Our Class of 2023 has graduated! External examinations finished on Tuesday and I would like to extend my gratitude to Mrs Ellen Kean (Program Leader – Senior School) and Ms Sally Crothers (Dean of Teaching and Learning) for coordinating the administration of the exams and to the staff that assisted with the supervision. They were well supported by Ms Larissa Godden (Administration – Senior Leadership Support) and our marvelous IT Team. I also thank the Library Staff for relocating the Library during the examination period so that we could provide a quiet space while the students were sitting their examinations. We now eagerly await their results.
On Wednesday we celebrated “Graduation Day” for the Class of 2023. The Graduation Assembly included the 2023 Student Leadership Team presenting speeches of gratitude to peers, students, staff and their families who have supported them throughout their time at MSM. Under the guidance of Mrs McLaughlin, the Year 11 cohort created a special rendition of a Spice Girls’ song as a special tribute. The morning was a lovely walk down memory lane as we said “farewell” to the Year 12 students. At the conclusion of the Assembly, the students formed a guard of honour throughout the College as the Year 12 students made their way to the Convent Lawn.
In the evening more than 400 guests joined with staff and the Year 12 students in the Sophia Centre to celebrate our Graduation Mass. This was followed by the Graduation Dinner in at City Hall. 

Congratulations to the Class of 2023! I am incredibly proud of their accomplishments, but more importantly proud of the beautiful, caring young adults that they have developed into. They have inspired us and encouraged us to “Add some spice to your MSM life”. We wish them every blessing as they embark on the next stage of their life journey, and they take with them our prayers and our every best wish that the future will be all they would want it to be.

I thank all staff, teaching and non-teaching, who have been involved in the preparation and delivery of Graduation events. The list is extensive, which shows the extent of investment by our staff to ensure that graduation is a special time for our Year 12 students and their families.
Next week students will receive the 2023 College Yearbook “Voices”. Thank you to all who have contributed articles. A huge thank you to Mrs Terri Brauer and Ms Danielle Ferris for the countless hours that they have spent producing this fantastic record of the activities of 2023.

As Christmas approaches we turn our attention to the St Vincent de Paul Christmas Appeal. I am always overwhelmed by the ongoing generosity of our community and I know that the Ashgrove/The Gap St Vincent de Paul Conference will be very appreciative of our contributions.  
As 2023 draws to a close, it is with a grateful heart that I reflect on our school year – where we experienced “Love Without Limits”.   It has been a busy, but very rewarding year. Congratulations to our students on all that you have achieved. I am so proud of you!  I am grateful for the wonderful staff of MSM, teaching and non-teaching. Thank you for the love, care, and dedication that you show to our students every day!

On Christmas Eve 1839 Venerable Mary Aikenhead wrote in a letter “Oh what wonders of love and mercy shall all learn who approach to Bethlehem with simple humble hearts”.

May we be like the shepherds, who after they paid homage to the Christ child, they left and gave glory to God. May we be transformed as we bring the Christ child into our hearts and become women and men who are more compassionate, filled with hope, a greater capacity to love and committed to a more just world.

Thank you to everyone for a wonderful 2023 at MSM. I wish you and your families 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,

Sharon Volp
Enter to WIN!  Last chance to get your tickets in the MSM Foundation Raffle. The raffle closes on Tuesday (21 November) and has a very limited number of tickets, so the odds of winning are in your favour. Proceeds will be directed to 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. Your ticket purchase will make a difference!  

As I listened to the Year 12 graduates this week expressing gratitude for the opportunities they have had during their MSM education, I contemplated on 2023 and reflected on our holistic approach to education. Through our whole school programs, our students thrive and have developed and discovered interests, passions, and talents both in and out of the classroom.

I asked some of our Middle School students about their most memorable events this year.

Year 7 student Estelle said ‘making new friends'. Kate added, ‘I love the way we all support each other every day. I especially enjoy the CaSSSA sport carnivals and the way we cheer and encourage MSM students in competition.’  Hannah said she especially enjoyed MSM’s Got talent ‘because everyone just celebrated students who put themselves out there.’ Myf said, ‘I finally got to use a Bunsen burner, and receive my ‘Bunsen burner License.’ Astrid really enjoyed the water polo semi-final because ‘all the training really paid off; it was an awesome game!’

Year 8 student Emerson loved 'the Retreat and making glitter sensory bottles'. Madeleine said 'the Arts Festival was a lot of fun' and she really enjoyed seeing all the activities that MSM students can join. Ava loved 'the team bonding at athletics camp'.

Year 9 student Grace said 'the cheering and atmosphere at sport carnivals was fantastic' and Lucy said, ‘she just loves learning because all her teachers are great!’

Thank you to our teachers who continue to innovate and find ways to personalise and differentiate each student's unique learning, passions, and capabilities.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all parents for your ongoing support and partnership, and I wish you all a joyful and blessed festive season.

As our school year closes, the Church begins its preparation for Christmas with the Advent Season. This Advent, our world waits for peace. As the sad events in Israel and Gaza continue to unfold, we can use this time to reflect on the importance of hope and the need to recognise the humanity in those who are different to us.

In 1973, author and poet Madeleine L’Engle wrote a beautiful reflection on the Advent Season, called The Risk of Birth. Her poem reads:

This is no time for a child to be born,
With the earth betrayed by war & hate,
And a comet slashing the sky to warn
That time runs out & the sun burns late.

That was no time for a child to be born,
In a land in the crushing grip of Rome;
Honour & truth were trampled by scorn —
Yet here did the Saviour make his home.

When is the time for love to be born?
The inn is full on the planet earth,
And by a comet the sky is torn —
Yet Love still takes the risk of birth.
There is almost a sad irony that the place we look to with hope and anticipation this Advent – the manger in Bethlehem – is now in the middle of conflict and war. We have all seen the images and read of the horrors of the Israeli-Gaza conflict, where ordinary people have been caught up in a decades long conflict to control a tiny strip of land.
Thousands are dead. Tens of thousands more are injured. Millions have been made homeless. And the world has fractured – as judgments are cast about who is righteous and who is wrong.
Pope Francis has called for peace in Gaza saying:
Let the guns be silenced!
Listen to the cry of the poor, of the people, of the children.
Sisters and brothers, war does not resolve any problem. It increases hate, multiplies the vendetta. War cancels the future.
I ask that all believers take only one side in this conflict, the side of peace
As we look to the manger this Christmas, we remember that Jesus, too, was born into conflict, in a land under Roman occupation, where his parents were not free.
We remember in our prayers all who live in Israel and Gaza, those from other countries who are trapped in the region, unable to leave, and all whose loved ones suffer as a result of this conflict.
This year, the manger that we will use at our Advent Liturgy will be made of razor wire and shredded cloth, representing the danger of war and the vulnerability of hundreds of thousands of children who have been born into lands at war. We join with Pope Francis in offering prayers for peace and the cessation of all violence.

Project Wakitikimi Concludes
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 initially set a provisional fundraising goal of $10,000, and I am delighted to report that we exceeded that, presenting CatholicCare NT with a cheque for $11,500. Sincere thanks to our 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.
Thank you: St Vincent de Paul Appeal
Our College community has once again demonstrated love without limits through the generous support offered to this year’s SVDP Christmas Appeal. Our Missions of St Vincent students have been tirelessly working to pack hampers that will be distributed to families in crisis in our local community. I thank Ms Atkins, Ms Hickey, Ms Larkings and all MoSV students for their excellent work on this project, and our wider MSM family for their generous support of this important appeal.

School is Nearly Out!
This week we farewelled an amazing group of women who have blessed our community with such wonderful leadership in 2023. We had a day of wonderful celebrations, and I would like to extend my gratitude to the Pastoral Leaders especially, Mrs Paula Brydon (Year 12) and Ms Emily Mclaughlin (Year 11), who worked tirelessly to ensure the Graduation Assembly and Dinner were events to remember. There were words of kindness and wisdom, tears and embraces and most importantly the true spirit of MSM in the enthusiastic singing of Fide et Amore. Thank you to all who participated and made this day so memorable.

Despite this excitement, the show must go on and our remaining students continue to toil with finalising assessment and battling fatigue. The girls are in various states of study and stress and are undoubtedly focused on the finish line. For many parents, the holiday period is a special time to reconnect as a family and with friends. It can also present challenges in supporting our children in how they spend their leisure time and with whom. Please be assured that you are not alone in this and yes, we all experience parenting challenges from time to time. The current advice from family and adolescent psychologists in brief is:

  • Be present. Your daughters may not tell you, but they really do want and need you to spend quality time with them.
  • Be the parent. It is okay to disagree with your child, they need guidance, advice, and boundaries.
  • Be consistent. Boundaries have little value if they are not constantly restated and reinforced.
  • Be persistent. Teenagers forget, make mistakes, and have a natural urge to push boundaries, keep insisting on the limits you set.

Remember to be kind to yourself and know that parenting can be a tough road at times but is a most rewarding journey. From one parent to another: Best of luck!

As I reflect on the year that has been, I am so proud of the achievements of all students in Years 7 – 12 for their persistence to do their best work and their courage to continue with their studies, even in the face of adversity. I hope that all students have a wonderful Christmas break and come back in 2024 ready to expand their horizons and challenge themselves to learn even more.

Semester 2 Report Cards for students in Years 7 – 10 will be available in Student Café and Parent Lounge from Friday 1 December. Progressive reports for Unit 3 internal assessment tasks for Year 11 students will be made available early next year.
Take care and God bless.



The Middle School Ethics Olympiad was held this week, with students Violet, Pia, Zelmari and Lauren representing MSM in a day of dialogue and discourse with teams from a range of Queensland schools, with a focus on challenging ethical cases. The girls engaged in ethical discussions on topics as varied as lying and peer pressure, the complexities of group work, getting it in writing, and cash incentives or bribes. The team just missed out on a place in the top three, receiving an Honourable Mention for the clarity of their arguments and cohesive teamwork. 


Members of our Missions of St Vincent CAN group were delighted to visit the residents at St Vincent’s Aged Care Mitchelton, marking our first opportunity for a pastoral care visit since the COVID-19 pandemic. Our students joined residents for their weekly Women’s Discussion Group, which focused on the changing role of women in society over the last century. They laughed, talked and listened together, and came away with a deeper appreciation of the changes that these remarkable women have witnessed. We look forward to many more opportunities to visit St Vincent’s in 2024 and thank them for their hospitality. 


Missions of St Vincent CAN group have been busy making beautiful Christmas cards for the residents of St Vincent’s Mitchelton, helping to spread joy this Christmas.


During the last two weeks of term, the Ionian display board was changed daily to reveal the Library’s “Twelve days of BOOKMAS." Students have enjoyed checking in to see if their favourite genres and titles have made it into the Top 12 suggestions for holiday borrowing.
Hopefully, this will have inspired them to borrow out something from the College Library to read over the holidays. They are also welcome to wrap the borrowed books and place under your Christmas tree at home, for them or a family member to open on Christmas morning. It's the gift that doesn't have to be returned until the beginning of February 2024!!!!



In preparation for the upcoming Christmas Markets, Year 7 students have decorated glass jars in a Christmas theme and added plants. It seems we have lots of festive green thumbs in Year 7!



Students in Year 10 Business classes have been busy planning, developing and preparing for a Christmas Market where handmade Christmas gifts have been pitched and planned during class times leading up to the market. These were sold to the MSM student and staff community. Thank you to everyone who supported the students during this business learning journey. The process to get ready for the market has formed their assessment tasks for this term and the proceeds of all gift sales was added to the College’s Annual Giving Project – Wakitikimi 

Year 11 Biology students have immersed themselves in their Unit 3 learning, recently attending two fieldwork excursions. Through UQ’s “Experience Ecology” program they undertook their mandatory fieldwork, guided by UQ ecology students, and participated in a workshop with Dr Gurion Ang to refresh their data analysis skills ready for 2024 assessments. This experience was followed up with a day at Shelly Beach in Caloundra where they worked as a team to survey the distribution and abundance of marine life (and a lot of algae) on the rock platform. The students truly experienced the realities of outdoor fieldwork, working in hot conditions at UQ, and rain and cold winds on the coast, demonstrating that field Biology can sometimes requires a grit mindset of passion and perseverance.



 “Ah, music," he said, wiping his eyes. "A magic beyond all we do here!” said Dumbledore in J.K. Rowling’s, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The MSM MusicFest2 concert “Magic!”, compered by new Music Captain Celeste M, showed us again how music lifts us above and beyond the ordinary.  

The opening performance of “Carol of the Bells” by Percussion Ensemble transported us to a once-upon-a-time Ukrainian village of rolling farmland and distant mountains. Let us pray that peace returns to this area of the world soon. The College Choir helped us imagine living “Happily Ever After” with their Disney medley, with the opening words “Open the gates and seize the day!”. The refined tones of the Guitar Ensemble gently beguiled us with the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker ballet, and a new Latin inspired piece "El Hechizo" (The Spell), composed by Joel Woods. MSM Singers cautioned us that “Children Will Listen” to what you say, so be careful the tales you tell, and then charmed us with “I Put a Spell on You” from Hocus Pocus. Concert Band played with a smooth, balanced and cohesive sound presenting the themes from the Harry Potter movies, and then joined with the String Orchestra to form a full orchestra for “The Sorcerer's Apprentice”, famously linked to the Micky Mouse scene in Fantasia. Strings then continued with a Disney version of “Enchanted” and then the Taylor Swift song by the same name. Senior Strings commenced with the tricky Overture to “A Midsummer Night's Dream” by Mendelssohn, showing off their impressive spiccato bowing style, before accompanying our Choir Director and soprano Mrs Donna Langford performing the Mozart’s “Queen of the Night's Aria” from The Magic Flute opera. We had “Double Trouble” from the Year 7-8 Choir, and then a lovely new piece composed by their Director Mrs Kaitlin Littlewood, called Magic! reminding us that “there’s magic in people … right down to their toes”.  Combined Choirs finished the evening with “Magical Kingdom” by John Rutter. Singing about the power of the imagination, and the magical world of dreams they reminded us to “keep on believing in the world of make-believe”.  

In the spirit of the Sisters of Charity, let’s go out into the world and make our dreams all come true. 

Congratulations to Year 8 student, Mikaela who finished 2nd in her 3000m walk race at the Queensland All Schools Athletics Championships. Mikaela has now been selected to represent Queensland at the upcoming Australia All Schools Athletics Championships held in December in Perth. We wish Mikaela all the best in her preparations for this event.  


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.

2023 Term Dates

Term 2
Monday 17 April – Friday 16 June 
Term 3
Monday 10 July – Friday 15 September 
Term 4
Tuesday 3 October – Friday 24 November (Years 7-11)

Click here to view the 2024 term dates.
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
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.
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 msmnews@msm.qld.edu.au

For more information please click here
Mt St Michael's College
67 Elimatta Drive
Ashgrove, QLD 4060

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