eNews Week 1 – Term 4, 2018

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August 20th, 2018 

From the Principal...

Being the Best Version of Ourselves

Recently, I had the opportunity to welcome our incoming 2019 students and parents to the College. The Orientation Day and evening parent function provided time for the staff to get to know the families and students, and it also gave me opportunity to discuss the importance of being the best version of ourselves.

The speeches of the day were dedicated to exploring this concept and provoked families and students to reflect on what it meant to lead a full and active school life. In short, this was broken into three areas:

  1. experiencing as many things as possible to enjoy school and cultivate relationships through those experiences;
  2. engaging in learning to promote creativity, collaboration, curiosity and challenge and
  3. transforming oneself to be our best version of self.

The challenge for each of us is how to activate each of these three things to work together to support our wellbeing. As a starting point, it is worth considering what it takes to be a better version of ourselves. In my experience as an educator, this can be broken into 5 distinct areas:

  • Body
  • Mind
  • Emotions
  • Spirit
  • Relationships

And when doing so, it is important that we measure our progress against our previous selves. Using other people as a reference point is useful in terms of aspiring to be like others, but what is more important is that we grow in self-awareness of how we can transform ourselves.

Caring for our Body
Caring for our bodies begins with understanding that we need to look after the vessel that we have been given. This involves engaging in routine exercise, selecting healthy food options and living a healthy lifestyle.

Care of our Mind
Ensuring that we control our mind and that our mind does not control us helps us find a sense of wellbeing. Our minds are a great asset that help us reason, imagine, create and problem solve. Minimising cognitive distortion helps keep our emotions in check so that we see the world in a manner that is free from distortion. Self-affirmation and gratitude help us ‘program’ our minds to be positive so that we can take risks and remain optimistic, when things do not go to plan. Prayer, meditation and mindful activities such as colouring in and walking can help trigger neurons that activate our sense of positive wellbeing.

Caring for our Emotions
Taking care of our mind has a very positive influence on our emotions. By focusing on the positive and managing cognitive distortions, helps to regulate our emotional wellbeing. Feeling good about our emotions is about reminding ourselves that we are valued and that our contributions to life, work, school and relationships matter. This is an intrinsic exercise that empowers us to be aspirational and strive for improvement. Being resilient to the hiccups in life, fuels our desire to strive for change and ultimately transform ourselves.

Taking care of our Spirit
Just as we nourish our bodies, we can also nourish our spirit too! Taking care of the spirit is about having faith, hope and securing a sense that what we do in the world matters. By doing good deeds, helping others in our world and praying helps support our wellbeing. Taking care of the spirit is about renewing our sense of faith in humanity and remembering that God is always with us. Acknowledging what we have, helps us feel grateful for the blessings in our lives.

Care of our Relationships
Building positive relationships with others helps affirm that what we bring to a relationship matters. It reinforces our individuality and affirms that all human beings need love and support to foster friendships. Feeling emotionally secure helps take the first step to forge a relationship. Being open, trustworthy, inclusive and understanding of others and their differences supports us in developing relationships.

The Journey Ahead
It is not easy to become the best version of ourselves, but it’s definitely worth investing in. I encourage each of us to reflect on how we live our lives and encourage, motivate and support each other in being the best versions of ourselves.

World Mental Health Day 10 October - Do you see what I see?
For more information on Mental Health please refer to this Australian site: https://1010.org.au/

Mrs Tanya Appleby


Introducing our new Deputy Principal...

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Ms Bernadette Witham to our College.  Bernadette is a highly experienced educator and has a passion for teaching and learning.  She brings a wealth of experience to our College and will be relocating from Townsville to Toowoomba with her husband.  Bernadette will begin her induction into the Ursuline charism with Sr Sue Flood in early November.  I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the excellent work that Mrs Gleeson has performed at St Ursula's College and appreciate her dedication and professional application to the role of Deputy Principal.  

Click here for Letter to College Community


From the Assistant Principal - Identity & Culture...

"Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love another." — John 13:34

October is World Mission month. We are challenged with looking for ways to show God's love to those in our world who are in most need.  Jesus invited us to be His hands and feet and to go out to those in our community and beyond to meet and help the poor, the homeless, the sick, the suffering…  
To learn more about Catholic Mission Month go to https://www.catholicmission.org.au/about-catholic-mission/about-us 
Dear Lord, we pray for our own school community, that we may always share in the mission of Jesus in bringing fullness of life to all God’s children. 

In October there is also a special devotion to the Rosary. The Rosary is a meditation on the life of Jesus and Mary, and was developed as a breathing prayer. The Rosary is a mantra; a centering prayer involving the repetition of a particular word or phrase as part of one’s breathing pattern.   

Take some time over the month of October and read the scripture stories associated with each of the mysteries of the Rosary. 

Learn more about the Rosary   

October is also the month when we celebrate the Feast of St Ursula. As a College we celebrate this with a week of celebrations, culminating on Friday 26 October with our annual boat parade and race. This tradition is based in the legend of St Ursula.

The historical evidence of Ursula’s life has been lost in the mist of time. However, the relationship between Angela and Ursula is strong, and led to Angela placing her Company under the patronage of St Ursula. She wanted her companions to be imbued with the Spirit of Ursula.

As legend tells us Ursula, was the daughter of a Christian king living in Britain in the 4th Century. She grew into a young woman of deep faith.
The king of a larger more powerful kingdom asked for her hand in marriage for his son. Fearful of the superior strength of the other king’s army she agreed, however, she asked for some time before the marriage took place.  With great confidence she requested that the marriage would not take place until “her husband to be” converted to Christianity and that they undertake a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and Rome. Then on their return they would marry. Eager to have her as his bride the prince agreed to her requests.

Ursula together with her entourage of maidens, companions and "her husband to be" began their pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Strong winds blew them off course and they eventually arrived in Cologne. While Ursula and her companions were in Cologne she had a dream that they would be martyred on their return. Undaunted by this dream she prepared her companions and together they faced their death with great courage, conviction and faith.

A basilica was built in Cologne dedicated to virgin martyrs as far back as the 3rd century. It was rebuilt in the middle ages by Clematius. This is fact. Many and varied legends of Ursula exist, and much of this information is conjectural.

"What is fact is that in the far off past, in a known place, virgins chose to suffer death rather than be false to their love of Christ." (Teresa Ledochowska, osu Angela Merici and the Company of St Ursula)  
The Spirit of Ursula                                                
  • A woman of deep courage
  • A risk taker
  • A woman of dedication and fidelity to Jesus Christ
  • A leader of young women
  • A woman of dignity 
  • An independent woman of her time.

2018/2019 Social Justice Praxis Initiative

This year we have introduced a new Senior Religion and Ethics program at the College. This program will allow our Year 10 students to commence their senior studies in Religion and Ethics, completing a new course over their three final years of education. The most significant change to the course is the introduction of a year-long praxis or practical component which they will be immersed in throughout Year 12. This program and the embedded classroom components will be known as the Serviam: Social Justice Program.


This practical component of the course will be based on a theology of service, underpinned by two main features; the insistence on the dignity of the human person and the recognition of the dimension of mutuality in the act of service.


Towards the end of 2019, our current Year 10 students will participate in a retreat activity before embarking on a year of service to our community. This will include elements of practical service activities, within and beyond the College community, facilitation of liturgy at the College, reflective practice and also ongoing theological development.

Mrs Debbie Ryan

This year we have introduced a new Senior Religion and Ethics program at the College. This program will allow our Year 10 students to commence their senior studies in Religion and Ethics, completing a new course over their three final years of education. The most significant change to the course is the introduction of a year-long praxis or practical component which they will be immersed in throughout Year 12. This program and the embedded classroom components will be known as the Serviam: Social Justice Program.


This practical component of the course will be based on a theology of service, underpinned by two main features; the insistence on the dignity of the human person and the recognition of the dimension of mutuality in the act of service.


Towards the end of 2019, our current Year 10 students will participate in a retreat activity before embarking on a year of service to our community. This will include elements of practical service activities, within and beyond the College community, facilitation of liturgy at the College, reflective practice and also ongoing theological development.



From the Acting Assistant Principal - Pastoral Relationships...

Today I was reminded that Wednesday, 10 October marks World Mental Health Day.

