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Term 1, Week 10, 2024

Dear MacKillop Families,

I would like to wish all our families and our staff, a restful break. To our Year 12 students, this is an opportunity to revise and prepare yourself well for the Ace your Exams week. Build some time into your routines for rest, recreation, and study, holding yourself accountable for your use of time.

This week, I wish to explore the pursuit of excellence because the world needs excellence, and Australia needs excellence. For us to evolve as humans, it is imperative that we all strive for excellence. Excellence should not be confused with perfection. They are different concepts.

In the formative years of adolescence, the pursuit of excellence serves as a beacon guiding young individuals towards personal growth, societal contribution, and lasting fulfilment. As the world continues to develop, the demand for individuals who strive for excellence becomes increasingly imperative. Herein lies the essence of why adolescents should ardently pursue excellence in every facet of their lives.

The pursuit of excellence fosters a mindset of continuous improvement. Adolescents who strive for excellence are driven to refine their skills, expand their knowledge, and push beyond their perceived limitations. Dedication to growth not only enhances their individual capabilities but also cultivates resilience in the face of challenges. By embracing the pursuit of excellence, adolescents learn to view setbacks as opportunities for learning and development rather than insurmountable obstacles.

Moreover, excellence begets success, both personal and professional. Whether in academics, extracurricular activities, or relationships, striving for excellence sets adolescents on a trajectory towards achieving their goals. By consistently delivering high-quality work and demonstrating a commitment to excellence, adolescents position themselves for future opportunities and advancement. Also, the habits and values instilled through the pursuit of excellence lay the foundation for long-term success and fulfilment in adulthood.

Furthermore, the pursuit of excellence cultivates a sense of responsibility and accountability. Adolescents who aim for excellence understand the importance of their contributions to the greater community. Whether through academic achievements, volunteerism, or leadership roles, they recognize their capacity to effect positive change and make meaningful contributions to society. By holding themselves to high standards of excellence, adolescents become stewards of progress, actively shaping a better world for themselves and future generations.

In addition to personal and societal benefits, the pursuit of excellence nurtures self-confidence and self-esteem. As adolescents strive to excel in their endeavours, they develop a deep sense of pride and accomplishment in their abilities. This confidence, then, not only fuels their motivation to pursue new challenges but also empowers them to navigate the complexities of adolescence with resilience and good grace.

Ultimately, the pursuit of excellence is not about achieving perfection but rather about embracing a mindset of continual growth and self-improvement. In a constantly evolving world, adolescents who strive for excellence are equipped with the skills, values, and determination needed to thrive in any endeavour they pursue. Therefore, I wish to encourage and support adolescents in their striving for excellence, for in doing so, we empower them to become the architects of a better world and a brighter future for all.

God bless,

Mrs. Mel McGuinness

 Assistant Principal, Secondary

ANZAC Day Ceremony

On Monday, the College commemorated Anzac Day with a ceremony held in the hall. To start the day, there was a Morning Tea, where our Year 12 parliament, school captains, and leadership were able to meet with our guests, learn more about their experiences, and deepen their understanding of the significance of ANZAC Day.

This year, our special guest was former NSW Australian of the Year Deng Adut. He shared his experiences as a child soldier in Sudan, his journey to Australia, and his new life as a lawyer in Western Sydney. Mr Adut also spoke about the importance of acceptance and respect for others and the importance of community. Our students certainly benefited from hearing about his experiences and hopefully went away understanding more about the impacts of war.

During the commemoration, we also welcomed members of the Toukley RSL Sub Branch, who delivered the RSL address commemorating the sacrifices of Australian and New Zealand soldiers. After the ceremony’s conclusion, members of the RSL and our parliament laid wreaths in the school’s memorial garden.

Students from MCC are invited once again to join in with the Toukley Branch of the RSL for their ANZAC Day march from the Toukley Mall down Main Street to the Garden of Remembrance at the Toukley RSL.

We ask that students gather in their uniforms at 9.30 am for a 9.45 am start. College leaders in both Primary and Secondary schools are expected to attend. Please consider joining us for this significant cultural event. Further details are available through COMPASS.


NSW CCC Touch Championships

Congratulations to Anabelle R, Kiara B and Cooper B on their selection into CSBB OPENS TOUCH TEAMS. Also, to their Coaches, Mrs Elcoate and Mr Langbridge.

We wish them success at the NSW CCC TOUCH CHAMPIONSHIPS at Tuggerah.

Year 7 Taster Day

Yesterday, we welcomed students from all over the Central Coast to MacKillop to see what it is like to be a Year 7 student at MCC.

Mrs Tenev spoke with our potential Year 7s about what it means to be a MacKillop student and the many opportunities they will have to be involved in the community. She encouraged them to shine their light in the spirit of St Mary MacKillop of the Cross the day they got to know each other.

With the help of our Year 10 peer support students, they shook off their nerves by playing a few games, followed by handball in the CA. The rest of the day, they moved around as they would on a normal school day, attending a science lesson, a PDHPE class, and then PDHPE prac in the afternoon. We hope you all enjoyed the day and look forward to seeing you later in the year for orientation.

JUMP Afternoon Tea with Loreto Gardens 

This afternoon, approximately 25 residents from Loreto Gardens Nursing Home visited MCC for a special afternoon tea as part of our JUMP Sport Intergenerational Program. Members of the staff, including Mrs Appleby, also came along to enjoy the sunshine, some beautiful conversations, and a little dancing in The Dreaming Cafe.

