MacKillop Bulletin - Term 1, Week 3, 2024
From the Principal
As always, it was great to see all the students back from their summer break. Their youthful exuberance and genuine want to be part of MacKillop Catholic College community was welcomed by all. We start 2024 with 810 students made up of the following:
- Year 7 – 175 students
- Year 8 – 199 students
- Year 9 – 174 students
- Year 10 – 174 students
- Year 11 – 59 students
- Year 12 – 29 students.
The ongoing growth in our enrolments could be seen as the ultimate feedback and vote of confidence in what the school is currently doing to further and grow the learning outcomes of our young people and what the College has planned for the future. Thank you to all our parents and caregivers for the trust you have in us to meet the learning, wellbeing and spiritual needs of your child.
We formally gathered last week for the first ever Years 7-12 whole school assembly. The themes of ‘welcome’ and ‘academic excellence’ set the tone for this assembly and were furthered by our ongoing conversation around our shared understanding of responsibility and expectations. These are themes that we will regularly return to throughout the year and will help set the focus points for all of us – students, staff and parents alike.
The Meet and Greet Evening was another significant reminder of the great faith our community has in the skill, capacity and knowledge of College staff to support the role of our parents and caregivers as the primary educator of their children. Many commented on the genuine sense of community that was evident as we gathered to formally welcome our incoming Year 7 students and all other new Years 8-12 students and their parents.
As I am sure you are now very well aware, 2024 marks the College’s 30th year since its opening in 1994 and our first class of Year 12 students – two very important milestones in the story of MacKillop Catholic College.
We know that Mary MacKillop moved to Penola in South Australia to help Fr Julian Tenison Woods establish a Catholic school for the poor and that on March 19, 1866, Saint Joseph’s School Penola opened with an enrolment of 55 children and the order of the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart was established.
As we enter our 30th year, I’m sure that any of the students, staff and families who walked onto the school grounds back on February 9, 1994 to attend the very first classes at MacKillop Catholic College were to tour the College today, they would all relate to Mary MacKillop’s reflection about the success of the work her and Julian Tenison started in 1866 – “Little did we dream of what was to spring from so small a beginning.”
To the students who we recognised and celebrated with an Academic Excellence Award for their work in 2023, congratulations on the receipt of your richly deserved award. Through your sustained efforts and your diligent approach to your classwork and studies, you have become the exemplars of academic success for all of us and our vision to be a Christ-centred community the fosters excellence in all that we do. Again, congratulations to each recipient of a 2023 Academic Excellence Award!
Building Program Update
As noted in the 2024 commencement letter to parents and caregivers, eight demountable classrooms have now been located on the site and classes have commenced in these spaces. These new general-purpose classrooms hare being used to meet the need for additional learning areas to accommodate the 2024 timetable and as relocation rooms when the College commences work on the next phase of the Building Master Plan - the building of 14 general purpose classrooms and associated facilities (student and staff toilets, meeting rooms, offices, gathering spaces etc) currently scheduled to commence in the second half of 2024.
The College continues to meet with key staff from the Facilities and Finance Teams from the Tasmanian Catholic Education Office with a view to progressing this planning as a matter of priority. As previously communicated, the College has listened carefully to the concerns raised by some families regarding the introduction of a Building Charge and has taken the opportunity early in the year to pause this payment. The College is committed to working with families regarding the possible introduction a Building Charge and any future changes to current charges and levies to ensure that the College remains as affordable as possible to all our families.
My very best wishes and every blessing to each one of you as members of the MacKillop Catholic College community for 2024 as we work together to the Christ-centred community that fosters excellence, compassion and service that our Vision challenges us to be.
From the Deputy Principal
On Friday 16 February we gathered to acknowledge the outstanding academic ahievements of students in our College community in 2023.
MacKillop Catholic College is a diverse and amazing learning community, strongly supported by excellent teaching, outstanding support from non-teaching staff and strong partnerships with parents and families. It is important that we take pride in what we accomplish and take pride in what others have achieved, as their accomplishments serve as both inspiration and motivation to us all.
