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Term 3, Week 3


Next Monday is Mary MacKillop’s Feast Day. Our students learn a great deal about her but maybe our parents do not know all the wonderful things about her, so here is a short biography:

Mary was born in Victoria to Scottish immigrants. She was the eldest of eight children and spent her early years working to support her family. At the age of 24 she dedicated her life to God and took on the name “Mary of the Cross”.

Along with Fr Julian Tenison-Woods, Mary opened a school in a disused stable in Penola, South Australia. Her vision was to provide education for underprivileged children. Many other women came to join her there, and Mary and Julian founded Australia’s first religious order: the Sisters of St Joseph.

Mary and the Sisters were committed to serving the poor – to going to where the need was and living amongst those in need. This took Mary all over Australia to many rural areas.

Mary faced fierce opposition throughout her life, which at one point culminated in her being excommunicated. In the face of trial, Mary was a model of forgiveness, insisting no ill be spoken of those who wronged her, while also remaining resolute in her convictions.

On 11 May 1901 she suffered a stroke at Rotorua, New Zealand. Although retaining her mental faculties, she was an invalid until she died in Sydney on 8 August 1909.

Mary was remarkable as a strong female leader in 19th century Australia. Education in this country is what it is today thanks to her dedication and determination.

 Always regarded as holy, she was put forward in 1972 as a candidate for the honour of beatification and canonisation and on 1 February 1973 the Cause was formally introduced. Mary was beatified on 19 January 1995 at Randwick Racecourse, Sydney, in a Mass celebrated by Pope John Paul II. She was canonised as Saint Mary of the Cross at a Mass celebrated by Pope Benedict XVI in St Peter’s Square in the Vatican on 17 October 2010.



This week in  learning we will take a look at the new Pathways Maths we have started this year with Year 7.


Pathways Maths

Last night we held an information session for all our Year 7 parents on the new Pathways Mathematics Program. This is a program that has researched students’ progress in Australia in Maths and their approach is to make individualised learning practical by using tools that put administration in the background and bring teaching to the front, where it belongs. They focus on growth, not attainment levels. They provide teachers with support, not extra paperwork and wish to make a difference in the lives of students.

Each student is tested via many diagnostic tests searching for their strengths and weaknesses and individualised programs are set for each student. The concept is to ensure students can gain growth in their understanding and ability. It allows some students to go back and fill in gaps in their learning and to allow students to progress further once they have the skills.

So far the vast majority of students are enjoying this way of learning and feel they are progressing. Their mindsets are changing to be more positive, if they had been challenged by maths in the past and those who already loved maths are really enjoying being able to move on at their own pace.


Leave procedures

Just a reminder that there are procedures if your child wishes to take leave.

The school needs to be notified, where possible, 2 weeks in advance. if your child has a hand in assessment during their time away they MUST submit it prior to leaving. If they have an in-class task they need to have spoken with their teachers and made alternate arrangements. Failing to do so may result in a zero mark. For Yrs 10-12 they must collect a yellow form from Mr Jones and have this completed by EVERY one of their teachers  before their Leave will be approved. 


Academic and Sports Assembly

Unfortunately, both of these have had to be postponed due to COVID as we have not wished to have so many students together in the Hall and we have now been advised to limit parent access to the College,

As a result, this Friday in Assembly time we will have the students meet in Year groups and we will have College Leaders attend each group to present them with both their Academic Awards and their Sporting Awards.

We are so proud of all our students’ accomplishments and congratulate them all.


Nihon Daiichi Junior High School, Tokyo


We have had another exciting week of virtual school visits with our sister school Nihon Daiichi Junior High  school. 45 Mackillop students and 15 Nihon Daiichi students have participated in trivia games, teaching our sister school a wiggle song and the nut bush dance and also having one on one time with their host student. Many friendships have been made, along with some giggles and some challenging zoom connections. MacKillop students have loved the opportunity to ask and answer their host students’ questions about Australian and Japan school life and daily activities. We are all hoping that next year that they will be able to visit in person. MacKillop students have been excited to attend the zooms and have enjoyed making friendships using both Japanese and English, 



