St Benedict's Catholic College

Newsletter - Friday 18 November 2022

Prestigious WSU Blueprint Competition awarded to St Benedict's

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WSU Blue Print Competition

The Blueprint Business Idea Competition is a Western Sydney University initiative to engage with high school students from Sydney and Greater Western Sydney Region. The competition is designed to help students pursue new business ideas. It also empowers students through business education and enrichment opportunities and provides a first-hand experience in entrepreneurship. The aim of the business idea is to solve a customer problem and students are required to conceptualise, build and market a business. The competition involves the creation, submission and presentation of original content that highlights the business idea

Congratulations to Libby I , Elvina J, Anannya, Riya S and Summer Lili S who achieved 2nd place in the University of Western Sydney Blueprint Competition.

The Blueprint business idea was to create an app to support and connect migrants.

This is an incredible achievement. Special thank you to Mr Mark Mustapic for his support and mentoring our entrepreneurs.

Post School Options Night

On Monday night, St Benedict’s Catholic College and the Catholic Education Office hosted a Virtual Post School Options Zoom Meeting to support transition planning for Students with Disability. As our students move towards the end of their secondary school years, it is important to encourage choice and self-determination while ensuring an appropriate level of support. Some students will need more support than others as they find their way into the workforce, further study or a community participation program. There are many service providers offering different levels and types of support.

Thank you to Macarthur Disability Services (MDS), Northcott and Next Path who presented on the night.

Parents and Friends’ Survey

St Benedict’s Catholic College in consultation with our Parents and Friends’ Association is undertaking a survey that aims to capture parent perspectives on how the college can better engage with parents.

This year the P&F has operated with a reduced member of the P&F executive.

Parents and carers at the Term 3 P&F suggested that parent Committee groups may be more appealing as these committees would meet less often and parents could select activities that suit their interests. I would ask that you take time to complete this survey so that you can provide your perspective on how we can better support parents to engage more effectively with our college.

P & F Parent Survey

Please press here to complete the survey.

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Lighting The Way Faith and Learning Recognition Awards.

CEDoWs Lighting the Way Faith and Learning Recognition Awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of individual staff in schools and the Catholic Education Office who, in the course of their work, have been exemplary in one or more particular areas of educational endeavour.

Supported by the Catholic Development Fund, the awards promote the value of professional and personal accomplishment in the ministry of Catholic education, celebrating excellence, passion, dedication of service, a love of work, and a commitment made to young people.

In 2021 Mrs Tammy Isbister for the Category- Developing Self and Others and Mr Christopher Shelton in the Category - Leading Learning and Teaching were nominated for these awards to acknowledge their significant work and achievements at our College in the area of Learning and Teaching.

Congratulations to Mrs Tammy Isbister who will be receiving the Professional Practices Award (Developing Self and Others) from the Director of Schools, Mr Peter Hill at a special luncheon on Tuesday 22 November.

Warm regards

Kerrie Piatek


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This Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King. The Church celebrates the Feast of Christ the King, also called the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe, on the last Sunday of the Liturgical year. The Feast was established by Pope Pius XI in 1925 with his encyclical Quas primas, to respond to a world that was rejecting Christ and was being dominated by secularism. It is also the last Sunday before Advent commences.

My article this fortnight contains student reflections from retreat. I also wanted to say thank you to the Staff who attended and helped facilitate the retreat at Deer Park and Rathane. An absolute privilege to lead and work with these amazing educators.

Thank You to Mr Anthony McAteer, Mrs Tarnya Grana, Mrs Sara-Jane Castelli, Ms Jodie Hatton, Mr Brandon O'Donnell, Mr Alex Hayden, Mr Thomas Kasunic, Mr Josh Agoo, Mr Vince Ripepi and Ms Tamara Mora.

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Senior Retreat - Reflections

The Year 12 2022 retreat was a truly rewarding and thought provoking journey and experience. Throughout the year 11 preliminary course, many teachers, including our year coordinator Mr McAteer emphasised the importance of having a growth and team centred mindset. This was further bolstered on our retreat where as a year group, we got to discover the many personal connections that we have with each other. We learnt that with teamwork, comes success. The mindfulness of sitting by the water with friends and teachers, watching the sunrise, enabled many of us to recognise the ease of connecting with one another.

We also learnt that listening with the ear of our heart, can help us all to reserve a spot for each other in all aspects of life; just as Jesus did with his disciples as he too, learnt and listened in the mission of his life. It is through this example of Jesus that was provided on retreat, that we can now apply to the JOURNEY of the HSC.

