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The Star E-Newsletter

Term 4 Week 4 2020

From the Principal

From the Principal

Dear St Michael’s College Community,

As Principal, I often reflect on how fortunate I am to truly enjoy my job. I work with a terrific group of people who have a genuine heart for the work they do, and partner with families who love and want their sons and daughters to flourish. I feel privileged to see first hand the spirit and qualities of our young people and hold great hope in their capacity to fully reach their potential and make a positive difference to the lives of others.

As the St Michael’s College Class of 2020 complete their final assessments and exams, I thank them for what they have brought to our community. I also thank them for being open and willing to engage with our College staff and build strong, positive relationships as this is one of our great joys! They have been truly remarkable, both as individuals and as a Year 12 group. To each of the 2020 graduands, I offer the following:

“Identify and cherish what is unique about you and pursue what you most value in yourself and others. Don’t search for success or excellence thinking this will bring you fulfilment or happiness, but rather search for fulfilment and happiness by exploring your passions. Success and excellence will then follow and mean more to you. Understand what it truly means to be inclusive and respectful. Be authentic. Be empathetic. Build healthy relationships. Be kind, and never confuse kindness for weakness. Work hard. Finally, know that ‘who you are’ will always be more important than ‘what you are’. It has been our great privilege as staff, and mine as Principal, to teach and know you, and we wish you all the best in coming weeks and the years ahead”.

As College Captains, Olivia Higgins and James Dimas have been wonderful representatives of the Class of 2020, I offer below some excerpts of their final address to staff, students and families:

“As we stand here with you today, we reflect not only upon this, our graduation year, but also the previous years we have spent together. We’ve all followed different pathways to get us here, and tonight we celebrate reaching this point in our journey. 2020 has been an absolute rollercoaster and perhaps no one could have prepared any of us for the year that has been. We have faced a pandemic that has rocked our entire planet, and whilst there is now a strong sense of hope here in Australia we continue to hold those affected by this crisis worldwide in our thoughts and prayers. As a result of the obstacles we’ve been pushed to overcome this year, the Class of 2020 has developed a skill set unique to that of any other graduating class; bravery, perseverance, collaboration and a willingness to adapt in the event of challenges that may arise. These attributes that we have developed this year will stay with us for the rest of our lives and will shape us to be some of the most influential and valuable members of our society in years to come.

When we first addressed the cohort as College Captains, we asked the question “how does a new journey begin? With a first step”. Since we all took that step together, our entire world has changed. We’ve seen natural disasters, protests, global movements and of course the COVID19 pandemic.  When we took that step we couldn’t predict what other steps we would have to take on the way, from online lessons and disruption of daily life, to the anxiety of not knowing what tomorrow will hold. But what was learned through this is that it doesn’t matter what the journey is, rather it’s about being open and ready to adapt to whatever is presented to us along that journey. What became paramount, was how we got through this together.

Leading up to tonight, we have really been reflecting on the year that has been. From the perspective as your captains, we have loved seeing so many of your achievements, whether that be academically, on the sporting field or even just in the relationships that been formed and strengthened. And through this observation, we just feel an overwhelming sense of pride in what everyone has achieved to this point.

To our parents and families, we know we’ve sometimes been hard work, we know it’s at times been tough. We thank you for putting up with the grumpy Monday mornings, the “Where’s my blazer?”, the grunts you might get in response to simply asking how our day was, and all the other Year 12 dramas. However, even though we may not always show it, we truly appreciate all that you do for us, and we couldn’t be where we are without your love and support. We also feel it’s important for us to acknowledge that not everyone was able to attend our mass tonight, whether that simply be through COVID restrictions, or sadly, for some of us, through the loss of members of our immediate and extended family. We think of these people, and we thank them for the impact they’ve had on our lives and the way that they’ve shaped us to be who we are today. We know that our parents, our family, our teachers and our mentors are so excited to see where life now takes each one of us. To the Class of 2020, we hope that your St Michael’s community will forever be to you a place of support, comfort and love.

