eNews Week 1 – Term 1, 2019 (Staff Copy)

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January 30th, 2019

From the Principal...

A very warm welcome back to 2019 and the start of an exciting and energetic school year. I extend a special welcome to all those new to our community – students, staff and their families. 

We are delighted to have our new Year 7 students join us and also the 18 new students who will join other year groups this week.

We also welcome two new staff to St Ursula’s College. To the role of Deputy Principal, I am very happy to introduce Mrs Bernadette Witham to our community. Bernadette is an extremely experienced educator and leader. She comes from a strong curriculum background and is passionate about learning and teaching. We welcome Ms Witham and her husband Robi to Toowoomba.  

Also new to our community, is Ms Siobhan McIvor who joins us in the role of teacher in the Faculty of the Arts. Most recently, Ms McIvor completed a very successful pre-service teaching experience at the College and as a result of this, we have secured her employment. Siobhan is a highly talented, young and enthusiastic teacher with a passion for media and art. She is delighted to be part of the Art Faculty team and is excited about bringing innovative and creative practices to the College.

Staff who are in new exciting roles
As part of the College Strategic Plan, and vision for continuous growth and improvement, the following teachers have been appointed to new roles and/or responsibilities:
  • Ms Lydia Pickard - Lydia is our newly appointed transition teacher (Students). Due to the influx of new students arriving in varied year groups, Ms Pickard will now be responsible for supporting students who arrive mid-year or out of regular orientation times. This unique role also supports families through their transition period into the College. Our newly developed Parents as Partners Program has seen us initiate a Family Buddy System to connect, support and extend our hospitality to new Ursuline families. I thank the current families who have agreed to be parent buddies for our incoming families.
  • Mrs Clare Watson - Clare, in addition to her leadership role as Head of Faculty HASS, has also taken on the role as Transition Teacher (Staff). Her new role has facilitated a robust induction to staff which has included the development of a Pre-Service Teaching Program to attract and support emerging and aspirational teachers to St Ursula’s College. Mrs Watson is passionate about mentoring educators and her enthusiasm for setting high expectations within a supportive framework is commendable.
  • Ms Ann Brownlie - Ann is a highly experienced educator who is currently completing her Masters in Educational Leadership. Given her passion for this, and her level of expertise and knowledge of contemporary leadership, Ann has been appointed to develop and lead the ASPIRE Leadership Program. This unique program has been specifically designed to harness the leadership needs of young women. The program will be a gateway to offering additional leadership opportunities for our girls.
  • Ms Hayley Grabham - Hayley is a passionate educator and emerging leader at our College. Ms Grabham is interested in extending, enriching and supporting students to move beyond their expectations. Her role will specifically target highly able students who demonstrate gifted and talented traits across a range of subject domains. She will lead a team of teachers to initiate the newly developed IGNITE Program for Gifted and Talented students.
  • Ms Meg Ballon - Meg is a knowledgable, committed and experienced educator who knows first-hand the challenges for highly talented athletes. As a result of this, we have harnessed her skills to develop the College’s Elite Athlete Program. Given that we have so many students who compete at a State or National Level, we have initiated a program that encompasses how we better support these students through their academic studies, wellbeing and physical/emotional needs.
  • Mrs Maria Gibson - Maria is a highly experienced educator with excellent academic credentials and skillsets that demonstrate her passion for innovation and learning. Mrs Gibson will be heading up two major innovative leadership programs across the College. The first of these is the Year 7-8 Aviation Program. This cutting-edge learning program, in collaboration with the University of Southern Queensland and Wellcamp personnel, will offer dynamic, challenging and robust learning for our girls. The second project led by Mrs Gibson will be the Young Entrepreneur Program. This project, in collaboration with the Commonwealth Bank and the University of Southern Queensland will develop skillsets in financial literacy, management, design and production in our Year 9 and 10 students.
  • Growth Coaches - Motivated to offer optimum one-to-one support to our girls, the following teachers will be our 2019 Growth Coaches. I welcome to this team:                                                                                                         Cameron Williams and Jennifer Langton in Years 8 and 9.                         Kate Clark and Catherine Jackman in Years 10 and 11.
Primarily, the role of these Growth Coaches will be to support, extend and challenge our girls to resolve their own concerns and encourage autonomy, resilience and confidence.

I will be leading a project known as the Principal’s Mentorship Program. This personalised program is designed to offer sustained individual coaching and mentorship to students who have successfully gained scholarships or girls who are developing individual projects within the College.

I am very excited about the year ahead and once again, a warm welcome to 2019.

Is your daughter interested in serving and refining her leadership skills?
Then, your daughter may consider joining a Cadet Unit. The Cadet organisation provides a powerful impetus for students to shape their character. Having been a Naval Reserve Cadet myself as a teenager, I know from experience of the enormous benefits associated with joining a unit.

Currently, the Toowoomba area is spoilt for choice in terms of Cadet organisations available to our young people. Most recently, I received a personalised invitation from the Headmaster of Toowoomba Grammar School, Mr Peter Hauser, inviting St Ursula’s students to join the Toowoomba Grammar Army Cadet Unit (TGSACU). To facilitate this personalised invitation, our students are invited to attend a recruitment muster. This muster is designed to provide information about the unit and the activities.

