Principal's Welcome

Dear Members of the Villanova College Family
Over the next four days in excess of 15,000 people will visit Villanova College and St James Church for the 2018 Annual Queensland Catholic Colleges and Schools Music Festival (QCMF). The festival will showcase the musical talents of young people from across the state of Queensland.

Behind the scenes is an army of volunteers assisting to ensure the festival runs smoothly. With the number of visitors to the site I know the volunteers will be kept busy preparing food, drinks and providing assistance and guidance.

Thank you to the many volunteers who have so generously given of their time for this important and worthwhile event.


I place enormous importance on the involvement of parents in the education of their child. Parents play a key role in supporting and complementing the work of teachers to educate the ‘whole’ child. When the support of families is not present the work of the teachers and the school becomes extremely difficult.

The Parents and Friends Association at Villanova College is one avenue for parents to be involved in the education of their child and all students. We need to hear your voices and opinions. There will times when parents will challenge what is happening at the College and in most cases, this leads to a change for the better.

The next Parents and Friends Association meeting will be held on Monday 10 September in the Tolle Lege Library commencing at 6.00 pm. All are most welcome to attend. I hope to see you there.


Over the coming fortnight the College will host a number of Parent Information Evenings for the selection of subjects. The introduction of the new Queensland Senior syllabuses and new tertiary entrance system using ATAR requires careful attention to subject selection particularly in Years 9 and 10. I encourage all families to take advantage of the opportunity to hear about the pathways on offer to students and to discuss with their child his aspirations for the future.


On Tuesday 4 September and Wednesday 5 September Year 12 students eligible for an Overall Position- OP will sit the Queensland Core Skills Test. Over these two days students will sit the Writing Task and Multiple Choice I Papers (Day One) and the Short Response Items and Multiple Choice II Papers (Day Two)- a total of seven hours of testing.

Over the past eight months the students have experienced a number of practice exams and attended numerous workshops to prepare for the QCS. The test will examine the literacy skills of the students through the Writing Task and test the Common Curriculum Elements (CCEs) embedded in the senior syllabuses. The CCEs include skills such as analysis, graphing, calculations, substituting into a formula just to name a few. There are 49 CCEs that are able to be tested and students are exposed to the CCEs through their daily work in the classroom.

We wish all our Year 12 students every success as they prepare for the QCS Test in a fortnight’s time.

Prayers Please

We keep in our prayers members of the Finnimore Family following the recent death of Mr Pat Finnimore, a great supporter of Villanova College, father and father-in-law of deceased staff member, Mr Paul Finnimore and current Deputy Chair of the College Board, Ms Donna McMahon and grandfather of Sean (’12).

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace, Amen

You have made us for Yourself O Lord

And our hearts are restless until they rest in You

God bless

Mr Mark Stower, College Principal

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Head of Junior School

Generosity of spirit will always be one of my favourite things to see in action as Head of Junior School at Villanova College.  It is an intangible quality in all of us.  It does not discriminate by age, gender or class.  Our spirit exists in our ability to know our true selves, and through our connections in community.  It is visible from the simplest act such as picking up litter, to keep our spaces tidy, to the boldest event like our Queensland Colleges Music Festival.  We feel spirit when someone holds a door open for us, but then also with the anticipation of our Track and Field Sports Carnival.

Term 3 – notorious for being the “premiership quarter” – is when I consciously need to see, hear and, feel the College Spirit, as it truly gets me through the busiest time of the year.  As a young boy, I will be the first to admit that my spirit revolved so much around my own needs – sport was always number one priority, food was a close second, and anything to do with geography was third.  I never really had (or was it that I didn’t hear?), the explicit teaching about the impact my actions and words could have on others.  Yet, here at Villanova College, I feel that it is part of our everyday language – to look for ways to help yourself, but also others, whether it be old friends, or brothers in green and gold.

Small things really matter as special events coincide with a rigorous academic program in the Junior School.  Communication is the key.  Planning, using a class timetable or assessment calendar, reduces confusion and prioritising tasks brings peace of mind.  We can be in the best spirits during learning time if we are organised with our belongings.  There is no doubt that at this stage of the year some boys’ stationery supplies have dwindled – pencils, erasers, sharpeners, rulers and protractors need to be checked and possibly restocked.  Packing bags, the night before, means there is very little chance of forgetting key text books or College Diaries.  Using a checklist for homework, or what to pack in the sports kit bag, can be extremely helpful.  Reading newsletters, year level letters, class emails or logging in to your son’s One Note and/or Google Docs will help greatly.

Ringing through to Mrs Mascadri in the Junior School Office should be for unexpected or urgent matters.  With over 300 families to assist, the phone line certainly gets busy, as does the First Aid room at this time of year.  Please understand that delivering messages after 2.15pm each day will be given our best efforts, however may not always be possible.

Each class has had a conversation about the importance of attending and embracing today’s Inter-House Sports Carnival at Villanova Park.  As a Junior School, we love to work outdoors. With a predicted 29 degrees forecasted, it will be perfect conditions, with a hat, drink bottle and sunscreen, to show off our gifts and talents.  From the most ambitious sportsperson, to the fun-loving lad, I expect all boys to attend and show a spirit of fun, competition and respect for engaging in physical activities.  Our Sports Department and College Grounds Staff have invested so much time, effort and preparation for this day to be nothing but success.  Staff are allocated roles on the day and looking to see the highlights – be that the fastest, highest or most inspirational effort.  Although a place on the podium is always a welcomed attraction, it is often the determination or persistence of some boys that staff will often be eager to share back at school.  The boys who show resilience and a sense of comradery by participating and cheering their mates on – that’s what the day is all about.  I set a challenge to you all gentlemen – email me your best “moment” of the day by next Monday morning.  I plan to pick the top three sporting highlights, determined by those who see it firsthand, and I will invite you and your nominated sportsperson to a Principals’ Lunch.  The theme I am looking for is “Junior School Spirit”.  Physical, social, emotional or religious – your choice.  I can’t wait to get your nominations – – and share some time with the lucky winners.


The first round of Junior School Master chef competition commenced this week with boys in Year 5 and Year 6 showing off their culinary skills. It was a tough decision for the judges as they sampled brownies, a variety of slices, fruit salad and lemon meringue tarts. Congratulations to all boys who made it through to Round 2. With the many interruptions this week, we welcome any new chefs to join the competition next week only.

Mr Stephen Rouhliadeff, Head of Junior School

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Head of Middle School

As mentioned last week, our three year tracking survey of the boys social and emotional wellbeing, reflected the western societal trends relating to worry, stress and anxiety.

There is no doubt that during the ‘middle years’ the boys’ study load and the difficulty of school work increases. This is coupled with the fact that they are also expected to take on more responsibilities, both at home and at school.

What affect do these changes have on your son?

How well does he manage the stressful times?

What can we, as adults, do to support his emotional wellbeing?

Self-management, a core Social Emotional competence, involves being able to recognise and regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviours appropriately in a range of different contexts. It includes being able to manage stress, goal setting, and the achievement of a whole range of personal and academic goals.

For many adolescents, procrastination is a significant roadblock to success. It is often the source of academic stress and it obstructs productive learning and revision.

For those who struggle with procrastination, perhaps the Pomodoro Technique might assist:

The increased access to, and usage of, social media during the adolescent years is yet another contributing factor when managing emotions. Knowing how much is too much, can be a difficult equation for teenagers to capture and parents to enforce, however excess social media usage, and gaming, undoubtedly impacts upon the one thing that teens most need: sleep.

