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 10 Term 4 2019 Newsletter

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Week 10 Term 4 2019 Newsletter

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

A prayer for the St Joseph’s community this Christmas season:

Loving God, we offer to you our year just gone,

Through your guidance, we have formed new friendships and taken new challenges.

We thank you for all the opportunities to learn and to grow, within our Christ-centred community,

And for the people that have been in our lives that show us your face each day.

As we celebrate the coming of your Son at Christmas, may we too be renewed by this period of waiting and rest,

Ready to rejoice in the experiences and wonder that await each of us next year.

May you guide and watch over our community and be our constant strength.


Last week, at our End of Year and Thanksgiving Mass it was announced that Mrs Carolyn McFarland has been successful in gaining an on-going position as NCCD Officer at Catholic Education. We congratulate Carolyn on her new role and thank her for her tireless contributions to our school community.

This morning the staff gathered to bid one final formal farewell to our staff who are leaving. We wish Carolyn, Kerri, Skye and Tim all the very best for their future endeavours and congratulate Lynn and Jill on their retirements. The reflections that were shared by their friends and colleagues gave great insight into just how significant their contributions have been and the vision they have had for St Joseph’s over recent years. You will all be missed terribly.

Christmas Carols

Due to the cancellation of our carols last night, all classes will be singing their carol after our Advent Prayer Celebration tomorrow morning at 9:15 am. Please feel free to join us in the Hall. 

2020 - A Year of Building

Following many delays and false starts, I am very pleased to confirm that Binutti Constructions has been accepted as the builder for Stage 2 of the School Master Plan. This has been a couple of years in the making but will start in mid-January for a completion date ready for the start of the 2021 school year. Stage 1 of the project is the construction of 4 new classrooms at the MacArthur Ave end of the tree area between the Foundation classrooms and the ELC. Once completed midway through the year, our Year 1 and Year 2 classes will move into these new classrooms, allowing for the demolition and refurbishment of the downstairs classrooms in the original school building. Once complete, our Year 3 and Year 4 classes will move into these refurbished classrooms, with Year 5 and Year 6 upstairs. This will be an exciting time, that will require some adjustment as we allow for the construction to take place. Far more information to come at the start of 2020.

Also at the start of 2020, two sandpits will be installed on the oval-side of the original playground area. This is following the work of the School Board in 2019 to seek concept designs for developing nature play spaces throughout our playground. Thank you to Phil from Wellspring Environmental Arts and Design for the wonderful plans that we will now undertake as Stage 1 - installing the sandpits. Construction will begin early February, so there will be some disruption, but kept to a minimum.


Birthday Celebrations

Next year, students who are celebrating their birthday will be welcome to wear plain clothes on their special day. What better way to make their day more memorable! Any students who are celebrating their birthday in January or February before schools starts are welcome to wear free clothes to school on the first day back next year. 

House Points 

Congratulations to members of Fatima who yesterday shared a pizza lunch for being our winning House this term.

The final standings of points were:

Fatima 4508, Loretto 4438, Lourdes 3831, Madonna 3824

The amount of house points that the children received this term is a testament to their on-going commitment to what it means to live as a 'Joey' by embodying our  Seeds of Growth. Well done to you all!  


If you have any library books, readers or sports jerseys at home could you please return them to school tomorrow. Could you please also ensure that any unexplained student absence notes for Term 4 are returned to classroom teachers so that class rolls can be finalised. 

Making a Difference

Some weeks ago, Violet in Year 5 approached me with an idea to help those who are doing it tough in the small country towns. Violet, her sister Abagail and their mum, set about calling for donations of stationery that they could give to the students at Tullamore Central School, west of Dubbo. What a difference a great idea can make!

Thank you for your donations for the Tullamore Central School

I have some pictures to show you how well we did because of your donations…….


This was all the stationery that we got from everyone that helped us. We are very grateful that we got all this stuff because it helped a lot of families there.

This is the town of Tullamore and yes, it may seem like a beautiful old town but it is very dry. When I went there, I couldn’t see any water holes and there was no green grass anywhere. It was just dead grass or dust. There was no supermarket and cafés, there was just a pub, a pool and a school. The population there is 255 people in the whole town, so imagine living there for a week...It would be hard, wouldn’t it?

This is the school that we helped. It only has 71 students in it but the school went up to year 12 from preschool. Although it is a small school, their Principal was very nice to all of us and very thankful for all of our donations.

Thank you, everyone, for your donations. They made a big difference.