To be upfront, there are varied costs associated with joining Cadets and each unit offers different kinds of activities. If any student from St Ursula’s College wishes to join the TGSACU then it would also require at least one parent volunteer (for the St Ursula’s group) to accompany the girls. So if you would like to volunteer your services, please do not hesitate to contact my P.A., Mrs Kathy Sperling on kms@st-ursula.qld.edu.au and she will pass on your details. In the meantime, below is the information on the recruitment muster:

Recruitment Muster
The recruit muster is being held at Toowoomba Grammar School on Friday 2 February at 3.30pm. If you have any further questions please contact my 2IC Lt Ann Hallam at A.Hallam@twgs.qld.edu.au

Information about the Toowoomba Grammar School Army Cadet Unit
Toowoomba Grammar School Army Cadet Unit (TGSACU) is a School Based Unit of Australian Army Cadets. The National Headquarters of the AAC is located in Canberra. TGSACU is part of the 11th Battalion (Darling Downs) which is attached to the Southern Queensland Australian Army Cadet Brigade based at Gallipoli Barracks, Enoggera. The School of Army Aviation at Oakey is the Cadet Units Foster Unit, providing first point of contact for Army support.

The Unit conducts home training on Friday afternoons during term time (3.30 – 6.15pm) and field training on at least one weekend per term. The Brigade provides an Annual Camp of seven days’ duration during the September holidays (Grades 8-12 only). On joining it is requested that cadets commit themselves for one year at the Unit. Training is currently based on a five year program designed to provide the skills to take cadets from recruits to a leadership position. Training includes:
  • Orienteering and Navigation
  • Drill and Ceremony which includes Military history and traditions
  • First Aid
  • Bush Survival
  • Radio Telecommunications
  • Field craft
  • Field Engineering
  • Weapon Handling and Marksmanship
  • Leadership and Promotions
Students will be charged $1,760 (including GST) per annum which includes a $385 transport levy for the year. A parent volunteer is essential for participation of any St Ursula’s College student.

  • Be 13 years of age or turning 13 “early” in the year that you join cadets (please call if you not yet 13  years of age)
  • Be in Year 8 at school
  • You have your parent’s permission
  • You are a person ordinarily resident in Australia
  • You can accept a disciplined learning environment
  • You are interested in the Australian Army
  • You are able to attend training nights regularly during school terms
In the first twelve months students will learn Navigation, Fieldcraft, Radio Techniques, First Aid, and will participate in ANZAC and Remembrance Day Services, Weekend Bivouacs and attend an Annual Camp at a Military Establishment.

This Unit has a Unit Drum Corps which is instructed (no cost) by Harlaxton RSL Brass Band.
Cadets also have the opportunity to advance through the ranks to Senior positions within the Unit.
Parade Times and Where:
Wednesdays 4pm to 7pm during School Terms at 25/49RQR Barracks, O’Quinn Street, Toowoomba (behind Southern Cross Ford).
Occasional weekend camps- Friday to Sunday. Current Annual Basic Fee is $80 each year.
Occasional weekend costs may incur an additional $40 per weekend (max two in your first year)
All uniforms etc supplied on a loan basis.
If you are wishing to join now or read more about Army Cadets, please go to the website at:  www.armycadets.gov.au
In the next instalment of enews, I will highlight Naval Reserve Cadets and Airforce Cadets
God of love,
bless St Ursula’s College..
May it be a place of peace and hospitality.
Help us to use wisely all the gifts You give us.
May we be gentle in our dealings with others,
mindful of those in sorrow,
willing to share with those who rejoice.
Like Angela Merici, may we respond fully to the call of the Gospel.
St Ursula -  Pray for Us
St Angela Merici - live in our hearts forever.

Mrs Tanya Appleby


From the Deputy Principal...

Welcome to 2019!
  • Year 12s welcome to the most important year of your school life.
  • Year 11s welcome to the new Queensland Certification of Education (QCE) system where OPs are replaced with ATARs.
  • Year 10s welcome to senior schooling. If you can give your best to your studies it will set you up for the rest of your school life.
  • Year 9s you lead the junior school so embrace this opportunity to be a positive example.
  • Year 8s you are no longer the 'newbies'. Build on the strengths you discovered about yourself last year, and work on turning your challenges into strengths.
  • Year 7s welcome to secondary school. Say hello and get to know as many faces as possible. I met my best friend in Year 7 and she is still my best friend.
Ensuring a Smooth Start for All.
1: DROP off and PICK up zones:
  • Please be mindful of where these are located and the traffic flow in Rome Street. There will be a teacher on each of the crossings on Rome Street to monitor student movement.
  • Ensure your daughter knows where she is to be collected from each afternoon.
2: Organisation is an important step to success.  The College Diary and Timetable are valuable tools for students to master.
  • The School Diary contains information regarding the organisation of the day, who to contact for what, and a place for their timetable.
  • Parents can access student timetables from the parents’ portal.
  • Your daughter may like to use different colours to personalise her timetable and highlight important blocks and dates.  One colour per subject.
  • Our Timetable is:
    • Semester long;
    • A 10 day cycle. Week A and Week B;
    • No two days are alike and
    • Each lesson is 53 minutes in length.
3:  Uniform:
  • The College Calendar indicates when students are to wear their Blazers. Your daughters may wish to write these dates in their diaries to be fully prepared.
  • Being a Sunsmart school, HATS are to be worn at all times when outdoors.  This includes coming to school, going home and during recess.
4: Opening Liturgy:
  •  If you are able to join us for this special gathering you are most welcome.
I look forward to working with you and your daughters this year.

