August 28, 2020

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Principal's Message


Notices from the Deputy Principal

2020 Australian Catholic Bishop Annual Statemen

Virtual Charity Run

Virtual Tour of Central Flying School

deLacy House News


Careers News

Year 7 2022 Enrolment – Important Update

Academic Excellence Scholarships - Important Information

Principal's Message

How different would girls’ lives be if we were intrigued by their minds?

This week I read a research summary which highlighted some alarming outcomes, given that we are well into the 21st Century. In essence the findings of the various studies included:

  • The failure of the current employment model to support women’s advancement and access to senior roles.
  • Women in paid work continue to take on most of the domestic and caring responsibilities at home, and this is reflected in the gender division of household chores allocated to daughters and sons.
  • These chores follow traditional gender expectations, with boys getting allowances greater than girls for the chores they are performing, reinforcing the stereotype that the work girls perform is worth less than the work boys perform.
  • Even young children believe that only men can be ‘brilliant’, and that ‘perceptions of intelligence are inversely related to a woman’s ‘sexiness’. A woman who is perceived to be very attractive to men is automatically assumed to be incapable of being intellectually brilliant’.
  • A review of internet searches revealed that parents are 2.5 more times likely to ask if their son is gifted than if their daughter is gifted, twice as likely to ask ‘is my daughter overweight’ over ‘is my son overweight’, and 1.5 times more likely to ask whether their daughter is ‘beautiful’ and three times more likely to ask if she is ‘ugly’.
  • This is in contrast to actual data, from the US, that shows that boys are more likely to be overweight, and less likely than girls to be in gifted programmes.
  • These biases were found consistently across all demographic, cultural and political backgrounds.

As I said, alarming. What lessons do we take from research studies such as these? It is so easy to fall into traditional patterns of behaviour that are continually reinforced by the media, and which are now an entrenched part of our daily lives through social media. Let us be ever conscious of the language we use, and the actions we take, because they contain the unconscious and subtle messages that communicate where a person’s unique value lies. When we are speaking to our girls, let us recognise and praise their minds and hearts, their capacity for thinking and compassion, their generosity and leadership, the capacity to be a great friend, their courage, and their inherent goodness and worth as human beings. Let’s drop the words pretty, beautiful and gorgeous, unless we are describing another facet of what makes them unique, other than their looks. It is up to us to act consciously and with intent if we are to break these insidious contributors to gender inequality, and if we want to achieve the full participation and flourishing of our girls in society, in the workforce, and in their own lives.

(Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australasia, eBrief)


Parents’ Association News

Unfortunately, the Father/Male Mentor/Daughter Activity Night is unable to proceed due to current restrictions. I would like to acknowledge the work of the Parents’ Association, who continue to meet in the online world, and search for ways to make a creative response to the times we are in.

2021 College Co-Captains


After an extensive process of applications, interviews and voting, this week we appointed our 2021 College Co-Captains. Four final candidates entered the final stage of the election process, and demonstrated a tremendous amount of courage as they put themselves forward to be scrutinized by the College community. It was a very close vote, which showed that the community saw a drive and passion for the College, in each candidate. Thank-you to the candidates for their flexibility and adaptability, in what was a new way to conduct our student elections, and for being a part of this process.

It is with great pleasure, that I introduce our College Co-Captains for 2021:

Alysha Lowrie and Grace Saporito


Let us pray together on this Justice Sunday Prayer…


Jesus, you invite us all into the fullness of life.

May we support one another to flourish in body, mind and spirit.

Strengthen our commitment to ensure

that nobody falls through gaps in our systems of care.

People called you mad.

Help us to recognise you in those who suffer mental ill-health today.

Show us how to eliminate stigmatisation of mental ill-health

from our parishes, schools, communities and organisations.

You drew near to those who were suffering in body or mind.

May we too feel your nearness when we struggle with mental health challenges.

May we be one as members of Your Body.

You invite us to share in your ministry of love and true compassion.

May we be empowered by your Spirit

to reach out to all people in need.

May we build communities of welcome and inclusion.



Notices from the Deputy Principal

Conversations with the Leadership Team

As one way of building ‘Connected Communities’ which promote positive relationships and partnerships that support the learning and wellbeing of your daughter, we are eager to connect via Google Meet. This will be the last ‘Conversations with the Leadership Team’ for 2020.

This is a great opportunity to share what is happening at the College and hear your feedback.

Families were sent an invitation with an RSVP link via email.

The event is being held on Wednesday 9 September 2020 from 5.30 pm – 6.30 pm. RSVPs close on Wednesday 2 September.

Parents attending will be sent a Google Meet link prior to this date

If you have any further queries, please email

We look forward to meeting with you then.

Year 12 Virtual Parent Information Night

Parents and guardians are invited to meet with the Principal, Head of Students and myself on Monday 14 September. This provides us an opportunity to outline the final weeks of your daughter’s schooling at the College and the arrangements, for the various celebrations being planned, to acknowledge our Year 12 students. A letter, providing further details, will be sent in the coming weeks.

Celebration of Excellence

In term 4, we will be celebrating the wonderful achievements of our students throughout 2020. Not only do we want to celebrate all that they have achieved at St Columba’s College, we also want to acknowledge their achievements beyond our school setting.

