07 April 2017
Issue Four
Principal's Report
Assistant Principal's Report
College Events
Year 7 Camp
Show Judging
Information for Parents
O'Connor Catholic College
02 6772 1666
39 Kirkwood St
Armidale, NSW, 2350

Principal's Report

Dear Parents and Carers,


We are in our final week of Term 1 and this is a great time to reflect on the year so far. Our relentless focus on learning continues at O’Connor, a community founded on faith and focused on learning. When reflecting on our work towards creating an authentic Catholic Professional Learning Community, the following three questions are useful

  • How are we going?

  • How do we know?

  • What are we going to do next?


It is important for students to reflect on their work as well, to make connections between what they are learning and where they are heading; to celebrate their achievements and to plan for the next term. When I speak to students, and when carrying out my own reflection, I use the following questions

  • Where am I going?

  • Where am I now?

  • What do I do next to move my learning forward?


This helps us to focus our efforts towards our vision and makes it possible to map a path to attain these goals with achievable steps. Holidays are an important time to stop and reflect, to rejuvenate and to relax. Take some time this holiday to do this, it is important for our wellbeing to take time for ourselves.


The first day of Term 2, Monday 24th April is a professional learning day for staff. On this day we will focus on Wellbeing and Pastoral Academic Care. It will be a day of celebrating the great work we do pastorally and to improve and enhance the structures we have in place to make it even better in building the resilience and wellbeing of our students, staff and our community.


I’d like to congratulate all students for their support of Project Compassion. House Captains have run fundraisers on most Fridays and Lasallian Youth Leaders from Year 11 have run an Easter Egg raffle. The Paupers Banquet organised by Mrs Cheryl Leggatt and the Vinnies group was well supported by both staff and students. Project Compassion funds go to helping people less fortunate both in Australia and overseas.


As we enter the Easter period, we have time to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made on the Cross and his glorious Resurrection. Take the opportunity to celebrate this Easter time by attending Mass over the Easter period. Our O’Connor Year 12 students will help lead the Cathedral congregation on Good Friday 3pm service and many of our students will be participating in the Easter Masses through reading and serving.


I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the O’Connor Community, students, staff, parents/carers, for your support in my first term as Principal. It has been a busy but productive term and I thank you for helping to make it a great term. I am so privileged to be part of the O’Connor community, a community founded on faith and focused on learning.


WIshing you a happy and holy Easter.




Thank you

Mz Regina Menz


Assistant Principal's Report

Term 1

As we come to the end of Term 1 we can reflect on what has been a busy but exciting term. Our new staff members, Mrs Florence Champion de Crespigny and Mr Brad Powers have both brought new energy and skill to their positions.

The year 12 exams have progressed smoothly and no doubt students will be waiting with eager anticipation their results early next term.

The year 7 camp, despite the conditions, was a success and both staff and students have evaluated all aspects of the program. We need to thank the staff involved for giving up their time to support the  year 7 experience.

There has been much to celebrate over the term; success in the regional shows, sports, cultural speaking events and Paupers Banquet just to name a few highlights.

We also had information nights for year 7, 9, and 11. As a school we are are continually looking at reviewing practices and we have maintained commitment to our annual improvement plan over the term. 

Winter Uniform

Next term students will return in Winter Uniform, which includes the wearing of the school blazer to and from school. We also encourage students to wear the blazer throughout the day. We would like to remind parents that O'Connor track pants are the only ones to be worn (not Canterbury) and are available from the uniform shop. All students are to wear the college tie.


  • Students are expected to be neat & tidy. The College uniform should be worn correctly while at school, on excursions and on the way to and from College.
  • Students wearing excessive make-up and nail polish will be asked to remove it.
  • Hairstyles should be moderate and well groomed. Hair should be of natural hair colour. 
  • Boys facial hair should be well groomed and trimmed.
  • Earrings should be limited to plain studs and sleepers only. Students with multiple ear piercings will be asked to remove them.
  • No facial piercings are acceptable with the exception of a single clear nose stud.
  • Jewellery should be minimal and should not be of a nature that impacts on the WHS requirements particularly in practical subjects.

