Newsletter - Term 4, Week 4, 2023


From the Pen of the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers,

The gift of sight is a wonderful thing. As a person who is as blind as a bat when not wearing glasses, I have an extra appreciation for its importance. Many famous writers and philosophers have commented on its power and purpose:

‘The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.’ Marcel Proust
‘What we see depends mainly on what we look for.’ John Lubbock
‘It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.’ Henry David Thoreau

Another interesting fact comes from Science. The entire rainbow of radiation observable to the human eye only makes up a tiny portion of the electromagnetic spectrum – about 0.0035 percent. This range of wavelengths is known as visible light. So, to keep with the theme, here is a little story that delves into the question about what we see and what we ‘turn a blind eye’ towards.

A group of trainee teachers was asked to prepare a lesson on the Good Samaritan as part of learning about how to teach. They were to prepare their lessons in one building, then walk down the street to a studio where some would be chosen to present their lesson to the remainder of the group; the presentations were to be recorded on video for discussion at a later date.

However, the trainee teachers were unaware that an actor had been hired to dress as a wounded man; he was to lie on the footpath, appear very distressed and gesturing for help. Nearly 80% of the trainee teachers walked past the man and didn’t even see him! They had studied the parable of the Good Samaritan, prepared thoughtful lessons about it, but still nearly 80% would walk past the wounded man and ignore him! No doubt their awareness levels were raised after their lecturer had a few quiet words to them.

Are we, perhaps, a little like the trainee teachers in that we are so busy living our hectic and time-starved lives, that we restrict our view and fail to see the needs of our children? Have we become addicted to being busy? Have we allowed being busy to make us feel important? If so, then we have confused overwork with self-worth. 

Stephanie Dowrick tells us that, “Being busy is a kind of addiction. It reassures us that we are ‘someone’. It lets us know that we are alive, even when we feel half-dead. It gives us the best possible excuse not to look a little more deeply into our lives. It may be saving us from loneliness. But being constantly busy estranges us from ourselves.”  We need to notice what is driving our lives because being too busy exhausts our spirit. We need time to relax, simply drift along, recover and feel renewed. Most definitely we need time to live through our senses as well as our minds.

John O’Donohue tells us that our senses are large pores which let the world in. He goes on to say, “When your senses open out to the world, the first presence they encounter is the presence of your soul. To be fully aware of your senses is to be in the presence of your own soul. The poet, William Wordsworth, careful of the dignity of the senses, wrote that, ‘pleasure is the tribute we owe to our dignity as human beings’. This is a profoundly spiritual perspective. Your senses link you intimately to the divine within and around you.”  

If we are feeling good and relaxed within ourselves, we will have time to notice other people, we won’t be “on edge” all the time, we won’t allow ourselves to be so busy and caught up within ourselves as to simply ignore other people. We will have time to share with our children and our children will truly feel that they are loved and appreciated. What’s more, because we have made ourselves available to our children, we might even find it to be a relaxing and stress reducing experience.

Blessings and Peace,
Simon Dash​

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

Acting Head of School - Primary: Sarah Love

World Teachers' Day
World Teachers' Day will be celebrated at the College this Friday. Whilst this is on face value a simple point in time it does ask us to consider the teachers who have had an impact on the lives of the students in their care.  I personally recall two teachers who had a lasting effect on my own education and subsequent life. 

The first was Mrs Ryman, my Year 6 teacher.  She taught me to believe in myself.  Mrs Ryman saw my potential so with her nurturing and encouragement not only did my results improve immensely but my self-confidence grew, and I was given opportunities for leadership in my final year of Primary.   

The second teacher was Mr Mahon.  He was my Geography teacher from Year 7 all the way through to Year 12.   Everyone loved him as a teacher because he made learning engaging and related it to our world.  He took the time to talk to us, he knew our story and he shared his story, so we felt that connection. 

Both these teachers are still in my life.  Mr and Mrs Mahon were invited to my wedding, and I exchange Christmas cards every year with the Mahons and Mrs Ryman.  These teachers were very influential in my school years and were inspirational in my decision to become a teacher. 

