News & Events

Principal’s Update


His Holiness, Pope Francis has appointed Very Reverend Associate Professor Shane Mackinlay as the eighth Bishop of Sandhurst. This appointment follows Pope Francis' acceptance of Bishop Leslie Tomlinson’s resignation as Bishop of Sandhurst, having attained the retirement age.

Reverend Father Shane Mackinlay, Bishop-Elect of the Diocese of Sandhurst

Please read the letter below from Bishop Leslie acknowledging Fr Shane Mackinlay as his replacement later this year. We thank Bishop Leslie for his guidance and stewardship and look forward to meeting the new Bishop for Sandhurst in the near future. Fr Mackinlay’s Curriculum Vitae provides further information.


The start of the term has been pretty frantic, our students past and present continue to dominate across a range of areas. Congratulations to a recent graduate, Tayla Vlaeminck who made her debut in the Women’s Ashes Test this past week. It was fantastic to see the joy and the pride displayed by Tayla and Loretta and Paul, Tayla’s Mum and Dad, when Mitchell Starc presented her with a Baggy Green.

Over the past weeks Ashlee Ilott has been in Bosnia & Herzagovina representing the Australian team at the ICF Wild Water Junior Championships. Congratulations Ashlee on your fantastic achievement.

After the Senior Boys Football Team won the School Sport Victoria (SSV) Premier League they gained entry to the prestigious Herald Sun Shield Football Competition as the SSV Representative. Last week they played the semi-final against St Patrick’s College, Ballarat. They did a great job getting to this level and were very competitive. The game was played at Craigeburn in wet, windy and slippery conditions. In such conditions, luck must fall your way and that was not the case for the Senior Team. Congratulations to the boys on a great job throughout the season and thanks to the families, volunteers and staff who have supported the team throughout this year.

Read more about the Herald Sun Shield Football

Congratulations to the Agriculture students and staff who represented CMC at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show last week. The show team of six ewes was part of this year’s Polwarth feature breed celebrations. I am delighted to announce that CMC received Winner of Feature Breed (Polwarth) and also came away with second in the Ewe 2 1/2 years and older class. Well done to all the students involved and congratulations to the following award winners: Indiana Crone (Overall Junior Polwarth winner), Tom Hernon (Polwarth Junior Fleece Judging), Todd White (Polwarth Junior Handler) and the Encouragement Award winners: Tahlia Anderson, Amy Wriggleworth, Matilda-Grace Cathary, Araura-Jayde Murrell and Mitchell Thompson.

Read more about CMC at the Australian Sheep and Wool Show

Camp and Retreat

Last week the Year 12s went on Retreat to Melbourne and the Year 10 week included camp in Melbourne and activities in Bendigo. These experiences are really important for the cohorts and the individuals. For some students heading to Melbourne can be a challenge. The organisation of both events was excellent and the feedback from the students has indicated that all of this preparation and the timing has a created a very successful and worthwhile experience.

Young Mercy Leaders Pilgrimage

Zac McCarty and Will Edwards, both Year 11 students, along with Mr Len Watson arrived in Dublin on Saturday 13 July and are on their way home as I write this article. We look forward to hearing about their experiences and learning from the trip when they return.

The pilgrimage is attended by students from Mercy Secondary Schools and ministries who travel to Mercy International Centre in Dublin, Ireland. These Mercy pilgrims then undertake a journey in the light of the story of Catherine McAuley, foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. Through presentation, discussion, reflection and prayer, pilgrims engage in the history and charism of Mercy, returning to ordinary life better equipped to be Mercy leaders in our schools and in our world.

The group attended a conference at the Mercy International Centre for four full days, joining Mercy Sisters, students and staff from all around the world. They really deepened their understanding of Catherine’s story in the context of 19th Century Ireland and of the work of the work of the Mercy Sisters and Mercy International across the world. They went sightseeing as well and took tours of Dublin and Belfast, visiting many historic cathedrals and colleges.

Zac and Will have been wonderful role models and ambassadors for our College.

Subject Selection

The Subject Selection Night was well attended on Monday night. Thank you to all who attended and to the staff for their support and advice to the students and families. It is really important to continue the discussion at home about next year and beyond. Have lots of questions ready for next week when you come to map out your subjects for 2020.  Please remember that there is no perfect pathway. Everyone has a different context and stage in their learning and maturity. Some students are suited to fast tracking, some mature a little more slowly. My advice is that you don’t restrict any opportunities too early. Be flexible and prepared to be challenged in some subjects for as long as you can.


The College is delighted to announce that the iGen (InterGenerational Education Nexus) Program pilot will start in 2020. The iGen brochure has been created in partnership with Catherine McAuley College, Mercy Health and the Australian Catholic University. The partners believe we will provide a unique opportunity for Year 10 students at CMC to have an experience that will impact their learning and pastoral care. The iGen program is the culmination of countless months of preparation, review and planning. We will continue to update you with information about the program and the developments at Bethlehem as a Leader of iGen is appointed and the various committees continue to finalise the elements of the program. A big thank you Mrs Ellen Francis for her support in getting the whole concept started and working between the partners. The way in which she has kept up the momentum across ministries and sectors is a credit to her.

The other benefit from this partnership is the opportunity to offer a broader range of Applied Learning options into the future.


There has been some confusion amongst the community relating to uniforms. As noted at Subject Selection Evening, families at St Mary’s are not expected to transition to the new uniform in 2020. There is no pressure to replace the Catholic College Bendigo uniform. If it is in good condition and is still respectable in fit that is not a problem.

Year 7, 2020

As enrolments draw to a close for Year 7, 2020 the College is delighted to announce that we will have our largest enrolment since 2014; the number is currently sitting above 270.  Through every year there is some movement to and fro and this year has been consistent with past patterns. In many instances the context for students leaving has been associated with College standards and a shared understanding of the partnership between home and the College, particularly relating to the Mercy Values that are fundamental to a Catholic-Christian setting. In 2020 and beyond our numbers will continue to grow.

Social Challenges

In the coming weeks CMC will be working with other local Colleges and various agencies to support our students and families with some of the social challenges and negative elements that challenge ours and many communities. It really is important to understand that when pressures are noted in our community the College is mandated to respond and investigate matters. Students need to be educated today more than ever due to the misinformation that is circulated through the popular digital mediums that our students’ access. As adults we all have a duty to our children to help them become discerning, informed young citizens who are familiar with the challenges of society and armed with the tools to make independent mature decisions.

Student Reports

As a parent I think when we work our way around SIMON, our Learning Management system, it is constantly improving. The recent reports provide far more information and the results are easier to access and understand. Through this term you will notice the rubrics for students will be far more explicit in terms of the achievement standards for a task and the progressive growth of students. The standards and growth indicators will be generic for all tasks. The standards are not about comparatives, they are about having evidence and supporting growth and success.

Mr Brian Turner, Principal