Uniform Shop

The Uniform Shop will be open for Winter Uniform purchases on 24th April from 9.00 to 2.00 pm.

Uniform Shop Trading Hours

Monday 8am - 12pm   

Wednesday 12pm - 4pm

 Friday 10am - 2pm

Anzac Day & Liturgy


Staff will be involved in a Professional Learning  day on April 24th. We will investigate and develop an enhanced pastoral care structure which will come into effect in week 2 of term 2.

All staff will be looking at the relational aspect of student learning potential, classroom management, learning conversations and the academic  pastoral focus for term 2.

Over the last few years there has been a surge in interest and support for Anzac Day. We again encourage students to meet at Moore Street at 10.15 to march in the Anzac parade. A number of teachers will be present and it would be good to see a large number of O'Connor students involved on the day.

On Wednesday April 26 we will have a special ANZAC Liturgy at school at 12pm. Parents are welcome to attend. Our special guest will be Sister Mary Talty a former Principal of O'Connor  and a member of the Ursuline Order. A special plaque will be unveiled in the chapel to commemorate the memory of Sr Eleanor McGlade a nurse in WWII who died in the conflict and who attended the Ursuline school in Armidale. O'Connor would like to acknowledge the work of Mr May who was heavily involved in the process recognising  Sr Eleanor McGlade.



Term 2

A few events will happen quickly next term and it is important that any correspondence be given priority. Diocesan touch trials will be held at Inverell Thursday Aril 27. The postphoned Year 8 science Geography fieldwork excursion will be on Friday 28th. In week two Year 11 LYL's will have a training day which will be followed by the Year 7 and 8 Retreat Days. UNE Open Day for Year 12 will be on Friday 5th May.

iPads & Mobile Phones

Recently there has been an escalation of the misuse of these devices in the classroom. I recently looked at an article on 21st Century obsolete school practices, one of which was not allowing the use of bring your own devices (BYOD) to school to enrich the scope of learning. However, teachers will confiscate devices if they are being misused. Please refer to the policies located in the school diary and the website for more detailed information.

In closing I would like to thank all families for your support over Term 1 and I hope you all enjoy the Easter break.



Thank you

Simon Fleming




Mass at the Cathedral in Holy Week

Palm Sunday        8.00am, 10.00am, 5.30pm

Chrism Mass        11.00am (Tuesday)

Holy Thursday      7.00pm

Good Friday         11.00am Stations of the Cross 3.00pm Solemn Service

Vigil Mass            6.00pm (Saturday)

Easter Sunday     8.00am, 10.00am, 5.30pm


1 Corinthians 15:3–8 


“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me”. 


The Easter Triduum is the proper name for the liturgical season that concludes Lent and introduces us to the joy of the Easter season. Starting with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on the evening of Holy Thursday, continuing through the Good Friday service and Holy Saturday and concluding with evening prayer on Easter Sunday, the Easter Triduum marks the most significant events of Holy Week. This includes The Last Supper, the death of Jesus Christ by Crucifixion and Jesus raised from the dead. 


The Easter Triduum is the most important celebration in the Church calendar. It is the cornerstone of our faith and O’Connor families are encouraged to get to the Cathedral for as many of the various Masses that are possible. 



Paupers Banquet 

The O’Connor chapter of St Vincent de Paul did a wonderful job organising the annual Paupers Banquet. Students enjoyed a humble rice lunch and watched a small percentage of their peers (drawn out of a hat) enjoy a feast provided by the teachers. This represents the unequal distribution of wealth in the world. The day showcases the work done by Caritas and raised over $300 for Project Compassion.

