Last week the Dominican sisters farewelled Sr Bernadette Murphy OP at St Dominic’s, joined by family and friends. Sr Bernadette was a Dominican sister for seventy-one years, having first completed her secondary education at Siena College. Inspired by St Catherine of Siena, Sr Bernadette became a passionate preacher of the Gospel of Humanity through her untiring work with the poor and marginalised in Melbourne’s inner north. From the tribute offered to her by her Dominican sisters, it is clear that Sr Bernadette lived a truly Dominican life: preaching the Gospel by going to the point of need and ‘clamouring for justice’ with deep courage and conviction, in the way of Jesus, Dominic and Catherine.
We give thanks for the life and witness of Sr Bernadette Murphy OP.
This week all staff and students have been working and learning from home, making the best of challenging circumstances for all Victorians. We remain hopeful of a return to the College next week and the full resumption of Term 3 programs and events. We share the disappointment of all cast, crew, production staff and families with the postponement of the long awaited musical, "The Addams Family". We look forward to this now taking place from 23 August.
Despite required changes to some events, we are pleased that many other important aspects of Term 3 can proceed online such as Subject Selection tutorials, Senior Pathways webinars and our Student Leadership Formation program. Communication will follow regarding forthcoming events which will require rescheduling. In the meantime, I commend students, staff and families for their firm commitment to maintaining good health, good learning and good humour!
During Staff Week at the end of last term all Siena staff participated in formation with a focus on the theme of this year’s commemoration of 800 years since the death of St Dominic. At Table with Dominic explored the table as place of connection, blessing, brokenness and givenness in our tradition – we then linked this to the Mascarella Table, located in Bologna, which depicts Dominic at table with his community.
As NAIDOC week fell during the holiday break, we marked this significant time once we returned to school for the start of Term 3. This year’s theme Heal Country! calls for all of us to continue to seek greater protections for our lands, our waters, our sacred sites and our cultural heritage.
We are currently developing our Siena vision for reconciliation, which involves our commitment to and articulation of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Reconciliation Australia has developed a framework to assist organisations, including schools, to formulate a RAP. Read more about this process through the Nurragannawali Reconciliation in Education platform here.
The Subject Selection Process for 2022 has begun with the first presentations to students held this week. Members of the Learning and Teaching Team spoke about the year level specific aspects to students in their House Groups and directed them through the Subject Selection tile resources.
Students are encouraged to discuss their choices with their Subject Teacher or the relevant Head of Learning. For students moving into Years 9 to 12, please also consult the Subject Handbooks, as they outline course requirements, provide planning documents and subject specific information.
The Subject Selection Tile on Siena Central is available on the Student Dashboard and the Parent Portal. Once you have selected your year level, you will find all the information you need for the Subject Selection process. There are videos, information, and PowerPoint presentations, the Subject Handbooks as well as recordings of Wednesday’s presentations. If you have any difficulties accessing these resources, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
At each year level there is an opportunity to post any questions you may have, using the Submit Your Question Here tile.
Year 9 and 10 students and parents are invited to attend our Senior Pathways Webinar on Thursday, 29 July from 6.00pm to 8.00pm. The link for each year level's webinar will be sent separately.
28 July: Year 11 into 12 Transition Interviews
29 July: 2022 Senior Pathways Webinar (current Year 9 and 10 students and parents)
2 August: 2022 Year 12 Web Preferences due by 4.00pm
2 August: 2022 VCE Accelerated Studies Applications due by 4.00pm
6 August: 2022 Years 7 to 9 Web Preferences due by 4.00pm
9 August: 2022 VCE Accelerated Studies Applicants notified by 4.00pm
10 August: Year 9 into 10 Transition Interviews
11 August: Year 10 into 11 Transition Interviews
13 August: 2022 Year 10 and 11 Web Preferences due by 4.00pm
Fortunately, the physical impact of the pandemic has mostly spared our young people, however prolonged periods of lockdown have exacted a heavy emotional toll on many students. The closing of schools, lack of contact with friends and loss of key rites of passage has seen a sharp spike in psychological conditions such as anxiety, loss of motivation, adjustment disorder and substance abuse.
As hard as it is being a teenager today, it can be equally draining being the parent of one, juggling your own wellbeing needs whilst at the same time providing much needed emotional support for your children. Just as there are "long haul" patients requiring ongoing help for their physical symptoms after battling coronavirus, so too will there be young people needing assistance well into the future.
This SchoolTV report explains the current state of youth mental health in Australia and offers guidance on how parents can best offer support. Choosing your battlegrounds, focusing on what can be controlled and taking the time to reflect on what has gone well are some of Michael Carr-Gregg's recommendations for this "COVID limbo" period we find ourselves in.
We cannot choose what happens but we can choose our response.
We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If this Special Report raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.
Kids Helpline have also created some helpful resources for young people who may be struggling with lockdown.
This week’s Siena Career News has loads of useful information that will be of interest to students choosing subjects for the years ahead, or choosing tertiary courses and institutions in which to study.
At this time of year all universities are gearing up for their Open Days which are a hybrid of on campus (hopefully) and online content. No excuse not to attend! Open Days are a great opportunity to find out more about existing courses, discover new courses and see all that an institution has to offer.
Also, in this week’s Siena Career News:
A webinar on SEAS Special Entry Access Scheme for current Year 12s
Victoria Police Career Information Session
Career options for students interested in studying Pharmacy
Arts and Humanities options
New University courses for 2022
Monash or Melbourne? A ‘snapshot’ of each
Careers appointments can be made via this link
If you have a current Grade 5 daughter who will be attending Siena College in Year 7 2023, please be advised we are currently moving forward with enrolments.
Enrolment Applications and supporting documents can be submitted online via our website
Any further enquires please contact Tracey Lawson at email@example.com
Siena College has partnered with Kenshi Candles to raise funds for the Kopanang Community Trust. Founded by Melbourne teenager, Liam Foldi, Kenshi Candles is a social enterprise which donates over half their profit to fund charities and worthy causes that make a real difference in the world. Kenshi Candles are hand-poured in Melbourne with the full process, from pouring to packaging, completed in-house with help from members of the Chin refugee community. Learn more about Kenshi Candles here.
Candles are 380g (60 hours burn time), triple-scented, double-wicked and made from natural soy wax. Available scents are:
Passionfruit and Lime: Featuring lime and raspberry top notes; passionfruit and honeydew middle notes; and rose and vanilla base notes
Sandalwood and Amber: Featuring bergamot and orange top notes; cedar and amber middles notes; and sandalwood and cedar wood base notes
Coconut and Lime: Featuring lime zest and lemon verbena top notes; coconut and peach middle notes; and vanilla and buttermilk base notes
Caramel and Vanilla: Featuring butter and balsamic top notes; salted caramel and coconut middle notes; and creamy vanilla and tonka bean base notes
Frangipani and Jasmine: Featuring fir needle and orange top notes; frangipani and Lily of the Valley middle notes; and rose and star jasmine base notes
Each candle purchased through Siena College will fund simple food needs for a small family for a day, or over-the-counter medication for sickness alleviation through the Kopanang Community Trust.
Click here to purchase a life-changing candle.