Ms Bernadette Witham
The new Deputy Principal at St Ursula’s - Ms Bernadette Witham took a moment out of her day to give us some insight into the person inside the title.  Interviewed by student Skyla White.
Skyla: Ms Witham, Welcome to St Ursula’s.
Ms. Witham: Thank you Skyla. I am excited to be here.

Skyla: So, what are your first impressions of Toowoomba?
Ms. Witham: I love the weather, the parks, the coffee shops... It’s humbling to be a part of a school with nearly 90 years of tradition. It’s impossible to meet someone here (and even in Townsville before we came) who doesn’t have some connection with St Ursula’s.  And I take my hat off to Andrew and his team. The grounds are looking beautiful.

Skyla: Are you a morning person, a night owl, … When do you function best?
Ms. Witham: A morning person... definitely.

Skyla: Describe a typical morning for us.
Ms. Witham: My ideal start to the day is a 1 hour walk (with a hill involved), then reading the daily Gospel reflection from Madonna Magazine, then sitting down to scrambled eggs, rye bread and a picollo late with my husband Robie. In Townsville we had a deck that looked out onto a natural garden and a huge rain tree in an empty 1/3 of an acre block across the road. Early morning the sun would rise behind the raintree and be filtered through the tree into a beautiful, gentle, diffused light by the time it reached our deck.

Skyla: Sounds idyllic.
Ms. Witham: It’s the hours between 5am and 7 am and a cup of coffee that really sets me up for the day ahead.

Skyla: So, exercise, spirituality and food are the three things that come through strongly. And your husband gets a brief mention.
Ms. Witham: [Laughing] My husband would probably agree it’s in that order.  Exercise definitely. Spirituality is very important to me but it can get lost in my drive to get things done. I tend to be very objective driven, so to slow down, smell the roses and let God guide me, is something I have to intentionally work at.

Skyla: And food?
Ms. Witham: I am a country girl by origin so home cooked meals and big portions is what I was brought up with. Most of the time it was meat and three veg. But I married a Sri Lankan. Since being in Toowoomba, we’ve tried a Middle Eastern Restaurant, Indian and Sri Lankan. So you can see I love spicy food. But I have traded big portions for sharing my meals with Robie. Even in restaurants we tend to order 1 entrée and 1 main and we share.

Skyla: As part of my research for this interview I Facebook stalked you and see you have two daughters and a son?
Ms. Witham: [Smiling] I hope I have set the privacy settings correctly...

Skyla: You have. And it is a lovely family photo on your public profile by the way...
Ms. Witham: Thank you. My husband Robie and I have three children: Yasmin, Sharnathi and Ramal. Yasmin is a chemical engineer working in Gladstone. She with her husband Dan will be making us grandparents in April. Sharni just graduated in Nursing/Midwifery. She has moved to Brisbane. And our son Ramal is starting second year engineering at James Cook University in Townsville. We are hoping he will transfer to USQ and join us.

Skyla: Toowoomba seems like a huge move and a new life.
Ms. Witham: It is. I am very excited about it.

Skyla: And if I asked you to share some highlights from your old life...
Ms. Witham: Wow... In the last couple of years, the highlights include: walking the Camino in Spain with Robie. Doing Kokoda track with my son Ramal, Yasmin’s wedding in January last year, Sharni’s graduation ceremony and working with some passionate and talented people at my last school.

Skyla: You mention your work as a highlight?
Ms. Witham: I give a very large slice of my life to my work. Education is my life’s work. It’s definitely what I have been called to do.

Skyla: What part of it gives you the greatest joy?
Ms. Witham: Seeing people with different gifts and talents coming together to create synergy. What I mean by that is you don’t have to be the best at something to make a net positive impact on a team or community. By doing what you do to the best of your ability can free someone else up to do what they are best at. It’s that notion of striving to be the best “for the world” rather than the “best in the world”. It sits nicely with Angela Merici’s motto of serviam. One of the things that women have in their DNA is recognising that power comes not from what you can get but what you can give.

Skyla: Whoa. Remind me not to start talking education with you. Let me take you back to lighter things... like dancing, singing or sport.
Ms. Witham: [Laughing] If you ask my family, they say I cannot hold a tune. They love playing the board game Cranium with me and delight in watching me trying to navigate challenges that require humming. And I would strongly suggest not sitting in earshot of me at church [laughing].  And yet if you asked me what my favourite movies have been this summer, A Star is Born and Bohemian Rhapsody would be in the list.

