O'Connor Newsletter

22 September 2017
Issue Fifteen
Principal's Report
Assistant Principal's Report
Sport Report
College Events
Information for Parents
O'Connor Catholic College
02 6772 1666
39 Kirkwood St
Armidale, NSW, 2350

Principal's Report

Dear Parents & Carers


This week we farewelled our Year 12 students. Our Mass on Tuesday night was a beautiful acknowledgement of the faith life of our College and on Friday we held our Graduation assembly. My Principal’s Report for this final newsletter for 2017 is my speech I gave at the Graduation Assembly -



Bishop Michael Kennedy, Bishop of Armidale, Fr Sabu, Mr Chris Smyth, Director of Catholic Schools Office, Armidale, Mrs Sharon Wittig, Principal St Mary of the Angels Guyra, Mrs Leanne Thomas, President of P & F, Parents, Friends, Staff, students and our graduating class -  Year 12 2017:


It gives me great pleasure to speak to you, our graduating students today. I have known many of you since preschool and kindergarten (remember when we did science experiments together), some of you I have only met this year and of course one I have known all his life!  I told you when I spoke to you at the start of this year that I was so pleased that you would be the Year 12 class of my first year as principal of O’Connor. I have watched you grow in your learning and in your approach to life throughout this year and many years, and I am happy to give this address to you and your family and friends as you enter the next phase of your lives; a step into a world which I hope you will find exciting and fulfilling.

Remember that although we farewell you today, you still have your HSC exams to go! Study hard, give it your best shot so that you can look back knowing you have tried your hardest. When the results come out be pleased with all you have achieved. Don’t be defined by your results or your ATAR, recognise that they are a means to an end and be proud of all you have achieved in your thirteen years of schooling.


Teenagers and young people today get a lot of bad press - they're always on their phones, social media is destroying their brains, they are not connected to society, they won’t participate, people despair about our future. None of this is really true and as evidence for this I give you the Graduating Class of 2017.

When I look at this group of students, I don’t despair, I have hope and what I know is that the future is in great hands. Let’s look at the people we have in this group and see if you despair.

We have a student who represented the United Nations in Timor Leste

We have students who have completed Industry qualifications including diesel mechanic, nursing, banking all while completing their HSC
We have students who organised and raised money for local cancer charities by shaving their heads
We have a student who represented youth at the highest level nationally in science
We have students who have represented NSW in various National sporting competitions
We have students who have worked tirelessly for betterment of women in developing countries through their work with our Z Club
We have students who willingly give of their time to visit Autumn Lodge and Stroke recovery to brighten people’s days
We have students who have been members of our Vinnies group from Year 7 organising many Winter and Christmas Appeals
We have navy and airforce cadets willingly giving of them time in service of others
We have learners who are always striving to do their best
So should we despair for our future or should we have hope? When I look at these young people I am full of hope, I see our future leaders, mechanics, artists, nurses, musicians, builders, scientists, entrepreneurs, educators, but most of all I see a group of people who are ready and able to participate fully in our society and make a difference to the world we live in.
The theme the students chose this year was BE. They have truly lived this motto by the work they have done this year and they have BEEN and continue to BE great people with a good sense of fun, a strong sense of social justice and the ability to learn. There is a famous quote that everything I learned I learnt from Dr Seuss, I don’t agree with that by the way, but I love this line from the book ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
How exciting, frightening and challenging! Year 12 2017 I feel confident that you will go on and make a difference to the world. Be courageous, be brave, make mistakes and dust yourself off for the next adventure. There is nothing wrong with aiming high, and failing; but there is waste in failing because you didn’t try in the first place. So dare to dream.


In today's world we hear a lot about happiness and how we should all strive to be happy. Don't strive for happiness - strive to be challenged, to argue, to stand up for what you believe to be right, to have fun, to laugh, to cry. You have to experience sadness to know what happiness is. Your best of times will be when something is hard and you get through it,  not when it has been easy. It during these times you will recognise what happiness is. In St Paul’s first Letter to Corinthians he says ‘But strive for the greater gifts. And I will show you a still more excellent way’

It is during the hard times when I know God is there. One of  my favourite prayers is Footprints. The prayer begins with a person looking back on their life. They notice that there were two sets of footprints where the Lord and the person walked side by side, but found that in sad times or hard times there was only one set. The person thought that God had deserted them, but the prayer ends with:
The Lord replied, "My precious, precious child. I love you, and I would never, never leave you during your times of trial and suffering. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.”