Violet W

In closing, thank you to the staff for their incredible dedication and professionalism, thank you to all the parents, grandparents and friends who contribute so much to our school community and most importantly, thank you and congratulations to all the students on a fantastic 2019.

I wish you all a happy and Holy Christmas and look forward to welcoming you back on Monday 3 February for another action-packed year.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant & Amy Doszpot

Religious Life of the School

This coming Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Advent. The Gospel this week tells the story of the birth of Jesus from Joseph's perspective. Joseph and Mary are our models for family life and for service of God. Even when the circumstances seemed unclear, Joseph trusted God. Healthy family life is built upon trust, trust in God and trust of one another.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and pray that the hope, peace, joy and love of Christ finds a place in your home.

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: Purple

This week the focus is on the Gospel: Matthew 1:18-24

The mother of Jesus Christ was Mary. And this is how the birth of Jesus came about. Mary was engaged to marry Joseph. But before they married, she learned that she was going to have a baby. She was pregnant by the power of the Holy Spirit. Mary’s husband, Joseph, was a good man. He did not want to disgrace her in public, so he planned to divorce her secretly.

While Joseph thought about this, an angel of the Lord came to him in a dream. The angel said, “Joseph, descendant of David, don’t be afraid to take Mary as your wife. The baby in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son. You will name the son Jesus. Give him that name because he will save his people from their sins.”

All this happened to make clear the full meaning of what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be pregnant. She will have a son, and they will name him Immanuel.” This name means “God is with us.”

When Joseph woke up, he did what the Lord’s angel had told him to do. Joseph married Mary and named the son Jesus.

At home we invite you to sing our Advent hymn, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” and discuss our focus questions for the week.

  1. Who is Joseph?
  2. When Joseph wakes up from his dream, does he do what the angel of the Lord has commanded him?
  3.  Do you think it was easy for Joseph to trust God and God's messenger? Why or why not?
  4. In what ways are we called to trust God in our lives today?

Celebrating Liturgy and Sacraments

Term 4 Liturgies and Class Masses

Week 10   Thursday 19 December Advent Prayer Celebration led by Foundation 9:15 am, followed by  Christmas Carols in the Hall


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 10 are:

Day 21: Ask a friend or relative to tell you about their day.

Day 22: Make a card or leave a treat for someone in your family.

Day 23: Visit an elderly relative or your local old people’s home and take some homemade Christmas cards.

Day 24: Tell somebody you love, why you appreciate them.

Day 25: Say ‘Merry Christmas’ and smile at everyone you meet today.

St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal

Thank you for the great generosity in our community. Our abundance of donations will be collected by our O’Connor chapter members of St Vincent de Paul this Thursday and made into hampers for families in the O’Connor and Lyneham areas.

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

Christmas time is my favourite time of the year, and it is also the best time to really put sustainability into practise. In order to ensure that you have an Eco-Friendly Christmas, the Year 3 Waste Warriors have researched and come up with these awesome tips and tricks.

  1. Choose your gift wrap carefully, prioritising reusable or recyclable gift wrap ideas (i.e. newspaper, decorated brown bags).
  2. Be sure to take the tape off opened wrapping paper before putting it in the recycle bin.
  3. Old christmas lights can be taken to The Green Shed in Mitchell.
  4. Select gifts that have minimal packaging and plastic parts.
  5. Homemade and DIY gifts, or locally made gifts reduce our carbon footprint.  
  6. Check for Fair Trade labels on chocolate.

Thank you for all of your hard work this year, Waste Warriors! You have made a huge difference in the way our school disposes of it's waste.

"For it is in giving that we receive," Saint Francis of Assisi

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator 

Congratulations to our Joeys Phantoms Tee Ball Team. They had a great end to the first half of the seaon! A very serious 'pep talk' before the big game!

Happy Christmas to all our families and a special mention to the Defence members returning home. All the best for a festive season and travel safe. See you next year.

Community news

Christmas in Canberra? Here are some local Christmas events to check out.

Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week and over the holidays:

Liesel P
Emily G
Alexander M
Daniel A
Janek W
Gonzalo O-H
Amelia F
Katja H
Luerice G
Pawel W
Renee M
Alyssa S
Sienna S
Moira K
Henry A
Jeremy S
Reese McG
Ivan S
Beau W
Emanuel S
Hamish D
Addison F
Leo W
Kayla R
Owen H
Dominic S
Hamish E
Kobe P
Leon F-S