March 26, 2024

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Principal's Message

Notices from the Deputy Principal


Catholic Education Week Mass

Cultural Diversity Week

French Excursion - French Fix Café

Neurospicy Tips & Tricks #5

St Columba’s Shin-ai Girls School Sister School Exchange Program

Sports Update

Sophia Library Holiday Opening Hours

Important Dates

Principal's Message

Celebrating a Wonderful Term

It is hard to believe that this is the last week of Term One. There is so much to celebrate from these past 8 weeks, not least of which is how the students have committed to their learning. I am very proud to take tour groups through the College – what they experience and observe is the settled, engaged and focussed learning taking place in different classrooms across the school. Congratulations to all students on prioritising their learning.

Learning Dispositions reports will be distributed shortly. We have set high expectations for these learning behaviours – if a teacher believes that a student is not exhibiting a learning disposition for at least 70% of the time, that disposition will be marked as “Needs Attention”. We are sending a clear message to students about our expectations – and our young people have responded proactively and positively to this challenge.

Athletics Carnival

Congratulations to all those who attended and participated in the Athletics Carnival on Thursday 20 March. A perfect day was ours for the taking, as students participated in events and encouraged one another in their efforts. A huge thank you to Ms Shellie Murton for all of the organisation and preparation that goes into these events, and to the Health and Physical Education Staff for their experienced and practical support on the day.

Cultural Diversity Week

It was a joy to celebrate Cultural Diversity Week at the College, celebrating the diversity that brings life and variety to our humanity. Thank you to the members of the Faith and Mission Team who organised the lunchtime events for this week.

This is a short piece from writer Andy Hamilton, SJ, about why diversity is important to us as a Catholic community.

In Australia cultural diversity is the air we breathe. The people we work with and live among come from many different nations and cultures, and we constantly need to attend to and celebrate our difference.

Diversity is in the Christian DNA. The Gospel initially spread in the Jewish world, but soon extended to many different cultures, adapting itself to each. Christian prayer bears the marks of many different historical cultures, and many Christian heroes are people who have left their own societies and risked their lives to speak of Jesus in other cultures.

The Christian feast day of diversity is Pentecost Sunday, when the Holy Spirit came down on the disciples and they began to preach to people from many different nations and languages. The miracle of Pentecost was not that the disciples spoke many different languages, but that people heard and understood each in their own language. That is cultural diversity – people gathering together in their difference to celebrate their unity.

International Women’s Day

As a follow-up to the wonderful International Women’s Day celebrations we held at St Columba’s College, I share this speech delivered by the Honourable Tanya Plibersek MP to the NSW Catholic Schools for their IWD Breakfast. In it she particularly honours the nuns who have been society builders since they first arrived in Australia. She called them women of action, who followed vision with practical action; who ran towards need and did so with love. We are the inheritors and keepers of a story filled with courageous women of action whose deeds, large and small, provided the infrastructure for the education, health and social support systems we enjoy today.

Happy Easter

Holy Week commenced this past Sunday, with the joyous celebration of Palm Sunday, as Jesus was welcomed as a celebrity and a hero, into Jerusalem. The Gospel reading on Sunday was Mark’s telling of Jesus being taken into custody, scourged and crucified. Two very different foci as part of the mass. Jesus rode knowingly into Jerusalem, understanding that he had aggrieved the powers that be. Despite his knowledge, he went obediently, doing his Father’s will. The glory, and the fall, and then the glory again on Easter Sunday, but not without sacrifice.

As we journey closer to Easter, we reflect on the small sacrifices we are called to make in our lives, for the sake of love – family, friends, colleagues. It is love that brings us closer to God, and love that helps us to understand Jesus’ death and resurrection.

Wishing all of our families a very Happy Easter, and a safe term break for all our students. We look forward to everyone’s return on 15 April.


Notices from the Deputy Principal


It was decided this year to trial a different method of celebrating the significant women in the
lives of our students. Previously, the High Tea event had a significant cost associated with it
and the number of participants was limited. The Breakfast celebration is a free event for our
mothers/mother figures and students. We look forward to seeing you on Thursday 9 May.


