Acknowledgement of Country
Dear Parents/Guardians, Friends & Students of SAC,
It has been a fortnight of celebrations at St Aloysius College! The Graduation Dinner was a highlight, with students, families and staff gathering at Donato Reception Centre to honour the amazing young women who make up the Class of 2023. Forty staff were present on the evening, which indicates the level of connection these students have with their teachers and support staff, with 23 of the graduates having been at SAC since Reception and many who also attended the Chancery Lane Early Learning Centre. For me, the highlight of the evening was seeing staff, students and parents take to the dance floor together. I looked around the room and was deeply moved by the strength of these relationships, making space for every student to be completely themselves. Thanks to everyone who attended, and especially to Year 12 Coordinators Nicoletta Romanelli and Carolyne Williams, for making the evening such a resounding success.
Graduates from decades past (1983, 1993, 2003 and 2013) came together in the SAC Staff Room last Friday evening to reminisce and spend time together. As I spoke with a group from 2013, I was impressed by how many different directions their lives have taken beyond school and how much they have achieved in the last decade! From business owners to engineers, physiotherapists to teachers, they have all had the courage to try different things since graduation and have found fulfilment in diverse careers. Many of them spoke about how their Mercy education developed the character and the values that have helped them navigate life.
Year 4 and Year 7 students put on a concert for their families this week to demonstrate how far they have come as a result of the Music Immersion program at SAC. To take up a new instrument is a challenge and it was impressive to see what they have accomplished in such a short time. Undoubtedly, many students will continue to learn Music as a result of this immersion and that will have great benefits for the students themselves as well as our bands and orchestra. Thanks to the instrumental tutors and Music staff who make this program happen.
Yesterday, 27 students from Years 7 to 9 gathered in the Board Room for a Morning Tea to recognise their outstanding contribution to justice and mercy activities across the school this year. The Mercy Matters program was launched in 2023 to revitalise our commitment to community service, previously captured through the Mercy in Action Passport (or MiAP). Middle years students recorded their activities since Term 1 and those who have accrued significant hours receive a certificate, whilst those who have the highest levels of participation are invited to a Morning Tea with the Leadership Team. I would like to thank Kate O’Reilly and Sarah Kennedy for their work in launching Mercy Matters and I look forward to seeing this program enable more Years 7 to 9 students find new ways to express their commitment to Mercy values.
We said Bon Voyage to our French Study Tour students on Wednesday morning. This is the first Language immersion trip that has been possible since 2019, so both students and staff were excited to head off. My thanks to Languages Coordinator, Jane Mahar, for her meticulous planning and to Anne-Marie Prior and Nicoletta Romanelli, who will also accompany the 11 students on this overseas adventure. We are proud of the thriving Languages program at SAC and the opportunity to experience culture and language together is one of the exciting ways we promote Language learning - we wish the travellers all the very best!
Rehearsals are in full flight for SAC Spectacular next week. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Ms Paddy McEvoy
Gifts for Sister Janet Mead’s Adelaide Day Centre for Homeless Persons
Although the days are warming up and summer looks to be long and hot in Adelaide, Sister Janet Mead’s Adelaide Day Centre is always in need of clothing and blankets for people who seek their support. Last week, middle school students and several staff took donations of beanies and blankets to the Day Centre. These were knitted by students, staff, and parents throughout the winter months. The students also presented a generous financial gift on behalf of SAC to the Day Centre staff. These funds were raised through the Colour Run and the Mercy Day Carnival to support works of mercy in the community.
Redevelopment of our Mitchell Courtyard Steps
The redevelopment of our Mitchell Courtyard steps will be completed next year, and we have consulted with parents, students and First Nations elders to guide the design and planning process. Where currently there are broad, tiered, concrete landings, we will create an inviting place to gather, converse and learn . St Aloysius College is built on Kaurna land, and this redevelopment will acknowledge and celebrate the rich cultural heritage and legacy of our First Nations peoples. Uncle Major ‘Moogy’ Sumner and architect, Cedric Varcoe, have worked on the oncept with our Reconciliation Action Plan Committee. Reconciliation SA has granted us $2000 for the project We are very grateful for this support from our local community and we are excited to see the finished result, which we’llcelebrate with an official opening in 2024.
Ms Viviana Graney
First Nations Focus Teacher
This is Why Mercy Matters
MERCY LIGHT: Leading
During the first whole school Mass for 2023, it was announced that the St Aloysius College community would celebrate this as a ‘Year of Blessings’ and reflect on this theme in subsequent liturgical celebrations and events. One way to celebrate blessings is to share them with others through acts of service and personifying the Mercy Values: Courage, Compassion, Hospitality, Justice, Service and Respect. So, it’s fitting that, in the Year of Blessings, a new Service Learning program, Mercy Matters, was launched to enable students to do just that.
