Friday 29 May 2020 

Our Lady Help of Christians

One calendar cancellation this year was the whole College Mass to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians—24 May. Consequently, our senior student leaders lead the College in prayer using TEAMS for a short part of the Pastoral lesson, period 2 on Thursday.
These TEAMS meetings take time, require precise planning and the indulgence of attendees. We thank those who joined with Mrs Dolores Maitland, the student leaders, Mr Peter Shaw, other staff and Grace Ollerenshaw for their assistance with this College Liturgy.
The infant Church in Australia had a special reason for turning to Mary. In those, mostly priestless days, prior to 1844, it was largely the Rosary that kept the faith alive. Catholic Australia remained faithful to Mary, and was the first nation to choose her, under the title of Our Lady Help of Christians, as Principal Patron.
Having a College Liturgy, where we pray to God through Mary, can help us find brightness and hope in our faith and prayer and remind us to take care of ourselves, each other and all our loved ones.
National Sorry Day

May 26 is National Sorry Day, a day where we acknowledge and recognise the grief, injustice and the resilience of the Stolen Generations
On the 26th May 1997 the Bringing them home report was presented in Federal Parliament and brought to light the atrocities of various assimilation and “protection” policies that led to the forced removal of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families, community and cultures creating the Stolen Generations. 
In the spirit of reconciliation, it is important that we reflect on this dark time in our Country’s history and consider the intergenerational trauma that may affect our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, staff, and community. 
May 27 also marked the start of National Reconciliation Week (NRW). The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively. I encourage each of your to get involved in National Reconciliation Week. 
Throughout NRW several videos will be shared with students, which will include questions to spark discussions around reconciliation.  These videos include:

  1. Our History, Our Story, Our Future (courtesy of Reconciliation Australia)
  2. Intergenerational Trauma Video (courtesy of The Healing Foundation)
At enrolment interviews I ask Year 6 students, what sort of brother/sister are you. Not surprisingly, the replies are quite honest. Consequently, what sort of 'brother/sister' are we to our fellow Australians? I reply with either, ‘Well done. That’s how it should be.’ or ‘Maybe you should change it up and lead the way, because they’re the only brothers/sisters you have, and you can make a difference.’
COVID-19 Expectations and Guidelines

As we’ve welcomed students back to school our resolute/earnest mood is gradually shifting. Certainly, we remain mindful of the coronavirus. Unfortunately, it will be with us for a long time. Our responsibility is to each other, and especially to those amongst us who might be more vulnerable to serious complications if they become infected. Let’s treat everyone with care.
The most important ways to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the school environment are the same as in the broader community:
· Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or an alcohol-based sanitiser.
· Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
· Avoid touching your face, nose and mouth, and avoid shaking hands.
· Stay home if you are sick. This is the most important thing you can do. If you have any respiratory symptoms, please get tested for COVID-19.
· Practice social distancing, including staying 1.5 metres away from others as much as you can.
Dr Jeannette Young, Chief Health Officer
  • Hand sanitizer is provided for students upon entry and exit of each class lesson
  • Classroom social distancing is determined by a seating plan and restrictions on student movement. Department of Education advise that physical distancing of 1.5m is not required for students during classroom activities. Operating Guidelines 11 May
  • Both staff-to-staff and staff-to-student social distancing of 1.5m applies at all time
  • Additional daily cleaning now includes all desks, all high touchpoints both in and outside of classrooms
  • Toilets are equipped with suitable handwashing facilities
  • Outdoor picnic tables will be disinfected daily
  • Signage, ongoing reminders and directives to socially distance must be followed
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own water containers
  • The tuckshop will provide limited service. Students are encouraged to bring their own food

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Academic Leaders and Teachers have been asked to work together to assess the ‘gaps’ that Alternative Learning Arrangements may have caused for some or, perhaps, many learners. We have asked that our staff re-consider teaching and assessment through to the end of Term 2 in this light. Teaching and assessment will continue until the last day of Term 2. Marking and reporting will occur in until Week 1 & 2 of Term 3 with reports published in Week 3. This extra teaching time should allow students and teachers to cover sufficient learning and complete sufficient assessment, to make reasonable judgements of students’ effort and progress for Semester 1. Nevertheless, this year’s Semester 1 Report will include a note that the report includes the period when student learning was affected by COVID-19 and special considerations have been applied.
Appreciation to Staff and Parents

