Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 4 Week 1 - 19 October 2018

Principal's Blog

Welcome Back to Term Four!

Our students have now resumed classes from their vacation and we especially welcome back the two groups that have just returned from overseas.

Both the European Trip and the Vietnam Immersion were incredibly successful and both were incident-free occasions in which students and staff alike had memorable, and for some, even life-changing experiences.

An account of the Vietnam Trip is attached in this Newsletter and an account of the Europe Trip will appear in a future Edition. I encourage you to read these.

In the meanwhile, I would like to thank all staff who gave up their time so willingly, to our students who were wonderful role models and also (in the case of the Vietnam Immersion) Father Joe who was an amazing ‘tour guide’ and assisted so well in and around the orphanage and in breaking down language barriers.


Please continue to keep our Years 12s in your thoughts and prayers. HSC Examinations have now commenced and will continue over the next four weeks.

While our students can enter the examinations confident of the hard work they have completed, the more encouragement the better! We wish the cohort all the very best; they have been an impressive Year Group and deserve every success.


This week saw our newest student leaders badged.

The list of these students and their various roles/portfolios is listed later in this newsletter but I would like to congratulate every one of them.

Each student leader has gone through a process of initially being nominated and then voted for by peers. Unfortunately, the quality of our student cohorts means that we have far more students who would be wonderful leaders than we have formal positions available. We encourage students to continue to build their resilience and also recognise that there are many opportunities which students not in formal roles, can aspire towards or get involved with.

We look forward to working with the new Student Leadership team and we are excited about the potential outcomes that this group can produce over the coming year.


The following prayer is one of Pope Francis’ favourites and it is one in which we can put forward special intentions so that Mary can listen intently and remove our blocks, concerns and/or worries.


Holy Mary, full of the presence of God during your life you accepted with great humility the Holy Will of the Father and the legacy of your Son Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Evil never dared to entangle you with its confusion. Since then you have interceded for all of our difficulties. With all simplicity and patience, you have given us an example on how to untangle the knots in our complicated lives.

By being our Mother forever, you arrange and make clear the path that unites us to Our Lord. Holy Mary, Mother of God and ours, with your maternal heart untie the knots that upset our lives.

Blessed Virgin Mary, through your grace, your intercession and by your example, deliver us from evil and untie the knots that keep us from uniting with God, so that once free of every confusion and error, we may find Him in all things, have Him in our hearts and serve him always in our brothers and sisters.

2018-2019 Student Leaders


Shaun Rafferty - School Captain

Monica Rixon - School Captain

Harrison Collins-Webb - Vice Captain

Georgia Myers - Vice Captain


Zachariah Gunner - Faith and Liturgy Councillor

Kirsten Burgess - Faith and Liturgy Councillor

Gemma Nelson - Faith and Liturgy Councillor

Isabella Wiggins - Social Justice Councillor

Adrianna Zoric - Social Justice Councillor

Lara Davidson - Social Justice Councillor

Paris Maguire - College Spirit & Wellbeing Councillor

Daniella Haidar - College Spirit & Wellbeing Councillor

Callum Whitelaw - College Spirit & Wellbeing Councillor

Henry Zhang - Environmental Councillor

Aaron Godwin - Environmental Councillor

Emily Predl - Academic Councillor

Emily Saysanavongpheth - Academic Councillor

Sports Captains

Aleesha Austin - Sports Captain

Patrick Sapiatzer - Sports Captain

House Captains

Tia Newton - House Captain (Bruchhauser)

Lachlan Roberts - House Captain (Bruchhauser)

Tiahna Whitley - House Captain (Dunne)

Cooper Siitonen - House Captain (Dunne)

Holly Rasmussen - House Captain (Hogan)

Jye Gearside - House Captain (Hogan)

Lucy Taylor - House Captain (Moore)

Hayden Johnstone - House Captain (Moore)

Lauren Dady - House Captain (Sedgwick)

Benjamin Clarke - House Captain (Sedgwick)

Madyson Kenny - House Captain (Wilson)

Jack Beeby - House Captain (Wilson)

