Term 3 Week 2 - 31st July 2020

Year 12 Journey into the HSC

Term 3 is a very significant time for our Year 12 students, and I must say,  I am particularly proud of this year's cohort. Their resilience and perseverance in the face of what has been a very challenging year has been admirable to witness. 

I would like to thank Mr Johnston, Leader of Pastoral Care Year 12, for the following words of encouragement and for his commitment to seeing that our Year 12 students have the best possible year that they can. 

The Trial exams and HSC are looming and for many students and their families, this can be a time of heightened stress and anxiety. 2020 has certainly thrown a couple of curveballs that have added to the pressure experienced by many in our community. I would like to remind both parents and students that we can use this whole experience in a positive way and we should be conscious and intentional in the way we approach this term. Obviously, the focal point of the HSC is the exam itself, and any time we are tested it may produce anxiety. What we should really be focussed on are the young men and women in our care. We want to see them learn and grow, and although many will strive for a particular ATAR, none of them are defined by that number. Instead, if we can be mindful to help cultivate and celebrate the effort, the work ethic, the organisation and self-discipline, and resilience that they display, we will give them valuable skills to take into the future.

As we are on the final stretch, I thought I would extend an invitation to Year 12 to commit to some intentional study time in the lead up to the trials and HSC. Trial HSC exams start in Week 5, after that, Year 12 students will then be back in class for the last four weeks of the term. To assist with, 'intentional study', I will be in the Study Centre until 5.00pm on Mondays and Wednesdays with Milo and biscuits to give students a bit of a recharge. This time may be an opportunity to work on revision/study notes. Some students could be at the point where they are memorising content, while others are working through practice papers. Whatever stage they are up to, I would love to see them take advantage of this opportunity. To add to this, it is pleasing to see that the number of students coming along to the study sessions has increased over the past weeks.

I encourage our Year 12 students to see these two, four-week blocks as an intensive self-improvement course. Irrespective of exams and whether or not they might already have University sorted, there is a lot they can still learn about themselves.


Mr Johnston
Leader of Pastoral Care, Year 12

Principal's Reference


Over the past few weeks, I have been interviewing Year 12 students who have applied for their Principal’s Reference. The interviews provide me with an opportunity to gain valuable feedback from a student perspective. The following sentiments are consistently apparent in our discussions. Year 12 students:

  • appreciate the relationships they have formed with their teachers during their HSC journey,
  • have valued the opportunities to deepen their Faith; especially in relation to Spirituality Immersions and Retreats,
  • appreciate the extra-curricular opportunities provided for them by the College,
  • value all the areas where they have been given support by staff members; especially in determining their future goals,
  • have nurtured deep relationships with their classmates; especially over the past two years,
  • are grateful that their parents afforded them the opportunity to attend St Joseph’s Regional College.

The majority of students have a clear idea of their pathway for 2021.

My sincere thanks to Mrs Leanne Tinsey, Leader of Careers and University Transition, and Mr Frank Johnston, Leader of Pastoral Care-Year 12 who offer much support during the Year 12 Reference program. Also to our wonderful office ladies, Mrs Michelle Reynolds and Mrs Joanne Williams for organising the interviews and preparing the references. 

God Bless

Jim Dempsey

Principal's Message

Year 11 2021 Subject Information Day - Monday, 3rd August 2021

Students will attend a series of information sessions on subjects of their choice to assist in their subject selection. Students will receive a program for the day during this week, and should then choose the sessions they wish to attend.

Please note: Students who are absolutely certain that they are not attending Year 11 at SJRC, do not have to attend school on this day.

Year 11, 2021 Enrolment Interviews - Wednesday, 5th August 2020

Interviews for students intending to enter Year 11 in 2021 at SJRC will be held on Wednesday, 5th August 2020. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, interviews will be conducted during school hours via ZOOM only for parents. For the safety of our College community, we encourage families to book interviews wherever possible during the day. However, if this is not suitable, we are able to offer an alternative time for families outside of school hours (see details below) 

ZOOM Interviews - Wednesday 5th August 2020 - 8.00am to 3.30pm.

Please note: Students attend the interview at the College and parents attend the interview via Zoom only.

Bookings for interviews will open at 8.00am on Friday, 31st July, and close at 11.00am on Monday, 3rd August.

To make a booking go to and use the following Booking Code: xbpj8

Interview Format - Wednesday, 5th August 2020

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we are not able to invite parents into the College during school hours, so we have had to change the format of intrd August erviews for this year. Please refer to the instructions below:

  • Students will attend their interview in the College Library, with a College staff member conducting the 15-minute interview. Students should bring their Subject Selection Survey (and Parent and Student Agreement if not already returned) to the interview.

