The School Newsletter Week 4, Term 1 2021

What's Coming Up?

  • Tue 16 Feb: Lakes regional Swimmiming Carnival
  • Wed 17 Feb: Ash Wednesday
  • Fri 18 Feb: Registered canteen volunteers desperately needed or the canteen will not open this week
  • Wed 24 Feb: P& F Meeting @ 6:30pm via Zoom - details inside the newsletter
  • Thurs 25 Feb: Diocesan Swimming Carnival
  • Wed 10 March: After School Sport Program begins - (registration and cost details inside the newsletter)

From the PrinciPAL

Our first P&F meeting for 2021 will take place on Wednesday evening next week (24th May). The meeting will take place via Zoom, beginning at 6.30pm. It has been scheduled to run for 1½ hours. Meeting via Zoom will enable you to contribute your ideas without leaving home.

Our school community now has a choice between two models of parent engagement:

  1. A formally constituted Parents and Friends Association (P&F), which is our current model, or:
  2. A Parent Engagement Group (PEG).

Both options allow for parents and carers to gather and work in partnership with our school to share the work and decision making in the education of their children.

At next week’s meeting, I will outline:

  • The purpose of a PEG.
  • How to set up a PEG.
  • The limitations of a PEG.
  • The way in which meetings operate.

If there is broad consensus at next week’s meeting to investigate the feasibility of adopting the PEG model, I will schedule a special meeting within the next few weeks to further explore this model. If you are interested in learning about the PEG model, I urge you to attend next week’s meeting.

If you plan to attend next week’s meeting:

  1. Make sure you have downloaded Zoom to your device.
  2. Use this link or copy it into your search bar: https://mncatholic.zoom.us/j/94900685178
  3. Click on ‘Open Zoom meetings’.
  4. Click on ‘Join with computer audio’.
  5. Click on ‘Start video’.
  6. If you are prompted to type a password, the password is 250958.

Please consider joining us next week to support the work of our Parents and Friends Association.

Have a good week.

Peter Green.


Opening School Mass and commissioning of Student Leaders

Last Friday we celebrated our first whole school liturgical celebration since St Patrick’s Day last year. During the Mass, we celebrated the beginning of the 2021 school year and we presented the student leaders with their leadership badges. These badges, along with the pledge they made, symbolise the commitment and service they have been entrusted with this year. Thanks to Fr Gerard for presiding at our celebration and congratulations to all the newly commissioned student leaders.

Ash Wednesday / Lent

Tomorrow – Ash Wednesday - we will celebrate the beginning of the Season of Lent. Lent is a time that we set aside to prepare ourselves for the celebration of Easter. For children, a simple way of explaining Lent is about making Lent a time of focus on being a better person by:

  • Praying more.
  • Fasting, which may mean giving up something we do not need. This may be food such as chocolate or could include time in front of the television, iPad, electronic games etc.
  • Almsgiving, which could include putting aside some of their pocket money to assist in a worthy cause such as Project Compassion.

On Wednesday we will hold a liturgy to mark this event on the liturgical calendar. Normally during this celebration we are marked with a cross of ash on our forehead. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this practice will not be possible this year, but we will replace this with another symbolic gesture. If you would like to receive ashes you are able to do so at the parish masses.

The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration of the previous year, and they symbolise the dust from which God made us. As the ashes are applied the priest speaks the words: “Repent and believe in the Gospel.”

These words and actions are a symbol of our penance and they help us to develop a spirit of humility and sacrifice, particularly during Lent.

Project Compassion

This year, Caritas Australia’s Project Compassion theme is ‘Be More’. It challenges us to venture into a new experience of compassion, and is taken from the invitation of St Oscar Romero to “Aspire not to have more, but to BE more.” For more than 50 years, Caritas Australia has been privileged to work together with our neighbours – our most vulnerable sisters and brothers around the world. With our support, and by working with partner agencies in those communities, Caritas Australia continues to combat poverty, promote justice and uphold the dignity of every person. Throughout Project Compassion 2021, inspiring stories from Bangladesh, Solomon Islands, Tanzania and Indonesia will be shared, highlighting the importance of working hand in hand with communities around the world.

Our challenge to ‘Be More’ takes us beyond ourselves. This Lent, you are encouraged to make simple lifestyle changes and act for social and environmental justice, so that you may ‘Be More’ in your own lives and in the lives of others.

