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The Southern Cross May 2023 Edition

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Catholic School Parents SA (CSPSA) Information

Catholic School Parents SA (CSPSA) continues to present the Parent Engagement Program and welcomes all parents and carers of children in Catholic schools to attend. It is a privilege to present an inspirational evening with Gill Hicks MBE AM. Gill Hicks is globally known as a survivor of the London terrorist bombings on July 7th, 2005. She survived, but suffered severe and permanent injuries, losing both legs from just below the knee. Gill is a published author, musician, award winning artist and performer. Gill’s appreciation and gratitude for life is present throughout all her creative works. Her presentation Resilience – will be a raw conversation on her life experience, gratitude for life and how it relates to families. Attendees will leave the event feeling empowered, inspired, and grateful to continue to their parenting and education journey. The event will be limited to 300 in person Catholic school family attendees. There will be online option with live streaming. The details of the event are in the attached flyer and below:

Date: 30 May 2023 @ 6:30pm – 8:00pm

Location: Loreto College – Performing Arts Centre 316 Portrush Road Marryatville SA

Cost: Free

The SAC Old Scholars Choir is back in 2023!
The choir is led by Kate Lewis (Class of 2014). The choir will rehearse fortnightly on Tuesday evenings in May and June and will perform at our annual Winter Cocktail Party. If you're interested be sure to sign up and join us for our first rehearsal! Click here to register for the choir!


We are thrilled to invite all staff and students to join us in celebrating ‘The School that Hope Built’ Book Launch in Adelaide, taking place on Wednesday 7 June (5:30-7pm) in the McAuley Auditorium at St Aloysius College.

Written by our wonderful colleague and Old Scholar, Ms Maddie Kelly, this book will give a unique insight into the history of The School of St Jude in Tanzania.

Please note this is a free event, but RSVP by is a must. Click here to register your attendance and get your tickets!

Please share with family and friends who may be interested in SAC's Mid-Year Reception Intake 2023

Christian Brothers College, Adelaide

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Co- Curricular
From The Principal

Acknowledgement of Country

From the Acting Principal

Mr Nick Tattoli
Acting Principal

Dear Parents/Guardians, Friends & Students of SAC,

Term 2 is upon us and I hope that our students had a chance to refresh and rejuvenate during the recent holiday break.

This morning we came together to celebrate and bless the most important people in the world – our Mums and significant women in our lives! It was a real treat for our students to celebrate with their mums and to be able to share conversations and breakfast with our community. I wish all of the significant women in our lives a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day this Sunday.

It was a pleasure to host over 20 old scholars at our Alumni Breakfast on Tuesday. We truly appreciate our alumni taking the time out of their busy schedules to be with us, they were such a source of inspiration for our Year 11 and 12 students and were able to share their vast and diverse experiences. Our keynote speaker was Erica Nunn, Class of 2016, currently an engineer at Micro-X, a leading portable X-ray equipment manufacturer and supplier focussed on global medical and security markets. Erica was able to relate beautifully with the girls as she described her decision making around school subjects, tertiary pathways and entering the workforce. Along with all our alumni, Erica spoke about the opportunities that she embraced throughout her journey, especially as a young woman making strides in a traditionally male-dominated field. Hearing from past students is so powerful, it makes the journey real, and serves to be both grounding and inspirational. Thanks to our Careers and VET Coordinator, Julie Stephenson, and our Careers Education Support Teacher, Rachel Gould, for their work in organising the event, which kicks off a number of activities for Careers Week next week.

The Sr Judith Redden Centre was abuzz with conversation earlier this week as we held the first evening of Learning Reviews for Reception to Year 12s. There was a great vibe across the event and important and supportive discussions were had, solidifying the partnerships between parents/caregivers and teachers in supporting the academic and wellbeing development of our students.

Congratulations to our SAC swim team who last week were crowned aggregate champions at the Catholic Girls Schools Swimming Carnival. There were some brilliant individual efforts amongst the group, but the whole team stood up across the day to bring the shield home! Congratulations to all involved!

St Aloysius was represented by Catch 22 and the Stage Band at the Generations in Jazz Music Festival in Mount Gambier last weekend. Twenty-eight students embarked on the journey along with our music staff. Once again the students performed some outstanding numbers to the delight of the strong crowd, all of whom were proud to be back performing live again after COVID-19 hindered the event in previous years. It is such a large undertaking for the students and families to make the trek to Mount Gambier across the three days and we extend our thanks to Fiona Turner, Stephanie Neale, Nicole Wedding and Tennille Gibson for their tremendous commitment in providing this experience for the girls.

Our Year 2s and 3s have enjoyed their camping experiences this week, with the Year 3s appreciating farm life at Nanu Farm and 2SC spending tonight immersing themselves in the wonderful sights and sounds of the Adelaide Zoo at night! The camps are such a highlight for the students and provide just another opportunity for the girls to connect, interact and learn in a space outside the classroom.

Finally, good luck to our sporting teams who are preparing for the commencement of the winter season this week! As you can see, there have been some outstanding activities and opportunities that our community has been involved in already this term. I hope you'll enjoy reading more about them further in this newsletter.

Mr Nick Tattoli
Acting Principal


Sara, our SAC Palaeontology Star!

James Moore Memorial Prize in Palaeontology

Last year, Year 11 student Sara did St Aloysius College very proud by applying for and winning the James Moore Memorial Prize in Palaeontology. Sara won $400 and the opportunity to participate in a 7-10-day field trip to Wellington Caves in NSW alongside staff and students from Flinders University.

The field trip to Wellington Caves in NSW ran last term with the third-year palaeontology class. Over this time, Sara immersed herself in all of the activities, which ranged from excavating fossils of ancient marsupials in an excavation pit 6 metres down into the floor of Cathedral Cave, to getting muddy, wet and cold sieving mud for bones, to sorting and identifying tiny skeletal remains and cooking for 30 people during a blackout!

Gavin Prideaux, Professor of Palaeontology, reflected: "Sara was a shining star at all times being positive, enthusiastic, kind and helpful: a great team member. The students embraced her as one of their own, taking her under their wings from the start."

To read Sara's 'James Moore Memorial Prize' Submission, click here.

Although some people think Palaeontology is a wasted science as they wrongfully assume it’s in the past and therefore has no relevancy today, it is incredibly important to understanding our modern planet. Palaeontology is principal to the theory of evolution as fossil records show animals that have never been seen and changes in evolutionary patterns over time. Fossil records show us how life has changed over time and how living things responded to climate and landscape change, which help us predict what will happen in our future. Knowing how Earth’s ecosystems functioned millions of years ago allows us to understand how they function today and how they may function in the future.

It would be a great opportunity to take part in an expedition as I am interested in pursuing Palaeontology in university. I have a genuine interest in prehistory and fossils and have found it interesting since I was young. Not only am I interested in palaeontology, but I am also passionate about archaeology, geology, and the fossilisation process. I would be honoured to have the opportunity to help commemorate the memory of James Moore so his passion can remain an inspiration to other young, aspiring Palaeontologists.

-Sara St Aloysius College

SARA'S Reflection of the experience

Last year in May, I was given the opportunity to enter a competition run by the Palaeontology department at Flinders University to win a weeklong trip to a Palaeontological dig site with them. They set up this prize in memory of James Moore, a former student at Flinders who passed away at just 24. I was lucky enough to win this prize and go on the trip with Flinders, and I will never forget the experience.

Our journey was to the Wellington Caves in NSW, an almost thirteen-hour bus ride. We drove for two days, through small towns with names like Manangatang, Rankins springs, Yeoval, and even the town where Banjo Patterson used to live. I was apprehensive at first, because I didn’t know anybody that was going, and they were also all third year Uni students, but after a few hours on the first day, they made me feel so welcome and included. We arrived on the second day at a research station just outside the town of Wellington, where we set up our tents that we would all be living in for the week.

When we were all set up the following day, the first thing I got to do was called wet sieving. It’s a method of separating the sediments like dirt and clay from the fossils inside. The cave that the sediments were from had recently been flooded, so there was a lot of clay and mud left over that we had to sort through. When you excavate, it’s easy to miss fossils that are small like the ones we caught in the sieves, so everyone at the sieves was finding things like vertebrae, femurs, incisors, and teeth, so many teeth! Everything that we excavated and sieved is over 50,000 years old.