  • Parents are not required to attend the College personally. Parents will join in the 15-minute interview via Zoom only. It is important that you save the booking confirmation email as it contains the link word "Details" to access the Zoom meeting.

Should this arrangement not be suitable, or you specifically require a face-to-face interview, please contact Michelle Reynolds, our Enrolment Officer in the College Office on 5525 4100.

Face-to-face interviews can be arranged for the evening of Wednesday, August 5th between 4.00pm and 7.00pm, or a Zoom interview for you and your child can be booked at a suitable time.

Newman Senior Technical College Interviews


Students who intend to interview for enrolment at Newman Senior Technical College (NSTC) are asked to contact NSTC directly for further information Ph) 6580 3800 or visit their website

I would encourage everyone to view the video link below which outlines the many opportunities available to senior students at St Joseph’s Regional College.

SJRC #aHSC4opportunity

Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding enrolling in Year 11 for 2021.

Mr Tim McCosker
Assistant Principal - Curriculum & Administration

Ph) 5525 4100

Assistant Principal - Curriculum

SJRC Giant Pumpkin

I love to deliver good news stories and the following account by Mr David Constantine about the growing of a "Giant Pumpkin" is one. Well done to all involved and congratulations on a very successful project. 

In the spring of 2019 with the help of Mr Robertson and the TAS faculty, a group of students from the Tech Mandatory Food & Agriculture and Senior Hospitality classes, decided to grow a "Giant Pumpkin". Firstly to exhibit in the Wauchope Show and then to make a big batch of soup to sell at the College to raise money for the Catholic Soup Kitchen.

Initially, the drought proved difficult when planting the pumpkin as the ground was too hard to even dig a hole! Thanks to Mr & Mrs Walsh for dumping a trailer load of A-grade King Creek cow manure and organic soil, allowing us to plant the pumpkins into a mounded garden bed!

With some help from supercharged nutrient water from the Tech Mandatory Hydroponic Garden, the pumpkin vine grew fast!

When the fruit set, we chose the best looking and strongest pumpkin and discarded all the rest to promote all of the vine's energy and nutrients into the one pumpkin. The pumpkin grew FAST from the size of a rockmelon until its final weight of 76.6kg in the space of four weeks!

Unfortunately, the Wauchope show was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Nonetheless, we were still able to use the pumpkin to raise money for Sr Marjorie's Soup Kitchen which runs every Tuesday from 9.30am until midday at the Masonic Hall.

The Senior Hospitality students made short work preparing the pumpkin and made a great tasting soup that was sold for a gold coin donation during a cold wintery day at recess.

All in all, it was a great learning experience, and we hope to grow another pumpkin next summer, this time tipping the scales at well over 100kg!

Mr David Constantine

Feast Day Winners


At the end of last term, we held a modified Feast Day. PC groups participated in a range of activities. I'm happy to announce the winners of the challenge. Congratulations to:

I 04
Mrs Amanda Cassegrain

Congratulations, Jorja


I had the pleasure of presenting a certificate and a bowling voucher to Jorja Paine who was a runner-up in the HEM 'Design a SOLD Sticker' competition. With 490 entrants, this is a great result for Jorja.

Congratulations, Jorja, we hope you enjoy your prize.

Mandatory Reporter

Staff in Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Lismore have significant obligations as Mandatory Reporters for the safety, welfare and wellbeing of children and young people.

A Mandatory Reporter is a person who, due to the nature of their employment, must report any concern regarding the safety, welfare or wellbeing of a child. This means that they must report any issue that they suspect, on reasonable grounds, that a child is at risk of significant harm to the College Principal who will take the required action.

More detailed information can be found on the College website in the Child Protection Policy and Procedures document

Chicken Pox

We have been notified that a student has contracted Chicken Pox. Please refer to the following advice from the NSW Government in regards to this infectious disease.

Lost Property

The College has a large number of brand new jumpers and sports jackets in lost property. All WITHOUT NAMES.

Please ensure your child's name is written on all items of clothing, this also includes sports bags that contain sports clothes and practical equipment. Clearly labelled items are easily returned when lost.

Uniform store.png

St Agnes' Uniform Shop Trading Hours

St Agnes' Uniform trading hours are:

  • Monday to Friday  from 12 noon to 5.00pm
  • Saturday from 9.00am to 12 noon.

