Term 2, Week 3 - Issue 8

From the Principal

Dear St Mary’s College Community,

This week we have celebrated Catholic Education Week with an art exhibition, a school tour, and a Come and Try Day. Each event has been a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and share the good things about our community. I love sharing the story of St Mary’s College with prospective families. We have much to be proud of.

Catholic Education Week is when schools share the good news story of Catholic Education across the state. My connection began in 1974 as a Reception student at St Joseph’s Memorial School, Kensington. Sr Carmel was my first teacher. It continued at Mary MacKillop College, and then, after three years at university, I moved from student to teacher at St Joseph’s Murray Bridge in 1990. (The images show me in Year 12 and my first year of teaching). While my career path has been winding, Catholic Education has been a constant. 

Throughout my years in Catholic Education, I have grown in a clear sense of the values at the heart of my life. For me, these are generosity and kindness. I have always felt the importance of being connected in the community, whether parish, school, or across a beautifully collegial system. I have felt valued and cared for in that community, and I have always known that I can contribute meaningfully through my work. Finally, I have always known that I am part of the bigger story: the gospel narrative that shapes our work, the Jospehite story for many years, and now the story of the Dominicans. For me, there is something powerful in the notion that we all live inside a story.

I wonder what connects each of you with Catholic Education? Why are you here, and what do you hope for your children? I would love to hear the answer to these questions.

Make sure you take a moment to check our social pages so you can also celebrate the wonderful things about our Catholic School.

Enjoy the weeks ahead.

Warm regards, 

Clare Nocka


Grandparents and Special Friends Mass and Afternoon Tea

On Tuesday 23 May 2023, St Mary’s College will be holding a Junior School Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Afternoon.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Junior School students to invite the special people in their lives to celebrate their schooling journey so far. It is also a time to ‘celebrate the gift of love’ and give thanks to those who support us.

Our Eucharistic Celebration will begin at 1:45pm in St Patrick’s Church, followed by a shared afternoon tea at 2:30pm on the Veritas Lawns.

We hope to see many Grandparents and Special Friends as our students are eager to show you their classrooms!

We look forward to welcoming you to the College for this special event. Please click here to RSVP.

Languages Highlights

Ciao e salut!

These last few weeks have been very busy for Languages.

The Junior School had an Italian Festa Day during the final week of Term 1 where students engaged in various workshops such as recreating Leonardo's parachute, drawing portraits in the style of Modigliani, crafting Pinocchio puppets, creating Ancient Roman mosaics, and participating in activities like bocce, soccer, and tarantella instruments and dance. The day culminated in a shared pasta and gelato lunch, followed by a concert featuring opera singer Teresa La Rocca.

Over the holidays, 25 April held significance for both Australians and Italians. Italy commemorated its liberation from fascism and dictator Mussolini at the end of World War II. Our Year 12 Italian students had the honour of reading at the Festa della Liberazione Mass, which took place at the Payneham Mausoleum and was attended by local Italians, delegates, and the Italian Consul, Dr. Adriano Stendardo. Students Caitlin M and Emmelia D read in Italian, and Sophia L sang in the choir.

Recently, five Year 9 Italian students, along with students from 15 other schools, participated in the Italians in the Workplace Day organised by The University of South Australia. They listened to guest speakers, including the Italian Consul, representatives from the Space Agency, an engineer,  chef Rosa Matto, OAM Phillip Donato for the Health industry, and many others, who spoke about the benefits of learning Italian in our South Australian context. The students played games, interacted with peers, and had conversations with professionals who use Italian in their workplaces. Year 9 student Abby O expressed her enthusiasm for the event, stating that it inspired her to continue learning Italian and visit Italy in the future. She recognised the value of having a second language in Adelaide's multicultural society.

This term we welcomed French exchange student Lana who will be staying with host sister, Year 10 student Amelia D. Lana has made guest appearances in Year 7, 8, and 9 French classes, providing an authentic resource for students. In August, Amelia D will travel to France for a reciprocal exchange.

Next term, we eagerly anticipate the arrival of three exchange students: two from Italy and one from France. It is encouraging to witness students' dedication to language learning, whether at St Mary's, the School of Languages, or other language-specific schools. Employers recognise the advantages of studying a language in our interconnected world.

Lastly, a proposed trip to Italy in 2024 for Italian, Art, and History students is generating excitement. Stay tuned for further details.

Catrina Tridente, Languages Learning Area Leader

South Australian Space School - Girls in STEM

Year 11 students Carla A and Chantal D recently attended the South Australian Space School for an immersive space experience.

Students were taken to various centres such as Adelaide University, Lot Fourteen, The DST Group (Defence Science and Technology), and Hamilton Secondary College where they participated in lots of practical activities, teaching them about different aspects of science to help gain a deeper understanding of more specified areas.

Various guest speakers attended the event to speak to students, these included Astronauts and members of the Air Force and Army. The highlight of the experience for Carla and Chantal was being able to ‘Walk on Mars’ with Hamilton’ s space simulation where they experienced what it would be like to work on Mars. In this they were given the responsibility of mission control which enabled them to connect to the people on Mars and guide them through their tasks.

This was an unforgettable experience for our students as it helped them further understand science on earth as well as in space. Carla and Chantal were grateful for the opportunity and recommend students interested in science, space, and STEM to participate.

Farewell Mr Todd Heinrich

Todd Heinrich joined St Mary’s College at the start of 2021 and has been a highly respected Teacher of Health, PE, and Outdoor Education, and a valued Year 12 Care Group team member.

Todd has taught in the Middle and Senior School, including both Stage 2 PE and Outdoor Education, has attended various Year 12 Retreats, and enthusiastically delivered our WRAP Program. He has a genuine interest in knowing his students, supporting them to learn and achieve success. He shows great care for his students, which is reflected in the positive relationships he has developed since he began.

Todd uses technology to share creative lessons and contemporary pedagogy to engage students. On the many Outdoor Education camps to Deep Creek NP, Mt. Remarkable NP, Katarapko Creek and Dhilba Guuranda-Innes NP that he has led, he has inspired students to persevere, be reflective, and work collaboratively.

Todd has been actively involved in the College community through Staff v Student sports, Run Club, volunteering with students at the Tennyson Sand Dunes, and shaving his head to raise funds on Justice Day.

Todd has a contagious energy and optimism that generates a positive environment in the classroom. He is a friendly, enthusiastic, and kind person who always sees the best in others. Todd will be greatly missed by St Mary's staff, students, and community.

We wish Todd all the best in his new career as a Fire Fighter.