Principal’s Update 2016 – 16

The HSC Examinations concluded last Friday, and we already have great news about our students’ achievements. We have had six students nominated for possible inclusion in Shape 2016, the annual exhibition of outstanding Major Projects developed by HSC Design and Technology, Industrial Technology and Textiles and Design.

These students are: Monica Carollo, Alana Giardina, Annalise Ianni, Julia Malfitano, Ailish Power, and Heeji Seo. 

One of these students, Annalise Ianni, has also been nominated for inclusion in ARTEXPRESS for her major works; “Architecture is a Visual Art”, and “The Buildings Speak for Themselves”. Completing two major works is a feat in itself, but to have both of them nominated for such recognition is a very significant achievement.

In Music, Michelle Mutyora has been nominated for Encore for her HSC performance and outstanding choral work. Whilst we will have to wait to find out if these students are ultimately included in these HSC Showcases, the nominations are well earned accomplishments. Both the students and their teachers are very deserving of this recognition. 

Staff News 

It is the time of year to say goodbye to some staff members and we do this for students at College Assembly. One of the teachers leaving at the end of 2016 is Ms Cath Horan, Deputy Principal Years 6-12, who has made an outstanding commitment for the last fourteen years guiding and challenging students to achieve their personal best.

Cath is looking forward to taking a break in 2017, exploring other possibilities, and achieving that much sought after balance that we all speak of. Cath has made a very significant contribution to Santa Sabina College in leading, teaching, and involvement in the broader Dominican community. She was originally employed as Head of HSIE, but quickly assumed the role of Director of Curriculum. This role then became Assistant to the Head of Secondary School, and in 2013 she was appointed Head of Teaching and Learning. While titles changed, leading the way we educate was at the core. She continued to lead as the Deputy Principal 6-12 this year.

The College appreciates all that Cath has done over these many years to further the College Mission, and to put students at the heart of what we do. She will certainly be missed by students, staff and parents. We wish Cath all the best for life beyond ‘The Boulevarde’.

Stepping Up to Senior Study

One of the projects that Cath helped initiate this year is the Year 10 Stepping Up program. She was very ably assisted by a group of outstanding Year 10 students who stepped up to leadership in preparing and organising the program. The aim is to prepare students very intentionally for the challenges of their senior education, and to inspire them to seek opportunities outside of the classroom. Some of these opportunities include:

  • Science students attending UTS and being ‘real scientists’ in the laboratory, collecting and testing data
  • Participation in Shakespeare workshops conducted by the Bell Shakespeare Company
  • Film making workshops led by experts from AFTRS (Australian Film, Television and Radio School)
  • Forum on journalism with a panel of ex-students currently working in the field
  • Shadowing Year 11 students in their HSC classes
  • Taster lessons for various HSC subjects
  • Special Mathematics presentation from Macquarie University


The College has made the decision to ‘designate’ computer devices for all NEW students in Years 5-12 from 2017 – BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) becomes BYODD (Bring your Own Designated Device). This designated device is a MacBook Air, 13 inch. This decision will not affect existing students who may have a different device.

The College has made a significant investment in IT infrastructure over the last four years, resulting in exceptional coverage and capacity across the whole campus. In terms of that infrastructure Santa Sabina College is a leading school in technology. We are now leveraging that capacity to ensure that technology is seamlessly integrated in all areas of College operations. 

While the adoption of iPads in the Middle Years, and BYOD in the Senior Years was a very positive initiative and the right one for the time, the laptop computer provides greater capacity and versatility. The relative cost and weight of each device is much less significant with the introduction of the ‘Air’.  

Now that all teaching staff are also supplied with the MacBook Air, it makes sense for students to have the same device. Further the IT Hub provides the necessary support and back-up (including charging stations).

In the light of American Presidential election result, there is fear about the success of the politics of division – not just in the USA but around the world. It is imperative that as a Catholic community we continue to work for peace and harmony and justice. That is counter-cultural to some of the rhetoric of racism and sexism that is often blatant and public, but at other times just sits under the radar. It is so important as educators of the adults and leaders of tomorrow that this Catholic school community, in partnership with families, preaches love, kindness, empathy, and respect for the God-given dignity of every individual.

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there is hatred let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there is doubt true faith in You

Dr Maree Herrett