Tanya Daley
Assistant Principal - Staff and Pastoral Care

Assistant Principal - Pastoral

Industrial Technology - Timber

Year 11 Industrial Technology- Timber students are currently on their second project for the year; designing and constructing a hall table made from a timber of their choice.

Students are able to utilise the excellent machinery available to them, such as the Wide Belt Sander, Jointer, Thicknesser and the Drop Saw which will allow them to prepare their timber ready for construction.

Industrial Technology offers students the opportunity to study the interrelationships of technologies, equipment and materials used by the industry and to develop skills through the processes of design, planning and production. Each student will submit a Design Folio as well as their final project for marking.


Textiles students have been very busy this week finalising their projects. Well done everybody on some great finished products.

Year 8 Device/diary organisers & cushions, Year 9  Skirts, Year 10 Quilts

Mr Phil Pares
Leader of TAS

Marching Band Come & Try Afternoon

At the end of Term 2, music students were invited to attend a Marching Band rehearsal and sign-up for the new season! This group included new wind players, percussionists and colour guard members.

Students who attended, watched a short video featuring the Marching Band's trip to Darling Harbour earlier this year, before being separated into their respective groups to get to know one another and practice some music and moves. After a huge afternoon, they all came together to show off their talents and listen to the sound they can make as a team.

We're hopeful the new students enjoyed their first experience with the Marching Band and will continue with it into this term and long after that.

If you are interested in being a member of the Marching Band, please contact me for further information.


These wonderful instruments are called SOUSAPHONES and they are the marching tubas for the SAPSS Marching Band.

Darcy Wade and Logan Byrnes from Year 11 are rehearsing new music for next Wednesday afternoon's rehearsal at MacKillop next week.


Senior Percussion Ensemble

The College's Senior Percussion Ensemble are featured here playing "It's Not The Apocalypse, This Is Only A Test", composed by Mr Mark Spence.

The musicians are Nicholas Murray (xylophone), Jonah Garven (marimba), Patrick McGahon (bass marimba & percussion), and Charlie Martin (vibraphone).

Sharon Green
Leader of Co-Curricular Music

Premier’s Reading Challenge 2020


The Challenge is drawing to a close with 28th August being the final date for students to add their books to their log to be verified and signed off on. Some of our participating students have completed the Challenge, while others are yet to do this. We will follow up on students again around mid-August to make sure they are on track to complete.

Significant Literary dates


Happy birthday J.K. Rowling – born 31st July 1965

JK Rowling is a force to be reckoned with in the literary world, publishing the much-loved series Harry Potter, amongst other titles. Chapters of her books can be heard here, as read-alouds.

Many happy returns, J.K. Rowling.

A Game of Thrones - First published on 6th August 1996


It’s interesting to wonder if the author George R.R. Martin knew, back in 1996, that his Game of Thrones novels would become the huge literary presence that they have.

What a thought-provoking quote:

Bran thought about it: “Can a man be brave if he’s afraid?’
“That’s the only time he can be brave,” his father told him. — Bran and Ned Stark.

SMH HSC Study Guide

HSC students – Published this week, 2020's SMH HSC Study Guide became available. Find some excellent tips and hints for finding and keeping balance, strategies for success, sample questions and subject-specific dos and don'ts.


St Joseph's  Regional College Library
Karen Bale (Mon-Thu)
Tracie Hartley (Fri)



As a school library, we like to think that part of what we do is connect people, ideas and information. The “Humans of New York” phenomenon was used as a basis for introducing the idea to students in the Library. Historically, the HONY project started out as photography only, but then morphed into people willingly sharing something of their story. The premise is that “everyone has a story”. The project fosters opportunities for active listening, courageous conversations and empathy. Individual storytelling is celebrated.

We hope to bring you a “Humans of SJRC” story once a week for a little while. We are proud of our ‘humans’ who acknowledge that they have a story to share that is meaningful to them.

Introducing this week's Human of SJRC - Alex Burg


St Joseph's Regional College Library

Karen Bale (Mon-Thu)
Tracie Hartley (Fri)

What is ‘Literacy Enrichment’ at SJRC?

It’s opportunities in and out of SJRC that enrich students’ understanding of and experience with media, film, reading, writing, and language in general. It’s excursions, festivals, writing, debating and public speaking competitions, and live performance.

Check us out at - SJRC Literacy Enrichment


2020 St Joseph's Regional College v MacKillop College Debating and Public Speaking Competition: Thursday, 27th August. Week 6 of Term 3.

Coaching has resumed for Year 7-10 debaters and teams will be announced around Week 4.