As with many of you in this room we both have part-time jobs. For me (James), it’s at the supermarket working at the checkout, and for the last couple of weeks I have been constantly asked, “How do you feel that year 12 is coming to an end?”. My response is always, I can’t wait to start this new chapter and whilst the countdown to the final day excites us, it also scares us because we don’t know what the future holds. The new journey we begin has actually been many, many years in the making. Thirteen years of schooling is coming to an end and tonight we embark on this chapter together. So we ask the Year 12s and invite you all to look around at all the people who have been on this journey with you. There has never been a year level like ours, and we’re not just referring to how we persevered through the challenges of 2020, I am talking about the big family of 240 brothers and sisters that we have become. Our teachers can reaffirm the diverse and inclusive group that we are. What a great bunch of people and we ask everyone in the room to give a round applause recognising the achievements of this great group.

As our families acknowledge us, we thank all the people who have supported us along the way; our parents and guardians, who see the best in us even when we are at our worst, our educators and staff who empower us to be the very best we can be, the college leaders who keeps us together and give our days direction, and importantly you.

We are now to go out into the world and pursue our passion, contribute to the fabric of society, and continue to reinforce the values that St Michael’s taught us. Thank you so much for the past 12 months, serving as College Captains has been our great joy, and we are so happy to have been on this journey with you. Thank you.

Kind regards,

John Foley

Weekly Communication and Important Dates

Weekly Communication and Important Dates


Mr Robert Ryles
Much loved grandfather of Annalese Dunbar (Year 12), Montana Dunbar (Year 10) and Teagan Dunbar (Year 8).

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest In Peace. Amen


11 November – Remembrance Day
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


On Thursday 29 October Year 4 students spent the day at Morialta exploring all things to do with erosion and the landscape around them as part of their Science unit ‘Beneath Our Feet’. The day consisted of exploring the walking trails to see the waterfalls and the creek, and playing on the giant playground. With dark clouds hovering over us all day, we were lucky to only have a small shower of rain before seeking refuge in the Giant’s Cave!

Here are some highlights of the day from students:

“On the excursion, I enjoyed seeing the different shapes in the rocks. I also saw a bit of weathering, erosion and deposition. It was interesting to see. The waterfall was also wonderful”.Liam (4B)

“First we went to the waterfall, then the Giants Cave. After that we went on an enormous playground! I really enjoyed the playground”.Oliver (4M)

“I liked looking and trying to spot all the living creatures, especially the koalas. My group found two koalas and they were both up in the tree”.Archie (4B)

“I enjoyed making huts, walking to the waterfall and looking at it. I enjoyed most going in the cave”.Tyhsen (4M)

I enjoyed standing on the rocks in front of the waterfall because you could see it up close”.Levi (4B)

“I enjoyed getting to hear the water from the waterfall, seeing the cute koalas, going on my first hike and the snake playground”.Matthew A (4M)

“I liked visiting the creek where there were Aboriginal tents and canoes. I thought it was fascinating to see all the erosion that occurred over thousands of years”. – Joseph (4B)

“My favourite part was when we stood next to the waterfall”. – John 4M

“Morialta was very fun because as a class we got to go see a waterfall and we learnt some facts about weathering, erosion and deposition”. Charlie 4B

Thank you to our parent volunteers on the day, Mrs Parisi, Mrs Marino, Mrs Tait, Mrs Javier, Mrs Denichilo, Mrs Francis, Mr Biggs, and Mr Krol.

Mrs Stephanie McNeil and Mr Ray Becker, Year 4 Teachers

Secondary Campus

Congratulations to staff member Ms Anna Porcelli who has been awarded and named the 2020 World Teachers’ Day and History Teachers’ Association of South Australia Early Career History Teacher of the Year by the History Teachers’ Association of South Australia (HTASA).

Anna is very deserving for her hard work, dedication and ability as a teacher and leader at our school but in particular in this award for her work in History. I am sure everyone will agree with me that as a College community we are very proud of Anna.

