April 5, 2019

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Principal's Message

Prayer: Holy Saturday – hope deferred?

Deputy Principal

Year 9 Camp

House News

Science News

Interfaith Dialogue

Book Club

Fiontar: Sustainability

Careers News

Geography Excursion

Latest News & Events

Principal's Message

Some News

Earlier this term I was diagnosed with early breast cancer and have spent part of the term undergoing surgeries to remove a small tumour and to be in preparation for upcoming treatment. I write to let you know that I am very well, quite healthy, and tumour free following the surgeries, although there will be some challenging times ahead as I undertake a significant treatment regime including chemotherapy. This will limit my time at the College, in short stints, for a while. I have been humbled by the support of the staff, the College Board and Mary Aikenhead Ministries and have felt the presence of God significantly in my life over the last few weeks. I have faith in the power of prayer and would humbly ask that you keep me in yours as I undertake treatment to ensure that I remain cancer free well into the future. Some of you may be aware that we have several families in our community who are travelling the same journey with a loved one. We hold each person closely and pray that with the love and support of their families and friends, and with their faith in God, they will be able to navigate the journey that they are undertaking.


I would urge all women to undergo regular self-examination, as this was how I discovered my lump. For women over 50, I would strongly encourage you to access the BreastScreen free breast screening service. Both methods are proactive ways that we can look after our own health, to ensure that we are around for our families for a long time to come.


Easter Blessings

The end of the Term One holidays will also see us celebrating the most significant events in our Christian Calendar, the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Easter Triduum enables us to reflect not only on the death and resurrection moments in our own lives, but also on the love that Jesus showed for humankind in his willingness to enter in God’s plan for him, and God’s love for humanity in the promise of the resurrection. The extract below is from renowned theologian Dr Ron Rolheiser, a Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate priest. He reflects on what it means when we say Jesus takes away the sin of the world, a belief we proclaim during each mass when we say: Lamb of God, You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.


How Jesus Takes Away the Sin of The World

Jesus takes away the sin of the world away by transforming it, by changing it, by taking it inside of himself and transmuting it. We see examples of this throughout his entire life, although it is most manifest in the love and forgiveness he shows at the time of his death.


In simple language, Jesus took away the sin of the community by taking in hatred and giving back love; by taking in anger and giving out graciousness; by taking in envy and giving back blessing; by taking in bitterness and giving out warmth; by taking in pettiness and giving back compassion; by taking in chaos and giving back peace; and by taking in sin and giving back forgiveness.


This is not an easy thing to do. What comes naturally is to give back in kind: hatred for hatred, anger for anger, coldness for coldness, revenge for hurt. Someone hits us so we hit back.


This dynamic is not just something we are asked to admire in Jesus. The incarnation is meant to be ongoing. We are asked to continue to give flesh to God, to continue to do what Jesus did. Thus our task too is to help take away the sin of the world.


We do this whenever we take in hatred, anger, envy, pettiness, and bitterness, hold them, transmute them, and eventually give them back as love, graciousness, blessing, compassion, warmth, and forgiveness.


As we enter the term break, I wish you all a very safe and restful break and I hope to see many of you join us on Sunday, 14 April as we pray and walk together for Justice for Refugees. A reminder of the details is below:


Cardinal Knox Centre

Cathedral Room

383 Albert St, East Melbourne

(Enter via the Lansdowne St Car Park).


Light refreshments will be served from 12.30 pm by the event organisers and the prayer and reflection will begin at 1.00 pm. We will join the Walk for Justice for Refugees at 2.00 pm at the State Library of Victoria.

You can either meet us at Essendon station at 11.30 am to get the train in together, or meet at the Cardinal Knox Centre at 12.30 pm. Alternatively, you could join us when we arrive at the State Library at around 2.00 pm. Please email Renee Fleeton to register your interest:

Prayer: Holy Saturday – hope deferred?

p dir=”ltr” >Meditation


What was it like for the first disciples?

What was it like to live on that first Holy Saturday

when all hope is gone,

when all that we love is lost,

when God is dead?


We know the end of the story.

We know of resurrection,

so we do not wish to dwell in this dark place,

we want to rush on to Easter Sunday,

when life returns.


It is too hard to live on Holy Saturday,

to spend our time in the dark and conflicted places

of Golgotha and Gethsemane,

the place where despair has all the best answers

to our questions.


© 2011 Nigel Varndell (Meditations) and 2012


Deputy Principal

It has been a busy and eventful term for our community. The term break will provide students and staff with some time to rest and rejuvenate. I look forward to their safe return in Term 2. May your family be blessed with love and hope at Easter.


Winter Uniform

The winter uniform is worn during Terms 2 & 3. Students will commence wearing the full winter uniform from the first day of Term 2 on Tuesday 23 April. The winter uniform is detailed in the ‘Uniform & Grooming Requirements’ document which was sent out to families at the start of the year as well as in the Student Planner on page 11.


