2017 JPC Sleepout

“It was a good experience because you can really feel empathetic for the homeless. The statistics about Canberra and the Gungahlin area were a real eye opener.”

Chloe Bartlett, Sleepout Participant 2017


Last night 130 of our bravest students and staff embraced the challenge of experiencing homelessness for a night. We started off with a talk from Maria Stark, the St Vincent de Paul Gungahlin Conference President. She challenged our ideas and perceptions of homelessness, providing interesting statistics about the current situation for homeless people particularly in Canberra. Her knowledge, help and advice was invaluable and appreciated.


The students of the Social Justice Committee organised a trivia, dodgeball and a disco. After the activities, students took their boxes and cardboard and began to set up camp. All students experienced the extreme conditions (-2 degrees) faced by homeless people on a nightly basis and showed great team spirit and determination. Well done to all!


Family members of participants came and shared a warm and delicious breakfast served by our fantastic team from the JPC canteen.


We would like to thank the Social Justice Committee for all their hard work in planning this event. A special thank you goes to Storage King in Mitchell and Belconnen for their generous donation of over 160 big moving boxes and cardboard for the students to sleep in. This is the second year they have come on board and it is great to see the community working together for such a worthwhile cause.


The students raised money for the St Vincent de Paul Society which contributed towards Mrs Rey’s CEO Sleep-out tally of currently almost $7,300. Donations can still be made and if you would like to support this great cause you can use QKR app or contribute directly to the CEO Vinnies Sleepout website.  Last year we raised $10,668. It would be wonderful to reach or exceed this target.


Thank you to everyone who ensured the great success of this event.  In particular Ms Zorzi and Mrs Ganderton who lead the Social Justice group work with great energy and humour to guide our Social Justice group in the organisation of all of the activities associated with the event.  A particular thank you also to the members of staff who also sleep out and provide supervision and duty of care for the event.  Without them we would not be able to hold this fabulous community building venture. 




A reminder to all Parents and Guardians that No Bikes are to be left in the bike sheds over the holidays. The school is not responsible for any loss that may occur.

Pets As Therapy at JPC

As part of my roll both as a coordinator, foster career and mum I have done extensive research into the mental health of kids and specifically the roll that trauma plays in their mental health. The impact of Trauma should never be underestimated.

As such I decided I look into methods of Trauma counselling and ways of helping children who have suffered from trauma. Anxiety is often linked as a bi - product of trauma and research shows a high correlation between a mistrust of adults and anxiety. Long story short this all lead me to Pets As Therapy which the ACToghther team (act foster care) use on a regular basis for their at-risk children. I am hoping to have my dog accredited as a pets as therapy dog and to be able to use her to work here at JPC, but also with kids in the foster system and in my Nan’s nursing home (where she has been several times and is a hit!)

I will be bringing her in over the next few weeks and have her shadow me. Her name is Lola.

Some key points:
She is a working dog so will have conditions in place the same as other working dogs.
My classes will be observing her but not touching her until she is assimilated (she will sit on her mat)
I’ll explain her role to my classes (who will no doubt tell others)
For the first few weeks she will only be available to ‘observe' she won’t be out at lunch or recess etc
It takes hours of training and assimilating to build a dog into an effective tool so her role will evolve as her experience and effectiveness is evaluated.

Here are two of my favourite current links to show that I’m not crazy and that there is real merit to this concept.

Thanks for your support!

PLEASE know that if your child is afraid of dogs she will be on a lead at all times and they will NOT have to touch her or go anywhere near her. She is also a puppy at the minute so not too big!

If you have any concerns or questions please email me.
Chauntell McNamara

Refugee Week @ JPC

This week the JPC community recognised Refugee Week through an assortment of student-led initiatives that encouraged us to gain new insights, and to learn about the experiences of refugees in our world. Beginning with a powerful assembly to open our week on Monday morning, students then had the option of attending a screening of a film called “Refugee Stories” in the theatre during ILT. This film explored the stories of former boat people who arrived on Australian shores prior to 2001 when significant changes to immigration laws took place. 45 students from all year groups attended this optional event, and participated in a thoughtful discussion after the film about what they had seen.

On Wednesday, we shared a Solidarity Meal in the canteen, where simple food was on offer at lunch based on the ingredients of rice and lentils. These are foods that are commonly available to refugees in camps and settlements. The $206.50 raised helped to support the JPC Ration Challenge Team.

On Thursday, 6 brave House teams took on a round robin sporting challenge in the Hall battling for supremacy in Basketball and Soccer, 2 of the most popular sports in Syria before the war. To help us to remember that refugees are people with the same interests and hobbies as us, students joined their House teams for this fun competition. Congratulations to Maathai House who won the day!

To finish our week, this morning during PC students participated in a reflection session in House groups to think about the events of this week, and what we have learnt as a community. It was wonderful to see the passionate and meaningful responses of students and staff.

The Student Leadership Team did a wonderful job organising these events, and we thank them for all their efforts. Thank you also to the whole community for your support of the JPC Ration Challenge Team who have raised $5086 to date in support of refugees. It certainly made the long week of rice and lentils worth it!!


Mrs Nicola Edghill
Coordinator – Religious Education


Shredding Guitar Workshop
As part of the Monday Music Tasters, last Monday we held a great beginning guitar workshop for interested students. 12 students enjoyed learning the basics for guitar, including rhythm, chord shapes, and simple techniques. Students were focussed and had a great time. Keep your eye out for the next workshop!

JPC Liturgy Band plays at Holy Spirit

Over the long weekend, our talented JPC Liturgy Band played at the Youth Mass held at Holy Spirit Parish.  Their wonderful playing and singing was very well received by the parish and community. Music included a range of worship music from Hillsong and Emmanuel Worship. A big thank you to Phoebe Nguyen, Alison Fisher, Aaron Bartlett, Harry Costelloe, Aiden Rothnie and Mr Lyon for giving their time on the long weekend.

Instrumental Concert
On Monday night, JPC held a concert for students taking instrumental lessons at JPC. It was a wonderful evening of music, predominantly organised and run by the students themselves. The concert was distinctly professional, with sound and lighting provided by the Tech Crew. MCs Phoebe Nguyen and Aaron Bartlett ably introduced each item, including performances on violin, piano, guitar, voice, flute, saxophone, clarinet and drums. The evening concluded with inspiring performances from the JPC music tutors. We look forward to the next Instrumental Extravaganza in Term 4.

The John Mackey Jazz Band at JPC!
JPC was privileged to welcome The John Mackey Jazz Band on Wednesday. Students and staff had a wonderful time, hearing some fantastic jazz music and listening to John speak about his career in music.


Term 3 Bands
Positions are available in the thriving JPC Band Program for Term 3. If you are at all interested in joining one of our Rock, Acoustic or Concert bands, or possibly interested in starting your own band, pick up an application from the student office, fill it out and return it to the student office, and we will then contact you to get things started. Applications will also be available on the JPC website by the end of next week.

Wednesday 21st June I held a piano concert at the Wesley Music Centre in Forrest in which all my private piano students plus 4 talented students from John Paul College played. Jade Rethman, Charlotte Butler, Tobias Devilla Cherukuru and Harry Costelloe performed beautifully. It was lovely to have them their being the inspirations for the younger studends.  I’d like to wish Harry all the best with his grade 6 piano exam next week.

Sharon Robinson


Any queries regarding any JPC music, feel free to contact Ms Robinson at or Mr Lyon at

Term Two Drama Showcase

Wednesday afternoon saw the second of the Drama Showcases for this year. An enthusiastic and bubbly group of students from Years 7 to 11 performed. Members of First Act!, a weekly afternoon drama club, performed as did students from the 9/10 Drama elective class.


Students presented self-devised scenes which were a mix of comedy, realism and melodrama, presented with confidence and skill. Following the show, the actors and audience shared in some nibbles and soaked up the atmosphere of another entertaining and successful performance at JPC.


A huge round of applause to Caitlin Gaffney and Chloe Cribbin who were the capable MCs for the afternoon. The performers who “broke a leg” were Kate Jenkins, Olivia Henssen, Logan McMahon, Zoe Nesbitt, Amber Telford, Alex Revell, Abi Mangin, Sophia Henssen, Colby Owen, Harry Collis, Harrison Elsom, Gomez Cook, Mia Eyles and Evie Cramer. All have been working with great dedication to develop confidence, ensemble skill and engaging performances.


Special mention to members of the Tech Crew, Harry Collis, Jordan Skerritt, Billy Wood, Harrison Elsom, Cullen Salve, and Colby Owen. These boys managed the lighting and sound effects, and backstage under the tutelage of Tom Mudridge


Chookas to all students involved! It is fabulous to see students accepting the various performance opportunities that JPC has to offer.


