Week 7, Term 3, 2020 - 26 August 2020

Message From the Principal



This week our College community has made the decision to celebrate and acknowledge NAIDOC Week. Due to COVID-19, the national NAIDOC Week 2020 celebrations will be held from the 8 to 15 November. However, this timing for our College prevents Year 12 students from being actively involved due to their external exams. For this reason, we sought special permission from the National Indigenous Australians Agency to hold our celebrations early to ensure full and active participation, and engagement for our College community.

The 2020 theme for NAIDOC Week is Always Was, Always Will Be, which recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. NAIDOC Week invites all Australians to embrace the history of this country dating back thousands of generations.

Sadly, COVID-19 prevents us from inviting guests and families onto our campus to share in these celebrations and activities and I thank you for your understanding in this regard. I would like to acknowledge and thank all of the staff and students involved in planning this week’s activities as we journey together in Reconciliation. Special mention goes to Hayley Mazzoni who works in our Boarding House and Lauren Newman who works in our day school for their significant contribution and preparation.

I have been reading widely on the continued impacts of the global pandemic on education across the globe. The dynamic and uncertain nature of this pandemic is providing significant challenges for young people of all ages. What I have noticed this term in working with both staff and students, is a desperate wish for a return to normality. Unfortunately, the current environment is simply not normal, so a sense of normality seems out of reach and is making people feel at times, disheartened.

Routines and healthy life habits are however well within reach, attainable and heartening to one and all. As our students face the next few weeks towards assessment, never has there been a more important time to focus on exercise and healthy food habits. Hours of studying and revision undoubtedly burns mental energy, however, your body and mind need physical exercise to function at their absolute best. A strong body helps build a strong mind. Research consistently shows that exercise helps with concentration and focus and improves overall mental health in young people. Brain research has revealed that exercise helps stimulate the release of ‘growth factors’ which are chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells.

By encouraging our young people to challenge themselves physically, we are actually helping them develop greater confidence in their own strength and physical capacity in order to form healthy and sustainable habits leading to improved learning outcomes.

May God bless you all and your families

Amber Hauff

College Principal



Deputy Principal

Deputy Principal

Deputy Principal

Cameran Triffett


In the event of a short-term closure


In the event of a student or staff member of the College having a confirmed case of coronavirus (COVID-19), the College will close immediately to allow Queensland Health to support us with contact tracing and special cleaning of our facilities.

Our families will be notified via text with the following message: Due to a public health emergency the College needs to close immediately. Please arrange to have your daughter/s collected as soon as possible. Following this, a letter will be emailed out providing further information about the closure and the procedures in place during this time.

If you are unable to pick up your daughter/s before the end of the day, they will be supervised here at the College until they can be collected.

The contact tracing work will be undertaken at the direction of Queensland Health and students and members of our College community may be contacted to assist with the process.  Any recommendations made by Queensland Health will be communicated to you. 

The College will be guided by Queensland Health with regards to re-opening.

Deputy Principal – Academic

Deputy Principal – Academic

Deputy Principal – Academic

Amy Byrnes


We are now past half way in Term 3 which means we are in the busy time of the term with assessment and Year 10, 11 and 12 Exam Block looming.  As we haven’t experienced a full term of assessment in 2020, it is important that students are planning their time to meet all deadlines, per the assessment dates.  Year 10 and 11 Exam Block details will be released soon.

During this time of the term, it is important that our students have balance, while still aiming to improve their academic results.  This includes maintaining a healthy diet, exercise and adequate sleep.  Often these three things are those that fall by the wayside as deadlines draw near.  Research strongly suggests that this is not a good option, as a lack of sleep will have a negative effect on daily academic performance.  The best strategy for our students is to ensure they have a study planner to manage upcoming deadlines. 

Our College diary contains some useful resources to help during this time including:

  • Study/Time Management Planner – page 20
  • Hints on How to Study – page 110
  • Homework Assistance – page 111

Students are also encouraged to attend tutoring.  The tutoring schedule can be found on the College website.  As well as this document, students are encouraged to speak to their teachers for alternative tutoring times.