We are most appreciative of the understanding of parents for the manner in which you addressed the challenges of the last weeks of Term 1 and the first five weeks of this term. While some students treated the restart as if they were beginning the year again, all seemed to be settling by weeks’ end. At the start of the year it usually takes until St Patrick’s Day—so, thank you to the students as well. Clearly, they were happy to be back; and they were happy to say they were, as well.
I think the staff were still feeling the sense of disruption and challenge as this week closed. They have done a mighty job for their students and it is to their great credit. The manner of the parent response has recognised this and the spirit of understanding and working together was essential to getting through the Alternative Arrangements for Learning. We need to rely on this same spirit, whatever the 'gaps' we find in student learning, if we need to close school for deep cleaning due to COVID-19, or if restrictions remain tight for longer than we anticipate. We all feel the weight and the quality of what has been done to this point. Thank you to each one of you for your contribution.

Chris Noonan

Afternoon car park arrangements

Parents are not permitted to enter our schools to meet their children at pickup.

The following changes to pick-up apply:

All Parents
  • Do not enter the College to use the Kiss & Go before 2:45pm unless picking up Primary school children without College siblings
  • Do not use the church car park pick-up before 3:20pm unless you have children in Prep, Year 1 or Year 2 as the church car park will be at capacity during this time
  • Do not park in the pick-up zone in the council car park
  • Do not enter the staff car park
  • Do not park illegally
Students with siblings in Prep, Year 1 and Year 2
  • From 2:30pm Primary School Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 children are held in the Marymount Primary School Multi-purpose Centre until their parents car enters the church car park zone
  • Student entry to the pickup zone is controlled by Primary teachers between 2:30pm-3:20pm
  • College students with siblings in Prep, Year 1 and Year 2 can go to the Multi-purpose Centre for pick-up from 2:58pm
Year 9 and 10
  • For pick-up of Year 9 and 10 students, please use the pick-up zone in the council car park. This runs parallel to the bus zone.
Year 7, 8, 11 and 12
  • Use the Kiss & Go after 3:00pm for College students


Calendar dates

Friday 26 June - Last Day Term 2

Religious life of the school

“For all the gloom of COVID-19
there are still many blessings to be shared and to be grateful for.”
Archbishop Mark invites you to share yours to spread a message of hope in the community.

It has been wonderful to see the school come back to life over the past three weeks with the gradual return of the students.

Student leaders have been visiting their assigned junior classes during this past week to spend some time with the students and to lead them in their morning prayer. 

The cancellations of events, gatherings and lockdowns have challenged us to do many things differently including cancellation of the Year 9 Reflection Day and the Year 11 Retreat and, this week we would have been celebrating our annual College Mass. We have, however, had a meaningful Liturgy of the Word in which we gave thanks for the gifts and blessings we have received at this time. We celebrated Mary The Mother of Jesus as our patron and protector and reflected on Mary’s steadfast faith in God, her courage and strength, generosity, gentleness and patience in all the challenges she faced and what we learn from her for our own lives. 

The reflective mood was enhanced by the beautiful singing of Hail Mary Gentle Woman by  Mr Peter Shaw and the Magnificat by Grace Ollerenshaw, Year 7. As always, support staff’s support was generous and much appreciated. Brothers Lensa and Sefo Lo Tam filmed and edited the liturgy which was broadcast vis Teams to the classes. The journey of preparing the liturgy with such enthusiastic colleagues and students makes it such a privilege to do so. It is indeed a wonderful prayer of thanksgiving for all our blessings.

Small Blessings

You may have seen Brisbane Archdiocese’s Small Blessings campaign on social media.

Small Blessings is a community campaign that celebrates the good deeds we do for each other in times of need like we are experiencing now. It was developed to encourage people to share a message of hope and positivity through the small blessings they are creating and seeing around them each day.

Our Archbishop is asking Catholic school students and staff to consider submitting their own small blessing online.

Dolores Maitland

Social Justice

Interact Club

With great initiative from our student members, Marymount Interact was able to send messages of love and encouragement to the senior citizens of Ozanam Villa.

Social Director Halle Wiblen (9) assembled messages from students to form a card of warm thoughts. Local Director Ruby Allen (8) coordinated video announcements.
In place of our regular Mother’s Day visit, students were tremendously excited to be involved in a meaningful project during their period of isolation. Equally, the residents appreciated the assurance of being remembered especially at this time. Josie’s words express the sentiments all of us feel.

Board members continue their creative drive with the Interact Quarantine Art Competition.
Message from Social Director – Halle Wiblen

We know that Covid-19 and the quarantine has unfortunately cancelled or postponed a lot of fun events and activities in Marymount College. However, the Interact Board has decided to run an ‘Interact Quarantine Art Competition’ to boost morale and involvement within the school.
We invite all who enjoy art to participate. There are prizes to be won and your work will be displayed for everyone to enjoy. There will be three categories: Year 7s and 8s, Year 9s and 10s and Year 11s and 12s. The theme for this art competition is anything that you feel represents Marymount College and its correlation to your time during the Covid19.
Any form of medium is welcome - painting, drawing, sculpture. All art will be due June 15 in Week 9.
It’s free entry, but you must send an email to Halle, the Social Director, registering your interest. Give your name and your Year level.
More information about the location for submitting your artwork will come later once we determine the numbers of people interested.
Thank you very much and stay safe,
The Marymount Interact Board


Welcome back

It is so great to see the return of all year levels to school. The past nine weeks have been particularly unsettling for a number of people in our extended community and we continue to pray for the well-being of all of our families.

Our students have all returned over the last two weeks and have slipped straight back into College life - albeit with some very noticeable changes. As Years 7-10 returned this week, it was timely to have a discussion in the Pastoral Class to say goodbye to our Alternate Learning Programs and resume what we call face to face teaching.
The following points were discussed with the students:
Recess times have been extended by 10 minutes to allow more time for movement and at lockers. Common sense needs to be used if locker areas are too busy. Students are not to hang around lockers. They need to move in and out of the area as quickly as possible. Students are not to stand and wait for friends.

  • Tuck shop is open, but students are encouraged to bring their own lunch to avoid long line ups. Students need to follow the distance markings on the ground.
  • No games on the ovals can involve contact. Oval privileges will be removed for obvious breaches.
  • Students are not to approach teachers. A distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained.
  • Do not crowd around classroom doors. Allow teachers easy access to the rooms.
  • Once students are in the classroom they are to remain in their seats.
  • Use hand sanitiser provided by the teacher when entering and exiting the classroom.
  • When using stairs, stay on the left-hand side. If stairwells are too crowded, use common sense and wait for the crowd to move on.
  • All school rules apply. Do the right thing. Say the right thing. Bring the right thing.

I encourage parents and caregivers to reiterate these points with their children. Safety and well-being are of the utmost importance during these times and with a little bit of care and attention to detail, our schools will remain open and our students can enjoy the excellent holistic education that Marymount College offers.
Geoff Browne
Deputy Principal

Watch Special Report

SPECIAL REPORT: Coronavirus - The Transition Back

As lockdown restrictions are slowly being lifted to varying degrees, we enter a time of transition and adjustment. The circumstances of this situation have significantly impacted us all. For some, it has been an opportunity to reflect on what is important, whilst others have embraced the opportunity to learn new things.

Many young people may be excited at the prospect of restrictions being lifted; others may feel mixed emotions. Reactions will differ depending on how well they cope with stress and change. Keeping a check on your child’s mental health and wellbeing as they adjust to new routines, will be vitally important.

There is still a lot of uncertainty ahead of us, so focusing on the things you can control or enjoy doing or even value, can help establish predictability and familiarity for the whole family. Adult carers need to provide young people with reassurance by acknowledging any concerns and fears they may have at this time. Consider this to be a normal reaction, however, it may be best to focus more on their feelings and emotions, rather than the practicalities at this stage.