Skyla: Well Ms Witham, thank you. We are looking forward to hearing you sing, watching you dance and getting to know you. We wish you every success and happiness in your new role and new life. Welcome to Toowoomba and St Ursula’s.

From the Assistant Principal - Identity & Culture...

Welcome to 2019.  I hope that you have all managed to spend time with those who you love and allowed your mind and bodies to rest as we move into the new year.

Each year as a College we choose a theme by which to explore our Catholic identity and our Ursuline culture. This year we will focus on finding the face of God in all that we do.

Our theme for the year is Every Face has a Place – Serviam.

Service and Serviam are foundational to the ethos of the College. At St Ursula’s College we recognise that serving others is an important aspect of our everyday actions and interactions. Throughout his life Jesus served the community. In the routines of daily life he was there to listen, to respond, to heal, to encourage, to forgive, to comfort, to challenge. So too does St Angela Merici encourage us through her writings to nurture relationships built on trust, respect, and really knowing each other in our strengths and weaknesses.

At St Ursula’s College we focus on a holistic education and educate our students to prepare them to question unjust situations and structures and to imagine new ways of creating a more just and equitable world. Albert Einstein reminds us: “No problem can be solved with the same thinking or level of consciousness that created it.” So stirring the imagination and encouraging creativity in all areas of learning and school life is essential if our students are to live their Serviam motto into the future.

When we look at a person’s face, we are looking at a lot more than just a face. Just by looking at a person’s face you can tell if the person is angry, happy, sad, tired, worried, hurt, excited, in love, sick, and the list continues. The face of a person reveals a lot about that person.  The face of a person is like an open window that allows us to see inside of that person; their thoughts, their pain, their joy, their heart.  In seeking God’s face we too can enter God’s heart.

Pope Francis encourages us to go out and seek the signs of God, he challenges us to “know the face of God” by first receiving “God’s light and then to reflect it.” We can do this through our service and love of others. To not be satisfied with mediocrity, to not just stumble along in life, but to seek out the meaning of things and to look deeply at the great mystery of life with passion. And to find avenues in which we can serve ourselves and others in our Christian call to not only do good but cause good to happen.

In the incarnation the search for God’s face was given an un-imaginable turning point, because now we can see the face of God in Jesus. Jesus shows us God’s face and makes God’s name known to us. How can you reflect this face into our wider world Where do you see the face of God in our world?

This year I have chosen an image of Jesus to exemplify our theme – Every Face has a Place - Serviam. This image is a collage with all the faces of all our students from Year 8-12 using the image – The Holy face of Jesus by Dragica Micki Fortuna. It is intended to highlight the face that we are the reflective face of Jesus in our community. This year we look forward to exploring what Serviam means to each and everyone of our community. We are asked to be the face of God in our community, stirring the spirit in all we do. I leave you with this blessing which comes from the Book of Numbers;

“May the Lord Bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine on you, and be gracious to you. May the Lord uncover his face to you and bring you peace.

Mrs Debbie Ryan

From the Assistant Principal - Pastoral Relationships...

Welcome to a new and exciting year. I would like to give you some important information for the beginning of 2019.
Pastoral Care has been redesigned.  We have new groups and each group will have two staff members with whom you can liaise. If you daughter has a new Pastoral Care teacher then please contact them by email to say hello.

The Heads of Year have had some changes and they are as follows: 
The Heads of Year in Years 8 to 11 will be assisted in supporting the girl’s in all aspects of their education by Growth Coaches.  Growth Coaches for 2019 are Cameron Williams and myself in Years 8 and 9 and Kate Clark and Catherine Jackman in Years 10 and 11.
Transition Teacher (Students) Lydia Pickard will be working with the Heads of Year, Pastoral Care Teachers and College Registrar Meg Coles in supporting students in Years 8 to 12 who are new at the beginning of the year and any new students thereafter.

We are also developing a Year 7 to 12 Leadership Program which will provide more opportunities for the girls. The ASPIRE Leadership Program will be facilitated by Ann Brownlie, working closely with me.

Code of Conduct
As relationships are the core of who we are, it is important that we all have good relationships working in the best interests of your daughter. We have a Parent Code of Conduct that will be sent home in the next couple of weeks. Please read it carefully.

If at any time you have a concern then please contact the necessary person and make an appointment to talk with them.
There have been some uniform changes that the girls must adhere to this year. These are:

      Sport uniforms are to be brought to school when the girls have Dance or          PE or when required. The girls change at school and change before going          home.

     There is no longer a sports uniform day. The girls wear their                           formal uniform every day.

  • earrings can only be small gold or silver studs or sleepers in the bottom part of the ear, the lobe (one per ear)
  • Every student must have a hat to be worn at all times
  • Hair must be conservative for a student in style and colour
We ask that you support us in the uniform to ensure your daughter is correctly attired.

Other reminders:
  • In hot weather the girls must have a water bottle – there are drink stations around the College for them to refill 
  • The girls must have a lock for their locker on the first day
  • The PC groupings and rooms will be emailed to the girls to ensure they know where they are going on the first day
I look forward to working with you and your daughters throughout the year and if, at any time, you have a question or concern please do not hesitate to contact me on pastoral@st-ursula.qld.edu.au or the College phone number.

