July 15, 2022

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Principal's Message


Notices from the Deputy Principal

Gala Dinner

Strictly Ballroom

Graham Clark Oration: Women in STEMM Lunch

de Lacy House Celebration Day

Gold Medal Gymnast

Year 8 Science - Energy

Principal's Message

Welcome Back

It’s lovely to have everyone back on site for Term Three, although we are uncertain about what this term will bring us.  We are seeking clarity regarding the distribution of Rapid Antigen Tests and will communicate this to you in the coming week.

College Musical – Strictly Ballroom

Last night’s production of our College Musical, Strictly Ballroom was a tremendous evening of entertainment, showcasing the talent of both our students and the students from St Bernard’s.  After months of planning and rehearsals, it was wonderful to be able to proceed and realise the performance ambitions which could not be followed through in 2020 and 2021.

Tickets are still available for some shows and can be purchased by following this link on the College website.

Congratulations to the staff and students involved in a wonderfully executed piece of musical theatre.  What a show!!

Community Engagement

Just a few reminders from the letter you received this week dated 11 July:

Parent Consultations

There have been no responses yet for the parent consultation workshops.  We will hold two parent consultation workshops on 25 July.  Each workshop will run for approximately one hour and depending on the number of attendees, we would like to seek your feedback regarding our Child Protection materials, our draft Parent Code of Conduct, and our Strategic Directions Planning.  If you have some time to spare and are keen to provide your feedback, we warmly welcome your involvement.  Please indicate via this form if you are able to attend one of the workshops scheduled for 10:0am or 2:00pm.

19 July School Assembly

I take this opportunity to welcome you to the College assembly to be held on 19 July, 2022.  Please RSVP by 15 July by contacting Front Reception on 9337 5311 if you would like to attend, so that we can plan appropriately for seating.

125 Year Anniversary Celebration Eucharist

After several re-schedules, we are pleased to be able to share Eucharist with the community to celebrate the College’s 125-year anniversary.  The Eucharist will be held in the Multi-Purpose Centre on 12 August.  I extend a warm welcome to parents who would like to join us for this special occasion. Please RSVP to Front Reception by 5 August so that we can plan appropriately.


On Wednesday 22 July, we celebrated the feast day of Venerable Mary Aikenhead, the foundress of the Sisters of Charity. 

Mary Aikenhead’s own life and work revolved around her deep compassion for the poor and her consciousness of their need for education. She was visionary, courageous, unshakeable in faith, hope-filled, compassionate and tireless. 

In Mary’s own words:

“Let us value the great gift of creation and do our best to conserve it.”

“May we always try to act with justice and truth.”

“Providence can provide, Providence does provide, Providence will provide.”

The Cause:

Renewed energy and prayer are needed for the canonisation of Venerable Mary Aikenhead.  We, of course, know and believe that Mary Aikenhead is a saint.  However, there are official Vatican processes to be followed to have her declared a saint for the universal Church. The canonisation process is lengthy and difficult.  We refer to this process as ‘The Cause’. The Cause passes through four stages: Servant of God; Venerable; Beatification and finally Saint.

Mary Aikenhead was declared Venerable by Pope Francis on 18 March 2015. It was a day of great rejoicing for those who had worked so hard for many years to have her Cause passed through the Vatican office referred to as the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.  Sr Josephine McDonald, RSC, now deceased, had worked assiduously for years as Vice-Postulator, to bring about this wonderful occasion.

Many throughout the world are now working diligently to have Mary Aikenhead declared Blessed.  Through the intercession of the Venerable Mary Aikenhead, let us pray for the miracle of peace in our lives, and in our world.

Let us pray:

God our creator, you call us into being and we recognise your presence amongst us. We gather in joy and thanksgiving to remember the life of Mary Aikenhead. In the spirit of Mary Aikenhead, we respond to your call to service the poor and to be co-workers in your mission. May we be enlivened and nourished by the Holy Spirit who breathes life and love into our hearts and calls us to the service of others.

May the amazing grace of Christ cover us, the enduring love of God encircle us, and the pure friendship of the Spirit inspire us, both today and evermore. Amen.

Notices from the Deputy Principal


As you are aware, our assembly is being held next week. All staff and students in attendance will be expected to wear masks to help to maintain safety in relation to the health of our community. Students will be provided with masks during House Group on Tuesday morning.


The Catholic Secondary Principals Australia (CaSPA) Leadership Excellence Award is sponsored by the CaSPA Partners to recognise and celebrate the pursuit of excellence by Principals in Secondary Schools within Catholic Education in Australia. The Leadership Excellence Award comprises a crystal trophy and a scholarship which is currently valued at $2,000.

State and Territory Associations evaluate all nominations and forward the most outstanding to the Catholic Secondary Principals Australia Board for consideration. State finalists were determined and were acknowledged at the recent CaSPA Conference in Canberra earlier this week. The national award winner also announced at the Conference.

Outstanding Leadership in any Catholic Secondary School environment necessarily involves focussed and strategic attention on building capacity in the Key Performance Areas of:

  1. Catholic Identity and Ethos;
  2. Teaching and Learning;
  3. Leadership Capacity;
  4. Pastoral Care and Well-Being;
  5. Communication, Networks and Community;
  6. Finance, Facilities and Resources including ICT; and
  7. Innovative practice by means of strategic planning, implementation of improvement focussed initiatives, protocols and processes to ensure the achievement of excellent outcomes for:

7.1. the School/College

7.2. Leadership Team

7.3. Staff, Students and Community

7.4. The broader Catholic Sector

7.5. Education in the local Region

7.6. Education in the broader/jurisdiction and National Education Communities.

Due to COVID, the CaSPA Conference, a biannual event, did not occur in 2020. As a result, the Board decided to award two Principals as national finalists.

It gives me great pleasure, and much pride, to announce that our Principal, Rita Grima, was both the Victorian State finalist and one of the two national finalists. We are thrilled that her energy, hard work and great vision have been recognised. Ever humble, Rita spoke about her award recognising the work of her Leadership Team and the staff of St. Columba’s College. She went on to highlight our St. Columba’s College students as being the source of her inspiration and drive to create a better school and learning environment.

Congratulations, Rita!

Gala Dinner

Strictly Ballroom

It has been a fabulous start to the Strictly Ballroom performances, with opening night wowing audiences last night.

It is wonderful to be back on stage, after two years of cancellations. The atmosphere is electric and our performers are eager to showcase their talents. Limited tickets are still available, get in quick to watch this amazing show. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE TICKETS

Graham Clark Oration: Women in STEMM Lunch

On Tuesday the 12th of July, participants of the Bionics Institute Girls in STEM Mentoring Program (Cailey Finlayson, Jaz Davis, Alexia Kyriacou, Emma Sheridan, Riley Firman and Sarah Truccolo) were given the opportunity to attend the Graeme Clark Oration Women in STEMM lunch at the Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre. The Graham Clark Oration plays an important role in bringing world leaders in health and medical research to Australia to share developments and inspire school students about the new possibilities offered by research.

Here is an account of the Women in STEMM lunch by one of the students: 

We were able to hear from Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Medicine at Johns Hopkins University, Dr Natalia Trayanova, and learn about the hardships she had encountered throughout her life, especially as a woman in a male dominated industry. 

Dr Natalia Trayanova, who has created medical advancements by pioneering a combination of engineering and medicine, has spent many years working towards personalised computer modelled hearts. Her dedication has been revolutionary in the medical field, especially for people who suffer from atrial fibrillation, a rapid, irregular heartbeat which affects 5% of the Australian population aged 55 and over. Through Dr Trayanova’s creation of the virtual hearts, surgeons are able to identify specifically which tissues need to be destroyed due to persistent atrial fibrillation, using a procedure that creates small burns known as ablation. This approach is considered the most optimal, as only 10% of patients have needed to return for treatment. However, the more traditional route of using a catheter to destroy tissue, which can often cause electrical misfiring, has seen more than 50% of patients return for up to 4 or 5 times for surgeries to treat the condition.

Being able to listen to Dr Trayanovas journey to success was a truly rewarding experience. I learnt that failure is inescapable, but learning how to benefit from your misfortune to become even better is what differentiates you from being ordinary. Furthermore, it was enlightening to see the success of an extremely determined individual, and I was reminded that anything is possible if I put my mind to it.

Sarah Truccolo, Year 11

de Lacy House Celebration Day

On Thursday 14th July the de Lacy community gathered to honour Sister Mary Baptist de Lacy for whom our House is named. 

Sister Mary Baptist de Lacy, first name Alicia, was the only one of the Pioneer Sisters who entered the Sisters of Charity, specifically for the Australian Mission. She was trained in Nursing and was the Foundress of St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney, which was the first hospital opened by the Sisters in Australia.

Like Sister Mary Baptist de Lacy, may we live with courage in all that we do, and have compassion towards those less fortunate in our community. 

Today after our Liturgy, Shaun Dowling, Pastoral Care Practitioner at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, addressed the de Lacy community about the work that Briar Terrace, our House Partnership, provides to those in need in the wider Melbourne community.  Briar Terrace, a cottage in Fitzroy, was first established by the Sisters of Charity in 1997 and works in partnership with St Vincent’s Hospital. This cottage offers the socially isolated a place of companionship and a sense of day security. Briar Terrace offers a friendly and safe place where the friends of Briar Terrace can grab a snack, hot drink and engage in conversation with others. 

As a result of the pandemic, Briar Terrace does not run as it has in the past. They have had to think creatively, to continue to bring to life their mission, “to be present with our heart to those who are struggling.” Currently, those who seek companionship, meet daily in the Courtyard 55 Cafe at St Vincent’s Hospital. 


As the weather gets colder, I encourage the de Lacy community to think of how they can make a difference to others, by generously donating beanies, gloves and scarves to support those who visit Briar Terrace. Considering the unprecedented times we are currently experiencing, the de Lacy House prayer is very fitting and I would like to share it with you. 

House Prayer: 

Dear Lord, 

May we be inspired by the life of Sister Alicia de Lacy. May we follow her example of courage, determination and strength to face the uncertainties of the world.

May we show this through our brave actions when we are dealing with the unexpected challenges of our everyday lives. May we always work together with faith and wisdom in all that we do.

We pray for the de Lacy community and hope that we shall always walk together in the footsteps of the Sisters of Charity.

Gold Medal Gymnast

Congratulations to Eloise Moody, Year 8, who represented Victoria at the QLD Border Challenge Gymnastics Competition over the school holidays. Eloise along with her team, performed incredibly and were rewarded with a gold medal win.

Eloise will head back to Queensland in September with her team at Niddrie Gymnastics Club, for the National Clubs Carnival.

Well done to Eloise at the Victorian team, and we wish you luck in September.

Year 8 Science - Energy

Year 8 Science students have started their exploration of the concept of Energy.  Three students in 8.7 volunteered to complete a Predict Observe Explain for their classmates

Frankie was able to assist her classmates to understand the process of radiation which allows heat to be transferred through space

Alyssa and Mietta worked together to demonstrate convection currents.  They heated tea leaves in a beaker to allow students to observe the circular current that occurs as the leaves are heated and cooled

Emily completed an experiment that allowed her classmates to hypothesise whether metal or glass would heat up more quickly.

All these students are to be commended for their willingness to push themselves out of their comfort zone and develop their critical thinking skills to assist their classmates understand these concepts.