Newsletter 08.02.19


Dear Parents, Guardians, Students and Staff of Mater Dei College,

I welcome all families and members of the Mater Dei College community to the 2019 academic year. On Monday 4 February our Year 7 students and a number of new students from Year 8 - 11 joined our community. We also welcomed the following new staff:
     Ms Tina Allen: Wellbeing Team
     Ms Rachael Bunten: Science Teacher
     Mr Ryan Coutts: Head of Health and Physical Education
     Mrs Clair Frankish: Director of Music
     Ms Breanna Kulijs: English Teacher
     Ms Parris Laurie: Physical Education and AFL Specialist Teacher
     Mrs Kim Williamson: Head of Mathematics.

Whilst I have mentioned our new staff, I also want to make mention of the staff changes to key roles in our College this year:
     Mrs Wendy Martin: Head of Year 7
     Mrs Melissa Gregory: Head of Year 9 (2019)
     Mrs Danielle Hodgson: Head of English (2019)
     Mr Troy Wynne: House Coordinator
     Mrs Davina Croasdale: McCormack House Advisor
     Mr Chris Longshaw: Salvado House Advisor
     Mr Darren Raymond: STEM initiatives.

Three staff whom were on leave from Mater Dei in 2018 have returned for the 2019 school year. Mr Ben Portwood has returned to the Science Learning Area after 12 months teaching Science at Newman College. Mrs Nola Nicholson and Mrs Helena Martins-Lamb were on a year’s leave in 2018.

Whilst much of the College community were enjoying holiday festivities, our College Grounds and Maintenance Department under the guidance of Business Manager Ms Kerry Davidson, were busy refurbishing the College in time for the staff and students to return. Over the holidays the College has continued the painting project that commenced in 2018, in addition a new Dance Studio has been introduced upstairs in the Bernie Boss Hall and the AFL rooms have a new weights room. Romero 11 classroom has been converted into a more contemporary learning space for the Year 12 students to enjoy during their study period. Thanks to the generosity of the Parents and Friends Committee, a number of the McCormack classrooms have been air-conditioned during the holidays. This is stage one of the plan to complete the air-conditioning throughout the College.

On Thursday we commenced with a College Mass followed by an assembly where we had an opportunity to acknowledge the academic achievements of some of the students in 2018. Congratulations to the 2018 Year 12 students who achieved very sound results. In addition, we presented 29 students with Academic Honours badges for achieving Academic Honours in Semester One and Semester Two last year. It is wonderful to start the year acknowledging the efforts of our students. Please refer to the article from the Deputy Principal’s for further details.

At the first assembly for the year I reminded all students to start strong and commence their study routine early. Students have a greater chance of reaching their potential when students are organised and commence the year with good study habits. I urge parents to please encourage the use of the planner to help organise homework and study.


The Year 12 Ball is scheduled for Saturday 16 February at Fraser’s Function Centre in Kings Park. Families are welcome to attend the traditional Pre-Ball function in the Bernie Boss Hall at 5pm hosted by the Year 11 students.

A reminder the Year 7 Parent Information evening is scheduled for Monday 11 February. The evening will commence with a relaxed BBQ hosted by the College Parents and Friends Committee. I look forward to meeting parents on the night.

The College AGM is scheduled for Tuesday 27 February at 7pm in the Catherine Centre. I encourage parents to attend. Please refer to the information in this newsletter.

The afternoon congestion can be quite severe outside most schools. A reminder to all families to please adhere to the designated drop off and pickup areas and to exercise patience and courtesy. I ask parents to please refrain from parking in the main driveway and also on the road along Treetop Avenue. Cars in the left-hand lane are asked to use the carparks outside the main administration building or to park along the drive through outside the main administration and leave the College via Pioneer Drive. An alternative is to collect your child a few minutes later at 3.30pm. I look forward to your support in keeping our students safe.

As we commence the year, I strongly encourage parents to contact the College if issues or concerns arise throughout the year. I look forward to working in partnership with families at the College and I welcome parents speaking with me in person.

In closing, I am so pleased with the positive start from our students and staff this week. I wish all students a successful year ahead and I look forward to meeting many families throughout the year.

