Welcome to Edition 1 2023 of ASPIRE, a snapshot of recent College activities, highlighting successes, activities and events that have occurred during Term 1 at Mt St Michael’s College. It has been an uplifting start to our new year as we are experiencing the most “normal” start since 2020! 

It was a pleasure to see so many prospective families join us for our Open Evening on 3 March.  We are proud of our MSM College community, and our students tremendously enjoyed sharing their experience of MSM during the tours. Thank you to those families who provided us with some feedback via our survey.  This valuable information helps us to plan for future events.

I hope that you enjoy reading this newsletter and I encourage you to take the time to share this news with your daughter to help her become more familiar with our College activities.

I wish you and your family a happy and restful holiday and a Holy Easter.

In Faith and Love

Ms Sharon Volp
Around the College
Year 7 Students' First Day
We were thrilled to welcome our newest members of our College community. Our Year 7 students were greeted by our senior leaders and staff before visiting their Homeroom. They were warmly introduced at our Welcome Assembly with our Year 12 cohort forming a traditional guard of honour.
P&F Year 7 Parents 'Welcome to MSM' Evening
Our Year 7 Parents and Caregivers joined us for the 2023 P&F ‘Welcome to MSM’ social event which was held in the Sophia Centre at the College. Thank you to our P&F Association for hosting a social evening for the newest members of our community.
MSM Foundation Year 7 Father-Daughter Breakfast
On Friday 10 February we welcomed Year 7 students and their fathers for the annual MSM Foundation Year 7 Father-Daughter Breakfast. We were joined by guest speaker, Professor Daniel Angus Professor of Digital Communication at QUT who shared his insight into the digital society and digital media practices. A wonderful morning was had by all.
Open Evening
We were #MSMProud on Friday 3 March as we showcased MSM at our 2023 Open Evening. Thank you to all who attended and enjoyed learning more about our wonderful College. There was plenty to see from classroom insights into our first-class teaching and learning, catching the contagious joy of our CAN groups, witnessing the friendly rivalry on the Volleyball court, escaping with the melodic strings from our music rooms and laughing at the always fun, interactive scenes of Theatre Sports – it was an evening of all things that make us #MSMProud! 
Principal's Honours Assembly
We were delighted to welcome back to Mt St Michael’s our 2022 MSM Honour Students, to present them with their ‘Principal’s Honour Award’, for their excellence in achievement and commitment to their studies in their chosen pathway; either ATAR or Vocational Education. These graduates have truly demonstrated Competence, Confidence, Compassion, Conscience and Commitment throughout their educational journey, and we were proud to acknowledge their achievements at our annual Principal's Honours Assembly.

Olivia Cavanagh, 2022 Dux of the College, in her address expressed her gratitude, thanking the dedicated teachers at MSM who supported her throughout her academic journey. Olivia looks forward to studying a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at James Cook University.

The words of Mary Aikenhead also remind us that, “Truly we have a reason to be grateful. Almighty Providence has been bountiful. May we do our best in all ways.”
Opening Eucharist

Our MSM Family gathered to celebrate a beautiful Opening Eucharist to begin our academic year and to bless and commission our senior students as they assume responsibility for the leadership of our community. Our College theme for 2023 is Love Without Limits.
International Women's Day High Tea

On Friday 10 March, our MSM mothers, female mentors and students gathered for the annual MSM IWD High Tea. We were joined by inspirational women in engineering - MSM Alumni - Lisa McMillan (Class of 2002), Jess Peters (Class of 2006) and Ashleigh Jacks (Class of 2005) who kindly shared their stories to a gathering of nearly 600 women.
2023 Year 12 Theme Launch 
Well done to our Year 12 cohort on delivering an enthusiastic launch of the 2023 Year 12 Theme “Add some spice to your MSM life” at Assembly earlier this term. The Spice Girls inspired theme banner will be prominently displayed in the Sophia Centre throughout the year as a reminder for all students to get involved in co-curricular academic, sporting and cultural opportunities and spice up their MSM life in 2023.
Did you know that MSM has a longstanding tradition of holding a market day each term? Organised by the Student Community Action Network (CAN) Groups, the market fundraiser embraces our generous and enterprising students who work together to create products, promote and sell them. All profits from the markets go to charity. Our Term 1 ExtravaCANza was a great success with all profits going towards Project Wakitikimi, our 2023 whole College project. Held on International Women’s Day, the markets were set against the soundtrack of empowering female anthems, compiled by our Mission Captains.
Inter-House Swimming Carnival
On Monday 27 February MSM house groups competed in the Inter-house Swimming Carnival. The Valley pool was alive with cheering and colour and some incredible individual performances. There were smiles and fun in abundance poolside which provided a wonderful celebration on a hot and sunny day. Well done to every student who attended the carnival, wearing their house colours with pride, competing in races and the house event, contributing in any way to house points. Congratulations to Stewart House on their victory!
CaSSSA Cup Swimming
After a short but intense season, our MSM swimming team competed in the CaSSSA Cup Swimming Carnival on Thursday 9 March coming home as the Percentage Cup Champions and All Age Relay Champions. After some quiet years without spectators, it was wonderful to have the Year 8 and 10 students and staff attend as our cheer squad, supporting our CaSSSA Swim Team in the most #MSMloud and #MSMproud way possible. Thank you to the staff and students, our cheer squad at this event, for your enthusiasm and constant (loud) support!
Aikenhead Spirit Day
Potato bowling, anyone? There was plenty of Irish pride on display for Aikenhead Day, an opportunity for our College’s green house to demonstrate some spirit and service. Our Aikenhead students held a green bake sale at morning tea, and celebrated with some Irish-themed house spirit activities and a delicious cake during lunch. 
Water Polo
Congratulations to our U12 and U13 water polo teams on their involvement in the BWPI Semi Finals . Whilst the Grand Finals are just out of reach this year, we are very proud of their efforts with most of them playing in their first ever season of water polo.
Japanese Exchange Students
We recently had the pleasure of welcoming to MSM, 20 students from Kanagawa Gakuen high school in Japan. MSM families generously provided a homestay experience for the visiting students. The girls participated in English lessons and experienced a variety of subjects with their host sisters as they enjoyed MSM life. 
Year 7 Retreat
On Friday 27 January, we warmly welcomed our Year 7 students to the MSM family at our Year 7 Retreat Day. Our beautiful new bespoke Retreat program launches this year. At the Year 7 Retreat, our students used the film Encanto to explore core themes of identity, belonging and giftedness through games, sharing stories and a powerful welcome ritual.
MSM Debating is off to a great start with the 12.1 and 10.2 teams winning the first round of the competition. We are so proud of our teams, what a fantastic beginning to the season!  All of our teams have consistently demonstrated their dedication to training and evening debates. Our 12.1 debate team, consisting of Emily, Lucy, Neave, and Emily, is currently undefeated.
Pi Day
We celebrated Mathematics pi Day (3.14)!  We participated in pi trivia, put together a paper chain of pi and some brave students were able to recite the digits of pi they had memorised for the occasion.  A massive congratulations to our winner Chelsea in Year 7 who could recite 128 digits of pi with a special mention to Scarlett in Year 12 who recited 94. 
Harry Potter Club
Harry Potter fans at MSM rejoiced when the new Harry Potter Club was launched in the Library. Thanks to two die-hard Year 8 Potterhead students, Chloe and Ellen, fans who are devoted to the book series, movies and merchandise now have a place to share their passion. 
Year 9 Food Technology
Year 9 have completed their final practical assessment in the La Pizzeria Unit of work. Asked to construct a pizza suitable for their families that chose healthy ingredients to support the Australian guide to Healthy eating, students made dough from scratch learning about yeast production and the importance of kneading in developing gluten networks. Bon appetit!
Middle School Assembly
At MSM, we value the physical action of gathering as a community and celebrating the achievements of this proud school. Recently the middle school celebrated the successes of the Year 7 – 9 students at the Middle School Assembly. 
"Pay it Forward" Market Day
MSM was awash with pink and purple as we celebrated Valentine’s Day. Students were invited to dress up in pink & purple accessories, our Year 10 students modelled our core value of Love by attaching notes of affirmation to every locker in the school, and our Year 10 & 11 students hosted a wonderful “Pay It Forward With Love” Market Day. All funds raised go towards our Major Fundraiser, Project Wakitikimi, which supports literacy in traditional languages for First Nations children across the Northern Territory.
Year 8 Visual Art
The Year 8 Visual Art classes have prepared preliminary sketches/designs for their “What Am I?” unit of work from which they will create a figurative clay character representing a symbolic version of themselves. Starting with a clay pinch pot these students will form the heads and bodies of their characters which will take shape over the next few weeks.
Quest Challenge

We celebrated the achievement of Isabella (Year 8), Phoebe (Year 9) and Sophie (Year 9) in the National Quest Challenge for Gifted and Talented students. These students were commended for their critical and creative application of extension learning as they responded to the multiple challenges of this competition. Our Quest teams’ preparation for the challenges, teamwork, and approach to problem solving were exceptional. The results of the National Quest Challenge included 1st place in Science, 4th place in Mathematics, and 1st place in the Humanities section. Overall Mt St Michael’s College placed 2nd in Australia. Congratulations Sophie, Isabella, and Phoebe on this outstanding achievement. 

Year 7 & 9 NAPLAN

Our Year 7 and 9 students concluded NAPLAN recently. The results of NAPLAN – along with other effective classroom assessment and reporting practices, help to give a snapshot of how students are performing. Well done to our MSM girls for approaching the testing with confidence and commitment.
Colour and Win!
Add a splash of colour and creative flair to the Easter picture above. Take a photo holding your masterpiece while wearing your primary school uniform and send it with your contact details to msmnews@msm.qld.edu.au for your chance to win an Easter Egg gift basket!
MSM Term Dates
Term 1
Tuesday 23 January (Years 7, 11 and 12) – Thursday 28 March
Wednesday 24 January (all students) – Thursday 28 March

Term 2
Monday 15 April – Friday 14 June

Term 3
Monday 8 July – Friday 13 September

Term 4
Monday 30  September – 22 November (Years 7-11)
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Mt St Michael's College - MSM News

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