Term 4 | The Way Newsletter I Tuesday 5 December 2023

Latest UpdatesBack to Top

From the Principal
Principal Ross Whelan

It’s been my pleasure as Principal to introduce each edition of The Way. As a final piece for 2023 I am pleased to bring the Celebration 2023 introduction.

Thanks for every support.

Welcome to the Celebration and Awards presentation for 2023. It’s a joy to be able to meet together and to celebrate the achievements of our students across the grades from Prep to Year 12. This learning community to which we belong, is unique. We are full of different cultural backgrounds, experiences and lifestyles. Belonging is that feeling of being connected; a sense that we are each part of this bigger place and environment, and we are drawn towards unity and a shared future with the best outcomes. 

It has been so pleasing to see over 400 students performing in our music and creative arts programs each week, beginning in our Kinder and Year 1 Strings program. Every Year 4 student takes part in a compulsory band instrument program and its graduates across the last 11 years have continued to grow our bands and ensembles

An additional 500 students are members of the Talented Athletes Program in Football, Basketball and Dance programs and teams, and students from each of these programs are part of our winning teams at representative level. The Duke of Edinburgh program has been operating at the College for over 15 years, and currently 300 students from Years 9-12 are working through the Bronze and Silver and Gold levels. The College program ranks highly in terms of numbers in Dukes across the country, and teenagers are engaged in programs which will grow their stamina and character. 

Two of our biggest events of 2023 were the Mother’s and Father’s Day Breakfasts, with over 1000 parents and grandparents joining at each event. Our Parent Network continues to grow and impact.

Important awards of excellence will be presented to the Year 12 HSC Class of 2023. Several students have achieved State level recognition, and most students progressing to University and tertiary studies have already gained places for 2024. We congratulate Year 12 for their tenacity and progress through the COVID interruptions during their final years at the College and we wish them well.

As the College community engages in the daily events and programs, we understand the importance of connection and belonging. Our Celebration events will consider these important themes, in video, in creative arts and in the spoken words. Prep students enjoyed their Celebration events over this last week, and allowed parents to understand the important progress of their young people in the very first year of structured learning. Learning excellence and student achievement are highlighted and given priority in all the Celebration events. Let me on your behalf thank the teams of talented and creative staff who continue to grow all our programs for the best student outcomes.

We say welcome to Mrs Karen Easton, our new Principal from 2024, and we wish her well.  As I leave Thomas Hassall after 17 years, let me express thanks to the College Community.  It’s been my joy and privilege to be the Principal of such an outstanding school on the emerging South West.

It’s time to step into the new year of 2024 with energy and focus, towards higher goals and the best outcomes. The Christmas break will provide a time to re-energise and reset. At Thomas Hassall we have a Christian hope, and Christmas allows us to reflect on the impact on the birth of our living Saviour the Lord Jesus, and to renew our commitment to him for the year ahead. Thank you sincerely for such effort and support of our College and our learning community throughout the year.

‘Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. And yet I will show you a more excellent way…’ 1 Corinthians 12:31

Mr Ross Whelan
From the Deputy Principal & Head of Junior School
Sandy Wheeler

As we near the end of term for 2023 I wish all families a safe and joyous Christmas break.

I consider the journey we’ve shared together in the Junior School and it really has been an incredible year! It has been a pleasure to lead the Junior School in 2023 and to have your partnership and support along the way. I leave you with these messages:

To the families

A blessing upon you all – I pray that you form cherished memories over the break and cease each day as most of us have more space and capacity for one another than during the year. It is a pleasure to be in community with you. We are united in seeing the lives of our younger students nurtured as they grow in their understanding of their gifts and the impact they can and will have upon the world.

To the students

Remember these three R’s over the beak - Recreation (fun!), Read (every day) and Retry something you learnt. You could retry something you’ve loved or found challenging and want to give another go- see what happens! Parents please share this message with you children.

To the staff

Thank you for what you have done throughout 2023 to serve our Junior School College community. You are truly excellent Christian educators and I acknowledge each of you for your contributions. Thank you for giving so much of yourselves every day- going above and beyond to support every child.


It is also time to say farewell to some Junior School staff who are moving on to something new in 2024.

