McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter

22 November 2019
Friday 22 November 2019
Prayer and Reflection
Principal's Report
Assistant Principal - Curriculum 
Assistant Principal -    Pastoral Care
Leader of Student Wellbeing
Leader of Teaching & Learning 
2020 Student Leaders
Important Dates
Careers News
St Nicholas Parish
MCC Canteen
G'DAY USA 2020/2021 
The School Advisory Council 
McCarthy Parents & Friends Association
Website & Compass Parent Portal
College Uniform
General Information
McCarthy Catholic College
(02) 6761 0800
Tribe Street
Tamworth, New South Wales, 2340

Prayer and Reflection

Our Lady of the Rosary. Pray for us.

St Dominic. Pray for us.

Blessed Edmund Rice. Pray for us.


On 13 October,  9 staff participated in a twilight staff retreat run by the CSO Renewal team which focused on 1 Jn.4:7-21 in which John depicts God as love. John tells us that it is only through loving others in our daily interactions with them that we come to know God; we get to know him by loving. It is when we love one another that God’s love “is perfected in us.” 


We are currently in the process of finalising the information and prayer to accompany the statue of Edmund Rice in the College grounds which was presented to the Collegelast year by the 2018 Year 12 students. Year 7 students were invited to compose a prayer for the new statue in RE lessons as part of their unit of work on Ways of Praying. I would like to thank Year 7 students, Dante Reverr and Gabriel Quiambao, for the prayerful thoughts they composed which have now been incorporated into a prayer for the Edmund Rice statue. The plaque featuring a brief account of the story of Edmund Rice and his founding of the teaching order of Christian Brothers, their work in Catholic education in Tamworth and the prayer inspired by Dante and Gabriel, will be incorporated into the prayer walk ready for 2020.   The prayer inspired by the students is below;


Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank you for giving the world Blessed Edmund Rice.

Thank you for instilling in him the desire to nourish the hearts and minds of poor boys in Ireland through a good Catholic education.

Thank you for inspiring him to establish the Christian Brothers who came to Australia and then to Tamworth to provide young people in rural areas with quality Catholic education. 

May we be inspired to follow his example of love and compassion for the poor and use the learning we receive here to make the world a better place for all.

We ask you to grant this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen

Prayer inspired by Dante Reverr and Gabriel Quiambao (Yr 7 2019).



Our thoughts and prayers are with J-Lee and Jekoya Nash and their family and Sabian Larkham and his family after the passing of their respective grandmothers and to Zarlee Farrell and Oscar Schipp and their families after the passing of their respective grandfathers.


Mrs Cate Allen -  Leader of Mission, Spiritual Formation and Religious Education


Principal's Report

NSW Curriculum Review - Interim Report

Recently the NSW Government commissioned ACER CEO - Professor Geoff Masters to review the NSW Curriculum from Kindergarten to Year 12 which aims to equip students to contribute to Australian society in the 21st Century. The interim report is now available for community consultation.


Professor Masters early comments listed below would conclude that change is required -

  • changes in society, increasing globalisation, an increasingly diverse Australian population, and advances in technology mean change is required 
  • the urgent challenge is to ensure that no student leaves school with only low-level skills
  • the evidence is not encouraging - the percentage of 15-year-olds with only low-level skills in reading and numeracy have been growing
  • reforms to the content and structure of the curriculum are essential to ensure that no student leaves our schools unprepared for their future

I have provided a link to the report below and encourage any interested families or individuals to make a submission before 13 December via this website -


Year 7 2020 Orientation Day and Parent Information Night

We are looking forward to welcoming all new Year 7 students to McCarthy on Monday 2 December 2019. We have a fun and busy day lined up that will ensure that new McCarthy family members have a clear understanding of the routines, expectations and myriad educational opportunities available to them. Information letters have been sent to all enrolled families. Similarly, we will be holding a short Parent Information Night on the same date beginning at 6:00pm that will allow parents to be informed and provided with orientation resources so that they too are warmly welcomed and have an opportunity to understand and appreciate our partnership expectations for mutually supporting their children to grow to their full potential.

McCarthy Representation at Remembrance Day

Congratulations and thanks to our new 2020 Student Leaders for representing the College at the Remembrance Day service at the Town Hall last week. Michelle, Tom, Grace, and John were fine ambassadors for the College and commented on the deep significance of the ceremony and its importance for young people in appreciating the sacrifice of those who have laid down their lives for our freedom. Year 10 student - Tully Munro also played a significant role at the service in leading the catafalque party as a member of 310 Squadron, Australian Air Force Cadets. 


Creative Arts Showcase

I invite the McCarthy community to attend the annual Creative Arts Showcase highlighting the talents of students in Drama, Music and Art on Tuesday 26 November 2019 commencing at 6:00pm in OLORCC.



We welcome Charlotte Taylor (Year 10).  We hope that your transition has been a smooth one and that they are enjoying the McCarthy community.


Mr Geoff McManus - Principal


Assistant Principal - Curriculum 

The 2013 NSW Government Policy - 'Great Teaching, Inspired Learning' - saw a number of initiatives in education focused on improving student learning outcomes. One of the big changes was the accreditation process for teachers which ensures that teachers keep up-to-date and engage in continuous development. McCarthy staff view this requirement as an opportunity and willingly participate in all manner of Professional Learning, collaborating with other Diocesan schools and outside agencies, as well as working in Professional Learning Teams with McCarthy colleagues.


In Term 4 we have had a large number of middle leaders involved in training for VCOP and Big Write in preparation for the adoption of a schoolwide writing methodology that specifically builds on work being done in the Diocesan feeder schools. This work will complement our homegrown Literacy Skills for Assessment work in PDHPE and HSIE - which is receiving very positive feedback from students.  A number of staff have been involved in subject specific events such as the Creative and Performing Arts networking day, Languages Conference,  Creative Arts Conference for Catholic Schools, Careers Advisor Day and planning for the support of EALD (English as an additional language) students. The counsellors and Leadership Team also work to stay on top of contemporary issues - and have recently been involved in a Youth Drug and Alcohol Workshop and training in relation to school Duty of Care with social media. 


Mrs Sally Sparke - Assistant Principal - Curriculum 

Assistant Principal -    Pastoral Care

Institution or Community?

When schools are working well they are much more a community than an institution. Institutions are focused on providing services in a sustainable way. To do this, institutions have sharply defined roles with clear rules and regulations to be adhered to – both ethically and legally. Institutions tend to be stable and predictable in the delivery of service. This can also mean that institutions struggle to adjust to rapid changes in the environment in which they exist which contributes to distrust and a growing sense that the institution is self-serving and more interested in its own survival (two good examples would be the US Government since the Watergate scandal in 1974 and the Catholic Church’s response to child sexual abuse).

Like a family, community is a place where we discover what it means to belong. Being a part of a community is something we recognise when we experience it. Community is generally found in the quality of relationships that provides a connection to others through the support we receive and that we give to others plus we share things in common. It is in the context of community that we are able to undergo growth and transformation as we explore and come to understand who we are as individuals.

Peter Block argues in his book, ‘Community: The Structure of Belonging’, that one of the results of post-modern society is that increasingly community is fragmented.  Western society is characterised by rising feelings of isolation and alienation which becomes amplified by a media that constantly presents a narrative that ‘the world is a dangerous place, we need more control, more surveillance, tougher laws, stronger leaders, someone to blame’. Block terms this the rise of the ‘retributive community’. This cultural phenomenon can be seen in the rise of Donald Trump in America and the Brexit fiasco in the United Kingdom. Such a worldview simply increases peoples sense of isolation and powerlessness and so despair and anxiety and discontent flourish.

Promoting and then exploiting such feelings are the ‘happiness’ and marketing industries that urge people to purchase their products with the promise that it will fill the void, ease the anxiety and dispel the despair. It is always fascinating to watch the way Christmas becomes a marketing bonanza and a time for mass -consumption. News reports laud the consumer spending statistics while weary shoppers are interviewed lamenting how last minute they have been and everyone asks each other ‘are you ready yet?’ then a day or two after the Boxing Day sales frenzy there are segments on the television on how to get your credit card in balance after two months of ads compelling us to join the spending spree. If you know any police officers, they can tell you about the real misery that follows the consumption marathon with horror stories of spikes in abuse and violence (a rise of 20% during the Christmas-New Year period) that comes in the wake of the Christmas shop-a-thon.

