back to main page View Previous Issues

From the Principal

Despite the winter chill descending on Melbourne, Siena College has been abuzz with activity and wonderful community events this past week. It was with great pleasure that I joined a group of Siena College staff, Board Chair Sean McGing, and thirteen students at the sixth annual Susan Alberti Foundation Mother's Day luncheon.  Held yesterday at Leonda by the Yarra, the luncheon is a key fundraising event for the foundation which provides ongoing support for medical research.  Importantly, this includes vital financial assistance to female researchers whilst they are on maternity leave so that their work can continue.  This year's guest speaker was Associate Professor Louise Purton, who spoke of  the challenges and adversity she faced throughout her schooling and career (Louise is hearing impaired and has been since the age of three) and the support she received from her extended family when she had her own child, support that ensured her research continued uninterrupted.

We also extend our warm congratulations to Susan for her recognition at the tenth annual Instyle magazine "Women of Style" awards.  Susan was the deserving recipient of the "Irrepressible Force" award, recognising her tireless work in the fields of diabetes research, health care for the disadvantaged, and women's football.

We can be justly proud of our students who travelled to Generations in Jazz at Mt Gambier last weekend.  The Stage Band performed with aplomb, finishing fifth in their division of 29 bands, with the Sisters of Swing placing 14th out of 26 bands in their section.  Additionally Celina Maderski was selected for the Diviison 4 "Superband", made up of the best students across each instrument in the entire division.  Our warm congratulations go to all who participated and our thanks to the Siena College staff who accompanied the students - Kerryn McGillen, Sarah Clark, Ben Nieuwkerk, Ivan Rosa and Emily Caracella.

Our thanks once again to SPA for a wonderful Mother's Day Breakfast this morning, the gymnasium providing welcome respite from the chilly weather outside as over 400 guests gathered to enjoy a delicious buffet.  Director of Learning and Innovation, Michelle Robertson, was the guest speaker and her thoughts on the realities of balancing career with family life would have resonated with many present.  Michelle reminded us of the words of  Betty Friedman, American writer and feminist of the 1960's, "A woman has got to be able to say, and not feel guilty: Who am I and what do I want out of life?"  An excerpt from Michelle's speech follows:

"So here I am, still fulfilling my passion for teaching and learning and loving every minute of it.  I feel blessed to work in a wonderful school such as Siena, to teach engaged young women and to work with so many inspiring colleagues...young women of Siena, the sky is the limit!  Do not be afraid to chase your dreams both big and small."

Sadly we finished the week on a sombre note with the news that our former colleague, Marie Salinger lost her precious youngest child last Saturday evening.  We extend our deepest condolences to Marie, and also to Fr Dominic Murphy whose mother passed away on Wednesday and to staff member Tina Di Camillo, whose father passed away after a battle with cancer.  May they all be at peace with our God.


go back