In hard times know that you are not alone, not only do you have your family and friends you also have your God. You are truly founded on faith.


When you look back at your times at O’Connor I hope you look back with great memories and remember that you will always be part of the O’Connor community . A community founded on faith and focused on learning. As you leave O’Connor:
Accept there will be setbacks along the way, but rise above them.
Accept that you can make a difference in your life and in the world,
Accept that God walks with you in this journey and Simply do your best.
Good luck in your upcoming exams and for the future.

I wish everyone a safe and relaxing holiday and look forward to working with you in Term 4

Regina Menz


What will you learn today?

Regina Menz


Assistant Principal's Report

Special Year 12 Awards


 The Joseph Stephen Memorial Agricultural Award  

For Excellence in Agriculture
Awarded to: Erin Smith 








Brooke Church Memorial Award 
First in Textiles & Design. For outstanding effort, commitment & passion for the subject
Awarded to: Georgia Cullen







The Jeyaruban Family Award of Mathematics
For a student who has excelled in Mathematics at ANY level.  
Awarded to: Harry Ley








Reuben F Scarf Award 
Awarded for Commitment, consistent effort & a desire to improve
Awarded to: Erin Smith


Zonta Club of Armidale 
For a female student who has shown diligence in Science and Leadership in academic pursuits
Awarded to: Erin Smith

Caltex All Rounder Award 

For a student who excels in their studies & possesses leadership qualities, a good attitude & is keen to serve their community
Awarded to: Harry Lye








De La Salle Award 
For a student who displays the De La Salle work ethic having a sense of community and inclusivity
Awarded to: Maddy Murtagh








Ursuline Award 
Outstanding contributor to the performing arts, religious and community participation
Award to: Tom Frazier









Long Tan Award
For a student who demonstrates leadership and teamwork within both the school and the broader community, and who displays strong values
Awarded to: Eliza Clark









Quota International Award
To a Year 12 female student who has shown outstanding community spirit. 
Awarded to: Eliza Clarke








Captains Award (Chosen by College Captains)
For a Year 12 peer who has demonstrated citizenship
Awarded to: Jonathan Moore












First Place Subject Awards

Mathematics General 2 - Ewan McGrath

Mathematics General 1 - Tom Gream

Senior Science - Cherakee Ferguson

Visual Arts - Rianna Feenstra 

English Studies - Teagan Wilson 

Catholic Studies - Cassidie Smith

Hospitality - Lauren Boundy

Maths Extension 1  Maths Extension 2 - Harry Lye

Mathematics  & Music 2- Sophie Wicks

Agriculture Distance Education & Primary Industries - Erin Smith

Biology, PDHPE - Emily Turkovic

Design and Technology & Construction -Jack Simmons

Textiles & Design, Business Services - TAFE Georgia Cullen

Community and Family Studies & Business Studies Distance Ed - Tess Browne

Advanced English & Modern History, Studies of Religion 1 - Georgia Mackson

Standard English, Legal Studies &  Ancient History - Olivia Conyngham

Chemistry, Physics & Music 1 - Tom Frazier

Business Studies, Studies of Religion 2 & Dance - Eliza Clark

Congratulations to all the students of Year 12, 2017 on their Graduation. Best of luck with the HSC.



Thank you for your support


Simon Fleming

A.P/ Curriculum Coordinator


Year 9 Retreat

Changes to Venue for Year 9 Retreat day and Year 10 Leadership Day October 12 and 13.


Unfortunately the Army Depot has fallen through as our venue, but we are lucky enough to be able to use the Torregiani Room in the Parish Centre at the Cathedral for both days. Year 9 students need to meet inside the front gates of the Cathedral at 9.00am on the 12th of October. Year 10 students meet at 9.00am on the 13th of October. Both groups will be dismissed at 3.00pm in order to catch the school buses. 


Mass at O'Connor

Mass at O'Connor is at 9.15am on Wednesdays. Although Year groups attend particular masses, everyone is welcome. 


18/10 Year 7 Mass

25/10 Year 11 Mass

01/11  Whole College (All Saints Feast)

15/11 Year 8 and 9 Mass

22/11 Year 10 Mass

29/11 Whole College Prayer Service Vinnies Christmas Appeal

14/12 Carols in the Cathedral.

