Building Community – Jennifer Oaten

Optimal learning outcomes occur when the key educators in a child’s life, the parents, and the child’s school, partner together. As a school, our core business is education, but to enable us to be effective as educators, we need to partner with parents. We want our parents to be engaged with our priorities, be involved in their daughter’s learning and be part of our community. 

Parent Council

Parent Council works closely with Margo Bastow our Director of Community Relations and plays a vital role in providing a range of parent opportunities.  Parent Council is currently chaired by Year 12 parent, Liz Perrott and their focus is to:

  • Support the College in providing a broad fulfilling educational experience
  • Create opportunities for parents to interact, contribute and belong to the extended Santa Maria Community

There are five groups within our Parent Council that provide opportunities for developing parent/school and parent/parent connections. Each is chaired by a parent volunteer, except the Women of Santa. We are most grateful to these volunteers as without them many of the activities would not be possible.

Group Chair Purpose
Santa Assist
Marie Sadler and Rebecca Cleaver
  • Provides and promotes spiritual development opportunities and support to families in need through Santa Assist
  • Events include Parent Retreat and Masses
Parent Connect
Natalie Pretorius Years 5 - 8 Annamaria Monck Years 9 - 12
  • Develop friendships by organising social occasions and by providing volunteers to assist at College events.
  • Events include Year group social activities and Parent Connect Café.
Men of Santa
James Hepworth
  • Provides informal opportunities for our dads to meet other dads and participate in father/daughter events with their daughters.
  • Events include Father/Daughter Camp, Father/ Daughter Walk to School and our Men of Santa evening gatherings with a speaker.
Women of Santa
Margo Bastow
  • Women of Santa's focus is to provide women from within the Santa Maria community the opportunity to network and listen and learn from various speakers who will inspire with their stories. We believe that amazing things can happen when women help women. 
  • Events include evening gatherings with a speaker
Boarding Parents
Nola Comerford-Smith Alison Cook
  • Meet each term to discuss aspects of boarding and to connect with other boarding families.
  • Events include Boarding Parents Dinner

Recent Events

Parent Sundowner – 400 parents, both new and returning, braved the steamy weather and the threat of rain to meet new parents and enjoy the company of other parents on our beautiful Terrace over-looking the Swan River. My parents’ welcome indicated how privileged we are to hold such an event even if it was slightly delayed due to COVID. Many thanks to Kym Hawkins for all her planning and all the volunteers who assisted on the night.

Parent Connect Café – a welcoming coffee offered to parents in year groups on the Terrace under the Jacaranda Tree  8.15 am – 9.15 am. This relaxed catch up has been very well received by the year groups, with over 90 parents attending the first three cafes.  This is a great social opportunity enabling parents to meet other parents in their daughter’s year group. Our two remaining dates are Friday 19 March – Years  9 & 10 and Friday 26 March Years 11 & 12.

Men of Santa – 90 Dads joined our first Men of Santa function for the year to hear Ben Pronk and Tim Curtis from the Resilience Shield share an insightful presentation on resilience. Thanks to James Hepworth for his work ensuring the success of this event.

Women of Santa – this coming Wednesday night, 17 March, we are hosting our inaugural Women of Santa event at 7.00 pm in the Community Room.  Our guest speaker for the evening will be Sandy Anghie (Class of 1991),  Deputy Mayor of Perth. This is a free event, and limited tickets are still available. To book, click HERE.

One of the wonderful things I love about Santa Maria College is its community.  It is a strength, and there are many more opportunities that we can initiate to further activate our community. I look forward to releasing these ideas in our Strategic Plan at the beginning of Term 2.

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