Stations of the Cross

On the last day of school before the holidays, students were treated to a pognant scriptural stations of the cross that involved locations all around the College. Thanks to Miss Roach and the Year 11 music class for providing beautiful music and thanks to the Mrs Leggatt, Miss Moore, Vinnies and the Youth group for a wonderful production and experience.



Thank you

Damian Roff

Chaplain Chat

Dear Friends,

What a privilege for me, to be asked by our Bishop, Michael Kennedy, to work with you as a Chaplain! I feel very honoured to be your Chaplain. You are a great group of men and women from different backgrounds, unique, full of energy, and with so many gifts and talents to offer. What a privilege to be part of you becoming, your best self!

We have so much in common, and so much we can learn, build and develop together. I am so excited to be working with you, one like you, with fears and hopes, joys and struggles, and even failings. To say the least, we are all a typical body of Christ, not perfect, but good, and good enough for God to work with for the good of all.

As your priest and Chaplain, I will hope to share with you my encounter with God and how He has revealed Himself in history and left us a narrative that is the good story. A narrative that contradicts the bad news we hear daily. A narrative that inspires hope, and challenges us to live our lives to the full. Above all, a narrative that reveals who we really are. 




With great joy, 

Fr. Francis Afu

College Events

Year 12 Motto for 2017



College Leaders

Meet the Leaders and Prefects afternoon tea at PLC. All the Secondary Schools came together to chat, exchange ideas and discuss visions for our community. Thank you PLC for hosting.




Career Information



Login using your own email address or your school email.

If needed the school password is: yaks

Follow the instructions and prompts


Register using your O’Connor or personal email address. For further uses, you will only need to login.

Fill in all the details

Use menu guide e.g. Student, Parent



Happy exploring

Glenda Lemon

Careers Adviser

Positive Psychology & Positive Education @ O’Connor

Recently a number of PAC (Pastoral Academic Care) Coordinators, the Principal, Ms Regina Menz and myself, have undertaken professional development in the area of Positive Psychology and Positive Education.


A common myth of ‘Positive Psychology’ is that we should be happy all of the time. Positive Psychology is more about understanding the full range of human emotions and how we can optimise our positive emotions to aid our wellbeing and subsequently improve our learning.


Geelong Grammar in Victoria has been a leader in this field setting up the Institute of Positive Education. They describe Positive Education as:


“Positive Education brings together the science of positive psychology with best practice teaching and learning to encourage and support schools and individuals within their communities to flourish.” 


“Positive Education teaches skills and knowledge to help prevent illbeing and promote wellbeing within the context of living a good life.” 


This description introduces the critical importance of Positive Education aligning with a broader, over-arching, virtuous and moral context.  Our most recent description acknowledges the growing research base, stating that:

“Positive Education is implementing and sustaining the science of wellbeing and flourishing through a tailored whole-school approach.”

Unpacking the Geelong Grammar School Model for Positive Education

Justin Robinson  (Positive Education Update  24 February, 2017)


One of the goals of the Pastoral & Academic Care (PAC) team this year is to introduce the language of positive education into the College so PAC teachers & students can continue to have conversations about their wellbeing and learning.

The term ‘Flourishing’ for example refers to the experience of life going well – when we are feeling good and functioning effectively

(Huppert & So, 2012; Seligman, 2011).

In Pastoral Academic Care lessons students will be looking at aspects of Positive Education using the College Diary as a resource.

These include concepts such as:

  • Character Strengths
  • Positive emotions, happiness & well-being
  • iSMART Goals
  • Flourishing
  • Forgiveness
  • Gratitude
  • Fixed & Growth Mindsets
  • Mindfulness
  • And Many More

I would encourage all parents to have a look at their child’s diary and familiarise themselves with the content and the principles we will be covering in PAC.



Mr Jon Hawthorne
Pastoral Academic Care Coordinator


National Youth Forum

Tom Frazier has been 1 of 20 students chosen to lead the National Youth Science Forum in the January holidays in 2018.

