Term 2, Week 9 - 18 June - 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
What an amazing night was McAuley Fest! Over 3 hours of entertainment provided by students, staff and some guest performers to a crowd of over 250 people. Congratulations to the Student Leadership Team for bringing this concept to fruition, with a special mention to our College Captain and Compere on the night, Jacqui Samms, who lead the organising team. Thank you also to the many students who performed and to the Creative Arts teachers who worked with our performers - Sarah Nicholls, Rob Imeson & Mark Conaghan. Thank you to the many parents and families who supported the Festival and made it a successful community event. I would also like to acknowledge the Student Leadership Team of 2020 who developed the concept of McAuley Fest. Unfortunately, the 2020 team were unable to run it due to COVID19. We are already looking forward to the 2022 McAuley Fest!
I also wanted to make mention of the Rachel Johnson Memorial Touch Football Competition that is currently underway. The oval has been full of activity each lunchtime and recess this week, with each homeroom competing in the knockout competition. The final will be played in week 1 term 3 as part of our NAIDOC celebrations. Thank you to Carla Snow for the organisation of the draw and to all the marshalls and referees. It has been a great way to finish the term!.
A reminder that our Athletics Carnival is on the last day of term - Friday 25th June and that Term 3 will start on Monday 12th July for staff and students. Our Staff Development Day for term 3 will be on Monday 26th July.
As the term comes to an end I would like to thank you for your support this term and I wish everyone a safe and relaxing holiday.
“We should be shining lamps, giving light to all around us.” Catherine McAuley
Free Workshops to Support Youth Wellbeing
headspace Schools is a national workforce that supports, engages and partners with education and health sectors across Australia, to build the mental health literacy and capacity of workforces. Driven by, and in alignment with systems and school improvement we are dedicated to improving the mental health and wellbeing outcomes of children, young people, families, and school communities.
headspace National is hosting free mental health education sessions across identified regions in NSW, on ways to support young persons when they are concerned about their mental health.
The session aims to:
- Strengthen your understanding of mental health and the warning signs for suicide and self-harm.
- Strengthen your understanding and skills in how to cope and where to find help.
- Build awareness of local services and the various support services available.
- Strengthen relationships between local area mental health services, local schools, headspace centres and other community organisations.
Date and time: Wed., 30 June 2021 7:00 pm – 8:15 pm AEST
Location: Cavanbah Centre
191b Harbour Drive
Coffs Harbour, NSW 2450
The kids helpline has some great information regarding Consent.
Consent is an agreement between people to engage in a sexual activity.
- Consent means freely choosing to say ‘yes’ to a sexual activity
- It’s needed for any kind of sexual activity, from touching or kissing to intercourse
- It’s always clearly communicated - there should be no mystery or doubt
- There are laws around who can consent and who can't
- Without consent, any sexual activity is against the law and can be harmful
For more information regarding consent and tips for parents and teenagers please go to the Kidshelpline website https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/what-consent
Assistant Principal - Mission and Wellbeing
Semester 1 College Report
College reports are published in the Parent and Student Portal. Years 7 to 10 reports will be published Friday 25th June. If you are unable to access your child’s report, or you would like a hard copy please contact the College Office for support.
Year 12 Trial HSC
The Trial HSC Timetable has been issued to all students. Copies are also available via the College Portal and Extranet. Normal College Assessment guidelines apply.
It is now an important preparation time for the HSC. The Edrolo resource provided for by the College (videos from teachers across NSW) is a useful tool for revision for many subjects. It is also recommended that students complete timed responses and submit these to teachers for feedback leading into the trials. The NESA site has past papers and Marker feedback (be sure to keep in mind syllabus changes for some subjects since 2020).
Year 10 Subject Selection 2023 HSC
Year 10 have received the curriculum handbook and attended talks from the Curriculum coordinator, as well as English, Maths and Religious Education Coordinators regarding the courses and subjects offered at McAuley College. The school has also hosted the Year 10 Subject Selection Information Evening, which was held on Tuesday 15th June.
