Newsletter - Term 3, Week 4, 2023


From the Pen of the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers

Saint Francis Xavier Chapel Opening
Last Wednesday was a very special day for our College, with the blessing and commissioning our Saint Francis Xavier Chapel. This now provides a designated sacred space to focus our awareness of the presence of God and to be reminded of God’s love for each of us. It also becomes a great centrepoint of our 20 years anniversary as a school.

Through the generosity of Father Adrian Farrelly and the Archdiocese we were fortunate to be gifted with the Woolooga Church that had been decommissioned in 2019. It has been a long process to reach this watershed moment. Moving a building that is over 100 years old is no easy task and we faced additional setbacks through floods that blocked the path through Maryborough. While our patience and perseverance have been tested, it was certainly worth the wait.

There are some significant blessings that come to us in this celebration:
  • The College, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, finally has a designated sacred space.
  • There is a sense of serendipity, or perhaps destiny, that the Woolooga Church was the Saint Francis Xavier Church and has now taken pride of place at Xavier Catholic College.
  • Finally, to have a Chapel that is over 100 years old, now refurbished and in such a prominent location, gives this young school a sense of belonging to a faith tradition that extends back many generations – a faith that is ever ancient and ever new - a faith that has sustained the faithful in good times and in times of challenge and continues to be our source of hope.
(PHOTO: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)

It is wise to keep things in perspective. While the chapel is a wonderful addition to our facilities, it is still just wood and tin. It is what we do inside it that will make it sacred and special. The early church was very clear about this – the building was called the ‘domus ecclesiae’ – the house of the church. It was a way to reinforce that it was the people who gathered, in friendship and love, who were the church – not the building. This same message was conveyed in the first letter of Peter where it says:

As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood.” (1 Peter 2:4-8)

What we do will make our Chapel sacred. We ‘living stones’ will make it a blessed place. It will be our gratitude to God and to each other that will make it holy. As time goes by our chapel will be a very visual reminder of our love of God, our commitment to each other and our care for God’s creation. 

It has been a long journey and has involved many dedicated people who have contributed to major project.

On your behalf I express thanks to:
  • The Brisbane Catholic Education Executive Team who supported this dream and provided the green light to proceed.
  • Mark Gibson, the architect, for this project whose vision transformed an old country church into a thing of beauty.
  • Mark Taylor and Stuart Whittle from Insite Construction who coordinated the many elements involved in the construction and refurbishment of the Chapel.
  • Pat Green, BCE Building Officer, for providing oversight and project management.
  • Brendan Wrice, the College’s Facilities Manager, who assisted with the liaison work with the onsite construction team.
  • Maree Foster the College Business Manager who, in her first year with us, hit the ground running, coordinating the complexities of this massive undertaking. And not to forget previous Business Managers Karen Goffinet and Julie Westbrook who were a big part of the journey to this wonderful outcome.
  • Finally, thanks go to our foundation Principal, Kerry Swann. Kerry oversaw the growth of the College from an empty field to a thriving centre of education that is known and respected throughout the Fraser Coast. I believe that our Chapel represents a point of completion in the vision that Kerry possessed from the very founding of our College.

To conclude, I also wish to express my gratitude to every staff member, to every student and to every parent and friend of Xavier Catholic College. Your belief, trust and support has been truly inspirational. Special days like this one are only possible because of your spirit and strength. 

The greatest achievements of this College are only possible because of your passion and determination to always Reach Higher, See Further and Shine Brighter. 

(​​​​PHOTO: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)​

Student Leaders 2023 – 2024
After a lengthy and intense process, It is my pleasure to announce the selections of our College Captains and College Vice-Captains for 2023 – 2024.
Congratulation is extended to:

College Captains:
  • Grace Collins and Jackson Dundas
Vice Captains:
  • Madison Bonello (Portfolio – Academic)
  • Mya Lynch (Portfolio – Mission)
  • Harry Rayner (Portfolio – Sport)
  • Mikayla Sankey (Portfolio – Wellbeing)
  • Lilian (Lily) Spencer (Portfolio – Arts)

I thank all those who were shortlisted for these positions and interviewed so well. Those who missed out will now be considered for House Captain positions. I feel confident that the energy and enthusiasm of our new School Leaders will bode well for a great year ahead.

Blessings and Peace,
Simon Dash

Acting Head of School – Primary

Term 3 is always known for its celebration of Book Week, but here at Xavier Catholic College a week does not give us enough time to include all our celebrations. We like to have Book Term!  Last Thursday’s family reading night was a brilliant way to start these celebrations.  It was great to see so many children in their pyjamas being read to by staff.  Thank you to all the staff for giving up your own family time and thank you to our parents for braving the cold and supporting this event.

