Principal's Blog

Each week, our Principal shares his reflections on learning in this Catholic community.


Week 11 Term 4 2016




Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,

Magdalene Impressions, held on November 29, was a wonderful showcase of student work in the areas of Visual Arts and Photography. Our congratulations to all students who submitted work and to the team of staff, Ms Delaney, Mrs Eggleton, Ms Tree, Ms Meagher, Ms Cusack, Mr Trimarchi, Mr O’Donnell, Ms Flick and Mrs Cuomo who organized and supported this event.

The recent Sports Assembly acknowledged the many individual, team and house achievements across 2016. Our congratulations to all award winners and special thanks to Mr Kennedy for his organization of this event and the entire sports programme for this year. A highlight of the assembly was the interview by Sheree Farrell of our special guest, Ms Chloe Esposito, 2016 Olympic Gold medalist in the Modern Pentathlon.

As a community we celebrated our end of year Mass on Tuesday 13 December special thanks to Fr Joe, Mr O’Neill, Ms Flocco, Mr O’Donnell, Mr Collins and the many students who took on roles. It was pleasing to see the St Vincent de Paul hampers were presented as they will make a positive impact on the lives of members of the wider community who need support at this time of the year.

Congratulations to the many students who received awards on Presentation Day. These awards are an acknowledgement of the excellent achievement by students across subjects and also in relation to community based aspects of Magdalene. Special thanks to Ms Foldes and Mrs Forner for their leadership and organization of this significant event in the school calendar. 

Thank you to parents and students who attended today’s Parent Teacher Student Interview Day. We hope the feedback will continue to support the learning journey.

School Fees 2017

Included in this final newsletter are details of the changes in regards to the billing and payments of school fees. Please read this section carefully.

We would like to announce the Year and Assistant Year Coordinators  for 2017.

Year 7 Mr Manns

Year 8 Mr Arzapitian

Year 9 Mr Dowdell

Year 10 Mr Johnson

Year 11 Mrs Foti

Year 12 Mr Sinclair-Kydd

Assistant Year Coordinators Mrs Durrant, Year 7 and 8, Mr Bubb, Year 9 and 10 and Mr Cimino, Year 11 and 12.

Farewell to staff 

Ms Hynes for the past 17 years has taught Science and has held a number of roles including Science Coordinator. We wish Ms Hynes every success as she begins her work at Mt Carmel Catholic College Varroville in 2017. Thank you for the positive impact you have made on so many students during your time at Magdalene.

Ms Benny has been at Magdalene for 16.5 years, teaching Visual Art across Year 7-12 and more recently teaching in Learning support. We wish Ms Benny success and happiness as she takes on the role of  Learning Support teacher at John Therry Catholic High School in 2017.  Thank you for your tireless dedication to the students, staff and parents of the Magdalene community.

Mrs Galvin has worked at Magdalene for 10 years as a Support Staff Officer and has been the face of the school to so many students as they have enrolled at Magdalene. She has also treated and cared for many students and staff as First Aid Officer. Mrs Galvin will be joining the staff at St Francis Edmondson Park in 2017, the newest and only K-12 school in the Diocese of Wollongong. Whilst it will be a challenging role it will be equally exciting as she sees the young people develop over the coming years and we wish her success and happiness. Thank you for the care and many contributions you have made at Magdalene.

Mrs Gai Pastor will be leaving Magdalene after 6 years working in the role as School Counsellor. Her work is of a nature where most people do not see the positive impact she has had on so many students at Magdalene. We thank Mrs Pastor for all that she has given to our community and wish her success in her new role as she moves around the Diocese supporting other counsellors in their work.

Mrs Harris has been at Magdalene for 3 years working in the area of Support Staff Lab Assistant where she has supported the work of the Science Teachers particularly in practical Science lessons. She was an active member of the WHS committee and we thank Mrs Harris for all her contributions and wish her success as she moves across to Oran Park Anglican.

Mrs Colella has worked at Magdalene for 1.5 years in PDHPE , coaching teams and as an Assistant Year 9 & 10 Coordinator. As she prepares to welcome her baby early in 2017 we wish her joy and happiness for this next stage of life and thank her for all that she has given to Magdalene.

Mrs Fernandes has worked fulltime across 2016 and we thank her for the teaching and care of students and wish her success in her teaching role at Mt Carmel Catholic College.

Thank you to Ms Casuscelli as she has worked here full time since Term 2 and we wish her success as she undertakes a Masters of Occupational Therapy in 2017.

To Mr Webb we thank you for your work this term in replacing Mr Mäe and to the many casual teachers who have worked across the year, we thank you for your work and support of our school.

As 2016 draws to a close I thank all staff for their tireless work through out the year and all students for their work and contributions. On behalf of Mr Lo Cascio I thank all parents for your ongoing support.

As I take my leave of this great community I sincerely thank all staff, students and parents for making me feel so welcome and for the opportunity to share your journey in 2016. Magdalene is a special place and I feel privileged to have been part of this community over the past six months. I wish Mr Matthew    McMahon success and fulfillment in his role as Principal of Magdalene.

Wishing everyone in the Magdalene community a Holy Christmas, Happy New Year and restful holiday season. My prayers and best wishes will be with you in 2017 and beyond.

Prayer for Families

Loving God,

During this holy season of Christmas,

we ask for your blessing on all families.

Let Mary’s openness to your

wondrous ways be an inspiration 

to place all trust in you.