It’s very exciting for our debating coaches Mrs Bell, Mrs McKee, Mrs Mooney and Mr McMillan to witness students embrace the challenge of research, teamwork and argument. And there’s been lots of current topics to discuss and debate of late.


Public Speaking
Coaching for Public Speaking will commence this term. Students who are interested will need to email Mrs McKee to be put onto the SJRC Public Speaking mailing list.

In the SJRC Literacy Enrichment Spotlight

Books That Have Changed Me

This term, we are sharing stories about the stories that have changed us. These might be books from our childhood, our youth or simply last week!

Thank you to the following staff who have contributed to the first part of our series. 

Brigitte Rieger

T.S. Eliot Poems 1909-1925


T.S. Eliot was one of the poets I studied for my HSC way back in 1982. It was through my study of T.S. Eliot’s poetry that I came to understand the importance of always being alert to language; the appreciation that every word has its own properties - its own weight, texture, even odour. Dissecting and digesting The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock was incredibly seminal for me as I so readily related to the persona’s feelings of awkwardness, isolation and personal doubt. Allowing its words to touch and seep into a hidden part of me helped to awaken an enduring appreciation of the power of literature to comfort, provoke and liberate.

Nikki Williams

Everything to live for by Turia Pitt


She was a 25 year old girl working her dream job as a mining engineer in W.A. She entered an ultra marathon in the remote Kimberly that changed her life forever. Caught in a bushfire and suffering burns to 65% of her body, Turia’s resilience, determination and support from her partner allowed her to move forward in an outwardly different body. I found her story to be inspirational and reminded me that we can overcome tough times.

Claire Gerke

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde


This was an interesting narrative in which three stories ran simultaneously without a clear link in the beginning. As the novel unfolded the three stories came together in the present.
What inspired me was the imperative need to save our bees. Without bees, there is no food as there is no pollination of plant species we and animals rely on for sustenance.

This narrative illustrated the connectedness of the world and how choices we make have long term effects.

HSC Study Tips

Year 12 students will find support from a range of sources as they prepare for their Trial HSC. Just this week The Sydney Morning Herald released its HSC Study Guide with valuable tips from past students, and the NESA website is another source of good tips.

Good luck to all our Year 12 students in your Trial HSC Exams!
‘Believe you can and you’re halfway there’

Keep reading, writing, reflecting, composing, creating, musing and connecting.

The SJRC Literacy Enrichment Team


Meaning: Connected to the sea

Our Year 9 Marine Studies students will be participating in a Boat Smart course to obtain their Boat Licence this week.


Prayer through Music

Listening to music is a powerful way to relax and manage stress. A slower tempo song can soothe the stress of the day by quieting your mind and relaxing your muscles.

Check out some of the great music featured this week on the SJRC Digital Ministry Blog

Featured Music

Not Afraid by Red Rocks Worship will help with Practicing Trust this week. A worship hymn about God making a way in all things.

Amongst the noise and chaos of life, we are constantly fighting for something; to be heard, to be known, to be loved. Your Love Defends Me challenges us not to fight but be still and let God fight for us instead.

Digital Ministry


We invite you to click on the links below to see the great resources on the SJRC Digital Ministry Blog and Instagram Page put together by our Youth Ministry Officers, Chloe Nash and Amelia Stennett.

SJRC Digital Ministry Blog

SJRC Digital Ministry Instagram Page

Timo Gobius
Leader of Evangelisation

Weekly Lunch Specials

Term 3 Week 3 Lunch Specials 
Monday Chicken pesto pasta
Tuesday Fried rice w/ honey soy chicken wings
Wednesday Hawaiin chicken burgers
Thursday Mexican chicken quesadilla
Friday Hamburgers

The canteen opens at 8.00am every school day.

EFTPOST_available.pngThe Canteen's everyday menu can be found on our College website at the following link.

Volunteering in our Canteen

We cannot run the canteen without you; as the saying goes:
"Many Hands Make Light Work".

If you are able to spare an hour or so of your time, we would love for you to join us.
Please contact Donna Hamlin through the College Office on 5525 4100.

Ms Donna Hamlin
Food Services Manager

Read Less

Michelle Mitchell is an award-winning speaker and parenting author. Her latest book is called Everyday Resilience: Helping Kids Deal with Friendship Drama, Academic Pressure and the Self Doubt of Growing Up. In this interview-style webinar we'll be asking Michelle questions about how to foster resilience, promote mental health and wellbeing and help our kids deal positively with challenges.

This event is being hosted exclusively for the parents of Lismore Diocesan Catholic Schools by Parent Assembly. All interested staff are also invited to register for this event via the link on the attached flyer.