Principal's Blog

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


Week 1 Term 1 2017

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

Welcome to new families and students who join us at Magdalene Catholic Collage for the first time and a big welcome back to families and students who are returning to Magdalene in 2017.

It is a real honour and privilege to be working with Magdalene students, families and staff and, although new to the School, I can’t help but be impressed by the camaraderie, community spirit and concern which I have witnessed in my first days.

The Year 12 Higher School Certificate results were released in the last week of 2016. The school Dux Elyse Beauchamp achieved an ATAR of 97.4. Four other students received an ATAR above 90. Sophie Vannan also had her Music 1 Viva Voce identified as exemplary. The review of the Higher School Certificate will take place over the coming few weeks. This will allow us to learn from successes while developing strategies for areas of improvement.

The high achievers will be acknowledged at the Opening School Mass and High Achievers Ceremony on Thursday 9 February beginning at 9.30am. I take this opportunity to invite any parents who are able to attend and be part of both celebrations. Congratulations to the following students who achieved an ATAR over 90.

Elyse Beauchamp 97.4 ATAR   Sophie Cornett 97.15 ATAR   Warwick Suters 96.25 ATAR   Teegan White   94.15 ATAR   Damon Koulouris   93.8 ATAR

I also welcome new staff members to the community:

Miss Tammy Boulatsakos - TAS

Miss Tahlia Cupillari - RE/PDHPE

Miss Thuy Dinh - Science

Mrs Robyn Doepel - Laboratory Assistant - Science

Ms Rachel Gavin - Science

Mrs Sue Hampton - Administration

Mr Simon Quinn - HSIE/RE

Mrs Bharti Sharma - Maths

Mrs Alison Shortridge - Learning Support / English

and hope they will have a meaningful time in their employment at Magdalene. I congratulate the following staff on their new appointments for 2017:

Mrs Caroline Said – HSIE Faculty Coordinator

Mr Danny Avalos – TAS Faculty Coordinator  (we wish Ian Gorrie well overseas)

Mr Danny Avalos and Mr Peter Collins – Learning Technologies Coordinators

Mr Peter Collins (assisted by Ms Michelle Flocco) – Youth Ministry

Mr Tim Manns – Year 7 Coordinator

Mrs Ashleigh Durrant – Assistant Stage 4 Coordinator

Mr Matthew Bubb – Assistant Stage 5 Coordinator

Mr Marco Cimino – Assistant Stage 6 Coordinator

and I also thank Ms Sheila Antal who has temporarily stepped in as Acting English Coordinator for the beginning of the term.

2017 is set to be a great year at Magdalene. It was wonderful to witness the joy, occasional nerves but general excitement which students exhibited on their first days of the school year. Our newest Year 12 cohort has returned with much energy and enthusiasm – ready to set themselves up for quality outcomes across 2017. Similarly, there was much energy which students from all other year groups brought to the commencement of the academic year.

For parents and carers of our newest Year 7s, one can imagine there would have been mixed emotions, as while their children are moving on to another milestone in their lives, they are also getting older and they are no longer school children of primary age. 

As I mentioned to Year 7 and their parents/guardians on Tuesday morning we thank parents and carers (from all year groups) for their ongoing support of their children. Without such support we can’t possibly hope to achieve the kinds of things that we wish for students of Magdalene. Indeed, the notion of partnership is a critical one. Through partnership, in which is embedded quality communication, we can have our young people aspire to greatness and become the best people that they can be.

This year ‘high expectations’ will be addressed as a constant reminder and in a number of domains. High expectations in terms of behaviour, uniform, appearance and academic best. High expectations on the sporting field and cultural pursuits, and also in terms of how we treat one another and support those less fortunate than us when it comes to service opportunities.

I am very excited to be here this year and I look forward to seeing a great number of you at the first Parents and Friends meeting on Tuesday 14 February. Our students have many God-given gifts and I know staff and our Leadership Team will be providing numerous opportunities for growth and learning across 2017.



The following two staff members have had new additions to their families during the holidays.

Congratulations to Mrs Amanda Violi and her husband David on the birth of their son Rocco 

and also to 

Mr Duncan Beh and his wife Karen on the birth of their daughter Olivia Charlotte.

I am sure everyone will join with me in wishing Rocco and Olivia Charlotte a blessed and long life.


YEAR 7, 2018 Open Afternoon/Evening 

Wednesday 8 March 2017

Formal information session 

(Including talks by the school Leadership Team)  

6pm - 6.45pm in the CAPA block.

Tour 1:   4.45pm - 5.45pm

Information Session 6pm - 6.45pm

Tour 2:  7pm - 8pm

Enrolment packages will be available at this event and from the School Administration Office from March 9.


Prayer to Begin a School Year

God of wisdom and might, 

we praise you for the wonder of our being

For mind, body and spirit.

Be with our children as they begin a new school year.

Bless them and their teachers and staff.

Give the strength and grace as their bodies grow;

Wisdom and knowledge to their minds as they search for understanding;

And peace and zeal to their hearts.

We ask this through Jesus Christ Our Lord.


God Bless

Mr Matthew McMahon







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