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 1 Term 3 2019 Newsletter

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Week 1 Term 3 2019 Newsletter

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

Welcome back to the new term. I trust that you all had some time as a family to enjoy the break from the school routine. Incredibly, we are now into the second half of the year and with this comes a couple of changes and announcements.


I am pleased to announce that Carolyn McFarland has been seconded to the position of Wellbeing and Diversity Office at Catholic Education, Canberra and Goulburn for the remainder of the 2019 school year. During this time, Carolyn will continue in her role as Classroom Support Teacher on Wednesday and Thursday at St Joseph’s, and fulfill her new role at Catholic Education on the other days. On behalf of the St Joseph’s community, I congratulate Carolyn on this appointment and wish her well in her new role.

A temporary part-time Classroom Support Teacher position has been advertised on the Catholic Education website and an appointment will be made in the coming weeks.

Over the break I visited Catherine Parmenter and she is doing very well. Following surgery towards the end of Term 2 and a positive outcome, she is now well on the road to recovery. Catherine will continue to take leave in the coming weeks, anticipating being able to take the second half of Term 3 as Long Service Leave to enjoy some time in the sun somewhere. We continue to keep Catherine in our thoughts and prayers as she recovers.

We officially welcome Linley Ellis on staff this term, replacing Catherine Parmenter. Linley will continue her work in the Library during Term 3. The Seasons for Growth program that was due to run in Term 3 with Catherine, will now run in Term 4.

Building Project

After numerous delays and some challenges in preparing the site, the Stage 2 building project has been given final approval and has now gone to tender. The building project includes the construction of 4 new classrooms at the end of the Foundation corridor, extending out towards the storage container under the trees. This will be followed immediately by a full refurbishment of the current Year 1 and 2 classrooms, downstairs in the original school building. The anticipated completion of the 4 new classrooms will be the end of Term 1, 2020. The anticipated completion of the refurbished classrooms will be the end of Term 3, 2020. With a more clear timeline in place, planning for the 2020 school year and preparations for the building works will continue. Included here is a floor plan, as well as two ‘artist’s impressions of the building works. In the coming week, the plans and architectural diagrams will be displayed  outside the Library for the community to view.


As parents, it can be good to hear from others about their experience or expertise in particular areas. Anxiety in our children is currently a great concern for many parents and below is a link to a seminar hosted by Michael Grose and Dr. Jodi Richardson, co-authors of a new book, Anxious Kids: How children can turn their anxiety into resilience. Please see full details for the seminar by following the link.

Anxious Kids Seminar

Afternoon Pick Up

It has been brought to our attention that there are some unsafe practices occurring on Macarthur Ave at afternoon pick up time. Parents, if you are going to park on Macarthur Ave to collect your child/ren, please park on the school side of the road and have them enter the car from the curb side. A concerned past parent witnessed on a couple of occasions, children running onto the road to get into the street side of the parked car. We always want to ensure the safest practices around our school at drop off and pick up times.

Transition from Skoolbag to Schoolzine (SZapp)

Following the successful transition of our newsletter from PDF to the new online version on the Schoolzine (SZapp) platform, this term we will continue to move more of what we do across from Skoolbag to Schoolzine (SZapp). Anytime there is going to be a change, we will communicate this well in advance, but it is expected that by the end of the year that all school-wide communication with parents will be via the Schoolzine (SZapp) platform. This includes alerts and also completion of online absence notes. If you are yet to download SZapp, the instructions are included at the end of this newsletter. Further details will be sent out in the coming weeks regarding the first changes.


Don't forget to follow our page on Facebook to keep up to date and to support our fantastic school.

This term, we will be starting 'meet the teacher' posts. Teachers will be answering questions the students want to know about them. Believe me, there are some very interesting questions! 

Have a great end to the week.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Prayer and Worship

Personal Prayer

Over the July break I was privileged to be a part of a group of Catholic Leaders who undertook a faith formation study tour called Leading the New Evangelisation. This study tour involved an overseas trip with a week in London and a week in Rome and Assisi. Our group from Australia was blessed to be accompanied by our very own Archbishop, Christopher Prowse. Over the two week study tour we spent time with our colleagues in Catholic education to deepen our knowledge of our Catholic faith. While the study tour was jam packed with an abundance of life changing experiences, I would like to share with you my key takeaways.

Above all else, God is love, and he seeks a relationship with us every second of every day.

  1. To develop our relationship with God we need to spend time with him everyday.
  2. Through spending time with him we can begin to listen to what God is wanting us to do with our lives.
  3. God's love is so great that he sent his son Jesus to teach about this love and bring about reconciliation between us and God.
  4. He does not want us to keep his great love to ourselves but wants us to share this great love with others.

I will be honest, finding time on a daily basis to spend with God and listen to what he wants from us can be a challenge. I am a working mum with four children and finding quiet moments in the hustle and bustle of life, where there is always something that needs doing, is a constant pressure. It is easier to talk to God when we want something from him or we feel grateful for something. What is harder is the listening part of our relationship with God. God wants to develop his relationship with us and speak to us. He speaks to us through his word, the Bible, and in those moments when we are open to listening to him. I use a number of ways to make sure I prioritise listening to God every day. This week I invite you to try one of these ways, even if you only start with a few minutes a day.


  1. Each morning, before the rest of the house awakens, I use the Universalisapp available at the Apple App Store to read the Gospel of the day though Lectio Divina. Lectio Divina is prayer practice of reading scripture, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word.
  2. Recently I have also been using Pray as You Go, which is available as an
  3. or online at:
  4. I am also subscribed to receive daily Gospel Reflections from the Archdiocese of Canberra & Goulburn. Each morning at 6.00am I receive an email which unpacks the Gospel of the day. You can subscribe to receive this email at:

St Joseph’s Parish Community Connection

On Sunday the 4th August, at 9am, we will have our first shared School-Parish Mass at St Joseph’s Church led by Year 4 students and their families. All members of our St Joseph’s community are invited to attend Mass and afterwards for morning tea.

Catholic Liturgical Life

Liturgical Season: Ordinary Time

Liturgical Season Colour: Green

In the Gospel for this coming Sunday, the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Luke (Luke 11:1-13) teaches the disciples about prayer. Luke writes more about Jesus praying than any other Gospel writer. He also writes more about Jesus' teachings on prayer. In today's reading Jesus teaches his disciples the Lord's Prayer and assures them that God hears our prayers. To explain prayer in a way that the disciples will understand, Jesus first tells the parable about a persistent neighbour who asks a friend for bread at midnight. The friend is already in bed and has no desire to disturb his family by opening the door. But because the neighbour is persistent, the sleeping man gets up and gives him all that he needs. If a neighbour is willing to help us if we are persistent enough, how could God not respond to our requests? This lesson concludes with the reminder that if we seek, we will get a response.


Student Prayer Focus

Our Student Prayer Focus this week focuses on Aboriginal Spirituality for NAIDOC week. NAIDOC week is celebrated around Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This week at St Joseph’s, we have been celebrating NAIDOC Week. One important form of prayer for Aboriginal people is Dadirri. The following is an excerpt for how you can experience Dadirri. 

Reserve a space regularly for about 5 minutes, in the morning or evening. Go outside if you can. Simply sit and look at and listen to the earth and environment that surrounds you.

Focus on something specific, such as a bird, a blade of grass, a clump of soil, cracked earth, a flower, bush or leaf, a cloud in the sky or a body of water, whatever you can see.

You can also let something find you, be it a leaf, the sound of a bird, the feel of the breeze, the light on a tree trunk. There's no need to try, just wait a while.

Be still and silent and listen.

Following this quiet time, there may be, on occasion, value in expressing in some way your experience of this quiet, still listening. You may wish to talk about the experience or journal, write poetry, draw, paint or sing. This needs to be held in balance - the key to dadirri is in simply being, rather than in outcomes and activity.

Source: Deep listening (dadirri) - Creative Spirits, retrieved from


Sacrament of Confirmation

Students in Year 6 can now be enrolled in the Sacrament of Confirmation at the link below. Please add the Sacrament of Confirmation and preparation session dates and times to your calendars. A reminder that the Sacrament of Confirmation will take place with Archbishop Christopher Prowse on the last Sunday of the holidays before Term 4 commences.

Please enrol at

If you do not have a Google account you can use your child’s school account to register. Please contact Father Paul if you have any questions about the Sacrament of Confirmation at:

Confirmation Classes

(Year 6)

5.15pm in the Learning Hub followed by Mass at 6.00pm in the Church

Saturday 31 August

Saturday 7 September

Saturday 14 September

Saturday 21 September

Sacrament of Confirmation

Sunday 13 October 9am

 Social Action & Justice

Last term, interested children brought home some information about our Market Day on the 8th August to help raise money for the Riamabana Orphanage Academy in Kenya. Children can work on their own, in friendship or family groups to contribute to our Market Day. This week, during break times, I will meet with interested children to discuss how I can support these children to run their market stall successfully.


This year, we have been asked to support the building of an additional toilet block as the Riamamana Orphanage has outgrown the existing facilities. This will significantly improve the conditions for the children and will cost $2 500.

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator 

Defence Kids Club will start up in Week 3 of this term. On Tuesday this week, I was out of the school attending a professional development day focusing on the delivery of KidSMART and Tyler Turtle learning tools for children of Defence Families. This event is hosted by DCO and is focusing on consistent support for Defence families and adding value to the DSM program. 

Term 3 ADF Martial Arts Association Anti Bullying Program begins on July 27.

Please see the Self Defence Flyer below for more information.


A Message from Soldier On

Welcome to July. The winter Solace has passed and we are back on the way to summer! Whilst the Soldier On ACT team is going to be taking some time over July to prep for the next few months, our regular activities are still on to help get you out of the house. Check out our Other News for the chance to be involved in a couple of studies looking at helping the defence community.

For information about all our other activities and events, head to our website calendar, or our latest journal!

Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Levi I

Toby S

3 Silver

Lucy P

Dexta W

Foundation White

Phoebe G

Chase S

4 Blue

Skye P

Thomas F

1 Purple

Madison A

Amelia F

Edward V-F

4 Orange

Kennedy W

Amy D

Milli C

1 Teal

Yaanih N

Emanuel S

5 Gold

Milana R

Bridgette D

2 Magenta

Zak P

Kayla N

5 Green

Isabelle T

Cameron J

2 Yellow

Stefano V

Amy H

6 Black

Ellajen H

Aidan B

3 Lime

Jacob C

Daniel G

Kitty H


Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week.

Sophie P
Kayla N
Alice P
Kendryck M




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Position Vacant MacKillop House- Lyneham

Maintenance Officer / Handy Person

We are seeking a motivated and experienced maintenance person with a commitment to providing a safe and well-presented environment for our residents, staff and clients. In this role you will focus on delivering a wide range of maintenance tasks that ensure the buildings and grounds are attractive, clean, safe and functional. This role is for approximately 20 hours a week, Monday to Friday mornings, and will suit a self-starter with a good knowledge of most trades. This role will initially be for a six month period with  possible extension.

For further information about the role please contact Sr Jenny Scally on 02 6249 6182 or via

Applications, comprising a cover letter and resume, should be submitted via email to by COB Monday 5 August 2019.