May 30, 2023

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Principal's Message


Notices from the Deputy Principal

Sophia Library News

Visual Arts News

Learning Tours 2024

Urban Experience

Instrumental Music Concert


Year 8 Reflection Day

The Maytime Fair

Hand Hygiene Reminder

Grades Do Not Define Our Worth

Parent Webinar - How to Help Your Child Prepare for Exams

Enrolments and Scholarships

Important Dates

Principal's Message

Exciting News about our Building Project

After months (and months) of careful and diligent planning, I am delighted to announce that we have signed our building contract with Building Engineering. Together with our Project Managers, Fontic, and our Architects, CHT Architects, we have a great team ready to deliver this marvellous new vision for the College.

More details and timelines will follow, and we will keep the community updated via the website and other regular communications.

At this stage I would like to acknowledge the College Board who are providing support in the background to realise this vision, and to the teams ensuring we have all of the right information to support our decision-making:

  • Board Committee – Finance, Audit and Risk,
  • Board Committee – Master Plan and Building
  • Project Control Group
  • the Visual Arts, STEAM and Science Teams

Illness Prevention Measures

I take this opportunity to remind families about the illness prevention measures we should all be taking to support the physical health of everyone in the community. As the cold weather relegates most of us indoors, the spread of illness becomes more likely, and we have certainly seen an increase in COVID, Flu and RSV cases within the community. Attention to hand hygiene, and cough and sneeze hygiene, are proven effective measures to prevent the spread of illness. As per my previous communications, if your child is unwell, please keep them at home.

Philanthropy Project

We are currently undertaking a project to develop a strategy which supports building a philanthropic culture at the College. Thank you to the families, staff and past students who agreed to an interview as our partners AskRight, determine the best way forward for the College in relation to building a philanthropic culture.

An Article of Interest

The following piece is a summary of an article which appeared in The Fathering Project, April 2023, providing great advice about how to Set boundaries with teens, who are looking to asset their growing independence and identity as they move through adolescence.


Establishing rules and boundaries with teens might often feel like a losing battle. Sometimes using words like ‘rules and ‘discipline’ can cause conflict between parents and teens.

Instead, try creating ‘agreements’ with your teenager which leaves some room for negotiation and for you all to agree on.

When your teenager helps make these agreements, they are more likely to follow them. In fact, they might even suggest stricter consequences than you would!

By involving your teen, you are showing them that you trust them and respect their growing independence. This helps build trust and respect between the two of you.

Creating agreements also teaches your teenager self-discipline and gives them the chance to prove they can be responsible.


  1. Negotiate agreements according to the age of each child. As they get older, demonstrate that you are listening to and appreciating their growing need for more independence.
  2. Be firm, fair, and consistent in applying agreements and consequences once agreements have been established.
  3. Generously praise responsible behaviour: Let them know you are proud of the way they are honouring the family agreements and showing maturity.


As we gather to pray for Reconciliation may we remember that May 27 and June 3 are important dates in Australia’s history. May 27 marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. June 3 marks the historic 1992 Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised native title—the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands did survive British colonisation; and so we acknowledge that we gather today on the land of the Wurundjeri people and pay our respects to their elders both past and present, for they hold the memories, the culture and the wisdom upon which our nation’s future will be built.

Lord, open up our hearts so that we may hear the message you teach of a world in which the wrongs of the past are recognised – a world in which a reconciled people walk and talk together sharing stories; a world in which all burn with the desire to have your peace and justice reign. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen

Notices from the Deputy Principal

Parent Engagement Committee (PEC)

The PEC is always looking for greater parent involvement. If you are interested in coming along to the next meeting on Tuesday 20 June email the team at This meeting will be held online.

Father/Male Mentor & Child evening

What a wonderful evening this was! Thank you to the dads/father figures who attended with their children.

Congratulation to Dan Kelly and his VET Sport and Recreation class for the well thought out and planned evening of engaging activities. Thank you, also to the parents involved in the PEC for providing the BBQ and drinks.

Participants provided us with fantastic feedback on the night and indicated that they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. For those who missed out this year, we do apologise, but we recommend you get in early next year!

St Columba’s Day – Friday 16 June

It is with great anticipation that the College Community looks forward to celebrating St Columba’s Day on Friday 16 June. This is an important day for all of the students and staff to mark our life at St Columba’s and recognise and reflect on the legacy of Mary Aikenhead and the Sisters of Charity.