Ms Jennifer Langton 

From the Head of Boarding...

Grant us wisdom to know what we must do, the will to want to do it, the courage to undertake it, the perseverance to continue to do it, and the strength to complete it.

“Boarding can be challenging, showing composure and resilience and meeting new friends can be rewarding”.
We are delighted to welcome our new and current students to Brescia in 2019. We are incredibly proud of our Boarding School and College Community, knowing that we have happy students and staff, both of whom work together to achieve excellent results.

St Ursula’s College students thrive during their time here and visitors frequently comment on students’ outstanding manners and behaviour. We expect and give the very best education to every child. The traditional values of the College ensure every student develops into a confident, successful and happy young adult, ready to face the future. We are really excited about the chance to work in close partnership with you over the next 5 years. We will be in touch again shortly to send you some key information and activities planned for 2019.

We welcomed new parents and students to Brescia on 29 January from Lockhart River, Cunnamulla, Charleville, and Thargomindah, Palm Island and Brisbane.  The girls have come from small schools, overseas and remote communities and the first term in boarding can be very challenging, however we have wonderful staff who will nurture and help the girls over the coming weeks.

Ms Shauna Green, our College counsellor and Mrs Nancy Heritage our College Chaplain will be communicating with the girls when the need arises.  Nancy will ensure the girls have a connection from boarding to the day school by visiting regularly.
Jams for Sale
Our charity “Aussie Helpers” is very important to our girls and to the wider community. Last year we raised over $1000, a great achievement and commitment from our girls. Raising awareness about the drought and doing more to help the farmers will be our biggest challenge in 2019. We would be most appreciative if you could support the girls by purchasing our jams to help us achieve our goal.

Remembering” Dolly” Amy Jayne Everett

As 2019 approaches, we all have a responsibility to educate and communicate our children about social media. I had the opportunity of listening to an interview on Radio Today, which reminded me that 13 is the legal age to apply for Facebook, Instagram etc. Children as young as 10 and 11 are applying without their parent’s knowledge. The parent being interviewed said her daughter was 12 and would be bullied by her friends if she wasn’t on social media. She said knowing your child’s password is essential, checking the content daily and blocking anything that wasn’t safe. Also, Chain messages should not be passed on.

In boarding, we regularly communicate with parents and they appreciate our strong partnership, to enable us to keep their daughters safe at school. 

AUTHOR Dr Michael Carr-Gregg - Psychologist
Please enjoy this article from the Australian Boarding Schools ”Lights Out" Magazine.

It was her face that caught my attention, Dolly, aka Amy Jayne Everett, who at the age of six was the face of the iconic hat brand Akubra, beaming out her trillion-kilowatt smile. Incredibly she is now dead - having taken her own life after being cyber-bullied at the age of 14. Her death generated horror and sadness in homes around Australia and the nation seemed to pause for a moment to grieve and then the grief gave way to anger, frustration at our helplessness in the face of this tragedy. Even the PM posted on Facebook saying his heart was breaking for Dolly and her family. "Dolly's passing highlights the devastating impact that bullying can have on its victims…every step must be taken to reduce the incidence of bullying, whether offline or on, and eliminate it wherever we can." So can we ever eliminate online bullying? As a child and adolescent psychologist who has been dealing with the fallout of cyberbullying for decades, I fear that the answer is no and there are five major reasons:

1. Bill Belsey’s ‘perfect storm' - Bill was the first person to use the term cyber bully, and he speaks of the ‘perfect storm’ of the immature teenage brain combining with a technology that is of the moment and in the moment. Bill is referring to the fact that the human brain has 100 billion brain cells, 1000 trillion connections and they are not wired up yet. More importantly, between the age of 12 and young adulthood, there's a loss of this grey matter. It's losing perhaps 30,000 connections per second in a frenzy of brain remodelling. The last part of the brain to develop is the prefrontal lobe - in charge of planning, and impulse control. Essentially the brain brakes aren't yet developed, but the accelerator is flat to the floor - by puberty.

Add to this a special vulnerability to peer pressure, a desire to be accepted, a lack of emotional empathy and the potential for cyberbullying is clearly present and unsurprisingly peaks around transition to high school.

2. Lack of parental supervision - it has been often said that there is no such thing as a perfect parent - and the number of adult carers who allow their children under the age of 13 on social media is growing. This is problematic as young children (for the reasons mentioned in point 1), often do not have the emotional, psychological or social maturity to manage a digital footprint or think before they click. In this age of laissez faire parenting, too many parents seem to have thrown in the digital towel, caved to pester power and are buying smart phones for their under 13 year olds. You can still have security and text messages with a dumb phone.

3. Lack of cyber safety education - in the UK, cyber safety education in primary schools is mandatory, yet in Australia where we have the eSmart school framework, which was developed by RMIT University in consultation with cyber safety, bullying, education and industry experts from across Australia, it is not. In 2010, eSmart was piloted in 159 schools across Australia with funding from the Commonwealth Department of Education. In some states like Victoria, the state government has made eSmart Schools available to every government school and 300 Catholic and independent schools at no charge. In addition each of these schools received a $2,000 grant to assist in the implementation of the framework. An initiative of The Alannah and Madeline Foundation, the framework helps supports schools to embrace the benefits of technology and ensure they are doing everything possible to reduce students’ exposure to cyber-risks. This must become mandatory in every primary school across Australia. Perhaps the PM could intervene here.

