From the Principal

Welcome parents, guardians, carers and friends of St Mary’s College to our Issue 05, 2022 newsletter.

The annual Advisory Council Dinner held on 28 November provided an opportunity to thank the Council for their contribution to St Mary's College throughout 2022. It was also an occasion to acknowledge and bid farewell to Chair Laura Button, who has given 7 years of service to the school Board and then Council. Her calm, thoughtful and insightful contributions will be very much missed. This occasion was also an opportunity for the Council to acknowledge milestone years of service for some of our staff. The St Mary’s College School Advisory Council provided terrific support and guidance to me and the school in general. We are extremely fortunate to have highly dedicated parents, staff and professionals with expertise in related fields that are able to view directions, policies and plans from a range of perspectives to ensure the school is being led in the best direction possible. I am incredibly appreciative of their time and expertise and thank them for their contributions this year.

Congratulations to our Year 12 Graduates 2022

On behalf of the St Mary’s College community, I would like to congratulate each and every graduating student. We are extremely proud of our VCE and VCAL students who have demonstrated resilience in managing the challenges of the past three years to successfully complete their secondary education. We had a total of 11 students successfully complete their VCE or VCAL certificate, and they graduate from St Mary’s College as young empowered and inquiring adults.

At St Mary’s College, it is important that all students are supported in their journey to achieve their personal best. This year’s group of students did exactly that. All VCE students achieved a study score in English or EAL required for entry in most university courses which can be challenging for many deaf and hard of hearing students. This reflects the commitment of the students and their teachers in continually working towards their literacy goals throughout their secondary education. Notably, 3 students achieved an ATAR greater than 90, which is an exceptional result.

Our College Dux, Sarah Jin, attained an outstanding Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank of 97.8. I extend my congratulations to Sarah and wish her well as he undertakes further studies at University. All VCE and VCAL students leave us with a pathway into their chosen career. I acknowledge the guidance, commitment and dedication of the St Mary’s teachers in preparing our young people for life beyond school.

As we come to the end of the 2022 school year, I would like to extend my gratitude, blessings and best wishes to each and every student and family. For those who are leaving our school community, I wish you happiness and success in whatever you move onto and for our returning families, I look forward to welcoming you back in 2023.

A Christmas Blessing

Student Leaders for 2023

Announcing the St Mary's Student Leadership team for 2023...

Well done to the following students elected to represent each of our campuses' student cohorts. We are sure they will do amazing things in 2023 and we are all looking forward to it.

Our St Mary's Student Leaders for 2023 for each campus are:

Wantirna South (Primary)

Myisha Lim

Dandenong (Secondary)

Daniel Tabios
Ringwood (Secondary)Rosalee Corrone

South Morang (Primary)

Angad Singh
South Morang (Secondary)Kai Phipps-Papadopoulos
Sunbury (Secondary) Isabella Slavik
Tarneit (Secondary)Lianna Selle



Wantirna South Campus News

Here's what's been going on at Wantirna South in Term 4...

Student Leadership Day

Student Leadership Day is aimed at preparing students for their senior year of primary school. They enjoyed a fun-filled day of leadership activities and games where they learned about the qualities and attributes of what makes a good leader.They were also lucky to have guest speakers attend the day to share their wisdom about being a good leader, Mr Adrian Scutt, the principal of Holy Trinity.

Torch Award

Myisha was awarded the Torch Award at the school assembly for CONFIDENCE when answering questions in class. Well done Myisha!

Christmas Fun!

With Christmas fast approaching ...We're getting into the spirit of things! Primary students at Wantirna South campus embrace the joys of decorating delicious Gingerbread Cookies, creating Christmas trees and learning about the meaning of the Advent calendar.

Colour Run

The Colour Run is a big event each year for Wantirna South at partner school Holy Trinity PS. An obstacle course is set up for each year level to run through with their teachers.A magical day with family and friends and raising money for items and equipment for the school.

Dandenong Campus News

What's been happening this term at Dandenong...

Artistic Flair

Year 11 students had an opportunity to display their work from semester 2. The talented and creative Jai hopes to study a VET Visual Arts course in the future.

