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Welcome back to the 2023 academic year. Whether you were able to get away for a holiday, or had a staycation, I hope all our families had a safe, happy and holy Christmas period and that your daughters return to school rested and refreshed. I want to add a special welcome to our new Year 7 families and also the many families whose daughters have joined us in other years throughout the College.

There was much to celebrate just before Christmas with the release of very pleasing HSC results, confirming our place in the Top 100 schools in NSW and amongst the best of the girls' schools. We congratulate once again the Class of 2022.

I am very excited to welcome our new staff, and they are introduced in Mrs Keogh’s message below. We have recruited highly qualified and experienced staff for some key leadership positions. Although there is a genuine teacher shortage in NSW, we have been able to engage outstanding additional teaching staff to support the enrolment growth of the College.  

The conversion of the Mount St Benedict Centre to administration and classroom spaces will conclude this term. Despite some delays due to Sydney’s wet weather last year and the ongoing supply chain shortages, we are confident we will be able to move in at the beginning of Term Two. We are excited about using this historic building and the adjoining land, including new car parking spaces.

I look forward to seeing as many parents as possible at functions this year. COVID precautions notwithstanding, our intention is a full “return to normal” in all our activities, and I hope to see you at many of them.

Michael Hanratty
College Principal


Welcome to a new year at Bennies. I hope you and your families had a lovely Christmas and New Year, with a chance to enjoy time with family and friends and maybe even get away for a break. A warm welcome to all the new families and staff commencing at the College this year. I know you will feel very welcomed by our whole school community.

A huge congratulations to our outgoing Year 12 HSC class for their wonderful achievements after the disrupted last couple of years of schooling. Their success is a testament to their resilience and determination. We look forward to hearing about their future pathways as they move into their lives beyond the red brick wall.

Schools are dynamic places, and our staffing has been very stable over many years. At the end of 2022, we had a small number of staff retire or accept promotions in other schools. We are also in a period of growth and as a result have been able to recruit for some additional staff for 2023. We have been fortunate to employ outstanding educators for roles across the College and we are excited to welcome the following new staff as they commence with us at the start of the year. 





Mrs Alison Dean – Head of Department (0.6)

Mrs Belinda Jack


Mr David Van Der Meer

New role


Mrs Sonal Kumar

New role


Miss Nura Azahar

Ms Alexis Abagi

CAPA – Dance

Miss Olivia Callaghan (0.4)

Ms Jacqui Saunders (on leave)


Ms Rebecca Knox

Mr Kaan Ozserim




Ms Jesusa Mercado– Assistant Head of Department

Mrs Daniela McGrath (0.7)

Ms Shani Temple (0.8)

Mrs Michelle Elsley (TAS Assistant -Full-time)

Ms Betty Nguyen



Mrs Linda Pollock


Ms Stephany Caamano

Mrs Lisa Young (on leave)


Ms Dianne Reid (0.2)

Mrs Lucy Elgood (on leave)

Pathways and Partnership Resource Teacher

Ms Louise Weihen (0.6)

Mrs Lucy Elgood (on leave)

Leader of Quality and Compliance

Ms Cindy Luckman

Mr Ian Hird

Deputy Business Manager

Ms Shannon Brass

Ms Sam Calvert

HR Officer

Ms Mel French

Mrs Rochelle Favaloro (new MSB role)

Existing staff in new roles in 2023:

Cocurricular Admin Officer (temp 2023)

Mrs Nicky Steptoe

Ms Kathryn Dalla Fontana

Acting Head of House – Terracina (Term one)

Mrs Melina Moyes

Mrs Julie Burke (on leave Term One)

Acting Assistant Head of House – Monte Cassino  (Term one)

Mr Lawrence Ku

Mrs Melina Moyes (Acting HOH)

Acting Assistant Head of House – Subiaco (2023)

Ms Cara Jones

Ms Elle Clarke (new MSB role)

Student Experience Project

Mr Greg Hume

New role

Assistant Head of English

Ms Elle Clarke

Mrs Kelly Heaton (on leave)

Should you have any concerns as the year progresses, please do not hesitate to contact with the College staff. We seek to partner with you in your daughter’s education. I encourage you to contact your daughter’s Homeroom Mentor as the first point of contact for any wellbeing matter or the class teacher for a subject-related matter by telephone or email. 

