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 7 Term 1 2020 Newsletter

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Week 7 Term 1 2020 Newsletter

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

As we continue to move through challenging and changing times, we start the newsletter today with a prayer for ourselves and those around us.

Dear God,

We turn to you today at a time of need, knowing that through difficult times we can seek comfort in Your loving support.

Be with us as we face new challenges and work together, while at the same time respecting the need to care for ourselves and others.

Thank you for the wonderful work of those striving to find solutions and answers to questions and situations that continue to change each day.

Stay with us over the coming weeks, when we are here at school and in our homes, keeping us safe in the knowledge that You are with us always.


Good News!

Today the students in Year 5 were informed that Mrs Laura Knight is pregnant! This is such wonderful news for her and her husband, Tim. On behalf of the students, staff and wider St Joseph’s community, I congratulate Laura on her exciting news. Something for us all to look forward to!

COVID-19 Updates

Over recent weeks regular updates have been communicated to the school community via SZapp. These updates convey both school and Catholic Education decisions around the impact of COVID-19. Please continue to monitor these updates, particularly in the coming weeks. Our priority at present is to develop a ‘remote learning plan’ for the students should the need arise. Please contact me if you have any questions.

School Board and P&F

At the end of 2019 and early in 2020, the School Board and P&F positions were finalised. The School Board takes a significant role in the governance of the school, providing support and advice to myself and the wider school community, in matters relating to the budget, priorities and direction. The P&F members also take on a significant role within the school community, ensuring that all parents have access and opportunity to engage in the life of the school. Together, the School Board and P&F form a wonderful aspect of parent contribution and guidance for our school. Thank you to all those involved.



Fr Paul Nulley – Parish Priest

Kate Osborne – President

Dan Miller – Board Chair

Alison Marks – Vice President

Pip Cleary – Secretary

Kelly Fordham – Secretary

Si Kayser – Treasurer

Felicity Loftus – Treasurer

Kieran Fordham – Parent Rep

Rachael Whiteley-Black – Communications

Nichole Hanlon – P&F Rep

Tiffany Fletcher / Jane Childs – Fete Coordinators

Kimberley McDonald – ELC Rep

Lucy Erickson / Monique Pascoe – Uniform Shop

Molly Henson – ELC Director

Victoria Dolphin / Nichole Hanlon – Canteen Committee

Zoe Cawdron – Staff Rep

Janelle Patch – Working Bees

Cameron Tarrant - Principal

Kylie Eves – Fundraising Coordinator

Amy Doszpot – Assistant Principal

These members of the School Board and P&F are always very happy to speak with parents, in order to maintain positive communication between school and the wider community.

It’s Not Ok

As a school we work very hard to build and maintain a positive atmosphere across the school. On the whole, all students are happy to come to school and contribute to fostering a Christ-centred community. However, at times we do experience unnecessary aggression, and inappropriate language and behaviour on the playground.

To address this, I have continued to speak to the students that ‘it’s not ok’ to behave or to speak in a way that makes others feel threatened or less than they should at our school. Regardless of the reasons, it is not ok to intimidate or to have hands on. We strive to find a balance between allowing the students to play games they enjoy, but to also ensure they are safe and respectful of each other.

Each class has been involved in sessions run by Ms Doszpot, looking at strategies to manage emotions and to be aware of how others and ourselves are feeling. We have all heard about the need to be ‘present’, ‘centred’ and ‘grounded’, and then last week the focus was on self-regulation. We read that providing children with self-regulatory processes empowers them to become more self-aware, emotionally literate and able to build a toolbox of strategies, including the ability to ask for help. There are 5 steps in the self-regulation process:

  • Identify the emotion, feeling and body state that we don’t like
  • Choose how you would like to feel
  • Identify what you need to feel better
  • Initiate action
  • Evaluate if this worked

Please ask your child about these sessions and support their understanding about how they might apply these strategies when it really matters.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of St Joseph’s


With so many, as I reflect over the past week, I think of the changing landscape of our school community and the way we are responding to these changes while keeping our mission to Be God’s Love in all we do and say. Tomorrow is the Feast of St Joseph and although we will not be attending Mass we will still celebrate this important feast as a school community in classrooms. Classes will spend time together unpacking our focus scripture ‘The Greatest Commandment’ (Matthew 22:34-40) through Drama and Visual and Media Arts. The key message of ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ is particularly pertinent at this time of uncertainty. It is easier to love our neighbours during the good times. During challenges we may ask ourselves ‘Where is God in this situation?’ But it is during the challenging times that we truly see the face of God in each other.


