A Message from the

St John Paul II Community Council
School Funding Cuts

WILL impact on your Family!

The funding cuts announced last week for Catholic schools in the ACT have caused major concern for parents and families across our community and  the impact will be significant in relation to your choice of schooling on the basis of increased fees and reduced funding.

This week Minister Simon Birmingham sent a letter to every Catholic school in the ACT confirming lower funding for the year 2027 than is currently available in 2017. The letter contained no specific details of the expected higher fees resulting from the government policy. These changes seem a long time away, although they will have a more immediate impact on the Catholic system and how our school is funded.

We urge you to consider the impact on our school and your choice of education and contact political leaders (federal and local) and let them know you deserve to not to have government support cut over the next ten years. ACT NOW to show your commitment to Catholic Education:

  •  By liking our Facebook page to keep up-to-date and demonstrate your interest in these concerning changes to funding arrangements.


  • Complete the petition to seek funding arrangements that are fairer and provide more certainty for you and families of the Catholic system

Complete the Survey here

Visit for more information. You can also email the Community Council on




Reconciliation Day

We woke to a very frosty Thursday but that didn’t stop JPC participating in Reconciliation Week. On the 1st of June, we gathered as a school community to participate in our own ‘Relay for Reconciliation’ where all students and teachers engaged as a whole to unite and contribute to what is a very important week in the Australian calendar. It was powerful to have the whole school completing the activities together and for everyone to embrace the importance of ‘taking the next steps’. From Monday, the 29th May, we started collecting coins to raise money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation during pastoral care.


Thursday began with all students and staff meeting in the hall to watch and listen to the presentation about reconciliation. Our Indigenous students led the entire event and spoke with confidence and pride about the meaning of the theme ‘Let’s take the next steps’, acknowledging the anniversary of 1967 Referendum and the 25th year since the Mabo Decision. They focused on explaining that reconciliation means to understand and respect each other. It’s about restoring or repairing relationships and each year National Reconciliation Week (NRW) celebrates and builds on the respectful relationships shared by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and wider Australian community.  We were lucky to view an engaging clip that AIME showed us on the achievements and successes of Aboriginal Australians throughout the country’s history.


The fun continued when each house group was led outside by their house leaders and involved in the relay. During the relay – each year group within a house had to hold on to a skipping rope and lap the oval as many times as they could in 10 minutes, with the winners scoring a private pizza lunch in the JPC restaurant next week (winners yet to be announced). It was fantastic to see every student full of energy and spirit as they raced around the oval, cheered on by their fellow house and encouraged strongly by their senior students.
Thank you to everyone who contributed to the foundation (Indigenous Literacy Foundation) as your support has gone a long way, to a community which will value it considerably. Special thank you to Miss Keane for being the master mind behind this fabulous idea.


Elle Boller

Sorry Day walk

On Friday the 26th of May, our Indigenous students invited a friend to walk with them on National Sorry Day. We arrived at a foggy Regatta Point where we joined hundreds of youths, from all parts of the Canberra community taking part in the march. The bridge walk was organised by the Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service and marks the start of Reconciliation Week.


Saturday the 27th also marked 50 years since the 1967 referendum, in which Australia voted to count Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the census and give the Australian Government the power to make laws for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. The march is important as it allows our students to experience and learn more about what happened in Australia’s history to their ancestors. It was 20 years ago that the landmark Bringing Them Home report was handed down — which detailed the trauma caused by the forced removal of Indigenous children because of the colour of their skin. Those children became known as the Stolen Generations. The experience began with a Welcome to Country, traditional smoking ceremony and a commemoration to the death of Steven Freeman – a local Aboriginal man.


The Sorry Day Bridge Walk across Commonwealth Bridge provides the opportunity for all Australians to walk together in the spirit of reconciliation, of healing and remembering. I would like to thank Mrs Rey for joining us on the march and for guiding us in the direction to help make a change.


Miss Elle Boller

Debating & Public Speaking

It has been pleasing to see increasing interest from students in debating and public speaking this year. The numbers at our weekly meeting have steadily grown, which gives us opportunities for more debate and discussion.


Our focus in Term 1 was public speaking, in preparation for the Rostrum Voice of Youth competition. The topics for this competition are very broad and this allows students to develop their own ideas and arguments about the issues. Topics range from A Blank Canvas and People Matter in the Junior Division (Years 7-9) to The Lottery of Life and Trusting Our Instincts in the Senior Division (10-12). JPC was represented in the Junior division by Amisha Sehgal, Cameron Cortes and William Carey, and in the Senior division by Bronte Froome and Stephen Sisavath-Norman. It was a valuable opportunity for the students to receive feedback from external adjudicators and further develop their skills.


