From the Principal, 9 February 2018
On Tuesday evening, we were very privileged to have Archbishop Costelloe celebrate our Opening Mass, along with Father Sean Fernandez from the Attadale Parish. It was a special evening celebrating our 80th Year as a College, my commissioning as Principal and the commissioning of 46 students and 4 staff as Special Ministers of Holy Communion.
It was wonderful to gather as a faith community to celebrate the commencement of the school year and to have with us many of our Sisters of Mercy, Deputy Director of Catholic Education WA, Peter Yensch and from Mercy Education, Board Chair Lucy Molony, Board Directors, Mary Retel and Tony Wheeler and Chief Executive Christopher Houlihan.
I was humbled to be commissioned to serve as Principal at our Opening Mass with all our staff, students and many families present. I look forward to the challenges and the joy my new role will bring.
One of our visiting Mercy sisters emailed with this lovely comment.
Your school site must be the envy of many people. It was so glorious just sitting at the Mass and looking at God’s creation before us. The river, trees, nature and the whole environment. God is great isn’t HE!
In 2018, Santa Maria College celebrates 80 years and we give great thanks for our heritage, to the Sisters of Mercy. The Sisters of Mercy played an incredible role as principals, teachers, boarding staff, music staff and many other important roles in College life and for this we are truly grateful. Santa Maria College would not exist without the vision and hard work of the Sisters of Mercy. While we are celebrating our 80th anniversary – we are the youngest of the 12 Mercy Education schools. The oldest Mercy school in Australia is Mercedes College, founded in 1846.
Year of Excellence
Our Mercy Value for 2018 is Excellence which is ‘To strive to do everything to the highest possible standard to which of are capable. We do this by using our gifts and talents to their fullest at all times.’
Esther Sumich, Academic Captain 2018, included the following in her address at our Achiever’s Assembly
First, let’s make an obvious distinction between perfection and excellence. To me, being perfect is impossible and even if it were possible, it would be a stagnant and uninspiring existence with little imagination. We all love the idea of being perfect, of having everyone around us look in awe at what we’ve done and what we have achieved, but in reality, there is no honour in being perfect, there is no real success in having no failure. People who strive for excellence, they’re the truly triumphant people. They embrace their failures and use them to improve themselves, turning their experiences into wisdom they can use for the future. So, why excellence? Because it is limitless and progressive, it leaves you reaching for greater things for yourself.
Dr Susannah Lillis from the Class of 1996 spoke at our Achievers’ Assembly on Thursday this week, and although she has achieved so much in her career, her inspiring story was more about the journey she has taken throughout her career, the challenges she faced and how each challenge she faced led her in a new direction. Her closing message was that money and a successful career are not the key to a happy life. She encouraged the girls to be ‘good people’ who look out for others, smile at others and make a difference in our world.
Susannah is a Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Diagnostic Imaging and a Diplomat of the American College of Veterinary Radiology. She graduated from Murdoch University and completed a Masters of Veterinary Science at the University of Melbourne. She has also worked at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Liverpool. Susannah undertakes clinical research and loves teaching veterinary students, having recently completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.
Jennifer Oaten, Principal
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