This week is our second Book Term event, with our Year 6 students hosting rug reading.  This is a favourite event of mine as I love seeing the Year 6 students reading their chosen story with passion and excitement to the younger grades, the buzz around the playground is always inspiring. 

In two weeks, on Wednesday 16 August, we will celebrate National Bullying Prevention Week.  The focus of our attention is always on educating students and this year we will utilise the resources at Bully Zero to celebrate a character named HIRO.  HIRO is a Japanese name with various meanings, including generous, tolerant and prosperous. At Bully Zero, they identify the four letters of HIRO's name as an acronym for Honesty, Integrity, Respect and Optimism; which are the four pillars of their leadership program “The HIRO Effect.”
This year we are asking students to dress up as superheroes because heroes don’t bully.  We don’t want to cause any additional expense, we are just suggesting students wear anything associated with superheroes on the day, this may include a cape, a mask or a superhero T-shirt to promote this very important issue.

As most of our parents and carers would be aware, we strive to ensure Xavier is a welcoming community. We value the health and happiness of each child and will do our best each and every day to ensure students are not only progressing in their learning but also learning to be good people. We talk a lot about developing the children in our care to be citizens who strive to achieve their personal best and aspire to make a difference in the world. 
Achieving this goal is only possible when there is strong working relationship between school and home. One of the key markers of this relationship is consistent student attendance. Not only does consistent attendance ensure that students are given every possible chance to learn, it also ensures that the relationship between child and the wider school community is positive. School attendance matters. It is arguably one of the most important indicators of school success.  

You cannot learn when you are not there to learn. Students who attend school regularly improve their chances of being academically successful. Your child will achieve better when they go to school all day, every school day:  
  • they learn better 
  • they make friends 
  • they are happier 
  • they have a brighter future

It is also important that we acknowledge the statistics which are highlighted by consistent student absence. As a standalone event, the impact of student absence can seem trivial. However, when we reflect on the combined impact of regular absence the story is quite different. Did you know? 

Missing Equals  Which is 
1 day per fortnight 20 days per year 4 weeks 
1 day per week 40 days per year  8 weeks 
2 days per week 80 days per year  16 weeks 

Obviously, there are times when your child cannot attend school due to sickness or personal circumstances. As a school we acknowledge this and accept that this is not something parents can control.  This was particularly the case in the past when COVID-19 impacted attendance. However, I would encourage you to ensure that your child is at school and learning each and every day that they are able to do so.  I have listed a few key strategies below which you might find useful: 
  • a set routine can help 
  • have a set time to go to bed 
  • have a set time to get out of bed 
  • have uniform and school bag ready the night before 
  • have a set time for starting and finishing breakfast 
  • set a time for daily homework activities 
  • speak about school positively 
  • be firm, send your child to school every school day including their birthday and the last day of term! 

As always, my thanks for the support you provide as parents/carers. Please do not hesitate to contact the school should you support in regard to your child’s attendance at school.  

Kind regards,
Sarah Love​

Head of Secondary School

As a college, we have been discussing the wellbeing of our staff and students for a long period of time. We read professional papers about this and also work on what we can do for our own wellbeing. The things that are within our control are the following: Connecting with others, meaningfully acknowledging the good work of people around us, showing gratitude, being aware of our own thoughts, how do we restore our own cups? keeping a track of the good things we do, practicing mindfulness, physical exercise, planning our diet, ensure we know our meaning and purpose, and thinking about our impact on others. 

There are some things which we can’t control and with these, we need to build on our resilience. Being resilient, is demonstrating a kind of strength while being adaptable. It is about being hardy while also being yielding, more about accepting and less about resisting. 

When we started this journey, we asked for staff volunteers to work with us to develop our wellbeing strategies. Currently, we have eight staff who meet regularly to discuss and assist us with our plans. This is an ongoing commitment of the College to promote the wellbeing of our staff and students. We also watched this Ted Talk for those of you interested in our journey Emily Esfahani Smith: There's more to life than being happy | TED Talk. I would love to hear from you if you have any suggestions or are able to assist us.

National Bullying Prevention Week
14 – 20 August is National Bullying Prevention week. On Wednesday the 16th August, our staff and students are invited to dress up as a SuperHIRO to address bullying. Please see the following website for further information HIRO | Bully Zero.

As a school, we take all incidents of bullying and harassment very seriously. Providing a safe and supportive environment for learning is essential to achieving school improvement, raising student academic and social outcomes, attendance levels, promoting equality and diversity and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all members of our school community. 
All incidents of bulling reported at Xavier Catholic College, are handled with confidentiality, and are treated seriously. Staff will act promptly, take the concern seriously and will report back to parents and caregivers on the progress of these incidents.