The data we collected via the SEW (Social Emotional Wellbeing) Survey included:

Survey Statement Percentage of Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9 students who agreed with the statement in the 2017 survey
I worry a lot about my schoolwork or what others think of me 49%
I feel very stressed 31%
During the past six months, I have felt so hopeless and down that I have stopped doing my usual activities 20%
I have a hard time controlling how worried I get 42%
I have difficulty controlling how down I get 23%
I have difficulty calming down when I get upset 34%
When I do badly in my schoolwork, I think “I’m a failure 33%

In her excellent book, “Raising Stress-Proof Kids”, author Shelley Davidow offers six great pearls of wisdom when it comes to teenagers and stress:

  • High levels of stress can affect our physiology, creating physical and psychological symptoms that may have a long-term impact
  • Protective factors against stress are a functional family, friends, recreation and enough sleep
  • Those youngsters prone to an exaggerated stress response need more protective factors than others
  • Creativity is an absolute essential
  • Determining and listening to what the problem really is, is part of the solution
  • Value their talents. It is important that we realise the negative impact of unrealistic expectations and instead enable realistic, achievable set goals (Davidow: 2014)

Over my ten or so years as Head of Middle School, it has certainly been brought home to me that each child is different. They all have their own unique stress/worry thresholds. Parents remain a child’s greatest resource in identifying when their son is struggling with self-management and either dealing with it within a supportive family environment or seeking help from external sources.

Each year, the Villanova College Pastoral Team support many students with their emotional regulation, stress management, time management, etc.

If you are concerned about your son’s capacity to self-management, or are keen to find out more ways of supporting your son through his ‘middle years’, I encourage you to make contact with his Pastoral Area Leader: Mr Ben Lynam (Year 7), Mr Matt McGrath (Year 8) or Mr Peter Simpson (Year 9), who  may call on the wisdom of Mr Adrian Hellwig (College Counsellor) or Mr Tass Sakellariou (College Psychologist) when required.

Greg O’Neill, Head of Middle School

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Head of Senior School

Combatting Procrastination
In a number of academic mentoring conversations I’ve had with Senior School students, one of the barriers to purposeful and productive study time often identified is procrastination. I would like to share with you this week an excerpt from the book ‘Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying’ which offers a pragmatic way of combatting this great study killer. According to authors Barbara Oakley, PhD, and Terrence Sejnowski, PhD, the answer lies in a tomato timer of all things:

How can a tomato make me a better learner? In the 1980s, Francesco Cirillo came up with a way to help procrastinators. It’s called the Pomodoro Technique. Pomodoro is Italian for “tomato.” Cirillo developed a tomato-shaped timer. Cirillo’s technique is simple, and it works. First, you need a timer. The tomato-shaped timer is great, but any timer will do. I have a digital timer on my computer. Many people use Pomodoro apps on their smartphones or iPads.

The technique works like this:

  1. Shut off all distractions – your phone, the TV, your music. Anything that gets in the way of your ability to focus. Find a quiet place to work where you won’t be interrupted. If you can afford them, consider noise-cancelling earphones or cheaper but just-as-effective earmuffs or earplugs.
  2. Set the timer for 25 minutes.
  3. Get going and focuson the task as well as you can. Twenty-five minutes is not long. You can do it!
  4. Now for the best part. After 25 minutes, rewardyourself.

Watch a dance video or listen to your favourite song. (Maybe dance to it yourself!) Cuddle with your dog. Or chat with friends for five or ten minutes or so. The reward is the most important part of the whole Pomodoro process. When you’re looking forward to a reward, your brain helps you focus better.

This technique is similar to the concept of chunking which was explored with students in Form Meetings at the beginning of the year and our focus on effective study strategies. If your son requires assistance in sustaining a purposeful study routine, he is encouraged to speak with his ISP Academic Mentor, Pastoral Area Leader or staff member from the Curriculum Office.


Best wishes to all Senior School musicians who will perform throughout the Queensland Catholic Schools and Colleges Music Festival which commenced today. Judging by the quality of musicianship showcased at last Friday’s Senior School Assembly, we can be confident that our students will once again represent our College with distinction. I also wish to thank those students who have answered the call of service and have volunteered their time to support the QCMF.

Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.” – Plato

Mr Matt Levander, Head of Senior School

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Curriculum Update

Year 12 Senior Production


The Year 12 Senior Production is well under way and it will be hilarious!  In Week 2 the Year 12 Drama class met with playwright, Nathan Sibley and the visiting artist Jeremy Gordon for the first reading of the play – and we knew then we were going to have fun.

Described as a cross between “Black Mirror” and “The Office”, the play doesn’t miss the comedy mark.  After reading the play the students negotiated roles and began their script analysis.  This forms the basis of their characterisation and delivery.  Soon to follow was blocking – all student devised – and with regular visits from Jeremy the feedback has been great.

Last week the boys completed their film shoot, to ensure a trailer and the cinematic elements of the performance can be edited to support the play.  For this the students needed to know their characters inside out and how best to portray them on film.  This week we had our first rehearsal in the Hanrahan Theatre, where we completed a voice workshop and did a run through in the space.  For the rest of the week the students will make sure all their lines are learnt so that Week 6 and Week 7 are scripts down.

Make sure you don’t miss this witty performance on Friday 31 August at 7:00pm.

Ms Sophie Kenny, Drama Teacher


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Sleep-Out and Winter Appeal
Last Friday saw the seventh annual St Vincent de Paul Sleep-Out and Homelessness Conference. The conference began with the arrival of Sarah Corbett in the Rosies van, at 5.45 pm. After serving hot chocolates, Sarah spoke with great warmth about her encounters with people on the street. The van was then filled to brimming with sleeping bags, blankets, hygiene products and hot chocolate/ coffee. Sarah took these straight to the Rosies operations centre near the Mater Hospital.

The next speaker was Dan Carroll, Villa Old Boy (’78), and state treasurer of St Vincent de Paul who spoke from the heart.  Dan spoke about retiring at age 53 and then finding a whole other life, through service of St Vincent de Paul. As well as helping to oversee the proper allocation and care of the funds raised each year – for example $17m through the Op Shops – Dan is involved in investment decisions to ensure that tomorrow’s needs are met. However, it was at the personal level that his words really cut through with the boys: the story of meeting a woman who had just fled from a domestic attack; the story of the Old Boy who chose to be homeless to support his children after a marriage breakdown…and so forth. It was a privilege to listen to Dan. His story of humbly putting his talents to service is a model for our students.

The third phase of the conversation turned to young Old Boys and their ways of volunteering. Matt Davies (‘17) helps with the UQ Rosies outreach; Gus Tracey (’17), and last year’s SVP President) is the quartermaster for SVP’s “Soccer Stars” – bringing fun and friendship to kids in Moorooka who would not otherwise have access to an experience of organised sport; and Dan Duskovic (’17) and SVP President 2016 has set up a coding program for kids through SVP and the “Enactus” society at QUT. It was ear-opening to listen to so many stories of seeing a need and then taking action. In each case, the outreach brought a profound sense of satisfaction to the volunteer.

A working bee followed, which involved creating 60 care packs for Ozcare, to be delivered next week. After a low-key supper of pot noodles, the program switched to sport (basketball, soccer and dance moves); fireside conversation and night prayer, and then making the usual forts and base-camps out of recycled cardboard.

At 6.30 am we emerged from a fitful and at times chilly night to briefly reflect on the experience – universally seen as “good” by students and staff – and then creeping off to face the action of the day. For students James King and Sam Chamberlain, this meant driving straight to Ipswich for a Fourth V basketball game.

Warm thanks go to all the families who donated to the Winter Appeal, and to the many staff who gave up all or part of the evening to assist, and share stories with the boys: Donna Neander, Sally Byron, Pat Atkinson, Matt Lalor, Fr Pete, Fr Saldie, Mylan Warren, Katie Dauth-Sousa, and student teacher Jordan Tasker.

Kokoda Wild Cats: Meeting with George Palmer (Kokoda veteran)

One of the most inspiring stories to emerge from the Villanova engagement with the Kokoda Challenge in 2018 was the recent meeting between 97-year-old digger, George Palmer, Alex Bryant (Year 10), Murphy Woodger (Year 10) and his father Jeremy Woodger and staff member Brian Pascoe and his father Gavin.