We farewell Mrs Wendy Irwin who has accepted a position at Oran Park Anglican College as a Stage Coordinator. Oran Park was once a part of Thomas Hassall as a sister school during its first years and we wish Mrs Irwin all the best in her new leadership role. We also farewell Mrs Emily Watters, Mrs Annabelle Wood, Mrs Stockinger, Mrs Michelle McOrist and Miss Jane Flack and we wish them the very best in their next endeavours. Mrs Elise Hona and Mrs Georgia Street are now on maternity leave and we pray for them and their families as they prepare to welcome their little ones into the world.

For our outgoing Principal Mr Whelan

Mr Ross Whelan has been an exceptional, personable and visionary Christian leader. He has touched the lives of everyone that has been through the doors of Thomas Hassall for over 17 years. What stands out for me about him, is the way he wants to know everyone’s story. If you’ve ever had a conversation with him, he will have a meaningful conversation with you but it also simply feels easy and light-hearted too. He wants to know your story and he certainly admires the life and legacy of Reverend Thomas Hassall, knowing his story in great detail. Ross Whelan leaves us with the legacy of seeing every individual as having a story with gifts to give and a place in God’s world. Thank you for being our Principal Mr Whelan.

Remember Jesus’s love for you this Christmas

A merry Christmas to you all, as we reflect on the birth of the Lord Jesus and the act of love His life brought into the world. I look forward to seeing you all again in 2024.

Mary gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough – because there was no room for them at the lodging place. In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields… But the angel said to them “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: Today a Saviour, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David.”

Luke 2:7-12

Mrs Sandy Wheeler
Deputy Principal & Head of Junior School
From the Deputy Principal - Senior School Learning
David Butler

The end of the year can often be an emotional time as we farewell staff moving on to new opportunities and give thanks for all that they have done for the Thomas Hassall community. It has been especially so with our farewell breakfast picnic and farewell assemblies for Mr Whelan. It was lovely to catch up with so many families at the breakfast last Friday and it is so clear how important Mr Whelan’s work at this College has been to all of us! It was fitting to have so many students willing and eager to say thanks and farewell to our beloved principal at the assemblies. The Walk of Honour in the style of the Graduation Walk was also very special.

Last week we have held a new initiative for Year 10 Students: The Pathway to Prelim week. This has been an opportunity to experience Year 11 electives early and get a taste for the academic rigour that is to come. Teachers have been orienting students to the complexities of these courses and helping them prepare to navigate them expertly next year. Legal studies have unpacked a fascinating and highly controversial case study together, Modern History have had a look at the influence of colonialism in a film study, Construction and Entertainment have worked through some initial safety and compliance modules so they can hit the ground running next year. One student commented to me that in Engineering they jumped straight into HSC questions and that helped to reassure her that she would be able to tackle even the most difficult parts of the course over the next two years. The PDHPE department even organised for one of their star pupils, Elianna P, from the graduating class of 2023, to come and speak with the new crop of PDHPE students. The whole cohort of Year 10 students have engaged really well with the pathway to prelim program. We are so grateful to our staff, who at a really busy time of the year with finalising reports and end of year procedures, have prepared extensively for this program.


I would like to acknowledge the service of all our staff who are moving on from Senior School in 2024, we will keep them in our prayers as they begin the next chapter of their careers. Helen Bull, Richard Newton, Elise Fowler, Rob Smith, Jody Hyam, Virginia Oakley, Nelson Ha, Mason Schrack, Simone Rapisarda (Maternity Leave), Rebecca Ellerman, Stuart McCormack, Doug Broadbent, Annika Gifford, Sarah Awad, Patrick Murray and Ken Silburn.

I look forward to seeing your families at Celebration as we cheer on our award winners for the year. It is always a lovely occasion. I pray that you get to spend some quality time as a family over the Christmas break and that you will be able to celebrate the birth of our saviour!

Mr David Butler
Deputy Principal - Senior School Learning
From the Chaplain
Denis Oliver

Christmas is coming and things are getting sparkly! I knew Christmas was close when I walked into the PDHPE staffroom and nearly collapsed!


Christmas is a strange time as it is the season where we try to turn ordinary things into glorious things. We place colourful lights on our houses, tinsel in our offices, bright paper on ordinary presents. When the season goes, so does the glory of the season.  But on the first Christmas, God did the opposite - He gifted us Jesus wrapped in humility.

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12

Have you ever wondered why Jesus, given titles like Savior, Lord, and Messiah, was born in a manger, a simple food trough? Why not in a grand palace? This choice by God carries a significant message that invites us to reflect on the unexpected humility of the divine entrance into the world.


