Magdalene Catholic High School

Newsletter Vol 20 Term: 2 Week 5 - 1 June 2018

Principal's Blog

Magdalene’s 20th Year Gala Dinner took place at the Cube on Friday 18th May and it proved to be a fabulous evening for so many varied reasons. It was wonderful to see so many members of our Magdalene community – friends and family, ex-staff, current staff, former and current parents, our current student leaders and our former students socialising and celebrating all things Magdalene.

The evening was incredibly well MC’d by Mr David Cornett (P & F President) and there was a really good balance of reflection, humour, conversation and entertainment. I especially thank our ex-student entertainers: Sarah Prestwidge for sharing her beautiful voice, Jacob Reardon for his performance on piano and performances by the collective talents of Georgia White, Daniel Conte, Ethan Sawyer and Kieren Ross. These performances were beautifully supported by our School Choir and I thank Mr Michael Mäe and Mr Brandon O’Donnell for their musical talents and accompaniment. I also thank Mr Lo Cascio, Mr Barrington, Mrs Hort and Mrs Mamone for their “lounge chair chats” with David Cornett.

There was great positive energy at each table and so many smiles and laughs as past stories and fond memories were shared. A special tribute for our founding Principal occurred during the evening both through word, image and a special area: “Alan’s Garden” was set up to feature his beloved Mr Lincoln roses and a tribute book. I know the McManus family when they knew there would be a tribute, were nervous about coming along to the evening - but they appreciated the good mix of fun and celebration and everyone’s well wishes for them and Alan – he was and is such a key part of the Magdalene story.

A huge thank you goes to so many people for the organisation of the night. I particularly thank Mrs Michelle Cornett, Event Coordinator, and Ms Donna Corbett for their tireless and outstanding work coordinating and working so hard behind and in front of the scenes. The night would not have been what it was without their exceptional work and it was great to have such a broad range of skills that enabled a memorable event.

I thank our excellent Organising Committee in so many different ways: Mrs Michelle Cornett; Ms Donna Corbett; Ms Jenny Foldes; Mr Danny Avalos; Ms Stephanie Phillips; Mrs Alyce-Maree Mamone; Mrs Jacinta Abernethy; Mrs Vivian Rixon; Ms Cathy Delaney; Mrs Geraldine Spencer; Miss Alana Di-Filippo and Mr Peter Collins. They each had different roles and portfolios to fulfil and I am so grateful for their work. I especially thank:

  • Mr Avalos, Mr Bayliss and Mr Gorrie for their work producing the key rings distributed on the night
  • Mr Avalos for his visual presentations during the evening
  • The Cornetts, Mr Avalos, Mr Trimarchi and Ms Corbett for helping with pack up
  • Mr Trimarchi for his supply of garden equipment for 'Alan's garden', his transporting of equipment and his careful growing of roses in recent months
  • Ms S Phillips for assisting in early planning and sourcing Alan's tribute book
  • Mrs Mamone for her work on the Alumni Facebook Page (and the Simonetta family for the donation of the major prize)
  • Ms Jen Berkley for her various graphics work, designs and promotion on our website & Facebook
  • Mr Collins for his jersey display and his and the work of Mrs Rixon, Mr Avalos, the Cornetts, Ms Corbett and Mrs Abernethy in collating memorabilia and setting up various displays around the room
  • Ms Delaney for her photography work during the evening
  • Miss Sophie Cornett for helping with our raffles
  • Various staff, who behind the scenes, did much work in finance, printing, design and the like
  • Eckersley’s Macarthur Square and Simply Serene Narellan for their generous prize donations for the night
  • The Catholic Club for their ongoing support (and prize donations) and the Cube for all of their assistance in making the night successful
  • Townsend Signs for their continued support of Magdalene
  • Everyone else who played a role no matter how small in making the night so wonderful

I now invite you all (current students, staff, parents and all ex-students, staff and parents) to be a part of our final celebration of this year – and one which EVERYONE is invited to – our Return to Magdalene Day on Saturday, 18th August 2018. I ask that you mark this date in your calendars. More details will follow although we are looking at the event occurring between 12.30 and 4 pm on the day. Come along at any point during this time period.


In recognition of this being Reconciliation Week I ask that we offer this following Reconciliation Prayer together:

Lord God, bring us together as one,
reconciled with You and reconciled with each other.

You made us in Your likeness,
You gave us Your Son Jesus Christ.
He has given us forgiveness from sin.