4. The social media companies - while some are doing some outstanding work in promoting the wellbeing of its users others are not. A few weeks ago, a ‘cewebwerty’ on YouTube called Logan Paul, with no less than six million followers took a camera crew into a primeval forest at the foot of Mount Fuji called Aokigahara. The forest is a known suicide hot spot and his crew stumbled upon someone who had taken their own life and proceeded to post a video of the body hanging from a tree for his tweenage fans. The clip was eventually taken down, but YouTube were mute for ten days before issuing an apology. In January last year a 12-year-old girl, Katelyn Nicole Davis, live-streamed her own death by hanging, after alleging she was abused by a relative. The video went viral and was replayed on many websites.

5. Anonymity - In the olden days, bullies were more easily identified. Back then, consequences ranged from being suspended from school to being banned from activities and venues, to even being arrested, but cyberbullies are more elusive. The apparent anonymity of the internet makes cyberbullies, especially children, bolder in their attacks, a kind of digital dutch courage. Albert Camus said, ‘suicide, like a great work of art, is prepared within the silence of the heart’ and indeed the reality is that no one will ever know precisely the nature and extent of Dolly’s psychological demons. Nor will we know if she was suffering from a mental illness and the cyber bullying simply exacerbated it and acted as a trigger. But if we are to accede to Dolly’s family’s wishes the social media companies, parents, schools and the Federal and State governments can and should do more.

Dr Michael Carr-Gregg BA (Hons) MA, PhD MAPS Cert Child Internet Safety (UCLAN) Child and Adolescent Psychologist
FOLLOW Michael on Twitter @MCG58

Cyber bullying Why it Can Never be Eliminated?

Mrs Jan Pearman

From the Director of Sport...

Welcome to new families and Happy New Year to all families of the College.
This year will be an action-packed sports program. For all information relating to sport, I ask students to check their emails daily as this is the process I will communicate with them regarding College team sports sign ups, training information and nominating for various Toowoomba or Darling Downs sporting representative teams throughout the year.
District trial information
The students who are U12 (turning 12 years this year), will compete in West zone trials before going onto Darling Downs. Zone trials will require the medical form to be completed by parents and submitted to me by close of nominations as I have to submit the medical with the nomination form to the zone convenor. All 13-18 years students are also required to complete a medical form but this must be taken to the trial on the day.

All medical forms require my signature before attending any trial. All nominated students will be on charged the fee to trial. This will be added to your account. It is approximately $10.

We always require an adult to attend the trial and anyone who can assist, please ask your daughter to indicate this when they nominate with your name and contact number. I have provided a link for both U12 Zone sports trials and TSSS and DD 13-18 years sports trials information.

Click here for the TSSS Sport Calendar
Click here for the U12 West Zone Calendar

House carnivals
The College Swimming carnival and the Track and Field House Carnival will require students who are competing in ‘A events’ to nominate using the Sportstrackerapp program. ‘B event’ competitors do not need to nominate. An email will be sent out to all students with their username and password to access this system. Students are asked to retain this email for future reference.

With Cross Country, we do not need nominations as everyone competes in their own age group on the day. A parent letter will be sent out prior to each carnival detailing the information about each respective carnival. The Swimming carnival information will be sent out shortly.
Team sports
All students who wish to nominate for any team to represent the College will need to complete a Google form that will be emailed out as each season approaches. The team sports beginning in Term 1 will be Basketball (Friday night games), Futsal - Wednesday Yr 7,8 & 9 and Thursday games for Yr 10,11 & 12, Volleyball (Monday afternoon training, Tuesday night games) Swimming training, College Netball (Trials) and T20 Cricket competition (Weeks 4 – 10).
Basketball is played on a Friday night with some games at the College and others at various schools throughout Toowoomba. Trials for the Year 7 and 8 team, Year 10 team and Open team will be conducted Friday 1 February and Wednesday 6 February. First round of games is scheduled to begin on Friday February 8. A draw will be handed to all players once trials are completed. Trials will run from 3:30pm to 4:30pm both days for the Year 10 and Open teams. Tear 7 & 8 team will trial at lunchtime on the Friday and Monday.
Other sports
Swimming training will begin Week 2 - Wednesday and Friday 3.30pm – 4.30pm. Cricket, Futsal Trials, Volleyball and College Netball team Trials information and sign-up links will be emailed out to students shortly. Please remind your daughter to keep an eye out for these in the next few weeks.

Volleyball trials will begin on Wednesday 13 February for the Juniors (Yr 7, 8 and 9) and Seniors (Yr 10, 11 & 12) will trial on Wednesday 6 February. Both trials will be from 3:30pm until 5pm.
Sports uniforms
This year, all students playing for the College will be collecting and returning these to the Retail shop for their respective seasons. It is imperative that they return them promptly once their season is completed to avoid a charge being placed onto their account. Unfortunately, some students last year were charged as they had not returned their uniforms after several reminders.
Sports Supporters group (SSG)
Late last year, we conducted a successful meeting with a number of parents to begin a Sports Supporters Group. The aim of this group is to assist the Sports program with the various sporting activities throughout the year. It may be assisting with being a team manager, coaching or assisting with set up for a carnival or game or cooking or serving.