The Student Executive, House Representatives, other students and staff have been working hard to organise the activities for this day and we thank them, in advance, for all their efforts. It is important to note that this is a compulsory day for students.

This important day begins with our community celebrating Eucharist together – an integral and reverent part of the day. Students will move directly to the Multi Purpose Centre to be seated by 8.40am when mass will begin. We would ask for your support in ensuring that your child/ren is/are punctual on this day. Any student that arrives at school later than 9.00am will not be permitted to disturb mass. Subsequently, if a student is not in attendance at mass, they will not be permitted to participate in the other activities throughout the day. These students will be directed to a classroom where they will be supervised by staff for the remainder of the day. They will be dismissed at the same time as all other students.

If you know, in advance, that your child has a medical or dental appointment on that morning, we ask that you contact the relevant House Leader to provide notice of this and a medical or dental be supplied on your child’s arrival at school. Should your child be unwell on this day and unable to attend school, a medical certificate will be required to be presented to her House Group Teacher on her return to school.

The Student Executive is working very hard with staff to organise a meaningful and fun-filled day for students and staff. The structure of the day will be as follows:


8:35am – 8:45amHouse Group
8:45am – 9:00amMovement to MPC
9:00am – 10:00amEucharist
10:00am – 11:00amService activities (by serving others we continue the legacy of Mary Aikenhead and the Sisters of Charity Australia).
11:00am – 2:00pmCarnival (a range of activities have been organised)


There are a range of engaging activities planned for the day as well as food options to cater for all dietaries and tastes! Of course, students may wish to bring their own snacks and lunch. Students are advised to bring between $30.00 – $40.00 for the day – please avoid large notes. Some of the food options available on the day includes:

  • Banh Mi Brothers Food Van – between $10 – $20
  • Bertie & Co. Burgers – between $10 and $15
  • Twisty Potatoes Food Van – $10.00 each
  • Pizza – $3.00 per piece
  • Cater’s Sausage Sizzle – $2.00
  • Coffee & Waffle Food Van – between $5 and $12
  • Hot jam/cinnamon doughnuts – $2.50 each (for hot jam and hot cinnamon) OR $12 for 6 doughnuts

Please note that your child will be dismissed at 2.00pm on this day.

We are looking forward to a wonderful celebration! If you have any further questions please contact the relevant House Group Teacher or House Leader.

Sophia Library News

The STEAM Team and the Library Team have collaborated to create a Lego Hub in the Sophia Library for students to use. 

As well as the Lego Hub, Malcolm Finger, STCC Business Manager, has kindly donated the Lego creations he built during Lockdown for students and staff to look at and be inspired by.

Visual Arts News

Moonee Valley Art Show

The 2023 Moonee Valley Art Show was held at St. Bernard’s College from Friday 19th May to Sunday 21st May. The categories for student work this year included paintings in either oil, acrylic, watercolour or drawings in pastel, charcoal or other drawing mediums.

Congratulation to the following St Columba’s College students who entered the Secondary Student Award:
  • Savannah S (Year 7)
  • Hope F (Year 8)
  • Tiana C (Year 9)
  • Shivya J (Year 9)
  • Layla C (Year 9)
  • Jemma M (Year 10)
  • Claire O (Year 11)
  • Ace C (Year 11)
  • Jessica P (Year 11)
  • Julia S  (Year 11)
  • Charlotte D (Year 12)
There were also a number of other students who entered the open division in different categories.
Art Competitions
There are a number of other art competitions available for students to enter.
The Staedtler Secondary School Artist of the Year is seeking artwork from students using traditional methods such as, but not limited to, paint, pencils or pens. Digital artwork will NOT be accepted. Submission needs to be photographed and uploaded online. Entries close Tuesday 20th June.

The Manyung Gallery Inter-School Art Competition 2023 is also looking for three senior artworks to be exhibited alongside artworks from nine other local schools. Artworks need to be two-dimensional and on a 40cm x 50cm canvas. Entries close Thursday 22nd June.

Life Drawing
Over the last four weeks, a number of Year 11 and 12 Visual Arts students have undertaken Life Drawing workshops at the College on a Monday afternoon. They have been instructed by St Columba’s College art teachers, Ms Silvia Famularo and Ms Olivia Zouev. Each workshop has offered the students an opportunity to develop their observational drawing skills and experiment using different mediums and materials.