Coast Shelter CEO Sleepout

Last week I stated that we were participating in the Sleepout on Saturday but I had my dates incorrect. As we have now raised over $4000 for the homeless, Mr Hanrahan, Mrs McGuinness, Mrs Baxter and I all have the privilege to represent our wonderful college at the sleepout this Friday night. The 4 of us have been busy collecting warm clothes, sleeping bags and swags to protect us from the cold at the Central Coast stadium. Thank you to everyone who donated and supported this fine charity and a special thanks to our students who raised $965 last Friday for the mufti day…..We will be thinking of you all as we shiver tomorrow night but realise it is just one night, unlike the fate of the homeless.


Farewell to Cathy Martin

Mrs Cathy Martin will be leaving us at the end of week 4 to join the staff at St Brigid’s, Lake Munmorah. We will very much miss her and we thank her for her dedication and hard work whilst at MacKillop. She  truly sees teaching as a vocation and her work in the RE and HSIE faculties has been outstanding. We wish her all the best for her future endeavours.


Pizza Night

Last Friday night 50 students from either the outgoing parliament or the newly elected parliament came together at the Pizza Hut for a meal together . All 4 College captains, past and present, spoke and it was a highly enjoyable night. We can never quite believe how much pizza and dessert our students can eat on such occasions.


Yr 10 BStreet

On Tuesday 2nd August, the PDHPE Faculty accompanied the Year 10 cohort to Qudos Bank arena to attend the annual Bstreetsmart road safety event. Bstreetmsart is the inspiring initiative of the Trauma Service at Westmead Hospital. Bstreetsmart provides students with first hand experiences and a timely reminder of their responsibilities as both a driver and passenger. In the first session students experience the realities of a serious crash. The emphasis is placed on RESPONSIBILITY and that the vast majority of road trauma is a result of human error. How one poor choice can have devastating consequences. A serious road crash scene is played out in the arena. Students can get a feel of the reality of this situation and the associated consequences for the driver, injured passengers, bystanders, and the emergency service personnel are all explored.  

During lunchtime the students got to explore interactive displays and talk with emergency service personnel. You could hear a pin drop in the arena for the final session as a VERY brave mother shared her story about her son and how his one poor choice behind the wheel led to his own death and the deaths of four innocent bystanders. The impact was palpable. This excursion is such a worthwhile experience for students. We as a PDHPE Faculty truly hope that it has a lasting impact and remains in the forefront of our students minds as they take on the responsibility of driving in the coming years. 


MacKillop’s Feast Day

Unfortunately, we have had to make the decision not to have all the College together for Mass on Monday for Mary MacKillop’s Feast Day. With so much illness around us we believe this is the safest decision. However, it is still important to recognise and celebrate the day, especially as we are also celebrating Sr area’s wonderful career in schools and her retirement after 20 years of dedicated service to MacKillop Catholic College.

Therefore, the Mass at 10am will now be in the Church with Sr Marea, her guests, Student Parliament and students who have parts in the Mass. We will then Live Stream to all our students who will be in their classrooms. The rest of the day will be normal lessons for the students and Sr Marea and her guests will enjoy a lovely morning tea in the College Hall. 


Other Important Dates coming up Term 3 Week 2:

  • Monday-Friday – Yr 11 Workplacement
  • Monday – CSSA Trials continue
  • Monday – Farewell Mass to Sr Marea at 10am
  • Wednesday-Friday-Yr 9 Camp 
  • Friday- Yr 12 Drama HSC Night


Final Word

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the College.

Remember to check COMPASS, our website and our Facebook pages for information.

Life is short so why only strive for mediocrity….strive for extraordinary lives.

Debra Ferguson

Secondary Principal


Term 3, Week 2


There are some beautiful prayers for parents and I have shared one today that I hope you can use

A Parent’s Prayer

Loving God,

You are the giver of all we possess,

the source of all of our blessings.

We thank and praise you.

Thank you for the gift of our children.

Help us to set boundaries for them,

and yet encourage them to explore.

Give us the strength and courage to treat

each day as a fresh start.

May our children come to know you, the one true God,

and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.

