December 14, 2020

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Principal's Message


Celebration of Excellence Awards

The Success of VCAL

World Aids Day


2020 Nunan Cup

Second Hand Book and Uniform Sale Update

Office Closure

Principal's Message

Celebration of Excellence

It was my pleasure to present students with their awards in recognition of academic and community leadership achievements.  All names are listed further on in this edition of the IONA.  I offer my congratulations to all of the award recipients.

Celebrating Community

I have spoken a fair deal about community this year, its importance and the impact of its absence, brought into stark relief by the restrictions forced on us as a result of the global pandemic.  I happened upon this in my parish bulletin last weekend.  Written by Henri J Nouwen, a Dutch priest and theologian, who later went on to work in and with disabled communities, it is an eloquent summary of all that I feel in my heart about our St Columba’s College community.


Nothing is sweet or easy about community.  Community is a fellowship of people who do not hide their joys and sorrows but make them visible to each other as a gesture of hope.

In community we say: “Life is full of gains and losses, joys and sorrows, ups and downs — but we do not have to live it alone.  We want to drink our cup together and thus celebrate the truth that the wounds of our individual lives, which seem intolerable when lived alone, become sources of healing when we live them as part of a fellow-ship of mutual care.”

Community is like a large mosaic.  Each little piece seems so insignificant.  One piece is bright red, another cold blue or dull green, another warm purple, another sharp yellow, another shining gold.  Some look precious, others ordinary.  Some look valuable, others worthless.  Some look gaudy, others delicate.  We can do little with them as individual stones except compare them and judge their beauty and value.  When, however, all these little stones are brought together in one big mosaic, portraying the face of Christ, who would ever question the importance of any one of them?  If one of them, even the least spectacular one, is missing, the face is incomplete.  Together in the one mosaic, each little stone is indispensable and makes a unique contribution to the glory of God.  That’s community, a fellowship of little people who together make God visible in the world.


I would like to wish all of the students leaving us at the end of the year all the very best for their new endeavours.  My prayer for you is that the story of the Sisters of Charity, women who have made a mark in the world on behalf of the poor and the marginalised, continues to inspire your lives. 

It is also a sad time when we farewell the staff who will be leaving the College at the end of the year.  In different ways, each staff member has left an impression on those with whom they have journeyed, and they will be missed.  This year we farewell: 

Shane Taylor, Nella Cirillo, Marian Birkett, Lina Basile, Yasmin Quinlan, Leo Twomey, Glen Borg, Joshua Di Pietro, David Lovatt, Melissa Vella, Gabriella Ibbott, Darcie Foley, Rowena Bernal-Richards, Marina Bartolameazzi. 

We send off these staff members with our love and best wishes.  On behalf of the College community, I offer this beautiful John O’Donohue blessing for the students and staff who are departing: 

Awaken your spirit to adventure,

Hold nothing back,

learn to find ease in risk;

Soon you will be home

in a new rhythm,

For your soul senses

the world that awaits you.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

After the tumultuous and turbulent year that we have all experienced, I am sure that everyone is looking forward to the peace that this holiday season will bring.  I take this opportunity to thank you once again for your overwhelming support this year as we have responded to the pandemic.  Your patience, understanding and feedback were instrumental in ensuring we provided the most appropriate response given the circumstances.

I would like to wish every family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  May the joyful anticipation of the advent season be realised as we awaken our hearts to the love of the newborn Christ.


I look forward to welcoming you all back in 2021.



Advent Prayer 

God of hope, who brought love into this world,

be the love that dwells between us.

God of hope, who brought peace into this world,

be the peace that dwells between us.

God of hope, who brought joy into this world,

be the joy that dwells between us.

God of hope, the rock we stand upon,

be the centre, the focus of our lives

always, and particularly this Advent time.


Celebration of Excellence Awards

The College’s Celebration of Excellence Assemblies took place on Friday 27 November for Years 7 to 10 award recipients, and Monday 29 November for Year 11 award recipients. It was an opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate students for their many and varied achievements throughout this tumultuous year. 

