Fortnight ending 2 December

Principal’s Message

Dear Loreto Community Members,

Welcome to the last newsletter for the 2016 academic year, our year of Felicity,

Christ come into our world of darkness
Light up our lives with your coming
Fulfil all our longings with the joy of your birth
Strengthen our resolve to work for change in our world
And to share the hope of your birth that each ADVENT brings

Although the season of Advent has just begun, as this is the last newsletter of the year I would like to take this opportunity to extend Christmas wishes to all families.

Christmas means so much to us in so many ways. It is a time of celebration with friends and colleagues, a time of reflection of a year past. It is such beautiful a time for family, a time for the excitement of gift-giving and gift-receiving. In all these happy events we should never forget the central message of Christmas. Christmas is the Word made flesh, the Incarnation, a central event of our history. In all the wonders and joys of Christmas that we experience, this is the most wondrous and joyous. So we prepare ourselves to celebrate the coming Christmas in the joy of our faith. I trust that all families enjoy this coming season and its wonder and extend the blessings of Christmas to each member of our school community.

These last two weeks have been very busy indeed and I thank all parents for your continual engagement in school life. A very special thank you to the parents and family members who attended the K-12 Musical Showcase last Thursday evening. It was a wonderful celebration of the musical gifts and talents of our students and it was very special experiencing this with you. Thank you also to the parents who supported the Year 9 Commerce stalls. We witnessed very creative food options, business plans and the development of our students’ entrepreneurial skills. Thank you also to the parents who attended the P&F Liturgy and AGM where Ms Rocca and I unpacked the newly developed Pastoral Care structure to commence in 2017. We will launch the new structure at the commencement of the 2017 school year at the Parent Information Evenings. The Year Wellbeing Coordinators and newly appointed House Academic Care Coordinators will be in attendance at these meetings and will address parents. Please find below the dates of these very important evenings and I ask you to add them as a priority to your diary.

Parent Information Nights 2017

  • Term 1 Week 2 – Wednesday, 8 February 7pm Year 7 and Year 10 Information Night
  • Term 1 Week 3 – Thursday, 16 February 7pm Year 8 and Year 9 Information Night
  • Term 1 Week 5 – Tuesday, 28 February 7pm Year 11 and Year 12 Information Night

End of year activities

Last weekend was a great example of the breadth of activities offered at Loreto. Our girls were involved in:

  • Loreto Student Leaders Retreat at Ballarat
  • Head of the Yarra in Melbourne
  • Sydney Girls High Regatta Iron Cove (Loreto awarded trophy for Best Performing Junior Squad)
  • Basketball and Volleyball competition at Santa Sabina
  • Tennis Finals at Hornsby-Kuringai
  • IGGSA Water Polo
  • Touch Finals for Year 7 at Loreto Normanhurst
  • Touch Grand Finals for Year 10 and Year 8 at Queens Park

Left: Team 3 (Winners 8-2). Right: Team 9 (Runners-up 4-5)

Phew, all in one weekend! The extra-curricular opportunities at Loreto are a hallmark of our school. We encourage our girls to engage in these activities as they contribute significantly to our students’ spiritual, physical and psychological wellbeing, which enhances their academic performance. At the conclusion of this year we will be issuing a Certificate of Recognition which documents your daughter’s involvement in the extracurricular life of the school as well as her academic achievements. We intend to issue the certificate of recognition at the conclusion of each school year and it is the result of a project we have been working on to track and recognise student curricular and extra-curricular achievements. This project emerged out of our Strategic Plan Navigating the Future 2015-2018.