This term our focus changed to debating as we got ready for parliamentary debating at the ACT Legislative Assembly. This style of debating follows parliamentary protocols for asking questions, time limits for responses and voting for resolutions, and the students debate in the chamber at the Assembly with a current MLA acting in the role of speaker. Last Friday, Bronte Froome, Stephen Sisavath-Norman, Finn Salisbury and Laura Cantlie put forward some convincing arguments on the topic, The ACT is leading the country in the move to renewable energy. Today Georgia Wallace, Wanin Tessema, Kimberly Bryan and William Carey were debating the topic The depiction of women in media reporting reinforces gender stereotyping, and Tatenda Nyamukuvenghu, Olivia Green and Summer O’Brien were arguing that Ginninderra Falls should be protected from urban development. These days are really enjoyable for the students and they get to put into practice the skills they have been developing.

Madeleine Harley

Coordinator – English & Drexel House

Dance Excursion: ORB by Sydney Dance Company

Last week 30 students from the Year 9/10 and Year 11 Dance elective class had the opportunity to visit Canberra Theatre to watch the latest works by Sydney Dance Company; Orb, choreographed by Tsung- Lung and artistic director Rafael Bonachela. The double bill exposed our students to abstract and classical Contemporary dance. Ocho was a celebration of unit. Set to an original score by Bonachela’s regular collaborator Nick Wales, the music featured a combination of electronica and indigenous vocals. Performed by Mangalili singer Rrawun Mymurur, the fusion of contrasting styles linked Australia’s ancient past with its vibrant and urban present.


Students were given the opportunity to watch the dancers warm up on stage, deconstruct characterization by watching sections of the work in advance, where the choreographer’s creative intent was explained. Students were mesmerized by the fluidity, technique and interesting shapes the dancers carved whilst performing. They were also given the opportunity to see the huge set change and ask questions about stage management and stage crew, as well as set design and construction. After the performances, all the dancers took to the stage for an intimate question and answer session where students were able to ask question on lifestyle, training and development. The students who were part of this excursion left Canberra Theatre wanting to see more. The performance’s sparked great debate amongst our students as they discussed their interpretations of the abstract works. It would be fair to say that the show was enjoyed by all, we look forward to seeing more performances by Sydney Dance Company.


Mrs Faye Robertson (Coordinator: Performing Arts and Van Thuan House)

Congratulations to JPC and the Sustainability team for being awarded a Highly Commended in the 2017 ACTsmart Schools Earth Hour Activities Competition!

Performing Arts: DREAM

When: Wednesday 7th June 2017
Time: 5.30-6.30 pm
Where: St John Paul College Performing Arts Centre
About: Collaborative performances of Music, Dance and Drama
Cost: FREE


Our DREAM performance night will be an evening not to be missed. This evening is a collaborative showcase of contemporary and classical Music, Dance and Drama. All acts have multiple performance elements which have been choreographed and designed specifically addressing the showcase title DREAM. Students from all year groups have been developing their acts throughout this term via co-curricular clubs, workshops and classes. Expect to see a huge assortment of contrasting and varied performances that will capture your imagination and perhaps ignite your own DREAMs.


Mrs Faye Robertson (Coordinator: Performing Arts and Van Thuan House)


Registrations are now open for ACU’s University Experience Day in Canberra on 4 July!

University Experience Day is a free event held at our campus for students to sample two degrees of their choice and get a taste of life at ACU. Students can meet academic staff and current students, participate in practical workshops, explore facilities, and enjoy the entertainment and campus atmosphere.

For those considering tertiary study for next year or in the future, University Experience provides the perfect chance to explore study options by living a day in the life of an ACU student.

Find out more about the courses offered at our Canberra campus – education and teaching, nursing, paramedicine, social work and exercise science.

L’Arche Genesaret is a Community of people with and without intellectual disability, sharing life in Community, belonging to an International Federation, founded by Jean Vanier. L’Arche is a French word meaning “the Ark”. Together we build community where people with and without disabilities experience a place of belonging and welcome.
Vanier houses patron is Jean Vanier!


Vanier House is so privileged to have our patron’s legacy right here in Canberra! The Vanier house team works with the Canberra L’Arche community ( to build authentic connections.


Staff from JPC and the Canberra L’Arche community shared a delicious Indian meal together and had a lovely night! Building our connections to each other’s communities is something we really value and we look forward to our next adventure!

Sports Wrap

On Wednesday our Under 14’s AFL team travelled to Hughes Oval to participate in the GWS Cup. On a beautiful day the boys played fantastically and narrowly went down by a small margin in each of their pool games.