Miss Sarah Keane

Closing Night for First Act!

Over thirty students form across Years 7 to 11 have demonstrated their commitment to Drama and have formed First Act! Throughout the Semester, these students, who aren’t necessarily studying Drama, worked to develop their confidence, performance ability and created self-devised pieces of theatre.


Each Thursday afternoon, students have eagerly arrived ready to tackle the next random workshop Miss Keane proposed and collaborate with different people to create theatre. The main focus area was refining ensemble skills and playbuilding techniques. Each week, we would finish with a secret group clap.


Every member of First Act! opened the Dream performance night to form the ‘Pyjama Army’ cast. In addition to this, Alex Revell, Abi Mangin, Emma Bramham, Sophia Henssen, Jacquie Koina and Lilith Prado performed “We, The Elements.” Amber Telford, Zoe Nesbitt, Mikayla Evans, Gerogia Norris and Montana Borjeson presented “Teenage Dream.” Ivy Keating, Darcie Crowther, Alicia Jugaric and Lili Giampaolo amazed with “Fairytale Twist.” Kate Jenkins, Annie Jenkins, Brie Pilicic, Evie Cramer and Celeste Gibbs performed with the Concert Band for “Hey Jude.” But not to be forgotten – other First Act! members presented their scenes at the Drama Showcase this week as well.

Over the past thirteen weeks, and extra rehearsals, First Act! students showed their passion for drama and are to be commended. Chookas to all, many legs were broken (which is a good thing in the world of performance)! Next Semester, another after school drama club will run with a different focus in skill development. Stay tuned for more information and I hope to see you there.


Miss Sarah Keane

Tickets are now on sale for the Dance Nation 2017 Schools

Spectacular “BELIEVE” performance

Dance Nation is a school arts program for school aged students uniquely designed to build within each individual a sense of identity, belonging, pride and legacy.
Over the past 16-weeks students from St John Paul II College have engaged in learning, designing and rehearsing their Dance Nation showcase piece that will be performed alongside 13 other ACT Schools showcasing over 450 students in this exciting annual event.
BELEIVE will be held at the Royal Theatre in the National Convention Centre on Thursday 29 June 2017 at 6.30pm.
Tickets can be purchased from
Enquiries can be made to Kulturebreak at or 6291 8249

Year 11 in 2018

We will be holding Subject Interviews for Year 11 2018 on Friday 30 June.


Bookings for these meetings will be done using PTO online booking system.


Each Student will only be able to make one appointment.


The system will open to families at 5pm on 16 June 2017.


To access this system please click on this link
Select “obtain passcode”


As most families have more than one email address recorded in our database we have used the one listed as “home email”


If you have any problems, please contact the office on 6163 4800

Language Study Tours

An exciting opportunity is being offered to students in Years 9-12 who will be studying either French or Chinese as an Elective in 2018. These students have the privilege of participating in the St John Paul II College’s inaugural Study Tour to either New Caledonia or to China. These tours will take place during the April holidays in 2018. 

The French Study Tour will be 8 days in New Caledonia and is expected to cost around $2,400. The Chinese Study Tour will be 12 days in China and will cost around $3,900.

An information evening, for interested students and families, will be held at the school on Wednesday June 28 from 5.30 – 6.30 pm.

Sports Wrap

JPC Cheerleading
This Sunday we have 2 teams and 38 cheerleaders performing at CanCheer. The competition will be held at Canberra University Sports Hall and they will be on at about 3pm.  Everyone is welcome to come down and support them and see what competitive cheersport is all about.

Harry Costelloe, in Yr. 10 at St John Paul II College has been selected to represent ACT Taekwondo at an international athlete development training camp in Seoul, South Korea. Harry will be leaving for Korea at the end of the semester, returning back to Australia in early August. Harry has been training intensively each morning at the AIS over recent weeks, in his preparation for this training program. This international training camp comes as part of Harry’s ongoing development with ACT Taekwondo, and recognition that he is a targeted member of its High Performance Program. Harry will be training with a leading Poomsae Coach, up to 16 hours per day and participating in two International competitions whilst in Korea, which leads Harry in his preparation for the World Championship selection process.
We here in Maathai, St John Paul II College and our Community wish Harry all the success in his training and competitions.

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