Student Representative Council Years 8 - 11

Jackson Ferns - Year 11 SRC

Jaylen Berroa - Year 11 SRC

Alex Honan - Year 11 SRC

Helena Burke - Year 11 SRC

Beau Severin - Year 10 SRC

Jacob Simpson - Year 10 SRC

Ella-Jane Jordan - Year 10 SRC

Kaitlyn Myers - Year 10 SRC

Liam McClafferty - Year 9 SRC

Isaiah Elias - Year 9 SRC

Jasmine McAllister - Year 9 SRC

Kirra-Lee Timms - Year 9 SRC

Marcus Attard - Year 8 SRC

Tim Wilson - Year 8 SRC

Lorraine Pernia - Year 8 SRC

Stella Ryan - Year 8 SRC

Magdalene Catholic High School Vietnam Immersion

During the School Holidays, a group from Magdalene Catholic High School, consisting of 14 Senior students and 3 Teachers, travelled to Belem Orphanage in Vietnam with Father Joe. The group bundled up gifts from the school community and were equipped with tools in order to assist the sisters by providing and installing some new handrails and playground equipment. We were so welcomed by the Sisters and the smiles on the children's’ faces will remain with us forever. The hospitality shown from all the sisters cannot be adequately addressed in words, suffice to say we felt very loved and extremely grateful.

The students involved themselves in everyday classroom activities and chores with the children and sisters. For all involved, this has truly been a life-changing experience.

We had time to explore the area, visiting Father Joe’s mother and family. A number of historical sites, including beautiful Churches and a Catholic Cemetery, were also on the itinerary. Some of these experiences were somewhat confronting, however, on reflection, a very special lesson in the value of life was gained.

We thank Father Joe for celebrating mass with us at 6:00 each morning and educating us about Vietnamese culture. He proved to be an invaluable tour guide, translator and mentor. We are also very grateful for the hospitality of the lovely Sisters at Belem, who captured our hearts. Friendships were formed and connections were made and we are very happy to now have a special bond with Belem. Magdalene looks forward to future visits and reconnecting with the children and sisters in the years ahead.

If you have the opportunity to contribute to this ongoing Immersion program you will be part of something very special in the lives of all involved.

Max Potential

On Tuesday 18th September Magdalene's four Max Potential participants had their final showcase at Campbelltown Catholic Club. In this showcase, students presented their Community Service Projects to the community and received their final certificates having completed the Max Potential Project.

On the night these four students served as outstanding ambassadors for the Magdalene community and shining examples of the quality contributions that young people can provide. It is a testament to these students too that as part of the final report (included below) three Community Service Projects out of the total twenty-five are selected as highlights of the program for the impact and the value they have provided to the community. Of these three highlights, two of them ('Campbelltown Hospital' and 'Sport for Everyone') were designed, developed and implemented by Magdalene students.

All four of these students, (pictured left to right) Mitchell Phipps, Alex Honan, Olivia Nagle and Liam Bos should be extremely proud of their achievements and the contribution they have made to various communities as part of the Max Potential program. Through their own commitment, generosity, compassion, leadership and perseverance they have made a clear and valuable contribution to the lives of many both in the local Camden - Macarthur community and even as far afield as Africa.

I feel I speak for all in the Magdalene community when I say to these four participants... congratulations and very well done.

Mr Matthew Dowdell

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Mission Report

St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal

Thank you to all for your support of our 2018 St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal. We raised over $1000 and collected a significant amount of food and clothing to assist the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society in our local area. Our donations will be shared with both our local Parish St Vincent de Paul Conference at Camden and the Nagle Outreach Centre in Campbelltown.

Social Justice Forum

During term 3, a Social Justice forum was held at the Xavier Centre in Wollongong for High School Students from across the Diocese. Throughout the day, there were various guest speakers who each provided an insight into each of the Catholic Social Teachings. Each presenter related each social teaching and connected it to the organisations that they work for including St Vincent de Paul, Caritas and Catholic Education Wollongong. Every speaker presented their ideas from a different perspective, for example, some presented speeches, others presented powerpoints and some even displayed informative videos. From there, they incorporated ways in which we are all able to apply these social teachings into multiple aspects of our everyday lives. The themes and messages of the day are able to be directly linked to the content being learnt in Year 10 Religious Education. This day created awareness about the important issues that we face in our society today and how, as Stewards of creations, we are able to look after our world. Overall, the day was informative and insightful, to further understand the Catholic Social Teachings.

Catholic Mission Diocesan Launch

On Thursday 27th September, Magdalene students were chosen to take part in the Diocese Catholic Mission Launch. This yearly event usually starts off with one main focus, this year’s focus involved looking to promote and support the development of education throughout the world. Myanmar, which is a Southeastern Asian nation and one of the poorest countries in the world was the focus for the Liturgy.

This was a wonderful opportunity for representatives from all Catholic schools in the diocese to come together as one community and stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate than ourselves. During the liturgy, we had the fortunate opportunity to learn and gain insight on some of the struggles in which the children of Myanmar have to go through to access education. We were privileged to hear from Fr Lucas Tha Ling Sum, Chancellor Hakha Diocese in Myanmar who gave a first-hand insight to the work of the Church in his Diocese and the many needs that this year appeal can assist to achieve.