Practical Classes

Wood Technology and Science classes are always a big hit when it comes to having to using critical thinking and problem solving skills. It's also great to get some hands-on learning at the end of the year.

Year 12 Graduates

Watching all the year 12 Graduates at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne was very emotional for students, staff and families. Our St Mary's Dandenong students Graduated alongside their St John's Regional College peers. They have each chosen a pathway and hope to pursue nursing, commerce and an apprenticeship. We wish them the very best for their future.

Thank you Morning Tea

The partnership between St John’s and St Mary's in collaborating to provide inclusive and effective learning opportunities is important . St Mary’s share the same grounds and work closely with St John’s staff to ensure every student has what they need to achieve their personal best. We always appreciate the way in which St John's embraces our students and staff and like to let them know how much with an end of year morning tea.

Ringwood Campus News

Check out what's been happening...

The gravity of the situation...

The Year 7’s have enjoyed learning about the different types of forces. Through numerous experiments, they tested the effects of forces on objects. One of these was testing how well their parachutes work and then discussing how they could improve the workings of their model.

Congratulations and Good Luck!

Leaving school is always an exciting and sad time as students and families look towards different journeys.

It was a wonderful celebration at both Aquinas and St Mary’s to witness how well-spoken, mature and grown-up our 4 graduates have become. Congratulations and good luck to Taylor, Hayley, Tahlia and Sam as they move forward into the next chapter of their lives.

Make and Bake

Many alternative programs occurred as we approached the end of the year including a Make and Bake school-based traineeship which Ryan enrolled in. He is thoroughly enjoying the challenge and new adventure. He will attend Make and Bake two days a week in 2023.

Thank You Morning Tea

St Mary’s staff put on a beautiful morning tea to thank all Aquinas school staff for their help and support throughout the year. Our partner schools enable a variety of opportunities for the St Mary’s students which contributes to their learning journey.

South Morang Campus News

What's been happening at South Morang this term?

Year 11 Formal

The Year 11 Formal took place at The Manor on High. It was a great night with a three-course sit-down dinner and dancing. Our students (and staff!) looked sharp in their black tie attire.

Closing weeks of school

There's been a lot happening in the lead-up to Christmas and the end of the school year for 2022.

At South Morang, there have been Graduations for both year 12 and year 6 students, a Primary Choir at the Family Evening, a Year 6 Camp to Phillip Island, and an Academic Awards Evening -where 2 of our St Mary's received awards.

Wow, it's been a great year back at school full-time after the last few interrupted years due to COVID lockdowns.

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe, happy holiday!


Sunbury Campus News

Term 4's happenings at the Sunbury Campus...

Work Placements


As part of their VCAL course, students recently completed their Work Placements.

Ben enjoyed his time working in a Carpentry and Property Maintenance business, painting fences, tiling a bathroom and maintaining a property’s garden for a client.

Rosetta completed her Work Placement in a Hairdressing and Makeup Salon. She was able to practice her makeup application skills which she has been developing in her Certificate 3 Make-Up course at TAFE.

And the Award goes to...

Ben received our partner school’s Vocational Education Training Excellence Award. He was chosen from all the year 10 & 11 VCAL students. A great result for Ben!

Come fly with me!

Programming is a pretty fun way to finish the year, especially when it involves drones as Jagan discovered when testing for flight accuracy. He is excited to have been selected for this elective program for Year 8, next year.

Tarneit Campus News

As the year comes to a close at Tarneit...

St Mary's is excited to be welcoming two students to our Tarneit Campus in 2023.

Welcome to Johnny who will be joining Year 7 and Ewan joining year 9 in 2023.

Ewan participated in the Head Start program that aims to introduce students to next year's curriculum.

Partnership Morning Tea

To thank all Thomas Carr College staff for the help and support they have provided this year, St Mary’s staff organised a morning tea.

Having a partner school like Thomas Carr enables our students access to a wide variety of learning opportunities across the curriculum. This contributes immensely to the learning growth of each St Mary's student.

Medical Management Policy

MACS and the Victorian Government have introduced some changes to policy that outlines medical management. Staff (including those in our partner schools) are no longer be able to distribute Panadol or any medication that is not authorised by a registered health practitioner.

