Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome to 2018 – a very significant year for St John Paul II College in our 6th year of operation. We are delighted to have our first Year 12 group as we come of age as a 7-12 College. We have also welcomed a full Year 7 group with over 200 students and many other new students to the College. We are now a student body of 800 students – a far cry from the 100 foundation students at the College in 2013.


Many new staff members …


We have obviously also greatly grown as a staff in order to accommodate our much larger student body. I know you will enjoy perusing the photo of our new members of staff, putting faces to the names your son or daughter has been talking about.


….  and also new faces and responsibilities in our Leadership teams.

I would also like to officially announce additions to our staff leadership teams. 


Joining Mrs Rachel Francis-Davies and Mrs Stephanie O’Meara as Assistant Principals is Mr Liam Stakelum. We are very pleased to be working with Liam in his new capacity. Each Assistant Principal oversees and works with two of our Houses. Mrs Francis-Davies takes responsibility for Van Thuan and Ferré, Mrs O’Meara for Maathai and Vanier and Mr Stakelum looks after Drexel and Kennedy.


We welcome Mrs Felisa Lapuz as Leader of Learning and Wellbeing to Kennedy House, working with Mr Nicholas Whatman and Mr Jason Paris in his new capacity as Leader of Learning and Wellbeing to Drexel House, working with Mrs Madeleine Harley.  In Van Thuan, we welcome Mr Michael Hanna to the College and he will be working with fellow Leader of Learning and Wellbeing in Van Thuan, Ms Sarah Keane, who is also in a new capacity as she takes on this role. In Maathai House, we welcome Mr Ian Pettit as Leader of Learning and Wellbeing, joining Mrs Nicola Edghill. Ferré House is unchanged with Mrs Jennifer Tually and Mrs Elizabeth Walsh as Leaders of Learning and Wellbeing as is Vanier House with Mrs Chauntell McNamara and Mr Iain Robertson.


To support each House and to lead our full implementation of School Wide Positive Behaviours in 2018, each House also has a Leader of Wellbeing. In Vanier, this is Mr Patrick Wood, in Maathai it is Mr Paul McKie, in Drexel it is Ms Teena Zorzi, in Ferré, Mr Giuseppe Battaglia, in Van Thuan, Mr Alagaysan Chandra-Segaran and we welcome Ms Ellie Mostyn, a new member of staff, as the Leader of Wellbeing in Kennedy House for 2018.


Other members of staff, taking on additional responsibilities this year are Ms Cheryl Jones who is working with Mrs Nicola Edgehill in Religious Education, Liturgy and Faith Formation, Mrs Annie Daley who will look after our indigenous group and Ms Ashlee Turner, who is the Facilitator for Sport.

A very positive start…


It has been a very positive start to the year. Our students in all year levels are enthusiastic and appear to have settled in very well. Over the coming weeks, you will receive contact from your son or daughter’s Mentor teacher so that you are aware of who to contact with any questions or queries. In the meantime, feel free to contact one of the Leaders of Learning and Wellbeing in your House with any issues you may wish to discuss.


… with our student leadership teams in place

I know you will enjoy seeing the photos of our inaugural Year 12 Student Leadership team and of our 2018 Year 10 House Leadership team in this Key Messages. I thank them for the leadership, enthusiasm and commitment they are already showing and we are looking forward to officially commissioning them in our Opening Mass on 20 February.

New, definitive Pastoral Care groups with fewer students in each …

We are very pleased to let you know that this year, given we are now a full College, we have moved to eight Pastoral Care groups in each House in what should be now our final groupings in Pastoral Care groups. This means that we expect that there will be much more continuity of both Mentor teachers and Pastoral Care teachers from now on. This will be positive for families and teachers alike.

…  and a very positive new behaviour management system

I recommend to you the article by Mr Nic Whatman in this week’s Key Messages. He is taking responsibility for implementing the School Wide Positive Behaviours system in the College. The full policy will be emailed out to all families next week and it will also be uploaded to our website. Students have already reacted very positively to the new processes which ensure a real focus on our expectations of respecting themselves, respecting others and respecting teachers in all settings in the College. The policy will also outline our process of interventions and support to ensure a positive approach to behaviour management.


…. together with an inspirational theme for the year

Our theme for the year from St Paul’s letter to the Philippians – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”  - has already made great impact. As members of staff, Mrs Nicola Edgehill worked with us during our professional learning week prior to the return of students to reflect on and interiorise its potential in our own lives and the Year 12 Leadership team led the whole school in a beautiful opening liturgy, introducing the theme to them.  You will certainly be hearing more…

Thank you all for the support you have given us already.  We are greatly looking forward to working with you and your sons and daughters in 2018.

Catherine Rey

School Wide Positive Behaviour

St John Paul II College has adopted the School Wide Positive Behaviour model which is a systematic process aimed toward improving behavioural and academic outcomes for all students. The model consists of three main ideas: prevention of negative behaviour, multi-tiered interventions, and data-based decision making. The prevention aspect includes, explicitly teaching behavioral expectations, rewarding appropriate student behavior, and instituting consistent consequences for negative student behaviour. The emphasis is on creating a positive school climate where school-wide rules and expectations are taught, rewarded, and monitored.


Attention is focused on creating and sustaining Tier 1 supports (universal), Tier 2 supports (targeted group), and Tier 3 supports (individual) systems of intervention that improve lifestyle results for students. This is done through making targeted behaviours less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.

These supports and interventions are delivered through collaboration between teachers, students and parents or carers, with the primary aim of preventing problematic behaviours from occurring. The approach is a continuum of positive behaviour support for all students within the school and is implemented in areas including the classroom and non-classroom settings.


Research suggests School Wide Positive Behaviour systems have demonstrated the following benefits for students:

• Reduced problem behaviour
• Increased academic performance
• Improved perception of safety
• Reduced bullying behaviours
• Improved social-emotional competence
• Increased positive school climate and culture

This week students have been beginning the year with and introduction to the St John Paul II College School Wide Positive Behaviour Matrix. Students have investigated the Behaviour Matrix which outlines the behaviour expectations we have at St John Paul II College both inside and outside the classroom. These expectations follow the overarching values of Respecting Myself, Respecting Others and Respecting the Teachers.


More information regarding the St John Paul II College School Wide Positive Behaviour Policy will be posted on our website shortly and available to parents/carers.


Nicholas Whatman

Outdoor Courts Development

St John Paul II College is passionate about Health and Physical Edcuation and Sports (both competitive and recreational) and in the same way we strive to help our pupils reach their academic potential, we also support our students with striving to achieve their sporting goals. Therefore, we are very proud to announce that over the coming weeks we will be constructing a brand new state of the art sports facility at the College.


The new multi-sport complex will become a key teaching space for the Physical Education team and will cater specifically for tennis, futsal, basketball and netball. The bright blue coloured surface (GS8) will provide students with a perfect combination of cushioned comfort reducing stress on the body but also maximizing playability. Completed with both fencing and flood lights for use at night time, the new facility will enable a higher standard of coaching and teaching and will create a fantastic new space for students to learn and practice new skills in both their PE classes and at recess and lunch.

This semester students in Year 8-10 will study a passion project – this will encompass learning about and improving their skills and knowledge in one focused sporting area and this fantastic facility will provides us with the opportunity to offer a wider breadth of sports to students.


We also love to encourage community participation in new activities, consequently the PE team will be running a comprehensive extra-curricular program at lunch times where students can enjoy an active break between classroom lessons, meet new students and develop some new physical skills.

The College is excited that the development is finally under way and we will keep the community updated with the progress over the coming weeks.


Iain Robertson

Leader of Learning – Health and Physical Education

Defence News

Hello and Welcome back to all our Defence Families!  A huge welcome to our JPC community for all our new Defence Students and their Families.  This year we welcome Ethan, Emily, Jordan, Alexandra, Isabella, Tamara, Braidee, Thomas, Alex, Luke and Justina to Years 8, 9, 10 and 11.  Most of these new students have posted in from interstate and we welcome them to Canberra.

We also have a large number of Year 7 Defence Students who started very eagerly at the beginning of the week.  We are very lucky to have Rohan, Georgia, Alex, Zac, Isabella, Xavier, Finlay, Mackenzie, Tess, Alexia, Thomas, Max, Victoria, Hannah S, Elizabeth, Larissa, Gryffyn, Hanna V and Isabella join us at JPC as Year 7 Students.


Our Defence Students appear to be settling in very well. I have made contact with all our new students, except for a few Year 7 Students, whom I shall be making contact with next week. In the meantime, if you are concerned about your child, please feel free to contact me to discuss.

There are many new friends for all of our Defence Students to make. You may be interested to know we have close to 90 Defence Students here at JPC. We will be holding regular meetings for our Defence Students to attend and our first one will be in Week 3.


We will be hosting a “Defence Families Welcome Breakfast” in a few weeks’ time. This is a wonderful opportunity for our families to meet each other and make some contacts. More information to come.


For Defence Families who are new (and existing) to Canberra, there are some major events happening in February.


What: DCO Welcome to Canberra Family Day 2018 Event - This event has reached capacity!  Sorry if you missed out.


What : National Multicultural Festival This annual fun, free, family friendly event has a range of activities, shows, food stalls and dancing to celebrate the cultures of the world.

When: 16 - 18 February

Where: Civic
More info may be found at


What: The 2018 Royal Canberra Show
When: 23 - 25 February
Where: EPIC Showgrounds
More info may be found at 
You can also join their special Facebook page for updates and special offers at 


And for those of you with younger children……
What: Duntroon Playgroup Come along and have a cuppa whilst the children have some fun  for all ages. 
Where: Duntroon Community Centre, Gymkhana Rd, Duntroon - For more information please click on the link -

For all our new families, I shall be sending home a “Welcome Pack” in the coming weeks with lots of information for you.  Please keep an eye out for it!

My days at JPC are every Mondays and Tuesdays, every second Wednesday (even weeks) and every second Friday (odd weeks). I am across at Holy Spirit on the days I am not at JPC, so never too far away! 


If you have a future (or current) deployment or exercise coming up, please let me know, so I may better support your child.


Please feel free to contact me at any time, if you have any concerns with your child.
Vicki Walsh

Bicycle Sheds

It is great to see so many of our students riding to school.


Please note that the bicycle sheds are locked during school hours, however it is important that all students riding to school also lock their bicycles in the sheds.


Any bicycles that are left after hours and are not locked will be brought into the school.



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

Immunisations -Year 7 & 10's

ACT Health run a free immunisation program to ACT high school students as part of the High School Immunisation Program.


Immunisations at JPC have been scheduled in 2018 as follows:


Year 10

Thursday 22 February

Year 7

Round 1 - Monday 7 May

Round 2 - Friday 16 November


Consent forms have been sent home with all Year 7 and 10 students earlier this week. These forms are due back on Friday 9 February to the College. If your Year 7 or Year 10 student has NOT brought home a form to be signed, please ensure they pick up a form from the student office and return the completef form by Tuesday 13 February


Thank you

Opportunity for Students to Experience Another Culture, Make New Friends and Improve their Language Studies at home

In July 2018, Student Exchange Australia New Zealand will be receiving exchange students from Denmark, Germany and Italy. The new arrivals will live with a host family and attend a local school for 3, 5 or 10 months. Student Exchange Australia New Zealand are keen to hear from suitable families who might be interested to host a student.


If you have any questions about hosting an exchange student or would like to view profiles of students arriving from other countries, you can call on 1300 135 331 or visit our website. Staff members will be happy to discuss which student might be best suited to their family. No obligation.

Student Exchange Australia New Zealand

FREE Live Online Information Session and Scholarships Avaialbe in 2018

Student Exchange Australia New Zealand is a not-for-profit organisation that is registered with all state and territory Departments of Education around Australia and with the Ministry of Education in NZ. We are the first and only secondary exchange organisation in Australia and New Zealand to be certified to ISO 9001 (Quality Management System) and we ensure the highest standards of care and support to our participants.


We would like to invite students and families to our FREE Live Online Sessions on Thursday, 15th February at 7.30pm (AEST).


The LIVE Online session gives students and families the opportunity to learn more about becoming an exchange student and the various scholarship options that are available in 2018.


Students can find out more about our exchange programs to over 25 countries, listen to former exchange students share their experience and learn about our scholarships and discounts on offer in 2018. Please note that the deadline for Scholarship and Early Bird Discount applications is 31st March for programs departing between October 2018 - March 2019.


Please be aware that we now offer 14 partial scholarships each year for semester and year applicants. See our website for more information.

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