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Mr Kevin Wade Oztag Match - Staff v Students - Year 11 & 12 SRC

Monday 24th September saw the staff take on the students our annual Mr Kevin Wade Oztag match. The match honours both the sportsmanship and care of others that was very much characteristic of Mr Wade. The match was a tight affair with the students holding on for a tense 2 - 1 victory. The real winners on the day were those that are supported by Catholic Mission with our BBQ raising over $200 for Catholic Mission. Well done to our Year 10 & 12 students and helpers who organised and ran a very successful event. Thank you also to the staff and students who participated in the match. There will more Catholic Mission Events this term so stay tuned.

Catholic Mission at Work in Myanmar
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Youth Ministry Update

LIVE Festival 2018

On Friday 31st of July 58 students from Year 10 and Year 11 travelled to Wollongong to participate in the Diocesan LIVE Youth Festival. This festival was a great opportunity for new experiences, new friends and new encounters with the Holy Spirit. The day included a wide range of activities such as talks, live music, dancing, bubble soccer and much more. These experiences were all aimed at giving the youth of our Wollongong Diocese the opportunity to explore their own faith and spirituality in a supportive and community-oriented environment. The day started with an energy response to the sounds of the CYMW Rock Band and was followed by a range of talks and guest presenters. Each session provided ideas and lessons about what it means to be Catholic, one significant activity included a talk and presentation from Fr Rob Galea. Fr Rob is best known for using his talented voice to spread the word of God, not just in the church but also on iTunes, Spotify and many other music platforms. We got to learn a lot about who he really is behind his voice, his faith and the journey that made him who he was. This journey resonated with many students and provided an opportunity to reflect and refocus in their own lives. All in all a great day was had by the Magdalene Staff and Students who attended.

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Mr Peter Collins

Mission Coordinator


Magdalene under 15’s MISA Rugby League (1st Division)

At the beginning of term three, a squad of eighteen young men were selected to represent Magdalene in the MISA under 15’s rugby league competition.

Our first match was against John Therry Catholic High School, who started very well, scoring off the first set of the game. This put Magdalene on the back foot straight away and seemed as though we were defending our line the entire first half, with Magdalene showing commitment for each other and pride in our school jersey under adversity. The game was in the balance until the dying stages of the match when John Therry sealed the match to win 16-10. Special mention must go to Liam who almost broke the game open on several occasions and was our Most Valuable Player

Our second match was against Clancy Catholic College and the boys were keen to improve on our last game. We started very well, leading by 8 at halftime and 12-0 early in the second half. Some poor discipline crept into our game, however, we still managed to grind out a 12-10 victory with Charlie Cilia taking the Man of the Match award.

The next game was a return to Magdalene against Freeman Catholic College and both teams were very excited to be playing on the school grounds. With over 200 spectators, Magdalene played with determination and control, winning 16-4. This game saw contributions all round with Nathan Secheny sealing the win and getting Man of the Match. This was followed by a playoff for third place against Freeman. This match ended with a 16 all draw allowing Magdalene to claim third place in the MISA competition. Well done gentlemen.

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Front Row: Harrison Mawdsley, Mitchell Newton, Jack Haines, Lincoln Miners, Ashton Marsh, Joshua Creecy, Mark Bligh, Liam Yabsley

Back Row: Samuel Speakman, Jaelen Adamson, Charlie Cilia, Cameron Kenny, Jake Dalby, Nathan Secheny, Ethan Berrell, Braiden Morgan, Nathan Williams, James Fabricato

Do You Have Some Sport News You Wish To Share?

If you are aware of some fantastic sports news or achievements that we need to know about - please let us know. Initial emails can go to Thank you

Student Opal Cards for 2019

School student applications for 2019 open from Monday, 15 October 2018.

Students progressing to Year 3 and Year 7 do not need to re-apply if they:

· are continuing at the same school; and

· are residing at the same address; and

· have not been sent an expiry notification from Transport for NSW.

Where a student meets the new distance eligibility, the system will automatically update their entitlement. If they do not meet the new eligibility, they will receive an expiry notification.

Students who have an entitlement approved under a medical condition which is due to expire will receive a notification advising them to re-apply.

Term Bus Pass holders will receive a notification to re-apply.

If students need to update their information or re-apply, they should go online to

Applications need to be submitted before 31 December 2018 to ensure student entitlements are updated and their current entitlement/card is not cancelled. If their application is submitted after 31 December 2018, the system will automatically cancel a card and a new one will need to be issued.

Students in the Opal network applying for a SSTS or Term Bus Pass entitlement for the first time will receive their card at their nominated postal address. Cards will be mailed out during December 2018 and January 2019.


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