From the Principal

Welcome to our first newsletter issue for 2022.

For those of you who would have previously received our newsletters, you may have noticed this edition looks a little different to previous editions. This new look newsletter comes with the launch of our new website, which is full of fresh images and information about all the wonderful learning and extracurricular activities on offer through our College, along with loads of information on our policies and procedures. Our new website is accessible through

Term 1 is always an exciting time for our school community with new students commencing in many year levels, students transitioning into prep and into year 7 and excitement in reconnecting with friends, teachers and support staff. There are many fabulous programs on offer in term 1 such as swimming programs, camps, retreats, assemblies and athletic carnivals along with science experiments, creative designs and great books to explore. I commend all our students for the way they have participated in all aspects of school life since the start of the year and their positive approach to their learning.

In recognition that so much learning occurs at school through reading, our teachers of the deaf are currently focusing on finding and using the most impactful technique to improve reading in all our students. Reading is globally recognised as challenging for deaf and hard of hearing students and as such, our dedicated staff are determined not to let these difficulties get in the way of our students reaching their full potential. We look forward to sharing with you the learning success and strategies your child has developed in order to improve their reading comprehension over the coming months.

We have also welcomed two new principals to our community of partner schools, Mr Timothy Newcomb (Principal Marymede Catholic College) and Mr Adrian Scutt (Principal Holy Trinity Primary). Both Principals have expressed a commitment and willingness to embrace the partnership with St Mary’s College and a continuation of providing quality and inclusive learning opportunities for our students within their schools. Community is one of the four Pillars of the Dominican Charism, of which the Dominican tradition and our school is founded. The importance of community is one of the things that makes Catholic schools so special.

It is an exciting time for many of our partner schools including Salesian College Sunbury, Thomas Carr College and Marymede Catholic College who are undertaking new building projects which will provide exceptional learning spaces for our students. All schools have worked closely with St Mary’s to ensure optimal listening conditions and sound field equipment are in place in each new building.

Over the past couple of weeks, we also recognised Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. This period is a time of self-reflection, prayer and being mindful of supporting the needs of those who are suffering. For many of us, the people of Ukraine are currently in our minds and hearts as we pray for peace and compassion in our world.

I hope you enjoy our first newsletter for 2022.

February PBL monthly winners

February PBL Winners

MahaylaWantirna SouthShowing a positive Connection to Others by playing positively on the basketball court with friends and trying your best to take turns and be kind to each other. This will help you make and keep friends and help you when working in groups.
AliciaWantirna SouthShowing a positive Mindset for Learning by persisting and having a go! Alicia, you were amazing at putting effort in and surprising yourself with your ability to run 3 laps! This mindset of trying new and difficult things will help you with your learning and throughout your life.
TluangRingwoodShowing a positive Connection to Others by learning to communicate with others in the class by lowering your mask and speaking clearly and using listening skills when working with peers.
EthanRingwoodShowing a positive Mindset for Learning by being on time for St Mary's class, shows you are organized and learning to read your timetable correctly.
ZaraDandenongShowing a positive Mindset for Learning by overcoming your feelings of anxiety on your first day at school and making a great effort to focus on the teacher's instructions.
ShannynDandenongShowing a positive Mindset for Learning by having a positive attitude in your double P.E session. You gave all tasks a go and tackled them with enthusiasm.
JordanSunburyShowing a positive Mindset for Learning by attending your PSG meeting. It is important you could take part in the discussion in setting goals and discussing your learning needs.
AbhinavSouth MorangShowing a positive Mindset for Learning by offering a response to questions asked in your English class when discussing the novel, 'The Giver'. This is important for you to stay engaged and ‘have a go’ in class.
KaiSouth MorangShowing positive Self-advocacy by emailing your teacher a task you are currently working on. This is important, as it gives you an opportunity to see what you are doing well and what you can improve.
JanithTarneitShowing a positive Connection to Others by making positive connections with new teachers and peers at your new St Mary’s campus. It was also great to see you try out for extra co-curricular activities.

Dandenong Campus News

The first day was filled with smiles and nerves as schools returned. Our new Year 7 students started to navigate their way around the lockers and timetables and before long they were experts. They had plenty of opportunity to get to know other students and make new friends on the Year 7 camp and returned feeling more connected to others at the school.

The Year 12 students at Dandenong have all returned to school in a positive way, ready for an exciting but demanding year ahead. We wish them well in all their endeavours this year. Some of them are studying VCE and some studying VCAL. The VCAL students will be involved in Structured Work placements each term where they will learn many valuable work skills.

Year 8, 9 and 10’s are all excited to be back on site. It has been a difficult few years for them and we hope they will be able to settle in and reignite their friendships face to face.

In late February the students were excited to participate in the school swimming sports. It was a great day with many smiling faces finally participating as a school together.

Ringwood Campus News

It was wonderful to see enthusiastic smiles as school returned for 2022. Year 7’s have all began the school year well and are now use to opening their lockers, reading their timetables and have established school routines. A swimming carnival was held early on to ensure safety in the water for upcoming camps.

The Year 7 camp is always an exciting time and a place for students to engage with others and meet new friends. Our Year 7's were engaged in a variety of activities focusing on team work and making new friendship.

Our Year 12 students have all returned to school in a positive way ready for an exciting but demanding year. We wish them well in all of their endeavors.

