Penola 2023 – Issue 04

Over the past fortnight, I have spent some time in the Year 5 and 6 classrooms talking to the students about expectations around attitude and behaviour. I must say, that on the whole, I was very impressed with the quality of their responses and most of them are displaying excellent leadership qualities and great personal values. One word that came up a few times was ‘Bully’. I asked the students if they actually knew what the two conditions were that had to be in place before you can say you were being bullied. Quite a few knew the correct response, which is 1. it must occur repeatedly over a period of time and 2. there must be an imbalance of power. For example, if we had students in the same year level having an argument in a game of soccer and it leads to a person being pushed over and getting hurt, it is not bullying. It is poor behaviour and making bad choices (which are still not acceptable), but it is not bullying. However, if a Year 6 students was hurting a Year 4 student in soccer games over a couple of weeks, then it is bullying as it occurs over a period of time and there is a difference in size and age. Once we clarified this point, I asked the students if they thought we had much bullying at Mary MacKillop. Just about all students said that we didn’t. I can also assure you, that I have worked in eight schools over the years, and the behaviour here is some of the best I have seen, and we don’t have a lot of issues with our students compared to what I have seen elsewhere. Like any other school, we have a few incidences of poor behaviour and decision making, which are dealt with swiftly by the staff. We also focus on what is known as restorative justice. This means practising forgiveness, fixing the problem and restoring the friendships so the students can move on and be friends again. If you ever want a good example of restorative justice, please read Like 23:34 (have a look at my Lenten reflection below).

Penola 2023 – Issue 03

I would like to open this newsletter with a huge ‘Thank you’ to Allison Fox, who is our current P&F Treasurer. Allison is also a grandparent and she did most of the work putting our movie night together a couple of weeks ago. It was a great night and everyone who came along had a lovely time. If you would like to support our P&F by becoming a committee member or even helping out at events, please contact the front office and we can pass your name on.


Penola 2023 – Issue 02

At the start of this year, Mrs Sue Haynes decided it was time to retire and spend her time travelling around the country in her caravan with her husband Greg. I would like to thank and acknowledge Sue for the outstanding work she did behind the scenes, working closely with myself and the School Advisory Council, and making sure our finances were being managed properly. A lot of the upgrades you have seen over the past few years had direct input from Sue. She also worked closely with the CEWA accountants who were very complimentary about the work she did here. Every improvement we have made at Mary Mac has been for the benefit of the students first and foremost. I wish Sue every blessing and happiness as she spends her days exploring our great big country. Please note that Mr Steve Tucker, will now work full time as Sue’s replacement. All finance and school fee enquiries should be directed to Steve.



Penola 2023 – Issue 01

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to all our new and existing students and their families to what should be a very positive year in our community. I would also like to extend a big welcome to all our new members of staff. We have Sharon Wills and Gabby Previti who will be working in the St Joseph Centre as teachers as well as Jordan Fuller who will be working in the centre as an EA this year. We welcome Karen Noone to Year 5 and we also welcome Sam Boyce as our new PE teacher as Laurie Power took a position at CEWA as groundsman starting in January this year. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the opportunity to say farewell to Laurie and to thank him for his 13 years of service he gave to our community. Many of you will remember Laurie for the outstanding sport carnivals he ran throughout the years which focused on inclusion in a competitive environment. Laurie has also very generously offered to support Sam in the background as he becomes familiar with the PE role. I’m sure you would join me in wishing Laurie every blessing and success for the next phase of his career.


Penola 2022 – Issue 20

Every year at this time, we ask ourselves where the year went. I think we know where this one went! 2022 will go down as one of the most challenging years ever, yet, we managed to pull through in good shape thanks to the love, kindness and support we showed to each other. I think Mary MacKillop would be very proud of this community which bears her name.

2023 Term 1 Important Dates

Term 1

Wednesday 25 January – Uniform shop opens 9am – 12.30pm
Wednesday 1 February – Start of Term 1
Monday 6 March – Labour Day Public Holiday
Monday 3 April – School photos
Wednesday 5 April – School photos
Wednesday 5 April – Last Day Term 1
Friday 7 April – Good Friday
Sunday 9 April – Easter Sunday

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