Final Newsletter for 2019
The following newsletter represents our final publication for 2019. As such, the articles contain an extensive summary of the events of the final term as well as reminders and updates about the 2020 academic year.
Newsletter Schedule 2020
To ensure that our future newsletter communication has ongoing value for busy families, we have decided to trial the publishing of the newsletter in Weeks 2, 6 and 10 each term (ie. beginning, middle and end of term). Such a change to the newsletter will allow for a more detailed report of academic and community achievement while also accessing other online platforms such as COMPASS, Facebook and Twitter to communicate shorter reminders and to celebrate achievement both in and out of the classroom. We will seek your feedback regarding the potential efficiencies during 2020.
Sports Awards Assembly
Congratulations to all of our award winners and coaches who were acknowledged on Wednesday 27 November at the annual Sports Awards Assembly. We were privileged to have Mr Ken Sutcliffe as the Guest Speaker who not only reminded the students of the ongoing value of sport in building the right attitudes towards their work lives, but he also spoke about the increasing opportunities for women both on and off the field in sport, especially in his field of sports journalism.
I also publicly acknowledge the dedication and hard work of Mr Brad Mitchell in coordinating and supporting the myriad of sports on offer in the Armidale Diocese. I congratulate and thank him for his great work in 2019. I also deeply thank and acknowledge the generosity and hard work of all of our volunteer coaches without whom we would not be able to offer such a diverse selection of sporting opportunities.
On the 2 December we welcomed close to 165 Year 6s who will be bursting at the seams to begin their transition to secondary school. The day began with some trepidation that was soon allayed by enthusiastic Year 11 buddies and a caring bunch of dedicated and experienced staff who lead them on a journey of discovery and understanding about Year 7.
School Advisory Council AGM
School Advisory Councils act as key advisory bodies to Catholic schools across the Armidale Diocese. I am deeply indebted to the past and present members of our McCarthy Family who choose to volunteer their services and expertise to support the strategic governance of the College. At the Annual General Meeting held on 19 November 2019 we elected our 2020 Council. The new council is listed below -
Ex-officio - Parish Priest of St Nicholas Father Christopher Onuekwusi
College Principal - Geoff McManus
Chairman - Bernie Munro
Secretary - Fletcher Davies
Staff - Raelene Maxworthy and Briony Martin
Members - Carol Reed, Geoff Shanley, Richard O’Halloran and Felicity Sawtell
I publically endorse the great support that ex-member Peter Sleiman generously donated to the Council by filling a casual vacancy position during 2019. Thank you, Peter!
Well done to all of our 2019 Year 12 students on their HSC achievements. I attach the list of Distinguished Achievers below and they are to be highly commended not only for such an achievement but their work ethic and dedication! I especially identify Sebastian Diss (ATAR 97.65) who is now in the privileged position of having to decide between a number of lucrative and prestigious scholarship offers in the fields of Medicine, Engineering and Mathematics as a consequence of his diligence, hard work and positive collaboration with the expert teaching staff at the college.
Sarah Lui - Ancient History
Madeline Neville - Biology and Business Studies
Sebastian Diss - Chemistry, Mathematics Extension 1 and Mathematics Extension 2
Briony Littlejohns - Community and Family Studies
Laura Robertson - Community and Family Studies
Anabelle Coppola - Mathematics Standard
Keely Jameson - Mathematics and Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
James Smith - Mathematics
Krisha Transona - Mathematics
Tuckwell Scholarship Update
We are pleased to announce the news that 2018 College Captain Ellie George has been elected to the position of Bell Ringer at the Australian National University for 2019.
Elected by the most recent Scholar cohort, the Bell Ringer is a prestigious appointment awarded to the Scholar who has most consistently demonstrated the Tuckwell attributes, and who best represents what it means to be a Tuckwell Scholar.
As Bell Ringer, Ellie has the opportunity to provide leadership within her year of service and can represent the program on formal occasions.
The position title stems from the Tuckwell handbell used in the 'ringing in' ceremony at the annual Commencement Dinner. The Bell Ringer rings the Tuckwell Bell once for each new Scholar to welcome them to the Tuckwell community.
Ellie is currently studying an ANU Flexible Double Degree (Arts, Social Sciences, Business, Science) and is a resident of Bruce Hall.
Congratulations to all the award winners from this week’s annual Award Night. In choosing a theme of ‘essence’ in my Principal’s Address, I chose to tap into the refined definition that is “its intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something, especially something abstract, which determines its character.” And in holding our learning work here at McCarthy up against that definition I highlighted and showcased the ‘essence’ and quality of this wonderful faith community. An excerpt of my address will be printed in the 2019 Year Book due for publication in early 2020.
I particularly thank all of our teaching and support staff for their untiring effort and support of our students. I similarly acknowledge the support of our parents and carers who operate in partnership with us to provide a high-quality educational opportunity for our students. Special thanks to all of the Administration staff who collated results, printed certificates, wrapped prizes, organised trophies for engraving and set up on the night. Their work almost always goes on behind the scenes with little public acknowledgement and is always high quality and I thank them for their ongoing support of the great work going on at the college.