May your Holy Spirit help them to grow

in faith, hope, and love,

so they may know peace, truth, and goodness.

May their ears hear your voice.

May their eyes see your presence in all things.

May their lips proclaim your word.

May their hearts be your dwelling place.

May their hands do works of charity.

May their feet walk in the way of Jesus Christ,

your Son and our Lord.




Self efficacy is commonly defined as the belief in one’s capabilities to achieve a goal or an outcome. Students with a strong sense of efficacy are more likely to challenge themselves with difficult tasks and be intrinsically motivated. These students will put forth a high degree of effort in order to meet their commitments, and attribute failure to things which are in their control, rather than blaming external factors. Self-efficacious students also recover quickly from setbacks, and ultimately are likely to achieve their personal goals. Students with low self-efficacy, on the other hand, believe they cannot be successful and thus are less likely to make a concerted, extended effort and may consider challenging tasks as threats that are to be avoided. Thus, students with poor self-efficacy have low aspirations which may result in disappointing academic performances becoming part of a self-fulfilling feedback cycle. 

How can students gain self-efficacy?

There are four sources of self-efficacy which teachers and parents can use.

Mastery experiences – Students’ successful experiences boost self-efficacy, while failures erode it. This is the most robust source of self-efficacy.

Vicarious experience – Observing a peer succeed at a task can strengthen beliefs in one’s own abilities.

Verbal persuasion – Teachers and parentss can boost self-efficacy with credible communication and feedback to guide the student through the task or motivate them to make their best effort.

Emotional state -A positive mood can boost one’s beliefs in self-efficacy, while anxiety can undermine it. A certain level of emotional stimulation can create an energizing feeling that can contribute to strong performances. Teachers and parents can help by reducing stressful situations and lowering anxiety surrounding events like exams or presentations.

Assisting all our students to have self-efficacy is important and something that we as parents and teachers can work towards both at home and at school.


Subject Market and Information Sessions:

On Monday afternoon we held our Subject Market for all parents and students presently in Yr 8 and Yr 10. Every subject that will be offered for Yr 9 and Yr 11, 2023 was available with the teachers present to explain the courses and to answer any questions. There were also information sessions with further information.

All Year 8 and Yr 10 students now need to complete their selections by the set dates and we remind them to follow their passions and pick subjects that they enjoy.


Year 12 Frozen Week:

Yr 2 are presently in their Frozen Week and will commence their CSSA Trial exams on Monday next week. We wish them all the best and to use these exams to examine what they are proficient in and where they need to improve. They then have a number of weeks to work on the areas that need this.

Commissioning and Academic Awards:

We experienced a beautiful Commissioning service yesterday where we thanked our outgoing Parliament and welcomed in our new 2022/23 Student Parliament. Our outgoing College Captains, Preston Lorusso and Milly Perez thanked the students who have worked with them for the past 12 months and congratulated our incoming Parliament. Our new Student  Parliament was announced and they received their blessed badges. The names of our new Parliament is also included with this edition.

We were also doubly blessed with the celebration of our students who in Semester 1 gained 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a subject area. So many received these awards and we congratulate them all for their hard work and dedication.

Coast Shelter Breakfast:

Last Thursday, Mrs Camilleri and Mrs Baxter, along with students’ from Year 12 Cabinet, attended the Coast Shelter Breakfast Symposium.

They heard from Dr. Gordon Reid MP for Robertson and Hon. Emma McBride MP who spoke passionately about important issues related to housing, women’s safety, community wellbeing, mental health and the government plan for how these might be addressed on the Central Coast.

MCC students assisted with front of house service during the event, spent time chatting with a number of key guests, CEO’s and especially enjoyed chatting with Leisl Tesch MP and Paralympian.

We are very grateful for the invitation to attend such a meaningful gathering and being able to hear how we can all work together to ‘create change and a better future for all.’


Coast Shelter Sleepout:

This Saturday Night Mr Hanrahan and I will be sleeping rough at the Central Coast Stadium to raise money for the homeless. We will report on this in next week’s newsletter but we wish to thank all who donated towards this as we both had to raise $1000 each to be able to participate. We are particularly grateful to and so impressed with our Yr 12 students who initiated this and their genuine concern for this issue.


