From The Principal

Welcome parents, carers and friends of St Mary’s College to our Issue 02, 2023 newsletter.

Term 2 has proven to be another busy term with significant events and activities on offer through each of our partner schools as well as through St Mary’s College. Primary interschool sport, the GAT, senior students work placements, excursions such as to the careers expo and city explore, reflection days, primary Walk to School day, Mass, feasts and founders days, performing arts camps and year 5 camp. Of particular importance this term was National Reconciliation Week and National Sorry Day where students and staff at all campuses attended ceremonies and activities that recognised the impact of Australia’s historical practices, policies and attitudes towards Indigenous Australians.

St Mary’s Campus Student Leaders met regularly to discuss and plan how to build a sense of community and belonging amongst our students and also to have a voice in things that are important to our students. Hearing Australia continued to support access to quality communication at school through regular visits, ear health and device checks and also providing advice on equipment to improve students experience through their personal listening devices.

Improving Learning

Live Captioning

We are excited to announce that from term 3, secondary students at our Dandenong and Ringwood campuses will have an opportunity to access live captioning of their teacher’s voice in class through a new service we are providing. CaptionConnect is an easy to use, cloud-based software that allows students to quickly and accurately convert speech to text in real-time using their laptop and a loop connected to the Roger transmitters already in use in classrooms. This adjustment will help with missed communication and also build literacy skills in students involved in the trial. We are looking forward to hearing from students their opinion of the product which we anticipate being able to expand to all our secondary campuses in 2024.

The Science of Reading

Our school annual action plan to improve reading through teaching that is based on research, has really kicked into gear this term with teachers of the deaf building their knowledge of how to analyse each small part involved in the process of reading, consider the impact of each student’s hearing loss and then target a specific skill to teach that will boost reading and comprehension. Students are central to this process and at the same time, are building their understanding of what they are learning and how they can use a variety of resources independently to keep learning happening even when teachers are not available to assist them. The idea is to create lifelong, independent learners that will be successful long after they complete their education with St Mary’s College.

Semester One Reports

St Mary’s College semester one reports have been published and are available to view on St Mary’s Parent Access Module (PAM). The report covers the curriculum and subjects taught by St Mary’s (EXP classes) as well as each child’s PLP which details progress towards their learning goals. Semester one reports from curriculum and subjects taught through each of the partner schools are available through their online portals (PAM, SEQTA or Schoolbox) or as a paper hardcopy (Holy Trinity). I encourage parents to discuss their child’s reports with them, celebrate their achievements and consider goals for next semester.

As we head into the term 2 holidays, I would like to wish all our community a safe and enjoyable break and look forward to seeing everyone back in July.

School Advisory Council

The School Advisory Council (SAC) is an essential component of governing and operating as a Catholic school within the Archdiocese of Melbourne.

While no particular expertise is required, St Mary's seeks a range of diverse skill sets to best advise the principal, united in the goal to provide the best possible education for our students. A balanced membership with parent voice on the School Advisory Council supports the principal with important matters particularly related to the school’s mission and student success.

We are calling on you to express your interest in being part of the School Advisory Council. For more information or to receive an expression of interest form, please contact Lexie at the Administration Office on 03 9800 2733 or

Student Leadership News

Our Student Leaders get busy organising activities and planning for fundraising activities...

Pizza Everywhere!

Our student leaders have worked diligently this term to organise a pizza lunch for their St Mary’s campus. The student leaders chose a pizza lunch as they felt it was a great way for students to get together and engage in a range of fun activities across all year levels.

The students were asked to choose a date for their pizza lunch, communicate this date with all St Mary’s staff and students, take pizza orders, work together with their school canteen or a pizza shop to order the pizzas and finally run the event and activities on the day.

Students across both our primary and secondary school campuses said that they really enjoyed getting together to share a pizza lunch. Well done to Kai, Rosalee, Angad, Myisha, Lianna, Daniel & Isabella for organising our St Mary’s pizza lunch!

Reflections From Term One

Students gathered together to reflect on their experience of the NYLD excursion in term one. The students talk about their highlights from the day below.