Everyone has a story of that teacher that made a difference or had a positive impact on their life.  So, with that in mind, I wish all the teachers in our school community, both those on staff and those who are parents, a very happy World Teachers' Day on Friday 27th October.

I also would like to acknowledge all our parents and carers as you are the most important teacher a child will have in their lifetime. The lessons children take from their parents are those that can never be replaced, and they will stay with them for life as they become an adult, have their own families, and contribute to society.  Being a parent or carer to a young person is both the most rewarding and challenging role most of us will have in our respective lives.  My thanks to all of the Xavier community for their continued support of the children who attend our wonderful school.

(IMAGE: ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, 2023)
Day for Daniel Friday 27th October 2023
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation provides personal child safety education to children and young people to prevent abuse and promote lifelong health and wellbeing. They support educators, parents, and carers through the provision of resources and education and directly support young victims of crime.  Parents are welcome to access these resources via this link.

To support the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, we are asking Primary students to wear red this Friday (27 October).  This is a National Day of Action, where Australia unites to raise awareness of child protection and harm prevention.

To support the foundation, we ask students to make a gold coin donation on the day or donate via QKR. Photos of support will be published on the school's Facebook page and in the newsletter after the event.


(PHOTO: Day for Daniel Resources - the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, n.d.)1

Head of School - Secondary: Ursula Witham-Young

On Friday we celebrate World Teachers’ Day. This day is to commemorate the hard work and dedication of all staff who work in schools. I would like to particularly thank and acknowledge the following staff for their years of service and commitment to Brisbane Catholic Education:

5 Years of Service
Kim Holz, Mel Beety, Jake de Brenni, Nikita Falconer, Tarryn Lamprey, Jo-Ann Proctor, Tom Riggs, 

10 Years of Service
Rosanne Horton

15 Years of Service
Leoni White, Lynette Pritchard, Paul Barker, Brendan Daunt, Drew McLean, Sonya Milopoulos, Colin Wright 

20 Years of Service
Rob Bortolanza, Carmel Donnelly, Patricia Heron


Senior Celebration Evening
Xavier Catholic College hosted its Senior Celebration Evening on Wednesday, 18 October. The ceremony acknowledged the College’s highest performing senior students, whether in the classroom, on the sports field or participating in spiritual, community and cultural activities. Congratulations to all award recipients.

Xavier Medal and Ampol All-rounder Medal
Charlotte Davies

Edmund Rice Sporting Excellence Award
Charlotte Davies

Campion Cultural Contribution Excellence Award
Chiara Di Pietro

The Ward/MacKillop Community Service Excellence Award
Charlotte Davies

Ignatian Spiritual Award
Stewart Grumley

Clavius Award for Vocational Excellence
Lola Esposito

Clavius Award for Academic Excellence
Jenna Casey

Olympic Change-Maker Award
Charlotte Davies

Defence Force Future Innovators Award
Year 10 – Emma Garty
Year 12 – Reece Wiegmink

Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award
Year 10 – Richa Woochit
Year 12 – Bailey Frampton

Magis Medal (Staff)
Elizabeth Gaedtke

BCE Spirit of Sport Award
Chloe Paxton

Xavier Wolves Medallion
Charlotte Davies

2023 Principal’s Awards:
Corey Arnold, Isabelle Brittain, Jenna Casey, Lahni Claridge, Charlotte Davies, Alysha Dawe, Chiara Di Pietro, Louise Drake, Lola Esposito, Bailey Frampton, Stewart Grumley, Emily Powers, Maeve Riley, Reece Wiegmink and Adam Wylie.

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

Primary School Grandparents' Day Celebration
Friday, 27 October 2023
9:15am – Liturgy (Goa)
9:45am-10:15am – Classroom Visits
10:15am-10:45am – Grandparents Morning Tea (Goa Foyer)

Iggy’s Breakfast Program
Xavier Catholic College has begun trialling the introduction of a before school breakfast program in this term. Iggy’s Breakfast Program is being held on Monday and Friday mornings before school for students who do not always have a nutritious meal at the start of the day. The College will provide a toast and spread breakfast, as well as fruit options between 7:45am and 8:15am at the Goa kitchen. Iggy’s Breakfast Program is being trialled for a number of reasons, including for students who may come to school without having a nutritious breakfast for reasons that are often out of their control. The trial program will continue until 27 November.

