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The Star E-Newsletter

Term 4 Week 3 2020

From the Principal

From the Principal

Dear St Michael’s College Community,

Today, staff and students at the secondary campus were involved in the Frocktober fundraiser, “St Michael’s College Formal Casual Day”, in remembrance of Jenna Crierie and to raise much needed awareness and funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation. Jenna passed away peacefully on 8 October 2020, age 33.

Donate to Jenna’s fundraising page here

Jenna was a much loved friend and valued staff member of St Michael’s College. Her beautiful, humble nature and determined spirit shone through in her life, work, and long battle with cancer, leaving a lasting impact on those lucky enough to know her or her story.  Jenna is a true example of what ‘touching hearts’ can mean.

Jenna’s story

Jenna had just finished university and at the age of 22, the next chapter of life unfolding in front of her should have been the most exciting. Having completed her exams, she thought feeling sick from fatigue wasn’t necessarily an unusual experience. However, the fatigue lingered and when she sought medical care, there were no clear answers.

Jenna carried on with extreme fatigue until she started feeling strong stomach cramps. This prompted frequent visits to seek medical intervention. “I had no idea what was going on for a year and a half having seen numerous physicians and was misdiagnosed with IBS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.” It was crippling and unfortunately, an all too familiar story for many women in her situation.

Eventually Jenna was diagnosed when a physician tested her for CA-125 and noticed the markers were very high. “On its own an elevated CA-125 reading is not enough to warrant extra testing, but I pushed it with the gynaecologist and eventually, in combination with the other symptoms I was experiencing, she agreed to do exploratory surgery. I think she was looking for endometriosis.” During surgery, it was immediately obvious to the surgeon and the oncologist that they had found a primary peritoneal cancer in Jenna’s abdomen. “They took me into another room and told me I had ovarian cancer.”

“I felt a little bit of relief because I’d been sick for so long, but I certainly didn’t expect to have ovarian cancer. I didn’t know anything about it at the time but researched it and found it was a death diagnosis really. My sister was a bit of a mess, she was beside herself. Mum and dad didn’t let on at the time but looking back they were in shock.”

 The Frocktober Project

“Absolutely any focus on ovarian cancer has to be a positive thing.”

During the month of October, Frocktober is the campaign that empowers women around Australia to channel their creative flair through their favourite frocks, all while raising awareness and urgently-needed funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.

Jenna was excited to learn that her cousin Jaimie had an idea to honour Jenna by designing and auctioning a special gown during the OCRF’s Frocktober campaign.

“I’m so grateful to Jaimie for starting this project to raise awareness and raise funds for ovarian cancer research. He’s a wonderfully talented man and thanks to Julie Bishop for being a part of it as well – they’ve created a stunning gown for Julie to wear during Frocktober. Ovarian cancer desperately needs more funding and I hope this helps draw some extra attention to the cause.”

“Ultimately I hope that the trail is a bit easier for women behind me that walk my path. I don’t want them to have to do what I did. It has been absolutely horrible.”

Jenna’s Dad adds that Jenna’s experience showed how ovarian cancer is such a hard cancer to diagnose. Anything which can help produce an earlier diagnosis will lead to a greater chance of survival. “The money that is raised for research can be used to find that early detection test or develop more effective treatments that increase a woman’s lifespan and quality of life.” Having watched Jenna go through what she has these past 11 years, the hope has to be that other families don’t live the ‘ovarian cancer experience’ as a matter of course, and that change comes quickly.

Again, any donations can be made through Jenna’s fundraising page:


Ovarian Cancer Facts

  • Ovarian cancer is the most lethal gynaecological cancer.
  • There is no early detection test for ovarian cancer.
  • Every 8 hours, an Australian woman dies from ovarian cancer.
  • The average 5-year survival rate for ovarian cancer is just 46%.
  • If caught in Stage 1, survival rates for ovarian cancer patients are as high as 92%. However, only 19% of cases are diagnosed early due to vagueness of symptoms and lack of an early detection screening test.
  • The only way to confirm an ovarian cancer diagnosis is through invasive surgery and biopsy.
  • This year, around 1800 Australian women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
  • The number of women being diagnosed with ovarian cancer is increasing every year. It is projected that by 2030, 2200 women will be diagnosed per year.

Read more facts here.

Thank you to all involved in the planning of the St Michael’s event, to Jenna’s family for being involved on the day and to staff and students who dressed up, donated or contributed to the ‘High Tea’

Thank you also to all those in the wider community who donated, including Rory’s School Lunches and Lee from Devour Me Cakes for their support of this wonderful cause.

Kind regards,

John Foley

Weekly Communication and Important Dates

Weekly Communication and Important Dates


2 – 18 November – Year 12 Exams
5 November – Year 12 Visual Art and Design Exhibition
17 – 23 November – Year 11 Exams
20 November – Year 10 Activities Day
24 – 27 November – Year 10 Exams

Please click here to view our online calendar.

Click here for Term Dates.
Click here for Uniform Shops hours and information.
Click here to purchase the Entertainment Book.
Click here for previous editions of The Star Newsletter.

Primary Campus


Saturday, 24 October and Sunday, 25 October, marked an important moment for our St Michael’s College Sacramental Program.

After a year that has provided the Sacramental Program plenty of challenges, 26 students ranging from Year 4 to Year 8 celebrated their First Eucharist after completing their First Reconciliation and Holy Communion last term. We commend the boys for the dedication to their faith journey which began in March.

A huge thank you to the parents for your support this year. We also thank Narita Perrotta for her organisation and support from the Hindmarsh Parish, and a sincere thank you to Father Lancy for presiding over all the sacramental celebrations this year.

Congratulations to the following students:

Benjamin Abraham4M
Matthew Annese 4M
Gian Denichilo 4M
Jonas Denichilo 4M
Sam Giglio 4M
Sebastian Krol 4M
Finn Maddern 4M
James Del Bono 4B
Archie Duffett 4B
Joseph Esposito 4B
Cooper McLaughlin 4B
Frank Marino 4B
Luca Montagnese 4B
Matteo Mosca 4B
Bailey Nilsson 4B
Bodey Nilsson 4B
Liam O’Brien 4B
Ari Parisi 4B
Rocco Parisi 4B
Charlie Santos Tait 4B
Jack Stevens 4B
Harry Scholes5B
Garcia Childs5B
Khye Maddern7BPC-03

Mr Ray Becker and Ms Stephanie McNeil, Year 4 Teachers


To celebrate Book Week this year, the Primary Campus had a visit from author Adam Cece.

Adam has written the Huggabie Falls series and Wesley Booth Supersleuth and next year he will have a new Boy Spy series coming out. The students were excited to hear about Adam’s favourite books when he was their age, how he comes up with ideas for his books and the writing process.

The boys were also able to try their hand at drawing some of the characters from Huggabie Falls.

Mrs Glenyss Steventon, Resource Centre Coordinator

Secondary Campus


Domestic violence can be defined as ‘violence, abuse and intimidation between people who are currently or have previously been in an intimate relationship’. The perpetrator uses violence to control and dominate the other person. This causes fear, physical harm, and/or psychological harm. Above all, violence is a violation of human rights. Since COVID, emerging data shows that domestic violence has intensified. It is the ‘shadow pandemic’ growing amidst the crisis.

The statistics around domestic violence are alarmingly high:

  • There were close to 30,000 domestic violence matters reported in SA last year. Many go unreported.
  • By October 19, 2020, 57 adults and 10 children died from domestic violence incidents in Australia alone.
  • Australian Police deal with domestic violence every two minutes.
  • 85% of Australian women have been sexually harassed at some point in their lives.
  • Many men are victims of debilitating, emotional abuse and physical violence from a partner or family member. Sadly, however, the vast majority of extreme violence victims are women, or if men are the victim, it is usually at the hands of other men.
  • More than half of victims have said that the violence has become more frequent or severe since the start of the pandemic, with less opportunities to leave or seek help.

On Tuesday, 27 October, a dedicated group of Year 11 students and staff, facilitated our second Domestic Violence Awareness Day. During the campaign, we acknowledged victims, both past and present of domestic violence related issues. We sold awareness badges and white ribbons for a gold coin donation, as a symbol of recognition on this matter, with all proceeds donated to local charities, including Centacare Family Services. There were various other ways in which our Year 11 students raised awareness of this terrible issue, these included a Year 11 Chapel Service, a school-wide multimedia campaign, and an ice cream stall at lunchtime. We came together to provide a voice to those suffering at the hands of domestic violence in the hope of helping to prevent this issue from causing so much pain. As young men and women in our St Michael’s community, we take a stand against this type of appalling behaviour. There’s no excuse for abuse.

Mr Mark Labrosciano, Year 11 Director


Year 11 Biology students recently visited the Adelaide Zoo as part of an independent investigation designed by the students themselves which required detailed observations of animals and their enclosures.  The data and observations collected will be analysed for the purposes of responding to their own hypotheses relating to animals, their adaptations, and their engagement with their habitats. We had perfect weather and the students really valued this outdoor learning experience.

Mr Gavin O’Reilly – Head of Department, Science


Indigenous Garden
The Eco Squad have been busy planting our new Indigenous Garden. It is full of bush tucker foods such as coastal saltbush, native raspberry, and pigface! We have also planted two native fruit trees, Quandong and Finger Limes.

A big thank you to Mr Andrew Spencer our Indigenous Coordinator, for the donation of the plants, and thank you to Natural Resource Management who provided a grant to build the garden beds and to create educational signage.

We look forward to tasting the wonderful recipes our food technology students will be making with the ingredients we will provide.