The handbooks and parent presentation are now on the college website. Other information that the school has pertaining to subject selection will also be found on the website.
A quick google search will give lots of advice on what to look for when choosing subjects. The following five points from Study Work Grow provide recommended DON’Ts when it comes to subject selection
- Don’t just choose what you think are the easy options, you’re wasting your opportunity to be and to do so much more
- Don’t choose subjects to be with your friends or satisfy your parents’ wishes
- Don’t choose subjects because you think they’ll scale well or lead to a well-paid career. You might end up hating your time at school and university and putting yourself behind rather than getting ahead
- Don’t be unrealistic. E.g. don’t choose chemistry and physics because you love animals and think being a vet would be nice. If you’re not great at those subjects and are a bit squeamish anyway, you really need to find new and realistic ways to pursue your dream of working with animals.
We hope that at home, families are spending time together reviewing the subject selection choice. Once lines have been set, and students have determined their final choices, an interview with either the Careers advisor, Curriculum Coordinator or the Assistant Principal Learning and Teaching will occur. This will take place during Year 10 Careers lessons early next term.
Year 8 Subject Choices (Year 9 2022) Information Session
Parents of year 8 are asked to save the date – Week 3 Tuesday 27th July
Drop Everything and Read (DEAR) started during this term for students in 7-10. This involves 15 min of silent sustained reading at the start of P.3 for non-practical lessons every day except Thursday. It will continue into Semester 2.
Literacy Intervention Teacher Mrs Brenda Little, has a group of volunteer year 10 students supporting some of our 7 students during DEAR. Another aspect of DEAR for all year 7 will be that they will have a reading ‘buddy’, a teacher who will conference with them about what they are reading and ensure that we focus on developing reading strategies. We all know that Literacy skills are at the heart of learning, and successful students are able to read for meaning, write with clarity and purpose, and participate productively in classroom discussions.
It is important that students have a novel each day for DEAR and if possible it would be wonderful if parents can support the initiative by asking their child what they are reading and even listen to them read aloud.
Learning and Teaching Assistant Principal
2021 marks twenty years of Reconciliation Australia and almost three decades of Australia’s formal reconciliation process.
May 26 was the anniversary of National Sorry Day. National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’.
May 27th was the Reconciliation Assembly where our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students presented to the assembly the theme for Reconciliation Australia 2021: ‘More than a word. Reconciliation takes action’.
Reconciliation is a journey for all Australians - as individuals, families and communities, organisations and importantly as a nation. At the heart of this journey are relationships between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Our students led the assembly indicating we all have a role to play when it comes to reconciliation, and in playing our part we collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories, cultures and futures.
The video presented to the assembly revealed what reconciliation means to members of our school community:
We have also included here the powerpoint presented to the Assembly:
SAVE THE DATE:
Thursday 15th July (Week 1 next term) will be when McAuley Catholic College will commemorate NAIDOC day 2021 with the focus of “Heal Country, heal our nation”. Our AITSL students and staff have been embracing their cultural knowledge and planning ways of celebrating with the school community. An example of this planning will occur in Week 10 when Mr. Bowling and Mr. Bancroft will support some of our young men to create spears as props for the assembly dance.
Parents who would like to attend the assembly are welcome providing COVID restrictions don’t change. Please contact Taylor Jarrett for further details.
Assistant Principal - Learning & Teaching
This week, Year 8 students had a chance to experience the Drama classroom for a full day of workshops. This was an opportunity to get a taste for the subject before elective choices for 2022 and beyond.
We had endless fun with warm up games, team building activities, developing improvisation skills, learning some basic stage combat skills and performing short scripts for each other.
The students had an amazing time and showed some wonderful skills in performance and working together to take some creative risks. We definitely reached our goal of the day to “HAVE FUN”.
