The Unique Relationship between Fathers and their Daughters
It was wonderful to see so many fathers at our recent Father’s Day Breakfast, but what I really enjoyed the most, was observing the gentle interactions between girls and their fathers. Yet, despite this, I am often asked from fathers about ways that they can better re-kindle their relationships with their adolescent daughters.
I recently had the opportunity to read a wonderful book called Fathers and Daughters by Madonna King. King offers a refreshing perspective on the dynamic relationship that exists between girls and their fathers. The text is well researched and targets a sample of 1300 girls aged from 10 to 17 years of age.
The tips identified in her recent book make a lot of sense and I recommend them for your consideration.
1. Love her unconditionally. She doesn’t necessarily know that you do. You need to tell her.
2. Value her opinion. You can build her self-confidence, or crush it. As one school leader told me, fathers can be a QC in the courtroom, but should always be a father in the lounge room. How you deal with her giving her opinion will determine whether or not she continues to trust you with what she is thinking. Remember also that your views might have been built up over years, maybe even decades. Your daughter’s view might only be three hours old.
3. You have a responsibility to be there. Do not – despite any encouragement – take a step back. Even if she becomes prickly in puberty, stay close.
4. Pick a project to do together, so that you can build memories together. This might be a sport, or park run, a love of ACDC music or a charity project, but it something she shares with you. She will probably not ask to do it, so you should take the first step.
5. Don’t fix her problems; that is not your job. But listen to her. While you are doing that, also teach her to change a car tyre and a light bulb! And give her time. Too many girls said all they wanted from their dad was more time, and for him to ‘really be there’ when he’s home.
6. Don’t parent by gender. She is not weaker than your son. That means you should be ambitious for her. She doesn’t want to be over-protected and has to learn to judge risks.
7. You are your daughter’s prime role model for men. What she sees, she will later expect in men. This is a huge power. Don’t waste it.
8. Take her on weekly or fortnightly dates. It can be as simple as a coffee on the way to school. But this is important because it allows you to develop a relationship with her, specifically. And when things get tough, you still have that time each week or fortnight to talk and connect.
9. Don’t think that you, as a father, offer less than her mother. Mothers also have to learn, in some instances, to stand back and let fathers at the front line. Mothers offer things fathers don’t also – but too often fathers underestimate their power in raising a daughter.
10. Talk. Men and women communicate in different ways. Accept that. Recognise that. And try and find a way through it. It will be worth it.
The wonderful news is that Madonna King will be visiting Toowoomba in 2019 and I will release more information about this presentation closer to the time. Reference: https://www.booktopia.com.au/blog/2018/09/05/madonna-king-fathers-daughters/
(Accessed 25 September, 2018)
The Great Ninja Challenge - 17th October 2018
Open to girls from Years 5 and 6 across the Toowoomba area, the Great Ninja Challenge is a day of physical and thinking challenges designed to support the learning of girls. The day has been carefully structured to tap into collaborative practices, critical thinking skills and also physical challenges to test endurance, creativity and team work.
The day is open to all girls and is not limited to currently enrolled students. Girls from their respective schools are encouraged to come in pairs or small groups. The day is free of charge, and all inclusive, with specifically designed activities to celebrate ‘girl-power’.
The Great Ninja Challenge is also being promoted through our website and Facebook. Please share this information with your friends and family.
Dress for Success
It is said that you can never get a second chance at making a first impression. Wearing the College uniform correctly is an expectation for all students. Our uniform, from hat to shoes, represents an opportunity to dress for success. At our last College assembly, our girls had the opportunity to hear Mrs Gleeson speak about why simplicity in uniformity matters. As part of her presentation, Mrs Gleeson addressed the understanding that having one commonly identifiable uniform is a socio-economic leveller. Wearing a neat, clean and tidy uniform confers a sense of dignity and pride in what our uniform represents.
With this now being stated, we will begin the process of acknowledging girls who wear their uniform well, whilst simultaneously beginning a discussion with those who have perhaps, let our standards drop. One of the first areas addressed will be the wearing of earrings that are not simple in nature. Parents and students are reminded that earrings must consist of one per lobe and will be either a simple gold or silver stud or sleeper. All other kinds of earrings are not acceptable.
Below are some images to enhance our shared understanding of what is deemed appropriate at St Ursula’s College.
Mrs Tanya Appleby PRINCIPAL
From the Assistant Principal - Identity & Culture...
Women’s Voices – Plenary Session
On Tuesday 25th September the College hosted the Women’s Voices Group from the Toowoomba Diocese. We enjoyed great conversations and spent time in contemplation around the question of the Plenary Council 2020 - What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time? Please keep an eye out as I organise sessions for parents and students next term to engage in conversations around this question.
We offer this prayer as we move forward as a faith community in this time of the Plenary Council 2020.
Come, Holy Spirit of Pentecost.
Come, Holy Spirit of the great South Land.
O God, bless and unite all your people in Australia and guide us on the pilgrim way of the Plenary Council.
Give us the grace to see your face in one another and to recognise Jesus, our companion on the road.
Give us the courage to tell our stories and to speak boldly of your truth.
Give us ears to listen humbly to each other and a discerning heart to hear what you are saying.
Lead your Church into a hope-filled future, that we may live the joy of the Gospel.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, bread for the journey from age to age.
Our Lady Help of Christians, pray for us.
St Mary MacKillop, pray for us.
In the final week of Term 3 the Not 4 Sale Group organised and ran a Fashion Swap event in the College Chapel. Students brought in their unwanted clothing and had the opportunity to exchange these clothes for “new” clothes. The purpose of the event was to draw attention to ethical fashion practices including supply chain issues such as human trafficking and to allow students to learn about how to reduce their impact on the environment by re-using garments. The event was very well run by the student group and well supported and will hopefully become an annual College Event.
Love Your Sister Campaign
Throughout the term, Mrs Ryan’s Year 11 Religion and Ethics class, the Year 7 Leadership Group and the Pink Ladies Service Group have been raising funds for the “Love Your Sister Campaign”. What is “Love Your Sister"? This organisation was started by brother and sister duo, Samuel and Connie Johnson, who collaborated to ultimately find a cure to cancer, and in particular breast cancer. It all started with an absurd dare. Connie Johnson, young mother of two, was told she was terminally ill with breast cancer and to arrange her affairs. Instead, she sent her brother, actor Samuel Johnson to ride around the entire country on a unicycle to personally remind every young mother in the land to check their breasts. Love Your Sister was born!
Samuel and the team at Love Your Sister have raised in excess of $7 million dollars for cancer research and we are now proud to say we too have contributed to this cause.
Display in the Cathedral
This year we continued the proud tradition of contributing to the Carnival of Flowers display at St Patrick’s Cathedral. I would like to thank Mrs Karen Reid for mentoring a group of six girls to construct our display.
Indonesian Reflection on Assembly
During our time at the International Ursuline Youth Camp in Indonesia, there were many overwhelming and intimidating situations that we had never experienced and that were definitely not easy.
The first major message that we all took away was to step outside of our comfort zones and make the most of the amazing opportunity presented to us. Embracing certain situations and stepping outside of our comfort zones instead of taking the easy way out definitely taught us a lot about not only who we are as people, but also about those around us and the wider international community. In situations where we were the only non-Indonesian speaking members of a group, it felt very challenging. We had never before been the people everyone looked at or the ‘odd ones out’, and it was definitely an eye-opener. We were not only learning about people in Indonesia, but we were also learning about ourselves and how we can handle unknown and difficult situations.
The second message that was apparent for all of us at IUYC was the concept of gratitude. We were living in conditions that were very challenging and the environment was testing at times. By the end of the week, none of us wanted to come home, but when we did, we had a new lease of life and a new found appreciation for the simple things. Everyone at IUYC was passionate about making a difference to the world and this assisted in teaching the eleven of us from St Ursula’s College Toowoomba to learn how important it is to appreciate what we have and the opportunities we are given.
