St Joseph’s Primary School - O'Connor
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Boronia Drive
O'Connor ACT 2602

Phone: 02 6248 9818
Fax: 02 6247 1792

Week 4 Term 3 2021 Newsletter

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Week 4 Term 3 2021 Newsletter

Dear Parents, Carers and the St Joseph’s Community,


This Sunday we celebrate the Feast Day of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Her lived example and continuing presence within our school community gives comfort and guidance. Her words here reflect that in all that we do, we should be soft and gentle in our footsteps, seeking to ease the journey of those whom we encounter along the way. May St Mary continue to guide our footsteps at this time. 

Professional learning

As a staff, we constantly work to improve what we do so as to positively impact student outcomes. Today the teachers worked to review our Literacy Agreed Practice. This is being informed by the introduction of the InitiLit program in Foundation to Year 2, a need to continue this targeted explicit spelling approach in Year 3 to 6, and considering how best to develop our students as confident and capable writers, and articulate and knowledgeable readers. 

I am always appreciative of and emboldened by the teachers' efforts to reflect on what is working well, where we can continue to improve, and the professional and robust discussions that reflect their expertise. We have a clear intention to ensure our efforts do positively impact student outcomes. 




Once again a reminder to all users of the school carpark and surrounds, to be mindful of the need to take extra care. While many children know the 'road rules' and parents regularly reinforce these when using drop off, there are times even when using the crossing, that cars fail to stop for them. There is no time to be made up getting to work or home, by being careless when driving through the carpark. 

The groups that are working for you

Thank you to the parents who currently sit on the School Board and P&F. These two parent groups work to action ideas and strategy to better the school and to promote our community. All parents are members of the P&F and are able to attend meetings held in Weeks 3 and 6 each term. Members of the School Board are nominated, and elected if necessary, to two-year terms and support the operational aspects of the school. Early in Term 4, nominations will be called for new appointments to the School Board from the start of 2022.

I encourage all parents to consider getting involved in either the P&F or School Board, to take an active role in our school community. 

A great resource

As children grow, they leave behind good quality school uniforms which families donate back to the school. These great quality uniforms are on sale at the moment as we are inundated with stock. 


Have a great end to the week.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


The Feast of Saint Mary MacKillop

Our focus quote for this week from Saint Mary MacKillop is ‘Never see a need without doing something about it’. This is probably one of Mary MacKillop’s most famous quotes. I think the meaning behind these words of our Saint is quite literal - she is asking us not to close our eyes to what is going on around us, she is asking us to keep our ears open and listen to the people in our lives, she is asking us to use our voice to support someone in need or more vulnerable in our community.

People’s needs differ so greatly and I think it is easy for us to become caught up in the business of life, our work and the important people that surround us. Sometimes we need to conscientiously stop, pause, and ponder to understand what other people are experiencing as well. It doesn’t have to be the extreme experiences that other people are exposed to around the world (although it can be), but we do have to think about people other than ourselves. There is so much going on behind the scenes in our lives, we need to be mindful that is likely to be the same for those you encounter as well.

Listening to a podcast whilst driving the other day, the interviewee was speaking about three words that can make all the difference to an individual person's wellbeing - gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. The easy way to remember it is the GEM thinking strategy. The interviewee, Hugh van Cuylenberg, challenges us to practice the GEM thinking strategy each week. If we can identify something that we are grateful for, show empathy for another person's circumstances and be mindful of our words and actions, we have the opportunity to live a more fulfilling life. I believe it is these three virtues that Mary MacKillop practices her in life daily. Mary MacKillop was an educator, a pioneer and a leader, someone who had compassion for others regardless of their situation or race. Galvanised by her belief in the value of education as the foundation for a fulfilling life, Mary’s motto was ‘Never see a need without doing something about it’.

I wonder what needs you have witnessed in your local community, in your family, or at your workplace?

I wonder what actions you could put in place as a first step in responding to this need?