Jumper, Jeans and Joggers Day:

To assist with raising the above money we are having a mufti day tomorrow. Students may wear jeans, jumpers and joggers and bring a gold coin to support this great cause of reducing homelessness on the coast.


Other Important Dates coming up Term 3 Week 2:

  • Monday – CSSA Trials commence
  • Virtual visit with Nihon Daiichi continues
  • Wednesday 6,30pm – Yr 7 Information Night on Pathways Mathematics.
  • Friday – Period 3 – Sports Assembly


Final Word

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the College.

Remember to check COMPASS, our website and our Facebook pages for information.

Life is short so why only strive for mediocrity….strive for extraordinary lives.


Debra Ferguson

Secondary Principal


Term 3, Week 1


Reflection on NAIDOC Week:

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life.

The theme of NAIDOC Week 2022 is  Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

This theme encourages all of us to drive institutional, structural, and collaborative change while also acknowledging and celebrating those who for generations have driven positive change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and communities. 

The theme also explores ways Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have taken action to fight for justice and it considers ways Australians can stand alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as advocates and allies; and to reflect on how the future might look when we all Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! 

As Australians we have a proud history of Getting Up! Standing Up! Showing Up! From the Frontier Wars and our earliest resistance fighters to our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities fighting for change today— we continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up!

This year celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Tent Embassy and the 30th Anniversary of the High Court of Australia’s decision in Mabo v Queensland (No 2), which recognised that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have rights to land. We also celebrate the many who have driven and led change in our communities over generations—they have been the heroes and champions of change for equal rights and even basic human rights.

This year’s theme asks us all to continue to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! for systemic change and to keep rallying around our mob, our Elders, and our communities. Whether it’s seeking proper environmental, cultural and heritage protections, Constitutional change, a comprehensive process of truth-telling, working towards treaties, or calling out racism—we must do it together, and we encourage you all to Get Up! Stand Up! Show Up! with us! 

Prayer: Creator God, since the beginning of time many peoples have gathered on this land.  Since that time many more have gathered from all parts of the world.  Gracious God many times that gathering has been in a spirit of peace but also many times in a spirit of conflict and conquest.  

Help us to recognise the differences Lord and to restore that spirit of peace and harmony in which all people can live.  Help us now Lord, to gather together in prayer and praise in your name, to reach out for your peace and see your justice done.  We thank you for being able to gather in our diversity.  

In that diversity help us to reconcile ourselves to you and to each other by coming together.  Bless this time and what we do in the name of the one who knows us and brings us together Jesus Christ.  




We welcome everyone back to Week 1 of Term 3 and we hope everyone was safe over that terribly wet week we experienced. Please ensure you have read the letter in COMPASS that I sent out in the 2nd week of the holidays. In it I stressed that we are now at a point where we expect all students to be attending school every day unless they have a very good reason and that every student will be equipped with the equipment they need for every class so that learning may occur. Schools are not babysitters but places where everyone needs to accept the challenge to grow and learn and to strive to be the best that they can be.

Our teachers work long hours to prepare rich lessons and differentiate their lessons to provide for learners at all levels. They are highly trained professionals who  come every day with the desire to assist each child to grow in their knowledge and skills but they also need compliant and willing students who allow the teachers to teach and all students to learn. We need to expect this of every teacher and student in our College and now that we have returned to ‘almost normal’ schooling again we need to ensure every student understands that they have an active part to play in their learning and a responsibility to their families to be prepared for every lesson, to be at school every day and to try their best to learn and improve.

We are consistently engaging our staff in professional learning so that we all can be effective practitioners in the classroom and provide a good standard of teaching and learning. It is equally vital that our students come to the classroom each day with a learning disposition that is willing and ready to engage in deep thinking, problem-solving and collaborative learning. Our teachers analyse a wide range of learning data to be in a position to know where students may need extra support with their learning. We know that NAPLAN data is a reliable predictor of HSC performance and this is an area of focus for us too. Learning each and every day is important and no single lesson should ever be considered as anything other than an opportunity for growing and developing as a life-long learner. The culture of an effective classroom is one where students are prepared to challenge themselves, as learning happens at the point of challenge. If we never challenge our own thinking we remain the same as we were yesterday.  


