St Joseph's Manildra

St Joseph’s welcomes Bishop McKenna

The students and staff of St Joseph's Primary School were delighted to welcome Bishop Michael McKenna to our school on 16th May. Bishop Michael, accompanied by Parish Priest, Fr Greg Bellamy, looked at our recent renovations and spoke to the Year 6 students in preparation for receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation.

Bishop Michael and Fr Greg then shared morning tea with the staff and interacted with students in the playground. We could not let this photo opportunity go past. Thank you Bishop Michael and Fr Greg, for coming to our school.

Jacky Parmeter  


Ignite Conference 2016

‘Our Catholic Church is fully alive and it’s living through our youth’! That was one of the powerful and overwhelming features of Ignite Conference 2016, a national Catholic youth conference held annually in Brisbane by Ignite Youth.

Five teachers from St Joseph’s Manildra; Josh Dunn, Megan Thorpe, Marg Gosper, Jaime Hoolahan and Mallory Lawrence; and four children, Archie and Molly Dunn; and Hannah and Phoebe Hoolahan, were proud representatives of the Diocese of Bathurst at Ignite. What an amazing experience it was! 

Each day of the conference began and ended with a rally, where all of the 1,500 attendees at Ignite came together in a huge auditorium for music, worship, multi-media messages and the powerful speakers including Fr Rob Galea and Ignite Conference Director, Pat Keady. These moving, engaging and thought-provoking presentations are available now at

Throughout the day, each of us attended various workshops that had been individually chosen before the conference. These workshop topics included ‘Theology of the Holy Spirit’, ‘Encountering Mercy’, ‘Building Effective Teams’, ‘Dance, Dance, Dance!’ and ‘Faith and Fitness’. Each workshop provided tremendous opportunity for personal, professional and spiritual growth intertwined with faith formation.

After attending Ignite, we have been empowered with many ideas and thoughts about engaging our children at Manildra and their families to their faith and sharing our experience with wider members of our Diocese. To begin with, the Ignite Youth website and Facebook page have many resources and suggestions. The music of ‘EmmanuelWorship’ on iTunes, particularly their latest album ‘Mercy’, is full of contemporary music and lyrics to engage with and use in Mass, school events and liturgies. Our family Mass at Manildra on Saturday 26 November was led by the teachers who attended Ignite and was an engaging experience of Mass for our students, families and parish community.

We are so thankful for the support of Mrs Jenny Allen and Mr Angelo Belmonte from the CEO, who encouraged and supported our journey to Ignite and look forward to returning this support. 

Josh Dunn

Fundraising Ball

In July 2016, St Joseph’s Primary School P & F Association, Manildra held a fundraising ball at the Manildra Memorial Hall. The night was a great success with over 160 guests attending from Manildra, Cudal, Orange, Molong, and as far as Canberra and Sydney. Guests were treated to a wonderful night’s entertainment including the presentation of the ‘debutantes’ (four young local men willing to dress in ball gowns for the night), music by Gabemusic from Orange and were well-fed by local caterers, Smokin’ Bros. The night raised over $4,000 for St Joseph’s School and will be utilised for much needed maths and playground resources. 

Science Week

In August 2016, 60 students from St Joseph’s Primary, Manildra and St Joseph’s Primary, Eugowra gathered together in Manildra to celebrate ‘Science Week - Robotics into the Future’.

The day included an introduction to robots, looking at the latest educational robots including Bee Bots, Edisons and EV3s; how they function with sensors and motors; basic to advanced coding and appropriate activities and challenges for teachers and students to focus on.

Some educators have the impression that robotics is time wasting and that students are just ‘playing’ with Lego and toys. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As robots are beginning to play a vital role in many of our industries today, i.e. mining, mass production, communication, emergency and rescue and information technology; schools need to provide an up-to-date curriculum that will carry our children into the future.

Pop up classrooms and projects at St Joseph’s, Manildra

In line with the theme of ‘pop up restaurants’, ‘pop up dances’ and ‘pop up coffee shops’, St Joseph’s Primary School, Manildra recently held their very own ‘Pop Up Classroom’ in central Manildra.

