June 14, 2019

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Principal's Message


Enrolments - Year 7 2021

Faith & Mission News

Careers News

Life Drawing

Japanese Exchange Program

Principal's Message

This past Sunday we celebrated the feast of Pentecost.  The Christian holy day of Pentecost, which occurs fifty days after Easter Sunday, celebrates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles while they were in Jerusalem, as described in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 2:1–31).  The reading from Acts describes the Holy Spirit coming to rest on the head of each of the Apostles and “they were filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak foreign languages as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech” (Acts 2:4).  The chapter goes on to describe how people from every nation were gathered and could hear the Apostles speaking in their language. This passage has always intrigued me, as I reflected on the meaning and the miracle. To be able to be understood by the other means that we have the empathy to enter into their space, to see the world from their perspective.  Perhaps the miracle is that when we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we are more likely to open our hearts and our minds to the other, and so be in a position where a relationship can be built. Can you imagine the intermingling of people in Jerusalem at the time, all being able to understand one another?


I recently had the privilege of attending the Catholic Secondary Principals’ Conference and to listen to, and learn from, world-class speaker Dr Anna Rowlands.  The focus of the presentations by Dr Rowlands was on Catholic Social Teaching (CST) For Our Time. Dr Rowlands presented the argument that Catholic Social Teaching in our present contexts reflects a theology of identity – what it means for people to be recognised, and for our response to be “I see you, I hear you, I am here”.  In particular, her presentation on CST and the Migrant was both powerful and moving. She used the work of Pope Francis to explain how we should be oriented towards the other. From Pope Francis’ teachings, we should understand that the task of theology is to be comfortable with the other and that the other is God – a God who stands for difference, transcendence, relationship and communion.


Pope Francis distilled his teachings in four verbs – our duty towards the other is:

To welcome.

To protect.

To promote.

To integrate.


In essence, our duty is one of justice, civility and solidarity. Dr Rowlands challenged us to evaluate how our communities, societies and our country measure up.



Last Sunday we celebrated the great feast of Pentecost when we recall God’s special relationship with us, the workers for the kingdom. Let us pray…


Come, O Spirit of God

And make within us your dwelling place and home.

May our darkness be dispelled by your light,

And our troubles calmed by your peace;

May all evils be redeemed by your love,

All pain transformed through the suffering of Christ,

And all dying glorified by his risen life.


We make this prayer in your holy name. Amen.



Enrolments - Year 7 2021

A reminder to submit an application for enrolment form for Year 7 2021 (currently Grade 5). An application form must be submitted even if you already have a daughter at the College.


Applications can be downloaded from the College website or collected from Reception. Closing date for applications is Friday 23 August. Any queries please contact me on 9331 9128.



Faith & Mission News

The Plenary Council 2020 has moved into its next phase with the release of the National Themes for Discernment on Pentecost Sunday.


Our community recently participated in a process of reflection and dialogue with students and staff and shared a summary of these at the time. As we just celebrated the great feast of Pentecost, we share this latest update of the Plenary Council with you, taken from an article published by the Australian Bishops Conference.


The themes emerged from a historic process of listening to the voices of more than 222,000 people. Between May 2018 and March 2019, almost 17,500 submissions, from individuals and groups of all sizes, addressed the Plenary Council’s central question: “What do you think God is asking of us in Australia at this time?” Over several days of listening to what the people of God said, with intense moments of prayer and discernment, the Bishops Commission for the Plenary Council and its Executive Committee, joined by the Facilitation Team, considered what people were longing for.


Six National Themes for Discernment emerged. “The National Centre for Pastoral Research was able to pinpoint more than 100 recurring subject areas from those 17,500 submissions,” said Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB, president of the Plenary Council. “In some ways, those subject areas described what one might call ‘the messy reality’ of Catholic life in Australia today. The voices of the faithful help all of us to understand something of the historical experience and the current reality of the Catholic Church in Australia.


“We worked to discern what people were yearning for as we move into this next stage of preparing for the Plenary Council.” Archbishop Costelloe said there was a clear desire expressed for the x to renew herself and focus on the person of Jesus Christ.


“Accordingly, the six National Themes for Discernment flow from that primary goal of being a Christ-centred community of people,” he explained. The six National Themes for Discernment invite people to reflect, to pray and to consider how God is calling the People of God to be a Christ-centred Church in Australia that is:


  • Missionary and Evangelising
  • Inclusive, Participatory and Synodal
  • Prayerful and Eucharistic
  • Humble, Healing and Merciful
  • A Joyful, Hope-Filled and Servant Community
  • Open to conversion, Renewal and Reform.


More information on the National Themes for Discernment can be found on the re-launched Plenary Council website:


To read the full story, please visit the ABC Media Blog


Careers News

Careers Newsletter

The latest Careers Newsletter is available for download. It contains information on early entry programs, vocational education options and much more.


Careers Newsletter – June 14 2019


Parent and Student Information Evening

The Tertiary Information Service (TIS) is excited to present a Parent and Student Information Evening at RMIT University’s City Campus!


When: 6pm – 7:30pm on Monday 17 June

Where: RMIT University, City Campus, Swanston Academic Building (Building 80, Level 7)  


Register Here:   


What is TIS?

TIS is a collective of Universities, TAFE institutes and Independent Tertiary Colleges helping students prepare for future careers through free events around Victoria and Tasmania.


What is covered?

The first part of the session is a presentation that runs through tertiary education options, applying for further study, access entry schemes, scholarships and financial assistance, accommodation options, moving and transitioning, along with timelines and important dates. The second part of the session is known as the ‘supermarket session’, where all attending institutions are available to answer any questions or concerns you might have.


Who should attend?

The session will best suit students in Year 11 or 12 that are interested in pursuing tertiary education, although the presentation is open to any high school student. Parents and/or guardians are also encouraged to attend. Please register using the link above.  



Open Days – University & TAFE Victoria

Victorian Universities and TAFEs will be holding their Open Days over the next couple of months. Please click on the gallery below, or click the link here, for information on Open Day dates, times and locations.



Life Drawing

The Life Drawing Program at St Columba’s College has just concluded for 2019. Congratulations to all our students who took part in this experience and many thanks to Ms Hilary Breman who also co-taught with me.


Drawing from observation and understanding the figure is fundamental as a practice as it trains the eye to see accurately, allows students to observe gesture whilst being made aware of how the body works and operates in the space it occupies.


Students wishing to undertake tertiary studies in the visual arts will find that most institutions value this form of drawing and appreciate seeing examples of it from applicants to their courses.


Please see the gallery below for some examples of the student artwork by Maya Soloman, Isabel Anandan, Shanay Scarr and Madison Salazar.


Japanese Exchange Program

St Columba’s and Shin-Ai Girls’ College Exchange


As part of our exchange program with our sister school Shin-Ai, we invite and encourage students with an interest in Japanese language and culture and those intending to participate in the Japan Tour in 2021 to host a student. This experience offers the opportunity to develop a relationship with students from Shin-Ai Girls’ College.


The students from Shin-Ai will be with us for 12 nights. During this time, they will participate in a range of activities arranged by the College. Weekends will be spent with host families.


Before confirming our Host Families, members of each family over the age of 18 will need to complete a Working with Children Check application. Please apply at


As hosting a student from our sister school is a voluntary activity, there is no fee for the Working with Children check. Please provide the College with a copy of your completed application forms or if you already have one a copy of your Working with Children’s card.


For expressions of interest please contact Jen Mahony ( or Sofie Scollo ( at the College.