Term 1 - Week 3, 2018

2018 has got of to a flying start with many key College events taking place in our first three weeks.


We celebrated our Opening School Mass in which we commissioned our Year 12 Leaders and our Year 10 House Leaders. We are very proud of this new stage in our College in having our Foundation Year 12 leaders and look forward to working with them to see their ideas and vision for the College come to life. Our theme for 2018 is “I can do all things through Christ who Stengthens Me.” This theme formed the focus of our Mass and will be one that we be explored with students over the year.

On Wednesday we celebrated the Academic success of students’s work in  Semester 2 2017 at the Awards Assembly. Two students in each House also received awards for their contribution to their House and exeplified the College values of Justice, Peace and Courage.

Our Year 7 students are very settled and we have been impressed with their work attitude and their postive interactions with each other and staff. We hosted a “Tips and Tricks for surviving Year 7 Evening” last week and had lots of productive conversation with our parents and new Year 7 students.


Next week we begin ILT and Mentoring. We will be taking our Year 7 students through the skillls and processes that they need for them to have a successful ILT. Staff have begun to organise meetings with their Mentor students – staff will usually see 3 -4 of their Mentor students each week so please don’t be concerned if it takes a few weeks for your child to have their first Mentoring session.


Staff began the year exploring the concepts around Innovation in Education and this will be our focus for the year. St John Paul II College prides itself our cutting edge approach to Education and what was considered to be new and innovative when we first started are now been implemented by a number of schools. We are often asked by other schools if they can come and see what we are doing and we are always happy to showcase the work that we are doing here. It would be easy to “rest on our laurals” and congratulate ourselves that we have done enough, however, we are keen to keep exploring evidence based practices to make sure that we are always improving student’s learning and wellbeing. We will keep you up-to-date on our progress throughout the year.


Have a restful and safe weekend


Mrs Stephanie O’Meara

Assistant Principal

Internet Addiction from a Mental Health Perspective

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to attend a workshop focusing on “Internet Addiction from a Mental Health Perspective”. The possibility of teenagers, indeed adults, becoming addicted to the internet, will not be ‘fake news’ to many of you. The insights provided on the day were many and included:

1 - While ‘internet addiction’ is not yet formally recognised in the annals of clinical psychiatry, ‘Internet Gaming Disorder’ (IGD) will likely be recognized as a clinical disorder within the next year or two.


2 - Social Anxiety Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have been linked to IGD, as has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder.


3 - Sleep and hydration are two of the biggest issues associated with internet addiction. The workshop reiterated that young people should generally be asleep between 11pm and 7am.


4 - Humans experience higher levels of arousal if they leave internet devices in their bedrooms at night (even if they do not intend to interact with those devices). The value of substituting your device(s) with ‘the good old alarm clock’ was stressed.


5 - Achieving a balanced approach to internet/device use is paramount. Look to achieve ‘Digital Nutrition’ and a [healthy] ‘Digital Diet’ in all of your domestic, work and social environments, both as individuals and collectively.


6 - The rapid growth of eSports – organized multiplayer video game competitions, is such that many young people are currently training for ‘very real’ careers in such ‘e-environments’, gaining sponsorships and even representing their country in live gaming competitions around the world/clock. Such an example highlights the challenges faced by young people today in achieving ‘Digital Nutrition’, bearing in mind the increasing relevance of the internet to our  daily lives, passions and career pursuits.


7 - Most importantly, model ‘Digital Nutrition’ for your family members, peers, colleagues and friends.
8 Develop strategies that prioritise forming/maintaining *real social relationships/connections* ahead of a relationship with your phone!

Note: As part of the workshop teachers were given the opportunity to complete:

1 - The ‘Internet Addiction Test’ (IAT) (designed by Internet Addiction pioneer Dr Kimberly Young – The Center for Internet Addiction (U.S.A)):;


2 - The ‘Bergen Facebook Addiction Scale’ (Dr Cecilie Andraessen):; as well as


3 - The ‘Are you a smartphone junkie?’ test (Iowa State University):

All of the above tests are academically sound, can be enlightening, as well as provide the opportunity for some great discussions with your family members, friends, classes or peers.

Andrew Woodman

Teacher - English/SOSE/IHU

Learning Support News


Being new to both John Paul College and to Canberra I can understand the nervousness and the excitement that comes with starting at a new school. Meeting new people, following new routines, finding the correct room and learning from new teachers. I personally find the toughest thing about being new is understanding what is required of me as I learn new work. Our students also experience these emotions and difficulties as they start at a new school, or even as they return from the long summer break.


What makes any difficult situation easier to deal with is the support that is available. Sometimes our students need a little more support to get to school or to complete their tasks or to be responsible learners. This extra support can come from lots of different directions – home, friends and school. John Paul II College has a Learning Support Team to work with families, students and teachers to make sure that every student can access the learning material and demonstrate what they have learnt to the best of their ability. Annie Daley and myself understand that the earlier any support can be put into place, the easier it is to find a solution that works. Parents, guardians and students, please contact us if you would like to chat or to arrange this support.


Cate Wright

National Questacon Invention Convention

Bridget Shelley in Year 9 (Vanier House) was recently involved in the National Questacon Invention Convention over the Christmas holidays. She was selected to attend the event from a large number of applicants (based on a written application and business project and achievements) from across the country. She was one of 25 delegates to participate in STEM and business-related events meeting successful business leaders and young and upcoming companies. She is congratulated for her success in this field and has written a short account of her experience to share with the wider community.

My name is Bridget Shelley and I am currently a student in year 9. During the summer holidays, I went on this amazing camp from the 15th of January until the 19th of January called the National Questacon Invention convention, where 24 other people from around Australia joined me in Canberra. We had a look at business, innovation and STEM subjects, all of which are key motives to driving the future. We were asked to design a prototype of a final product that fits into this year’s theme of ‘Future Earth’ to solve a problem we currently face in our society. I designed a prototype of an app that could try to help people with brain injury or someone who is recovering from partial paralysis to try and regain movement and thought using various games and activities.

Every day throughout the week, we had the opportunity to talk to many different entrepreneur’s and business owners to see how they ran their business and how they could show us how we one day run our own. On Wednesday night, we travelled to the Canberra innovation network and spoke to the amazing people working there to give us a boost and see their perspective on an idea or concept. On Thursday morning, the Governor General came to visit us and see how we were going, which was pretty awesome. On Friday, it was very stressful because it was our final day for building and designing our product, and then we had an awesome night at Questacon, for our presentation, displaying what we had completed throughout the week.
Overall, the week was one of the best weeks I’ve ever had. The National Questacon Invention Convention was an amazing experience and I’m glad I was a part of it.

Indigenous Group Official Welcome afternoon tea

JPC Aboriginal students, their families and mentor teachers enjoyed a lovely afternoon on Thursday 22nd February in the Kamberri Room.


Thanks to the canteen staff for the lovely food - Bush tucker flavours were incorporated into afternoon tea with Lemon myrtle Scones and Bush tomato sausage rolls – this brought up discussions about our exciting new Indigenous garden venture at the front of the school, that our Aboriginal students helped plan last year and will continue to have creative input into as it gets underway this year. 

Students sat with their mentor teachers to set some personal and academic goals for the year ahead. All in all it was a very positive start to the year for our JPC Indigenous Group!


Annie Daley
Aboriginal Contact Teacher

Boys Rugby League 7's

JPC’s boys 7/8 Rugby League team battled the traffic and windy conditions yesterday (Tuesday 20th Feb) to compete in the pool stages of the Canberra Rugby League 7s.
The boys smashed Lyneham High 40-8 to open their day and then played out a tough win against Canberra High to win 20-12 and finally a dominant display against the boys from over the fence (Gold Creek) running away 28-0.

Owen Hromow & Rueben Spires topped the try-scorers for JPC with 5 each on the day, Zac Rolls finished with 4 to his name, Noah Marcantonio, Sam Hall & Josh Baldwin scored twice, while Blake Robinson & Fletcher Tarry also crossed the white line.

These boys have now progressed onto the finals day to be played on Thursday 15th of March.  If you see these boys around the school, please congratulate them on their efforts and wish them well for the finals.


The 7/8 Boys Rugby League 7s team:
1. Owen Hromow                  2. Noah Marcantonio
3. Zac Barbaro                      4. Zac Rolls
5. Blake Robinson                 6. Nik Onarato
7. Josh Baldwin                     8. Sam Hall
9. Fletcher Tarry                    10. Harrison Cracknell
11. Kyle Moir                         12. Jono Sears
13. Ruben Spires


Coach Danger

Canberra Raiders Summer 7's

Yesterday our 9/10 girls Rugby League 7’s team played at Northbourne oval in the Canberra Raiders Summer Series 7’s competition. Although we were outsized buy each team the girls played very well and won their game against Karabar and had narrow defeats against Gold Creek and Amaroo. It was a great effort from the girls especially with four players from Year 8 backing up to play. The team just missed out on making the fianls day in March by one point.


The team consisted of Jasmine Kelley, Emilia Hromow, Isabella Hubbard, Kiara Allen, Kiara Meza, Gabrielle Jordan, Angel Skinner, Ally Hampton, Abbie Forrester and Shreya Gurubelli.’


Nic Whatman

Oztag National Championships

Congratulations to 5 studetns from JPC who competed in the Oztag NSW State Championships in Coffs Harbour on the 9,10,& 11 February 2018.


Natalia Brankovic (9 Drexel)
Sophie Murray (7 Maathai)
Mia McGovern (8 Vanier) Under 14s team won the Championships

Owen Hromow (8 Drexel)

Josh Baldwin (8 Drexel)

Well done to all these students!

Meet Mr Duddy

I’m a new teacher at JPC, recently moving down to Canberra from the Wollongong region.

What Inspired me to become a teacher?
I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I came out of High School. I enjoyed science, particularly Biology and Chemistry so I started a science degree combining these two disciplines. Meanwhile, having played basketball all my life I began coaching Basketball for the Shoalhaven Tigers. I found I enjoyed coaching and was continuing to enjoy my degree so I hoped to combine the two. I finished my science degree and began a teaching degree and have loved it ever since!

What do I enjoy about teaching?
The opportunity to share my passion for science and assist others in investigating science and hopefully developing their own passion. I believe a good understanding of science is so fundamental to being able to fully engage in modern society, so being able to help students develop these skills is an incredibly rewarding experience.

Messages from the Front Office ...

Reminder: If your child is absent from school or going to be late

The College requires all absences from school to be given in writing, so if your child is going to be absent from school, or you know they will be late, please email the student office directly at to let us know (Please include your child’s full name and year level – thank you.) If you are unable to email us, please let us know by phone (6163 4800), and then send in an explanation note with your child when they return to school.


Reminder: If your child needs to leave school early

  • Students bring a signed note from their parents stating the reason for leaving school and the time that they will be picked up. Students keep this note with them during the day.
  • Five minutes before the time they are to be picked up, the student shows the note to their classroom teacher, leaves the class and collects any belongings they need.
  • The student comes down to the student office with their note, which they hand in as they sign out.
  • We would appreciate parents/carers coming in to meet the student at the Student Office and sign them child out.

Phone usage
Please note that students are only allowed to access their phones at their locker during recess and lunch, during class phones are to be kept in lockers. In the event of an unforeseen need to pick up your child, please send an email to the student office to alert us. If your child is feeling unwell, they must let their teacher know, and come to first aid, and we will get in touch with you directly.


Please name all items!
Please encourage your child to put their name on all their property and clothing, including their MyWay cards, hats, pencil cases, calculators and ILT planners! Then, if items are found and handed in to the student office, they can be returned promptly to their owner.


Donations of second hand uniforms
Has your child out-grown their uniform? The College has a small collection of second hand uniform items for sale, and relies on donations of uniforms for supplies. Feel free to donate any uniform items that no longer fit your child! A reminder that JPC changes from summer to winter uniform at the beginning of Term 2.


Lost Property
We have an impressive range of lost property already this term, mostly from the swimming carnival. Please encourage your child to check the lost property shelf at the front office if they are missing anything. Unclaimed items will be donated to St Vincent De Paul at the end of the term.


Found property
The student office has an interesting collection of ‘valuable’ lost property from last year, including several watches, reading glasses, sets of keys (house keys, padlock keys and a set of car keys, all on unique keyrings) etc. If any of these belong to your child, they simply need to come to the student office, describe the item and it can be returned.


Bike safety
We have noticed an alarming number of students are riding home school without a bike helmet, or leaving at the end of the day with their helmet swinging from their handlebars! Please remind your child that they must wear their bike helmet when riding. Wearing a helmet is a legal requirement in the ACT – as well as good sense!

Instrumental Music Lessons at JPC

Dear Parents/Guardians and Students,


We are now taking enrolments for Instrumental Music Lessons at St John Paul II College 2018. We provide weekly private individual lessons for our students with some of the best tutors in the ACT. We are offering lessons on the following instruments: Guitar, Bass, Piano, Voice, Drums, Woodwind (Saxophone, Clarinet), Brass (Trumpet, Trombone) and Strings. Learning an Instrument builds confidence, commitment, time management and a range of other skills, so please get involved!


We are also taking enrolments for our Co-Curricular Band Program. Students can get involved in our Rock Bands, Unplugged Bands, Choir or Production Crew. We have many performances opportunities for students involved throughout the year both at school and out in the community, this is a perfect platform for any student interested in performing arts.


Follow the links below from the St John Paul II College Website and either email the forms direct to me at or leave them at the student office.

Brass Tutor - Justin Lingard

Justin began his music studies at the age of five, learning piano and cornet. Pursuing a career as a professional trumpet player, Justin studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and Tasmanian Conservatorium of Music graduating with a Bachelor of Music with Honours in 1999.


In 1999, Justin joined the Australian Defence Force as a professional musician and has held appointments to the Australian Army Bands in Hobart, Melbourne and Sydney, Wagga Wagga and the Band of the Royal Military College in Canberra.


As an orchestral trumpet player, Justin has been a regular guest performer with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Philharmonia, the Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, the Melbourne Philharmonic Orchestra, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra and has recorded the orchestral soundtracks to numerous Australian and international films and Television commercials with the Sydney Scoring Orchestra. Justin has also been engaged to perform with artists such as Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Natalie Cole, George Benson, Tina Arena, Kate Miller Heidke, The Whitlams, Lior, Little Patti, Normie Rowe, Megan Washington.


Justin now lives in Canberra  and earns his living as a professional freelance musician and music educator. Justin is the acting principal trumpet of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the principal trumpet of the National Pops Orchestra, a Performing Teaching Fellow at the School of Music of The Australian National University, an Australian Music Examinations Board examiner and is a reserve member of the Band of the Royal Military College. As a brass pedagogue, Justin contributes to the instrumental band programmes as an instrumental music teacher and band conductor in a number of schools in the Canberra region.

For quicker, hassle-free school payments

Qkr! is an easy-to-use phone app that gives you the flexibility to place orders at a time and place that suits you.

  • Saves you time by letting you order and pay for school items directly from your phone
  • Reduces the need for your child to bring chas to school
  • Fees, excursions, canteen money and more can be paid via Qkr!

All payments made before 10am will be available for your child to use in the canteen on the same day

Continuing families -please remember to update your childs year level

1021 Gungahlin Drive Nicholls ACT  |  Ph: (02) 6163 4800
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