Please check the length of your daughter’s skirt, as it should be knee length. Students are required to wear navy blue opaque tights, not socks.


Year 12 Jumpers


The Year 12 students have received their Year 12 commemorative jumpers. Students and families are reminded that these jumpers are permitted to be worn on the first day of the week only throughout Terms 2 and Terms 3 only. Students who choose to wear the jumper on any other school day will have the jumper confiscated until the following week.


Uniform Review


The College will be undergoing a uniform review over the next term. This is not for the purpose of making major changes, but rather to review the current ‘Uniform &  Grooming Requirements’ and to investigate the possibility of introducing one or two new pieces to complement our existing uniform.


The committee which has been established this term hopes to have a survey out to parents, staff and students in May to gather some feedback to inform our decisions for 2020.


We are very fortunate to have the following people who have agreed to participate as committee members:


Lily Bateman – Year 9 student

Holly Barrett – Year 9 student

Annalise Ferbrache – Year 9 student

Ruby Pound – Year 9 student

Geraldine Martin – Previous teacher & Board Member

Steven Lambert – Parent

Annelies Brandjes – Staff member

Melissa D’amico – Teacher


I thank these members of our community for being willing to give their time to support the College.


Year 9 Camp

Dear Parents,


Due to short notice, many parents were unable to attend the camp parent information night on Monday 1 April. To assist with information for those who weren’t able to attend, and as backup for lost / misplaced dietary and medical forms, we have placed all information from the night below:


Parent Information Night Presentation

Student Medical Form

Student Consent Form

St Columba’s College Medication Authority Form

Clothing and Equipment List


If there are any questions in the lead up to camp, please do not hesitate to contact Heath Morris (Bruton House Leader) via the College (9337 5311) or email


As part of the Year 7 Health and PE curriculum, students learn about the different aspects that contribute to overall health, such as fitness. Students are able to put this theoretical knowledge into practice, undertaking activities in their classes that illustrate what fitness looks and feels like. Below is a student reflection of the Term 1 unit:


Throughout this term, the 7.4 Health and PE class have been learning about the five dimensions of health. As part of the five dimensions of health, we learnt about fitness components, including strength, flexibility, stamina and speed. We have been identifying these components in the games we play in PE.


For our physical assessment this term, we tested these different components. These tests allowed us to identify which components we need to work on improving. We also learnt about what fitness looks like, sounds like and feels like, and how it is involved in our everyday life.

We looked at some of the types of health conditions that can affect how we live in our everyday lives, and as a result, we have been designing a space where the environment and physical activity can help your health. – Jaz Davis and Tara Hornibrook

House News



On Monday 18 March, the Cater student leaders, Miss Mazzarella and Ms D’Amico went for a visit to our House Charity, St Paul’s College, Villa Maria Catholic Homes. This school is where children, diagnosed with a disability or developmental delay that affects their learning, get the opportunity to learn. We were privileged enough to have a tour led by Mr Tim Hemphil, the Principal, who showed us the extraordinary school. As we went through every area of the school, it was noticeable that every feature had a very important purpose in the learning of the students. Many minor features such as; the positioning of rooms/spaces, the felt walls and the colours incorporated into the school helped the children learn better. All the facilities they were provided with really help children engage in learning and the simple skills of life.


We were also able to see the effect our past fundraising had on the children of St Paul’s College, which went towards the sporting equipment and the pool and how it remarkably helped the children in their movements and encouraged so many of them to engage in physical activity. Additionally, we saw that the teachers had an amazing attitude towards their job and the children. We were able to interact with some of the younger children and it was very touching to see how excited they were to see us and most importantly it really made their day.


Although, at times in the visit it was a little bit confronting seeing children who are different from what I am, it enabled me to see behind the curtains and the side of life that I don’t see in my school. It inspired us to want to help the students more and we have come to the conclusion that as a House, we will be fundraising towards a weight-bearing trampoline for the senior students to enjoy their time. It is something that the school requires and can make an impact on the lives of the students. Overall, this experience is one that changed me. I reflected on how thankful I am for my gifts and talents and made me feel so grateful to attend St Columba’s College. Thanks to Miss Mazzarella for organising the visit and thanks to Ms D’Amico for coming along to help supervise. – Phoebe Mikhail, CTRS1 House Representative.


Williams House


On Thursday 7 March, three Williams House Representatives, along with the House Captain and House Leader, went on an excursion to our House Charity, St Mary’s House of Welcome. The House Representatives hadn’t been to St Mary’s House of Welcome before, but knew that it would be a great opportunity to get to know the charity that we support. We spent a couple of hours in the centre helping out with two lunch services, which was an eye-opening experience. Everyone there was so welcoming and was so happy to see all of us as they have heard of all the work that we do for them back at the College.


