Welcome to the 2023 school year. There is a great deal of anticipation in the air that this year will be one where the impact of COVID will be limited and we can concentrate on the key tasks of schools – the wellbeing and socialisation of young people, their learning, and the role of teachers in creating an environment where all students can flourish. It has been a tremendous start, and students have settled well into their routines.
Our College focus values this year are Truth and Love. At the opening College assembly, our Year 12 Student Leaders captured the meaning of Love and what it looks like to put this value into action in our everyday lives. Truth, as a value in our Catholic community, means living our lives according to Gospel messages of Jesus. At the opening College assembly, I spoke about Mary Aikenhead’s calling as she listened to the parable of Dives and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) – a story Jesus told about how we should treat the vulnerable and marginalised – Mary’s heart burned within her as she heard the message of God’s deep love and compassion for the forgotten, the unwanted and the despised.
As we begin this academic year, let us reflect on the inspiring example of Mary Aikenhead, the founder of the Sisters of Charity, who dedicated her life to serving the poor and marginalised. Which was her Truth based on her love for God, and the example of Jesus. I challenge the College community to reflect on how each of us will respond to the call we hear and feel to live the values of Truth and Love as we go about our learning and work this year.
New Staff Members
It’s been our pleasure to welcome many new staff to the College community this year.
|Dean Cassar (Nov 2022)||Facilities Manager||Hiep Do||Mathematics|
|Julie Galindo (Nov 2022)||Assistant to the Head of Learning and Teaching||Emma Brown||Physical Education|
|Amreen Baig (Nov 2022)||Receptionist||David Arthurson||Bruton House Leader, English|
|Vesna Grant (return from leave)||Humanities||Kate Macpherson||de Lacy House Leader and Learning Diversity Teacher|
|Nakkita Egan (return from leave)||Head of Students, Religious Education||Bradley Taylor||Performance and Development Leader and Mathematics, Science and Religious Education|
|Emma Ferguson (return from leave)||Visual Arts Assistant||Shannyn Mahon||Humanities|
|Alistair Bloom||Williams House Leader, English||Shannon Borg||Cater House Leader, mathematics|
|Caitlin Little||English||Mere Heaney||Learning Diversity Teacher|
|Jesse Stephenson||Mathematics||Janine Savage||Learning Support Officer|
|Ngaire Brown||Head of Library, Fiontar||Georgia Seymour||Cahill House Leader, Science|
|Frank Rowland||STEAM||Christina Papadopoulos||Learning Support Officer|
|Natalia Priscoglio||Science||Teresa Micelli||Administration Assistant|
|Joanna Dickson||Science||Joanne Barrett (leave replacements)||Religious Education|
|Catherine Raso||Religious Education||Norah McNulty (leave replacement)||English|
Our Library Team have created a Parent Resources section to support parents and families. You can access this site via the Parent Resources Link on SEQTA (Parent Information and scroll down to Parent Resources Links), click on the Parent Library Guide button and enter the following password when requested: SCCparentresources. Click on the “Available Titles” button to see the list of titles available.
In 2023 we are seeking parent representation on a couple of committees that were established in 2022. The Child Safe Committee will meet at least once per term and aims to provide advice and direction regarding the initiatives, policies and practices that support the wellbeing and protection of young people. We are seeking two parents for this Committee.
The Laudato Si-Earthcare Committee aims to provide advice and direction for the College as we fulfil our mission to be champions for our planet and limit our harmful impact on the environment. We are seeking two parents for this Committee.
We are able to provide video-conferencing access to support parent representation on these committees. If you are interested can you please email Brigitte McDonald, Deputy Principal, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are grateful for the support we receive from families in ensuring the College uniform is worn according to our expectations, and that it is worn with pride. Please ensure you are familiar with our Uniform and Grooming Expectations, which can be found in the parent resources on SEQTA. House Group Teachers and House Leaders have reminded students about expectations, and all students are expected to adhere to the guidelines without the need for individual reminders.
Working Conditions for Teachers
While we are yet to receive specific details, a new agreement is close to being delivered to improve the working conditions of teachers. This will have an impact on the operation of schools, with the most significant changes to conditions seen for almost 20 years. I will keep you informed about what this will mean for the operation of St Columba’s College as we begin to understand the impact of the changes.