In my last article, I wrote about and invited parents to attend the parent forum, Digital Wellbeing: Raising Teens in a Screen World. I was delighted to see a number of parents take up my invitation and be present at this very informative presentation by Dr Kristy Goodwin. I found Kristy’s understanding of the impact mobile devices are having on teenagers and adults alike enlightening and provided much food for thought for me personally and as Principal of MSJ.

Along with the many tips on how to monitor and self-regulate screen time, Kristy was able to offer great parenting advice that assists in limiting the amount of confrontation that can occur with teenagers around the use of digital devices.

Kristy also briefly discussed the huge issue around pornography. She had some alarming statistics about the age and number of children who access online pornography. Young people are being exposed to misogynistic and violent pornography which is warping their view of what is a healthy and respectful sexual relationship that should be based on love, respect and trust. I encourage you to have an open and supportive conversation with your child about pornography (Kristy gives some great tips on how to start these conversations). Next year, we will be running a number of staff, parent and student forums in order to better inform us about pornography and other issues around the use of digital devices.

Emma Commadeur, our Year 9 Wellbeing Leader, has written about this presentation later in the newsletter. I would encourage you to take the time to read it. I would also encourage you to access Kristy Goodwin’s website:

I would like to thank the many fathers and male mentors who attended our annual Male Mentors Breakfast on Friday 6 September. Your attendance clearly shows your commitment and support of the young women in your lives. My heartfelt thanks to Rob Paladino (pictured above with daughters Mia and Eve) for sharing his story as a dad to two young women and for providing great advice on how to raise strong, independent and resilient girls. Thank you to Mark de Brabander for providing information about the Dads of Newport and Surrounds (DONS), a group that offers dads an avenue to meet with other dads.

I would like to congratulate Malaika Boyall, a Year 7 student who has organised a fundraising screening of Girl Rising at the Sun Theatre. Please read all about Mailaka’s initiative later in this newsletter.

Finally, as a long and busy term comes to an end, I thank all students and staff for their hard work.

Kate Dishon