Welcome to the 2024 College year! We have experienced a fantastic start to our year and this edition of The Spirit captures some of the wonderful activities that have already taken place.

I would like to extend a special welcome to our newest members of our community - our Year 7 students (the Class of 2029) and the new students in other year levels and their families.
This year we are focusing on the value of “Compassion” and we have adopted the theme “Compassion:  The courage to look. The courage to act”. At our opening assembly we began to unpack this theme and launched our major fundraising project for the year “Raise the Roof”. As part of this launch the following quote from Mother Teresa spoke to me:
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. 
Be the living expression of God’s kindness: 
kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes,
kindness in your smile”.
New Staff
I would also like to extend a warm welcome to our new staff members:
  • Doug Amiss – Science, Mathematics
  • Aisling Carey- Maths, Psychology
  • Rebecca Harris – Business, Humanities
  • Katie Jordan – Head of Junior School
  • Nikki McGregor – Curriculum Leader- English
  • Kevin Peart – Digital Technologies, Religious Education
  • Collen Robertson – English, Religious Education
  • Tanya Ryall – Visual Art (Term 1 Contract).
We also had two school officers who have resigned in recent weeks: Suellen Yung and Larissa Godden. I would sincerely thank these two ladies for their valued contribution to MSM and wish them all the best for their future endeavours.

Lani Weedon and Jill Tweedie are currently enjoying long service leave during Term 1.
Principal's Honours Assembly
On Wednesday morning we hosted our annual Principal's Honours Assembly where 32 students were acknowledged as “Honour Students” and recognised for their excellence in achievement and commitment to their studies in their chosen pathway (either ATAR or Vocational Education). Each Honour Student was presented with a Principal’s Honour Award and signed the MSM Honour Roll. 
I am incredibly proud of the achievements of our 2023 cohort. Congratulations to the 2023 Dux of the College Charlie Marcus. 
We have been absolutely delighted with the ATAR results of our 2023 graduates. The following data is based on the 107 ATAR eligible students who have given permission for us to view their ATAR result:
  • 4% of students received an ATAR of 99 and above
  • 8% of students received an ATAR of 98 and above
  • 28% of students received an ATAR of 95 and above
  • 54% of students received an ATAR of 90 and above.
We are also extremely proud of the achievements of our 56 students who were awarded one or more Vocational Education qualifications last year. Some of these students were also undertaking ATAR studies. 
  • 21 students were awarded a Certificate II
  • 30 students were awarded a Certificate III
  • 4 students were awarded a Certificate IV
  • 24 students were awarded a Diploma
  • 10 students were completing or completed a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship.
It was a privilege to share some notable highlights of our student’s achievements:
  • 100% of our students received a QCE or a QCIA
  • 18 students received 6A’s awarding them the QCAA Certificate of Academic Commendation. Only 1429 of these were awarded in the State.
  • 3 students achieved 100% on internal and external results.
  • 23 students achieved 100% on their external examination, with some students achieving 100% in multiple subjects making a total of 29 “students”.
According to our latest QTAC data the most popular areas of study were:
  1. Health (34) – medicine, nursing, physiotherapy, speech pathology
  2. Society and Culture – law, economics, psychology, sport and recreation (33)
  3. Management and Commerce (22)
  4. Natural and Physical Sciences (12)
  5. Engineering (9)
  6.  Creative Arts (6).
A special thank you to our Honour Students who addressed the audience and shared their own reflections on their journey to excellence. Here is a selection of their precious “gems” of advice:
“My biggest piece of advice is to genuinely value, respect and, most importantly, listen to your teachers. I am forever grateful for the countless hours my teachers dedicated to guiding me though my goals and the obstacles I encountered”.
“Over the course of Year 11 and 12, I successfully completed four certificates – a Cert II in Community Services, a Cert II in Nursing, a Cert III in Nursing and a Cert III in Justice Studies. All of these Certificates gave me a much higher rank than I was expecting and got me into my first preference, Australian Catholic University for a Bachelor of Nursing”. 
“For those of you who are just beginning your journey at MSM, it’s completely normal to feel nervous about the new environment and people around you. I can assure you, by stepping our of your comfort zone, being kind and welcoming to new friendships and looking out for your own needs, you will find yourself surrounded by a wonderful group of people who you feel at home with.”
“If you plan on studying any subject at MSM that you think will produce high results for your ATAR, make sure you actually like it first”. 
“The best advice I received in the lead up to my senior schooling years at MSM was to choose subjects based on your genuine interests, rather than subjects you think would be well-regarded academically…I was able to clearly recognise my personal strengths in certain subjects and connect these to potential university courses which is how I realised my interest in criminology”.   
As we say a final farewell to the Class of 2023, we officially acknowledge the Class of 2024. This morning I proudly presented the Year 12 students with their senior badges during our Opening Mass. I am confident that our Seniors of 2024 will lead our amazing college with pride, upholding our values of hope, justice, love and compassion.
Have a great 2024 everyone! 
In Faith and Love,