Another feature of the ‘retributive community’ is the more powerless and disenfranchised individuals feel, the more they blame others. When we are in a position to blame others – such as politicians, bureaucrats, teachers, the police or immigrants – it actually frees us from responsibility to make change or to have to work for it (note how certain media commentators say that Australia isn’t responsible for climate change, why should we change anything?). It is always much easier to externalise blame rather than look inward and examine ourselves and then to work hard to contribute to a solution.


With the growth of fragmentation in society, it is an imperative that schools become places of hope. The antithesis of the ‘retributive community’ is the ‘restorative community’. Restorative communities are dedicated to reaffirming human good and redefining what it means to be human. In a Catholic school, the well-spring for our hope comes from our Christian faith and heritage.

Restorative communities provide individuals with the opportunity to explore how to live life well. Our community is inspired by the life of Jesus which urges us to live in right relationship with God and with our fellow human beings. When we enable our lives to be shaped by the narrative of Jesus, social transformation occurs. People begin to respond to the needs of others rather than focusing on self-centredness.


Our challenge as a school is to balance our institutional requirements such as being financially responsible or meeting Work Health and Safety regulations and legal obligations for delivering NESA mandated curriculum as well as being a community that offers hope and a purposeful and meaningful sense of connection for young people. This is our work. Next year I will write about some of the ways that we are endeavouring to get this balance right so that our students and parents and staff feel they are more a part of a community than an institution.


Mr Mick Larkin - Assistant Principal - Pastoral Care


Leader of Student Wellbeing

The use of phones and social media

Unfortunately the Pastoral Care team often deal with the negative aspects of social media. 'Negative chats’ which start outside of College often, continue at the College, having a detrimental impact on relationships. As well, from an academic point of view, disruption to learning can occur, with students’ concentration and focus reduced.  At McCarthy we promote digital intelligence in the use of mobile phones.


In order to facilitate this digital learning, the family environment is seen as the first and main educator when discussing and setting boundaries for online communication. For parents and carers, the recommendations of The Office of the eSafety Commissioner are:

  • Encouraging the same positive manners that your child would use offline

  • Avoid responding to negative messages

  • Emphasise the positives: “I am proud of you not to respond to the negative chats on SnapChat.”

  • Encourage empathy - try and get your child to see the other perspective

  • Encourage your child to think critically, “Do you believe everything you see online?”

  • Remind them to be very careful when making new friends online, eg fake Instagram accounts called “Finstas”, and not to respond to these posts

Presentations from the Police Liaison Officer

As part of our Pastoral Programs, the legal aspects of the digital world were presented to each year group. The following topics were covered tailored to the specific emotional/social development of teenagers:

  • Year 7, 8 and 9 - Social media, sexualised language and bullying behaviour
  • Year 10 - Safe Partying, social media and sexualised language
  • Year 11 - Safe Partying and social media

We ask parents/carers to discuss the points raised from the presentation. Further information can be located on the eSafety Commissioner website:

Mrs Sharon Stuart - Leader of  Student Wellbeing

Leader of Teaching & Learning 

2020 Student Leaders

2020 College Captains

Hi I’m Michelle and as one of the College Captains for 2020 my goal is to try and make a difference- big or small, in contributing to the overall ethos that McCarthy encapsulates. What I would like to see is the spirit and culture within McCarthy grow and combine, as cohorts deepen their interests, relationships, and connections with one another. The goal for myself has always been to give everything a go, and to never settle for mediocrity. Thus far I believe that goal has beared true, next year for me will consist of persistence and with the help of the wonderful year and the leaders involved for 2020 we, as a year group can work to set the gears in motion in seeing McCarthy excel as a community.


