Dear Families

Welcome to our Term 1 edition of Aspire, 

In Faith and Love

Ms Sharon Volp
Dear Families



Ms Katie Jordan
Head of Junior School


We were thrilled to welcome our newest members of our College community this morning. Our Year 7 students were greeted by our returning Year 11 and 12 students and staff before visiting their homeroom. We wish them all the best as they embark on this new and exciting journey, exploring new realms of learning, developing new skills and forming new friendships.

We welcomed back all our extraordinary students from Years 7-12 to what we know will be an amazing year. Our community gathered for our Welcome Assembly with our Year 12 cohort forming the traditional guard of honour to welcome our new Year 7 students into the community.


MSM provides many formal opportunities for us to connect with parents and caregivers as we work in partnership to support the formation of our young people to develop “commitment, confidence, compassion, conscience and competence”.  It was great to “connect” with almost 100 Year 7 parents and carers who joined us for the P&F Year 7 "Welcome to MSM" Function. Topics of conversation included how are newest members of our community are settling in, home study routines, weight of school bags and Taylor Swift concerts. 

We welcomed Year 7 students and their fathers/caregivers for the annual MSM Foundation Year 7 Father-Daughter Breakfast. Pancakes were shared to mark Shrove Tuesday in the Church calendar as the sounds of our talented Guitar Ensemble were enjoyed. Thank you to our wonderful guest speaker, Sister of Charity, Sr Suzette Clark who enlightened us on The Modern Slavery Transitional Housing Program, Raise the Roof and how we as a community can make a real difference. Our Mission Captains ran an activity with each Year 7 student and father given the opportunity to write their message of hope and love and display their tile on the roof of our House of Compassion. Thank you to all members of the MSM community who joined us this morning, including, Foundation Chair, Dr Sarah Pollock. 


Thank you to everyone who visited us and enjoyed learning more about our wonderful College on Open Evening. 


We were delighted to welcome back to Mt St Michael’s our 2023 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 Honours Assembly.  

Charlie Marcus, 2023 Dux of the College in her address expressed her gratitude, thanking the dedicated teachers at MSM who guided her through her goals and the obstacles encountered throughout her academic journey. Charlie looks forward to studying a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) / Master of Engineering at UQ. A special thank you to our Honour Students who addressed the audience and shared their own reflections on their journey to excellence.   


Our College community gathered to pray for abundant blessings as we began a new academic year, at our MSM Opening Eucharist. As part of this special Mass, we blessed and commissioned our Year 12 students, entrusting them with leadership of our College. We thank Fr Gerry Kalinowski, Parish Priest of Jubilee Parish, for presiding at this special Mass. 

What an incredible afternoon the MSM community shared at the 2024 MSM Foundation IWD High Tea. 

The College welcomed back MSM Alumni, Katerini Manolatos (Class of 1996) who also brought her very proud mother, Cos, along to our event, traditionally shared between mother and daughter. Katerini is a Registered Music Therapist, Neurologic Music Therapist, Vocalist and Vocal Coach. With tertiary qualifications in Classical Voice and Opera and Music Therapy, Katerini has enjoyed over 20 years as a vocal coach and music therapist. Her Music Therapy career has given her the honour of working with individuals from all over Queensland using music to bring about change. In the last five years Katerini’s focus has been intertwining her skills and passion for the voice in vocal and speech skills acquisition and rehabilitation. Katerini is active in the Brisbane music scene effortlessly transitioning between opera, classical, music theatre, contemporary, jazz and world music styles. Currently Katerini is a founder in the production company Girl from Greece, Founding member for the Greek choir Ellinikes Fones, and owner of Hummingbird Music Therapy and Singing. It was lovely to see Katerini gracing the MSM stage again as she shared the beautiful gift of her voice, following a walk down memory lane. One of the messages she shared with attendees was “Do what makes your heart sing.  Do what you love!”  and she clearly is! 

The College thanked and acknowledged the ongoing support of the MSM Alumni for the generous donation of the delicious cookies shared at the event. MSM Alumni Treasurer, Alice Spies (Class of 2011) introduced Katerini and delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of all guests present, including Jonty Bush MP and members of the MSM College Board. A wonderful afternoon was shared by all! 


As the 2024 swimming season drew to a close, we reflected on the many highlights of our competitive swimmers. Well done to all members of the MSM Swim Team for their dedication, commitment and contribution during the 2024 swimming season. 

MSM Inter-house Swimming Carnival 
The MSM Inter-house Swimming Carnival provided an opportunity for our competitive swimmers to practice racing, aim to break personal bests and was part of the trailing process for the 2024 Swim Team. Congratulations to all students who were selected in the team and were presented with their caps on assembly, ahead of the Swim Camp and CaSSSA Swimming Carnival. We took the opportunity to congratulate our Inter-house Swimming Carnival Age Champions, Open Champion and Fastest 8 Champion. Well done to Stewart who was awarded the Champion House for the Carnival and presented with their trophy on assembly. 

Swim Camp
In preparation for the CaSSSA Carnival, our 2024 Swim Team attended Swim Camp from 23 - 25 February at Tallebudgera Recreation Centre. It started off on Friday after school when the team competed at a lead up meet here in Brisbane, where they returned to school, had a pizza party together and then jumped on the bus and headed down the coast. Their Saturday morning started with a sunrise walk along the beach, and then students were split into groups to do different activities such as canoeing, team rescue and catapults. That evening the fun continued with a games night in the hall. On Sunday the team were up early again for another morning beach walk, then straight after breakfast they enjoyed morning activities of beach games and a team challenge. After lunch the team had a training session in the pool with their coach, then packed up and returned to MSM. Comradery and many memories of a great weekend were shared. 

CaSSSA Swimming Carnival
MSM concluded a successful swimming season with the CaSSSA competition on Thursday 7 March. With the fantastic support of our Year 8 cohort cheering loudly in the stands, our swimmers made us #MSMProud.


At our whole school assembly this morning, our Year 12 cohort launched their theme to the College, ‘Aspire to be more in 2024'. The theme, taken from the invitation of St Oscar Romero, to “Aspire not to have more, but to be more” acknowledges that we are called to a life of ‘being’ as opposed to ‘having’ because our human dignity is not gauged by what we have but what we are: made in the image and likeness of God. The Year 12 students hope that this theme inspires all MSM students in our year of Compassion. 


Students continued the fundraising for our 2024 College Project Raise the Roof at the Term 1 ExtravaCANza. Our five Community Action Network Groups hosted stalls and raised $988 with all proceeds going towards the Raise the Roof initiative to free a person from modern slavery.


Our Year 7 students were warmly welcomed into our MSM family with a beautiful retreat experience. Students were joined by their Year 7 Pastoral Leader and Homeroom staff for a day off-campus filled with games, activities, prayer and reflection. There was plenty of time to meet and get to know one another in a relaxed setting. The theme of the Retreat was Welcome to the Family MSM, drawing from the Disney film Encanto. It was a wonderful way for our newest students to finish their first week at MSM. 


At MSM, and around the world, we celebrated Pi Day on 14 March (3/14).  It is an annual opportunity for math enthusiasts to recite the infinite digits of Pi, create friendship bracelets with their friends, and eat pie. Pi has been calculated to over 50 trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. Pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to try to memorise. 


Year 7 Design Technology students finished their first 5 weeks of cooking. Students have been working through the unit ‘Garden to Gourmet’, learning new kitchen skills and using our school garden to construct Buddha bowls. 



Our Year 11 students hosted The Pay it Forward Markets as a way to “pay forward” the privilege of having their upcoming Semi-Formal. Students from Years 7 – 12 enjoyed Lob-a-choc, ice-cream, treats and sausage sizzle stalls and the ever-popular Pie the Teacher. All funds raised are going to the Colleges’ 2024 fundraising initiative ‘Project Raise the Roof’. 


