From the Principal

Dear St Mary’s College Community,

In 2019, St Mary’s College celebrated its 150th year. We are the oldest school for girls in South Australia. An old scholar, our Art team and two classes of Year 6 students created a film to celebrate our founding story.

The film ended with the phrase ‘And now the beginning of a new chapter.’

The new chapter is grounded in our strategic plan. St Mary’s is a community that:

  • Holds relationships at the heart;
  • Is grounded in story and place;
  • Provides an inclusive space for all learners;
  • Is creative, responsive, and flexible.

The Golden Thread tells the continuing story of St Mary’s through the voice of our purpose, and the voices of our students.

All that you see was created by the students, under the guidance and mentoring of James Parker and JoAnne Bouzianis-Sellick. The learning for the two and half weeks of the project encompassed design, literacy, numeracy, art, technology, story, film, media, movement, collaboration, problem-solving, and so much more. It was an intensive immersion that drew teachers, students, and visitors to the STEM Centre to see what was unfolding.

Our film launch was a wonderful community event. The film was officially opened by Kate Croser, Chief Executive Officer of the SA Film Corporation. Kate spoke about the thriving arts sector in SA, and the opportunities for women in the field. Members of the Holy Cross Congregation joined us for the opening event and provided five-star reviews.

This project was an immense source of joy for me. It is a living example of what can happen in learning when we dare to think outside the box.

I am grateful for the students and their parents, who said yes to being involved, and who grasped every opportunity that this experience offered.

I am grateful for the staff team at St Mary’s who supported the logistical management of the project.

I hope that you enjoy The Golden Thread - to view these projects, please click here.

Enjoy the weeks ahead.


Warm regards,

Clare Nocka


Easter Raffle

Each year, St Mary’s College holds an Easter Raffle within our school community as a fundraiser for the Matakaruna Centre in Battambang, Cambodia.

Since 2014, groups of Year 11 students and staff have travelled to Cambodia, working in the Matakurana Centre. This facility brings students from poverty-stricken rural villages to the city of Battambang in order to go to school and offer them more opportunities for their future. Our students stay in Battambang for 12 days and teach English to the centre's students.

St Mary’s College students will participate in the Cambodia Immersion in June/ July this year. The College has committed to financially supporting the centre through the Easter Raffle, and money raised will pay for infrastructure and girls’ education at the centre.

We ask our students and their families for donations such as chocolates, baskets, cellophane, ribbon, business vouchers, and other Easter-related gifts. We are also asking if any parents/caregivers with businesses can donate goods/vouchers to encourage people to purchase more tickets, and thus generate more money for our cause. We sincerely thank our St Mary’s College community for supporting this fundraiser.

Transforming Creative Passion to Profession

Anchal first discovered her passion for graphic design at St Mary's in Year 8 when she was tasked with removing bruises from apples in photoshop and thought, “I want to do this for the rest of my life!”

Anchal always had an interest in visual arts but fully realised her talent and potential in the opportunities St Mary’s provided. Over her schooling, Anchal undertook and excelled in subject areas of Visual Arts Design, Photography, and IPP (graphic design), all of which she achieved merits as well as the St Mary’s Technology Award. By Year 11, Anchal knew she wanted to pursue graphic design as a career and was motivated by the recognition of her efforts.

Graduating in 2019 with an outstanding ATAR and natural talent for design, Anchal was accepted into the University of Technology in Sydney to study a Bachelor of Design in Visual Communication. Since completing her degree in 2022, Anchal explained that she always felt ahead of her peers due to everything she had already learnt at St Mary’s. The College supported Anchal’s talents in design and photography by utilising her skills across various projects. Anchal felt honoured each time she was asked to take photos at a school event such as Justice Day and International Women’s Day or was given the opportunity to create posters and graphics for major school productions such as Eurobeat. Anchal even redesigned our student leadership badges as you see them today!

Anchal currently works as the Creative Designer at ‘Dijgtal’, a design and marketing agency in Sydney. In her role, Anchal works with clients on their branding, marketing collateral such as social media ads, and other graphic design work such as creating icons and website assets. Anchal explained, “I remember daydreaming in IPP class at school about working in graphic design and now I pinch myself because it feels like a dream come true”.

Aside from her full-time work, Anchal works part-time as the Social Media manager for Cancer Chicks, a “community hub for young women navigating cancer and other terminal or chronic illnesses”. Anchal finds this work very rewarding and is proud of her involvement in managing their website, social media, and other various marketing collateral.

During her university studies, Anchal was a finalist for the AGDA (Australian Graphic Design Association) Awards for three of her projects. Her Year 12 work was also chosen to be displayed in the 2020 SACE Art Show - both high honours which she is extremely proud of.

Anchal is a great example of what hard work and determination can do in making your dreams come true. She is grateful to St Mary’s for helping her achieve what she has so far through her learning, and even more so through the genuine care and encouragement she received.

“ The community is like a family and I always felt that my teachers recognised and supported my passions. St Mary’s feel likes home.”

Introducing our 2023 Music Coordinator

Hello, St Mary’s College Community, my name is Paris, and I am the 2023 Dance Coordinator!

I applied for the role of coordinator as dance has always been a significant part of my life. I have been dancing for 15 years and it is something that I am very passionate about. To me, leadership is about making a positive change in our community and being a role model to all those around you. This leadership position enables me to understand the many opportunities, skills, and connections that can be embraced from this area of expertise.

One of my most memorable experiences as a St Mary’s College student was being a part of the first-ever Dance class and showcase in 2022. When I’m not dancing, you can find me spending time with my friends or hanging out by the ocean.

As a Year 12 student and leader, I am looking forward to watching dance blossom in our community and having the opportunity to be a part of that. I am beyond proud to have an input in seeing what dance can bring to St Mary’s College in 2023.