Please find below a brief summary of the outcomes of some of the other 2016 projects that are in response to Navigating the Future 2015 – 2018. We:

  • Embedded our Loreto Kirribilli Learning Principles within every K-12 classroom. We have focused on critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. This will continue to be developed through whole school professional learning and further embedded in 2017.
  • We continued our Senior School curriculum review, broadening our elective choices in Years 9 and 10 to meet the needs of our contemporary learners and we commenced research into our daily timetable structure. Our curriculum review continues in 2017.
  • Further developed our spirituality days providing opportunities for all members of the community to participate in spiritual formation.
  • Engaged students, staff and parents in fundraising and action in support of Gari-uai resulting in $133,000 being raised.
  • Piloted an alternate approach to Mission for Justice/ Mission Day resulting in the highly successful and felicitous May Day where students raised in excess of $23,000 in one day for Gari-uai.
  • Developed a Mary Ward Circle’Program for students in Years 10 and 11 derived from the Sheryl Sandberg “Lean in” model to support students in achieving their ambitions.
  • Enhanced our system of tracking and responding to the learning needs of each girl – including tracking the curricular and extra-curricular data resulting in the development of a Senior School Certificate of Recognition.
  • Evolved and restructured the Academic Adviser role to the House Academic Care Coordinator These four coordinators will have the responsibility of tracking student academic data and offering support within a House structure. We have also commenced training staff in a formalised coaching approach which will lead to a highly developed coaching model for students.
  • Expanded our extra-curricular program to include Dance, Water Polo and the engagement in a Viva 7 program. We further developed our students’ performance opportunities by developing our Choir program.
  • Enabled the work of our Gifted &Talented Coordinator worked closely with the Junior School G&T Coordinator to ensure we are differentiating the curriculum and achieving the highest level of engagement and outcomes for students. The K-12 Academic committee and the Gifted and Talented Committee also commenced term meetings to further develop our strategic approach to responding to the learning needs of all students. These committees also identify further opportunities for professional learning.
  • Developed a Loreto Wellbeing Framework K-12 and concluded the review of our senior pastoral program and structure. This review encompassed two years of intensive research and consultation. The evolved Senior School Pastoral structure will be launched in 2017. The evolved model consists of both Year and House Structures. A Year Coordinator responsible for Wellbeing will address and support students’ social and emotional needs. They will remain with the student for three years, ensuring continuity of care (for Years 7, 8 & 9 & Years 10, 11 & 12). A House Academic Care Coordinator will ensure that the students’ academic care and opportunities are addressed. They will remain with the student for six years. Each House consists of 8 Circle Classes. The Circle Classes will be made up of students from Years 7 to 12. Modelled on Mary Ward and her circle of friends, the Circle Class will remain consistent and inclusive. Students will journey with their Circle Teachers and Circle Class through their Senior School years. Each student has three significant teachers who will work with them in relation to their academic, social and emotional wellbeing. Our review has been deep and far-reaching and I am confident that the evolved care model will enhance the school’s ability to care for its students.
  • Developed a Student Information System (IWISE) and an upgraded parent portal (IGLOO) to be launched at the commencement of 2017 which provides greater detail regarding school calendar, student attendance and assessment information as well as assisting parents in the payment of school fees.
  • Implemented our appraisal process for all staff, teaching and non-teaching. This included a performance development and teacher accreditation process, facilitating staff growth, progression and continual improvement in performance.
  • Continued to provide first-class professional learning opportunities for staff and disseminated the skills learned through presentations at conferences.
  • Enhanced our experiential learning with our highly successful trips to NASA for Years 8-9 and Years 10-11 and World Youth Day 2016 in Poland for Year 10.
  • Commenced the development of a facilities master plan which will be responsive to contemporary teaching and learning approaches. We accessed the refurbished visible learning Science labs at the commencement of Term 1 2016 and are now touring Science educators through these facilities on request. We have also been invited to present at the Criterion Conference focused on School Learning Space design to be held in Sydney in 2017.
  • Focused our attention on parent education and engagement to improve the knowledge and understanding of aspects of student learning and parenting – focus areas have included cyber safety, parenting, alcohol and drug education and use of technology. Parent engagement will continue to be a focus in 2017.

These significant projects listed above build on the excellent programs that already exist at Loreto. We are delighted that we achieved all of our priorities for the year and are ready to embed these projects further throughout 2017. We are at the half-way mark of implementing our strategic plan ‘Navigating the Future 2015-2018’ and we are delighted with our progress to date.