Let Joseph’s courage provide hope

during times of anxiety and


Let Jesus’ life ignite all families with

a spirit of light and love

May the grace that encircled the

Holy Family widen to embrace all


For this we pray.



God Bless


Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal






Week 7 Term 4 2016




Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,

Magdalene Impressions, a showcase of Creative Arts and Photography, will be held at the school next Tuesday 29 November from 6.30 - 8.00pm. This is a wonderful celebration of student work and I encourage all students, families and staff to attend this exhibition. Special thanks to Ms Delaney for her organisation of this event and to all staff and students who have contributed in so many ways.

In a recent announcement by Mr Peter Turner Director of Schools, Mr Matthew McMahon has been appointed as Principal of Magdalene from 2017. On behalf of the Magdalene community we congratulate Mr McMahon and wish him success in his role as Principal. Over the next 3 weeks there will be an opportunity for students to meet Mr McMahon.

A reminder that all school fees should be finalised by the end of term. There is still a considerable amount outstanding. Thank you to all parents who have either paid fees or put arrangements in place.

At a recent assembly I was highly impressed with the range of student achievement that was recognised. I encourage all students to continue to achieve personal excellence in all that they do and to ensure they finish positively over the final weeks of 2016.

A message from Bishop Peter Ingham:

“Every year on 25 November, the United Nations (UN) holds the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. An ideal day to highlight this important message this year would be Sunday, 27 November 2016.

I would be grateful if you would please circulate details of this International Day to the parishes in your Diocese so that we as a Church may be prayerfully and practically associated with this event, raising awareness of violence against women in all countries around the world and at all levels of society.

I stand with Kofi Annan, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, who said “Violence against women is perhaps the most shameful human rights violation … It knows no boundaries of geography, culture or wealth. As long as it continues, we cannot claim to be making real progress towards equality, development and peace."

Prevention is possible and essential. Violence against women and girls continues to be a global pandemic and in Australia domestic and family violence occurs across communities, ages, cultures and sexes. As a Church we encourage the empowerment of women who are experiencing abuse or violence to know that it is not their fault and the abuser is responsible. Domestic violence is a crime and the abuser is breaking the law.”


Thank you Lord our God, for the love that you have for us; because we were created in your image as man and woman; so recognising us as different, we seek to complement each other: the man as support for woman and woman as support for man. Thank you, Lord our God for women and their mission in the human community.

We pray for the woman who is a daughter; that she be accepted and loved by her parents, treated with tenderness and kindness.

We pray for the woman who is a sister: that she be respected and defended by her brothers.

We pray for the woman who is a wife: that she be recognised, valued and respected by her husband, so that living both the communion of hearts and of desire they are blessed with children. 

We pray for the woman who is a mother: that she experiences in motherhood a flourishing of her identity.

We pray for the women who are good and generous and who have given their lives to give us life.

We pray for the women who are feeling alone, women who do not find meaning in life; for the marginalized and those used as an object of pleasure and consumption; women who have been mistreated, raped and murdered.

We pray Lord for all of us, men and women; that we may know, understand, appreciate and help each other, so that in a relationship, which is friendly and positive, we may collaborate together in the service of family, society and life. AMEN.

Adapted from



God Bless

Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal






Week 5 Term 4 2016

Dear Parents, Students, Staff and Friends of the Magdalene Community,

Today we welcomed the Year 7 2017 students to Magdalene as part of their orientation for next year. It was pleasing to see staff and students genuinely engaged with the Year 6 girls and boys and making them feel that they are a part of this special community. The organization by Mrs Forner and the SRC, along with the work of the staff, allowed our new students to experience aspects of the school so they will be very comfortable when they return in 2017. Thank you to all staff and students involved.

Last Friday evening the Year 12 Formal was a wonderful celebration for Year 12 students, their parents and staff. On behalf of all who attended I thank Mrs Foti for her tremendous organization of this annual event. Thank you to the Year 12 Pastoral Team for your attendance and work throughout the year. Year 12 are now enjoying a well deserved break and are looking forward to the next  phase of their journey through life. We wish them success and happiness.

Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 have now completed semester examinations and will soon receive feedback on their progress. I would like to urge all students to stay focused in their classes over the next 5 weeks of this term. The ongoing work across all subjects is important, as is the feedback from assessments as improvement can occur. Regular revision, attendance and commitment to excellence are all ingredients for success.

Last week Mrs Foldes and I had the opportunity to visit the Year 11 Retreats and spend some time with our senior students and staff retreat teams.  To take time away from school as a year group and engage in a program that will challenge you to stop and think about who you are, your faith, relationships, purpose and role in life, is vital to one’s development and formation. I commend all students for the way they engaged in the retreat and their openness to learning more about who they are as young people and seniors. Sincere thanks to the entire staff retreat team, under the leadership of Mr O’Neill and Ms Flocco, for their work and commitment and to Fr Michael and Father Joe who gave the sacrament of Reconciliation and celebrated Mass.

Thank you to all staff and parents who took time to complete the online survey in regards to the selection of the new Principal for Magdalene. This selection process continues and it is anticipated that an announcement will be made in the coming weeks.

As we celebrate Rememberance Day today I offer the following prayer for your reflection:

Prayer for Deceased Veterans

O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, look kindly on your departed veterans 

who gave their lives in the service of their country. 

Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son 

they may share in the joy of your heavenly kingdom 

and rejoice in you with your saints forever. 

We ask this through Christ our Lord.


God Bless

Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal