McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter

08 November 2018
8 November 2018
Prayer and Reflection
Principal's Report
Assistant Principal - Mrs Sparke
Assistant Principal - Mr Larkin
Important Dates
Teaching and Learning
Careers News
Europe 2020
Canteen Corner
McCarthy Parents Association
General Information
McCarthy Catholic College
(02) 6761 0800
Tribe Street
Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340

Prayer and Reflection



Help me see you in the hidden ordinariness of my daily life.

Give me the desire and courage to be a sacrament of you

to all those I love and serve in my family and at work.

Help me be truly attentive to the moments

when you transcend the ordinary to be present to me.

As people seeking to grow in faith,

We offer this prayer in Jesus’ name.


Our Lady of the Rosary. Pray for us.

St Dominic. Pray for us.

Blessed Edmund Rice. Pray for us.


Mission and Spiritual Formation Report

In the formation session at the most recent staff meeting, teachers were introduced to the concept of sacramentality – which is considered an essential feature of a Catholic school community. Thomas Groome says “Nothing is more significant to what makes us Catholic.” Sacramentality refers to the process whereby God makes his presence known and real to us through nature and the ordinary, everyday events, objects and experiences of daily life. We in turn can respond to God’s presence through nature and the ordinary, everyday events, objects and experiences of daily life. In this way our daily reality is made sacred. In our formation session staff were encouraged to develop this sense of the sacred in all things through morning prayer and daily reflection on the events and experiences of each day as a way of nurturing our openness and ability to “see God is all things” (McBrien).



In the first three weeks of Term 4 students in both Year 11 and Year 9 have attended retreats. Approximately 106 Year 11 students and staff attended a three day retreat at Bonnie Hills which focussed on gratitude, resilience, moving forward and the seed within. On Monday 5 and Tuesday 6 November all Year 9 students attended a "Catch the Wave" youth retreat run by four youth minsters from CSYMA (Catholic Students Youth Ministry Australia). This was the first time such an experience has been offered to our students and overwhelmingly engendered a very positive response from them. During the day the students participated in faith formation, reflection activities and listened respectfully to the personal testimonies given by the four youth ministers.

On 24 October seven staff participated in a twilight staff retreat run by the CSO Renewal team which focused on the Parable of the Generous Landowner and what it reveals about the Dignity of Work.



Our thoughts and prayers are with Corey Sutherland, Ashley and Joshua Cornthwaite and their  families following the passing of their grandmothers. 

Mrs Cate Allen - Mission and Spiritual Formation Coordinator


Principal's Report

Apostolic Nuncio's Visit

The Tamworth Catholic parishes were fortunate to receive a visit from His Excellency Most Reverend Adolfo Tito Yllana last Tuesday. The Apostolic Nuncio is the delegated representative of the Pope in Australia. McCarthy Catholic College Captains - Julia Hannaford and Cameron Martin, and Vice Captains - Billie Mitchell and Edward George attended Mass at Mary Help of Christians with myself and Mr Mick Larkin concelebrated with ArchBishop Tito and Armidale Diocesan Bishop Michael Kennedy. This was a special and almost unique privilege as the Apostolic Nuncio has only ever visited Tamworth twice previously. The last visit being in the early 1980s. I publicly thank Father Paul Anthony for his special invitation.

Remembrance Day Ceremony

The Captains and I will be honoured to attend the Remembrance Day service at the Tamworth Town Hall this Sunday from 10:15am. This particular ceremony has significance in a year where we commemorate as a nation the cessation of World War I exactly 100 years ago. On the back of our recent prayers for those who have passed away on All Souls Day please take a moment to pray and remember the ultimate sacrifice that was made by these brave souls to enable the societal freedoms we enjoy today.



It is with regret that I announce that Mrs Jo-Anne McHugh has resigned from her valued position as an Agriculture teacher to take up a new role on the Central Coast. Similarly, Mr Joseph Madirazza has decided to step down from his role as the Farm Assistant after a number of years of dedicated service. We warmly welcome Mr Des Le Brocq who moves into the position from his previous casual role.

Finally, I thank Ms Olivia Swift for her short time at the College teaching English and Drama. She has to move back to Sydney for personal reasons and we wish her well in her future career.


Year 12 Graduation Dinner

At the time of writing the Year 12 students are in the penultimate stages of their HSC Exams which conclude on Friday. We have been praying fervently that they have been able to achieve their potential and reap the rewards when the HSC results and ATAR scores come out in December. Consequently, to celebrate that effort and gather together as a faith community one last time, the Graduation Dinner will be held at the Town Hall on Monday 12 November. I offer extra special thanks to Mrs Jane Burt and her hard working team of staff who have been preparing busily behind the scenes for what promises to be a special night of comradery, dancing and appreciation to parents and teachers for their support of the Year 12 students over the past 6 years. Please keep Year 12 in your prayers.


