News & Events

Principal’s Update

‘Yes vote’ announcement

This week will become a famous landmark in Australian history with the ‘Yes vote’ announcement on Wednesday 15 November. It was obvious when circulating about the school that there was interest around the vote and the outcome. There were some students and staff in tears of relief and others emotional when they discovered the result. The crucial point in these contexts, and it does not matter whether you voted yes or no, but more importantly, is to please have the conversation with your son or daughter about the decision and their views.

I must commend the students for how they have been so tolerant and understanding of the complexity associated with the matter. It is part and parcel of Mercy Education and our values of compassion, justice, respect, courage, hospitality and service to be familiar and informed in contemporary matters.

Congratulations for efforts

Congratulations to our Year 12 students. Many have now completed or are about to complete their last exam and we thank all of them for their cooperation and efforts over the past weeks. We also want to thank the VCE staff and the team of supervisors who ran such a smooth process. In particular, we thank Mrs Suzie Kemp for her tremendous organisation and communication throughout the exams and indeed for the entire year.

We look forward to meeting on Wednesday night, 22 November, to celebrate the Graduation Mass in the Sacred Heart Cathedral and to join everyone at the celebration following at the All Seasons.

Thank you to all the staff who have been very busy preparing and now correcting exams across Year 9 and the senior school.


Please remember that the Year 9 students will finish at Coolock this week and move to St Mary’s Campus for Headstart. This transition and introductory week is important in preparation for Year 10 and VCE students in 2018 who will be presented with essential information.

Staff Appointments

The College and Mercy Education Limited are delighted to announce the appointment of Mr James Bennett as the new Business Manager. James is a qualified engineer, accountant and holds a CPA. James has a vast experience in a range of roles and will commence at the start of 2018.

Whilst on the topic of recent appointments the College is pleased to announce Mr David Mitchell is the successful applicant for the POL 4 ICT Director role. David has held significant roles in the education and private sector. David will be joining the community in the coming weeks and we look forward to his contribution.

We also have new Head of House incumbents at St Mary’s campus in 2018. Mrs Kym Wilton, Miss Nicole Cilauro and Mr Stephen Evans will fill the positions that have been vacated. Stephen Evans is a new appointment who has held leadership roles at his current place of employment.

For those who are not aware Mrs Terrie Driscoll has stepped down from her Head of House role but  will continue to teach senior English. Mr Damian Bier has already commenced long service leave and Mr Ash Taylor is leaving to work at Marist College Bendigo. We thank each of them for their outstanding leadership and support of their individual Houses and the students of those Houses.


In the near future, the 2017 Magazine will be circulated. The tradition is that the magazine is available before the end of the year.  It is very unique and quite extraordinary that the magazine is available so early and is of such excellent quality. Congratulations and thank you to Ms Felicity Johnson and the team that she has led in creating the magazine.

Staff leaving at the conclusion of 2017

On a personal note, I want to thank Mr Michael Chalkley for his service, and in particular his leadership as the Acting Principal for three terms in 2014 and as Deputy Principal at both sites for well over a decade. Mr Chalkley is heading to St. Peter’s Primary School as a Co-Principal and will provide the same presence and values there that we have witnessed here at Catholic College Bendigo for over twenty-five years.

We will also farewell the following staff at the end of this year:

Barbara Collins                    38 years

Bill Gaskell                            33 years

Gay Whitehead                   30 years

Peter Gamble                      27 years

Joane Nixon                         27 years

Michael Chalkley                 26 years

Sharon Cruise                      26 years

Sue Gamble                         26 years

Jennifer Street                     15 years

Ash Taylor                             12 years

Harney McKinnon                 9 years

John Geary                             9 years

Michelle Brannagan              7 years

Shane Wharton                     7 years

Coolock Arts and Performance Evening

Congratulations to all students who performed and presented at the Coolock Arts and Performance Evening on Thursday 16 November. It was a great night with a variety of music, drama and arts talent on show by our Years 7-9 students. The unpredictable weather meant that all displays and performances were moved inside. Our plan had been to utilise the lovely space in McAuley Square however that was thwarted.

Booklist Reminder

Just a reminder that all booklist orders will need to be placed by Friday 8 December to receive delivery prior to the start of the 2018 school year.

Have a great week,

Brian Turner