There were over 300 participants from the event at the beginning of this year, so it is a great honour that Tom was selected.


Congratulations to Cherakee Ferguson who

applied for the Zonta Young Indigenous Achievement Award for a Year 12 female student.

She came first due to her strong and inspiring application.

Cherakee will receive a cheque of $500 and will attend a special Zonta dinner, where she will share her insights, aspirations and dreams for the future. 

Pauper's Banquet

Thank you to Mrs Leggatt and the Vinnies students who organised a fantastic fund raising activity for Project Compassion at lunchtime today. Ten students and one sponsored child were fortunate to be seated at the feast whilst the rest of the students ate a bowl of rice...this is representative of the majority of the world's population who barely have enough to eat.


Public Speaking

Congratulations to Year 11 student Grace Toakley who performed at the Rotary District Finals for Public Speaking and was absolutely amazing. She did not walk away with first place, but she performed beyond her years and really made an impact on the audience.

It has been a pleasure to work with her over the past few months - she's a student of whom O'Connor should be very proud (a message from Kristyn Currie who has mentored Grace through Rotary).

O'Connor Catholic College would like to take this opportunity to thank Kristyn and the other Rotary members for their time and dedication to develop public speaking at the College. We plan to work more with them throughout the year, giving students from all years the chance to improve their public speaking skills.



Year 8 Cyberfood have completed their 10 week unit on planning healthy diets and have been rewarded with a chocolate self saucing pudding practical. As for every prac, apart from cooking skills, we have been adding to our garnishing and food styling techniques.

Here is Emelia Rice's version of the trail of hearts garnishing technique.



Mrs. Healey.

Food Technology

Chess Report

 Friday  31st March the O’Connor Chess team played TAS in the first round of the regional competition.
Here are the texts sent from Mr Tonkin (team leader)  as it happened:

Tom Honeysett off to a flyer one piece up
The rest are all even
Tom Honeysett now in trouble 4 straight checks
Cameron Roan a pawn down backs to the wall
Matthew McGann a piece up on board 3 some light
Oh no Elisabeth Lee a knight down
Tom Honeysett pulls out an early call of checkmate
But it was too early loses his queen
Tom Honeysett in trouble checkmate in one
Opposition offers him the chance to resign he declines and fights grimly to the end
Checkmate! Board 4 down
Cameron Roan looking good on board 1 as is Matthew McGann on board 3 we can still win
Matthew McGann losses 2 pieces quickly
Matthew McGann in trouble
Cameron Roan fighting strong
Elisabeth Lee still a piece down
Honeysett about to win rematch
Honeysett wins rematch
Its all over for Matthew McGann Board 3 down
Cameron Roan loses his Queen with a classic Rook fork
The pieces now fall quickly as Cameron Roan fights bravely for a draw but his opponent is too canny
It's all over Cameron Roan is out so Board 1 down. All eyes turn to Elisabeth Lee on board 2
Elisabeth Lee in trouble a piece down steadily losing in each exchange
The writing is on the wall Elisabeth Lee is down to just a King and a pawn
Finally the opposition promotes to regain his queen, checkmate looms.
Its over check mate we lose board 2.

Still all players played well against strong opposition. Well done to Cameron Roan, Elisabeth Lee, Matthew McGann and the “Rook” aka Tom Honeysett.



NSW CCC Swimmers

Awesome work by our O'Connor swimmers at the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges meet in Homebush. Mitch Hayden, Lachlan Fittler, Jacob Minehan, Lara Moloney, Akina Blake and Emma Gray all represented Polding, achieving some wonderful PBs. 
Jacob placed 4th just missing out on a medal and Mitch made it through to All Schools in four individual events achieving Gold in 50m butterfly , Silver in 100 butterfly and 100m backstroke and Bronze in 50m backstroke!!!


Mountain Biking

O'Connor Mountain Bikers show their grit at the National Championships.

