Past and present students and teachers gathered to celebrate a special anniversary and reunion at St Aloysius School, Caulfield. Operating as a campus of St Anthony’s School, Glen Huntly, from the beginning of 2019, St Aloysius School served the Catholic community of Caulfield for 100 years.
The community at Aquinas College, Ringwood, gathered on Thursday 15 August 2019 for the Feast of the Assumption. Fr Michael Kelly from Yarra Theological Union celebrated Mass with over 1700 students and staff from the college.
Melbourne’s Catholic schools walked in solidarity with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to support National Reconciliation Week. The theme for 2019 was ‘Grounded in truth, walk together with courage’.
More than 2000 Catholic school students and teachers gathered on Wednesday 23 October 2019 at St Patrick’s Cathedral for the annual Children’s Mission Mass. The Mass forms part of the month of Mission recognised every October. The event also coincided with Children’s Day.
Lumen Christi School, Point Cook, was named MS Readathon’s top fundraising school in Australia. The participating students raised close to $25,000 by reading as many books as they could during August to help children who have a parent living with MS.
The Mini Vinnies team at St Luke’s School, Wantirna, received a Leader Local Grant to help them continue to support families. Giving up their own time, the Mini Vinnies worked during lunchtimes and after school to prepare meals for vulnerable families.
Ave Maria College, Aberfeldie, and Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, were named in The Educator’s Innovative Schools 2019 list. The two schools were recognised for their significant effort to break new ground in teaching and learning.
St Mary MacKillop Catholic Primary School, Bannockburn, won the ‘Landscaping/Outdoor Learning Area’ category for Victoria in the 15th Learning Environments Awards. These are held each year to celebrate the standards of educational planning and design, and to showcase best practice in the industry.
Holy Rosary School, Kensington, was awarded with the Peter Craig School Award (non-government primary school category) in the 2019 Science Talent Search. Holy Rosary’s entries in the competition were selected from the school’s Science Fair. The school was awarded 12 bursaries, including seven major and five minor.
Four Melbourne Catholic schools had their gardens recognised in the Victorian Schools Garden Awards (VSGA) for 2019. St Raphael’s School, Preston West, St John’s School, Footscray, Bethany Catholic Primary School, Werribee North, and Catholic Regional College, Sydenham, were recipients of the awards.
Marcellin College, Bulleen, was awarded its 20th consecutive Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria (AGSV) cross country title. The college’s cross country community has continued to grow every year and these titles come only with the dedicated support of staff in charge and the families that are there every weekend, supporting the young men.
St Aloysius’ School, Queenscliff, was named as one of three finalists in the education category for the Premier’s Sustainability Awards 2019.
Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School, Roxburgh Park, was a finalist in the 2019 Victorian Early Years Awards under Category 4: Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing. The school developed ASPIRE – a project aimed at supporting students and their families by providing earlier access to a range of early childhood education, health and development support services.
A garden designed and created by students at St Joseph’s School, Sorrento, led to the school being named one of the finalists in the 2019 Tidy Towns Sustainable Communities Awards. The garden began when students in Years 5 and 6 wanted to celebrate the United Nations International Year of Indigenous Languages, and to encourage a wider range of birds, native bees and insects into the school grounds.
The VCAL Achievement Awards also recognise the exceptional efforts of community partners who have played significant roles in the development and delivery of VCAL programs. In 2019, the Trade Training Centre at Catholic Regional College, Sydenham, won the VCAL Partner Achievement Award – Workplace Training.
Two primary schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne celebrated their success in netball and basketball. St John Vianney’s School, Parkdale East, was announced as School of the Year in the 2019 Netball Victoria Community Awards, and the girls basketball team from Stella Maris School, Beaumaris, won the state basketball girls grand final.
Mount St Joseph Girls’ College, Altona, hosted the Aurecon Bridge Building Competition for 2019. Students Augustina, Tam and Sarvleen represented the college in the competition and were awarded first prize for building the strongest bridge.
Rihan Rofaeel from Kolbe Catholic College, Greenvale Lakes, was awarded a Corporal Cameron Baird VC MG Memorial Award by Hume City Council. Rihan was one of two recipients of the Leading From the Front Achievement Award and shared the $5000 prize.