All Xavier students may come to the Goa kitchen during this time to collect some food before moving to their designated area before school time. We will be monitoring the service throughout the term to provide feedback in relation to its ongoing inclusion in our College community and how best to sustain this program in 2024. 

This service is being supported by Woolworths Eli Waters, Bakehouse 13 and our senior student leadership team. We are currently looking for organisations to help with fruit donations on a regular basis. If you know of an organisation, please encourage them to contact Campus Minister Carmel Donnelly, or the College. 

Carmel Donnelly
Campus Minister

Buthu Mission Week
Buthu Mission Week wraps up on Friday, but there is still time for you to take part in the Lolly Jar Guessing Competition. All you have to do is guess how many lollies are in the jar pictured below. Entries are $1 per guess and can be made via Qkr! Entries close at 3pm on Friday, 27 October 2023.

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

Well done to both Xavier Catholic College Opti-Minds teams who competed in the State finals in Brisbane earlier this month. The Year 5 team took part in the Media and Communication Division and the Year 10/11 team in Science and Engineering. Both teams performed exceptionally, with the Year 10/11 team winning their division and bringing home the trophy! A big thank you and congratulations to all students and staff who took part!

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

Scholastic Book Fair
We are excited to announce the library will host a Scholastic Book Fair this term. The book fair will be packed with a multitude of book genres, including fantasy, classics, reference, award-winning, humour and mystery. Book prices start at $5. The fairs are designed to show students the wonder of reading. When students choose their own books they are more excited to read and will naturally read more! A variety of posters and stationery will also be available to purchase. Every Book Fair purchase will benefit the College, helping add resources to our library and classrooms. We can’t wait to see you at Book Fair!

When: 6–10 November  
Where: Matteo Ricci Library
Time: 8:10am – 3:30pm, closing at 3pm on Friday 
Payment options: EFTPOS and cash at the Fair. QKR is available to parents who are unable to attend Book Fair and Library staff will assist your student to purchase items to your specified amount. 

Termination of Enrolment
Families relocating away from Hervey Bay over the Christmas holidays or are making alternative schooling arrangements for their child/ren next year need to complete a Termination of Enrolment Form for each student. Please Email for further information and to request a form. If you have already communicated this information with the College, you do not need to do so again. With the Xavier Catholic College community showing significant growth in recent years, we are now at capacity in several year levels and have waiting lists for 2024. 

Second hand uniform: Donations
The College is always on the lookout for good quality second hand uniforms so we may assist families in need. If you would like to donate any uniform items you are no longer using, please ensure they are washed and dropped off at front reception. 

Containers for Change
Last week we reintroduced our green Containers for Change bins across the campus.  Students and staff have been doing a fantastic job in making responsible choices when disposing of rubbish and recycling.  Please encourage your child/ren to continue to use the correct bins when disposing of rubbish. This will go a long way in helping our society and environmental footprint.  Every little step makes a big difference for others, our world and for future generations.

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. They do this 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 and they range 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 to ask further information of what is involved, please do not hesitate to contact myself, 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 so desire it.

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
Blessings, Carmel Donnelly / 41971165

Maths Pathway Growth Rate and Accuracy Stars
Students that have achieved 133% or higher Growth Rate or 100% Accuracy will be recognised each fortnight. To achieve 133% Growth Rate students need to master 4 out of the 6 modules completed each cycle. Why is 133% Growth Rate important? Students achieving this consistently shows more than a years’ worth of knowledge mastered. As students are filling in gaps in Year 6-8 this is ultimately the goal of Maths Pathway. Each newsletter will acknowledge the achievements per cycle and the last newsletter for the Term will acknowledge the whole Terms achievements.

Congratulations to the students listed below:
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(IMAGE:  ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)​

Maths timetable

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


Creative Generations
This year, we have two Year 12 students whose artwork has been selected for inclusion in the North Coast regional exhibition of the Creative Generation Excellence Awards in Visual Art. Jenna Casey's three-dimensional piece "What Innocence Left?" and Ashleigh Relf's digital manipulation and multi-media series "Futurology Featured" are on display at Gataker's Art Space in Maryborough for the month of October. This is a prestigious exhibition and is reflective of the standard of their work. Submitted artworks must show an excellent standard of work that demonstrates:  
  • Highly developed imagery with effective and deliberate communication of meaning.
  • Innovative aesthetic choices through the control of visual language.
  • Purposeful and considered manipulation and exploitation of media, techniques and processes.
  • Application of knowledge and critical understanding of media, techniques and processes that allows a thorough degree of visual and expressive resolution.
  • A sustained engagement, which invites further inquiry from the onlooker. 
Congratulations Jenna and Ashleigh! We are very proud of you both for your exceptional achievements.
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Ashleigh with her work.jpeg

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

CoralWatch at The University of Queensland is organising the first Youth Ambassador workshop for young coral crusaders aged 8-14 years, together with their parent/guardian. The 4-day youth workshop includes lectures, hands-on activities including art, roleplay, filming, and a daytrip to Lady Musgrave Island.  Families can learn about the marine world and discover how we can make a positive impact in the Bundaberg region protecting the beautiful corals at the Coral Coast. As trained Ambassadors, participants will receive ongoing mentoring from CoralWatch to organise an educational or outreach activity in their community.
  • Workshop dates 11-14 December 2023 in Elliot Heads
  • Information and application form on:
  • Applications open from 1-31 October. Successful applicants notified by 13 November.
  • Cost $320 per family​
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(IMAGE: (CoralWatch, 2023)2


Narwari Swims to Success
Students from Years 3 to year 7 participated in the Primary Swimming Carnival at the Hervey Bay Aquatic Centre on Friday, 20 October. Congratulations to students who took part in all four events – including Championship events, Participation events and/or a mix of both. They all earned valuable points for their houses. 

Age Champions
09yrs: Fletcher Humphries, Mackenzie Eade
10yrs: Zac Bould, Gracie Plumb
11yrs: Didier Bone, Giuliana Johnson
12yrs: Munro Ralph, Lilly Falconer

House Points
1. Narwari, 613
2. Dirum, 592
3. Kondari, 568
4. Buthu, 490

You can find the full photo gallery up on our Facebook page.​

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

QLD All Schools Touch Football
Earlier this term, Xavier sent five teams to compete at the QLD All Schools Touch Football Tournament at the Gold Coast Performance Centre in Runaway Bay. Being the biggest interschool sporting competition in the southern hemisphere with over 500 schools competing from across QLD, interstate and internationally from NZ and Singapore, this event is always a great experience for our students. 
The 13 Girls finished 5th in their pool with wins against St Andrews and Centenary Heights. The 15 Boys performed exceptionally well finishing 3rd in their pool with wins against Yarrabilba SHS, St Josephs Toowoomba, San Damiano and Mary MacKillop. 15 girls finished 5th with wins against Lockyer District, Coombabah SHS and Brisbane South. Our senior teams were up against some of the best performing schools in the state and are congratulated on their perseverance and resilience throughout the carnival.  

Every year there is tough competition, however win, lose or draw our students always showed great camaraderie and sportsmanship throughout the carnival. Thank you to Mr Nathan Milne, Mr Paul Barker, Mrs Simone Collins, Mrs Helen Hatchett, and Miss Ashleigh Flesser for their huge coaching effort over the four days of competition and the countless hours put in to prepare our teams for competition. Bring on 2024.

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

Congratulations to Year 11 student Lucas Jenkins for being selected to represent the Queensland U18 Softball squad. Lucas will travel to Perth early next year for the National Championships.

Congratulations to Year 9 student Tallen Gunn for making the U15 Australian All Stars team after competing at the All Schools National Futsal Competition. Tallen was one of 10 players to be selected and will travel to Fiji in July to represent Australia. ​


​​1. Day for Daniel Resources - The Daniel Morcombe Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2023, from​

​2. CoralWatch. (2023, September 24). CoralWatch.

Cover Image:  ©️ Brisbane Catholic Education, Xavier Catholic College, 2023)​​