From the Principal

Dear St Mary’s College Community,

Returning this week after long service leave at the end of the last term has been wonderful. Rest brings a good opportunity to reconnect with self, family, and friends. It also invites the chance to miss the people and rhythms of working life in a job that brings me immense joy. I feel grateful every day that I can lead this community.   

Key events this week have led me to ponder kindness. It’s such a core human value, and we know its importance both when we experience it and when it is absent. Kindness gives us the capacity to tell another person in words or actions that we see, hear, and care for them. That person could be someone we know, and it could also be a complete stranger. The personal cost of showing kindness is often small, but the benefit can be immeasurable. 

Naomi Shihab Nye is an American poet, songwriter, and novelist. In her poem ‘Kindness’, she writes -  

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside, 
You must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.  

Often in difficult times, we understand and appreciate the warmth of kindness. It is one of the most important things we can bring to a community. And it links beautifully with our theme - Connecting In. Reaching Out. Random acts of kindness are a great way to live into our theme as a community this year. So is the simple process of pausing before every interaction, email, conversation, social media post, and text and asking ourselves, in this moment, are my words or actions kind? 

This morning I heard the final rehearsal of ensembles for Generations in Jazz. There was a definite buzz of excitement as students headed to this event for the first time since 2019. The Mt Gambier venture is just one of many things happening in the term ahead.

I hope to see many of you at the learning reviews next week. 


Warm regards,

Clare Nocka


Senior School Wellbeing Day

On Wednesday 17 May, we will be hosting our inaugural Senior School Wellbeing Day, an initiative developed by our Student Wellbeing Advisory Group (SWAG) and Director of Senior School, Ms Christina Kilishiri and Social Worker, Michelle Brown.

Senior students will participate in various sessions and workshops that support their mental and physical wellbeing.

The day will begin with guest speakers such as old scholar and CEO of The Orange Butterfly, Lauren Spear (Class of 2009), paralympic swimmer Isabella Vincent, and more.

Students have also been given the opportunity to choose from a range of exciting activities to take part in throughout the day; these include:

  • Healthy cooking with bestselling cookbook author and old scholar, Nikalene Riddle (Class of 2003)
  • Big soccer
  • Silent disco
  • Meditation and Yoga
  • Just Dance
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Going for a walk
  • Affirmation keyrings
  • Scavenger hunt
  • Volleyball tournament
  • Creative arts with award-winning artist, Ruby Chew
  • Music sing-along
  • Board games

We look forward to sharing our students’ experiences of what will be a special day.

HASS Highlights

As we embark on a new term in HASS, students are eager to continue learning about the fascinating and complex events, people and factors that shape our world.

Our Year 8 students studied Medieval Europe during Term 1, and this learning was celebrated and brought to life by a Medieval Morning. Students and teachers dressed up as medieval people, such as kings, nobles, knights, and peasants, and engaged in medieval-themed activities such as jousting, tug-of-war, and creating family shields.

Year 8 students also participated in the 2023 SA Refugee Week Youth Poster Awards Exhibition, and I am pleased to share that Yen B’s poster has been selected for the display! Yen’s work was chosen from 370 entries and will be shown on June 23 in the new Children’s ArtSpace Gallery at the Adelaide Festival Centre.

Year 10 Business Enterprises and the Law students visited Parliament House, graciously hosted by Lucy Hood, MP Member for Adelaide. Lucy gave our students a guided tour of both Houses of Parliament as well as engaging them in a role-play of the operations and procedures of the House of Assembly. Year 10 student Abby took on the role of speaker of the house, maintaining order as we debated introducing a proposed bill that would change the voting age from 18 to 16.

In Term 2, our Year 12 Modern History classes are focusing on the Great Depression and FDR’s response to the New Deal. Student Eva P says, “I like studying history because you can learn about things that have happened in the past and recognise patterns throughout history as well as factors that continue to impact the world today.”

I'm thrilled to see students actively participating in the diverse fields of HASS and look forward to the opportunities Term 2 will bring.

Alexandra Gavrilidis, HASS Learning Area Leader

Golf Q&A with Year 12, Imogen J

When did you start playing golf?

When I was 11 years old I attended Junior Golf Clinics where I would play games, do drills, and learn the basics of swinging. I then had private lessons with the head coach where it was clear I had a talent for golf. I could see myself improving and quickly becoming addicted to the game.

How often do you train?

My training is intense. It takes a lot of determination and hard work to get to and maintain the level I am at. I train every day, before or after school, and undertake specialised physio strength and conditioning, high-performance training, and train with other elite golfers at the South Australian Institute of Sport (SASI). I’m also at Kooyonga Golf Club from approximately 7am to 7pm on weekends.

What achievements are you most proud of in your golfing career so far?

  • Winning the 2023 SA Junior Masters and achieving my World Amateur Ranking (WAGR) - you can look me up online.
  • Representing our state at the Interstate Series two years in a row and being named captain.
  • Being selected as a member of the SA Women’s Team.
  • Winning back-to-back Junior Club Championships at Kooyonga.
  • Finishing 8th out of 105 competitors in the US at the home of Golf - Pinehurst, North Carolina.
  • Achieving my PB score of 5 under par this year.

Are you hoping to pursue golf as a career?

Definitely! My ultimate dream is to turn Pro and play on tour. After Year 12 I am planning to attend US College and play DIV 1 Golf for one of the top golfing schools.

What have you got coming up?

In Week 2 I will be travelling to NSW to play with the Women’ s SA State Team. I also have the VIC Junior Open in Week 9 and a couple of tournaments with Adidas in the school holidays.

How has the St Mary’s community supported you on your golf journey?

St Mary’s have been amazing. All staff have been so kind and supportive towards me, and flexible with my learning when I am away for tournaments. I really appreciate all the support, time, and assistance they have provided. Ms Megaw was also vital in helping me understand the academic requirements for attending a College in the US.

The opportunities St Mary’s has provided me to be involved in SRC and Social Justice have helped with my leadership and organisation skills. St Mary’s has empowered me for the future, and I am proud to be a student at this school.

Reception to Year 10 Portraiture Exhibition

Art students have been busy investigating the art elements and principles around creating a range of different stylistic portraits with inspiration from artists such as; Todd Parr, Paul Klee, Carlos Cohen, Romero Britto, Chuck Close, Andy Warhol, Jiri Kolar, Kim Buck, and more. The portraiture exhibition aims to showcase the students’ wonderful creations.

RSVP here.

NOVA 919 - Jodie & Hayesy’s Weather Kid Promotion

We are excited to share that Year 4 students, Willow C and Lily F, have been chosen to take part in Jodie & Hayesy’s 'Wednesday Weather Kid' segment.

Make sure you tune in to Nova 919 on Wednesday, 10 May from 7:30am, 8:00am, and 8:30am.

Term 2 College Tours

Principal Tour - Wednesday, 17 May, Open Evening, 3:45 - 7:00pm

Junior School Tour - Wednesday, 7 June, 9:30 - 11:00am

Middle School Tour - Tuesday, 20 June, 9:30 - 11:00am

Come and Try Day - Friday, 19 May, 9:15am - 2:30pm

Click here to book