PARENT EDUCATION PROGRAM: Carrots & Sticks – Dr Justin Coulson

We are incredibly fortunate because we will be hosting Dr Justin Coulson at St. Columba’s College on Thursday 30 May – be sure to save this date so that you can meet Justin in person. St. Columba’s has joined with Ave Maria to provide this event for our parents. The session will run from 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Theatrette at St. Columba’s College.

The session is called Carrots & Sticks – Better ways to build boundaries with your kids

Punishment and reward are the foundation of discipline for most parents. Parents would prefer not to yell, threaten, use time-out, smack, or generally get the kids in trouble… but what else is there? And when it comes to rewards, they’re a pain to administer. All those stickers and gold stars. Plus, why should we have to bribe kids to pick up their mess or be nice to their siblings?

The typical toolkit for parental discipline needs an update. Fortunately, smart science is pointing the way to positive parenting solutions for every parent. Join Dr Justin Coulson for this provocative presentation as he slays several sacred cows of the parenting world.

You’ll discover:

  • Why punishment is unhelpful in raising thoughtful and considerate kids
  • The reasons time-out needs to stay in the naughty corner and never come out again
  • The challenges with praise and why it can hurt children’s development and growth
  • The most powerful parenting strategies to help guide your children successfully

You’ll discover:

  • Why punishment is unhelpful in raising thoughtful and considerate kids
  • The reasons time-out needs to stay in the naughty corner and never come out again
  • The challenges with praise and why it can hurt children’s development and growth
  • The most powerful parenting strategies to help guide your children successfully

Please view this video from Dr Justin: St. Columba’s & Ave Maria Colleges | 30 May 2024 and use this Try booking link  to register your attendance at this Parent Workshop.



Every parent in our community is a member of the PEC and we welcome your involvement. If anyone is interested in joining the PEC or learning more about what we do you can join us in person or online – 7.30pm – Here are the PEC meeting dates and events planned for 2024:             

  • 23 April
  • 14 May
  • Tuesday 21 May                          Male Mentor Night
  • 16 July
  • Saturday 31 August                     Trivia Night
  • 20 August
  • 17 September
  • 15 October
  • Friday 15 November                     2025 Yr 7 Parents’ Welcome
  • 19 November

Thank you to the parents who attended this event last Friday! It was a wonderful opportunity to meet and chat with parents about how transition has been for their children but also for them as they navigate this significant change. We encourage parents to participate in our upcoming events.

If you have any questions or feedback for the PEC, please contact us at



Join our free webinar on Tuesday 26 March at 12.30 pm, to learn how to keep young people safe on popular social media platforms they might be using, like TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. This webinar is suitable for parents and carers of young people in primary and early secondary school.



As we journey through the final days of Lent and approach the solemn occasion of Holy Week, we are reminded of the unwavering courage demonstrated by Christ’s apostles. In those tumultuous times, as Jesus endured his agonising Passion, the apostles did not abandon him, despite the risks to their own safety. Their fidelity, in the face of escalating hostility and persecution, is a profound testament to the transformative power of faith.

We find a similar spiritual fortitude in the first five Religious Sisters of Charity to make the arduous journey to Australia. Leaving behind all that was familiar, these devout women embraced a mission of selfless service, undeterred by the vast uncertainties awaiting them in a new land. Just as the apostles persisted alongside Christ through his darkest hours, so too did the Sisters of Charity cling to the light of their beliefs as they ventured into the unknown.

In their shared examples, both the apostles and the pioneering Sisters model for us the remarkable strength that arises when our conviction remains steadfast in the direst of circumstances. Their lives challenge us to nurture that same unshakeable trust in the face of our own trials and adversities.

Lord of Unwavering Love, as we bear witness to the apostles’ loyalty amid the turbulence of Christ’s Passion, fill our spirits with a measure of their dauntless faith. Give us the fortitude to remain committed to you and your teachings, even when the path grows arduous.

Just as you filled the first five Sisters of Charity in Australia with holy courage to answer your call across the world, embolden us to fervently embrace the vocations and roles to which you summon us in our own lives. Grant us the apostolic zeal to proclaim your truth and the perseverance to be unwavering vessels of your light, even amid shadows of adversity. We ask this in your Most Sacred Name.

Mary Aikenhead, pray for us

Catholic Education Week Mass

Last week, I had the privilege of attending the Catholic Education Week Mass as one of the five students representing STC. It was an extraordinary experience, filled with profound moments of reflection and spiritual connection.

The theme of the Mass, “In the Light of Christ,” resonated deeply with me. It served as a powerful reminder of the guiding presence of Christ in our lives and the importance of embracing His light amidst the challenges and complexities of the world. As a Year 11 student who holds strong Christian beliefs, this theme struck a chord within me, reaffirming my faith and commitment to living in accordance with Christ’s teachings.

The Mass was presided over by the Archbishop of Melbourne, Most Reverend Peter A. Comensoli. His presence and words of wisdom added a sense of reverence and inspiration to the ceremony. Archbishop Comensoli’s guidance reminded me of the profound responsibility we all share in spreading the light of Christ through our actions and words.

Being part of this Mass was not only a spiritual journey but also a reminder of the strength and unity found within our Catholic community. It was heartwarming to see students, teachers, and families come together in prayer and celebration of our shared faith.

Attending the Catholic Education Week Mass was truly a blessing, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have been a part of it. As I continue my journey as a student at STC, I carry with me the lessons learned and the spirit of Christ’s light, guiding me through each day.

Yours in faith,

Maria D -Year 11

Cultural Diversity Week

Cultural Diversity Week

Cultural Diversity Week is a time dedicated to honoring and celebrating the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our vibrant community. Throughout last week, we commemorated each day with a variety of distinct activities.

– Monday a World Map was placed in Gayip Biik for students to place a dot on from where they are from.

– Monday to Friday, a Mickey Mouse Scavenger Hunt was organised featuring daily clues. Congratulations to Emily Z, Charlotte L, Isabelle C, Alessia H and Jorja M for finding Mickey.

–  On both Monday and Wednesday, international shows were screened during lunchtime in Gayip Biik.

– On Tuesday, an International Dance Party with Just Dance took place in Gayip Biik, where students spun, twirled, and grooved to music from various corners of the globe.

– On Friday, we culminated the week with a Disco featuring DJ Echo beats spinning international tunes in the Hall. Several door prizes, including two $25 Benny and Me Vouchers, were distributed. A heartfelt thank you to Benny and Me for generously donating the vouchers.

Justice Corner

To showcase our Everyday Heroes in our own community we will interview someone for each Iona issue to highlight how blessed we are to belong to a community inspired by the life of Mary Aikenhead. We aspire to carry on her legacy of service to the poor and vulnerable and alleviating poverty in all its forms in society today.

This issue we spoke to Mrs Mary Udovicic: Teacher and Companion in Mission

Hello, I am Mrs Mary Udovicic and I became part of the wonderful St Columba’s College community in January 2024. I teach Religious Education to students in Years 8, 9, 11 and 12. I am sure it was the Holy Spirit that led me to St Columba’s College, as Ignatian Spirituality plays an important part in my life. Mary Aikenhead was imbued with the Ignatian heritage and this continues to inform the Sisters of Charity where they find God in all things. Part of my time when I am not teaching is spent completing voluntary work with the Sisters, Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ). I am the voluntary Australian Area Coordinator for Companions in Mission (CiM). Companions in Mission are lay people who try to be witnesses to the love of God through the particular FCJ charism given to the Church. CiM do their best to model companionship, which is the cornerstone of the charism. It is this companionship to others which lies at the heart of what CiM try to do each day; help those who thirst from injustice or marginalisation, or lack access and opportunity to make their lives better. Like the Sisters of Charity, CiM’s commitment is to acknowledge and act in ways that always respect the human dignity of each person. We are also in growing in awareness of the great need to care for our common home, this planet on which we find ourselves. As I am the CiM Area Coordinator for Australia a great deal of my voluntary work is administrative, however, Companions in Mission are small change agents who work, volunteer, pray and laugh with courage and confidence in mutual faith filled support.


Project Compassion Update

A special thank you to all our families who have generously donated to Project Compassion. Our current total is at approximately $2000.

At Athletics Day we had a Sausage Sizzle to help raise money for Project Compassion. This would not have been possible without the assistance of our amazing St Columba’s Staff as well as the VET Events Team who handed out sausages as well as the following Caritas Ambassadors who generously gave their time to help on the day: Charlotte M, Kathy V, Savannah S, Harriet C, Imogen R, Siena S, Amelia U, Tiana C, Isabella H, Alex S, Sienna L, Elizabeth S, Alexandra S, Lucia R, Elise G, Evie T, Dulara D, Camilla M, Sophia D’ and Katherine A.

Project Compassion raises funds for people living in some of the most vulnerable communities across the world. Please continue to donate through Project Compassion donation boxes at school or online by visiting the QR code below.

French Excursion - French Fix Café

Bonjour à tous,

Last Monday, the year 10 and 11 French class embarked on an exciting excursion to the French Fix Café, an authentic French café. This is where we got the chance to practice our speaking skills in a realistic environment. We were asked to not only order in french but also answer questions about our dishes. This meant we were also able to strengthen our listening skills, a skill which is rarely focused on in a classroom setting. 

Our day began at the start of lunch where we travelled from Essendon Station to Flinders Street via train. This was quite a different change of pace compared to the usual claustrophobic school environment. Once we got to the café and were seated, the entire class was asked to order one by one in French. Each student ordered a different dish, from French sandwiches to croissants. There were also a variety of drinks on offer. We all ended the day feeling satisfied with the food and what we had accomplished in a couple of hours.

“Not only was the food amazing and we got a break from regular classes, but we also deepened our French-speaking skills in a fun manner. This was in a way that most people learning a language don’t even think twice about. As it can be very hard to learn natural conversations in a classroom. I know that personally, I would never have the courage to utilise my developing skills in public otherwise, so the excursion also gave the entire class the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and use as much of their new vocab as possible.

“Overall, the excursion was a massive success and I suggest that if you’re ever given the opportunity to take part in it, don’t even think twice about it.

À bientôt!

Neurospicy Tips & Tricks #5

“My ADHD Looks Nothing Like Your ADHD”

Our family of five includes five distinct and different ADHD diagnoses. Where one son is exploding with energy, another is lost in his thoughts. Where one reacts to frustration with overt anger, another internalizes the emotions, which festers into shame. What this means: Your assumptions about ADHD aren’t helpful; the only way to manage it is by listening to your child.

By Elizabeth Broadbent

St Columba’s Shin-ai Girls School Sister School Exchange Program

St Columba’s – Shin-ai Girls School sister school exchange program

For many years St Columba’s College and Shin-ai Girls School from Kumamoto, Japan have shared a sister school relationship. We are pleased to be able to host students from Shin-ai again from Monday 5 August –  Wednesday 14 August 2024

As part of our exchange program with Shin-Ai, we invite and encourage students with an interest in Japanese language and culture to host a student. This experience offers the opportunity to develop relationships with students from Shin-Ai Girls’ College.

The students from Shin-Ai will be with us for 10 nights. During this time, they will participate in a range of activities arranged by the College. Weekends will be spent with host families.

A direct message was sent to all families with an expression of interest and declaration form. If your family is interested, please complete the form and return it to the College by 19 April.

If you have any further questions about the program, please contact Sofie Scollo or Jen Mahony

Sports Update


This term we held our two whole school events – the Multi Sports Day and the Athletics Carnival.  

The Multi Sports Day once again involved the Years 7’s & 8’s swimming at the East Keilor Leisure Centre, 9‘s & 10’s playing volleyball at MSAC and the 11’s & 12’s headed to the Westgate Sports Centre to do a variety of fun activities and sports!  It was a great start to the year, with once again, a high level of participation.