Learning Tours 2024


The tour will include visits to multiple cities including Amiens, Somme, the medieval city of Rouen, the amazing Paris, and Versailles. The tour will conclude with the wonderful experience of studying French in the beautiful city Montpellier. Students studying French at Year 10, 11 and 12 in 2024 are invited to express their interest.


Students will begin the tour in France, where they will examine Paris and the surrounding cities through the lens of the French Revolution, World War I and current political debate. From there, the tour will take students to Berlin, where students will be able to immerse themselves in key historical sites such as Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall and experience the rise of fall of authoritarianism in Europe. The tour will conclude in Brussels, where students will visit the European Union Parliament and assess the current state of politics in Europe. Students studying History/Politics at Year 10, 11 and 12 in 2024 are invited to express their interest.

An Information evening will be held on Wednesday 14 June in the Theatrette from 7:00pm – 8:00pm. 

Interested students and families will be provided with detailed information about the two tours. A representative from Worldstrides will also be present.

For more information please contact Ms Sofie Scollo or Mr Sam Avery.

Urban Experience

From Monday the 8th to Friday the 12th of June, 9.4 ventured out to Melbourne’s CBD and took part in the Urban Experience Program in conjunction with St Bernard’s College. The aim of this program is to help us develop our 21st century skills and teach us about respectful relationships. Over the course of the week, we were able to strengthen the skills we already possessed and also learn additional skills such as teamwork, patience, problem solving, independence and navigation. 

Upon meeting the students from St Bernard’s on the first day, there were nerves and uncertainties circulating around the room. It was a new experience for students from both schools and we had to be open-minded and courageous during this session. We played a few icebreaker games and learnt what the week would entail. Then, we were given the challenge right away of completing an Amazing Race around Melbourne’s city with our newly formed groups of 2 St Columba’s girls and 2-3 St Bernard’s boys. We were forced to work together and use each other’s strengths to our advantage in order to make it to the last destination in the fastest time. This was a key highlight for me as it was the first activity the groups completed in the CBD and we were able to be independent and self-driven in choosing what transport we took and when and where we had lunch. 

The next day, St Columba’s and St Bernard’s spent the day separately. My highlight of this day was taking a tour at St Vincent’s Hospital in Fitzroy. This hospital was founded in 1893 by the Sisters of Charity. There is a strong link between St Vincent’s and STCC as both are guided by the mission of Mary Aikenhead Ministries and the teachings of the Sisters of Charity. I found it quite interesting to learn about the history of St. Vincents and their goal to bring God’s love to those in need through the healing ministry of Jesus. This tour helped us to explore and identify where and how our College values are shown beyond the school grounds. 

The next day we were back with our group members from St Bernard’s. We were allowed to choose from a wide selection of self-guided activities and it was up to us to figure out how we would complete these over the next 3 days. These days were all filled with such exciting ventures through the city. My favourite places my group went to were the Chinese Museum in China Town; where we learnt about topics like Chinese Immigration and Chinese New Year in Melbourne, the Fitzroy Gardens; which were so peaceful and elegant, the many laneways and arcades in the CBD; where I enjoyed a delicious nutella crepe and the Town Hall; where we learnt about Melbourne’s Council. The Town Hall Tour definitely stood out to me because we learnt that Queen Elizabeth and many other famous royals had visited the Town HalI and I also got to sit in the Mayor’s seat, which was pretty cool. Not to mention that on our way out, we bumped into the Mayor herself – Sally Capp! 

To sum up, Urban Experience was filled with lots of fun and learning! What I thought was most important, though, was that I learnt many things about myself and grew as a person. I learnt to be patient working in a team and the importance of being organised especially in a group setting. Thank you to all of the teachers and staff who helped make this happen, we all appreciate the time and effort you put into this program for us to enjoy.

Lastly, here is quote from Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, which I believe expresses what this program hopes to achieve:

“Learning from experience and learning from education, both are important. Your education & values decide how you learn from your experiences.”

Instrumental Music Concert

Last Wednesday, 24 May 2023, all students who are studying instrumental music, voice, speech and drama had the opportunity to perform at the Instrumental Music Concert in front of their peers, parents and staff.
The concert began with small ensemble performances at the Hall.
The Chamber Choir opened the concert with ‘Killing Me Softly With His Song’.
This is followed by the String Quartet, Senior String Orchestra, Guitar Ensemble, Brass Ensemble, a combined Clarinet and Flute Ensemble performance, Breakfast Club and Saxophone Ensemble. The first half of the concert concluded with the Percussion Ensemble performing ‘Friend Like Me’.
The second half of the concert, students moved to their allocated spaces (including both Music classrooms, the Chapel and Hall) to perform their solo or duet repertoire. This was a great opportunity for students to consolidate their performance skills as a soloist or duettist.
Congratulations to all students who performed at the concert for their courage, confidence, as well as the preparations in performing as a soloist and ensemble member in front of a live audience
The repertoire performed was wide-ranging and of a high standard.

On behalf of the Arts team, I would like to thank the Leadership team for their ongoing support for this event.

Thank you to all instrumental music and speech teachers for the effort put into preparing the students for this concert, and for encouraging a lifelong love of music and speech and drama.

A special thank you to Mrs McCaskill for putting together a lovely program and for all the work behind the scenes.

Thank you to Lauren G, our Arts captain as the compère for the evening.

Finally, thank you to Nathan and the backstage crew for assisting with all things backstage and onstage, ensuring a smooth transition from one performance to another.


On Thursday, June 15th we will be running the GAT.

All students enrolled in one or more VCE or scored VCE VET unit 3-4 sequence are required to sit Sections A and B of the GAT.

Students enrolled in one or more VCE VM unit 3-4 sequences are required to sit Section A only.

  • Section A: Literacy (reading and Writing) and Numeracy: 9 am-11:15 am
  • Break: 11:15 am-1:15 pm
  • Section B: General Knowledge and Skills: 1:15 pm-3:00 pm

Students will receive an email with their seating assignment, hub location, as well as their arrival time. Students will be expected to be in full Academic uniform.

A GAT assembly is being run on the 8th of June at 3:15pm in the Theaterette. This assembly is compulsory for all students who will be participating in the GAT.  This will cover expectations for the GAT as well as expectations for the end of year exams. Katy Mariner will also attend and talk through how to approach the writing tasks in the GAT. Unfortunately, this section will not be recorded due to VCAA restrictions. A detailed power point presentation will be uploaded to the VCE and VM information tab in the students’ portal.

Students who have been provided with special provisions will have been informed prior to the GAT.  Not all applications have been assessed yet. For those students still waiting for a decision from VCAA, preparations will be made in the expectation that your application will be successful. Special Provision applications were due in by the end of term 1, any applications after that date will most likely not have provisions for the GAT.

Year 8 Reflection Day

On Wednesday the 17th of May, the Year 8s had our reflection day at the Essendon Baptist Church. The day was filled with games, laughter, focusing on the theme of the day, which was social justice. The Youth Ministry Team, who hosted the day, talked to us a bit about social justice, and how we can be pressured to “fit in with others”. We watched them perform skits, having discussions after about what had happened. One of the performances involved a girl, being forced by different people to be something she’s not, such as a footy player, a social media influencer and a scientist. Then the last character came, and helped her see that she doesn’t have to be something that she’s not, and we all have different talents and interests. During the day, we were given a notebook the colour of our House colour, to write down things we learned and talked about. We get it back every reflection day, to write something new. One of the games we played which I found fun (as I was one of the volunteers) was where there were 4 of us up on the stage, each wearing a hat. A sentence was put on the hat like “adore me” or “disagree with me”. My hat said “feel sorry for me” but of course I didn’t know that at the time. Then one of the YMT, Emma, asked us different questions and the audience would react to our answers with what was written on our hat. I was so confused why people were being so sympathetic whenever I said anything! It made sense in the end though. It taught me how different people felt when they were “stereotyped” in a certain way. We ended the day with a prayer time, signing our name on a cross.

All in all, Year 8 reflection day was a fun day with friends, learning about social justice and how we can be more kind to people in our lives.