Year 11 Subject Changes

Year 11 students will finish Unit 2 at the end of Term 3, 2020.  Unit 3 content will then begin on Tuesday, 7 October (Week 1, Term 4).  Students wishing to change subjects for Unit 3 and 4 can book a meeting with me.  Subject changes for Unit 3 and 4 must be finalised by Friday, 16 October (Week 2, Term 4).  Any student that wishes to change subjects, must do so at the beginning of Unit 3, as any student that changes throughout either Unit 3 or Unit 4 will not receive credit for these paired units.

To assist in these subject changes, Year 11 students will be issued with a summary of their Unit 2 Results in the September school holidays via email.

Year 12 Mock and Applied Subject Exams

This week I spoke to the Year 12 students about preparing for their Mock and Applied Subject Exams.  It is important that students are prepared for this exam block by ensuring they have the correct equipment and understand the conditions of these exams.  By following these guidelines, students will experience the same conditions that they will during the External Assessment Exams in Term 4.

Report Cards

At the end of Term Three, students in Years 7 to 10 will receive a report card based on their year results to date.  Year 11 students will receive a report card based on their Unit 2 results and Year 12 students will receive a report card on all Unit 3 and Unit 4 Internal Assessment. 

If your contact details have changed, please contact the College Office to ensure that you receive your daughter’s Report Card over the September holidays.



Director of Mission

Director of Mission

Director of Mission

Athena Costopoulos



In Pope Francis’ encyclical, Laudato Si: On Care for our Common Home, he explains that Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that “our common home is a like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us. Our sister cries out because of the harm done to her due to our lack of responsibility, and because “We have come to see ourselves as her lords and masters, entitled to plunder her at will”. Given the situation of environmental deterioration in which we find ourselves, Pope Francis calls on all who live on this planet to have a conversation about our common home. We are reminded that unless we approach nature and the environment with an openness to awe and wonder, “our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs”.

All year, St Patrick’s College Townsville has been co reflecting on Laudato Si and on our own relationship with God’s creation. Our staff have taken part in professional development and liturgies, the Student Representative Council, Mercy Girls In Action and Reef Guardians are committed to taking action and McAuley Ministry meets regularly to link this action back to scripture and spirituality. Care for creation is an essential element of our faith. Catholic Social Teaching, which calls us to work for justice and peace as Jesus did, includes care for God’s creation. Responding to this call means becoming stewards of creation, respecting and protecting the environment for the health of the world today and for generations to come.

Theologian Anne Primavesi writes: In this time of climate change: To everything there is just one season; The time is past when atmospheric CO2 levels do not rise; For there is no time when our activities do not contribute to a rise in global temperatures. It is a time to plant trees, not to cut down forests; A time to walk lightly on the earth, not to drive; A time to cherish species, not to kill them; A time to build up life support systems, and not needlessly to consume or waste them.


Mercy Girls In Action

This term we are collecting soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste to send to PNG with Youth With A Mission. Donation boxes can be found in the Student Reception and the Library.

We are still knitting squares to make blankets for St Vincent de Paul. If you have any finished squares, please drop them in to Ms Costopoulos’ office or bring them along to the MGIA meeting on Wednesday at lunch time.



May our footsteps, on these ancient lands, 

remind us of creation and connectedness, in our search for truth.

May the Gum Tree, from its roots to its branches, 

remind us to dig deep and reach high, in our action for justice.

May the Eagle, who soars in the sky, 

remind us of the power, in our call for love.

May the expanse of the lands and seas, of the sky and stars, 

remind us of God’s timing in our faith in hope.

May the Holy three, Creator Spirit, Lord God, Papa Jesus, 

remind us of community.

So, with grace, mercy, and peace, go in truth, justice, love and hope. Amen


 -Brooke Prentis

Director of Boarding

Director of Boarding

Director of Boarding

Megan Christie


In the Boarding House, the girls are back in the swing of boarding expectations and routines.  The girls are working hard in study and making a good start on their assignments. The weekends are jam-packed with opportunities for activity and recreation and club sport has returned to our world which has been welcomed with open arms.


On Saturday 15 August, the girls visited Alligator Creek swimming hole in the Bowling Green Bay National Park, many for the first time.   The girls had a wonderful time exploring the area and swimming in the fresh water rock pools.  The girls loved it so much they asked if the could return the next weekend! On Saturday 22 August, St Patrick’s hosted a Beach Volleyball Tournament with St Teresa’s College, Abergowrie.  This social event aimed to strengthen engagement between boarding students and their families.  It was wonderful meeting the girls brothers and cousins.  We hope to continue this tradition and visit the boys’ campus next term.


The College uses REACH Boarding, a student management software system which automates control and monitoring procedures for the Boarding House.  All girls now have access to the St Patrick’s REACH app or the REACH website.  Presently, the girls use REACH to move themselves around on campus locations, sign up for activities and events online and manage their own leave by submitting an online application form. Please be reminded that all special weekend leave requests are to be submitted on REACH via the online form by 9:00 am on Thursdays.


Congratulations to our Boarders of the Week:

Javanah Bero

Yalul Toby

Isabella Nona



Director of Students

Director of Students

Director of Students

Maria Franettovich


At our College, the Pastoral Care Team is committed to taking a proactive approach in developing skills that build resilience, promoting a College culture that emphasises respect, teamwork and participation – and reactive elements like providing comfort in response to hurt, or encouragement in the face of disappointment. We all seek to support your daughter in developing a strong skill set to draw upon as she navigates her life.

The purpose of Pastoral Care at our College is to:

  • Create a sense of belonging through team building activities, such as working together on community service projects,
  • Develop skills and knowledge through personal development and targeted workshops in order to prevent or address specific problems such as bullying,
  • Track and monitor individual student progress enabling early intervention in identifying and dealing with specific needs,
  • celebrating student achievements and contributions,
  • provide guidance regarding study patterns, peer relations, post-school pathways and opportunities, and
  • Provide access to passionate and dedicated teachers.

Pastoral care is most effective when there is a strong partnership between home and the College. Clear two-way communication, reminders and reinforcement (at home and at school) of strategies to support progress, and early intervention in identifying and addressing problems are vital to the effective exercise of pastoral care.


Activity Day

On Thursday, 6 August in place of the annual Interhouse Athletics Carnival, students participated in Year Level activities organised by the Pastoral Team.  Dressed in their House colours, students enjoyed a variety of entertaining activities which focused on providing them with an opportunity to foster and strengthen their peer relationships and engage in team building activities.

I would like to thank our Heads of Year and Heads of House Ms Meg Henderson, Mrs Lisa Mowbray, Mrs Jaimee Seebohm, Ms Lucy Towers, Ms Jillian Turner and Mrs Tenille Hambly for their willingness to plan these activities.


Upcoming Events

Sept 4 – Student Free Day

Sept 7 – Year 7 & 10 Immunisations


Careers & VET News

Careers & VET News

Head of Faculty – Careers & VET

Catherine Rentoule


Careers in STEM

Careers with STEM have a few quizzes designed to help you find a degree that fits.
1. Which area of science should I study?
2. Which area of engineering should I study?
3. The ultimate maths careers quiz: Which area of maths should I study?
Please CLICK HERE to visit the website. By all means don’t make this your only source of investigation, but it could be an interesting way
to narrow down your university preferences.


NIDA Applications now open for entry in 2021

The National Institute of Dramatic Art’s (NIDA) Vocational Diplomas and Undergraduate Degrees – Applications close on 30 September 2020.

Specialisations in Bachelor of Fine Arts are:

  • Acting
  • Costume
  • Design for Performance
  • Properties and Objects
  • Scenic Construction and Technologies
  • Technical Theatre & Stage Management.

The Vocational Diplomas are:

  • Live Production and Technical Services
  • Musical Theatre
  • Specialist Make-up Services
  • Stage and Screen performance.

For more information, visit the NIDA website at www.nida.edu.au

English & Languages

English & Languages

Head of Faculty – English

Amy Plumridge


Debating 2020

The excitement among debaters was almost palpable when the announcement was made that debating would resume – albeit COVID style 2020.  The Seniors had already completed the first round of debating when the virus caused the cancellation of this competition.  This new format ruled that no parents were allowed in the audience, and also banned was support in the form of advice from coaches to develop ideas. This made for a significantly reduced audience. But it didn’t seem to bother the students.

Round two for Seniors was held on Wednesday night.  The impromptu form is usually the approach adopted for grand finals, but time constraints made it a more practical method of moving ahead with the competition. The topic: The Pen is Mightier Than The Sword was an excellent topic for an impromptu debate.

Our Senior team, Anna Baxter, Harper Weekers, Maddison Winks and Poppy Crawford were primed and ready to go. With whiteboard markers in hand, they engaged in some heated brainstorming before collectively agreeing that: while words can be motivating, it is action that brings about change. The metaphorical interpretation of the topic ensured that they had sophisticated arguments – and their considerable experience saw them deliver these with finesse.  While it was a win they were after, and which they did collect, the joy of participating was clear to see.

Last year’s Junior Grand Final Winning team: Emer Friel, Jade de Lange, along with Georgia Dagge, Haylie Emanuel and Jorja Triffett will contest the next round of debates on Thursday 27 August. We wish these students well.

HPE & Sport

HPE & Sport

Head of Faculty – Health & Physical Education & Sport

Ben Williams 



Year 12 Physical Education

This week Ms Hambly’s  Year 12 Physical Education class participated in their final practical. The girls have been learning about energy systems and fitness components and were excited to attend the Ninja Parc to put their theory into practice completing some very challenging obstacle courses. 

Secondary School Surf League Program

Our 2020 College Surf Life Saving Team took out a very close second place competing in the Secondary School Surf League Program. Molly Roberts picked up third place in the U15 age group. We are so proud of you all! Bring on 2021! 


Our Rowing Team showed true heart and passion, proudly wearing the blue, white and gold for our College at the first regatta of the year. First time rowers Sarah de Haan, Ella Woodhouse, Eliza Betteridge, Ella D’Mello, Alliyah Kelemete and Edan Watson showed incredible spirit and determination. Our seniors, Lucia Rentoule Gallagher and Sophy Cafferky modelled the way with a strong and steady commitment in their doubles event. The dynamic duo of Lily Bragg and Olive Dury was on display, placing first in the Year 8 doubles finals, while our 9/10 quad showed the power of teamwork, made up of Sarah Bourke, Montanna Jones, Emily Black and Lily Bragg (Cox- Olive Dury) scored a hard-fought third place in their final.

The 2nd Townsville All Schools Regatta of the season was held at Townsville & JCU Rowing Club on Sunday 23 August. This regatta saw the introduction of singles to the draw, meaning a very demanding day of racing. The success of our rowing team continues with the following results achieved in the finals:

  • Year 8 Girls Single -1st Lily Bragg
  • Year 8 Girls Double – 2nd Lily Bragg and Olive Dury
  • Year 9/10 Girls Single – 2nd Sarah Bourke
  • Open Girls Single – 3rd Sophy Cafferky
  • Year 8 Girls Quad – 5th Lily Bragg, Sarah de Haan, Olive Dury, Aliyah Kelemete
  • Year 9/10 Girls Double – 5th Sarah Bourke, Emily Black

It is wonderful to see our rowers being able to compete and reap the rewards from their hard work and early mornings.  Our junior rowers, new to the sport and the tempo of competition, are conducting themselves strongly and showing much promise. 

Our team is stepping up again this Sunday at Riverway Rowing Club for the shortened season’s 3rd Regatta, the last outing before Head of the River on 20 September.  We wish them all the best of luck.

Club Netball

Over the weekend nine Year 7 and 8 students participated in the Junior McDonald’s Netball Carnival. Year 11 student, Ella Hall also umpired at the event. All students are to be commended on their efforts, teamwork and College spirit in supporting one another. Well done!

NQ Hockey

Year 12 student, Jorja Nielsen, has been selected for the 2020 NQ Hockey Team. Congratulations Jorja, we wish you the best of luck.

NQ Golf

Congratulations to Year 12 student, Jacinta Downward, for her selection in the 2020 NQ Golf team.


NQ Basketball

Year 9 student Bonnie Hughes has been shooting goals in basketball this year. Bonnie has made the U15 NQ School Girls Basketball Team which will compete at the upcoming Queensland Secondary School Sport Championships. She has also been named among the top 30 U14 Female athletes in Queensland for the 2019/2020 season and will take part in an exclusive Future Development training program as well as the Queensland Country Health Fund Fire Academy.

Science & Technology

Science & Technology

Head of Faculty – Science & Technology

Chris Pacey


2020 Science Week

A great big thank you to those people that participated in Science Week activities last week and from the incredible engagement, discovery and wonder on the students faces, it was clear they enjoyed what was on offer. In particular thanks to your Science teachers, our lab technician, Colleen and the Year 11 Students that did an amazing job with the activities.

During the week, students had the chance to enter the freezing waters of Antarctica covered in fat to see how whales are able to survive; they made model sharks filled with oil to find out why sharks don’t sink; they used their breathe to discover how the ocean is acidifying; and some students even visited Orpheus Island to learn how scientists use baited underwater videos to see how green zones work. Others visited the Dead Sea to find out why it’s nearly impossible to drown and make your own scuba diver and explored the world of whale food as they looked at microscopic plankton. Students also played fisheries biologists and “caught, tagged and released” their fellow students to estimate the number of students in the courtyard. They did a great job and got pretty close! From a practical perspective, one of the highlights was the tower of pressure to discover why scuba divers can’t go too deep – a few students were soaked but had a great time.

The Science Week Quiz was a hit again, with Thrones and Princes currently in a tie-breaker for the prized Pizza Party. Again a big thank you for the great support of Science Week!


Library News

Library News

Library Coordinator

Marie Jerome


As the days have grown chillier, there has been a wonderful increase in borrowing and the new Library space has been a welcome space for students to relax and peruse the shelves on their breaks. An influx of new titles has sparked interest in Reading Classes and I am thrilled to say the borrowing statistics have doubled! As Dr Seuss said “the more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”.

The Library Club has maintained its strong attendance and this week we will be conducting a Genre Scavenger hunt to learn more about Genres and their location in the Library. I look forward to hearing about your favourite Genre and seeing if you find a new one to explore.

You will find that you now have access to the database: Gale in Context: Science via the Library Website, when you are researching your Science assessments you will find this is a wonderful tool. Senior students have had great success using it for their Marine Studies assessments. I have conducted research information sessions with Humanities classes in the last few weeks, don’t forget to visit the Library if you are looking for research material, online or books when you are allocated your assessment tasks, I can assist you in locating research material. Don’t forget it has the very handy APA referencing tool which makes bibliographies a breeze!

Look for the notice in the coming weeks, the next Maker Space activity will be announced for lunchtimes, we will be tying in with Mercy Works day. I hope to see you in the library collaborating to create a stunning visual display. Be sure to check out this week’s NAIDOC book display featuring some rare books.


Book of the week

The Theory of Hummingbirds, a heartfelt #ownvoices story celebrating best friends, wormholes and loving who you are. Alba has been best friends with Levi since forever. They’re both obsessed with hummingbirds and spend their lunchtimes hiding out in the school library. Alba normally doesn’t mind that Levi’s got a science theory on just about everything. But when he becomes convinced the school librarian has discovered a wormhole in her office, Alba thinks maybe he’s gone too far.

This book has been very popular since it hit the shelves and is available now to be borrowed or you can reserve a copy, next time you are in the Library, I can show you how!

College Notices

College Notices


Student Absences

A reminder to all families in the event that your daughter is absent from school, please phone the Student Absences line  on 4753 0377


2020 Early School Leavers survey

The Queensland Government is seeking the support of the school community for the annual survey of Year 10, 11 and 12 students who left school in 2019, before completing Year 12. This short, confidential survey collects information about what young people are doing the year after leaving school. The results of the survey help provide valuable information to improve services available to school leavers in the future.

Between August and September, these school leavers can expect to receive instructions to complete a web-based survey or a telephone call from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office. Please encourage them to take part. If their contact details have changed, please assist the interviewer with their updated details or forward the survey to their new address so they can participate.

Thank you for your support of Next Step post-school destination surveys in 2020.

For more information, visit www.qld.gov.au/nextstep/ or telephone toll free on 1800 068 587.