Staff Professional Learning (PL) Day:

Last Monday our staff spent the day reflecting on data providing information on how students are progressing over the past 12 months and working to ensure our two major projects for the Learning Improvement Plan for this year are being effective. The first project involves a 3 year Literacy Program where every faculty (except Maths) is involved in PL on how to teach literacy effectively in their faculty mainly involving reading and writing. The second is called “Towards Excellence” where each faculty has put in place plans to improve specific areas of our HSC results. This often works hand in hand with the literacy project working to improve extended responses, short response answers and multiple choice. Catholic Schools Broken Bay is working in tandem with us to ensure each faculty has the data they need, the resources and then good goals and targets for success that can be tested.


Subject Market and Information Sessions:

On Monday afternoon, next week, July 25th, there will be a Subject Market for all parents of our present Yr 8 and Yr 10 students and their parents. Every subject that will be offered for Yr 9 and Yr 11, 2023 will be available with the teachers to explain the courses and to answer any questions you may have. This will run from 4-6pm in the CA area and the Hall.

There will also be information sessions that all parents need to attend. The Yr 11 Information Session is at 6pm in the Hall. There will be an option of 2 sessions for Yr 9 parents in the Theatre. Parents and students may attend one of these at 4.30pm or at 5.30pm.


Year 12 Frozen Week:

This will occur in Week 2. This week means that every Year 12 student needs to attend every Year 12 class in preparation for their Trial examinations. This week is vitally important to spend with their teachers and to be sure they know exactly what to expect for their exams. The trials will run the following 2 weeks and are run as the HSC exams will be run including having an external supervisor for each exam. These are the last assessment marks for each student.


Commissioning and Assembly:

At the end of last term we had our nominations for leadership from each pastoral class in Years 7-10 and the interviews for College Captains from the Year 11 students who have been voted into leadership already. Next Wednesday, August 27th at 9am in the Hall, we will have our Commissioning Ceremony for all these new Leaders. Following we will then have the Academic Awards Ceremony for Semester 1 which honours all those students who have come 1st, 2nd or 3rd in each subject area for Years 7-11. This is such a proud day for our students. All parents are warmly invited to attend and there is a light morning tea provided after the ceremonies.


Nihon Daiichi Junior High School, Tokyo:

Zoom sister school visit : reconnecting with our sister school, Nihon Daiichi Junior High school. 

ひさしぶりですね   – Hisashibiridesune

This Japanese saying – means it’s been a long time since we have seen you  

Last Term Mr Hanrahan had a Zoom meeting with their Principal Mr Kumagai to meet each other and to discuss how we can reconnect as soon as it is safe after COVID.

Over the last two years we haven’t been able to have our annual sister school visit. We are so excited that this year we are able to reconnect, In weeks 2 and 3 students who are studying Japanese will be given the opportunity to be involved in a virtual sister school visit, This will include a welcome ceremony, each school showing our school’s way of life, through videos, Q and A sessions, and then smaller groups teaching each other a cultural activity. Students studying Japanese as an elective will be given the opportunity to be buddied with a Japanese student and we hope to create a modern 2022 pen pal arrangement so that life long friendships can be fostered

We so appreciate all the hard work of our Japanese teachers who organise all this, Mrs Beech and Mr Kilham. We are so fortunate to have all this occur and working many hours to ensure our students have these experiences.


Coast Shelter Breakfast:

Coast Shelter held a breakfast symposium on Thursday 21st July with the newly elected Central Coast Members of Parliament, Emma McBride MP, Assistant Minister for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Assistant Minister for Rural and Regional Health (Federal Member for Dobell) and Dr. Gordon Reid MP (Member for Robertson) as well as approximately 40 business CEO’s in attendance. MCC students were invited as special guests by Coast Shelter CEO Mr Michael Starr and Volunteer Coordinator Mrs Kylie Hogan to be a part of this event. As a follow on from the MCC Vinnies Sleepout in Term 2, this experience provided students further opportunities to speak with a number of key personnel who are currently working in the Government, DV and Homelessness sectors and to further consider what we as a school community can do to assist the housing and homelessness crisis on the Central Coast.  