Some Important Dates for Term 2

29 April CSBB Professional Learning Day- STUDENT-FREE DAY

30 April – 7 May Year 12 Exam block / First Day of Term 2

3 May Secondary Photos

16 May Secondary Athletics Carnival

29-31 May Year 7 Camp

17-18 June Secondary Leadership Retreat

27-28 June Parent Teacher interviews

5 July CSBB Professional Learning Day – STUDENT-FREE DAY


Dear Community,

Thank You

As we come to the end of a productive term at MacKillop, I extend my thanks to the staff, the students, and the whole MacKillop community. The first term in any new school is a whirlwind as you try to wrap your head around new processes, new people, and a new role. That has certainly been my experience over the last ten or eleven weeks, but in that time, I’ve quickly come to realise what a great community exists within and around our College.

I am so grateful to be working in a school with such a proud history and one that is still willing to grow and improve. I am excited about the future of this great school and look forward to building programs, growing enrolments and the highest quality teaching and learning.

As we head into the school holidays, I wish all of our staff, students, and College families a restful break. I hope it provides time to pause and reflect, even for a brief moment. I hope you get an opportunity to spend quality time with friends and family and perhaps even soak up some of the last of the warmer weather before Winter is upon us.

Jason Evert Guest Speaker Presentation – May 2024

Catholic Schools Broken Bay has been fortunate to secure a booking for world-renowned speaker Jason Evert to speak at MacKillop in May.

Over the past 25 years, Jason Evert has travelled to six continents to bring his message to more than one million people, including World Youth Days in Australia, Spain, and Poland. Jason earned a master’s degree in Theology and undergraduate degrees in Counselling and Theology, with a minor in Philosophy, at the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

He is a best-selling author of 15 books, including Saint John Paul the Great, How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul, and the curriculum YOU: Life, Love, and the Theology of the Body. He and his wife, Crystalina, are frequent guests on radio programs throughout the United States. Together, they run the website as well as the Chastity Project ministry and lead an international alliance of young people who promote chastity in more than 40 countries.

In this seminar, which has been delivered to more than two million teens on six continents, Jason Evert reveals the compelling vision of God’s plan for human sexuality. He presents an uplifting case for practising the virtue of chastity by addressing the issues that teens struggle with most, such as sexual pressure, pornography, modesty, and starting over. Jason offers encouragement for teens to maintain their chastity or begin again if they’ve made mistakes in the past.

Jason has a rare skill of breaking down these difficult subjects into language that is native and accessible to our young people, as is evidenced by his substantial success across the world, not just in Catholic schools but in secular contexts as well. Jason’s seminar content is completely aligned with Catholic Church teaching on sexuality and clearly with our CSBB Catholic Charter, which outlines the “school’s mission to form students according to the Catholic worldview”.

For any questions or concerns, please write to your College Principal.

God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Principal Secondary


Term 1, Week 9, 2024

Dear Community,

Weekly Structure in Secondary School

We are introducing some simple structural changes to the weekly timetable in Secondary School to ensure we are maximising learning time for the students but also to provide greater consistency day to day.  The new structure will allow for the same bell times four days per week, with the only variation being Thursday, when Sport occurs.  There is also five minutes travel time factored in after Pastoral and Breaks to ensure students have enough time to get to class, this will allow both staff and students the full hour of teaching and learning during each period.  Please see the weekly timetable below.

Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri  Bell times  Thursday  Bell times 
Pastoral  8.45 am – 9.05 am 
Period 1  9.10 am – 10.10 am  Period 1  8.45 am – 9.40 am 
Period 2  10.10 am – 11.10 am  Period 2  9.40 am – 10.35 am 
Break 1a  11.10 am – 11.30 am  Break 1a  10.35 am – 10.50 am 
Break 1b  11.30 am – 11.50 am  Break 1b  10.00 am – 11.05 am 
Period 3  11.55 am – 12.55 pm  Period 3  11.05 am – 12 noon 
Period 4  12.55 pm – 1.55 pm  Period 4  12 noon – 12.55 pm 
Break 2  1.55 pm – 2.15 pm  Break 2  12.55 pm – 1.15 pm 
Period 5  2.20 pm – 3.20 pm  Sport      Years  7 – 10  1.15 pm – 2.40 pm 
Period 5
Years 11 – 12
1.15 pm – 2.15 pm 
Period 6
Years 11 – 12 
2.15 pm – 3.15 pm 

You will also note that the Pastoral time has moved from 30 minutes to 20 minutes.  This still provides us with scope to deliver our Pastoral Care Program as well as the opportunity to meet as a Year Group or House to deliver relevant communication.

Please also note that students in Years 11 and 12 will not leave early on Tuesdays under this new timetable. It is important that they get the most out of every minute in the classroom as they head towards their HSC.

These changes are just one small part of the College’s overall strategic plan to continue our push to improve the levels of student achievement.

Easter Vigil Baptism

Congratulations to Georgia and Keisha of Year 8 and to Keanu of Year 10 who were baptised and received fully into the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil last Saturday night. These students have been staying back every Thursday afternoon and have been preparing since Term 4, 2023. The students have now completed the Sacraments of Initiation (Baptism, First Holy Communion and Confirmation) and Mrs Tenev is now the proud godmother and sponsor to these three students.

A number of students also attended the Vigil to support their friends, and they represented their College well throughout the two-hour service. Thank you to those students and to Mrs Chrystal Price for attending and supporting our students. I also want to express my heartfelt gratitude and thanks to Sr Jiji, who has assisted in the formation of our young Catholics.

If there are any students who might be interested in being baptised into the Catholic Church, please contact Mrs Tenev for more information. 

ANZAC Ceremony

The theme of this year’s service is ‘The impact of conflict and overcoming adversity’. Our service special guest speaker is a former NSW Australian of the Year representative who is a refugee from Sudan. He will very generously share his story and describe how he overcame the challenges presented by conflict in his life. We are fortunate to have members from the Toukley RSL joining us once again. We would like to extend an invitation to our MCC community to attend from 12 pm on Monday, 8 April, in the Hall. 

Students are also invited to attend the Anzac Day March. Students wishing to take part are to wear their full Summer uniform and Meet at the Toukley Coles Carpark at 9 am.

