November 13, 2020

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Principal's Message


Principal for a Day

2021 Year 11 Students’ Blazers for Embroidery – Thursday 3rd December


Ascot Vale Little Pantry

Library News

CAS Calculators

Second Hand Book and Uniform Sale Update

Careers News

Principal's Message

Our Unit 3 and 4 VCE Students have commenced their VCAA exams with a sense of purpose, and a self-assured and confident demeanour.  In a year when challenge after challenge has been thrown their way, they have shown remarkable maturity and a calm acceptance of the circumstances that have impacted their year.  In their acceptance, there is not capitulation, but a determination to make the most of these circumstances.  There is a lightness and happiness to their being that is infectious.  There is so much we can learn from our students.  Needless to say, I am extremely proud of them!

As we move closer to the season of Advent, when we await with joy the coming of the new-born Christ, I reflect on what it means to approach life with a sense of joy.  Some years ago, Pope Francis gave some tips for how we might bring greater joy to our lives.  These tips are summarised below by one of my favourite theologians, Ron Rolheiser, OMI, as we contemplate what advent might look like for all of us this year:

1.      Proceed calmly.

Move with kindness, humility, and calm.  These are the antithesis of anxiety and distress.  Calm never causes high blood pressure.  We need to make conscious efforts to never let the moment cause panic and excessive hurry.  Rather be late than stressed.

2.      Respect and take care of nature.

The air we breathe out is the air we will re-inhale.  This is true spiritually, psychologically, and ecologically.  We can’t be whole and happy when Mother Earth is being stripped of her wholeness.  Christ came to save the world, not just the people in the world.  Our salvation, like our happiness, is tied to the way we treat the earth.  It is immoral to slap another person in the face and so it is immoral too to throw our garbage into the face of Mother Earth.

3.      Stop being negative.

Needing to talk badly about others indicates low self-esteem.  Negative thoughts feed unhappiness and a bad self-image.  Positive thoughts feed happiness and healthy self-esteem.

4.      Respect others’ beliefs.

What we cherish and put our faith into grows “by attraction, not by proselytizing.”  Beauty is the one thing that no one can argue with.  Cherish your values, but always act towards others with graciousness, charity, and respect.

5.      Work for peace.

Peace is more than the absence of war and working for peace means more than not causing disharmony.  Peace, like war, must be waged actively by working for justice, equality, and an ever wider inclusivity in terms of what makes up our family.  Waging peace is the perennial struggle to stretch hearts, our own and others, to accept that in God’s house there are many rooms and that all faiths, not least our own, are meant to be a house of prayer for all peoples.

Ron Rolheiser, OMI.



As we conclude NAIDOC Week 2020, let us pray this National Reconciliation Prayer, composed by Elizabeth Pike, as we work together for Justice, love, hope and compassion for all who call this ancient and holy land, home.

Creator Spirit,

All creation once declared your glory,

Your laws were honoured and trusted,

Forgive us our neglect as our country approaches

the most critical moment in its history.

Listen to our prayer as we turn to you,

Hear the cry of our land and its people,

Just as you heard the cry of Jesus,

your Son, on the Cross.

Help us to replace our national shame

With true national pride by restoring the

dignity of our First People whose antiquity is


May our faith and trust in you increase.

Only then will our nation grow strong and be

a worthy place for all who wish to make their home in our land.


© Elizabeth Pike, September 1997

Aboriginal Catholic Ministry, Melbourne.

Principal for a Day

At St. Columba’s College, we firmly believe that leaders are not born – they become leaders through experience and opportunity. Young people need genuine opportunities to test drive what it feels like to be in the leader’s seat.

Earlier this term, Year 7 to 9 students were asked the question – would you like to trade your classroom for the Principal’s office as part of our ‘Student Principal for a Day’ event? Students in Years 7 to 9 have been given the opportunity to shadow our Principal, Ms Grima, for a day to see firsthand what her role, in leading our College community, entails. It will also be an opportunity to provide insights and advice to the Principal.

Students were required to submit an application to help us determine our 2020 Student Principal for a Day.

We are really proud and excited to advise that Monique Davood, a Year 9 student has been selected as the successful applicant. She will be working alongside Ms Grima on Friday 20 November. Congratulations to Monique and we look forward to hearing about her experiences in the next issue of Iona.

Monique Davood

2021 Year 11 Students’ Blazers for Embroidery – Thursday 3rd December

All students progressing to Year 11 have the opportunity to have piping sewn onto their Blazer lapels.

Students who wish to take up this opportunity must submit their blazers (with their payment form) on:

DAY:             Thursday 3 December 2020
TO:               Front Reception
TIME:           any time between 8.15am and 12.30pm

The cost of the service is $48.00, payable at the time by Credit Card only. Price includes dry cleaning.

Families have been sent a copy of the payment form provided by Noone. Please print off this form or a hard copy payment form can be collected from either Student Reception or outside the House Leader’s Office.

On the day of collection, students must ensure that they have clearly labelled their Blazer with their full name on the inside pocket, that all badges have been removed and that the payment form is submitted.