Congratulations and Thanks

  • Congratulations to the Drama staff and students on their outstanding Year 9-11 showcase this week.
  • Special thanks to the staff and students who will accompany students from Holy Family Emerton on the ‘Buddies Day’ to Luna Park on Sunday.
  • Congratulations to all teams listed in the sports section of this newsletter.
  • A very special thank you to all families for your generosity and support of our Christmas Hamper Appeal. Please read Ms O’Keeffe’s article in this newsletter for details.
  • Congratulations to all students involved in the inter-house debating competition.

I thank all members of our school community for the prayers offered to our Loreto Sisters and also to our Jesuit community. We were very saddened to hear the news that Fr Peter Quin SJ passed away last week, followed by the very sad news that Elizabeth Johnson IBVM passed away on Friday evening. Both the memorial Mass for Fr Quin and the Funeral Mass for Sr Elizabeth were wonderful celebrations of the lives of these much loved members of our community and we remember with thanks the significant contributions that they have made to Loreto Kirribilli students, staff and families past and present.

Eternal rest grant unto Elizabeth and Peter,
O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon them.
May they rest in peace.

I sincerely wish each member of our school community the peace and blessings of Christmas and thank everyone for their support and encouragement throughout the year.

Anna Dickinson (Mrs)

Deputy Principal


A reminder that Tuesday is our last day of term for students. We will celebrate this by bringing to mind the meaning and profound gift of Christmas in our annual Advent liturgy.  Following this we will recognise the many diverse achievements in learning of our students in our Semester Two academic awards assembly.  At the conclusion of this assembly, around 12:30pm, students will be dismissed.

Please contact me if your daughter requires supervision on Tuesday afternoon.

Senior Space Expedition to NASA

We wish all the very best to these students who are travelling to NASA on 8 December for the HASSE Space Expedition; Lucinda Hogan, Laura Ferguson, Georgia Lowden and Emmanuelle Macken.

Together with our accompanying teachers, Ms O’Reilly and Mr Hook, these students will have an unforgettable opportunity to extend their understanding of how STEM knowledge and skills are used in the realms of space exploration.  Developing leadership, problem solving and collaboration skills are also key aspects of this program.  We wish the group safe travels and look forward to hearing from them on their return.

Miriam Berlage (Mrs)
Deputy Principal

Director of Mission

Mary Ward Circle Program

We congratulate the following girls who participated in the inaugural Mary Ward Circle Program this year:

Annabelle Williams, Elise Gooley, Elizabeth Burgess, Elizabeth Greiner, Elizabeth Law, Emily Brown, Georgia Lowden, Grace Dorney, Harriet Nolan, Isabelle Hawtin, Lucy Evans, Neve Traynor, Tara Ellevsen, Temaeva Legeay-Hill and Lily Fitzgibbon.

Gathering twice per term the aims of the program are to:

  • Build leadership capacity in your daughter to lead and thrive as a rising young woman of influence
  • Understand how to spot biased behaviours in the workplace and in the world today
  • Create and realise your daughter’s own ideas around what works for women
  • Learn some practical takeaways to deal with the challenges of speaking up and being heard
  • Explore ways to initiate and lead others

The following are student reflections from the program:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed and valued my participation in the Mary Ward Circle program this year. It has taught me many useful and insightful methods of how to become a woman of influence and to end the gender ambition gap. I have become aware of challenges we may face as women in the workplace and how to tackle these issues in a variety of effective and diplomatic ways.”
Georgia Lowden

“We were exposed to the truths about female attitudes towards promotion and how this is reflected through our personal beliefs and emotions. This program taught us how we can address a scenario with confidence and pride. The Mary Ward Circle Program has not only revealed how we can make changes in our presentation but has forever changed our perception of the world.” 
Elizabeth Law

