MacKillop College Newsletter


Our Mission

“Enabling every student to achieve the fullness of life.”

Our Vision

“MacKillop College will be a place that nurtures authentic, courageous, faith-filled people with a passion for learning, respect for relationships and an ability to contribute to a global community.”

Sport Update

Term 2 Sport 2023

Representative Sport Success

More State selections…

NSWCCC Basketball Selections

Congratulations to Sam Blain, Kaden Lawler and Blake Collins who recently travelled to Sydney to trial for the NSWCCC Under 16 Basketball Team. It is great to see this team as a new addition to the CCC list of opportunities.

All three boys trialled exceptionally well with Kaden making the Possible Probable’s and Sam and Blake making the team. This is the first time in a long time that we have had students make a NSWCCC Basketball team and is a testament to the many hours the boys put in on and off the court.

NSWCCC Hockey Selections

MacKillop has a dedicated group of Hockey players with four students recently travelling to Bathurst to trial for their respective NSWCCC Hockey teams including; James Ferguson, Tobias Toohey, Ajay Sen Gupta and Lily Rowlatt.

Congratulations to Tobias on being named in the Under 16 Boys NSWCCC Team. This is a back-to-back selection for Tobias and demonstrates his skill, talent and experience. Well done.

Open Girls Football

On Tuesday I had the privilege of stepping in for Coach Renae Bignall and taking the Opens Girls Soccer Team to Kempsey.

The girls were fantastic together and ranged in age from year 8 to year 12. They began strong but not strong enough drawing their first game of the day with SJRC. As the day went on the girl's teamwork and communication improved as each player had the opportunity to display their skills, which resulted in them winning the remaining games.
With no specific Goal Keeper due to injury, a number of girls stepped up to fill the position. The older girls led with humility and the younger girls made it clear they deserved their position in this team of older players.

Special mention to Chelsea Gallagher who was out due to injury but stepped in to help coach. She learnt that coaching is not as easy as it looks but she made every tough decision with the players' well-being in mind, encouraging them individually after each game and giving valuable advice in a way that made the girls happy to take it.
Congratulations to the girls who won the day after it came down to a goal difference with SJRC.

Thanks for a great day girls and good luck as you head off to play the winner of the North Division - Xavier College.

Andrea Huxley
Super Sub - Coach Extraordinaire

Open Boys Football

Our first game was against John Paul College and it proved to be the toughest of the day. We started slowly but managed to take the lead after a great through ball by Liam Mercer found Sam Blain who rounded the keeper to open the scoring. After that JPC dominated possession and we could not get hold of the ball to play. They equalised with their forward finding the top corner. Straight from the kick-off Liam Mercer chased down a lost cause and forced an error from the keeper to regain the lead. An inspiring team talk at halftime from our captain, Mason Swain, saw us go out with a determined attitude to hold on to our goal lead. However, JPC continued to put us under pressure and were rewarded with another goal. With our backs against the wall, we survived the onslaught that JPC threw at us and on a counter-attack we were fortunate to score a winner. A scuffed shot by Cody Mills was tapped in at the far post by Liam Mercer.

Our next game was more straight forward against Newman College. Two first-half goals from Mason Swain meant that we could dominate possession and play relaxed football. Further goals from Ethan Hawkins and another from Liam Mercer saw us comfortable 5-0 winners.

The third game was against St Paul’s Kempsey and we knew that a win by two or more goals would mean that we would be champions. We started brightly and were able to dictate the pace of the game. Cooper West and Frederik Morris were composed at the back and were encouraging the full-backs to push forward. Our pressure was rewarded when Mason Swain played a quick one-two with Sam Blain and powered a finish into the bottom corner. Liam Mercer added a second when he smashed the ball into the top corner. We comfortably saw out the rest of the game and finished 2-0 winners.

The last game was against St Josephs Regional and we knew that we had already mathematically qualified for the next round. A number of changes were made to the formation and Braeden Fuller came out of goal and displayed some exquisite touches. We finished the game 1-0 winners after Liam Mercer pressured their keeper and finished off the post.

We will now play Trinity College in the next round. The best and Fairest was Liam Mercer.

Dave Pugh - Coach

North V South Open Girls Soccer

On Friday, May 5, our Open Girls Soccer team travelled to Coffs stadium to take on Xavier College. The spirits were high and the girls wanted to win. A strong opposition and in particular a very skilful and speedy attacking player come away with a hat trick. However, it must be mentioned that our defence worked well together to get their attacking players offside on a number of occasions.

 Our girls were disappointed with the end result 3-0. However, as their coach I think they should be proud, especially considering several younger players that really stepped up and held their own on the pitch in the open competition. Player of the day went to Hannah Gresswell for her continuous efforts for the duration of the game. Big thanks to Chelsea. G, Suzi and Dave Sinclair for helping out on the day.

Renae Bignell - Coach

Country Cup U13s

Under 13’s Country Cup Round 1 Report 2023

It was a bright and sunny day at Wood Street to kick off our first school rugby league gala day. The under 13’s we ready and roaring to go and snuck through our first game with a win over St Paul’s Kempsey 10 - 4. Our next opponent was Kempsey High School which had some talented players but the team dug deep and show some great character to defeat this team convincingly in the end.

We progressed to the final and played our local rival St Joseph’s Regional College. We had a tight tussle with this team. Our forwards, Connor Briddle, Sonnie Chippendale and Riley Garrel worked hard to gain us valuable meters and then the individual brilliance of Jack Franklin, Jack Lacey and Tobias Rowlatt allowed the team to win 10 - 6 allowing the team to progress to the next level.

MVP - Tobias Rowlatt and Jack Lacey

Country Cup U15s

Mackillop U’15 rugby league team leave nothing in the tank.

MacKillop's Under 15 rugby league team competed in three games of outstanding rugby league last Wednesday in the Country Cup at Wood Street Oval.

The team lined up against Melville High, Kempsey and both teams enjoyed their first hit out with some enterprising play. MacKillop, with better structure in attack and the use of established combinations, finished with a convincing win for their first game.

The second contest saw MacKillop come up against a strong Camden Haven High outfit.

A hard-fought tussle saw MacKillop triumph in a tight and tough contest.

A longer break allowed an opportunity for some rest, and a chance to see St Joseph’s, Regional, our final contender, contest in a preliminary game.

The last game against Regional served as a final and teams locked horns, in a very spirited local derby.

MacKillop scored 1st to lead 4–0. Regional hit back with a try and conversion to lead 6–4. Regional then converted a penalty to extend the lead to 8–4. During the 1st period, MacKillop was down to 2 subs as Sam Howard, Lachlan Cheney-Hoy and Sam McNeil became casualties in an intense battle where neither team took a backward step.

MacKillop drew strength from this challenge, and was outstanding in the second half, scoring the only try without a conversion.

The final result of 8–8 was a just outcome for a very intense and entertaining game.

Unfortunately, St Joseph’s Regional, had a better differential (points for and against), than MacKillop and will now progress through to the regional competition.

All players deserve a mention, but I would particularly like to express the team’s appreciation of Koby Atkins, who was a constant support for the team and provided very productive insights throughout the day. Thanks also to Mark Rowlatt and Macleay Borger who supported Geoff Leary and the boys with very keen eyes and ears for the game, and a really positive mentorship for the boys.

Geoff Leary - Coach

Schools Cup Netball 9/10 Girls

Last week we played in the Taree Netball NSW Schools Cup.

We were undefeated in all of the games in our pool and then went on to win the final to then make it to the next round. We had a really tough game against St Joseph's Regional but managed a win by 3 points.

The girls looked and played so professionally and I was a super proud coach.

Thank you to Mia Zvirzdinas from year 8 who came and helped in case we needed an extra! 

I have coached some of these girls for a few years now and the versatility and work ethic these girls have is astounding.

A big mention to both Lane Jordan and Emma Burge on their exceptional shooting, and stepping up to the mark the day of games. Brilliant!

Such a fun day, congratulations girls, and can't wait for our next Gala Day.

Player of the day goes to Lily Dunshea who is new to our College this year and we are so glad to have her join us! Absolutely brilliant work in the circle with Claire Pieren. Not many goals were scored against us.

Amy Ryals – Coach

Bill Turner Cup Boys & Girls


Congratulations to the Bill Tuner Girls who opened their Bill Turner campaign with a solid 7-3 win over Melville High School. 

The girls were impressive in both attack and defense with Zora, Claire, Hannah, Charlotte (2), Arliah and Freya all finding the back of the net. Well done to Zora who was named Most Valuable Player - Zora was able to steady the ship after we found ourselves two goals down in the first 10 minutes. 
A great team effort - I was extremely proud of all the girls and the way they supported each other. Well done girls. We now play SCAS in Round 3 of the competition here on home soil.

Erin Denham - Coach


After an even first 15 minutes, our mid-field of Caleb Sajko Daniel Mercer and James Owen began to control proceedings. We had had a few half-chances and St Paul’s were continually proving to be a threat on the break, often playing long balls to their star player. Our skipper, Jarvis Lineham was outstanding on the day and was able to minimise any threats throughout the game. Ash Bell also ensured that our defence remained solid and that Goalkeeper Noah Pociask had a reasonably comfortable afternoon.

As the match wore on, we started to create some great chances to score and we were able to go into the break at 2-0.

Far from over, the message at halftime was to put the game to bed. Another goal 10 minutes in ensured that were now well in control. Our confidence began to grow and the minutes were able to be shared around the squad. Cooper Dekker, Angus Oakshott and Blake Liddel provided us with some width in attacking spaces and were always threatening, and our outside backs Pat Green, Charlie Cameron, and Aaron Cotovich always looked comfortable. Jack Robb and Wil Clarke shared responsibilities as strikers, with Wil bagging one and Jack unlucky not to score. 

Goals - Jamie Merrick, Daniel Mercer and Wil Clarke 

Man of the Match - Jarvis Lineham.

Overall, the boys put in a very professional performance and were well worth the 3-0 victory. We look forward to playing the winner of the St Columba Anglican School vs St Joseph’s Regional match. 

Tom Salter - Coach

Representative Sport, Upcoming Events, MacKillop College Events and Registrations

All registrations for MacKillop College Representative Sports teams are completed by;

  1. Logging into the school Moodle page (Chrome browser).
  2. Click on the Student Links tab on the left-hand side
  3. Click on the Representative Sports registrations link
  4. Click on the relevant sport and fill out the Google form.

Students will be notified through the morning notices of when to sign up and when trials will occur.

Click on this link to register.  Sports currently open for registration are;

  • AFL – Under 15s Boys and Girls
  • Athletics Pre-events (High Jump, 400m, 800m & 1500m)
AFLHastings Under 15s Boys & Girls Gala Day – Port Macquarie24 May (TBC)
Rugby UnionRugby 7s Port Macquarie 21 June (TBC)
Touch FootballNSW All Schools 11/12 Mixed Touch Football – Port Macquarie25 May
Rugby LeagueCochrane Cup – Under 14s Rugby League Port Macquarie 30 May
Rugby LeagueKatrina Fanning Cup – Girls Rugby League30 May
AthleticsMacKillop College Athletics Carnival 20 June
NetballFast 5 Netball – Year 11 & 12 Mixed Port Macquarie23 June

Lismore Diocesan Events and Registrations

The following sports are currently open for students to be able to sign up to or register their interest to trial. These sports have been advertised to students through morning notices over the past week.

Please click on the link below to register for the sports.

Cross CountryDiocesan Cross Country Grafton19 May
FootballDiocesan Football Gala Day (Soccer) 7-10 Boys, 7-9 Girls Coffs Harbour6 June
Touch FootballDiocesan Secondary Touch Football Gala Day South – Port Macquarie26 June

NSWCCC Events and Registrations

Students MUST be registered for the event with parent and Principal or Leader of Sport approval.

Registration is through the portal. Details on how to register – Guide For Parents – Sport Registrations >>

Please note that the NSWCCC Sports registrations for individual nominations for 2023 selections are open for the following trials:

FootballNSWCCC Football Championships - Sydney22 & 23 May
BasketballNSWCCC Open Basketball Championships – Port Macquarie29 & 30 May
Cross CountryNSWCCC Cross Country - Sydney13 June
Rugby LeagueAustralian School Boys and Girls Rugby League 30 June-8 July

For further information, go to the CSNSW Sport website Sport pages.

NSW All Schools Events

The selection for these events is a result of the NSWCCC events.

SwimmingNSW All Schools Swimming Championships - Sydney1 & 2 June
DivingNSW All Schools Diving Championships - Sydney2 June
HockeyNSW All Schools 16 Years Hockey – Bathurst 15 & 16 June

Community Sport

If your child has achieved outstanding sporting results in their community sport, we would love to hear about it. Please email myself, or your child’s respective Leader of Pastoral Care, so we can acknowledge these achievements.  

If you have any questions regarding sport at MacKillop College, please do not hesitate to contact me either by email or phone at the College.

Erin Denham
Leader of Sport

NSW School Vaccinations

When: Monday 22 May, 2023

If your child is in Year 10 this year, you can now provide online consent for their routine school vaccinations. In Year 10, students are offered the meningococcal ACWY vaccine.

Vaccination will only be provided at school if consent has been received. 

How to provide consent:

  1. To complete online consent for your child’s school vaccinations visit:
  2. Click the login with ‘Service NSW Account’ button and log in using your Service NSW details. This is the same account you may already use to renew your driver’s licence. If you don’t have a Service NSW account, refer to Service NSW to create one. 
  3. Update or confirm your personal details in Service NSW as required. 
  4. Complete the School Vaccination Consent Form for your child/ren. You will need to:  
    1. Enter your child’s personal details 
    2. Provide the Medicare card details for you and your child  
    3. Read the linked Parent Information Sheet and privacy statement
    4. Provide consent  

If you or your child do not have a Medicare card, consent can still be provided by requesting a paper-based consent form directly from your child’s school.

Read a step-by-step guide on how to provide consent online. Translated guides are available in Arabic, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese.

For more information on routine school vaccinations, please visit

Translated information about school vaccination is available in 27 languages, please visit 

Music News

MacKillop College Music News

“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.”- Martin Luther

Year 7 Jazz Band
It is wonderful to see and hear so many year 7 students participating in the concert band on Monday mornings. In an attempt to further develop and engage these students in music making we will be running an additional Year 7 Jazz Band rehearsal starting week 3 term 2. More information with regard to this ensemble will be communicated to students soon. This ensemble will be offered to students who play trumpet, trombone, saxophone, drum kit, piano and bass guitar only.

Links & Forms

Music Ensemble Sign Up Form 2023

Music Ensemble Shirt Order Form 2023

Music Tuition Request Form 2023

Instrument Rental Agreement 2023

Co curricular Music Google Classroom

Please contact Rob Denham with any questions relating to the co-curricular music program at MacKillop College.

Upcoming Events

Youth & Family Mass (Ascension of the Lord)

  • Sunday 21 May - St Agnes Parish Church, 4:15pm - 6:15pm, Collective Praise band & Slngers.

Reconciliation Mass

  • Friday 26 May - College Hall, Period 1, Collective Praise band & SIngers.

Slice of Haven

  • Sunday 28 May - Laurieton United Services Club, SAPSS Junior Drumline, 11:00am, SAPSS
    Senior Drumline, 1:30pm.

Art Walk

  • Friday 9 June - Venue and times to be confirmed, SAPSS Junior & Senior Drumlines, Senior Percussion Ensemble and New Zealand.

Youth & Family Mass (11th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

  • Sunday 18 June - St Agnes Parish Church, 4:15pm - 6:15pm, Collective Praise band & Singers.

Robert Denham
Leader of Co-Curricular Music


The Emotional Growth of our children

As parents and teachers, we are all heavily invested in the education of our children but also their emotional development. There is much research on the promotion of positivity, positive mindset, and happiness and these are vital in the development of children.

But what about the negative feelings? They too have a role in the emotional development of our children. Take for instance fear. Fear teaches us to avoid harm and to stay safe in different situations and is critical in a child’s development.

As we continue to develop the restorative culture at MacKillop College, the model provides the opportunity for us to teach, and students to experience, feelings such as shame, sadness, empathy and disappointment. While these can be difficult experiences for children and it may hurt sometimes, it promotes the development of accountability, ownership, respect for others and recognition of behaviour.

While many great programs in schools focus on positive emotions to build a well-rounded and emotionally intelligent young person, we need to teach our children what these negatives feelings feel like, what they mean and how to manage them - all part of the journey in the social and emotional development of young people. In respect to the impact of the restorative practices model and as quoted by Adam Voigt, as parents and teachers we need to teach our young people “to learn positive ways to deal with negative emotions far more than denying them access or permission to feel negativity”.

Warren Lorger
Leader of Wellbeing - Behaviour Support


Festa Christi is a gathering for selected Year 8 students from parish secondary schools in the Diocese to celebrate their faith at a Diocesan level.

The two-day retreat experience involves activities that focus on ‘walking in another person’s shoes’, having the students overcoming their fears and gaining a greater awareness of social justice. Festa Christi allows time for prayer and reflection and concludes with the celebration of the Eucharist. The program has been geared to meet the needs of Year 8 students.

The gathering will be an overnight experience which will allow relationships to be built with other students from throughout the Diocese, as well as a chance for students to talk and share about their faith journey.

What: Festa Christi – a youth gathering for students from every parish school in the northern region of the Diocese.

When: Boy’s Retreat: Tuesday 1 – Wednesday, 2 August, 2023

Girl’s Retreat: Wednesday 3 – Friday 4 August, 2023

Where: Coffs Coast Adventure Centre, Bonville

Cost: Nil. All transport, food and accommodation expenses will be met by the Catholic Schools Office.

In discerning which students might participate in this retreat experience, the CSO has recommended the following guidelines:

  • Faith filled and eager to share the love of Jesus
  •  Regularly attend their parish Mass
  • Are involved in some other form of church participation either at school or in the parish (for example Vinnies conference, altar serving)
  • Students who are interested and willing to learn more about the Christian faith and to grow in this area.

 A number of MacKillop College students have already expressed an interest in this event. We can, however, only offer a limited number of places. Any student who would like to be considered is asked to write a brief statement supporting their nomination on the Expression on Interest link available in the morning notices or from your RE teacher. Attention should be given to the stated selection criteria. Nominations should be submitted no later than Wednesday, 24 May, 2023. 

Upcoming Events

Week 5 Term 2
Monday 22 May

School Immunisation Program Year 10 & Catch-Up Day for Year 7, 8, 9 & 10.
NSWCCC Football 19s Boys & 18s Girls

Tuesday 23 May

Duke of Edinburgh Silver Practice Expedition

Wednesday 24 May

Duke of Edinburgh Silver Practice Expedition continues
AFL Under 15s

Thursday 25 May

Duke of Edinburgh Silver Practice Expedition continues
Trade Readiness Program
Bill Turner Boys Soccer

Friday 26 May

National Sorry Day
Sorry Day Mass 9:15am - 10:15am
National Reconciliation Week

Week 6 Term 2
Monday 29 May

NSWCCC Opens Basketball Championships
National Reconciliation Week

Tuesday 30 May 

Cochrane Cup Rugby League
Katrina Fanning Cup
National Reconciliation Week

Wednesday 31 May 

National Reconciliation Week

Thursday 1 June 

National Reconciliation Week

Friday 2 June 

NSWCCC 15s Touch Football Camp
National Reconciliation Week

Upcoming Webinar for Parents

We’re excited to announce that Elevate Education's next free webinar will be taking place on Wednesday 24 May, titled ‘Ask Elevate Anything’. This is a great opportunity to ask any questions you feel have been unanswered by Elevate in their webinars so far, whether that relates to your child’s study space, their motivation levels, the way they study – sign up to their webinar for an opportunity to have your question answered! 

When: Wednesday, 24 May at 6:30pm. Register at

Elevate Education works with our students, delivering high impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series you will learn how you can help better support your children at home through reinforcing the skills they learn at school.

Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching

Year 12

This week all Year 12 students were provided with their Half-Yearly report. We encourage all parents to have a conversation with their child to celebrate their successes thus far and discuss areas for growth. All reports can be accessed through Schoolworx Parent Portal.

Year 10

Last term Year 10 completed their first round of Minimum Standards Testing in the area of Reading and Numeracy. All students who completed those tests have been notified of their results via Schools Online.

On Thursday 25 May (Week 5), Year 10 will complete their Minimum Standards Writing Test. Catch-ups for all tests will take place on Thursday 1 June (Week 6). It is important that all students in Year 10 have a fully charged device and have completed the practice test provided to ensure that their Lockdown Browser is installed correctly.

Christine Harmer
Assistant Principal - Learning and Teaching

Principal's Update

Compass- School Administration Platform

Dear Parents, 

At the beginning of Term 3 MacKillop College will be introducing a new communication and school administration platform called - COMPASS School Manager, the Compass platform will become our school community communication tool from  Week 1 of Term 3. This will replace a number of our current systems and processes. Compass is already being used by a number of dioceses and the Lismore Diocese has been moving all schools to Compass over the past 3 years. Staff have been attending training sessions in all aspects of Compass in preparation for the changeover. 

The Compass platform is a web-based system that is accessible on any modern web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome & Safari) or by using the Compass School Manager iOS or Android App.  The Compass platform includes many different features, you’ll have the ability to: 

  • Receive notifications about school events, news and information
  • Enter an explanation for absences
  • Communicate with your child’s teachers
  • Update your family contact details (mobile phone & email)
  • Download and view your child’s academic reports
  • Book parent-teacher conferences (parent/teacher interviews)
  • Pay and provide digital consent for events (No more permission slips)

Over the coming weeks as we move closer to the transition to Compass we will communicate the parent onboarding process, how you access the platform and where you can go for help. 

Review Feedback

A big thank you to parents who were able to complete the Tell Them From Me survey, and special thanks to those who were able to come in and meet with the review team members during Week 3. Your feedback provides a really important element in ensuring the partnership between parents and the college is a positive one that supports the learning and well-being outcomes of students. 

Last Friday as the review panel finished their four days in the College they shared with all staff the initial findings, including many areas for commendation and affirmation as well as some suggested recommendations for areas of improvement and growth as we head into our 2024 -2026 School Improvement phase. Once I receive the report I will share it with students, staff and parents. 

Car Parking - Bus Shed/Hockey Fields

Can I please ask that parents DO NOT park in the (no parking area) outside the Bus shed located between the Hockey Fields and College Tunnel. Due to classes using the College bus returning to school at 3.10 pm and the carts which transport students with disability between classes needing to be locked away at the end of the school day, access is required at all times. 

ANZAC Speech (By Maeve Kinchington):

As mentioned in our last newsletter Year 11 student Maeve Kinchington did an amazing job in giving the ANZAC Day Address in Port Macquarie. Below is a copy of Maeve's address*:

All is still in the air. Not a breath of wind shivers amongst the glittering sky. The dark lulling water laps against the side of the boats as they pull into shore. Anticipation and nervousness run wild in the deafening silence. If only those moments would have lasted. 

It was this very morning 108 years ago that 16000 Australian and New Zealand troops landed on the Gallipoli peninsula, troops from every corner of this newfound nation we called Australia. From the sweeping plains, ragged mountains and rolling shores, from the big city and outback towns.  At eighteen minutes past four in the morning on Sunday the 25th April, the Anzacs leapt onto the shores of Gallipoli where the first shots of war, for Australia, were fired. These moments are what Australian War historian Charles Bean would later call Australia and New Zealand’s baptism of fire. Today we commemorate the Anzacs including the 2000 casualties that Gallipoli took within the first day and night. 

Historians, Henry Reynolds and Marilyn Lake argued in 2010 that the key premise of the Anzac legend is that nations and men are made in war. It is an idea that had currency a hundred years ago. Is it not now time for Australia to cast it aside?

I would argue, not so fast Mate!

While many nations still struggle under the mistaken assumption that their wartime experiences should be glorified and striven for continually. We only need to look at the ongoing divisions in the US around their civil war history or to Russia and their attempt to reclaim former territories and military glories in the Ukraine war to realise the futility of hanging onto past military legends. It is important to remember and honour the sacrifices of those who have served in times of war, but we should not be defined solely by wartime experiences. As a society, we should strive to learn from history, but also to move forward and create a better future for ourselves and future generations.

It is from these moments at Gallipoli and moments of war that we established some of our most valued traits as Australians; courage, endurance, egalitarianism, and one that stands out, mateship. As a young person I see this mateship not only looking back on the shores of Gallipoli but on the news, in my community and in my friends. It is like a bond, something that connects each and every Australian, something that resonates deeply within all of us; it’s the reason we call everyone a ‘mate’, it’s why we have our neighbours’ friends’ dogs’ backs and why above all we are team players. 

Learning about the events of the 25th April 1915 and Gallipoli in Primary School, I remember the story of Private Simpson and his donkey. This is what my teachers showed me and what has continued to stick with me. The friendship, the loyalty, the morale and the resilience of the ANZACs is what we must take from those moments as the troops scrambled ashore the rugged beaches of Gallipoli, from the countless loss and horrors they faced. Bonds of mateship were and are forged in the face of danger, hardship, and adversity. Soldiers who fought together in the ANZAC forces were known for looking out for each other, sharing resources, and supporting each other emotionally and physically. However, why do we continue to value ANZAC Day 108 years on? For me it is the notion of this mateship that highlights the importance and continued presence of loyalty, selflessness and teamwork in the face of adversity, emphasising the strength and resilience that can be gained through relationships, this notion is one of the reasons we continue to take part in ANZAC Day today whilst also commemorating those who risked everything and those who lost their lives. It is about remembering the sacrifices made whilst also celebrating what it is to be Australian today and recognising that the ANZAC memory is a central part of who we are as Australians.

The ANZAC mateship is still evident and relevant today in many ways for us as young people. The strong sporting culture that is so prominent in our society encompasses the Anzac spirit of mateship. The feeling of success and celebrating with your mates after a game or sometimes the feeling of loss and most importantly supporting your mates, shaking their hand and clapping them on the back as you walk off the field. Mateship is at the heart of Australian sporting culture and is one of the reasons we are so prolific and strong in so many sports, this spirit can be traced from the battlefield of the Anzacs to the sporting fields today. 

In my own friends and in the people that surround me I see such strong bonds, such a strong sense of mateship forms amongst young people, this bond is so important as a support system as we forge our way through a society that can be very difficult to navigate, just as the Anzacs supported each other through the terrible ordeal of Gallipoli. This spirit is what we must remember today when we commemorate Anzac Day, it is what we must learn from for the future. 

As Ash Barty quotes, “It's never over until we're shaking hands at the net. Then you've either won or you've lost, and - either way - you look them in the eye and say, 'Well played, mate.'’ 

Overall, the ANZAC mateship is still relevant and evident today in many aspects of Australian culture. It highlights the importance of mutual support, loyalty, and teamwork, which are values that continue to be highly important in Australian society. 

Proclaim Staff Day- CANCELLED

For those that are super organised and plan ahead with the College Calendar, there was originally a Staff Spirituality Day - Proclaim Lismore scheduled as a Student Free day. This day has now been postponed until 2024, therefore 2 June 2023 is a normal school day for staff and students. 

Parish Visioning Day
Sunday, 28 May, 
Lochinvar Centre, MacKillop College Senior Campus, off Lochinvar Place.
Starting at midday with a BBQ.
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm parishioner engagement.
5:00 pm Mass at St Agnes’ Church.
Plenty of parking.
Child-minding is available.
Transport is available if needed.


  • Living Hope – Many Parts, One Body continues our theme of living out our Season of Renewal at St Agnes’ Catholic Parish.
  • We are formed of many parts - many people, services and ministries - that make up our one body, our community of St Agnes’.
  • Pentecost is a special time to honour and celebrate our community, and all who contribute to our community and the gifts that we share.
  • It is also our time to dream together about how as people of hope, we will renew and grow our St Agnes’ Catholic Parish moving forward in our service of God’s mission.
    Register here

Cath Eichmann

Year 12

Year 12 Half Yearly Awards Ceremony and Learning Profiles

It will be a very proud moment today when the Year 12 students will be presented with their Half Yearly Awards at the Awards Ceremony in the Theatre. Almost six months of hard work will be acknowledged at the Ceremony. Awards are given for Outstanding Achievement, Outstanding Application. Application and Community Service. With only approximately five months until the HSC exams start, most students are working diligently to keep on top of their work. Thank you to all the parents and family members who were able to join us today to celebrate the achievements of our students. Congratulations to all students who received Awards today.

Student Learning Profiles will be uploaded to Schoolworx today.

Signing Out

A reminder to parents and carers if students need to leave the College early during the school day a written explanation must be provided to the office. This can take the form of an email, letter in the student diary or a reply to an SMS sent from the College. The student will not be permitted to leave the College grounds until written permission is received. Thank you for your understanding and patience. 

Ironman Volunteers

MacKillop College was responsible for looking after the Ironman Bike Station on Matthew Flinders Drive recently. I was very impressed by the number of Year 12 students who gave up their very precious time on Sunday afternoon to help hand out drinks and food to the athletes. Their enthusiasm was endless with great music playing, dancing and plenty of cheering for the athletes as they went past.

One of the most heartfelt moments was at 5.15 pm when it was getting cold and dark, the students refused to go home, insisting on waiting for the last competitor to come past our station. That competitor was a 75 year old lady who was “timed out” of the race just before she got to Matthew Flinders Drive on Cathie Straight but still continued on to finish the bike leg. As she came past the students had the music playing, standing on both sides of Matthew Flinders Drive cheering her on and then continued to run further up the road and she cycled on. It definitely brought a tear or two to my eyes. I was so proud of the wonderful and caring students we have at Mackillop College. 

Sincere thanks to all the Year 12 students who gave up their time at Ironman to help our College.

Tracey Bewicke
Year 12 Leader of Pastoral Care

Year 11

Year 11 have been involved in many and varied things in the last few weeks. The Chess Team have been busy taking on Port High in the next round of competition, the Mock Trial Team have been busily preparing their defence in a civil case for their next battle, various sporting teams have put their best feet forward when representing our school, and best of all, many, many, many students are consistently applying themselves to their study and sticking to their systems. The highlight however, (mainly because it involved all of us), was the Year 11 Bake Off celebration. The Pastoral Care classes challenged each other to see who could produce the best collection of baked goods, while the rest of us (non-bakers) got to admire each collection and then eat. It was a wonderful morning, full of competitive spirit, banter and fun.

Well done Year 11.

Bruce Smith
Year 11 Leader of Pastoral Care

Year 8

Thank you 

Last term, Year 8 PCs ran and supported various fundraising activities for Project Compassion during Lent. We were able to send $6,601 to Caritas as a total resulting from all the students' amazing contributions. 

Excerpt from the letter we received from Caritas: 

“Dear Caritas Australia supporters,

On behalf of our staff and partners, thank you for your generosity throughout Project Compassion 2023. We are so very grateful for all your efforts as we work together to end poverty, promote justice and uphold dignity.” 

There is indeed an authentic truth in Mary MacKillop’s charism and our Year 8 theme in finding happiness in making others happy.

Student Involvement 

Year 8 have been asked to nominate their interest in co-curricular activities this term via a Google form sent to their school email - it is worthwhile to have a conversation at home as to what your child has decided and especially their “why” as they navigate new opportunities.

Vinnies Winter Woollies Appeal 

We support the St Vincent de Paul Winter Woolies Appeal from next week, Term 2 Week 5 - to Term 3 Week 2. 

I have a rule (that I mostly follow): any new item in my wardrobe must replace something I no longer need…

If that's your rule too, and you have started to do some winter shopping, then maybe you will have some great items to add to our Vinnies Winter Appeal. 

Please keep in mind that the most needed clothes are men’s warm clothes and blankets…

My Goal; My Word

Last week in Extended PC, I spoke with Year 8 about Goal Setting.

I challenged our young people to respond to the following questionnaire and share their answers with their PC Teacher:

At MacKillop, we know students who thrive at school are happier people. Yet, there are many things you cannot change or may not like about school. 

  • On a scale of 1-5, how happy are you at school?

At MacKillop, we want you to thrive at school as a learner and as a person.

  • What would make you happier at school?
  • What is a goal you would like to achieve this term?
  • What word or phrase would motivate you to keep working towards this goal and your greater happiness at school?

I had asked the Year 8 PC Team the same and their responses included:

I spoke to Year 8.

Goal setting can be hard to do, especially sticking at it. 

SMART goal-setting is espoused by many professionals as effective but can sometimes seem too complicated a process for teenagers, and can result in goals regularly failing to change daily conduct.

I encouraged them to try a single word or phrase to drive a new ambition. 

I shared with them my goal this year in a single word is … footsteps.

My 2023 goal is about helping as many leaders, teachers, students, parents and colleagues to feel the thrill of being mobilised in small, repeatable steps forward.

It aligns well with a newly formed belief that the single most powerful key in our schools is kids feeling the intoxicating thrill of achievement and of making progress in their learning and their development.

And I’ve popped an image of a photo of me and my family climbing Thredbo in Winter in my office as my reminder icon.  

I told Year 8: Trekking to the summit in Winter in a whiteout was hard, but thoroughly worthwhile, as most worthy pursuits are. But the way to do hard things is one footstep at a time. Just start. Get moving. Pass milestones. Make progress. Get better. Rest when you need to. Then go again. One footstep. Then a few more. We’ll get there.

You might want to ask your son or daughter their goal (in a word or phrase) and make a reminder on the fridge or as wallpaper on their device - so they persevere ‘to go there’.


Congratulations to Neha Philip and Olivia Thompson who have received a Leader of Pastoral Care Award.

Nicole O’Connell
Year 8 Leader of Pastoral Care

Year 7

50 Budding young Scientists from Year 7 participated in the Port Macquarie Rotary Club BioBlitz. The program involved students working with scientific experts to survey the living creatures found at Shelly Beach. Students worked on the beach, sand dunes, rock pools and intertidal zones collecting information to help scientists understand the health of our local ecosystem. Thanks to our dedicated science teachers Mr Smith, Mr Nancarrow and Miss Smith for facilitating the day. It is great to see so many students getting involved in understanding and caring for our local environment!


Congratulations to Evie Thomson who has received a Silver Principal’s Award.

Congratulations to the following students who have received a Leader of Pastoral Care Award: Alyra Buckley, William Coombes, Bethany Folkes, Ruby Ford, Lucy Giudicelli, Isaac Green, Isabella Hawkins, Harrison Healey, Nate James, Tia Judge, Amelia Konstantas, Evie Kuchling, Oliver Laundry, Rocky Mann, Manni McGrath, Isla McNeil, Grace Morris, Maya Perry, Chloe Ribot de Bressac, Benjamin Romer, Tilly Sinclair, Madison Sivell, Annalise Southwell and Evie Thomson.

I know there are many more students yet to hand in their merits and I look forward to celebrating their success soon.

Best wishes.

Adam O’Brien
Year 7 Leader of Pastoral Care

Assistant Principal - Mission

Student Partnership

Over the past few months staff, students and parents of the College have been reflecting and prioritising the College Core values. The reason for doing so is to ensure that all our planning, decisions and actions align firmly to what we as a Catholic school believe is important in caring for the education and wellbeing of all members of our MacKillop College community. You, the students of the College are a key part of this community, and we want your input into the values and behaviours we wish to see in all who attend our College. 

I warmly invite you to come along on the afternoon of Wednesday May 31 and join in the discussion and at the same time meet and share some afternoon tea with College leaders and fellow students. 

The afternoon will be brief and informal with small group discussions. 

To register for catering purposes please click here.

Peter Murphy
Assistant Principal - Mission

Canteen Update

Monday 22 May
Paul Atkin & Judy Ryan

Tuesday 23 May
Katrina Bates, Elisabeth Jardine & Anthea Romer

Wednesday 24 May
Jaci Zimmerman & Amelia Browne

Thursday 25 May
Sue Ryan & Tracey Reddie

Friday 26 May
Priscilla Turnbull, Mel Collins & Jen Wickham

Monday 29 May
Mayo Brumby & Chris Jourdant

Tuesday 30 May
Julie Tipper & Jenny Murray

Wednesday 31 May

Thursday 1 June
Renee Maher & Lisa Hogan

Friday 2 June
Renee Bullock, Rowena Beukers, Kelly Dingle & Ronel Skea

To order from the canteen:

1. Orders can be written out at the canteen (bags supplied free of charge).

2. Orders can be written out at home and handed in at the canteen.

3. Download the Qkr! app and order online.

All orders are to be in by 8.00 am, please.

There is hot food available over the counter to purchase, however, to avoid disappointment it is best to order.

Please remind your child/children if you have ordered for them, and what their order is. 

If your child is sick and you have ordered, please phone the canteen (6583 2632) to arrange credit. 

Please note to change your child's year group when using the QKR! app to order lunch for 2022.

Now available: Gluten-free pies $5.00 and gluten-free sausage rolls $4.00; these items must be ordered.

Canteen Help Needed

The canteen is desperately seeking volunteers for one hour per month. No cooking, cleaning or stocking needed, just serving our lovely students. Even if you can only do one half hour shift it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you to all of our current volunteers, we appreciate your help.

Sign up and receive a Welcome Pack (coffee voucher, chocolates, voucher for your child to use at the canteen).
Please contact Maxine at the College 6583 2632 or via email 

Creative Arts News

Easter Liturgy 

At the end of last term, a number of students took part in our Easter Liturgy. A big thank you and shout out to our liturgical dancers and actors who helped make the liturgy so special. 

Australian National Band Championships

On Saturday, 8 April the Port Macquarie Hastings Municipality Band journeyed to Newcastle for the Australian National Band Championships. Competing in an open-age division, the band comprised members including a MacKillop College student, teacher and instrumental tutor. On trumpet, Nathaniel Pohlmann in year 7 was the youngest player in the ensemble. Frank Rugers, peripatetic tutor, played the oboe and Ms Cara Stewart, music
teacher, played the alto saxophone. With the Concert band, they presented a test piece, a march, a sacred piece, and an own-choice selection. Competing against Lake Macquarie Winds, Hills Music Academy Concert Band and Hills Community Concert Band, the PMHMB placed 1st overall, after receiving first place in 3 of the 4 works performed.

2023 A4Art Prize Finalists Announced
The 2023 A4Art Prize has seen a creativity explosion across our six St Agnes’ Parish Schools with more than 450 entrants (over 10% of the student population), almost double last year's entries.
The standard of artworks in this year’s competition is truly remarkable. We have seen a range of genres including painting, drawing, origami, textiles, digital art as well as 3D artworks supported by thoughtful artist statements. It is incredible to see such a broad spectrum of creativity from a simple A4 piece of paper.
125 finalists were selected by expert judges across 14 categories including Kindergarten to Year 12, as well as the St Agnes’ Education Staff category.
A further 35 artworks were chosen as Packing Room Finalists. The ‘Packing Room Prize’ is a new category created for those artworks that may not have been chosen as a finalist by our Judges, or did not meet the criteria/terms and conditions of the A4Art competition, but have been chosen by Creative Arts Nest Team as standout artwork.

All finalist artworks will be featured in the A4Art Pop Up Exhibition, touring each of the St Agnes’ Parish Schools in the coming weeks, where visitors can vote for the People's Choice Award. They will also appear at ArtWalk 2023, June 9 in the Creative Arts Nest Tent on PMQ Town Green.

Over 400 artworks have been shortlisted and are available to view online and are now open for voting for the Community Choice Award at

Category and award winners will be announced at the Finalist Event on the 22nd June, with all winners to be displayed at the Wauchope Creative Hub Art Gallery after the Finalist Event!

Congratulations to all artists.

The Creative Arts Nest would like to thank our sponsors:

  • St Agnes’ Education

  • Sunset Framing & Gallery
  • The Seed Creative Workshops
  • Wauchope Creative Hub
  • Affinity Helicopters
  • Stoney Park
  • Innervision Surf & Skate
  • Alice in Paperland
  • Drawn to Art
  • Arthouse Industries
  • Eckersley's Art & Craft
  • Agostina’s Fine Foods & Catering
  • Cassegrain
  • Wildnets Adventure Parks

You're Invited

Assistant Principal - Mission

Year 11 Christian Outreach Program

Each Thursday evening, MacKillop College has taken responsibility for a shift with local charity, Make a Difference Port Macquarie, feeding homeless residents of Port Macquarie.  A group of over twenty, Year 11 students have volunteered. They are ably supported in this initiative by a similar number of MacKillop staff members. 

Our students and staff members completed their second shift this week. This is a simple, meaningful display of faith in action.

National Reconciliation Week

National Reconciliation Week celebrations commence with Sorry Day Mass on Friday, 26 May. Over this week, Australia celebrates both the 1967 Referendum (27 May) and 1990 Mabo Agreement (2 June).

Sorry Day - Annually on 26 May in Australia, National Sorry Day reminds our nation to remember the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

1967 Referendum - Changes to the Constitution, in which the petition called for changes to sections 51 and 127. 

The change to section 51 would result in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people being counted in the official figures collected in the census. This means Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders would be recognised as part of the Australian population. 

The changes to section 127 would place responsibility for creating policy and laws regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the Federal Government. This means the states would no longer create individual laws for mob but instead the federal government would, and the laws regarding Aboriginal and Torres Strait people would be the same across the country.

The Referendum was the most successful in Australian history, with 90.77% of the respondents voting ‘Yes’.

Mabo Case - The Mabo Case challenged the existing Australian legal system from two perspectives:

  • On the assumption that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples had no concept of land ownership before the arrival of British colonisers in 1788 (terra nullius).
  • That sovereignty delivered complete ownership of all land in the new Colony to the Crown, abolishing any existing rights that may have existed previously.

Mabo ultimately won the case. This led to the passing through Parliament of the Native Title Act (1993).

Reconciliation Prayer

Holy Father, God of Love,

You are the Creator of all things.

We acknowledge the pain and shame of our history

and the sufferings of Our peoples, and we ask your forgiveness.

We thank you for the survival of Indigenous cultures

Our hope is in you because you gave your Son Jesus to reconcile the world to you.

We pray for your strength and grace to forgive, accept and love one another, as you love us and forgive and accept us in the sacrifice of your Son.

Give us the courage to accept the realities of our history so that we may build a better future for our Nation.
Teach us to respect all cultures.
Teach us to care for our land and waters.
Help us to share justly the resources of this land. Help us to bring about spiritual and social change to improve the quality of life for all groups in our communities, especially the disadvantaged.
Help young people to find true dignity and self-esteem by your Spirit.

May your power and love be the foundations on which we build our families, our communities and our Nation, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(Wontulp Bi-Buya Indigenous Theology Working Group 13 March 1997 Brisbane, Qld).

God bless

Peter Murphy
Assistant Principal - Mission

Journey into the Catholic Faith for Teens