Year 12 Mass

Thank you Father Francis for presiding over Year 12's final Mass at O'Connor. It was lovely that this could be shared with our students families. It is always wonderful to come together as a worshipping community and in stressful times such as HSC preparation that God is with us. Year 12 students received a blessing from Father Francis and the light was passed on in the form of a candle from teachers to students.



This big event is getting closer! Term 4 will see a program of information before our year 11's go on pilgrimage to Sydney. Check out the latest ACYF minute.










Year of Youth

The ACYF kicks off the Year of Youth which will celebrate 10 years since WYD Sydney 2008 and focus on engaging our youth in the bigger life of the Church. It will culminate with WYD 2019 in Panama.

October, A Decade a Day.

In this month of Mary, somewhere at O'Connor everyday, students will be saying a decade of the Rosary and be praying for family life.


Heavenly Father, grant that our families may be places of communion and prayer, authentic schools of the Gospel and small domestic Churches. Make us ever more mindful of the sacredness and beauty of the family in God’s plan.


Bishop Kennedy has produced this clip encouraging us to pray for families.






God Bless


Damian Roff


Sport Report

Twilight Soccer Competition


Spike Ball

O'Connor hosted TAS for the inaugural Spike ball Challenge. Spike ball is a fast paced game, a combination of handball and volleyball, played on a rebound mat. Students from both schools demonstrated great skills. The challenge cup was won by O'Connor.

Ruth Patrick
PDHPE Coordinator


All O'Connor Teams enjoyed a great season in the Armidale Association Winter Competition. O'Connor fielded at least one team in every junior division. 


O'Connor Revelation got over the top of O'Connor Genesis in the final of the under 16 competition in a very close game 59 - 56. Highlights of the game were the work of Kaige MacLauchlin and Conor Marshall under the hoop for the Revelation and the long range shooting of Charlie Serow for the Genesis.


O'Connor Angels were too strong for PLC in their under 14 Girls final winning 40 - 16 Cyan MacLaughlin and Lily Roff had terrific games in a team they combined really well.


The O'Connor Kings narrowly went down in a close game to TAS in the final but can hold their heads high. They saved their best game to the last and left everything they had out on the court. Fletcher Chappell and Jack Howard were very strong for the Kings in this game.


The most unlucky team was the O'Connor Saints in the girls under 16 Division. Through illness and work commitments this team were on their last legs going into the preliminary final against PLC. Lily and Cyan played to make up the numbers. The girls fought back from a sizeable deficit to win the game in the dying seconds only to have the game taken away from them on protest for fielding the under 14 girls. Great credit to the girls for accepting their fate with good grace. Olivia Joyce was great for this team all season, including the prelim final. 

There is a summer comp coming up in term 4 and Mr Roff will collecting names in the first couple of days next term.


Damian Roff

Mountain Bike World Championships

Yr 11 student Katherine Hosking competed in her first Mountain Bike World Championships in Cairns last week. She was the highest ranked Australian in the U19 category and was competing for a top 20 position in the first few laps before having an unfortunate crash that saw her retire from the race due to injury. She is a name to watch in the sport in the future, and the College is very proud of her achievements.


NSW CCC Championships

 Athletics Championship 2017

On Friday the 15th of September 11 O’Connor students travelled to the Sydney Athletics Centre for the annual NSW Combined Catholic Colleges Athletics Championships. 35 Students from O’Connor qualified to compete for the Armidale Diocese. The following students made the trip to Sydney to represent the Diocese: Emerson Fitter, Lachlan Fittler,  Lawson Fittler, Harry Wooster, Isabel Hine, Jack Howard, Ella Russell, Bailey Redmond, Mackenzie Ramage, Trent Low and  Emma Gray. You may have noticed that there were three Fittler names, all brothers, who all qualified, which is a tremendous family achievement! I think this may be a first for O’Connor to have all three siblings to compete at the one event!! Congratulations to the Fittlers’!

All students represented both their school and the Armidale Diocese with tremendous pride and great sportsmanship. The day witnessed some excellent results for both O’Connor and the Armidale Diocese.

The best from O’Connor included: Ella Russell winning the 12yrs Girls High Jump (1.40m) and Lawson Fittler winning both the 800m (1.56.18) and 400m (50.76) races, breaking the record in the 800m. Congratulations not only to the above mentioned athletes, but to all athletes. Every athlete has done extremely well just to make it to Sydney!

