August 15, 2023

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Principal's Message


Notices from the Deputy Principal

Volleyball Competition

Kick Arts

Sophia Library News

Japanese Food Experience

Interfaith Day

Picture Storybook

Kids in Space

Parent Wellbeing Webinar

Year 7 2025 - Applications for Enrolment Closing

Important Dates

Principal's Message

Child Safety

Each year our Child Safety Policies are reviewed by the Leadership Team. These are then provided to the College Board, via the Governance and Policy Committee, for feedback and endorsement. This suite of policies includes the Child Safe Policy, the Child Safe Code of Conduct and the Staff and Student Professional Boundaries Policy. Child friendly versions of these documents should also be made available. This year, the Student Engagement Team (SET) also reviewed the Child Safety Code of Conduct. They made recommendations to clarify and simplify language so that this Code of Conduct would be suitable for children and adults alike, without the need for an additional policy. The amendments recommended by the SET were heartily endorsed by the Governance and Policy Committee and the College Board. All these policies have been approved for the next 12 months and updated versions will be available shortly on the College website (click the Child Safety button on the home page). These policies become available as part of the College’s Child Safeguarding Program, and training is undertaken by staff members annually, in addition to Mandatory Reporting Training and Reportable Conduct Training (which takes place twice per year).

The Child Safety Committee, with staff, student and parent representation, this year also had input into the review of the Child Safe Policy, and will also be reviewing our Child Safety Risk Register at their upcoming meeting.

Our Complaints Policy has also been updated to provide further clarity regarding the process for making complaints related to child safety, in addition to making complaints of a more general nature. This updated policy will also be available on our website in the coming week.

We remain committed to building, valuing and enacting a culture of child safety in the College. Our questions to ensure this is embraced across the College, have resulted in improvements to software packages used by the College to ensure that child safety is a consideration in everything that we do.

House System Review

Lucy Carroll, the Consultant engaged to work with the community in the review of our Vertical House structure has provided her report. In summary, her findings reflect that the House System fosters strong relationships for students, parents and staff with one another. There is clear support for the maintenance and enhancement of the St Columba’s College Vertical House System. The areas of strength emerged as:  belonging, relationships across time, connections between age groups, and leadership opportunities. Lucy’s observation is that the Vertical House structure is an asset for the College community, that when working at its optimum supports belonging, cohesion and relationship building.

Of course, we commissioned the review because we did have a sense that there were some opportunities presented by the House System that we were not harnessing. Through the consultation process, the following recommendations emerged for our consideration:

  • Maintain the commitment to House Group sessions, considering opportunities for increasing contact time between students and their House Group Teachers. This is the organisational structure through which the House System’s strength of belonging is most evident, with the wellbeing benefits of creating safety and a positive way for students to begin the school day.
  • Enhance support for the role of House Leaders and House Group Teachers. Building consistency and positive shared practice between people in these roles has a direct impact on student engagement.
  • Initiate formal and informal mentoring of students between Junior and Senior Houses, and cross-age engagement within House Group sessions/lessons. Having peer support is a significant protective factor for students’ mental and emotional wellbeing. STCC can leverage the current cross-age structure to amplify this impact.
  • Address the student experience of the delivery of the current Pastoral Care Program. There has been recent work undertaken to develop a targeted and age-appropriate Pastoral Care Program, which should continue to be monitored given the review feedback. Strategies to increase teacher confidence with the lesson content will have a direct impact on student engagement. Structures that support the building of relationships between students and teachers who deliver the program will create a safe environment for learning.

In this time of staff shortages, we are also aware that the stability of staffing for the House System is not where it has been in the past, and where we would like it to be. I can assure families, that stability across the House Teachers and House Leaders’ Team is one of the priorities we pursue as part of staff planning each year.

Lucy has provided a 6-minute video presenting a visual snapshot of the report summary and recommendations. You can access the video using this link. I would like to acknowledge the students and families who took the time to contribute to this review. The shared voices of the community support College Leadership in delivering better outcomes for all students. Thank you to Lucy, who gathered and listened to the feedback, ensuring that the recommendations provided were informed by our unique community context.