The final message that we all agreed was vital, was the importance of diversity and acceptance within today’s society. We learnt about different cultures and the concept of diversity between all nations. Coming together with hundreds of other students, all from Ursuline schools, but all from different ethnic backgrounds was truly amazing. Uniting over one common similarity, and learning about the differences and the gifts we all have to offer gave all of us a sense of the importance of diversity and the acceptance of it within our community. The atmosphere that was created by many different cultures, genders and ages was phenomenal.
"IUYC 2018 was an experience that all of us are eternally grateful for and we will never forget." (Isabelle Coleman -Year 11 and Jessica Cattonar -Year 10)
Champion Basketball School of Queensland (CBSQ) Competition
Congratulations to our Open Basketball Team which played Kirwan State High School for 13th place - Girls' Third Division, at the Champion Basketball School of Queensland competition over the weekend. The girls played every game in the true spirit of basketball, demonstrating sportsmanship and determination. Well done! Many thanks to Gavin Smith for coaching the girls and passing on his knowledge and passion of the game.
As part of the week, the girls compete in an Op Shop Challenge where they are given a small budget to style one of their team mates. This is an amazing experience to watch the girls fully embrace not only the competition but the true spirit of the challenge.
Mrs Debbie Ryan ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - IDENTITY & CULTURE
IN THIS ISSUE...
From the Acting Assistant Principal Pastoral Relationships...
Connections aren’t conversations……
Anyone born after 2002 are now being called the Linksters generation - the first generation to be linked into technology from day one. The linkster population have grown up with social media, smart phones and apps. It is not uncommon to see a toddler playing games on their parent’s phone, or know a pre-schooler who is well aware of Snapchat.
As a society, we are becoming more and more dependent on technology, with phones and computers infiltrating all aspects of our lives. Strong social connections are based on the ability to converse; this providing a strong underlying rationale underpinning the College policy regarding the use of phones during school hours. Imagine lunchtimes, girls sitting together in close physical proximity within their groups, but devoid of emotional connection as they stare fixedly at their screens. The use of technology can have a negative effect on closeness, connection and conversation quality, and significant consequences for the development of social skills (Brignall and Van Valey, 2005).
Neuroscientists are researching the impact of technology on the developing brain. The adolescent brain is a work in progress and the brain develops based on how it is used. Texting and web surfing use different parts of the brain from reading or speaking. While the jury may still be out in regards to research findings, there is no disputing that linksters are connected with just over one million Australian teens aged 14 - 17 (91%) having a mobile phone and for households with children aged under 15 years, 97% had access to the internet (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018). A survey conducted by the Office of the eSafety Commissioner in 2016 found that 60% of parents believe their child faces risks online. However, 90% of parents believe their child benefits from being online, including for school work (73%), entertainment (50%), connecting with friends and family (30%).
This is echoed by Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner who reminds us not to lose sight of the positive sides of social media for young people in connecting with friends and family. Overall, 66% of parents taking part in the survey were confident in their ability to protect their child online, but 38% said they would like more information about online safety. The College is committed to teaching our students good digital citizenship and with the additional support provided by STYMIE, students can feel empowered to be in control and speak up within the digital world.
However, it’s not surprising that, with the linksters relying on texting and social media platforms for communication, that we as teachers and parents must continue to teach the value of real life conversation. Mobile phones, computers and other devices are here to stay, but nothing really beats a face to face conversation.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018). Household Use of Information Technology, Australia,
Viewed 24 September, 2018 http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/8146.0
Brignall, T., Van Valey, T. (2005). The Impact of Internet Communications on Social Interaction. Sociological Spectrum, 25(3), 335-348.
Ms Ann Brownlie ACTING ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL - PASTORAL RELATIONSHIPS
After the speaking tasks and culture assessment were finished, our Term 3 Year 7 Japanese class had some fun learning more about Japanese culture.