Mercy foundress, Catherine McAuley, famously said, “the proof of love is deed,” and participation in Mercy Matters enable all students in Years 7-9 to experience the personal growth and enrichment that flows from making a difference to those in need. The call to express love for humanity through acts of service is at the heart of Christian faith and Mercy mission.
In Mercy Matters, students volunteer to participate in a range of social justice and service initiatives, just some of which include:
- Knitting blankets to be gifted to local homelessness services.
- Volunteering at Sister Janet Mead’s Adelaide Day Centre.
- Assisting at school functions (i.e. on Open Night).
- Assembling kits for the Birthing Kit Foundation.
- Donating goods to support services such as Catherine House.
- Making Mercy bracelets to sell and fundraise for Mercy Works.
- Volunteering at the SAC Op Shop.
- Supporting Reception classes and listening to reading.
Through Mercy Matters, students contribute to our local community, but importantly, they also have a chance to reflect on their experiences and debrief with staff who support Mercy Matters activities. This process of questioning, action, analysis and reflection help students to learn about social justice issues and develop informed insights. Ultimately, the goal is for them to experience meaningful engagement with social justice initiatives so that they can continue to be ambassadors for the Mercy Values beyond their participation in the program.
On Thursday 23 November, a number of students who went above and beyond to commit to the program were invited to a morning tea with the SAC’s Leadership team and staff who oversee Mercy Matters. The students were eager to describe their experiences of encounter and connection through their volunteering experiences.
Ms Kate O’Reilly, Faith and Mission Coordinator, opened the special gathering by explaining to the Mercy Matters participants, “I come from Ireland, where the Sisters of Mercy were founded by Catherine McAuley, and she said that a lot of good can come from sharing a cup of tea to celebrate small achievements, which is what we wanted to do with you today. What you do is seen and appreciated by the school community and we know you aren’t doing good things for recognition, but it’s inspiring for us as teachers to see compassionate leaders emerging.”
Students then shared their favourite elements of Mercy Matters. Year 8 student, Mariah, said, “I really enjoyed volunteering at the Day Centre. It was really nice to know that you were giving a little bit of extra help that they [the Centre volunteers and staff] might have needed that day, and it’s good to see what’s happening out in the community in a different environment.”
Alison, a Year 9 student, enjoyed working with Year 11 students to make SolarBuddy lights for families experiencing energy poverty in developing countries. Alison shared, “I really liked learning about other communities and how much something as simple as access to light can help them and even improve their studies.”
Through stepping out of their comfort zones, whether it be through extending hospitality to visitors and newcomers on Open Night, or participating in an initiative to help people on the other side of the world, students develop new skills and become people who communicate and lead with empathy. This is why, more than ever, Mercy Matters. Congratulations to all who participated in or supported the program in its first year – which truly has been a Year of Blessings.
Ms Maddie Kelly
From the Deputy Principal (Pastoral Care)
Student Leaders for 2024
We are very pleased to announce the following Student Leaders for 2024. We are very proud of all students who applied and showed a willingness to involve themselves in students' leadership at SAC.
- STEM Leaders: Tara Tu and Abbie Gibney.
- Drama Leaders: Eleanor Buckham and Alicia Rudko.
- Visual Art Leaders: Milla Lockhorst and Pia Vannetiello
- Music Leaders: Sara Boksmati and Alexis Auret
- Languages Leaders: Yvonne Andrade and Amelia Carman
- Sport Leaders: Grace Sim and Amy Peterson
Sport House Captains:
- St Clare’s House Co-Captains: Morgan Brooks and Jamie Rowe
- St Teresa’s House Co-Captains: Hannah Kearins and Lily Beaton
- St Margaret’s House Co-Captains: Elli Pusonjic and Molly O’Halloran
- St Anne’s House Co-Captains: Liana Raschella and Georgia Robertson
Muriel Matters Award
It was with great pleasure that I was able to attend the Muriel Matters Award ceremony last Tuesday evening at Parliament House, and witness Year 11 student, Grace, receive this prestigious award.
The Muriel Matters Award aims to identify and recognise young people in our schools who show the qualities of self-initiative, determination to make a difference despite personal challenges and a commitment to make the world a better place for all.
This award profiles and recognises the work and life of Muriel Matters, a South-Australian born suffragist, educator and social reformer who made a difference in the early 20th century through her work and activism to further the rights and freedoms of women, including promoting universal access to education and having careers open to talent.
Congratulations Grace on receiving this award. This is a reflection and recognition of all that you do and continue to do for the St Aloysius school community.
Ms Jacqui McIlroy
Deputy Principal (Pastoral Care)
Year 5 Physical Education
Year 5 AFL Super Kick Carnival
The recently concluded Year 5 AFL Super Kick Carnival was a resounding success! The event wasn't just about kicking goals; it celebrated skills, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Leading up to the carnival, our Year 5 students had been honing their footy skills, preparing to showcase their talents. The carnival, with its emphasis on healthy competition, teamwork, and the joy of physical activity, was a testament to the dedication and enthusiasm of our students. Representatives from the local SANFL Development Team supported the competition by supplying equipment, encouragement, and umpiring. They were really impressed with the enthusiasm, teamwork and skill level of the students involved and commented on their impeccable behaviour and representation of the college.