Year 9 Food Technology - Buddha Bowls (food selection and health assessment)
Year 10 Future Planning / Subject Selection
Fit for Service Program
We have been lucky to receive an invitation to a police program called Fit4Service. The aim of the program is for young people to gain knowledge, preparations and insight into Government and Armed Services. The program will have approximately 10 young people aged from 15-17 years of age from MCC.
The FIT for service program will be running in Grafton on Tuesdays in Term 3 (12 July –17 September). If you believe your son/daughter may benefit from this opportunity, have them contact me.
From Weeks 2 to 9 this term, a group of Years 9 and 10 students have taken part in the YES Program at TAFE one day per week. The Youth Engagement Strategy (YES) is an initiative designed to create an opportunity for TAFE NSW and schools to work together and deliver an early intervention program aimed to engage young people in learning. The program aims to showcase TAFE NSW as a viable pathway for young people by offering authentic and industry standard education and training experiences.
Courses attended included Maritime, Music, Nursing, Beauty & Nails and Landscaping. Congratulations to those students who participated and thanks to TAFE for giving us this opportunity.
NRL Country Cup - Casino
On Tuesday 1st June, McAuley travelled to Casino for U15’s Country Cup Rugby League. A large squad of keen players were faced with the daunting task of playing Maclean High first. It was a baptism of fire for many young players with Maclean High playing fast and scoring some quick tries. The team improved in the second half with a much better defensive effort, restricting their opposition to a sole try.
Our second game against Woodlawn saw a much-improved effort in defence and then the McAuley attack began to flow. Tries to Mitchell Dick and Koby Culling which were both converted by Kyron Nipperess resulted in a win to McAuley 12-6. Unfortunately, the team did not advance to the next round of the competition, but each player improved throughout the day and represented the College well.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Student Leadership Team has been busy organising various school events.
Green Day was held on Friday 4th June, where students brought in a gold coin donation and wore green mufti clothing to promote a cleaner and greener school environment. The money raised on this day will go towards the SLT’s plans to beautify the school grounds and planting more trees in various areas of the College.
McAuley Fest, on the 8th of June, was a huge success with over 250 attendants and bands such as Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 student bands, teacher bands - Column 8 Conspiracy Theorists, Hennessy Drive and family acts engaging and entertaining parents, students, and teachers. The SLT was the driving force behind the organisation of the night, including ticket sales, COVID management, setup, playing in the bands, and serving food and drinks. Special thanks to one of our School Captains, Jacqui Samms, who was the MC of the night and ran almost all behind the scenes work.
Also, our College Athletics Carnival is being held on Friday the 25th of June,with the SLT at the forefront of the organisation. We hope to see a large attendance from our students and just as much participation in the events!
Young people, Sexting, and the laws you need to know
When we were teenagers, sharing a nude or semi-nude image of ourselves wasn't even a thing, so it's no wonder it is incredibly worrying and stressful for many parents. Research conducted by the Australian Government in 2018 found that 33% of teens aged 12-19 were engaging in some form of sexting activity either with a boyfriend/girlfriend, friend, or other. We are confident in saying that this figure has risen substantially in the last four years since this research was released, and a more recent study is quoting that up to 70% of tweens and 87% of teens have been exposed to nude images online.
The peer pressure on teens today to fit in and share nudes is unprecedented and is also a double-edged sword in most cases. If they share an intimate image, they are often critiqued for their bodies and judged for sharing, and if they don't share, they are also evaluated for being boring and considered not 'worth it' by their peers or crush.
For a lot of young people, sexting is often fun and consensual. Teens often see sexting as part of building relationships and self-confidence and exploring sexuality, bodies, and their sexual identities.
To most adults, sexting is risky, dangerous, and illegal. Yes, this is the case. There are risks, and teenagers can be pressured into sexting, but it isn’t always simple.
Young people DO worry about their images being shared with other people including friends and family members.