“The Mary Ward Circle Program has introduced me to the impact belief has on our results. We have realised how we subconsciously use our results, such as an exam mark, to determine beliefs about our personal abilities. This is a particularly important consideration for women, who today are conditioned with lower self-esteem than males, a topic we also explored during the program. I have applied this new knowledge to my academic school life as well as broader goals, and it has proved a valuable takeaway.”
Neve Traynor



LSAC Student Leaders Retreat

Freedom. What does this word mean to you? In Mary Ward’s context, freedom was the ability to refer all things to God, and have access to God’s loving care. It is an inner freedom, accepting of self, open to others and trusting of life. From 25-27 November, we were asked to ponder the meaning of Freedom in our own contexts when we attended the Loreto Schools Conference in Ballarat. As we sat alongside the other School and Vice Captains across all of the six Loreto secondary schools in Australia, from Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Ballarat and Normanhurst in Sydney, as well as the Loreto affiliated John XXIII College from Perth, we realised the importance of reflecting on this broad concept and we encourage our community in Kirribilli to take 5 minutes now to do the same.

On Friday, 25 November, we gathered at Loreto Toorak (Melbourne) to hear wise words of leadership from Sister Trish, a Loreto Sister who has worked for 20 years with Mary Ward International in Vietnam, building schools. Sister Trish did not fail to impress, with her straightforward words of wisdom about leadership coming from a very real place. Her insistence to thoroughly get to know those we are serving is advice I will never forget. We also heard from the Executive Officer of Mary Ward International Australia (MWIA) about the many projects that our Loreto social justice organisation has around the world. Every Loreto school has specific ties to different projects to show both the international reach of Loreto’s social justice programs, and also call us to even more opportunities to help improve our own action as global citizens. We are extremely lucky to have ties to an amazing organisation such as MWIA, and we encourage girls to consider taking gap years or similar visits after school to any of the project sites, found here.

Over the next two days of the retreat, as a group of 18, we wrote a prayer of Freedom for 2017 which will be used in Masses and liturgical celebrations throughout the year. Collaborating on such an important prayer was really important to us, and the main goals we are striving for within the year are included. Schools of inclusivity, spirit and freedom from prejudice are what we aim for.

It was truly inspiring to see how well the captains from all of the Loreto schools got along- just going to show the unexpected commonalities between us all. We all had the same drive to improve our respective communities and our excitement to increase spirit in our schools is a testament to the positivity found at the core of every Loreto school. It was a wonderful opportunity for us to refresh in our minds what makes Loreto students special; and it truly is having an open heart and mind, an ability to look out for others, a passion for doing good, an intrinsic motivation to improve oneself and an overarching drive to improve our school and local communities, fostering faith, felicity and spirit.

In the year of Freedom in 2017, it is quite clear that every Loreto school around Australia will be working towards creating a much more united community to foster these qualities and will be working towards even stronger communities of which to be a part.

Mia Toda and Sophie DeAngelis
School Captain and Vice Captain



Christmas Hamper Appeal

A MASSIVE thank you to all families for their generosity and support of our Christmas Hamper Appeal. This year, 45 families in the Campbelltown region who are experiencing some type of struggle have been offered relief, even if only temporarily though our school’s generosity. Atlantis will deliver over 100 boxes filled with Christmas gifts to both Vinnies Services in Campbelltown and Holy Family Parish in Emerton.

Buddies Day

On Sunday, 4 December, an excited group of 20 Loreto girls will make their way to Luna Park for a Buddies Day with the children from Holy Family Primary School in Emerton. Buddies Day is a program aimed at providing children in need within the community with a fun filled day away from their own lives, as well as providing their parents/guardians with a well-deserved respite.

We thank the following students for providing a wonderful outing to Luna Park and for their service to our wider community:

Isabella Bath, Dominica Barrett, Ciara Briggs, Juliette Gard, Elise Gooley, Bianca Hickey, Charlotte Kearney, Clare Leask, Fiona Mainsbridge, Sasha McCarthy, Emma McKellar, Alicia Phillips, Sally Read, Monique Sheman, Sophie Shepherd, Elle Solferini, Annabelle Stelzer, Natasha Tanudji, Annaliese O’Grady and Abby Morgan.

