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From the Principal

The first term of the school year is drawing to a close.  It has been a busy term with many community gatherings, much learning and activity that culminates next week with each year level involved in a special program.  Some students and staff are heading off to distant places, to Kopanang in South Africa and to Italy, to the lands of Dominic and Catherine.  I look forward to travelling with the group going to Italy and to visiting places of special significance to Dominicans, as well as the opportunity to be immersed in the Italian language and culture.  Bernadette Donnelly will be Acting Principal while I am away from March 30 to April 22.

This week, we celebrated the College’s nomination as a ‘School of Excellence’.  This is a new award set up by The Age and based on data analysed by the Grattan Institute. I was so proud to collect the award at Media House in Docklands last Wednesday that recognised academic improvement over a decade.  Our College is non-selective and we are proud of our students’ achievements over so many fields of endeavour.  We have had an unrelenting focus on enhancing learning outcomes and wellbeing in our faith based context where we aim for our students to find meaning and purpose and to flourish in our complex world.   It was lovely to be recognised in the group of top ten schools across Victoria. 

Our ‘Back to Siena’ evening on 15 March was a wonderful celebration of our Dominican heritage, the Sisters who established Siena College and the tradition which we continue today.  We welcomed special guests, Dominican Sisters: Margaret Mary Brown, Rosemary Lewins, Frances Caine, Joan Winter, Margaret Fields and Sheila Flynn, along with alumnae and our Ward Councillor Lisa Hollingsworth.  I extend our heartfelt thanks to Sister Sheila Flynn for her beautifully written blessing for the refurbished spaces.  We were treated to a performance from the Siena Strings Ensemble as the setting sun bathed the Convent in golden light.

Over these last two weeks there have been many and varied excursions, and visits from external presenters and speakers.  We have seen the Year 11 students transformed into beautiful young women for their formal, been entertained at Siena’s Night of Jazz, celebrated wins in sports finals and joined in special activities for ‘Gifted and Talented Week’.   It was lovely to welcome Year 8 to 11 parents to the Convent courtyard and to open up the refurbished areas of the Convent for people to wander through.  I thank Siena Parents’ Association Presidents Sebastian Gadaleta and Carmel Musco, the SPA Committee and all the willing parent helpers for their welcome hospitality.  I encourage all parents who are interested in viewing our convent refurbishments to join us tomorrow for our ‘Open Convent’ event, from 10.00am to 12.00pm.  

The Easter season and Holy Week are the most significant time in the Church’s calendar for Christians.  This season takes on special significance this year after the tragic events in Christchurch, New Zealand.  May love, hope, faith and endurance outlast the evil perpetrated by a few.  As we revisit the Easter story towards the end of the school holiday period, may we be conscious of the incarnate Jesus who lives and is present amongst us.  May we recognise and celebrate signs of new life and be renewed again.

I thank all members of our community, staff, students and parents, for a very busy and productive term and wish everyone a happy and holy Easter season. 


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