Principal's Report

Dear Families and Carer’s

The Wizard of Oz 2023

Congratulations to everybody concerned with the very successful production of The Wizard of Oz. I attended the Saturday matinee session and loved the sense of spirit and enthusiasm, the quality of the music, the confidence of the acting, and the swift, precise attitude adopted by back-stage and front of house. I’ve taken the opportunity to write to everybody involved in the production. Suspicious as I am of lists and people being overlooked, if your child has not received a letter by the end of the holidays (via Australia Post), please let me know and one will be provided.

The College musical is a highlight of community engagement on the St Mary’s College calendar. It was a production of quality, spirit and inclusion and I thank everyone involved for their spirit of generosity, their perseverance and the time taken to make sure a great show went on!

Review of VET and Careers Education at St Mary’s College

Vocational education and career education has been a staple of this school for many years. This domain of learning is largely led by Mandy Ellwood. Following conversations with her, the College is undertaking a review of our practice which should be completed by the end of October. Part of this review process is the invitation to families and students to provide feedback that may be affirming and constructive in the further invigoration of our offerings in this area. I am happy for groups of people to complete the survey or for it to be done individually. The aim of the survey is to give stakeholders agency and voice which will lead to improved outcomes for students at the school. The links below are for families and alumni. Every student in the school will be given their own survey link via their student College email address. Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

Parent/Carers Survey

Alumni Survey

Victorian Payroll Tax 2024 State Government budget update.

You will remember that the Andrew’s Government budget earlier this year announced a payroll tax on all non-government schools which charged fees over $10,000 pa. A number of weeks later the government reversed the decision on the threshold amount. Thresholds rose from $10,000 to $15,000 per annum. This means that St Mary’s College will be exempt from the payroll tax.

This is good news.

The College will continue to be prudent in its collection and expenditure of the Australian and Victorian Government Grants and of private income collected from fees paid by you.

Given the sudden imposition of this tax, there remains some weariness in the educational community about variances to or imposition of other taxes into the future.

I would like to thank the families who contacted their State MP’s and to Leaders in Catholic Education and advocated on behalf of schools like ours.

Michael Lee OAM
Principal (Acting)

Deputy Principal's Report

From Acting Deputy Principal

For the last few weeks, I have been Acting Deputy Principal while Mr Lancashire has been having a well-deserved break. It has been a very busy time with a wide range of activates for our students and staff to engage with. For example. Pride Week, Bullying no way day, Parent Teacher Interviews, R U OK Day, Lake Mungo Immersion, College Musical- The Wizard of Oz, Formation Sessions with Fr Jerome, Father’s Day Brekky, Sacraments of Reconciliation and Confirmation, Sports, Camps and more!

These activities have been wonderful opportunities for our students to shine and grow within our College community and I thank all who have so willingly participated.

Today we announced the College Prefect Team for 2024. It was an honour to read the applications of all who submitted one, especially reading about the love they have of our school. Students were courageous in putting their name forward, and all who applied are to be congratulated for doing so. We congratulate the following students on being elected.

The College Prefect Team for 2024

Nick Aiton, Athena Anastopoulos, Geremy Baxas, Noah Douglas, Josh Kingston, Mackenzie Prentice Evans, Charlotte Richards, Cleopatra Sparrow Cooper, Adam Tran, Jaeda Thornhill

Mr Lancashire will be back for Term 4. I wish all St Mary’s College families a safe and relaxing holiday break.

Kate Johnston
Acting Deputy Principal

Director of Identity Report

From the Director of Identity

Recently our Year 10 and Year 11 students have each had a day of reflection, a Retreat Day. These days are a compulsory and annual part of College life. A Retreat Day gives students an opportunity to step away from their usual routine to explore local and global issues and how as a faith community we might respond.

Recently I was reading about God Moments. A God Moment is when something happens in our lives that we can’t really explain. Even if it is just for a few seconds, we know that something greater than ourselves is at play. Often this God Moment is not recognised straight away and in most cases, it is only discovered when we look back in reflection.

Our Year 10 students explored the importance of interfaith dialogue and visited the Islamic Museum of Australia. Exploring the similarities with our own Christian faith tradition and the role Muslims played within the rich history of Australia. Year 11 students experienced a day in the CBD exploring who in Melbourne are marginalised, why this is the case and which organisations provide support. St Francis’ Church, The Salvation Army, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, The Big Issue and Intersection all formed part of the day.