Heavenly God, as we celebrate the sacred Feast of the Assumption, a date of great significance for our Congregation, our hearts are stirred by the devotion of Mary Aikenhead and the unwavering commitment of the Religious Sisters of Charity. On this day, we are reminded of the intertwining qualities that define Mary, our Mother, and the noble legacy of those who have followed her path.

In humble reverence, Mary Aikenhead, inspired by Our Lady’s devotion, chose the Feast of the Assumption as our Patronal feast. With humility as her guide, she entrusted the Congregation to the care of Mary, echoing the trust and selflessness that marked her life of service.

Mary Aikenhead, like Our Lady, turned to faith in moments of uncertainty. Through prayerful contemplation of Mary’s titles, she found strength, and in that strength, she forged a path of unwavering faith. Teach us, Mother, to nurture a faith that endures, just as you and Mary Aikenhead did.

Mary Aikenhead’s compassionate heart echoed Mary’s maternal love. She founded the Congregation to care for the vulnerable, offering comfort to those in pain. Guide us to embody that motherly care, nurturing and loving those whom society has forgotten.

Almighty God, you welcomed the mother of your Son, Mary, into eternal glory. As we commemorate the Assumption, we beseech you to keep our hearts focused on heaven, that like Mary Aikenhead and the Sisters of Charity, we may radiate humility, faith, purity, obedience, motherly love, and compassion. May we share in the eternal glory through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Venerable Mary Aikenhead, pray for us.


Notices from the Deputy Principal

Parent Engagement Committee (PEC)

The PEC is always looking for greater parent involvement. If you are interested in coming along to the next meeting on Tuesday 12 September email the team at This meeting will be a blended meeting. Feel free to pop along in person (meeting will be held in the Boardroom on Level 1 in the Bruton building) or join us online –

Volleyball Competition

On August 2nd, our school’s volleyball teams consisting of three junior, two intermediate, and two senior teams embarked on a journey to MSAC in Albert Park to participate in the CGSAV school volleyball competition. Despite the traffic-induced haste that accompanied our arrival, the girls swiftly entered their first sets brimming with eagerness, although a tad frazzled. However, from the very first serves to the final moments of each set, the remarkable improvement in the girls’ gameplay was highlighted as they gradually familiarised themselves with the rhythm of the game. Throughout the day, we witnessed the unveiling of new skills and tactics that underscored their growth, reflecting an inspiring display of camaraderie and teamwork. This progress was notably evident in their enhanced ball control, commanding serves, and exhilarating rallies, which collectively uplifted team spirits. Each strategic move, every spirited rally, and every hard-earned point etched memorable moments infused with so much fun.

The Junior teams truly shone throughout the tournament, whereby all three Junior teams secured spots in the grand finals, with Junior A and Junior C teams coming in at first-place positions. This extraordinary achievement displays their commitment and the commendable guidance provided by their dedicated coaches.

Overall, the day marked an exceptional chapter for the St Columba’s girls. Beyond the victories and challenges, it served as a platform for trying something new and having an abundance of fun.

Congratulations to Ruby N for winning the CGSAV Player of the Match for the Junior Team C Volleyball grand final match.


Kick Arts

Kick Arts is an annual celebration of Dance, Drama and Music performed by students from Ave Maria, St Bernard’s and St Columba’s College.

St Columba’s College students performing on the night are Carla V (Dance), Saskia C & Zee E (Drama) and Isabella V (Music). So come along and support these students. Tickets are now available at

Sophia Library News

Lego Masters Competition

The Inaugural St. Columba’s Lego Masters competition is underway. The challenge for the first week of the competition was to create your name out of Lego bricks. Amelia, Sophia and Allegra created these fantastic entries.

Lego Masters continues for another three weeks before a finals round where we will see our first St Columba’s Lego Master crowned.

