February 14, 2023

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Principal's Message


Notices from the Deputy Principal

Multi Sports Day 2023

Library News

Drop Off and Pick Up

Consent2Go App

Elevate Education Workshop


Ensemble Timetable

Tutoring Group 2023

Year 7 2025 - Applications for Enrolment


Principal's Message


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 ManagerHiep DoMathematics
Julie Galindo (Nov 2022)Assistant to the Head of Learning and TeachingEmma BrownPhysical Education
Amreen Baig (Nov 2022)ReceptionistDavid ArthursonBruton House Leader, English
Vesna Grant (return from leave)HumanitiesKate Macphersonde Lacy House Leader and Learning Diversity Teacher
Nakkita Egan (return from leave)Head of Students, Religious EducationBradley TaylorPerformance and Development Leader and Mathematics, Science and Religious Education
Emma Ferguson (return from leave)Visual Arts AssistantShannyn MahonHumanities
Alistair BloomWilliams House Leader, EnglishShannon BorgCater House Leader, mathematics
Caitlin LittleEnglishMere HeaneyLearning Diversity Teacher
Jesse StephensonMathematicsJanine SavageLearning Support Officer
Ngaire BrownHead of Library, FiontarGeorgia SeymourCahill House Leader, Science
Frank RowlandSTEAMChristina PapadopoulosLearning Support Officer
Natalia PriscoglioScienceTeresa MicelliAdministration Assistant
Joanna DicksonScienceJoanne Barrett (leave replacements)Religious Education
Catherine RasoReligious EducationNorah McNulty (leave replacement)English

Parenting Resources

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.

College Committees

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,

College Uniform

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.


Our 2023 school year is the Year of Love and Truth. It was great to celebrate those values in our Opening School Mass on Thursday 9th February with Fr John Hannon and all of our staff and students. Fr John spoke of the trepidation and fear that one naturally faces when beginning new things and how the love of Christ and the love that we have for one another, shown through our empathy, kindness and help, can combat those fears and guide us into our future.

A Prayer for Love and Truth

Lord Jesus, we thank you for the restful break leading up to this year. We recognise that it may not have been as relaxing for some of our community and we ask that you comfort them and guide them in the year ahead. We ask for your guidance and strength in a year that is important to us. Grant us the tenacity to forge forward, through anxiety and fear, as you did for our Sisters of Charity when they came to a new land, into the unknown. This year is our “unknown” and we know you’ll keep us safe and mindful.

As seekers of the truth, may we always strive towards goals that benefit others, as well as ourselves. Enable us to see the truth through the eyes of the other so we can be extensively useful. Guide us in our discernment of the truth through the confusion of life. Help us to be a shining example of the truth to those that we meet.

Finally, help us to find opportunities to demonstrate our love, for you, God, and for each other. Help us to love the people that demonstrate their need for that love, in the most unloving of ways. Remind us to take time to enjoy the love of our friends and family and not take them for granted. The Love of Christ does indeed impel us to act – grant us the courage it takes, to act without reservation and ego.

Venerable Mary Aikenhead, pray for us.


Notices from the Deputy Principal

Parent Engagement Committee  

I am reaching out to invite you to become part of the Parent Engagement Committee (PEC) in our school. The committee provides an opportunity for parents to actively participate in the life of the College and contribute to our community. Your involvement will help create a supportive and welcoming environment for our parents and carers.

The PEC meets regularly to discuss important issues and plan events and activities. We believe that your participation will bring valuable insights and perspectives to our discussions and planning.

We would be honored to have you join us as a member of the committee. If you are interested, please let me know ( and we will provide you with more information on how to get involved. The first meeting for 2023 will be held on Tuesday 21 February commencing at 7:30pm.

Child Safe Standards

The new Child Safe Standards came into force in Victoria on 1 July 2022. The 11 Child Safe Standards aim to protect children and young people, by requiring organisations such as schools to put policies, procedures and processes in place to prevent and respond to abuse.

In 2022, a team of House Representatives worked with myself to create a student friendly version of the Child Safe Standards.

The team collaborated over several long meetings to develop an understanding of the standards and discussed ways to rewrite them so that they could be more accessible to all students at STCC. When asked “How does St Columba’s College ensure and promote a child safe culture?”, the team came up with all of these wonderful ideas:

Once the team was happy with their student friendly draft, they then worked with Tanya Almeida to create the document that you can view below. There are also several useful links on the second page of the document that students are able to use to find out more information if needed.


One of those links will take students to another document which steps them through the process for reporting on any child safety concerns that they may have. This document has been made available via student links on SEQTA and will be discussed in more detail during pastoral care lessons this year.

The College has established a Child Safe Committee that will meet once per term. The team comprises:

  • Principal
  • Deputy Principal
  • Head of Students
  • College Counsellor
  • House Leader representative
  • Student House Representatives

We are also hoping to have two parent representatives to join this team. If you are interested in being involved please contact me at

Student Executive Leadership Day – 1 February

Eloise M – Environment Captain

To plan for the year ahead, the Student Executive met on the 1st of February, as part of a leadership training day. Being the 2023 Environment Captain, I attended along with fellow leaders as we were led through a day of learning about the heritage and the vision of St. Columba’s. We explored in depth the mission of the Sisters of Charity, and how this could relate to how we strived to lead in faith for the coming year. As well as this, we focused on the meaning of Servant Leadership, and how as 2023 Captains we could utilise this type of leadership for the betterment of the STC community.


Opening College Assembly – 3 February

It was a wonderful first assembly where we welcomed back our students and staff and gave warmly welcomed new students and staff to our community. Monique D, our Liturgy Captain introduced the College values that we will be focussing on in 2023 – Truth and Love. As a kick start to the accumulation of House points, students and staff participated in an origami challenge. The most hearts created in their House colours, earned their House 20 points. Congratulations to Bruton, who showed wonderful House spirit by creating 121 hearts.

Multi Sports Day 2023

We are excited this year to introduce a new Multi Sports Day on 23 February, replacing our college swimming carnival.  The new event will be held over 3 different venues and will encourage more participation.  It will run in House Groups but divided into Junior (years 7 & 8), Intermediates (years 9 & 10) and Seniors (11 & 12).
Juniors – swimming competition @ East Keilor Leisure Centre
Intermediates – Volleyball competition @ MSAC, Albert Park
Seniors – various sports (soccer, netball, beach volleyball & dodgeball) @ Westgate Sports Centre, Altona
Students will be bused from the college to venues and then returning to the college at the end of these events to attend a wrap up assembly so we can present awards and trophies.
We look forward to encouraging our students to move, socialise and have fun!

Library News

Welcome back to 2023 from the Sophia Library Team – Ms. Ngaire Brown: Head of Library, Ms. Suzanne Hemming: Librarian and Miss Allison Tomelty: Library Assistant. 

Parent Resources in the Sophia Library

A new Parent Resources section has been created in the Sophia Library to support families.  You can access this site via the Parent Resources Link on SEQTA, click on the Parent Library Guide button and enter the following password when requested: SCCparentresources

All the titles are available for loan and if you are interested in borrowing any please contact the Sophia Library staff using the ‘Email Me’ button on the Parent Resources site to arrange collection. Parents may also send title suggestions for this collection to Ms. Ngaire Brown – Head of Library

This month the Sophia Library will be celebrating Library Lovers Day/ Month. It is an opportunity for students to celebrate their love of reading, libraries and go on a blind date with a book.

Drop Off and Pick Up

Lorraine Street and rear Staff Car Park – Unsafe as a Drop Off and Pick Up Area
We advise that the use of Lorraine Street and the temporary staff car park as a drop off and pick up point for your student is unsafe due to the narrow road and congestion of vehicles.
The College has two other safe drop off and collection areas on Stanley Street and Buckley Street service lane.
Please refrain from using Lorraine Street and the rear staff car park to ensure the wellbeing of students is not being compromised.

Consent2Go App

Consent2Go is now available as an App.

We highly encourage you to register and use the App to update your child’s medical information and excursion details.

Please click here to access a guide to registering and using the Consent2Go App.

Elevate Education Workshop

Upcoming FREE webinar for parents – How to Help Get (& Keep!) Your Child Motivated

We’re excited to announce that on the 15th February Elevate Education will be hosting its first free webinar of the year for parents.

Elevate Education works with our students, delivering high impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series you will learn how you can help better support your children at home through reinforcing the skills they learn at school:

Wednesday 15th February

How to Help Get (& Keep!) Your Child Motivated

Here’s what Elevate will be covering on the night:

✅ What impact does praise and reassurance have on your child’s motivation?

✅ What are the best types of goals to be setting with your child?

✅ How can you help your child create meaningful and lasting motivation?


We have had 7 new defibrillators installed over the holidays, taking our total number of defibrillators to 10 around the College.The new defibrillators have easily identifiable signage installed above them and all nearby external doors will have notices advising that there is a defibrillator in the building installed. A few people are asking who is trained to use defibrillators, everybody can use defibrillators. They are all automated defibrillators, this means they talk to you and tell you what to do. Hopefully we never have to use them but it is better to be prepared.

Ensemble Timetable

Our 2023 ensemble timetable can be accessed here.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Performing Arts department at

Tutoring Group 2023

The St Columba’s Tutoring Group is once again being held each Thursday after school from 3.05 – 4.00 pm, in the Library. It will begin on

Thursday, 16th February, for year 7-9 students.

The sessions are facilitated by Learning Support Officers. Attendance is free of charge.

Students are invited to attend with any class work they need to complete, revision or simply to get some help with understanding a topic or task.

No prior appointments need to be made. Students do not necessarily have to remain for the whole time and they will need to make their own travel arrangements after leaving the College grounds.

For further information, please contact Olga Angelini, Learning Support Officer, either via 9331 9144 or at

Year 7 2025 - Applications for Enrolment

Do you have a daughter currently in Grade 5 and wish to enrol her at St Columba’s College? If so, please take note of the following enrolment dates for Year 7 2025:

  • Applications for Enrolment close Friday 18 August 2023
  • Offers of Enrolment will be mailed out Friday 20 October 2023
  • Offers of Enrolment to be accepted/declined by Friday 10 November 2023

Online applications are open for Year 7 2025 can be accessed here. Please ensure you submit an application form for your daughter even if you already have a daughter at the College.


The College has a COVID-safe plan in place which ensures the health and wellbeing of each member of the College community. As per the COVID-Safe Plan, I would ask that if your child is unwell to please keep them at home. We know that this limits the spread of illness and is respectful of everyone’s health and wellbeing. There are students and staff who may choose to wear a mask while at school. This is a matter of individual choice and we encourage those who feel more comfortable wearing a mask to do so.

A reminder about procedures to follow from our COVID-Safe Plan.

It is strongly recommended that any person who meets the following conducts a RAT:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 infection, no matter how mild;
  • If you are a household or close contact of someone who has COVID-19; and
  • If you are a social contact of someone who has COVID-19.

It is strongly recommended that students:

  • who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home and isolate for five days
  • should not attend school after five days if still symptomatic
  • who are symptomatic but have not tested positive should not attend school.

Where students become symptomatic at school, they should:

  • be collected by their parents/carers
  • undergo testing for COVID-19.