Term 3, Week 1 - Issue 11

From the Principal

Dear St Mary’s College Community,

Welcome to Term 3. We extend a particularly warm welcome to all the students and families who have joined our community at the start of this term. Our Reception class is doing a great job of settling into school life. 

Next week we celebrate Dominican Week, and we have all the excitement of our school musical. Even if your child is not involved in the musical, it is a wonderful experience. Please bring your family along to support the cast and crew. 

The opening verse of our College theme song for the year captures the essence of our purpose as a Dominican school: to make a difference in the world. 

We are the salt of the earth, 

called to let the people see 

the love of God for you and me. 

We are the light of the world, 

not to be hidden but be seen. 

Go make a diff’rence in the world. 

In the weeks leading up to the term break, our Year 11 students participated in service learning. Students worked in outreach-focused settings and had an experience of giving to the community. For 23 students and 4 staff, this service was in Cambodia. It was wonderful to return to the community there and contribute to educating young people. Later this term, another group will head to Kenmore Park, located within the APY Lands near the South Australia and Northern Territory border. 

Service and immersion is always an experience of learning about ourselves as we encounter others. The act of service always holds within it the capacity to impact the giver. Generosity breeds goodness in the world. 

The service and mission of Jesus deeply inspired Dominic. He led his followers with this in his heart. Through our celebration of Dominican Week, we can reflect on what being part of a Dominican community means for how we offer service to others. 

Enjoy the week ahead, and happy feast day!

Clare Nocka


Dominican Week

Dominican Week is an important celebration for our St Mary’s College community, as we celebrate the Feast of our patron Saint Dominic de Guzman and our Dominican story and history. 

We will begin the week with a Eucharistic Celebration as a whole school community. During the week students will take part in creating a “Dominican Door Display” judged by Ms Nocka and Ms Bawden.

On Friday we will gather for a BBQ lunch and students will take part in the “Domazing Race” , working in teams, racing to complete clues and find all the Dominican sisters!

The BBQ lunch will be free for students, and $2 soft drinks will be available for purchase with proceeds supporting Zonta Birthing Kits. Inspired by St Dominic, he responded to the needs of his time by selling his precious books to help those less fortunate. Dominic also walked everywhere that he journeyed. As a community, we are motivated to respond to our time's needs and do good things together.

We look forward to celebrating this special week in the St Mary’s Calendar.

English Highlights

From Shakespeare to Shrek, our English classes have been filled with creative and engaging learning this year.

English provides the opportunity for students to develop an appreciation of the texts around us, from the classics to contemporary media.

For the first time this year, a new Literacy course has been introduced in Year 8. The course aims to build skills around some of the core aspects of literacy with a little bit of fun. Every week, students engage in independent reading and a range of activities to build on their current learning. Students have studied word origins, how to write effective paragraphs and worked on building their vocabulary.

Excitingly, at the end of Term 2, our Year 8 students  engaged in a competition centred around a novel they had read as part of their literacy work. Students were asked to create a short-form video encouraging others to read their book. Three winners were selected from an expert panel, and students were then able to use their voice and help decide a People’ s Choice winner.

  • First Place: Caitlin D-B
  • Second Place: Milla V
  • Third Place: Max J
  • People’s Choice: Nevada C

Congratulations to the winners and a special thanks goes to the entire year level for their hard work and creativity.

The judges now have a lot more books to add to their reading lists.


Erin Doherty
English Learning Area Leader

Old Scholar STEM Entrepreneur

Old scholar Brinda Murlikrishna (Class of 2020) has recently been featured on the ABC radio station and website, as well as the Canberra Times, for her 3D-printed smart plant pot ‘Francesco’!

Francesco, a design project undertaken by Brinda and three of her fellow students from the Australian National University, is a plant that can remind you to care for it, ask you how your day is going, and dance along to music. This innovative plant can identify what a plant needs and communicates this, acting as the embodiment of the plant inside the pot. Some of Francesco’s features include an LCD screen with various animations, a sunlight, motion, and soil moisture sensor, and a speaker and microphone.

Over the last six months, Francesco was bought to life with the great efforts of Brinda and her team. Throughout her time at St Mary’s College, Brinda was interested in designing 3D models and explained that this project was a “really rewarding experience, and I can only hope that more students and DIY-lovers are inspired to undertake their own Francesco project at home”.

Brinda is a STEM student, currently studying a Bachelor of Information Technology at The Australian National University, from which she earned an Australian Excellence Scholarship through her impressive ATAR while at St Mary’s. She is also the vice president of the Australian National University Dance Club and has been elected as the Course Representative for one of her classes.

Brinda hopes to one day see a ‘Francesco’ in our households or larger agricultural environments - we hope so too!