The results for the day were:


1st   Cahill    

2nd  Cunningham    

3rd   O’Brien     

4th   de Lacy     

5th   Bruton        

6th   Williams       

7th   Cater            



1st   Cahill    

2nd  Cater    

3rd   Cunningham       

4th   Bruton     

5th   Williams          

6th   O’Brien & de Lacy             



1st    de Lacy

2nd  Cunningham   

3rd   Cahill

4th   Williams   

5th   Bruton & O’Brien

6th   Cater


The overall winners for the day were: 




The Athletics Carnival is always a fun day to get the whole school at the one venue to celebrate sport!  The sun was shining and our year 12’s enjoyed dressing up and doing a lap or two of the track.  All other students were eagerly participating where they could, especially finishing the day with the year level tug-o-war games.

Hot off the press are our results for the day.

House results:

1st    Cunningham

2nd  de Lacy

3rd   Bruton

4th   Williams   

5th   Cater

6th   Cahill

7th   O’Brien


Track Champions:

Year 7 – Annabel S from Cunningham   

Year 8 – Evie R from Bruton

Year 9 – Lara S from Cahill

Year 10 – Siena S from O’Brien

Year 11 – Jemima C from Cunningham

Year 12 – Madison C from Williams


Field Champions:

Year 7 – Maya A from Bruton 

& Olivia R from Cahill 

Year 8 – Eden B from Cater 

Year 9 – Lara S from Cahill

Year 10 – Carla P from Bruton 

& Annie Jones D from Cater 

Year 11 – Amy C from De Lacy  

Year 12 – Keira P from Cahill 


Fastest 100m Time: 

Lara S from Cahill – 13:44 secs 


Highest High Jump:

Tahlia C from Williams – 1.3 meters

Relay Champions award: de Lacy


Junior Aggregate Champions award:



Intermediate Aggregate Champions award:



Senior Aggregate Champions award:




Our college tennis tournament, The Nunan Cup, was once again run over two very successful afternoons held at St Bernard’s College.  With a great turn out we saw some great competition happening between all three categories – Juniors, Intermediates and Seniors.  

Our winner and runner up from each category are as follows:


Junior Champion:  Amy C

Junior Runner Up:  Josephine M


Intermediate Champion: Carla P

Intermediate Runner Up: Madeleine T


Senior Champion: Minuki Hewa T

Senior Runner Up: Zahara G

Unfortunately, the CGSAV Tennis Tournament at the end of February was cancelled due to the extreme heat and the association has had great difficulty rescheduling for another date.  We are working on running our own competition against some of the other CGSAV schools in our surrounding area in term 2.



Our College Cross Country was held separate to the Athletics Carnival this year to allow students the opportunity to compete in both events.  It was a successful event with over 40 students walking to the Aberfeldie Ovals to complete a 3km run in Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories.

Our winners for the day were as follows:


1st – Sienna S

2nd – Mia H

3rd – Cleo J


1st- Maddison C

2nd- Amelia B

3rd- Audrey B


1st- Zoe M

2nd- Darcy R

3rd- Layla W


On the 6th March we attended the CGSAV Swimming Competition with a full team of competitors.  After an amazing effort we took out 1st place in Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories – being the overall winners of Division 3!

We look forward to watching this team achieve amazing results in Division 2 in 2025.

** Record Breaker!**

  Emily T broke the CGSAV record for the fastest 50m Backstroke.  

Sophia Library Holiday Opening Hours

The Sophia Library will be open the following days of the school holidays from 10am – 2pm
Wednesday 3rd April – Friday 5th April
Monday 8th April – Friday 12th April

Important Dates

Wednesday 27 March – Group B depart for Politics and History Immersion Trip

Thursday 28 March – Last day of Term 1

Friday 30 March – Good Friday

Sunday 31 March – Easter Sunday

Monday 1 April – Easter Monday

Monday 15 April – Term 2 begins