As we continue into the final year of our education, we can walk humbly knowing that as a year group we have: strengthened relationships, fostered new connections and have learnt to listen and be still with God as he guides us on this journey together.


Over the 2nd to 4th of November, the Year 11, or 'Team 23', cohort was pleased to embark on a powerful retreat where we were individually and collectively challenged to "listen with the ear of our hearts" as inspired by the words "where your treasure is, here lies your heart" from Matthew 6:21. Across the three days, the grade and staff enjoyed growing closer together as we shared our stories and inspired each other to value the gifts that make each and every one of us who we are. The stunning views from both the Rathane and Deer Park venues accompanied this journey and helped foster a calm environment that set the tone of the retreat. The connections made, laughter shared, and personal reflection undertaken built an unforgettable experience that I'm sure all students will appreciate for many years to come.


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The 2022 retreat for “TEAM 2023” was both an enjoyable and a knowledgeable experience that built and strenghtened bonds between the group. We had the opportunity to learn more about ourselves and the people around us. The retreat allowed us to drop our walls down and break the ice, which strengthened our relationships between students and staff. It was an eye-opening experience and it empowered both students and teachers to recognise what is important in our lives in regard to relationships and also future endeavours. We also had the opportunity to pray and be thankful for all the blessings that we have in our lives.

It began on Wednesday the 2nd of November and sadly concluded Friday, November 4th. We wanted to stay longer. Throughout the whole retreat, we all engaged in many group bonding activities. The whole experience was amazing but some highlights included the AMAZING RACE we participated in within our groups which definitely brought out the creativity in us all! The combined dinner and especially the liturgy between both groups from Deer Park and Rathane on Thursday night was a healing and enlightening exercise which was also a key moment that allowed TEAM 23 to become emotional and show our appreciation for each other or reconnect with friendships that may have broken down. But lastly, the treasure boxes that we painted that included written affirmations for one another at Rathane throughout our stay, created many heartfelt moments for everyone. I was so lucky to have shared this moment with everyone in my group and will definitely hold all of the lessons and memories close to me and carry them throughout my life.

I can definitely say on behalf of the Rathane group we all made unforgettable memories and were blessed with fantastic staff that guided us throughout our journey as a collective. Thank you, everyone.


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The Year 12 retreat was an amazing experience. I was able to grow closer to my friends and have a great time away from stress and schoolwork. The retreat included sessions that allowed us to reflect on who we are and show appreciation for each other. If I could do it all again, I would. The teachers put a lot of effort into each day to make an experience that would stick with everyone for many years to come. Both students and teachers were able to express themselves and feel comfortable around others. Thank you so much for an amazing retreat. Team 23!!


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I believe we all had preconceived notions of what retreat would be like before we left, however, I believe I speak on behalf of all of Year 12 when I say that Year 12 Retreat exceeded our expectations in so many positive ways. Retreat allowed us to step back from our busy and structured day-to-day lives and really gave us all the opportunity to step back and appropriate the small things in life. Both the Rathane and Deer Park sides were able to create, rekindle or consolidate long-standing friendships as the invaluable time we all spent with one another allowed everyone to truly appreciate the journey we have been on together and the journey that lies ahead of us. While the food was definitely an interesting culinary experience, the time students spent serving their peers lunch, dinner, or breakfast and the conversations students and teachers had over these meals led to a fun, informative and worthwhile experience.

The combined dinner of Rathane and Deer Park showed just how much many students missed their friends as the first few minutes were filled with laughter, hugs, handshakes, and sharing many joyful and exciting memories each had encountered over their Retreat experience.

Overall, Year 12 Retreat was an experience no Year 12 student will be forgetting anytime soon, the lessons, conversations, and meaningful chats both one-to-one and as a group, everyone shared with one another will prove to be a memory - that I - and are sure many senior students will hold close to their heart.


Mrs Kimberley Logue

Director of Mission and Vision,

Religious Education Coordinator

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New College Green picnic tables

New picnic tables have been installed with the financial assistance of the P&F and the concrete pads installed by hard work of the Year 12 Construction Students.

Thank you to everyone involved.

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Year 11 Academic Awards - more images to follow next week

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Western Sydney University

The BluePrint Business Idea Competition for Year 10 students

St Benedict’s team awarded 2nd Place!

The BluePrint Business Idea Competition is a Western Sydney University initiative to engage with high school students from the Greater Western Sydney Region. The competition is designed to help students pursue new business ideas. It also empowers students through business education and enrichment opportunities and provides first-hand experience in entrepreneurship. The aim of the business idea is to solve a customer problem and students are required to conceptualise, build and market a business. The competition involves the creation, submission and presentation of original content that highlights the business idea.