It was unfortunate and disappointing that we were not able to have parents or guardians and staff attend the assemblies. The five assemblies have been combined to create a video for our College community. The link to the video is provided here

Congratulations, once again, to the following students on their outstanding achievements:

Year 7

Art – Daisy Lawrie

Art – Daniella Smith

Dance – Isabell Moschini

Dance – Daniella Smith

Drama – Danielle Condron

Drama – Martine Eid

English – Annabelle Bayona

English – Daisy Lawrie

French – Lucia Ragnanese

French – Mary Saad

Health and Physical Education – Zara Cheel

Health and Physical Education – Summer Hutchinson

Humanities – Isabella Rivellese

Humanities – Summer Hutchinson

Italian – Sienna D’Andrea

Italian – Jemma Lowrie

Japanese – Brielle Giglia

Japanese – Ashleigh Nguyen 

Mathematics – Isabella Rivellese

Mathematics – Zara Cammerino

Music – Gianna Nguyen

Music – Charlotte Mollica

Religious Education – Emily Sparano

Religious Education – Daisy Lawrie

Rich Task – Amy Willoughby

Rich Task – Celeste Umbrella

Science – Emily Sparano

Science – Zara Cheel

Art Acquisition: Head of Students – Evie Fleming 

Outstanding Community Service Award – Olivia Sember

Year 8

Art – Kathy Vo

Art – Mia Tascone

Dance – Emma Sheridan

Dance – Erin D’Agostini

Drama – Charlotte Hrehoresin

Drama – Erin D’Agostini

English – Jaz Davies

English – Poppy Gallaughar

French – Darcie Robinson

French – Emy Augson

Health and Physical Education – Madeleine Campana

Health and Physical Education – Mia Tascone

Humanities – Jaz Davies

Humanities – Tereza Quinn

Italian – Tara Ganci

Italian – Madeleine Campana

Japanese – Kathy Vo

Japanese – Mia Tran

Mathematics – Mia Tascone 

Mathematics – Tara Ganci

Music – Isabella Page

Music – Maddison Papadatos

Religious Education – Madeleine Campana

Religious Education – Kiran Nasir

Fiontar – Madeleine Campana

Fiontar – Poppy Gallaughar

Science – Mia Tascone

Science – Erin D’Agostini

The Cronin Encouragement Award – Claire Ostrowski

Art Acquisition: Head of Learning & Teaching – Isabella Timpano 

Outstanding Community Service Award – Charlotte Hreshoresin

Year 9

Music – Serena Cooper-Nolan

Beauty and the Beast – Emily Patton

Dance – Alessia Mastromauro

Designer Life – Bridie Synan

Digital Design and Technology – Charlotte Leighton

Drama – Emily Patton

English – Rose-Mary Vu

English – Genevieve Galea

Journalism – Loretta Peszek

French – Piashay Soler

Humanities – Lauren Ryan-Green

Humanities – Sarah Truccolo

Health and Physical Education – Claudia De La Porte

Health and Physical Education – Tara Werden

Italian – Alessia Mastromauro 

Japanese – Emily Ng

Advanced Mathematics – Stella Vu

Mathematics – Tara Werden

Mathematics – Siena Mariani

Reality Check – Ai-My Vu

Religious Education – Siena Mariani

Religious Education – Tara Werden

Riot of Colour – Laura Schwindt

Science – Tara Werden

Science – Rachel Duquemin

Tinker Design and Create – Zoe Cameron

The Dinner Party – Grace Sinnadurai

What’s the story – Verona Augello

Art Acquisition: Deputy Principal – Jenelle Scar 

Outstanding Community Service Award – Zoe Dungan

Bruton House Patron Leadership Award – Lara Pravica

Cahill House Patron Leadership Award – Eleanor Buchanon

Cater House Patron Leadership Award – Monique Davood

Cunningham House Patron Leadership Award – Georgia Cutajar

de Lacy House Patron Leadership Award – Sienna Amato 

O’Brien House Patron Leadership Award – Emma Cihangar

Williams House Patron Leadership Award – Genevieve Galea

Year 10

Be Active – Macey Boyle

Astrophysics – Isabella Bourke

Community Health – Lillian Nguyen

Collage to Camera – Zoe De Silva Abeyewickreme

Corset Couture – Liana Borrello

English – Zoe De Silva Abeyewickreme

English – Lillian Nguyen

French – Katherine Kopistinskjj

Geography – Isabelle Delija

History – Ellie D’Andrea

iDesign – Emma Grogan

In Sickness and in Health – Scarlett Wilms