The second activity I did was sorting. This is the step after sieving. The basic idea is to separate all the dirt from the bone and then identify the types of bones you have. It’s tedious, because some of the bones are so small you need a magnifying glass to look at them properly. This was difficult for me because I didn’t know how to correctly identify what bones I had, but everyone was very helpful and helped me to identify what I was sorting through.

The third main activity we did was excavation. This was arguably the most exciting part of the trip and it’s the part that most people think of when I told them I went on a Palaeontology trip. This was where we actually got to dig for fossils. We worked in the Cathedral cave, which is called that because of ‘The Altar’ which is a fifteen-meter tall stalagmite that used to be used for real sermons in the 19th and 20th century. In our groups, we worked in ‘The Pit’ which is a seven-meter-deep excavation shaft next to the altar, which is already 20 or so meters below the surface. We found so many interesting things while excavating, including a bird skull, and the most amazing find in my opinion, was parts of Thylacoleo carnifex, the ancient marsupial lion. It was a large predator of ancient Australia, about the size of a lion, with huge claws and teeth. We found two jaws, a lot of molar teeth, and I uncovered parts of its pelvis bone. Our theory is that there was a Thylacoleo mother we nicknamed Felicia, and her baby that fell down into the cave and unfortunately died. We thought this because a lot of the bones we were finding were considerably smaller than the others, and the teeth were less worn than the larger teeth as well. This was an amazing opportunity and I am inspired to keep studying Palaeontology when I leave school.

SARA Replies ON Why SHE thinkS this program could be great to other students:

I know many students that prefer to learn hands on, and I think it is an amazing way to get people engaged in things they might not have otherwise been able to do. This trip that I went on was something I could have never pictured myself having the opportunity to do, working on an actual Palaeontological dig site. I think opportunities like this one allow students to learn more about what they want to pursue after school, instead of having to enroll in a course they might not enjoy a year later.

Recreated image of the Thylacoleo carnifex


Learnings and Laughter along the Larapinta Trail


During the month of April, a small group of Year 11 Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award students and four staff members set off to hike the Larapinta Trail. The trail, which starts just outside of Alice Springs, spans 223 kilometres. It has been one of Australia’s most popular hiking trails for nearly 30 years. The great sites along the Larrapinta Trail are sacred to the Arrernte (pronounced Ah-runda) people, who have permitted tourists and walkers to visit them.

We were all beyond excited to get there and start our challenging yet rewarding experience. The adventure really began when we drove from the airport straight to the start of the trail. We faced many challenges, both mentally and physically, over the course of 10 days. During the trek we visited significant cultural sites such as Simpson’s Gap, Jay Creek, Standley Chasm, Birthday Waterhole, Hugh Gorge, Ellery Creek, Serpentine Gorge, Serpentine Chalet Dam, Ormiston Gorge, Finke River and Redback Gorge. These are sites that tourists from around the world visit Australia to see!

Throughout the trip, the beautiful waterholes kept us cool and motivated, with the weather reaching scorching temperatures. Despite the heat, we all had a great time exploring the campsites and surroundings, and learning about the stories and species that connect with the West MacDonell Ranges. The atmosphere was wonderful, and the views, stunning.

Coming to the end of the trail, the teachers surprised us with a stay at Glen Helen Resort by the Finke River, which meant that we had access to a well-needed shower. During our stay, the weather dropped dramatically to around 12 degrees and and we experienced a tropical cyclone. So, with no driving or walking able to happen over the final couple of days, we kept ourselves busy by playing card games, we watched a movie, and ventured into Alice Springs to experience its museums and the beautiful Ochre Pits.

We came out with blisters, scratches, sore bodies, but what overrides these minor discomforts are so many good memories that we will cherish forever, closer connections with friends and teachers, and resilience. We became stronger, and we all agree that we would take the opportunity to do it all over again.

We would like to thank the amazing staff: Ms Louise Tunney, Ms Danielle Toubia and, Ms Julie Stephenson for, taking this journey with us, as it would have been impossible to complete without their care and support. We especially say a massive thank you to Mr Alan Brown for arranging the whole trip, keeping us entertained with his ‘Dad jokes’, and for saving the day, every day.