Japanese Food Experience

On Monday 24th July, the Year 9 Japanese students participated in a city excursion focused around our current unit of Japanese food culture. The excursion consisted of travelling to Superhiro, a Japanese restaurant where we bought our own lunch, as well as purchasing snacks and popular treats eaten in Japan from a nearby Asian grocer. This was an opportunity for us to learn outside of the classroom, to experience and taste Japanese cuisine for ourselves and to see the culture firsthand.

Superhiro provided us with a variety of popular Japanese foods to choose from, such as Japanese curry, gyoza (Japanese style dumplings), sushi, various kinds of noodles, soups and more! We all had a very hard time choosing what we wanted to eat as it all looked amazing! However, our favourite part of the restaurant was definitely the adorable little robot waiter that brought us our food. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and we all really enjoyed the opportunity!

After we ate, we travelled to a nearby Asian grocer, where we surveyed all of the delectable treats that were on offer. There were cakes, lollies, chocolate sweets and many Japanese snacks to choose from. We all had a great time looking at the products, reading the labels, appreciating the colourful packaging and picking our perfect snack for our upcoming assessment – creating an advertisement to promote our chosen treat.

The excursion was an absolute success and a brilliant way to learn about Japanese cuisine in person! It was a very fun, educational and yummy experience, and we look forward to any Japanese excursions in the future!

Interfaith Day

On Wednesday 2 August, the Year Ten students as part of their VCE RE course went to different religious sites and religious museums in Melbourne to understand how Australia attempts to achieve Religious diversity.  Each religious education class went to one religious site which included Temple Beth Israel, the Hindu Sunshine Murugan Temple, the Islamic Museum of Australia, the Buddhist Centre Brunswick and the Sikh temple of Gurudwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha.

Here is some feedback from the students who went to different venues:

Our Year 10 religion class was fortunate enough to visit a Hindu temple, where we learnt about the teachings of Karma, Dharma and how the beliefs of Hinduism shape the lives of people today. We were exposed to the idea of cause and effect, where actions have consequences that affect one’s future experiences. This concept resonates with similar notions in Catholicism, helping us to find common threads that underlie various spiritual practices. The most special part of the day was that local individuals had the opportunity to enter and engage in prayers whilst we were learning, providing us with a genuine glimpse into this religion.

Being at a Catholic college, this experience was truly meaningful as we could use our knowledge of Catholicism to connect and expand our mindsets into understanding global complexities. It educated us as students to be open minded and ultimately further shaped us into well-rounded individuals who appreciate and continue to respect the diverse world around us. 

Jemma M

For the Year 10 Interfaith Day, Mrs MacPherson’s class went to a Melbourne Buddhist Centre in Brunswick. It was a very mindful way to spend the day. We took time to get a taste of Buddhist meditation (by using mats, cushions and blankets) and were taught about Siddhartha Gautama, (known as the Buddha) who was a living man over 2,500 years ago who brought about Buddhist tradition. After this, many changed their assessment task to focus on the Buddha but even those who weren’t writing on this were able to expand their knowledge of other faiths and religions in a mature and reflective way. 

Charlotte M

Visiting the Jewish Temple Beth was a good opportunity to develop a greater understanding about the Jewish faith. I was able to learn about important Jewish aspects including the Torah, the 10 commandments and the golden rule, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’.  

 Angelique H

Picture Storybook

This term in Yr 8 English we are learning how to construct an Illustrated Narrative.

When learning how to construct an Illustrated Narrative it is important to read examples of literature that models excellence in story writing.

Ms Martin read us many great picture storybooks and then we had time to find a book we enjoyed. We then joined together with Ms McGuire’s 7.2 English class. The Year 8’s read a picture story book of their choice to a Year 7 buddy. We shared an activity which was based on the book that we read such as wordsearch or colouring.

The Year 7s then had to fill out a feedback form afterwards that would rate their experience with us. 