2016 in Reflection

Reflecting over the year at Loreto, I am filled with deep gratitude for the blessings and new challenges that this year has offered. As a Catholic community I am constantly in awe of the support and involvement of our parents and friends. I have also valued the commitment, passion and sense of sincerity evident in each student.

The year has been filled with extraordinary events, in our school community, especially May Day and in the realm of our generosity to our sister school in Gari-uai in Timor Leste. So what have we achieved in the area of faith formation and service for your child in 2016? As a whole school we have continued our formal events including, Friday Mass each week in the Chapel, along with Masses for special liturgical and school events. Additionally, the school community participates in DEAR (Drop everything and Reflect) each Friday and retreats and reflection days are held for different year groups. Ignatian Spirituality Courses are offered to staff, parents and Year 9 students. Community Service activities are undertaken and students can participate in a variety of Student Councils (JPIC / Benenson / Environment / Vinnies / Liturgy). This term, eight, Year 11 students completed their training to be Extraordinary Ministers of Communion and we continued our rostered involvement with Vinnies through Brekky Van and a Buddies Day at Luna Park. We also undertook our fourth Aboriginal immersion to Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory this year. We are looking forward to building upon the ways in which we instil the Loreto values in your daughter in 2017. Please feel free to email or phone me, if you have any questions or suggestions, to continue the inspiration of Mary Ward and the spirit which she hoped would characterise her followers.

Finally and significantly, thank you for your continued support during this year of FELICITY. I look forward to 2017 as we live out the value of FREEDOM.

Wishing each of you a faith filled and safe Christmas break,

Sharon O’Keeffe (Ms)
Director of Mission (K-12)

Academic Programs


As we come to the end of another school year, it is always rewarding to look back on the achievements of our students and of the Drama Department. While we have already enjoyed the successes of our HSC Drama students and their Onstage nominations, there are many Drama students in Years Nine to Eleven who are demonstrating that they too are capable of achieving such excellence.

This week we were able to showcase a selection of student work at the 2016 Drama Expo and the feedback following this event has been very rewarding. Each of the performances and films presented at the Expo were entirely student-developed, exploring a key question or idea through a particular dramatic form. For example, the Year 9 Drama students devised performances within the Gothic genre around the focus question “How is forgiveness something that we are rather than something that we do?” As scriptwriters, directors and actors, they explored how transformational acting can be used to create supernatural moments and effectively shift time and place. This unit challenges the students to create drama as opposed to comedy and is loosely linked to their study of Macbeth in English, by exploring how the supernatural in plays acts as a symbolic device to build tension, mood and atmosphere. Year 10 explored Political Theatre and how live performance can be used to question social and political injustices and advocate for change.

The Year 11 students presented pieces from their study of a very contemporary theatrical movement called Post-Dramatic Theatre. This style of theatre aims to break with the theatrical tradition of realism. The play, Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, has been purposefully written without stage directions, characters and setting. The challenge of this play, which is essentially a series of chapters of dialogue, was interpretation. Each Year Eleven student had to take on the role of director and make staging choices that explored social, political, cultural and social issues.


Top Left: Year 9 students in their play ‘The Raven’.  Right: Year 10 students in their play ‘Land of the Brave’. Bottom: Light and Stage Captains.

Mathew Clausen (Mr)
Drama Coordinator



On 17 November in the library, Year 8 were lucky to listen to an eye-opening and inspirational talk from the North Sydney Aboriginal Heritage Officer, Ms Karen Smith. Ms Smith informed us of the rich culture and history of Indigenous Australians in and around Sydney and how that relates to the topic that we have been studying in English: Place and Identity. Over the course of the talk, Ms Smith gave us an insight into Aboriginal life before and after the arrival of Eurppeans. She outlined many things that we may not have previously been aware of and opened our eyes to the brutality of treatment and the loss of culture that occurred within Aboriginal society from the late 18th century onwards.
Ella Garling
Year 8


English and Science have joined forces on a STEAM project designed to bring relief and restore dignity to refugees and asylum seekers. Students are working as a group of engineers for UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency.

In Science, their objective is to design, build and test a one-person shelter, an efficient solar cooker and a method to efficiently gather clean drinking water to help relieve pressure at refugee collection points.

English classes are exploring their ethical responsibilities as a member of the UNHCR team. Having engaged in Socratic discussion about what makes a community, students have explored different perspectives of stakeholders, read some refugee stories and decided where there is urgent need for resources.  Their final task is to create an engaging pitch for government agencies that will sell their designs as an ethical, sustainable and cost effective way to ease tension at refugee collection points.


As well-developed young writers, Laura Ferguson, Jilienne De Guzman, Temaeva Legeay-Hill, Claudia Carozza and Neve Traynor recently discussed their process of writing and read an extract of one of their compositions to all Year 10 English students. Responding to questions in an interview format, they identified their influences, stylistic choices and editing processes. Their story ideas included the role of outsiders, cultural history, personal travel experiences and dystopian feminism. Neve Traynor read aloud her story ‘What Did You Learn’ published in Alice Pung’s anthology My First Lesson, and Claudia Carozza read aloud her story ‘Bonegilla Boy’ which received a commendation in the Stanton Library Writing Competition.



Christine Davis (Ms)
English Coordinator

ArtExpress 2017

The Visual Arts Department are very excited that Louisa Fitzgerald and Greer Fraser have been selected for exhibition in ArtExpress 2017!

Louisa’s work ‘Many are Strong at the Broken Places (Kintsugi)’ will be exhibited at The Armory, Sydney Olympic Park between the 27 February – 23 April and at the Western Plains Cultural Centre between the 9 June-5 August 2017. Greer’s work ‘Find Me’ will be exhibited at the Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre between the 10 February – 26 March and at the Goulburn Regional Art Gallery between the 14 July-2 September.


Left: Louisa Fitzgerald’s in front of her work, ‘Many are Strong at the Broken Places (Kintsugi)’. Right: One image from Greer Fraser’s series ‘Find Me’.

Mary Costello (Ms)
Visual Arts Coordinator (Acting)

Parents and Friends

Merry Christmas and a big thank you

As the school year draws to a close we would like, on behalf of the parent community, to thank all the teachers and staff at Loreto Kirribilli for all their hard work and efforts during 2016 and to wish them all a very happy Christmas.

We would also like to thank again the outgoing P&F committee, class parents and all those who have volunteered to make this year a truly outstanding one for the Loreto Kirribilli community.

Hoping you and your families and friends have a very safe and merry Christmas!  We look forward to 2017 and please look out for a welcome letter from us early in the new year setting out what we hope to achieve next year – and how you can, if you want, take part.

Danielle Crews & Ian Yard-Smith
Joint P&F Presidents

Newsletter Survey

Thank you to those who completed our newsletter survey last week.

Our aim is deliver the Senior School news to you in the best format possible and therefore would like your feedback on the new format introduced this year.

Please click here to complete a short survey to ensure we’re providing you with the most relevant information in the most effective manner.

Thank you for your assistance.

Susan Egan (Ms)
Design and Communications Assistant

Calendar Dates

End of Term 4

Year 7 Orientation

Year 1-12 commence

P&F Welcome Cocktail Party


Every Friday – Mass 7:55am in the Chapel
Next Mass: Friday, 10 February 2017

Ask and you shall receive… knock and the door will be opened unto you. Matthew 7:7

If you would like someone to be prayed for by the Loreto community (even anonymously) please email the details here.
Please indicate whether you would like your prayer intention named in the newsletter, at Mass only, or completely anonymously.

Josie Ryan (Ms)
Liturgist K-12

Senior School
Phone: +61 2 9957 4722

Junior School
Phone: +61 2 9954 0374

85 Carabella Street,
Kirribilli NSW 2061, Australia

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