Sharon Volp
Year 7 families are invited to book tickets for the 2024 Year 7 MSM Foundation Father-Daughter Breakfast on Tuesday 13 February, 6:45 – 8:30am. Bookings are essential and ticket sales will close on Tuesday 6 February at 10am.

We look forward to welcoming our MSM Year 7 students and their Fathers/Caregivers for this very special event. BOOK NOW!  

MSM Year 7 Parents and Caregivers are warmly invited to join us for the 2024 P&F "Welcome to MSM" event on Friday 23 February from 6 – 7.30pm at the College. This event is open to Mt St Michael's College 2024 Year 7 parents and caregivers. Tickets are $25 per person includes grazing table and a complimentary drink in your very own MSM reusable stemless wine glass. Bookings close 20 February at 10am.


Welcome to the new school year! It began with a flurry of celebrations and a renewed sense of anticipation for the things to come. Mt St Michael's College is a wonderful place to be, and I am thoroughly enjoying being with our staff, students, and families who have returned with a renewed sense of optimism, eager to fully participate in the life of our school community.

Our first assembly is always unique because we welcome our Year 7 students and other new students to the College with a caring and welcoming spirit. Our Year 7 students have embraced their new surroundings with enthusiasm and curiosity and made many new friends.

MSM Co-curricular Program
During the December holidays, MSM students participated in the CASE Space School International Study Program. An opportunity to acquire and apply transferable skills in one of the world's most inspirational STEAM environments: NASA.  Addison D, Sarah O, Rebecca S, and Emilia G participated in the junior program, while Evie W, Lily M, and Charlotte R entered the senior program. Students participated in hands-on activities and were coached by astronauts and other scientists. The inspiring learning atmosphere encourages enthusiasm for STEAM. We will hear more from these students at an upcoming assembly.

Many co-curricular activities in the mission, sports, arts, and academic fields are beginning. We encourage students to participate and become engaged in our initiatives outside of the classroom.
We are also beginning to plan excursions, camps, and retreats. Permission for these is obtained via our Parent Portal. It is important that you update your contact information and your child's medical conditions when you log in. If you are having difficulty using the Parent Portal, please contact our IT Helpdesk at: itsupport@msm.qld.edu.au or phone: 3858 4999.

Parent Partnership
We value the partnership between the College and our parents. We believe that parents play a critical role in the education of our students and encourage you to be involved in the life of the College. This generous service is an invaluable contribution to programs and events throughout the year. I am looking forward to meeting our Year 11 parents at the Information Evening on 6 February and our new Year 7 families at the P&F "Welcome to MSM" Evening on 23 February.

A perfect start to the school year does not happen by chance. I would like to acknowledge and appreciate the staff for their hard work in planning, preparing, and organising for the start of the year.

2024: Our Year of Compassion
This year, all Mary Aikenhead Ministries will focus on cultivating our core value of compassion. In their Vision, Mission and Values statement, Mary Aikenhead Ministries identifies compassion as a profound and loving response to a suffering person. Compassion moves us to stay with a suffering person in their pain, to alleviate their ill and to restore them to community. The Hebrew word for compassion is rachamim, literally, womb compassion. It is a feeling that stirs deep within us, a feeling that we cannot ignore. It is the powerful and loving connection that holds us together in community.

At MSM our 2024 theme is Compassion: the courage to look; the courage to act. As people of Charity, we are called to continue Mary Aikenhead’s work as we seek out those on the margins and help to restore them to wholeness. Our 2024 theme calls for two courageous responses:
  • The courage to look:
    • To look where we would rather not,
    • To see things as they are,
    • To accept our role in what is broken or in need of healing.
  • The courage to act:
    • To heal, restoring what is broken,
    • To welcome and include,
    • To get our hands dirty,
    • To use our voice, education and privilege for good,
    • To model forgiveness and peace.

Introducing our Major Project
Following on from the success of our inaugural major fundraising project, Project Wakitikimi, I am delighted to share that our 2024 major fundraising project will be Project Raise the Roof. We will work in partnership with the Sisters of Charity Foundation, established in 2009 to continue the charitable works of the Sisters in Australia, and the Salvation Army to address the issue of modern slavery in Australia.