Congratulations to our team of five Year 10 students:

Libby I , Elvina J, Anannya M, Riya S, Summer-Lili S

who were awarded second place in the WSU Blueprint Business Idea Competition.

The Competition finals were held at the impressive Western Sydney University School of Business building Level 9, 169 Macquarie Street, Parramatta from 4pm-7pm Friday, 11 November 2022.

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There were exciting prizes on offer from WSU for this Competition.

1st Team Prize: $3000 JB Hi-Fi gift card

2nd Team Prize: $2000 JB Hi-Fi gift card

3rd Team Prize: $1000 JB Hi-Fi gift card

Winning School: $5000

There were a record number of schools participating in the Competition this year and only 5 schools made it to the finals. Each team had 10 minutes to present their business idea to the panel of judges, followed by a gruelling Q & A from the judges.

At the end of the evening WSU announced that our Team (im-help) got 2nd place in this prestigious competition so the team received a $2000 JB Hi-Fi gift card.

Congratulations again to: Libby, Elvina, Anannya, Riya and Summer-Lili on their outstanding achievement.

Mr Mark Mustapic

Careers Adviser/TaPS

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Last Friday evening, the CDF Sports Awards officially returned with a bang—the first live event in two years. It was a celebration of all that is great about sport in the Diocese of Wollongong and a positive advertisement of the pathways available to students and teachers.

The evening, held at St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong, attracted more than 450 guests with another 400 attending virtually. It proved to be a fitting culmination to a busy and difficult sporting year marked by extreme weather and COVID-19 restrictions.

Yet out of adversity comes triumph, spirit and determination. This year’s awards highlighted the achievements of nearly 200 talented and dedicated students who have proudly represented our diocese at MacKillop and NSW Combined Catholic College events. Four primary teams and four secondary teams were also acknowledged for winning state Catholic school titles.

This event, proudly sponsored by the CDF, was also live-streamed and provided the opportunity for those unable to attend in person to share the event with their broader families.

The night’s proceedings featured an interview with past CDF Sports Awards winner, Amy Sligar (an alumnus of St Paul’s, Camden, and St Patrick’s, Campbelltown), who is now playing netball at the highest national level as part of the Greater Western Sydney Giants (GWS) netball team.

Other past students, and now elite athletes, Xavier Cooks, Lachlan Dent and Emma Tonegato (Holy Spirit College, Bellambi), Courtney Schonell (St Benedict’s, Oran Park), Kieran Woolley (Corpus Christi, Oak Flats) and Mackenzie Hawkesby (St Mary Star of the Sea College, Wollongong) also provided their congratulations and advice to our student-athletes through video messages.

Catholic Education Diocese of Wollongong (CEDoW) Director of Schools, Peter Hill, acknowledged the significance of the awards and the many people who give their time, expertise and practical support to the young people who compete as individuals and as team members across the diocese.

“I congratulate all students who have participated in sporting activities, at every level of age, ability, or representation,” he said. “What we celebrate [tonight] is a testament to the strong character and sense of community in our excellent Catholic schools. We can all be immensely proud of the young people at this event and their outstanding athletic achievements.

“I encourage you to continue applying yourselves to your sporting goals and aspirations, remain dedicated and committed, and keep seeking a sense of personal reward and pride in who you are and what you are able to accomplish.”

St Benedict's Students excel in the sporting arena

The following St Benedict's Catholic College students represented the Wollongong Diocese in NSWCCC or NSW All Schools teams this year.

Medallion Recipients:

Lachlan Bigwood - NSWCCC Baseball

Jude Hamilton - NSWCCC Cross Country

Charlotte Manny - NSWCCC Hockey

Blue Recipients

Ella Fielding - NSW All Schools Hockey

Lachlan Hort - NSW All Schools Softball

A special mention to Madeline B and Blake S who represented the College on the night as student readers.

Congratulations to these students on their outstanding achievements!

Miss Lisa Paton

Sports Coordinator

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Exemplary work History Elective examination - Joseph C, Year 10.

Joseph C of Year 10 completed this detailed extended response as one section of the final History Elective examination. This section was allocated only 25 minutes of time during which Joseph demonstrated a deep understanding of human rights violations intertwined with political and economic national interests as part of our regional history. Assess the involvement of Australian, Indonesian and East Timorese groups and governments since the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975

On the 7th December 1975, 9 days after Fretelin declared the independence of East Timor, the Indonesian government executed ‘Operation Lotus’, and under the guidance of President Suharto and General Wiranto, thousands of Indonesian paramilitary groups, soldiers and militia invaded East Timor. This began nationwide bloodshed, genocide and incursion that lasted 24 years, deposing the Fretelin government and destroying the infrastructure of East Timor. In the coming decades, many actions were taken by Indonesian and Australian governments in reaction to East Timor, for the better of for the worse, with the latter being most prevalent.