Anna’s achievements and work within and outside the History department have been nothing short of outstanding. She is a valued member of our team and has allowed both students and staff to flourish in realising their potential. Anna is a most worthy recipient of this inaugural award. Some of the many highlights include setting up the Year 11 and 12 Ancient Studies courses here at SMC from scratch, contributing heavily to History and Modern History courses in all year levels, engaging our students, collaborating and providing support with colleagues (both within and outside our school). Anna is the definition of a respectful and inclusive educator and we have been the beneficiaries of this for most of her first five years of teaching.

Mr Matthew Muscat, Head of Department – History – Secondary


On Monday 2 November, Year 9 students showed their appreciation for the teachers at the College by providing a morning tea to celebrate World Teachers’ Day, which was on Friday, 30 October. This grateful gesture was their way of acknowledging that it has been a challenging year for teachers, and they understand all the hard work that has been put into ensuring that their learning continues.

The leaders wrote letters to their teachers letting them know how they have made a difference in their lives and thanking them for the time they spent ensuring the best learning outcomes. Students took photos of staff wearing sunglasses for the AITSL national social media initiative #brightfuture.

Through these three activities, our students helped teachers celebrate that they are constantly striving to ensure that every student is known, valued and cared for at St Michael’s College.

Mrs Anna Haracic, Assistant Year 9 Director


“The Year 11 cohort participated in an eye opening and inspirational retreat, run by the Lasallian Youth Ministers, Zani and Isabella, SALT team members, Declan and Asha, Calia Sandona and Ms Maiese. Through interactive games involving the opinions of everyone, and interesting speeches regarding personal beneficial experiences, the notion of service, opportunity and sacrifice was highlighted. As groups collaborated together to discuss their ideas and thoughts regarding the theme of service, we were exposed to the true meaning behind it, and how it signifies something different for everyone. We were informed about the statues of De La Salle which had no hands, to present to us that we are the hands of the future, and should continue  portraying De La Salle’s legacy of service, and to explore and learn to be grateful for the wide range of opportunities we are offered every day. The cohort listened to a speech about the Lasallian Volunteers Program, and to think of it through the perspective of gaining something at the end, rather than losing the time needed to commit to the experience. This provoked many members to consider being involved in this amazing opportunity. Lastly, the notion of sacrifice was discussed through the story of Jesus Christ, as he sacrificed his life for us. We were also given other examples of people who sacrifice themselves for us every day, such as family, friends and coaches. Overall, the Year 11 cohort was encouraged to follow in the legacy of De La Salle and Jesus Christ, as well as to be selfless in life, by sacrificing yourself to take up opportunities to serve others”.  – Holly McGorman (11PC-02)

“During the Year 11 retreat I learnt a lot about myself, my values and my morals, which coincides with those of St John Baptist de La Salle. The Year 11 retreat opened my eyes to issues prevalent in our society as well as showing ways to help those suffering due to those issues. The activities we participated in encouraged us to make commitments and live our life in service of others. Many of the themes and teachings discussed on the retreat struck a chord with me and I’m sure they will too with the cohort.” – Daniel Sutton (11PC-06)


Year 10 students completing a Certificate I in Hospitality attended TAFE SA’s Regency Campus to participate in a three hour cooking class under the direction of TAFE SA lecturers. Students watched a demonstration before cooking a delicious battered and crumbed fish and chips with tartare sauce, and a passionfruit bavarian with coulis and tuile biscuit. Students were able to showcase their cooking and presentation skills, as well as learning many new techniques in the kitchen. This experience provided students the opportunity to understand what it is like completing a cookery course at a tertiary level and also what it’s like to work in the hospitality industry in a fast paced and energised kitchen environment.

Ms Liesel Dunstan, Food Technology Teacher – Secondary


Year 10 and 11 students recently visited the city to attend an Italian art tour at the Art Gallery, and also watch a screening of ‘The Most Beautiful Day in the World’ as a part of the Italian Film Festival. It was a great day for students to reflect on their learning in class, and the messages in an interesting and uplifting film.

Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 9 Director & Mr David de Lorenzis, Italian Teacher – Secondary


Students from Years 7 to 12 have recently competed in the Australian Mathematics Competition. The results are in and I am pleased to announce the following students who have achieved a high distinction, a distinction or a credit.