Thursday Sports Selections for Term 2

Thursday, 28 March, is the time to check your student email account for information regarding Term 2, Thursday Sports Selections. Please ensure selections are completed by 9:00 am Tuesday, 2 April.

God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Principal Secondary


Term 1, Week 8 2024

Dear MCC Community,

This week I would like to turn your attention to mental health and specifically to explore nurturing resilience.

In the ever-shifting landscape of adolescence, mental health plays a pivotal role in shaping a young person’s future. It’s a period marked by significant changes, both physically and emotionally, making it crucial to prioritize mental well-being. Building good mental health habits during this formative stage sets the foundation for a fulfilling and resilient adulthood. Here’s a guide to nurturing mental health for adolescents.

  1. Open Communication: Encouraging open dialogue fosters trust and allows adolescents to express their thoughts and emotions freely. Parents, guardians, teachers, and mentors should create a supportive environment where teens feel comfortable discussing their concerns without fear of judgment. Active listening and empathy are key components in nurturing healthy communication.
  2. Healthy Relationships: Cultivating healthy relationships is fundamental for adolescent mental health. Encourage friendships built on mutual respect, trust, and support. Healthy relationships serve as a buffer against stress and provide avenues for emotional expression and growth.
  3. Balanced lifestyle: Promote a balanced lifestyle that includes regular exercise, nutritious eating habits, and sufficient sleep. Physical well-being is closely intertwined with mental health. Regular physical activity releases endorphins, reducing stress and anxiety levels, while adequate sleep enhances cognitive function and mood regulation.
  4. Mindfulness and stress management: Introduce adolescents to mindfulness practices such as meditation and deep breathing exercises. These techniques help build resilience, improve focus, and regulate emotions. Teaching stress management skills equips teens with valuable tools to navigate challenges effectively.
  5. Limit screen time: Excessive screen time, particularly on social media, can negatively impact mental health. Encourage adolescents to maintain a healthy balance and set boundaries around screen usage. Promote offline activities that foster creativity, social interaction, and personal growth.
  6. Encourage hobbies and interests: Engaging in hobbies and activities they enjoy boosts self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment. Encourage adolescents to explore their interests, whether it’s art, music, sports, or volunteering. Pursuing passions outside of academic pressures promotes holistic development and resilience.
  7. Request professional help when needed: Normalize seeking professional help for mental health concerns. Ensure adolescents understand that it’s okay to ask for support when they’re struggling. School counsellors, therapists, or mental health helplines can provide valuable assistance and guidance.
  8. Promote self-compassion: Teach adolescents the importance of self-compassion and self-care. Encourage them to practice self-acceptance and kindness toward themselves, especially during times of difficulty or failure. Building a positive self-image lays the groundwork for strong mental health.

Ultimately, building good mental health for adolescents requires a multifaceted approach that encompasses communication, healthy relationships, lifestyle habits, mindfulness, and self-care. By fostering resilience and providing support, we empower adolescents to navigate the complexities of adolescence with confidence and optimism, setting the stage for a bright and fulfilling future.

Blessings as you navigate these formative years with your emerging adults.

Mrs. Mel McGuinness

Secondary Assistant Principal


Year 10 JUMP Art and Year 4 Collaboration

Students from Year 10 and Year 4 have been working on an art installation this term. The goal of the Central Coast Waterways Project is to increase knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the Tuggerah Lakes system and what is needed to protect and restore this fragile environment.

Students will create a ceramic and recycled bottle art installation that will highlight the endangered species in the Tuggerah Lakes.

The ceramic installation will be displayed within the wider community through the Central Coast Council. This is a K-10 Project. Secondary students will complete the ‘hero’ beads, whilst Primary students will complete the ceramic joiner beads.


This has been a very busy and vibrant time for YMCC students, particularly in the final weeks of Lent. Keisha, Georgia and Keanu have been making final preparations before they are baptised and fully received into the Catholic Church during the Easter Vigil Mass this coming Saturday. The MacKillop community is right behind you! 

On behalf of the YMCC crew, we wish you all a safe and holy Easter with many blessings for you and your loved ones. Find some time over the Easter weekend to reflect on the ultimate act of sacrificial love of Jesus’ death. A lot can happen in three days, and we will rejoice that death has been defeated. Happy Easter! 

Connecting Catholic Coasties

Last Friday, over 40 students from Years 7-12 attended the Term 1 Connecting Catholic Coasties at St Brigid’s for an Easter Festival. Students and staff enjoyed a hot chip sandwich and a drink before the music, dancing, games, and Easter Egg Hunt began. Students also spent some time reflecting on the real meaning of Easter and had the opportunity to pray with their friends before the Cross. Thank you to Sr Jiji, Mrs Elcoate and Mrs Beeson for supporting the event. 

Youth Group and Youth Mass

On Palm Sunday, we gathered for Youth Group and Youth Mass, and what a beautiful way to begin Holy Week. The Youth Group started off with some games and challenges, followed by colouring mandalas and chatting about the events and significance of Holy Week. During the Mass, our Altar Servers were blessed and commissioned, and Keisha was presented to the congregation in preparation for her Baptism. Thank you to Fr Philip, the students and the staff that served or assisted in making the afternoon so enjoyable and special. 

ANZAC Ceremony

The theme of this year’s service is ‘The impact of conflict and overcoming adversity’. Our service special guest speaker is a former NSW Australian of the Year representative who is a refugee from Sudan. He will very generously share his story and describe how he overcame the challenges presented by conflict in his life. We are fortunate to have members from the Toukley RSL joining us once again. We would like to extend an invitation to our MCC community to attend from 12 pm on Monday, 8 April, in the Hall. 

Thursday Sports Selections for Term 2

Thursday, 28 March, is the time to check your student email account for information regarding Term 2, Thursday Sports Selections. Please ensure selections are completed by 9:00 am Tuesday, 2 April.