Hi, My name is Tom and I am one of the College Captains for 2020. At McCarthy Catholic College we are a diverse community which makes us not only a school but a family.  My goal for the College year of 2020 is to acknowledge our diverse culture and enhance McCarthy’s College spirit.  I envisage our College spirit soaring as we take pride in the achievements of others as well as ourselves. Enhancing participation from students across a wide variety of school opportunities will not only influence McCarthy’s College spirit to thrive, but will increase our interconnectedness and result in further growth of relationships with teachers and peers, whilst representing our College community with the pride of belonging to such a diverse community.


2020 College Vice Captains

Hi! My name is Grace and I am honoured to be one of the Vice Captains of McCarthy Catholic College for 2020. As part of the leadership team at McCarthy, my goal is to model the values that are essential to a unified College and set a strong foundation for students in future years. Our College's core mission statement of Receive, Worship, Serve is central to my leadership aspirations for 2020, as I will strive to promote the Catholic ethos and encourage a stronger sense of pride in our school community. I am thrilled to be working alongside an amazing team of leaders who will guide me in communicating priorities in our College community and encourage collaborative partnerships to effectively enact the Colleges mission statement and values.  


My name is John, and I am one of the 2020 Vice Captains of McCarthy Catholic College. Within McCarthy, I would like to see more overall College spirit in participation in events, especially between year groups, both within the College and out. While my tenure, as well as the other Captain’s may be short, I hope to at least plant a seed for a more involved McCarthy student base.

Important Dates


22 November: Years 7, 8 and 9 Exams Conclude

23 November: CANCELLED MCC P&F Trivia Night (Rosary Centre)

26 November: Police Liaison Visit - "Social Media, Sexualised Language & Bullying Behaviour" Year 7 & 9

26 November: Chess Challenge Round 2: MCC v Farrer 

26 November: Olympics Unleashed NSW Program

26 November: MCC Creative Arts Showcase

27 November: Sports Assembly

28 November: Diocesan Cricket MCC v O'Connor

28 November: ACYF Bake Sale

2 December: Year 7 2020 Orientation Day

2 December: Year 7 2020 Parent Information Evening

4 December: Thanksgiving Mass 

4 December: SAC and MCC Parents & Friends' Christmas Party

6 December: First Friday Mass

6 December: Mufti 'Crazy Sock' Day (MCC P & F Fundraiser)

7 December: Australian Catholic Youth Festival - Perth (Concludes 11 December) 

9 December: Year 9 - Great Aussie Bush Camp, Tea Gardens Excursion (Concludes 12 December) 

11 December: Whole College Assembly

16 December: College Awards Night

17 December: HSC & ATAR results released

18 December: Whole College Assembly/Christmas Fun

18 December: Term 4 concludes for students


Advanced Notice

 January 2020:

30 January 2020: Term 1 Commences for Years 7 & 11

31 January 2020: Term 1 Commences for the remainder of College

Careers News

Careers - Term 4, Week 7 to 10 

I am taking 4 weeks long service leave at the end of this term and will be unavailable to assist students and parents.  Please read the information below to assist you in this period. 


Year 12

University early offers are now  being made to students. I ask that students follow instructions and keep an eye on their emails so as not to miss deadlines for accepting offers and changing preferences. Remember too that university is not the only or the best option for many students. 


Any students who need advice regarding University are asked to contact UAC or the University they wish to attend directly to get advice on changing preferences for the main round of December offers before Christmas as I  will not be in the country to assist you.


Here are some valuable resources to help students and parents during the December - January period along with the UAC book which was given to all Year 12 students.  It has detailed explanations of offers, preferences and rounds.


Work Experience - Term 4, Week 7 to 10

Students who are organising work experience during this period are asked to collect the application form from  the door of the Careers Adviser’s Office and hand the completed form into the College office for Mrs Maxworthy.  She will be looking after the paperwork requirements and signing forms during my absence.


Students and parents can find out the steps involved in doing work experience at the appropriate page on the McCarthy Careers website.  All the information can be found here.


Careers @ McCarthy Careers Page

The new McCarthy Careers page is ready for students and parents to use to help them with information and where to find what you want to know about all things career-related.Click here to access it.


Opportunities for Students

In coming weeks there are opportunities coming up for certain student groups organised by and with Tamworth TAFE and UNE (University of New England).