Retreat Days are an opportunity for students to experience something greater than St Mary’s College and themselves. A day to unplug from devices and routine and look at the world through a different lens. A day to reflect on their life and who they are in our community and the world. A day to ponder the big questions, an opportunity to experience a God Moment.

Kate Johnston
Director of Identity

Director of Student's Report

Term 3

When you think about it, schools are a mixture of changeability and routine. Changeability is manifest in activities like the musical (congratulations Brendan, Louisa and all involved); boys and girls sports; social justice activities; excursions; camps; incursions; guest speakers and other sundry activities. These provide a change of perspective, scenery and even mood. However, the steady routine – five periods, classrooms, lockers, books, desks…you get the picture – is the essence of schools. A lesson on a wintry Tuesday morning. A lesson where you learn something that you know you will never forget. A lesson where you weren’t expecting to be memorable but, for some odd reason, remains etched in your mind. A moment of collaboration where you helped each other obtain, or retain, a piece of knowledge and skill. A joke from a teacher (no, really). A joke from a classmate. A brilliant speech. A fully realised answer. Great moments welded to the steady beat of school life.

Despite the aforementioned activities, Term 3, more than any other term, is about routine. Therefore, its conclusion often carries with it fatigue and, it must be said, a sense of accomplishment. The vast majority of our students have embraced positive routine and, no doubt, had moments of levity and intellectual electricity throughout the term. We thank all teachers for their efforts and, of course, the efforts of the students to see they have build new skills and expanded their intellectual horizons.

Term 4 – the spring term, the term where summer beckons - is a great term. There is routine and, of course, changeability. However, most importantly, there is a sense of hope in the air for a good finish to the year. We look forward to embracing the routine to see this hope come to fruition.

Chris Pye
Director of Students

Languages Week

Languages Week

Students from Years 7 to 12 participated in Languages week in a variety of ways, with most students preparing some traditional Italian and Japanese dishes.

Our Italian students prepared bruschetta, pizza, spaghetti ragu`, rigatoni al pomodoro, Nutella donuts and espresso.

Our Japanese students prepared okonomiyaki, a traditional savoury Japanese pancake, and obento, traditional Japanese lunchboxes.

We also had a gelati truck visit the school and students got to play bocce and tombola (Italian bowls and bingo). A chopstick competition was also held.

A wonderful week was had by everyone!

Rosario Genovese
Learning Leader LOTE


Careers – Lumina 15 Sept

The end of Term 3 is always a significant point in the year. It is interesting to reflect on all that has been achieved. Year 12’s are now ready for their practice exams and the weeks of revision and refinement prior to exams. Folios and SATs are done, SACs completed, orals and performance exams just around the corner. Many weeks of structured learning, engagement with individual teachers at an adult level with the addition of personal learning and preparation, often involving close collaboration with peers, will allow each to perform their best in the coming weeks. Vocational Major students are completing their final projects and presentations in the next few weeks too.

All Year 12s are focusing on their varied plans for the coming year. Most have completed Careers meetings, often multiple meetings, to tease out their options or seek specific information on applying for work or applying for tertiary courses. Apprenticeships and Gap Years are always popular but need careful consideration too. Year 12s have had many group sessions in community meetings to prepare them for their choices. They have sought input from family and friends. They have attended expos, Open Days, webinars and tours. They are making an initial choice, with the prospect of experimentation and change. It is always good to try out new ideas, activities and learnings, but changing your mind is okay too. It is not a lifetime choice: change is constant. And education is never wasted!

Of course, career decisions are not just for the year 12s. Students at all year levels have been considering their interests and talents, discussing possibilities with families and teachers, and generally researching their options before choosing electives, subjects and senior pathways. Ensuring students are fully informed and develop the confidence to make good decisions is the core work of all educators at St Mary’s College. Year 10 students have had a lot of support in this, having completed their Morrisby assessments earlier in the year and then learning to use their own profile to research their options. They have completed Work Experience placements in a wide variety of settings. They have been through the process of selecting their pathway and subjects for Years 11 and 12, with a subject expo and individual course counselling.

Term 4 will bring further opportunities to draw all these threads together. For Year 10 and 11 there will be exams, a real learning opportunity. In spite of a few nerves, this is where students get to practise their skills, test their knowledge and learn the “how” of managing exams in preparation for future testing situations. Headstart will offer two weeks in their new subjects to start the 2024 curriculum and confirm their choices.

For Year 9 students, Term 4 will bring the start of the process to find a Work Experience placement for next year. Students who begin now, will find that many of the applications for placements at larger institutions (such as hospitals, zoos etc) open in October. Early in Term 4, there will be information provided to families and students about how the Work Experience program operates as well as where and how to find and apply for a placement. This should be an exciting time for them as they consider the opportunities that await!

Mandy Ellwood
Careers Counsellor

Student Voice

Dear St. Mary's College Community,

As we bid farewell to another incredible term, it is time to reflect on the highlights and accomplishments that have made Term 3 truly remarkable. Not only have our students excelled academically, but our school basketball team has also left an indelible mark on the courts. In this newsletter article, we celebrate the end of Term 3 and spotlight the impressive journey of our school's basketball team.

Before we dive into the exciting world of sports, let's first acknowledge the academic achievements of our students. Term 3 saw St. Mary's College students continue their commitment to excellence in the classroom. They've demonstrated unwavering dedication to their studies, showcasing outstanding performances in various subjects, projects, and exams.

Our Senior school basketball team deserves a standing ovation for their outstanding performance throughout Term 3. Coached by the dedicated Coach Mr Kauffman, these students have shown remarkable teamwork, resilience, and sportsmanship. Their relentless dedication to the sport has resulted in several memorable victories that have made our school very proud. The camaraderie and team spirit among our basketball players has been exceptional. Their unity has not only contributed to their success but has also set a shining example of what St Mary’s College stands for.

Thank you to our students, teachers, parents, and the entire St. Mary's College community for making Term 3 memorable. Here's to a well-deserved break and a bright future ahead in Term 4!

Warm regards,

Liam Denys and Sabrina Lehpamer
Year 12 Sport Prefects

Association Sports Report

Term 3 Sport Update.

This term we have had a lot of different sports running at St Mary’s College.

For ACC Weekly Sport we had  Junior and Intermediate Table Tennis Teams, Hockey Team and finally Basketball teams. We competed in Senior Basketball this term too.

For our girls we had a very busy term.

We started off with AFL where our Junior girls won and our Intermediate girls came runner up for the day, which is an outstanding effort for all those involved.

Our girls were also involved in Volleyball, Aerobics and Soccer, where they fought hard across all events to finish in the mid table.

We competed in girls Netball where our Intermediate and Junior girls both made the grand finals, but were both runners up in their games. Special mention to Matilda Phyland for winning the best on ground for the grand final.

Our Junior Table Tennis team finished 4th just scraping into the finals where they beat the top team St Bernard's to get into the grand final, unfortunately losing this to Parade.

We had a few one day ACC events this term beginning with Chess in Ballarat, Drama at Mazenod, and Battle of the Bands hosted by St Mary’s. 

The Final event of this term was the Cross Country where we competed in the years 7 – 10 races, with a special mention to Gerard Gibney who came 3rd in the yr 10 race.

Looking forward to another term of successful sport at St Mary’s College in Term 4.

Dean Bird
Director of Sport

Father's/Mentor's Breakfast

Fathers and Mentors 

Many thanks to the Fathers and Mentors who attended the breakfast held at the College on Friday 8 September.
It was wonderful to see so many smiling faces enjoy the wonderfully cooked breakfast provided by Sandie Saundry and her expert team of helpers.
We always love the opportunity to have parents visit the College and take the time to socialise with others.
Many thanks to our Prefects, Parent Helpers and Staff who helped make this morning a success.

David Formosa
Director of Development

ACC Table Tennis

Enthusiastic and Dedicated

Year 7 Table Tennis was a great success this year. We had a squad of enthusiastic and dedicated team players who improved with each round. They supported each other in the losses and were humble in the wins. 

Impressively, we made the Grand Final, an achievement not reached in many years for a team of Year 7s. We faced a tough Parade team and it was extremely tight even during the final match. They got the better of us by one game but we played fantastically and left with our head's held high. 

I am so proud of the skill, sportsmanship and teamwork our group displayed each week and one thing I know for sure is that we have a fierce Year 8 team lined up!

Lisa O'Callaghan

The Wizard of Oz

What and Experience!