After and during the December 7th invasion, tens of thousands of East Timorese were massacred or forced to flee their homes into the mountains. The militia branch of the Fretelin freedom fighters, Falantil, engaged in years of guerrilla warfare in the mountains of East Timor. Despite the desperate cries for help from Fretelin fighters in East Timor, their closest neighbour Australia, did nothing more than condemn the Indonesian actions. For to send military or aid to the East Timorese would be to side with the ‘Communist’ enemies of one of Australia’s greatest trade partners, Indonesia. The financial and diplomatic benefits of Australia’s relationship with the Indonesians trumping the genocide, torture and destruction of the Timorese people, their culture and their homeland, sacrificing 60,000 Timorese who had helped defend Australia from Japanese Pacific forces in WW2. This ignoring of, and refusal to help the Timorese was solidified with two primary actions. The first was when Australia completely cut contact with freedom fighters in East Timor during radio contact. The second was the signing of the Timor Gap Treaty on 11 December 1989, a bilateral agreement between Indonesia and Australia to share in the profits and spoils of natural gas and crude oil in the Timor Seabed.

Diplomatic relations of greed and power between both Australia and Indonesia mirrored each other. With Australia’s denial of human rights for self-interest and Indonesia’s atrocities committed against East Timor during their occupation of the land, this destroyed the East Timorese people, their government, infrastructure, culture, religion and even language being stripped, all amongst severe bloodshed that Australia very well could have helped prevent after 1975. Bloodshed that the Balibo Five, murdered on the 16th October 1975, tried to help prevent.

In 1999, however, the fate of the East Timorese shifted. After the deposition of President Suharto, during the 1998 Indonesian and Asian economic crisis, his cronyism and hyperinflation induced his policies to be exposed. His successor, B.J. Habibie, allowed East Timor to hold a popular referendum on 30 th August 1999, to decide for the people whether they favoured independence and democracy.

UNAMET, the United Nations Mission East Timor, oversaw the voting process with 78.5% preferring East Timor to be independent. Celebrations were brief, as many hours after the results, Indonesian paramilitary groups and militia began a 12-day bloodshed once more. Australia finally stepped in, in an Australian-led international peacekeeping mission called INTERFET, working as UN peacekeeping officials. Indonesia finally withdrew from East Timor on 12 September 1999, and Australian forces defeated militia across the country, helping 200,000 East Timorese back to their homes.

East Timor was finally declared an independent nation in 2002, with Xanana Gusmao as Prime Minister. The actions of Australian and UN forces along with other organisations played a huge role. INTERFET, UNAMET and UNTAET, along with the great struggle of Fretelin and their leaders, brought justice to the East Timorese, in acts of historical positivity that extremely benefit the free Timorese people even to this day. Australia ‘redeemed’ itself, but it should forever be remembered for turning a blind eye in a time where they could have done more for the East Timorese. The atrocities of Indonesia only highlighting this ignoring of the East Timorese people.

Well done Joseph!

Ms Hawkins

HSIE Teacher

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"FIFA World Cup Trivia will be running in the coming weeks in the Library. Pay attention to Compass notifications over the coming days for further details."

2022 FIFA World Cup

The Library will celebrate the 2022 FIFA World Cup with games being streamed at recess and lunch.

Join us in the Library for your chance to enter the FIFA World Cup Raffle (a ticket to a corresponding qualifying country).

Flags of the competing countries will also be displayed and a competition to correctly name all flags will be held later in Term 4 - keep an eye on the Oliver home page for more information as well as an upcoming soccer trivia competition and other upcoming events.

Happy reading

The Library Team

Further information on our Resource selections can be found on the CEDoW Library website found at
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“Christmas is a ray of light for all, because it reveals to us God’s love and makes us feel the presence of Jesus with everyone, especially with those who are suffering.”

Pope John Paul 2nd, 1978

For the remainder of Term 4, the Social Justice team are asking for the school community to help support St Vincent de Paul and Catholic Care through our Christmas appeal. Christmas is a time for family to spend together and we so often do this over a beautiful meal. With this in mind, the Social Justice team have allocated a food hamper or a gift to each STRIVE group to contribute towards. All STRIVE coaches have the list of food items or age and gender of a child they are buying for. Mrs Castelli will be located at the collection point in the TAS courtyard every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until Monday Week 8.

