Santa Maria College Achievements 2022 – Jennifer Oaten
The staff at Santa Maria College are a dedicated, passionate team that provides outstanding learning opportunities for all students. We are also a College that embraces change and improvement, but change that is sustained, purposeful and focused on the benefits for our students.
When reflecting on 2022, some of our proudest accomplishments in are:
Successfully navigating contact tracing, remote learning, Teams meetings, many absentees (staff and students) and Academic Workplans, which were all significant during 2022 at the College. Our staff were exceptional, learning new skills, supporting each other, and ensuring that the best possible learning continued at home or school. The adaptability of staff was a key strength.
2. Cultural Centre
This year we announced our upcoming build of a state-of-the-art music, drama and dance facility. The Cultural Centre will be a special place for our community, students and staff, alumni and families. A place to gather, learn and showcase the incredible talents of our students. Much has been achieved in the journey of designing the Cultural Centre, with construction to commence mid-2023, with an expected completion date during Term 1 2025.
3. Santa’s Workshop
We have opened the doors to Santa’s Workshop. This new initiative will give our students the opportunity to learn woodworking and other essential life skills. Our goal is to make items, like wooden toys and toolboxes, which we can either donate to children in need or sell to raise money for those less fortunate. We have a tagline to ‘build better lives’ because we will be focusing on others’ needs instead of ourselves in the things we make and create.
4. Student Ministry Team
Our student Ministry Team has grown and thrived in 2022. It is comprised of approximately 50 students from Years 7 -12 who collaborate, review, and initiate creative ways for students to connect with their faith. As a Mercy College, our Christian faith and Mercy heritage are central to all we do and are. Two initiatives of the team include the creation of a student prayer book containing prayers written by students for students and an intergenerational program with the residents of Carinya Aged Care in Bicton.
We launched our emPower program, designed to teach our girls life skills and develop attributes for solving problems on an individual, local and global scale. These programs from Years 5 – 10 offer a continuum of opportunities to individuals, small groups and Homerooms to think big and make a difference in our world.
6. Organic Revolution
All College food waste and organic matter are now being composted instead of ending up in landfill. The goal is to further reduce our landfill by 70% – 80% by the end of 2023. The Eco Sisters have played a vital role in implementing this sustainability initiative.
7. ‘Women in Business’
Women in Business was also launched this year, providing students with the opportunity to develop their entrepreneurial skills and establish their own small businesses while focusing on the needs of others. The Co-curricular has three components:
- Hub Sessions – where students develop their ideas or work on external programs
- Workshops – where students learn new skills, and
- Presentations – students hear from alumni, parents and community members
8. Introduction of Pants
After listening to our students’ voice, we decided that it was time to move forward and introduce pants as an alternative to the winter skirt. At Santa Maria, we empower our girls to make their own choices and be brave. I feel fortunate to lead a community of students, parents, alumni and staff who encourage and support our girls in everything they do.
9. A Midsummer Night’s Dream
62 actors and 30 stage and crew were involved in the recent production of ‛A Mid Summers Night Dream’. Due to students’ high interest, two separate casts performed over two nights each to allow a maximum number of students to participate. The production set made the most of our beautiful grounds, with the audience moving to five different sets. The fabulous 70s music, fairy lights, creative costumes, great humour, dancing and incredible talent and courage of our girls led to an excellent middle years’ production.
10. The Sisterhood Lunch Series
Building connections with our alumni and sharing their wisdom is the purpose of our Sisterhood Lunch series. Some of our alumni have generously given up their time to return to school and share their post-school journeys. The alumni speakers discuss their career journey, including their studies and what they have done since graduation. Years 10 – 12 students register to join our alumni in the boardroom for lunch and hear about careers that interest them.
These are just some of the highlights linked to our Strategic Plan. Many other opportunities, activities and learning have occurred throughout the year. No wonder we all need a holiday!
I wish to thank our dedicated staff for all they have done for our Santa Maria girls in what has been a challenging year. They are an excellent team, and we are truly blessed.