From the Principal

Back together again

Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

We have welcomed back all boys this week and it has been a welcome sight. The staff are so happy to have them back and teaching face-to-face. The boys seem to be happy socialising and getting back into the swing of things as we reconnect as a community, a family - a Marist family.



In reflecting upon the journey we have taken as a community over the last two months, and as we come to the reporting period for all students in Years 7-10. I read a piece from “The Southern Cross introduction to Marcellin Champagnat”. In it is written:


It is often said that a champion team achieves more than a team of champions. Players who act as though everything depends on them can be bad news for a team. Likewise, when we aim to do God’s work, it is a recipe for failure if particular individuals think that the action must focus mainly on them. Marcellin knew this only too well. Very early he realised that without God’s help he would achieve little. Learning was at first difficult for him so when he felt attracted to the priesthood his lack of formal education was a major obstacle. However, he was unyielding in his resolve to become a priest and would not be deterred from what he believed was his vocation. 


In his first year at the seminary he was judged ‘unsatisfactory’ and had to rely on his mother and well-placed friends to persuade the authorities to allow him to return for a second year. Had there not been such a desperate shortage of priests in post-revolutionary France, it is very likely that men like St. John Vianney, the ‘Patron of Priests’ and St. Marcellin Champagnat would not have been ordained.


Marcellin had eight scholastically demanding years at the Minor Seminary before moving to the Major Seminary near Lyon for a final three years of study. There he became a strongly committed member of a group constituting the nucleus of the future Society of Mary. They were headed by an older member of the group, Jean-Claude Courveille. Though talented and personable he was no ‘team player’. Although he saw himself as the leader of the Marists, events demonstrated that he was too self-centred to be a leader.  This was a principal cause of problems leading to his being excluded from the early group of Marists. 


Incidents of this kind only reinforced a conviction that Marcellin long held. He was attracted to the thoughts expressed by King Solomon in the ancient Hewbrew poem we know as Psalm 127. In today’s terms Marcellin might say that people working for God need to be on God’s wavelength. To a sympathetic friend, Father Gardette, he wrote: “If I tried to list my troubles, I wouldn’t know where to start. More than ever I see the truth of what the royal prophet says,


If the Lord does not build the house, 

they who work on it labour in vain.

If the Lord does not safeguard the city,

The vigilance of guards will not save it.


If the Lord does not bless the task 

toiling long hours is of little avail;

But rest and sleep neither halt nor hinder

the work of those who trust in the Lord” (Ps 127: Nisi Dominus)


Though the poem is from an ancient culture, the message of the first part is clear: When we are trying to do God’s work human activity can achieve only so much … the efforts of workers must be inspired and shaped by what God wants.


We as a community must remember to team up with God. Many of you have worked hard whilst at home, some of you have not worked as hard as you probably could have. Some of you found it extremely difficult to work remotely by yourself and some of you loved it and have excelled. However the experience went for you, it is now time for reflection on where you are at and how you worked. What influences around you allowed you to engage with your work or disengage? Did you take time to nurture your mind, body and spirit while you were away from school? 


Gentlemen, how will you now contribute to helping build our Marist school community academically - what are your expectations of yourself and others? How will you work to achieve these expectations?


It takes a village to raise a child and we are responsible for each other here and our own actions. High expectations are key to success - belief in oneself is key to success.


I spoke to Year 12 this week about “Falling Forward”. This essentially means we take chances, we take risks, we fail over and over and over again. We have the guts to do this because we know where we’re falling - forward - to success in the HSC and more importantly beyond the HSC, to the life they’ll lead beyond school as Marist men. 


We don’t fall back on anything because we can’t see what we’re going to hit, we fall forward so we know where we’re headed.


The message for all boys is that failure is great, because in taking the risk to fail, to lose, to embarrass yourself you’re trying, you’re learning!


The College has today surveyed all students in Years 7 -11 on their experiences of remote learning. We ask students to take the time to truly reflect upon how they went - being open and honest with themselves - fall forward boys.


Subject Selection Live Webinar - Youtube

For parents with boys in Years 8 & 10, we are trying something different and will be hosting a live webinar on youtube on Wednesday 10 June at 5:30 pm. This will complement the videos that have already been created and placed on Canvas, through the Curriculum and Learning @MCNS course.


