From the Principal

Welcome parents, guardians, carers and friends of St Mary’s College to our Issue 03, 2022 newsletter.

This term, students and staff have had a lot of opportunity to enjoy being part of the wonderful community of six campuses that makes up our college. Apart from the ongoing learning and social activities on offer through our partner schools, St Mary's College students have been able to come together as cross-campus groups to learn, celebrate, build friendships and develop their potential as future leaders. A much anticipated event each year is the St Dominic's Day excursion which saw all staff and students gather with Fr Mark Reynolds at St Dominic's church for a Mass before enjoying lunch and some friendly bowling fun with teams of same age students from across multiple campuses. Our students who wrote and led prayer and readings at Mass spoke confidently and they should be proud of their contribution to the day.

Our secondary students had a further opportunity to come together cross-campus but this time, to participate in organized sports activities at the University of Melbourne with other deaf and hard of hearing students from schools across Melbourne. Both activities provided students excellent opportunities to develop a positive identity and expand friendships with other hearing impaired students, leading to strong resilience and self-esteem.

Finally, our student campus leaders utilised the skills of team work, collaboration and organisation by arranging fundraising activities at all campuses to support Caritas Australia. I would like to congratulate the Student Leaders on their tremendous effort in supporting vulnerable communities.

Learning and Teaching

One of the greatest gifts we can give our students is to teach them how to be learners. By just helping our students with their school work, we are falling short of setting them up for future success. We want them to be able to go into any classroom, afterschool activity, training or university placement and eventually any job, knowing how they can best understand new information, think independently and how to accommodate for their hearing loss in achieving their goals.

Teachers at St Mary's College this term have been working with students on understanding what they are learning (learning intentions) and being able to know if they are successful in that learning (success criteria). So our parents and carers can support students in this process, we will be introducing the use of a school portal (PAM) later this term. Some of our parents and carers will be familiar with PAM as it is already used by many of our partner schools. Teachers of the Deaf are currently busy ensuring language, literacy, careers and other learning that occurs through St Mary's will be visible to families as it is being taught. Parents and students will also be able to view progress towards PLP goal achievement and other PBL commendations awarded by St Mary's staff. We are hopeful this will pair nicely with the teaching and learning available through our partner school platforms, to give a complete overview of our students' education at any point in time.

Parent Support Group (PSG) Meetings

Thank you to all our families who participated in PSG meetings this term. These mid-year meetings are a great opportunity to check what each student has achieved in the first half of the year and tweak adjustments and supports that might be needed for the remainder of the year. It is also an important meeting for our students in years 9-12, where career goals and aspirations are explored and strategies and opportunities identified to support each student get where they want to go post school.

As we move into the final weeks of term 3, I would like to thank all our families for their ongoing support and partnership with the school and hope you all have a safe and enjoyable break.

COVID Safety Update

Face masks and RAT kits

Just a reminder that testing for COVID-19 when symptomatic and the wearing of face masks at school is highly recommended by the Department of Health. The school has plenty of both available so if you would like either facemasks or RAT kits sent home with your student, please don't hesitate to let Narelle Stone, Melissa Lucy or Mini Saundry know.

Child Safety & Wellbeing

St Mary's College has developed an easy read version of our updated Child Safety & Wellbeing policy.

The easy read Child Safety & Wellbeing policy can be viewed by clicking on the link below. The full version of our Child Safety & Wellbeing policy is available on our website under policies.

Child Safety Wellbeing Policy Easy Read

Deaf Sports Day

The annual Secondary Schools Deaf Sports day was held on the 15th August.

Always a highlight of the year for many of our students, this event saw deaf and hard of hearing secondary students from all over the state come together for a fun-filled day of activities. Whether it was a little friendly competition, improving their skills or simply connecting with other deaf and hard-of-hearing students, it was a great chance for everyone to network, make new friends and have a break from the classroom. The event was organised by Deaf Children Australia and held at the University of Melbourne Sports Precinct.

St Dominic's Day - Celebrating Together

Celebrating St Dominic's Day as a whole community

Students and staff from all six campuses came together to gather in prayer at St Dominic's church before heading off for an afternoon of fun and connection. Building strong bonds with deaf and hard of hearing friends whilst reflecting on how we live out the richness of our tradition is what underpins the value of our school.

Staff News

Staff Movement

We were delighted to hear the news that Danyelle Stoneman had a baby girl in the July school holidays and Lauren Phillips a baby boy. Congratulations!

In Danyelle's place, we welcome Stephanie Porteous to our South Morang campus and replacing Lauren, we are excited to have Emily Dias return after maternity leave to the Dandenong campus.

At our Sunbury campus, Angela Cowan has accepted a position as a Teacher of the deaf, after joining us earlier in the year as an LSO.

Kate Leigh has taken long service until the end of Term 4. We hope Kate enjoys spending this time with family.

Professional Learning

Our first day of the Term 3 saw all of our teaching staff come together to be guided in supporting student wellbeing and how to strengthen student input and engagement through our learning intentions and success criteria. When our teachers of the deaf come together, there is always lots of energy in the room as they share their thoughts and ideas about how to improve learning in all our students.

Tarneit Campus News

Have a look at what's been happening this term...

Mainstream Inclusion

St Mary’s students learn in mainstream classes within our partner school, Thomas Carr College, with their peers. They benifit also by receiving the additional support they need from their Teachers of the deaf and allied support staff.

Mock Interviews

Students in Year 10 participated in set up interviews with different teachers to gain valuable real life experience with how to prepare and conduct themselves when applying for a job. Lianna prepared a CV and practiced answering questions that highlighted her strengths and areas for growth.

Practice GAT

In preparation for the Year 12 end-of-year exams, Janith participated in the practice GAT offered by our partner school. This initiative allows students the experience of responding to exam questions, managing their time and receiving feedback on their progress.

Teenage Life

There are many advantages for St Mary’s students being included in partner schools, as is the case with Thomas Carr College. School activities such as excursions and incursions are two examples of this. Recently, our Year 10 students participated in a health talk focusing on the importance of dialogue and awareness of life as a teenager.

Hearing Australia Visit

St Mary’s students engage in rich dialogue about the importance of maintaining the health care of our ears and learning to troubleshoot their hearing devices.

Wantirna South Campus News

Here's what's been going on at Wantirna South in Term 3...

Caritas Fundraiser

Student Leader Myisha organised a fundraiser where students were able to make guesses on the number of lollies in the jar. The prize...? The whole jar of lollies.

All proceeds went to Caritas, which is the Catholic church's international aid organisation doing amazing humanitarian work in Australia as well as overseas countries such as Ukraine, Africa, Tonga, and Afghanistan.

Yellow Card Recipients

Both Reggie and Emilia received Yellow Cards for their wonderful writing about chickens. They both independently wrote sentences about chickens, describing what they look like and what they eat.

Hoop Time

Wantirna South Year 3 & 4 students had an opportunity to participate in Hooptime at the State Basketball Center. Students played 5 games throughout the day, competed against other schools. Ira enjoyed the day even though she had never played basketball before! She did very well.

Student of the Week

Evie Finch received the Student of the Week award at our whole school assembly on Friday. This was awarded to Evie in recognition of her positive attitude towards her school learning. Well done Evie and keep up the great work!

Learning About Child Safety

All St Mary’s students are learning about ways to keep safe both at school and outside of school. Today we learned about what it means to be safe and who we know that makes us feel safe.

Celebrating 100 Days of Prep!

Wantirna South Preps celebrated 100 days of school! We all celebrated with lots of fun activities after such a successful start to their first year of school. We watched a movie, ate popcorn and cake then we ended the day with a special activity with our Year 6 buddies.

Integrated Learning

St Mary’s students are integrated into mainstream classrooms where they participate in all learning and other activities alongside their hearing peers from Holy Trinity Primary School. They are welcomed and included as valued members of each class, all the while being supported by the staff from St Mary’s.

Positive Behavior for Learning (PBL)

PBL acknowledgements are awarded to students in recognition of their efforts, improvements, and attitudes in all aspects of school.

Well done to our PBL winners for being able to advocate for themselves, take part in class discussions and knowing who to ask for help.

Community Connection

We welcomed Sue Read from Lions Club for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, who came to visit St Mary’s Wantirna Campus this term. Our students represented our school wonderfully and were proud to showcase their work and speak confidently about their learning at school.

Third Teacher

St Mary’s teachers have been exploring the value of using the classroom environment as a teaching tool, commonly known as the ‘Third Teacher’. This empowers students to become independent with their learning and understand what, why and how they learn.

South Morang Campus News

What's been happening at South Morang this term?

Year 11 Retreat

Excursions and camps have continued this term, despite many staff and student absences.

Year 11 students Kai and Ibrahim, enjoyed a 2 day retreat with peers which focused on self-reflection, role models, prayer and servant leadership.

Year 6 Excursions

Our Year 6 students Luis and Tanisha, were also able to enjoy participating in excursions this term. They visited the CERES Community Environmental park in Northcote and the Melbourne Museum. At CERES they were provided with hands-on experiences in generating their own power. The museum also provided much learning and exploring opportunities.

Caritas Fundraiser

St Mary's student leaders Ibrahim and Tanisha carried out their roles well this term with commitment and strong leadership. They represented the college brilliantly by carrying the banner at school events, assemblies and Masses. They also did a terrific job organising a fundraiser for the charity Caritas, raising $100 which will go towards battling poverty.

Deafness and the Ear

As part of a learning task, Ibrahim presented to his VCAL class information about deafness and the mechanics of the ear. This was a great opportunity for other students in Marymede to gain greater insight into deafness.

Marymede Day

All students at our South Morang campus had an opportunity to enjoy Marymede Day - a day of faith and crazy fun! The day started with Mass before students had an opportunity to watch the infamous Marymede’s Got Talent. Well done to Tanisha who made the finals with her group! Then it was time for goodies and games. Fairy floss was a hit with junior and senior students along with a number of other activities on offer for students to enjoy.


Well done to Luis who won the 800 and 1500m in his age group at the Inter-schools Athletics meet.

Congratulations also to Miriam who was awarded two Endeavor Awards for her work and efforts in Semester 1 classes.

Ringwood Campus News

Through a cold winter and term 3...

What's Cooking?

Year 7 students have been enjoying their cooking classes as a subject at our partner school, Aquinas College. The students thoroughly enjoy time in the kitchen honing their culinary skills. This is such a fun and practical subject that many students go on to choose Food Technology as a subject as they move into the senior school.

Year 12 Assessments

Year 12’s are hard at work realising they only have a few months left of school. They are busily preparing for the many assessments that are ahead of them including sitting the General Achievement Test (GAT). The GAT is an essential part of the VCE quality assessment process. GAT scores do not counting directly towards VCE results, but play an important role in checking that School-based Assessments and external assessments have been accurately assessed.

Year 8 Camp @ The Summit

The Year 8 Camp is a challenging one with skywalks and mud runs. This year was no exception. However, it was a whole lot of fun and the byproduct was a sense of achievement in completing all the challenges. Eadie celebrated her terrific abseiling skills.

Fundraising For Caritas

St Mary's student Leader, Hayley, organised a fundraising activity to raise funds for Caritas. Students tried to gain chocolates by tossing and landing their coins on the packets. $130 was raised in a short amount of time which is a fantastic effort! It takes a lot of planning, communication, and coordinating to organise events and these students have done a marvelous job!

Efective Learning Spaces

Our teaching and learning spaces are an important way to engage students and support their learning. Teaching staff at St Mary’s use a variety of displays that students can access to visibly support their learning.

Year 12 Dress-Up Day

Always a fun day for the year 12s to let loose and be creative, the recent dress-up day saw some great costumes, laughter, and fun. In the lead up to what can be a busy and stressful time for our year 12's, this is a great way to remind them that it's important to balance study and have some relaxing fun.

This year, Sam, Taylor and Hayley got into the spirit of dressing up as movie characters. Can you guess their characters?

Dandenong Campus News

Check out what's been happening...

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy has continued to be on offer for students at our Dandenong campus with many taking up the opportunity to work on a particular part of their oral language or speech to enhance their learning.

VCAL/Work Experience

This term, our VCAL students had an opportunity to show off their work-related skills and demonstrate the practicality of the VCAL course they chose.

Zulqarnan is currently creating a computer desk as part of his Design Furniture VET Course every Thursday afternoon while Bakhtawar is busy participating in a range of activities as part of her Work Related Skills study.

New STEM Building

This term we gathered together to celebrate an exciting event, the opening of the new junior STEM building within our partner school St John's Regional College. We can't wait to get in there and benefit from this amazing purpose built centre with its great noise control and sound field systems.

Book Week

Book week kicked off this week around the country with schools celebrating reading and authors. Amy and Ashey got into the swing of things by dressing appropriately as their favourite characters. Amy's favourite character is Nim from the book Nim’s Island!

Ashley won 1st prize at the St John's Book Week fashion show. She was dressed as her favourite character Clare Fraser, from the Diana Gabaldon books and Netflix series Outlander. Ashley's outstanding sewing and textiles talents were on display, making her own clothing for this event - "Just something I whipped up last night" she explained!

Effective Learning Spaces

Dandenong Campus teachers have been working on their teaching and learning classroom displays to help students learn independently. Students can remind themselves of what learning achievement looks by checking what they are doing against success criteria displayed in their rooms. Students are also more engaged in their learning when classrooms are bright, safe and have what they need in order to learn.

Sunbury Campus News

Term 3's happenings at the Sunbury Campus...

On our return our student leader, Mykaela organised a pizza lunch for the students which was the first time we have all been together for a long time. We were delighted to have former students Tess, Hayley and Amber join us for this. All three girls are now studying or working and were able to pass on some tips to our current students about life beyond the school gates.

Northern Territory

Year 11 students were given the opportunity to immerse themselves in an outback adventure in the Northern Territory over the July school holidays. This involved working and learning in a indigenous community as well as exploring some of the outback.

Subject Selection

& Welcoming Year 7 2023

Our senior students are currently undertaking subject selection and we welcomed our new Year 7, 2023 students - Johnny and Arden for a tour of the school and testing. Arden found the music centre especially interesting as she plays the drums at home and was excited to hear she can join the school band next year.

Work Experience

At the end of last term our VCAL students completed their 2 week work placement. Ben joined a local carpentry firm. His work included removing old kitchen cabinets before building and installing new cabinets on site locations as far away as Port Arlington! Rosetta worked in a beauty clinic. Our students were then fortunate to get a three week break over holidays. Our staff engaged in professional learning during this time.

College Production

The College Production is underway and Mykaela, who is studying Year 12 VCE drama, has a part as one of the mechanicals. This is a great way to put skills learnt on paper into practice in front of an audience.


Congratulations to Ben who was awarded the Student of the Term from our partner school Salesian College. Ben was nominated by his VCAL teacher and House Leader and chosen from over 200 students. Ben has demonstrated a desire for learning and a willingness to embrace new challenges through his work placement and VET course at TAFE.

Deaf Sports Day

The annual Secondary Schools Deaf Sports day was held on the 15th August.

St Mary's College


Always a highlight of the year for many of our students, this event saw deaf and hard of hearing secondary students from all over the state come together for a fun-filled day of activities. Whether it was a little friendly competition, improving their skills or simply connecting with other deaf and hard-of-hearing students, it was a great chance for everyone to network, make new friends and have a break from the classroom. The event was organised by Deaf Children Australia and held at the University of Melbourne Sports Precinct.