If there is any way that I can be of assistance to you throughout the year, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone or email.

Karen Keogh
Deputy Principal


During 2023, our College community will focus on the Benedictine value of Pax which is one of the three core values which guide our community in our Catholic, Benedictine tradition. The other two values are Hospitality and Stewardship. The focus on Pax will enable us to reflect seriously on the way we build a culture of peace, treating each person with dignity and respect, celebrating the diversity of our community, and building harmony through shared experiences of learning. We look forward to creating a welcome space for all the members of our community, especially our new students and staff, as they bring new gifts to enrich our community.

Our liturgical commencement of the College year is scheduled to be celebrated on Friday 3 February at 9am in the College Hall. We look forward to welcoming Fr Stephen Wayoyi AJ as Presider on this occasion, and we warmly invite parents to join us if they are able to do so. This liturgy will include a welcome and blessing for all our new students and staff, who will each be presented with a medal of St Benedict as they begin our time with us.

On 22 February, we will mark solemnity of Ash Wednesday to begin the Season of Lent. On Ash Wednesday, our students will share in a liturgical commemoration; however, we are not able to offer Eucharist on this day. Accordingly, we encourage families to take the opportunity of sharing Eucharist in their local parish communities.

During the Season of Lent, we will be running a number of activities to support the Project Compassion Appeal of Caritas Australia. We look forward to the generosity of our students and their families in supporting disadvantaged communities around the world through this appeal.

Each edition of the College newsletter will contain information about upcoming events and initiatives that we trust will provide challenging and enriching experiences for all members of our community.

Dr Paul Lentern
Dean of Mission

Welcome. I trust you have had a refreshing and joyous break and enjoyed some gorgeous weather with family and friends. We are eager to enjoy 2023 as our first full year of undisturbed learning since 2019. We are keen to achieve even greater things! 

We are excited to have you as a part of our community and look forward to working together to provide your child with a successful and rewarding educational experience. We understand that you are your child's first and most important teacher, and we value your partnership in their learning journey. We encourage you to stay involved, communicate with us regularly and be a part of the College community.

We will continue with our focus on literacy across the curriculum. Literacy skills are essential for success in all academic subjects and life beyond school. This includes the ability to read and comprehend written text, as well as a student's ability to express themselves through writing. Strong literacy skills allow students to analyse complex ideas, evaluate arguments and evidence, and make informed decisions. In a world where access to information is increasingly digital, literacy also includes digital literacy – the ability to find, evaluate, and use information from digital sources. Already this year we have been amazed at the release of ChatGPT a computer program that uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to understand and respond to questions, like a real time conversation. Teachers have been exploring all of the exciting possibilities of this program! You might like to try it out at home https://chatgpt.pro/  

The Heads of Department are listed below. Please note if you have any academic concerns about your daughter's class, the first person to contact is the classroom teacher. The best way to contact them is direct via email.





Mrs Sandra Matthews


Deputy Dean of Learning Science (Curriculum)

Mrs Lynette Butler


Head of Learning Support

Mrs Rondalyn Cooksey


Head of Mathematics

Mr Samuel Napper


Head of PDHPE

Mrs Lisa Dean


Head of Science

Mr Adrian Hicks


Head of Religious Education

Mrs Rachel Palgan


Head of English

Ms Natalie Hutchinson


Head of TAS

Mrs Alison Dean


Head of Languages

Ms Rebecca Shiels


Head of Library

Mrs Kristy Scott


Head of CAPA

Mr Greg Hume


Head of HSIE

Corinna Bailey
Dean of Learning Science and Innovation


On behalf of the College Wellbeing Team, I warmly welcome all students and families to the 2023 school year. I hope you have had a refreshing break and are ready for the challenging and enriching year ahead. We extend a special welcome to all our new students! We look forward to getting to know you and helping you settle into your new school.

