News and Events

18 Oct

Learn to Row Camp

On 5 Oct, 26 girls in the rowing squad headed up to Whanganui and settled into the Army Camp at Languards Bluff. The camp is located next to the airport and whilst pretty basic, it served its purpose and provided a good base for the week. On the first day the girls unpacked the boat trailer and set up the boats for an afternoon row. Unfortunately the wind picked up so the girls didn’t get out on the water and instead put on their running shoes and ran 8km from Top Ten (where our boats were kept) to Union boat club.  

Fortunately the water conditions were better the next day and the girls were able to train for two 3 hr sessions. During both sessions the training was conducted in pouring rain. The girls, whilst soaking wet, showed great character in adverse conditions and trained hard.


Overhead conditions during the next couple days provided largely clear skies for the girls to train in, allowing them to hone their newly acquired rowing skills. The camp culminated with a race day on Sunday morning. This session saw the girls race each other to bring out the competitive spirit and to simulate a regatta scenario in preparation for upcoming Regattas. It was a great way to finish the camp with close racing, demonstrating just how far the girls have come in such a short time.

Mr G Golding
St Mary’s College Rowing Manager

18 Oct
13 Oct

Dunsheath Shield Speech Competition

The annual Dunsheath Shield Speech Competition for junior public speakers is a competitive and inspiring opportunity for Year 9 and 10 students to express their voice.  Catherine Ramoo represented St Mary’s College with an entertaining and thoughtful speech on the life lessons found in stories, in particular Disney films.  Amongst some remarkable speeches, Catherine’s speech was very well received and she was placed third.

Ms Gaylene Waldren
English Teacher

13 Oct
13 Oct

ICAS Results

This year, 14 students took part in the ICAS English competition. This is a prestigious competition with over one million student entries being accepted from over 6,300 schools in Australia and New Zealand annually. In addition, students from over 20 countries including Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa and the USA participate in ICAS each year.

Participation: Julia Mason

Merit: Angeline Chew, Sharon Siby, Daphney Rodrigues

Credit: Emma Jenkins, Kai Mei Davidson-Khor, Sarah Downs, Niamh Judd, Samantha Samaniego, Ciara Shannon

Distinction: Bobo Wood, Naomi Pledger

High Distinction (both achieving in the top 1% of New Zealand participants): Julia English, Zita Keller

The students have achieved excellent results this year and the English department would like to congratulate the students on their fantastic efforts and achievements.

Lucy Stevenson
Teacher in Charge ICAS

23 Sep

Happy Mercy Day!

Happy Mercy Day!

In Mercy, we touch the hearts of those who are in misery

In Mercy we are touched by them and feel their strength and courage

In Mercy we heal the pain of those who are in sorrow

In Mercy we are healed by them and we see the face of hope

The beautiful words of this song, The Circle of Mercy, which has become the song that unites Mercy work internationally, are fitting words to reflect on this very special day for St Mary’s College as we celebrate together the essence of who we are a community. Today we celebrate our Mercy College, our Mercy community and we join in spirit with our sister schools throughout New Zealand – Villa Maria College in Christchurch; St Catherine’s College in Wellington; Carmel College, St Mary’s College Ponsonby and McAuley College in Auckland. As we do so, let us acknowledge all those who are the reason for why we exist in the first place – the poor, the sick, the homeless, the powerless ones, particularly women and children, those with little voice of their own – theirs is a presence within and alongside of us today – a powerful presence whose call we must continue to respond to, to reach out in service to. As we celebrate together this day let us always remember that we are called to be aroha in action to one another and to those whose voices we hear in our hearts.

I wish you all a very happy Mercy day and hope that the holiday time will be a time for families to spend some special time together.


23 Sep

The Map to Mercy

Last December, Pope Francis began the Holy Year of Mercy, inviting us all to open wide the doors of our hearts. For this, our school theme for 2016 is “Be the Face of Mercy”. To help us apply this theme, the leadership team has constructed fortnightly reflections, which we call “The Map to Mercy”. I would like to share with you our 12th map to Mercy for the year:

This Map-to-Mercy is that indifference is the obstacle to mercy: mercy’s first step is to fight indifference.

Indifference “makes our hearts grow cold”. It blocks the channels of mercy just like blood clots in the veins. Being indifferent blocks the channel of God’s love and mercy that He wants to radiate through each one of us. We cannot do charitable works of mercy if our hearts are unmoved.

Pope Francis is inviting everyone to open their hearts to God and to overcome a “globalization of indifference”. Being indifferent causes individuals and communities to withdraw into themselves, closing their doors and their hearts. The Pope teaches us to pray for a heart that becomes, “merciful, attentive and generous, a heart which is not closed, indifferent or prey to the globalization of indifference.” St Paul teaches us ““If one member suffers, all suffer together”.

This ties in with the corporal work of mercy: “shelter the homeless”. It is very easy for us to be indifferent to people on the streets around us because it is easier to ignore them and “follow the crowd”. Being indifferent means that we do not care and sometimes we chose not to care because it takes less effort – it is the simple way out. However, sometimes what’s easy isn’t necessarily what’s right and in the words of Dumbledore: “there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”

Indifference will grow in us if we choose to close ourselves off from the world and focus only on our own comfort, pleasure and problems without looking up to see if we can help someone in need.  Let’s try to put others first and to be more aware of our surroundings: at school, at home, and on the street.

21 Sep

Pilgrimage to Parliament for the Homeless

On Tuesday afternoon St Mary’s College students and staff joined with the Sisters of Mercy

in a response to the ‘Call to Action’ during the ‘Year of Mercy’. Our witness at Parliament

was a place to stand together to express our hope as a people of Mercy, that shelter and

protection will be provided for all. Prayer, waiata and storytelling were shared. This was a

great opportunity to show support for those in need, as at St Mary’s College we reflect

Jesus’ Mercy in the Gospels, and seek to live out these values of respect, compassion,

justice, and concern for those who are vulnerable.

Ms Patricia Lynch
Assistant Director of Religious Studies

20 Sep

Mathswell 2016

This year St Mary’s College entered two teams for the Mathswell competition, one Year 10 team and one Year 9 team. The girls were very enthusiastic and worked hard throughout the year, giving up many lunchtimes to practise complex mathematical problems in preparation for the big night. This year’s competition was run over two rounds. The top ten teams competed for the Mathswell Cup in the second round while all other teams competed for the Mathswell Plate. Both of our teams were placed in the top ten after the first round and thus competed for the Mathswell cup in round two. Although we did not win the Cup, our Year 10 team were placed eighth overall the Year 9 team were placed tenth. This is an excellent result and we look forward to continuing to build on this success next year.

The year 10 team was made up of the following students: Samantha Samaniego, Sarah Downs, Catherine Donnelly, Shruti Raja, Ciara Shannon, Aria Ngarimu

The year 9 team: Claire Chan, Gina Dao-McLay, Xyryll Gayagoy, Lauren Mitchell, Catherine Ramoo, Bobo Wood. Reserve; Anaiya Bhola

Congratulations girls and well done for working so hard to compete in this challenging competition.

Mrs Charmaine Izaz
HOD Mathematics