Our aim is to raise $15,000 across 2024. This money will be used by the Sisters of Charity Foundation to help to liberate one person living in Australia from modern slavery. It is estimated that more than 41 000 people in Australia are trapped in some form of modern slavery. With the funds raised by our community, the Sisters of Charity Foundation will provide financial and material support to help a person transition from slavery to a safe accommodation and work. The funds will be used to provide safe rental accommodation, furnishings and clothing, counselling, job training and education, and a case worker to support the transition. This project is the first of its kind in Australia, and Mt St Michael’s will be the first school to be involved, which is a wonderful opportunity. In this year of compassion, I can think of no better way to sit with a suffering person in their pain, alleviate their ill and restore them to community than to help them start a new life that is safe and worthy of their dignity. We look forward to educating our community about the issue of modern slavery and finding creative and enterprising ways to raise funds for this important cause.

Year 7 Retreat
Our Year 7 students were warmly welcomed into our MSM family this week with a beautiful retreat experience. The cohort was joined by Mrs Devenish-Meares (Year 7 Pastoral Leader) and our wonderful Year 7 Homeroom Staff at Riverlife Baptist Church, Seventeen Mile Rocks, for a day of games, activities, prayer and reflection, with 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. I thank the Year 7 students for their outstanding work at this Retreat. It was a wonderful way for them to finish their first week at MSM.

Opening Eucharist
Our College community gathered to pray for abundant blessings as we begin 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.

Welcome to 2024
We enjoyed a wonderful, staggered start to the 2024 school year, with our Year 11 and 12 students welcoming our newest community members, the Year 7 students on Tuesday and the rest of our students returning on Wednesday last week. This approach allowed our older students to connect and lead the Year 7 students whilst enabling them to familiarise themselves with the campus being a little bit quieter than usual. We were greeted with beaming smiles, and I am pleased to report, few tears…if one does not count those of the proud parents waving goodbye. 

Wednesday saw the official MSM Welcome Assembly with our Year 7 students being cheered on as they danced through the guard of honour into the Sophia Centre, truly a beautiful sight.

Resilience was the word of the week with the challenges of delivery delays to stationery, the College Diary and even some online texts. Thankfully, our organised and flexible staff made adjustments to plans and our adaptable young women took the inconvenience in their stride.

MSM - A Positive School
As staff we have continued our journey to becoming a ‘Positive School’, not a school with a Positive Education, undertaking further professional development in recent weeks. We are developing our skills in Restorative Practices and establishing the foundation of our positive behaviour support. This year we have introduced the Mt St Michael’s Positive Behaviour Matrix – every student, every day which is a document that clearly defines the expected positive behaviours across the various contexts in the College. The matrix serves as a go to for students learning the culture of MSM and for staff to target teaching expectations that are presenting as a challenge to students or particular classes. It represents the gold standard of a safe learning community where optimal engagement and success can be achieved.

Friendly Reminders

  • All students are to wear their formal uniform, including the College bag and hat, to and from the College each day.
  • No false eyelashes, nails or make up to be worn – You are beautiful just as you are!
  • No helixes, multiple ear piercings or nose piercings – if ‘clears’ are visible, students will be asked to remove them
  • Laptops MUST be carried in laptop bags at all times

In this, the first newsletter for the year, I would like to welcome all students back to the College and extend a warm welcome to our new Year 7 students as well as the new students who have commenced with us in 2024.

Subject Changes – Years 8 – 11
Students in Years 8 -10 have all been advised that they have until Friday 9 February to finalise any subject changes for Semester 1, 2024. Year 11 students have until this date to finalise their Unit 1 choices.
Year 11 Information Evening 
We look forward to welcoming parents and students to the upcoming Year 11 Information Evening on Tuesday 6 February, commencing at 6pm in the Sophia Centre.
The information evening will address the intricacies of the QCE system and is an excellent opportunity for students and families to gain an understanding about what to expect across Years 11 and 12. The presenters will identify the academic and pastoral support structures that are in place to foster the best possible outcomes for our senior students. There will also be the chance for students and families to interact with the presenters and ask questions.
Sequel Stationery Orders
We are aware that there have been some delays with the delivery of certain stationery orders from Sequel. We have been assured that Sequel are working quickly and efficiently to finalise orders as soon as possible, with a priority in their warehouse for Back-to-School deliveries.