Early one morning in March, a team of teachers from the school transformed the local park into a classroom before surprising students with the news as they arrived at school that their classroom was ‘downtown’ for the day!

Students engaged in the learning activities of writing and charcoal sketching, focused on the iconic Manildra Flour Mill, before completing maths challenges in teams and finishing with a sausage sizzle lunch.  

Surprised on-lookers and visitors ranged from parents and grandparents to local mill workers and Manildra business owners who enjoyed watching the children’s lessons in a setting they wouldn’t normally access.

During the April school holidays, two major projects were completed at the School. An underground irrigation system was installed recently to assist in the development of lawn for the students to play on and to enhance the aesthetic aspect of St Joseph’s. Already there are signs of new growth occurring we are looking forward to complete coverage in the months to come.

Also, after a major fundraising effort by the School’s P & F Association, combined with a major contribution from Manildra Group Flour Mill, new playground equipment was recently installed. This equipment provides students with the opportunity to improve skills in co-ordination, balance, strength and flexibility, whilst providing a colourful and friendly environment to play amongst.

Josh Dunn

Combined Schools Swimming Carnival

 On 5th February, St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School and Manildra Public School placed school rivalries aside to come together for the ‘Combined Schools Swimming Carnival’. Students from both schools joined their team houses of Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth for the day. The morning began with a march up the main street singing war-cries, much to the delight of local businesses and onlookers, before students, parents and teachers made their way to Manildra Swimming Pool for the carnival. A wonderful day was enjoyed by all involved, with the overwhelming feature being the coming together of Manildra children from both schools for a day of sport and enjoyment.

St Joseph Awards
During our first assembly of the year on 8th March, we launched our inaugural 'St Joseph Award'. Each assembly throughout the term, these awards will be given to those students who have epitomised our patron, St Joseph, through their 'commitment to school, devotion to God, and strong character'.

Congratulations to our very first recipients:
Stage 1 Class - Xavier Mostyn, George Gibson, Ethan Brouff, Jayda Cross and Ryan Gibson
Stage 2 Class - Lucy Gibson, Imogen Thornberry, Oliver Bennie and Jade Ryder
Stage 3 Class - Ella Gibson, Toby Gibson and Ryan Press

Joshua Dunn

Great goals for St Joey’s, Manildra
The students in Stage 2 (Y3-4) at St Joseph’s, Manildra are really reaching for the stars this year with the challenging goals they are setting for themselves. Mrs Hough is very proud of their efforts so far and has her fingers crossed that this enthusiasm will continue on through the year. Mr Dunn, the new Principal, is also full of enthusiasm and brimming with ideas to ensure those stars are well within the reach of the St Joey’s students.

Janine Kearney

First Eucharist for Antonia Lander & Judah Bennie
On Saturday 8th September, Antonia Lander and Judah Bennie celebrated the Sacrament of First Eucharist with the church community. As they participated more fully in the Mass through their readings, the Offertory and Communion, Judah and Antonia took a further step to becoming full members of the Church.

The children felt deservedly special as Fr Filby, and Mrs Dunn's choir, were all there to make their celebration a very special night to remember.

Afterwards family and friends celebrated with a very happy party full of delicious food, and fun party games.

The Assumption of Mary Mass
St Joseph's Manildra celebrated the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with a whole school Mass on Wednesday 15th August.

We were privileged to have Executive Director of Schools Mrs Jenny Allen visit our school on the day. Mrs Allen attended the Mass and sat amongst the children. The school community really appreciated Mrs Allen's visit.

2012 Religious Education Credits and Distinctions
St Joseph's Year 6 performed well in the University of NSW Religious Education Testing in 2012. We are extremely proud of their efforts and achievements.

The children were awarded two Distinctions and one Credit. We congratulate Isabella Lander and Olivia Press on obtaining a Distinction and to Reece Pittis for achieving a Credit.

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