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Vinnies Quiz Night 2018

Written by SMC Administrator. Posted in Featured News, Timeline

Let’s get quizzical for a good cause!

Come along and put your knowledge to the test at the St Mary’s College Young Vinnies Quiz Night.

Students, parents, staff, alumni and friends of the College are invited to join us this Thursday 18 October at 6.00pm in the Mary Morgan Wing for a fun-filled evening of healthy competition and comradery.

Tickets are $10 per person and can be purchased from the College Business Office (Student Services), or you can sign up as a team (maximum 10 people per table).

Snacks and soft drinks will be available to buy on the night but feel free to bring your own food.

We hope to see you there! Please refer to the below flier for more details. 

Mindfulness for children (and adults) and the benefits

Written by SMC Administrator. Posted in Timeline

Recently a few staff members from the Junior School participated in mindfulness training for children. The training program, titled ‘Peaceful Kids’, revealed to our staff that practising mindfulness has the potential to deliver the following benefits:

  • Minimise symptoms of anxiety and stress.
  • Minimise anxiety symptoms occurring in the future.
  • Build emotional resilience.
  • Empower children to self-manage their anxiety.
  • Teach children to ‘self-calm’.
  • Improve sleeping patterns.
  • Improve concentration, attention and memory.
  • Reduce reactivity and increase emotional intelligence.
  • Increase joyful experiences.

Mindfulness can be described as the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to experiences occurring in the present moment. It can be developed through the practice of meditation and other brain exercises. Well-known Australian child psychologist, Dr Carr-Gregg said earlier this month:

‘Mindfulness has been found to reduce anxiety and improve concentration, productivity and sleep for students. We know that one in seven primary schoolkids have significant mental health disorders, and one in four kids have psychological problems in high school. I think every year in the last five years that number has gotten bigger. If we just sit on our hands and do nothing, the only thing that can occur is we’ll have the same problem, if not worse.’ (Sydney Morning Herald, May 6, 2018)

Many people with faith use mindfulness as a window to prayer, finding the quiet and still mind the perfect platform to experience God. By other names, mindfulness and meditation are a part of most religious traditions. In our Christian tradition, prayerful meditation, which stills and quietens the busy mind – so bombarded by noise and other stimuli in our modern world, provides the opportunity to open our minds and our hearts to God.

Mindfulness practice is simple, powerful, takes just a few minutes each day and can be done almost anywhere, so it can be a great addition to your everyday mental health self-care. It is easy to dwell on painful memories, old problems, worries and fears about the future, and without an anchor to the present, minds can get overwhelmed by stress.

Mindfulness is that anchor to the present moment. By tuning in to your breath, body and senses, you can learn to let those stressful thoughts and feelings come and go without getting caught up in judging or controlling them. Children and adults can benefit from learning how to strengthen the ‘mind muscle’ so that a sense of calm and stillness becomes easy to reach in daily life.

Mindfulness meditation activities have been practised in many of our Junior School classrooms for a couple of years now. Staff use their knowledge and skills of mindfulness and apps such as Smiling Mind and Breathe to guide these sessions. We are currently looking at the Peaceful Kids program and note the ease of delivering this program which aligns well with the Personal and Social Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum – more information on this later.

Psychologists use mindfulness as part of several evidence-based therapies including Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioural therapy (MCBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Dialectical Behaviour therapy (DBT).

If you were considering becoming more mindful (and the benefits are the same for adults as for children), you would start having mindful moments after identifying an everyday activity such as brushing your teeth, eating lunch and walking. You would focus on noticing what your senses are saying. If your attention wanders, that’s OK – simply bring your mind back to your senses.

Thoughts and feelings come and go and while anchored to the present moment, you keep your awareness on your senses while focusing on your breath. You feel the air go in and out and the pauses in between – you don’t control your breath in any certain way, you simply allow the air to come and go.

Let mindfulness spread to other parts of your day. Practise little moments of mindfulness when you’re waiting for the kettle to boil, or while waiting for your children to come out of school. Try it sitting still, or moving around, in the morning or last thing at night. Keep practising, it gets easier and more satisfying the more you do it.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the practice of mindfulness as described at

The basics of mindfulness practice

Mindfulness helps us put some space between ourselves and our reactions, breaking down our conditioned responses.