High Distinction Certificate awarded to the top 3% of students in the state:
Jordan Kupeckyj (8BPC-04)
Distinction Certificate awarded to the top 20% of students in the state:
Marcus Stawski (7BPC-05)
Oscar Clarke (8BPC-05)
Morgan Simpson (8BPC-04)
Jacob Feijen (9BPC-02)
Joel Grygus (9BPC-02)
Danica Parisotto (12PC-01)
Credit Certificate awarded to the top 55% of students in the state:
Angela Chen (8GPC-05)
Charlie Gibbons (8BPC-03)
Finn Hagen (8BPC-03)
Luca Palmato (8BPC-04)
Tayla Payne (8GPC-05)
Marlie Fiegert (9GPC-04)
Deshawn Ram (9BPC-05)
Matthew Walker (9BPC-03)
Lilija Zampatti (9GPC-03)
Paras Stefanopoulos (12PC-08)

Well done to all students and thank you to the mathematics staff for their guidance.

Mr John Lambert, Deputy Principal – Pastoral


In a recent meeting, students came together to reflect on current uniform and presentation policies and express their ideas on potential improvements. Approximately 50 students from Years 7 to 11 came together to collaborate on their ideas and suggestions. Students worked respectfully, engaging all members of their team and doing their best to represent their peers. Their feedback, together with feedback from a coming survey addressed to students, families and staff will inform a review of current policies.

Mrs Tonia Carfora, Year 9 Director


On Tuesday November 3, 2020, 13 staff were involved with the professional development course entitled “Our Lasallian Compass”. This program run by the Lasallian Mission Council introduces staff to our living Lasallian Heritage; the ongoing story, lived spirituality and innovative pedagogy of the Lasallian education mission and its application to the contemporary Catholic school. It was a great opportunity for teaching and non-teaching staff to share their insights about St Michael’s College and how we live out our Lasallian heritage. Special thanks to Amanda Proulx for coming from Sydney to present and Br John Cantwell who joined the group via Zoom for facilitating the program.

Mr Robert Dempsey, Director of Mission


On Wednesday, 4 November during extended pastoral, Year 9 students came together to participate in outdoor activities and a shared breakfast. It was wonderful to see students playing ball sports and displaying teamwork skills as they interacted with their peers and teachers. The breakfast menu consisted of muffins and fruit, however it was not just about the food, but also about having quality time along with a positive start to the day. As a part of our wellbeing strategy, the connections we share are important, and physical health and movement is too! All these aspects help us to work towards being the best we can be.

Mrs Anna Haracic, Assistant Year 9 Director

Careers and VET Services


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. Even with conditional offers, it is very important that all aspects of the SATAC Application are completed. 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.


Students who would like to book a careers appointment to discuss their proposed 2021 Year 12 subjects and goals must do so at the LEC reception. In the next few weeks. students will receive an email clarifying their 2021 subject choices and inviting students who wish to discuss possible changes to make an appointment.

Careers counsellors Mr Vizaniaris and Ms Coorey have met with many Year 11 students over the last week to develop these proposed subject changes. Students aiming for University courses with high or somewhat complicated entry pathways such as Medicine, Dentistry and interstate pathways are particularly encouraged to book an appointment over the next week.

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 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


click here to view fixtures and results



On Thursday 29 October, 16 students from Year 7 represented St Michael’s College in the SAPSASA District Athletics Competition. All students competed very well on the day. Special mentions go to Erin O’Shea (7GPC-02) who was outstanding and placed 1st in the 100m and 200m races. James Bowling (7BPC-01) ran brilliantly and placed 1st in the 800m race, and Hannah Timpani (7GPC-03) ran excellently and placed 1st in the 800m race. These students will now go on to represent the Airport District at the State Athletics Championships in their respective events. The St Michael’s College relay teams were also very impressive as the boy’s team placed 2nd and the girl’s team placing 3rd. The day was a success and all students deserve to be praised for how they represented the College, as their behaviour and performances were outstanding.

Mr Samuel Abadia, Co-curricular Assistant