Bulling or harassing behaviours that appear to involve illegal activities such as violence, treats, intimidation and inciting violence can be reported to the police. Brisbane Catholic Education has the following resources for further follow up information.

Alannah and Madeline Foundation: eSmart is a long-term change program designed to educate, track, monitor and prevent bullying and cyber bullying. eSmart Schools is tailor-made for schools and designed to effect change in that specific environment. eSmart resources 

Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), Staying safe online 

Australian Federal Police: are involved in crime prevention and awareness raising activities, particularly in keeping young people safe online. The AFP coordinates ThinkUKnow

The Australian Government Office of the eSafety Commissioner coordinates and leads the online safety area in Australia. Their resources are evidence-based and include: 
BeYou is the national initiative for educators, aimed at promoting positive mental health in children and young people. 

Bullying.Noway! website provides a wide range of information and resources for parents and school communities on managing bullying. Resources for the classroom including websites, activities, curriculum, professional information and engagement materials are available for early childhood, primary schools and secondary schools are available.
Professor Ken Rigby is a national consultant for Australian schools and a leading international authority in bullying and victimisation in schools with more than 100 peer refereed papers and other publications. In his site he has set out to present in brief what is most useful for schools and parents to know about bullying among children and how resources can be accessed to tackle this enduring and troubling problem. A series of vodcasts is available from the Queensland Department of Education and provides information on addressing and responding to bullying.

The Department of Education, Employment and Early Childhood Development has useful resources which lay out the issues very clearly and give a step-by-step process to follow in the case of Online Incidents of Inappropriate Behaviour Affecting Students and also a step-by-step guide: removing inappropriate content from websites or social media sites

Kids’ Helpline is a free, private, and confidential, 24-hour telephone and online counselling service for young people aged between 5-25 years. Ph. 1800 551 800 

Restorative Practices offers teachers, students, and parents a way of seeing problems as an opportunity for learning. 

Cyber bullying sexting and Facebook guide, know the law, know your rights. Legal Aid Queensland. 

With every blessing,
Ursula Witham-Young


Kondari Mission Week
Kondari Mission Week will be held from 7-11 August at Xavier Catholic College. Staff and students have organised a series of exciting events during Kondari Mission Week, so make sure you keep an eye on our Facebook page for more details. In the meantime, Primary School students can order cupcakes via Qkr! Cupcakes cost $2. Orders must be placed before 3pm on Friday, 4 August. 

(IMAGE: ​©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)

Care and Concern Committee 
Xavier Catholic College has a group of parents who volunteer their time to welcome and help other members of the school community by:  
Holding first day morning tea (Meet and Greet opportunity) When and where possible 
Providing meals for school families experiencing a crisis  
Providing information about the school to families 
Assisting the College Board in planning and reviewing the Pastoral Care Policy of the College 
Working closely with the Campus Minister 
At all times we encourage you to explore the parent portal or to talk to your child’s classroom teacher or Pastoral Care teacher about any questions that you may have as your first point of contact.  
Each House has parent contacts from P-12.  If you wish to contact anyone of our parent contacts their details are below.  We are always looking for parents to be a part of our parent committee and to become a parent contact.  If you would like to nominate yourself or require further information,please do not hesitate to contact Carmel Donnelly (Campus Minister).  Confidentiality is utmost for our committee and any information shared with our parent contacts will not be passed on unless you want it to be. 
Narwari House Parents 
  • Anna Anderson (Jack Anderson)  
  • Claire Sinclair (Alex Sinclair) 0428295730. 
  • Mary Arnold (Corey/Joey) 0418729967 
  • Karen Grumley (Stewart) 41243034 / 0413306540.  
  • Cassie Wilson (Max/Anabel/Imogen Wilson) 0409761207.  
  • Rachael Trevillion (Luke/Sadie/Abbie Trevillion) 
Buthu House Parents 
  • Michelle Wiegmink (Reece Wiegmink) 41287941/0409890188 
  • Karen Goffinet (Patrick Goffinet) 0421 322 121. 
  • Shelly Hislop (Jordan/Lincoln Hislop) 0423 506 675. 
  •  Jess Pearson (Archer/Dexter/Hunter) 
Dirum House Parents 
  • Rachel Loague (Oscar/Sophie Loague) 0417792179 
  • Melissa Lynch (Mya)  
  • Chantelle McNulty (Ari, Ella, McNulty) 0419134948 
Kondari House Parents 
  • Michelle Begaud (Blake Begaud) 0438242252 
  • Alison Keal (Angus/Seth) 0466250799  
  • Emma Pearson (Ava /Shayli) 0403599406 
Carmel Donnelly  


Tickets are now on sale for the first ever Xavier Variety Night! The main event at this year’s Artomic Week will be held on Tuesday 15 August and Thursday 17 August in GOA. Both nights will be jam-packed with music, dance, short films and an exhibition of student artwork, including creative writing, photography, woodwork, metalwork and design projects. Doors open at 6:00pm. Tickets cost $2 for children and $4 for adults and are available on Qkr! under ‘School Event Tickets.’ Food will be catered by Xavier Catholic College Senior Hospitality students before the event at our campus café, Frankies. You don’t want to miss out on Artomic Week’s main event!