Here’s how to tune into mindfulness throughout the day:

  1. Set aside some time. You don’t need a meditation cushion or bench, or any sort of special equipment to access your mindfulness skills, but you do need to set aside some time and space.
  2. Observe the present moment as it is. The aim of mindfulness is not quieting the mind or attempting to achieve a state of eternal calm. The goal is simple: we’re aiming to pay attention to the present moment, without judgment. Easier said than done, we know.
  3. Let your judgments roll by. When we notice judgments arising during our practice, we can make a mental note of them, and let them pass.
  4. Return to observing the present moment as it is. Our minds often get carried away in thought. That’s why mindfulness is the practice of returning, again and again, to the present moment.
  5. Be kind to your wandering mind. Don’t judge yourself for whatever thoughts crop up, just practice recognising when your mind has wandered off, and gently bring it back.

That’s the practice. It’s often been said that it’s very simple, but it’s not necessarily easy. The work is to just keep doing it. Results will accrue. 

Practising mindfulness can help you to cope with everyday life and deal with the tough times. It can also help you to concentrate, relax and be more productive. Becoming mindful involves training your brain, so it takes time. Don’t expect to be able to hold your focus for very long to begin with. It’s completely normal for thoughts to wander; the goal is not to have a blank mind, but to focus on the ‘what’ and the ‘now’, and when thoughts drift, guide them back. Mindfulness is a practice which assists with mental fitness for both adults and children alike.

More information can be found at the links below:…/7-mindfulnessineverydaylife-(with-gp-notes).pdf

Suggested apps:

Smiling Mind
Insight Timer
Headspace: Guided Meditation

Gai Bath and Andrea Maver
SMC Counsellors

Celebrating Mental Health Week

Written by SMC Administrator. Posted in News, Timeline

St Mary’s College is celebrating Mental Health Week (October 7-13) during the school holidays. 

To promote the value of mental health and wellbeing in our school community, we are encouraging SMC staff and students to share photos that show how they are choosing to unwind during the school break, using the hashtag #smconabreak. 

From relaxing activities such as gardening, swimming and playing with pets; connecting with nature and green spaces; to increasing your heart rate by going for a run or playing a sport; we would love to hear about what you are doing to keep your body and mind happy and fighting fit. 

How do you fit relaxation into your daily life? Message your photos to our Facebook page or email 

About Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week is an annual, national event that aims to improve community awareness and interest in mental health and wellbeing. 

This year, the theme of Mental Health Week is ‘Stronger Together’. The theme provides an inclusive and overarching theme for Tasmanian communities to come together to:

  • raise awareness about mental health and wellbeing.
  • build resilience and foster understanding. 
  • support wellbeing and self-care by promoting ways to maintain our mental health. 
  • encourage individuals to seek help when they may need it.

For more information about Mental Health Week, please visit the Mental Health Council of Tasmania website at

St Mary’s College Undergraduate Scholarship

Written by SMC Administrator. Posted in Featured News, Timeline

The Australian National University is offering scholarships valued at $5,000 per annum to prospective students from St Mary’s College who demonstrate strong academic merit, community involvement and leadership potential. 

The aim of the scholarship, which is valid for the duration of the student’s undergraduate degree, is to support commencing students who must move away from home in order to undertake an undergraduate degree at ANU. 

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must have:

  • completed their Year 12 studies at St Mary’s College the year prior to commencing at ANU; 
  • met the minimum ATAR and/or minimum extra-curricular requirements for admission and will enrol into an undergraduate degree program at ANU. 

Further details about this opportunity are enclosed in the following letter: ANU Undergraduate Scholarship

For more information about the Australian National University, please visit the website at

Term 3, 2018 sports update

Written by SMC Administrator. Posted in Sport/Activity Featured, Sport/Activity News, Timeline

Senior School sports

Victorious state hockey win for 1st Grade champions

What a game! SMC’s 1st Grade hockey players took on Marist Regional College in their SATIS grand final at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre on September 21, winning 4-1.

