From the Principal – 13 November 2023


I hope this finds you well.

  • Virtue of the Week
  • A thought from Archbishop Lefebvre
  • Student Achievement
  • 2024 Headstart Program
  • Community engagement Session
  • Dinner Auction
  • Key Dates
  • Light to the World Award


This week we explore the third of the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost, the Gift of Fortitude, which moves one to endure difficulties for the sake of eternal life with God

A thought from Archbishop Lefebvre

Was there ever a greater act of fortitude than that of our Lord on the cross?

Across this term, I have been working with a group of four Year 9 boys, twice a week in our new fitness space.

At the end of each session we have a competition to see who can keep their chin above the chin up bar, holding their body weight for the longest. The banter is wonderful, and I am by far the chirpiest and poorest performer to date. However, one boy in particular has demonstrated great fortitude in this competition. His initial attempt was 25 seconds, some 25 seconds off top spot, two weeks later with his whole body shaking, he is holding for 65 seconds and is some 20 seconds in front of the pack.

Two of my learnings from my time spent with the boys so far are :

  • We must take the time to be vulnerable and meet our students at their level.
  • Challenge them, as they are capable of great things and will often exceed our expectations given the chance.


Congratulations to our Year 5/6 Boys Volleyball team who have qualified for the State Finals in the coming weeks. Furthermore, we wish our Year 9/10 Girls all the best in the State Table Tennis Final this Wednesday 15th November.

Our Year 11 students have successfully completed their end of year exams and have now commenced their Year 12 studies for 2024. Our Year 7 – 10 students commence their exams tomorrow, Tuesday 14th November. For students preparing for upcoming exams, don’t hesitate to reach out to your teachers if you have any questions. Once completed, Years 7 -10 students will merge with our Year 12 students to complete the remaining two and a half weeks of our Headstart program. We will also facilitate a 2 day transition program for our Year 6 students who are moving into Year 7, on Tuesday 21st and 22nd November.

This Friday 17th November, we will hold our final Community Engagement Session of the year. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the parents who have participated in these sessions, as we have strived to provide an opportunity for genuine consultation most notably in the area of the College Strategic Plan for 2024 – 2027. I look forward to seeing many of you at the session, which will commence at 2.15pm.

Saturday evening the Pakenham Race Club will host our Dinner Auction. The evening commences at 5.00pm. I have been fortunate enough to receive the program for the evening this morning and would like to congratulate Monica Murnane and her team for organising what will be a wonderful evening.

The College Executive and Finance Team are currently finalising the College Budget for 2024. Once this process has been completed families will receive the 2024 Fee Schedule and related information.

Preparations are well underway for our end of year celebrations. The annual Primary School Christmas Concert will commence at 1.30pm on Wednesday 28th November. We will farewell our Grade 6 students at their Graduation on Tuesday 5th December and finish the year with the College Presentation Evening on Thursday 7th December.

The ‘St Thomas Aquinas Light to the World’ award will be presented this year in recognition of successful alumni. A minimum of one award is presented.

The selection criteria will be:

  1. A graduate who completed his/her schooling at St Thomas Aquinas College in its 25 years of operation.
  2. A graduate who continues to live in alignment with the Vision and Mission of the College.
  3. Have distinguished themselves by high achievement, defined as being of conspicuous merit either by level, duration or achievement in one or more of the following:
  • Religious Service
  • Academic achievement
  • Humanitarian work
  • Community involvement and/or leadership
  • Career or professional achievement or leadership
  • Business achievement and/or leadership
  • Sporting endeavour/success at an elite level


The ‘Light to the World’ must be a person who is fit and able to be put before the student body as an exemplar they can aspire to follow.

Any member of the College community may nominate a prospective ‘St Thomas Aquinas Light of the World’. The successful recipient will have a photo and biography put together and placed in a prominent position with the College.

Nomination forms can be obtained from and returned to Liz Alexander by Friday 24th November.

God Bless,


Mr Kieran O’Dwyer