The past two weeks have seen MacKillop girls settle into their studies with the first round of assignments and tests being distributed. The girls are engaged in their learning, getting to know their teachers and classmates and learning new concepts. In between their studies and homework, students have engaged fully in the College as we launched Project Compassion and sent Year 8 and 9 girls on camp.
The Social Justice Captains, Emily and Hannah are driving our fundraising for Caritas throughout the liturgical season of Lent. The girls have many opportunities to donate money and to think about the needs of others.
The Year 9 camp last week was a huge success with the girls coming home with a lot of stories of great adventures, learning new skills – i.e. riding a bike for the first time - and building friendships. This week, the Year 8 girls are enjoying their first MacKillop Camp at El Shaddai. It is common, particularly on this camp, that lifelong friendships are made.
Saturday Sport is underway, and it is great to see so many girls involved in volleyball, tennis and basketball.
The College Captains returned this week from five days in Sydney with the Year 12 Pastoral Care Coordinator, Mrs Jeanene Corbo. Izabella and Dominique enjoyed the opportunity to attend the JJAMM Student Leadership Conference at Mary MacKillop Place. They met with other student leaders from Josephite schools to plan their year of bringing the Gospel values of love and justice alive in their schools. The girls came back inspired by the work of the Sisters of St Joseph.
This week all parents would have received a letter from our Principal, Kath McGuigan about mobile phone use at Mary MacKillop College. This letter was an important reminder to students and parents about mobile phone etiquette and appropriate use whilst at school. Please take the time to read the letter and discuss it with your daughter.
Further to this, I draw your attention to the following article from Santa Maria College in Sydney; The Social Media Contract That Will Get You and Your Kids Talking. I believe this article will provide you with tools as a parent to help teach your daughter about all things social media. I encourage you to take a close read and again share it with your daughter. As both parents and teachers continue to learn ways to teach our girls about the best use of technology, it is important to keep up to date on cyber safety issues. As such, we are pleased to invite all parents and friends of the College to hear Susan McLean; Australia’s foremost expert in the area of cyber safety and young people. Please join us on Thursday 8 March, 7pm for this important event about keeping young people safe online. This is an adult only presentation that will challenge and empower us as we endeavour to equip our girls with the necessary skills to manage an online world. This is a free event and we ask you to book through Trybooking.
I would like to take a moment to address a special report by School TV. Many parents will be aware of the tragic circumstances in which Amy 'Dolly’ Everett lost her life earlier this year as a result of cyberbullying. Dolly, as she was affectionately known, has since become the face of a campaign to raise awareness of bullying, anxiety, depression and youth suicide. A legacy that Dolly’s bereaved family fully support with the intent of sparing other families from the same grief. In this Special Report, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg highlights the dangers associated with social media and outlines how parents can help reduce the risk of cyberbully. If you have any concerns about your child, please contact our College Counsellor, Jessica Johnson for further information.
Finally, I bring your attention to another community event on the school calendar. This year the Parents & Friends Association have organised a Quiz Night to be held on Saturday 7 April. This is another adult only event. You will have the opportunity to meet other families and engage in friendly competition whilst raising funds for the school. Please see the note in this week’s newsletter.
I take this opportunity to thank all parents and families for their contribution to our school community. Your daughters continue to bring great joy to our school day and your commitment supports us in our important work as educators of girls.