Year 11 are supporting St Vincent de Paul through establishing Santa photos in the Library on December 1 at recess and lunch. If you would like to be part of this then bring a gold coin donation along and step into Santa’s workshop.

To support St Vincent de Paul further, on December 1, students are also encouraged to start the festive season off by wearing a Christmas t-shirt and/ or accessory with their sports uniform. To take part, students are asked to bring in a gold coin donation to be collected by their STRIVE coach.

If you would like to be part of the Social Justice team, then please see Mrs Castelli or come along to one of our meetings that take place at lunch on Wednesday As in the Library.

Mrs Sara-Jane Castelli

Social Justice Coordinator

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Social Justice Team volunteering at Mater Dei Fete

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A message from Busabout.

Most of you would be aware that Busabout started communicating with and visiting schools in our region last term to collaborate on ways to increase the amount of students tapping on & off, on our buses.

The results we have seen from the schools we worked with so far has been astounding, this goes a long way especially when we have such a rapidly growing community.

We want to continue to be able provide school services so ensuring your students tap on & off gives us and Transport for NSW the accurate data to enable this.

Transport for NSW has kindly provided a new poster that can be used at your discretion (see below and attached) within your school or digitally.

We will be continuing to liaise with schools over the coming months, however in the meantime if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Kind Regards,

Lauren Lebedevas

Operations Administrator

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Information in this calendar list is correct at the time of publication but is subject to change without notice.

Wed 23 Nov - Yr 7 2023 Orientation evening - 6.30pm - Hall

Fri 25 Nov - Yr 7 2023 Orientation Day for Students

Tue 13 Dec -Year 10 Academic Awards, Last Day Year 10 and 11

Wed 14 Dec - Closing Mass and Yr 7-9 Academic Awards - Hall - 8:10am, Yr 7-9 Report Distribution via Compass at 2:45pm

Thu 15 Dec - HSC Results Released, Students Activities Day

Fri 16 Dec - Term 4 Ends for Students, Yrs 7-10 Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews (all day)

Tue 20 Dec - Term 4 Ends (Staff)

End of Term 4

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College P & F Uniform Pool orders

P & F Uniform Pool order form - click here

The P & F preloved Uniform Pool has reopened, please complete the order form and send to the P & F by email at:

Our wonderful P&F volunteer Tracey will contact you.

Items can be paid for and collected from the SBCC College Office.

Donations of items in good condition can be left at the College Office.

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Rainier College Uniform Shop - Update

RANIER has advised that there may be significant delays with the college uniform. This delay is due to COVID lockdowns in China.

Orders placed for home delivery are despatched twice a week from the Uniform Shop. Orders placed for collection from college office will be available Mondays after 2:30pm, orders placed prior to 9am Monday will qualify.


Monday 9am – 5pm

Tuesday 9am – 5pm

Wednesday 9am – 5pm

Thursday 9am – 5pm

Saturday 9am – 12pm

Collection from shop | Collection from College | Home Delivery


Ranier Schoolwear Unit 5/6-8 Porrende Street Narellan 2567

Online purchasing and appointments visit:


Phone: 02 4647 8942

Responses will be provided during opening hours

For more immediate assistance, Head Office details are



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COVID-19 isolation no longer mandatory

Dear Parents and Carers,

Following a change to COVID-19 rules on Friday 14 October 2022, it is no longer mandatory for people who test positive to COVID-19 to self-isolate at home.

What this means for students and school staff

• If a student or staff member is unwell and has any COVID-19 symptoms, even the mildest of symptoms, they should stay home and test.

• Students and staff who are unwell with any cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms (whether they have tested positive or not) should not attend school until their symptoms are gone.

• To limit the possible spread of illness amongst the school community, students and staff displaying COVID-19 symptoms at school will continue to be sent home until their symptoms are gone (students and staff with persistent symptoms, e.g. hayfever, will continue to be able to attend with a letter from their medical practitioner).

Steps we can take to keep our school community safe

• The most important step we can all take is to stay home when we have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms, and not return to school until the symptoms are gone.

• Please continue to notify the school if your child tests positive for COVID-19.

• We strongly encourage all students, staff and visitors to follow NSW Health guidance.

We will continue with the COVID-smart measures that have been in place over the last few terms. This includes a combination of encouraging vaccination, supporting mask-wearing (with masks still required in some settings), rapid antigen testing, ventilation, hygiene and enhanced cleaning. If you have any questions or concerns about this change or any other matter related to COVID-19, please contact the school by phone or email.


Kerrie Piatek


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