June 28, 2019

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Principal's Message


Deputy Principal News

Parents' Association: Save the Date!

Careers News

Sports News

Year 12 Ministry Retreat

Languages - Shin-Ai visit

Community News


VCAL: Barefoot Investor

Refugee Week

Certificate III in Events - Semester One

Student Verification Forms

Principal's Message

St Columba’s Day Celebrations

A wonderful community event was enjoyed by all as we celebrated St Columba’s Day together. As a faith community, we began the day with a mass that was a prayerful, relevant, inclusive and reverent expression of our faith. In prayer, we remembered our heritage through the scriptures, and in the lived experiences of Mary Aikenhead and the Sisters of Charity. We gave thanks to the Sisters who have gifted us with our wonderful school and we committed to continuing to live the Gospel and serve the poor in the footsteps of the Sisters who have gone before us. We were grateful to welcome several Sisters to the mass and express our gratitude for their lives of commitment and service. Many thanks to Fr John Hannon, our Celebrant, and to Mr Shane Taylor for the gift of liturgy that he shares so generously with the community.


I would like to acknowledge the level of participation and the wonderful engagement of our students on the day – it was truly joyful to watch them enjoy the company of their friends and the activities that the Student Executive had organised for the day. A great way to finish off the term. As a Leadership Group, the Year 12 Student Executive serve as wonderful role models for the student community – they are committed to service, diligent in their approach, collaborate well as a team, and balance their studies expertly with their extra-curricular commitments. Congratulations to the Executive for our celebration of community.


Term Break

Students and staff have worked diligently and with enthusiasm over the last term and the coming holiday has been well earned by all. I wish everyone a restful and safe term break and look forward to welcoming everyone back at the commencement of Term 3. I will be taking some leave as I come to the end of my chemotherapy treatment and anticipate a return to work on Monday, 29 July 2019. 


In my absence, if there are any issues or concerns that you would like to raise with me, please contact the Deputy Principal, Mrs Brigitte McDonald.



The Love of God

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This 17th-century feast celebrates the humanity of Jesus in particular, his love for us. For this day last year, Pope Francis tweeted “The Feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us that God loved us first: God is always waiting for us, welcoming us into His heart, into His love.”


May we, the community of St Columba’s College always be open to God’s love and may we be that love for others. Amen. 



Deputy Principal News


A big thank you to the many parents who took the time to provide feedback via the Uniform Review Survey earlier this term. The Committee has considered this feedback and that of students and staff, to work on some exciting proposals which we are hoping to share with the community soon.


We are very pleased to see so many of our students wearing the current uniform very well and with pride.


Students have, by now, had ample warnings regarding the correct wearing of the uniform. As of Term 3, should students present at school in the incorrect uniform (eg. wearing PE uniform on an incorrect day) or are failing to comply with the grooming requirements (eg. nail extensions and polish) which cannot be rectified at school, they will be asked to go home to resolve the issue. Parents will be asked to collect their daughters in Years 7 to 9. Parents of students in Years 10 to 12 will be advised that their daughters will make their own way home to rectify the issue. Parents may decide to collect them instead.


We trust that our students will comply with the College’s Uniform & Grooming Requirements so as to avoid this consequence. We have provided another link to these requirements for your information: St Columba’s College Uniform and Grooming Requirements.


Parent Notified Student Absences

As you are aware, the current practice when a student is absent is for the parent or legal guardian to inform the College by ringing the Absentee Line on that morning on 9331 0648. Your daughter’s name, student ID number, House Group and reason for the absence is needed. A written note or medical certificate is also required upon your daughter’s return to school.


From the commencement of Term 3, parents will have the option to notify the College of a student’s absence online via PAM or ring the Absentee Line. Notification can be made up until 9.00am on the morning of the absence. Notification after 9.00am will need to be made via phone. A written note or medical certificate is still required upon your daughter’s return to school.


The Parent Access Module (PAM) Parent Instructions can be located on the PAM Homepage under School Links -> Parent Links on the left-hand side. Please FOLLOW this link to access the St Columba’s College PAM login page (if you are having difficulties following the link, please copy & paste the following URL into your browser: 


The instructions relating to the use of the Parent Notified Absence function begin on page 7 of the Parent Instructions.


We hope that parents will find the option of using PAM for this purpose, to be user friendly and convenient. Please contact the College if you have any feedback about this process.


Student Bulletin Information    

As of Term 3, parents will be able to view the daily notices that appear on the Student Bulletin. These will automatically appear on the PAM homepage on the right-hand side, above the Calendar section. Again, we are hoping to improve communication between the College and our families.


Parents' Association: Save the Date!

The Parents’ Association is proud to host this year’s special parent-only event, the 2019 Cocktail Party! This party will be held on Saturday 7 September at 7pm. Make sure you save the date, and don’t miss out on this highlight of the College calendar. Invitations and further details will follow in upcoming issues of IONA and on our social media pages.


If you’d like more information about this event or the Parents’ Association, please contact Nicole Purcell, Parents’ Association President, via email: 


Careers News

The latest Careers Newsletter is available to download. It contains information about Casual or Part-time employment, University information days and more. 


Careers Newsletter – June 28 2019


Also included is a calendar of events for July, including Open Days and Entry dates. 


July 2019 Calendar 


Sports News

SCSA Hockey Tournament

Preparations for SCSA Hockey started with many enthusiastic girls attending before-school training sessions. In the training sessions, we learnt some of the basic skills and rules of hockey to prepare for the tournament. On Monday 24 June, the team set off to Essendon Hockey Club ready and excited for the round robin games. The day ran smoothly with the help of umpires, coaches, staff and supporters. As the day progressed the girls played three games achieving a draw against Santa Maria, an unfortunate loss to Presentation College and another draw to Sacred Heart Girls College. 


All games were very close matches with the last game riding on the girls making finals. After scoring two quick goals we came out with a draw which meant unfortunately missing finals. The girls showed great sportsmanship throughout the day and should be proud of their achievements. Congratulations Girls! – By Sarah Pamment


House Netball 

Term 3 saw the return of the House Netball tournaments, with students playing in junior and senior teams within their House. The final game was held on Wednesday 19 June, with the junior match between Cunningham and Bruton. After a very tight match, Cunningham won 7-6 against Bruton after going into overtime. The senior’s match was equally exciting, with Cater eventually defeating Cunningham. Congratulations to all students who played and won points for their House in this year’s House Championship! 


IONA Cross Country 2019

On Tuesday 18 June a number of girls represented St Columba’s College in the SCSA Cross Country.  After weeks of waking up early in the freezing cold weather to attend training, the team travelled to Yarra Bend to compete in Division One Competition. This commitment by the girls was shown with the intermediates coming 3rd overall and St Columba’s finishing in 7th place. 


Special mention to the following girls who finished in the top 10 and received a medal: in the Intermediate category, Alessandra Dent placed 8th and Macey Boyle placed 10th, and from the seniors division, Holly McPherson placed 6th. Congratulations to all the girls who participated and represented the school. – By Alexandra Arrowsmith


Year 12 Ministry Retreat

On Thursday and Friday of last week (20-21 June), 13 Year 12 students, including Sian and myself, partook in this year’s Year 12 Ministry Retreat hosted by the college. As part of our endeavour in community service, raising awareness and social justice, we were accompanied by staff members as we spent most of Thursday volunteering at varying placements. This included Sacred Heart Mission, which is concerned with feeding the homeless, Gladswood Lodge Aged Care Facility which involved playing games and having conversations with the residents at the facility, and the Brigidine Asylum Seekers Project where refugee stories were shared followed by a peaceful protest outside the State Library. Throughout the entire experience, we spent time reflecting and recording our experiences and emotions in journals, as well as sharing them as part of a group. Below we’ve included some of our thoughts and feelings we took away from this experience:


“What a surreal 48 hours. Looking back now, I’m certain I could write pages and pages describing the entire experience and all the feelings and emotions that were shared and explored throughout this experience. It was a time to stop and take a pause from the business of our lives and the stresses of Year 12, and give back to the community. Melbourne is home to such a diverse and unique array of individuals, each with a story to tell. What I took away from this experience is that at our core, each and every one of us is human, seeking compassion, understanding, acceptance and a way for our voice to be heard and our story to be shared. Something as simple as listening to another person’s insights, or calling someone by their name can have such restorative and healing effects. 


We are so fortunate to live the lives we do, yet there are so many that aren’t as lucky, and this experience has helped me to not only give something else to others but also evaluate myself and come to better understand the importance of human connections and relationships with others. I’ve tried my best to convey what was important to me about this experience, but in reality, words will never be able to truly encapsulate the lasting impact this experience has had on me and the lessons and new found understandings I’ve taken away. So I encourage each and every one of you to simply take a moment, think about yourself and your life and in what way can you help bring a little bit of joy and compassion to someone who needs it.” – Lianna Scalise, College Co-Captain (DLYS2)


“Through this experience, I have learnt that advocacy comes in many different sizes and shapes. Whatever you can do, do it, even if you feel it is too small or unimportant. No change is too small if it is making a difference. Each human life matters, everyone is valuable and deserves to be treated with respect, kindness and sincerity, just as we would like to be treated. We’re often so caught up in ourselves that we forget to look beyond into the issues and struggles many individuals in our community, and around the globe, are faced with, or we overlook them as we try to cope with our own issues. But from this retreat, I’ve realised any and all acts of kindness and selflessness can have such a powerful effect on others, we just need to be brave and take the first step to make it happen.” – Sian Machowicz, Year 12 Student (DLYS1)


We strongly encourage students to partake in the Ministry Retreat when it becomes available to them, as not only is it a way to get involved in community service and be an advocate, but because it is such a rewarding experience in a personal manner. It is also such a great bonding experience, as personal feelings and stories are shared amongst the teachers and students, and new friendships and understandings are developed and thrive. On behalf of all the staff and girls involved in this retreat, the main message we took away was to “take every opportunity” and live your life with “no regrets”. This is a one-time offer that students will not want to miss out on.



Languages - Shin-Ai visit

Japanese Exchange Program – St Columba’s College and Shin-Ai Girls College 

We are still trying to find host families for the Shin-Ai visit in August.


As part of our exchange program with our sister school, Shin-Ai, we invite and encourage students with an interest in Japanese, to host a student. This experience offers the opportunity to develop a relationship with students from Shin-Ai Girls’ College.


The students from Shin-Ai will be with us for 12 nights. During this time, they will participate in a range of activities arranged by the College. Weekends will be spent with host families.


Before confirming our Host Families, members of each family over the age of 18 will need to complete a Working with Children Check application. Please apply at As hosting a student from our sister school is a voluntary activity, there is no fee for the Working with Children check. Please provide the College with a copy of your completed application forms or, if you already have one, a copy of your Working with Children’s card. 


For expressions of interest please contact Jen Mahony – or Sofie Scollo – at the College.


Community News

Moonee Valley Outdoors

Moonee Valley is home to some of the most diverse and spectacular landscapes, waterways and open spaces in Melbourne.


As part of delivering our long-term plan for Moonee Valley, MV2040, we’re reviewing our open space planning in order to enhance and increase open space within Moonee Valley (parks, reserves, walking paths, plazas, waterways and green boulevards) and we want your help!

Add your ideas to the map (link below) and tell us:

  • What type of open spaces you want to see in Moonee Valley
  • Where you want to see more open space
  • How we can enhance our existing open space.


And don’t forget to fill in the survey, which we will use to help ensure all residents and visitors to Moonee Valley have access to open space.


St Bernard’s Old Collegians Basketball Club: Girls Junior Basketball


The St Bernard’s Old Collegians Basketball Club is welcoming the following age groups to register for this season’s Girls Junior Basketball. Girls born in the following years are welcomed, with all abilities welcome to learn to play:

  • U 10 (2011-2012)
  • U 12 (2009 – 2010)
  • U 14 (2007 – 2008)
  • U 16 (2005 – 2006)
  • U 19 (2002 – 2004)

Training is held on Wednesdays 4.30-5.30pm in the Essendon Area. Please visit the website here for further information, or contact


Year 11 students Milly Haynes, Veronique Frere, Amelia Arney and Kiara Evans were recently invited back to Melbourne Zoo to present at the Empathy, Ethics and Animal Teacher Professional Learning Conference as part of their work in 2018 for Year 10 PBL. This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to showcase their learning with the community and to demonstrate the implementation of design thinking and STEM at the College which underpins the Year 10 PBL program.


This is Milly’s account:


On Friday 14 June, my group from the 2018 Year 10 PBL week attended the teacher’s conference at the Melbourne Zoo to speak about the cognitive toy we designed as a part of the PBL week. It was an honour and a privilege to share our hard work with over 200 teachers when we initially thought it would be a much smaller group!


We were very nervous before speaking but we eased into it when we started to explain the program that we participated in and all of the fun we had building our cognitive toy ball for the elephants. This was not the first time we presented our work, as our previous achievements include the CEM’s STEM MAD Showcase where we won an award for our work. 


The audience was very entertained with our presentation and laughed many times as we pronounced the name of our 32 sided shape, The Truncated Icosahedron, and made a few jokes. We were asked a couple of questions at the end and it felt very easy for us to answer as we knew exactly what we were talking about. We were then congratulated for our previous achievements and received some gifts for our efforts.


We as a group were very satisfied with all the hard work we put in and glad that a lot of good came out of it. This has made us feel very proud. When we took part in the Year 10 PBL task, we had no idea the achievements and success we would accomplish by making a toy for an elephant. By working together and using the feedback and help from our teachers and the College, we produced a well structured and enticing presentation which has been enjoyed by many audiences. It has also assisted us in building our confidence and presentation skills. – Milly Haynes, Year 11 



VCAL: Barefoot Investor

Over the weekend, students from our VCAL class were featured in the Herald Sun alongside Financial Advisor and Author of the bestselling novel ‘The Barefoot Investor’, Scott Pape. 


This term, VCAL students have been involved in Scott’s pilot education program, teaching students financial literacy in a school setting. This program will be launched alongside an upcoming documentary by the Barefoot Investor titled ‘Money School’. Stay tuned for more information via our newsletter and social media! 




Refugee Week

Refugee week offers us the opportunity to think about all the people that have to escape their hometown, for their own safety and the safety of their family. People are called to stand together in silence and in solidarity to help others recognise what these refugees have gone through, and recognise that they should be treated better than they are.


A refugee is someone that has left their country because it is not safe. They often don’t take much with them, as they had to leave in a rush. Asylum seekers are people who left their country due to violence or war and are seeking refuge in another, safer country. A displaced person is someone who is forced to leave their home country because of war or abuse and is living in a refugee camp.


As a class, we stood outside the front of the school for 10 minutes thinking about what the refugees go through. We also held up signs such as, We Chose Humane, Refugee Week, and #WithRefugees, to show that we support the refugees and we want to welcome them into our country.By Erin D’Agostini, Mia Singarella, Darcie Robinson, Kari Brennan, Alessia Galante & Imogen Nair.



Certificate III in Events - Semester One

The Certificate III in Events is a VET program for VCE students. While there is a theory component, students are provided with a myriad of events to manage and coordinate. To this end, students work under the name of Endless Events, a working division of Certificate III in Events.


St Columba’s Athletics Carnival 2019

Endless Events were asked to provide catering and general administrative support to this year’s athletic event, including the written program for the day. As Project Managers, we had regular meetings with the client, Miss King, to ensure that the event would run smoothly.


We were proud of the Endless Events staff for taking the initiative on the day. Unlike other VCE subjects, Certificate III in Events gave us the opportunity to participate in a range of events and interact with different people outside of the classroom. We highly recommend this VET subject! – Emily Dunn and Tiffany Truong, Project Managers


The Compassionate Friends Victoria Trivia Night

On May 29, Endless Events participated in running The Compassionate Friends Trivia Night held at the Richmond Union Bowls Club. As Project Managers, we were responsible for the organisation of all aspects of the night including coordinating the Endless Events team.


The Endless Events team played a crucial role throughout the night in selling raffle tickets to the guests as well as being responsible for a specific table. The team did an excellent job using great communication and organisational skills.


Our MC for the evening, Annabelle Riez, was responsible for keeping the night running. She was great under pressure and kept the event flowing while bridging between segments of the event.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Ciccotosto who provided guidance when we needed it the most, as well as Ms Cirillo who joined us on the night and took on unexpected roles which helped our team.


Our sincere thanks to the Endless Events staff who worked on the night and without them none of this could have been possible and we are so grateful. We are grateful for the opportunity to project manager this event not only to support the great work of The Compassionate Friends but also for the learning experience it afforded Endless Events.  


Project Managing this event was at times hectic and it occupied a lot of our time. However, we can now look back on the night as being a great success! – Lily Belford and Lauren Tranos, Project Managers


St Columba’s Mother’s Day High Tea

As part of Mothers Day,  St Columba’s College hosted a High Tea in honour of all the wonderful female mentors in our lives. Endless Events played a significant part in the running and organising of the High Tea. Our tasks ranged from helping the catering staff to ensuring that the needs of guests were well attended.


On reflection, as Project Manager I am most proud of is the cooperation of our Endless Events team. Each team member was assigned a task that she completed to a great standard. The day was a fantastic success because of the team effort.


I would definitely recommend this subject to students who are looking for a program that allows them the opportunity for real-world experiences. Project Managing provides you with challenges to work with not just your Year Level but, as was the case at the High Tea, outside organisations and the wider community. What a great way to learn! – Melissa Privitelli, Project Manager


St Columba’s Father/Male Mentor & Daughter Games Night

We recently project managed the St Columba’s Father/Male Mentor Games Night. It was our role to coordinate and manage such tasks as the guest list, posters and advertisements to encourage Year 7-9 students to attend the night.


The event hosted about 180 father/male mentors and students pairs, who enjoyed a night filled with competition and fun! – Hannah Eres and Georgia Hannah, Project Managers


Student Verification Forms

THIS IS A REMINDER TO ALL PARENTS – Student Verification Forms are now overdue


At the end of Term 2 the College sent to parents;

  • a copy of the student detail information we currently hold concerning their  daughter
  • a parent occupation form
  • an extra emergency contact form
  • and the Annual Building Fund Request.


We would appreciate these forms being returned to the College by Friday 26 July regardless if there are no changes to your circumstances.


If you require further clarification regarding this matter please do not hesitate to contact to the College on 9337 5311.