O'Connor Newsletter

14 February 2017
Issue One
Message from Ms Menz
Assistant Principal Report
Success Stories
Information for Parents
Twilight Carnival
O'Connor Catholic College
02 6772 1666
39 Kirkwood St
Armidale, NSW, 2350

Message from Ms Menz

Welcome to 2017

  I am honoured to take on the role of Principal at O’Connor Catholic College and have the opportunity to lead this great community. A community founded on faith and focussed on learning.


Learning at O’Connor is for everyone. We believe that everyone can learn - not at the same time or in the same way. We will work collaboratively with students, staff and parents to ensure that each student is equipped to become the best they can be.


At O’Connor, learning encompasses 3 main areas -

  • Our faith based learning so important in our school. Students will have the opportunity to discuss and explore their beliefs in a safe and supportive environment and learn more about what coming to a Catholic school means.
  • Academic learning to ensure that every student gains a year’s learning for a year at school.
  • Well being and relationship skills to help students become creative, confident and informed individuals ready to make a difference in our world.

I look forward to working with our community to further enhance the learning at O’Connor.


I would like to welcome all our new students to O’Connor. On Monday 31st January, our largest Year 7 cohort for many years joined our learning community.  We have also had many new students join in Year 8 - 12.


With an increase in enrolments, we have employed many new staff. It has been great to work with enthusiastic and motivated people focussed on making a difference in students’ lives. We would like to welcome them to our community:

  • Mrs Julie Burton (Reception/Front Office),
  • Madame Florence de Crespigny (Languages - French Teacher)
  • Mrs Marg Conlon (Canteen)
  • Mrs Vicki Cooper (Uniform Shop)
  • Mrs Heidi Gerberich (Literacy Teacher) 
  • Mrs Amanda Howard (Reception/Front Office),
  • Ms Sue McLeod (Leader of Learning (English)),
  • Miss Olivia Moore (LaSallian Youth Minister),
  • Mr Brad Powers (Science Teacher)
  •  Mrs Delwyn Smidt (PDHPE Teacher).


I wish all of you a great year, full of happiness and learning. Be confident in the knowledge that God walks with you on this journey.

Assistant Principal Report

Homework Centre

The homework centre is operating again this year from Monday to Wednesday in the Library. The centre is supervised until 4.30 and is available to all students. The centre provides an opportunity for students to utilise school facilities and resources in order to spend quality time studying, revising, completing tasks, wide reading and anything else required.

Preliminary HSC Information Evening

This will be held in the examination centre from 6.00 on Monday 13th February. All students are expected to attend as important information regarding the rules and procedures for the HSC will be outlined. Students will also receive the Assessment Booklet providing information about schedules throughout the Preliminary Year.


Future Events Year 12

Mr Mudge has organised for all Year 12 Advanced and Standard English students to attend a workshop in Tamworth February 17th. This workshop and lecture will directly link to their HSC studies.

The Physics and Hospitality students have their annual excursion to the Gold Coast from Sunday 19th.  The first of our Senior Success nights has been moved to March 13th.

Students will receive further information on all these events in due course.

Year 12 Studies

This year all Year 12 students will be required to arrive at school each day for pastoral with the exception of Mondays when all year 12 have period 1 off. Ms Menz will take the roll on the Mondays at 9.45. Year 12 is a different year of study and assessment compared to the other years at school. There is a greater emphasis on the content and skills for the HSC examination.


The Minister has altered the conditions surrounding absence from school. It is a requirement that all absences including partial absence be explained. Students are required to bring a signed note if they are to leave school and they need to sign out at the front office. Families are encouraged to travel or holiday during school vacations.

Year 7 Information Evening

I would like to thank those who were able to attend the evening. Parents were engaged in discussion and took keen interest in the schools educational programs. The Assessment and Homework policies can be found on Parent Information page on the schools website www.oconnor.nsw.edu.au and also available in annual improvement plan.

Hats and Heat

Given the current weather pattern we are strongly encouraging students to wear hats when in the sun. Bucket Hats are available from the Uniform Shop and provide sound protection. It is an  expectation that students wear hats during P.E Practical Lessons.



Thank you

Simon Fleming




Indoor Hockey News


Congratulations to Talia Constance, Meg Lye, Hayley Lennon, Jake McCann and Nathan Czinner who participated in the Australian Indoor Hockey Championships held in Wollongong in January. It is incredible and unique to see so many O’Connor students representing at this level. Indoor Hockey’s fast and intense pace leads to high scoring games, which certainly entertained the supporters.



Talia played for NSW U18 and was successful in winning the Australian title. Meg Lye played for the undefeated U15 NSW team winning the Australian title. Jake and Nathan went on to win the U15 Australian title with a huge come back after being placed third in the round games. Hayley played for U15 Tasmania and did her team proud.