You can access the live webinar at 

Brigid Taylor
Acting Principal 


From the Assistant Principal

College Expectations

Establishing a Routine

Now that all students have returned to school, we expect them to be ready to learn and to be actively engaged in their lessons. It is important that we maximise time spent in the classroom for teaching and learning. We are actively encouraging our students to settle back into a sound routine and we expect their standard of behaviour to support this.


Given the increased volume of traffic on our roads, our students need to plan to be at school on time. As a guide, students should aim to arrive at the College by 8:30am. This provides some time for the occasional delay. Students who arrive late will be given 15 minute detention that afternoon, with repeat infringements resulting in a one hour detention on a Wednesday afternoon. Tutor Group time is an essential part of the day where pastoral issues are discussed and it is when your son will read his notices and plan his day. On Thursdays, Period 1 commences at 8:40am which means any lateness is impacting on learning. Students need to be on time.


Your son’s House Coordinator wrote to you recently about returning to school in correct, full Winter Uniform. The full list of expectations concerning the College Uniform can be found on pages 38-40 of the College Diary.  Students will be given immediate consequences for incorrect or incomplete uniforms. We are aware of a supply issue concerning the Junior Blazer for a limited number of students.

With periods of inclement weather being experienced in recent weeks, students are reminded that no other jumpers, hoodies and the like are to be worn. The College Sports Jacket is only to be worn on Thursdays. 

Could I please draw your attention to the requirement on Thursdays to wear correct sports shoes. Vans, Canvas and other casual shoes are not allowed.


Hairstyle expectations are clearly set out on Page 41 of the College Diary and all students are expected to follow them. Any student who arrives to school with an inappropriate haircut or style will be sent home for it to be fixed. 


For students who are able to grow facial hair, it is an expectation that they are cleanly shaved each day. Again, immediate consequences will be given for students who do not adhere to this requirement.


I would like to thank you in advance for your support of the College. As always, we are here to support your son in any way we can. If you have any concerns about your son’s learning or wellbeing, please do not hesitate to contact either his House Coordinator or the relevant Leader of Learning.

Champagnat Day

It is with some sadness that we cannot celebrate Champagnat Day this year as a College community due to COVID-19. The Feast Day itself falls on Saturday, June 6. We will hold a liturgy next week to recognise it, but on Saturday, I would encourage you to pray this prayer, celebrating the gift of St Marcellin Champagnat and indeed, that of the Marist Brothers to our Catholic community:


Heavenly Father,

You gave Saint Marcellin a gift that he shared with the whole world.

We pray that by his inspiration, we too will reach out to those in need withrespect and kindness.

We ask, with the guidance ofMary, Our Good Mother,

To be the faceand hands of Jesus in the lives of those we meet. 



St Marcellin Champagnat - Pray for us

Mary our Good Mother - Pray for us

Let us always remember to pray for one another.

Anthony Munro
Acting Assistant Principal



Faith Formation

Feast of Pentecost

Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost as a church. It was certainly a different type of celebration to previous years, with masses still under government restrictions and with most people participating through live-streams. 

Archbishop Fisher OP reminded us of the significance of the Holy Spirit in his recent Pastoral Letter, published in the Catholic Weekly:

“Deep down we all cry out: “Come Holy Spirit”. This simple prayer goes to the core of our being. It is our soul reaching out to the divine, our heart speaking to the Sacred Heart, our spirit inspired by his. For, like God, we are spiritual beings, even if like Christ we are bodily beings also. There is more to us than biology and money, important as these are. It is our souls that inform our bodies, making them live bodies, human bodies, our bodies; it is our souls that ground our consciousness, rationality and freedom, enabling creativity and, yes, economy. Our souls are also why we live after death.”

It’s also interesting to note that the very day after Pentecost marked the lifting of some of the restrictions on religious gatherings from 10 people to 50. A seeming coincidence, or perhaps a reminder that the Holy Spirit is at work in the world, quietly and consistently bringing healing and hope.

May the Spirit of God be with you and your family.

Gabriel Rulewski
Acting Director of Faith Formation

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing

National Reconciliation Week 2020

Our theme for #NRW2020 – In this together – is now resonating in ways we could not have foreseen when we announced it last year, but it reminds us whether in a crisis or in reconciliation we are all in this together.

Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians – as individuals, families, communities, organisations, and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories,  cultures, and futures.

National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.

Irit Ben-Nissan

Mind, Body & Spirit Wellbeing Initiative

The Mind, Body & Spirit Wellbeing Initiative concluded in week 5. The necessity for this program arose from the potential mental health concerns our Community were conscious of during the height of the pandemic. The College Pastoral Team endeavoured to cover the most significant topics for our students that would capture the essence of how they were feeling during isolation and suggested helpful ways to manage their emotional and physical wellbeing. In partnership with the Parent community, we hope that this became a useful tool that actively connected and resonated with our students. 


During this time, our teaching body established an initiative to commend and acknowledge our students and their achievements in engaging with remote learning.  I would like to recognise those students who were commended by their teachers for engaging with their learning in a positive manner whilst learning remotely. The following students received an Online Learning Commendation. The students whose names are in blue received more than one Online Learning Commendation.


It is so encouraging to see such a large number of students engage with their learning in a positive manner, despite learning via a different mode and in a different environment. Please congratulate your son if his name is on this list and congratulate all your sons for getting through learning remotely and transitioning back to learning at school. The community as a whole is very proud of our students and their commitment to their learning during this time.


Matthew Fitzgerald
Wellbeing and Transition Coordinator




Bunnies at MCNS

Here at MCNS we have, in recent years, placed a higher shift in the interactivity of nature, agriculture, and responsibility on students as an integral learning component. As such, 2019 and 2020 saw a year of change in the secluded herb garden area. While chickens were just a temporary installment, some circumstances led to Stingless Bees and two Dutch rabbits coming to the Marist family. 

Unbeknownst to myself or others, it turns out it's rather hard to determine the gender of rabbits without Exotic Vet training. One way could be to do a physical check, but this seemed beyond us.  Instead, finding 7 baby rabbits or ‘kits’ on Monday morning seemed proof enough. 

Without any dramas, they seemed vibrant and healthy. So did the doe (aka ‘Spinach’), who seemed noticeably slimmer now after her ordeal. 
With my Chanel 3 tutor, we weighed, measured, photographed, and logged each ‘kit’ as a monitor for their ongoing support into being raised.

In the coming weeks, as they grow, we will aim to show students hand feeding techniques, the importance of cleaning pet areas, and why some large litters need more support than others. 
Biweekly weighing will mean the runts and fewer fed kits can have extra care given, and the kits showing a strong growth be given more room to exercise and play. The data gathering is just as important to help them see why it's done, and the cautions it can raise. 


My philosophy as a teacher has always been for students to learn, but not just what is in books. Books and screens cannot give you tangibility, texture, and physical connection. They cannot show you the feel of ripe fruit, the smell of new soil, the sound of food sizzling. I think it's vital that our life skills in being good people, resourceful innovators, and creators are rooted in the way we treat ourselves, friends, animals, and the community. 


Learning to care for something teaches responsibility, 

Learning to understand others teaches empathy and, 

Learning to connect to nature teaches appreciation. 


As I grew up myself around hand-rearing farm animals and Joeys, there will always be a caring desire to faux-parent them. I am sure after the 6-8 weeks of rearing, when they are ready to be taken on to adoptions and carers, that it will be a tough farewell.

Mark Neale
TAS Teacher

Learning Support

New MCNS Learning Support Website



Year 11 Biology

As the current Year 11 Biology classes complete their second module, they have begun to connect the relationships between the body systems of a variety of organisms, including an array of mammals, fish, insects, and amphibians. The group is beginning to unpack the relationships between the organ systems that allow for the growth and development of an organism, now with a hands-on approach. This lesson, the students were provided the opportunity to dissect laboratory rats, unpacking previously learnt knowledge, with the ability to observe and extract information from a tangible object. The rats were a shock to the students at first, with size and weight of each rat overwhelming most of the students' imagination. Many of these rats were too large for the chopping board, with extra newspaper required. The lesson allowed students to practice laboratory techniques, with most providing evidence that a surgeon could well one day be an acceptable career path. The students also researched into the ethics and laws behind the use of animals in laboratory settings, which allowed for such a dissection to take place.

Dr Tomkins, the College Laboratory Technician, was also a fantastic demonstrator, showing the boys the correct techniques in the dissection, based on a wealth of laboratory experience. In the end, the students understood that cutting the intestines was not a good idea, with the cleaning up process one to remember. Future dissections are to follow.

