Dear Families

Welcome to Aspire, our quarterly newsletter for future MSM families that highlights successes, activities and events that have occurred here at Mt St Michael’s College during Semester 2.
On Thursday 17 August it was a pleasure to welcome you, our Year 7 2024 students and parents to our Orientation Morning, for the start of your transition to MSM. We have since welcomed you to our Transition Interviews with our College Leadership Team and Pastoral Leaders and I know many of you have attended our 'Come and Try' sessions ahead of your commencement at the College next year.
It is my pleasure to share a snapshot of our girls' successes in this edition of Aspire. As always, I encourage you to take the time to share this news with your daughter, to further familiarise herself with our College and the opportunities we offer. 

I wish your family the love, peace and happiness that the true meaning of Christmas brings. Have a safe and relaxing holiday…see you in 2024!

In Faith and Love

Ms Sharon Volp
Dear Families,

The Year 7 Homeroom Teachers and I are very excited about the arrival of your daughter on Tuesday 23 January 2024. We are looking forward to working with you and your daughter to make the transition from primary school to secondary school as easy and successful as possible.

In the first week your daughter will be participating in a series of transition activities to help her become familiar with College expectations, procedures and routines. Please find below some key information regarding the first day of Term 1 for Year 7 students.

Day 1 Tuesday 23 January
  • School starts at 8:30 a.m. and is a full school day concluding at 3:00 p.m.
  • Students are required to wear their formal College uniform.
  • On arrival your daughter should consult the lists located in M Block which will inform her of her Homeroom classroom and teacher. Please arrive earlier to allow your daughter sufficient time to do this.
  • Along with myself and Homeroom teachers our Year 12 student leaders will be around M block to welcome and assist you.
  • Your daughter is to then go to her Homeroom where she will receive instructions from her Homeroom Teacher.
  • Your daughter will not need her folders and books on the first day. She should bring them in on the second day, Wednesday 24 January, once she is aware of her locker allocation. On Wednesday she will receive her timetable and spend some time organising her books, folders, and locker. For the first day she only requires a pencil case, morning tea/lunch and a water bottle.

Year 7 Student and Parent/Caregiver Tablet Induction and Distribution  

On your daughter's first day, Tuesday 23 January at 3.15pm students and parents/caregivers should meet in the Sophia Centre for a compulsory information session regarding IT. During this session parents will sign the IT agreement form using the MSM app on their mobile phone and students will receive their laptop. Students will not receive their laptop if parents/caregivers have not signed the IT Agreement. 

I will be in contact prior to the start of the College year to provide further information on first day arrangements.

Jo Devenish-Meares
Pastoral Leader - Year 7

Thank you to those who joined us for Orientation Day in Term 3. It was wonderful to welcome Year 6 students from over 30 different schools to participate in fun group activities and games, and bond as they got to chat and laugh with their future MSM classmates. 
Jo Devenish-Meares, Pastoral Leader - Year 7

I have been teaching at MSM since 2009 and held the positions of Pastoral Leader of Years 8, 9 & 10. My curriculum areas are English, Humanities and Religion. I am passionate about the holistic education of young women and developing their spiritual, academic, and personal wellbeing so that they can flourish. I am also committed to encouraging students to use their gifts to enrich the world around them, be it in the school or the broader community. Over the course of the orientation sessions and interviews, it has been an absolute joy to get to know the incoming Year 7 2024 students. I look forward to meeting you on the first day in 2024 and developing a positive collaborative partnership as we journey throughout the year. Wishing you all a blessed Christmas.
Alison Larkings, Program Leader - Middle School

My name is Alison Larkings, and I am the Program Leader – Middle school at Mt St Michael's College.  I work hand in hand with the Pastoral Leaders of Years 7 – 9, and the Curriculum Leader – Diversity and Differentiation, to support students in their academic learning and wellbeing. Thus, initially my role is to help your daughter to adjust to high school life. There is quite a difference between the flow and organisation of Primary school to that of high school.  To help your daughter manage these changes and demands, I create assessment calendars, examination timetables and Home Study Planners for your daughter. Additionally, I manage the AARA (Access arrangements and reasonable adjustments) process.  AARA provisions are designed to support students with a diagnosed disability, medical condition, or experience a significant event that affects their ability to complete assessment.  AARA provisions can be either short or long term. I am looking forward to meeting the girls again and working in partnership with you in 2024!

The College community warmly welcomed the 2024 Student Leadership Team in our Commissioning Assembly. These exceptional students accept the honour and challenge to serve MSM. We encourage the 2024 SLT to share wisely and generously of their time, talents and energy.

College Captains:          Adelaide Miller and Mia Mellifont
Academic Captains:      Bridget Locke and Madelyne Ting
Cultural Captains:          Paige Gagiano and Sophie Grocock
Mission Captains:           Anabelle Cross and Chiara Fachin
Sports Captains:             Elli Harriden and Lily Tran
Aikenhead House:          Olivia Bond
Grantuly House:              Sophie Bedggood
Rush House:                   Chanel Willson
Stewart House:                Paige Houlihan


During Term 4 many of our Year 7 cohort for 2024 have joined us to get a taste of Sport at MSM. They have excitedly committed to trying aerobics, netball, soccer, tennis, swimming, and some have even joined an MSM water polo team for the 2023/2024 season. Over 50 girls joined us for the first ‘Come and Try’ netball session at MSM. We are so happy to have our newest community members join us and we look forward to welcoming them into the student population officially in 2024.

Our MSM Family marked Mary Aikenhead Day with a beautiful College Mass. Our College Community joined with the Sisters of Charity to commemorate the 165th anniversary of Mary Aikenhead's death. A courageous woman of vision and deep faith, may we all be inspired to follow in her footsteps. 

Faithful to the Sister's vow of service to the poor, our students spent time engaging in service activities that benefited St Vincent's Hospitals and Aged Care, the Romero Centre, Birthing Kits International and Mater Little Miracles. And we finished the day with a tremendous display of house pride with our first ever Sustainable Fashion Parade and House Lip Sync Competition!
On Mary Aikenhead Day MSM Year 7 students were involved in a scavenger hunt which was based around the life of Mary Aikenhead and the story of the Sisters arriving in Australia. The students had to work in teams to complete activities revealing a part of Mary Aikenhead’s journey. Upon completion, they received a riddle that they had to solve to find the next location! An exciting, educational, fast-paced hunt for all! 

The Spirit of the Arts Festival: Vitality was a huge success! This major cultural event, vibrantly supported by the wider MSM community, celebrated the varied talents of MSM Arts students. The College campus positively overflowing with joy as visitors embraced the uniquity of our Arts Community rejoicing in the diverse displays of Art, Dance, Drama and Music, including a spectacular closing ceremony encapsulating the College theme “Love without Limits”. 
MSM students enjoyed a wonderful and colourful day at our 2023 Inter-house Athletics Carnival. Congratulations to our competitive athletes who dominated and to all students who participated for house points.

Congratulations to Grantuly House, led by House Captain, Eva for being awarded Champion House for 2023 Inter-house Athletics Carnival. Well done to Stewart House on winning the House Spirit points for this event. 
The 87 strong team of MSM athletes alongside our inspiring coaching team competed in the CaSSSA Cup Athletics Carnival at QSAC. Some brilliant individual results, coupled with #MSMPride and a team of students trying their hearts out for each other resulted in adding another year to the Percentage Cup trophy. We also took home the Field Champions, were runners up in the Track Trophy and 2nd in the All-Age Relay. We came 2nd in the Aggregate Cup - a wonderful outcome after a hard fought and committed season from every MSM team member. The College batted above our average again to take the clean sweep of Percentage Cup trophies in all Big 3 CaSSSA events in 2023! 
MSM students performed in eight sections, over three incredible days at the Queensland Catholic Music Festival held at Villanova College on 17 - 20 August. We congratulate our musicians on their commitment and enjoyable performances, resulting in some outstanding results.
  • Guitar Ensemble GE1A – Gold
  • College Choir CH1A – Sliver
  • MSM Singers VE1B – Gold
  • Concert Band CB1B – Gold
  • Year 7-8 Choir CH1B – Silver
  • String Orchestra SO1B - Gold
  • Senior Strings  IE1B  – Gold
  • Percussion Ensemble PE1B – Silver.
At the end of our Mary Aikenhead Day Mass, we blessed and commissioned our new College Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), signifying our commitment to journey with First Nations people as we seek to build a more just Australia for all people. To mark this special occasion, four of our First Nations students – Eugenie, Scarlett, Lila and Zara – designed and decorated four beautiful Reconciliation Candles using traditional designs and symbols.

The MSM sports community came together in the Sophia Centre to celebrate a history making year in sport. Students were awarded for their successes across all sports, including individual and team successes in front of their parents and peers, while sharing breakfast and stories of a great year of sport at MSM. Thank you to our keynote speaker, QLD Firebirds Vice-Captain, Lara Dunkley for sharing valuable words of advice for our students, including, the importance of rest and recovery and the value of family support in your sports endeavours. Congratulations to all of our MSM award winners in sport – your efforts in 2023 were valued and appreciated #MSMProud.

