March 5, 2021

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Principal's Message


Columba's Coaches

High Achievers Assembly

Bronntanais o Dhia Program

Learning and Teaching at St Columba’s College

Parent Information Sessions and House Welcomes

Celebration of Excellence

Swimming Carnival

2021 Nunan Cup

Supporting our neighbours in Timor Leste

Interfaith Dialogue Day

The Synagogue

‘Simply Cups’, Coffee Cup Recycling Program

International Womens' Day

Careers News

Year 7 2023 Enrolment Dates

College Reunions

NCCD Parent Information

Principal's Message

Lenten Reflections

As we move deeper into the season of Lent, we reflect on the small sacrifices we are asked to build into our daily lives, as a reminder of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ. Our small sacrifices make room in our hearts and our lives as we prepare to accept the love that comes to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection – love that we must then continue to amplify in hope, as we strive to understand what it means for each one of us to be beloved children of God.


Thank you to all of the families who have contributed to the various consultations that have been underway at the College, including the review of our Student Leadership Model, the surveys seeking feedback from Year 7 and Year 12 families regarding the House Welcomes, and the parents who took part in panel interviews for my Principal Review.  We value feedback from staff, students and families at St Columba’s as we draw on the support and insight of all community members to continue to shape what we do and how we do it at the College.

Swimming Carnival

Thanks to Shellie Murton and the Health and PE Team for all of the work that goes into planning and running the Swimming Carnival.  It was a fun day for all and the fact that we were all able to brave the inclement conditions in the morning with a smile on our faces, set up a great spirit of participation and celebration for the remainder of the day.

College Reunions

It was a delight to welcome back the Class of 2019 for their reunion event on Wednesday, 24 February, after it was re-scheduled from the end of last year.  The young women who joined us found immense joy in reconnecting with one another. Thanks to Joan Dillon for her organisation of the event.

Our next event will take place on Saturday, 27 March between 3.00 pm and 5.00 pm, and it will be a gathering of alumnae who graduated from the College in a year ending in 0 – ie 1950, 1960, 1970, and so on.  We look forward to welcoming these women back to the College and hearing the stories of their lives and their fond memories of St Columba’s College.


Columba's Coaches

This new program aims to:

  • Create opportunities for recent graduates to remain connected and engaged with the St Columba’s College community
  • Promote these connections to our broader community
  • Provide a tutoring service to our current senior students which will support our goal to

improve student learning outcomes

The Columba’s Coach plays an important role in supporting student learning across Year 11 and 12 Unit 3/4 students.  A Columba’s Coach will be a high performing student in one or more of the following subjects: English, Further Mathematics, Biology and Legal Studies, and will have a desire to work with and assist the learning of other students.

The following graduates have been successful in their application to be Columba’s Coaches for 2021:

We look forward to working with them in this capacity.

Columba’s Coaching sessions will take place from 3.15 to 4.45pm every Monday and Wednesday and will be held in the Library. Year 11 and 12 students studying the subjects listed above will book into a session using a link provided on SIMON. A maximum of 10 students may work with a Coach each week, so it is important to get in early to book a spot.

High Achievers Assembly

The College took the opportunity to recognise and celebrate the wonderful accomplishments of our students during 2020, and in particular, the 2020 Year 12 students. The High Achievers’ assembly was an opportunity to welcome our graduates and their families back to the College, to acknowledge more than 46 students for their hard work and persistence, to celebrate their wonderful achievements and wish them all the best for the new challenges of life beyond secondary school. It was so wonderful to be able to have parents on site who had not been able to be with us physically throughout their daughters’ final year of schooling. It was a wonderful and joyous event.

View the outstanding achievements of our High Achievers here.

Bronntanais o Dhia Program

We are very pleased to announce the launch of our new recognition program entitled, Bronntanais o Dhia. This is a Gaelic phrase which translates to “gifts from God”. We feel it is a very apt name for our program as it celebrates the practise and development of the gifts and talents of our students for the good of our College community.

I have provided a link here so that you can read over the document for a better understanding of how it will operate this year.

Learning and Teaching at St Columba’s College

Learning is a core value of the College and viewed as the central activity of all individuals of our community.  As a community, we are committed to excellence, innovation, collaboration and continuous improvement because we believe that every student is capable of learning if they are motivated and engaged.  

In valuing learning at St Columba’s College, we challenge our students to achieve their personal best and aim to develop independent and critical thinkers. To support your daughter’s learning, students in Year 7 recently engaged in an Elevate Education study skills session. Students in Year 8 – 12 have previously completed a similar study skills program.

Since 2001, Elevate Education has been transforming the way study skills programs and have developed a program drawing upon 15 years of research into the habits of the top students. Elevate’s high impact seminars & workshops help students improve their study techniques, increase motivation and build confidence. 

Elevate Education is hosting a free webinar series for parents on preparing their children for the start of the 2021 school year. The next session will focus on Technology – Forming habits and finding the apps that help rather than hinder children will be held remotely on 10th March at 6 pm. If you are interested in the event please register at To access the recent webinar on Time Management – how to end the battle over homework deadlines, study schedules and prioritisation please access the webinar at

As a learning community, we value the support parents and guardians provide in the growth of each individual student.  Over the year, you will receive feedback from your daughter’s subject teachers outlining your daughter’s progress in each of the subject areas.  I encourage you to open the lines of communication with your daughter’s subject teachers so you are able to support your daughter with well-targeted learning opportunities.

Parent Information Sessions and House Welcomes

Following the recent Parent Information Sessions and House Welcomes we asked for feedback from families about the evening. We were happy to receive 60 responses from Year 7 families and 38 responses from our Year 12 families. We appreciate the engagement of our families in this special evening and for your support in helping us to improve this experience.

Here is a summary of the feedback gathered from families:

QuestionYear 7 Families

(% strongly agree and agree)

Year 12 Families

(% strongly agree and agree)

I found the information session very useful91.681
I understand the importance of the House Welcome for my daughter.100100
The House Welcome was a meaningful ceremony.100100
Taking part in the House Welcome was an enjoyable experience.100100
Did you remain for the BBQ?98.378.9

Parents were asked to give feedback about how satisfied they were with the:

  • Food provided
  • Drinks provided
  • Serving of food by students and staff
  • Welcoming of staff

Overwhelmingly, our parents were satisfied or very satisfied for each of the items above.

Some of the comments were:

Year 7 parent – It provided a beautiful sense of belonging to the school community

Year 7 parent – I thought the House Welcome was lovely. The introduction and PAM session was informative. The House Welcome was done really well, the piano/music being played was a great touch, the layout of the room was perfect, the service was well planned, just the right duration. It was good to hear both staff and house captain speak. I really enjoyed the House Welcome.

Year 12 parent: I thought it was lovely and intimate. Very informative without it being information overload

Year 12 parent: I really loved the house welcome as a year 12 parent. It is so wonderful to celebrate the year 12 students and especially in this forum of their house. The ceremony was not too long, perfectly timed.

We received important feedback too, particularly from the Year 7 families, about what other information families indicated they wanted to hear about. This information will be disseminated by the Wellbeing team when the PIN content is being reviewed in readiness for next.

Once again, thank you to all those who took the time to attend this special event and complete the survey.

Celebration of Excellence

In term 4, we will be celebrating the wonderful achievements of our students throughout 2021. 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

Swimming Carnival

On the 23rd of February,  St Columba’s held its annual House Swimming Carnival, with some unpredictable Melbourne weather the girls enjoyed a rollercoaster of a day. This year a ‘best costume’ award was introduced for the year 12s, congratulation to Molly Tyrrell and Ava Cullia for taking home this award. 

A special thanks is extended to the staff and students who worked tirelessly to support the running of this event. A huge congratulations and thank you to all the girls that participated throughout the day, your efforts and enthusiasm are not only applauded but greatly appreciated. A further congratulations to the following girls who achieved outstanding success and received year level champion in their respective year levels; 

Year 7: Indianna Climas (deLacy) 

Year 8: Emily Hallam (O’Brien) 

Year 9: Jaz Davis (Cahill) 

Year 10: Laura Overman (Cunningham) 

Year 11: Eliza Pitman (Bruton) 

Year 12: Alessandra Dent (deLacy)

Congratulations to Cahill house for being crowned overall winnings for the House swimming carnival 2021 and once again proving that participation is the key to success. At the end of the day overall scores were tallied with the results as follows; 

1st Cahill

2nd de Lacy

3rd Bruton

4th Williams 

5th O’Brien 

6th Cunningham

7th Cater 

After a whirlwind of a year in 2020, it was great to have the college community together again, regardless of the weather. Once again, congratulations to those girls that participated in rain or shine, whether you came first, second, third or even last every effort added to the success of the carnival.

2021 Nunan Cup

The Nunan Cup tournament for 2021 kicked off on Thursday the 18th of February with the intermediate and senior girls battling it out in the scorching heat. Ranging from beginners to seasoned tennis players all girls brought excitement and enthusiasm, providing a great amount of entertainment. In the senior competition, Olivia Bourke and Alisha Maslac replicated a battle similar to those in the recent Aus Open and after a thrilling match, Olivia was awarded the Nunan Cup. An amazing accomplishment after winning the Wade Cup last year!    

In the intermediate competition, six girls faced the heat and battled for the Wade Cup. After some remarkable shots in the competitive final, Daisi Kukuljan was successful, taking out the Wade Cup! The competition continued on Wednesday the 24th of February with the juniors courageously competing for the Godman Cup. In much cooler conditions the girls brought an amazing amount of enthusiasm, some having only hints of tennis experience. Congratulations to Sophie Conroy who was awarded the Godman Cup after another exciting night of tennis! 

Thank you and congratulations to all participants of our annual Nunan Cup tournament. All showed great sportsmanship and enthusiasm. A special thank you is extended to those who participated even with minimal tennis experience, your attendance is greatly appreciated. A further congratulation goes to those girls who have been selected to represent the school in SCSA tennis this March, Good luck girls!

SCSA 2021 Tennis Team: 


Singles: Sophie Conroy

Doubles A:  Caitlin Galliott, Estelle Tabet

Doubles B: Chiara Panuccio, Mimi Pivetta, Summer Hutchinson


Singles: Daisi Kukuljan

Doubles A: Minuki Hewa, Tahlia Panuccio

Doubles B: Elizabeth Haynes, Zahara Gruar, Sara Cristiano


Singles: Olivia Bourke

Doubles A:  Alisha Maslac, Eloise Sexton

Doubles B: Alyssa Origlia, Isabella Giampiccolo, Alana Hadeed


Supporting our neighbours in Timor Leste

Endless Events (a working division of Cert III in Events)  are supporting the Balibo Timor Leste Fundraiser in their collection of donated supplies. The much needed donations will support the development of the Women’s Centre (day care) located in Timor Leste. Endless Events are looking for donations that might be useful for children such as baby clothes or toys that you no longer need but are in good condition.

We are also helping the local secondary schools in Timor Leste and are looking for particular materials that could be used by their students. In particular any stationary such as display folders, binders, rulers, texters, pens or pencils or anything you no longer want but is of good quality.

Donation boxes will be labeled and located outside of Gayip-Bik, in front of the Kernan offices and Student Reception.

We would appreciate your contributions by Wednesday 24 March 2021.

Interfaith Dialogue Day

Being the only Year 9s at the 2021 Interfaith Day, we found that we have a greater understanding of the Muslim community but also had the opportunity to develop a stronger relationship with the older year levels. We realised that these girls are just like us, teenage girls. We communicated with them about our different faiths and beliefs, but also about injustices that women are experiencing in today’s world. Throughout the day, we were exposed to some hard-hitting questions that made us reconsider our viewpoints of the world. Although they were difficult to answer at the time we feel that this has really helped us to open our hearts wider, which coincidentally was the theme of the day. We can now recognise that although Catholicism and Muslim Religions are different, in a corresponding way, there are many similarities to our beliefs. We not only walked out of this day with new knowledge and ideas but also with new friendships with the girls from Ilim College.

By: Poppy Gallaugher and Siena Rumoro

On Wednesday the 3rd of March, 18 St Columba’s students participated in the schools ‘Interfaith Dialogue Day’, spending the day with students from Ilim College. Our focus of the day was ‘Opening wider the doors of our hearts’, this idea formulated through inspiration from Malala and Pope Francis’ call to empower through dialogue. We spent the day engaging in various activities, all of which required us to come together and participate in conversation about the day’s theme. As a result of this dialogue, we were able to gain an understanding of each other as we learnt new things about each of the schools practising religions, and through this, recognise that religion does not stand as a barrier of separation and that when opening our hearts wider, we can unite and come together. Our differences in religious beliefs are what enabled us to reflect and converse about our theme, as it provided varying perspectives and ideas.

By: Scarlett Wilms

The Synagogue

On March 2, in preparation for their assessment on the Background to the Gospel of Luke, the Unit 3 Texts and Traditions class visited the oldest Synagogue in Australia, located in Albert Street, East Melbourne. Rabbi Dovid Gutnick and office manager Ruth Leonard welcomed the girls and we were given a tour of this sacred place and shown many precious artifacts. Rabbi Gutnick shared his vast and deep knowledge of Judaism and spoke with authority on many points of history, Patriarchs, Prophets, beliefs and rituals.

The girls expressed their appreciation, revealing the value of such a special and useful experience. 


Dear Rabbi Gutnick, 

We thank you for making time to teach us your knowledge about the Synagogue, as well as the history of Jewish people and culture that has formed Judaism today. We also appreciate your expert knowledge when answering our questions and deeply analysing and explaining what we have asked. We wish to thank you for inspiring us to learn more about the events of Jewish history. 

We hope that we can see you again in the future to take on board some more of your knowledge. This was an amazing experience that has further developed our understanding of the historical people, buildings and structures and their significance. We respect the time and effort that went into giving us the full run-down of life as a Jew in the 21st Century. Trying to understand Jewish culture and traditions with just readings was very challenging, so giving us real life examples and stories impacted in a positive way, helping the information sink in. We are so grateful for you to help us to closer understand the Jewish faith and what the communities faith and values are. We appreciate the time spent out of your day to give us further insight into a community we may never have had a chance to further study. You have answered our questions with much information to spare and broadened our understanding on historical and present Judaism and that was incredibly generous of you.


The Text & Traditions class from St Columba’s College

‘Simply Cups’, Coffee Cup Recycling Program

The College and Environment Group are very proud to announce that we have partnered with 7/11’s ‘Simply Cups’ program. This initiative recycles disposable coffee cups, slurpee cups and straws, to recycle them into useful items. Stations have been set up around the College where students can deposit their recyclables which will then be taken to the local 7/11 store on Napier Street. The waste items are recycled into items such as road surfaces, traffic management devices, furniture and reusable cups that can be purchased at 7/11 stores. This is an important initiative as currently, around one billion disposable coffee cups go into Australian landfills each year.

However, we strongly urge our community members to use reusable cups instead, as recycling is a finite circular process. We see this as just one of the many steps we are taking to become a more environmentally conscious community.

For more information, please visit the ‘Simply Cups’ website at

International Womens' Day

On Monday is International Womens’ Day. It is a chance to celebrate the strong women who have come before us. We celebrate their achievements and their drive, their faith and their fire. 

We ask our Lord for his guidance in living our lives in the spirit of these women. 

We strive to be strong and brave and daring,

To be compassionate and kind and faithful,

To have the courage to challenge inequalities seen in our society. 

Most of all, we strive to be a source of inspiration for the next generation of strong young women.

All members of the St Columba’s community are invited to celebrate this day by joining in our activities on Tuesday. But we also would like to invite you to watch an online service on Monday night (from 9:00pm) by Voices of Faith, a group of nuns and lay-women from around the world. It is free and you can register using this link: We hope to see you there!

May the Lord be with you all,

Careers News

This week’s Career Newsletter covers information on the following topics:

  • Free careers program for students who love hands-on learning
  • Study university in the US or the UK – webinars
  • Australian Defence Force – gap year program applications now open!
  • Australian Defence Force Academy
  • Interested in becoming a flight attendant?
  • University scholarships for high achieving Year 12 students
  • Australia National University and University of New England – applications now open for the 2022 intake
  • Find your career crush – take the 5-minute quiz
  • Inspirational Indigenous students working in STEM
  • A – Z of health careers
  • Download inspirational information about different STEM careers
  • Do you have a passion for science and the ocean?
  • Dates for your diary

Access the newsletter here.

Visit the pathways website here.

Year 7 2023 Enrolment Dates

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 2023:

  • Applications for Enrolment close Friday 20 August 2021
  • Offers of Enrolment will be mailed out Friday 22 October 2021
  • Offers of Enrolment to be accepted/declined by Friday 12 November 2021

Applications are open for Year 7 2023. An Application for Enrolment form can be downloaded from the College website or collected from Reception. Please ensure you submit an application form for your daughter even if you already have a daughter at the College.

College Reunions

The College is once again holding reunions for the Graduating class of 2020 (26th October) and the Graduating classes ending in 1’s, ie 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991, 2001 and 2011 (6th November). Watch this space for more information.

The College is also holding reunions for the Graduating class of 2020 (24th February) and the Graduating classes ending in 0’s, ie 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010 (27th March). Watch this space for more information.

The College would also like to offer assistance to anyone who is organising a Reunion for their Graduating year. We can assist with finding a venue, sending invites, creating posts on our Facebook page, Try booking event setup, photos (if we have some) and many other things.

If you are thinking of organising a Reunion and would help from the College please contact

NCCD Parent Information

Access information regarding NCCD here.