If your daughter has been successful in an external endeavour (eg. passed a Music examination, represented the state in a particular sport etc) this year, please forward the following to Tanya Almeida via this email address (

  • Name of student
  • Achievement
  • If possible, a relevant photo

2020 Australian Catholic Bishop Annual Statemen

This coming Sunday we celebrate Social Justice Sunday and we invite you to read the important statement issued by our Australian Catholic Bishops. The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting the mental health of many members of our parishes, schools and communities. Understanding mental health will help us to be aware of those who need our support. In the Social Justice Statement 2020-21, To Live Life to the Full: Mental health in Australia today, the Bishops invite us all to reject stigmatisation, to work for the transformation of social determinants of mental ill-health and to call for policies and service provision that meets the needs of the poorest and most marginalised members of our community.

Read this important statement here.

Virtual Charity Run

It is that time of year again, where the running community of St Columba’s College team up with St Bernard’s College to raise awareness, support and funds for marginalised members of our community. This year’s charity is the Sisters of Charity Foundation

The Sisters of Charity Foundation provides support to the most disadvantaged through their Community Grants, Tertiary Scholarships and Asylum Seekers Housing Programs.

St Columba’s College shares a common history with the Sisters of Charity Foundation, through the founder of the Sisters of Charity, Mary Aikenhead.  The Sisters of Charity, have left their mark in Australia through their dedication to education and the development of schools, including St Columba’s College; and providing care, support and hope to disadvantaged members of our community. It is this history of charity and giving, where the students of St Columba’s College strengthen their Catholic identity through action for others.

On September 19 and 20, our runners will be challenged to complete a 16km run. With the support of our sponsors Centec, Academy Uniforms, Benny & Me, Barry Plant, Bentons Finer Bathroom, Ryan’s Bus, CFS, Melbourne Business, Noones and ADD Air Conditioning we are looking to raise as many funds as possible. Please visit our Go Fund Me page, here, to donate.

All funds raised will be donated to the Sisters of Charity Foundation.

2019 participants from St Columba’s College and St Bernard’s College.

Virtual Tour of Central Flying School

On Monday August 3rd, Year 11 students who participated in the 2020 Birdman Rally as well as the Year 10 STEM class, were given the opportunity to go on a virtual tour with our host FLTLT Aimee Heal from the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). Initially students were invited to visit Essendon Airport for an immersive experience on how pilots prepare to fly and to see the PC-21 in real life, however due to the current climate of COVID-19, this was switched to a virtual tour. The PC-21 is the world’s most advanced pilot training aircraft and is based at the RAAF Base in East Sale Victoria, from where FLTLT Aimee live streamed to us here at St. Columba’s College.

Student perspective:

The live stream tour offered an insightful perspective of what their jobs are like over at the RAAF. From learning how to put on the flying suit to learning how to fly, it is a lengthy training process for anyone wanting to join the RAAF. Aimee started us off in the main office, where it was busy with people, she then took us to their locker rooms and explained all the different parts of the flying suit, which is much more complicated than it looks! After the suit was all set up and explained, she showed us one of their aircrafts at RAAF and provided us with a demonstration of how to get ready for a flight. After many flicks of buttons and connections of cords, the aircraft was set to go. We then proceeded to ask many questions and Aimee finished up the tour.

Luci Srour

deLacy House News

de Lacy House Feast Day

On Thursday the 27th of August, the de Lacy community celebrated their Feast Day, commemorating the life and achievements of their House Patron, Sister Mary Baptist de Lacy. Whilst the girls were unable to participate in our usual festivities, Ms Condello, our House Leader, together with the House Teachers, House Reps and myself led the girls in a Feast Day Liturgy, which acknowledged de Lacy’s work with our House Charity, Briar Terrace.  Although there was no cake or lunch to be shared this year, the girls of de Lacy House still managed to show their House Spirit, in a sea of pink clothing to celebrate this special occasion.

Happy Feast Day girls and looking forward to sharing a lunch with you very soon!



The St Columba’s Tutoring Group has gone REMOTE!!


TIME : 3.15 – 4.15pm

HOW :  visit the Student Bulletin to gain access to the Google Meets link

The group is facilitated by Olga Angelini, a Learning Support Officer and Suzanne Krajcer, the Learning Diversity Team Leader.

The MEET link will be available on the student bulletin each Thursday.

For further information please contact Olga Angelini- or Suzanne Krajcer –

Careers News

This edition of the Careers News features :

  • Hotel management courses
  • Students applying for nursing/midwifery courses (Yr 12)
  • Australian Defence Force Academy – open day
  • Careers in psychology
  • View the new La Trobe University Sports Stadium
  • Apprenticeships – Electrical Instrumentation, Fitter, Heavy Diesel
  • Early admission programs closing soon for La Trobe University, Swinburne University and Charles Sturt University
  • Virtual open days
  • Upcoming virtual career events

Access the newsletter here.

Visit the Pathways website here.

Year 7 2022 Enrolment – Important Update

Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) has reviewed the enrolment dates for Year 7 2022 due to the impact of COVID-19.  As a result, the enrolment timeline has been extended with new dates listed below:

·         Applications for Enrolment close Friday 9 October 2020

·         Offers of Enrolment will be mailed out Tuesday 1 December 2020

·         Offers of Enrolment to be accepted/declined by Tuesday 15 December 2020

If your daughter is currently in Grade 5 and you wish to enrol her at the College, please ensure you submit an application form by the designated date.

An Application for Enrolment form can be downloaded from the College website or collected from Reception. You can also book in for a virtual tour via the College website.

Academic Excellence Scholarships - Important Information

Due to the current COVID-19 situation and reintroduction of Stage 3 restrictions, the Scholarship Testing date has been rescheduled.

Registration closing date is Friday 9 October 2020

Scholarship testing date is Saturday 17 October 2020

Details about the scholarships on offer and online registration are available on the College website.