April 23, 2024

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Principal's Message

Notices from the Deputy Principal


Student Management Guidelines (Students and Parents/Guardians)

Academic Excellence Scholarships

Endless Events - A working division of Certificate III in Events

Year 9 Mock Interviews

VCE Season of Excellence 2024

Hands-On Learning with Puffing Billy Railway

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

Principal’s Reading Challenge

Important Dates

Principal's Message

Welcome Back

It has been a very positive start to the term. I had the pleasure of hosting an educational consultant working with the Leadership Team for a College tour last week. He commented particularly on the calm nature of the College and the engaged and focused learning we experienced as we visited each area of the school. A great testament to both the students and the staff.

Welcome back to our overseas travellers who have returned with rich experiences from their time spent in Paris, Berlin and Brussels. Thank you to the accompanying staff for their tremendous care of the students on the trip. It is wonderful for the College to be able to proceed with planning these interstate and overseas immersion experiences after the COVID-era disruptions.

We wish our Year 7 Campers all the very best as they head off to camp this week. Thank you to all the staff accompanying the students. This camp particularly is an opportunity for students to get to know other students and teachers who are not a part of a student’s current core group or House Group.


Vale Mrs Mary Joan (Pixie) McNamee

We offer our condolences to the family of Pixie McNamee who was farewelled on 8th April, following her death on 29 March, at the age of 102.

Pixie McNamee was a teacher at the College for 39 years, from 1947 to 1986. From the wonderful tributes shared on our St Columba’s College Alumnae Facebook page, it is clear that Pixie was a much loved, admired and respected teacher, who inspired and encouraged students to explore their own artistic potential and develop a love for Art.

The following excerpt is from the 1986 College Annual:

After 30 years of dedicated service at St Columba’s, Mrs. McNamee leaves us to enjoy a well-earned rest in retirement. She has endeared herself to many hundreds of students who have profited from her teaching in various subjects, as well as from her loving care and guidance as a teacher/advisor. Her proficiency in imparting her great knowledge of Art, and her capacity to encourage outstanding execution, have been clear proof of her expertise in this, her particular field. An ability to make each person feel so special is one of the qualities which will leave all at St. Columba’s poorer for her going, but, at the same time richer for having been privileged to know her as a Teacher, Friend and Colleague. Thank you, Mrs. McNamee.


ANZAC Day Commemorations

On the morning of 23 April, the staff and students at St Columba’s College commemorated ANZAC Day through a memorable service.

Students in each House Group contributed to making a wreath which was placed in Gayip-biik as part of the service.

In this time of great world upheaval, with wars severely impacting the safety of all people, especially children, we pray that we may pay attention to the past, and strive to understand the lessons of history in our pursuit of peace and justice for all.



Notices from the Deputy Principal

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 &amp; Sticks – Better ways to build boundaries with your kids
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 Tonight’s meeting will be online

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

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


Parent Workshop


MacKillop Family Services– Strengthening Parents Program



Gracious and Loving God,
We give you thanks for the blessed gift of the Easter season. For the sacrifice of your Son, Jesus Christ, whose resurrection we joyfully celebrated. His triumph over death fills our hearts with eternal hope and profound gratitude.
We thank you for the Easter holiday, a time to rest and renew. For the precious moments spent surrounded by the love of family and friends. For the laughter shared, memories created, and bonds strengthened during this special time together.
We praise you for watching over us and bringing us all safely back to our St Columba’s community, ready to continue our journey of faith and learning. As we transition into the second term, we ask that you renew our spirits.
Replenish us with strength to persevere through academic demands. Rekindle within us a spirit of unwavering compassion for those walking difficult paths. Most importantly, set our hearts ablaze with the transformative love of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Bless us to emulate the courageous examples set before us – the apostles who remained loyal amidst Christ’s Passion, and the pioneering Sisters of Charity who founded our school. Imbue us with the trailblazing spirit of our foundress Mary Aikenhead. May we uphold her vision of faith and service in thought, word and deed. Let her charism be the guiding light in our every pursuit of knowledge and truth.
We pray this in your Holy Name, through the grace of Christ our Lord.
Mary Aikenhead, pray for us.