Students receiving awards today are to be congratulated not only for their success but for all the hard work and dedication to their studies that have gone into achieving these results.
Academic Excellence Awards are given to our top academic students in each year level who have applied themselves across learning areas and achieved outstanding results in most of their subjects.
- Jai Hand
- Lachlan Hughes
- Madeline Iles
- Juliet Monks
- Mitchell Scott
- Aili Thomas
- Simone Angel
- Lucas Brown
- Noah Capaci
- Logan Elliott
- Lillian Latham
- Ella Lennon
- Isabella Patten
- Sofia Smith
- Lachlan Szczerbanik
- Joe Ashlin
- Alyssa Knowles
- Nikolia Warner
- Poppy Woodberry
- Henry Fraser
- Elliott Stee
- Nena Timsar
- Evelyn Hicks
- Lachlan Macgill
Congratulations to all our 2023 Academic Excellence Award winners.
I look forward to seeing this years' achievements as we embark on a new academic year.
From the Deputy Principal
Mobile Phone Protocol 2024
MacKillop Catholic College has now updated our Mobile Phone Protocol.
We are now aligned with the Tasmanian Government's “off and away all day' policy which has been in place since Term 2, 2020 in all state schools, and is in line with other policies currently in NSW, Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland.
The protocol states that students are not to have their mobile phones with them while at school. If students do not meet this College expectation, they will have their mobile phone taken and it will be stored safely at the College Office until the end of the day. For further instances, please see the Mobile Phone Protocol (link attached below). In addition, smart wearables will be required to be in 'aeroplane mode'.
Please note, that students can store their phones in their lockers or securely in the school office. If students currently use their phones to purchase items from the canteen, they should order a physical card from their bank or pre-order using the QKR app.
Parents and students are to use the College’s phone line for contact during school hours. If students and families require an exemption to the mobile phone protocol for exceptional circumstances like health reasons, they are to apply to the Deputy Principal – Wellbeing in writing.
We thank parents and guardians for supporting this change.
Deputy Principal - Wellbeing
College Photo Day
We have our College Photo Day this Wednesday 21 February. This is a reminder students are to wear formal uniforms, including blazers, for school photo day. Expectations for the standard of personal appearance are high. Please ensure that the Code of Personal Appearance is followed. Families are required to place an online order at www.msp.com.au. Sibling order forms are available at the College office.
We are pleased to advise that after discussions with Metro, they have agreed to supply a larger bus to support the greater intake of passengers using the Geilston Bay 301AM Route in the morning. This service commenced on Friday 16 February.
If you continue to have any issues, please contact Metro Tasmania on email@example.com or 13 22 01.
Director of Catholic Identity and Ministry
Thank you to our Mission and Outreach students who helped to serve pancakes to raise money for Project Compassion.
Project Compassion is the major fundraiser for Caritas Australia the international aid organisation of the Catholic Church.
On SEQTA Notices you can see the charitable projects our donations are supporting.
Thank you to our Mission Captains Brianna Batchelor and Marli Sowter who represented MacKillop Catholic College at the Project Compassion launch at St Mary’s Cathedral, officiated by His Grace, the Archbishop of Hobart.
On Wednesday, our community commemorated the beginning of the Season of Lent with our Ash Wednesday Liturgy. These liturgies took place in Pastoral Care Groups and were led by senior students who distributed the ashes to students and staff.
Thank you again to our Mission Captains, and to Charlotte Davies (Youth Minister) for preparing the liturgy.
I particularly commend all students who participated with reverence and respect.
Upcoming Events In Ministry
Fundraising for Project Compassion
Over the next few weeks, each House at MacKillop will run a fundraising event to support Project Compassion. House Leaders will send details home to families.
Year 7 Josephite Mission and History Centre Excursions
During the first half of the year, all Year 7 Theology and Spirituality classes will visit the Josephite Mission and History Centre in New Town. This is an opportunity for students to learn about the story of Mary MacKillop, Julian Tenison-Woods and Sisters of St Joseph in Tasmania.