The MSM community came together for our annual MSM Celebrates – a special occasion that recognises the outstanding achievements of students from Years 7 – 12 in all facets of our College life including, academic, sporting, cultural and community action. The evening was a wonderful celebration recognising our student and staff commitment to excellence throughout the year. We congratulate all our 2023 award recipients. 
MSM's Got Talent
MSM’s Interact CAN group coordinated the annual MSM's Got Talent. Entrants from across the Middle and Senior School entranced the audience with their spectacular instrumental performances, singing, dancing, signing and circus tricks. Congratulations to our Middle School winner Hannah who signed to “There’s nothing holdin’ me back” and our Senior School winner Sophia with her Bollywood Belly Dance Fusion. Thanks to the gold coin on entry, all proceeds went to this year’s school charity, Project Wakitikimi. 
National Science Week
To launch National Science Week activities at MSM, students joined our UQ Science Ambassadors to discover the intriguingly stretchy world for slime during lunchtime.  
Project Wakitikimi
With the graduation of the Class of 2023, we concluded our inaugural major fundraising project, Project Wakitikimi. This year, we partnered with Sr Leone Wittmack rsc from CatholicCare NT to develop a fundraising project, supporting First Nations language education in the Northern Territory and Tiwi Islands. Funds raised by MSM will be used to publish early learning readers in the traditional languages of the Northern Territory, so that Aboriginal children can learn to read in their own languages.
We are delighted to report that we presented CatholicCare NT with a cheque for $11,500. Sincere thanks to our 2023 College Mission Captains Amy and Sophie for their leadership of this project, and to all members of our community for their support of Sr Leone’s work.
Advent Liturgy
As Christian communities enter Advent, a season of preparation for Christmas, our MSM community gathered to pray for peace in the Middle East. Our manger scene looks a little different to the one typically displayed on Christmas cards. This is a warzone manger. Its structure is not soft and inviting. It’s made of rusted metal, wire and hessian, and laid in its base is a roughly woven cloth. As we prepare for Christmas, with all of the hopes and promises so desperately needed in our world today, we remember the powerful words of Australian poet Michael Leunig: “love is born, with a dark and troubled face, when hope is dead, and in the most unlikely place, love is born. Love is always born.”
Around the College
One of the continuing and very popular activities within our social sport program each term is Pilates. Students participate in Pilates sessions at Studio Pilates Ashgrove, providing them physical activity that isn’t competitive by nature but so good for their physical and mental health.  A brilliant way to stay active and be involved in MSM life.  
Brain Bee Challenge
Year 10 student Tully was given the opportunity to attend an immersion day at the Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) at the University of Queensland as a part of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge. This challenge involved students from all over Queensland competing in a series of online quizzes to test their knowledge of the brain and neuroscience. Tully’s hard work saw her make it into Round 2 of the competition held at QBI. This experience provided valuable insight into research and the study of neuroscience at university.


Congratulations to our MSM Aerobics teams for their performance at the Future Champions FISAF event and National Championships. Our teams trained tirelessly for most of the year and the results achieved at these events were indicative of their effort and commitment. 

Future Problem-Solving National Finals
Our Middle School Future Problem-Solving team (Lani, Keira, Ivy and Jasmine) competed in the Middle School Global Issues Problem Solving Division at the National Finals held at Brisbane Grammar School. Over the course of the weekend competition the students used the six-step problem-solving process to respond to a future scenario based on the topic : “Throw away society”.  Later the students used their creative skills to deliver a 3-minute Action Plan Presentation to sell to the audience their recommended action that should be taken to solve the underlying problem. We are so very proud of the students and their dedication to the program.


Our Year 7 Japanese students made kyaraben (character lunch boxes) for Japanese class. Margot’s winning bento was the cute Rilakkuma (bear). Students then enjoyed their nutritious and appetizing bentos whilst watching “Bento Harassment” in Japanese. In this film, single mother Kaori creates embarrassingly cute bentos with messages for her rebellious teenage daughter in the hope of opening up a line of communication between them. 

Career Conversations Breakfast
On Friday 11 August we welcomed MSM Alumni from various career fields including engineering, finance, communications, media, IT, teaching and medical to present to current Years 8 –11 students and their parents and caregivers. Attendees enjoyed gaining valuable insight from MSM Alumni to assist them in their subject selection process and future pathway considerations. Thank you to our amazing Alumni for sharing their valuable time with our community. 
Our Community
2023 P&F Mothers' Lunch

The 2023 P&F Mothers’ Lunch, held on Friday 25 August in the Rose Room at Cloudland was a huge success, making this an event not to be missed on the MSM calendar! Thanks to the generosity of our MSM community, significant funds were raised though our raffle to support the Light the Way Capital Campaign, assisting the College to light the way for future generations of MSM students through the enhancement of new educational facilities.
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 – 29 November (Years 7-11)
For more information on Music Camp or to register your daughter to attend, please contact Miriam Townsley - Program Leader - Co-curricular Music -
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