Trivia Night

Please give some consideration to the Parent Association Trivia Night being held next week on Saturday 17 November. Over the past 4 years the Trivia Night has stood out as a great opportunity for parents to gather in the spirit of fun and friendly banter to enjoy a night of brain-straining trivia. The members of the Parent Association have some fun games planned as well so contact the College Office with your table numbers as soon as possible and we will see you all there next Saturday in the Hall.

Mr Geoff McManus - Principal


Assistant Principal - Mrs Sparke

November is exam month for junior students with formal exams commencing next week. Mrs Maxworthy, Teaching and Learning Coordinator, has a number of very good study tips later in this newsletter and students should aim to do their best. For Year 10 in particular, these exams are  important because they will contribute to their ROSA (Record of School Achievement) grade. 


A reminder for Year 10 students that the NESA window for reaching Minimum Standards is currently open. It is a requirement that the Year 10 cohort of 2018 have achieved a minimum Band 8 result in each of the NAPLAN domains before they can receive a HSC in 2020. Mrs Martin, Leader of Pedagogy, will be sending email reminders to each of the students who have not yet reached this benchmark.


A number of teachers are involved in HSC marking for their individual subjects over the next few weeks. The insight and experience they gain during this time is invaluable for future students. We thank them for their commitment and wish them well.

Mrs Sally Sparke - Assistant Principal

Assistant Principal - Mr Larkin

Progress Not Perfection                       

When recently viewing a Denzel Washington film my interest was piqued when the main character exhorted another whom they were trying to help with the advice: “Progress not perfection.” It stayed with me all night as the phrase aptly captures the dilemma that so many face in contemporary society – the incessant desire for rapid, instant change to be slimmer, happier, smarter, wealthier, in short, perfect.

For our students saturated by such pervasive cultural values this can make learning at school seem tedious, antiquated and pointless.

The journalist and social commentator, Adele Horin, wrote a wonderful article a number of years ago that I have kept, titled ‘You can’t change habits of a life-time in a weekend of self-help classes’. In this article she critiques the burgeoning industries that prey on the human desire for change by promising a ‘quick fix’. She discovered that many who attended such courses initially felt elated, transformed and inspired but this was rarely sustained in the long term: “real transformation mostly takes years of committed effort” she concluded.

Deep down we all know this but when living in the midst of such fast-paced, pressurised lives the glittering allure of the quick fix solution beckons and often drowns out reason and sense – the marketing gurus know their stuff!!

The psychologist Carol Dweck has devoted her life to this problem and has been working on ways to help students with this issue. Her research has led her towards the idea of the ‘Growth Mindset’ – that is, understanding that intelligence is not a fixed quality or attribute but something that can be developed over time given the right approach or mindset.

At this time of year, when students are completing their last assessments and studying for exams it is vital that they focus on making progress rather than trying to attain a perfection that rarely exists. Achieving their personal best is what matters most.

To help foster a ‘Growth Mindset’ within your students at home I suggest that you encourage them to use the following strategies, particularly when they encounter difficulties or challenges:

  1. What am I missing? (when they are struggling with a task)
  2. I seem to be on the right track (when things are going well)
  3. I am going to train my brain to do this (when faced with a challenging subject)
  4. This is going to take some time (when a task is difficult)
  5. I am going to figure out how they are doing it (when learning to learn from peers)

This becomes a much more powerful learning experience for your child rather than jumping in and solving the problem for them. A useful short video we like to use with the students is about the Learning Pit.

Talking to a wide range of parents this year, I am impressed by the way so many emphasise the importance of effort over the final result – it is a clear indication of the healthy and constructive approach so many parents adopt with their child’s learning. We know that when you sustain effort over a long period that growth and development are the inevitable by-products.

