16 Feb 2024
Mary MacKillop College acknowledges the Kaurna people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, work and study. We pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
God of endless kindness and mercy,
Open our hearts in this time of Lent.
Give us courage to look at our lives with honesty;
Give us strength to deal with what we find;
Help us to forgive ourselves and each other,
so that we may return to you with all our hearts,
We make this prayer through Christ Jesus.
Welcome to 2024 at our beautiful Mary MacKillop College! Although only three weeks have passed, we have been sure to pack them full of wonderful start of year activities and celebrations.
Our new Year 7 girls have settled in well and enjoyed the many transition activities, while students in other year levels have dived enthusiastically into their studies. We have however, found time to cheer at the Week 1 Swimming Carnival and gather for our Opening Mass in Week 2.
It was a privilege to recognise our 2023 Year 12 students at the recent High Achievers’ Ceremony, where, in the presence of their families, our community acknowledged the success of those who excelled in their subjects and/or attained an ATAR score of 90 or above.
We were very excited to witness the faces of students accessing the new Science and Art/Design learning spaces in the Tenison Centre for the first time as the year began! Our official opening ceremony will occur in mid-March to coincide with our celebration of the Feast of St Joseph.
Shrove Tuesday saw pancakes being purchased to launch the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. With thanks to a generous parent, students and staff were able to start the day with a pancake in the Tenison Plaza. A poignant Ash Wednesday Liturgy followed the next day as a fitting way for the College to begin the Lenten Season.
Thank you to all those who kindly offered feedback regarding the 2024-2026 Mary MacKillop College Strategic Plan. It will be launched next week to families and the wider community and we are confident that the strategic vision and goals will see our students and the College continue to flourish over the coming years.
As we enter the Lenten Season, let us journey together in hope and solidarity as the term progresses, giving us opportunities to reflect on the Easter story and look for ways to show love and compassion to others in our local and global communities.
Welcome back, go well and God bless.
Student Leadership Team Embarks on a Journey of Courage and Compassion
The year kicked off with a whirlwind of activity for our 2024 Student Leadership Team as they showcased their confidence and compassion, embodying the ‘Courage to lead’.
Our Student Leadership Team had the privilege of hosting leaders from Caritas College, a Josephite school in Port Augusta, early this term. It was an enriching opportunity for our students to engage in discussions, exchange ideas and explore the possibilities for 2024.
Venturing to The Retreat at West Beach, the Student Leadership Team embarked on a transformative journey during their Leadership Immersion Camp in the first week of the school year. Amidst thrilling challenges like conquering the Giant Wedgie water slide, students united as a team to craft their creed for 2024. This exercise was not just about setting goals; it was a profound exploration of individual values, authenticity and the essence of leadership.
Throughout the camp, students delved into their personal leadership styles, envisioning the type of leader they aspire to be and how they will lead with compassion. Through self-reflection, they honed their leadership agility, fortified their skills and bolstered their confidence to embrace the many opportunities that lie ahead, with the aim of making a meaningful impact within our College community.
As the camp drew to a close, it was heartening to witness the growth and connection that blossomed among our student leaders. Their courage to share, dream, encourage, commit and reflect epitomised the spirit of leadership that thrives within a Josephite school.
The immersion camp provided an opportunity for our students to deepen their understanding of their vision, identity and the profound responsibility that comes with leadership. I could not be prouder of the resilience and determination displayed by our Student Leadership Team as they embark on this journey of growth, compassion and courage.
Beginning of Year Mass
On Thursday 6 February the College community came together with great joy and reverence to celebrate our traditional Beginning of Year Mass. This sacred occasion serves as a beacon of light guiding us into the promising journey ahead. It symbolises our unwavering dedication to fostering an environment where faith flourishes, minds expand and hearts unite in service and compassion. During mass we were invited to reflect on this year’s theme 'Leading with Compassion', and in recognising Mary MacKillop as a leader of compassion we reflected on our own capacity to empathise, serve and uplift others. Her life challenges us to embrace compassion in our communities, advocating for justice, education and care for the vulnerable.
Lent is a time of almsgiving and prayer. We are called to give generously to those in need.
Have you ever wondered why people tend to eat pancakes on the day before Ash Wednesday? Believers around the world celebrate Shrove Tuesday each year which is held on the day preceding Ash Wednesday. It signals the end of Epiphany and the beginning of Lent (a time of penance and renewal prior to Easter) in the liturgical calendar of many Christian traditions. Its name is derived from the term ‘shrive’, which refers to the ritual of confession for sins leading into the penitential season of Lent.
At the College, pancakes were distributed across the morning and donations contributed to kick-start Project Compassion for the Lenten Season.