Many try to reduce this risk by making images without their face and send only for people they trust, and with whom they have or hope to have a romantic or intimate relationship. But some teenagers do send sexual images to people they’ve never met.
So what can parents of tweens and teens do?
Discuss this topic with any tween or teen child in your house with a device or phone. We experience that kids discuss these topics and share their experiences around this in the schoolyard way before we think they are old enough to discuss it. Early discussions and open conversations ensure that kids feel safe to discuss it at home with you, and a lot of potential problems are cut-off and dealt with quickly. We always suggest a good place to have these conversations is one on one in the car. They are beside you or behind you and it is less intimidating to a teen rather than sitting across a table face to face.Young people want to be able to talk openly and honestly with their parents about sexting. But often this is not possible. If you are a parent, talking with your child is the best way to help them learn about the risks and what to do if something goes wrong.
As parents, we need to talk about what sexting is and what to do if they see or receive a nude or a sexy selfie and the laws around this. What the risks of sexting are. Whether sexting can be part of a respectful relationship. The younger you start talking about this the better.
Here are some questions that can get a conversation going:
Do you know people at school who’ve sent or received nude?
Do they do it for fun or to flirt?
Was it their idea to send the photo, or did someone persuade them to?
What do you know about people sharing sexual images of someone to get revenge?
Do you have any questions about things you’ve heard?
Do you understand the law?
If your child has questions about sexting, try to answer them as honestly and openly as you can. If you have concerns about the risks of sexting, you could explain your concerns and why you’d prefer your child didn’t send sexts.
Once you’ve started talking about sexting with your child, you might find talking gets easier the more you do it.
Get familiar with the law
Make sure your child knows the legalities and laws around sharing intimate images. Please get to know the state legislation and discuss it with your child. For example, even sharing personal photos between two similarly aged children is illegal in all states in Australia until sixteen years old. (or older in some states).
Discuss and explain
Even private messages or messages that seemingly disappear are not private. Screenshots, screen recordings, and forwarding images can happen with a couple of taps on a smartphone. Once an intimate image is shared with someone, there is no way to control what happens to the image once it's sent. Discuss with them how it might make them feel if a photo of theirs was shared? Empower them to understand that there are laws to protect them from image-based abuse and sextortion should this happen to them. Encourage teens to think about what could happen if they broke up or fell out with someone who had sexual images of them. For example, that person might share sexual images to get revenge. You could also explain that once images are on the internet they can be very difficult to remove. It’s also important to help your child understand the legal consequences of sexting and image-based abuse.
Come up with a plan together
Talk about what they can do or say if they are asked for a nude or have a nude sent to them. By helping them plan for the eventuality of being asked, they can make an informed choice and decision instead of acting under the pressure of the situation.
Explain that sexting is sexual activity. All sexual acts – including sexting – need consent from a partner. (they cannot legally consent under 16yrs). Breaching consent by sharing a sext isn’t respectful or OK. It’s also not OK to share other people’s sexts or to send a nude to someone who hasn’t asked for one. It’s important for teens to know that they have a right to say ‘no’. For example, ‘It’s never OK for someone to pressure you into doing anything sexual, including sending sexual photos of yourself’. It’s also a good idea for teens to practise saying no by just saying, ‘No, I don’t send nudes’.
If young people have seen sexting photos of another teen they might feel guilty, ashamed, and uncomfortable about doing ordinary things like going to school or socialising. The situation can be very humiliating, and their reputation may have been damaged.
It can also harm friendships and social network.
Sexting can expose them to bullying or cyberbullying. For example, when people share images, they might also post nasty comments, attack their reputation, call them names, ask for more images or make other inappropriate demands. Often girls get more of this kind of bullying and criticism than boys. This is because some people apply different standards to girls and boys. This situation can lead to mental health issues like depression and self-harm in extreme cases.
As scary as the nude and sexting culture is, the reality is that our young people are dealing with it regularly. But as with any issue, education and empowerment is the key to resilience!