Click here to view gallery.

Daniel Levitt
Science Leader of Learning


Solidarity Initiative

Charity, at its core, is the action of giving from our hearts. Whether it's a gift of our money, our resources, or our kind words; the love with which we imbue our actions is what makes them charitable.

In our current climate, it has become harder to engage in charitable initiatives. This, however, doesn't mean we should forget about the importance of Charity. 

The College is continuing to do what it can to support those who are experiencing disadvantage in our wider society, especially at this time, through a food drive for Jesuit Mission.

If you are able, and would like to support this initiative please see the image below with the list of items that are needed. Any donation is welcome and can be dropped off at student reception.


Gabriel Rulewski
Solidarity Coordinator


Student Achievement

Congratulations Charlie Watts

The Marist College North Shore community along with Charlie's parents would like to congratulate him on his achievement.

Charlie is very committed to surf lifesaving and is a young patrol member of Bondi Surf Bathers Lifesaving Club. In recognition of his commitment, the number of patrol hours he has performed over the last two seasons and his organising a fundraising rescue board paddle from Coogee to Bondi which raised over $5500 for Sydney Children's Hospital, Charlie was nominated by the club for the Sydney Life Saving Region Excellence Awards. This nomination was in itself a significant honour.

Last Saturday, at the award ceremony, Charlie was the winner of the Youth Volunteer of the Year Award for the whole of the Sydney lifesaving region.  His name will now go forward for consideration in the State Awards within the same category.

We are very proud of Charlie for this achievement and recognition. 






Term 2, Week 6

Click here for up to date Careers Information.

Nicola Brown
Careers Advisor

School Notices

Living Rooms Got Talent


As you are all aware, the time that we have been spending at home means our school community has spent less time together. In an attempt to promote school spirit and to build a sense of community, our leadership team is launching a new contest - Living Room’s Got Talent!


We are hoping this will be an opportunity to showcase our talents and individuality. While in isolation, many of us may have worked on a new talent or perhaps rekindled an old interest - we’d love for you to share it with our community. 


While this is a competition with house points and exciting prizes up for grabs, the ultimate aim is for the celebration of our abilities which we wouldn’t see in a school environment. 


So, please submit a video of you performing your chosen talent. Examples could include a magic trick, signing a song, playing an instrument, a sporting talent or even a gymnastics/yoga routine. Also, feel free to involve any family member or friend in the challenge (as long as all social distancing restrictions are followed) as we hope this is a community initiative. 


The nature of this initiative will be challenging for many of us. To have the courage to practice and showcase a skill for others to see will be outside many students comfort zones - That’s OK! Courage is in both our theme and our motto - to win and improve, as people, we need courage;  this is a great opportunity for us to show that courage! Recognising this, we are also awarding house points for ALL serious entries. 


Please ensure your video: 

  • Showcases your talent in under 5 minutes 
  • Obeys all social distancing guidelines
  • Is school appropriate
  • Video file is titled with full name, tutor group, year group and your talent (eg. John Smith, Kelly 4, Year 12, singing)
  • Uploaded to Google Drive with sharing setting “accessible to anyone”

Videos are to be submitted by a Google Drive link on google form by June 12, Form in emails. We will then judge over week 8/9 and have winners by the end of the term. 

Aiden Brennan
College Captain

Community Notices

Stanton Library

As you are aware, public libraries are now able to be open. We are immensely pleased to see a large number of school students turning up at our doors today. However, we have sadly had to turn a lot of them away.  Can you please notify your students that Stanton Library is now open; however it is only for ‘Click and Collect’ and ‘Browse and Borrow’. At the current time, we have no seating or study space available.

Admission is for library members only and everyone must have a Shorelink Library card for entry to the building. This can be the physical card or their membership number logged in on the Stanton Library app.  Full details on conditions of entry and services are at

We have limited hours and limited staff, who are available to direct visitors to the reserves shelves and self-checkers. Research and reference queries can be submitted via the library app or emailed to  We will email all schools when study spaces do become available, or you can subscribe to our Stanton eNews for updates.

Current available services include:


Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries.

Yasmin Greenhalgh
Children’s and Youth Librarian

Do Your Bit