If we can develop a ‘Growth Mindset’ with strong, purposeful habits and routines than the process of learning will be life long and enriching. As Proverbs tell us “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

Mr Mick Larkin - Assistant Principal

Important Dates


11 November: Remembrance Day Ceremony

12 November: NSWCCC Junior Basketball - Penrith

12 November: Year 12 Graduation Dinner

17 November: Association Trivia Night

19 November: Years 7, 8, 9, 10 Exams commence

20 November: School Advisory Council AGM 5:30pm

20 November: Association Meeting

21 November: Sport Awards Assembly

27 November: Band Camp - Narrabri

3 December:    Year 7 2019 Orientation Day

5 December:    Thanksgiving Mass

7 December:    First Friday Mass

10 December:  Year 9 Excursion commences

17 December:  Award Night

18 December: Term 4 concludes for students


Teaching and Learning

Yearly Examinations

Students have received their Yearly Examination timetables this week during Mentor Group which include PAT Maths and reading tests. It is important that time is dedicated to quality revision and the following link provides some insights into effective study habits:


End of year assessments (that are not examinations)  are being conducted in class rooms. Students should factor these into their study routine. A reminder of our College procedures in the event of Illness and Misadventure for an Assessment Task, please contact the College before 9:00am and ensure a Blue Form for Illness or Misadventure is completed and returned with appropriate documentation.


Year 11 students have received their Assessment Schedules for the HSC courses  and are encouraged to access these online and plan their calendars. These booklets have been emailed to students and are on the College's web page in the Students / Assessments tab. Students have also received the HSC 2019 Rules and Procedures Guide that is published by NESA. Please take the time to read both booklets to ensure you are fully aware of the school based requirements, the NESA requirements and the student’s responsibilities.

Mrs Raelene Maxworthy - Teaching and Learning Coordinator


Abigail Kelly - Local Winner Of Rotary Public Speaking Competition

Earlier this year, Abigail played a crucial part in helping the McCarthy Debating team win the Federation Cup inter-school competition and now, she has dominated in the public speaking arena as well.

Last month, Abigail participated in the Rotary Public Speaking Competition open to senior students in the local region. She prepared and presented a 5 minute speech in front of the Tamworth chapter which met the Rotary 4 way test - Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? Despite tough competition, primarily from fellow McCarthy student Ryan Thompson, Abigail was declared the winner and moved on to the semi-finals in Quirindi.

On October 29, Abigail once again presented her prepared speech on the need for social equality in front of the region’s Rotary members and while representing herself and the school well, was beaten by a Quirindi local.

Congratulations Abigail!

Mrs Melanie Thompson - English Coordinator


Year 9 Child Studies

Some Year 9 Child Studies class went to St Edward's Infants School to assist with their Kindergarten 2019 Orientation program. What a wonderful experience for the students who have been learning about child growth and development. We thank St Eds for giving us this opportunity.

Mrs Ashleigh Jones - PDHPE Coordinator





Careers News

Last week there were two events aimed at providing information for our students. Year 11 students were invited to attend a talk on what to consider when changing levels or dropping subjects going into the HSC year and the implications of these changes.

The second event last week was a visit by two representatives from the University of Newcastle who spoke to over twenty students in both Year 10 and 11.


CAA Annual Conference

On Friday last week I attended the CAA Annual Conference in Sydney along with hundreds of other Careers Advisers across NSW schools.  Various workshops I attended included:

-VET options

-the future of journalism

-occupational aspirations of Australian school students

-how technology is shaping the future of learning

-career information on apprenticeships and traineeships.

There were also fifty exhibitors including universities and many other training and course providers which offered a wide variety of information.

Mrs Susan Barrett

Careers Adviser

[email protected]


Berg and Downey Shield Cricket

On Monday 31 October the boys from the Berg (Years 7-9) and Downey (Years 10 and 11) Shield Cricket team travelled to Scone for their Round 1 match against St Joseph’s College of Aberdeen.  

In the Berg Shield McCarthy batted first and made 79 before being dismissed in the 17th over. Noah Dunnill batted well and scored 16 but regular wickets fell around him and made partnerships difficult. There was some good fielding and catching from the opposition, applying pressure to our batsman.

With the ball our bowlers stuck to their task and despite picking up regular wickets were unable to come out on top. Ben Chick bowled well picking up two wickets, as did Nick O’Connor.

In the Downey Shield Kilian Apen, Angus Wallace and Eoin Sheppard played up an age group and applied themselves very well. Kilian bowled a brilliant spell of leg spin bowling to pick up 3-11 and Angus Wallace also bowled extremely well to finish with 3-15. St Joseph’s scored 99; a very gettable total. A loss of early wickets saw our boys on the back foot against some accurate bowling and smart fielding. Some of our batsman made promising starts yet could not quite go on. James Highlands played a controlled innings scoring 15 before falling. St Joseph’s Aberdeen held on for a twelve-run win in a great match.

Thank you to Mr Damian Kenniff for driving the College bus and coaching the Downey team and for Mr Peter Virgen for umpiring in very warm conditions.


Berg Shield Cricket

Team: Tyhla Condrick, Kilian Apen, Edward Williams, Ben Chick, Samuel Anderson, Rory Morris, Nicholas O'Connor, Zack Cook, Nathaniel Thrift, Noah Dunnill, Liam Thompson. 