If you have any concerns about your daughter’s wellbeing or adjustment to the new school year, please don’t hesitate to contact her Head of House by telephoning 9980 0444 or emailing. If you would like to discuss the possibility of your daughter seeing one of our College Counsellors, please speak with her Head of House about a referral.

Changes to the Wellbeing Team in Term One

  • We welcome Mrs Katherine Stewart, Head of Terracina, back from her leave in Term Four.
  • Mrs Julie Burke, Head of Terracina, will be on leave for Term One.
  • We welcome Mrs Melina Moyes to the role of Acting Head of Terracina in Term One.
  • Ms Cara Jones will take on the role of Assistant Head of Subiaco.
  • Mr Lawrence Ku will be the Acting Assistant of Monte Cassino in Term One.
  • Miss Cassandra Merhab, Student Leadership Coordinator, has changed her name to Mrs Silva.


Head of House



Mrs Rebecca Stooke



Mrs Patricia Gallacher


Monte Cassino

Ms Gabrielle Fonteyne



Mr Colin O’Donnell


New Norcia

Ms Nicola Murray



Mrs Corinne Maclou



Mrs Katherine Stewart



Mrs Melina Moyes
(Acting Term One)


In 2023 our Assistant Heads of House will continue to provide additional support to the Heads of House and the students and families in each House.


Assistant Head of House



Mrs Andrea Harney



Ms Emma Lupis


Monte Cassino

Mr Lawrence Ku (acting Term One)



Mrs Angela O’Sullivan


New Norcia

Mrs Cassandra Silva



Ms Kristina Vukovic



Ms Cara Jones



Mrs Therese Brookton




Focus on Wellbeing at School

Last year all Bennies staff learned about the science of Positive Education in partnership with Daniela Falecki from Teacher Wellbeing. In 2023, we are continuing this work and will be launching the MSB Wellbeing and Learning model. Students will continue with fortnightly Wellbeing Workshops (formerly known as PC) to support their wellbeing literacy and social emotional skills. We know that this strengthens their ability to manage relationships and enhances successful learning.

As part of our commitment to the mental health of each Bennies student, we have subscribed to “Flourishing at School”. Students will take part in an online survey that assesses the degree to which they have developed the “pillars” of good mental health.

You can find out more information about the platform (including data privacy and security information) on the Flourishing at School website: https://www.flourishingatschool.com/info-parents

We anticipate that all students will take part in the online survey. If, for any reason, you wish your daughter to be excluded from participation, please email her Head of House prior to the commencement of term.

With best wishes for the year ahead.


Jen Jarrett
Dean of Student Services


Welcome to 2023! We are very excited to welcome back our students and in particular I’d like to warmly welcome our new students and families to the MSB community.

This year, we look forward to continuing to provide an exceptional cocurricular program that will enrich our student's learning experience at Bennies. As per our development model, we strive to offer something for everyone and most importantly, ensure that the learning that takes place is purposeful and enjoyable. We are committed to integrating with all aspects of College life so that our students have a holistic learning experience at Bennies and beyond.

When students return, the Cocurricular Team will begin opening registrations for many of our programs, including but not limited to Dance, Music, Debating and Sport. As such, students are reminded to keep an eye out for emails that will include registration details that will be required to be completed by students and their parents/caregivers.

This year, we will build upon our existing program and continue to make changes catering to our student's needs. We intend to offer some new experiences as we continue to grow the program. In 2022, we had just under 2000 individual registrations in a cocurricular activity, indicating that most students chose to participate in at least one, if not more activities throughout the year. It is this culture of participation that makes Bennies so special and unique. With that said, I strongly encourage everyone to get involved this year to make it the best year yet. Try something new, challenge yourself, meet some new friends and have fun while doing it!