This is the third year in a row that the College has taken home the trophy as state champions. Congratulations to the victorious team on a fantastic season!

Goal scorers were: Olivia Eade (1), Chloe Cooper (1), Livinia Sproule (2).



1st Grade basketball grand final

Gracious in defeat and still smiling!

The College’s 1st Grade basketballers came up against a very experienced Guilford Young College side in the SSATIS grand final held on September 21.

It was a competitive, hard-fought match and although our girls played their hearts out until the final siren sounded, they went down 29-55.

The team is to be congratulated for the admirable way in which they represented St Mary’s and how well they played and supported each other.




Runners hit the track.

Congratulations to the following St Mary’s athletes who finished in the top three of their respective events at the State SATIS Athletics Carnival held in St Leonards, Launceston on September 22 (please see results listed below). 

All students should be applauded for their resilience and willingness to step up and help the team out when needed, including our 1500m athletes who put their hands up to run the relay not once, but twice in one day – phew.

A special shout out goes to Bethany Creese (Year 7) who ran the 400m, 800m and 1500m in the Open age group, as an U13 competitor – a massive feat!

Bethany Creese (Year 7) competed in all Open track events.

Thank you to the following parents who offered to help out at the jumps. It was wonderful to have your support: Nicole Read, Lisa Norris, Tim Vizer, Janine Wendeling, Michael Williams and Laura Atkinson.


Kaela Beechey
2nd discus
2nd javelin

Lucy Eade
1st 800m
3rd 200m

Claudia Williams
1st high jump
2nd javelin

Georgia Alomes
3rd long jump

Georgia Chambers
3rd 1500m

Caitlin McDonald
3rd shot put

Olivia Read
1st 80m hurdles
2nd long jump
3rd 100m
3rd 200m

Amelie Cox
1st discus

U14 relay team – 2nd
Talia Atkinson
Paige Richardson
Chloe Struwe
Olivia Read

Lauren Shelton
1st Shot Put
1st Discus

Junior School sports

September 14 saw Year 3-6 students travel to the Domain Athletics Centre to participate in the Junior Athletics Carnival. 

With no rain in sight this year and the sun brightly shining, the carnival was guaranteed to be a fun day.

The usual hues of the Domain were quickly dominated by our SMC House colours of blue, red, green and yellow, as all students prepared for the day ahead.

The day is all about fun and, most importantly, participation with all points vital to contributing to winning the coveted House Shield.

A very big thank you to our parent volunteers who ensured that the day ran smoothly and was indeed a huge success!

House Shield results:

4th: Nagle, 484 points
3rd: Presentation, 529 points
2nd: Manresa, 619 points
1st: College, 644 points

Age champions and runners-up:

Year 6
Champion: Venus Wani
Runner-up: Isabelle Hoggett

Year 5
Champion: Isobel Gray
Joint runners-up: Jessica Smith and Mia Anderson.

Year 4
Champion: Mackenzie Graves
Joint runners-up: Holly Richardson and Penny Williams.

Year 3
Joint champions: Imogen Stewart and Piper Bell.
Runner-up: Jasmine Williams.

Central Regional Football Association (CRJFA) roster wrap-up

SMC U8 Blue.

Arguably our most anticipated and supported roster on the sporting calendar, the CRJFA roster kicked off in early Term two and has only recently finished – comprising 16 rounds of soccer for our students who range in age from six to 12 years!

Ten teams represented St Mary’s College in the roster, which is played throughout central Hobart (however, some rosters play as far south as Cygnet and Woodbridge).

It goes without saying that we cannot enter teams without the many wonderful coaches and managers who give up their time to ensure teams back up each week and play the game with great pride, sportsmanship and enjoyment – a very big thank you to all those individuals.

Thank you, too, to all parents, grandparents and friends who braved the often icy and muddy conditions to support the children and see them have fun and improve their soccer skills as the season progressed.

SMC U12 girls.

Well done to all competitors. The St Mary’s College community is very proud of how you all represented the College each week.


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