Five O'Connor students competed in a range of races for the Australian 2017 National XCO Mountain Biking Championships held in Canungra QLD. Once again our students excelled with Katherine Hosking winning the U19 XCO and XCC (short course) and coming second in the team relay competition (XCR).

Isabella Hosking placed 2nd in the U17 XCO and 7th in the team relay. Emily Wooster placed 4th in the U17 XCO and 5th in the team relay. William Schmude rode well in the highly competitive U15's field and placed 17th in the XCO and 7th in the XCC. Unfortunately Harry Wooster who was ranked in the top 10 in the U15's leading into racing had a hard fall and was unable to compete.

These are outstanding results from a dedicated group of athletes despite heavy rain, extreme heat and a course that saw some of Australia's elite riders struggling to stay on their bikes.



Over the last 4 weeks, Year 10 have been involved in a sporting competition during their sport lessons. Five teams were formed each with a Country's name. Competitions involved modified games such as slide hockey, ringette, touch, basketball, volleyball, badminton, boof hockey. The aim of the events was not only participation of the playing teams but also a group taking on the responsibility as a duty team. This involved setting up, referring and awarding points for good sportsmanship and best player. Teams were encouraged to all wear correct uniform and contribute in positive ways to the team.

After 4 rounds, there was an overall winning team and the best player of the competition.

The winning team was America.

PE/ SPORT for Term 2

Congratulations on the standard of PE uniform in Term 1, particularly with wearing the hats.

Next term all students are required to wear the correct winter PE uniform, this is O'Connor track pants and sports hat. These can be purchased from the clothing pool for $55.00

The athletics unit will start in week 1 and gymnastics for Yr 7-9 in week 5.

A reminder if you are unable to participate for any reason, a note or email must be sent to school, stating the injury/ illness and length of time out of practical lessons.



Congratulations to the following O'Connor students who trialled for NSW Catholic Schools hockey teams in Newcastle today: Cody McCann, Talia Constance, Lauren Czinner, Caitlin Low, Meg Lye, Hayley Lennon, Tarnie Hillard and Alana Low.

Cody McCann, Talia Constance and Lauren Czinner were selected in the Open NSW CCC State team and Meg Lye was selected in the U16 NSW CCC State team.


Year 8 were involved in a football (soccer) competition to support Caritas and Project Compassion. The students were placed in teams and allocated countries that Caritas supports. The Lasallian Youth leaders from Year 11 assisted and all Year 8 contributed a gold coin "entry' to the competition. Enthusiasm, Teamwork and Participation were great and everyone was fantastic on such a hot day.

Year 7 Camp

Year 7 Camp

Congratulations to our Year 7 students on a most successful camp. The students energetically and enthusiastically participated in all activities. They encouraged each other and as a group were friendly, cooperative and interacted very well. I hope this sets them up with wonderful lifelong friendships formed at school.


Show Judging

Walcha Show

On the 17th and 18th March O'Connor travelled to Walcha show for our last show for summer. We arrived early on Friday morning to compete in meat sheep judging with Nick Graham placed 3rd and Zeke Johnstone winning the event. During the day students competed in cattle judging with several students making the finals. Zeke Johnstone was placed 2nd.  


At the heifer show - Not-a-lot Courtney placed 1st with Not-a-lot Victoria placing 3rd. Five  students competed in the junior paraders. Chloe Gray was placed 4th in the Under 16’s category.

Cattle Breed Show 

On Saturday the cattle competed in the Devon classes. Not-a-lot Haylee was the Grand Champion Devon exhibit, led by Chloe Gray. The cattle also competed in the Pair of Females and Supreme Cow and Calf. Yet again it was another successful show for the O’Connor cattle team.

A massive thank you to Ellis and Josh Tout for transporting the cattle to the shows and to David Gray for looking after the camp and cooking for us. Another massive thank you to Mrs Price for organising the cattle team to compete at these shows and for other students to travel to these shows and compete.