Written by Year 11 Larapinta Trail hikers 2023: Mya, Isabelle, Grace, Isabella, Abbey, Abbie & Alicia

Edited by Maddie Kelly
Marketing & Communications Team


ANZAC Day Wreath Laying Ceremony

We thank Liliana and Daniela who have collectively written a small reflection about the ANZAC Day Wreath Laying Ceremony and its importance to them.

April 25th has significance to both Australians and Italians. ANZAC Day is one of remembrance for those who fought for Australia. Moreover, it coincides with the day commemorating Italy's Liberation from Fascism. We were fortunate enough to represent St Aloysius College at a Wreath Laying Ceremony, commemorating both occasions, with representatives from the Australian and Italian military, Italian Carabinieri and Italian Consulate in attendance. At the event, we read four Prayers for the Fallen in Italian and laid a wreath on behalf of the youth. We were honoured to be asked, as this event has personal significance to us and our family. 

Daniela 11LN & Liliana 9SM


From the Catherine McAuley Library

Ms Ali Ripberger
Teacher‑Librarian & Information Services 

Coloured leaves & changing trees!

Our junior primary students have enjoyed stories about changes that autumn brings to our environment. Coloured leaves, changing trees and cooler weather were explored through The ABC Book of Seasons and Jane Godwin’s All Through The Year, beautifully illustrated by Anna Walker. Our students took inspiration from autumn leaves around our school and our homes to create their own Leaf Critters. The results were so varied, creative, clever and colourful. It is always special to see our students responding to texts through their own imagination.

Ms Ali Ripberger
Teacher‑Librarian & Information Services Coordinator


From the Deputy Principal (Pastoral Care)

Ms Jacqui Mcilroy
Deputy Principal
(Pastoral Care)

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and significant women in our students' lives

Today we enjoyed a wonderful celebration of Mothers and significant women in our students’ lives with a special breakfast and blessing. With over 150 in attendance, this was a special event, bringing together students and families across the primary and secondary school

It was a time to reflect on our Mums and the significant women we know and all they do for us. Students wrote heart-warming messages to show their appreciation and we captured special moments in the photobooth.

We were treated to special performances by the secondary flute ensemble and string trio and our primary choir, who sang from the heart with a special tribute to their mothers and the special women in the room.

Thank you to all the staff who supported this special event, including the Year Level Coordinators, Marketing team, Music teachers, Admin team, Maintenance and IT.

We hope all Mums have a great day this Sunday and you are showered with love and blessings from your family. 

Ms Jacqui Mcilroy
Deputy Principal (Pastoral Care)


From the Secondary Sport Coordinator

Ms Meg Henderson
Secondary Sport Coordinator

winter sport has begun!

Winter sport has begun, with our netball, badminton and soccer teams set to take part in their Round 1 matches this weekend! Our senior AFL team were also off to a successful start, winning their first away game against Cabra by three points on Wednesday afternoon!

A reminder that all players are expected to be at their matches 15 minutes prior to the start time. Please check over the venue maps on the Term 2/3 sport portal.

Absentee policy

Absentee policy: If your daughter cannot attend a scheduled training or game, a parent or caregiver must notify the sport coordinator (Meg Henderson) via text/call to the sport phone or email (see contact below). At least 24 hours notice is preferred in order to source fill ins or notify opposition of a forfeit.
Ph: 0447 937 709 E: [email protected]

Knockout Sport

We have a couple of important knockout competitions coming up in the sport calendar, with our open AFL team playing their first round on Tuesday of Week 3, and our 7/8 netballers to play their first round in Week 6.  Stay tuned for results in the newsletters to come!

Knockout sport competitions offer our girls who excel in particular sports a chance to challenge themselves against other talented individuals and teams across SA. If your daughter plays club at a high level, we encourage them to keep an eye on the school bulletin for upcoming trial dates and opportunities.

Sporting Spotlight

Last week, the SAC swim team competed at the Catholic Girls Schools Swimming Carnival. Out of the six competing schools, SAC were the aggregate champions on the day which is an amazing achievement. Our team was not only stacked with some awesome club swimmers, but also several students who came along to get points for their school and fill events last minute - so thank you to all who gave up their time to represent SAC in this competition.