For more tips and hints, check out our Safe on Social Toolkit. www.safeonsocialtoolkit.com
The Laws you need to know about
This section cannot be summarised. It is essential that parents read the relevant state law and gain an understanding of the extent of the law that a sexting teen may get themselves into. Most states rely on the discretion of police for single incidents, but any hint of a threat or element of intimidation may bring down the full weight of the law on a teen. These incidents are the one's police will and do prosecute under.
A position on the sex offender’s registry is not something any community would wish upon a teen, yet many are unaware of the legal charges available to victims of this kind of harassment.
It has become increasingly simple for Australian children to access pornographic material online. So easy, that recent figures show that the age a child is exposed to porn in Australia has dropped to four years old. It is a problem being debated at a State and Federal level across the country.
There are legal ramifications for teens in some circumstances, and parents need a stern warning they cannot simply plead ignorance about both the social media their children use, and their own abilities to navigate and understand the content their children are accessing. It is shockingly easy for children to come across pornography online which means parents must take an interest in their child’s life online.
Of additional concern is that a number of teenagers are, under the law – creating and distributing material that can be classified as child exploitation material on a regular basis. Sexting has some unexpected legal consequences that parents and many teens are simply not aware of, and this is aside from the fact that over 90% of all sexting images will end up on other social media sites.
Compounding the problem in Australia is the disparity between Federal and State laws.
This makes it all the more important that an awareness of what our laws are, and when they apply is taught to both parents and their children.
Outlined below are the current national and state positions on these matters. It can be confusing when determining which law applies in which circumstances.
Federal law may apply with the permission of the Attorney General in most states or depending on the exact nature of the incident that occurred, it must be remembered that this law takes precedent over the law in each state.
Generally speaking, in the eyes of Australian law, it is not illegal for someone under the age of 18 to view pornography personally and in private.
(Such videos found online may be restricted by ACMA (Australian Communication and Media Authority). This body focuses on requesting the content be removed that breaches ratings legalities, but does not regulate viewers itself.)
In certain circumstances there are exceptions, and this is where some teens can be in breach of the law.
- When the material is classified as child exploitation/abuse/pornography – nude and sexual images of an individual under the age of 18.
- When pornographic material is sent to other people who are under 18.
- When pornographic material is shown to others under 18. This applies to your home as well.
- When pornography is sold to someone under 18.
- When an individual attends a showing of an 18+ film when they are under 18+.
- When a school’s enrolment policy, ICT use policy, Wi-Fi or free server has specific rules about content that can be accessed and pornography is accessed against these standards.
- Various pornographic sites such as PornHub etc have the age requirements specifically listed. By answering the initial question that will appear on the sites around age restrictions with a lie, an individual is breaching the Terms and Conditions of the website. The UK has recently introduced a required credit card age verification system for those accessing porn sites with 18+ content. When images viewed cross the line into child exploitation material the rules change.
Child exploitation material is defined as a photo, video, or image that shows a person under 18 engaging in sexual activity or being depicted in a sexual manner or context (showing private parts included). This includes cartoons and individuals masquerading as under 18’s. Nudity and suggestive photos and videos are included, and the burden of proof must be to what a reasonable person finds offensive.
Making, sending, asking for, sharing, and possessing child pornography are all offences under the law – including pictures of someone you know or making pictures of yourself to send to another person.
Currently, Federal Child pornography laws found in the Criminal Code 1995 (Cth) state that it is illegal to take, share, keep and distribute images of a sexual nature (AND this includes the individual if they are sending images of themselves) if the person involved is under 18, by phone or online.
The most relevant section is s474.19 – Using a carriage service for child pornography material. The offence lists the following criteria to prove guilt in an individual.
An offence is recorded if a person:
Accesses material or causes material to be transmitted to himself/herself
Transmits, makes available, publishes, distributes, advertises or promotes said material
Asks for material.
