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 9 Term 4 2019 Newsletter

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Week 9 Term 4 2019 Newsletter

Dear parents, carers and the St Joseph’s community,

The end of the school year is always a time of mixed emotions and excitement as everyone looks forward to the break and to celebrate the special time that is the Christmas season. It also brings to an end a year of learning, of new experiences and at times, challenges. It can be an anxious time as students think about and then discover their new teacher and even who will be in their class the following year. All of these emotions and uncertainties are important for the students to experience, and for us as teachers and carers to support.

With the end of the school year, comes a whole new one to experience. The new year will bring excitement and joy, as well as challenge and change, but we can support our children in this by focusing on the positives of new friendships, a deepening of their learning and an opportunity for continued growth. The only sure thing in life, is change!

Next week, the students will learn who their teachers are and also have an opportunity to know their new class groupings. There will be opportunities to find out what classroom they will be in and to consider what 2020 might be like. This will be a very exciting time and I know that the students will return in 2020 ready for a wonderful year.


As we come towards the end of the school year, it is important to finalise our staffing for 2020. I am very pleased to welcome Linley Ellis to the staff fulltime in 2020, as Year 6 teacher. Linley has been working across the school for most of the second half of the year. Mara Pangallo will be joining the staff in a part-time capacity, working in Year 5 one day a week and in Year 2, providing release for Ellie Palmer to support ICT across the school. Christine Johnson will also continue working in our school, taking on a couple of opportunities to support students and teachers.

While next week we will have an opportunity to farewell other members of staff who are leaving St Joseph’s at the end of the year, Lynn Wilkinson and Jill Lambert are also finishing their time here, before retiring. Thank you to Jill for the care and dedication shown over the years in the ELC. You have given many of our students a wonderful start to life at St Joseph’s. And to Lynn, after more than 20 years of commitment to our wonderful school, we can only say an enormous thank you. To think of the number of lives you have impacted, is overwhelming. You will be tremendously missed and know that you will forever be a part of Joeys.

Year 6 Farewell

Last Thursday night, our Year 6 students and their families came together at Ainslie Football Club to celebrate the end of their primary schooling. It was a lovely night, thanks to the efforts of the organising committee and it was wonderful to see the many friendships within our Year 6 cohort on display. The students were happy to be joined by many of our current staff, as well as Mrs Dempsey, Ms Capper and Ms Gray. Congratulations to all of our graduates. We wish you every success and happiness as you head to high school!

End of Year Carols and Picnic

Our End of Year Carols and Picnic is on Tuesday 17 December. This is always a wonderful community event, and this year the P&F are providing a free sausage sizzle on the night. Thank you to YMCA who are also assisting on the night to cook and serve. Please go onto Qkr! and RSVP.  Please note that a decision will be made Monday morning about the carols, taking into consideration the current air quality and very high temperatures.

2019 End of Year Carols and Picnic_Page_1.jpg


Over recent weeks the teachers have worked tirelessly to prepare the Semester 2 reports. They are currently being finalised and will be sent home with the students on Friday 13 December. As part of the on-going reporting and communication cycle, parents are welcome to contact their child’s teacher to arrange a meeting should the need arise to discuss the report.

School Board

Last week the School Board held its AGM, at which time out-going members were thanked and recognised for their contributions to the effective management of the school. The School Board for 2020 is:

Fr Paul Nulley

Molly Henson

Amy Doszpot

Kieran Fordham

Nichole Hanlon

(P&F Rep)

Cameron Tarrant

Phillipa Cleary

Dan Miller

Si Kayser

Zoe Cawdron

(Staff Rep)

Positions and roles on the Board will be elected at the first meeting in 2020.

Have a great end to the week.


Yours with Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of the School

This coming Sunday is the third Sunday of Advent and is traditionally called Gaudete Sunday. Gaudete is the Latin word meaning “rejoice.” This Sunday is so named because “Rejoice” is the first word in the entrance antiphon for the Mass taken from Philippians 4:4,5: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near.” Some people mark this Sunday on their Advent wreath with a pink candle instead of a purple candle. This Sunday is a joyful reminder that our salvation is near.

Prayer and Worship 

Student Led Christian Prayer

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

Liturgical Season: Second Sunday of Advent, Year A

Liturgical Season Colour: Pink

This week the focus is on the Gospel: Matthew 11:2-11

While John the Baptist was in prison, he heard about the things that Jesus was doing and sent some of his followers to find Jesus. “Tell us, are you the one sent by God, that John told us about?” they asked.


Jesus said, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind can see, the lame can walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, and the dead are brought back to life. The Good News is being shared so that everyone can believe in me.”

As John’s friends hurried away to tell him what they had heard, Jesus said to the crowds, “God sent John to prepare for my coming. He is a truly great man and will be remembered for all time.”

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

  1. When John the Baptist’s friends found Jesus, what do they see and hear?
  2. How do you think the people felt seeing these miracles?

God our Father,

As we look forward to Christmas,

The excitement is growing.

Just as the light from the Advent wreath grows brighter,

We pray that the light of Jesus

Will grow brighter in our lives too.