This signifies a day for global mental health education awareness and advocacy and it was Year 12 student, Hannah Geursten, who has taken the mantle of mental health awareness to remind us of the need to take care of ourselves and of others.

She has organised activities and presented to the girls to highlight the value mental health has for us as individuals, families and communities. Without taking away from the importance of having days where the awareness of mental health is amped up, I look forward to the day where every day is a day when we openly converse about mental health and the conversation around being mentally fit is as much the norm as being physically fit.

Thankfully, at St Ursula’s College there is a growing recognition of the importance of building our mental fitness and building mental resilience in our students. This week provides an opportunity to remind ourselves of the importance of implementing some simple strategies that keep the awareness of mental health at the forefront of our thinking. (Positive Education, 2018)

1. Talk about it (even more) to reduce the stigma around mental illness. Engage in real conversations. Society in many ways has taught us to suppress emotions as a coping mechanism, and that by showing vulnerability we are weak, when in actual fact true strength lies within being able to confront and talk about how you feel. It is okay if you are not okay. Life is a rollercoaster, but it is better to talk through the ups and downs rather than riding through it with no support structure.

 2. We’re all in this together. Looking after each other and encouraging help seeking behaviour are both fundamental to helping create a nurturing, supportive, protective, resilient environment. We encourage students and staff this week to continue asking: “R U OK?”

3. Be proactive. World Mental Health Day is an important reminder that in addition to supporting others with mental health issues, we need to cultivate our own wellbeing. The ‘5 Ways To Wellbeing' provide simple, evidence based ways to improve mental health that are based on extensive international research: Connect, Be Active, Keep Learning, Be Aware, Help Others.

4.  Make a #mentalhealthpromise. In support of the 2018 World Mental Health Day initiative, staff and students are encouraged to make their own #mentalhealthpromise. This can be to raise awareness about mental illness and help to reduce stigma, to commit to helping a friend or family member who may be struggling, or to implement a new wellbeing practice into our own lives. These promises can be  made online.
If we take time to ask the right questions and listen without interruption or judgement, perhaps it might contribute to a more compassionate society where there is a better understanding around mental illness, and these national awareness days won’t have to be so significant.

Ms Ann Brownlie

Love Thy Neighbour

As part of our College Drought Relief Project we have actively sought to support our farmers who have been affected by the drought.  This has involved fundraising from our boarders and day girls.  But, every so often help comes in a different way.

I am delighted to accept the generous financial support funded by the Holy Name Tennis Club to help our farming families who may be doing it tough.  Their support will directly help a number of families who are currently doing their upmost to ensure that their livestock and agriculture is sustainable.  While many of these families say 'there are others worse off then ourselves'; they are left deeply concerned about their livelihood and future. 

I also wish to acknowledge the second generous offer made by Mr Erin Daniels and his partner Kay (Stay "DOVER" on South) who have offered two weekend experiences at their Bed and Breakfast for two country families who could do with "a break".

We are thankful to have such generous neighbours who have worked together to support our community. 

Mick Fogarty (Secretary of Holy Name Tennis Club) pictured with Tanya Appleby.
Watch Video Here

Moorambilla Voices

During the school holidays, four of our students, Lily Burke (Yr. 9) Eve Beattie-Zarb (Yr. 10), Greta Dwan (Yr. 10) and Skyla White (Yr. 11) returned to Moorambilla Voices for the second part of an extraordinary, second-to-none experience.
Travelling almost 3000 kilometres to be involved (over two separate residencies in Baradine and then a series of Gala Concerts in Dubbo), our students were immersed in a uniquely Australian, highly creative experience of choral singing, dance and taiko with some of Australia’s most highly respected conductors, composers, musicians and choreographers.
St Ursula’s College, Toowoomba, is the only school outside of western New South Wales to be invited, and we look forward to strengthening our creative partnership in 2019.
Our girls were members of the MAXed OUT ensemble for secondary aged students, and were involved in the production of this short film shot in the middle of a dry sheep station in the north west of the state by @moorambilla. See if you can spot any of them!
We thank Moorambilla Voices for allowing us to post this work.
Short Film – Anton Lock
Image of students – Noni Carroll Photography