Many thanks to all of the parents and supporters who took time from work to take their children to Sydney. A special mention to Jay Stone who came to support and coach his Armidale Athletics superstars.


A full list of results can be found on the CSSS website under athletics or at the following link: https://s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/resources.farm1.mycms.me/csss-nsw-edu-au/Resources/CCC%20Documents/Athletics/full%20results%202017.pdf


Best of luck to both Lawson and Ella as they prepare for the next stage of the competition at NSW All Schools Athletics on the 12-15th of October. For more information regarding the All Schools competition please visit https://2017allschools.eventdesq.com/


Camilla Clydsdale

Sports Coordinator

College Events

High School Musical

The O'Connor Musical for 2018 has been announced and it's HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL!!! Auditions will be held at the end of term 3 with rehearsals commencing in the first week of term 4. Additional audition and rehearsal information will be made available by week 7. Students who wish to register for auditions or who would like to be considered for a role in the production team should email [email protected] 
Click on the link below to see the fabulous promo video :-)





Wow! What a beautiful day Thursday the 21st of September was, especially for a Walk-a-thon and that is exactly what the students and staff at O’Connor Catholic College did. The Student Representative Council of O’Connor organised a wonderful walk from the Armidale Pine Forest to their school with over 400 students and teachers participating. This walk was to fundraise for some new items around the school and also to make a donation the the adorable Olive Russell.


Olive was born with a number of medical issues which have blocked her trachea since birth, which means she has never been able to speak or make any vocalisation. In the past three years she has undergone many major surgeries making the journey across to Perth to see the only surgeon available six times. The Russell family is scheduled to travel back to Perth in the September holidays to undergo further treatment.

A major thank you to the O’Connor Catholic College community for all their support in the smooth running of this event.



Tonya McQuilty

Walk-a-thon Organiser

Year 12 DT Major Designs

 Projects Completed

Members of the Year 12 Design & Technology class of 2017 should all be proud, as they have completed their Major Design Projects ready for assessment by markers from the NSW Education Standards Authority.


The Major Design Projects were commenced towards the end of last year, starting as a problem to be solved using technology creatively. Some students carried out up front market research to assess the true nature of the problem and to guide them through decision making such as who the target market consisted of, appropriate materials to use, how to evaluate and by whom.


Many hours of dedicated toil have been poured into these unique one-off, handcrafted works, which will no doubt now take pride of place at home.


As a parting gesture, the 2017 DT class have left a message board with advice for the DT class of 2018, the essence of which is universally; ‘Start early. Don’t procrastinate’.


Glenn Watson

TAS Coordinator

Literacy Award

Congratulations to Year 8 student Tia Armbruster who received an Australian Literacy Educator's Association award for outstanding growth in reading comprehension and writing. She is pictured with Lee Herden who is the treasurer of the association and he proudly presented Tia with her award yesterday.


Child Studies

The Year 9 Child Studies class have been making soft toys and storybooks with these characters. Each story is suitable for a 3 year old and has an educational theme. This completes the unit on Child's Play and demonstrates learning through play.


Ruth Patrick
PDHPE Coordinator

Vinnes Report

The Vinnies group visited Autumn Lodge on Tuesday 19th September to present a mural to be placed in the garden at Ningana. The mural has been a project long in the making and was created as part of term 5 activities in 2016 and has been completed over the course of 2017.

It was with great delight the students presented the work to some of the residents, Lyn Bruce, CEO and Diane McFarland, the Leisure, Lifestyle and Volunteer Co-ordinator. The mural will be placed on the brickwork of one of the raised garden beds at Ningana to provide visual pleasure for the residents.

O'Connor Vinnies students are very generous with their time and regularly visit Autumn Lodge on Fridays during their lunch time to spend time visiting and talking to the residents.

Cheryl Leggatt

Vinnes Coordinator

Art Award

Congratulations to Nick Troon (year 11) who was nominated for an Arts award and a Community award through the Armidale Youth Advisory committee. He was quite humbled to be nominated by his peers, and he went on to WIN the Arts award!
The O'Connor acapella group also received two nominations...well done to all involved.