Box of Books
If there are students that are having difficulty accessing their e-textbooks with Box of Books, please contact their customer service support team available online at https://www.boxofbooks.com.au/. They will be able to assist with any connectivity issues.



Year 12 Study of Religion students are analysing perspectives within world religions that influence adherents’ responses to ethical issues. They attended a session with alumna, Kobie Clay (MSM Class of 1997), who shared with them how a range of influences and experiences have shaped her Catholic faith and, in turn, her practice as a palliative care nurse deeply engaged in the ethics of life and death. Kobie’s presentation was challenging and thought-provoking, reminding students to foreground the value of human life and prioritise kindness and compassion in all interactions.


Year 12 Religion and Ethics students were privileged to work with Wakka Wakka woman and Aboriginal Christian Leader, Brooke Prentis. Brooke engaged students in considered reflection on the continuing significance of Country for First Nations people. Students will apply their learning as they create their IA2 Projects reflecting the impact of changes to the local area, known to the Turrbal people as Killindarbin. 


A rite of passage! Our Year 12 students were excited to receive their senior jerseys on their first day back at school for 2024. They look forward to wearing them with pride in their final year of secondary schooling.


Thank you to 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. 

Congratulations to Year 8 student, Grace who was selected to play in the Queensland Fire team in the the U13 National Indoor Hockey Championships in Canberra. Playing over 6 games, Grace won three Player of the Match awards and was awarded Player of the Tournament for her Qld Fire team by the QLD Hockey coaching staff.

Grace also plays field (outdoor) hockey and last year was selected in the U13 BWHA Brisbane #1 team (winning the State Championships) and was later selected as a shadow player for QLD’s U13 team for the national championships in Newcastle.
School Fees Account Reminder
Thank you to our families that have embraced the new way of paying school fees, your uptake has been appreciated.

School Fee Statements are available and payable in the Parent Lounge, under Accounts & Payments -> School Fees Account.

If you have trouble accessing the Parent Lounge, please contact support@msm.qld.edu.au

A reminder that Payment Schedules for school fees are due to be set up by 2 February 2024.
To pay in instalments, you can set up weekly, fortnightly, monthly or quarterly instalments via the Parent Lounge - > Accounts and Payments - > School Fees Account -> scroll to New Payment Method to add your bank account/credit card details and then to Payment Schedule - > Add Payment Schedule.

For payment schedules, the following fees apply:
  • For a bank account, the fees will be nil.
  • For a standard Visa card or Mastercard, the fee will be 1.32% of the payment amount.
  • For a premium Visa card, Mastercard or American Express card, the fee will be 1.85% of the payment amount.
You have the option to pay your fees annually, they are due by Friday 9 February 2024 and these are payable via Parent Lounge - >Accounts and Payments - > School Fees Account -> Make a payment.

The College welcomes our families’ tax-deductible building fund donations especially with the new building plans and the donations are included on your statements and will pre-fill on Payment Schedules. When finalising the setting up of Payment Schedules the building fund donation is an editable amount.

If you have any questions about fee payments please contact Emma Grimson, Director of Finance on egrimson@msm.qld.edu.au
In the interest of keeping everyone in our community safe and traffic flowing freely, please refrain from double parking in the pick up zone outside the Ionian on Aloomba Road.
Encourage your student(s) to become involved and participate in the School Library Week competition. With the chance to win book vouchers, students can find out more about how they can apply to be considered for the competition by contacting to the MSM Library staff.

Competition Information:
Winners will each receive a $50 book voucher and their school will receive a $100 book voucher.
Entries will be accepted from Monday 12 February until Friday 1 March.

Secondary students (Year 7 - Year 12): Our Heart, Our Stories. There are two categories.

  1. Produce an artwork or take a photograph to reflect the theme Our Heart, Our Stories.
  2. Write a short story to reflect the theme Our Heart, Our Stories. There is a word limit of 300 - 600 words.
For more information on the competition, visit the MSM Library or Click HERE

P&F EXECUTIVE NOMINATIONS | Is 2024 the year for you to get involved? The MSM P&F Association is seeking nominations for roles of President and Treasurer. Our P&F supports the College Leadership Team and our students and provides a vital role in bringing our community together.  

To read more and to download a nomination form, please visit the College website - https://www.msm.qld.edu.au/our-community/parents-and-friends. 

For more information contact Paula Ovenden, Community Engagement Officer - povenden@msm.qld.edu.au.

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
Mt St Michael's College
67 Elimatta Drive
Ashgrove, QLD 4060

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