God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Principal Secondary

Term 1, Week 7, 2024

Dear MCC Community,


Importance of a Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work, good strategies, and input from others.  It is the opposite of a fixed mindset, which is the belief that one’s abilities and intelligence are innate and cannot be changed.

As a parent/carer, you have a responsibility to promote a growth mindset in your children because it can have a powerful impact on their beliefs and achievements.  Here are some reasons why:

  • Promotes effort over innate ability: Praising children for working hard promotes a growth mindset, which sends a message that the child’s effort is what led them to success.  In contrast, praising kids for being smart promotes a fixed mindset, which sends a message that their accomplishments are trait-based and tied to something innate.
  • Encourages learning from mistakes: When parents talk positively about making mistakes, kids start to think of mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.  This can help children develop resilience and a willingness to take risks.
  • Increases motivation and achievement: When children learn that their brains physically change with effort, it leads to increased motivation and achievement.  They understand that they have control over growing their brains through the actions they take, which is empowering.
  • Leads to greater persistence: Children tend to be more persistent when their parents have a growth mindset.  They understand that challenges and failure framed as learning opportunities can help them become smarter and that struggling and working on a challenge or setback is good for the brain’s neurological growth.
  • Improves learning outcomes: Research shows that a growth mindset furnishes many lifelong advantages, such as improving learning outcomes and offsetting stress.

To promote a growth mindset, parents can give process praise, talk about the brain, accept mistakes as learning opportunities, and understand the role of emotions in learning.

Here are some specific ways parents can instil a growth mindset:

  • Recognise your own mindset: Be mindful of your own thinking and of the messages you send with your words and actions.
  • Praise the process: Praising kids for working hard suggests that effort is what leads to success while focusing on the process helps them see how their effort leads to success.
  • Model learning from failure: When parents talk positively about making mistakes, kids start to think of mistakes as a natural part of the learning process.
  • Encourage risk, failure, and learning from mistakes: Failure teaches resiliency, so it’s important to encourage children to take risks and learn from their mistakes.
  • Talk to youth about famous people’s failures: Sharing stories of famous people who failed before, succeeding can help children understand that failure is a natural part of the learning process.
  • Encourage and model positive self-talk: Saying statements like “Mistakes help me learn better” and “I can always improve, so I’ll keep trying” can help children develop a growth mindset.

Overall, promoting a growth mindset can help children develop resilience, persistence, and a willingness to take risks, which can lead to greater achievement and success in life.

Toukley Food Care

Year 8 students Rhani, Mia and Mollie attended Toukley FOOD CARE at the Neighbourhood Centre this week. 

Lakes Food Care closed at the end of last year due to increased living expenses and a significant rise in the cost of rent for the store. However, they have reopened their doors at the Neighbourhood Centre, known as the hub, and are offering their services to the community and those most vulnerable. 

Our students assisted by packaging fresh fruit and veggies and stacking items in the pantry. All items are ‘free of charge’ to all who need them. Pantry staples, dog food, non-perishables, and sanitary items are available in outdoor cupboards. This is a wonderful way to uphold the dignity of those doing it tough, especially if they feel embarrassed or ashamed about their current situation. 

You can find out about the services the Toukley Neighbourhood Centre  provides and how you can help by visiting their website: Toukley Neighbourhood Centre (

ANZAC Ceremony

The theme of this year’s service is ‘The impact of conflict and overcoming adversity’. Our service special guest speaker is a former NSW Australian of the Year representative who is a refugee from Sudan. He will very generously share his story and describe how he overcame the challenges presented by conflict in his life. We are fortunate to have members from the Toukley RSL joining us once again. We would like to extend an invitation to our MCC community to attend from 12pm on Monday, 8 April, in the Hall. 

JUMP Students Intergenerational Program

Our JUMP students visited the residents at Loreto Gardens Nursing Home and enjoyed working with the CatholicCare staff to facilitate meaningful and fun activities and events for the residents. Our Lady of Loreto Gardens Nursing Home offers an extensive range of events and activities for residents, as well as specialised wellness programs. This week was BINGO. Our students got the hang of how to play very quickly and had a lot of fun with the residents during the session. 

CatholicCare is the social care agency of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Broken Bay. 

The Resilience Project Survey

Resilience and well-being are key factors to ensure a happy and fulfilling future for our young people.

We are proud to partner with The Resilience Project to assist our students in their well-being journey. To gain an accurate understanding of our student’s strengths and challenges, we will conduct a resilience survey developed by Resilient Youth Australia and the University of South Australia. In recent years, they have surveyed more than 500,000 Australian school students.

We will administer the Resilience Survey this year online in class time. Students typically take 30-50 minutes to complete the survey.

God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Principal Secondary


Term 1, Week 6 2024

Dear MCC Community,

This week, I would like to discuss the importance of learning and education.

Adolescents can sometimes lose touch with why they need to not only attend school but also why they need to value their learning. In a constantly evolving world, learning isn’t just a necessity; it’s the cornerstone of growth and development. The importance of learning cannot be overstated. It is the key to unlocking new opportunities, broadening horizons, and enriching our lives in countless ways. Adolescents can easily overlook this aspect of learning and education. Yet, the point stands: a good educational foundation sets us up in numerous ways to be positioned to enrich our lives and that of our families.

At its core, learning is about adaptation. It’s about acquiring new knowledge, skills, and perspectives that empower us to navigate the complexities of an ever-changing world. Every new piece of information we absorb opens doors to new possibilities. In our contemporary digital age, the ability to learn quickly and effectively has become more valuable than ever before.

By staying curious and committed to growth, young people can remain agile in the face of challenges and seize opportunities when they arise. Furthermore, learning fosters innovation and creativity. Exposing ourselves to new ideas and experiences expands our mental toolkit and develops the capacity to think outside the box. The ability to innovate is invaluable, especially in a rapidly changing world that is increasingly connected on a global level.