Jesus is the saviour, so he humbled himself, became human, became our substitute – dying on the cross for our sin. Jesus is Lord, fully human, he understands tiredness, poverty, betrayal, and even what it is like to be tempted – yet never sinned. Who could be better to serve and lead us into eternity? 

I encourage all Christians to clothe themselves in Christ, let’s show a tinsel obsessed world what real glory is by walking in Jesus’ footsteps.

Have a blessed and meaningful Christmas!

Reverend Denis Oliver
College Chaplain

Farewell Mr Whelan

The College Community gathered to bid farewell last week to our principal of 17 years, Mr Ross Whelan.




Starting Dates 2024

Here are our Important Start Dates for 2024

Monday 29 January Term begins for Years 7, 11 and 12 students (full day)
and new students Years 8-10 (1/2 day)
Tuesday 30 January Term begins for All Years 1 - 10
Prep Orientation - 3 Day program
Kinder Teacher/Family Meeting
Wednesday 31 January Prep 3 Day program commence
Kinder Teacher/Family Meeting

Thursday 1 February

Kindergarten commence
Prep Orientation - 2 Day program
Friday 2 February Prep 2 Day program commence


EventsBack to Top

Year 12 Formal

Year 12, 2023 held their Formal on Tuesday 14 November.  It was a great night of celebration as the cohort reunited to make wonderful memories.  We wish them all the best as they receive their HSC results in a couple of weeks and embark on their future careers.  Good bye Year 12 and we will miss you!!

Year 12 Formal

Mrs Catherine Sutcliffe
Year 12 Advisor & Secondary Teacher - English

Year 6 Dinner

Our Year 6 students had a wonderful time celebrating the end of their Junior School Years on Wednesday night at their Year 6 Dinner.

Here are some of the highlights

Year 6 Dinner

LearningBack to Top

Learning Independent Living

This term in Year 9 Commerce, students have been gaining skills in independent living, such as how to apply for jobs and arrange accommodation. They have been practicing their budgeting skills, as part of this they have planned their groceries for the week. They took part in a $10 meal challenge, the students prepared a cooked lunch with a budget of $10. There were some great meals cooked and thanks to the Food tech staff in getting this activity running.

Year 9 commerce

Mrs Andrea Kemp
HSIE Coordinator - Social Science

Great Barrier Reef Trip

Our Year 12 Geography & Year 12 Investigating Science classes head off to the Great Barrier Reef.

We look forward to hearing all about the amazing things they learn in one of Australia's natural wonders.

Liveable City Projects

Our Year 8 geography has an exhibition of their Liveable City Projects. The students have been studying what makes a well designed city and as part of that created their own designs. These were all displayed at lunchtime, students could vote for a ‘peoples choice’ winner as well as most creative, liveable and environmentally sound. Well done to all the Year 8 students who made some fantastic designs.


Andrea Kemp
HSIE Coordinator - Social Science

Performing ArtsBack to Top

AMEB Exams

Australian Music Examination Board

Each year several of our privately tutored students set themselves the goal of sitting for an AMEB exam on their instrument.  The students work hard preparing scales, exercises and 4 - 5 pieces to perform for an examiner at either the Sydney Conservatorium of Music or The Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre.  They have achieved great results for all of their hard work and efforts and we acknowledge there results below:

Daniel B (Grade 6 Cello): A 
Elizabeth B (Grade 6 Violin): B+ 
Jonathan B (Grade 3 Violin):  B 
Scarlett B (Grade 2 Violin):  A 
Ronin C (Grade 2 Violin):  A
Ronin C (Grade 1 Piano):  A 
Annabel C (Grade 4 Cello): A
Jaxon H (Grade 2 Cello): B
Oscar Qi (Grade 2 Violin):  A 
Abigail R (Grade 3 Violin): B+
Sobbi, E (Grade 2 Violin): B

Laura C (Grade 1 Clarinet)  A
Chelsea S (Grade 4 Clarinet)  B+
Matthew P (Grade 5 Clarinet)  B+

Igor I (Preliminary Piano) A
Annabelle N (Piano for Leisure grade 2) B

Zeke R (Grade 1 Drums) A

Congratulations to all these students on their wonderful results.

Mr Byron Mark
Director of Ensembles

NASSA Year 7 Netball Gala Day

A few weeks ago we hosted the Year 7 Netball Gala Day at Thomas Hassall and it was a great day for our students and the visiting schools to use our facilities and enjoy a great day of competition.

It was the first time for many of the girls in the team to play together and they did very well under Miss Tikeri and Coach Jamin. The team took some time to warm up to the game and the style of each player but as the day went on their confidence increased and they supported each other and the experience of players like Ava, Olyvia and Kaia supported some new players like Elyssa and Helena. They finished second in their pool and faced St Luke’s in the semi finals which was a very tight game in the first half. The girls then played The Illawarra Grammar School and overall finished 4th at the NASSA Gala Day. This was a great experience for some of the girls and we look forward to them joining the netball programme at school next year to improve their skills.

Mrs Irene Focas
Senior School Sports Co-ordinator

NASSA Year 7-8 Cricket Gala Day

Last Monday Mr Raats and the Year 7 & 8 Cricket team traveled to Jamison Park for the NASSA Cricket Gala day and competed against the other schools in outdoor cricket. Liam was the strongest cricketer at the gala day and he scored the most runs and cartwheeled an off stump with a yorker Pat Cummins would have been proud of. Even though it was a tough day for our students, they have acknowledged the potential in their skills and they are excited to learn more from Mr Raats and play more cricket.

Mrs Irene Focas
Senior School Sports Co-ordinator

MISA Volleyball Winners

Last Tuesday the MISA volleyball Grand Finals for division 1 was held at Thomas Hassall in the PECs courts. After a successful season the girls team were to face Mount Carmel Christian College for the last time and what a challenge it was! With Mount Carmel winning the first set our girls showed perseverance and grit to come back and win the 2nd and third set. They showed lots of composure and skill to work together as a unit to overcome some tough challenges. The girls were especially grateful for all the support they received from Mrs Focas, the boys volleyball team and Mr Wong for their cheering and encouragement. An exceptional win for the team especially the year 11 girls who have played their final MISA Volleyball competition and led by the future school Captain Mia. Congratulations to the team, Miss Fowler and Miss Tikeri on an undefeated season.

Mrs Irene Focas
Senior School Sports Co-ordinator

MISA Players of the Term

I am very pleased to announce that the following students have been awarded and recognised at assembly as the Term 4 MISA Player of the Term. Their commitment and dedication to our College teams is much appreciated as they have played an integral role in shaping the culture of each team and leading them to success. 

The Sports Awards Assembly was a great occasion as we recognised the outstanding achievements of our students spanning from Years 3-12. 

sports assembly

MISA Player of the Term

Congratulations to the following students who have been named as the MISA Player of the Term!

Ultimate Frisbee: Christian A

Indoor Cricket: Liam Q

Girls Volleyball: Savana V

Boys Volleyball: Robbie B

Boys OzTag: Daniel H

Girls Oztag: Ishana M

Boys AFL: Mitchell K

Girls AFL: Natasha M

Girls Softball: Arya K


MISA Honours
A Huge Congratulations to our MISA Honour Students who have represented the College all 4 terms of MISA this year. An outstanding contribution to the College - I am very grateful for your willingness to participate and so impressed with your sporting ability! 

Samuel D

Abbie F

Daniel H

Christabelle K

Sotiris M

Jessica M

Elias N

Charlotte P

Matias S

Hannah T

Savana V


Summer IPSSO

Summer IPSSO Sport

The Summer IPSSO season has been completed and the Finals were played on Wednesday 22 November.  It was fantastic to see the improvement of teams throughout the year.  Congratulations to all students who represented the College in the Summer IPSSO teams. 

A special congratulations to our 3 team who played in the Finals Day:

Senior Softball team – 1st place

Junior Girls Soccer – 2nd place

Junior Basketball – 4th place


This was another successful year for IPSSO Cricket and the boys should all be proud of how hard they worked. Both our Junior and Senior teams came in third place with our Juniors only just missing out on making it into the finals. The boys made a huge amount of progress in their skills and by the end of this year, both teams became a force to be reckoned with.  Earlier this term, our Senior team participated in the GALA day which ended up teaching the boys many lessons that they took into future games and even used to teach the Junior Teams some new tricks and skills with.

It has been a very good year with these teams and such an encouragement to see how well they represented our College each week with their behaviour and good sportsmanship!

Mr Shaun Walker


Our Summer season of Oz Tag was a mixture of rule learning, skill development, teamwork building, understanding of tactics, fitness and overall fun. Both Junior and Senior teams included a range of experienced and beginning players, providing us with a competitive edge and also a chance to improve on techniques each week. Junior Oz Tag showed significant improvement in their abilities, dominating some games throughout the season and showing outstanding sportsmanship during the losses. Their final result to finish in third place is highly commended. Even though our Senior Oz Tag team did not finish as high on the ladder, we all shared in the excitement of winning our final game of the season. The last game was our highlight as it clearly showed the accumulation of skill development, teamwork and understanding of the game achieved throughout the season. Overall, I'm thankful for the students' who represented our College with kindness, respect and an eager competitive edge during Summer Oz Tag. 

Mr Austin Buckley


Junior Soccer Girls

After an amazing season of soccer, the junior girls really put in the 150% effort in their finals. It was a day that the girls should look back with complete pride. In the semi-final, the girls put up an incredibly good fight in a very tight match ending with a win which put them through to the final again Georges River Grammar – a team we knew would always be a challenge!

In the final, I was amazed at the grit and perseverance the girls showed of never giving up until the final whistle was blown. Despite the loss, the girls played with spirit all the way through and ended up in the second half with a goal, a bittersweet finish to a tough game.
As a football lover myself, this is what I like to say it’s all about! Yes, winning a grand final always sounds great, but when you see every player on the pitch working as a team and never giving up – that’s what I will always be most proud of!

Congratulations to all the girls! Looking forward to the season of 2024!

Miss Georgia Beikoff


Junior and Senior Basketball

The Junior and Senior Basketball teams had a great season this year, under the guidance of Coach Sheldon.  They were keen to learn and improved both teamwork and skills throughout the year.  They played with enthusiasm and displayed wonderful sportsmanship on and off the court.   Our Senior team came 3rd in the Northern pool, narrowly missing a spot in the Finals.  Our Junior team came 2nd in the Northern pool and advanced to Finals Day at St Greg’s.  In a nail-biting finish in the Semi Finals, our team were narrowly defeated by 2 points.  They finished 4th overall, which is a fabulous result.  I am very proud of the efforts of both teams this year!!

Miss Brianna Evans


Teeball and Soft Ball

What a joy to coach the Summer Teeball and Softball teams this year! Both teams worked hard at improving their skills, learning about the game and developing their communication skills and teamwork. The growth in these students across the year has been wonderful to watch. I am most proud that these teams always found ways to encourage each other and help to keep the team thinking positively. Throughout the season, the juniors have developed a love for the game and always played hard, winning many games throughout the season. The seniors walked away as joint champions in a tight match, filled with the highs and lows of two innings.


Mrs Cristy Abecina


Mrs Sharon Evans
P-6 Sports Coordinator

Sport Achievements

Congratulations to the following students who have competed in the following competitions over 2023:

Isaac E, State Swimming Championships Finalist

Dakota J, State Swimming Championships Finalist

Ella K, State Gymnastics Championships – Gold Medal

A'mia B, State Gymnastics Championships – Silver Medal

Makayla C, Edith Parson Physical Culture – State Finalist

Rylan M, Played in U/16 Georges River Softball team – State Champions

Billie H, ISKA Karate Competition

Marley R, AFL National Medleys team


Mrs Sharon Evans
P-6 Sports Coordinator


CommunityBack to Top

Uniform Shop Holiday Hours

Thomas Hassall Anglican College Uniform Store will close on Friday, 8 December 2023, at 3:30 pm

Summer Holiday Trading 2024

  • Friday, 12 January 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Monday, 15 January 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 17 January 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Friday, 19 January 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Monday, 22 January 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
  • Wednesday, 24 January 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

(Closed Australia Day Public Holiday)

Term 1 2023: Normal trading hours resume Monday, 29 January 2024

  • Monday 7:30 am to 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Friday 7:30 am to 3:30 pm

Fitting Appointment

Uniform fittings are strictly by appointment only

Please use the link below to book an appointment


Online Store

Enjoy the convenience of online shopping.

Orders will be filled when the store is next open.

www.midford.com.au Passphrase: Thomas1997

Please contact the uniform shop:

Phone: 02 8776 1193

Email: THAC@midford.com.au

Thomas Hassall Marketplace

Do you have second hand uniforms or school equipment that you want to sell? Are you searching for extra uniforms?

In response to the requests of parents, the College is pleased to provide a marketplace were parents can connect to buy/sell/swap College Uniforms and other school based equipment such as instruments or sports gear. 

Please use this link to our uniform page of our website to access the site. The terms and conditions of use are outlined on the site, please take time to read these before using.

We trust that this will assist families. Should you have any feedback or questions, please contact Mandy Payne