Downey Shield Cricket

Team: Angus Wallace, Cassidy Hunter, Owen Bennett, Cameron Morris, James Highlands, James Austin, Oliver Keft-Gill, Kilian Apen, Eoin Sheppard and Calvin Farmilo.


Rugby League

On Thursday November 1 Mr Williams and the Under 13 Rugby League team went to Oxley High School to play in the Oxley Cup Rugby League Gala day. The boys came up against Oxley High School and played a great game of football. In a high quality competitive match Oxley ran out 24-10 winners. The boys worked well as a team, but came up against a team that was a little more experienced. 

Sebastian Lawler and Cameron Smith were standout players running and tackling with vigor. Sebastian picked up a couple of tries and looked dangerous every time he touched the ball. John Felias and Adam Refalo also played great games as did all the boys, who kept working hard throughout the game. Thank you to Oxley High School for organising the day and providing a post game sausage sizzle. Also special thanks to Nick Taggart who was Assistant coach as well as Josh Martin and Ethan Ross who ran the water on a very hot day for Rugby League. 

Team: Bradyn Hamilton, Bailey Betts, Cameron Smith, Angus Wallace, Mitchell Cannon, John Felias, Parker Constable, Sebastian Lawler, Adam Refalo, Campbell Thompson, Dustin Kelly, Luke Tongue, and Izac Ball. 


Europe 2020

Europe April 2020

For students and parents who are interested in this, Academy Travel has set up a website specifically for the proposed McCarthy tour with:

- flyers with the itinerary, dates and costs

- booking forms 

- a presentation from Academy Travel.

If you would like to  have access to this information on the website, please send an email to me at the address below and I will provide the contact details.

The next step is for the completed booking forms with a $500 deposit to be handed in to the College by Friday 23 November. This deadline is very important.  We need 20 participants to have done this by that date for the tour to proceed. If it does not, the $500 deposit will be refunded.

Mrs Susan Barrett

Email: [email protected]


McCarthy's Counsellors provided the incoming Year 12 students with a "Self Care Bag" to help get them through the next 12 months. The care bag included a stress ball, arm bands, Year 12 Survival Guide detailing time management, stress relief and study tips and useful mental health resources. 

If you would like to make an appointment with the College Counsellor please see the College office or email [email protected]


The two College Counsellors, Mrs Tamara Shoemark and Mrs Aimee Cook, are running a competition for students to come up with a new, easy to remember email address - and we need YOUR help!

Some examples could be [email protected], or [email protected]. There will be entry forms at the College office and a box to put your suggestions in. This will be open until Wednesday Week 6, when the winner will be notified. The winning entry will receive a $10 canteen voucher!  So be creative as you like and submit your entries to the College office by Wednesday 21 November.



Canteen Corner

The College needs volunteers to help in the canteen. We are more than happy to accommodate different times to allow parents to continue with their busy days. We ask that our parents (and perhaps older siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents) consider helping out in the canteen once a month. We can be contacted on phone: 6761 0865 or [email protected] 

Mrs Beano Radebe - Canteen Supervisor

McCarthy Parents Association



The next Association Meeting will be held on Tuesday 20 November at 7:15pm in the Staff Room. All are most welcome to attend.


Trivia Night 


General Information

Clothing Pool

The Clothing Pool can be accessed on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays between 8:00am and 8:30am via the bottom carpark. It can be found at the top of the stairs, to the left (facing Tribe Street).

Hours of Supervision

The playground will be supervised from 8:30am. School hours are 8:45am – 3:00pm. After school, students will be supervised in the bus bay area until the last bus leaves.

Executive Staff

Principal: Mr Geoff McManus

Assistant Principals: Mrs Sally Sparke and Mr Mick Larkin

Mission and Spiritual Formation Coordinator: Mrs Cate Allen

Teaching and Learning Coordinator: Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Leader of Pedagogy: Mrs Briony Martin

Year Coordinators

The 2018 Pastoral Care team is:

Year 7 Coordinator - Mr Bernie Williams

[email protected]


Year 8 Coordinator - Mr Andrew Davy

[email protected]             


Year 9 Coordinator - Mrs Melissa Bearup

[email protected]                


Year 10 Coordinator - Mrs Fiona O'Neill

[email protected]                    




Year 11 Coordinator - Mr Damian Kenniff

[email protected]                        


Year 12 Coordinator - Mrs Michelle Gale

[email protected]                       

Change of Details

It is imperative that the office be advised about any change of details from last year, such as change in family situation, address, workplace, email addresses, phone numbers – mobile and landline for home and work.



McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter