The end of Term 1 is rapidly approaching. As I reflect upon the last nine weeks it is easy to let the events such as the delayed start to the school year, an unpredictable weather event that led to flooding and the illness and isolation created by COVID dominate our perception of the term. There have been many wonderful events and achievements that have been celebrated and have captured the positive spirit of MSM.  There are many wonderful stories in this final edition of the Spirit for Term 1. 

Year 7 Parent “Welcome to MSM”

Last night approximately 100 Year 7 Parents/Caregivers attended the “Welcome to MSM” function at Walkabout Creek. This event which is hosted by the P and F was postponed from 25 February and I would like to thank Natalie Chadud (P and F President) for the warm welcome that she extended to our families. MSM Leadership Team members, Kate Simpson, Sian Mason and Sally Crothers and I,  enjoyed the opportunity to informally engage with parents/caregivers and to “check in” to see how their children are settling into life at MSM. 

Staff News

I am very pleased to welcome Sr Cate O’Brien, Sister of Charity, back to MSM.  Sr Cate commenced this week in a part-time role providing pastoral support to the College Leadership Team, staff and families.  Sr Cate has previously served at MSM in 1993 and 2013. It will be wonderful for our students to be able to engage with Sr Cate and she has already introduced herself to the students at this week’s Middle School Assembly and reacquainted herself with many members of staff.   Welcome back Sr Cate!

It is with sadness that I announce the resignation of Maryann McDougall, Finance Manager, who will finish on Thursday 7 April 2022.  Ms McDougall commenced at the College in January 2012 and has interacted with every parent/caregiver in the College and often has been privy to many private family situations which she has handled with great care and sensitivity.   She is also the proud mother of two MSM Alumnae. We thank Ms McDougall for her dedication to MSM and wish her all the very best for the next exciting chapter of her life. 

We welcome Ms Nadine Gagliardi to the role of Director of Finance. Ms Gagliardi has already commenced her transition into the College and will officially commence on 1 April 2022.

Ms Nicola Crawford has resigned from her position as Director of Literacy effective as of the end of the school holidays.  Ms Crawford has done an outstanding job in leading the English Department and I am delighted that she is going to remain on staff in a teaching role. 

Congratulations to Ms Treasa Kennedy who has been appointed to the role of Curriculum Leader – English commencing next term.  Ms Kennedy is a highly experienced English teacher and Head of Department and we are excited that she is joining our staff. 

Easter Liturgy

I would like to invite parents/caregivers to attend our Easter Liturgy that will be held on Friday 1 April commencing at 2.15 pm in the Sophia Centre. As a Catholic community, this event is very significant.

International Women’s Day High Tea

It was a fabulous gathering of the women of MSM at our 12th annual IWD Foundation Mother-Daughter High Tea which was held on Friday 11 March and was well attended.  Thank you to  Sr Cate for opening the proceedings by leading us in prayer.  This year we welcomed two of our Alumni as speakers.  Jasmine Armstrong (Class of 2021 and Dux of the College) addressed the theme #BreaktheBias with a passionate speech.  Jasmine is studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science at UQ.

Our keynote speaker was Claire Brown (Class of 2004) Claire has an impressive biography.  She is an international human rights lawyer who has spent the last decade working on human rights and justice, with a focus on gender and women’s rights, in Africa and the Middle East. Claire is currently based in Beirut, Lebanon. Her work has included supporting activists and victims of crimes to demand justice, helping to write new laws, conducting research and writing reports about key human rights issues and challenges, and conducting trainings with governmental, civil society and legal partners on gender and the rule of law in Somalia, South Sudan, Kenya, Lebanon and Bangladesh.

Jasmine facilitated a Q&A session with Claire at the conclusion of her address and it was wonderful to see this community engagement.

Thanks you to the Guitar Quartet who provided some entertainment during the function. I would like to acknowledge the wonderful efforts of the P and F Mothers’ Lunch Committee who presented me with a cheque for $23 000 for the Sisters of Charity Scholarship Fund. I would like to thank Danielle Ferris (Director of Marketing, Communication and Development) for her efforts in organising this event. 

For more photos please click here

Happy Holidays

Please note that the final day of school, Friday 1 April, is a full school day.  The first day of Term 2 for students is Wednesday 20 April. 

I wish all our families a Happy and Holy Easter.  May the joy and peace of the risen Christ be with you.   