Year 12 Cabinet heard about the Government’s priorities for the Central Coast, as well as discussing some of the current issues facing our community including the housing crisis, personal and mental health, women’s safety and local jobs. 

We look forward to continuing our partnership with Coast Shelter and hearing from our Leaders about this experience at an upcoming assembly.


Other Important Dates coming up Term 3 Week 2:

  • Most important events are outlined above.
  • Friday, July 29th, 5.30-6.30pm -Pizza Night for the outgoing Parliament and the incoming Parliament. Notes have gone home.


Final Word

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the College.

Remember to check COMPASS, our website and our Facebook pages for information.

Life is short so why only strive for mediocrity….strive for extraordinary lives.


Debra Ferguson

Secondary Principal


Term 2, Week 10


NATSICC is the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholic Council.

Its members are elected by their local communities at State and Territory level. It is a truly representative voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Catholics.

Every year, on the first Sunday in July, Catholics come together across Australia to acknowledge and celebrate the gifts of Australia’s First Peoples in the Catholic Church.

This year is particularly important because of the need to reconnect due to the COVID 19 Pandemic and its impact on the ways in which we interacted and made contact with one another.

For 2022 NATSICC is asking for everyone to come together, but also consider practical ways in which they can support Australia’s First Peoples – not just for this special day, but every day.



Research demonstrates that effective schools have high levels of parental and community involvement. This involvement is strongly related to improved student learning, attendance and behaviour.

Good communication between teachers and parents will be beneficial to a student in many ways. For example, it will provide them the necessary motivation to study and subsequently boost their academic scores. You will also notice confidence and positivity in their attitude and behaviour.

Thank you to all our parents who met with their children’s teachers last week for the Parent Teacher Interviews. This was a great success, and we thank both our staff for their preparation and time and our parents for their concern for their children’s education.

Early next term all students will be asked to make goals for Semester 2. Please have conversations with your children about what these goals might be so to continue to improve their grades and attitude.



NAIDOC Week 2022 will be held from Sunday 3 July to Sunday 10 July. This year’s theme – Get up! Stand up! Show up! – encourages all of us to champion institutional, structural, collaborative, and cooperative change while celebrating those who have already driven and led change in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities over generations.

Events will be held around Australia during NAIDOC week to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC is celebrated by people from all walks of life, Indigenous and nonIndigenous. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support and amplify the voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Our College is attended by many proud Aboriginal students and we all celebrate together this important week. 


Concern for Others:

We are so impressed with our students’ generosity last week by raising almost $1900 for Bryanthe, our very ill Year 1 student and her family. Thank you to everyone who contributed and know that you have made a difference for another. Mary MacKillop lives on in our schools when we see a need and do something about it.


House Winners for 2022:

Even with COVID the House Challenge that occurs has still remained strong. It was hotly contested by the 6 Houses but the final results saw Kincumber, our White House, triumph. Yesterday, Wednesday, the members of the House and their teachers attended a movie at Erina and a pizza lunch to celebrate their win. Well done to this year’s Yr 12 House Leaders – Diana Beech, Abbey Lea and Caleb Pantos.


Leadership 2022/23:

This week we interviewed 18 students who are all vying for College Captain. What a privilege to hear from such wonderful students who want to give back to the College. The interviewing panel consisted of Mr Hanrahan, Mrs Ferguson, Mrs McGuinness, Mrs Price, Mrs Phillipson and Mrs Ardern. We now consider all the voting from Yr 10 -12, the Yr 12 Leaders, the Staff and the interviews to make a very difficult decision.

Also, we had students in every Pastoral Class in Years 7-10 make speeches this week applying for the position of Pastoral Leader for Parliament representing their House and Pastoral class. 

The Commissioning of the new Leaders and the Academic Awards assembly will be on Wednesday, 27 July at 9.15am and all parents are invited to attend.