We wish our Junior A team every success as they play in the Vicki Wilson State finals at Coomera on 13 & 14 October. Thanks to Caitlin Fry (Coach) and Ms Ann Brownlie  (Team Manager) for taking them away this weekend. This is the first team to make it to this level and we are very proud of their efforts to make it this far. Good luck team!
From Wednesday our U15 and Open Touch teams are competing in Brisbane at the Queensland All Schools carnival. Thanks to Ms Meg Ballon, Miss Shayne Haynes, Mrs Carene Ward and Mrs Sam Scutt who are joining me to help the girls. It is a big couple of days but we are looking forward to the competition.
Rugby begins next Tuesday, 16 October at Gold Park for the U14 and U16 teams, and Thursday, 18 October for the Open team. Our teams are very excited about the upcoming competition and we have had excellent numbers wanting to be involved in this Olympic sport.
Mr Dan Fox
Director of Sport

On Location

Our teachers are always learning, even in their holidays. Film, Television and New Media teacher, Mrs Wendy Collins, was invited by Screen Queensland and Unit Publicist, Ernie Malik 
(AquamanThor: Ragnarok) onto the set of Dora, the Explorer currently filming on location at the Gold Coast. Mrs Collins is an executive member of the Australian Teachers of Media, Queensland Inc (ATOMQ) and through this professional community, organises for Media teachers to be part of the vibrant film industry in South East Queensland. This hands-on opportunity allows for real life learning experiences within the Media classes, ensuring our students are ready for the real world of feature film making. Dora the Explorer (Paramount Pictures) is one of many multi-million dollar productions that are utilising the incentives provided by Screen Queensland to film in our local area, thus providing opportunities for up and coming filmmakers to be part of this vibrant industry. 
Photo - Mark Deere,  Lucy Carr, Wendy Collins, Ernie Malik, Karyn Chapman, Lorena Vine and Angela Samut (Communications and Marketing Manager, Screen Queensland)

Share the Dignity

'Share the Dignity' is a service group that gathers sanitary items to give to women who cannot otherwise afford them. This term 'Share the Dignity' have decided to focus on women in Papua New Guinea who may not have access to clean underwear.

Throughout the term we have been gathering donations of clean underwear with the goal to distribute them to the women of Papua New Guinea. Year 12 student, Ella Boyd braved the Kokoda trail. This was a 96 kilometre track through Papua New Guinea to commemorate the soldiers who walked the track during the Second World War.

Ella teamed up with the 'Share the Dignity' service group and together we began the campaign 'say no to commando'. We were overwhelmed with generous donations and altogether we ended up gathering an astounding 960 pairs of underwear which Ella took with her to distribute along her trip. We would just like to thank everyone for their amazing contribution to this wonderful achievement.


Japan Tour
After months of preparation, the Japan Tour was a great success. We had some reports of good weather, as well as some rain, lots of walking and wonderful cultural experiences. We look forward to hearing much more about this exciting opportunity for cultural and linguistic immersion as the students return to the College this week. Thank you to Ms Kathi-Ann Hill, Ms Melissa Stephenson and Mrs Maasa Mulhare who gave their time to organise the Japan Tour, prepare the Tour participants and accompany the girls.

France Tour
Student meetings for the France Tour in Term 3 were fruitful. We welcomed Miss Ford to the team of Tour Leaders, made some important culinary decisions and started exploring expert topics and self-introductions. In Term 4, we will meet more regularly in order to focus on language preparation with the Tour participants. We will have reached J-46 when we meet in Week 2.

More information regarding host sisters will be revealed in Term 4 as well. Our parent meeting on Tuesday 6 November is a compulsory meeting where we will go through some final important details before our departure on 30 November. We would like to remind students that due to unavoidable flight changes, we will now arrive back in Australia on Friday, 21 December. With regards to payments, Finance Department will issue invoices once the tour cost is complete.

Culture Club
The last two weeks of Culture Club in Term 3 saw a heated game of Fly Swat (or, as we improvised, Chopsticks) and the screening of an episode of Haikyuu, a Japanese anime series. Fly Swat provided students with opportunities to remind themselves that they already know a wide range of words in other languages, specifically German, Japanese and French. The English language contains many cognates, words with similar etymological origins in other languages. As students learn languages at St Ursula’s College, they become more aware of this and begin to make connections between the target language and English. Students also make discoveries about grammatical structures and rules in English as they examine the specifics of sentence structure in the target language.

