under college supervision. 
Work Experience

Work experience is available to all students in Years 10, 11 and 12. Year 11 and 12 students will need to plan for Work Experience during the holiday periods. Year 10 students will have the opportunity to participate in Work Experience during Term 4 week 6. Information packs with all of the necessary paperwork can be collected from the Careers Room. Any student who wishes to undertake work experience MUST complete all the required paperwork and return it to Mrs Nicola Brown directly. Please also be mindful of the lead time for all placements, as the College requires at least 4 weeks notice of the intention for holiday Work Experience.

Year 12 RSA + RCG

A letter outlining the arrangements for the RSA and RCG courses has been emailed to parents. We would ask that permission slips be returned and payment be made before April 3 if your son wishes to participate in these courses.
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School Notices


Uniform Shop

The Year 11 blazers have arrived, they will be available for collection from Wednesday 28 March (only if payment of $110 has been completed).  If your son did not order a blazer at the end of last year and now requires one, he will need to wait until all orders have been collected.  As was stated, only blazers which a deposit was paid (in 2017) were ordered.  

Junior blazers are now in stock.  All Year 7 and new students to the school are required to have long trousers and a school blazer at the commencement of Term 2 (30 April 2018).  Please do not leave purchases until the last Wednesday of Term 1, as all sizes are in stock now.

June Mitchell
Uniform Shop

Community Notices

Opening of the Coal Loader Platform

North Sydney Council is inviting everyone for a picnic to celebrate the opening of the Coal Loader Platform on Saturday 24 March. Enjoy North Sydney’s newest public open space, the stunning view and Council’s new sustainability initiatives. BYO picnic rug, family and friends.

Kicking off at 3pm, there will be live music, food stalls, guided tours, interactive art, workshops, children’s activities, plays and more. Gardening Australia host Costa Georgiadis will MC the official proceedings from 6pm and then watch the rest of the harbour glow as lights go out at 8.30pm to celebrate Earth Hour.

The old coal-loading platform of the historic Coal Loader Centre in Waverton has undergone a complete makeover, transforming it into one of Sydney’s largest publicly accessible green roof spaces. Please visit for more information.


Year 7 Study Skills Seminar

Having a child starting secondary school can be a very new and challenging experience for many families. Over the years we have run workshops to give parents ideas/strategies that will enable them to help their sons. This year we had over 80 parents who attended two workshops in the areas of organisation, planning, unpacking assessments and how to utilise the google platform. The general feedback was very positive and we hope the ideas explored on the day have helped with their child’s transition into secondary schooling.

Below is a sample of feedback comments made regarding the workshops!

Tracey Dunn & Gabrielle Nicholson

Swimming Champions

Congratulations to the following boys from Marist College North Shore who were at the RSL State Swimming Championships on Saturday 10 March. Each of the Marist boys either came first, second or third which was a great effort.

Liam Coffey, Year 10 - 4 gold
Will Byars, Year 10 - 3 gold, 1 silver
Oli Walls, Year 10 - 1 silver/1 bronze
Griffin Kenny, Year 10 - 1 silver
Leo Walls, Year 7 - 1 silver/1 bronze
Dylan Shackell (Year 10) - 3 gold

A great effort from each of the boys that participated in individual championships or relays.

IST Unity Game Programming Incursion

Tuesday 6 March saw the return of the Game Training Company help teach Unity coding and game development to complement the study of Programming and Software Development and Artificial Intelligences in Information and Software Technology course.

For a number of years now, we bring in game development experts who teach Unity game coding which once again proved to be of great interest and success. Year 10 IST students learnt the fundamentals of creating a commercial quality game using high quality vehicles, roads and animated characters.

In the second half of the workshop, the students continued their Unity code with the specialisation of Artificial Intelligence simulation in game development. The workshop also provided the students with an online account offering additional tutorial help, allowing them to continue developing their game development skills for one year through Game Training Roadshow.