Student Management Guidelines (Students and Parents/Guardians)

The College’s Student Management Guidelines draw inspiration and direction from the Gospel values of love, compassion, care, mercy, forgiveness, and justice. They embody the charism of Mary Aikenhead and the Sisters of Charity to ‘build good relationships, to treat with respect and reverence all that God has created, and to always try to act with justice and truth’.  As such they serve as a guideline for how the college manages student behaviour and conduct. 

The College has created a student and parent/guardian-friendly version. These guidelines will be reviewed by the Student Engagement Team in 2024. 

These guidelines can be found in SEQTA engage in Parent Resources. 


Student Wellbeing Survey Term 1

On Monday 25th of March your child was asked to participate in a wellbeing survey. This survey was completely anonymous, meaning that your child’s responses will be kept confidential. Their honest feedback is incredibly valuable, as it will help us better understand how we can support them in their academic and personal journeys.

The wellbeing of our students is of utmost importance to us, and by participating in this survey, your child is contributing to creating a more supportive and caring environment for everyone.

The survey questions are:

  1. I feel happy at school
  2. I feel safe at school
  3. I enjoy learning at school
  4. I am proud to be a St Columba’s student
  5. I have an adult in my life that I feel safe talking to
  6. I have love and support from my family
  7. My family encourages me to do well at school
  8. I have love and support from my friends at school
  9. My teachers care about me
  10. I feel comfortable working in groups with different students
  11. I feel that I can take a positive risk in my learning at school without fear of judgement
  12. Students are well behaved in my classes
  13. The school has clear expectations and enforces them fairly
  14. I feel capable of completing the homework I am given
  15. I am involved in extracurricular activities at school
  16. I do not experience bullying while at school
  17. I have a balanced diet 
  18. I get at least 8 hours of sleep
  19. I do physical exercise each day
  20. I feel good about myself
  21. I can come up with ways to solve problems

The intention is for this survey to be conducted once a term, in order for us to see ongoing trends and to ensure our support services are targeted in the correct areas. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the survey, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your child’s House Group Teacher or House Leader. Your involvement and feedback are vital in ensuring the success and well-being of our students.


Support for Families: Tragic Events

Support for Families: Tragic Events In light of recent distressing events, it’s natural for ourselves and our young people to grapple with the information we encounter online.

A natural reaction can be to tell children everything. Some parents may want to sugar-coat the answers, while others prefer a direct response. Others may want to avoid the truth, hoping to shelter their child from such horror.

Dr Justin Coulson gives families advice on how they might approach these conversations with their children to support their relationships and wellbeing.

Please see below the resources from Happy Families

Article: Talking about Tragic Events

Podcast: Talking about Tragedies

If your child is distressed, whether it be from recent events or not, please reach out to your child’s House Leader for support. 

Academic Excellence Scholarships

Academic Excellence Scholarships

St Columba’s College is offering Academic Excellence Scholarships for students entering
Year 7 2026 as well as Year 9 and Year 11 in 2025. Students are encouraged to take up
this opportunity and will receive a report of their achievement levels for each area tested.
Further details and online registration are available on the College website.

Registration closing date is Friday19 July 2024

Scholarship testing date is Saturday 27 July 2024

Please note the College does not have practise papers for the testing as this is conducted by
an external organisation, Academic Assessment Services.

For more information please get in touch with Tammy Colson (St Columba’s Registrar)

Endless Events - A working division of Certificate III in Events

A working division of Certificate III in Events

Our trained Endless Events (EE) Team provided support to the Caritas Sausage Sizzle Fundraiser and ran the Endless Events Café at this year’s Athletics Carnival. In that same week, the EE Team assisted with the catering at the Year 7 Meet and Greet evening.

We appreciate their hard work and dedication at both events.