The above behaviours fit into this crime definition when the person performs any of these above behaviours using a carriage service (phone, internet) and when the material is classified as child pornography.
The charge for any of the listed offenses can be up to 15 years jail, and a listing on the sex offenders register or NCOS - National Child Offender System.
It is theoretically possible for a child or a young adult to be charged under this Commonwealth offence, as it applies to children under the age of 18 years or those who appear to be under 18 years of age.
The welcome qualifier is that the Attorney General must first consent for the prosecution to continue against someone under the age of 18 at the request of the police in each state.
This is the Federal position. Using the internet and a mobile phone for pornography can make things a Federal jurisdictional matter.
Across Australian States and Territories, there have been variances to their Criminal Codes to reflect the sexting behaviour of teens. This has been done in an effort not to criminalise the more benign incidents.
It is always a criminal act across the country to record or photograph any individual without their consent whilst performing private actions (sex, undressing, going to the bathroom, bathing). The police consistently take a very dim view of individuals possessing underage images who try to use these for the purposes of harassment, or as a threat – this includes those that stem from teens sexting.
Each state has varied laws. They are not consistent across the country. Depending on which state you are in, a different set of laws will apply with different consequences. But in all circumstances, Federal law is applicable – this makes sexting for all individuals under 18 a crime, and they cannot consent legally to this activity.
NSW - While the age of consent in NSW is 16+ - for both sex and sexting, sexting is still classified as a crime when it involves individuals under the age of 18.
Unless the parties involved are of a similar age. This recent change to the law offers a defence for teens charged in NSW – called the ‘similar age defence”.
It is important to note that should sexting be used to harass an individual in any way, it will be considered a crime. A similar position to the Federal law applies. Charges may be laid under the committing an indecent act facet of the law, especially if the persons involved have a disparity in age greater than 2 years.
In changes made to child pornography laws in December 2018, there are two new things to consider:
The law, which came into effect in New South Wales in December 2018 — provides a legal exception for children under 18 taking, sharing, or keeping nude photographs of themselves and others, particularly if the sexting is consensual and parties are within a similar age of each other.
The changes will reduce the risk that children engaging in “normal sexual development and experimentation among teenagers” becoming criminalised, the Government said.
The laws also provide a “similar age” defence for consensual sex between children where both are at least 14 years old, and when the age gap between them is less than two years.
The new laws are among a raft of changes introduced across the state in the wake of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
Attorney-General Mark Speakman said the reforms were “putting the safety of children front and centre and fixing shortcomings in the law” identified by the royal commission.
Mr Speakman said from 1st December 2018, it would be an offence to groom the parent or carer of a child for sexual purposes.
“The changes recognise sexual predators sometimes provide adults with gifts, money and other benefits as a way of cultivating their trust and gaining access to their children,” Mr Speakman said.
"In many cases the police, who may act without the permission of the Attorney General, can charge younger offenders with less serious offences than child pornography. Warnings, cautions, youth justice conferencing, deferring to a school and parents are often solutions provided".
Should sexting cross the line into harassment, including threats to distribute or have any element of sexploitation, it is deemed image-based abuse. it is highly likely the police will choose to pursue a more serious course of action.
NB - if sexting occurs between a teen in NSW and a teens in QLD ( or any other interstate conversations) – federal laws will apply and these currently lack the similar age defence.
For further information
Anti-Discrimination Act 1997 (NSW)
Child Protection (Offenders Registration) Act 2000 (NSW)
Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)
Criminal Code 1995 (Cth)
Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
PRAYING WITH MUSIC
- We especially pray for times when nothing is going our way. May God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, courage to change the things we can, and wisdom to know the difference - Take This Slowly (The Gray Havens)
- Veni, Sancte Spiritus, reple tuorum corda fidelium, et tui amoris in eis ignem accende. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Thy love. Veni Sancte Spiritus (Traditional Gregorian Chant)