Principal's Blog

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


Week 3 Term 3 2016




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

Year 12 Trial HSC exams began this week with students focusing on ensuring that they perform to the best of their ability. The feedback from these exams will be essential as it will pave the way for improvement in preparation for the HSC exams at the beginning of Term 4. We wish each student success as they continue these important assessments. Please keep our Year 12 in your ongoing prayers.

The Year 12, 2017 leadership application process for our Year 11 students began this week. All students have the opportunity to apply for leadership positions but they must undertake a formal process which involves an application, interview and presentation. 

Hospital Heroes Day last Friday saw many students and staff dressing up as their favourite hero.  The purpose of this day was to raise money for the Westmead Children’s Hospital. Thank you to Mr Peter Collins for the organization of this day and staff and students as the school raised $2000.

The Parents and Friends meeting was held on Tuesday night. Thank you to all parents who attended despite the inclement weather.

Best wishes to staff and students who will undertake the Duke of Edinburgh hikes over the coming weeks. This is an outstanding program that will develop skills which will assist them throughout life. I am very impressed with the numbers of students involved and the dedication of staff.

Transition visits for Year 5 feeder school students began this week with St Clare’s Narellan and St Paul’s Camden visiting our school to experience aspects of education and life at Magdalene. The work of staff and students who participated in these days is greatly appreciated. The Year 5 students enjoyed their day and were warmly welcomed by our students and staff. St Anthony’s Picton will visit later this term.

As the term moves forward I ask all students to maintain your academic focus in all classes and to continue to develop study skills at home to support your learning.

Over the past weeks we have been reminded how fragile our world is due to many tragic events which have affected so many communities. We offer this prayer for peace for your reflection.


Prayer for Peace

God, you are the source of life and peace. 

Praised be your name forever.

We know it is you who turn our minds to thoughts of peace.

Hear our prayer in time of war.

Your power changes hearts.


No matter what religion we follow, 

May we profoundly affirm that we are followers of ONE GOD;

May we live like brothers and sisters in this world;

May enemies begin to speak to one another;

Those estranged join hands in friendship;

And every nation seek the way of PEACE together.


May each of us be witnesses to the truths by the way we live.

Give each of us an understanding that puts an end to strife,

May we forgive others and empower us to live by your commandment of Love.





God Bless


Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal






Week 1 Term 3 2016




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

Welcome back to Term 3 which will certainly require a high level of engagement from all members of the Magdalene Community. Thank you for the welcome that I have received from staff, students and parents in my role as Acting Principal.

In the final week of last term Parent/Teacher/Student interviews were conducted and I encourage all students to now focus on this feedback and set goals for ongoing improvement.  Thank you to all staff who participated in this important process. Year 12 students are preparing for the Trial HSC exams, which begin in Week 3, and I ask everyone to keep them in your thoughts and prayers. Throughout this term the school will continue to work on differentiation and assessment which should lead to further improvement in student learning.

On a sad note on Sunday 3 July, Mrs Tracey Dakin, mother of Rebekah (11W), passed away after a long battle with illness. A number of staff, students and parents were able to attend her funeral in the first week of the holidays. I ask that all members of the Magdalene community keep Mrs Dakin, Rebekah and her family in your prayers during this very sad time.

This week has been filled with many activities that have involved all members of the Magdalene community. Monday’s athletics carnival started the week and it was pleasing to see the level of participation by all students. Congratulations to all athletes who achieved their personal best and to Mr Hewitt, staff and House Captains for their organization of the day.

On Tuesday we welcomed 17 Year 4, 5 and 6 students along with 5 staff from St Patrick’s Primary School Brewarrina. Over the next three days they participated in a range of activities organized by Mrs Franciscus, staff and Magdalene students. These activities included a welcome BBQ, student workshops, visits to Austinmer Beach and Taronga Park Zoo and a farewell assembly hosted by our student leaders. This immersion opportunity was greatly appreciated by the Brewarrina students and staff . I commend Mrs Franciscus, staff and participating students for their wonderful work and generosity of time and spirit. This is another example of the Magdalene community reaching out to support other Catholic communities.