In faith and love
Sharon Volp

Save The Date - MSM Open Evening
Friday 27 May ● 3:30 - 6pm
Mt St Michael's College
Thank you for your Support of our Term 1 Events

A big thank you to the MSM community for supporting our 2022 MSM Foundation International Women's Day High Tea and raffle. All proceeds from our event are directed to our Mt St Michael’s Sisters of Charity Scholarship Fund.

Thank you to our MSM Foundation International Women's Day High Tea Sponsors. Please click the business names for more information about the wonderful products and services they provide.

Angelo's Daughter
Antoinette Bracks Family Jeweller
Ashgrove Fresh
Jonty Bush MP Member for Cooper
Meat at Billys
Rufus King Seafood
Savvy Hair
SkinSpa MediSpa
Steven Toomey - Councillor for The Gap Ward
Thank you to our Year 7 parents and caregivers who attended the P&F Association 'Welcome To MSM' Event. We trust you enjoyed meeting and getting to know each other and our College Leadership Team.

Thank you to our P&F Association for hosting a great night.

Another great way to connect with other parents/caregivers in our community is by volunteering at MSM Events.
To find out more, visit our website and follow the P&F Association Facebook Group
College Leadership Team
Digital Citizenship

A digital citizen is someone who develops the skills and knowledge necessary to use the internet and digital technologies effectively. We all seem to be online these days, and the pace of digitising society appears to be advancing. As a result, students must have an understanding of their digital citizenship.
The capacity to use digital technology safely and responsibly, as well as to be an engaged and respected part of society, both online and offline is essential.

Additionally, Digital Citizenship is about global connectivity. We can interact with individuals we've never met, exchange material and stories with a global audience, and have instant access to information, news, and media. However, with this access comes potential risks. 

Our students, in particular, face risks online, and when combined with the statistics that our children spend over 20 hours per week online, a statistic that has been bolstered by COVID and the shift towards reliance on an online world, there is an urgent need to teach and understand digital citizenship.

A digital footprint is a permanent record of all online interactions and activities. Many students are still adjusting to the concept that once anything is uploaded or shared online, it might be there in perpetuity. At Mt St Michael's College, we guarantee that our students are digitally literate, enabling them to navigate the digital world safely and securely, as well as comprehend its impact on our society.

As we approach the conclusion of the school term and the holidays, when students are more likely to be distracted by social media, it is a good time to educate them about Digital Citizenship.

The websites listed below are excellent for parents and offer a range of digital citizenship ideas for parents.
  • Australian Government’s eSafety Commissioner: Click here  
  • Brett Lee’s website: Click here
    Brett is an ex-detective who used to pose as a child online to catch predators.
In partnership, schools and families can prepare our students to think critically and use technology in positive, creative, and powerful ways. 
Close the Gap Day
On Thursday 17 March, led by our Social Justice Council, MSM marked Close the Gap Day. Close the Gap is a National campaign aimed at closing the gaps in education, healthcare and justice between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the rest of the Australian population.
While it is heartening to see significant improvements in antenatal, infant and early childhood health and an overall decrease in avoidable deaths, Federal Government Data from the Lowitja Institute indicates that we still have a long way to go to achieve equity for our First Nations Peoples:
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are experiencing a burden of disease that is 2.3 times higher than the rest of the population, despite accounting for just 3% of health expenditure. 
  • Rates of out of home care for children has increased from 35 in 1000 in 2009 to 54 in 1000 in 2018. 
  • Rates of imprisonment have increased from 1337 in 1000 in 2006 to 2088 in 2019. 

Congratulations to our Mission Captains and CAN groups for a wonderful ExtravaCANza market day. Our CAN groups worked hard throughout the term to prepare items for sale at their stalls, with all money raised going towards Project Compassion and Micah Projects:
•    Missions of St Vincent: raffle & guess the easter eggs in the jar
•    Sisters Empowering Sisters: badges promoting respect, inclusion and love
•    Interact: easter egg washer bunnies
•    Environment Group: book swap & potted succulents 
•    Social Justice Council: Close the Gap tote bags
Missions of St Vincent
Sisters Empowering Sisters
Environment Group
Social Justice Council
Thank you to everyone who supported the Term 1 ExtravaCANza
Year 9 Retreat Day: The Act of Giving 
Our Year 9 Students gathered in week 8 for Retreat, led by Michael Fitzpatrick. The theme of the Retreat was The Act of Giving. Students were challenged to give more generously and creatively, and to consider whether what they give comes from their surplus, or if it is a true gift of self. 
Year 11 Retreat Day: Leading with Integrity & Hope
We welcomed our Year 11 students to the Riverlife Baptist Church for our annual Year 11 Retreat, also facilitated by Michael Fitzpatrick. Our students used this day to reflect on the many gifts that each person brings to leadership, and to consider the question how do we want to be remembered? This special day marked the beginning of the leadership formation journey for our Year 11 students. 
Easter Blessings
As we continue our journey towards Easter, and prepare our hearts for the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for the love and care you have shown to one another during this extraordinary term, and I leave you with this prayer for the Easter season:

