McAuley News

Term 1, Issue 3 - 19 MARCH 2021


During these past few weeks there has been much reported on with respect to equality and dignity for women in this modern world. As the principal of a Catholic girls’ school, it would be remiss of me to shy away from the issues at hand.

At Catherine McAuley we are dedicated to support you in educating young women who are strong, and who understand the values inherent to our mercy culture. This week at the school assembly I spoke about the attention we give the values of courage, excellence, justice, hospitality and integrity. My message to students is that whilst we ask them to ensure these values underpin their actions, young women must also expect to receive these very important mercy values in their interactions with family, friends, in their workplaces and in their communities. 

Our students show strong leadership qualities; they are capable and encouraged to use these qualities to ensure the exciting and modern world in which we live embraces all people in the most just and equitable of ways.

Inspired School Days

The learning environment at Catherine McAuley over the past weeks has been a place of deep learning for all members of the school community, with students involved in many school-based and extra-curricular activities, and staff engaged in professional learning to ensure we continue to stretch your daughters academically, socially and emotionally.

Students have participated in learning opportunities out of the classroom and on the sporting field. They have had days focussed on their learning in Social Sciences, History, Maths, STEM, Religious Education and have stretched their academic prowess in these areas as a result. They have competed in swimming, golf, volleyball and touch football events, showing their excellence in the sporting arena. They have also participated in VET courses and School of Now, our online learning courses, filling out a well-rounded education.

Teachers, also, have been involved in a wide range of learning in opportunities related to our school focus areas, inquiry learning and learning about the language of reading and writing in Social Sciences and History. In addition, the school leadership team has worked with our American educator, Dr Michael McDowell, to stretch our understanding of how to further improve the learning of students at Catherine McAuley.

It has certainly been a busy time, but a very productive time for all at Catherine McAuley.

Mary Refalo

FROM THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL (Pastoral Care/Administration)

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

The National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence (NDA) is Australia’s key bullying prevention initiative. This year the theme is ‘Take Action Together’ which focuses on students, teachers and parents working together to find solutions to bullying and violence.

Catherine McAuley supports the National Day of Action against bullying and violence. The school continues to address these issues in Form Meetings and Homeroom and within the curriculum. While Friday, 19th March is a day of national awareness, this awareness and education continues each day at Catherine McAuley. Our focus this year is on the importance of positive and respectful relationships. This builds on previous years of don’t be a ‘bystander, be upstanding - ‘call it out’ and the importance of a positive digital footprint. Research has highlighted bullying is generally less frequent among children with supportive and close friends. Helping all students to find friendship requires a community that demonstrates empathy, respect and tolerance for others. 

The Bullying is Never OK! factsheet for secondary school has been shared with students today. The eSafety Commission provides the following factsheet for parents on cyberbullying and online dramas.

Attendance - “Every Learner, Every Day”

How important is attendance

The attendance rate is important because students are more likely to succeed in a subject when they attend school consistently. It’s difficult for the teacher and the student to build their skills and progress if a student is frequently absent. 

A 2008 study conducted by the Rodel Community Scholars at Arizona State University that tracked students from kindergarten through high school found that dropout patterns were linked with poor attendance, beginning in kindergarten. Gregory Hickman, director of the Rodel Community Scholars program and former director of the Arizona Dropout Initiative, notes they discovered that as early as kindergarten, behavioral differences are apparent between those who go on to graduate and those who drop out, with dropouts missing an average of 124 days by eighth grade.

 Regular attendance at school is critical to ensuring that every student has the kind of opportunities in life that she deserves. 

Throughout the term Year Coordinates will contact parents, by phone or letter, of students with an attendance rate of less than 90% to discuss what strategies can be put in place to improve their daughter’s attendance. Parents of students with an attendance level less than 90% are encouraged to contact their Year Coordinator to discuss the attendance rate.

4 Reasons not to put off starting Assignments

(from: Dr Prue Salter - The Study Skills Specialist)

Here are four reasons why you should start working on your assignment immediately.


Even if your assignment is not due for weeks, start thinking about it immediately. At the very least, ensure you review and understand the requirements the day you get your assignment. Even if you are not thinking about it directly, your subconscious will be hard at work.