Also on the cards during Artomic Week is the Art Walking Trail. You’ll enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience visiting a range of art exhibits throughout the Junior and Secondary schools, while also learning a little bit more about the College’s history. The walking trail will be open before Variety Night on both the Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Two tours (4:45pm and 5:15pm) will be led by Xavier Catholic College Year 12 leaders.

  • What: Xavier Variety Night
  • When: Tuesday 15 August and Thursday 17 August
  • Venue: GOA
  • Time 6:00pm
  • Tickets: $2 for children and $4 for adults (Available on Qkr!)
  • Art Walking Trail: Two tours (4:45pm and 5.15pm) on Tuesday 15 August and Thursday 17 August

(IMAGES: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)

See you there!​

​Xavier Catholic College Writing Competition
Calling all budding young writers!

Are you passionate about writing and love to let your imagination soar? Then, we have fantastic news for you! Introducing the Xavier Catholic College Writing Competition, an exciting platform for you to showcase your literary talents and creativity.

We have two categories for you to participate in: 
  • Categories 7-9: Write an enthralling piece with a word count of 1000-1500 words. 
  • Categories 10-12: Dive into the depths of your imagination with a word count of 1500-2000 words.

The Sky’s the Limit
The best part? There are no themes holding back your creativity! Write about anything that ignites your passion, captures your heart, or sparks your curiosity. Let your words flow freely and craft an unforgettable tale!

Submission Details
Ready to take up the challenge? Email your extraordinary entry to Ms. Nicholas at by Friday, 1st September. Don't miss this chance to showcase your talents and potentially win amazing prizes!

Keep your eyes wide open for eye-catching posters displayed in your English classrooms. These posters will provide more information about the competition, guidelines, and exciting rewards waiting for our remarkable winners!

Whether you're a wordsmith extraordinaire or just beginning to discover the power of storytelling, the Xavier Catholic College Writing Competition welcomes all aspiring writers! This is your chance to shine, to share your voice, and to inspire others with your literary brilliance.

So, don't hesitate! Grab your pens, let your creativity flow, and be a part of this exhilarating writing extravaganza! We can't wait to read your captivating entries and witness the magic you bring to life on paper.

Happy writing, young scribes!

Evolution Dance Competition

Xavier Catholic College dancers have been showing off their moves! Teams competed at the Evolution Dance Competition at the Brolga Theatre in Maryborough last week. Up against some tough competition, the Xavier Catholic College teams walked away with some fantastic results:

  • 1st: Year 7/8 Jazz
  • 1st: Year 7/8 Lyrical
  • 2nd: Year7-12 Jazz
  • Special Mention: Year 7-12 Lyrical

Not only did our dancers perform amazingly well, they were also great ambassadors for the College and came out of the competition more enthusiastic and determined to learn and improve their routines and performances moving forward. Congratulations to all students and staff involved!


Clean Sweep for Buthu
Culminating on Friday 21 July, Buthu claimed victory in the Years 7-12 Interhouse Athletics Carnival, making it a clean sweep for the blue house at all three carnivals this year. We had perfect weather greet us last Thursday and Friday and students showed up with pride in their House and College colours to produce a brilliant carnival atmosphere.

(PHOTO: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)

Overall Points:
  • 1st Buthu 2802
  • 2nd Kondari 2473
  • 3rd Narwari 2443
  • 4th Dirum 2260

Age Champions:
  • 12yrs Boys (honorary) Toby Ridgley
  • 12yrs Girls (honorary) Lily Falconer
  • 13yrs Boys Utah Blaikie
  • 13yrs Girls Sienna Collins
  • 14yrs Boys Tallen Gunn
  • 14yrs Girls Millie Jackson
  • 15yrs Boys Lucas Tavaya
  • 15yrs Girls Ellie Stewart
  • 16yrs Boys Kai Peacock
  • 16yrs Girls Grace Collins
  • 17yrs Boys Jackson Dundas
  • 18yrs Boys Kai Prouatt
  • Open Girls Abbi McKie