Newsletter Navigation

Issue 10, 2015

Issue 10, 2015

From the Principal

Dear Parents

MGP-SMC-June 2015 057I am delighted to be in the role of Acting Principal for Term 3 while Ian Elder is taking some well-deserved Long Service Leave and I look forward to a successful term for all staff and students.

Much has happened in the past few weeks in regard to our new Consilii Centre, which is nearing completion and we look forward to classes beginning in these state-of-the-art classrooms and laboratories from 3 August. A full report will be provided in the next newsletter.

The risk of heavy rainfall today meant the postponement of the College Athletics Carnival until Monday 3 August. The carnival will be held at the State Athletics Centre for the first time. We hope many records are broken given the wonderful facilities this venue provides. In addition to the usual track and field events hurdles will be included for the first time and the wide range of novelty events ensures there is an event for everyone. We look forward to some wonderful House spirit and participation from all students.

The focus of my article for this newsletter is relationships because as Wheatley (2002), a well-known organisational expert states, “Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation (p 19)”.

When we consider our daily lives so much of our happiness and success depends on how we relate with our self, our family, our peers, our colleagues, others in the community, our environment and with God. Healthy relationships build self-esteem, create a sense of belonging, develop respect for others and improve mental and emotional health.

In the movie ‘Cast Away,’ Tom Hanks’ character, stranded on an a deserted island, creates a face on a volleyball and talks to the ball, which he names ‘Wilson,’ as if it were a person. Though fictional and funny, the gesture illustrates how important relationships are for our wellbeing.

For a person to have healthy relationships with others, they must have a positive sense of self and be accepting of their individual strengths and challenges. In our College community we provide many opportunities to understand and build relationships such as through our Mercy Wellbeing Program, our Christian Service Program, Reflection Days and Year 12 Retreat, co-curricular activities, camps and tours, House and Homeroom activities, parent functions and many others. Development of relationships are crucial to assist each student to reach their potential academically, socially and emotionally.

Technology provides a great challenge to building these relationships, with online options of communicating, growing rapidly. The trends of emailing, texting, Facebook, Instagram and many other forums have reduced the need for face to face communication. We all need to encourage the development of the skills necessary to build successful relationships.

The College Management Team are currently looking at the ways we communicate with our community. We will be inviting parents to take part in a short survey that will help streamline and improve our communication. Your input would be greatly appreciated.

Best wishes and God Bless

Mrs Jennifer Oaten, Acting Principal


In my last newsletter for Term 2, I outlined the Reflection Days and Retreat program that students were involved in to finish the term. As a follow up, I would like to share with you a reflection on the retreat experience by three Year 12 students. It captures beautifully the value of such an experience and the importance of taking the time to develop our spirituality.


Year 12 Retreat Reflection

“As retreat comes to an end, we reflect on the amazing spiritual journey we have been on these last three days. It’s easy to come into an experience like this very apprehensive and narrow minded about what the trip would provide. Each and every one of us had to take each minute and each day as it came, as we weren’t sure of what was to come. For some, this was very difficult, and for others it came naturally but we can all agree that with the knowledge we now know, we have come to appreciate how lucky we are in life, and how blessed God’s journey for each individual is, as shown throughout our time here.

In four months, our lives will change forever, we will no longer be sheltered from the harsh realities of life that school protects us from. However, this retreat has broadened our perspective and allowed us to learn more about ourselves, our peers and the world around us. We are not alone on this journey, we are surrounded and supported by the love and affection of so many; God, our teachers, our families and our friends.

We are so grateful for the opportunity to be taken out of our ordinary lives, having the ordinary transformed into something exciting and new. In our beautiful school on the top of the hill, we have one of the most desired views in Perth, and we often take it for granted. Being here at Swanleigh, we have come to truly appreciate our faith and God’s beauty in nature. Retreat will forever be an experience the Class of 2015 will treasure, it has been an honour and privilege to escape the busy routines of daily life and discover ourselves as well as our faith and spirituality, ready for our lives next chapter.”


Danielle Rebelo (Corbett), Isabella Tolardo (Byrne) and Jacinda Lombardini (Frayne).

Adult Faith Formation

There are a number of opportunities available for adult faith formation which I encourage you to have a look at. In particular the courses offered by the Maranatha Centre, the adult faith formation agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth. For details on courses for Term 3 visit there are many very affordable short daytime, evening or weekend courses available.

Mrs Helen Chaffer, Deputy Principal, Mission.


Course Selection

Term 3 has begun with a focus on course selection for our Years 9, 10 and 11 students. This is a time of excitement and discussion as girls and their families carefully consider the best pathway to meet their individual needs. Often the choice is difficult because of the wide variety of subjects offered across the curriculum.

We are particularly excited about our new offering in Science for Year 10 in 2016. This seems fitting with the opening of our new building, which will accommodate the diverse specific needs of both the Science and HASS Learning Area. Building on our Science extension programs in Years 8 and 9, Year 10 BrainSTEM will focus on two new main themes throughout the year. The first will be Neuroscience and will allow students to explore the fascinating world of the human brain. The second is Biotechnology, this section of the course will introduce the principles of genetic engineering, genetic screening and the role of biotechnology in identifying and curing genetic diseases. Selection of this course is by invitation only.

We have a fantastic term ahead of us. I wish all our girls well in their studies particularly our Year 12 students as they head into the final term of their studies.


Curtin University’s Engineering in Schools Program

This year, students from Ms Rees and Miss Haeusler’s Year 9 Mathematics classes are participating in Curtin University’s Engineering in Schools Program. Throughout the year, students are mentored by university students as they engineer a solution to a problem faced by this village in a ‘Third World’ country. These solutions look at developing appropriate technologies and unique resources that will empower this village towards sustainable and healthier changes.

Students have been working on the project since the beginning of Term 2 and will continue their work throughout Term 3. The culmination of the project is presenting their solution to Mr Elder, who will then select the teams to represent Santa Maria at the Engineering in Schools presentation night.

Mrs Carol Bell, Acting Deputy Principal Teaching & Learning


Student Life

Year 7


The Year 7 students enjoyed the last two weeks of  Term 2 working on their Enriched Learning task ‘Seek7’. During this time the girls went on excursion, learnt how to research and reference, spent time writing a report on their findings and then created a product to display the new knowledge they had learnt.

The girls worked extremely hard and all learnt and developed great skills they will be able to apply to future tasks across learning areas. It was great to see so many parents coming in to see the Seek7 work on display at the Parent/Daughter/Teacher interviews. It was also exciting to see the girls’ work on the screens in the McDonald Building during the interview day. A huge thank you to Mrs Pengilly for the hours of work she put into preparing this task.

Year 8

Bush Dance

The Year 8 Social event with Aquinas College is a ‘Bush Dance’ and will be held on Friday 7 August at Santa Maria College. This event should be an enjoyable evening with music being performed by The Mucky Duck Bush Band. We look forward to an evening full of dancing and fun. As this is an official school function, attendance is compulsory, during the school day and on the evening.

Date:               Friday 7 August 2015
Time:               7.00 pm – 9.00 pm sharp
Venue:             Santa Maria College – McDonald Building
Dress:              Jeans, flannelette shirts, boots or sandshoes
Supper:           Pizza and soft drink


Student Leadership

The process for electing the new Middle School leaders for 2015/2016 will begin in Week 4 of this term. More information for parents will be in the next newsletter.

Mrs Tracy Webster, Head of Middle School


Boarding ended last term and began this one with some very positive engagement with our wonderful parents. The new time of 11.00 am for the Boarders Parent Meeting at the end of term proved to be a time when more parents could attend than have done in the recent past. There will never be a time which suits everyone, but it was lovely to meet with those who could be there. Mr Ian Elder was also able to come along and hear from our parents and keep in touch with things Boarding – one of his last duties before leaving for a well-earned Long Service Leave. The first day back this term also provided an informal opportunity for parents to gather together and keep in touch with each other.

This term we have welcomed Sara Harcourt-Smith (Year 9 from Woodanilling), Jayde Northover (Year 8 from Dalwallinu) and Ashlee Cusworth (Year 7 from Perenjori ). The girls are making a wonderful transition into Boarding, the girls and their families are to be congratulated on this. As we all know, leaving home is not an easy thing to be doing and neither is saying goodbye.

Sport has not missed a beat, and our hockey and netball girls are straight back into training and their matches. It is very encouraging to be part of such enthusiasm. As well as games, this weekend the younger girls are visiting Aquinas College, some girls are going to the movies and the older girls to the traditional St Mary’s social will be held on Saturday. Last weekend we had two socials at Peth College and the younger girls went to Bayswater Waves – where the water is heated! The girls have busy schedules and it is impressive to see them managing their many commitments.

Ms Linda Bulloch, Head of Boarding





For Parents

Book image 2015

Entertainment Books

Last chance to order Entertainment Books

This is the last chance to order your 2015/16 Entertainment Books. To order click here.

Thank you to everyone who has ordered a book this year. $13 from every book sold is given back to the College.



Uniform Shop

The College Uniform Shop is now back on campus.

Appointments to visit the Uniform Shop can be made online by clicking here

The regular opening hours of the Uniform Shop are as follows:

Tuesdays 3.00 pm – 6.00 pm
Wednesdays 9.00 am – 5.00 pm
Thursdays 8.00 am – 11.30 am


Term 3 Dates for Mid Term Break

Students will commence mid term break at 3.20 pm on Thursday 20 August.

Students return to school on Tuesday 25 August.





Did you know we have a Facebook page? Click on the Facebook symbol to go to our page.

Make sure to like the page so that our posts show up in your newsfeed.