O'Connor Newsletter

27 February 2019
Issue One
R.E News
Principal Report
Assistant Principal 
Pastoral Academic Care
Student/Parent Information
Student / Parent Information
Around the School
Swimming Carnival
O'Connor Catholic College
02 6772 1666
39 Kirkwood St
Armidale, NSW, 2350

R.E News

School Mass

A beautiful ceremony was celebrated in the De La Salle chapel for the handing over of the College Cross from past students to our current student leadership team. 


Past captain (2016) Tim Hanrahan was our guest speaker and he encouraged all students to step out of their comfort zones and try something new. We would like to share with you his 'words of wisdom'...........


Hello and welcome back.

To the year 7s, welcome to O’Connor. You could say I’m a little biased but I think you’re going to have the best time here. To the year 12s up the back, I’ve sat where you are and have felt exactly the same mix of feelings. Don’t worry, you’re going to be fine as wine.


Thank you to Mr Roff for inviting me to talk, I’ve been to 6 of these ceremonies and never thought I’d be the one up here. I’m going to give you a quick zoom through my life from where I was here at O’Connor to where I am now.


My life at O’Connor was defined by one thing: handball. Every morning, recess and lunch you could find me knees to the concrete ruining my school shoes but having the time of my life. I loved high school and all the different things you could get involved with.

I was never that athletic, but in true Bradbury spirit I would give everything a try. In my year 10 swimming carnival I went into every race, probably trying more not to drown than anything else, and I came last in every single one.

But all I’m going to say is that points add up and if you look at the year 10 male swimming champions my name is on that list. I say that because without trying, you’ll never succeed and often our worst doubters are ourselves.

Going into stage 6 one thing I really remember was dropping everything for study- sport, music, reading. I thought that by taking these things out of my life I would have more time to study and help lift my grades. But I realised that just having more time doesn’t mean you do more, it just took away all of the fun things I had.

So I went into year 12 with a goal to give more, to get involved more, and to make the most out of the time I had here with my friends. I might not have gone as well as I could have but when I look back now that was one of my best years and I’m a better person for it.

After I left school I went to study engineering down in Sydney. In my first week I signed up for absolutely everything- exotic beer club, the socialist alternative, the tea and coffee society. But I quickly found between uni and college and friends I didn’t have time for any of these and I ended up doing none of them. It was a busy busy time, I was in a new city with new friends and life was flying by so fast.


And then in came to a stop. To a halt.

I had a strange syndrome which left me paralysed in a hospital bed for three months not being able to move, eat or breathe by myself. So much for my plans. And that was a really really hard time for me. But I think through each of our lives we’ll have these hard times, these quiet times. Finding it tough at school, hard times with your family, losing someone you know or even just struggling with being happy in life. All these things I’ve experienced but they’ve made me into who I am today.


So last year I went back to uni, back to my friends, back to Sydney. But I started to focus on living life in the slow lane, enjoying the sights, enjoying the people in it.

So where does that leave us? Well I hope learning a little about my story has told you how much I’ve come to value balance. In our lives we will have times where there’s too much, too little or nothing at all.


A favourite quote of mine is that 'Specialisation is for insects'. We’re often told to find our niche, or career, or the right group of friends. But I think that blinkers us to the galaxy of experiences that are available to us. I’m going to be an engineer, but my dream is one day to write a book. You might want to try the guitar, but down at the oval none of your mates do.


If there’s one thing I could call you to do this year is to try something new, go somewhere new, meet someone new. Maybe it won’t work out and let’s be real, most things don’t. But you’ll have tried, and that makes all the difference. Thank you.




College Motto 2019

Finally, the student leadership team announced their theme for 2019...the power of yet! This motto encourages our students to persevere and not give up...
I can’t understand this...yet
I can’t finish this assessment task...yet.
I’m not in the College soccer team...yet.
We love this theme as it relates to grit and determination...well done student leaders.


Start of the Year Mass

 Father Roel introduced himself as the new Cathedral Administrator replacing Father Francis who has a new posting at St Nicholas' parish in Tamworth. Father Roel celebrated mass with the whole College that somehow managed to fit into De La Salle Chapel. A terrific homily was delivered on the importance of Jesus in our lives and how we can bring forth the Kingdom of God at O'Connor. Ms Menz was particularly impressed with Father Roel's chemistry experiment to highlight the salvation from sin that Jesus offers us. Year 7 were singled out for special welcome as it was their first mass at O'Connor.


Mass at O'Connor

Mass at O'Connor is on most Wednesdays at 9.15am in the De  La Salle Chapel. Parents, friends, ex students, parishioners and in fact anyone is welcome to attend. Music is provided by our very own Beatitudes led by our new Music Youth Minister Nick Troon. Below is a the schedule for Mass in Term 1:

February 27   Year 7 Mass

March 6      Whole School Mass for Ash Wednesday

March 13       Year 9 and Year 12 Mass

March 20       Year 11 Mass




                                   Damian Roff



Principal Report

Dear Parents and Carers

Welcome to 2019! A big welcome to all new parents and carers to our school. We are so pleased to have so many of you have become part of our community, a community ‘Founded on Faith, Focused on Learning.’


Education Vision 2018

Our educational vision for 2019 embeds our work we have been undertaking to make learning the centre of all we do. On our first day our staff reflected on the following statement:


Shared Beliefs and Understanding

  1. All students can achieve high standards given the right time and the right support
  2.  All teachers can teach to high standards given time and the right assistance
  3.  High expectations and early and ongoing intervention are essential
  4.  All leaders, teachers, and students can articulate what they do and why they lead,   teach, and learn the way they do.       

(Sharratt and Fullan 2012 - Parameter 1)


At O’Connor, our work is focussed on this statement. Every student growing their learning every lesson, every day, every year. Teachers working collaboratively to enhance the learning for all. High expectations for every member of our community- students, staff, and families with the right support. Finally, everyone in the community being able to talk about what they do and why they do it.


Our educational vision is the same as last year and embodies our shared beliefs:

Our vision is a faith filled Catholic Professional Learning Community, founded on faith & focused on learning, working collaboratively to enhance the learning for all, resulting in students who are creative, confident and informed people ready to make a real difference in our world. We believe that everyone can learn, not always at the same time or in the same way, and we strive to create learning opportunities for all.


Our Annual Improvement Plan sets out our goals to achieve this vision. The goals for 2019 are  

To ensure meaningful embedding and exploration of Catholic Principles and Values.
To foster faith opportunities for the whole school community.

To develop guaranteed and viable curriculum.
To ensure the learning experience is engaging and differentiated.

To ensure pastoral academic care supports the learning community to succeed
To foster collaborative Professional Learning Teams that authentically engage with learning.


Leaders Cross and Dux 2018 Ceremony

On Friday 2nd February, we held a beautiful Leaders Cross Ceremony. The Student Leaders for 2019 announced the theme for 2019 ‘The Power of Yet’. This theme encapsulates the grit and resilience we want our whole school community to embrace. Instead of giving up, try and try again-

‘I don’t understand this English text ….yet

‘I can’t solve this Mathematics problem ….yet

‘I didn’t make the sport team ….yet

The Power of Yet encourages us all to continue to strive for our goal even when it appears beyond us.


The Dux for 2018 HSC Class was also announced. I have included part of my speech from the ceremony that includes many of the highlights from the HSC Class of 2018:


The HSC class of 2018 achieved excellent results showing learning growth across their years of schooling. In 2018 80% of all courses achieved results in the top 2 bands. This demonstrates how talented our students were across a range of areas.

The HSC Class of 2018 displayed resilience, self reflection and the ability to own their learning, and their teachers worked hard to help them achieve their individual learning goals. I would like to congratulate the students, the teaching staff and all staff who worked with diligence and commitment to achieve the best learning outcomes for all. Here are some of the highlights from the year:



Connor Dennehy

Band 6 - PDHPE






 Brydie Hawthorne

Band 6 - Hospitality






Ryan McCormack

Notional Band 6 Extension 2 Maths






Liam Skinner

Notional Band 6 - Extension 2 Maths






Sophie Warner

Band 6 - Business Services







James Wood - Band 6 - Hospitality







Emily Wooster - Band 6 -

Textiles and Design







Katherine Hosking - Band 6 - German Beginners and PDHPE







Jacob Minehan - ATAR 91.65 Notional Band 6 Extension 2 Mathematics, E4 Mathematics Ext 1 Band 5 - Physics, Chemistry , English Standard







DUX for 2018

It is with great pleasure that I announce the Dux for 2018 - Cameron Roan
Cameron attained an ATAR of 95.25. He achieved Band 6 result in Mathematics 2. Achieved E3 for Ext 1 Mathematics and Band 5 results in Physics, Chemistry and English Advanced.