Although the school or local library may not be your main source of reference, you should drop in soon after receiving the assignment. Your teacher will probably have alerted the school librarian to the assignment, and reference books etc, may well be displayed. These will disappear quickly if the whole class has the same assignment. Reference books can sometimes be a useful general overview for an assignment and they help clarify a direction as you begin to immerse yourself into the assignment topic. Your librarian can also guide you to online journals or databases that may be useful.


If you do some initial research on the assignment, you could find yourself needing more direction in your next research. For example: Perhaps there isn’t enough information, or perhaps you find you don’t understand important concepts, or perhaps you need to speak to your teacher to get further clarity. If you find this out early, you will still have plenty of time to plan, research, write and present your assignment. Imagine if you didn’t start your assignment for a week or so, and then discovered you needed more guidance. You could easily run out of time. Starting early also gives you a longer time to think through and develop your ideas.


Starting your assignment immediately will give you a safety net in case you get sick or something unexpected happens. Assignments are usually given over a period of time because they require more time; students must plan a strategy or schedule to ensure they are completed. You should always have a schedule that allows for the unexpected.

So get started today!

Learn more this year about how to improve your results and be more efficient and effective with your schoolwork by working through the units on . Our school’s access details are:     Username: mcauley     Password: 189results


Winter Uniform - Terms 2 and 3

Please ensure your daughter wears the school uniform correctly in Terms 2 and 3.

School Blazer
Short sleeved school blouse 
School winter skirt
Opaque black stockings – not knee high
Standard black lace up school shoes 

School jumper
School black scarf

School blazers must be worn to and from school in Terms 2 and 3. Jumpers without blazers are to be worn only within the school grounds. 

Students (Year 7-10) wear their sports uniform to and from school on Thursdays only. The tracksuit jacket is to be worn with tracksuit pants. Jumpers are not to be worn with tracksuit pants. All articles of school clothing must be clearly labelled.

Ms Debbie Grigson
Assistant Principal (Pastoral Care/Administration)


Recently members of the RE Team have spent some time working with Mr Bruce Carr, Teacher Educator from the Mission Team at Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP), to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Draft New Curriculum (DNC). Currently all students in Years 9 and 10 are working from the DNC. Later in the year students in Years 7 and 8 will begin their learning journey with the DNC. 

One of the Learning Cycles in Stage Four is titled ‘What is Truth?’ At Catherine McAuley Westmead we proclaim God’s Truth. Part of the discussion among the RE Team members included the sources from which people seek the truth. Unfortunately, media sources with a wide audience do not always present the truth. People from outside the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta without recognised qualifications in theology have published ‘fake news’ about the Catholic Church in Western Sydney. 

Perhaps, the best example of ‘fake news’ have been the claims that same sex relationships are promoted within the DNC. Only this week, the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has released a ruling approved by Pope Francis stating that priests cannot bless same sex unions and that such blessings are not valid. Being mindful of the dignity of each person, the Catholic Church says it welcomes gay people but not their relationships as “God does not and cannot bless sin".

For our young students, part of their learning journey includes the discernment of information presented to them from many different sources. A well known media source or famous author does not always guarantee the truth. At Catherine McAuley Westmead, we follow the guidance of Bishop Vincent who was appointed as Bishop of Parramatta by Pope Francis, as we seek God’s Truth because we believe the words that Jesus spoke “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).

Ms Genevieve Banks
Religious Education Coordinator


Fourth Week of Lent

(School week beginning Monday, 15th March)

Arsad, an Indonesian farmer, had no toilet in his house, so always had to walk into the forest to the open defecation area. His family was often sick and open defecation caused many neighbourhood disputes. With the support of Caritas Australia and its partner agency, Laz Harfa, Arsad took part in hygiene, sanitation and financial management training. He then funded the building of a toilet in his house and helped other community members to save money to construct their own toilet. Now, Arsad’s family is healthier, their community no longer practices open defecation and is more harmonious. Arsad inspired his community to ‘Be More.’

• Around 17 percent of Indonesia’s rural population, or 45 million people, practice open defecation – going to the toilet outdoors in fields, forests and other open spaces. (World Bank

Watch a short film about Arsad’s story here

 “Aspire not to have more, but to be more.” Please support Project Compassion:



Assessment handbooks have been shared with all students.  Handbooks are on the student intranet and are also on the school website

Students have access to their year group Google calendar that has all assessments and events for their year group listed. Both the handbook and calendars are live, so it is important to double check dates as occasionally there is the need for assessment tasks to be rescheduled.