Loving God, heart of justice,
Roll away the stone to the entrance of our hearts, 
that we might find more room for your compassion, justice and love.

Like the women of Jerusalem, 
your chosen witnesses to the miracle of Jesus’ rising,
gift us with the courage to be resurrection people
to be people of hope
to be people of peace.  

Over the past term, I have been exploring study skills that are aligned with the demands of the QCE system. This week we look at the use of interleaving as a strategy to reinforce new learning. Common sense tells us that to learn a skill, we should practise it repeatedly. While repetition is vital, research says we will learn that skill more effectively if we mix our practise of it with other skills. This is known as interleaving

If applying interleaving successfully, students (and teachers), should resist the temptation to repeat the exact same process multiple times in a row. Instead, the practice of new processes should be interwoven with other previously learnt skills and processes. This switching causes an interruption to repetitive practice and forces the brain the think more critically about what strategy to use to solve the problems.

For example, when solving mathematics equations, students will typically complete five of the same problem, or 10 of the same problem. Instead of doing that, they should try to complete different problems in different orders. Another approach could be if students are learning to calculate the area of a triangle, instead of having them do 20 problems with triangles, have them do one with a triangle, then one with a circle, then a triangle, then a square.

This approach is more challenging, so students may potentially make more errors initially, but they will also be learning something very important, which is how to choose a particular strategy for each problem, as opposed to just repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again.

As we begin to head into the busy end of the term, I want to reflect upon the purpose of drafting. It is important to make the distinction between feedback given as part of the teaching and learning process and structured feedback given as part of developing an assessment response. The purpose of drafting is to provide students with feedback so that improvements can be made to the assessment response. Drafting is a consultation process, not a marking process. Teachers do not award a notional result or level of achievement for student work that is in draft form.

What is a Draft?

A draft is a preliminary version of a student’s response to an assessment instrument. The quality of a draft may vary from a brief outline to a response that is nearing completion. A draft can be used to provide feedback on a response as well as to authenticate student work.

When submitting a draft, students may be required to:

  • submit a written outline about their approach
  • discuss their approach with their teacher
  • submit a full written draft

What sort of Feedback will be provided?

Teachers will provide feedback on a maximum of one draft of each student’s response. Continual feedback on multiple written scripts will not be provided as it is not an effective way of assisting students to develop independence.

Feedback on a draft must not compromise the authenticity of student work. Teachers may not introduce new ideas, language or research to improve the quality of student responses. Similarly, teachers may indicate some key errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and calculations, and remind students that the draft requires more editing, but should not edit or correct all errors in a draft.

Students may be advised to:

  • consider other aspects of the text, report, performance or activity they are creating or responding to
  • develop their response to show more awareness of the audience
  • give priority to the most important points by rearranging the sequence and structure of ideas
  • conduct further investigation to support an argument or communicate meaning
  • adhere more closely to the referencing style selected by the school

All assessment instruments indicate the required length of a response as a word length, duration of time, or page count. This information is provided to:

  • indicate the depth of the response required
  • encourage conciseness of the response
  • ensure equity of conditions for all students
  • meet the requirements for endorsement, where applicable

Teachers may use a range of suitable strategies to provide feedback on the draft response. The strategy chosen may differ depending on the mode of response. Possible strategies include:

  • written feedback
  • verbal feedback
  • feedback provided through questioning
  • a summary of feedback and advice to the whole class

It is then the student’s responsibility to act upon the feedback that they have been given. I hope that as we begin to move into the business end of term that students are working towards submitting their best drafts to get feedback on how to improve. This is particularly pertinent for our Year 11 students as we approach the mid-semester break as our senior students no longer operate on a term-by-term basis – they will have drafting to complete over the mid-semester break as Unit 1 will conclude at the end of week 4 in Term 2. 

