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Term 1 2024 – Message from the Principal

Dear Families,

Welcome to a new year at MacKillop College. A particularly warm welcome to our new students, staff members and families who join us this year; I hope that your time with us is both rewarding and fulfilling. In total we have 226 new families joining us in 2024 and, from my perspective, one thing MacKillop College does well is being inclusive and welcoming of new people. I hope that you have had an enjoyable holiday and that you are refreshed and looking forward to the year ahead. I am really looking forward to everything this year at MacKillop College will bring, both operationally and socially, especially given the priorities within our School Improvement Plan. These are to:

  1. Develop and embed with all staff, common and agreed pedagogical practices
  2. Build the capacity of all staff to understand and act on the implication of data (Data Informed Practice)
  3. Build the capacity of all staff to accept responsibility for the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy
  4. Embed practices that enable student and staff agency to enhance student wellbeing for learning.

The 2024 MacKillop College theme is ‘Mutual Respect – a lived action’ supported by the words of Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop in 1882, ‘Do all you can to work in unity.’ This theme is a call for action in the spirit of Mary MacKillop. It is what we are called to be as Josephite people. Mary MacKillop’s reverence for all people meant that she was incapable of giving up on anyone. The Sisters’ memories of Mary reflect her deep respect for the dignity of all. To her, everyone was precious. It is a particularly relevant theme for our staff as we embark on using greater collaboration to improve not only our teaching but also our student outcomes.

Our theme is also relevant for students and families as we strive to improve the connectedness of all within our community. For families, we are endeavouring to enhance our communication with you, so that we can forge a better partnership with two-way communication. This two-way communication should take place when there are positive things to report as well as when there are issues or challenges.

As such, it is important that all students begin the year well in every context. It is important that the College uniform is always worn appropriately; it means getting down to the core business of working hard in class and working with every teacher to produce the best set of results possible; it involves challenging oneself to participate in the vast array of co-curricular activities available; it means embracing the social justice programs at the College and contributing to these; and it means harmoniously learning with a diverse group of peers. The evidence clearly supports the theory that the students who get the most out of schools such as MacKillop College are those who enthusiastically embrace the educational, cultural, sporting and social justice offerings available.


2023 VCE Results
There is a dual purpose of any Catholic school, namely the faith development of students as well as the education of the whole student. We are a school and, as such, we are accountable for the academic outcomes of our students. I am pleased to be able to report that the Dux of the College is Sahara Pethiyagoda with an ATAR of 99.00 and a further fourteen of his peers had ATARs above 90. Our VCE median score remained at 31, which was pleasing, and so I would like to acknowledge our teachers of Year 12 subjects, and our other staff who did the preparatory work in Years 7–11.

We will recognise the VCE achievements of the class of 2023 at our first assembly on Thursday 1 February. This will involve presentations to the College Dux, students who achieved an ATAR of 90 or above and subject dux awards for students, on the condition they achieved a study score of 40 or above. As a result, it is likely that the assembly will go into Period 1b. These students and their families have been invited to attend the College Assembly and a morning tea provided after the assembly.

There were 168 VTAC offers given in December, which is over 95% of the students who applied for places – this is pleasing. Of the students that didn’t receive an offer, the majority are students that did not meet prerequisites.


Year 7 and Year 12 students recommence school on Wednesday 31 January 2024, by 8:40am. Year 11 students studying a Unit 3 VCE subject are required to attend any scheduled class on this day.

  • Years 8 to 11 recommence school on Thursday 1 February 2024, by 8:40am.
  • Our Opening School Mass – Wednesday 7 February commencing at 9:00am.
  • College Photos – Monday 12 February.
  • Year 11 Retreat and Wellbeing Program on Monday 19 February to Friday 23 February
  • Year 12 Camp and Wellbeing Program on Monday 19 February to Friday 23 February.


Parent/Carer Information Evenings
Year 7 – Tuesday 6 February, 7:30pm.
Year 8 – Thursday 8 February, 7:30pm.
Year 9 – Thursday 1 February, 7:30pm.
Year 10 – Tuesday 20 February, 7:30pm.
Year 11 – Tuesday 13 February, 7:30pm.
Year 12 – Thursday 15 February, 7:30pm.


As you are all no doubt aware, MacKillop College’s vision statement is ‘Celebrating all life, Challenging all people, Dreaming the new day’. Part of our ‘Celebrating all life’ is having gratitude for all that we have and the opportunities that are placed before us. ‘Challenging all people’ is particularly true with a Catholic school, as one of the key aspects of teaching is providing the appropriate level of challenge and support for learners to succeed. ‘Dreaming the new day’ speaks to me through hope and recognition that things can change if we commit ourselves fully and work hard to achieve these dreams.

Families are reminded that communication from the College with respect to Attendance, Behaviour and Learning, will be via SEQTA Direqt Messaging (DM). We encourage all families to check their DMs on a regular basis. These can be accessed online or via the SEQTA Engage App. For more information on how to download and use the App, please view the help videos on the College Website.

Thank you for your ongoing support of MacKillop College as we work together to ensure that every student has the opportunity to develop their God given gifts and talents and achieve their potential.


Kind regards,
Chris Caldow