Lord God, bring us together as one,
different and yet united across cultures.

Lord God, bring us together as one,

together renewed with new life through Jesus Christ.

Together we stand as Your body, Your Church, Your people.

May we continue to be reconciled, healed and forgiven,
sharing You with others as You have called us to do.

In Jesus Christ, let us be together as one.

Mr Matthew McMahon


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Curriculum Coordinator Report


Thank you to all the teachers who joined us to support the Year 10 students in their selection of subjects for Year 11 2019. Parents and students were able to access teachers from all available subjects to ask questions, seek advice and listen to the wisdom that our teachers provided. Students are tasked with engaging with the online subject selection platform and make their initial choices on the subjects that they wish to study. These selections are due by Thursday 7th June.


Students have begun completing their first attempt of the Literacy and Numeracy online tests. They are reminded that they are required to have a fully charged laptop with them and attend the room they are allocated at the appropriate time. Once feedback is available to the school, this information will be passed on to our students.


Term 3 sees three important exam periods;

  1. Trial HSC Examinations: Monday 6th August to Monday 20th August
  2. Year 10 Examinations: Monday 3rd September to Wednesday 12th September
  3. Year 11 Preliminary End of Course Examinations: Thursday 13th September to Tuesday 25th September


Keep on top of your subject summaries so that you feel prepared for the examination period approaching. Minimise the external conflicting priorities by reducing the number of part-time work hours in the lead-up to and during the examination period.


Commencing on Tuesday 29th May and continuing through the remainder of the term, students in all year groups will complete activities and discuss, during Academic Care class, the principles of Academic Buoyancy and Habits of Mind principles to support their learning. We encourage you to speak with your children about these ideas.

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Religious Education Report

A couple of weeks ago Year 9 students had the amazing experience, along with Mrs Ashleigh Durrant and the Year 9 Pastoral Team, of the Year 9 Reflection Day, led by the incomparable Chris Doyle, a one-man singing, guitar playing, story-telling, laugh-till-it-hurts kind of presenter, who also packs a mighty punch when it comes to getting young people to think about the realities of life, family, faith and love, both now and for the future. I must commend Year 9 for their excellent participation and enjoyment of this Reflection Day.

Year 9

Last Thursday Year 12 went to St Patrick’s College Campbelltown and met with the Year 12’s from St Pats and St Benedict’s and our very own newly installed Bishop Brian Mascord. It was a wonderful get-together and sharing of community and faith and a great chance to get to know a few things about our new Bishop, who is a man of faith, integrity and humanity. Our students participated beautifully on the day and a special thanks must go to Lauren Avero and Jeramyah Beauchamp who asked the Bishop some curly questions, Luke Snelling and Nina Malijan who were a key part of the liturgical celebration, and Connor McFarlane, who gave a great speech about what it’s like to be a student on the Wollongong Diocese. Many thanks to all involved for putting their best foot forward on behalf of Magdalene.

Mr Steve O’Neill

Religious Education Coordinator

Stage 5 History Site Study: The Australian War Memorial

Our incredibly excited Stage 5 History students recently undertook a site study to the Australian War Memorial, Canberra. Students had an opportunity to view first hand, the extensive display of artefacts from a variety of conflicts. This site study coincided with our current historical investigation concerning the impact of World War I on Australians.

Highlights of the day included the Hall of Memory, the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier, battle dioramas, the impressive aircraft hall and of course, the British Mark IV tank.

Upon reflection of the excursion, our students have written the following:

What really stood out to me at the Australian War Memorial was how many names were on the Wall of Honour. It really made me reflect on how many people sacrificed their lives for our country.

-Cameron Marriott

The Australian War Memorial provided an elaborate display of artefacts with extensive detail. The experience significantly influenced my perspective concerning the origins of war and the extent of the effort required to defend nations.

- Christina David

Before going to the Australian War Memorial, I did not fully realise how deeply and intensely so many people were affected by war. Seeing the walls filled with the names of casualties and hundreds of poppies really touched me and has changed my understanding of the impact war has had on Australians.

-Tahlia Omac

When you hear that over 60000 people died in WWI, you don't think too much of it, but when you see the names on the Wall of Honour, it is incredibly eye-opening, considering each of those names was a person who had a family back home.

-Joey Marchand

As we approach the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, it is great to hear how many of our students have new perspectives concerning the importance of World War I and Australia's military service.