A heartfelt thank you to the SANFL- Sturt Zone, the Year 5 home class teachers, Nicole Wedding, Alan Brown and Ella Angel for attending and making the Year 5 AFL Super Kick Carnival a remarkable success!
One of the highlights of Term 4 undoubtedly is the primary swimming units. The pool has been a hub of laughter, learning, and camaraderie, creating memories that will last a lifetime. The swimming unit are not just about perfecting strokes; it was about diving into a world of holistic education. Students learned not only how to swim but also gained valuable life skills such as water safety, teamwork, and perseverance. The pool became a dynamic classroom where the curriculum went beyond textbooks, and the splash zone turned into an arena for personal growth.
Ms Vashti Casserly-Lund & Mr Michael Heath
Year 5 Physical Education Teachers
From the Secondary Sport Coordinator
Term 4 Sport
The Term 4 summer season comes to a close this weekend, with our middle years teams to play their final matches. As always, there are no ‘finals’ in Term 4 sport, however, the final premiership table results will be released in the coming weeks. Teams that finished top of their premiership tables will be presented with an award at the end of year assembly.
A special thanks to the old scholars, teachers and parents who have leant a helping hand this year in support of our young people in sport. The secondary sport program would not run without them.
Enjoy some happy snaps from this jam-packed term of sport!
Catholic GIRLS Netball Carnival
A selection of Year 7-9 students who played in the winter SACSSGSA netball competition took part in the 2023 Catholic Girls Middle Years Netball carnival on Thursday 9 November. The competition is designed for students to apply their knowledge and understanding of gameplay, officiating, and coaching in a fun and cooperative environment that aims to bring Catholic Girls Schools together. Along with the five teams that were entered, a variety of senior students and old scholars came along to support teams in a coaching or umpiring role. The heat didn’t deter our girls from playing some highly competitive games and representing the college with pride. We look forward to entering this competition again in 2024 – Open to any students that nominate for winter netball in Term 2/3.
Last week four talented basketballers from St Aloysius College were chosen to represent their state in development tournaments across Victoria and New South Wales in January of 2024. Lottie (7LS) was selected for the U15 squad, with her sister Sidney (6LA) and classmate Ajong (7LS) being selected for the U14s Southern Cross Challenge. Additionally, Year 8 student Alek (8AT) has been selected in the U16 East Coast Challenge squad. The girls underwent trials back in October and were up against many other talented basketballers in their age groups – what an amazing achievement! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for these gifted young athletes.
Ms Meg Henderson
Secondary Sport Coordinator
Year 9 Religion - "Promoting respect and peace towards all."
In Term 4, Week 4, the Year 9 Religious Education students had the privilege of hosting Rachel, Soukaina, Munazza, and Matthew from the Abraham Institute for two enlightening interfaith workshops. The sessions provided invaluable insights into the Jewish and Islamic faiths, fostering a deepened understanding among the students. Throughout the workshops, participants learned essential skills to promote tolerance, reduce prejudice, avoid stereotyping, cultivate empathy, foster critical thinking, and build relationships and friendships. The emphasis on religious literacy empowered students to comprehend the diverse world around them, recognizing the significance of everyone's role in promoting respect and peace towards all. The experience was not only educational but also instrumental in nurturing a spirit of inclusivity and unity among the students.
Ms Kate O'Reilly
Religious Education Curriculum Coordinator (Secondary)
Solving Real World Problems in Year 11 Business Innovation
Throughout the semester, Year 11 Business Innovation students have been developing their own innovative products to address real-world problems. Using skills from the Design Thinking Process, students created a Business Model Summary that reflects their business concept and product idea. Last week, the students had the opportunity to prepare and present their Business Pitch to a panel of teachers who assumed the roles of investors The students enjoyed the ‘Shark Tank’ style interactions and valued the chance to receive meaningful feedback on their ideas.
Ms Kiara Schonberger
Year 11 Business Innovation Teacher
"I really enjoyed it, and the students did so well, considering how intimidating it must be to have a whole panel of teachers!!! Well done you for being innovative." Ms Sarah Cowling (Teacher)
"I really enjoyed listening to the girls’ presentations and would be happy to enjoy the panel again in the future. It was great fun. Congratulations on your innovative teaching ideas." Ms Wendy-Anne (Teacher)
Singapore Football Youth Cup
Congratulations to Year 10 student, Sophia, who participated in the Singapore Youth Cup representing Football SA!
Sophia reflected on her experience:
"During the second week of November, I participated in the Singapore Youth Cup representing Football SA. We versed other countries such as Thailand and Philippines. During this trip I made lifelong friends and had a great time together. In our free time we would go to Universal Studios, light shows and malls. I am extremely grateful for this unforgettable experience."