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Swimming Carnival Results

1st Gordon Durie

2nd Christian Turner
3rd Dylan Vlatko

1st Lachlan Roche
2nd Ollie MacDonagh
3rd Daniel Devaris

1st Jayden Screen
1st Jack Dowd
3rd Shoaland Griffiths

1st Marcus Farmer
2nd Dario Fung
3rd Dylan Shackell

1st Liam Coffey
2nd Daniel Oliver
3rd Will Byars

1st Kaiya Melbourne
2nd Heath Morgan
3rd Daniel Sims
3rd Georges Sineux

Peter Giles

NSW Rugby Referee

Congratulations to Sebastian Herbert, Year 12, who has been selected as an ARU School Student Scholarship for Match Officials (SSS) for 2018. This national program is designed to assist talent identified referees achieve their potential, and encourage them to continue to referee once they leave school.  Sebastian is one of fourteen Year 12 students from NSW selected to participate.

Congratulations, Sebastian!

MCC Golf 2018

On 15 March the College Golf team travelled to Bexley Golf Course to compete in the annual MCC Golf competition. This year the team welcomed two new faces from Year 7, Jack Priddy and Daniel Mascarenhas, who were getting their first opportunity to represent the College.

On the day Marist College North Shore had an outstanding performance across the board with every player earning a top 3 position. The positions were as follows:
Daniel Mascarenhas: 2nd place in the U/13’s
Jack Priddy: 3rd place in the U/14’s playing up an age group
Timo Bruggeman: 3rd place in the U/15’s
Will Flannigan: 2nd place in the U/16’s with a personal course record of 6 over par.
Aidan Powter: 3rd place in the U/17’s
Thomas Luck: 1st place in the Opens with his personal course record of 5 over par.

These excellent results across the board saw the Marist College North Shore claim second place overall on the day which is the College’s best result at the MCC Golf in recent history. It also saw the College claim the Most Improved Trophy for the second year in a row, showing the immense growth that these boys have shown in their performance. It is a testament to their continued hard work and practice throughout the year and further proof that a growth mindset can yield outstanding results.

Congratulations to all these boys and we look forward to the opportunity to play even better next year.

Jeff Davidson
Golf Coach

Year 11 Study Skills Seminar

On Tuesday 13 March Dr Prue Salter from Enhanced Learning Educational Services ( conducted a study skills session with Year 11. The session focussed on helping students identify changes and improvements they could make to their approach to their studies in order to maximise their results in their final years of school. 

The main areas covered with Year 11 were:
  • Moving into a senior mindset.
  • Working effectively at home and dealing with distractions.
  • The importance of independent learning.
  • Managing workload and planning for assessments.
  • Organising resources for school both paper and digital.
  • Steps to effective study for assessments.
  • Increasing the range of study techniques used.
  • How often and how to make study notes.
  • Making study notes brain-friendly.
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Athletic Championships

Congratulations to Julian Lee, Year 7, who competed in the Junior National Championships for Athletics at Sydney Olympic park on Friday 16 March.

Leave during Assessment Tasks

Just a reminder that for Years 9 to 12, a doctor’s certificate is required if your son is absent the day before or the day of an assessment task. The medical certificate should be specific in nature and not just note “unfit for work/school”.

Please ensure that I have been notified by leaving a message on my voicemail alerting me to your son’s absence. If the task is a hand in task, this will still need to be submitted electronically by the due date/time even if your son is absent from school.

More detail can be found in the relevant assessment booklets found on the College website under “Teaching and Learning”. If your son is in Year 7 or 8, please contact your son’s subject teacher if he is absent during an assessment task.

Ann McGovern
Director of Teaching and Learning

MCC Squash 2018

Marist College North Shore successfully defended the MCC Squash premiership last Thursday at Willoughby Squash Centre. The boys played a very resolute style of Squash and showed great determination throughout the days competition. 

Many boys felt the pressure of the long tradition of Marist success at Squash. All members of the team can be very proud of how they represented the College – their sportsmanship throughout the day was exemplary.  

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Changes to minimum standards HSC 2021

The New South Wales Education Authority (NESA) have changed the literacy and numeracy requirements for the 2021 HSC minimum standards. From this year, the minimum standards will no longer be determined by a student’s Year 9 NAPLAN result.

Instead, all students will now be required to sit an online numeracy test before graduating in Year 12. Students will be given multiple attempts to complete the tests satisfactorily, beginning in Year 10 2019. This change does not affect current Year 10 students (Year 10 2018). Further information is available on the NESA website:

Ann McGovern
Director of Teaching and Learning