God Bless

Annette Morey

Message from the Vice Principal

Welcome to a new school year. I am extremely pleased with the very smooth start we have had to the year and the very positive feeling across the College.

As many of you would be aware SEQTA is the primary source of communication across the College community. We will continue to develop and improve our use of SEQTA but already it provides unparalleled access to a wide array of information for both parents and students. It allows parents specifically to monitor their children’s education on a continual basis with access to;

  •     Student Timetables  Upcoming Assessment 
  •     Course and Lesson Content 
  •     Attendance 
  •     Student Notices 
  •     Homework 
  • Special Events
  • Upcoming Assessment
  • Communication with Staff 
  • College Calendar 
  • College Policies
  • Reports
  • Feedback and Results 
We would strongly encourage you make the most of this platform. You can access SEQTA through both the web-based browser or the App available in the App Store.

Timely and effective feedback is essential to student progress. We ask our teachers to ensure that results are posted and visible through SEQTA within 10 working days of the submission date. Additionally, we encourage respectful and open communication between all members of the College community at all times. You are more than welcome to contact staff through Direct Message or Email, however we do ask that you appreciate the majority of our teaching staff teach between 150 -180 students. As such their days and indeed nights are very busy teaching and preparing for classes and an immediate response is not always viable. They will, however, do their best to respond to any communication within 48 hours of receiving the message.

If you have any queries or concerns, these are best addressed, depending on the nature of the issue, by initiating contact in the first instance at the beginning of the following contact chain.
  1. Classroom Teacher 
  2. Head of Learning Area
  3. Deputy Principal
  4. Vice Principal
  5. Principal 
  1. Homeroom Teacher 
  2. Head of Year
  3. Wellbeing Services
  4. Deputy Principal
  5. Vice Principal
  6. Principal 

I look forward to a great year as Mater Dei continues to grow and evolve as a contemporary and innovative learning environment with the students at the centre of everything we do. 

Paul Watson
Vice Principal


St Don Bosco whose Feast was 31 January said to the young people of his day that it is easy to become a Saint. His formula for Sainthood was simple:
Be Happy
Work Hard
Pray Hard
And Do Good to Everyone.
Heavenly Father we ask for the grace to open our hearts to your love which enables us to overcome all things. Guide us on the path to being raised up as Saints in our time and in our place.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.


What a positive start it has been to the 2019 school year! It has been pleasing to see the majority of our students return well rested, well presented and in the right frame of mind to commence their studies. We encourage students to continue to conform with the College Uniform and Personal Presentation Policy. This policy can be accessed via the Policies portal on SEQTA. We ask students and parents to familiarise themselves with the details of this policy and support the College as we strive for excellence in all aspects of school life. We look forward to working in partnership with all families throughout the coming year.

Student Attendance and Punctuality
Daily attendance and punctuality at school is of the upmost importance to students’ academic success. A minimum of 90% attendance is required under the Education Act of Australia. Attendance rates of less than 90% are concerning as students miss out on valuable learning experiences, including assessments, and interactions with teachers and peers which cannot be replicated when the student returns. The College is aware that some students may fall below the optimal level of attendance due to serious illness, family issues, and other commitments. In such instances, we remind parents to keep the College informed so relevant support can be provided. We look forward to seeing our students at school and on time throughout 2019.

Child Safety and Code of Conduct
At Mater Dei College our highest priority is putting the safety and wellbeing of children and young people first. Therefore, all staff, students, volunteers, parents and guardians are bound to the College Code of Conduct, which describes the minimum standards of conduct in all behaviour and decision making. The Code of Conduct Statements are located on SEQTA as well as in the Student Planner for your perusal. In addition, all students will be delivered the mandated Keeping Safe: Child Protection Curriculum in the context of the Pastoral Care Program and other relevant learning areas. For further information regarding these Catholic Education WA Child Safe structures, please contact the Deputy Principals.

Pastoral Care and Wellbeing
The wellbeing of our young people has never been more challenging. Mater Dei’s Student Wellbeing Service is committed to providing a positive, caring, inclusive and supportive school environment for all students. Personal development, mental health and wellbeing form an integral role of the service. Still, parenting is hard work and parents increasingly need clear, relevant and fact-based information around raising safe, happy and resilient young people.
This year, the College is pleased to launch SchoolTV for Mater Dei parents, now available to access via SEQTA Engage.