In this Special Report, we share a few ideas to help ease this time of transition and adjustment. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback. 

If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.

Vivian Savage
Assistant Principal Pastoral

Providing absence notifications

This is important for the safety and wellbeing of all students. When a student cannot attend school for any reason, it is expected that the legal guardian will notify Student Reception by 8:00am on the day of absence.

It is College preference that ALL absence notifications are received by one of the four methods below:
  1. Parent Portal: Click on Report Student Absence
  2. BCE Connect App: Absences
  3. In-Person: verbally or via a hand-written letter by the parent or carer. This may take the form of a medical certificate if the child has been absent for multiple days with illness.
  4. Telephone: 5586 1007 or 5586 1095 (not the preferred option)

Year 12

The Year 12s have been back for three weeks now and after the expected initial shock to the system of adjusting to the school environment, it has been pleasing to see them find their groove.

We congratulate the seniors on the way they engaged with the remote learning at the beginning of the term, but there was a palpable sense of relief from most of them to be back in the classroom, not to mention in the yard, with their friends again. The energy that they bring to the College was missed while they were away, and we hope that they are here to stay from this point forward.

General subjects

For students studying General subjects, the coursework being completed between now and the end of the year is directed towards the external exams. Whilst having such a long time to prepare will be beneficial, there is the potential to be lulled into a false sense of security by it. It is extremely important that students are in the habit of revising classwork each week, and going back over notes from relevant content, to ensure that they place themselves in the best position possible in the lead up to the exams. It takes commitment, and largely intrinsic motivation, to do this effectively, but we thank the parents and caregivers for being on hand for some much-needed extrinsic motivation as well.

Applied subjects

Students studying Applied subjects continue through their coursework throughout the year. Staying up to date is vital to ensure that they can complete the assessments and competencies that will lead to the satisfactory completion of certificate courses, as well as ensure they gain credit points towards their QCE.

Year level leaders

With the return of the junior students this week, our student leadership team have actively engaged with welcoming them back by visiting pastoral groups and offering assistance where needed. Four student leaders are assigned to each of the Year levels. The connections between senior and junior students is vital to the community spirit fostered at Marymount and these visits by our student leaders will continue throughout the year.

Matt Carroll & Irene Scott
Head and Assistant Head of Year 11

Year 9

Welcome back

It was wonderful to welcome back all Year 9 students on Monday. There was certainly a buzz around the school as students greeted each other. A number of students commented that they were so happy to be back to see friends and teachers. If anything, I think these last weeks at home have made us all appreciate school. 

Merit awards

Many students in Year 9 will be receiving merit awards this week because of their hard work at home. While remote learning has been challenging, many students have produced excellent work. We congratulate these students and encourage all students to continue working hard at school.

Pastoral Cup

As part of our pastoral program, we have decided to run a pastoral cup over the next three weeks. This means that pastoral classes will compete against each other to win house points and prizes. Because we have to be mindful of social distancing, the cup will be run with each class staying in their pastoral rooms.
The program is as follows:
Week 7 – Year 9 Quiz
Week 8 – Year 9 Scavenger Hunt
Week 9 – Funny Captions & Cartoon competition.
We look forward to building a sense of competition between the houses while having some fun.

Donations of backpacks for Rosies

Rosies (an outreach organisation for the homeless) has put a call out for donations of new or used backpacks. We are asking Year 9 students to bring in backpacks that homeless people across the Gold Coast can use. Alarmingly, there has been a rise in homeless people during this time of Covid-19. This has meant that Rosies does not have any backpacks to hand out to the homeless at the moment. Could you please check around the house for backpacks that you do not use and bring to school? If you would also like to donate a new backpack, that is great. Please drop any packs at the Campus Ministers' office or the Year 9 office. This is a great opportunity for us to do something for those less fortunate.
Thank you in advance.

Nicky Browne & Matt Geyer
Head and Assistant Head of Year 9

Year 8

Pastoral Program

Students will be completing a journal activity in pastoral care on their “Covid Experience” it is important to reflect on how are lives have changed, as in 50 years time, people will ask us what was it like to live through this time. There will also be an artistic prize for the student who produces a drawing on their Covid Experience and we will place it in the next newsletter along with the winner.

We are all in this together

It is great to have all Year 8 students back in classes, engaging in lessons and enjoying spending time with friends after a long break away. There will be ups and downs as we settle back into the “normal” school term but remember routine is key. Strategies like, good sleep patterns, limits on devices, family time and doing some physical activity will all help in the development of our students. If students are feeling things are difficult or overwhelmed, Mr. Carroll and myself are always here as Year Coordinator to support you as well as our fantastic counsellors. 

A final message to all of our Year 8 girls and boys, you are made in the image of God, you are perfect. 

Peter Carroll & Hannah Richardson
Head and Assistant Head of Year 8

Smart device policy

Smart Devices (mobile phones, SMART watches, and similar devices) are not to be used during school days between 8:00am—3:00pm and all school-related activities.

The SMART device must be turned off and secured in the student’s locker when the student arrives at school. Students are permitted to check messages briefly during breaks at their lockers.
  • Teacher permission is granted for use in the relevant class only. Safekeeping of SMART devices is the responsibility of the owner.
  • Student is in the tuckshop line purchasing food and requires their smart device to do so.
The use of the SMART device, within the scope of this policy, is during the normal hours of the school day — 8:00am to 3:00pm. Please note that this policy includes no SMART devices in the Library from 8:00am to 3:30pm. Misuse outside these hours, but while on school premises will fall within the scope of the Student Behaviour Support Plan of the College.


Senior Curriculum

Year 10 Careers, SET Planning and Subject Selection for Senior schooling for Term 3 have been under review.

Important Dates

Planned meetings remain as originally published:

  • Monday 27 July Year 11 Subject Selection Information Presentation
  • Monday 3 August SET Plan Interviews
  • Friday 7 August Due Date initial online Subject Selection
Presentation format

The format of these presentations will be decided on by Government policy on social distancing at these points in time. If face-to-face meetings are not possible, we envisage meeting via Microsoft Teams.

Initial Year 11 Subject Selection

Points to note:
  • Subject selection is through the online system operated by the College
  • Prerequisites must be met for the selection of many General subjects e.g. English, Maths Methods
These have been previously published and are available on page 13 of the 2020 Year 11 & 12 Subject Selection Booklet
  • The Semester One report will be published in Term 3 Week 3 using 5 point, A – E scale
  • Students will receive a Statement of Results for prerequisite subjects using a 15 point, A+- E- e.g. B+, B0, B-, C+, C0, C- consistent with their reported result. Special consideration for COVID-19 will apply when determining the Reported Results outcomes and the Statement of Results outcomes.

Peter Shaw
Assistant Principal Senior Curriculum


Alternate Learning for the Marymount Dance Department was a complete success. Congratulations to more than 100 junior and senior Dance students who engaged, danced and improvised, sharing their lives and homes over the past two months. 

While at a distance, you were never alone, and discipline of dance helped to keep you creative and motivated. 

The Year 11 & 12 students reflected on their learning in isolation:
We still got to do prac. which was good to get up and get moving;
I got to sleep in and grab food whenever I wanted. I did most of my work because I tried to make sure I didn't have homework.

Year 8-10 students’ responses included:
(Alternate Learning in Dance) was very good; I learnt a lot impacted me in a positive way as it got me up and active when in the practical and I learnt a lot in the theory side.
Yes, I have enjoyed dance class online. It has… challenged me as I have never done it before, and now I have a new skill and have learnt an important lesson about online learning for the future.

This Year 10s reflection about the pandemic and social isolation was echoed by a number of students:
It has shown me a bigger picture of how the world can change in seconds, and we have got to be more grateful about everything.

Marymount's dancers from Years 7-12 have shown great commitment, courage and creativity with this COVID-challenge and they should be proud of their efforts. We'll all appreciate being back in the classroom, and back together again, even more from now on.

Shona Press
Dance Coordinator

Library and Resource Centre

Premier’s Reading Challenge

Welcome to this week’s extra participants to the PRC – we now have 33 students signed up to read for the next 13 weeks!   Just remember to write down everything you read on the Reader Record form.  Although we are not fully ‘open for business’ I do invite our participants to come to the Library and stock up on some reading matter.  We have novels, Skinnies, graphic novels of all sorts as well as some interesting non-fiction.

Thank you to all those who have returned their books this week.  Let’s see if we can’t find those last ones! In line with recommendations, we currently are not touching returned books for 24 hours, before the covers are cleaned and the books returned to the shelf.

We’ve been pleased with the increased numbers of students (mostly Seniors) coming into the Library at breaktimes to study, but as we are still abiding by social distancing rules, our Makerspace has turned into a Takeaway service! Students are welcome to come and take an activity away with them – just take a photo of the finished item for the Newsletter!
Pets and books

And some of Mr Garrett’s Class 7MM took it upon themselves to take photos of their pets enjoying a book during their COVID isolation!  Who says pets can’t quietly enjoy themselves too! 

Janet Cartlidge
Teacher Librarian

Books and pets

Two of the greatest things in life - books and pets. 

Recently 7MM combined these two sources of happiness in life. Reading is very important and has experienced renewed attention, a renaissance of sorts, during Covid19-related isolation. Book sales have soared throughout the world as people have taken the time to reacquaint themselves with the sublime pleasure, imagination and satisfaction reading provides.
7MM love reading and their pets:

Rahni Kerr: ‘Reading is my everyday activity.’
Olivia Walker-Munro: ‘Harry Potter is really magic…My cat sat on my book.’
Jackson Hall: ‘I have three books I’m reading right now.’
Lochlann Ardouin: ‘My cat is usually asleep, it was easy to get the book photo.’

Please enjoy these wonderful—and ridiculously cute—pet and book photos from 7MM.
Garrett Fitzgerald
Humanities Teacher

Careers & Vocational Education

University/TAFE Zoom Presentations

In conjunction with Gold Coast based institutions, students have been invited to take part in Marymount College tailored Zoom presentations. These events have provided essential information followed by invaluable Question and Answer sessions open to students and parents.
For those who may have missed out on taking part in these, presentation links (Griffith University/Southern Cross University) have been uploaded to the Marymount College website, and have been emailed to senior students.
  • Thursday 28 May 2020 at 1:30pm, Bond University present Year 11 and 12  (via Zoom)  Beyond High School session and answer questions  
  • Thursday 4 June 2020 at 1:30pm, Bond University present their scholarship session to Year 12 (via Zoom). 
We will forward further details on both events to students’ email and to each household. Stay tuned for other events including Australian Catholic University and TAFE over the coming weeks.  We highly recommend participation. 
Australian Catholic University – Community Achiever Program

The ACU Community Achiever Program (CAP) is open to students who volunteer for local community, social justice, sporting or cultural causes.  In return, successful students will gain early entry and tap into leadership and development opportunities. The program is now open and closes on Wednesday 29 July 2020. For further information, visit or see the Marymount College Careers Centre.
2021 Year 12 Bond University Entry Requirements

To ensure Year 12 students are not disadvantaged by current circumstances, Bond University will be accepting applications from Year 12 based on their first semester results. These special entry requirements include all undergraduate programs, with the exception of the Bond Medical Program. For further details, visit or see the Marymount College Careers Centre.
Griffith University – VET Pathways

Griffith University has released a revised VET pathway flyer containing all degree’s that students can pathway into 2021 using their VET qualification. This document is also displayed on the Marymount College Careers Centre noticeboard.
TAFE Queensland – Direct Entry 2021

TAFE Queensland offers practical diploma courses, commencing Semester 1,2021.  Through the Direct Entry program, TAFE offers early placement into diploma courses based on a students’ commitment to high school vocational studies.  For further details, visit or see the Marymount College Careers Centre. 
Also, keep an eye out for presentations provided by TAFE in the coming months for more on this popular program.


In this new instalment of QCup Marymount is showcasing our special talents! In addition, we are introducing the new challenge, your best Tiktok’s. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t gone viral yet, we still want to see what you’ve created. Please submit to the link below. Thank you, Corbin Zahn and Cameron Saliba
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