The show must go on for Matilda!

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in News, Newsletter

The show must go on!

We are so excited to share the school musical, Matilda will take to the stage in 2021!

After a few months on the backburner, everyone was so happy to restart rehearsals recently. Performances will be in late February 2021. Find out the first cast member reveals in today’s edition of The Fountain newsletter,

Stay tuned for more cast reveals and news on the musical!

Rowing Blessing of the Boats

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in Featured News, Newsletter

It was certainly a very different season for rowers this year and all have stood strong and competed wholeheartedly in the events that did take place. Congratulations to all rowers on a wonderful season and to the following students:

Maddison, Sophie, Hannah and Kate (Year 12), the Open Rowers who received the Golden Oars award. These students have represented the St Mary’s College rowing team for six years. What an amazing rowing legacy!

Eliza, Jessica, Tehya, Cecilia, Felicity, Holly, Cara and Holly (Year 10) who received their Open Rowing badges. Best of luck for the next season of rowing.

The rowing team also celebrated the Blessing and Naming of the Boats on Sunday. Announcements were made for the Captain of Boats, Amelia Roberts and Deputy Gabby Woodhouse. Congratulations to you both!

SSATIS Athletics Carnival results

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in News, Newsletter, Sport/Activity News

We are so proud of the efforts of all students who participated in the recent SSATIS Athletics Carnival. 

In the SSATIS Pennant Challenge St Mary’s College won the Girls U14’s shield and came second by three points in the Girls U16’s. Well done everyone!

Please see below a summary of the individual Top 3 finishes: 

Girls U14


2nd Emma Grubb 


2nd Cate Clingeleffer

3rd Jessica Smith 

Long Jump

2nd Isobel Grey

3rd Nyah Hall 

Shot Put 

1st Davina Cox

New record set: 12.52m

Old Record 11.85m 

3rd Halle Atkinson 


3rd Venus Wani, Jordana Drew, Isobel Grey and Emma Grubb


Girls U16 


1st Bonnie Bowden


1st Olivia Read

Long Jump

1st Bonnie Bowden

Shot Put 

1st Amelie Cox


1st Lauren Shelton, Ansa Le Grange, Olivia Read and Bonnie Bowden

Girls Open

Shot Put

2nd Caitlin McDonald 

Thank you to Amy Prokopiec and Lucy Eade, the 2020 St Mary’s College Athletics Team Co-Captains who did an amazing job supporting and leading the team and also competing with strength and determination.

EAL student profile – Ornina Saliba

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in Newsletter

What do you enjoy most about St Mary’s?

I like that the teachers are so helpful and understanding and they explain things very well. Even if English is not your first language you can still learn and feel a part of the school lessons.

How long have you been in Australia and at St Mary’s College?

This is my fourth at St Mary’s College after arriving in Australia and Tasmania in 2017 from Syria. I migrated to Tasmania with my Mum, Dad and younger sister who is also at St Mary’s College, in Year 5, Rita. I also have an older brother and sister who live in Syria and Germany.

Did you learn English before migrating to Australia?

I knew a little bit of English before we got here. I speak Arabic, French and English and learned French in Lebanon before leaving for Australia.

My Mum and Dad only speak in Arabic, so Rita and I speak a lot in English to sneak things past Mum and Dad! 

What’s your favourite subject at school?

English is my favourite, it taught me how to speak and interact with people in an English-speaking place and it’s a straight forward subject.

Who is your favourite teacher?

All the teachers are so nice. Mrs Clark and the Lantern staff are all wonderful.

If you could choose one area of schooling as a highlight, what would it be?

I really enjoy writing imaginative stories. For the mid-year exams, I was given a sentence and had to write a story. This sentence was ‘the strangest but the best gift I’ve ever received.’ I wrote about a girl who wants to be an astronaut, went to space, saw aliens, and keep it a secret. On her birthday she received a gift, a shiny rock, from space.

I also enjoy reading horror stories.

What key things have you learned this year?

Learning new words that are difficult and taught me a lot about writing essays and reports.

Learning with activities in class has been fun, Kahoot is about something you’ve learned. 

What do you like about Tasmania the most?

I like the views and landscape of Tasmania and the opportunity to learn the language, that has helped me settle in here.

What are your future plans after you finish school?

I am going to the University of Tasmania for the University Preparation Program, which gets you ready for uni, including essay writing and lecture preparations.

Student Spotlight – Molly Topham

Written by Michaela Brighella. Posted in Featured News, Newsletter

What do you enjoy most about Chinese?

I really enjoy learning the language, but I really love experiencing and learning more about their culture.

When did you first start enjoying and feeling connected to learning Chinese?

I started in Year 7 when I first came to St Mary’s College. I didn’t enjoy it much then, but after doing the Chinese Speaking Competition and winning in Year 8, I felt like learning the language would be an amazing and fun challenge. I was also encouraged by others and saw it as a beneficial subject to take.

What’s your favourite part about learning Chinese?

I enjoy the way the language is taught, as it is very different from the way we learn other subjects, like maths for example. I enjoy learning and writing characters, as each one is like a little art piece, intricately drawn in order for it to be read. It is also quite funny when you miss out a line or dot because then the character means something completely different than what you intended it to mean.

How has learning Chinese been different this year?

We are learning more about information and communication, in general, this year, rather than learning about basic communication. We learn a lot about their culture through learning the language too. This year, we have learnt more about identifying characters in writing, how to write characters and understanding longer and more everyday conversations.

Learning at home due to COVID-19 the content wasn’t any different, but it was interesting as I found myself more confident to practise the language around the home.

What’s the thing you’ve learnt in Chinese that has always stayed with you? What’s been a key part of your learning Chinese?

Well, something I will always remember fondly is the food we cooked with Li Li Laoshi in Year 9. We cooked spring rolls, dumplings, beefcakes and mooncakes. There was only four of us, and we each got to learn how to make them so we could try it at home. It was a lot of fun and we would always look forward to it!

A key part of my learning in Chinese is learning about the culture, seeing how vastly different their culture is in comparison to Australia. and the history of their culture and how it has changed over time, including all the beautiful cultural celebrations that we have learnt about like the celebration of Chinese New Year and the importance of the Chinese Zodiac.

What is your favourite Chinese item e.g. food, drink, a place, historical location?

Dumplings and tea! We recently went on an excursion to our former teacher’s tea rooms, it was amazing! We learnt a lot about the history of tea, tea etiquette and different types of tea. We tried quite a few and really enjoyed it!

In Year 9, we had our first cooking lesson where we made dumplings! It was really fun, and I remember they tasted so good! I had never had dumplings before and I now officially love them!

Do you want to study Chinese further and explore this as a career path? If yes, what will be your main focus?

I would like to study it in Year 11, and hopefully keep it as a skill for my future. It is extremely beneficial as Chinese has a strong presence globally and in Australia. It would be beneficial towards the career path I wish to go down which is politics and law. The background knowledge and understanding of the language will be beneficial and stay with me throughout my life.

What would be your dream Chinese experience or job?

My dream Chinese experience would be visiting China, experiencing the little towns, visiting the Fuzhou province, walking along the Great Wall, immersing myself in their culture and trying some of their food!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome while studying Chinese?

Speaking and fully understanding what has been said and also interpreting it into my everyday life. Listening is the biggest challenge as we all tend to speak fast in the language we are fluent in, which means it is hard to understand listening tasks and videos we watch. But I have found that if a few keywords are understood, you can still have a conversation.

What advice would you give to other aspiring language students?

If you are interested or curious about any area of a country’s language or its culture, I encourage you to try and learn it! It is a great tool for communication with other countries and you will learn and meet amazing and interesting people along the way. Various opportunities for future careers, holidays, competitions, prizes and more become available to you once you begin to learn! If you are keen or even slightly curious, it is a tremendous opportunity and heaps of fun!

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