Moreover, learning promotes adaptability and resilience. In an era of rapid technological advancements and economic uncertainties, those who embrace lifelong learning are better equipped to navigate change and thrive in diverse environments. By nurturing a growth mindset, young people can approach challenges as opportunities for learning and growth rather than insurmountable obstacles, and this develops grit and resilience, too.

Learning also enhances our overall well-being. Engaging in intellectually stimulating activities has been linked to improved cognitive function,  mental health, and even longevity. Whether exploring new hobbies, delving into literature, or pursuing higher education, pursuing knowledge enriches our lives and brings a sense of fulfilment.

In the current knowledge-driven economy, learning is not just a means to an end; it’s a lifelong journey of discovery and self-improvement. By embracing learning as a fundamental aspect of our lives, we open ourselves to a world of opportunities and possibilities. It is, therefore, imperative that we commit ourselves to learning, exploring the unknown, and unlocking the boundless potential that lies within each of us. In the words of the esteemed Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. 

Mel McGuinness

Assistant Principal Secondary

Year 9 ANSTO Excursion

This week, some of our Year 9 students had the opportunity to visit Australia’s only nuclear reactor as part of a Science Alliance. The students could see some aspects of their current studies in action. They worked together on identifying atoms, what they are composed of, their size and their symbol.

They learnt about the impact of various science, engineering and technology bodies working together to advance low-emissions electricity generation and reduce atmospheric pollution.

Pathways and Partnerships – Business Services Students

On Thursday, 7 March, the Year 12 Business Services class visited international firm KPMG’s offices in Barangaroo, Sydney, to see a real-world practical application of several HSC units they are studying this year. This amazing opportunity was organised via CSBB Pathways and Partnerships.

Students were taken on an office tour of the International Building and learnt about some sustainable practices the building employs, such as an underground maggot farm to reduce food waste and the use of water from Sydney Harbour to run the air conditioning in the building. We learnt about the organisational structure of KPMG and how their Wellbeing and Inclusion policies and procedures assist their diverse workforce to have the opportunity to succeed. We were lucky enough to attend an International Women’s Day event, where the students were exposed to an international panel of women leaders, including Michelle Bullock, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

This excursion gave Year 12 students a practical application of the theoretical content learnt in classes, and they can use this experience as a case study in their upcoming Business Services Trial and HSC examinations.  

House Challenge – Touch Football

Today was the first round of our House Touch Football challenge during break 1.

This is open to students from all year groups and what a fantastic show of participation and support it was.

The houses playing in the first round were Gesu vs Kincumber and Penola vs Fitzroy

Year 7 Immersion and Spirituality Days

In Week 5, our Year 7 students participated in an immersion experience at the St Joseph’s Spirituality Centre Kincumber and the Spirituality Day at North Entrance Surf Club. These two excursions occurred simultaneously, with half of the year group attending one venue (Kincumber) and the other half travelling to North Entrance Surf Club. The students then attended the venue they did not visit the next day.

The Year 7 immersion experience at St Joseph’s Spirituality Centre, Kincumber, is co-facilitated by the Leader of Youth Ministry and Outreach coordinator to assist with fostering the faith formation of the Year 7 Students at an important historical site. The students participated in various activities throughout the day that explored the charism of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and the history of her work on the Central Coast. Students also participated in a guided tour of the museum as well as activities, which ended with a walk-through of the site itself. Here, students learnt about the life of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and the work of the Sisters of St Joseph, as well as deepened their knowledge of our House System and Values.

Year 7 also participated in their Spirituality Day at North Entrance Surf Club. This day was co-facilitated by the Religious Education Coordinator and pastoral team who all worked together to further develop opportunities for spiritual formation and deepen their connection to our Josephite charism.  The development of the students’ spirituality is part of the core work we do here at the College, and it is vital that the students have the opportunity to experience their faith with one another.

Both excursions are also integral to the current topic of study in Religious Education, ‘Belonging to our Catholic Community’.

The Resilience Project Survey

Resilience and well-being are key factors to ensure a happy and fulfilling future for our young people.

We are proud to partner with The Resilience Project to assist our students in their well-being journey. To gain an accurate understanding of our student’s strengths and challenges, we will conduct a resilience survey developed by Resilient Youth Australia and the University of South Australia. In recent years, they have surveyed more than 500,000 Australian school students.

We will administer the Resilience Survey this year online in class time. Students typically take 30-50 minutes to complete the survey.

More information will be coming home soon regarding the survey, which will take place in Week 8.

God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Principal Secondary

MCC Resilience project

Term 1, Week 5, 2024

Dear Families,

Mrs Appleby and I had the pleasure of attending the “Belong Day” on Wednesday last week.   ‘Belong – The Amazing Race of Faith’ is a groundbreaking, festival-style experience designed to empower and uplift Year 7 students on their spiritual path.  

Belong seeks to meet students at every level of their faith journey, reminding them of the importance of belonging to their individual Catholic school community and the wider Diocese of Broken Bay community.  

I was so pleased to see our students enjoying each other’s company on this day, as well as that of other students from our Diocesan schools. It was a wonderful mix of fun and learning throughout the day, and I trust that all of our Year 7s would have benefitted from this experience.

I want to pay a special thank you to our amazing staff and our senior students who assisted on the day. Whilst I have only been at MacKillop for a short period of time, it is abundantly clear to me that there is a wonderful community feel within the College and a strong culture of care and compassion for one another. It was an absolute pleasure to spend the day at “The Light of Christ Centre”, and I sincerely hope our Year 7s carry the messages and the momentum from this event back into their everyday lives.

NAPLAN Years 7 and 9

NAPLAN commences Wednesday, 13 March, with tests scheduled over a two-week period. Catchup tests are scheduled for students who may be absent on the day of a test.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is a literacy and numeracy assessment that students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit each year. Students sit assessments in writing, reading, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The questions assess content linked to the Australian Curriculum: English and Mathematics.

Online NAPLAN tests are tailored (or adaptive), which means that each test presents questions that may be more or less difficult depending on a student’s responses. Tailored testing allows a wider range of student abilities to be assessed and measures student achievement more precisely. Your child should not be concerned if they find questions challenging; they may be taking a more complex test pathway. All Year 3 students will continue to complete the writing assessment on paper.

Years 7 and 9 students will complete the Writing test in the Library, where they can use the desktop keyboards. The other tests will be on their iPads in the Hall. Students must have their devices fully charged and with the NAP 2024 app installed. A set of headphones/earbuds and a pen are also required.

NAPLAN provides schools, education authorities, and governments with information about how education programs are working and whether young Australians are achieving important educational outcomes in literacy and numeracy. MacKillop specifically uses the results to identify the individual strengths and areas for improvement for each student so that we can focus our teaching. The results also provide valuable data to review and improve the effectiveness of teaching programs.

YMCC Student Leaders – Year 7 Belong Day 

On Wednesday, 28 February, 16 of our student leaders from Years 10 and 11 attended the Year 7 Belong Day at the Light of Christ Centre, Waitara. The YMCC student leaders were tasked with supporting the Year 7 MacKillop students and led small group activities and games. We are so proud of these student leaders, especially since this was their first experience leading a group of students. 

Youth Ministry Equipping School (YMES) 

On Thursday, 29 February, three students and Mrs Tenev journeyed to Canberra for the annual YMES conference. The group visited Parliament House and paid their respects at the Australian War Memorial. The conference had age-appropriate workshops for students, young adults and teachers/leaders in Catholic Education. The speakers and workshops challenged participants to reflect on their faith and how they might share it with others. The participants also experienced Eucharistic Adoration, Reconciliation and Prayer Groups. New friendships were formed with other students from Broken Bay, Victoria, Canberra, Goulburn and Sydney. Well done and congratulations to Olivia (Year 11), Lilly and Shaan (Year 10). 

JUMP – Josephites Undertaking Mission Projects

Some of our Year 8 and 9 students recently attended Coast Shelter Community Kitchen at East Gosford to lend a hand, cooking up sausage sandwiches for the clients who visited. They also received a certificate for the wonderful service our JUMP students offered to the local community in 2023! Well done to everyone who volunteered and for your continued service.

Last Thursday, Year 8 JUMP students attended Our Lady of Loreto Gardens Nursing Home, Hamlyn Terrace, to take part in the Intergenerational Program. This first session for the term focused on getting to know each other and forming relationships. Next week is BINGO! A slightly modified version to ensure all of the residents are able to participate and join in with all the fun.

Swimming Carnival

Last Friday, our secondary students took part in the annual MCC Swimming Carnival. This is always a highlight on the College Calendar. Not only is it an incredible swimming competition, but it is also a chance for students to really show their House Pride in Cheer and Costume.

Age Champions from the event and House Champion will be acknowledged in our Friday assembly. 

U12 Riley H and Ava F

U13  – Phoenix W and Krystal L

U14  Jackson G and Anatalia J

U15 Cooper B and Lauren B

U16 Brayden L and  Sienna C

17 plus Cooper M  and Emilie L

Congratulations to House Champion – Penola

The Resiliance Project Survey

Resilience and wellbeing are key factors to ensure a happy and fulfilling future for our young people.

We are proud to partner with The Resilience Project to assist our students in their wellbeing journey. In order to gain an accurate understanding of our students’ strengths and challenges, we will be conducting a resilience survey developed by Resilient Youth Australia and the University of South Australia. In recent years, they have surveyed more than 500,000 Australian school students.

We will administer the Resilience Survey this year online in class time. Students typically take 30-50 minutes to complete the survey.

More information will be coming home soon regarding the surevy which will take place in Week 8.



God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Secondary Principal

Term 1, Week 4 2024

Dear Families,

Strategic Direction of the College

After three weeks of consultation with a range of stakeholders, I am pleased to provide families with a copy of the College Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan has been written to cover a 2-year period, and it will inform our direction. This plan also identifies and includes mention of the Educational Model. Like the Strategic Plan, the Educational Model will also provide a blueprint of how we prepare our students to be confident, compassionate, and future-ready students. The College teaching staff will target both documents over the next two years as we measure our progress.

I look forward to sharing more information with you as we delve a little deeper into The Educational Model at MacKillop.

I hope both documents will be available on the College website within the next few weeks.  

In the meantime, I invite you to read the Strategic Plan 2024-2025.

The work of the College Principal

The work of the College Principal is interesting and complex in that it entails many aspects, such as College engagement with the Catholic faith tradition and our relationship with the Parish, change management, learning focus and improvement, the development of operational efficiencies, finance management, master plan development and many other things.  It is certainly work that gives me an enormous sense of personal and professional satisfaction. As a system leader, I am charged with the responsibility of the development and implementation of the Catholic Schools Broken Bay Strategic Plan and other system initiatives.