Mrs Carolyn Said

H.S.I.E. Coordinator

Science Report

Year 8 Science class 8SCI.1 practised their surgery skills recently. The students have been learning about the circulation system and happily dissected a sheep’s heart.

The students learnt that the average human contains around 5 litres of blood and during an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.

Year 7 have continued their investigation of the properties of matter. Students looked at the density and the crystallization of salt.

Not to be outdone by Year 7 & 8, students in Year 9 students have been learning about the fundamentals of electrical circuits, how to build a simple circuit and Ohm Law.

Year 10 are split, with three of the six classes investigating the wonders of chemistry and the other three classes exploring the basics of genetics and evolution.

Like a good potion class with Professor Snape at Hogwarts in Harry Potter, the students investigating chemistry are busy mixing strange liquids together with some odd results. The other classes investigating evolution feel a little uncomfortable about just how close genetically we are to apes. Researchers generally agree that among the living animals, humans are most closely related to chimpanzees, judging from comparisons of anatomy and genetics.

Chemistry students in Year 11 & 12 started their training sessions for the NSW School Titration Competition. This competition is a statewide event and Magdalene is one of the host venues.

Strange sights have been seen in the gardens with Senior Science students have been seen wandering the grounds with their “beatboxes” on their shoulders. Students are currently studying communication waves and were looking at AM & FM radio waves.

What’s the GO in Science?

  • Year 7 are studying the States of Matter

  • Year 8 are studying Body Systems

  • Year 9 are studying Energy

  • Year 10 are studying Biology or Chemistry

  • Year 11 & 12 Chemistry Titration Competition 19th June

Careers News

Milton Berle once said 'If opportunity doesn't knock, then build a door'. It is this idea that was behind the Year 10 students' Career Day last Thursday. As well as the workshops they attended on Pathway Planning, Subject Selection, Resume Writing, Personality Testing and Personal Interests, students also took part in Mock Interviews where external guests gave individuals feedback on how well they conducted themselves in a job interview situation.

The highlight of the day was a Speed Careering session where students had the chance to hear from many professionals who gave up their valuable time to share information about their working lives. Research suggests that if students hear about five occupations while they are still at school, they will make better-informed decisions about their own futures.

The staff of Magdalene Catholic High School and myself would like to send a big thank you to all the members of the Community who helped out on this day.

Mrs Carol Dobbie

Max Potential

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Olivia Nagle, Erin Radl, Mitchell Phipps and Liam Bos

Sport News

Congratulations Jacob!

The past 12 months have been amazing for Jacob Simpson (9S).

One year ago, Jacob qualified for the 2017 Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships (Nationals) in Queensland for one event, the Boys 13 years 100m Breaststroke.

This year Jacob qualified for the 2018 Georgina Hope Foundation Australian Age Championships (Nationals) in Sydney, which were held between the 21st April & the 26th April 2018, for an outstanding 5 Events. The Boys 14 years 200m Individual Medley, Boys 14 years 1500m Freestyle, Boys 14 years 400m Freestyle, Boys 14 years 400m Individual Medley & the Boys 14 years 200m Freestyle.

Impressively, Jacob qualified for 2 of these events, the 1500m Freestyle and the 400m Individual Medley, by only swimming these events once at an approved swim meet.

Jacob managed to Swim 5 Personal Best Times at Nationals as follows;

  • Boys 14 years 200m Individual Medley, he swam a 1.88 second PB, where he was seeded 16th but placed 13th
  • Boys 14 years 1500m Freestyle, he swam a 17.75 second PB, where he was seeded 16th but placed 14th
  • Boys 14 years 400m Freestyle, he swam a 2.03 second PB, where he was seeded 18th but placed 13th
  • Boys 14 years 400m Individual Medley, he swam a 4.21 second PB, where he was seeded 18th but placed 16th
  • Boys 14 years 200m Freestyle, he swam a 0.08 second PB, where he was seeded 19th and placed 32nd

At School level Swimming, Jacob was Age Champion at School, Age Champion at Diocesan level and then Age Champion at NSW CCC Swimming level.

To top it all off, Jacob recently attended an Awards Dinner where he was awarded Age Champion at Swimming Metro South West Long Course Swimming Championships, where he also broke a Record for the Boys 13 years 200m Individual Medley.

Jacob was also awarded "MALE SWIMMER OF THE MEET" at the National A Squad Development Meet.

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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
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Catholic Care

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Community News


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