We had the opportunity to connect and talk to each other. We were able to find out new information about each other and work together as a team to solve the activities. We had a great time and it was an amazing experience.

Kids in Space

Recently, we were lucky enough to be able to go to the Kids in Space showcase at North Melbourne Primary School, where we competed against the other schools with maker’s empire designs, whilst also getting to see all of the wonderful creations that other schools had created. The showcase was held in the gymnasium, the heart of the school. Many other schools participated as well as many grade levels. The grade levels ranged from Grade 4-7 giving everyone a chance to showcase their amazing thinking and ideas! 

Holo Bike, designed by Harriet C, Alisha S, Camilla M and Ana C); The Koala Pod, designed by Ava B, Miekah C, Macy R and Ava D; and our project, the S.E.E.C Space Vacuum, designed by Sapphira A, Charlotte H, Eden B and Emily M, represented St Columba’s College. 

The S.E.E.C is a magnetic vacuum that gets sent to space to clean up our atmosphere by disintegrating and melting the space debris and melting them down to make a new metal to use for other inventions.

After all our projects were presented the amazing Principal of North Melbourne Primary School presented information about the cause, the winners of the overall day and finally a video from Andy Thomas from the Andy Thomas Space Foundation. 

The day was an amazing experience that allowed us to learn in depth about the design process, to be exposed to other schools’ concepts and ideas, learn new information about space and 3D modelling thanks to the maker’s empire app and just work with our friends and have fun making something we can be proud of. We had a great time and hope other students get to be part of this amazing experience in the future. (And thanks to Ms Mallery for taking us and dealing with us on the bus!

Parent Wellbeing Webinar


Mental Health is on everyone’s lips. There are countless news articles about mental health every year – in fact over the course of a typical day, there are more articles published about mental health than there are about other hot topics like AI, the risk of a recession, and even Taylor Swift!

With 44% of Australian adults having experienced a mental disorder over the course of their lives, and 1 in 5 having experienced symptoms of a mental disorder over the last 12 months, it’s no surprise that Google searches for mental health queries reached an all-time high in 2021.

Australian parents and Aussie kids are struggling. Anxiety, depression, and burnout are breaking too many of our kids, and too many of us. Parents are floundering. Children are languishing. Our mental health services are overwhelmed. And we need answers and help. Now.

In the past 20 years, researchers have made enormous progress on how we can increase wellbeing, even when mental illness is a part of our lives. And in this webinar, Dr Justin Coulson – one of Australia’s leading parenting and wellbeing speakers – will walk you through the most cutting-edge stats, strategies, and supports to build wellbeing in your family, your children, and even in you!

Join this webinar to learn –

  • how to flourish even if you or your kids are in the midst of mental health challenges

  • the 5 most powerful evidence-based interventions to build a flourishing life

  • the secret to a life well lived, and

  • the biggest risk factors and protective factors of mental health

Monday 21 August

8pm AEST | check my time zone

We Need to Talk About Parent Wellbeing

*Note that the link will only work if you are already signed into your school’s page

Log in:

Password: happyscce

Year 7 2025 - Applications for Enrolment Closing

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 this 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.

Important Dates

Wednesday 16 August – M Cubed: Marvellous Magnificent Minds incursion

Thursday 17 August – Junior Production rehearsals and CGSAV Soccer training

Friday 18 August – PAVCSS 50th Anniversary Thanksgiving Mass and Mass Rehearsal

Monday 21 August – Student Executive Applications open for 2024 and Victorian School Music Festival (Senior Band)

Tuesday 22 August – CGSAV Soccer Competition

Wednesday 23 August – Journalism Incursions

Thursday 24 August – Student Executive lunch with Ms Grima

Friday 25 August – Kick Arts

Saturday 26 August – Year 7 2024 Intake Academic Testing

Sunday 27 August – Junior Japanese Speech Contest

Monday 28 August – Year 10 PBL Week begins and Student Executive Applications close

Tuesday 29 August – CGSAV Netball Competition