Engaging our Parents

As a new Leadership Team, we are working towards improving communication with our families. To this end, this week we held two meetings that enabled families to engage with the 3 members of the College Leadership Team. I learnt a great deal from these meetings. Below is a summary of these rich conversations:  

  • Our families would like more strategic updates about the Master Plan. They are keen to understand how the College works.
  • They would appreciate better understanding how the HSC works and in particular how the choice of courses/subjects impacts on ATAR.
  • Families are interested in having a forum that enables Year 7 parents to have a transition-style meeting so that they can get a snapshot on what is happening in the classrooms and how they can better help with children.
  • They would like some support in navigating our digital communication channels.
  • Our families want to know what strategies we are going to put in place as we increase in size because they do not want their child (or any child) to slip through the cracks.
  • Families were keen to know if it would be possible to offer any kind of micro-credentialing to support tertiary study from Year 9 onwards.
  • They were keen to discuss the possibility of having a laptop program in Year 7 that may be hired.
  • Families were keen for us to have high expectations of their children but also wanted to ensure that we as educators understood that all students are different and have levels of capacity.
  • Some families were keen to discuss the notion of greater sensory opportunities, places and spaces available across the playground & College.
  • Two families were keen to discuss the role of therapy dogs in the school context.  
  • New families to the College were keen to engage more closely with teachers.
  • Families wanted to remind teachers that if their child is falling behind in their literacy or numeracy ( or any other area of their learning) that teachers need to contact home as quickly as possible.
  • One family was keen to discuss the role of Artificial Intelligence in Learning.
  • Families were supportive of re-visiting the uniform and grooming policy.

Our shared Commitment

When I asked parents if they wanted to meet up again, both groups were pleased to have regular meetings. So, to stay true to our word and honour our commitment to our families, we will endeavour to have further meetings both face-to-face and online via Zoom in the evening. I will also share the College Strategic Plan with families after it has been disseminated to the staff, and I also reassured parents that the plans of the new Primary school would be available for Open Day.

I would like to very much thank the many families who participated in these meetings and for their shared wisdom.

 God Bless,

Tanya Appleby

College Principal

Open Day

Do you know someone interested in having their child/ren attend MacKillop Catholic College in 2025 (and beyond)? Our Annual Open Day is coming up on Wednesday, 6 March 2024. Student-led tours, classroom demonstrations and activities start at 4 pm. Then, at 5 pm and 6 pm, there will be two dedicated enrolment sessions for Kindergarten and Year 7 2025. 

Register today at MCC Open Day registration

Term 1, Week 3 2024

Dear Community,

Dear Families

I have spent a long time getting to know our students in the last two weeks. I have found them very friendly and approachable. I will meet with more students in the coming weeks to discuss the difference between voice and agency. In the meantime,  I wanted to take this time to shed light on some of the rich discussions that have been taking place across the College.

Student Voice

Recently, I began working with the student Cabinet group, and they have impressed me with their dedication and strong communication skills. Seeing these students stepping up and leading the student body across the College has been very rewarding. During this first meeting, we discussed the skills and dispositions that they would like to have by the time they leave the College.   Some of the skills for future-readiness include:

Resilience – The students said they wanted to be agile to cope with the changes in their lives and the world. One of the students recounted her experiences in her part-time job and spoke about having to show initiative.

Communication- The students also spoke about the importance of being able to communicate in different ways and knowing and appreciating different social settings.

Employability- They wanted career paths that would lead to secure employment, and I was surprised to learn that so many of them had already secured part-time jobs.

Kindness- They thought that people should always be kind and respectful of others. They address the matter of social diversity and being inclusive of difference.

Literacy & Numeracy- They agreed that it was important that all students should be able to read and write effectively. Many spoke about the importance of this in relation to their future studies, and this also included public speaking as a life skill. They could clearly see the value of having a strong foundation in both literacy and numeracy that included opportunities for public speaking.

Student Agency

Student agency is different to student’s voice in that it involves giving students responsibility and ownership of their learning. It helps students to have the capacity to set goals, reflect on them and act on those goals in an independent manner. When students become agents of their own learning, they begin learning how to learn. This itself becomes a self-motivational factor that can help students grow throughout their entire lives.

The College Leadership Team and I have started to discuss how we could develop further opportunities to our students to develop both their voice and agency. We look forward to communicating on our progress with students.

Senior Luncheon and Inspirational People

The College Senior Luncheon, held this week,  was an excellent opportunity for students from Years 11 and 12 to see and hear from HSC students and College Dux from 2023 and Mrs Ferguson, previous Secondary Principal and Mrs Appleby, current College Principal.    The guest speaker, Ms Banfield, an alumnus of the College, recounted her journey at MacKillop, which was filled with hardship following an accident that left her in a great deal of pain. She spoke candidly to students about having a passion to sustain them through adversity. Ms Banfield’s presentation was inspirational, and we congratulate her on achieving her goal and becoming a Registered Nurse.

It is critical that young people learn that success has many pathways. Not all pathways are direct and there are many ways to achieve a dream job or career.

I look forward to getting to know more students in the weeks to come.


God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Secondary Principal

Term 1, Week 2 2024

Dear Community,

The Importance of Parent Engagement

Parent engagement in schools is one of those areas that we all know is important, but too often, we skirt around it and kind of hope that it will happen as a matter of course.  

Unfortunately, we see that parent involvement in their child’s education can drop off dramatically when they go to high school, and this is a trend that we hope to reverse at MacKillop.  

I appreciate that your son or daughter, on entering high school, is gradually growing in maturity and looking to experience increasing independence. Despite the fact that their outward signs might suggest they are happy to go it alone, nothing could be further from the truth. Perhaps, now more than ever, they need their parents to guide and support them through a challenging stage of life.

A strong partnership between parents and the College provides so many mutual benefits, but most importantly, it supports the learning, development and wellbeing of your children, our students. The benefits of this partnership are profound and are listed below.

Children whose parents are involved in school:

  • perform better at school
  • settle better into school programs
  • feel valued and important because their parents are taking an interest in their lives
  • develop positive social skills by watching parents and school staff interact respectfully
  • have better social, physical and emotional wellbeing.

When parents are involved in school, staff:

  • have higher job satisfaction
  • experience less stress
  • can better tailor their approaches to learning and teaching because they have more insight into children’s needs
  • Benefit indirectly from parent help in classrooms, sports days and libraries, or parent participation in school committees and so on.

Parents who are involved at school:

  • can share their child’s strengths and interests with staff and suggest learning opportunities to build on these
  • feel empowered to raise concerns and negotiate solutions with staff
  • Experience less stress because they know they can work with staff on concerns about their child’s learning or development.