It was wonderful for St Mary’s College to at last perform our first all school Musical! It has been an absolute adventure for all the Year Levels to come together and put on a musical that has been in the hearts of generations for over eighty years. Such a thing for one to have been a part of was an exceptional experience, especially with the previous performances being cancelled due to the Covid-19 lockdowns. 

Although this has only been my second year of drama and performing, I can state in ink that many of our performers have really come out of their shells and been able to express their natural talent on stage.

My overall conclusion of this production is that it has been an absolute success and more students should really give the Performing Arts a go. St Mary’s performing arts culture is definitely in the works to become something rather special than even compared to the days of overpass theatre. Most of the performers in the Wizard of Oz were first timers and if they could put on a production this extraordinary! Why can’t anyone else? So, if you’re interested please give it a go as a prominent regret of many graduating Year 12s was that they didn’t get involved in as much as they could have.

Alexander De Jong
Cast Member

VAPA Showcase

VAPA Showcase

On Tuesday 10th October we will be showcasing the very best of our Visual and Performing Arts.

The evening will have Art, Design and Technology, Visual Communications and Media Displays. We will also be showcasing our musicians with live performances from our various bands and ensembles.

The evening starts at 6:30pm and will conclude by 9:00pm. Entry is free however bookings are essential for catering purposes. 

To book your ticket please click on the link below.


St Mary's College Academies

Academies at St Mary's College

Dance Academy

Students at St Mary's College now have the opportunity to take part in two Academies.

We are very excited to announce that St Mary's College will be starting a Dance Academy next term.

The Academy will run every Wednesday afternoon from 3:15pm until 4:00pm at The Presentation Campus for 8 weeks.

We are very fortunate to Anouk Thaddeus on staff, who will run the Academy.

Anouk is a St Mary's College Alumni who was the joint Sports and Arts College Captain in 2022. Anouk was also awarded ‘Sports Woman of the Year’ in 2022.

Anouk’s interest in dance started early at the age of 5 and she has been dancing ever since.

She studied and completed her ATOD examinations in Jazz and is currently completing her final Advanced Ballet examinations this year.

Anouk successfully complete VCE dance with the support of St Mary's College.

In 2019, Anouk lead the St Mary's College musical ‘Grease’ as the Dance Captain and in 2022 Anouk was engaged by the college to choreograph the musical ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’.

Anouk is currently studying at Monash University and was selected to represent the University, on a national level, in dance specialising in POM.

The 8 week Dance Academy costs $100 per student. There are only 20 places available and students at all Levels are welcome to take part.

Basketball Academy

Our on going Basketball Academy continues and is headed by NBL Hall of Famer Lanard Copeland. The Basketball Academy runs every Thursday from 7am until 8am at MSAC with a shuttle bus to school. The cost of the Basketball Academy is $250 for an 8 week program.

Bookings for both Academies are essential. To book your spot, simply click the appropriate link below.



Community News - Hockey Holiday Program

Powerhouse & St Kilda Hockey Club’s September School Holiday Program.

Come try the fun, social and rewarding game of field hockey, by coming to the Powerhouse & St Kilda Hockey Club’s September School Holiday Program.

The Program is especially designed for children 5 to 14 who would like to try hockey for the first time. The program will be a mix of all day fun hockey games and basic skills, lunch break, and indoor entertainment at the end of each day. The Program is just the thing for children to start enjoying a fun and social physical activity during the school holidays.


  • 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • Monday 18 and Tuesday 19 September 2023
  • 1 Hockey Drive, St Kilda
  • Equipment provided (no need to bring anything)

Fortnight in Photos

2023 Lumina Edition 14 - 15 Sep 2023

Languages Week

Rosario Genovese

Learning Leader LOTE


Languages Week

Students from Years 7 to 12 participated in Languages week in a variety of ways, with most students preparing some traditional Italian and Japanese dishes.

Our Italian students prepared bruschetta, pizza, spaghetti ragu`, rigatoni al pomodoro, Nutella donuts and espresso.

Our Japanese students prepared okonomiyaki, a traditional savoury Japanese pancake, and obento, traditional Japanese lunchboxes.

We also had a gelati truck visit the school and students got to play bocce and tombola (Italian bowls and bingo). A chopstick competition was also held.

A wonderful week was had by everyone!

Rosario Genovese
Learning Leader LOTE