We enjoyed a Japanese pikkunikku, learning how to make round and triangular onigiri (rice balls) how to say itadakimasu before eating and gochisoosamadeshita after we finished. We also learnt about Japanese picnic etiquette, including removing our shoes to sit on the picnic mat. The girls very much enjoyed the onigiri made from steamed rice and chicken mince with special seasoning, furikake.
In the last week we faced the challenges of learning how to use chopsticks – properly! It took time for some of the students to master the pincer-like motions but, in the end, they were all able to pick up their lollies, transfer them to bowls in a relay and, as a reward, eat them!
Year 7 students experienced the francophone world in Term 3. Many of the students seem to have enjoyed learning through our language games, such as loto, and various songs. By the end of term, students were able to create character profiles and present themselves using their invented personas for some entertaining speed dating experiences around the classroom. They also used their French skills to create and perform a conversation in French for the class as their assessment task. After the completion of assessment, they put their listening skills to the test by seeing how much vocabulary they could pick up when watching a movie in French. Some girls also produced some beautiful posters to be displayed in our classrooms.
Our Year 10 students enjoyed winding down whilst putting their French skills to the test at the end of term with some games of French hangman, Celebrity French Food and Dessiner à l’envers (backwards drawing).
The Academic Care Department at St Ursula’s College looks after the pastoral as well as the curriculum needs of our students. We recognise that both areas have an impact on the other, and as such it is to the student’s benefit if we ensure that there is a holistic approach to meeting the student’s needs.
Our team consists of the Deputy Principal, the Assistant Principal Pastoral Relations, the Director of Academic Care, the Heads of Year, the Careers Adviser and the Vocational Education Coordinator. We also work closely with the College Counsellor.
We are all located in A Block and work together to ensure all students have paths to follow and are supported along the way to meet their educational needs. We work individually with the students and their families. We also do a significant amount of work with the girls as a cohort to ensure that their education goals are obtainable and realistic.
This term has been very busy for all of us. We have had guest speakers in to talk to the girls about bullying, friendship issues and wellbeing. We successfully launched Stymie, which promotes wellbeing by empowering students to stand up for their peers. We have already seen the benefit of this program and are confident it will be used appropriately to support the wellbeing of our students. The Year 12s have completed QCS and we supported them on that important journey. We have sent girls on a leadership course and encouraged active participation in service. The Year 10s have had a busy program of subject selection for Years 11 and 12 as they prepare for the new ATAR system. We have individually interviewed every student, counselled them, advised them and supported their academic pathway. All students in the College have been or will be interviewed by the Heads of Year because we value each individual student and want to meet their needs as best we can.
In Academic Care, we recognise the needs of your daughters are diverse. We work hard as a team to ensure that every student has a learning plan that meets their needs and puts them on to the pathway for success.
Year 7 English - Whale Rider
This term two of our Year 7 English classes studied the New Zealand film Whale Rider which gives the viewer an insight into Maori culture. At the end of the term, after completing our assessment, we were treated to an informative and interactive presentation by Mr Brett Rangiira, a Maori descendant (and father of Yentle Rangiira in Year 10). Our students were brimming with questions for Mr Rangiira who told us a lot about his heritage, learning about Maori traditions and the importance of appreciating and respecting other cultures. Mr Rangiira taught us how to greet each other by the Maori hongi where we touch noses, foreheads and look into each other’s eyes, symbolising trust, honesty and ‘opening the spirit’. The highlight of this session, however, was definitely learning how to perform the haka. Mr Rangiira explained that there are many haka, the most recognised one used before sporting events. He explained the meaning of the movements and words then, to our students’ delight, he taught us each move. The students then threw themselves into a very energetic performance, complete with loud cries and protruding tongues. I would like to formally thank Mr Rangiira for sharing the wonderful Maori culture with us.
Mrs Cathy Aitchison
Year 7 English Teacher
From The Head of Boarding...