The bottom line is that we cannot ignore the importance of developing partnerships between parents and the College. If we work together, we have the power to make a really positive impact on the future of your children.

I acknowledge that our teaching staff are responsible for ensuring that your children experience learning gain during their time at MacKillop. Parents can can make a difference. In fact, they make their greatest contribution to their child’s education at home.

I don’t expect to see every parent tagging along on excursions or throwing their hand up to run an event at the Athletics Carnival, but as a community, we can do more. I urge you to engage with your child’s education in the best way you can. See some effective ways you can do this below.

  • You can let your child know that you value education by showing an interest in what they are learning at school. Ask about lessons and how their teacher is teaching them.
  • Talk positively about the College, their teachers and about your own experiences of education. 
  • Show them the ways you continue to learn, even as an adult. Let them see you read, and make sure they are encouraged to read.
  • Discuss their hopes for the future. Set high expectations for your child’s learning and show them you believe in them. 
  • Your relationship with your child provides the foundation for all their social relationships. Spend time together talking, playing games, telling jokes and sharing stories. This lets your child know that they are loved and valued.
  • Let your child see your relationships with the key people around them. Keep in touch with your child’s teachers about their interests and how they are responding to school work. Encourage your child to show relatives and family friends the things they have been working on at school.
  • Talk to your child about their friends and their relationships. Find out their shared interests at school, and ask about the things they like to do together. Explore how they respond to problems and how they celebrate their successes. 
  • Share learning experiences with your child every day. Learn to cook a new recipe together, play a sport, or find interesting things at the park or the beach. 
  • Give your child the opportunity to discover new things and explore new interests. Going to museums, libraries, sporting events and concerts allows you to find what they are interested in and helps them to be a part of their community.
  • Let your child teach you. Find out what they are learning at school and plan activities that will allow them to demonstrate their learning to the whole family.
  • Come along to College Information Evenings, Parent/Teacher Interviews and other important College events to demonstrate your commitment to your child’s education.

You could be forgiven for thinking that what your child needs is the new iPhone, a gaming console or some fancy clothes. What they really need is what they have always needed from their parents. They want your love, support, encouragement, acceptance and attention. 

The difference for teenagers is that while younger children need their parents to be in the lead, teenagers need you to be by their side.

I hope to see some of you next Wednesday at the College or on Zoom, where the new College Leadership Team will be available to meet with you, answer questions and gain your feedback.

God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Secondary Principal


Term 1, Week 1 2024

Dear Community,

A Positive Start to Term 1

It has been very pleasing to see the Secondary school students settle into class routines as quickly as possible. Congratulations to Year 7 students, who are starting to feel a little more confident about navigating the College and the expectations around commitment to learning. This is just another reminder that all students are neatly attired and groomed for school. We appreciate the support that we receive from families who help us maintain a high standard of dress at MacKillop Catholic College.

It may be useful to know that the staff are reviewing the current Uniform and Grooming Policy that is situated on the College website.  We appreciate that it contains ambiguities that have resulted in confusion. Nonetheless, we will endeavour to finalise this as quickly as possible to support clearer communication.

There are a few key events coming up that require student assistance. In particular, we are preparing for Open Day on Wednesday,6 March, and we will also be requesting assistance from a plethora of students as helpers. Students will learn about how they can help support this whole school event in their Pastoral classes. This provides an excellent opportunity for you to encourage your child to step up and show some leadership.

Ash Wednesday

As a Catholic community, we will commemorate Ash Wednesday together. The giving of ashes at this time is very symbolic and reminds us of our mortality and the hope that we celebrate in the resurrection of Christ.  It is wise to mention to your child/children that this will mean that a person will place ashes in the formation of a cross on their forehead. The ashes have a cold sensation when they are placed on the forehead. This may be important for students who have sensory concerns or even those who are not as familiar with the process.

Looking forward to meeting more students and families in the weeks ahead.

God bless,

Paul Lynch 

Acting Secondary Principal




Welcome Edition – Term 1, 2024


Dear Community,

Friday was my first opportunity to address the whole Secondary School.  I took this opportunity to share with our students the things I care deeply about and the expectations I have of them.  I think it’s important that they understand where we are coming from to ensure that there are no mixed messages.

I also highlighted the importance of us working as a team which includes parents/carers, staff at MacKillop and the student.  When all three engage positively with the student’s education, amazing outcomes can be achieved.  I look forward to meeting many of you in the coming weeks and months and building strong relationships between home and the College.

As a starting point, I encourage you to ask your sons and daughters about their start to a new academic year.  You don’t need to ask technical questions about Year 10 Algebra; rather, just demonstrate an active interest.  Simply asking about their day, what they enjoyed, what topic they are studying in Science, etc., makes a world of difference and says to your child that you care about their education and believe that it’s important.

As a prompt, you might want to ask them about the points I raised in my first address. 

They included:


What Do I Care About?

  • Each of you as individuals
  • ​​Your Teachers​​
  • Support Staff
  • The College community​​
  • The College’s reputation​


What Do I Expect?

  • That each of you will demonstrate respect​:
             – Respect for yourself​
             – Respect for others​
             – Respect for the College​​
  • I will have high expectations of you, and so will your teachers.​​
  • That you will represent the College with pride.​ 
  • That you will demonstrate a strong work ethic.​​ 
  • That you will do the basics well.​​ Strong House Spirit.​​ 
  • That you will leave this College with choices for your future.​


Look, I’m a realist.  Not many of your children will be champing at the bit to converse with you about my first speech.  Having said that, I’m determined to embed these key messages, and I have the utmost confidence that it will help your children thrive at MacKillop.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has provided me with such a warm welcome to the MacKillop community; it is clear to me already that this is a beautiful community and one I am excited to immerse myself in.


God bless,


Paul Lynch 

Acting Secondary Principal