As we draw to a close for 2019, it is with some sadness that we farewell some long term staff who have made a long and valued commitment to McCarthy Catholic College. On behalf of the students, staff and long-term families I offer great affirmation and appreciation to these staff members -
Mrs Suzanne Day - long-term Leader of Learning - TAS who also successfully performed the role of Acting Teaching and Learning Coordinator for a number of years.
Mrs Andrea Woods - Student Support Teacher.
Ms Sophie Cottrell - Contract and Casual teacher of English.
Mr Ned Forrest - long-term groundsman appointed at the formation of McCarthy Catholic College in 2003.
Mrs Michelle Gale - long-term teacher of TAS and recently a well-respected Year Coordinator and Leader of Student Care.
Authentic farewells and appropriate written testimony are difficult as long-term staff move on at this late stage of the year and this newsletter summary does little justice to the contribution and commitment of the above staff. Nonetheless, we wish all of these dedicated staff the best as they move into new phases of their careers and/or retirement.
Alternatively and happily, we welcome the following staff to the college to begin new full-time or contract careers at McCarthy -
Ms Kylie Bailey (Agriculture and TAS); Mrs Josie Cox (Library Support Staff); Mrs Marlene Tremain-Beveridge (Student Support Teacher); Mr Connor Betts (ICT Support Staff); Mrs Katie Buckman (Mathematics); Mrs Carrie Madden (English); Mrs Wendy Bowden (TAS) and Mrs Angell Harris (HSIE).
We also congratulate the following staff on their appointment to positions of added responsibility from the beginning of 2020 -
Mrs Chloe Bushell - Leader of Learning - TAS
Mrs Melissa Lees - Leader of Student Care - Year 11.
Congratulations to Lauren Ryan and her husband on the safe arrival of their first son, Daniel.
Creative Arts Showcase
Congratulations to the Creative Arts faculty and the talented students for their wonderful showcase of artistic, dramatic and musical performance in Week 7. The lament we have once again is how do we get more members of our community to witness the incredible talent that we have at the college. Well done to all involved!
All uniforms are now available at Lowes. A further reminder that the phase-in of the new uniform begins in earnest from 2020. All students in Years 7, 8 , 9 and 10 are expected to wear the new uniform. Students in Year 11 and 12 may also choose to move into the new styles. However, full compliance with the new uniform is only required from the beginning of 2022.
College Fees 2020
In consultation with the School Advisory Council and the Financial Department of the college, we are attempting to streamline the delivery of school fee invoices to all families from 2020. Early in the new year, all families will receive a one-off invoice that summarises the tuition fee commitment for the full academic year. Families can then choose to pay these fees in a variety of modes -
Pay in full by Qkr!, cheque, credit card, cash or direct deposit to the college bank account.
Pay in instalments as listed according to the three dates set out on the invoice by Qkr!, cheque, credit card, cash or direct deposit to the college bank account.
Pay by Direct Debit using ADIG either weekly, fortnightly or monthly.
We trust that this new measure will allow for families to plan their financial commitments more readily and reduce any potential confusion about the amount owing resulting from frequent invoices being sent.
A reminder to all families to make a confidential appointment with me and/or Mrs Lisa Sutherland (Fees Officer) if the current drought and/or employment conditions are impacting on your capacity to pay the fees. Your children should never hear or be aware that there could potentially be a concern about fees. By convening a private conversation here at the college we can ‘work something out’ that would be mutually agreeable to all parties. We deeply understand the current and ongoing impact that the drought is having. Please come in and have a chat so we can ‘work it out’ together.
Australian Catholic Youth Festival
I have just returned from Perth having spent a week with five and a half thousand inspirational young people attending the Australian Catholic Youth Festival. It would be no surprise to anyone that spending time with young people who willingly share the essence of their faith is completely and utterly energizing. When the theme of the Festival was set on the opening day by the Archbishop of Perth to take on St Francis’ calling by God to ‘rebuild my church’ and you hear and see over 5000 kids affirm that call in song and dance, you can’t help but believe that all is not lost for our catholic church. And yes, we in dark times in the foul shadow of the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse. However, if these kids Mrs Allen and I worked with over the past week are anything to go by, the essence of a new vibrant catholic church is just around the corner - and the old bureaucracies of the church had better listen and hear the roar from our young Catholics! Pope Francis 'gets it’ and purposely concluded his most recent communication to our young people by saying - “Dear young people, my joyful hope is to see you keep running the race before you, outstripping all those who are slow or fearful. Keep running, “attracted by the face of Christ, whom we love so much, whom we adore in the Holy Eucharist and acknowledge in the flesh of our suffering brothers and sisters. The (old) Church needs your (youthful) momentum, your intuitions, your faith… And when you arrive where we (the old church) have not yet reached, have the patience to wait for us”.
May the peace of Christ be with all of our McCarthy families these holidays. If you are travelling be safe and enjoy the love and fellowship that comes with relaxing and sharing a meal together with family and friends. Take care and may God go with you.
Commencement dates for 2020 are listed below:
Thursday 30 January 2020 Year 7, 11 and all new students
Friday 31 January 2020 all students
Mr Geoff McManus - Principal