Student Exchange
WEP Australia is a not-for-profit student exchange organisation registered/approved by the education departments/regulatory authorities in QLD, NSW and VIC. Now is a great time for students in years 8-10 to apply for a student exchange as WEP is offering an Early Bird Special for 2020 programs.  Find out more here:

You can visit their website at


Mrs Susan Barrett - Careers Adviser



Indoor Hockey Success

Congratulations to Year 7 students Mackenzie, Mitchell, and Edward who were selected for the Tamworth Representative team and participated in the Indoor State Hockey Championships over the weekend at Orange. They played in the Under 13 Division. The girl's team came 6th in the state in our pool which is a massive effort for Tamworth not having an indoor competition. Mitchell was selected during this tournament to play in the NSW Team. Their team came 7th in the State. Mitchell will now play in the National Tournament to be held in the Illawarra in January 2020. Well done to all these students and the College wishes them all the best in their sporting pursuits.



Country Junior Rugby League Championships

Congratulations to Cameron, Sebastian, Bailey and Parker for their involvement in the Under 14 Northern Rugby League Country Championships last school holidays in Coffs Harbour. They represented group 4 and played well to make the semi-finals. All boys represented their region with pride and distinction. Well done!



Junior Tennis Success

Congratulations to Year 7 student Connor who this past weekend won the Under 12 Boy's singles and doubles partnering with Year 7 student Seamus. Connor also won the B grade Men’s singles at the Inverell Bronze Junior tournament. After his success Connor has also been selected to play in the North West Junior tennis team to compete in the Queensland State Teams event to be held in Brisbane in December.


Downie Shield Cricket

On Tuesday 19 November the Berg Shield Opens' cricket team played against St Joseph’s College of Aberdeen. The game was a 40 over contest played at Aberdeen. St Joseph’s Aberdeen batted first and after struggling at 5-80 at drinks recovered to make a very good total of 7-264. Kilian and Sam were the pick of the bowlers picking up two wickets each whilst Noah also bowled well snaring two wickets. Ben picked up the other wicket in a tidy spell. 


In reply McCarthy got off to a steady start facing some accurate bowling. Eddie scored 20, whilst Ben was the mainstay, playing some classical shots to reach 61. Noah belted the bowling to all parts of the ground scoring 42. Eoin played a nice innings looking untroubled on his way to 30 not out. The target of 264 proved to be too large to overhaul. Well done to both teams in a game that was played in great spirit. A big thank you to Mrs Sharon Stuart for driving the bus and supporting the boys. 

Mr Brad Mitchell - Sport Coordinator


St Nicholas Parish

St Nicholas Parish Christmas Party

Sunday 24 November 2019
12:00pm - 2:00pm
McCarthy Catholic College Hall

Please bring a plate of food to share. Tea and coffee will be provided.

RSVP - Clipboard at the back of the church.


St Nicholas Youth


Combined Churches of Tamworth - Carols in the Park


MCC Canteen

Canteen News

Thank you to everyone who helped in the canteen last Term. In Term 4 we would really love a few extra canteen helpers to lighten the work load.  You can come whenever it suits you whether it’s one day a term, monthly, fortnightly or weekly. It is a great way to meet other parents, carers or your children’s teachers and friends. Parents, carers and grandparents are all welcome.


Unfortunately due to an increase in costs, a few canteen items have had a price increase. We have tried to keep prices as low as possible to allow everyone access to the canteen.



Lunch orders

We encourage the children and parents to order their lunches through the QKR App, the Electronic Order System.  Electronic order CUT OFF time will be 9:30am daily. This makes life easier for everyone. The instructions are attached.


Manual orders can also be taken over the counter before school and during first break.


Students are asked where possible, to order their lunches before mentor group. Lunch bags, pens and menus are available on the table near canteen. Please remember to write your name and year and what break you would like your order on your lunch bag. 