Further information will be sent to families via Consent2Go
Year 7 Mass - Feast of St Joseph
On Tuesday 19 March, Year 7 students will travel to Corpus Christi Church for their first Mass of the year to celebrate the Feast of St Joseph. Families are welcome to join as at Corpus Christi at 9:30am.
Further information will be sent to families via Consent2GO
Year 7 Sacramental Preparation
Earlier in the term, families would have received information from the Bellerive/Lindisfarne Parish regarding Sacramental Preparation.
Please contact me if you would like further information firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Catholic Identity and Mission
Director of Pastoral Care
Welcome to the new school year! For my first sharing of the year, I hope you might indulge me in sharing a little about my journey and my connection with MacKillop Catholic College. In subsequent sharing, I hope to profile the platform of Pastoral Care in our school as a regular report.
In 1995, I interviewed for my first job at the College with Brother Tony Smith. At that time the school was in its second year of formation, and I was employed as the College’s part time Japanese teacher. During my interview, Brother Tony gave me a tour of what was the revamped Mornington Primary School and the new MacKillop College. I remember the passion that Brother Tony exuded when talking about his vision for the school. He spoke of where the location of the ’future’ tennis courts would be, where the Science laboratories would be built, his plans for a new Library, his desire to offer a Christ Centred – Student Centred environment of learning – especially for children on the eastern shore, and he shared his vision for how the school might grow in the intervening years.
Fortunately, I was successful in that first interview and remained for a further 14 years working at MacKillop College. During that time, I held multiple positions from Japanese and Humanities teacher, Head of the Languages Department, Year Level Coordinator at different stages for Years 8, 9 and 10 and during my final three years I held the position of Director of Pastoral Care.
In 2009, after much deliberation, I made the move to The Friends’ School on the western shore where, over the next 15 years, I held positions of Head of Languages and in the last seven years, Co-head of High School and Head of Unwin House, while still teaching Japanese Years 7-12.
Last year, once again I interviewed for a position at what had now become MacKillop Catholic College; the position of Director of Pastoral Care. While I had held this position previously in the school, I knew in my heart that my responsibilities would be so much different to those which I held before. I knew this because in the intervening 15 years, MacKillop College had worked through significant transformational change, becoming MacKillop Catholic College, Years 7 to 12, with over 800 students: what an accomplishment for our past and present school communities!
Whilst there is a sense of nostalgia as I walk around the school these days, there is an incredible sense of pride and admiration for all those past and present, who have contributed to making our school, what it is today – Brother Tony, I am sure, would also be so thrilled with the College of 2024.
With a range of experiences across curricular, co-curricular, and past platforms in middle and senior leadership, it is with excitement that I take on my role of Director of Pastoral Care. I look forward to working closely with students, parents, caregivers and staff to foster a community where we can all thrive socially, emotionally, academically and spiritually.
Director of Pastoral Care
Director of Junior School
The Junior School has made a smooth and positive start to 2024. The classrooms are humming and the play spaces are alive as new connections are made, in every sense. Learning is well and truly underway complete with lost students, uncooperative lockers and the wrong uniforms on the wrong days - all part of the fun!
In every classroom students are already expanding their knowledge and understanding and having moments of awe which is so exciting. The real joy of the first few days and weeks is in the reuniting of old friendships and even more so, in the making of new ones.
Mackillop Catholic College is a safe and predictable environment. It is a place where students are safe to make the emotional stretches they need to make in order to connect with new teachers and new students and cope with the inevitable something new. The 'soft skills' involved in navigating the campus, the times, the equipment, the people and being flexible are essential skills for life.
The change to the Friday assembly timetable has been met well and we have adjusted, to make room in our 'mental notes' for this new thing. Extending social circles to work with others and spend time with different people is important for developing these soft skills too and for the long-term success of your child. The 24 other students in your child's classroom are 24 opportunities for personal growth and development. They are 24 new conversations, new perspectives and new understandings that should be explored with open minds. As your children grow and move through their school years at MacKillop they are practising for their involvement in the wider world. They are learning to adapt and get along and understand and be compassionate. They are growing bigger in every way. Importantly, students are strengthening their ability to be in the wider world, to function and be successful with everyone and in different contexts. We don't always have our preferred friends, teachers, parents etc with us and we still need to be able to function despite this. Even better, we can learn to thrive under these conditions. MacKillop is the ultimate training ground for this. The beginning of the year is the steepest part of these learning curves and it is hard and exciting at the same time.
I am very proud of all the students in the Junior School for putting in their best so far. Keep up the great work and energy!
Director of Junior School
Director of Senior School
Year 11 and 12
As we commence this new academic year, it brings us immense joy and pride to welcome our first ever Year 12 cohort alongside our brilliant and focused Year 11 students to our College community. This milestone marks a significant moment in our school's history, reflecting our commitment to providing quality education and nurturing the growth of our students.
For Year 12 students, this year is not just about academic challenges but also about personal growth, leadership development, and preparing for the next phase of their lives. We are confident that they will rise to the occasion with determination, resilience, and the support of our dedicated staff.
For our Year 11 students, this year presents a pivotal opportunity to lay a strong foundation for their future endeavours. With their focus and enthusiasm, we anticipate great achievements and successes from this cohort.
Attendance is paramount in ensuring academic success and maximising learning opportunities. We urge all students to prioritise regular attendance and punctuality, as every missed class can impact their understanding of the curriculum. If any student has missed classes due to unavoidable circumstances, we encourage them to utilise the SEQTA resources available for catching up and seek assistance from teachers to ensure they stay on track.
As we move forward, it is essential to remind Year 11 and 12 students that they have until March 1 to finalise their course selections. This decision shapes their academic path and future career prospects, so we encourage thoughtful consideration and consultation with parents and teachers before making any changes.
Our recent camp was a valuable experience for our students to bond, foster friendships, and take the time to set goals. The memories created and the connections formed during this time will undoubtedly enrich their college experience and contribute to their personal growth. Huge shout out to Mitchell Bannister for winning the Go Karting Championship and Angus Cumming winning the Donut Eating Competition.
It was a memorable experience spending the night in the school corridors and I am very thankful to all the staff members who gave up their time to attend camp.
One of the highlights of the beginning of the year was witnessing the remarkable support provided by our Year 10 students to their Year 7 buddies. Whether it was helping their buddies navigate the complexities of the campus, offering guidance on lockers, or simply being a friendly face in the crowd, our Year 10 students demonstrated exceptional leadership and empathy.
As we look ahead, we have some important dates and events to mark on your calendars. First and foremost, we want to remind our Year 10 students about their upcoming Work Experience placements. This invaluable opportunity for real world learning and career exploration will take place in Week 2 and 3 of Term 2.
Additionally, we are excited to announce the "Welcome to Senior School Dinner" scheduled for Wednesday 27 March at 6:30pm at Blundstone Arena. This will be held from 6:30pm - 9:30pm. This event will serve as a momentous occasion to officially welcome our Year 10 students into the senior ranks of our school community. A letter will be sent out to families next week with more information.
On a practical note, we would like to remind students and parents that the deadline to change electives for the upcoming semester is Friday 1 March. We encourage our Year 10 students to approach this decision thoughtfully, considering not only their personal interests but also their long-term academic and career goals, rather than solely based on peer influences or friendships.
In the Senior School this year we are focusing on study techniques and setting goals. This coming week on Thursday 22 February and Friday 23 February, Elevate Education will come in and take small groups of our Year 10, 11 and 12 students to discuss strategies that they can implement to assist with their study productivity.
Director of Senior School
Careers and Pathways
Starting off 2024 with a bang!
It’s been great to have students back at the College for the start of another exciting year!
There is so much happening in the Careers and Pathways space throughout 2024 including events, on-site guest speakers, the Creating Futures Expo and more!
A reminder to all students and families that the Careers Office is open for bookings and they can be made via the following link:
Year 10 Work Experience
We introduced our Year 10 students to the Work Experience on their first day back and went through what students will need to do to secure their placement. A reminder to Year 10 students and families that they need to have secured their placement by Friday 1 March.
These details need to be entered to the Google Form link below:
Work Experience dates are:
Monday 6 – Friday 10 May: Fitzroy, Penola and Rice Houses on Work Experience
Monday 13 – Friday 17 May: Sion, Tenison and Waterford Houses on Work Experience
Houses in their off week of Work Experience will be participating in a Careers and Pathways Transition Week. More details and a timetable will be released for this in the coming weeks.
If you or someone you know would be interested in being a host employer for Work Experience, please reach out. Hosting a Work Experience student can be a great opportunity for employers to inspire the next generation of workers into a career like yours. It also gives staff the opportunity to gain experience in mentoring and teaching a younger worker.
Upcoming Careers Dates:
UCAT and Pathways into Medicine Webinar I Tuesday 20 February
An invaluable forum recommended to students considering a career in Medicine or Dentistry, and especially for those who already know that they will be sitting the UCAT or attending Med School Interviews.
This forum is an excellent opportunity for students and parents to find out about the UCAT, Interviews, Pathways into Medicine, and have all questions answered by expert teachers who have been working in the field since 1999.
To register, click - here
Tasmania Police Information Session I Saturday 9 March I 9.00am - 12.00pm
If you’re considering policing as a career – come along to one of our Police Recruitment Info Sessions.
Serving officers will be in attendance to provide information and answer questions about the recruitment process, life at the Academy, and policing as a career. You will be encouraged to participate in a recruitment fitness test to gauge your level of fitness, receive advice on using the current techniques to complete the test safely, in addition to advice on how to improve to give yourself the best chance to pass the test.
UTAS Marine Island Marine Biology Experience I Monday 22 - Sunday 28 April
Open to Year 11 and 12 Students
Year 11/12 students are invited to kick-start their university journey with an immersive learning experience on picturesque Maria Island on the Tasmanian East Coast, led by field experts at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS).
Examine the impacts of climate change, invasive species, pollution, debris, and their associated social and economic impacts on a world-renowned marine ecosystem.
24 places are available and applications close on Monday 26 February.
To read more, click – here.
Free Parent Webinar: Helping Your Child Manage Their Time
We’re excited to announce that Elevate Education will be hosting a free webinar for our parents on time management on February 28.
Elevate works with our students, delivering high-impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series, you’ll learn how you can help support your children at home by reinforcing the skills they’re learning at school.
Sign up for the session below to learn how you can help your child to balance their priorities and stay on top of their workload.
How You Can Help Your Child Manage Their Time
Wednesday 28 February 6:30-7:30pm (AEDT)
Here’s what Elevate will be covering on the night:
Align expectations on homework with your child
Help your child balance their schoolwork and social life
Set up a weekly planner tool with your child
We hope to see you there!
Program Leader - Careers and Pathway Planning
Congratulations to Abby Sargent (Year 9 SION2) on her selection in the Tasmanian Women’s U16 Hockey Team and Leo Korn (Year 10 TEN4) on his selection in the Tasmanian Men’s U16 Hockey Team. Both Leo and Abby will compete for Tasmania at the 2024 Hockey Australia U16 Championships which will be held on 4 - 11 April in Hobart, TAS.
We wish them all the best for the tournament and congratulate them on this significant achievement.
We would also like to congratulate Leo for is selection in the Tasmanian U15 Indoor Hockey Team that competed in January this year in Canberra.
This is a friendly reminder to ensure your child’s College items such as clothing, school bag, hat/cap, apron and food containers etc are all clearly named.
The College Office processes lost items in the following way:
- Named/labelled items: Owners receive a message through SEQTA and then called over the P.A. to come and collect their item. If not collected, a message is then sent to the parent/caregiver and their Pastoral Care teacher.
- Unnamed and unclaimed items: These items are placed in a plastic tub and situated at the College Office. The tub is then placed outside in the courtyard near the College Office every Monday and Friday for students to check. After two (2) weeks, these items are then disposed of.
We strongly encourage you to label your child’s items. We would like to see these reunited with their owners, but no longer have the space to keep random items for any length of time.
We thank you for your assistance and understanding with this process.
MacKillop Catholic College: Administration