Chloe Gray - Year 9


Information for Parents

Year 9 Parents

This communication is to remind you that our Year 9 camp is scheduled for the 11th to the 13th September and the first payment ($100) for the camp was due on the 24th March (last Friday).
Thank you to those who have made payment.
There are still a number of families from whom no payment has yet been received. If there is a difficulty with managing this could you please contact Ms Menz to work around this – we do not want any student to miss the camp due to financial reasons.
If you have simply missed this date could you please contact Mrs Kay McLennon (our bursar) to catch up with the payment schedule.
Thank you for your cooperation.

David Lush
Year 9 Pastoral Academic Care Coordinator

School Crossing Rules

  • All students MUST be either sitting on or behind the wall. Students MUST not wait for busses & parents on the footpath at the front of the school.  
  • During school hours students must use the School Crossing designated by the orange  ‘Children Crossing’ flags.

  • Students can only cross at the crossing or the street corners. During school hours students MUST NOT cross Kirkwood Street between Kennedy & Canambe.  

  • Parents are to be encouraged to pick up students on the school side of Kirkwood Street  or on Kennedy Street at the end of the oval.

  • A reminder to all our parents ahead of the break at the end of Term 1 that school zones remain in place for the safety of our children and families.

  • School zones operate on all gazetted schools days, which are all days the school is open, even pupil free days. This includes Monday 24th April.

Jon Hawthorne - Pastoral Academic Care Coordinator


Measles Outbreak

Measles outbreak in Western Sydney

There is currently an outbreak of measles in South Western and Western Sydney, with at least 9 people having acquired the disease in the region during March 2017.

The reported cases include children and infants who have attended childcare centres and secondary schools. There is potential for the measles outbreak to spread further as the infected young people have large social networks both within and outside of their schools, and some have travelled on public transport whilst infectious. Measles is highly infectious and anyone who isn't vaccinated is at risk of infection if they have had contact with an infectious case.

Immunisation is effective in preventing measles. It is important for everyone to ensure that they have received at least two doses of measles containing vaccine (MMR). Infants and young children are vaccinated with measles containing vaccine at 12 months and 18 months of age. Older children and adults born during or after 1966 should ensure that they have been vaccinated with two doses of vaccine. Unless people are certain they have had two doses of measles vaccine, they should visit their GP as soon as possible for free measles vaccination.

The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, a runny nose, cough, and red, watery eyes. The rash usually starts on the face and upper neck and spreads over the body, hands and feet. The rash lasts for 4-7 days.

People with measles symptoms should seek medical advice as soon as possible phoning the emergency department or GP beforehand, stay home from work or school, and limit other activities to avoid exposing other vulnerable people, such as infants, to the infection.

Further information about measles can be found on the NSW Ministry of Health website at: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/factsheets/infectious/measles.html

Tour de Rocks

Want to be part of the Tour de Rocks cancer fundraiser but just not on a bike? Then grab your apron and join us at the O'Connor kitchens to prepare meals that will be taken on the ride to feed the brave people who will be riding to South West Rocks April 20 - 22 this year.

We have a ‘cook up’ planned for Tuesday afternoon (4.30pm - 8.30 pm) April 11th to make wet dishes for the ride. All you need to do is turn up and spend as long or as little time as you can helping out.

If you are planning to be on the ride, either as a rider or a supporter and would like to help serve meals on one of the nights (the wet dishes that we prepare will be served on the second night) then let me know and I'll pass your name on to the catering crew. They do an excellent job, sometimes jumping directly from their bikes to the camp kitchen, lycra and all, and could do with a few more helpers!

Please contact me on ahealey@oconnor.nsw.edu.au to be either a part of the cooking bee on 11th (from 4.40 - 8.30) or as a server on the tour... or as both!

All help is greatly appreciated.


Anne Healey

Cooking-Bee Coordinator