‘From Amanda’s speech, I was able to feel inspired and took away some of the advice of always giving new things a go and not shying away because it is how we learn new things’ - Kai

‘Candy inspired me to have some bravery and talk a bit louder’ - Myisha

‘Be open minded and be willing to take on new opportunities like speaking to other students’ - Daniel

‘I learnt the importance of trying new things and if I fail there are always other options to get into a career’ - Lianna

‘Candy inspired me to want to help support others with finding and achieving their passions, their dreams, and goals. I want people to understand how capable and smart and strong they are and that they can do anything that they put their minds to’

Funds for a Good Cause

Next term our student leaders will be fundraising for St Dominic’s Day. St Dominic’s Day is a day where we celebrate the patron saint of Santo Domingo de Guzman who spent his life travelling to help others in need. The fundraising event will include both students from their St Mary’s and partner school campuses. It is a chance for us to give back to people in our community.

This year, students will be raising money for the charity Caritas. Our student leaders are working very hard behind the scenes to plan and coordinate a fundraising event with their partner school.

Dandenong Campus News

See what our Dandenong Campus has been up to this term...

A Busy Term Two

St John’s celebrated Founder’s Day in May and the students celebrated with Mass and activities. Sahel enjoyed being a sumo wrestler.

Year 7’s enjoyed an excursion to Myuna Farm. Even though it was a very cold day they were warmed by the animals and were able to get up close and pat them.

The students walked or ran the course on cross country day. A great way to promote physical fitness for Health and well being.

We also welcomed a new student at our Dandenong Campus, Izzy who is settling in and learning the art of debating.

Athletics Day

Towards the end of April, the students celebrated and wonderful and enjoyable athletics Day. Ashley was a star. She dressed up and was involved in many events as well as ensuring other students felt connected. Shannyn had a go at everything, Juan showed her shot putting skills and Thomas and Brendon enjoyed a sausage. Well done to all the participants.

Shining a Light on Vocational Major

The Year 11 Vocational students have been learning how to run a cafe in the Lantern Cafe. Jai shows off his skills in making chocolates. Daniel is watching on to ensure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed for baking. This program teaches a vast amount of work ready skills.

Mastering Braille

Shannyn works hard in mastering her Braille with a learning consultant from MACSIS.

Sunbury Campus News

Check out what's been happening at our Sunbury Campus in term 2...

Work Experience

Ben has been learning to use the laser level as part of his two week Work Placement experience in the Building industry. This opportunity allows students to get hands-on real life experience in the workforce.

Athletics Day

A rite of passage for our Year 12 students - the chance to dress up on their last Athletics Day and encourage the younger members of their House.

Bosco Celebrates 100 Years!

This year, our partner school celebrates its 100th year. Our students enjoyed the house activities arranged for a day of celebration.

Year 12 Jumpers

Finally the Year 12 jumpers have arrived!

Mother's Day Breakfast

Ben was invited to give the Opening Prayer and thank the guest speaker at the Mother’s Day breakfast. This is an annual tradition which is now very popular.

Community Involvement

Jordan was a timekeeper at a local primary school sports event, organised by her and the Vocational Major and Vocational Pathways students. This was a great opportunity to engage with the younger students and put into practice time management and organisational skills.

Performing Arts Camp - Suessical

Students who are involved in the school production went on a camp to Safety Beach for intensive rehearsal practice. The three days away reinforced the role education has in making the production a success.

Lunch At Sunbury

As part of her leadership duties our campus leader, Isabella organised and hosted a lunch for all St Mary’s students. It was a get-together enjoyed by all.

Tarneit Campus News

Read about St Mary's Tarneit campus happenings for term 2...

Remembrance Day Service

Thomas Carr College continued its important relationship with the Malaya-Borneo Veterans Association in the annual Remembrance service. Veterans shared their experience of war and the importance of sacrifice and serving others. Wreaths were laid and Mr O’Neill played The Last Post and Reveille on the trumpet.

Melbourne Museum Excursion

Johnny joined the Yr 7 students on an excursion to the Melbourne Museum. The students learned about Indigenous culture and technology, native Australian flora and fauna, ancient extinct fauna and Australian colonial history.

Catholic Faith Incursion

Johnny, along side the Yr 7 students, were involved in an incursion at Thomas Carr. Catholic youth workers ran fun activities to teach the students about the importance of faith in our lives.

Year 9 Incursion

Ewan and Marlan joined all of the male Yr 9 students on an incursion. Catholic youth workers ran fun activities to teach the students about social justice and service to others.

Thomas Carr Day

Thomas Carr Day is one of the most anticipated dates on the calendar. The TCC community remembers the contribution made to the Victorian Catholic community by the school’s namesake, Thomas Carr, the second Archbishop of Melbourne. After celebrating Mass in the morning, the students enjoyed rides, food and activities, culminating in the Thomas Carr’s Got Talent show in the afternoon. All the St Mary’s College students enjoyed the day.

Careers Expo

Lianna joined all the Yr 11 students on an excursion to the Careers Expo at Melbourne Showgrounds. There were representatives from dozens of institutions and many hundreds of students eagerly learning about potential career pathways and receiving complimentary merchandise.

Hands-on at Bundoora Park Farm

Lianna joined her fellow VM Animal Studies students on an excursion to Bundoora Park Farm to complete a practical assessment. She cleaned the animal pens, completed health checks and learned about animals and the running of the community farm.

Animal Studies

Lianna is thoroughly enjoying her time at TAFE studying the VET subject Animal Studies.

Pizza Lunch

Lianna organised a pizza lunch for the St Mary’s students as part of her responsibilities as a member of the Student Leadership Committee. They were joined by Ms Hills and Mr O’Neill. The students enjoyed their favourite flavour of pizza, debated the legitimacy of pineapple as a pizza ingredient and teased Mr O’Neill for having an Android phone.

National Reconciliation Week

An elder from the Bunnarong people of the Kulin nation came to Thomas Carr College and performed the Welcome to Country and a Traditional Smoking Ceremony in honour of National Reconciliation Week

Auslan Club

Auslan Club happens every Tuesday at lunch time. All the students have a great time learning about the language and Deaf culture. On this particular day, Ewan taught some of the more advanced students whilst Mr O’Neill worked with some new students. Ms Matthews was impressed with Ewan’s teaching skills and suggested that he would be a great teacher if he chose to follow that career path.

Ringwood Campus News

What's been happening at our Ringwood Campus in Term 2...

Students Engage with their Learning!

Year 10’s were eager learning about careers and their options during a St Mary’s session. Teachers are finding the electronic interactive boards a great teaching tool for engagement.

Tluang has become an expert in his classification of animals.

Our Yr 11 student Ryan is learning all about Drama with his teacher and brainstorming a story in preparation to turn it into a dramatic performance.

Creative Creations

The skills in students art is a credit to their creativity. This piece by Gretchen shows an impressive pencil drawing of a portrait.

Sporting New Skills

The Year 8’s were interested in demonstrating their PE skills. On this particular day baseball skills were improved and practiced.

The month of May began with a School Assembly and Ethan proudly carried the banner to represent St Mary’s.

The focus was on Aquinas as a community and we celebrated all that students had achieved through sporting events and college activities such as Cafe 9, music festivals, and the upcoming musical production.

Andrew, one of our college interpreters, providing Auslan access to our signing deaf students.

Reconciliation Week

Reconciliation Week was celebrated at Aquinas with a whole school gathering to recognise and stand in solidarity with all Indigenous Australians. The staff and students then proceeded on the annual and symbolic “Long Walk”. This is a meaningful way to create awareness of issues and encourage conversation about actions and the healing process.

Originally, Michael Long walked from Melbourne to Canberra in a bid to prioritize and get Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues back on the national agenda.

Pizza Lunch

Student Leader Rosalee organized a wonderful get together for students to enjoy a chat and a pizza. The students enjoyed the special lunch and were able to get to know students from other year levels.