Other Important Dates coming up Term 3 Week 1:

  • Monday July 18th is the first day of Term 3 but it is a Pupil Free Day as the teachers are meeting for a Professional Learning Day
  • Tuesday July 19th – Students return
  • Friday – HSC Dance Trials


Final Word

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the College.

Remember to check COMPASS, our website and our Facebook pages for information.

Life is short so why only strive for mediocrity….strive for extraordinary lives.


Debra Ferguson

Secondary Principal




Term 2, Week 9



Refugee Week is celebrated in Australia from the 19th – 25th June. The World Day of Refugees was held last Monday, June 20th.

The theme for the week is “healing”. Australia and the rest of the world have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hit the reset button on how we behave towards one another. The importance of human connections has been underscored by the pandemic and such lessons can help us in so many ways.  Mainstream and refugee communities alike can draw upon shared hardship to heal wounds, to learn from each other and to move forward. Healing can occur through storytelling, through community and also through realisation of our intrinsic interconnectedness as individuals.  

We should all take time to reflect on our own thoughts and knowledge of refugees and how this reflects Jesus’ message of protecting the marginalised and love for all.



At MacKillop we have a program called Pathways and Partnerships. This program is sponsored by the Catholic Schools Broken Bay by employing a representative from the corporate world to link industries and corporations in the real world to courses and subjects studied in our College. We have been lucky enough to have experts in their fields visit the college or we have taken students to their workplace to see and hear about how their learning in school links directly to various workplaces.

Last week the Year 11 Marine Studies class had a unique opportunity to learn more about fisheries and the important role the Department of Primary Industries play in supporting recreational fishing.

Students often do not see how what they learn has relevance to their future lives and this program assists in them making these links.


AJASS Conference

Mr Hanrahan and I had the privilege last week to attend the Association of Josephite Affiliated Secondary Schools Conference with 22 other Principals from MacKillop and Josephite Schools from around Australia. 

It was a time to learn even more about the work and legacy of Mary MacKillop and St Joseph and their importance as role models for our schools and especially our students. We heard from insightful guest speakers, went on a Pilgrimage around The Rocks on the work of Mary and her sisters from 1880 to 1900, attended Mass at St Patrick’s at The Rocks and visited Mount St Joseph College at Milperra to see a Josephite school in action.

It was a wonderful 3 days to reflect on the importance of our MacKillop charism in our College.



Last week, in the lead up to the Winter Sleepout, we had a number of guest speakers present at our P6 Assembly who continued to inform students about issues surrounding homelessness. We are so grateful to have presenters from wonderful services on the Central Coast who work so hard to help to house many who need the support. 

  1. Christian Laing – CatholicCare (supported temporary accommodation)
  2. Maddy Reynolds (former Mackillip student, CatholicCare – keys program helping Homeless youth)
  3. Grace Lim – Wesley housing program
  4. Steve – Coimba Men’s Refuge, Coast Shelter

These speakers spoke so passionately, sharing their stories and helping us to gain a deeper understanding about the issues that can lead to homelessness. We thank each of them for their time and especially to Danielle Habib, also from CatholicCare for assisting with the organisation of our speakers.

Over 200 students attended our annual Winter Sleepout last Friday night and we were so happy to share the first part of the night with our own Yr 6-9 and students from St Brigid’s, St Joseph’s and St Peter’s. A special congratulations to the Yr 10-12 students who braved the cold with a number of teachers to sleep the night with only boxes and cardboard to shelter from the cold.

Many staff cooked soups and the students experienced the idea of a soup kitchen for their evening meal and a number of games were played, many on the theme of the night. The students also heard many personal stories from guest speakers about homelessness and domestic violence as well as from a number of organisations who assist the homeless in our area.. Each speaker allowed our students and staff present to deepen their understanding on these issues and we deeply thank them all for their time.

A big congratulations and thanks must go to Mrs Baxter, Mrs Wells and Mrs Tenev along with our Yr 12 Leaders who organised such a wonderful lead up to the night, the winter appeal and the actual sleepout. So very proud of everyone involved.