This state-wide policy requires a Medication Authority Form to be completed by the student’s doctor or health practitioner and that any medication must have first been administered at home: a child must never have a medication for the first time at school. Parental permission is no longer sufficient for dispensing any form of medication. This applies to all over-the counter medication as well (e.g. Panadol, Naprogesic, Zyrtec, etc). The school is no longer permitted to keep a store of its own medication or to dispense any prescribed or over-the-counter medications without a Medical Authority Form signed by a doctor or registered health practitioner.

Careers

Work Placement is giving our students a chance to explore career avenues and put into practice what they have been learning in the classroom.

On the job...

Two students from our Sunbury Campus recently completed work placement as part of their VCAL course.

Ben enjoyed his time working in a Carpentry and Property Maintenance business, painting fences, tiling a bathroom and maintaining a property’s garden for a client.

Rosetta completed her Work Placement in a Hairdressing and Makeup Salon. She was able to practice her makeup application skills which she has been developing in her Certificate 3 Make-Up course at TAFE.

Farewell Class of 2022

We say farewell to our St Mary's students of 2022...

We are so proud!

We said farewell and congratulations to students graduating this year across our 5 secondary campuses. The success of completing their final secondary school year is an outstanding achievement! We pray they move into their further education or adult careers with confidence in their identity and enthusiasm.

Staff News

Catchup with what some of our St Mary's staff been up to lately...

Staff long service awards

Congratulations to our long serving staff who reached exciting milestones of service this year - Vanessa Stewart 25 years, Sally Dane 20 years, Kate Leigh 15 years and Pete Begley 10 years. Many thanks from the whole community for your tireless support of our students and families. The staff were recently invited to a dinner hosted by the Principal and School Advisory Council to honour their achievements.

Welcome to Bridie

We welcome Bridie Atkinson who joins us as an Educational Support Officer at our Dandenong campus.

Professional Learning and Staff Farewells

Our staff got into the festive spirit as we gathered at the Catholic Leadership Centre to reflect on the year. We farewelled staff who are leaving us for new adventures next year - Sally Dane, Kate Leigh, Emily Dias, Larissa Holdsworth and Mary Wood. We wish them all the very best and thank them for their service to our community. We also collected Christmas gifts for the Blackburn Retirement Village.

Safety message from ACCCE

Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation

Information for families

The Australian Federal Police through the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is seeing a concerning global trend of teenage males being targeted to send explicit images of themselves and then blackmailed. This is called sexual extortion, or sextortion. The AFP is urging families to have important safety conversations ahead of the school holidays to prevent young people from becoming victim. This crime can have serious wellbeing and psychological impacts.
How does sextortion start?

  • Unsolicited friend and follow requests on social media
  • Direct messages on one app and then being asked to keep chatting on a secondary app
  • Conversations suddenly and quickly becoming sexualised
  • Requests for sexualised images or content.

What can families do?

  • Have open and regular conversations about your child’s online activities and interactions
  • Know what platforms, apps and games they are using and who they are interacting with
  • Remain open and approachable, victims will be reluctant to come forward if they feel they will be punished or blamed
  • Ensure your child knows that it is okay to leave conversations if they feel uncomfortable or unsafe
  • Support your child and know how to respond. The Online blackmail and sexual extortion
    response kit
    has been created to recognise sextortion and get help.

The Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation is here to keep young people safe from online sexual exploitation and abuse.
You can make a report via accce.gov.au/report

For further information, resources and advice visit thinkuknow.org.au

Medical Management Policy

MACS and the Victorian Government have introduced some changes to policy that outlines medical management. Staff (including those in our partner schools) are no longer be able to distribute Panadol or any medication that is not authorised by a registered health practitioner.

St Mary's College

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This state-wide policy requires a Medication Authority Form to be completed by the student’s doctor or health practitioner and that any medication must have first been administered at home: a child must never have a medication for the first time at school. Parental permission is no longer sufficient for dispensing any form of medication. This applies to all over-the counter medication as well (e.g. Panadol, Naprogesic, Zyrtec, etc). The school is no longer permitted to keep a store of its own medication or to dispense any prescribed or over-the-counter medications without a Medical Authority Form signed by a doctor or registered health practitioner.

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