News & Events

St Mary’s Assembly brings a reflective and celebratory end to Term 2


St Mary’ students and staff gathered in the final week of Term 2 for an assembly led by the student leaders. The assembly focused on Refugee Week, reflecting on Term 2, our support of Vinnies and celebrating those who excel in their service to our community and their personal achievements. Highlights of the assembly were Khin San’s beautiful singing and the awarding of the prestigious Spirit of Catherine Awards at each year level.

Refugee Week

Amir and Grace presented a reflection for Refugee Week. They spoke about celebrating the positive contribution made by refugees to Australian society and about this year’s theme of Unity which promotes harmony and togetherness. This reminds us that, regardless of our differences, we all share a common humanity.

We have a large population of Karen students in our school and Australia. Karen people are fleeing their country due to a civil war in their homeland which makes it unsafe to live there anymore.

In this short video, Najeeba Wazefadost who fled Afghanistan at 10 years old with her parents, shares a very personal story of the experience of being a refugee. Najeeba sought asylum from Australia by sea in September 2000.  She spent several months in mandatory immigration detention before being recognised as a refugee. Najeeba says, “Leaving your country is one of the most important decisions a human being can be forced to make.”


Liz spoke about being a reGEN school and how it is our duty to look after the planet. She asked that everyone makes a conscious effort to dispose of their waste properly by using the appropriate bins and foreshadowed the new bin system to be introduced in Term 3.

SRC Update

Toby presented an SRC update, talking about year level meetings, meetings with the Year Level Learning Leaders (YLLLs), planning for Mental Health Week and fundraising for Vinnies Winter Appeal.

Student Achievements

Lucy congratulated the following students how have excelled in their achievements with sport and the arts this year:

  • Joshua Beekes: Australian representative football (soccer)
  • Jason GIlbee: AFL state representation (NSW)
  • Harvey Gallagher: AFL state representation (Vic Country)
  • Layla Day: selection for Olympic trials
  • Pioneers Boys U19: Linc White, Jason Gilbee, Tom Bennett, Jack Stewart, Harvey Gallagher, Jake Nihill
  • Pioneers Girls: Bryde O’Rourke, Lila Keck
  • Pioneers Boys U16: Harrison Kelly, Tait Poyser, Riley Mulquiney
  • Bendigo Football Netball League (BNFL) U17 Girls: Macy O’Shea, Charlotte Sexton, Katie Dean, Siarne Cass, Ava Hamilton
  • Nexus Youth Theatre Bendigo ‘Oliver’: Nicholas Hurrell, Layne Austen
  • Bendigo Theatre Company ‘We Will Rock You’: Aoife Cunningham, Abby Perdon

Spirit of Catherine Awards, Term 2

  • Year 10: Tsion Brooks and Connor Milton
  • Year 11: Claudia Scott and Jonah Holland
  • Year 12: Deanna Duane and Piper Dunlop

Read more about the Spirit of Catherine Award Winners.

Tom addressed the assembly about the work of Vinnies and the donations requested from students to support the Winter Appeal, reminding us that we can ALL make a difference.

Kearley and Maya spoke about an initiative by VCAL students, which saw them making and donating meals to Bendigo Foodshare when they couldn’t attend their planned workplace learning due to COVID.

Mr Brian Turner, Principal, and Mrs Trish Schofield, Deputy Principal – St Mary’s, both reflected on the term and our community. To sum up, Trish Schofield reflected on the Refugee Week theme of Unity and building a more cohesive community. Her challenge to the assembled students and staff was “At CMC, if we are to thrive and build a better community, what is your role?”

She encouraged us as we move into the break, to “take time to give thanks for those around us, those who encourage us to be comfortable in our own skin, help us achieve more, study harder, make the most of opportunities and make our community a great place to be each day, where we feel safe and respected.”

“There are things the poor prize more highly than gold though they cost the donor nothing: the kind word, compassionate look, and the patient hearing of sorrows.” (Catherine McAuley)