Italian – Isabella Rumoro

Introduction to Psychology – Christina Zia

Life Science – Reyziah Pama 

Leisure – Be in it! – Reyziah Pama

Make it Funky – Caitlin Horton-Crundall

Media Maker – Kristy Nicolaou

Modern Mona – Milla Farrall

Foundation MathematicsEden Morano

General Mathematics – Lily Bateman

Mathematical Methods – Isabella Giampiccolo

Music – Siana Larkin

Power and Law – Katherine Kopistinskjj

PreCal Literature – Reyziah Pama 

Pathways – Lillian Nguyen

Unit 1 Religion & Society – Giuseppina Siciliano

Unit 1 Religion & Society – Scarlett Wilms

Science – Zoe De Silva Abeyewickreme

Science – Leah Tabet

Sports Coaching – Morgan Kukuljan

STEM – Tiana Lo Guidice

World of Business – Rhiannon Pondeljak

The Eileen Stainkamph Award – Siana Larkin

The Eileen Stainkamph Award – Imogen Rawlings 

Marshall Medal Excellence in STEM – Rachel Dunne

ADF Future Innovators Award – Corrie Sawicki-Bennett

ADF Leadership & Teamwork Award – Annalise Ferbrache

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program – Eloise Sexton

Outstanding Community Service Award – Imogen Rawlings

Year 11

Unit 2 Texts in Society – Therese Hockey

Accounting – Chelsea Munivrana

Applied Computing – Isabelle Delija

Art – Quynh Pham

Biology – Alexandra Hatzievangelou

Business Management – Ruby Phelps

Chemistry – Alysha Lowrie

Dance (Unit 1 & 2) – Imogen Rawlings

Drama – Mikaela Mihocic

Economics – Olivia Thompson

English – Jasmine Barrass

Literature – Florence Cooper

French – Jasmine Barrass

Geography – Jasmine Barrass

Health and Human Development – Alexandra Hatzievangelou

History – Karen Cen

Italian – Alexandra Hatzievangelou

Japanese – Ammie Ng

Legal Studies – Therese Hockey

Media – Zoe Blackmore

General Mathematics – Therese Hockey

Mathematical Methods – Therese Hockey

Specialist Mathematics – Lucy Saporito

Music Performance – Allanah Hessey

Physical Education – Ciara Cashin

Physics – Alessandra Dent

Psychology – Alisha Maslac

Studio Arts – Maxy Krslovic

Visual Communication and Design – Quynh Pham

VET – Sport and Recreation – Chloe Perrett

VCAL – Hannah Byrne

Outstanding Community Service Award – Bridget Kennedy


Year 7 Pursuit of Excellence Award Isabella Rivellese

Year 8 Pursuit of Excellence Award Madeleine Campana

Year 9 Pursuit of Excellence Award Tara Werden

Year 10 Pursuit of Excellence Award Lillian Nguyen

Year 11 Pursuit of Excellence Award Therese Hockey



The Success of VCAL

The St Columba’s College VCAL program endeavors to create opportunities for students to gain  industry experience in a vocation they love whilst still studying at school. 

With an individualised learning program, students have the opportunity to study at school, TAFE and also complete a work placement in an industry of their choice

This year The VCAL students have undertaken study in various fields such as Allied Health, Beauty, Interior Design, Business, Hospitality, Screen Media, Events, Early Childhood Education and Care, Community Services and Electrotechnology. 

Year to year the VCAL program has grown in success and despite the challenges of 2020 our students have flourished to become the best they can be. 

Here is what some of families and employers have to say:


I went to ACU yesterday to hand in her application. The person processing that application was very impressed by the fact that Teresa had completed.


Certificate III in Allied Health

Certificate II in Community Services

First Aid Certificate

Certificate III in Business Administration


Plus her VCAL High Achiever award.


This is a clear endorsement of the St Columba’s College VCAL Program and their VCAL Staff. I am very thankful for the VCAL program at St Columba’s College!!

Year 12 parent Joe Vartulli  (Teresa Vartulli)


Teresa Vartulli has been accepted into the Diploma of Nursing at Australian Catholic University and was also the recipient of the St Columba’s College VCAL High Achiever Award for 2020. 




I just wanted to say a huge thank you for everything you have done for Ella over the last two years.


After struggling in the early years, Ella has thrived in VCAL. Her confidence and maturity grew and she has great life experiences through school and work.  I rave to all my friends about the benefits of VCAL.


I am really proud of what she has achieved both in and out of school. They are really impressed with her at the hospital so fingers crossed she can get a part time job there.

Year 12 parent Angela Brebner (Ella Brebner)



Ella is a credit to the school and the VCAL pathway she has studied.  Ella presented extremely well, spoke clearly, delivered concise appropriate answers to each of the questions.  Very impressive… one point in the interview I was looking at Ella thinking at her age I could not have carried myself as well nor answered the questions so professionally as she was doing. The Women’s Health Clinics are looking forward to her joining our team.

Tracey Tormey, Nurse Unit Manager, Royal Women’s Hospital


Ella Brebner has been successful in securing a part job at the Royal Women’s Hospital and has also been accepted into the Diploma of Nursing at Australian Catholic University.  

Over lunch today, Cert II student, Alessia Cremasco, told me how she made up her mind to study at Elly over 3 years ago, and this year moved to St Columba’s so she could enrol in our Cert II Retail Cosmetics VET course. Once she completes Cert II will progress to Diploma and then the Dermal Therapy Degree.

She’s so focused on her career plan into the work of Advanced Skin that she already knows that she wants to work at HUD skin & Body with Gry and work with DMK.

So today she came to organise her CV to Gry to apply for Friday work experience whilst still at School.

Another example where age is irrelevant and attitude is everything. Totally impressed by the focus and ambition of this serious skincare future leader.

Alex Zotos, Principal, Elly Lukas Beauty Therapy College (Alessia Cremasco)


Alessia will be studying her Certificate 3 in Beauty at Elly Lukas College and has been offered an ongoing work placement at HUD Skin + Melbourne located in St Kilda for 2021.


World Aids Day

On Tuesday the 1st of December, St Columba’s raised awareness for World Aids Day. World Aids Day is acknowledged each year, to raise awareness for the HIV virus. This year, members of the Social Justice group welcomed students into school, while handing out red ribbons. 

Students were asked to pin these ribbons onto their blazer, to show their support for people living with HIV. This event, hoped to start conversations between students, about this serious continued issue in our society. 

This year, we chose to commemorate Freddie Mercury, by celebrating his talents. Students entered the gates, hearing Queen’s famous songs, to remember one man that died, due to this virus. 

We would just like to thank Mr Fournier, Ms Fleeton, Ms Tran, Sophia Chiera and Lauren Nicolas for their support. 



In the subject of Work Related Skills (WRS) in the VCAL program, the girls split into two teams and developed projects to help those in need and working to help others. My team, worked towards helping the front line workers who have tirelessly worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As a team, we joined forces to make positive message cookies and thankful cards using the laser-cutter we have here at school. 

Ms Bajada and I delivered the gifts last Monday and the staff were absolutely joyous and grateful for all we had done for them. 

Overall, we all enjoyed the project very much and were so happy to see the smiles on everyone’s faces.


2020 Nunan Cup

In a year where most things were canceled the Nunan Cup tournament was one of those very few events that was fortunate enough to take place in 2020. 

The junior competition was well fought out, congratulations to Zahara Gruar who successfully took out the inaugural Godman Cup. The intermediate competition was played with immense skill and competitiveness, congratulations to Olivia Bourke who successfully took out the inaugural Wade Cup. The senior competition was decided in a thrilling match, congratulations to Adele Roeder who successfully took out the inaugural Nunan Cup.

It was great to see the enthusiasm and excitement in which the students approached each match. Thank-you to all the students who participated in our annual Nunan Cup tournament, without you this tournament wouldn’t continue to be as successful as it is.  We look forward to seeing all of you next year and for many years to come.


Second Hand Book and Uniform Sale Update

It is that time of year again! The second hand book and uniform sale will be held virtually this year, with the launch date set as Monday 7 December.

The PEC have created a private Facebook group to help facilitate sales, you can join the group from today, to buy or sell.

Click here to join the group

If you have any questions please email


Office Closure