Here are some special highlights and results from the day:

  • U13 Division – 3rd Place
  • U14 Division – 1st Place
  • U15 Division – 1st Place
  • U16 Division – 3rd Place
  • 16+ - 3rd Place
  • Aggregate – 1st Place

Individual Meet Records

  • Amelia Williams – Girls U13 50 Backstroke Division 1
  • Amelia Williams – Girls U13 50 Freestyle Division 1
  • Diana Rezaei – Girls U14 40 Freestyle Division 1
  • Delilah McMahon – Girls U15 Breaststroke Division 2
  • Lucinda Lugg – Girls U14 50 Breaststroke Division 2
  • Milika Hussaini – Girls U15 50 Freestyle Division 3
  • Nicole Seaman – Girls U15 50 Backstroke Division 3
  • Lavender McMahon – Girls U14 50 Freestyle Division 3
  • June Ryu – Girls U14 50 Freestyle Division 4
  • Eloise O’Conner – Girls U13 50 Freestyle Division 4


The 'Blankets of Love Initiative' is Back!


From the Music Department

Ms Fiona Turner
Music Coordinator

The cold, wet and muddy conditions didn’t dampen OUR SAC musicianS' spirits AT ALL!

Last weekend, Catch 22 and the Stage Band headed off to Mt Gambier to participate in the annual Generations in Jazz Festival, joining 4,500 students from all around Australia. As well as putting on fantastic performances, students watched other schools, participated in workshops, heard some amazing professional jazz musicians in three different concerts, and were treated to Australia’s only concert by Swedish group Dirty Loops. This concert saw thousands of students on their feet and grooving to this amazing band.

Beyond the festival, the group also visited local sites including the Umpherston Sinkhole and Blue Lake.

Attending this event was a fantastic opportunity to interact with, and learn from, other passionate musicians and the supportive atmosphere helped our ensembles perform with enthusiasm and confidence. The highlights of the weekend included being able to participate in the workshops, learning jazz improvisational and vocal skills, and an awesome weekend was had by all. We are incredibly proud of the commitment demonstrated by the groups and their director, Ms Stephanie Neale, as well as the growth in skills which has been evident throughout. Thanks also to the families and staff who travelled down to support the students.

Sienna Hill, Rita Caprioli and Ms Turner


From the Careers Department

Ms Julie Stephenson
Careers & VET Coordinator

SAC Alumni Breakfast

As a precursor to National Careers Week, we commenced celebrations with the SAC Alumni Breakfast. It was an absolute privilege to welcome back an array of professional women who shared their stories and insights with current senior students. We are so thankful for their willingness to participate in an event that allows students to hear from female role models who understand their journey and have emerged as compelling advocates for their professions. We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all alumni and particularly to Erica Nunn who delivered a fascinating presentation about her role as a Systems Engineer. Erica shared her journey from school through to her current position which includes development of equipment to tackle major health issues. Mechanisms for prompt diagnosis and treatment are both inspiring and captivating. As students navigate their way through the labyrinth of post school opportunities, we hope they take away greater vision and clarity from our old scholars.

University of Adelaide Information Event for Medicine, Dentistry and Oral Health

Held on Tuesday 16 May 2023, students and parents are invited to learn about admission requirements for the:

  • Bachelor of Medical Studies and Doctor of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Dental Surgery
  • Bachelor of Oral Health

Everything you’ll need to know about entering these degrees in 2024 will be presented, followed by a Q & A session with current students from these programs.

Medicine Admissions Information Session: Tuesday 16 May, 6.00pm, Braggs Lecture Theatre

Dentistry and Oral Health Admissions Information Session: Tuesday 16 May, 7.00pm, Braggs Lecture Theatre

Click here to learn more about the Medicine, Dentistry and Oral Health Admissions Information Sessions

Coming Soon, next week!


Snippets from the Languages Department

‘Let’s Talk’ Seminar

Congratulations to three of our Stage 2 Indonesian students who attended a ‘Let’s Talk’ Seminar during the April School holidays to build up their conversation skills.