Daniel Lockwood

Religious Education Coordinator


Annual School Fees

  • This morning your 2021 Annual School Fees were emailed to the nominated fee payer in your family. Please check your junk folder and advise the school office if you have not received your statement.
  • A seperate form on which to indicate your preferred payment method and frequency has been uploaded to the Compass news area, and a copy is coming home with the eldest child in each family today. Please be sure to complete this form and return it to school ASAP.
  • Payments must have started by 31 March 2021 and must be finalised by 30 Nov 2021
  • Your payment method can be via direct debit set up with the CDF (you can download a form here); BPAY using the reference number located on the top of your fee statement; or credit card or cash.
  • If you require assistance in formulating a weekly, fortnightly or monthly payment amount, please contact the office

Extra Fees

The Year 5/6 overnight camp has not been included on the yearly fee schedule. Parents of Year 5 and 6 students will recevie information and costs on this excursion seperately, and payments will be able to be made for this via credit card or QKR payment. We are awaiting a final costing from the venue and will send details home as soon as we have them at hand.

Fee Discounts

  • Please make sure you have completed and returned the 2021 Family Discount and Diocesan Pastoral Contribution Form (a copy can be found here). If you did not provide the school with a copy of this form and you have children attending other diocesean schools, your family discounts may not have been applied
  • If you are seeking a Pension or Health Care Card concession, and have not yet returned an application form and a copy of your current card – your discount will not have been applied. A copy of the relevant application form can be found here.


It was very encouraging that so many parents and carers attended our “Meet The Teacher” sessions last Wednesday afternoon. The teachers certainly appreciated the opportunity to meet with you, and I thank them for the time that they put into preparing their presentations. I also thank Lynne McMaster, Rachel Wright and Karen Devlin who very kindly supervised the children while the meetings took place . . . a great effort after a full day at work.


In the first newsletter this year, I outlined the current school-related restrictions related to COVID-19. By the end of this week we have been advised to tighten our protocols around access to the school site by parents and carers. Providing that physical distancing is maintained, parents and carers are still permitted to enter the school site to:

  • Sign a child in late, or sign them out early, using the Compass kiosk in the administration foyer.
  • Purchase or pick up uniforms from the uniform service.
  • Meet with school staff with an appointment.
  • Assist with reading groups and other classroom support.
  • Work at the canteen.
  • Attend school functions and meetings after 3.00pm.

As from next Monday (22nd February), parents and carers will not be permitted to escort their children onto the school site before school or to collect them from inside the school site at 3.00pm. Parents should say goodbye to their children at the front gate in the mornings and collect their children from the car park in the afternoons.

If this arrangement is likely to cause anxiety for your child, please contact me in writing (peter.green@mn.catholic.edu.au) to request special consideration. Thank you in anticipation of your understanding.

Peter Green.

Welcome to the Library 2021

Throughout the year the library hosts various activities for the students to participate in. They include:

  • Book Week, Stem Day, Book Fair, Premiers Reading Challenge (PRC) and National Simultaneous Storytime. Keep an eye out in the newsletter regarding dates and details for these activities.

Library borrowing days are as follows. Please ensure you child has their library bags on these days.

  • Kinder- Thursdays
  • Year 1-6- Tuesdays

200 Night’s Reading- If your child is in Years 1-6 they should have received their 200 nights reading booklet. A visual display is set up in the library charting the children’s progress.

Lunch Club- Happening in the library every week:-

  • Monday - Games
  • Tuesday – Art and Craft
  • Wednesday - Stem
  • Thursday - Lego
  • Friday - Technology

Once a term the students will bring home Book Club. This is a convenient way to buy books as well as supporting our school through the Scholastic rewards program.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us here in the library.

Mrs Devlin and Mrs Windever


Complaints about misconduct or abusive conduct towards a child are managed by the Diocese’s Office of Safeguarding. The Diocese conducts inquiries at a level commensurate with the seriousness of the allegation. Local leaders, i.e. a school principal or a manager, may conduct some investigations with the Office of Safeguarding overseeing and supporting. These ‘local investigations’ are informal and resolved more quickly because the nature of the allegation is less serious or only constitutes a minor breach of professional standards.

The Office of Safeguarding must investigate all reportable allegations, as well as undertake any other investigation it deems appropriate to do so. This may include matters where there is a perceived or actual conflict of interest.

For more information about the role of the Office of Safeguarding, visit https://officeofsafeguarding.org.au/.


Our Local Member for Swansea, Yasmin Catley, would like to recognise the accomplishments of our student leaders by presenting them with a certificate at this Friday’s school assembly. Unfortunately, COVID restrictions still prohibit us from inviting parents and family members to the asembly.


Below is an advertisement for an after-school sports program to be run here at St Patrick’s. The program will be run on 8 consecutive Wednesdays during the school term, and the focus will be on having fun and learning skills in a non-competitive environment. Each week will feature a different sport that aims to improve gross motor skills and confidence, and will include a Mini Olympics and a team challenge.

The cost is $120 for 8 weeks, However, you may use your $100 Active Kids voucher if you have not used it for another sport . . . reducing the cost of the program to just $20!

TO BOOK contact: Carolyn & Mark on 0420 920 866

or email: carolyn@geckosports.com.augeckosports.com.au

For more information about the Active Kids voucher program, visit www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/active-kids. Please refer to the advertisement and details on how to book a space in the program.


Several unnamed people have been working hard behind the scenes to persuade Jodie McIvor out of “retirement”. Jodie is a former President of the Parents and Friends Association who has kindly agreed to one last hurrah before her son Ben finishes Year 6 at St Patrick’s this year. Jodie will take on the role as President for one final year. Thank you, Jodie. Your leadership and commitment will ensure that 2021 will be another successful year for the P&F.


WE DESPERATLEY NEED YOUR HELP. Please consider volunteering in the canteen. If there are not sufficient volunteers, the canteen can not open!!


The NSW Government is helping kids get creative with the new Creative Kids program. Parents, guardians and carers can apply for a voucher with a value of up to $100 per calendar year for each school-enrolled child aged 4½ to 18 years. The voucher may be used with an approved activity provider for registration, participation and tuition costs for performing arts, visual arts, coding, languages, literature, music and other eligible creative and cultural activities. To find out more go to: www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/creative-kids

The NSW Government is also helping kids get active with the Active Kids program. The Active Kids program provides two $100 vouchers for parents, guardians and carers of school-enrolled children to use towards sport and active recreation costs each year. Voucher 1 is valid January to December, and Voucher 2 is valid July to December. The vouchers may be used with a registered activity provider for registration, participation and membership costs for sport, fitness and active recreation activities.To find out more go to: www.service.nsw.gov.au/campaign/active-kids

Kosi Challenge

Every year, the Wisman-Santamaria family participate in the Mt Kosi challenge in support of Rare Cancers Australia. Gemma and Elliot usually take the lift to the halfway point where together with their Mum and Dad they finish the climb all together. This year will be the first time their dad, Michael, will not be with them. In his memory, Elliot and Gemma have decided to climb the whole way this year! It will be a huge effort and a very challenging 10.5km steep hike, and 21km round trip. We hope you can help spur them on and support their fundraising efforts by donating using the link below.


To watch a blooper version of the video the children have created, click here


ASPIRE’s 2021 Junior Theatre Makers Program will commence in Term 2. If you would like more information about the program, visit https://aspire.mn.catholic.edu.au/join-us/junior-theatre-makers-ensemble/. For any further information, contact Anne Atkins at the Catholic Schools Office: anne.atkins@mn.catholic.edu.au.


After 16 years of dedicated service to the students of St Patrick’s as a learning support assistant, Toni Curley has decided to retire at the end of Term One. Toni and Mal are currently building their retirement home on the mid north coast, which they expect to move into very soon. The end of an era for St Patrick’s but the beginning of an exciting new era for Toni and Mal. There will be an opportunity for the staff to farewell Toni at the end of this term. If you are one of the many people whose child has benefited from Toni’s support over the years, feel free to contact her.


The St Vincent de Paul Society is reaching out to parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles and friends within our school communities to connect with their local Vinnies Conference and make a difference by volunteering as a member. No amount of time is too small, and you will be supported every step of the way whilst offering a “hand up” to locals doing it tough, meeting like-minded people and learning new skills. For your closest Vinnies Conference or for more details, contact Sarah Kemp, Manager of Member and Community Engagement, on 0490 255 100, or email Sarah at sarah.kemp@vinnies.org.au

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Unless otherwise stated, the advertisements placed in this Newsletter are placed by independent third parties who have no legal relationship with the Diocese. The activities or services of the advertisers are not supervised or controlled in any way by the Diocese. The Diocese is not in a position to endorse the advertisers or the services provided and make no representation about those matters. Accordingly, the diocese cannot accept any responsibility for the advertisers or the activities or services that are the subject of these advertisements

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