A google form link is attached for parents to please complete asap. We will need to conduct the first 2019 meeting on Wednesday 6 February at 5:15pm in the upstairs Salo classroom (overlooking the Salo Court) as we will need assistance with the Swimming Carnival on Monday February 18. Any assistance will be gratefully received.
Fuel 2 Fly Netball clinic 2019
I am very pleased to once again be hosting a coaching clinic run by former Australian Captain, Laura Geitz and other representative players late February. The cost will be $66 and have 2 x 2-hour sessions. This year, we will open it up to junior non-St Ursula’s players only for the first session and then exclusively St Ursula’s College players for the second session. Places are limited to 60 players per session, so once details are sent, please book in promptly to avoid disappointment. We will place the details of this excellent clinic in the next Newsletter.
Rugby 7s club signups
A number of Darling Downs Rugby clubs will have girls’ teams playing early this year. Those interested can check the link http://www.downsrugby.com.au/clubs

USQ Saints, Highfields Redbacks, Toowoomba Bears will have teams. Those wishing to play for the College in Term 4 are strongly encouraged to play club rugby. Please contact the clubs for further information.
Mouth-guards directive from DD Sport
Mouth-guards are now required for all Darling Downs trials for the following sports: AFL, Rugby League, Rugby Union, Hockey, Water Polo, European handball. Any student attending trials for any of these sports will be required to wear a mouthguard otherwise they will not be allowed to trial.
Over the holidays Isabelle Mason competed in the Queensland State titles. She won Gold in the 200m Butterfly, Silver in the 200 Backstroke and Bronze in the 400m. She finished top 10 in all her races which is an outstanding effort.

We also had Lucy and Sofie McGrath compete for Queensland in the National Pool Life Saving championships in Sydney. Lucy was awarded 2nd place in the U16 CPR, well done girls!
Rebel and Intersport
When purchasing sports gear, please continue to advise these stores that you are a St Ursula’s College family. We receive a community fund to assist our sports program each year.
If you need to contact me, my email is sport@st-ursula.qld.edu.au

Mr Dan Fox



France Tour 2018

It has been said that knowing another language opens doors to other worlds. Charlemagne, a poignant figure in French history, argued that to have another language is to possess another soul. Regardless of how you describe the wonder that is language learning, it broadens the mind and allows one to develop a new way of thinking. 15 students were able to experience this first-hand in December during the 2018 France Tour – a cultural and linguistic adventure encompassing such sites as Paris, Versailles, Chenonceau, Langeais, Vannes, Nantes, Mont St Michel and Carnac. The students represented the College well, trying new and interesting foods, embracing the French way of greeting friends and family, surviving long and active days of exploration and discovery, both at school and during excursions, and communicating in both French and Breton (the regional language of Bretagne). Tia McVeigh, Hannah Cooper and Isabelle Rock even accepted the challenge of giving speeches in French.
Participating in this immersion experience is an excellent means of understanding just how enriching and rewarding it is to learn, speak and interact with another language and its culture. It also provides an opportunity to build up one’s resilience, forge meaningful friendships, live like a local, witness historical events, delve into the politics and social structures of a European nation, and continue to develop connections with the city of Vannes and the Lycée Notre Dame le Ménimur.
13 French host sisters and 4 accompanying teachers from Lycée Notre Dame le Ménimur will be joining us at St Ursula’s College for two weeks from 4 February. We look forward to seeing them again, teaching them about our way of life at the College and in Australia and, of course, having them join us in class to speak French with us. We sincerely thank Mrs Amanda Brown and Mme Véronique Gobin, in particular, for their tireless efforts in organising the France Tour and reciprocal visit.

Netball Club

Registrations for the St Ursula's College Netball Club are now open!

Visit their Facebook page here.

Visit their Website here.

Email suncnetball@gmail.com for further information.

Transition Teacher (Students)

One of the new College initiatives being implemented in 2019 is the introduction of a Transition Teacher (Students) to support new Year 8-12 students at the start of the school year and new students who commence during the school year. My role as the Transition Teacher is to work alongside Pastoral Care teachers and Heads of Year to ensure new students have a positive transition into the College community. Throughout their first few days at the College, I will assist new students with an introduction to the school environment, Apple Mac laptop program and College rules and expectations. I will also liaise with their Head of Year to ensure timetables are organised and subject selections have been made and submitted.
In addition to this, we have also implemented a Parent/Student Buddy Program, aiming to pair families to ensure both new students and new parents have a positive and supported transition into the College community. Student buddies will play an instrumental role in ensuring new students settle in during their first few weeks. Parent buddies will provide new parents with a point of contact should they have any questions about life at the College on a parent level. We have devised an eager team of Parent/Student Buddies from Years 8-12 who will be called upon throughout the year to assist new parents and students arriving at the College. In Term 2, invitations will be sent to Year 7 parents and students to join the team to support new Year 7 students who enter during Term 2-4.
Miss Lydia Pickard
Transition Teacher (Students)


Music Notes

Vocal and Instrumental Music Ensembles

Music ensemble rehearsals will commence in Week 2 of Term 1. If students would like to sign up to be in an ensemble, sign-up day is on Friday 1st February in the Salo music rooms at lunchtime.