What a busy term we have had! Term 3 has been fun–filled with some great activities for the girls. The Boarding community is a vibrant and exciting place to be. With the energetic leadership of Jan, Jodi, Trish, Cynthia and Jourdan, all boarders have had a productive term.
To initiate great friendships, the first weekend of each term is filled with community building activities. These include trips to the cinema, in-house movies, baking, shopping trips to Grand Central and Southbank in Brisbane. Academic standards have been maintained through supervised study and the welfare of boarders has been nurtured by the commitment and care of our wonderful staff.
Our junior residents and Jodi joined St Saviour's College boarding students and staff for activities and a picnic lunch at Lake Cressbrook. Activities like this are a great way to connect with students from other schools. We hope to organise more inter-boarding activities in the future. Lake Cressbrook is a leisurely 50km drive from Toowoomba, and about 15 minutes’ drive from Crows Nest.
Spring is alive in Toowoomba, with bursts of colour adorning our parks and gardens. Pictured is a group of our girls enjoying morning tea while admiring the beautiful surroundings at Laurel Bank Park.
Designing items out of newspaper and plastic bags was the clever idea of the Leaders and committee. The girls came up with some amazing designs. Tinat Xu and Riley Flynn were the overall winners in a black ball gown and dress made out of black plastic bags.
Tonia Burns, Laura Bigg, Brooke Dingle and Julia Bigg were runners up. Suzannah and Emily welcomed Mrs Appleby and Mrs Gleeson. Mrs Appleby’s words of congratulations to the winners and words of encouragement to the girls who had put in a fine effort with their outfits, was very much appreciated.
As an incentive at the end of each term, the girls are rewarded with Pizza for their hard work. Pictured are the girls enjoying the fruits of their labour. A big thank you from staff to the girls for their commitment and assistance getting the jobs done quickly.
Upcoming events next term include a soccer competition and a Senior Mocktail evening, Barbecues at the pool and outdoor movies. St Patrick's Cathedral has welcomed us into its community to participate in the choir and readings. We will arrive at 8.30am for Mass at 9am. If you are in Toowoomba, we would love you to join us at St Patrick’s.
As we come to an end of what has been an extremely busy term, we reflect upon the drought and what this means to our Boarding families and the entire community. A great big thank you to our parents and their continued support. Enjoy this precious time with your girls and extended families, especially for the students who have travelled long distances to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Aurukun, Lockhart River, Quilpie, Jundah and Cunnamulla. We pray for a safe return to all of our families who are travelling to Toowoomba.
Mrs Jan Pearman HEAD OF BOARDING
From The Director of Sport...
Congratulations to the Senior A & B teams who played recently in the Senior Vicki Wilson Competition. Senior A came second but on count-back missed the State final by 2 points. Junior A has made it through to the State finals in Brisbane at the end of week 1 next term. This is an outstanding result for this team. Thanks to all the staff who have helped our teams with these carnivals.
U14 and U16 players played at the Scots Warwick carnival last Saturday and performed really well. It was a great learning experience for both squads. On Monday, we had both squads play Glennie and Fairholme in a trial which was most successful. We will now be entering two teams in U14, two in U16 and one in Open division. The Southwest 7s competition starts in week 2 next term. Permission slips are due back and players are reminded that training for all three age groups is on Wednesday, week 1. Games begin Tuesday (U14 and U16) and Thursday (Opens) of week 2.
Rebel and Intersport
When purchasing from these companies, please advise them that you are a St Ursula’s family. They offer us a community fund which goes back into our sports program.
Annual Sports Awards Breakfast
This year we will be having our annual Sports Awards Breakfast on Thursday, 1 November from 6.30am till 8am. Invitations will be sent out to parents of award winners mid-October.
A special thank you to parents who offer assistance where possible and also their support of the girls when representing the College through sport. It is appreciated very much by all. This was none more evident in recent weeks at the various sporting events where many parents have spoken to me and wanted to pass on their thanks to all involved in sport at the College.