Join us for more fun and games in Culture Club in Term 4.  


From the Head of Boarding...

On Sunday evening, 7 October we hosted our Orientation event for boarding students new to our College in 2019.  New boarders and their parents were invited to a Boarder Sleepover.  While the Parents enjoyed chatting after dinner, the girls enjoyed a fun-filled evening with activities organised by Jodi and our older boarding girls. Lots and lots of laughter could be heard, which is a good indication the girls were having an amazing time with their new found friends.  Students had the opportunity to have a good look around the boarding house, find out all about boarding, meet new friends and ask plenty of questions.  There were lots of smiles, excitement and hopefully less anxious students! 

It was also a fantastic opportunity to have an existing Boarding Parent, Mrs Karen Jackson, and her daughter Millie, welcome many new families into our Brescia family.   A Parent Information Session allowed parents to connect with our Principal, Leadership Team, Head of Boarding, Boarding Staff and students who volunteered for orientation.

The night was topped off by a scrumptious meal, prepared by our talented Chef Kyle and served by our friendly staff Jess and Loretta.  
It was a fabulously exciting and informative two days and we look forward to a wonderful 2019 St Ursula’s College experience.  Hopefully “minds are at ease” and students are looking forward to starting in January 2019.

Boarders Return
On Monday, 8 October our boarders were ready to start Term 4. The Year 12 boarders have been back, hard at work and in their routine, especially organising their assessments until they finish Term 4 in a few short weeks.  A short term, but it is the most exciting time for the girls, not only completing their work but fitting in hair and makeup appointments in preparation for their formal!

Ms Jan Pearman
Staying hydrated - WATER is the best choice.
Drinking water is the best way to quench your thirst. Even better, it doesn’t come with all the sugar and energy (kilojoules) found in fruit juice drinks, soft drinks, sports drinks and flavoured mineral waters. Drinking water instead of sweetened drinks may also prevent dental problems, while the fluoride found in tap water can help strengthen teeth and bones.

Soft drinks, fruit juices, cordials, sports and energy drinks and flavoured mineral waters often have large amounts of sugar and kilojoules. In fact, a can of soft drink contains around 10 teaspoons of sugar. Drinking too many sweetened drinks can cause a range of problems including tooth decay, poor appetite, picky eating, changes in bowel habits and putting on excess weight. These drinks should only be consumed occasionally – not every day.

Australian researchers found that children aged between 4 and 12 who drank 500ml or more of fruit juice or cordial per day were twice as likely to be overweight or obese as children who consumed none.

Caffeine is a mildly addictive stimulant drug. Cola-type soft drinks and energy drinks contain caffeine as well as lots of sugar. Higher amounts of caffeine are found in energy drinks. There are many side effects of caffeine consumption, particularly in kids and teens. These include disturbed sleep, bedwetting, anxiety and headache – even from drinking quite small amounts. There is also a link between caffeine in soft drinks and bone fractures. Consumption by kids and teens of cola drinks, particularly energy drinks, is best avoided.

The recommended daily amount of fluids is:
  • 5 glasses (1 litre) for 5 to 8 year olds
  • 7 glasses (1.5 litres) for 9 to12 year olds
  • 8 to 10 glasses (2 litres) for 13+ years 
You should drink more water when you’re exercising or on a hot day. We often don’t feel thirsty even when our bodies need fluid, so it’s a good idea to drink water regularly throughout the day.

Ideas to help you to drink more water
  • Pack a water bottle whenever you go out.
  • In summer, pack a frozen water bottle in your child’s lunch box.
  • Don’t keep sweetened drinks at home; make cold water available instead.
  • Water down sweetened drinks – such as cordials or fruit juice – for a short time and then start to replace them with plain water.
  • When playing sport, encourage kids to drink water rather than sports drinks or energy drinks.
  • Serve plain water in decorative jugs. Add slices of lemon, orange or mint for flavour and, in summer, add ice cubes to keep it chilled.
  • Serve sweetened drinks in smaller glasses and only have them occasionally – not every day.
For more information, please see the following link
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