St Joseph’s Sacramental Program

Sacrament of Confirmation

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be held on Wednesday 28 October. Enrolment for this Sacrament is offered to students in Year 6, who have made their Reconciliation and Holy Communion. Further information regarding enrolments and preparation for this Sacrament will be provided in Term 3.

Date of Sacrament:                Thursday 28 October

Time:                                       5:30pm

Registrations:                          Opening online at the end of Term 3 on the Parish website:

Sacrament Retreat Day:         TBA

All enrolments and payments must be done via the St Joseph’s Parish Website (not the school Qkr! account). Workbooks will be provided to each student enrolled and are to be completed at home, with their parents.         

Father’s Day:


Important Term 3 Dates:


For further information or any questions regarding Religious Education and events, please feel free to contact me via email: .

Michelle Vuli

Religious Education Coordinator

Sustainability in Action

Congratulations to our outstanding Tree Photography Competition winners. There were several entries and all teachers conducted the voting over the course of the day. This will be an annual contest, so keep this in mind over the coming year as the trees change in all of their beautiful ways.


 First Prize, F-2 Category

Ayla A

Year 1


  First Prize, 3-4 Category

Maeve M

Year 4 


First Prize, 5-6 Category

Daniel M

Year 6

Trees are poems the earth writes upon the sky"

- Khalil Gibran

 Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 

Defence School Mentor News

We are thrilled that another Defence family has joined us, with a new student in Year 2. It is so exciting hearing the stories and adventures each new family has been on. As the term progresses I will begin focusing on students who we know will be moving on at the end of the year. This can be a tricky time for Defence families and I am looking forward to helping the children navigate the changes ahead.

Community news

The Duntroon Community Centre will be hosting a number of events for members and non-members. (excluding Fathers Day). Please register your interest at the links below.


Vision Boarding with Dee (Think Out Loud):

Kids Movie Afternoon at DCC:

Father's Day morning tea and games:

Kids Cooking Class with Nutrition Australia:

Sally Adams

Defence School Mentor


Jackie French

Yesterday, we were privileged to have renowned Australian author Jackie French visit St Joseph’s to talk to the students. Jackie has written over 200 books for all ages, including Wombat goes to School and Josephine wants to Dance.

Jackie spoke about her early days of writing and how her stories came about to be published. She also spoke about the different ways in which wombats communicate as well as her favourite book that she has written. Jackie then spent some time reading to Foundation White and 2 Yellow, what a treat!

When I was speaking with students later in the day, they told me how inspired they were to start writing even if they felt they were not great writers themselves.

We would like to thank Jackie for so generously giving her time at St Joseph’s this year.

Georgina Jaram 

 Teacher Librarian

Without the support of the volunteers, the canteen would not be able to function. I would love to see some new faces. If anyone is free, even for a hour or two please don’t hesitate to pop in or email

Regards Katie Jenkin

Canteen Manager

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Students receive their award at Friday morning assembly at 8.50am. Parents are again welcome to attend this assembly, but photos will continue to be taken each week and shared via SZapp. 

Foundation Red

Harrison W

Zachary T

Foundation White

Hamish M

Poppy Z

1 Purple

Charles P

Ayla A

1 Teal

Ivy E

Xander W

2 Magenta

Levi I

Ajmer S

2 Yellow

Leo W

Gonzalo O-H

3 Black

Shamita B

Alice P

3 Navy

Mary C

Marcos D C

4 Gold

Hamish McR

Ashley F

4 Green

Aidan McG

Olivia O

5 Blue

Maggie M

Samuel S

5 Orange

Reese McG

Hamish E

6 Lime

Leon F-S

Sophie M

6 Silver

Joshua O

Roshni N


Sebastian R

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:


Sophia A
Dechen P
George P
Gianluca P
Hamish McR
Benjamin C
Marvin R



See the St Joseph's Entertainment Guide link here