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 3 Term 2 2020 Newsletter

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Week 3 Term 2 2020 Newsletter

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

To protect creation, to protect every man and every woman (and child), to look upon them with tenderness and love, is to open up a horizon of hope; it is to let a shaft of light break through the heavy clouds; it is to bring the warmth of hope!

Pope Francis’ Little Book of Wisdom


Throughout recent times, there have been many opportunities to stop and reflect on what is important and what we might be able to let go of. Now that we are slowly coming out of the mandated restrictions, our challenge is to remain focused on the ‘horizon of hope’. Without all the busyness, we have possibly had more time as families, more time for ourselves (remote learning aside) and even more time spiritually. Together, just as we did in isolation, we can be resolute to find time to prioritise what we now see as important.

What is without a doubt very important, is our return to face to face teaching! We cannot wait to have the children return next Monday. The success and effort throughout our remote learning program has been incredible, and we will build on this as we head back into the classroom. There will be ongoing adjustments to ensure we are all safe and healthy, but please take time to review the attached documentation outlining our safety protocols. These will also be sent separately via SZapp.  


Key Safety Measures

Please be aware that some of our safety measures will be challenging as they will impact our usual welcoming atmosphere at St Joseph’s. These will only be temporary measures but must be adhered to in order to ensure all students, staff and parents are kept safe and healthy. The main points to know include:

  • Parents and visitors within the school are to be kept to a minimum.
  • Parents and visitors must sign in and out if they are remaining on-site for any reason.
  • All students need to arrive at school on time to minimise traffic through the Front Office.
  • All parents are to use drop-off and pick-up, rather than walking children into school / collecting at the end of the day.
  • Students, staff or parents who are unwell are not to attend the school.
  • Students, staff or parents at school experiencing symptoms compatible with COVID-19 /  flu-like symptoms (fever, cough, sore throat or runny nose) will not be able to remain at the school.
  • Students deemed to be showing any of the above symptoms, or unwell in any way, must be collected by a parent/carer as soon as possible.

Full Safety Protocols


We are very fortunate to have almost all of our wonderful staff returning to school from Monday 18 May. I thank them all for their tireless dedication over recent months to support all that has needed to be done. For the remainder of Term 2, Mrs Parmenter and Mrs Berry are continuing to take leave. Mrs Pangallo will now take on two days in the Library role, with Mrs Allan (5 Orange) working full-time. Mrs Fletcher will take on the Music role for two days a week. Finally, our Canteen Manager Tihana will not be returning to St Joseph’s. Tihana was only here for a couple of weeks before the canteen closed, but made some very positive changes that have set us up well for reopening as soon as possible. On behalf of our community, I thank Tihana for her energy and ideas. We will advertise for this position in the coming week.

P&F and the School Fete

The P&F met last week, with the main item discussed being the school fete. Unfortunately due to the challenges currently, and likely to be ongoing, our 2020 Twilight Fete on Saturday 14 November has been postponed. Planning is continuing, with a likely rescheduling for the first half of 2021. Stay tuned for more details in the weeks to come. Other items discussed were what we could do as a community, to come together to celebrate all that makes St Joseph’s a great school. We still have Saturday 14 November set aside for this day of celebration. Thank you to the P&F for their ongoing commitment to support all that happens across our school.

Food Bank

Many would be aware that we have a small band of helpers who provide frozen meals to go in the freezer here at school. These meals are available to families who may need support at different times. If you would like to be involved in cooking a meal or two, please contact Aldona Stravapodis - . If at any time you need to access this support, simply contact me or call in to the school.

Pedestrian Crossing

We are very pleased to have received notification of the commencement of pedestrian and cycling improvements along Boronia Drive and Hovea Street. These improvements include a new zebra crossing on Hovea Street and upgrading of the existing path on Boronia Drive, as well as additional pedestrian markings at both our entry and exit driveways. These works will begin this week and continue for approximately 4 weeks.

Enrolment Period

We are now accepting enrolment applications for the 2021 school year. 

While we are currently unable to offer Open Days, we are always keen to speak with families interested in enrolling at St Joseph’s. Please see our website for more details -


Have a good end to the week.

Yours in Christ,

Cameron Tarrant


Religious Life of St Joseph’s

Season of Easter and Feast of Our Lady of Fatima

This coming Sunday is the sixth Sunday of Easter. In the Gospel (John 14:15-21) Jesus starts by telling his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.” 
This message is a welcome reminder of our focus scripture for 2020 (Matthew 22:34-40) The Greatest Commandment as we prepare to come back together next week.

34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Today is also the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima. You may think that the name Fatima might sound familiar as it is one of the names of our St Joseph’s Primary sports houses. Did you know that:

  • Fatima is a town in Portugal.
  •  In 1916, a figure appeared to three children, Francisco (10),  Jacinta (9) and Lucia (7) who were in a field looking after the family sheep. 
  • The figure said, “I am the Angel of Peace.”  and appeared to the children two more times that year.
  • On May 13, 1917 the children saw a woman all in white, more brilliant than the sun who said, “Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m not going to harm you.” 
  • The woman asked the children to pray and devote themselves to the Holy Trinity and to “say the Rosary every day, to bring peace to the world and an end to the war.”
  • While many people believed the children had actually seen the Virgin Mary, many others didn’t and laughed at the children’s story. 
  • The Lady said she would visit the children for the last time on October 13, 1917, and promised a sign that would convince the world she had appeared and 70,000 people came to witness the vision. 
  • They saw the sun make three circles and move around the sky in an incredible zigzag movement.
  • This miracle left no doubt in their minds about the truth of the visions and is known as the ‘Miracle of the Sun’.
  • Today, millions of people visit Fatima.
  • The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima is one of the largest Marian shrines in the world.

As a family we invite you to pray our Prayer to Our Lady of Fatima.


Melanie Stratford

Religious Education Coordinator

We welcomed a new Defence family into the St Joseph’s community this week with a pizza lunch. Although not all of our Defence kids were at school, our two new students in Year 5 and Year 3 felt excited to be part of a group who understand what it is like being in a military family.


It was so lovely to hear that our Defence mum’s had a warm and relaxing mother’s day last week. I found this great photo on the Aussies & Kiwis for ANZACs Facebook page. Could be a great challenge for our Defence kids to create next year!


As we resume face to face schooling next week, Defence kids club will be back on Tuesdays, first break in the library for Foundation to Year 3 and second break in the library for Year 4 – Year 6.

Sally Adams

Defence School Mentor 

Happy birthday to these students celebrating their birthdays this week:

Troy T
Madeline O'B
Lawrence C
Georgina G
Kathy A
Phoebe G
Jacob H