Community Mass

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Community Mass last Sunday. It was wonderful to celebrate Mass together and then socialise over a sausage sandwich and cake. Special thanks to our Student Parliament and Yr 6 Leaders who assisted on the day and to all the staff who assisted in the organisation and attended on the day.


Parent /Teacher Interviews

Just a reminder to check your COMPASS notifications on how to make your interviews with your child’s teachers for the Parent Teacher interviews that are today and tomorrow.



This illegal activity is causing problems in schools across Australia. In P6 this week, Dr Lyndan Bauer, an expert in this area, spoke with our Yr 7-11 students about the dangers of nicotine and vaping.

Do you know what they’re vaping?

MacKillop Catholic College. like many other schools, has seen a recent spike in young people vaping. 

Electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes, often called ‘vapes’, are electronic devices designed to deliver vapourised liquids into the lungs. There are many different styles of vapes and types of e-liquids, or e-juices, available. Vapes come in many shapes and sizes and can be made to look like everyday items including highlighters, pens or USB memory sticks.

The biggest misunderstanding about vapes is that they are harmless compared to cigarettes. This is not true. Vapes are not safe.

Vaping facts 

  • Many vapes contain nicotine making them very addictive. The nicotine in 1 vape can equal 50 cigarettes.
  • Vapes can contain the same harmful chemicals found in cleaning products, nail polish remover, weed killer and bug spray. They just don’t put it on the pack.
  • Vapes can leave young people at increased risk of depression and anxiety.
  • Young people who vape are 3 times as likely to take up smoking cigarettes 
  • Vape aerosol is not water vapour.
  • Vaping has been linked to serious lung disease.
  • Vapes can cause long-lasting negative effects on young people’s brain development.

Signs your child might be vaping

Tell-tale signs that your child might have started vaping include the symptoms of nicotine addiction such as feeling irritable or anxious. 

The laws around selling vapes 

Young people often purchase vapes online, from retail stores or from friends and contacts on social media. 

  • It is illegal to sell vapes to anyone under the age of 18 years. 
  • It is illegal to sell nicotine vapes to anyone, unless they are prescribed by a doctor to someone over 18 years for smoking cessation purposes and obtained with a prescription from a pharmacy. 

There are a number of retailers who sell vapes to young people. This is a crime. If you suspect someone is selling vapes to minors, you can report it to NSW Health via its website or by calling the Tobacco Information line on 1800 357 412.

Talk to your child about vaping

Whether you suspect your child is vaping or not, take the time to talk to them about vaping and help them understand the risks. Try to start the conversation in a relaxed easy-going way, be patient, and remember your goal is to have a conversation, not deliver a lecture. Importantly, have your facts ready.

For more information 

Get the evidence and facts at 

Support to quit vaping

  • Young people should see their General Practitioner, youth health service, or other health services for help to quit vaping.
  • Quitline counsellors are available to answer any questions about vapes on 13 7848 (13 QUIT). Quitline is a telephone-based service offering information and advice. Quitline counsellors provide tips and strategies, and help people to plan their quit attempts, based on their own needs and preferences. They can also help parents and carers think of ways to approach a conversation about vaping with young people.
  • The Aboriginal Quitline is also available on 13 7848. Run by Aboriginal counsellors, the Aboriginal Quitline is a telephone-based confidential advice and support service.
  • If you require assistance in a language other than English, Quitline has counsellors who speak Arabic, Cantonese, Mandarin and Vietnamese. You can ask to speak to one of these counsellors. For people who prefer to speak in a different language, Quitline uses the Telephone Interpreter Service (TIS).
  • The Cancer Institute NSW iCanQuit website provides information on quitting methods, links to support groups and top tips to help young people quit.
  • Too much nicotine from vapes can cause nicotine poisoning. If you think someone has been poisoned by liquid nicotine, please call the Poisons Centre on 13 11 26 immediately or 000 if it is an emergency. For more information see NSW Poisons Information Centre.


Final Word

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the College.

Remember to check COMPASS, our website and our Facebook pages for information.

Life is short so why only strive for mediocrity….strive for extraordinary lives.


Debra Ferguson

Secondary Principal