Mrs Christina He
Leader of Cocurricular


Parent Handbook

Click here to view the Parent Handbook, which contains important information about the College.






What if my daughter is unwell, has COVID or is unable to attend school?

  1. If your daughter cannot attend school for any reason, including feeling unwell or displaying any cold and flu symptoms (including sore throat, cough, headache, runny nose, lethargy or shortness of breath), please send an SMS to the College's Absentee Line on 0407 461 087 to report a student absence.
    Please do not send your daughter to school if unwell. If a student attends school while unwell, including displaying any cold and flu symptoms, parents will be contacted to collect their daughter from school.
  2. If your daughter has COVID, please send an SMS to the College's Absentee Line on 0407 461 087 to report a student absence and the date of likely return to school, and then send an email to covid@msb.nsw.edu.au to advise:

    - your daughter's name
    - year group
    - date of first positive PCR or RAHT test

    The student can return to school once symptom-free (no additional RAHT testing is required).
  3. If a student is absent from school, they may access schoolwork, if well enough, through their BenniesNet class pages. If additional support is required, a student should follow up with their Classroom Teacher.

Bennies Café and Online Ordering

It is recommended to place orders through Flexischools (families must set up a Flexischools account). 

Click here to see the 2023 Bennies Cafe Menu.

Open Day 

Save the Date - Bennies is holding our annual Open Day on Sunday 5 March from 10.00am - 2.00pm. 

Tell your friends with daughters currently in Year 5 that enrolments for Year 7 2025 are now open.  Prospective families can register to attend: https://enquiry.msb.nsw.edu.au/events, and lodge an online Expression of Interest to reserve your daughter's position on our database.


Mount St Benedict College is well serviced by buses which drop and pick up students in Beecroft Road before the start and at the end of the College day. Parents should make their own enquiries to TRANSPORT INFOLINE if train or bus travel is required.

Students must have a valid Opal Card to travel on school buses and they are required to tap on and off both morning and afternoon. The School OPAL card gives eligible students free or discounted travel between home and school, using the train, bus and ferry services you nominate in your application. For further information go to transportnsw.info/school-students

Bennies Private Bus Services

All Bennies Private Bus Services will be operating from Wednesday 1 February.
Please note:

Bennies North Shore Service (BB3)

Paid Private Bus Service
Operating from Wednesday 1 February.
Bus stops: South Turramurra, West Pymble, Pymble, Turramurra, Warrawee, Wahroonga, Hornsby and Thornleigh
Link to bus route (after opening the Google map, double click on the bus stop to see photos of the bus stop location)

Bennies North West Service (BB2)
Paid Private Bus Service
Operating from Wednesday 1 February.
Bus stops: Rouse Hill, Beaumont Hills, North Kellyville, Kellyville and Castle Hill
Link to bus route (after opening the Google map, double click on the bus stop to see photos of the bus stop location)

Bennies Ryde Region Service (BB1)
Paid Private Bus Service
Operating from Wednesday 1 February.
Bus stops: Ermington, West Ryde, Putney, Ryde, North Ryde, Marsfield and Epping
Link to bus route (after opening the Google map, double click on the bus stop to see photos of the bus stop location)

Bennies Metro Service
Free Private Bus Service
No need to register for this service
All MSB students are welcome to use this service
Currently operating
Bus stops: Shuttle between College and Cherrybrook Metro Station each school day. 7.15am, 7.45am and 8.15am (the last shuttle departs from Cherrybrook Metro at 8.15am). 3.20pm, 4.00pm, 4.45pm and 5.15pm (the last two shuttles depart from the College to time with Cocurricular activities).

On Thursday mornings (Week B) Bennies Time 7:15am, 7:45am, 8:15am, 8:45am and 9:15am (the last shuttle on this day departs from Cherrybrook Metro at 9:15am).

Please email transport@msb.nsw.edu.au should you have any queries relating to the MSB Private Bus Services.

To reserve a seat on a Bennies Private Bus Service, complete the online form.

Have you moved or changed your phone number? 

Please update your change of contact details here. If you have moved and your daughter catches public transport, click here for transport and Opal Card information.

Absentee Procedure 

If a student is absent and will not be attending school on that day, a text message needs to be sent to 0407 461 087 notifying the school of this with a reason.

College Communication 

To keep up to date with what's happening at the College, please like our Facebook page here, follow our Instagram page here and follow Twitter here and read the College Newsletter and Bennies Updates, which are delivered via email each Friday afternoon.

College Term Dates

Term 1Start End
Years 7,11,12Wednesday 1 FebruaryWednesday 5 April
Years 8, 9,10Thursday 2 FebruaryWednesday 5 April
Term 2Wednesday 26 AprilFriday 23 June
  Friday 9 June - Pupil Free Day
  Monday 12 June - King's Birthday Public Holiday
Term 3Tuesday 18 JulyFriday 22 September
Term 4Monday 9 OctoberWednesday 6 December


From the Fees Desk 

Annual Fees Statements for 2023 have been emailed to all families. Term One fees are due Friday 10 February.

If the College holds a Direct Debit Authority to deduct payments automatically from your bank account or credit card, payments will be processed Friday 10 February for weekly, fortnight B and term payments. Fortnight A payments will commence Friday 17 February. Monthly payments will commence Friday 17 February.

Term Two payments are due 28 April 2023.
Term Three payments are due 21 July 2023.
Term Four payments are due 13 October 2023.

Direct Debit Authorities remain in force until the College receives notification in writing. New authorities can be downloaded from the College website. Please click here. Please email to fees@msb.nsw.edu.au

If you wish to confirm your payment arrangements or require a copy of your 2023 statement, please contact Fiona Barnett on 9980 0445 or fees@msb.nsw.edu.au

Extended Fee Payment Option – Edstart

Families in need of an extended payment plan beyond the current school year may consider contacting Edstart on  https://edstart.com.au/msb

Disclaimer: Mount St Benedict College does not provide any recommendations, brokering, or advice services.  We do not receive referral fees, commissions, or other remuneration from this company.


College Shop

The College Shop is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday during Term Time between 8.00am-12.00pm and 1.00pm-4.00pm, and is located near the Hall Courtyard.

Click here to see the 2023 College shop Price list.

What's Happening at Bennies

Years 7, 11, 12 Students Return

Wednesday 1 February

Years 8, 9, 10 Students Return

Thursday 2 February

Opening College Eucharist

Friday 3 February

Year 7 Camp

Tuesday 7 February - Thursday 9 February

College Assembly - HSC High Achievers*

Tuesday 7 February

Year 8 Camp

Wednesday 8 February - Friday 10 February

The Duke of Edinburgh's Award Information Evening for Year 9

Thursday 16 February

Swimming Carnival                             

Monday 27 February

Ash Wednesday

Wednesday 22 February

ACER Scholarship Exam

Saturday 25 February

Caritas Trek

Friday 3 March

 Open Day

Sunday 5 March

Caritas Week

Monday 6 March - Friday 10 March

International Women’s Day Breakfast – Year 12 and Mothers      

Wednesday 8 March

College Assembly* – Beyond Bennies International Women’s Day
(Years 10-12) 

Wednesday 8 March

Year 10 Residential Experience

Monday 20 March - Wednesday 22 March

College Assembly* - Cocurricular

 Tuesday 21 March

Easter Liturgy
End of Term 1

Wednesday 5 April



*College Assemblies For Parents  

In 2023 the College will be livestreaming College Assemblies for the MSB parent community at 9:40-10:45am on the specified dates in the schedule above. The live stream link is here.



  • Students should arrive at the Hildegard Centre Foyer between 8.00am and 8:15am on Wednesday 1 February. Parents are welcome to join their daughters in the Hildegard Centre before school and watch the Guard of Honour at 8.30am.
  • At the end of the school day at 3:15pm, please have a plan in place for your daughter to travel home safely. In particular, if you are meeting at a College gate, please agree this in advance - either the Beecroft Road or Hull Road gates.
  • Parking: There is no parking available on College grounds [7.30am - 4.00pm]. Parking suggestions include the top of Beecroft Road adjacent to Observatory Park, or Loftus Road and Wilson Road on the opposite side of Pennant Hills Road, where the College can be accessed via the overhead pedestrian bridge. A College map is available for your convenience, as well as parking options (shown in pink).
  • Bennies Private Buses will resume from Wednesday 1 February.
  • Your daughter might like to catch the free Bennies Shuttle Service to Cherrybrook Metro in the afternoon - and be collected from there. This bus leaves from Gate D and staff can direct students where to go to access this service.

 Arrangements for the first two days of school 




Wednesday 1 February 

Students to meet on the Hildegard Centre Deck, parents are welcome.

NO CLASSES on this day.

Morning tea muffin, BBQ lunch and drink will be provided on this day.

School buses, Bennies Private Bus and Bennies Cherrybrook Metro Shuttle will be running.

  • Year 7 to walk through the Guard of Honour
  • Allocation of diaries, timetable, lockers, house caps and badges
  • Collection of uniforms if awaiting items
  • Getting to know you activities
  • Meeting Peer Leaders
  • Meeting Heads of House
  • Meet in Homerooms
  • Tour of College
  • Cocurricular Information
  • Camp Information  
  • Laptop
  • Summer uniform (no blazer required)
  • Pencil case with colouring pencils
  • Recess (BBQ lunch is provided)
  • Drink bottle
  • School bag
  • College hat

Thursday 2 February 

Arrive at the College by 8:25am.

Unpack bags at lockers and meet in the Hall for an 8:35am start. 

Year 7 Photo Day
Students will have Photo ID pictures taken on the day. Blazers are not required.


  • Laptop
  • Summer uniform, hair tidy
    (no blazer required)
  • Recess
  • Lunch
  • Drink bottle
  • School bag
  • College hat

Briohny Hickey
Deputy Dean of Students




A couple of “Need to Know” items for Years 11 and 12 over the next two weeks.

The ELEVATE study program will happen again for Year s11 and 12 on Wednesday 1 February. This is an annual event and is the culmination of the study skills program which now runs throughout the College. ELEVATE deliver high quality tailored programs for the specific needs of senior students. The feedback and engagement from past year groups has been very positive. These sessions will be held across a number of classrooms with a trained presenter. A College staff member will also be in the room for these sessions. 

Please make sure you read through the Assessment Handbook with your daughter. Year 12 Assessment Handbooks were issued mid-Term Four and Year 11 will be issued shortly. It is important parents are aware of the guidelines that help make assessment equitable and in accord with the guidelines from NESA. Please contact RRussell@msb.nsw.edu.au if you would like a copy emailed home.

Academic integrity is a focus across the College in 2023. We have all been amazed and excited at the release of ChatGPT a computer program that uses advanced artificial intelligence technology to understand and respond to questions, like a real-time conversation. Teachers have been exploring all of the exciting possibilities of this program! You might like to try it out at home https://chatgpt.pro/  However, this development also presents a challenge when teachers are bound to ensure academic integrity of a student's work. Seeking unfair advantage through any means is a serious breach of academic integrity. You can read more about this on the NESA website. https://educationstandards.nsw.edu.au/wps/portal/nesa/11-12/hsc/rules-and-processes/breaking-hsc-rules

We are hopeful this will be an uninterrupted year of study for your daughter. Teachers are eager to plan a full range of learning opportunities. 

Corinna Bailey
Dean of Learning Science and Innovation