Why would Jesus go into the desert for a forty day retreat after his baptism? It is the same reason why people go on retreat: to refocus on who they are, where they are going and how to get there. Jesus needed time to understand the revelation of his identity.
On February 14 the College gathered in the Gymnasium for the Ash Wednesday Liturgy. This began our journey to Easter - a time for reflection on how we are living our lives. Ashes were placed on our forehead as a sign of our desire to repent and turn back to God.
Caritas Australia Project Compassion Launch
As the Lenten season begins with Ash Wednesday, it also marks the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allow Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.
At the College we encourage students to put their compassion into action through prayers, fasting and almsgiving by supporting Project Compassion. Each class has received a Project Compassion box and students may donate in this way or online via The Caritas Australia website www.caritas.org.au/project-compassion. Students may also organise a fundraiser within their class or cohort. The theme of Project Compassion 2024 is ‘For All Future Generations’ and reminds us that the good we do today extends to impact the lives of generations to come. It invites us to make the world a better place by working together now and finding long-term solutions to global issues.
Religious Education Coordinator
Harleen and Madeleine
In December last year three MacKillop students participated in the Santos Science Experience, an annual national three-day Science program run by Australian universities which offers a wide range of opportunities for Years 9 and 10 students.
During the three-day period, we visited the University of Adelaide and participated in various hands-on activities, allowing us to investigate and learn more about studies and potential careers in several diverse STEM fields. Working alongside students from across South Australia provided a unique opportunity for collaboration and learning more about tertiary studies and careers in STEM.
On the first day we did the ‘Amazing Science Race’ using scientific clues to uncover new STEM experiences. We moved around the University of Adelaide campus completing various experiments and tasks such as sampling bacteria, identifying insects and learning about minerals. One activity which focused on mechanical engineering gave us the opportunity to become rocket scientists and create mini rockets out of matchsticks and aluminium foil. We were able to make them fly, learning the principles of propulsion and aerodynamics that govern flight. In another engineering-focused activity, we learnt about the environment and what engineers are doing to help others and the planet. With a variety of materials, the task was to create our very own floating house which could hold at least 10 marbles when tested. This showcased the practical application of engineering in addressing pressing global issues.
Infectious diseases were an intriguing and exciting experience as we learnt the spread of bacteria by covering our hands in bright paint and then shaking hands with other members of our group. Additionally, examining bacteria under a microscope allowed us to delve deeper into their properties, enhancing our understanding of microbiology. Another activity where we extracted DNA from strawberries, helped us learn more about the properties of DNA and how it effects genetics. The Deltahedra Maths activity challenged us to think creatively and strategically as we created unique geometric shapes from an unlimited number of triangles.
On the second day, we travelled to the Waite campus, which is an agricultural campus. During the day we toured a vineyard and learnt about the process of wine making. We later participated in an activity called ‘Grape Chemical Outreach’ where we mashed grapes and attempted to make our own wine. This taught us the hands-on process of wine making and made us aware of the effort that goes into this process. We attended a seminar about how plants grow in outer space and the foods astronauts are most likely to eat. Our highlight of the day was learning about the nutritional value of novel protein foods such as insects and mealworms, which we tasted.
On the final day, we participated in a seminar where we talked to a student studying environmental engineering, as well as alumni who now work at Adelaide University. This allowed us to ask any questions related to their fields of work, their journey towards achieving their current careers and any advice they may have for young students hoping to follow similar studies.
Overall, the SANTOS Science Experience culminated in a transformative journey of discovery and exploration. From insightful seminars with industry professionals to engaging hands-on activities, each day offered new opportunities for growth and learning, allowing us to gather a wealth of information about STEM, furthering our passion for Science and Mathematics.
We would like to thank the Magill Rotary Club for sponsoring our attendance at the event, we are most grateful for their support.
Harleen and Madeleine
Year 11 students
Co-curricular Music Tuition has commenced with students learning the guitar, piano, flute and voice.
Music tuition on an instrument or voice is an excellent way to fast track your music interest or career and every star starts somewhere with their first lesson. Maybe this is your first year at the College or maybe you have been thinking about it for some years? The best time to start is to start now! So don’t delay, download the tuition form from the Music Portal in SEQTA and return it so your musical journey can commence.
We welcome two new musical faces to MMC this year. Firstly, Mr Gary Isaacs returns as the guitar specialist. Gary is very versatile and teaches electric and acoustic guitars, bass guitar, mandolin, banjo and ukulele. Gary has taught at the College in previous years and we excited for his return. Gary is an excellent musician and we hope to utilise his rock band skills in the near future as our class bands develop.