Prue Spencer from Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, won the national Wool4School competition in the Year 10 category with her design Dressed to See. Prue designed a fashionable outfit that would also assist visually impaired and blind young women aged between 13 and 20.
The VCAL Achievement Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of students who have participated in and completed a VCAL qualification. In April 2019, Dana Yap from John Paul College, Frankston, was presented with the VCAL Student Achievement Award – Senior Outstanding Achievement.
In 2019, Harry Amad of Xavier College, Kew, received an All-Round VCE High Achievers Award for achieving study scores of 46 or higher in at least five VCE studies. Study Awards were also presented to 45 students from Melbourne’s Catholic schools, recognising their outstanding achievements in the VCE.
Gabrielle from St Michael’s School, Ashburton, and Isabella from Genazzano FCJ College, Kew, were named winners in the #ihaveyourback poster competition. Students from across the state designed posters that focused on the values of ‘upstander behaviour’ to address bullying. The winning posters were then distributed to Victorian Catholic schools.
Five female students from Salesian College, Sunbury, were declared the national secondary school winners of the 2019 Tech Girl Superhero challenge.
The students designed an app to check in with young people and offer them a space to develop skills in reflection and breathing/de-escalation, as well as a planner to assist with time management.
In 2019, Archbishop Peter A Comensoli presented the prestigious Fr James Wall Bursary to the following Year 10 students from schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne:
- Heidi Bakker from St Ignatius College Geelong, Drysdale
- Charlie Borracci from Sacred Heart College, Newtown
- Michael Alexander Lapina from Thomas Carr College, Tarneit
- Chelsea Tomada from Catholic Ladies’ College, Eltham
- Patrick Gannon from Christian Brothers’ College, St Kilda East.
Lara Vulic of St John’s Regional College, Dandenong, was one of three students selected as co-curators for Emergent 2018, an exhibition held at Bunjil Place showcasing outstanding works by young artists from the City of Casey.
Students from four of Melbourne’s Catholic secondary schools were recognised by the 2019 Premier’s Spirit of Anzac Prize.
Sian Cadogan-Cowper from Catholic Ladies’ College, Eltham, took part in a study tour to Vietnam. Rachel Colosimo from Kolbe Catholic College, Greenvale Lakes, Lola Derrick-Wright from Academy of Mary Immaculate, Fitzroy, and Sarah Stanko from Santa Maria College, Northcote, visited Canberra as part of their prize.
Layla West from Mount St Joseph Girls’ College, Altona, was awarded the title of Hobsons Bay City Council’s 2019 Young Citizen of the Year for her work in junior sports development and Down syndrome awareness.
Asheriya Charan from Thomas Carr College, Tarneit, and Madeline McVeigh from Catholic Ladies’ College, Eltham, were crowned winner and runner-up, respectively, in the Intermediate Section (Years 7 to 9) of the Young Journalist Award 2019. The students were encouraged to find inspiring family stories in their community, interview those involved and write them up as stories for Australian Catholics magazine.
Alex De Cesar from Marcellin College, Bulleen, competed in a Chinese language and culture contest against students from around the world and finished in third place. Alex was one of 120 students from 20 countries to have made it past their local round and compete in the ‘Chinese Bridge’ Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students in China.
Catholic Ladies’ College, Eltham, Deputy Principal Georgia Heffernan was one of the four high-performing school leaders from Victorian schools to have been awarded the Menzies School Leader Fellowship.
Kristine Smith from the Student Learning Support team at St Bernard’s College, Essendon, received the ‘Community Do it Better Award’ at the 2019 Scope Awards. Kristine and her colleagues Guy Logan and Lynette Dawson collaborated with students, teachers and Scope therapists to support the needs of a student with disabilities at the school.
VCAL award winners>
The VCAL Achievement Awards also recognise the exceptional efforts of teachers who have played significant roles in the development and delivery of VCAL programs. The VCAL Teacher Achievement Award winners from Melbourne’s Catholic schools were:
- Kerryn Katel from Assumption College, Kilmore
- Hannah Studd and Denise Walker from MacKillop Specialist School, Whittington.