Cameron has worked with determination throughout his whole secondary schooling. He topped the academic awards for his cohort from Yr 7 through to Year 12. Throughout the HSC Cameron showed a willingness to learn and made the most of the learning opportunities presented. He was proactive in his learning, always asking questions and seeking to more fully understand difficult concepts.


Cameron’s approach to his learning was a model for other students to follow and his ability to think critically extended not just his learning but others around him. Cameron shows a great deal of humility and never sought the limelight. In his discussion with the Armidale Express about his HSC and ATAR results, Cameron was quick to point out that it was not about him but the whole community, students and staff.

Cameron’s hard work and dedication has paid off in him winning a civilian scholarship to study Aeronautical Engineering at ADFA (Australian Defence Force Academy). Cameron is a person with integrity who we know will continue to accept challenges and seek solutions. I wish him well and every success.

I congratulate Cameron Roan and the HSC class of 2018. O’Connor is founded on faith and focused on learning. The Power of Yet!


Welcome to New Staff


We have had a number of new staff join us this year and I look forward to working with them:

Jessica Armfield - Term 1 PDHPE,

Eliza Clark - Youth Minister,

Lauren Clarke - HSIE/ENG/PDHPE,

Cath Deshon - Literacy + 7RE/ENG,

Lauren Donnelly - English,

Brydie Hawthorne - Youth Minister,

Frank Patricks - HSIE/TAS,

Nick Troon - Music Ministry (Wed), 

Sarah Watson - Educational Assistant.


Leaders of Learning
Curriculum - Mitchell Smidt
English - Michael Wooster
Maths - Stephen Chapman
HSIE - Lorna Ahern
Science - Lilly Moar
TAS - Jon Hawthorne
PDHPE - Camilla Clydsdale
CAPA - Melita Roache
VET - Ian Yensch
Enrichment - Jenny Roff
ICT & Compass  - Mark Harris

Leadership Team
PrincipalRegina Menz
Assistant Principal - Simon Fleming
Religious Education Coordinator - Damian Roff
Leader of Pedagogy - Eli Simpson
LOL (PAC & Wellbeing) - Mellissa Bell


Once again welcome to 2019 school year.

What new learning will you undertake this week?




Regina Menz


Assistant Principal 


As we begin a new year of learning, I would like to extend my warm welcome to all families who are beginning their journey at O'Connor and to our continuing families and students, welcome back to the 2019 College year.

The new school year brings with it a touch of excitement and expectation. Students arrive, many in new uniform, new shoes, bag, books and equipment. In secondary schools that equipment includes an electronic device (laptop/ tablet/ iPad) now an essential communication and learning tool. Students at O'Connor need to have their own device AND remember to bring it each day. If there is a problem acquiring such a device parents/carers could contact the College and arrange to speak to our Principal Ms Menz .


All students received a school diary to start the year. This contains a great deal of information not only about our school but also general wellbeing. The diary will be a reference point for many Pastoral Academic Care discussions. It also serves as a communication tool and includes important policy statements. I would urge all parents/carers to also take some time to go through the diary.

All students are required to sign the Mobile Phone & ICT policies. At O'Connor we encourage the responsible use of phones and IT equipment and there are consequences if these expectations are not met. We all know students can became extremely attached to their phones. Students may use their phones before school, in break times and after school. Students are not to use their phones during class time. A problem occurs when parents ring or text students during class. If you need to make contact during class time, you must ring the office and a message will be sent to that student.

Students have started the year well with respect to uniform. One issue that always seems to develop quickly is the variety of socks worn by students, especially with the sports uniform. Again, could I encourage you to go over our uniform code contained in the diary.

Over the holidays some students decided to have piercings. A reminder that WHS policy precludes the wearing of facial rings at school. A stud must be worn in its place. We appreciate your support with this matter.


Lastly, it is gratifying to walk around the school and observe the teaching and learning that is happening. There is a positive mood amongst students and a real determination to learn and achieve.

Year 11 Information night will be at 6pm on Monday February 18 and the year 9 Information evening is at 6 pm Monday March 4. 



Thank you for your ongoing support and co-operation.


Simon Fleming


Pastoral Academic Care


This week’s Pastoral Academic Care focus is MINDSET, CHOICE, PRACTICE AND EFFORT

Wellbeing  Element:  Skills  and Achievement

Character  Strength:  PRUDENCE


Parent Wellbeing: What you focus on grows. To develop your top strengths, create habits and rituals to action them and consciously celebrate with yourself when you do. Describe a habit or ritual you can develop for each of your top strengths.


Many students don’t realise that they have many choices in what they do. When we encourage students to choose to adopt a positive mindset about how they approach their learning, academic and personal growth nearly always result. Making the choice to prioritise what they need to get done in a logical order, enables students to have more time to use more intelligent learning processes.

Prioritising is a self-regulation skill and strength which enables them to use their time more effectively by organising what needs to be done in order of importance under Musts and Options. Doing this broadens their attention and engagement with what they need to do.

Musts and Options, Time Understandings and Urgency versus Importance are effective Thinking Tools to provide students with valuable perspectives on the activities they participate in which may include:
• Sport training and part-time jobs
• Study, reading and deliberate practice
• Networking with friends
• Watching TV and playing games
• Family commitments
• Daily exercise and leisure activities.

Learning to prioritise provides students with the tools to develop growth mindsets to overcome setbacks and challenges which inevitably crop up. Most students find it very difficult to apply themselves to Home Learning/ Study unless it is planned ahead of time.


“I do the very best I know how, the very best I can; and I mean to keep doing it to the end.”

Abraham Lincoln

Year 7

A fantastic start to the new year at O’Connor Catholic College for Year 7 students. My name is Yolanda Kreuzen and I am the Pastoral Academic Care Leader for Year 7 2019. Year 7 have made a positive start to the year by forming new friendships, rekindling old friendships, including others in activities and focusing on their learning. Our pastoral focus this year is Strength in Kindness. Students are challenged by their pastoral teachers to act in a kind manner each and every day. Year 7 will be participating in a diverse range of activities including 'the kindness wall', Throw Kindness Like Confetti where students write affirmations about peers and practice having kind conversations. Activities similar to these will help to form a supporting, caring, and kind learning environment where all students in Year 7 feel supported in their learning journey. 


Yolanda Kreuzen

Year 7 PAC

Year 8

Welcome back to O’Connor Catholic College, I hope everyone is settling in and building new friendships in their pastoral group.

My name is Lloyd Honnery, I am the Pastoral Academic Care leader for 2019. Not many of you know that I was lucky enough to attend O’Connor during my high school years and I am looking forward to ensuring your children have the same amazing experience I had.

The focus for our pastoral groups in Term 1 is “Respectful Relationships - What do they look like?” We will be centring discussions and activities around establishing new relationships safely online and respectfully with our peers at school.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at: [email protected]

Again, I am looking forward to working with you all this year.


Lloyd Honnery.


Year 9

A great start from a super bunch of students this Term. It is a big Term for Year 9.

Monday Week 5 25 February is Parent Information Night. It will be held at 6 pm in the Examination Centre (AG4/5).

Week 9 Camp at Lake Keepit on 25, 26 and 27 March. Deposits are due now.

This is a compulsory event.

All parents were emailed with details in the last week of school last year. Please let me know if you did not receive this.

Our Pastoral focus this Term is ‘Respectful Relationships - What do they look like?’. This will include sessions on the awareness, ramifications and consequences of sexting, cyberbullying and bullying in general.

Feel free to contact me with any concerns you may have.


Peter McLeish

Year 9 Pac Leader

(on behalf of the Year 9 Pastoral Academic Care team)

Year 10

Year 10 have started the school year well and should all now be settled into their new classes and PAC groups for 2019. With the first two weeks nearly over Year 10 can now create their goals specific to their learning needs and the subject selections that they have made. There will plenty of opportunities for Year 10 to consider throughout the following weeks. I hope they are all enjoying being back and I look forward to working with this group of students.



Mark Fulloon

Year 10 PAC  Leader

Year 11

Year 11 have made an excellent start to their senior studies. They have accepted the challenge to step up and become even greater role models for our junior students. They are focussed on the learning, with collaboration playing a big role in their success as they move their learning forward.

Getting involved in extra-curricula activities and opportunities that are available at school allows for greater connectedness and social relationships. It allows for a more fulfilled and overall experience for students. Try something new perhaps.

The swimming carnival is one such event where it is easy to get involved, and it was great to see many of our Year 11 students dress up and enjoy the spirit of the day.

Wellbeing plays a very important role in our lives also, and it is important that our young people take the time to reflect, meditate, play sport, read, do whatever is needed to keep a good balance.

Our Year 11 LYL’s have set the tone by participating in the Year 7 activities on the first day back. It was a great opportunity for the younger students to get to know them and a chance for them to seek them out in the playground if needed OR just a familiar face to say hi and how is it going?

Youth Mass will be celebrated on Sunday 24th at 5.30pm. The LYL badges will be blessed and presented to the recipients. It would be wonderful to see a good attendance at this event.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at school if you have any concerns. The first port of call are your Pastoral Teachers and you are more than welcome to email and make an appointment to chat to them if necessary. There will be an introductory letter sent via email to all parents welcoming you and letting you know who the PAC teachers are.

Education is a shared role between student, parent and the school, and I am excited to be leading this cohort through this important time, along with the Year 11 PAC Team and all of the staff at O’Connor. As part of this, the Assessment and Information evening is on Monday 18th February. All parents and carers are encouraged to attend. More details soon.

Looking forward to working with you all.


Vicki Channon

Year 11 PAC

Year 12

Our Yr 12 cohort have made an excellent start to 2019. Students have shown a great keenness to make the most of their senior year thus far and have been focused on establishing challenging learning goals engaging enthusiastically in their learning. It has also been very pleasing to have many students demonstrating great enthusiasm towards involvement in activities outside of the classroom with the swimming carnival being a prime example.

Attendance and participation in the carnival was outstanding. Even more impressive was the senior's passion and enthusiasm for their houses and displaying their team colours. Congratulations to Mitch Hayden and Chyna Smith on both winning their Age Championships. While mentioning excellence in sporting achievement I also want to mention and congratulate Aiden Wicks on receiving a Combined Catholic Colleges Blue Award. This is a major, state wide award and is very well deserved by Aiden for his outstanding efforts and proficiency in Hockey Umpiring.

Another example of students stepping up at school is the Yr 12 Valentines Fundraising efforts. A large number of students very capably led by Chyna Smith and Nina Engler organised to sell songs, chocolates and love letters all in the name of good fun and raising money for Project Compassion. I am unsure of the final amount raised, but it was great fun and let's just say that the singing was...enthusiastic!

Finally, I just wanted mention that we hear of a diverse range of opportunities available to our students. These are generally shared with students via our Yr 12 Google Classroom. I encourage all students to keep an eye out for opportunities to better themselves or to give back to our community. 

Better Together



     James Russell

       Yr 12 PAC


Student/Parent Information

From the Leader of Pedagogy

As an educator, I don’t think there is anything as disheartening as watching a student’s reaction to a mark. Be it the joy tinged with slightly smug complacency of the 19/20 student, the involuntary groan of disappointment from the 12/20 student who had spent hours on that one assignment, to the detrimentally self fulfilling prophecy reigning supreme in the student who, yet again, received a 4/20.


In a secondary education system that culminates six years of academic flexibility, dynamism, experimentation, disappointment, challenge, resilience, success, delight and ambition… with a single mark, how can we ensure that our students are wholly prepared for a world after school that is characterised by rapid change, temporary social interactions, and technological innovation?  


While the answer is quite easy…we need to change how we see, measure, and value success, it is in the process where the challenge lies - that is; How do we do this while still negotiating a summative system?


As a school founded on faith and focused on learning, O’Connor Catholic College is ideally positioned to embrace such a challenge. Already, we meaningfully place learning at the very core of our practice. We are a learning community, collaboratively seeking to enhance the learning opportunities for all and we are supported by a systemic approach guided predominately by the work of Lyn Sharratt.


Traditionally, while not the intention, society has tended to see the purpose of assessment to simply measure a student’s achievement at the end of a learning sequence – but what do we mean by achievement? A summative task that relies on the memorisation of content as a measure of achievement, sets a student up for failure. Fast forward a year, does that student remember what they learned? What about the big multi-part assignment that became the basis of the learning sequence? Did the students see the transferability of what they were doing in the classroom to the world beyond?


Measures of success must focus on student demonstration of their achievement of the learning goals ; the curriculum expectations we know more commonly as Learning Outcomes. There is still a very real need for assessment at the end of a learning sequence as this provides data of  student learning. And we need to identify student knowledge and skills to inform our teaching and learning sequences – EVERY DAY and in EVERY CLASS. But it is in assessment as learning that we as educators can truly make an impact on student achievement, as this is where we enable students to take responsibility for their learning. No longer passive sponges in the classroom soaking in the knowledge imparted from the ‘sage on the stage’, our students become proactive learners, able to ask questions about their own learning, to create learning goals, to provide and receive feedback from peers, immediate feedback from their teachers, and identify ways in which to move their learning forward.


We see assessment at O’Connor as more than merely the collection and evaluation of evidence of student learning; it is used to enhance engagement and motivation and ultimately it is used to move our students’ learning forward. But in order to be successful in this endeavour, we need pedagogical strategies that empower student autonomy and guarantee a viable curriculum through ensuring consistent teacher expectations and meaningful judgment. To do this, ‘secret teacher business’ needs to be eroded. Learning Intentions and Success Criteria are our agents of change. By making the curriculum expectations clear through the deconstruction of ‘teacher jargon’ our students begin to understand the why of their learning. Measuring their achievement of these expectations with a clarified understanding of how they can demonstrate success is learning EMPOWERMENT and as such, our compass to navigate our  students' learning journey.  



Eli Simpson

Leader of Pedagogy


From the Leader of Learning

Welcome to an exciting year for many of our students with some big changes ahead. Students in Year 10, 11 and 12 by now should have their NESA number. They will use this number to log into Students Online and confirm contact and subject details. Once you have logged into Students Online:

Check your confirmation of entry to ensure your name, courses, address, email and phone number are correct. Inform the school of any name changes or course concerns. You can change your address, email and phone number in the personal details section. Students Online is your source for information about your study from Year 10 to the HSC. This process will be important for students wishing to receive a RoSA as well as receiving HSC results via text message.


Year 11 assessment information evening:

an assessment information evening for all students enrolled in Year 11 is to be held at the College on Monday 18th February, commencing at 6pm in AG4/5 (Examination Centre). The purpose of the evening is to present students, parents and carers with critical information concerning assessment in Stage 6 (Years 11 & 12). 


In addition to a general overview of assessment in Stage 6, the Year 11 assessment booklet will also be handed out at this time. Mr Mitchell Smidt will discuss a range of issues including NSW Education Standards Authority requirements and Ms Menz will also discuss the need for a balanced school/ part-time work to maximise learning outcomes. Leaders of Learning and Year 11 Pastoral teachers will be present and able to discuss issues or concerns that you or your child may have.




Mitchell Smidt

Leader of Learning Curriculum 

Student / Parent Information

Changes to Student Pick Up in the Afternoon

Dear Parents/Carers

Due to increased student numbers and the changes to afternoon bus pick up, we have had to make changes to where students are to be picked up in the afternoon. These are

  • Students should wait for buses and for parents/carers who are arriving later than 3.20 on the front lawns
  • Students being picked up by car should be picked up from Kennedy St near the oval (preferred) or in front of the tennis courts past the main entrance of the school. Parents are asked to park on the school side of Kirkwood street (in front of the tennis courts and the Presbyterian Church) and not on the opposite side of the school. If parents park on the southern side of Kirkwood Street, students MUST cross using the designated Children’s Crossing.
  • Pick up in the school grounds by driving through the main entrance will be stopped from Week 4. A bollard will be placed in the main entrance in the afternoon. This is due to increasing safety concerns caused by increased traffic.

Thank you for your understanding with these changes.

Kind regards

Ms Regina Menz




Safer Drivers Course


Career News

1. All Year 12s will be attending the University Roadshow on Monday 25/2/19 during period 4. This is an opportunity to hear from and speak with university representatives from five different universities. It's a great introduction to the language of university, especially if students are the first in the family to do the HSC.


2. Interested in a career in the Defence forces? There will be a presentation by the ADF in the Library on Wednesday 27/2/19 from 10.30-11.30am. Students need to give their name to Mrs Lemon in the Library by the end on Monday 25/2/19.


3. Is a rural health career for you? The Uni of Newcastle Dept of Rural Health will be conducting its annual Health Careers forum for students from Yrs 10-12 on Tuesday 5/3/19. There are Two sessions- 9.15-11.30am and 12.30-2.45pm. Students will need to find their own way there as the College will not be officially attending. See Mrs Lemon in the Library for more details before Monday 4/3/19.


4. ABC's new podcast- The Pineapple Project. This new series explores careers and will cover topics like networking, time management, job interviews ect. You can hear the podcast at: hhtps://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/the-pinapple-project/


5. This year all year 9-10 PAC classes will be having a fortnightly lesson in career development with Mrs Lemon. 

If any parent would like help with career decisions for their child, Mrs Lemon is available in the lunch hours (1.40-2.20pm) in the Library or contact her at: [email protected] She will do her best to help.




Glenda Lemon

Teacher Librarian/ Careers

Uniform Shop

Opening hours

Monday - 8am - 12pm

Wednesday - 12pm - 4pm

Friday - 10am - 2pm


Wednesday's Time: 4 pm to 6 pm

Course: 45 minute score course with 20 controls worth from 10 to 30 points each. 

In a score course the controls can be visited in any order, but you must be back within the 45 minute time limit or you will lose 10 points per minute

A total of 400 points is possible but that will be difficult to attain as the estimated minimum distance to collect all points is over 8 km. You will need to plan your course very carefully!

 Younger students will need to be accompanied on the course by an adult as a road safety precaution.

A flier is attached with event dates for the rest of the year.  Maurice Anker -0478 556 949


Harlequins Hockey

Harlequins Hockey Club are seeking expressions of interest from players interested in playing junior hockey this year. We will be fielding teams in Under 9s, 11s, 13s and 15s. Girls can play in all divisions and boys are welcome to play in the under 9 and 11s competition. Please send an email nominating your child's intention to play and which age division they are eligible to play in.


Please contact either:

Louise Vaughan (junior co-coordinator) at [email protected]  OR

Alisa Gray (junior co-coordinator) at [email protected] 

Kath Czinner (Vice-President) at [email protected] 

Breakaways Hockey

Breakaways Hockey Club Hockey Season is almost here. Breakaways Hockey Club are a family orientated club who are celebrating 50 years this year. We are the longest running club in Hockey New England.

We are currently looking for school age juniors of all levels & abilities to participate in the upcoming season. We will be entering Junior teams in the Saturday morning girls competition and if numbers allow the Friday evening mixed competition. We also have Teams in all grades of the HNE Senior Women’s Competition.

If you or someone you know are interested in playing hockey please come along to our registration day on: Saturday 23 February 2019 at the Armidale Ex-Services Club from 4-6pm.

For further information please feel free to contact us via: Email: [email protected] Phone: Mark 0400 340 830 or Helen 0402 062 610

New England Nomads

The New England Junior Nomads AFL team will be holding its come and try / registration day on Thursday 21st of February.


The Junior Nomads welcome Girls and Boys 12 -14 years and Boys 15 – 17 years.


Melissa Moore


New England Junior Nomads


NECOM Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 9am - 5pm

Tuesday 9am -6pm

Friday 9am-4pm


CB Newling Building, Cnr Mossman and Faulkner Streets Armidale

PO Box 1313 Armidale NSW 2350

Web: http://www.necom.org.au


Free Community Event


Armidale City Band Information Evening


Piano Lessons

I would like to offer O’Connor 5 positions for lessons. I currently teach 1 day at The Armidale School and 2 Days at O’Connor.

My preferred day would be Monday between 11am  and 1.30pm

My Charge is $40 per 1/2 hour.


My contact is

Peter Sanders



Around the School

NRL Road to Regions

As part of the National Rugby League’s Road to Regions program, we were fortunate to have NRL Game Development Officers, along with current NRL players attend school to deliver a Cyber Safety presentation.


Ex players, Joe Galuvao (240 NRL games), Nathan Friend (242 NRL games), and current players, Tim Mannah (Parra), Robbie Rochow (Tigers), Roosters, NSW and Australian Jillaroos player Corban McGregor discussed key topics including:

* Sharing information 

* Cyber Bullying 

* Avoid getting scammed online


Students were also encouraged to lead active, healthy lifestyles.

At the end of the presentation, students enjoyed talking and getting photos with the players.


Ram Sale

Well done to our Ag students at the Armidale Ram Sales. The students were judging rams and fleeces. Lots of ribbons won!


KISC Parachute


O'Connor Foyer

Back in 1979 our light shade in the front foyer was updated. Marg Schaefer, the school secretary at the time, decided to save the original from the skip and took it home for safe keeping. We are delighted to say that after 40 years .......It's back.  Thanks to our Archivist, Anthony Kelly and of course, Marg Schaefer for bringing it to fruition. 


The Student Representative council of O’Connor is looking forward to 2019 as another year full of fantastic opportunities, events, and fundraisers. Maria Alkhouri and Harry Simpson alongside Miss Tonya McQuilty will run the SRC, and work with younger representatives from each year whom will be elected in the very near future. 

We as the SRC, will help to host numerous fundraisers and events throughout the year in conjunction with the school, as well as events within the broader community. We will help to raise funds to go toward O’Connor Catholic College and worthy causes and projects.

The representatives from each year are fantastic role models and encouraging mentors to their fellow peers. This provides a base on which students from each year can approach their representative, with any concerns, questions, ideas, or suggestions regarding anything in relation to their year, or the school body as a whole. These can be brought to regular SRC meetings, and put forward by the representative and discussed by the group. 

So when we call for nominations for students in years 7 to 11, throw your hat in the ring and get involved! 

Nomination forms can be collected from your wonderful PAC Teachers from Tuesday the 19th February.

Nominations close at lunch on Thursday 21st  Feb.

Voting to occur on Friday the 22nd Feb.

                Harry Simpson and Maria Alkhouri


Activity Fair

Our Activities Fair was Friday 15 February. Students had the opportunity to sign up for a range of extra curricular activities ranging from service, musical, cultural and sporting clubs.


Vinnies Club

Congratulations to our newly elected Vinnies executive for 2019:

Georgia MacMahon, Nerissa Hallman, Chloe Brown, Sophie Troon and Bridie Giles.


Swimming Carnival

Carnival News

This years carnival was a huge success and there were many highlights. 
The school got to witness the last races from crowd favourite and now retired swimmer Mitch Hayden, who still holds 21 school records to date, as well as Lara Maloney smashing out some impressive times, breaking 3 more records, one which has stood since 1977.

There was no doubt who would be crowned king and queen of the pool, as both Mitch and Lara finished the night on a high and gave the school a race worth while to watch. The highly anticipated year 12 inflatable race, which although had many questionable tactics and floats, was won by Mitch Jones.  Along with the fearless duck, amusing races and the house chants won by Ursula, another honourable mention was secret weapon, Mr Fittler, who swum the final leg of the senior boys relay, blowing the students away with his swimming ability.

Along the night, it was great to see the smiles, and the sound of laughter and cheers which filled the afternoon by the O'Connor community, a school spirit held by both students, staff and parents that cannot be matched. Both Jackson and I would like to say how very proud we are of each and every student for their engagement in this carnival. It takes someone confidents to swim in front of the whole school but it takes even more courage to step out of your comfort zone, jump in and test your limits by trying something new. 

We would like to say a massive thank you to all the teachers who allowed the carnival to run as smooth as it did, but also to all the students who made our final carnival so memorable.

Chyna Smith- Sports Captain 2019




2019 Swimming Champions

The 2019 swimming carnival age champions were announced, and proud Ursula captains Tarnie Hilliard and Harrison Stewart accepted the cup for the winning house. 
Special mention of Year 9 student Kale Streeting who won every race in his division and Lara Maloney in Year 10 who broke three records...one of which has stood since 1977 (50m freestyle and just missed out on breaking two more).




College Blues

Congratulations to Aiden Wicks and Nathan Czinner who received Hockey Blues at the recent Combined Catholic Colleges awards night. 
Aiden received his award for services to hockey umpiring.
Nathan currently is in Sydney with Jake McCann playing for NSW against Japan. 


O'Connor Newsletter
NTOC Flyer 2019 A4.pdf
Event Flyer.pdf
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Harry Simpson
Jake & Nathan
Aiden Wicks
Yr 12