Celebrating Liturgy and Sacraments

Term 4 Liturgies and Class Masses

Week 9     Thursday 12 December Advent Prayer Celebration led by Year 1 9.15am

                    Friday 13th December Thanksgiving Mass at 9.15am

Week 10   Thursday 19 December Advent Prayer Celebration led by Foundation 9.15am

Christmas Carols


Next Tuesday evening we have our annual St Joseph’s Christmas Carols 5:30-6:30pm under trees. The order of class carols will be:


  1. Foundation
  2. ELC
  3. Year 1
  4. Year 2
  5. Year 3
  6. Year 4
  7. Year 5
  8. Year 6
  9. Whole School Song

Social Action & Justice


As Advent approaches, we think about how we will prepare our hearts for the birth of Jesus? At St Joseph’s we have a 25 Days of Kindness calendar. The acts of kindness for Week 8 are:


Day 16: Make a thank you card or note for someone who has supported you this year.

Day 17: Visit or telephone someone special who you don’t see often.

Day 18: Offer to help an adult with one of their jobs.

Day 19: Donate food to the St Vincent de Paul Christmas appeal.

Day 20: Share something with somebody you know.


St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal

When I walk into our front office I am filled with joy and gratitude for the great generosity of people in our community. Our Giving Tree is brimming with wrapped gifts and all gift tags have been taken. If you would still like to donate, simply write on your gift what age group and gender your gift is for. Our classroom hampers are also looking exciting and overflowing with delicious Christmas food. Thank you wholeheartedly for your generosity.

During the Offertory Procession at our Thanksgiving Mass on Friday a sample of our donations will be blessed by Father Paul. Donations will be collected by our O’Connor chapter members of St Vincent de Paul in Week 10.

Religious Identity and Culture

Ethos and Charism

Our strategic priority to deepen our St Joseph’s identity means to deepen our understanding of our Josephite Charism.  We can learn much about our Josephite Charism through quotes from Saint Mary Mackillop.


Evangelisation and Faith Formation

Faith Formation

St Joseph’s Parish has begun its annual Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA).

If you are curious about God or the Catholic Church, were baptised as a child but did not receive Eucharist or Confirmation, visit the parish one Sunday and speak to Fr Paul.

If you have questions about the RCIA process, please email Alwyn Dantis on or ring 0467 243 363.

Yours in Christ,

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator

Sustainability in Action!

As Year 4 explore pioneers, these 'Green Action Heroes' have taken on a new frontier. After Josie Sill and her family discussed the excessive waste output made from berry punnets, these writers came together, sacrificing lunches, to assemble a series of letters holding supermarkets and berry farmers accountable.

Dear Driscolls,

Firstly we want to thank you for providing us with delicious berries. We are a group of Year 4’s at St Joseph’s Primary School and enjoy your berries for our fruit snacks in the morning. We saw on your website that you value sustainability, so we have some suggestions so that we can all continue eating your fruits without costing the environment.

We are concerned about the amount of plastic waste that you are using with your punnets. It has come to our concern that berry punnets aren’t reusable. If each Australian family is using 2 berry punnets a week, that leads to 96,220,000 blueberry punnets a year. The reason we need to change berry punnets is because they are a single-use plastic. Plastic is bad because it takes around a thousand years to fully break down. The plastic containers that don’t end up in the right bin could end up in our oceans. Plastic can release a harmful chemical into the ground that affects the ecosystem, which can then harm the animals that drink the polluted water. 

Although the punnets could be recycled, we believe that reducing our waste is always a better alternative.  You have stated in your website that we, “(You) are committed to making continual progress towards waste reduction and better care for the natural and social resources on which we depend.” This is an opportunity for you to prove that what you are saying is true.

We have some suggestions about how we could reuse the punnets and create less waste. Firstly, what about collecting the used punnets and re-supplying them to the farmers? We would be happy to help with creating collection stations, starting with our school. The idea of being pioneers in attacking this problem excites us, and we are prepared to help.

Finally, you could insist that people bring in their own reusable containers to fill with berries. People could use the berry punnets that they already have now, or other containers. This way, we aren’t producing more waste. 

Whatever option you choose, you would be making a huge difference and contribution to our future. Not choosing would have very negative consequences for all of us. 

Thank you. Please help us fight against this problem.

From Green Action Heroes

Juliana L, Hamish D, Ebenezer A, Josie S and Amy D.


"The future depends on what you do today." Mahatma Gandhi

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 

From the Defence School Mentor

Thanks to the Year 3 and Year 5 Defence Crew who helped create a welcome film for the new students who will be joining their classes next year. It is not always easy being the new kid but with this support crew ready we are hoping it’s a smooth start for our newest class members.


Community News

Staying in Canberra over the holidays… or if you have recently arrived in our city…check out the link below for some great ideas.

From Sally

Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Mirabel P

Aneesh T

3 Silver

Erika A

Sienna S

Mason H

Foundation White

Beau W

James S

Ajmer S

4 Blue

Celeste P

Francesca Q

1 Purple

Dylan McG

Patrick M

Alexander M

Marvin R

4 Orange

Ashera D

Amy D

Travis M

1 Teal

Luke D

Kathy A

James M

5 Gold

Rea N

Milana R

2 Magenta

Imogen W

Attharva T

Eoin S

Hayden S

5 Green

Alexandria S

Isabelle T

2 Yellow

Santiago K

Amaani S

6 Black

Gharub N

Ivan S

3 Lime

Dev J

Pritika T


Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:

Carys K
Gemma W
Lily P
Harry C
Gracie O'C
Andie McF
Dylan McG
Elise M