G'DAY USA 2020/2021 

G’DAY USA Tour 2020/2021  

We are looking forward to establishing our ninth G’Day USA tour group for January 2020 and/or 2021. The 20 day tour to the West Coast of the United States is held in the January school holidays, visiting Los Angeles, San Francisco and a chosen host city. As an initial source to see the highlights of the program you may like to visit


Ms Hayley Mitchell from Educational World Travel provided further information at a meeting on 23 September. The meeting elaborated the support provided by the company and the teacher chaperones before and during travel. If any students are interested in the tour, but did not attend the evening, please email me for details.

Mrs Fiona O’Neill

The School Advisory Council 

School Advisory Council

The School Advisory Council meets once per term and consists of the following members:


Principal: Mr Geoff McManus
Parish Priest: Father Christopher Onuekwusi
Chairperson: Mr Bernie Munro
Secretary: Mr Fletcher Davies
Teaching Staff Representative: Mrs Raelene Maxworthy and Mrs Briony Martin
Parents Association Representative: Mrs Carol Reed
Elected Members: Ms Hiliary Thornberry, Mr Geoff Shanley, Mr Richard O’Halloran and Ms Felicity Sawtell


There are no further SAC meetings for 2019. The School Advisory Council and MCC Parents and Friends Association Christmas Party is on Wednesday 4 December 2019.

McCarthy Parents & Friends Association

McCarthy Parent and Friends Association Meeting

There are no further MCC P&F meetings for 2019. The School Advisory Council and MCC Parents and Friends Association Christmas Party is on Wednesday 4 December 2019.


Trivia Night

Unfortunately due to lack of interest the Trivia Night has been cancelled. 


Crazy Sock Day

Friday 6 December 2019, purchase a pair of Jolly Socks and wear mufti to get in the MCC Spirit!


Jolly Socks will be on sale for $5.00 a pair by the P & F Association for Crazy Sock Day on Tuesday 12 November 2019 during recess and will be available from the College office after this date in the lead up to Crazy Sock Day. Lots of different colours and patterns available!


Website &
Compass Parent Portal

MCC Website

Please note parental access to the McCarthy website is as below:

Username: parent

Password: Parent2340!


Compass Parent Portal

Last week we distributed to each family their Compass Parent Portal registration and log in details. The Parent Portal will enable parents to be able to:

  • View up-to-date class and school attendance information

  • Approve past absences for your child

  • Access your child's Student Semester Reports

  • Download, print and approve upcoming excursions

  • Update you registered email and mobile number (used for SMS alerts)

  • Access information regarding upcoming events and news

Reminder - Update of Student Record Details

To ensure that our student records are up to date we have distributed a series of forms for completion. Families who have not returned their forms are reminded to forward them to the College as soon as possible. 


If you have any questions in regards to this update of information please do not hesitate to contact the staff in the College Office. 

College Uniform

New College Uniform

The new College uniform is now available at Lowes, in store and online. Our new uniform will be phased in over the next 2 years with the whole College in the new uniform at the commencement of the 2022 school year. 


The Junior and Senior Uniform Guidelines have been updated and are available on our website by visiting the following link:



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).

Study Club

The MCC Study Club runs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 3.00pm to 5.00pm during school term in the Library. It is fully supervised and students have access to the Library resources and computers to assist with their study. 

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.

Leadership Team 

Principal - Mr Geoff McManus

Assistant Principals - Mrs Sally Sparke and Mr Mick Larkin

Mission, Spiritual Formation and RE Coordinator - Mrs Cate Allen

Leader of Teaching and Learning - Mrs Raelene Maxworthy

Leader of Pedagogy - Mrs Briony Martin

Leader of Student Wellbeing - Mrs Sharon Stuart

The 2019 Pastoral Care Team

Year 7 Leader of Student Care - Mrs Melissa Bearup 

Year 8 Leader of Student Care - Mr Bernie Williams

Year 9 Leader of Student Care -  Mr Andrew Davy

Year 10 Leader of Student Care - Mrs Melissa Lees   

Year 11 Leader of Student Care -  Mrs Fiona O'Neill

Year 12 Leader of Student Care -  Mr Damian 

College Counsellors - Mrs Tamara Shoemark and Mrs Aimee Cook

Change of Details

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

McCarthy Catholic College Newsletter
MCC Canteen Menu 2019.pdf
QKR Instructions.pdf