The Maytime Fair

Hi! My name is Rachel D and I was given the amazing opportunity to take part in performing at the Maytime Fair this year at Xavier College. What began as a cold and rainy day, soon bloomed into a fun and exciting learning experience for me and many of my fellow musicians.
Arriving at Xavier college I was met with a variety of tents filled with hot food, fresh produce and many options to shop! There was quite a popular hot chip stall. None of us had to worry about forgetting about it! The stall keeper made sure to remind us (and the rest of the campus with his booming voice) about the hot chips at least every two minutes.
When it came to Rock Band’s performance in the courtyard, we ditched our exploration of the college and started to set up under our sheltered stage. I had a blast playing with the band (as I always do) and I speak on behalf of all of us in saying that we all valued this experience. It is rare that we get the opportunity to play outside of school with new sound systems and acoustics that we are not used to, so this experience really tested our ability to alter our performance and sound to better suit the environment. It definitely helped to make us better performers.
Rock Band played five songs including:
‘Feeling Good’ by Nina Simone,
‘This is Why’ by Paramore,
‘She Looks So Perfect’ by 5 Seconds of Summer,
‘So What’ by Pink and
‘Kiwi’ by Harry Styles.
Once we finished the set, with lovely support from our families and those around our stage at the fair, we all took our instruments and started heading to the college’s theatre where Battle of the Bands was taking place.
It was a joy being able to watch other bands from a variety of schools and suburbs perform, especially as we all had our own styles and genres. After our prior set, Rock Band felt more than ready to play in Battle of the Bands and we were determined to give it our all! And that’s exactly what we did!
It also seemed as though the judges agreed because we were awarded first place! It was so honouring to receive praise from not only our own families and school peers, but to also be acknowledged by Xavier College’s staff and volunteers. It provided a very encouraging experience for us to keep playing and improve more on our performances.
We were lucky enough to be given the chance to check out the recording space we would be using at the college due to our win. I know it definitely made me thrilled for the future of Rock Band! To anyone that gets given the opportunity to play at the Maytime Fair or any similar event, I strongly suggest you take it. Because a day that started off appearing cold and miserable, very quickly became one of the most rewarding experiences I have had!

Hand Hygiene Reminder

Hand Hygiene is so important in preventing the spread of viruses/illnesses. Please remember to wash your hands with warm water and soap and to sanitise your hands after touching any surfaces like door handles, tables and chairs.

With viruses on the rise due to the cold weather it is so important to remember good hand hygiene as it will help prevent the spread of these viruses. Please remember to only come to school if you feel well enough to be at school.

Grades Do Not Define Our Worth

Read the full article here.

Parent Webinar - How to Help Your Child Prepare for Exams

We’re excited to announce that Elevate Education will be hosting a free webinar for our parents on Wednesday 7th June.

Elevate Education works with our students, delivering high impact workshops on study skills, motivation, wellbeing, and exam preparation. By tuning into their webinar series you will learn how you can help better support your children at home through reinforcing the skills they learn at school:

Wednesday 7th June @ 6:30pm (AEST) 

How to Help Your Child Prepare for Exams

Click here to register for free

In this webinar, we will be discussing:

✅ High Priority Work: The kinds of work students should be focusing on in the build-up to exams to maximise marks

✅ Time Management: How to ensure your child has enough time to prepare for their exams

✅ Practice Papers: How to prepare effectively using past questions and practice papers

Click here to register for free

Enrolments and Scholarships

Applications for Enrolment

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 2025:

  • Applications for Enrolment close Friday 18 August 2023
  • Offers of Enrolment will be mailed out Friday 20 October 2023
  • Offers of Enrolment to be accepted/declined by Friday 10 November 2023

Online applications are open for Year 7 2025 can be accessed here. Please ensure you submit an application form for your daughter even if you already have a daughter at the College.


St Columba’s College is offering Academic Excellence Scholarships for students entering Year 7 2025 as well as Year 9 and Year 11 in 2024 (current students only). 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 click here.

Registration closing date is Friday 14 July 2023

Scholarship testing date is Saturday 22 July 2023

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

Important Dates

Monday 29 May to Friday 2 June – Reconciliation Week

Wednesday 31 May – Edmund Rice Tutoring

Thursday 1 June – O’Brien House Celebration Day

Thursday 1 June – Year 9 Exams Commence

Friday 2 June – Year 9 Exams Conclude, Year 10 and 11 Exams Commence

Monday 5 June – 9.2 Urban Experience Begins

Tuesday 6 June – College Tour (bookings required)

Wednesday 7 June – Edmund Rice Tutoring

Thursday 8 June – GAT Seminar

Friday 9 June – 9.2 Urban Experience ends, Year 10 and 11 Exams Conclude

Monday 12 June – King’s Birthday Public Holiday