Ancient Greek Artefacts

Year 7 student Sarah shows off her ancient Greek tool as part of a task they are completing in Humanities.

Year 8 Maths Carnival

The Year 8 assessment this term was to make up a maths game that included aspects of probability, mean, mode and median. After all the preparation was completed, 8 Blue joined 8 Gold for a Carnival of Games, trying the different tasks set up by the groups. Data taken from this was used to finalise their assessment.

Design & Technology Project

The project in 8 DAT this term, focused on recycling plastics and how this helps the environment. The students designed a shape relating to this and then underwent the process to make a keyring using recycled plastic bottle lids that had been collected during Term 1 by the Aquinas community. Most chose sea animals such as turtles, fish, dolphins and crabs. The end products looked great!

Global Green

With a collapsed timetable in the last week of term the year 8’s had to find ways to complete tasks with limited equipment. The focus was on sustainability. All students thoroughly enjoyed the challenges in devising ways to protect our environment for future generations.

Connect Week

The final week of term two for the year 7 students was Connect Week. During this week, the students had the opportunity to explore various aspects of learning and engage in exciting activities. Students envisioned life in 2040, contemplating advancements in technology, society, and the need for environmental care. LOTE Day celebrated French and Chinese cultures, offering language-related activities, cultural demonstrations and perhaps most notably, indulging in freshly baked croissants and brioche buns. They gained a deeper understanding of Indigenous cultures, explored sound creation by crafting their own guitars, and concluded the week with a pilgrimage to the Edmund Rice Centre, reflecting on social justice and compassion. Connect Week aimed to provide a well-rounded and enriching experience for the year 7 students, fostering their curiosity, cultural understanding, creativity, and social awareness. It provided them with a comprehensive exploration of various subjects and themes, empowering the students to expand their knowledge and perspectives in an immersive and hands-on manner.

South Morang Campus News

Here is an overview of St Mary's South Morang campus for term two...

A Cultural Experience

Our Year 5 students had an excursion to the CBD, where they had the opportunity to participate in a Cultural Walk. This engaging experience was a perfect complement to our ongoing Inquiry studies on Immigration. Through this excursion, students were able to explore the diverse cultures and stories that make up Melbourne’s vibrant community.

Greatly Appreciated Lunch

A big thank you to our secondary student leader, Kai, for organising a fantastic Pizza lunch for our students. He displayed excellent skills in planning, budgeting and sourcing the pizzas. The event provided a wonderful chance for everyone to enjoy some delicious slices and come together as a group to socialise.

An Enriching Excursion for Studying Humanities

Our Year 9 students embarked on a journey to the Immigration Museum and Shrine of Remembrance as part of their Humanities studies. This excursion aimed to deepen students’ knowledge and appreciation for migration stories to Australia, shedding light on the diverse paths that led individuals to their new home. Additionally, the students explored narratives of Australian heroes who bravely served their nation, gaining insight into the profound sacrifices made for the greater good. A truly enriching experience for all.

Camp Adanac

Our Year 5 Students have recently returned from an incredible adventure at ‘CYC ADANAC’ in the breathtaking Yarra Valley. The program offered thrilling activities such as a flying fox, low ropes course, canoeing, camp cooking and archery. Our students had a blast while also developing valuable life skills including teamwork and resilience. With the guidance of camp leaders and our dedicated staff, our students had a truly memorable stay.

Our Regular Hearing Australia Audiologist

It is great to have our Hearing Australia audiologist, Lexi come out once a month onsite to check the health of our students’ hearing devices and give advice and support on how to maximise access.

Cross Country Greatness!

Luis competed in the cross country and placed first in his division. A big congratulations to him and also to everyone who participated in the event.

Wantirna South Campus News

Check out what Wantirna South have been up to this term...

Consolidating Our Learning

Back in April, the Year 1/2s were learning how to write a procedural text. We learned how to structure our writing, making sure we included the materials or ingredients and write down the steps to complete the procedure. We even got to make some playdough, speaking about the ingredients and materials we needed as well as talking about each step in making it.