Community Service Award

Congratulations to Year 12 student Eliza Clark who received the community service and community involvement awards from the Armidale Youth Advisory committee last night at the Armidale Regional Youth Awards.
Also, O'Connor staff members Melita Roache and Olivia Moore both received awards for support of young people in our community.


Information for Parents

Writing 4 Workshops

The Writing 4 Sustainability Workshop was originally planned to coincide with Speaking 4 the Planet at Council Chambers; however, Phil Smith from Western Sydney University had to reschedule, leaving us with over 50 students who were keen to write but with no special event.


A quick meeting with Principal Regina Menz and Armidale Catholic Schools Office Coach Kerrie Pridis led to the formation of a half day writing workshop at O’Connor Catholic College. The students were placed in small groups and exposed to some stimulus material, including the 1st Prize Short Film Winner of the Film4Climate Global Video Competition 2016 “Man vs Earth” by Prince Ea:


“In our quest to explore the galaxy,

rejects and neglects the home that we have here now.

So no, that can not be wisdom.

Wisdom is different.

While intelligence speaks, wisdom listens.

And we willingly covered our ears

to Mother Nature’s screams…” –Prince Ea

We are very pleased with the results of the Writing 4 Sustainability workshop. The students worked extremely co-operatively, and developed some wonderful pieces of creative writing in a short time frame, so please keep that in mind whist reading this book.


We look forward to working with Phil Smith in Term 4, and the students will be invited to participate in the rescheduled event to further extend their literacy and creative writing skills.


Jenny Roff

CAPA Leader of Learning and Enrichment




BYOD Year 7 Term 4

One-To-One Learning

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

Thanks to all that were in attendance at the One-To-One information night for Year 7.
If you missed the Information night there are some presentations with some valuable information available below.


The portal from our preferred supplier Mac 1 Armidale is up and ready to go.
You can access it here


There are a number of iPads, MacBooks and accessories available on this portal at discounted prices.
We have also been able to organise a school portal directly with the Apple Store in Penrith.
You can access it here


This provides all parents, students and staff access to discounted pricing across the whole Mac Store as well as free engraving and delivery.
Any questions contact Mr Mark Harris (ICT Coordinator) on [email protected]


One to One Learning Evening Presentation
Cybersafety Presentation

All Year 7 students will need a device Term 4 to take part in our One-To-One Learning program.



Mark Harris

IT Coordinator

Uniform Shop Hours


Extended Trading

The Uniform Shop will be operating on Friday 6th October from 9.00 until 2.00pm. The last Friday of the School Holidays. 

Students are required to wear their summer uniform when Term 4 commences. Normal Trading will begin the 1st Monday back of Term 4. As follows;

Monday 8am - 12pm

Wednesday 12pm- 4pm

Friday  10am- 2pm

Workshops for Parents


Technology Education


Cancer Awareness


Junior Cricket Rego

CSC junior cricket club online registrations are now open .
Go to "www.playcricket "
Click on " where can I play
Click on "Armidale "
Click on "CSC"
Then follow the prompts to complete your registration.

President of CSC junior cricket club.

Mark McDermott

Theatre Sports


Bowlo & Skating


Bike Week



Accounting Traineeship

For a year 12 student commencing studies in Business/ Accounting or Audit in 2018 at university and would be interested in working part time in the industry while studying. We provide study support (paid study leave for exams and exam preparation and reimbursement for textbook costs) and flexible working arrangements for our Trainee Accountant positions.

Crowe Horwath Opportunities

Chloe Smith - People and Culture Officer 

ph: 02 6776 5100 
90 Rusden Street - Armidale NSW 2350

Gap Year Opportunity

A 12 month contract working full-time in the Armidale office doing a variation of tasks including admin, reception, various accounting/finance related tasks (if interested in those areas). Ideal for someone finishing their schooling in 2017 and looking to explore the workforce or with interest in the finance industry wanting to earn some money locally before heading to university or onto other adventures.




Good Luck

Glenda Lemon

Career Advisor/Librarian

O'Connor Newsletter
kinfolk_menu_OConnor Term 3.pdf
Armidale FRC Aug to Dec 2017.pdf
Practical Parenting Armidale September 2017.jpg
Toolkit for Dads Armidale September 2017.jpg
Technology Education developing problem solving skills for the future - NSW Education Standards (1).pdf
Cancer Support.pdf
theatre sports armidale 29 sep (2).pdf
bowling and skating armidale 27 sep.pdf