Interim Reports

Interim Reports for students in Years 7 – 12 are now available in Parent Lounge. These reports provide information on your daughter's learning habits in her subjects from Term 1. The details for the criteria are on the report. Contained in this report is an indication if your student's teacher would like to meet with you at the upcoming Parent Teacher Conferences. 

Parent Teacher Conferences

Parent Teacher Conferences for students in Years 7 – 10 & Year 12 will be occurring on Tuesday 19 April from 10.00am – 8.00pm and on Tuesday 24 May from 3:30pm – 7:00pm for students in Year 11.

The conferences will be online via Teams. Bookings for the Years 7 – 10 & Year 12 conferences are now open in parent lounge and close next Wednesday 30 March at 3:00pm.

It is safe to say that now, in Week 9 we are thoroughly back into the swing of things at Mt St Michael’s College. Despite the challenge of staff and students being absent from school due to isolation or being unwell themselves, with the support of the community we have returned to normal school life.

National Day for Action Against Bullying

Friday 18 March marked National Day for Action Against Bullying and was a great success at MSM, the vibrant flash of orange could be seen in hair and on ties across the college. It is a day when we recognise the harm that bullying behaviours can have on individuals and communities alike. We are all called to reflect on how our words and actions may be perceived by others and reignite a commitment to building and maintaining positive relationships. The issue of bullying is one that requires ongoing education and reflection to enable young people to restore relationships and develop strategies that promote inclusion and respect. It is also essential that we challenge the culture of not ‘snitching’ and become confident to call out wrongdoing and tackle the problem head on. At MSM we work in partnership with parents to model appropriate responses to incidents to ensure a safe environment for our students. I encourage families to talk openly about the importance of kindness as well as seeking assistance from teachers if any challenges present. 

Young Women’s Leadership Soiree

Last Thursday evening a group of the Mt St Michael’s College Student Leadership Team attended a leadership event at St Rita’s College, Clayfield. The students had the opportunity to build connections with other Student Leaders from Catholic girls’ schools across Brisbane. The evening was full of vibrant conversation and the buzz of a generation emerging with a passion for social justice. We heard from a guest speaker, First Nation’s woman, Yarraka Bayles who regaled the captive audience with her family’s story bringing home the continuing impact of the Stolen Generations and touching on her son’s experience of bullying. Her engaging and accessible story telling left an obvious impression on all attendees, sparking intelligent questions and subsequent conversation. This was a wonderful event for our leaders who represented the College with pride and dignity.

Upcoming Events

  • School Photo Day - TBC Term 3
  • Cross Country - Tuesday, March 29
Around The College
MSM In Water Polo Grand Final

Good luck to one of our Under 18 Water Polo Teams who will play Brisbane Girls Grammar in the Grand Final of their division this Saturday 26 March 2022. All MSM Community Members are encouraged to get out to the event and support our girls in navy and gold. 
The Valley Pool. Wickham Street – Fortitude Valley. 10.30am
Flip-Flip Drive

We are so proud of our Year 8 students whose generous Hearts for Justice are on display in their care for the poor and marginalised. This term, our Year 8 and 9 students have been collecting flip-flop thongs for women who are transitioning from homelessness or escaping domestic violence. We will continue to accept donations in homerooms next week.
Middle School Assembly

Congratulations to all Middle School students who presented, performed, or received awards during our Middle School Assembly.  The Year 9 Homeroom Captains demonstrated outstanding leadership today in leading Years 7, 8 & 9 in the first Middle School Assembly for 2022. During this time, we were able to celebrate the achievements of our students across all dimensions of MSM College life. These ranged from the Years 7 & 8 choir, Year 9 HPE aerobics, Year 9 Disco dancing, Mission Appeal, Year 9 Japanese activities around ‘Girls Day’ and the work of the Japanese Club. Special commendations also went to those students who are utilising Breakfast Club to consolidate their learning and all recipients from Years 8 & 9 who received a Principal’s Award for Excellence, Commitment and Most Improved in their studies for Semester 2, 2021.

Year 8 Health and Physical Education

This term in HPE, the Year 8 cohort have been developing strategies to manage changing relationships and recognising many components that form one’s identity. The students analysed the current MSM positive behaviour policy and then created their own 2022 Bullying policy. Within this, the year 8 students outlined: the definition of bullying; the types of bullying; the values at MSM; strategies to overcome bullying and the consequences MSM should uphold if a bullying incident were to occur. Overall, students have been highly engaged and developing their inquiry skills. The photo below demonstrates the Year 8 cohort supporting “Bullying no way.”
Year 12 Breakfast Function

The Year 12 Breakfast function on Thursday 24 March was a great success with students producing delicious breakfast boxes for staff and parents. Inspiration was drawn from their breakfast excursion. Students trialled various breakfast appropriate recipes before deciding on the final menu. Tea, coffee and a range of juices were served with takeaway breakfast boxes. Some of the items on offer were Sweet Potato Pancakes served with candied sweet potato and ricotta cream, mini prosciutto quiches and a breakfast staple, the Big Breakfast.

Model UN Club

The inaugural meeting for the Model United Nations club was held last week, with eager students from Years 10 - 12 attending to discuss and engage in global topics such as health, law, conflict, gender, and other socio-political topics affecting our world. Building upon the philosophy of the United Nations, this new club aims to delve into the many prevalent socio-political issues that are being faced worldwide in a way that brings to light the values, viewpoints and cultures that have a vested and legitimate voice within international democracy. This is an incredible new opportunity to explore the United Nations’ work in education, design, leadership, organisation, diplomacy, and negotiation by facilitating programs that give students a deep understanding of the social and political issues the world faces today, and the necessary skills and drive to solve them. We are all very excited to continue exploring and investigating the principles and initiatives of the United Nations across the world throughout this year!
Japan Club

Japan Club continued to celebrate “Girls’ Day” by making origami hina dolls. We certainly spread the message of health and happiness for girls.

Year 8-12 French students were transported back in time to 1950s France to see life through the eyes of a much-loved French children’s book character at their annual visit to the French Film Festival at Palace Barracks Cinema. Whilst honing their language skills, Le Trésor du Petit Nicolas also provided an opportunity for students to experience a wonderful reflection on family and friendship.

Debating Season has begun at MSM with our Year 8, 9 and 11 teams competing and recording three wins from five debates in Round 1.
Our 12.2 Debating Team put up a strong fight for their first debate for 2022. With an onslaught of setbacks leading up to the debate, the team ‘Took a Chance’ on themselves and their own competence and confidence. Even though they didn’t come out with a win, they held their heads high and had a laugh along the way. Impressive stuff!

Congratulations to Team 9.1 who won their Round 2 debate and our 11.1 and 11.2 teams who both came away with wins for Round 2.
We wish our 12.1, 9.2 and 8.1 teams all the best at their upcoming events in the next week.

The girls should be commended for their efforts in preparing for their events and their ongoing commitment to Debating at MSM. The students always show great sports(wo)manship when competing and represent our community very well. We wish to thank our Alumni who have returned as Debating Coaches to share their knowledge and skills with our teams, they are doing a competent and confident job! 

Charlotte Meets the Australian Prime Minister at Kirribilli House Event

Year 11 student, Charlotte was lucky enough to meet Australian Prime Minister, The Hon. Scott Morrison MP at a special 20th year celebration event for Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation at Kirribilli House.  What a great experience for Charlotte. Australian Kookaburra Kids Foundation supports young people aged 8-18 years living in families impacted by mental illness. 

Check out the official video from the event - Click here
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 App for meeting update notifications.
Alumni Meetings: Please visit the MSM Alumni Association Facebook page for updates.
Parents and Friends Association

Next Meeting - Monday 9 May, 6pm
Please click here  for information on 2022 meeting dates and to find out more about the MSM Parents and Friends Association.

Follow the P&F on Facebook
Alumni Association

Next Meeting - Monday 23 May, 6pm
Please click here for information on 2022 meeting dates and to find out more about the 
MSM Alumni Association.

Follow our Alumni on Facebook
P&F Association
At MSM Foundation International Women's Day High Tea

The P&F Association proudly presented a cheque for $23,000 to College Principal, Ms Sharon Volp at the 2022 MSM Foundation International Women’s Day High Tea on Friday. This would not have been possible without the wonderful community who supported the P&F Mothers’ Lunch raffle last year. We look forward to seeing you at our 2022 Mothers’ Lunch.
Save The Date
P&F Association Fathers' Golf Day

Friday 27 May - Noon Tee Off
Ashgrove Golf Club

Make sure to check out the MSM and P&F Association Social Media Accounts for more information in the upcoming weeks.
Alumni Association
At MSM Foundation International Women's Day High Tea

A special thank you to the MSM Alumni for sponsoring the delicious Cakes by Judy C cupcakes at our International Women’s Day High Tea.
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)

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

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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