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Issue 9, 2015

From the Principal

Dear Parents

This is my sixth year at Santa Maria College and prior to my appointment I was Principal at Sacred Heart College, Sorrento, for ten years. During these sixteen busy years, I have not taken any accrued long service leave but this is about to change. In Term 3, I will be taking long service leave, combining travelling with my wife, an educational conference and spending time with our daughter who is living in London.

During this time away the following changes will be in place:

Mrs Jennifer Oaten
Acting Principal

Mrs Carol Bell
Acting Deputy Principal (Teaching & Learning)

Mrs Claire Newton
Acting Head of Senior School

Miss Rebecca Waterhouse
Acting Head of Year 11

Our major building program is about to be completed and we will take occupancy from the beginning of Term 3. The official opening will be later in the term on Tuesday 1 September, when I have returned to Western Australia. We also have planned a ‘walk through’ of these facilities on Sunday 13 September where you are all most welcome. This date coincides with the Arts Festival (Music, Dance, Drama and Visual Arts) that takes place on that weekend.

Another exciting initiative is the Uniform Shop will be relocated back on the College Campus in Term 3. Click here and you will see the location of the Uniform Shop, parking bays for parents and the entry off Moreing Road. The parent groups I have spoken to are also very excited with this relocation.

This is my final newsletter for Term 2 and I take this opportunity to thank the staff listed above. We are truly blessed having such a strong leadership team. We invite parents to share positive feedback about our staff at any time. You can do this through our website by going to the headings Work with Us, then Staff Recognition or by clicking here.

Best wishes and God bless

Mr Ian Elder, Principal


Winter Appeal and Community Outreach Mass

Thank you to all students and their families for the wonderful generosity shown throughout the annual winter appeal. A very sizeable amount of bedding, toiletries and food items were donated to St Patrick’s Care, St Vincent De Paul Society, Shopfront and the Sisters’ Place as well as monetary donations to the Archbishop’s Lifelink Appeal. All donations were handed over at the Community Outreach Mass, a whole college Mass held on Thursday 25 June in McDonald Building.

Reflection Days and Retreat

As we reach the midway point in the year, it is the perfect time to stop and reflect, hence, the timing of Reflection Days and Retreat for a number of year groups. Students from Years 7, 8 and 11 will participate in a one day reflection program in Week 11 and the Year 12 students will have their three day Retreat. The following is an overview of the Reflection Days and Retreat program for all students at the college for 2015:

Junior School

Year 5 – Monday 16 February
Facilitator: College staff

The theme of the day is “We’re All in This Together”. This program is designed to assist our students to develop a shared vision and respond to others with a spirit of generosity and inclusiveness.

Year 6 – Friday 13 November
Facilitator: College staff

The Reflection Day is entitled “Branching Out”. This program is designed to assist the students to be the change. Students are able to develop skills to reach out to others especially with the transition to Year 7, to dig deep when faced with adversity and to develop skills of persistence and resilience.


Middle School

Year 7 – Tuesday 30 June
Facilitator: Project Hatch

The key theme of the day is “Who Am I, Who Do I Want to Be”. The program encourages students to step outside their comfort zone and mingle with other students while having the opportunity to reflect on who they are, how they interact with others, and the importance of learning life’s lessons from the small things.

Year 8 – Wednesday 1 July
Facilitator: Project Hatch

The key theme of the day is “The Butterfly Effect”. Students consider how our smallest actions can have the biggest impact on those around us. Through the use of stories, activities and rituals, students examine the way they can be a greater positive influence in the lives of others.

Year 9 – Group 1, Tuesday 24 November, Group 2, Tuesday 1 December
Facilitator: Living for Life

The program is entitled “Choosing to Love” with the aim of: Revealing to students God’s intention that: Human beings are created to be in relationship with Him and with each other. They are called to love and be loved, to flourish and to reach their potential.


Senior School

Year 10 – Friday 6 March
Facilitator: College Staff

The theme of the Reflection Day is “We are Called to Serve.”  Throughout the day students explore their call as Christians to serve others, have the opportunity to learn more about Catherine McAuley and be introduced to the Mercy Service Learning Program.

Year 11 – Thursday 2 July
Facilitator: Project Hatch

The key theme of the day is “The Impact of You”. Through the use of live music, engaging activities and reflections, the students are challenged to explore leadership not as a product of a badge or title but of behaviours and inner values.

Year 12 – Wednesday 1 July to Friday 3 July
Facilitator: College Staff

The purpose of the Year 12 Retreat is to allow space for students to embark on an interior journey towards holiness through integration of self. Our interpretation of holiness is the classical Hebrew understanding, where to be perfect or holy simply means to walk with God despite our flaws. Perfection here means being in God’s divine presence, in spite of the fact that we are not perfectly whole, good, true and beautiful. What God asks simply is that we come home, that we share our lives with God, that we let God’s presence help us in those ways within which we are powerless to help ourselves.

Students are invited to undertake a journey of deep inquiry into the truth of who they are at the very core of being, by reflecting on who they were, who they are now and who they want to be. Their regrets, fears, hopes and dreams for the future are woven through this contemplation. Further to this, students embark on “The Quest”, a reflection of the ancient hero’s quest for the Holy Grail, where they are challenged through a series of difficult outdoor team activities, to meet their true authentic self. This rite of initiation into the self requires the student to explore their ‘context’ within the journey of life, authenticating themselves within their connection to a web of relationships – themselves, others, God and all creation.

Mrs Helen Chaffer, Deputy Principal, Mission


Term 2 is rapidly coming to a close with examinations having been completed by all students in Senior School. Year 10 students have completed their first examinations and have hopefully learnt a great deal about the need for planning, preparation and the effectiveness of different revision strategies, while Year 12 students have hopefully refined their approach to examinations.

Middle School students have been completing a wide range of activities, assessments, incursions and excursions throughout Semester 1, with the Year 7 students also completing Seek7, a sustainability project for the last two weeks of term. Well done to all students who have completed all of their work to the very best of their ability. We look forward to your continued diligence in Semester 2.

All reports will be released to parents via CONEQTp at 4.00 pm on Friday 3 July. Parents may choose to view the reports online or to print a copy. Parents will be sent an email on Tuesday 30 June with all the details.

Parent Teacher Daughter Interviews for students in Years 5 to 12 will be held on Tuesday 21 July from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm. These appointments will be held in the McDonald Building rather than in classrooms and refreshments will be available in the Hall foyer. Bookings will be opened on 3 July from 4.00 pm and will be available to make bookings until Monday 20 July at 9.00 am. These interviews are important to seek feedback about your daughter’s progress and very importantly for Year 10 parents and students to seek advice on course selection for Year 11, 2016.


Important Dates

Friday 3 July – Reports distributed
Friday 3 July – Monday 20 July – Parents able to make bookings for parent interviews
Tuesday 21 July – Parent Teacher Daughter interviews
Wednesday 22 July – Online subject selections for 2016 Year 11 students to be completed
Thursday 23 July – Online subject selections for 2016 Year 12 students to be completed
Term 3 – Subject selection information for 2016 available for Years 7 – 10

Mrs Jennifer Oaten, Deputy Principal, Teaching & Learning

Senior School

Exam Reflection

Exam season is now at an end with the Year 10 students having completed their last exams and this has been followed by exam review. This process involved myself, the relevant Head of Year and Head of Learning Areas, working with girls who may not have achieved as well as they might have liked in the exams. It is important we view exams as a learning opportunity that allows students to reflect on how they are travelling. Underperformance in exams can be due to many reasons and it is important we work out the specific areas individual girls need to address to help develop success in the future.

I encourage all parents to help normalise the exam reflection process by discussing performance in exams and helping students to reflect on what they have learnt from these experiences so that growth is possible. Exam review for Year 10 girls will be incorporated into Course Counselling interviews in Term 3.

This week we began the 2014-15 leadership election process for our Year 11 students. In a special leadership Year assembly the current Year 12 leaders discussed the nature of their leadership roles with the Year 11 girls, sharing their experiences and what they have learnt on their leadership journey. The girls were also briefed by Mr Elder, who shared with them his views on leadership and what it means to be a leader in Year 12.

Applications are now open to all Year 11 students and must be submitted by Friday 24 July. No late applications will be accepted. Students have been emailed a timeline and the application forms are available from student Coneqt along with detailed job descriptions.



Breakfast Box

Last week we also held the Senior School breakfast box in preparation for Purple Bra Day. We were very fortunate to have breast cancer survivor Andy Kahl from Breast Care WA speak with girls about her own journey as well as all the wonderful work Breast Care WA do in supporting families of those with breast cancer. We are all looking forward to another successful Purple Bra Day next term.


Cultural Events

In the last two weeks our Cultural committee, led by Olivia Tamigi, Cultural Captain (Year 12, Kelly) have been busy organising and holding key events such as the Foreign Film Festival and Harmony Day. Both events were aimed at raising awareness about how we can better appreciate our differences and the colourful world we live in. Congratulations to all involved.

Santa Scoop

A big congratulations also goes to Ms Kim Maslin and the Pubbles group on the launch of Santa Scoop, an online blog aimed at communicating a student perspective on life at Santa Maria College. Ask your girls to show you this amazing publication. Well done to all the girls who contribute, keep up the great work.

Mrs Carol Bell, Head of Senior School


Middle School

Year 7 students have begun their Enhanced Learning Task, Seek7. The launch was  onSeek7logoFriday 19 June. At the launch, the girls learnt more about the process and the work expectations during the two weeks of the task. The focus of the task is to teach the girls effective research skills, which they can apply to the topic of sustainability and water. They can then transfer the skills learnt to all research tasks in the future. The girls all attended four different water-focused excursions on Monday 22 June. All were very informative excursions, which the girls loved. I look forward to seeing the many varied research topics chosen by the girls, their research report and product they create to show what they have learnt. The girls Seek7 products will be on display for parents to view at the upcoming Parent Daughter Teacher interviews.

Balance Wellbeing Program
This six-week program is well underway, with a group of Years 7 and 8 girls involved in the Wellbeing Program. Why have these girls chosen to be part of the Balance program? At Santa Maria, we understand that wellness relates to the ability to navigate the ups and down of life in a way that promotes vitality and flourishing of the human person. We recognise that the most successful people in life aren’t necessarily eternal optimists – or grounded realists. True wellbeing relates to being fully human, experiencing all of the human emotions and responses to life’s circumstances. No one is able to ‘get it right’ all the time. However, we know it is possible to learn to be more balanced on the deck of the ship of life – rather than having to be thrown to and fro with each stormy sea that we sail over. So next time we offer the six-week Balance Wellbeing program, maybe you could suggest your daughter join in!

Strive9 : Year 9 Corbett to help local Women’s Refuge
As part of the Strive9 project, Year 9 Corbett will be helping the Zonta Women’s Refuge. To better understand the work of this refuge, they invited Angie Perkins, Head Coordinator from the refuge, to talk to the girls.

Angie began by explaining the growing issue of family and domestic violence in our society. In Australia, it is now considered at a crisis point with one in three women suffering domestic violence at some time in their lives. It is the number one cause of homelessness with women and children in our society and can affect women of all ages, cultures and socio-demographic groups. Angie also explained that family and domestic violence is not just physical abuse, but can be in the form of spiritual, financial and emotional abuse also. Zonta House provides refuge and transitional accommodation, holistic support services and education to women over the age of 18.

Zonta House has nineteen houses, one ten-bed crisis centre and other transitional care houses. Often women arrive at the refuge with nothing except the clothes they are wearing. Zonta helps them to start out with clothes, food and support. They receive very little government funding, relying primarily on a small amount of rent from the women and donations.

Year 9 Corbett students are hoping to help the Refuge by collecting some of the specific items they desperately need at the refuge and by donating their time on Strive9 day to assist with any odd jobs in and around the refuge. The Corbett girls will also prepare a lunch for the women.

Angie Perkins’ talk touched the hearts of all the girls and not only opened their eyes to this social issue in our society but inspired them to help make a difference.

Mrs Tracy Webster, Head of Middle School

Junior School

IPSHA Performing Arts Festival

Last week, the students in Years 5 and 6 attended the IPSHA Performing Arts Festival at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre. There were over twenty schools involved in this festival over three days and nights. Santa Maria College’s performance featured the ‘Little Rockets’ which is a cheerleading troupe. These girls have been training as a co-curricular group since the beginning of the year and presented a high-energy session involving tumbles, pyramids and jumps. The group was comprised of Bijoux Arguijo (Year 6, O’Donnell), Lily Morris (Year 6, Corbett), Madeline Brown (Year 6, Corbett), Sarena Santoro (Year 6, O’Reilly), Sienna Dujmovic (Year 5, Kelly), Kayla Monaco (Year 5, Byrne), Isabella Tinley (Year 5, O’Reilly), Stella Mellows (Year 5, de la Hoyde), River Jones (Year 5, Corbett), Madison Gibbs (Year 6, Byrne), Chloe Hodge (Year 5, Corbett), Holly Gresele (Year 6, Frayne), Tennille O’Connor (Year 5, Frayne), Saoirse Carter (Year 5, Corbett), and Olivia French (Year 6, Byrne).

Congratulations to the students involved and thanks to Mrs Lisa Winkler, Hannah Sellman (Year 11, O’Reilly), Kirstie O’Connor (Year 12, Frayne), Caitlyn Wilce (Year 12, Byrne), Sidone Race (Year 12, Dillon) and Grace Brandenburg (Year 11, Corbet) for their hard work and dedication to this endeavour.

Speakers’ Challenge

On Wednesday evening, three Year 6 students participated in the Speakers’ Challenge at Carmel School in Yokine. The students, who equipped themselves very well, were Amy Roche (Year 6, Dillon), Madeline Carmody (Year 6, Dillon) and Olivia Reeve (Year 6, Kelly). The evening is always a stimulating and exciting affair with representatives from over twenty schools in attendance

Mrs Andrea Dopson, Head of Junior School



HBF Run for a Reason

All the fundraising events for Diabetes WA are complete and the books finalised. This year the girls and their extended families, with the support of our fellow boarding communities, helped to raise in excess of $8,000. The goal for this year was to bring the SMC Fundraising total to over $40,000 since we began this journey, and the girls have achieved this. It is a wonderful community effort, with current and former boarders, as well as their extended families all contributing to realising the dream Laura had – to find a cure for diabetes.

All of the activities around the fundraising have been spearheaded by Hayley Pettit (2012), with support from the extended Gray family and Santa Maria. Diabetes WA is recognising Hayley’s commitment to fundraising by nominating and acknowledging her through the 2015 Diabetes WA Awards. Congratulations, Hayley.

Forrest Edge Camp

On the weekend our Year 11 boarders participated in a camp with Aquinas College at Forrest Edge. The focus of this camp is to encourage each student to further develop the skills they have and to encourage and support each other as they assume their roles as leaders within our boarding communities. The energy, enthusiasm and willingness to participate in all that is put before them augers well for our boarding communities. The Year 12 leaders from both schools who attended also demonstrated outstanding leadership and thanks are extended to them for their very positive contributions.


The mid-year holidays are upon us and I know all of the girls are looking forward to being homeward bound and spending time with families. Classes conclude on Friday 3 July and girls are due back in Boarding on Tuesday 21 July. Also on 21 July, our Parent Committee have organised a function here at the College. Drinks and light food will be provided in an informal setting so we do hope that you will be able to join other parents for some conviviality.

Do enjoy the change of routine with your family together again. All in Boarding are giving thanks for the rain, not the least your daughters. Our prayers are that God continues to bless your labours.

Ms Linda Bulloch, Head of Boarding