For Years 7 and 8, if students are absent on the day of an assessment task and return to school the next day, they require a note from their parents/guardians to be handed to their class teacher. If they are absent for more than one day, they are required to have a doctor's certificate and upon your daughters return to school she needs to collect an assessment appeal form from outside the Director of Studies office and return it within seven days.

For Years 9 - 12, a reminder if your daughter is absent from school the day of an assessment task please email or call 9849 9128 by 8:30am, letting me know your daughter's name, year group, assessment task they will miss and the reason. Upon your daughter's return to school she needs to collect an assessment appeal form from outside the Director of Studies office and return it within seven days. 

The full explanation of assessment procedures for Years 7 - 12 can be found in the assessment handbooks. 

Miss Sharon Brincat
Director of Studies

Catherine McAuley Celebrates International Women’s Day

The school celebrated International Women’s Day on Monday, 8th March in a number of ways as detailed below.


A small number of students and staff attended the ‘All About Women’ gathering at The Sydney Opera House on Sunday, 7th March. This event featured a lineup of incredible international and Australian thinkers speaking on a range of topics impacting the lives of women. The talks were inspired by this year’s theme ‘Choose to Challenge’.


With a focus on female mathematical scientists, in celebration of International Women’s Day, students from the Year 9 Accelerated Mathematics class and the Year 10 Advanced Mathematics class attended a Maths Career Day Seminar on Monday, 8th March.

This incursion encouraged students who would like to pursue Maths in the future and to show them how mathematics can be used to solve daily life problems. As part of the seminar students attended an online meeting with students from other schools and women who had decided that they wanted to pursue maths as their career pathway. We listened to how these female mathematical scientists came to decide their career. These women went through many ups and downs but eventually found their way to their passion for mathematics. 

Following the online session we played many games and activities to do with statistics and probability. The event was very helpful as one Year 9 student noted, “It taught us that maths doesn’t finish when you leave high school and it can be used to solve problems in everyday situations. I really liked how one of the speakers, Anna, created a solution for going down a flight of stairs smoothly with a bike. it was really cool and I never would have thought that so much maths was involved.”

 Michelle S.T.
Year 9 Student Media Team


On International Women’s Day students were encouraged to write up a post-it note to put up on the wall of the Sr Barbara McDonough Building thinking of a woman they admire and why. 

Some of the women included Anne Frank, Jacinda Arden, Malala Yousafzai, their Mum, Isabel Allende, Greta Thunberg, their Grandmother, Emma Watson, their Auntie.

STEM Careers Excursion

A group of 26 students from our Year 9 STEM class, along with five senior students who have shown a keen interest in the science, engineering and construction industries, had the opportunity to visit the training hub of the Parramatta Light Rail, Parramatta Connect, on Monday, 8th March. To celebrate International Women's Day, #Choosetochallenge, students heard from a panel of women working in this male dominated industry who shared their career stories across sustainability, design, environment, safety, engineering, human resources, commercial and communications. 

Some reflections from the students are below:

“This experience helped me to see all the different branches used in construction. There are many different challenges and struggles behind the scenes of construction for the Parramatta light rail project. There are a lot of very educated women that help with all the financial, safety, communicational and environmental factors that occur during a construction site”,  Naydeen P. 

 “Today was a fantastic experience and I am so grateful I took part. Learning about so many career options in the field of engineering was inspiring and very informative! Having this opportunity gave me so much information about how many careers are out there, and that here at Catherine McAuley there are so many options available. Seeing these women all in a male dominated workplace showed me and my peers that anything is possible with hard work and dedication”,  Grace R.

“Today, I learnt a lot about the different types of careers in the engineering field. The variety of jobs that we spoke about today encouraged me to seek, learn and open my mind to new and different types of job opportunities. Knowing that there are other women who are interested in the same area as I am is comforting as the engineering field is very male dominated and can be slightly intimidating. Hearing about all of the female engineers' challenges really opened my eyes and mind to see how it can be a struggle to pursue what is more known as a 'male job.'  Charlize H.

CSDA Public Speaking

Two students have made it through to the CSDA Public Speaking Final taking place tonight, Friday 19th March. Congratulations to Jemma A. and Angelina M., both Year 11 students, who will compete in the Senior Open Final.

We had six students compete last week in the zone final and these students are shown here with the photo taken just before they competed.

At the school assembly this week students who participated in the CSDA Public Speaking Competition and the CSDA Debating Competition during 2020 were presented with their certificates.

Class of 2020 - Where Are They Now?

85% of students who completed Year 12 last year are now enrolled in university with Macquarie University the most popular choice and Health degrees the most popular degree.

Of the 178 Year 12 students who graduated last year their destinations were as follows:
85% University
3% Private College
2% Apprenticeship / Traineeship
2% Working / Other
1% Gap Year
4% Unknown

Macquarie University was the most popular choice of university followed by Western Sydney University and University of Technology Sydney. With 85% of students offered a university course this was higher than the 79% in 2019 and 83% in 2018.

The most popular career choice was Health (22.6% of students), Business/Commerce (14.2%) and Arts and Social Work (13.2%).

Many students were offered an early entry to university with 185 offers made (some students were offered more than one course). This meant that for some students they had already been offered a place at university before they even sat for the HSC. With many of these offers unconditional, meaning regardless of the ATAR the students received their place in a course was secure, it allowed these students to feel confident in where they were heading in 2021.

Pi Day Celebrations

Sunday, 14th March was Pi Day and the Mathematics Department ran some activities on Monday, 15th March to celebrate.

There was a lunchtime competition amongst students to see who could recite the most digits of pi and a maths joke competition was also held to see who had the best joke! Pi reciting winners were 1st Place - Karen F., Year 8 with 87 digits and 2nd Place - Morgan D., Year 7 with 46 digits.

Joke competition winners from each Stage were as follows:

Stage 4:  Anusha R. - Year 7

I'll do algebra, I'll do trig, I'll even do statistics but graphing is when I draw the line!

Stage 5: Shreya D. - Year 9 

Why did the right-angled triangle go to the beach? COS the SIN that pointed to it said you could get a TAN there.

Stage 6: Alannah E. - Year 11

When you walk out of an exam and see your calculator in rads...all stations to crying.

Some of the highly commended jokes included:

What did the area say to the perimeter while arguing? I’m trying to talk to you and sort this out but I feel like you're just going around the problem.

Why does algebra make you a better dancer? Because you can use the algo-rhythm!

What do you call a number that can't sit still? A roamin' numeral!

Student Earth Action Committee

The Student Leaders of Environment, Davida S. and Charlotte T., run a student group called the ‘Earth Action Committee’ or ‘EAC’ for short. The committee aims to raise awareness about environmental issues and take action within Catherine McAuley.

The students have put together their first newsletter for this year which can be accessed here.

Lifted Leaders Virtual Event

The Year 12 leaders had the opportunity to participate in a virtual Lifted Leaders event last month on Wednesday, 24th February. This event, run by Catholic Youth Parramatta, brought together over 25 secondary schools all throughout the Parramatta Diocese in order to enhance our experiences and skills as school leaders. 

The day included live music performances as well as the chance to share our 2021 ‘Build It Up’ leadership initiative with other schools. We also moved into virtual breakout rooms where we were able to speak with two other schools and learn about the different cultures and demographics throughout schools in the Diocese. Sharing our initiatives and different approaches to encouraging unity and grace within our schools allowed us to learn and expand our abilities as leaders. 

We thank Miss Reynolds and Ms Banks for organising and coordinating such an exciting and enjoyable day for us.

Freya L.
Year 12

National Close the Gap Day

Thursday, 18th March was National Close the Gap Day.

Did you know that our First Nation Peoples have a life expectancy on average of 10 years less than other Australians? National Close the Gap Day brings people together to share information and raise awareness in the broader community. 

‘Close the Gap’ is an initiative to reduce disadvantage amongst our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples across 6 key areas including health, education, employment and early childhood. You can learn more by visiting the website

On Thursday Year 12 student Shanaya D., a Dharug traditional owner, proudly spoke during Homeroom telling the McAuley community about the day and music was played at lunchtime to celebrate and recognise National Close the Gap Day.

Peer Mentor Session On Bullying

The Peer Mentor Program occurs every Thursday afternoon for Year 7 students. This program is run by Year 10 Peer Mentors and provides opportunities for Year 7 students to work in small groups to develop skills for building relationships and it encourages students to participate fully in the life of the school.

Over the past two Thursdays the Year 10 students have been running sessions on bullying. The Peer Mentors have been very imaginative with their group sessions and have included many different activities - from role playing, colouring in, discussions using whiteboards, watching videos and fun games.

Bookmarked - Year 8 Reading

In Homeroom on Tuesday mornings all Year 8 students are using the time to read. Year 8 student Jasmine S., 8 Dobson, has written about this program below.

In a world where authoring our own lives isn’t always an option, I put my fullest trust in the creators of the metaphysical banks of wisdom and advice, or put simply, the authors of books. Throughout this year, Year 8 will be doing the same with our new program targeting the encouragement of reading entitled ‘Bookmarked!’. Credits for the title go to Kaylee A. and Daphne C. 

Bookmarked is a new chance for Stage Four students to venture away from their usual ruts and escape between the lines, into new worlds. Books are a form of escapism. A pill sure to take you beyond any daydream. Without books, insanity would be upon all of us and yet, the insanity of a book is often the only thing keeping us lucid. With a script within their fingertips and their minds’ eye as a camera, Year 8 are delving beyond their norms with the new programme. 

Jasmine S.
Year 8 Dobson

‘Bookmarked’ Name Winners

The Year 8 Coordinator, Ms Morrison, ran a competition amongst the students for them to give this new reading program a name. There were a number of great entries and all the teachers on the judging panel were impressed by the creativity of the students.

The winning name was ‘Bookmarked’ with both Kaylee A., 8 Ryan and Daphne C., 8 Veritas the winners. Each student won a book of their choice.

Year 8 History Medieval Europe Incursion

Year 8 History students participated in a medieval Europe incursion on Wednesday this week where they were able to watch, listen to and participate in a presentation that focused on what life was like in medieval Europe. Students were able to touch and examine medieval equipment while also learning about the key events that took place during this time in history.

Year 8 Geography Incursion - Water In The World

Year 8 Geography students attended an incursion this week on Wednesday, 17th March. Students have been learning about ‘water in the world’. The students completed a number of activities throughout the day including mapping our local waterways, completing an audit of the water devices in our school and identifying devices that are leaking or faulty, developing strategies the school can use to save water and strategies they can use themselves to be more water wise. 

The students were lucky enough to have two members from Penrith Lakes Environmental Education Centre visit and teach the students how to test water from two locations and identify the differences in the water.  

The girls had a great day and really loved the opportunity to use the water equipment first hand! 

Mrs Lisa Williams
HSIE / VET Teacher


Duke of Edinburgh International Award

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is available to all 14 - 24 year olds and Catherine McAuley students are now able to take part. A small group of Year 11 students made the announcement at the school assembly this week.

The Award is comprised of three levels each progressively more challenging:

Bronze - For those over 14 years old

Silver - For those over 15 years old

Gold - For those over 16 years old

Participants are required to complete four sections at each level: Voluntary Service, Skill, Physical Recreation and Adventurous Journey. Gold level participants also complete a Gold Residential Project. Full details can be found on the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award website.

The Year 11 students who presented to the school assembly advised students that doing the award would be an enjoyable experience which would allow them to take a break from schoolwork while still being productive. They also felt that because it is highly regarded by many employers and universities that it would look great on any resume or application.

The school’s three Award Leaders will be Ms Nicolson, Ms Lowrencev and Mr Foran. They will be the teachers to go to for any questions and will help students achieve their awards.

Performing Arts News


Year 12 Music students have been working on group compositions with the students writing and performing their own original songs.

At the school assembly this week one of these groups consisting of Katrina P., Alexandra T., Jessica J., Paris I. and Revathi H., performed their original song ‘Hourglass’ to the rapturous applause of the whole school community.

Alexandra T., lead vocalist, says that their song ‘Hourglass’ was about growing up and going through changes in life. “As we go through high school we have many transitions which is something that is relatable to us as students”, she said. “As a group we wrote the words and music together which was a fun project. It was actually fairly easy to get our ideas together because we are all on the same page. We did sometimes come up against creative blocks where we would run out of ideas but our teachers were there to help when needed”.

Another original song written by students Fritzy S., Tayla C., Genelle L., Xin Mei L., Natanya L. and Vanessa P. is called ‘When I Get Nostalgic’ and was inspired by the band Imagine Dragons. “Our song is in the style of alternative indie”, says Vanessa P.  “The song is about how times are changing. We all wish we could go back in time to when life was simpler. Writing the song together as a group was at times challenging because we had to find a way to incorporate everyone’s strengths”.

‘Hourglass’ highlights from school assembly Wednesday 17th March

‘When I Get Nostalgic’ highlights from lunchtime music concert Friday 5 March


Glee Club has launched! A new vocal group for Years 7 and 8 students started on Wednesday this week and will be known as ‘Glee Club’. Run by two Year 11 students, Angelina M., Assistant Leader of Culture and Jasmine A., the club has been formed to give younger students who like to sing a place to do so!

Unfortunately last year the Year 8 Music students didn’t get a chance to sing at all due to Covid restrictions. The new Glee Club is open to any Year 7 and 8 student who likes singing. It will be capped to 30 students with a 10 week commitment and students will meet each Wednesday at lunchtime. At the end of the 10 weeks the students involved will have the opportunity for a performance.


The school band is back! Open to all Years 7-12 students with experience playing a concert band instrument. The band will rehearse every Monday lunchtime in BM234.


Year 7 Bunsen Burner Licenses

Year 7 Science students have been receiving their ‘bunsen burner licenses’ as the students demonstrate that they can use a bunsen burner successfully and safely. 

All the students in Ms Raja’s class received their licenses last month and were very excited. Last week as part of their investigation of the states of matter the students made slime to examine its properties and determine whether it is a solid or liquid.

Year 7 Express Yourself

Year 7 Visual Arts students are learning about mark making and expressive use of line to depict the self in their current unit of work called ‘Express Yourself’. Students will be starting their major piece soon!

The student work shown here is from Ms Fernandes’ class.


Swimming Carnival - Granville Aquatic Centre

The Long Distance Swimming Carnival was held on the 24th February after school as a competitors only event, and saw students compete in 50m Butterfly, 100m Freestyle, 100m Breastroke, 100m Backstroke, 100m Butterfly, 200m Freestyle and the 200m Individual Medley. It was wonderful to see so many staff and students giving up their own time to compete, as well as to assist across the afternoon!

On the 3rd March we held our Whole School Swimming Carnival. It is a highlight of the school calendar, and students and staff alike look forward to the day every year. As always, it was a wonderful day filled with great community spirit amongst the Houses, with a high level of participation in the pool across both the competitive and novelty events. 

There were many impressive individual performances that resulted in the 13yrs 100m Freestyle record being broken. Congratulations to Calysia T. who swam a time of 1.06.72, beating the previous record of 1.07.62 set in 2018. Calysia was also crowned 2021 Fastest McAuley Girl in the 50m Freestyle. A full list of the school swimming records can be found here.

The House relays were another high point of the day and congratulations to Ryan House who took out 1st place in the House relay this year. They were followed by Clare in 2nd place and Coolock in 3rd.

The winning House and the swimming age champions will be announced at our next school assembly on Wednesday, 31st March.

Thank you to all staff and students for your involvement and contributions to making this day such a success!

Ms Toni Lee 
Sports Coordinator

Many more photos from the swimming carnival are available on the school Instagram and Facebook pages.

Fastest Girl in the School

Fastest Girl in the School! The 50m Freestyle race is a favourite race held at the end of the swimming carnival. The race is always very close! Congratulations to all participants and to the winners: 1st Calysia T., Year 7 Coolock, 2nd Irene S., Year 9 Clare and 3rd Ava S., Year 9 Caritas.

House Relay Event

The final event at the school swimming carnival was the House relay. Congratulations to Ryan House who placed 1st, Clare House who placed 2nd and Coolock House who placed 3rd.

Students Represent McAuley at PDSSSC Swimming Carnival

Last week on Friday, 12th March, 11 students from Years 7 - 12 represented the school at the PDSSSC Swimming Carnival held at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre.

All students performed very well on the day.

Our 4 x 50m Freestyle Relay Team and the 4 x 50m Medley Relay Team both consisted of Ava S., Calysia T., Chloe A. and Irene S. Both these relay teams finished a very close 2nd place.

Calysia and Irene both finished 2nd in their 50m freestyle events and have now qualified to represent the PDSSSC at the NSWCCC Swimming Carnival.

Ms Toni Lee
Sport Coordinator

Cross Country

Tuesday, 16th March was an early start at Parramatta Park for the Catherine McAuley Cross Country. As the sun rose, 53 girls set off on a 5km course around the park. After 5km, there was a sprint finish resulting in Chelsey L. finishing in 1st place overall, with Hannah H. close behind in 2nd and Niamh M. in 3rd.

The girls competed across all age groups, however the first five placings in each age group will progress through to the PDSSSC Cross Country Carnival on Friday, 23rd April at Sydney Equestrian Centre, Horsley Park. The final top 3 placings for each age group were:


1st place - Zoe L.

2nd place - Taylah C.

3rd place - Gabrielle C.


1st place - Raquel T.

2nd place - Hayley W.

3rd place - Neave S.


1st place - Niamh M.

2nd place - Elana R.

3rd place - Alyssa C.


1st place - Chelsea L.

2nd place - Raimely B.

3rd place - Natarsha S.


1st place - Madison D.

2nd place - Chloe A.

3rd place -  Lucia F.


1st place - Hannah H.


1st place - Jacqueline H.

2nd place -  Lily H.

3rd place - Aimee H.

Congratulations to all of the girls who competed as well as a big thank you to students and staff who assisted.

Ms Toni Lee
Sports Coordinator

Year 8 Student Represents Catherine McAuley at the NSWCCC Golf Championship

Well done to Marie-Claire D., Year 8, who represented Catherine McAuley at the NSWCCC Golf Championship held on Friday, 12th March at Macquarie Links Golf Club. 

Marie-Claire has also been awarded a scholarship to Stonecutters Ridge Golf Club as part of a scholarship program established to recognise young aspiring golfers who have a positive attitude and commitment towards their golf.

Congratulations Marie-Claire!

PDSSSC Touch Football Gala Day

On Wednesday, 10th March, students represented Catherine McAuley in both the U15’s and Open Divisions of the PDSSSC Touch Football Gala Day held at the Kingsway Fields in Werrington. 

The gala day provides opportunities for students to play against other teams in the Parramatta Diocese and the possibility to be selected for the NSWCCC Touch Championships. 

Our teams played against five other schools in a round robin competition. The Under 15s progressed to the semi finals after coming 2nd in their pool, however they were defeated in the semis by a narrow margin. Our Opens Team also played well throughout the day and came away 3rd in their pool.

Congratulations to all students involved in the day. A wonderful effort by all.

Mrs Jessica Muggleton
PDHPE Teacher


Year 10 Student Competes in Australian Open Water Swimming Championships

Well done to Year 10 student Sophie F. who last weekend competed in the Australian Open Water Swimming Championships held at Coolum Beach, Queensland. Sophie competed in a 5km Open Water race.

The race was held in tough conditions with the water temperature extremely warm. As Sophie competed there were other swimmers around her being pulled from the water due to overheating. Despite these conditions Sophie improved upon her time achieving a new personal best which she was very happy with!

Congratulations Sophie. Your hard work with training over the past few months has paid off!


Monday, 22nd MarchYear 12 Legal Studies In School Activity
Wednesday, 24th March

Year 10 Geography Excursion

Year 10 History In School Activity

Friday, 26th MarchEnvironment Group In School Activity
Tuesday, 30th MarchNSW All Schools Individual Triathlon
Wednesday, 31st MarchYear 7 Interim Parent/Teacher/Student Virtual Meetings
Thursday, 1st April

Holy Thursday
End of Term 1

Friday, 2nd AprilGood Friday
Sunday, 4th AprilEaster Sunday
Monday, 19th AprilTerm 2 Begins
Sunday, 25th AprilANZAC Day


Career Mondays

Career Mondays has returned and recently it was Dr Stephanie Partridge, Accredited Practising Dietitian from the Westmead Applied Research Centre, who shared her career story with students. 

Dr Partridge shared the highs and lows of working in research, career opportunities in nutrition and dietetics, and how specific projects are helping to tackle health issues among young people.

Other recent speakers have included a guest speaker from Notre Dame University, a private investigator who looked at criminology and investigation and Week 9 will be looking at nursing and midwifery.

Year 11 & 12 Parents and Students - New UAC Information Site

UAC Digital is a new online platform for the Universities Admissions Centre Community Engagement team. Throughout the year, they'll present a range of free webinars for students, careers advisers, parents and anyone navigating their path to higher education.
Coming up is the online Year 12 conference on 21st April, 6pm - 7.30pm.

Supporting Your Child’s Career Development: Tips and Tools From Myfuture Webinar

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 1–2 pm 

The earliest and often the most powerful learning about careers is shaped by the adults in a child's life. ‘Myfuture’, the National Career Information Service, has tools and resources available to help parents guide and support their child as they explore career options and occupations of interest. In this webinar Michelle Maes, Careers Manager, will demonstrate the career development resources that are freely available on the myfuture website to assist the career development process.

Register now

Volunteering opportunities for students

Many students ask about opportunities to volunteer and sometimes this is difficult to find when you are under 18. This site - Kids Giving Back - offers information on opportunities where help is needed and that are suitable for a young person to be involved in.

Volunteering is a great way to help a community, challenge yourself and grow your skills.

Go to:

It does require you sign up for a mailing list so that you are emailed opportunities when they become available.

Mrs Amanda Chahine 
Careers Adviser


McAuley Library Ambassador Team

McAuleys' Library Ambassadors are a team of girls who actively promote the library and reading within the school community. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the 2020 Library Ambassador team and acknowledge their initiatives which include Crazy Tie Day, Holiday Book Swap and the excellent Book Trailers that were posted during our ‘school from home’ lockdown time.

There were a large number of applications for the 2021 Library Ambassador team and we thank all the students who applied, your applications were amazing and we encourage you to try again next year.

Congratulations to the following girls for being selected as Library Ambassadors for 2021:

Morgan D., Prasidha P., Jacinta S., Sanjana G., Naga C., Charlotte M., Isabella S., Aleena O., Yasmine O. and Rylie F.

The students have already been hard at work so keep an eye out in the morning notices and social media for information on your next great read!

Ms Janine Sabeh & Mrs Kirria Lorenzutta
School Librarians

Apple Drop Competition

The school library runs a T.A.C.E Space (Think Analyse Challenge Experiment) where the librarians provide problems for students to solve. The latest ‘problem’ was to see who could create the best protective package around an apple so that when it was dropped from two floors up it would land unscathed. This competition was open to anyone and attracted some fantastic entries.

Entries were judged on:

  1. The apple landed without bruising.
  2. The package was practical and could be replicated for supermarket use.
  3. The design.

Georgia E., Year 10, was declared the winner. Her apple survived the drop by being cushioned inside a recycled cardboard box which contained another set of cardboard apple holders. Her package also contained a QR code which led to more information about her design choice.

Thank you to Mrs Mani who helped judge the competition. For those who missed out the library will be launching another competition to tie in with the landing of the Mars Rover. Students can come into the library for more details!


School Fees Notice

School fees have now been issued and are due by Wednesday, 17th March 2021.

Thank you.

Reminder To Students and Parents

Second Hand Uniforms

Do You Have Any Second Hand Uniform Items for Sale? 

Do You Wish To Purchase Any Second Hand Uniform Items?

The school has had a number of requests regarding second hand uniforms and although our school uniform shop does not sell second hand items directly we have set up an area on the school website for parents to list their items for sale.

If you are interested in purchasing second hand uniform items perhaps you might like to check the school website under ‘Enrolments / Uniform Shop’ and see what items are listed. 

If you are a parent with an item to sell please email with your item details and photos. The school website under ‘Enrolments / Uniform Shop’ gives you more information.

Catherine McAuley Parent Business Directory

A reminder that the school has a Catherine McAuley Parent Business Directory. This directory is a collection of parent owned businesses and is something you might want to consulate when you are next looking for a particular item or service.

If you would like to be included in the directory please fill out this form.