SchoolTV is an online wellbeing platform featuring Australian psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. It addresses the modern day realities faced by young people. The resource is designed to empower parents with credible, sound information with realistic and practical strategies on topics such as youth anxiety, depression, self-harm, drug and alcohol use, cyberbullying and many more. Information for SchoolTV is aggregated from many great resources such as BeyondBlue and ReachOut, amongst others. Each monthly edition will address a major topic with expert interviews, fact sheets, parent quiz, recommended apps, books and much more. This month SchoolTV launched a special report: Smartphones in Schools, following a review in NSW lead by Dr Michael Carr-Gregg. The report discusses that there is a place for technology in the classroom but this needs to be facilitated. It also goes on to explain the important role parents and caregivers have in helping their children find a balance to get the good parts out of technology. We hope you find the SchoolTV resource useful and of interest

OLNA Support For Students
The Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA) is designed to provide students the opportunity to meet the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE) requirement of demonstrating the minimum standard of literacy and numeracy. All students are required to demonstrate this minimum standard in literacy and numeracy to achieve the Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE). The next round of OLNA for students in Years 10, 11 and 12 is fast approaching, commencing 5 March 2019. This week, students who are required to pass one or more OLNA area, and their parents received an email communication advising them to read important information on the OLNA Portal for Students and Parents on SEQTA. These students also have access to Online OLNA Support via

A reminder that after school OLNA support sessions are run each week by teachers from the English and Mathematics Departments. These sessions are compulsory for Year 11 and 12 Students. Year 10 students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Literacy Support (Reading and Writing)
Thursdays 3.20pm to 4.20pm in MCC13-18 (Report to English Office)
Other times may be negotiated directly between individual students and their English teacher. For further queries please contact Head of English, Danielle Hodgson: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Numeracy Support
Wednesdays 3.30pm to 4.30pm in MCC7
Other times may be negotiated directly between individual students and their Mathematics teacher. For further queries please contact Head of Mathematics, Kim Williamson: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. For all other OLNA queries please contact Mrs Tamara Boyer, Deputy Principal: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Study Skills Tip For The Beginning Of The Year: New School Year Resolutions
Just like many people set new year’s resolutions, it is a great idea to set some clear targets for school this year. Here’s what you do.
Brainstorm ideas on what you could do this year at school or at home to improve your learning, to make yourself more effective or to improve your results this year. Let all the ideas flow unrestricted. Ask your parents and family and friends for ideas. It might be things like ‘do study notes at the end of each topic’, or ‘work in half hour blocks with no social media during that time’. Once you have lots of ideas, it is time to focus. Cross out the ones that aren’t that great – there will be a few. Now read through what is left. Choose the top 3 ideas that if you implemented them would make the biggest difference for you. But no point just circling these, you need to take action!

  1. Write the 3 things you are going to try and do and focus on this year on a big piece of paper or whiteboard and place it somewhere in the house where you will see it every day – like your mirror! Or the fridge! Or the toilet
  2. Tell at least 3 people what you are aiming to achieve this year. Maybe a friend, a family member and a teacher.
  3. Put reminders in as many places as possible, if you have an iPhone you could create a reminder that pops up each week. Write it in your school diary, in your books.
  4. Aim to have a regular time each week where you assess how you are going with these actions.
  5. At the end of the term, think about how you are going. If you have them under control, what else could you try. If they are not under control, what could you do differently? 

You will find lots of useful grids and planners to help you be organised for school this year at the bottom of the Things To Print page. Our school’s subscription details to are: 
User name: formaterdeionly                 Password: 122results

2018 WACE Achievements

Congratulations to the following Year 12 students from the graduating class of 2018 for their WACE achievements. These students attended our first Whole School Mass and Assembly for the year where we were able to celebrate their successes in front of the College community.

