February 19, 2021

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Principal's Message


Important Dates for Year 12s

Important Medical Information

Career News

Parent Engagement Committee

Road to Recovery in Mallacoota

Principal's Message

It has been a topsy-turvy week with the shift to remote learning occurring so quickly, and yet again this community has demonstrated its resilience, agility and adaptability.  Nevertheless, we were very pleased to welcome everyone back onsite on Thursday.  Thank you to all for your understanding and support.  I would especially like to acknowledge the teachers who have worked to adapt curriculum and keep students connected and motivated in the online space.

We are working to re-schedule the Opening School Mass and the High Achievers’ Assembly and will alert students and families to these dates once arrangements are made.

It was a pleasure to welcome families to the House Welcomes that took place over the first two weeks of the academic year.  I know that our Year 7 students were especially excited to receive their first badge, and to be officially welcomed as a member of their House.  I encourage all students to become familiar with the story of their House Patron and to discover the characteristics of that special woman whom they can begin to emulate in their own lives.  They are the qualities that make the St Columba’s College community what it is. 

Wednesday, 17 February marked the beginning of Lent, and this year the Project Compassion theme is Be More.  In an environment where so many more families are struggling financially as a result of the pandemic, the theme encourages all of us to give more of ourselves.  According to the traditions of the Sisters of Charity, “Give of your substance, not of your surplus”.

I came across this resource recently that supports us to focus on our impact on the Earth during Lent.  Laudato Si’ Lent, promoted by Global Catholic Climate Movement, takes as its theme Lent 2021:  A Journey of Hope – Reflect, Repent and Renew. Together.  It encourages each of us to take our personal responsibilities, and individual actions and commitments, and join them with others, in an effort to protect and save our planet.  This is the link to a very short video introduction –


A reflection for the beginning of Lent:

Slow us down for the fast.

Still our restless spirits…
Calm our racing minds …
Centre our being …
Let our longing linger.
Let it take root and create a beautiful yearning space that has time to ache …

Slow us down for the feast.

Silence the siren voices …
Wait for our weary voices to meet our need and find common ground …
Hold back the driving beat of our hearts
and let the drums of our internal wars fall silent …

Slow us down for the feast.

Before the journey begins …
Before the wanderlust calls us …
Before the wilderness beckons …
And breaks our searching spirits …

Slow us down for the fast. 

– Sally Foster-Fulton 


Sister Joan Chittister explains what Lent can be,

Lent is the opportunity to change what we ought to change but have not…

Lent is about becoming, doing and changing whatever it is that is blocking the fullness of life in us right now… 

Lent is a summons to live anew…

Lent is the time to let life in again, to rebuild the worlds we’ve allowed to go sterile, to “fast and weep and mourn” for the goods we’ve foregone. 

If our own lives are not to die from lack of nourishment, we must sacrifice the pride or the sloth or the listlessness that blocks us from beginning again. Then, as Joel (2:12-18) promises, God will have pity on us and pour into our hearts the life we know down deep that we are lacking. 

Important Dates for Year 12s

Here are some important dates for Year 12s students for 2021:

Swimming Carnival: 23 February

Athletics Carnival: 25 March

Trial Unit 3 & 4 Exams: Monday 27 September to Friday 1 October

VCAA Performance and Language Oral Examinations: 4th of October 2021 to the 31st of October

End of year VCAA Written Examinations: 27 October to 17 November

Important Medical Information

Medical Action Plans

We ask all families to please ensure your daughter’s Medical Action Plans are up to date in PAM. It is a Victorian Government Requirement in schools that Medical Action Plans are valid, plans are valid for one year from the date of doctor’s completion unless stated otherwise. 

Please delete expired plans in PAM, to ensure we only have the current plan available for viewing. 

If you require a new plan, please download and print in colour, from the links below. Attach a recent photograph, scribe your emergency contact name and phone number and take with you to the doctor for final completion. All sections must be completed. 

Anaphylaxis – Red

Allergy requiring medication – Green


All other medication required at school (except Asthma medication) MUST be stored at Student Reception in a prepared Medical Bag for your daughter, NOT in school bags or lockers.

Please contact First Aid Officer, Kylie Leckie, to discuss before sending any medication to school.


Illness at School

Please note, any student that attends school with any symptoms of illness will be sent home.

If a student or teacher of a student, report a cough, sore throat, fever, runny nose etc, they will be sent to the sick bay and collection from school must be immediate. A letter will be sent home with the student to advise COVID testing. Students are NOT to return to school until fully recovered from illness. Unfortunately, we have already had many students unwell or still recovering attending school. Please keep our school community safe by keeping students home when unwell. 

If you are concerned about attendance, please contact your daughter’s House Leader.

Please ensure your daughter has a clean face mask to wear each and every day.

Career News

This week’s Careers Newsletter includes the following information:

  • Apprenticeships and Traineeships
  • Medicine
  • Careers in the maritime industry
  • STEM
  • Applying for University
  • Early Entry Programs

Access the newsletter here.

Visit the Pathways website here.

Parent Engagement Committee

Tuesday evening saw the first meeting of the Parent Engagement Committee for 2021. In light of the COVID restrictions, the meeting took place via Google Meet.

It was wonderful to connect with former members and welcome new members.

The first event on our calendar is the Year 7 Meet and Greet evening which will be held on the 12th of March at the College.

The transition to secondary school from primary can be a little overwhelming for students, but more so for parents.  This event is a great opportunity for all Year 7 parents to get to know, not only other parents from this year level, but also to engage with the College’s Leadership Team.

Refreshments will be provided, so SAVE the DATE.  MARCH 12th @7:30PM at St Columba’s College.

Our online 2nd hand book/uniform sale which was launched in December of 2020 was a great success. Many thanks to James Williams, Tracey Cotroneo and Paula Minniti, for all their work in establishing and maintaining this online forum. Their efforts are greatly appreciated, not only by the College but also by the parent community.

We would like to remind parents that this Facebook page is still available.

The P.E.C. will be running the 2nd hand book/uniform sale ALL YEAR, so log on to sell and/or purchase!

The Parent Engagement Committee invite all parents of current students of St Columba’s College to attend our future meetings. It is an excellent way to stay connected with events happening at the College and gives you an opportunity to contribute to our community.

Next meeting is 16th of MARCH. Details of time and Google Meet link will be advertised closer to the date. Any queries for the Year 7 Meet and Greet, or other enquires can be made through the P.E.C’s email address:

Road to Recovery in Mallacoota

Last year, the Student Executive made one of their focuses on drawing attention to the effects of 2019 summer. One year on, we thought we would give an update on the East Gippsland region. In particular the small town of Mallacoota, a beachside town where each of us spend our summers. 

The effects of last year’s fire is still extremely evident in the East Gippsland region. As you travel along the freeway, you can visualise the pattern of the bushfire as you there are sections of trees that are untouched. Whereas on the other side of the road where trees are now burnt, skinny and black. Although there is a lot of damage and confronting sights to look at, nature has begun to regrow and come back to life over the past 12 months. 

During our returned trip we spoke with the locals and heard that they are planning to use their donation money (even some from America) to restore the Golf Course. Locals also reflected on how the effects of fires impacted the community through the development of bushfire recovery groups. These groups have allowed the community to recover and grow stronger together. 

The Mallacoota Arts Space (along the Main St) recently released their newest collection ‘Epicormic’. Epicormic buds lie dormant beneath the ground only appearing once the tree canopy is damaged, due to a natural disaster, such as a bushfire. This collection features over twenty local artists, including nine that lost their homes in the blaze. 

For more information about the gallery visit the link below.

Local Jewelry brand:

Further Recovery Information:

Don Ashby – Used his burnt fence as a canvas

Libby Greg – ‘Road to recovery’, was inspired by burnt road signs on her trip back to Mallacoota from NSW 

Lynn Casement – Totem pole, is remnants of her house saved from the ashes.

Yolande Oakely – ‘Slower, Deeper, Wiser’, honours the bird life and how she has lived her life, this past year.

All information regarding the artists and images was sourced from the article ‘Art to music, Mallcoota is slowly healing’