VCE Results

Year 12 Results St Mary’s College 2023

Congratulations to the class of 2023 and their teachers upon gaining some of the finest VCE results at the College for years.

The top ATAR achieved by the College Dux Audrey Smart was 99.5. Up by 0.85 from 2022. Three students achieved an ATAR above 95 and 21%, an ATAR above 90.

35% of the cohort achieved an ATAR beyond 80. In many cases, our core scores showed improvement by several points.

St Mary’s College median for 2023 is 31!

Let’s remember that St Mary’s is a school that is fully comprehensive in its enrolment and where students with predictably low results are allowed to pursue an ATAR and therefore be eligible for university.

Key take-aways from these results;

  • The class of 2023 worked hard, shared their knowledge and approached their VCE with strategy and endeavor.
  • The teaching at St Mary’s College inspired confidence in the students and thoroughly prepared them.
  • The results at St Mary’s continue to improve.
  • In most cases, our students exceeded their expectations by working smart, with excellent teachers and a supportive home environment.
  • The ATAR median is 72.45. Up from 68 in 2022.

It is important to remember that our students are not defined by an ATAR. However, many of our students through these results have more options and pathways than they might have otherwise expected.

Congratulations to the students, their teachers and families.

Michael Lee OAM
Principal (Acting)

Principal's Report

I’ve loved every minute of it!

To the Members of the St Mary’s College Community

This is my last newsletter contribution as Acting Principal and member of the St Mary’s Community. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Principal, Shaun Lancashire, the Leadership Team of the College and every teacher and member of the support staff who have worked with me and the Advisory Council in strategic decision making, planning and in responding to the challenges that every community faces during a working year. For a Principal to come from interstate into an unknown jurisdiction and education system has not been without its challenges. As many of you would know, I have been in the safe hands of Shaun Lancashire, with his wisdom, knowledge and advice, but more particularly with his total investment in your children and their school. Critical to my time at the school has been the remarkable and talented support of my Executive Support Team – Ms Glenys Taylor and Mr George Baxas - known as the ‘G’ Team, but very much the ‘A’ Team in my view. I’ve offered both Glenys and George positions at my school in Canberra, however, Glenys has family ties here in Melbourne and George doesn’t know where Canberra is (it must be north of the Yarra)!

The real joy of my time at this school has been the building of relationships with your children. I’ve made the point many times that there is a high degree of efficacy, confidence and empathy for others inherent in a St Mary’s student. It starts in your homes with values, discipline and profound love and care. Public transport educates our students to know where good choices and poor choices can lead them. Our students cannot escape the lived experience of belonging to a society, rather than simply an economy. I find this a deeply attractive characteristic of our students. The graduating class will go into institutions of higher learning, the trades and workforce with knowledge and understanding, discernment in decision-making, optimism and heart. All of us should feel good about what they will bring to the adult world.

The key to any successful school is the relationship between teacher, student and family. Two teachers of particular significance who are leaving St Mary’s at the end of this school year are Mr Chris Pye, Director of Students and Mr Nick Whitlock, Director of Staff. These men have played a key role in the life of the school for a significant number of years and should be thanked for their work in the challenging spaces of their portfolios. I’m sure all of you wish them, and other staff, in their success in their new roles. I acknowledge that a number of very good teachers have left St Mary’s this year. They have left for career promotion, because they’ve been here a long time, or for reasons such as locality or geography. Each of them has taken something rich with them from their time here. I’d like to assure all of you of the superb quality, enthusiasm and breadth of experience that new staff will be bringing to St Mary’s in the new year. All of you know that we are in a world-wide shortage of teachers, yet it seems our co-educational structure, our location in this part of Melbourne and the intimate size relative to most schools, makes St Mary’s a very attractive proposition. In our existing staff, there is a rich blend of experience, talent, points of view and interests that will maintain a vibrant staffroom. This, together with the relocation of the school to a single campus, a new Principal and improved facilities and resources, will enhance opportunities for teachers at St Mary’s.

St Mary’s has been fortunate to attract a new Principal of experience and capacity in Darren Atkinson. What our school needs is experienced leadership of imagination and understanding of what modern families need from a good Catholic school. The handover between myself and Darren has been remarkably easy and each conversation I’ve had with him has increased my confidence and enthusiasm for the school’s future.

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish the St Mary’s College Community every success for the future. Our community’s ability to respond to change has been inspirational. Darren will bring an energy and impetus to the things that matter. A profoundly Catholic school that welcomes everyone, quality teaching and learning, happy and safe students, continued growth of the faculty and warm and timely communication with families.

Thank you, St Mary’s College – I’ve loved every minute of it!

Michael Lee OAM
Principal (Acting)

Deputy Principal's Report

A Sense of Accomplishment

Dear St Mary’s College families,

It is with a sense of accomplishment that I write this final article for 2023. It has been a year of change, growth, decisive action and planning for the future. With Darren Atkinson in place as College Principal from the start of 2024, St Mary’s College will experience a sense of certainty in its future and stability in decision making in the immediate weeks and months that lay ahead. The return to one campus and the development of the facilities within that campus provide a renewed sense of optimism and clarity regarding the learning spaces and facilities we will enjoy next year and beyond. I take very seriously the experiences our students will have whilst this work takes place and am engaged in multiple levels of planning for a smooth year and transition to one campus by the end of Term 3. On this matter, there will be open and frequent communication throughout 2024. I look forward to engaging with students, parents, and staff in this most important work.