The meeting stemmed from Murphy’s community service which he undertook in the Wesley nursing care facility. Through Murphy sharing his own story about undertaking the Kokoda Challenge with the residents, he was lined up to meet George, and actual Kokoda veteran. Through Murphy’s enthusiasm regarding the story behind the Challenge, a golden opportunity for a deeper connection, between the generations, presented itself. It was George himself who was keen for the meeting to occur.

Next step was for Mr Pascoe and Jeremy Woodger (Murphy’s father) to arrange the meeting with George’s family.

This amazing encounter took place last Saturday in George’s room at the Wesley care home. Some of the stories George shared with live in the memory for a long time. Pointing at the photo reprinted here, George mentioned how one of his mates on the Track had lied about being older to enlist in WW1, then lied again to reduce his age to help defend Australia in WW2. As volunteers and reserves in Port Moresby, George’s unit suddenly found themselves re-assigned from unloading sports equipment to fighting to slow the Japanese advance along the Kokoda Track.

For both Murphy and Alex, the encounter brings a changed perspective. Murphy stated simply that we are “lucky” not to be facing the same trials; Alex said, “It makes you realise that you have everything today.” For these students, the Kokoda Challenge experience has created an incredible connection with and empathy with the real experience of the men of the 39th Battalion on the Track.

Looking ahead…Domestic Violence Forum 

The students continue to take an interest in becoming better men. In this regard, 10 YCS and Student Council students will attend the Lourdes Hill domestic violence forum later this week. Speakers include Kathleen Noonan (columnist), Darren Lockyer (ex Bronco), and the Vastas (past parents now involved in adjudication of family court matters). A report will follow next week.

Refugee/ asylum seeker week: YAYM film night

YAYM have organised a film night for Friday 24 August, from 5.30 pm, with the film being The Jungle Book. Students from Year 5 through to Year 9 are welcome and are asked to bring a gold coin. This will be donated to the SVP Soccer Stars program (described above), which allows marginalised youngsters an experience of organised sport. Most of the 13 children involved in this Moorooka program are from refugee background. Details will be made available to students later this week, or any questions can be directed to me –

John Holroyd, Dean of Mission & Identity

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This weekend marks the 28th Anniversary of the annual Queensland Catholic Schools’ and Colleges’ Music Festival, running from August 16-19. Please find the program here.

QCMF is the largest youth music festival of its kind in the Asia-Pacific Region. Having started in 1991 with just 43 performances from 12 local Catholic schools, this year the festival will showcase over 570 performances, featuring over 15,000 of our finest young musicians across 112 Catholic schools and colleges from around Australia.

To celebrate 28 years, the 2018 festival will be the brightest festival ever staged at Villanova. Music lovers, young and old, are invited to come and enjoy jazz, instrumental, choral, orchestral and contemporary performances from some of our most talented school musicians.

The festival’s artistic director, Mr Michael Jones, said, “As a not-for-profit event, the success of QCMF each year relies on the tremendous support from our volunteers, sponsors and, of course, our local Brisbane music loving community. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the festival’s fun, family friendly atmosphere, and listen to the inspirational music produced by our country’s talented young musicians.”

QCMF begins on Thursday, August 16 at 4pm and continues for four packed days. Except for Thursday, the festival opens each day at 8.30am. Tickets are $10 a festival pass ($5 concession). A wide range of food and drink is available throughout the festival, so come and take part in this truly unique event.

All members of the public are welcome. For a full list of performances and further information on QCMF, visit

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Villanova Sports Club

Are you new to the Villanova community and wanting to meet new friends?

The Villanova Sports Club is a friendly organisation made up of parents and friends who are committed to promoting Villanova Sport and will be having their annual AGM on Wednesday 10th October at 6:00 pm in Goold Hall.

The Sports Club is calling for nominations for Club President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary.

