Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on our 2022 school year as I have been preparing articles for the different events and publications that occur in Term 4. This has included Voices (our college magazine), MSM Celebrates, Aspire (a newsletter for enrolled families who are yet to commence at the College), Fide et Amore (our Alumni newsletter) and MSM Alive (our community newsletter). 

One of the common themes has been my expression of gratitude to the different sectors of our community who contribute in so many ways to make up our wonderful family that we call MSM. Gratitude is one of our key components of our Positive Education program and having a “positive attitude and a heart of gratitude” has been the mantra of MSM.

I was recently reading a blog by Dr Kathline Colvin on the “Three Stages of Gratitude”. The first stage is “feeling grateful for the good things in your life”. This is a practice that we regularly encourage our students to devote time to, for example, regularly writing in a gratitude journal and we dedicate time in our Positive Education program to do this. I believe that identifying what we need to feel grateful for in our lives, has been vital to surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. It is easy to lament the things that we feel that we have missed out on, but we should also value our learnings as we rediscovered what is truly important in our lives…our relationships (family, friends, colleagues, teachers etc).

This brings me to the second stage which is “expressing your gratitude to the people who have made your life better”. Our students are encouraged to do this in various ways through our Retreat programs. Students demonstrate great courage when they give voice to their gratitude to the people who have made a difference to them – this is powerful.  They also write affirmations which are shared confidentially, and these special pieces of paper are often treasured well after our students' time at MSM has finished. Our Year 12 students will also share a letter of gratitude to their parents at the Graduation Dinner – this is a very important part of our graduation rituals. 

The third stage is “adopting new behaviours as a result of interacting with those who have helped you”. This is the most challenging stage. In her blog Dr Colvin quotes Deepak Chopra “When your gratitude leads to showing more sympathy, less judgement and greater appreciation for life itself, you are setting the stage for years of positive reinforcement. By adopting gratitude as your default position, so to speak, you tell your brain that positive input is going to far outweigh negative input. Mixed signals lead to mixed results. By being consistent in your attitude of gratitude, you set down a blueprint that over time leads to brain changes with far-seeing benefits”.

As we approach the final two weeks of the school year there is still much to do. We continue to pray for our Year 12 students who finish their external exams on Tuesday. Students in Years 7-11 are entering assessment mode and our thoughts and prayers turn to them. It has been a huge year and we are all feeling tired, so it is time for the “final push”.   

In our Catholic/Christian context we can draw inspiration from Mother Theresa who said “Gratitude to God is to accept everything, even my problems with joy.  Joy is my prayer.  Joy is my strength”.

May you find joy and an attitude of gratitude in the coming weeks.

In faith and love

Sharon Volp

Support the MSM Foundation Raffle

Enter to WIN!  Make sure you buy your tickets in the MSM Foundation Raffle for your chance to WIN $2500 credit towards tuition fees or $1500 cash prize *. Proceeds will be directed to the the MSM Foundation in support of the College’s future building projects.

Ticket sales close Tuesday 22 November with the winner to be drawn on Wednesday 23 November at 10am AEST. 

2022 College Leadership Team

World Kindness Day is this Sunday, 13 November. We know that acts of kindness raise endorphin levels, which boost energy. The most recent findings in neuroscience demonstrate that learning takes place as a whole-brain approach, enhancing the connections between cognition and the social-emotional domains that are crucial for human flourishing. Research also shows that with a focus on kindness, the rush of endorphins creates wellbeing and belonging as well as improved health and reduced stress levels. 

At MSM, we actively exemplify kindness every day. In our Positive Education program, we place a strong emphasis on appreciation, mindfulness, character strengths, respectful relationships, compassion, and flourishing. Our commitment to our mission, vision, and values impels us to support causes that help people in need, providing our students with a genuine understanding of perspective. When people are polite and kind, they learn to respect what they have, feel worthwhile, and develop empathy.

This kindness-based pedagogy and the process of learning and progress provided our Year 12 students, a positive spirit for their external exams. They were organised, composed, and confident, which made it possible for them to think effectively and integrate the cognitive and emotional spheres. Thank you to all Year 12 teachers who have worked with our students in preparation for these final exams. We wish our Years 7 – 11 students all the best as they enter their final two weeks of assessment. 

World Kindness Day 2022 theme is ‘Be Kind Whenever Possible’ and is a simple theme that invokes a sense of responsibility for all of us, to practice kindness and compassion in everyday life.
MusicFest2 – Ocean Blue
Our community enjoyed a wonderful evening of performances from Percussion and Guitar Ensemble, Concert Band, MSM Singers, Year 7 & 8 Choir, College Choir and String Orchestra or sometimes a combination of these groups, who delighted the audience with music on the theme ‘Ocean Blue’. Beautiful Artwork provided by Grace Newman, 2023 Art Captain adorned the program for the evening and the music celebrated all things oceanic, aquatic, blue or bluesy. 

Thank you to our Arts staff, our co-curricular music staff, support staff and the P&F Music Support Group for organising staff gifts. An overall thank you to Ms Miriam Townsley and Mrs Linda Statham for their organisation and leadership of this event. 

Remembrance Day 

Today, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, our community paused to mark Remembrance Day, observing a minute’s silence to mark the moment in 1918 when the guns along the Western Front fell silent, signaling the end of the First World War. As is tradition across Australia, our College community paused to remember all those who fell in service to their country, and to pray for peace in our world. We hold in our hearts today all defence service personnel and their families.

While external exams mean that it is no longer possible to gather as a whole community, our 2023 Mission Captains Amy and Sophie recorded a beautiful service which was played in every classroom at 11am. 

Eternal God,
We remember those whom you have gathered from the storm of war into the peace of your presence.
May that same peace calm our fears, bring justice to all people and establish harmony among the nations.
In faith and love we pray

St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal

Thank you to our generous MSM family for your ongoing support of the SVDP Christmas Appeal. The Missions of St Vincent’s students have been busily sorting through donations, ready to send them to The Gap and Ashgrove Conferences for distribution to local families in need. This week, Missions of St Vincent received a visit from Patrick (President, The Gap) and Bec (Conference Member), who shared a little about the current needs of our community and the many ways that MSM’s donations are helping to support vulnerable families. Donations of toiletries, groceries, Christmas treats and gifts for children will be gratefully accepted until the end of week 7.
Middle School Crazy Sock Day 

This week our Year 7, 8 and 9 students donned their craziest sock combinations to raise funds for Interact’s Term 4 project Beddown. The students raised $186 for Interact, who are working to support Beddown, a local initiative that seeks to provide pop up services and shelter for people experiencing homelessness in the local Brisbane area. Thank you, Middle School, for your generosity, and for our Middle School Interact Pia for spearheading this campaign. 

Surviving (and enjoying) the Holidays

As we near the end of the school year we are faced with the experience of excitement and celebration in the midst of the challenges associated with finalising assessment and battling fatigue. 

Our students are embracing this time for what it is and are undoubtedly focused on the finish line. For many parents the holiday period is a special time to reconnect as a family and with friends. It can also present challenges in supporting our children in how they spend their leisure time and with whom. Please be assured that you are not alone in this and yes, we all experience parenting challenges from time to time. The current advice from family and adolescent psychologists in brief is: 
  • Be present. Your daughters may not tell you, but they really do want and need you to spend quality time with them.
  • Be the parent. It is okay to disagree with your child, they need guidance, advice, and boundaries.
  • Be consistent. Boundaries have little value if they are not constantly restated and reinforced.
  • Be persistent. Teenagers forget, make mistakes, and have a natural urge to push boundaries, keep insisting on the limits you set.
Remember to be kind to yourself and know that parenting can be a tough road at times but is a most rewarding journey. From one parent to another: Best of luck! 

As we conclude week 6, we are now moving into the peak assessment period for Term 4. I encourage all students to keep track of when their assessment is due by using their assessment calendar and to maintain a consistent effort in their application to their studies so that their results will be truly reflective of their abilities.

Term 4 Examinations

Good luck to all students in Years 7 - 11 as they approach their final examinations for 2022. The examinations for the Year 11 students are particularly important as they represent the first summative instrument of Unit 3 that will directly contribute to their ATAR outcome.

Our Year 12 students continue with their final external examinations, and I have been very impressed by the studious approach our students have adopted, along with their resilient approach they have demonstrated throughout the external examination period.

I wish all students the very best for their upcoming assessment. I am sure that their studious efforts will allow them to demonstrate what they know and can do.
College Life
MSM Foundation
Year 7 Father - Daughter Breakfast

On Wednesday morning we welcomed Year 7 students and their fathers for the annual MSM Foundation Year 7 Father-Daughter Breakfast. Thank you to our special guest speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Jon Pollard, Commanding Officer and Chief Engineer, 12th Chief Engineer Works of the Australian Defence Force for sharing his background and insight into the many STEM opportunities a career in the Defence Force can provide, and for facilitating an exciting spaghetti and marshmallow tower STEM challenge with the help of Corporal Samantha Copus (MSM Alumni – Class of 2011) and Private Michelle Spadaro. Thank you to all members of the MSM community who joined us, including MSM Foundation Chair, Dr Sarah Pollock. A wonderful morning was had by all.
Business Christmas Markets

The Year 10 Business & Enterprise students held their Christmas Markets as part of their unit of study on Becoming Enterprising. There has been a lot of discussion in class about costs, profit and how to effectively promote their products. The market was a huge success! 

QUT Dean's Award for Engineering

Congratulations to Year 11 students, Lucie and Hannah who were recently awarded the QUT Dean's Award for Engineering Prize for being the top Year 11 MSM students in Geography during 2022.

Year 10 Prep Biology

Recently our Year 10 Prep Biology students have been learning about ecosystems, the water, carbon and nitrogen cycles, biomass and ecosystem primary productivity. The students made terrariums with a base layer of gravel and charcoal, then a layer of soil, some small plants and a spray of water to produce their own mini ecosystem in a bottle. They could already see the water cycle in action as condensation rapidly gathered on the inside of the bottles in the warm sun. 
Year 7 French

A group of keen Year 7 French students were treated to freshly baked pains au chocolat after school prior to viewing the film ‘Belle et Sébastien’ in which the students were transported back in time (to the 1940s) and place (to the French Alps). Un très bon après-midi!

Year 11 French

Year 11 French students were treated to a copious French brunch at Le Coin Bistro in Red Hill. They had a chance to taste some of the favourite pastries (croissant, pain au chocolat, pain au raisin) before indulging in some classic breakfast dishes, such as pain perdu and omelettes. This was a nice occasion for the group to brush up on their French pronunciation and palate in a Parisian atmosphere filled with artwork and music. Miam-miam, c’était vraiment bon!
Digital Technologies

Year 10 Digital Technology students have been engaged in an engineering project to design, build and code an opening bridge using Lego and sensors.

Music Soiree

Music Soiree 4 was a delightful concert of solo performance on guitar, voice, piano, saxophone, clarinet and drumkit mixed with chamber music groups, Brass Ensemble and Guitar Quintet. Twenty-three students from Years 7-12 performed, several making their solo debut. Brass Ensemble performed for the last time with their soon-to-be very much missed euphonium player, the multi-talented Year 12 student, Lauren. Where would Pirates of the Caribbean be without the lower bass line? Someone please take up tuba or euphonium!  The newly formed 2023 Guitar Quintet were also a debut group, having just lost three advanced Year 12 members, but the group is now ably led by the up-and-coming guitarist, Year 10 student, Celeste. Their classical program of “Salut d’Amour” by Edward Elgar and “Processional” by Tielman Susato, provided lovely contrast to the opening piece of the program, a wild and improvised “Summertime Blues” by Music Captain and Soiree compere, Year 11 student, Sinead.  Audience members of a certain age dreamily reminisced about Omar Sharif in the “Doctor Zhivago” movie, so captivatingly crooned by Year 11 student, Phoebe, channelling her Middle Eastern Heritage and delighting her Grandma (her “Sittee”) in the audience who was hearing her sing solo for the first time. Well done to all of our performers on a beautiful evening.

Year 9 and 11 students of Japanese embraced the opportunity to learn how to dress in Japanese summer kimono and then enjoy a Japanese Tea Ceremony. Everyone enjoyed a traditional Japanese sweet and then sampled macha (green tea) prepared by our hostess and student helpers.
Urban Sketchers

Students from the co-curricular art activity, Urban Sketchers, produced a collaborative installation in response to the Spirit of the Arts theme this year, Elpis. Each student sketched a scene from the Greek mythical story Pandora’s Box. The display resembles an abacus which allows the viewer to move each box and reveal another side of the story. MSM staff and students are invited to take a closer look at the artwork which will be displayed in the MSM Library.
MSM Library's "Spooktober"

MSM students were treated, not tricked, to a myriad of strange and exciting activities and competitions organised by the very enthusiastic Library staff during "Spooktober": Creepy Craft, Agatha Christie films, Spooku (Haiku writing contest), Hunt the Murderer, Gravestone Lucky Dip, Digital Murder Mystery Escape Room and much more. 
MSM College Community Groups
Please keep up-to-date with changes to meeting formats.
 P&F Meetings: Please check the Mt St Michael's College Facebook page and App for meeting update notifications.
Alumni Meetings: Please visit the MSM Alumni Association Facebook page for updates.
Why not get involved in 2023?

Our P&F supports the College Leadership Team and our students and provides a vital role in bringing our community together and shaping a positive community culture.  If you are interested in becoming involved in 2023, we would love to hear from you. 
P&F Executive Roles:
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
P&F Supporting Roles:
  • Social Media Co-ordinator
  • Events Co-ordinator
  • Sub-Committee Fathers' Golf Day Convenor
Visit our Parents and Friends Association page on our website for more information or Click Here to download a nomination form.
2022 Term Dates

Term 1
Monday 31 January – Friday 1 April

Term 2
Wednesday 20 April – Friday 17 June

Term 3
Tuesday 12 July – Friday 16 September

Term 4
Tuesday 4 October – Friday 18 November (Year 12)
Tuesday 4 October – Friday 25 November (Years 7-11)
2023 Term Dates

Term 1
Tuesday 24 January – Friday 31 March

Term 2
Monday 17 April – Friday 16 June 

Term 3
Monday 10 July – Friday 15 September 

Term 4
Tuesday 3 October – Friday 24 November (Years 7-11)
Help Support the MSM Environment Group

Support the MSM Environment Group by donating your eligible containers! Bring your containers to school or use our scheme ID when returning to your local depot. Your donations will go towards funding our current and future environmental initiatives.

Mt St Michael's College scheme ID: C10333591
Now available on the College APP!
Mt St Michael’s College is pleased to bring to you the MSM Business Directory. Accessed through our website and APP, this online portal, profiles businesses and provides opportunities to connect with the wider MSM community to promote your services, sales and special offers. 

Many business owners profiled in the MSM Business Directory are long-term friends of the College. They include current and past parents, local businesses and alumni who, together show a commitment to Mt St Michael’s College and support for MSM events, fundraisers and initiatives. 

If you would like to be included in the online MSM Business Directory, simply email msmnews@msm.qld.edu.au

For more information please click here
Slow down!

The Brisbane City Council, in coordination with The Gap Ward Office, recently erected an additional 40 km/h school zone limit and traffic signs facing incoming traffic along Elimatta Drive and Aloomba Road following a request from Mt St Michael’s College to investigate the traffic management in the school vicinity. A safety project endorsed by Mt St Michael’s College’s Work Health and Safety (WHS) Committee.
Parents are reminded, for the safety of everyone, to DROP students off in the LOADING ZONE area outside the Ionian Centre and avoid areas marked with yellow lines which is against road safety rules. This is dangerous as it blocks other driver’s visibility and obstructs cars from moving around.
Onsite parking in the College grounds; Grantuly, undercover in the Ionian Centre and within the campus near the Sophia Centre is only permitted for staff. In consideration of our neighbours, please refrain from parking across driveways, adhere to the 40 km speed limit and be considerate of those living around the College when dropping and picking up students. Please do not drop off or pick up students within the College grounds.

In consideration for our neighbours, where possible please avoid leaving your motor running, especially when parked outside a home.
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