Talia has continued to excel with her field hockey and was recently selected to represent NSW in the U18 Australian Championships.


Mountain Biking

Six O'Connor students participated in the 3rd and 4th round of the National XCO (Olympic cross country) Mountain Bike event held on the newly constructed track at the UNE. This was a technical difficult and demanding track that saw riders from all over Australia and New Zealand fight it out in extreme heat condition. Racing began at 8.30 in the morning both Saturday and Sunday with Harry Wooster and Will Schmude competing in the under 15 men's race. Both boys raced hard on track with the under 17 and masters men. Harry placed 8th and 7th and Will 12th on both days.

The girls race started at 10.30 with all categories including the elite women on track together. Katherine Hosking placed 2nd in the under 19's both days. In the under 17's Isabella Hosking placed 3rd, Emily Wooster 4th both days and Alison Billing picking up  9th and 7th.


Katherine Hosking, Isabella Hosking, Emily Wooster and Harry Wooster also competed in Orange during the school holiday for the first and 2nd round of the National Series, again racing hard in hot conditions over two days. Katherine placed 1st in the under 19's both days. In the under 17's Emily placed 3rd and 4th and Isabella 4th and 3rd. Harry Wooster placed 11th and 12th in the under 15's.

Country Champions

Year 11 student Trent Low participated at the NSW Country Championships in Dubbo in January. He received a Silver in 100m running a PB time; a Sliver in 200m running a PB time, narrowly missing a National Qualifying time by 0.09 of a second, and a Bronze in Open Men's Relay. Trent also ran the 400m and got a PB time as well.
Awesome effort Trent and we look forward to hearing your results from the NSW Junior and Youth Championships!


Success Stories

 Armidale Stud Ram Show and sale.


Student success at the Armidale Stud Ram Show and sale.

Tuesday 31st January 12 students attended the Junior Judging Competition conducted by the Northern NSW Ram breeders assoc. This competition was a qualifier for the Sydney Royal Easter Show. 

 In the Junior section U15 our students were placed 1st to 5th in the sheep judging and 3rd to 5th in the fleece judging. In the overall championship Kareena Dawson was placed 3rd in the sheep judging and Nick Graham 4th overall in the fleece.



Information for Parents

Uniform Shop

Opening Hours :
      Monday         8:00 am to 12:00 pm
      Wednesday    12.00 pm to 4.00 pm
      Friday            10.00 am to 2.00 pm


The canteen is always looking for more volunteers, so if you have a spare day once a term, once a month or more often please let us know. If you are new to the school, helping in the canteen is a great way to meet other parents and learn about the school community.

AFL Junior Football


Twilight Carnival


Twilight Carnival 


O’Connor Catholic College held their Annual Twilight Swimming Carnival Thursday February 9th  2017. The day commenced with the House March Past and War Cry. All houses did a great job, with Ursula being victorious. Sports Captains, House Captains and the Year 12 students were fantastic enthusing the younger students, it was truly a war cry ceremony to remember! Congratulations to our year 12 students who were 100% in attendance for the entire day and night!

Congratulations also go to the following best dressed individual house members: Hayden Ley and Liam Stuart from Benilde, Olivia Conyngham from Ursula and Neressa Hallman from La Salle. Best dressed groups went to the signposts and the air socks! Well done to all students who embraced the House War Cry and Carnival spirit by dressing up.


This year the participation from all students was phenomenal and support from parents

 was excellent! Many thanks to all the parents who came to cheer their children on.



A number of records were broken on the day including:

Open Boys 100 m Freestyle

59.59 (2016) New Record 57.06

Lachlan Fittler


17+ Boys 50 m Freestyle

27.77 (1981) New Record 26.40

Lachlan Fittler


17+ Boys 50 m Butterfly

32.41 (1985) - New Record 28.72

Lachlan Fittler


Open Boys 200 m Freestyle

2.17.25 (2016) New Record 2.09.16

Jacob Minehan


17+ Boys 50 m Backstroke

32.50 (2013) - New Record 32.34

Lachlan Fittler


King of the pool went to Lachlan Fittler and the Queen of the pool went to Tahlia Stuart.


After the efforts at the swimming carnival the House points are as follows. In fourth place Ursula receiving a total of 523 points. Third place was Benilde with 594 points. Merici placed second with 746. The overall winning house was La Salle on 917 points.


A special thanks to the P&F, who successfully ran the school BBQ, your contribution to the school is very much appreciated. Thank you to all staff, students and parents who attended in support and assisted in a smooth running and successful carnival.


Students who qualified for the Diocesan Swimming Carnival will be announced at school next week. This carnival will be held in Moree Wednesday March 8th. Goodluck to all O’Connor Swimmers at this carnival! 


Camilla Clydsdale

Sports Coordinator



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