Secondly, we welcome Ms Marina Olyjnyk who is a vocal specialist and will lead the Performance Choir and take it to new heights. Marina is currently completing her Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Psychology and is fully immersed in the vocal program at Adelaide University, performing in the Jazz Connection as well as the Elder Conservatorium Chorale. Most importantly though, Marina is level 2 - Estill Voice certified: meaning she is fully aware of how to develop and nurture young voices.
The Choir performed at the Beginning of Year Mass and look forward to singing at future events. Girls please consider joining, it is a great way to demonstrate your leadership.
All Music enquiries can be directed to Mr Gavin Hughes email@example.com.
The Mary MacKillop College community certainly started the year with a splash at the annual Swimming Carnival on Friday 2 February at the Norwood Swimming Pool. The theme for this year, Rhyme Without a Reason, provided students with an opportunity to test their creativity. It was wonderful to see students embrace the theme and it certainly added an extra layer of excitement and vibrancy to the carnival atmosphere! Our students enthusiastically embraced the water, taking part in both the traditional swimming events and the highly enjoyed novelty events. The exemplary leadership and enthusiasm of our four House Captains, Keeleigh, Ivy, Eloise and Ava, shone as they served as outstanding role models for the community. Their dedication was evident not only during the carnival itself but also in the preparations leading up to the event.
On behalf of the Sports Department and College, we would like to congratulate the following age group Champions and runners up:
U/13 Runner Up: Shanaya and Amelia
U/13 Champion: Winter
U/14 Runner Up: Malia
U/14 Champion: Madeleine
U/15 Runners Up: Ava
U/15 Champion: Kaysii
U/16 Runner Up: Chloe
U/16 Champion: Sophie
16+ Runner Up: Sophia
16+ Champion: Ella
Our individual champion of the pool for 2024 is Ella. Congratulations on an outstanding performance in the 50m Freestyle Event.
Flora House, under the guidance and leadership of House Captain, Ivy, were the Spirit Award winners for 2024 after having cheered and danced all day long.
This year, Alexander won the overall championship. The results were:
Fourth position: Tappeiner with 195 points
Third position: Flora with 348 points
Second position: Tenison with 429 points
First position: Alexander with 586 points
Congratulations to all members of Alexander and House Captain, Keeleigh.
We cannot wait for the Athletics Carnival on Friday Week 7 and are looking forward to seeing students participating, dressing up and supporting their house.
- Term 1 Sport commences in Week 3, both training and games
- The training schedule and weekly schedule for Saturday sport can viewed via the Sport Portal page on SEQTA
- Students are reminded to arrive 20 minutes prior to their scheduled game time
- All absences from training and games must be communicated to the College Sport Coordinator Ms Zoe Duffy via 0481 545 391
- Morning Swim squad training commences on Tuesday 20 February at the Norwood Swimming Pool. All students are welcome to join
- The SACSSGSA Swimming carnival will take place on Wednesday 8 May (Week 2, Term 2). Students will be notified shortly if they have been selected in the swim team
- A number of uniform items for Sport are now available for purchase. An order form is available on the Sport Portal Page on SEQTA.
On Monday 29 February we warmly welcomed our 2024 Year 7 students to Mary MacKillop College. The first week of Year 7 was a busy one, full of activities designed to help the students build connections with their new teachers, strong partnerships with their peers and time to learn about the rhythms and routines of a new school environment.
During their first day at the College, the Year 7s spent time with their Pastoral Care Teachers and Year 11 Peer Support Leaders, participating in various team building games and getting to know you activities. Throughout the rest of the week, students attended workshops in the library and digital spaces to better understand the College’s learning platforms as well as time with the Counsellor to understand how to successfully navigate establishing new friendships.
In English, students created a 30 word story summarising their thoughts on Orientation Week, this is what a few of the Year 7s had to say:
"Mary MacKillop College was welcoming to me after I had been nervous about my first day. Throughout the week there was a lot of excitement for all the new things happening." Sienna
"It felt different walking into a new school. My body was filled with excitement. The teachers were very welcoming. Getting my timetable made me feel like I was growing up." Alessia
"This week was filled with a whirlwind of good emotions. As soon as I entered the College, I felt welcomed. Throughout the week I have settled into my new environment." Ella
It has been a flourishing start to 2024 and we look forward to a year full of fun, connectedness and memorable experiences.
Years 7 and 8 Pastoral Care Coordinator
Photo: Year 7 students during their first Science investigation.
My name is Jennie Finch and I am excited to be returning to Mary MacKillop College to teach this year as part of the Science team. I taught here approximately 10 years ago and have been warmly welcomed by many familiar staff whom I remember from that time. I have been teaching for approximately 20 years, most recently at Concordia College. Before I studied to become a teacher, I completed my PhD in Molecular Biology and then worked in cancer research, I use this experience to inspire my students. I am passionate about educating girls and encouraging them to follow their interests in Science and STEM. I look forward to working with and getting to know the students and our community. In 2024 I will be teaching Years 11 and 12 SACE Biology, Year 12 Research Project and Years 8 and 9 Science.
Dr Jennie Finch
My name is Michelle Arthur, I am the new Years 7 and 8 Pastoral Care Coordinator. I am really excited about joining the Mary MacKillop College Community.
A little bit about me - I have taught and led in Catholic Education for the past 20 years and enjoy spending time with my husband Dan and our two beautiful children; Patterson and Mary. I believe in a restorative approach, spreading kindness, using mindfulness and finding gratitude in all elements in our lives. Coming from an all girls education myself, I know the value of supporting every MacKillop Girl to flourish and reach her full potential.
I sincerely thank families for your warm welcome and to all the girls who have greeted me with a smile and a friendly chat as we have crossed paths in the College.
I look forward to fostering the positive partnerships between staff, students and families, ensuring every MacKillop Girl can flourish and experience holistic success throughout her time at Mary MacKillop College.
Mrs Michelle Arthur
We also welcome the following staff to Mary MacKillop College this year:
- Peter Dawson - ICT Manager
- Caitlin Dennis-Clarke - Learning and Wellbeing Support Assistant
- Sabrina DeMarco - Sports Assistant
Our Year 7 students have received their Premier's Reading Challenge (PRC) Reading Records to complete this year. All other year levels can collect Reading Records from the College Library and also the PRC website.
Years 7 to 9 students can read a combination of four books from the Challenge booklists followed by books of their own choice. Years 10 to 12 can read 12 books of their own choice.
Students also have the option of reading books in languages other than English, ebooks and graphic novels.
All PRC books in our Library are labelled and the book lists are available on the Premier’s Reading Challenge website.
Students are encouraged to read books that are at an appropriate literacy level and/or use texts that have been adapted to meet their individual learning and literacy needs.
Students are asked to return all Reading Records to the College Library as all students who complete the Challenge go into a draw to win a book voucher from Dillons at Norwood. Please keep in mind the Challenge finishes on 6 September 2024.
If you have any queries, please contact the Library firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms Alicia Papp
Mary MacKillop College has a dedicated website that supports all students, from Years 7 to 12 to design, implement and manage a future focused career plan that includes lifelong and life-wide learning.
The customised digital platform provides our whole school community with:
- an extensive range of career assessment tools that help students identify their skills, knowledge and potential career opportunities
- digital links to post school pathways including university, further education, vocational training, employment
- a diverse range of resources that assist students to make well-informed and positive decisions about their future.
Future Pathways Coordinator
We invite all Old Scholars to come home to MacKillop and join us for our 2024 Reunion Celebration at the College. Save the date - Friday 27 September!
Join our Principal, Sonia Nelson, for a tour of the College.
Principal’s Tours are a great opportunity for prospective MacKillop girls and families to visit the College and to meet our Principal. You will meet senior staff and students on an intimate tour of the school and experience our warm hospitality.
Semester One 2024 Tours
Tuesday 20 February 9.30am
Tuesday 26 March 4.30pm until 7.00pm (Open Night)
Wednesday 3 April 5.00pm
Wednesday 1 May 5.00pm
Friday 31 May 9.30am
Wednesday 26 June 9.30am
Mary MacKillop College warmly invites girls in Years 4, 5 and 6 to spend a day with us as a MacKillop girl.
Come 'n' Try MacKillop Days are a wonderful opportunity for your daughter to meet our staff and students while being involved in a range of interactive lessons and meeting new friends.
MMC Senior Formal (Year 11)
Year 7 Camp commences
Year 7 Camp concludes
Come 'n' Try MacKillop Day
Student Free Day
International Women's Day
MMC Athletics Carnival
St Joseph's Feast Day Mass and Leadership Induction Ceremony
Opening Ceremony for the Tenison Centre
MMC Colour Run
MMC Open Night
Easter Resurrection Prayer Service
Principal's Twilight Tour
Come 'n' Try MacKillop Day
Year 12 Retreat commences
Good News Assembly
Year 12 Retreat concludes
Last day of Term 1 2024, 1.25pm dismissal
A reminder, the College Calendar can be accessed via the SEQTA Portal page.
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Catholic Schools Parents SA
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Child Safe Environments
Mary MacKillop College Kensington provides a safe environment for all while valuing the partnership between school and home.
Every year, students are taught the Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum (KS:CPC) which is a respectful relationships and child safety curriculum for children and young people.