While serving lunch we were able to talk to and interact with the guests and see how they were going. Some of the guests were so down, it was great to be able to talk to them and help make them smile for the day. The people that St Mary’s House of Welcome help are those who don’t have a home and those who don’t have any food to eat. The guests that usually come to the lunches will typically only have this meal for the whole day, as they don’t have the money to buy food for themselves. Williams House will continuously keep providing for St Mary’s House of Welcome as we believe that nobody should have to go days without eating or having a home as this is a human right and not a want.  – Stephanie Darby WMSS3 House Representative.


See the gallery below for images of both Cater and Williams House students visiting their House Charity.


Science News

In Year 10 Science, students have recently begun their Physics unit. Below is a student reflection of a practical experiment, where students had to safely deliver an egg to the ground from a height:

Over the past week we participated in an Egg Drop Challenge as a part of our Year 10 Science class. We have recently started physics, specifically the physics behind vehicles and road safety. This activity was a hands on task that allowed us to utilise our knowledge of physics. Using the design process we created vehicles to protect an egg from a two storey drop. Many factors were considered such as the balance and support of the vehicle as well as the impact and force of the drop. By applying our knowledge of crumple zones and force absorbing materials, we designed models that would minimise the force of the crash and protect the egg from absorbing the impact. Two designs are shown to display the different perceptions and approaches towards the project that were successful. The Egg Drop Challenge combined our love for science, our excitement to get out on the roads and our confidence with the knowledge we endorse in class. – Sarah Pamment (CTRS1) and Desiree Katakis (WMSS1)

Interfaith Dialogue

It is now, more than ever, a vital time for people of all faiths to come together in solidarity and in prayer, celebrating all that we share, as well as our diversity, to curb the tide of misconception. We must continue to provide platforms for hearts and minds grow in openness. On Friday 22 March, about 50 students from Ilim College Dallas and St Columba’s came together to share time, stories, conversation and food. The program was entirely planned by students. We extended hospitality to these amazing young women who hosted us at their school in October last year. It was a rich, memorable experience for all. The connections and friendships continue beyond the experience. Opportunities for this dialogue also continue into the future. The request for next time is ‘Can we have all day together please Miss?’

On Friday 22 March St Columba’s was lucky enough to have the privilege of hosting 24 girls from Ilim College where the students took part in an Interfaith Dialogue Program. We discussed the differences and similarities between the two different faiths, which are Catholic and Islam.  The students spoke and bonded with each other over a range of different topics. For me, this experience was very beneficial as it was an eye-opener as I was so surprised how similar we are, not just in personality, but in religion and belief too. Angelique Vitale,Year 8



This experience was very exciting! I was surprised by how much I could relate to the Ilim College girls. They really were no different to us. They were really nice. It was definitely educational as we learned all about the similarities and differences between the two religions! I am excited to do it again! – Riley Firman,Year 8


Book Club

Book Club is healthy and strong again this year. We have a nice size of very enthusiastic readers who have eclectic tastes and opinions, and know how to use their spare time. If your daughter is in Year 7, can you encourage her to join? We have very few members at Year 7, and for the longevity of book club we probably need to address this.


Recently we all went outside. School students from across the college were invited to write down the names of their favourite books and authors on windows near the staff room with these great special markers. Hopefully, we will all travel to the Melbourne Writers’ Festival later in the year.


Here’s to getting our children reading as much as possible. I am a parent too and we have battles over this sometimes as well. Sometimes I wish YouTube wasn’t so intoxicating.


Book Club Book of the Month: The Children of the King (Sonya Hartnett)


(Pictured: Book Club students)


Fiontar: Sustainability

Learning about Sustainability in FIONTAR


As part of the Year 8 curriculum, students are required to participate in a compulsory class called Fiontar. Students are able to select an activity of their choice, which they will attend for the term. Fiontar classes happen every fortnight, on a Friday, for the whole school day.  This term’s focus is ‘Sustainability’ and each elective looks at creating a different project. Below are a few topics which the students are focusing on throughout the term.


Seed to Saucepan


Seed to Saucepan mainly focuses on sustainability, and how to make our world a better place for the future. This elective teaches us how to look after the environment and small things that we can do to help;  such as using beeswax wraps. In class, we had an enjoyable activity where we got to make beeswax wraps. The teacher explained the pros and cons of plastic and how it affects our environment. The teachers, Ms Chute and Ms Foley, also took us to Queen Victoria Market where we learnt about the history of Melbourne and the different types of food everyone ate during the 1800s.  We learnt about plastic use and how they are ending plastic bag and straw use at the markets, which we all think is a great sustainable practice. We also received fresh organic juice at the end, which was DELICIOUS!


Grand Designs


In Grand Designs, students get to design a 6-star sustainable house with a group of their peers. They started by researching materials and concepts to make the house more sustainable such as the inclusion of a water tank and eaves to assist in blocking out heat. After this was done, they started planning out their drawings on paper. The students were lucky enough to have a professional architect, Anna Galluzzo, to come and talk about how to design a sustainable house. The girls are now moving towards working with architectural paper to draw their final design. In time, they also might be lucky enough to create a 3D model of the house! The unit has taught the girls how sustainable house designs can actually be more challenging than they first thought. Overall, the girls are having lots of fun with their learning and they are very happy with the sustainable choices they are including in the house.  


Active Adolescents


In Active Adolescents, students are required to design and innovate an object that will reduce, or stop, the waste in the world. So far we have made beeswax wraps and recycled paper. The girls focus on reducing energy, water and/or waste. We share our ideas only to then receive feedback and re-evaluate and improve our plans. Reflection is another major concept that is included in Fiontar, as reflecting allows the students to go over the work, and refine their product. So far, Fiontar has been a fun and exciting subject and I can’t wait to continue it.


Change Make-Her

The elective Change Make-Her is about sustainability and how you can be more sustainable. The girls that do Change Make-Her have been creating a little magazine, called a zine, to spread this message. The message I am trying to spread in my zine to be more sustainable is that you don’t have to keep buying new things as you can make them out of old things that you don’t want to use anymore. This unit has helped students to become more aware of how we can be more sustainable in our everyday lives.  Overall, all the girls have had lots of fun and it is a really great way of learning about the important topic of sustainability.


Written by Verona Augello, Vaishnavi Navaseelan, Loretta Peszek and Elena Schaber


Careers News

The latest Careers Newsletter is available for download. It contains information on scholarships, international universities and medicine courses. Below is also a information flyer about early entry schemes to universities.

Careers Newsletter – 4 April 2019

Early Entry Schemes 2020

Geography Excursion

Students in Year 9 undertaking the Geography unit recently visited Moffitts Farm, a sustainable farm that educates students on sustainable use of the land and its resources. Below are student reflections of the excursion:


On Tuesday 19 March, the Year 9 Geography Class took a trip to Romsey to visit Moffitts Farm.  In Geography we have been learning about land uses in relation to food productivity and security. We have learned about the impact of land degradation, water uses, competing land uses and how they connect to Australia’s current produce situation and where it could lead us in the future.


At the farm, we were introduced to the different sustainability practices for the farmland, which were part of a system called ‘comfortable farming.’ These practices are better for the problems that our land are facing compared to conservative farming. We were shown these practices and we were toured around the farm to see the livestock and the plant and animal life. Moffitts farm is a suitable environment for a diverse range of animals, with long grass that absorbs water and stays hydrated to protect the soil biology and the sheep from the wind and lots of forestry and clean-water dams. Our day at Moffitts was great fun and a great educational experience. – Ruby Pound


On Tuesday 19 March, the Year 9 Geography class went to Moffitts Farm in Romsey to see how they work their farm with different techniques to better their agricultural features. An obvious feature that they have done over the past few years is plant more trees to allow for more paddock separation and to bind the soil together. Another difference distinguishing Moffitts Farm with other farms is the breed of sheep – Wiltipoll. These sheep are bred for meat rather than wool as the long and fine wool is is unsuitable for clothing. Wiltipoll sheep are friendly and comfortable around the farm, and it was fun seeing them and hearing why they chose this breed of sheep. – Olivia Bourke

Latest News & Events

Parents’ Association Father/Male Mentor & Daughter Games Night


On Tuesday, May 21, the Parents’ Association will host its Annual Father/Male Mentor & Daughter Games Night at the College.


Who: Students in Years 7-9 and their dad/male mentor


When: Tuesday, May 21


Time: 6.30 – 8.30pm


Where: St Columba’s College, MPC building


BBQ Sausages & Drinks will be provided.


RSVP: May 16 via the link here:

Moonee Valley Council Youth Week Carnival


On Thursday, 11 April, students aged 12-25 are invited to the Council’s Youth Week Carnival.


Who: 12 – 25 year olds


When: Thursday 11 April 12pm – 7pm


Where: The Ascot Lot, 448-466 Mt Alexander Road, Ascot Vale


What: Carnival amusements, Food and market stalls, Door prizes, Battle of the Bands.


This is a fully supervised drug, alcohol and smoke-free event supported by the Victorian Government.



Moonee Valley Knights – Girls’ Soccer


Girls interested in Soccer are invited to join the Moonee Valley Knights team, with the team offering free registration to all girls for the 2019 season.


For further information, please call Peter on 0468 817 715.