(Ms Dishon is pictured above with YMCA Resilient Women Project guest speakers; Afra, Casey and Gab at the IWD breakfast)

It has been wonderful for us to be able to be involved in all the activities that make Term 1 such a rich and enjoyable term. Our Athletics day was absolutely fantastic, with the highest rate of student participation that I have seen at MSJ. Congratulations to McCormack House who was the winning House and to each of the year level champions. Years 7 and 9 students have attended camp and had a fabulous experience. These camps are designed to support our academic, wellbeing and faith program and are a vital part of our program. As in previous years, I will join the Year 7 students on camp and it is a great opportunity for me to get to know them. I must say, I am very impressed with their House chant performances! Thank you to all the staff who attended the camps as it does require them to be absent from their homes and families.

International Women’s Day breakfast was a wonderful celebration. Over 400 students and guests joined us for a delicious breakfast and listened to the inspiring stories of Afra, Casey and Gab from the YMCA Resilient Women Project. It was great to see so many women supporting each other and the theme of the year, #choosetochallenge, calls us to be change makers and to challenge gender inequality in our society.

Throughout this newsletter there are many reports about the term and I encourage you to take the time to read about all the wonderful activities that the students have been involved in.

The current building works are nearing completion and we will be moving back into the Pierce building at the beginning of Term 2. I am very grateful to the students and staff who have put up with the disruption that these works have caused. The new learning areas are designed to provide teachers and students with versatile and creative spaces in which to learn and work.

Another space that has been built is the new MSJ Café! This space is designed as a café that allows students to gather, sit and eat. It will be fully furnished and will allow for inside and outside dining. Over the last few years, students have expressed their concerns in regard to issues pertaining to our environment and, in particular, the amount of rubbish and plastic that is in our environment. In order to address this issue, we are aiming to have a plastic-free café. Food that was previously served in plastic containers will now be served on plates and in bowls, and students will be required to return the empty crockery to a central station. There will be take away items also available but they will be packaged in recycled and/or compostable material. This is a very new concept for us and it will take time for us to adjust and make these significant changes. There is no doubt there will be teething problems but I ask that we all work together to make this work.

I wish to advise you that we are continuing to work on how we further address issues in regard to respectful relationships. We are undertaking a curriculum audit and I have commenced discussions with our Student Leadership Team. Early in Term 2, I will be asking for parent feedback and input.

Another issue that we are addressing is in regard to the safety concerns we have in regard to overcrowded buses and the unreasonable timetable for the services provided to the College. We have written a formal letter to the Department of Transport expressing our concerns and seeking a meeting with them and the bus contractors in an effort to enter into dialogue with them. We have informed our local Members of Parliament of this situation and have reached out for their support and guidance. It would be helpful if you too could contact PTV and your local member to express your concerns in regard to these matters. I will continue to keep you informed of any developments.

Have you ever wondered why people give each other Easter Eggs? The answer lies in the symbolism of the egg. The egg represents new life. For Christians, Easter means new life in Christ. So, eggs and Easter have a firm connection. For centuries Christians have decorated eggs as a way of celebrating Christ’s Resurrection. In more recent times, this practice evolved into giving chocolate eggs to family and friends. We must remember on Easter Sunday morning as we exchange eggs this connection as we celebrate the Resurrection of Christ.

Father, by the Easter mystery you touch our lives with the healing power of your love. You have given us the freedom and promise of eternal life. May we who celebrate your gift, find joy in it forever in Heaven. May each of us make your love known in all that we say and do. May we instil in others the sense of hope that you have given to us.

We ask all this through Jesus our Saviour.


Kate Dishon - Principal