During our Feast Day activities, we will also be unpacking the first of our Joey Values- A Joey is Respectful to all. Classes will spend time learning about what this value means with each class creating a short video clip to explain what being respectful to all looks like in our St Joseph’s community.

There are a number of other events in our Christ-Centred Community that are taking a different shape over the coming weeks. As a Christ-Centred community, we are working to ensure that our families still have opportunities for prayer and the sacraments. The Sacrament of Reconciliation Formation session that was scheduled to run this evening will be emailed to parents and we will keep our community updated as to the best way we can continue to share our faith together.

At home, we invite you to sing our focus song for 2020, “Be God’s” by Danielle Rose and discuss how we can Be God’s Love. You can view a version with the lyrics at:

Yours in Christ,

Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator

Sustainability in Action

ACT Young Australian of the Year, Maddie Diamond, came to speak to Year 3-5 last Friday. Maddie has established a rubbish collection group called Trash Gather here in Canberra. Students left feeling inspired about the changes they could make to have a great impact on the world.

“It was inspiring and made me think of all the little things I could do,” said Nellie.

“I learned that we aren’t the only ones in the world who care and there are a lot of things we can do to help,” said Jordan L.

“I liked the time she gave to answering everyone’s questions,” said Tihana B.

We have added batteries to our recycling collection! Please drop them in the white bucket in the Sustainability Corridor.


“Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best,”  Bob Talbert.

Ryan McGee

Sustainability Coordinator

At this stage our ANZAC Day service is planned for April 29 at 9.15. If our service goes ahead we will have Defence children hosting the event and Ben Farinazzo as our guest speaker. If our event takes place we welcome parents with Defence backgrounds to attend as audience members as well as playing a role in our service. The following are roles available to participate in: 1. Setting the prayer space (This involves placing a special personal item in the commemorative space with your child(ren). 2. A Reader for the Ode of Remembrance

If you are able to participate in the ceremony please email me

If the event is cancelled we will create a classroom-based activity that will honour the spirit of the ANZAC traditions.

Community News

A message from the Defence Special Needs Support Group

Since mid-2017 the Defence Special Needs Support Group Inc has seen a need for an information booklet which outlines the assistance available for Special Needs Families in the Defence Force. The information booklet covers who Defence Special Needs Support Group Inc (DSNSG) are, what DSNSG does, and the programs we provide. If you would like a copy please let me know.

Sally Adams

Defence Support Mentor 

Congratulations to our junior players in the Joeys Phantom team!!  Please read the article below for details:


UNIFORM SHOP - Opening Hours 2020

Tuesday 8:45am to 9:15am

Friday 8:30am to 9:00am

Remember - you can order uniforms via Qkr! and have uniforms delivered to your child's class!

Congratulations to this week's award recipients. 

Foundation Red

Claire A

Charlee F

Foundation White

Ayla A

Beatrice J

1 Purple

Levi I

Gonzalo O-H

Aria K

1 Teal

Anna J

Eddie G

2 Magenta

Bonnie P

Emanuel S

2 Yellow

James J

Scarlett S

3 Black

Asher K

Maeve M

3 Navy

Esmee V-F

Aidan McG

4 Gold

Antonija K

Maria P

4 Green

Anthony S

Alyssa S

5 Blue

Tihana B

Ashley F

5 Orange

Juliana L

Travis M

6 Lime

Aaryan B

Sophia D

6 Silver

Bridgette D

Sophia S


Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:

Leilani T
Maggie M
Addison W
Isla C
Teilo K-J