There are some staff leaving the College this year, as is the case in every school at the end of the academic year. It is difficult and perhaps inappropriate to single out individuals, though I wish each person all the very best in the next stage of their careers.

I will individually thank Michael Lee for the great impact he has had in leading this school for the past three terms. It is only known by Michael how difficult it has been to replace Terry Blizzard in this way and take the College forward in such a short period of time – a task you have carried out admirably. On behalf of the whole community, Michael, thank you.

As 2023 draws to a close, I would like to sincerely thank the students of St Mary’s College for creating many moments this year that I will cherish as career highlights.

All the very best to every member of this community, for a safe, happy, and holy Christmas.

Shaun Lancashire
Deputy Principal

Director of Identity - Advent


The season of Advent has arrived. In amongst Christmas decorations and shopping for presents its easy to have our attention taken away from preparing our hearts and minds for Jesus to come into our lives. Advent is the four Sundays before Christmas when we wait and prepare to remember Jesus’ birth. Each week follows a theme; hope, peace, joy and love. I am always reminded of the Advent theme by a house I drive past coming to work. Each year they spell out, in silver tinsel the theme of the week.

If you have an Advent wreath, by now it should have been dusted off and put on the coffee table. I make my own with greenery from the garden, the evergreens a symbol of eternal life. As the weeks go by, the gradual lighting of the candles represents the increasing light of Christs coming.

Advent week 1- The first candle is purple and represents HOPE.

Advent Week 2- The second candle is purple and represents PEACE.

Advent Week 3- The third candle is pink and represents JOY.

The change of colour reminds us that we are at the midpoint of Advent and we are close to Christmas - the day of Jesus’ birth!

Advent Week 4- The fourth candle is purple and represents LOVE.

The fifth, and final candle is white, Christ's candle. It is lit on Christmas Day to represent the pure light of Jesus, who came on Christmas day as a baby in a manger.

As a community, we celebrated Advent with students in Yrs. 7, 8 & 9 walking to the Astor Theatre to see the newly released, Journey to Bethlehem. It was a musical celebration of how Jesus came into the world, please ask your children about it.

Wishing all our families a Christmas filled with hope, peace, joy and love this festive season.

Kate Johnston
Director of Identity

Director of Students

Extracurricular Activities - A Great Lead Up to Summer

As I write this column, I am just fresh off officiating a basketball game between Year 7 and 8 students. The result was a 25-15. win to Year 8. They were, obviously, a little bit bigger and stronger and moved the ball really well on offense. However, without wishing to sound clichéd, it was about much more than who won the game. The game had teamwork, communication, encouragement, exercise, time in the sun, purpose and, above all, some meaning. These things are really important parts of schools – the valuable stuff that happens outside the classroom.

Last week, a number of students participated in the Great Victoria Bike Ride. Again, all the descriptors in the above are likely to be applicable. One can also prescribe a heavy dose of fortitude and resilience to all those who completed the ride. I thank David Joyce for his efforts in organised and (no less) participating in it himself! Furthermore, Alex Luscombe organised a volleyball tournament for Years 8, 9 & 10 last week. It looked like it was good fun and one of those events that one is grateful that they chose to participate in.

I strongly believe that the more students participate in a range of school offerings, the more likely they are to be active during downtime. Instead of reaching for the computer or phone, they may go for a few shots of basketball. Social media? Maybe a bit but soon they will go on a bike ride. Games? Again, nothing wrong with playing them but the students who are active won’t play them for that long before wanting to go outside. The more energy they tend to burn, the more energy they will have to burn. The more animation they have at school the more they will actually do in non-school time.

This summer is forecast to be a hot one. Typically, those expansive blue Australian skies are a time of freedom and autonomy. I hope the College’s extra-curricular activities have provided students with the skills to use these holidays to create personal resonance by doing things that are good for them, gives them purpose and allow them to recharge for the year ahead.

I wish you all a great Christmas and holiday period.

Chris Pye
Director of Students

Thank you and Farewell Mr Michael Lee

A Fond Farewell to Mr. Michael Lee: A Temporary Role, a Lasting Impression.

As we bid farewell to Mr. Michael Lee, we reflect with gratitude on the remarkable impact he has made during his time as our Acting Principal. Taking on the role with short notice, Mr. Lee's dedication, kindness, and genuine interest in St Mary's College quickly endeared him to our community.

In the midst of his responsibilities, Mr. Lee generously shared his time, kindness, and a collection of colorful stories that captivated anyone fortunate enough to listen. His passion for education, particularly in the realm of coeducation, resonated profoundly with the wider community. Through his words and actions, he became a passionate advocate for the values and principles that define St Mary's College.

Mr. Lee's commitment went beyond the administrative duties; he became a welcomed and beloved member of the St Mary's College family. His warmth, approachability, and sincere engagement with students, staff, and parents alike left an indelible mark on our collective experience.