To finish off, we got to go on a scavenger hunt around the school and look for clues. The clues led us back to St Mary’s where we found some Easter Eggs hiding. It was a great day!

Representatives for Holy Trinity

Congratulations Zach and Geoffrey at our Wantirna South primary campus. They have been elected to represent the Student Representative Council at our partner school, Holy Trinity PS. This is a great opportunity for them to promote student voice by actively engaging in SRC meetings to create a safe and positive school learning community. We are super proud of them and are really looking forward to seeing how they will flourish in this role.

A Trip to the Immigration Museum

During Term Two, the 5/6 students have been learning about immigration. They had the opportunity to visit the Immigration Museum, investigate and explore the stories of people who made their journey from around the world to start a new life in Australia.

Super Shot Strength!

Congratulations to Baylee for making it through to the division athletics event for discus, throwing a massive 18 meters at a school competition level. He also tried his hand at shot put. What an amazing effort he showed on the day. Baylee now moves on to district level in September

Social Activities

Myisha created a quiz enjoyed by her peers as part of a social activity at our Wantirna South campus. The afternoon was filled with fun and laughter as the students engaged in a quiz and ate pizza for lunch.

Reconciliation Week

Students from St Mary’s and Holy Trinity came together during Reconciliation Week to learn about the significance behind National Sorry Day and the Stolen Generation.

A Taste of What May Lay Ahead...

Students from St Mary’s and Holy Trinity 3/4 cohort were given the opportunity of a taster day at Mater Christi for the girls and St Joseph’s for the boys. It was a fun-filled day, full of games, such as a scavenger hunt, working with robots and tag on the basketball courts. The boys made rockets and other STEAM activities, as well as playing some sports on the oval. All the students had a fabulous time.

Winter School Sports

On Wednesday 7th of June, the students of 5/6 participated in their Winder School Sports competition. Baylee participated in football, Myisha in T-Ball and Ira in netball. It was a thrill for them all to work with their peers and represent their school with so much spirit. Despite the rain, they all had the time of their lives.

Regular Speech Sessions

All students have the opportunity to access regular speech sessions at St Mary's.

Pictured here, Alicia articulates the sounds and words she has been working on with Speech Pathologist, Diana.

Staff News

Amongst the busy schedule of a teacher, find out what else St Mary's staff have been doing...

Women in Leadership

Our senior and middle leaders attended the Women in Leadership dinner, hosted by the Victorian Catholic Secondary Schools Deputy Principals Association. The guest speaker was Shelley Ware who spoke passionately about her experience as an ambassador for Aboriginal rights and the role education has is making the change at a grassroots level. Our DP Staff, Narelle Stone and DP Students, Melissa Lucy offered the Recognition of Country in both spoken and signed language.

Professional Learnings

Our dedicated staff, within their professional learning teams, presented their findings of their first cycle of inquiry on our Professional Learning day this term.

A Good Cause for PJ's

Our Wantirna South staff were involved in the PJ Day on the 13th of June. Students and staff also showed their support by bringing a can of food or a gold coin donation for the Vinnies Winter Warmth Appeal.

Community Announcements

In other news across the wider community...

Acting Workshop

Acting Workshop

Press play on your child's next fun-filled adventure with our free Acting Workshop, hosted by the talented deaf actor, creator and influencer, David Grant.
Deaf Children Australia is hosting an interactive workshop which is all about having a go, so no acting skills are required to join in and have fun.

Your child will get to act out with other young deaf and hard of hearing people, have their performance filmed, and learn about all aspects of acting, including Script Writing, Videography, Directing and Editing.

Come and join in on the 7th July for a day of action suitable for children aged 10 to 18 years.

To register email DCA at:

Deaf Basketball Australia

Deaf Basketball Australia - Open Training Session for Girls

If you love playing basketball and have dreamt of representing Australia in the 2025 Deaflympics- this is your chance to try out for the Women's National team.

When: 24-25 June

Where: Emerson School, Gloria Ave Dandenong Nth

To register or for more info: