At Tuesday’s assembly I shared with our students and staff how proud I am of our community.  There have been many stories since the start of the school year about how our students are excelling in all areas of MSM life.  The Year 12 theme “Add Some Spice to your MSM life” is coming to fruition.  There are many great articles in this week’s edition of the Spirit.  I invite you to share my pride in the achievements of our MSM students and staff.
CaSSSA Swimming Carnival

Congratulations to the MSM swimming team on bringing home the Percentage Cup at yesterday’s CaSSSA Swimming Carnival.  There was an electric atmosphere at the Brisbane Aquatic Centre provided by the school students and parent spectators.  Thank you to our Year 8 and Year 10 students and accompanying staff who did a fantastic job cheering for our team.  Our “school song” dance number performed by all our students was pretty impressive.  Loved that choreography girls!

But the day really belonged to our swimmers, who so proudly represented MSM.  Congratulations to our swimming captain, Sophie Magnussen and the Year 12 students who fostered such a lovely sense of team spirit throughout the day. The competition was fierce, and our swimmers gave 200%.  There were many highlights during the day, but once again the final event, the All Age relay had MSM supporters on their feet.  This 6 x 50 m relay featured a swimmer from each age group from every school and when Hannah Casey touched the wall in first place the MSM supporters in the stands erupted.  I still have goose bumps as I write about it! 

MSM was responsible for hosting this event this year, so I extend my sincere thanks to Mrs Roy and Ms Tesch and the MSM coaching staff for their great work in preparing our team and supporting them on the day. A huge thank you to all the MSM staff who assisted in running various aspects of the carnival and who supervised the Year 8 and 10 students in the stands. 

Amazing effort, MSM!
International Women’s Day

Wednesday was International Women’s Day.   At our assembly on Tuesday, Breeze and Emily, our College Captains delivered an inspirational speech on this year’s global theme #EmbraceEquity. In this address, Emily and Breeze challenged us to recognise and thank the women that you deeply appreciate in your life.  A special thank you to those members of our community, who embraced this challenge; I know that these messages of gratitude made my day!  I encourage you to read their full address which is published in this newsletter. 

We look forward to celebrating at our IWD Foundation High Tea this afternoon in the Sophia Centre. I thank our MSM community for your wonderful support and I would like to thank our wonderful local businesses and supporters who have provided prizes for our raffle. 

In Faith and Love

Sharon Volp

Upcoming Events
Proceeds go towards the Light the Way Capital Campaign. Together, we can light the way for future generations of MSM students.

Parents of Year 8 & 9 students are invited to attend a social evening in the Sophia Centre on Friday 28 April.  More details to follow.
2023 College Leadership Team
On Friday 3 March, we hosted our Open Evening for prospective families to experience the breadth and depth of our curriculum and co-curricular programs. Thank you to all our students who assisted as Tour Guides and in our displays for Community Action Network, curriculum, pastoral, sports and arts performances during the evening. Families commented on how our students presented themselves, how they greeted them, and how positively they view MSM. Well done to our students, you did us proud.
Visiting Japanese Students

On Sunday 5 March, we said goodbye to our visiting Japanese students. Tears were shed by both our students and the Japanese students, demonstrating the extraordinary bonds formed in just one week. I am confident that these will become lifelong friendships. Thank you to our host families, without your assistance this visit would not have been possible.

International Women’s Day ExtravaCANza

Our first ExtravaCANza market day was held this week, to celebrate International Women’s Day. For those new to our community, these wonderful markets are a longstanding MSM fundraiser organised by our Community Action Network (CAN) Groups.

Our generous and enterprising students work together to create products, to promote and sell them. All profits from these markets go towards Project Wakitikimi, our 2023 whole College project.

Set against the soundtrack of empowering female anthems compiled by our Mission Captains, this term’s market featured a cold rock stall, plants, DIY bracelets, soft drinks, Interact Washer Bunnies, a bake sale and the ever-popular MSM Sausage Sizzle!
Lent Continues

As our Lenten journey continues, I commend to you this prayer:

Almighty and ever living God,
you invite us deeper into your world, your people, your Lent.
May this time be one of outward focus;
seeking you in those we often ignore.
Help us live a Lent focused on freedom, generosity, and encounter.
Give us hearts hungry to serve you
and those who need what we have to give.


This week we celebrated International Women's Day, first at our College Assembly on Tuesday, then on Wednesday that day itself and of course today, at our High Tea. It is with great pride that I share the speech made by our two College Captains, Emily Ford and Breeze Kruisdyk on assembly.

EMILY: Good morning MSM staff, students, and Ms Volp.  
Tomorrow, Mt St Michaels, along with the rest of the world, will celebrate International Women’s Day. On this day, we acknowledge and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We tend to use this celebration to fangirl over our feminist idols like Emma Watson, who helped launch HeForShe, a campaign for the advancement of gender equality, as well as serving as an ambassador for Camfed International, a movement to educate girls in rural Africa.  
BREEZE: But International Women’s Day is a multifaceted day, which serves several purposes. Whilst we can celebrate our favourite female leaders and feminist achievements, this day also marks a call to action for acceleration of women’s equity. We must acknowledge the compounded challenges faced by women of colour, those with disabilities, and queer or trans women, as well as those living in countries who may not be able to celebrate out of fear for their safety. We stand in partnership with each of these strong and independent individuals as it is important for us to recognise how blessed we are within our community in relation to education opportunities and our rights. 
EMILY: The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is Embrace Equity, which calls to mind both the progress and shortfalls of gender equity in society. Whereas once women couldn’t vote, we’re now leading countries. While we once faced restrictions on where we worked, we’re now running corporations. In Australia, we now have rights our grandmothers could only have dreamed about. BUT this is not the case for everyone. 47 countries have no repercussions for husbands who rape their wives and 30% of women globally have experienced sexual or physical violence in their lifetime. Australia, and the world has come a long way, but there is so much more to be done, and we must recognise this.
BREEZE: Whilst we are being called to empower women, we have to understand that the rise of women is not about the fall of men. We are being asked to embrace equity, and to do that, we must be just to everyone.
EMILY: On a day so special as International Women’s Day, it is important for us to thank the amazing strong and independent women in our lives for all that they do. We can thank our teachers, mothers, grandmothers, caregivers, coaches, sisters, friends and girlfriends, all of which are individually unique and special to us. Today, I want to recognise and appreciate the amazing community of strong, independent women we have here at MSM. The teachers, the support staff and the students who are my everyday role models. I look up to so many of you as you all hold qualities and traits which I aspire to have.
BREEZE: International Women’s Day can serve as a reminder for us to extend our gratitude toward the women that we may not thank daily, perhaps family members. This week, I will ensure to thank my mum for her unwavering support, who inspires me to be determined and reminds me that I can achieve all that I aspire to.
Over the course of the week, Em and I want to challenge you to recognise, and thank, the women who you deeply appreciate in your life. Your forms of gratitude could take the form of a letter or a few kind words, an act of service, a gift, or some quality time. This celebration is a sign of appreciation, respect, and love toward those in our personal lives.
EMILY: For us, the greatest importance is to inspire all of you to be women of compassion and to encourage you to embrace equity, and to love without limits. You are all capable of such great things and inspire us to strive to be better people daily.  
Have an amazing International Women’s Day tomorrow and we look forward to seeing how you decide to Embrace Equity.


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.
Year 7 & 9 NAPLAN Online

Students in Year 7 and Year 9 will commence NAPLAN Online testing next week. The students have participated in practice sessions over the past two weeks and are familiar with the online platform.

The dates for NAPLAN testing are as follows:
  Year 9 Year 7
Wednesday 15 March Writing Test in Period 3 Writing Test in Period 1
Thursday 16 March Reading Test in Periods 3 & 4 Reading Test in Periods 1 & 2
Friday 17 March Conventions of Language Test in Period 1 Conventions of Language Test in Period 3
Monday 20 March   Numeracy Test in Periods 1 & 2
Tuesday 21 March Numeracy Test in Periods 3 & 4  
The Year 7 & 9 cohort are reminded to do the following for their best performance for NAPLAN Online:
  • Have a good night's sleep the night before a test
  • Have a good breakfast each morning
  • Have their laptop fully charged each morning
  • Have wired headphones to use each day (no wireless ear pods allowed)
  • Have a writing implement (pen or pencil)
  • Aim for their personal best in each session as this is point-in-time assessment which does not impact on their school results.
Please feel free to contact Mrs Alison Larkings at the College on 3858 4940 or via email should you have any questions about the NAPLAN Online testing. Please also follow the College's daily absence procedures should your daughter be absent during the NAPLAN testing period.
Parent Teacher Conferences
Parent Teacher Conferences for all students will be occurring on Monday 24 April from 9.00am – 6.00pm. The conferences will be online via Teams. I will email all families when the booking system becomes available later in the term.
Around the College

On International Women’s Day we celebrated the ways in which our Library is a place that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It’s a safe space where difference is valued and celebrated. Collectively we can all #EmbraceEquity.

Students and staff were quick to respond to our invitation to create teams for our inaugural International Women’s Day quiz on 7 March.

Questions covered a wide range of women’s achievements throughout history and the competition was fierce among the six student teams and two staff teams.

At the end of the Quiz, we had to go to a tiebreaker round, such was the fantastic knowledge of our participants. There was still no clear winner by the end of lunch, so certificates and treats were awarded to one of the staff teams and two of the student teams.

We also thank everyone who contributed to our IWD Display boards around the College by answering one of the following question, “What does International Women’s Day” mean to me or “What does equity in my classroom look like?”

Year 11 students engaged in a full day excursion to The Brisbane Synagogue, St Stephen’s Cathedral and Holland Park Mosque. Visiting these sacred places of the three Abrahamic traditions will enhance their studies in the units ‘Sacred Texts’ (SOR) and ‘The Australian Scene’ (RAE). We are very grateful to these communities for welcoming us and for helping students to better understand the way sacred texts inform belief and practice as adherents live and express their faith in the wider Australian context.

The Environment Group gathered this week to help Clean Up Australia. At lunch time the students and their equipment set about cleaning up the school grounds and educating others on the appropriate disposal of waste.


Congratulations to Elli for her recent achievements at the Queensland State Championships Surf Life Saving Carnival. Elli competed in the under 17 sprints and received an impressive 4th place. Additionally, she participated in the under 18 sprint relay and received a gold medal for 1st place. Elli will now be heading to the Australian titles in Perth in March to compete.


Congratulations to Emily in Year 10 who competed in the Junior Elite QLD State Diving Championships - 3 metre springboard and 1 metre springboard. She placed first on both boards and achieved a PB on the 1 metre! Emily has also qualified to compete at the Open Nationals competition in May.

MSM College Community Groups
 P&F Meetings: Please check the Mt St Michael's College Facebook page and App for meeting update notifications.
Alumni Meetings: Please visit the MSM Alumni Association Facebook page for updates.
2023 P&F Events Schedule

Term 1
P&F Meeting Monday 6 February 6pm
P&F Year 7 Parent Welcome to MSM Friday 24 February 6pm
P&F Meeting Monday 6 March 6pm
Term 2
P&F Year 8 & 9 Parents Social Evening Friday 28 April
P&F Meeting Monday 8 May 6pm
P&F Year 10 Parents Social Evening Friday 19 May
P&F Golf Day Friday 26 May
P&F Meeting Monday 5 June 6pm
Term 3
P&F Meeting Monday 7 August 6pm
P&F Mothers Lunch
P&F Meeting Monday 4 September 6pm
Term 4
P&F AGM & Meeting Monday 6 November 6pm

2023 Term Dates
Term 1
Tuesday 24 January – Friday 31 March
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)
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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