The team was led by Brayden Jones and Jordan McMaster both of which competed all day. Special mention to Mr Battaglia for taking team out and they should be congratulated on their performance and commitment to each game. Well done boys.


Congratulations to the following students making it to ACT for Cross Country
- Annabelle Raymond
- Maia Rathouski
- Oliver Vidaic
- Taylah Grocott
- Mikayla Cruz

Congratulations to both Lachlan Revell and Haydn Saywell for making the ACT achievers swimming squad.

Well done to these students.


How to be best prepared for Mathematics tests.

Troughout the semester students have been learning new concepts and building on previous knowledge in a range of Mathematical areas. From probability and statistical concepts in year 8, algebraic and equation work in years 9 and 10 and measurement, combinations and Trigonometry in year 11.

Over the next few weeks students in years 8 to 11 will be doing their final piece of assessment for Mathematics. There will be class and ILT time dedicated to revising the concepts covered to assist students to achieve to their best potential.
But how can students revise? This is something we talk about in classes with students and here are some key tips in getting the best out of revision time.


1. Start on Day One. Always go over what you have done in class so you feel confident in the area you are doing.
2. Make a List of Important Concepts/Formulas. Understanding exactly what will be in a test is important. That way you know what areas you will need to focus on.
3. Rework Problems. Often in class it is easy to follow the processes to solve mathematical problems. However away from the class without the help from teachers and class mates it can be more difficult. Doing problems by yourself simulates what it will be like in a test situation so practicing problems done in class helps tobuild confidence.
4. Look for Identifying Characteristics in Problems. Very often mathematical problems have clear steps needed to solve. Understanding these steps and again practicing these will build confidence and accuracy.

5. Take a Practice test. Students will be doing practice tests in during class. This is a time to focus on what students can do confidently and areas to improve and revise. When students review these, it will highlight areas that they feel confident in and areas for further work.
6. Use ILT for maximum impact. If there are areas which students need assistance then the use of ILT is important. In their planning students should highlight exactly what they need help with, book into an area where there is a teacher who can assist and if they are using collaboration time find a peer who they work well with and can help.       


Having an organised and deliberate approach to revision can help students feel less stressed when doing tests and ultimately help them to achieve to the best of their ability.


Lee Rose

Kennedy Coordinatior

JPC Cooking for a Cause – Community event a triumph!

OzHarvest is an Australia-wide food rescue organization. They collect quality excess food from commercial outlets and deliver it direct to people in need across Australia, as well as distributing cooked ready to eat meals.


JPC staff, students and parents spent Thursday evening cooking 300 meals for the Oz harvest charity, including butter chicken, Dahl and spicy potato and spinach curry and rice -  ready to heat and eat meals which were packaged and collected by Oz Harvest on Friday morning to deliver to Canberra people in need. 


After the dishes were cooked and packaged we sat and shared a meal together in the restaurant, topped off with Belinda’s delicious sticky date pudding for dessert.


It was a great way for members of the JPC community to socialize and enjoy a fun evening, all for a good cause!


A massive thank you to the JPC staff involved, especially Megan Hjuduk and Belinda Kelly for their organisation, Jono and Kate, Anne McKenna for the fantastic labels, Vicki Williams, Teena Zorzi and Fleur Greenwood, Catherine Rey, and families, Graham and Connor Dowell, Jennifer and Sophia Hennsen, Alex Revell, Harrison Bergman, Rachel and Callum Bartlett, Katrina and Michael Woodman, Sally and Nicholas Taurasi for their enthusiastic participation!


We look forward to meeting more JPC families in future charity cooking events!



2017 Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability

Dear Parents and carers

Catholic schools along with government and Independent schools across Australia will again be participating in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). Our involvement in this process is crucial as it will provide valuable information about supports required for a broad group of students in our schools The NCCD will enable National and State governments to better target support and resources in schools. This in turn will help Catholic Schools access the support for all students with additional needs.

The NCCD is not limited to students with diagnosed disabilities. It uses a very broad definition of disability, taken from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, which includes a range of health issues and learning difficulties where schools implement strategies to support students in participating effectively in their learning.

The Data Collection will take place in August. No personal or identifying information about any student will be included, however, if you decide you do not wish information about your child to be included in the NCCD, you are asked to contact you child’s principle to discuss your concerns. If you are still concerned you should request and complete an opt-out form and return to the principal.

More information about the NCCD is available at:

Yours sincerely
Patrick Kelly
Senior Officer Wellbeing & Diversity

ACTION Bus Route 802 and 808

The above routes have been amended to accommodate for the re-opening of Manning Clarke Crescent, Gungahlin and changes on Hibberson Street, Gungahlin.

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