Keira, Caitlin & Tali reflect on their experience:

"In the April holidays we were so happy to be able to attend the 'Let’s Talk' Seminar at the School of Languages. During the day we were immersed into the Indonesian language. We spent the day speaking the language with each other, developing our oral communication skills. This experience was very beneficial for our confidence when speaking Indonesian and will help with our end of year orals. We were very interested when learning more about the culture and Indonesian lifestyle. We are very thankful for our teacher Ms Barletta for letting us know about this opportunity and for all the instructors there on the day." Keira, Caitlin & Tali (Year 11 students)

Cartes de fête des mères

Our Year 8 students were busy this week preparing cards in French for their mums or women they want to honour. Take a look at their wonderful creations!


Attention all Years 7, 8 and 9 students

On Thursday 18 May (Week 3), Brainstorm Productions will be presenting their student wellbeing performance ‘Wired' for Years 7-9.

The performance follows the journey of two students who are struggling to manage their mental health, relationships and online experiences. When their worlds collide, the audience must help them find a different path.

Wired is an interactive theatre experience that tackles some of the big issues affecting Australian students, including social isolation, anxiety, stress, depression, (cyber)bullying, online safety, school stressors and pressure from social media. It addresses barriers to help-seeking and provides strategies for resilience, problem-solving, goal-setting and positive mental health.

‘Wired' is part of our student wellbeing curriculum and has been developed by education and mental health professionals. This engaging live performance uses humour, audience participation, relatable characters and real student experiences to spark conversations and facilitate further learning in the classroom.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me – [email protected]

Thursday 18 May in the McAuley Auditorium

(The performance will be viewed at separate times throughout the day)


From the Justice & Mercy Team

We are heading into a very busy (and exciting) term for the Justice and Mercy group! We appreciate the support from students of all ages and our SAC families with each JAM initiative.  

Firstly, I would like to warmly welcome Mia Konopka back to SAC! Mia graduated last year and has joined us as JAM Support Coordinator and already is demonstrating wonderful care and leadership. We are very lucky to have her on board.  

SolarBuddy Lights - Laudato Si’ Week

In Week 4, we recognise Laudato Si’ Week, for which the theme this year is ‘Hope for the earth. Hope for humanity.’  Eight years ago, Pope Francis wrote a letter named Laudato Si’,  calling on all people to take, “swift and unified global action,’ to address issues of consumerism, land degradation and global warming. In recognition of Laudato Si’ Week and to heed this important call, some Year 11 and Year 9 students will be assembling solar lights from an organisation named SolarBuddy. These lights will be returned to SolarBuddy once they are assembled, and then distributed to people in developing nations who experience energy poverty – in other words, people who do not have access to reliable electricity. 

National Reconciliation Week – Week 5 

During Week 5, we will celebrate National Reconciliation Week, which is a very important event for our school community. As a school with a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP), a dedicated RAP committee with parent, student, staff and leadership ambassadors, and a community that promotes inclusivity and justice, we will recognise this week in a range of ways. Students are encouraged to regularly check the notices to see how they can get involved.  

Clothing Drive for Pipalyatjara 

It is getting cold in the APY Lands! Since 2010, SAC students and staff have been visiting Pipalyatjara, a remote community in the far north-west corner of South Australia, more than 1,800 kilometres from Adelaide. It is usually very dry and hot in the summer months, but winter is often freezing, with daily temperatures averaging 10-12 degrees Celsius. It can be difficult for people to source weather-appropriate clothing due to the community’s remote location.  

Each year, SAC runs a clothing drive to collect warm clothing and blankets for the people in Pipalyatjara.   

If you have any items to donate, please place them in the plastic tubs next to the Vinnies’ bins in the front foyer. We specifically need: 

  • Socks 
  • Hoodies 
  • Trackies 
  • Warm blankets 

Adelaide Day Centre volunteering 

We are extremely grateful to all students who have put their hand up to volunteer at the Adelaide Day Centre! We have been overwhelmed with the number of students wishing to volunteer, versus the number of students the Adelaide Day Centre can accommodate. Please be patient as we work out a fair roster, and students are asked to pay attention to the morning notices to find out which week they are rostered on to volunteer. If you would still like to register, please email [email protected].