Year 10’s were excited to wear the new senior school blazer and now feel part of the senior school.

Year 8 and 9 a have some exciting things to look forward to this year. The Year 9’s have their Challenge walk, City, café and the camp to look forward to in the coming months.

Excellence was celebrated at the partner school in February for last year and it was wonderful to acknowledge the achievements of two Year 11 students - Taylor for excellence in VET Animal Studies and Hayley for a top Year 11 Achievers Award. Congratulations girls for all your hard work.

The Opening school Mass was held and St Mary's students proudly took up the banner.

Our student leader and the Year 12's organised a welcoming morning tea for year 7's in the Cafe.

South Morang Campus News

We are excited to welcome our new Year 7 students, Matthew, Miriam and Abhi. We also congratulate our South Morang Campus leaders for 2022, Ibrahim and Tanisha.

Our classes are focusing on having visible learning intentions and success criteria so students can self-assess how their learning is progressing.

Our students are happy to be back onsite and eager to get stuck in to their learning. They have been vocal about how much better learning is face to face!

The Senior House swimming was a great way to create some House spirit. Well done especially to Miriam who swam in a number of races for her house and Araz who swam, not only for his year level, but the one above too and won the majority of his races!

Sunbury Campus News

Congratulations to our 2021 Year 12 students - Tess and Amber who graduated in style at the Graduation Dinner held at the Hyatt. Both girls achieved the entry requirements for their preferred TAFE course this year.

Our students are back into the swing of things. We are especially delighted to welcome our new Year 7 student, Jagan and to congratulate our Sunbury Campus Leader for 2022, Mykaela.

Our students have been busy with hands on learning, at school on camp and at TAFE. They are so excited to be back to face to face learning with human interaction.

The opportunity to perform in front of others is something our students have not been able to do for awhile. Great to see Mykaela performing at a lunchtime concert for staff and students. Mykaela is studying VET Music and VCE Music Performance this year, so this was great practice for her practical exam later this year.

Tarneit Campus News

February/March Edition highlights educational activitives at St Mary's Tarneit Campus.

St Mary's Year 12 student studying Italian, embraced the opportunity to join his classmates for an excursion to Lygon Street. The excursion provided a learning experience to embrace Italian culture in our community. They learned about the history of Italian immigration and the important contributions the Italian Australians made to culture in Melbourne. Now, which gelato will Janith choose?

Senior St Mary's student takes up the opportunity to join a co-curricular activity, cricket, with her Year 10 classmates. Pictured here is the team training in readiness for the interschool carnival at the end of the week. Lianna has a strong bowling arm!

Our senior St Mary's student will be one of about thirty boys who tried out for the senior boys' volleyball team. As the team has only eight spots, the competition was fierce but Janith performed outstandingly!

The annual swimming carnival was a fantastic day for our St Mary’s students to participate in a whole school event offered by our partner school. Zoubowa and Janith signed up and got involved in events and supported their peers wonderfully. A great day enjoyed by staff and students!

With the expertise of our staff, St Mary's can offer our partner school a lunchtime activity 'Auslan Club', which runs every Thursday. Lianna assisted Mr. O’Neill to teach the class some simple greetings using Auslan, Australian Sign Language. Lianna enjoyed leading an activity with staff and peers.

Camp experience creates an opportunity for St Mary's students to build upon their relationships with the people who will be their peers for the duration of their schooling years. Year 7 camp offered a three-day camp in Kyneton. There were lots of exciting activities provided during the camp and many students were able to venture out of their comfort zone and try something new. Zoubowa certainly enjoyed his time and made the most of it!

Wantirna South Campus News

February/March Edition highlights educational activitives at St Mary's Wantirna Campus.

The swimming program is always a highlight among the primary students at St Mary’s College. Students engage in an essential water safety program, while having fun and developing confidence to participate in water activities. The smiles on their faces just says it all!

St Mary’s students enjoy participating in whole school activities offered by our partner schools. Athletics day is offered to students in Gr 3 - 6 and aims to promote health, fitness and student connectedness.

We welcome our new Prep students as they begin their educational journey with St Mary’s. As part of learning about the letter 'P', the Prep students had a special 'P' day. They were able to come dressed up as things that start with the letter 'P'. Check out our ‘Princesses’ ‘Pirates’ and ‘Pink and Purple’ outfits. We made pizzas for lunch, ate popcorn, painted with pom poms and ended the day with a special prayer. It was so much fun!

Staff News

We are delighted to welcome several new staff this year to our community. Angela Maclean joins us as a Teacher of the Deaf at Ringwood, Beth Lauritsen as a Teacher of the Deaf at Wantirna South and Tanya Induni is now a Teacher of the Deaf at Dandenong. Angela Cowan joins us as an Learning Support Officer at Sunbury and Kathryn Harman as an Learning Support Officer at Wantirna South. We hope they enjoy their time with us.

Student Leaders 2022

Presenting our 2022 St Mary's Student Leadership team:

Hayley, Bakhtawar, Ibrahim, Myisha, Tanisha, Mykaela, Janith.

Congratulations to the each of the students for being selected as the St Mary's College Student Leaders for 2022.

Student Leaders 2022

Each student will be representing their campus through the year in various ways, including at SMC assemblies and special events. They will also be supporting SMC students through agency and advocacy.

These students have indeed been great role models already and we're sure they will make a truly positive impact in 2022!