Week 9 - Term 4

A week of celebrations!

It has been a very significant week as we have formally farewelled our inaugural Year 12 graduands, celebrating with them and their families their final secondary school events. On Monday, we held their Mass and Graduation and Awards Ceremony here at the College and, on Wednesday evening, their Formal at the Arboretum. Both events were joy filled occasions, celebrating what is a very impressive group of young people with their families and with staff members.


It is a very fitting time to briefly reflect on the achievements of this first JPC Year 12.


I am not allowed at this point to release publicly any of the official Tertiary Entrance results for our Year 12 students, but I can say that we are absolutely delighted with their achievement. I am able to say at this point that every one of our students has been awarded an ACT Senior Secondary School Certificate and that 100% achievement of a Senior Secondary School Certificate is a much higher percentage than that achieved across the ACT. Alongside this, a significant number of our students have pursued an Australian School Based Apprenticeship (ASBA) and have obtained or will obtain nationally recognised vocational qualifications.


I am also able to say that we had 76% of our Year 12 group achieve an Australian Tertiary Achievement Rank (ATAR). In other words, they have qualified to go directly to university after finishing school.  This is a much higher percentage of students achieving an ATAR than is usual in many colleges. In addition, the vast majority of our students have achieved above their predicted ATAR and the vast majority of them will have an ATAR that will enable them to access a Canberra University.

The Graduation Mass was a beautiful and meaning-filled celebration of our students. The hall had been transformed into spectacular venue befitting the significance of the event and Fr. Mark led us in a very special and reflective Mass. My sincere thanks to Mrs Nicola Edghill whose vision for the event and her organisation of it were inspirational. My thanks also to all who contributed to the Mass, in particular, the musicians who led us so beautifully, led by Ms Sharon Robinson and Mr Aron Lyon.


At our Graduation and Awards Ceremony with them, we recognised the significant academic achievements and efforts of many of our students. I especially congratulate those students who won the following awards:

  • St John Paul II College - Justice Award, presented by the Rotary Club of Gungahlin - Emily Watt
  • St John Paul II College - Peace Award - Celeste Gibbs
  • St John Paul II College - Courage Award - Sarina Dao
  • The Moira Najdecki Award for Excellence - Thomas Tran and Charlotte Foster
  • ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership & Teamwork Award - Raghav Sharma
  • ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies Recognition of Excellence for Community Service - Thomas Mugridge
  • ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies Recognition of Excellence for Performing/Visual Art - Danijela Bodo
  • ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies Recognition of Excellence for Vocational Studies - Mikayla Cruz

We are immensely proud of all of our Year 12 students and have thoroughly enjoyed our final ceremonies with them and their families this week. This wonderful inaugural graduating class of JPC indeed constitutes a coming of age at JPC as a College and I am personally incredibly proud to see in this group all of the attributes of young, self-directed adults that we had envisaged as we planned the school 6 years ago.


It has been a wonderful journey that we have made over these six years, not just with our students but equally with our families, who took such a leap of faith with us.


Former CE Director, Mrs Moira Najdecki, who gave the Graduation Address, has been a significant person in the establishment of the College. In her address, she also made special mention of the foundation families, recalling the first information meeting.

At that meeting where we were selling a brand new untried school that did not yet have a sod turned, nor any signs of a building, or a Principal, or a uniform, one hundred families took the risk and the opportunity and had the courage to sign on.


She then spoke directly to the students, also commending them on their courage and resilience. Year 12 2018, you are pioneers, groundbreakers and leaders.


She also acknowledged the integral role played by Dominic Braybon in JPC's birth and growth. There were quite a few battles.and Dominic was there from the beginning in 2010.


At the celebratory Formal, foundation parent, Keith Cantlie, who has also been a key driver in our development, spoke briefly of the journey and the special partnerships between parents, students and staff, which have been a key factor in the success of the College to date.


I would like to formally thank Keith for all of his support over these crucial early years. His passion for the establishment of a Catholic secondary school in Gungahlin was integral to ensuring the success of JPC.


I wish everyone a joyous and blessed Christmas and a lovely holiday and I look forward to working with you again next year.


Catherine Rey


Semester 2, 2018 Awards

This morning we celebrated the achievements of our Year 7, 8, 9 and 11 students for Semester 2 2018. It was a wonderful celebration of academic success of our students. We also recognise the outstanding contribution made by Ally Hampton in Year 9 to the Indigenous AIME mentoring programme. Ally was presented with a certificate from Ms Annie Daley our Aboriginal Contact Teacher.


Our ceremony concluded with the announcement of our 2019 House Leaders and the inaugural Indigenous Leader.


2019 House Leaders

  • Drexel - Amiee Dawe and Kendall Simmons
  • Ferre - Jorja Greenwood and Cullen Savle
  • Kennedy - Georgina Genero and Alexandra Mencshelyi
  • Maathai - Natalie Bebek and Caitlin Richards
  • Vanier - Callum Bartlett and Bridget Shelley
  • Van Thuan - Mia D'Ambrosio and Brady Rodda

Indigenous Leader for 2019

  • Ally Hampton

Rachel Francis-Davies

Assistant Principal


Continued Success for

The Greatest Show: A Vaudeville

The Canberra Area Theatre Awards (CAT Awards) have been part of the theatre, dance and musical scene in Canberra and surrounding districts since 1994. They provide recognition for the enormous contribution made by non-professional groups to the artistic life of Australia, in particular, in Canberra and the region, and they encouraged individuals in the performing arts.


JPC entered The Greatest Show: A Vaudeville into this year’s judging. On opening night, two judges attended.

Monday evening was the CAT Award Nomination Party. At the event, JPC received a CAT Award COMMENDATION!!! This is a non-award category, however, it recognises the "special contribution we have made over the last year to theatre and the community"!

From the program:
St John Paul II College
For inaugural production of The Greatest Show: A Vaudeville, marking the 'coming of age of the performing arts in the College'.




This is an amazing achievement! It would not have been possible without the continued efforts of teachers, staff, students and the College Community. Chookas to all!

144 Bags of Christmas Spirit!

Ferré House & JPC support Vinnies’ Christmas Hamper Appeal in our Parish

Over the last few weeks, each student from our school has donated staple and festive food items to JPC’s contribution to the St Vincent de Paul and our Holy Spirit Parish’s Christmas Appeal.


Ferré House students were able to assemble 36 hampers (in 144 shopping bags!), each hamper containing ~30 food items, which will be donated to our Parish in time for delivery to a family in need for the Christmas season. The hampers are much appreciated by our Gungahlin community.


A very special thank you is extended to our JPC family for the continual support of Vinnies, our school, parish and wider community.


Alison Middleton & Jennifer Tually
Leaders of Learning and Wellbeing (Ferré House)

IH Business Fair

The IH Business Fair this year was held on Thursday the 6th of December. After several weeks of preparation, the day was a tremendous success with great learning taking place.

It is with great excitement that I announce that the "Stress-Be-Gone" group are the winners of the 2018 Business Fair.

Congratulations on gaining over 200 tokens on the day! You will need to collect your certificate from Mr Pettit and your prize will be allocated. Well done!

  • Surakshya Sharma, Ella Vasek, Emily Nazor, Madeline Holmes, Olivia Humphreys

Well done to all the Year 7 group of 2018 on your excellent participation in the Business Fair 2018. There are many young entrepreneurs in your year group.

Mr Ian Pettit
IH Leader of Learning 2018

Year 7 and 8 French

The Year 7 & 8 French classes enjoyed making crêpes last Friday as an end of year activity. Whilst Nutella featured as a particularly favourite topping, some students opted for the traditional lemon and sugar, or ham and cheese combination. It was a mammoth effort on the part of the staff to get through nine classes in one day, and we couldn’t have done it without the Food Tech and Canteen support staff. Bon appétit!


Mrs O'Sullivan

French Teacher

Science Escape Room WINNERS!

Last Tuesday afternoon, a group of 33 scientists from Years 7 – 9 collaborated in teams of 3 to open a series of digital locks to try and free themselves from the Science Chemical and Physical Changes Escape Room.

Pictured is the winning team from Year 7, who methodically worked with speed through the tasks, and were able to crack 6 locks!

Congratulations to our latest Brains Trust: (L-R) Baasil Ahmed, Brendan Ryan,  Kian Cox


Mrs Tually

Leader of Learning (Science Faculty)

and Leader of Wellbeing (Ferré House)

JPC Has Talent

On Thursday afternoon, we held the annual JPC talent show. We had a total of 22 acts including both singing and dancing. Both Alex and I were asked to organise the show, and we couldn’t have been more grateful.


During the afternoon we saw a number of acts performed by students and we also got to see so many talented teachers.


The teachers who performed were:

  • Miss Sharon Robinson and the Male Teacher Choir
  • Mrs Clementine O’Sullivan
  • Mr Jason Paris & Mr Ian Pettit
  • Mr Segun Ogunrinola
  • And many teachers in the Teacher Dance Finale.

It was a pleasure to work with such talented staff and students and congratulate them all on doing such an amazing job. We look forward to seeing who performs next year.


Emma Bramham & Alexandra Revell, Year 9

'Arts Up Front'

2018 has been a fantastic year for the Arts at JPC. We have grown in so many ways, beyond expectations. Our Arts team of teachers have played a gigantic role in providing curriculum and co-curricular opportunities for our students. I would like to thank Miss Sarah Keane, Miss Chloe McCallum (photography & Graphic Design), Miss Kat Allan (Drama), Miss Sharon Robinson (Music), Mr Rick Dodd (Art), Amanda Marshall (Art), Miss Ellie Mostyn (Dance), Mrs Charlotte Kavenagh (Media) for their dedication and passion demonstrated within their specialised fields of study. We are so very excited about the future, 2019 will no doubt be another fantastic year for the Arts.


Mrs Robertson

Music Program 2019

With the end of the year now upon us, we are now finalising enrolments for our instrumental music program for 2019. We are currently offering weekly 30 minutes, individual lessons with some of the best tutors in the ACT.


We offer lessons on Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Piano, Woodwind (Saxophone, Clarinet, etc), Brass (Trumpet, Trombone, etc), Strings (Violin, Cello), and Drums. With limited spots available please enrol now to ensure your child’s position for 2019. Application forms are located from the links below.

Note - Current Music Students who wish to continue lesson, will need to complete a new form for 2019

Mr A Lyon

Meet Coco

Bonjour! It is my pleasure to introduce Coco to the St John Paul II College community. Coco is a 7-year-old Bichon Frisé who loves cuddles and I suspect, thinks she’s part human. Coco is a hypoallergenic, non-shedding dog who has been my constant companion and play mate for my children. Whilst she spends most of her day sleeping, she is an excellent watch dog and loves going on short walks. Coco completed a 10-week obedience course when she was much younger, and has been temperament checked by our vet. 

Coco will be starting the JPC Service Dog induction process this week and will be gradually making some appearances at school in Term 1 next year. You are all encouraged to greet her in French!

Clementine O’Sullivan
French Teacher

Defence News...

This year has proved a busy one with lots of excursions, projects and many Defence students joining our Defence family. The Defence population at JPC has grown strongly and will continue next year when we welcome returning families and families posting in from overseas.

With sadness, we say goodbye to Ashlee, Mikayla, Riley, Jordan, Audrey, Ryan L, Stephanie, Ryan S, Jack T, Jack W and Ethan. I also would like to congratulate our Year 12 graduates, Harrison, Leigh, Celeste Emily, Briana, Oliver, Madison and Damon. I have sincerely loved being a part of their journey at JPC and I remind them to stay in touch with their friends here. They have each contributed to our Defence family at JPC and I wish them all the very best for their future.

We also introduced to JPC for the first time this year, the ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award. Our nominees were selected by House Coordinators and I am pleased to congratulate our inaugural winners. For Year 10 the winner was Isabel Henden and for Year 12 Raghav Sharma, both very deserving recipients of the award. I would also like to thank Wing Commander Karen Titmuss and Commander Rod Horsburgh for taking the time to present these awards to our students at our Ceremonies.

Name Changes

Please be advised Defence Community Organisation have renamed the Defence School Transition Aide Program to Defence School Mentor (DSM) Program. As of 2019, the position title at JPC will be known as Defence School Mentor (DSM)

VVCS - Open Arms - Veterans & Families Counselling
The Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) changed its name to Open Arms - Veterans and Families Counselling in October 2018. Open Arms continues to provide the same professional, confidential service, with 24/7 support available to all current and former ADF members and their families on 1800 011 046.


DCO News for December 2018/January 2019

Save the Date


What:  Welcome to Canberra event
When:  Saturday, 9 February 2019

Assistance for Defence Families to find Childcare
An individual case management service for childcare placement is available to support ADF families when they move to a new area or change their work or care arrangements, such as when a serving member returns from maternity leave. The service provides parents with options to allow them to decide which childcare service best suits their family. It is available to all Defence families and is free. Normal childcare fees will apply for any options selected by families. Call the all‐hours Defence Family Helpline on 1800 624 608 or email or contact Mission Australia on 1800 757 343.


Duntroon Community Centre (DCC)
DCC Playschool is currently accepting enrolments for their 2019 Playschool program which runs 3 hours a day, Monday to Friday during the ACT school term. Visit or call 6265 9411 for further information. DCC will be holding an Open Day for families on Saturday 19 January 2019, 10am-2pm. You and your family are invited to explore the centre, meet new people and find out about services available.

Kookaburra Kids
Kookaburra Kids is for Defence kids, aged 8-18years, of serving and ex-serving ADF members. The program targets children who have a parent with a mental illness as a result of military service and offers support to them through the provision of camps and activity days. Referrals can be made at

To find out more call 6109 0408.

What: Christmas at the Carillion
When: Sunday 16 December 6-7.30pm
Where: Carillon at Aspen Island
Info: Pack your picnic and join in the free family-friendly Christmas Carillon concert. Free face painting, balloon animals, fairy floss & popcorn. A sausage sizzle, ice cream truck and coffee will also be available to purchase on the day.


What: 74th Annual Canberra Carols by Candlelight
When:  Wednesday 19 December, 7-9.30pm
Where: Stage 88, Commonwealth Park
Info: Woden Valley Youth Choir accompanied by Canberra City Band, with special guest artists. MC will be popular local identity, Ian McLean. Food and drink will be available at the event, or bring a picnic and enjoy it on the lawns.


A huge thank you to all the families whom I have worked with over the year. It has been a pleasure supporting you and your children. I wish you a safe and beautiful Christmas and New Year and safe travelling for all those on the move. A big welcome home to our deployed personnel returning in time for the holidays and for those families who continue to have their loved one away over this special time, we pray for their safe return.

Feel welcome to contact me by email anytime.


Vicki Walsh

From the College office...

JPC Uniform Shop

Please consider donating your unwanted JPC Uniform to the second hand uniform shop.


Please leave all donations at the College office.

Many thanks

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