Magdalene Feast Day was celebrated today which saw our community come together to celebrate a special Mass for the feast day of Mary Magdalene followed by a school fair which raised money for the Care Fund that supports families within the school community who have members suffering from illness. Special thanks to Fr Michael Williams, invited guests, Mr Steven O’Neill, Mrs Ivana Forner, members of the P & F and the staff, students and parents who supported the day. It was also an opportunity for the Magdalene community to farewell and thank Mr Alan McManus (Foundation Principal of Magdalene Catholic High School and Head of School Improvement Secondary CEO) as he retires from many years of service to Catholic Education Wollongong.

The Magdalene Feast Day was a significant celebration and I believe the school prayer captures our mission as a Catholic community


Jesus, you chose Mary Magdalene to be the first witness to your resurrection. 

Help us to be filled with the power of your spirit.

May we become witnesses to your love and healing, 

both within and beyond this community.

Mary Magdalene


Pray for us.


Enrolments for 2017 continue to be processed and I ask that all acceptances are finalized by Friday 29 July.

A special welcome to Ms Mareena Drezina as she replaces Mrs Lena Foti who is on long service leave. Mrs Simone Dowdell will be Acting Year 12 Coordinator.

A reminder that the next P & F meeting will be held on Tuesday 2 August beginning at 7pm. Apart from the normal business there will be a presentation on Numeracy by Curriculum Coordinator Mrs Peiti Haines. All  parents are most welcome.

I look forward to working with all members of this special community over the next two terms.


God Bless


Mr Michael Mullaly

Acting Principal






Week 9 Term 2 2016

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

Over the last two weeks of term the school is conducting Parent / Teacher / Student Interviews for students in Years 7 to 11. These interviews provide a great opportunity to improve learning and develop academic capacity and performance. I encourage parents and students to truly reflect on the advice given. In many cases the initial interview may involve further follow up.

As a follow up to the interviews I encourage parents to: 

-   Speak honestly with your child about the discussions you had with their teacher

-   Praise them for the positive feedback and discuss any problem areas

-   Discuss with your child any suggestions to help make improvements

-   Begin any plans for improvement as soon as possible. This shows your child that changes are valued and need to be

     put in to place. Putting plans into action now will certainly have positive benefits for all students.

I remind all students and parents of two special events occurring in Week 1 Term 3. Due to circumstances beyond our control, the first day back at school will be used for the Athletics Carnival Monday 18 July. Magdalene Feast Day will follow this on Friday 22 July. Both of these days are important community days and attendance is compulsory. I especially acknowledge the importance of Magdalene Feast Day. This is an opportunity to celebrate our community, to reflect on our mission and to support those in our community who may be facing adversity. I take this opportunity to invite parents and friends of the community to both events.

Last week the school conducted the Annual Magdalene Shines evening. As in the past, this was certainly an entertaining showcase of tremendous talent, I am in awe of so many students and their willingness to share their gifts with others. I thank and acknowledge all students involved both performing and behind the scenes. I also thank the staff for this venture and especially acknowledge Mr Mäe, Ms Flick and Mr O’Donnell for their overall organisation.

As we approach the Federal Election on July 2, I ask all members of the community to be mindful of party policies related to education. It is essential that all governments support the education of young people and in our case Catholic Education of young people. Please consider the impact of each candidate’s policies and how this can be advantageous for our future generations.

This week we took possession of the new 25 seater school bus. This resource has been made available through the generosity of the Parents and Friends Association. I am grateful for and thank the Parents and Friends Association for their ongoing support. The bus will certainly make a difference to the transporting of students to various venues. I also acknowledge Townsend Signs for generously providing the signage that appears on the bus.

Over the past few weeks there has been much turmoil in our world with the Orlando massacre, the political killing in Britain, refugee crisis and war in Syria and other examples of people’s inhumanity to others. Even though these events are geographically removed from us it is important that each of us recognises that we have a role to play in promoting and bringing about peace. This can certainly be accomplished through prayer.

St Francis Peace Prayer 

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Last Tuesday a number of present and former members of the Magdalene community attended the funeral of Jenni Byles. Jenni was a student at Magdalene up to 2013 and would have completed Year 12 in 2015. Sadly after a long battle with illness Jenni passed away last week. I ask that everyone in the Magdalene community keep Jenni and the Byles family in their prayers during this very sad time.

This is the final newsletter for the semester and indeed my final newsletter for the year. As of Week One Term 3, Mr Michael Mullaly will assume the role of Acting Principal in my absence. I take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank the  community for their support throughout this year. I also wish everyone a prosperous and productive Semester 2.

God Bless 


Mr John Lo Cascio