Music Lessons
Private Music Tuition/Music Immersion Program
Music lessons for the Vocal and Instrumental Immersion Program, and private music tuition will commence once the College Music Specialists have completed and distributed their timetables. Timetables will be emailed to students and parents, and will also be posted on the Music block notice boards.

 If you have any queries about music lessons (private &/or VIIP group lessons) or ensemble rehearsals, please contact Mrs Linda Hills: hilllc@st-ursula.qld.edu.au 

Important dates – Term 1
Friday February 1st – Music ensembles sign-up, Lunchtime S1 music room, Salo.
February 15th & 16th – Music program welcome event and workshop.
March 4th & 5th – Extended ensemble rehearsals
Music Ensembles being offered this year are:
College Choir - Mondays 3:30pm – 4:30pm – College Chapel
Ursula’s Voices - Mondays 4:30pm – 5:30pm – College Chapel 
Angela’s Voices - Wednesdays 7:30am – 8:30am – S1 Music Room
Ursa Minors - Wednesdays 3:30pm – 4:30pm – College Chapel
Concert Band - Tuesdays 3:30pm – 5:00pm – S1 Music Room
Jazz Fusion Band - Wednesdays 3:30pm – 5:00pm – S1 Music Room
String Ensemble - Tuesdays 3:30pm – 5:00pm - Salo Stage
Contemporary Vocal Ensemble - Thursdays 7:30am – 8:30am – S1 Music Room
The Angela Ensemble - Thursday – 7:30am – 8:30am – S1 Music Room
Drum Line - Fridays – 7:30am – 8:30am – S1 Music Room

USA Tour 2018

The USA Tour 2018 was a wonderful opportunity for 15 of our students to share their understanding of Serviam and the Ursuline ethos with their global sisters at The Ursuline School in New Rochelle, Mount Saint Ursula in The Bronx (a day visit), Ursuline Academy in Wilmington, Delaware, and Ursuline Academy in Dallas, Texas. We were welcomed to and looked after very well at each of these schools. Our students experienced a wide range of activities including attending classes, participating in Serviam projects, learning about historical events and enjoying a Broadway matinee.
As ambassadors of St Ursula’s College Toowoomba, the group prepared and delivered presentations about Australia, Toowoomba and our College. At New Rochelle and in Dallas these hour-long presentations, which were a creative and interesting blend of dance, choral items, spoken information and video footage, were very well received. Thorough preparation and rehearsals happened in Term 4, including the days after school officially finished. The girls were committed to delivering polished performances, with Mr James Dwan and Miss Lydia Pickard ensuring a very good standard.
In each place, the girls stayed with host families who looked after them and provided them with a wide range of experiences from family dinners and fun to outings such as going to a snow area, theme parks, shopping at the mall – too many to name!
On the long flight home, our students completed an evaluation form about the joys and challenges of this tour. Here are some snippets of what the girls gained from this tour:
‘I have made lifelong friends with my host sisters and families.’
‘I have learnt a lot about America and American history’
‘I learnt how to deal with homesickness and the constant fire of questions about Australia’
‘It was amazing to see Serviam in other schools.’
‘Fort Worth was so cool. To see the long horns, cowboys and learn line dancing was great.’
‘I learned that American people are hardworking and dedicated and that America is a country that has experienced a lot of sadness.’
It was very clear from both the comments and actions of both our students and their American counterparts that this global connection tour is very important – not only for individual growth and understanding but also to engender goodwill and peace in our world.
As the three chaperones of this tour, we were impressed with the welcome and attention we received in each of the schools. The itineraries were well organised and varied, giving us an interesting look at American life, the education system and how the Ursuline ethos is imbedded in and acted upon.
We would like to commend the 15 students of the group on their cooperative, cheerful interaction with us and each other. They were very good ambassadors of our College and will, we are sure, support future interactions between St Ursula’s College Toowoomba and overseas Ursuline schools.
Mr James Dwan (Tour Leader), Miss Lydia Pickard (Tour Chaperone) and Mrs Cathy Aitchison (Tour Chaperone)


Excitement is mounting in the English Department!
This term sees the implementation of the new English, Literature and Essential English syllabi as the Year 11 students embark on the ATAR courses.

In addition, the first Short Bites conference, aimed at English teachers from across the region, is taking shape and we are delighted that the well-respected Australian authors, Nick Earls and Simon Cleary will travel to Toowoomba as the keynote speakers for the Saturday event. Nick will host a social evening of words, wisdom and music prior to the conference along with the talented musician, Chanel Lucas, in the College Chapel on Friday March 1st from 7-9 pm. Bookings are essential. Contact Gay Kelly at the College for further details.

Short Bites Conference Tickets
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