DANCE | During Term 1 our Year 11 Dance students experienced the magic of Bollywood first-hand with an incredible workshop led by Dance Masala's Artistic Director.  

From the infectious beats to the intricate choreography, students learnt the origins and modernisations of this popular dance style. Thank you to Dance Masala for bringing the spirit of Bollywood to our dance class and inspiring us to move and choreograph with passion, joy and meaning! 



Congratulations to our exceptional MSM QUEST Challenge Team- Isabella, Lyla, and Madelynn who were acknowledged at assembly for their outstanding efforts and results in the Queensland (1st overall) and National Finals (4th overall and 3rd in the Humanities section). 


Our wonderful Year 11 students who provided mentorship to their Year 7 House Sisters as they navigated some of the College routines and processes such as the timetable, locker organisation and using their locks. 

During Term 1, Year 7 and 11 House Sisters came together with their beloved teddy bears and stuffed toys to enjoy a morning tea picnic on the Convent Lawn


Year 7 and Year 9 NAPLAN completed NAPLAN and our Interact CAN group were on hand to provid some relief and reward to the students after the first testing session by distributing ice blocks.


This year's Music Camp at QCCC Brookfield was a captivating experience for our talented student musicians. All the Co-curricular Music groups are preparing for the MusicFest1 Concert on Thursday 2 May with the country and western theme of “Three Chords and the Truth”. With a scent of eucalyptus in the air, the students refined their skills with the guidance of esteemed guest musicians and dedicated tutors. In addition to their regular groups, they sang in a massed choir played musicianship games, and explored new percussion instruments. This year, we introduced combined orchestra items, providing an opportunity for collaborative performances that added a new dimension to our musical endeavours. The collective passion and dedication of our students were evident, showcasing progress, increased confidence, and a genuine love for music. Adding a refreshing twist to the routine, students also enjoyed time in the pool between rehearsals if they weren’t in Study Hall. 


A group of Year 10 students set out to QUT to take part in the Science and Engineering Challenge. The girls showed great dedication and aptitude towards the various challenges, which focused on current Science and Engineering issues such as providing the lowest cost electricity to a city, designing effective fish traps, scheduling jobs to cause the least stress in employees, using coding to confound communications and designing an earthquake proof building and an efficient wind turbine. Two groups, those completing the flight challenge placed first, receiving a prize from Boeing who sponsored the event.  With this success, and the teamwork throughout the day, the girls placed first overall, making the College a QUT Science and Engineering Champion School. 

MSM supported Caritas’ Project Compassion campaign with a fundraisers to mark the commencement of Lent. On Shrove Tuesday, our Year 12 students thoroughly enjoyed cooking a pancake feast for our community and selling them with toppings to very happy Year 7 customers.

We recently farewelled our Japanese exchange students from Kanagawa Gakuen. It was wonderful to observe genuine cross-cultural interactions with our MSM Japanese students. We were delighted by the girls’ performance “Furusato” (Hometown) on assembly, impressed by the girls’ development in English skills and grateful for their help in Japanese classes. We are most grateful to our 15 host families who so generously opened their homes to the students. The Kanagawa girls kept a daily journal and each student wrote about the warmth and kindness of their host families. Thank you for you care of the girls and we hope that this is the start of a long friendship. 

To compliment Queensland School Library Week activities, MSM students engaged in MSM READS during homeroom time. It was an opportunity for our community to disengage from their devices and to immerse themselves in the written word, by reading for pleasure. Our new Year 7 students enjoyed doing their MSM Library Orientation, allowing them to borrow from our extensive library collection and participate. 
Year 10 students demonstrated their commitment to MSM’s 2024 theme of Compassion: the courage to look, the courage to act at their Valentine’s Day fundraiser. With a backing soundtrack of timeless love songs, a sausage sizzle, soft drinks, face painting, lob-a-choc, lolly bags and zooper-doopers, they raised much needed funds for our project, Raise the Roof. 
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Mt St Michael's College - MSM News

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