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 5 Term 3 2019 Newsletter

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Week 5 Term 3 2019 Newsletter

Book Week


What a wonderful celebration today of all things reading and a love of books! With characters from Thing 1 & 2 to Harry Potter, Cindarella to Where's Wally, the students brought their faviourite books to life to reveal that reading truly is their Secret Power. Thank you to all the students and the parents for their enthusiasm in dressing up for our parade today.

In the Library at the moment is a wide range of selected books for sale as part of our Book Week Book Fair. All students have had a chance to browse the books and create a 'wish list' that they have taken home. All payments are via Qkr! and the books will be delivered to the students over the coming week.

Thank you to Mrs Ellis for her energy and organisation in preparation for a big week in our library!

Toys, Trees and the Playground

As many parents would well know, Pokemon cards and Ushies are again the craze and over recent weeks they have been coming into the school playground with little, but some fuss as they are swapped and occasionally traded. While there have been few issues on the playground, they have been a distraction in the classroom and there is an element of 'haves' and 'have-nots'. Therefore from today, the students are to leave their Pokemon cards, Ushies and all toys at home to enjoy of an afternoon and on the weekend. 

Similarly, our agreeance to allow the students to climb and sit in some of our lovely trees has been mostly positive and the students have enjoyed the opportunity. However, due to a number of larger branches being broken, and the trees generally looking a little 'tired', the students are not to climb any of the trees for the remainder of the term to allow them to recover, especially during the growing months ahead. We will revisit this in the later half of Term 4.

With a couple of play options now taken out of the mix, it is important to provide alternatives. In the Courtyard now there are two large storage containers that will have a wide variety of small and group play activities. These activities will be introduced in the coning weeks. We are also awaiting some new fixed equipment to be delievered and installed - 2 multi-toss ball towers, a beanbag / tennis ball target game and a ball toss. These will provide the students with much more choice of what to do during their break times. 

Also, as part of our bigger focus on providing an engaging and stimulating playground, the School Board has accepted a proposal from Wellspring Environmental Arts and Design to complete a playground master plan incorporating a nature play space at the Boronia Drive end of our oval, extending back along the footpath towards the existing play equipment. Included in this plan will be a sandpit, which will be the first priority for construction, once design plans are completed. Initial planning meetings are underway and community consultation will be undertaken over the coming months. 


As I hope you are all aware, plans for the St Joseph's Primary School Musical, A Night in the Library - How wild could it get, are well underway. Tickets go on sale from Monday 26 August, with details being sent home this week. I warmly invite all families and friends to come along to what will be great performances of a play written by the students and staff of St Joseph's, for the St Joseph's community. Rehearsals and preparations are continuing, with all students from ELC to Year 6 actively involved. Thank you to everyone for their energy so far, but especially to Mrs Knight who has been taking the lead all year to ensure it is a wonderful event!

To ensure our sets look the part, there will again be an opportunity to paint, make and finalise the props. If you have an hour or so on Monday 26, Wednesday 28 or Friday 30 August between 3pm - 5pm, any help will be appreciated. Email if you are able to offer some time. 


Future of ACT Catholic School Soccer and Netball Carnivals

Please see below a statement from the ACT Primary Principals:


Regretfully, this year is the final year for the ACT Catholic School Soccer and Netball Carnivals.

This decision was carefully considered and was made unanimously at the recent ACT Catholic Primary Principal’s Meeting.

Although these are great community days and have been going for many years, the huge workload on staff, increasing costs, complexity of indemnity and insurance and a lack of volunteers to assist has necessitated the decision to no longer host these events.

Schools are rostered on to coordinate, run and volunteer these events and are run, entirely, by the host school, irrespective of the school size. Parents volunteer on the day and staff work all weekend on these events. In the past few years, some executive staff have worked nearly fulltime in the lead-up to pull off these carnivals, along with many staff who commit their time to support the planning and preparation, all of which is impacting on the teaching and learning agenda of the host school. 

ACT Principals acknowledge that there may be some parents and students disappointed by this decision, however, we have agreed that the future of hosting and leading an event such as this is untenable.

This year, Holy Rosary Watson will host the final ACT Catholic School’s Netball Carnival.

ACT Primary Principals


On Friday 14 November, St Joseph's will be hosting the final round of the South Canberra Orienteering schools competition (SC-ORE). This is an exciting opportunity for any and all of our students to get involved in a sport that they may not have tried before. To promote the event and to give the students a taste of what orienteering is, there is a Pop-Up Event on Friday 6 September. Please see the attached flyer. 

Father's Day Breakfast 

Next Friday, 30 August we will be holding our Father's Day Breakfast from 8am. We warmly invite all of the special men in our St Joseph's Community to join us. Orders and payment are due on Qkr! no later than 4pm, 27 August. Following breakfast, Year 6 will be leading us in a Prayer Celebration. I look forward to seeing you there! 

Have a great end to the week.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of the School

As we are halfway through the term it strikes me how busy we are as families. As a mum of four children from ages 17 to 11, finding time to spend together can be a challenge and time to pray together and individually can be even more sREWk1T3PrayerImage.pngo. There seems to be a relentless busyness between after school activities and other commitments that even sharing a meal as a family is a treasured time. Recently Pope Francis put together a special prayer intention for families. He prays that families, through their life of prayer and love be ‘schools of true human development.’ I invite you to view the video at the following link.

Pope Francis' Prayer Intention for Families Video Link

Prayer and Worship

Student-Led Christian Prayer

Each Friday this term after first break, Year 6 lead classes in prayer with a focus on the Gospel for the coming Sunday.