The secretarial position will be made vacant as I will be stepping down in 2018 and for those interested it involves taking the minutes of each meeting and communicating to members of the Sports Club of upcoming meetings.

If you are interested in any of these positions:

– There are five meetings a year on a Wednesday night and usually are one hour in duration.

– At each meeting we discuss sporting and fundraising events.

– The Sports Club works with the school to identify current needs and discuss future vision. 

We also have our own Facebook page, Villanova Sports Club. 

Jackie Harding, Sports Club Secretary

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Parent Information

Uniform Shop

The New Uniform Shop WILL BE CLOSED on Friday 17 August 2018 – a Pupil Free Day.

Tuckshop Roster























































































Robinson – Ilka


















Library Roster

Tuesday 21 August

Anastasia Bailey   

Wednesday 22 August

Jaclyn O’Shea

Donna Leahy     

Friday  24 August

Sue Mulligan

Maryanne Bingham

Gina Avolio

Mothers of  Villanova Old Boys Afternoon  – 1st September

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Community Update

To support the AFAS Elders project of assisting with the construction of a community hall, you can contribute towards buying the materials needed, transporting them to Kinatarcan and all construction costs-the Elders have a target of $8000.

Donations may be transferred/deposited into the following account:


BSB 064-786

Account Number 019232109

When making deposit/transfer, please put ‘AFAS ELDERS’ in the description as well as your name and what item you are donating:

e.g.     Smith      concrete

If you would like to remain anonymous, please put “anon”.

Unfortunately, AFAS is not a registered charity, so donations are not tax deductible, however if you require a receipt, please email

For anyone wanting to assist the Elders reach their target of AUS $8000, please click here to see a list of the costings of all materials required to complete the Elders project.

If you would like to donate, donations as little as 1 kg of tie wire -$2.50 or one bag of cement -$9.40 are much appreciated. EVERY LITTLE BIT MAKES A DIFFERENCE!


There will be an information evening for all students who are interested in participating in the 2019 AFAS Exchange to the Philippines next Monday, August 13 at 7.00pm in V7. The Exchange will occur during the September holidays and students need to be at least 15 years of age to be eligible to participate.

Tony Hindmarsh, AFAS Elders Coordinator


Augustinian Newsletter for St Augustine’s Day & Invitation to Ordination to Priesthood of Dang Ngoc Hai Nguyen OSA

Augustinian Newsletter

Invitation to Ordination

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Archive Anecdotes

Fr Donal Paul Dempsey OSA

Born in Dublin, Fr Paul received his early education at Basin Lane Convent and the Christian Brothers.  After joining the Augustinian Order he studied in Rome and was ordained in St John Lateran Cathedral in 1950.

Arriving in Australia the same year he spent the next three years in the Parish of Babinda before transferring to St James Parish, Coorparoo.  Here he was the chaplain at Princess Alexandra Hospital and part-time teacher at Villanova until 1955 when he became a permanent member of the College staff.

Fr Paul was appointed Rector of Villanova in 1971.  With a fine voice for singing and speaking, he supported the arts and languages as well as other aspects of the curriculum.  The College enjoyed a fine reputation in every field during his time of leadership.  He came to the task of Rector with a well-formed sense of ‘community life’ which he enjoyed with his fellow Augustinians, and which he wished to bring to the school community of students, parents and staff.

In 1975 Fr Paul celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination.  The College celebrated this in style presenting him with a new fishing rod and outfit.  Fr. Dempsey‘s great and passionate sporting love was fishing and many times he went to Point Lookout on Stradbroke Island for a weekend of relaxation!

When Fr Dempsey left the College mid-1976 due to ill-health, he went with the knowledge that he had begun a movement at Villanova to spread the powers and responsibilities of administration, of good staff/student relations and of more student/student related responsibility.

In 1976 Fr Paul moved to parish work in Victoria where his empathy towards all people and his ability to listen won many friends for the Augustinians.  He returned to an Augustinian Priory in Dublin in 2002 where he remained until his death on June 21, 2008 at the age of 82 years.

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