As we express our gratitude for his valuable contributions, we also extend our best wishes to Mr. Michael Lee as he journeys back to Mary Mackillop College in Canberra. May the next chapter of his journey be as fulfilling and enriching as the positive impact he leaves behind at St Mary's College.

Thank you, Mr. Lee, for your kindness, your stories, and your unwavering dedication to the spirit of our community.

David Formosa
Director of Development

Careers News


Next Monday, from 7am, our Class of 2023 VCE students will be able to access their results, both Study Scores and ATARs, via the combined VCAA and VTAC Results and ATAR Service at

Students must register for the service using their VCE/VCAA/Exam Number. Year 11 students who completed a Unit 3 & 4 subject can also register.

There will be feelings of both excitement and nerves, of course, as you open the app or text. Our graduates have worked towards this moment for many years and, whilst it is certainly a big event for students and families, it is by no means the only thing students will gain from their thirteen years of education: friends, fun, mentors, understandings, specific and transferrable skills, respect, resilience, ethics, values and so much more. You are the sum of your experiences, not a number.

Reactions to the results and ATAR vary widely from elation to resignation to profound disappointment. There can be relief at any level of ATAR if it allows the student to gain entry to their preferred course. It is important that each student considers their preferences carefully at this stage to ensure they have included some “safe bets” lower on the list that can be a pathway to the desired course. This is one of the many ways I can help.

Yet students should be careful not to remove their “dream” course preferences either! Why? Firstly, the Lowest Selection Rank published by VTAC is last year’s rank and can change this year. Secondly, there are many other adjustment factors to consider, such as SEAS, Selection Requirements and Subject Adjustments.

This is why students who have concerns about their chances of selection should make an appointment for a Change of Preference Meeting between Monday 11 and Wednesday 13 December. Appointments can be made at Meetings can be in Person or on Teams and parents are welcome. Students: I will already know your ATAR (remember you have signed a permission form about this) and your most recent preferences, so we can get right to work finding the best solutions for YOU!

You can also email any quick questions in the usual way or call 9520 8530. If I am busy and don’t answer, please leave your name and a message, and I will call you back. For more complex questions or issues, a meeting is preferable.


All Year 12 students and parents were emailed the St Mary’s College School Leaver Guide Beyond Year 12 early in Term 4. Also to be found at This handy booklet contains a wealth of information for all VCE Vocational Major and VCE (Scored and Unscored) graduates on finding employment, getting a TFN, all VTAC dates and requirements, how tertiary offers and future change of preference works, as well as general encouragement for your future careers.

Whatever happens, statistics tell us that you will enjoy many careers over your working life. The key to career satisfaction is to be open to trying new things and grasp those opportunities that spark your interest. May you all find your ikigai – the Japanese term for your happy place – and the secret to a long and happy life!

Mandy Ellwood
Careers Counsellor

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program

The Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars program is an academic enrichment program that is awarded to high performing students to support them achieve their very best through Secondary Education.

Every year our high performing Year 10 students are invited to make an application for this prestigious program. The successful applicant is part of a two-year program of events and activities. They also could be offered a guaranteed place at Melbourne University and will be considered for an overseas scholarship during their studies.

We are very proud of Helena Giglas who is the 2024 recipient of the Kwong Lee Dow young scholars program for St Mary’s College.

She is very excited to meet the students from other schools who will be part of this amazing experience and to have access to the facilities that are on offer at the Melbourne University campus.

Bev Pettit
Director of Learning and Teaching

Teaser Alert! Unveiling the Enigmatic Charm of "Little Shop of Horrors" in 2024!

Get ready to be transported to a world where mystery meets melody! Our 2024 school production is set to bring to life the cult classic, "Little Shop of Horrors." Join us on this thrilling journey filled with laughter, love, and a touch of the unexpected. Stay tuned for updates as we gear up to unveil the magic. It's a spectacle you won't want to miss!

Brendan Tollit
Drama Coordinator

Key Dates for Your Diary

Some Key Dates 

  • Tuesday 19 December 2023  - Office Closes 4:00pm
  • Wednesday 24 January 2024 - Office Opens 8:00am
  • Thursday 01 February 2024 - Students Commence - Welcome Day (Staggered Start/Finish Times)
  • Friday 02 February 2024 - Classes Commence

Uniform Shop Holiday Hours

Community News - Camp Blue

Fortnight In Photos

2023 Lumina Edition 19 - 13 Dec 2023

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program


Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Program

The Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars program is an academic enrichment program that is awarded to high performing students to support them achieve their very best through Secondary Education.

Every year our high performing Year 10 students are invited to make an application for this prestigious program. The successful applicant is part of a two-year program of events and activities. They also could be offered a guaranteed place at Melbourne University and will be considered for an overseas scholarship during their studies.

We are very proud of Helena Giglas who is the 2024 recipient of the Kwong Lee Dow young scholars program for St Mary’s College.

She is very excited to meet the students from other schools who will be part of this amazing experience and to have access to the facilities that are on offer at the Melbourne University campus.

Bev Pettit
Director of Learning and Teaching