Liturgical Season: Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Liturgical Season Colour: Green

This week the focus is on the Gospel of Luke 13: 22 - 30.

On the way to Jerusalem, someone stopped Jesus and asked, “Master, will many be saved at the end of time?” Jesus answered, “May will try to enter the kingdom of God but few will succeed; some will leave it too late and find they have missed their chance of everlasting happiness. So take care and be ready! At the end of time, people will be called far and wide to rejoice in God’s heavenly kingdom.”

Behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”

At home, we invite you to read the upcoming Gospel as a family and discuss our focus questions for the week.

1.     What are some ways that we win or come first in the games we play?

2.    What are some ways you can put the needs of our family or friends before ourselves?

Celebrating Liturgy and Sacraments

Father's Day Prayer Celebration

Father's Day celebrates and honours fathers and celebrates fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers in society. Next Friday, 30 August, Year 6 will lead the school in the Father’s Day Prayer Celebration at 9.15am in the school hall. All families and extended families are invited to our BBQ breakfast and afterwards to our Prayer Celebration as we honour and celebrate all fathers.

Did you know that Father’s Day originated with a celebration on the Feast of St Joseph, the 19th of March in Europe in the middle ages?  How blessed we are to have St Joseph as our Patron Saint and a wonderful role model.


Sacrament of ConfirmationREWeek8T2Image3.png

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation commences in just over a week. 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

   Action For JusticeREWeek8T2Image2.png

On Thursday 8 August, we held our St Mary Mackillop Market Day where more than half of our St Joseph’s students raised money to help build an additional toilet block for our partner school, Riamabana. The St Joseph’s community raised an outstanding total of $2444 and we are only $56 short of our goal of $2 500. Year 6 will be making and selling flavoured lip balms to raise the remaining money. Keep your eyes peeled for their pop-up shop over the coming weeks.


Religious Identity and Culture

Ethos and Charism

This year, one of our strategic priorities is to deepen our St Joseph’s identity. To deepen our St Joseph’s identify means to deepen our understanding of our Josephite Charism. The charism of the school expresses the assumptions, beliefs and values that our Christ-Centred community shares. The Charism is reflected in what is done, how it is done and who is doing it. A school communicates its distinctive identity through its ethos and charism, which find expression in its religious values, culture, rituals and practices. As we work to deepen our St Joseph’s identity I will share with you over the coming weeks some quotes from Saint Mary Mackillop, the founder of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart.



Evangelisation and Faith Formation

Spiritual Formation

As a Christ-Centred community, we naturally have a focus on student and staff spiritual formation. Our Year 6 students are currently participating in a series of retreat experiences in preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation. Our staff meeting next week will focus on spiritual formation for St Joseph’s staff. As I have been preparing these spiritual formation experiences I began to wonder what spiritual formation opportunities parents have access to and if parents know where to go for their own formation. If you would like to access some formation opportunities please get in contact with me.

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator 


Don't forget to look on the School Sport ACT website for upcoming trials for representative opportunities for your children.

What a beautiful day for planting! Last Friday, Foundation students and Sue from Bunnings planted lettuce, strawberries and other edibles in our vertical garden. Foundation will continue to care for their lovely veggies and fruits as they explore the needs of living things.


On Wednesday, Year 2 enjoyed a visit and lesson about bush tucker from Aaron with Greening Australia. Students drank bush tea and even washed their hands with bush soap after planting our new native garden.


“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” -Audrey Hepburn

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 

Defence Kids Club were busy bees this week! We are hoping spring comes early for the bees we made. … these bees are ready to take flight. You can also see that we enjoyed the usual Lego and Hotwheels car tracks. Kobe was clever and even brought in his own car. Good thinking Kobe!

We had fun challenging ourselves on the Ninja Warrior Tuesday course. Despite the cold we had a great turn out and thanks to Ella for the great commentary.


How to stay connected – especially if you are new to Canberra =  subscribe to the mailing list to keep up to date with all events in Canberra for Defence families.

You can also create an Eventbrite account and then have direct access to DCO events and can register for tickets:

Instructions are below:

Create your Eventbrite account, then follow DCO Canberra on Eventbrite. Eventbrite will send you an email every time DCO publish a Canberra event. This is the best way to make sure you don't miss out on events. The process used to do this is as follows:

- Use a web browser to navigate to

- On the right of the screen there will be a button that says 'Follow'. Click this button

- Eventbrite will prompt the user to 'sign in'. Once sign in is completed the user will be following DCO Canberra and will receive an email every time a Canberra event is published.

Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 


It is not too late to order

closing date now Friday 30 August 2019


Molly Henson


A reminder that the next P&F Meeting is Wednesday 28 August at 7.00pm. All parents and carers are members of the P&F and are welcome to attend the meetings. Please feel free to come along or contact me via email if you have any questions.

The next big P&F event to organise and support is the Disco early Term 4! 

Tiffany Fletcher

P&F President

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Aria K

Evie McG

3 Silver

Bridget M

Anthony S

Foundation White

Edmund G

Kendryck M

4 Blue

Celeste P

Gracie O'C

1 Purple

Ishana M

Annabelle McP

4 Orange

Juliana L

Josie S

1 Teal

Alice P

Marcos D

5 Gold

Alyssa D

Nellie R

2 Magenta

Camryn L

Lawrence C

5 Green

Angelo P

Liam O

2 Yellow

Sophie G

Asher K

6 Black

Renee M

Kayla R

3 Lime

Troy T

Alyssa S

Lottie W-B


Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week.

Maximus S
Sophia M
Kennedy W
Clementine C
Lachlan B