The 90s Club
Aiden Boonnark 96.90
Joseph Ranasinghe 92.60
Jessica Langdon 92.25
Haydn Lawson 91.35
Jamie Grove 90.40
Jamie West 90.10

Vet Exhibition and Vet Certificate of Excellence (Automotive, Engineering and Logistics)
Alan Pryce

Subject Certificate of Excellence
Jessica Rogers (Mathematics Applications)

Certificate of Distinction
Jessica Langdon

Certificate of Merit
Gabrielle Bassanelli
Aiden Boonnark
Ebony Cleland
Claudia Desveaux
Jamie Grove Niamh
Jelley Haydn Lawson
Jessica Ravi
Jessica Rogers
Elise Rushton
Eloise Sampson
Maddison Strunk
Luther Tamin
Trinity Westlake

To view a full list of 2018 Academic Honours please follow this LINK.


Annual General Meeting

Annual School Community Meeting The Annual General Meeting for the College Board and the P&F Committee will be held on Tuesday 26 February at 7.00pm upstairs in the Catherine Building. This is a great way for parents to contribute to the school community, to support children in their education and to meet other parents. All nominations forms need to be submitted by Friday 22 February to administration or emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

College Board Nomination
To nominate for a position on the College Board please complete a nomination form, found HERE and return to the administration.

P&F Committee Nomination
To become involved in the P&F Committee you can complete a form, found HERE and return this to the administration. .

Year 10 First Day

Year 10 students participated in a half day workshop on Monday that focussed on the transition to senior school. The focus of the workshop was on goal setting, planning and making choices on how they can fulfil their full potential. Students were fortunate to hear from Youth Development Presenter, Glenn Gerber, who focussed on making small changes and consistency.
The day ended with a shared BBQ lunch which set the tone for the beginning of a busy year ahead.

Drama Production - Hairspray

Hairspray rehearsals hit the ground running this week with a 100% attendance rate at the first official rehearsal on their first day back of 2019! We kicked off proceedings with an entire cast number, the finale, You Can’t Stop The Beat, and we were so fortunate to have this choreographed by 2015 Mater Dei graduate, Tayla Nicholls. Tayla is an APAN (Australian Performing Arts Network) Academy graduate and has just spent the last year working at Disney in Los Angeles as a character performer. Many of the cast remembered Tayla as a student, and felt blessed to have her energy and drive return to Mater Dei!

Tickets are likely to go on sale in mid to late March, so stay tuned for these details in future newsletters.

Mr Steve Marshall


The Mathematics Department at Mater Dei are looking forward to another positive year full of great challenges to master and puzzles to solve. Some important things to note this term are listed below.

After school maths help: will be running on Wednesday afternoons 3.30pm – 4.30 pm throughout the year and commencing next week (13 February). Year 7 - 9 in MCC6, Year 10 -12 in MCC7.

OLNA support sessions: all Year 10 - 12 students who are yet to attain their OLNA completion should join after school help on Wednesdays for additional support from the mathematics teachers from 3.30pm in MCC7.

Renaming of lower school courses (year 9 - 10): Students will have noticed that the course codes for mathematics have changed slightly from previous years. Please be advised that where a student’s timetable in Year 9 or 10 says Mathematics Pathway 1, this indicates the student is studying at Course 1 level. Mathematics Pathway 2 is streamed to Course 2 level and Mathematics Pathway 3 is Course 3.

Year 7 and 8 Maths Pathway Parent Information Evening: Students in Year 7 and 8 at Mater Dei this year will be engaged in the Maths Pathway Learning System. This programme is designed around a continuum model of learning redefining success in terms of individual growth.

All parents and guardians are invited to attend an information evening on Wednesday 20 February at the College, to learn more about the programme and the ways in which you can assist your child/children to experience success in Mathematics. More details will be emailed directly to parents.

Kim Williamson Head of Mathematics

MDC STEM Programme and initiatives 2019 

What is STEM?
The acronym S.T.E.M raises many questions. As a parent you ask, what is STEM? I hear it mentioned a lot and why would you invest so much time into it? Will it help my kids?

Through STEM, children engage creatively in real world problems, applying their understanding of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in integrated and innovative ways.

STEM students develop key skills including:

  • problem solving
  • teamwork 
  • independent thinking
  • initiative
  • digital literacy
  • creativity
  • critical analysis
  • communication
  • innovation.
 Why is STEM important?
The global economy is changing. Current jobs are disappearing due to automation and new jobs are emerging every day as a result of technological advances. STEM qualifications are essential to Australia’s productivity, innovation and success. For prospective job opportunities contact Tara Hill (Careers Coordinator) at the College.

This year our College will be involved in many co-curricular and extra-curricular S.T.E.M. activities. These include:
  • STEM Club which includes computer use, coding, 3D printing, electronics, engineering, robotics, gaming and competitions including, First Lego League Robotics and Robocup Soccer. 
  • Pedal Prix – Pedal vehicle build and compete at the Busselton Pedal Prix competition
  • Engineering activities: Gaming
  • Solar Car challenge
  • NASA Space Camp USA
  • Mission Discovery @Curtin Uni: Astronaut meet and greet 
Feel free to contact me if you require information in regard to STEM@MDC or any of the above activities. 

That STEM Guy: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Treetop Cafe

Another school year is upon us. At the Tree top Café we can help to cool you down with an icy cold SLUSHIE. We have tropical, grape or blackcurrant flavours. The summer menu can be found on the school’s website so have a look at the new items. There are some new things are on offer at the Café, come down and have a look or just get on line and browse the menu.

We have new gluten free ice creams, ChoBani flavoured Greek yoghurt, and meat and salad round rolls.

Our Juke Box Friday will be back for you to get into the groove for the weekend or to just sit back and unwind. The daily menu will be sent out via email each day so that you can see what is on offer each day. The new flavours of CHILL J, mango and orange and watermelon are proving very popular, Rippin’ Raspberry, Groovy Grape, Chillin’ Cola and Blastin’ Blackcurrant and are still only $2.00.

The Treetop Café offers breakfast from 7am each day offering items such as; a real cocoa hot chocolate, $2.00 a cup or a COMBO toast and hot chocolate for $2.50, thick CAFÉ raisin toast 2 big slices for only $1.50, or a bacon and egg muffin, freshly Baked Banana Bread, French toast or a berry yoghurt muesli cup or freshly cut fruit salad, you can’t beat that for value.

The espresso machine is performing well, serving all your favourite coffees from cappuccinos, flat whites, chai latte to long macs or even try a dirty chai, with a choice hazelnut, caramel or vanilla syrups. Coffee is only available to adults, Year 10, 11 and 12s. For lunch a different hot food choice is available each day, along with paninis’, a specialty salad, vegetarian and gluten free options and more. Please come and talk to us and let us know what you would like us to supply, you never know if you don’t ask, and it may be a simple thing to do.

Chef Andrew

Chemistry Investigations

Breaking Bad Down Under: Chemistry & Illicit Drug Investigations
The Royal Australian Chemical Institute alongside Hannah Crisp, Team Leader of Clandestine Lab Investigations presents this chemistry lecture. Hannah uses case studies to highlight the varied role of a forensic Chemist when dealing with the illicit drug trade. From identifying an unknown tablet or powder sample to safely dismantling active drug laboratories or giving expert scientific evidence in criminal proceedings, Hannah discusses the integral role forensic chemists pay in investigating drug crimes in WA.

This lecture is aimed at Year 10 students and above and although free, tickets are limited so register your interest early. The lecture will be held at Curtin University, Exhibition Space, Building 500 on Thursday 14 March from 6:45 – 8pm.
Get your tickets here:

STEM Opportunity

Are you interested in Astronomy?
Are you in Year 7 – 10? Are you in Perth from Monday 8 July – Friday 12 July this year? If you answered yes to these questions – this may be the program for you!

Latitude Group Travel Presents ISSET’S Mission Discovery. A five-day space and STEM program held at Curtin University, Bentley Campus from 9:30am – 4:30pm from Monday 8 July to Friday 12 July. Students have the opportunity to work with a NASA Astronaut, a NASA Leader and a Space Scientist, in a small team of 6, to take on the role of a research scientist and design an experiment to be conducted in space.
For more details go to:


Student Success

Rhiannon Clarke

We are very excited to announce that Rhiannon Clarke has been nominated for the Hyundai Junior Sports Star Award. All at the College wish her well with pursuing her sporting dreams.

Noah Farrow

Noah Farrow (Year 10) competed in the WA State Combined Heptathlon event held 2 and 3 February. The events included 100 metres, hurdles, discus, long jump, high jump, javelin and 800 metres. Noah achieved two personal bests in both throwing events, javelin 47.41 metres and discus 47.60 metres, finishing the event with the gold medal!