Insect Hotel
Congratulations to Joshua Carr (9BPC-04) our Year 9 Youth Environmental Council Representative, who has built us an insect hotel for our garden. He has done a wonderful job representing our school in this environmental leadership program and we thank him for the beautiful new addition to our garden. The native insects will be very happy!

Come and join us every Tuesday and Friday during lunch. We look forward to seeing you in our patch!

Ms Robyn Palmer, Sustainability Support Officer


This week our Year 9 boys Pastoral classes participated in a Wing Chun session conducted by the Adelaide Wing Chun Academy. The boys had a great time learning basic self-defence strategies.

The Year 9 banner that highlights each student’s spark or passion from our retreat day earlier this semester has now taken its place in the Kaurna Courtyard. Students reflected on their personal spark and on the strengths that support its development, as well as their ability to explore their curiosities and realise their potential. Well done everyone!

Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 9 Director & Mrs Anna Haracic, Assistant Year 9 Director

Careers and VET Services


We have 90 Year 12 students who have received either one or more conditional offers for a University course in 2021. Historically we see well over 95% of our Year 12 students who have applied to SATAC receive an offer based on the ATAR selection rank. Given the new conditional offer programs from Flinders University and The University of Adelaide, we will not have the same levels of apprehension leading into the SACE results release day scheduled for 15 December, or the SATAC first round offers scheduled for 15 January.

We remind students to ensure they have completed all aspects of their SATAC applications. Some students need to upload their Teaching Capabilities Statement by 1 December, some have yet to pay their SATAC fee, and others can see on the welcome page that their Certificate 3 certificate/transcript may need to be submitted or students who are eligible for equity bonus points may need to have uploaded evidence. Unfortunately, at our end there is much we are not privy to, so we cannot remind students of all required information. If in doubt, please send Ms Coorey or Mr Vizaniaris an email. In addition to this, we wish to clarify for students who will have a completed ‘approved’ Certificate 3 by the end of November that the College will upload this to SACE so it becomes a ‘recognised studies’ subject and contributes to the ATAR calculation. There is nothing that students will need to do for this. If any student feels they will not have their Certificate 3 completed and resulted by 25 November they must contact a careers counsellor urgently.


Australian band, The Rubens, are offering 10 $500 music grants to Year 12 students. Please click here for more information about this exciting opportunity. Applications close 1 November 2020.


Defence Force Recruiting would like to invite you to their upcoming Army Reserve information session at Keswick Barracks.

You can learn more about Army Reserve opportunities in your local area and chat to current Army Reservists. You’ll hear about their experiences, opportunities for development, and the unique rewards that come with a role in the Army Reserve and you’ll be able to ask questions and learn how the Army Reserve can fit around your lifestyle. Please click here to register.

Date: Tuesday, 3 November 2020
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Location: Keswick Barracks, Adelaide
RSVP: Monday, 2 November 2020


If students and families would like to know more about pathways for apprenticeships or traineeships, TAFESA are hosting an information session next week. You can join the panel on campus and chat to the expert presenters before or after the session. Please click here to register.

Date: Wednesday, 4 November 2020
Time: 5:45pm – 7:00pm
Location: TAFE SA Adelaide City Campus


The University of Adelaide have notified the College that the Year 11 grade conditional offer scheme established this year for current Year 12 students will be extended to 2021 Year 12 students. This provides current Year 11 students an added incentive to focus on achieving their highest possible grades this semester. This year the University of Adelaide considered students Year 12 Research Project grades, in addition to students four best SACE Stage 1 grades. For more information regarding the 2021 scheme program please click here.


The University of Adelaide run a HeadStart Program where Year 11 students who have demonstrated a significant aptitude in a subject area may wish to consider incorporating a University level subject(s) into their 2021 subject mix. Families who would like to know more about this as an option may wish to attend the upcoming information session at the University of Adelaide.

Registrations will fill fast so please register as soon as possible via this link. There are strict COVID guidelines we need to adhere to and because of this there is a very strict capacity for this event. It is advised that students only bring one parent/guardian with them and each attendee will need an individual registration.

Date: 11 November 2020
Time: 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Location: The Mezzanine, North Terrace Campus

For more information please click here. Any questions can be directed to headstart@adelaide.edu.au

Flinders University offer a similar scheme, for more information please click here.

Please note that at a school level we have some suggestions and guidelines around these types of opportunities therefore enrolment is not automatic.

Ms Rose Coorey and Mr Anthony Vizaniaris, Career Counsellor



Congratulations to Toby Woolcock (12PC-04) who has recently had many outstanding achievements in State and international basketball.

In August this year, Toby was invited to train with the Woodville Warriors NBL1 team, and then in September was selected as the youngest player in the league.

He has also been selected for the State basketball team and will be playing in the Australian National Championships in February 2021 representing South Australia.

Toby has also been offered a scholarship to play College basketball in the US for four years from August 2021, however he is still deciding if he is going to go there or stay here to play NBL1.

The St Michael’s College community wish Toby the best of luck in his basketball career.