NAIDOC Week is celebrated each year in acknowledgement of the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. This week is celebrated in Indigenous communities as well as local councils, schools and community organisations.

The theme of NAIDOC Week 2020, is ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’. This year, NAIDOC Week is focused on recognising that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. ‘Always Was, Always Will Be’, acknowledges that hundreds of nations and cultures that covered this continent, while treating the land in a sustainable way.

NAIDOC Week 2020, also acknowledges and celebrates that our nation’s story didn’t begin with the documented European contact on the Cape York Peninsula. The first footprints on this continent belonged to Indigenous Australians.

As a college we recognise the significance of NAIDOC week and have worked to create initiatives to inspire students to advocate for this time and it’s importance. Working with our fellow FIRE Carriers we planned the following events; As a part of the First Nations Bedtime Stories Challenge, FIRE Carriers read different dreamtime stories throughout the week. These stories were shared with our community via the STC Instagram and school bulletin. Listen to the stories here:

Welcome to Country
The Little Corroboree Frog

During Thursday lunchtime we handed out slices of cake, made from an Indigenous owned and operated company Dreamtime Tuka, as one way to connect with the girls. This offering to students prompted conversations about the importance of NAIDOC Week.

Ascot Vale Little Pantry

The Ascot Vale Little Free Pantry The Ascot Vale Little Free Pantry focuses on providing people with necessities including food and toiletry products as well as maintaining the dignity of those who need to use the facility. As a school, we hope to stock up the pantry by collecting donations from both staff and students. If you would like to contribute to this cause please bring in sanitary products or foods (list of examples below.) In each House area, there will be a box provided where you can place your donations.

The pantry is located at 78 St Leonards Rd, Ascot Vale VIC 3032 and is available to everyone so you’re able to go there and donate any time you would like.


Toiletries Products:

  • Deodorants
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • pads/tampons
  • Sanitizer
  • Body wash
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • Floss


  • Canned food
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Noodles
  • Lollies
  • Lollipops

Your donations will be collected and sent off by the VCAL girls.

Library News

The Second Annual Get Lit(erary) Festival – 2020!

Thanks to Pandemic of the Year, Covid-19, Book Week was instead held in October, rather than in August! To ensure as many students as possible could take part in the Get Lit(erary)! Festival, the Library shifted the date to the week commencing Monday 26th October.

Events included were a Kahoot! Quiz, virtual visits for the Year 8s with author Will Kostakis, Photo Ops with Emma Watson and Cole Sprouse (regrettably, due to the border closures, we were unable to have the “real thing”, so stand-up versions of the actors were their stand-ins! ) and last year’s Novel Fashion – a dress made from book covers – was again held, with great success. Additionally, a week-long “Emoji Book Title Quiz” was run, where students needed to identify the titles of books, based on the emojis!

It was wonderful to see so many students take part, and we were also thrilled to give away many prizes – see below for the winners:

Participation Prizes: 10th to 1st

PP 10th: Maggie Gray

PP 9th: Zita Buzacott

PP 8th: Claudia Passalacqua

PP 7th: Kari Brennan

PP 6th: Jessica Petroni

PP 5th: Lucy Fraser

PP 4th: Monique Davood

PP 3rd: Karina Todorov

PP 2nd: Kata Jugovic

PP 1st: Olivia Kourtis


Emoji Book Title Quiz Winner

Emma Dias

Emma Watson Lifesize (and yes, it is – we checked!) Standup Winner:

Celeste Umbrella

Cole Sprouse Lifesize (yep – as above!) Standup Winner:

Lucy Trimboli

Huge thanks to students –  and staff! – for being involved with Get Lit(erary)! this year. All going well, the Festival will return next year (HOPEFULLY at the usual time in August), bigger and better than ever!

CAS Calculators

Do you need a CAS calculator?

CAS calculators are required for all maths students in Year 10-12, and Year 9 Advanced maths.

Please click here for more info.

Second Hand Book and Uniform Sale Update

Due to the ongoing Department of Health directions re COVID-19, the Parent Engagement Committee has made a decision to cancel the annual 2nd hand book and uniform sale, in the traditional format as we have known it, for this year.

We are currently exploring options for an online version in it’s place. We will provide an update shortly.

If you have any questions about this, please contact us via

A reminder that our AGM is being held on Tuesday 17 November at 7pm – all welcome.

Careers News

This week’s careers news includes the following topics:

  • Non university pathways to STEM (think TAFE, traineeships, apprenticeships etc.)
  • Campion College Summer School (Yr 10 – 12)
  • Change of Preference Expo (Yr 12)
  • Career websites
  • Career articles – business and economics
  • Career articles – medical science
  • Free online career planning and job seeking program
  • Competitions – creative arts and photography
  • Would you like to work with computers? IT, software engineering, computer science – what’s the difference?
  • Do you have a passion for agriculture?
  • Endeavour College of Natural Health – open day
  • Macleay College – information sessions
  • Academy of Interactive Entertainment – open day
  • La Trobe University – Engineering & IT showcase
  • University vs apprenticeship – Riley’s story
  • Apprenticeship resources

Access the Careers News here

Visit the Pathways website here