Year 9 Mock Interviews

We are seeking assistance from the St Columba’s College community who are willing to interview Year 9 students for our Mock Interview Program


Monday 24 June – 5:30-8:30pm
Tuesday 25 June – 5:30-8:30pm
Wednesday 26 June – 5:30-8:30pm


Interviewer (Parent/Friend): Home – via Google meet
Interviewee (Student): Onsite – via Google meet

VCE Season of Excellence 2024

The VCE Season of Excellence is a significant annual event spanning five months, celebrating the remarkable achievements of senior secondary students across Victoria. This festival showcases the exemplary work produced by VCE and VET students in diverse fields such as design, technology, research, multimedia, and the cinematic, visual, and performing arts. Through a series of exhibitions, screenings, and performances, complemented by educational talks, forums, and panel discussions, as well as catalogues, programs, and online content, the Season provides a platform for students to exhibit their talents and share their creative endeavors with the wider community.

On Wednesday, April 17th, the Year 12 Media class had the privilege of attending Top Screen, a screening event held at ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image). This showcase featured fourteen final products from 2023 media students, encompassing a range of media forms including animations, music video clips, documentaries, and short narratives. Witnessing the high caliber of work presented at Top Screen left a profound impression on our media students, igniting their inspiration to embark on their own media projects.

Continuing the exploration of creative excellence, on Friday, April 19th, the Year 12 Visual Communication Design class embarked on a visit to the Melbourne Museum to experience Top Design. This exhibition offered a diverse array of works across various design disciplines, providing insight into the students’ use of the design process and their adeptness with different design elements, media, materials, and techniques. The opportunity to examine designers’ portfolios also offered valuable guidance to our current students, offering a glimpse into the development process and the skills they need to cultivate as they embark on their own design endeavors.

Hands-On Learning with Puffing Billy Railway

Congratulations to our Year 11 Systems Engineering class and their teacher Mr Frank Rowland who embarked on their first collaboration with Belgrave’s iconic Puffing Billy Railway through an immersive pilot education program.

On March 22nd, 12 STC students undertook a journey of discovery, exploring the workings of steam locomotives firsthand. From boilers to pistons, valves to wheels, they gained invaluable insights into these marvels of engineering.

The program underscores the importance of practical skills and diverse perspectives in today’s workforce, fostering confidence and innovation.

Puffing Billy Railway were so excited about the collaboration that they asked their local newspaper the Star Mail to write an article about the pilot program.

Click on the link to read what the girls got up to. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to explore, learn, and innovate together!

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award

It is with great pleasure that we announce our re-registration with the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award is delivered globally through a diverse network of organisations and adult leaders who are committed to the development of young people.

The Duke of Ed Award Framework has three levels including Bronze, Silver and Gold. Each Level is made up of four Sections which inlclude Physical Recreation, Skills, Voluntary Service and an Adventurous Journey.

To achieve each Level of the Award, you will need to meet the requirements of each Section as they are set out by your Award Level.

We presently have students in years 9 and 10 registered. One student has opted to start at the Silver level (our year 10) and aims to complete her Gold Award by the end of year 12.

Taking part in this award does look favorable to some Tertiary Institutes whom have early entry programs.

If you are interested in joining , please email Mrs Dillon

Principal’s Reading Challenge

The 2024 Principal’s Reading Challenge has started, and it has been pleasing to see students signing up. The PRC runs from Week Two of Term Two to Week Nine of Term Three. As with last year, students can choose the number of books they will read – 12/15/ 18 books.

We have some students who have signed up who have set themselves the goal of 100 books. All students who reach their reading goal will be invited to a Celebration Lunch at the beginning of Term Four.

Important Dates

Friday 26 April- Staff Professional Learning Day – Student Free Day

Wednesday 24 April – Year 9 Wicked the Musical Excursion

Monday 29 April – Shin-AI Exchange Program PIN

Tuesday 30 April – House Assemblies

Wednesday 1 – Progress Interviews ( Students finish at 1.40pm)

Thursday 2 May – Progress Interviews ( Self Directed Learning Day for students at home)

Monday 6 May – Urban Experience and Metro Trains Incursion