Principal’s Message

March 3, 2022

by Principal, Mr Steven O’Connor

Community News

I am sure that many have heard the very sad news of the unexpected passing of two former members of the St Patrick’s College community in recent days. The staff at St Pat’s were very sad to hear of the deaths of Stephanie Carswell and James Petrie.

Steph Carswell was formerly a much loved and admired member of the English Faculty at St Pat’s before she went across to Loreto College. Her passion for English and commitment to making a significant, positive contribution to her students was evident in how she went about her daily routine.

James Petrie is an old boy of St Patrick’s (2001-2006) and for a time, worked as a member of the boarding staff here at the College. James has been a much-admired teacher at Ballarat High School over many years and I was moved to read some of the tributes from his students and colleagues over the weekend and last few days. James’ father, Julian was a teacher at St Pat’s for many years before moving to Damascus College and his mother, Anne has been a long serving member of staff at St Columba’s primary school in Ballarat North.

The College extends its sincere condolences and deepest sympathies to the family and friends of both Steph and James.


Head of the Lake Regatta

I wish to congratulate all those boys who represented the College in various crews last Sunday at the Head of the Lake regatta. It was terrific to have spectators and supporters cheering our crews on at this year’s regatta and I am very proud of the efforts of our crews across the event!

I also wish to thank those Year 12 students who came along to support our crews on Sunday. They represented the College really positively and I enjoyed their enthusiasm and joy throughout the regatta.


Congratulations to Tom Foley as Captain of Boats on his efforts across this season. It was wonderful to see the 1st IV lift so positively in the last 500m of their race to come from behind the crew from Ballarat and Clarendon College to win second place comfortably. This effort showed great determination and skill.

On behalf of St Patrick’s, I congratulate the girls’ crew from College on their extraordinary win in the senior girls’ race. Congratulations to the senior boys’ crew from Ballarat Grammar which deservedly won their race; they have been the strongest and most consistent crew across the season. Congratulations to the crews from Loreto on winning the overall premiership for girls and Ballarat and Clarendon College on winning the boys’ premiership.


ACC Athletics

I was pleased to be able to travel to Melbourne last Thursday morning to watch our Athletics team compete in the ACC Athletics Championships. This was our first outing back in the ACC and it was terrific to be there for this momentous occasion!

I was really proud of all of our athletes and how they represented the College last Thursday. To say that they made a positive first impression on the ACC would be in my mind, an understatement. It was terrific to see so many boys place strongly in their events, win their events and break some long-standing ACC records across the day!


Congratulations to:

  • Cooper Sherman (Yr 12) – broke the record in the 200m event with a time of 21.45. This record had stood for 53 years. Cooper also won the 100m event with a scintillating time of 10.64 seconds;
  • Lachlan O’Keefe (Yr 11) – set a new record in the U17 High Jump with a clearance at 2m; the previous record was set in 1971 at 1.98m; and
  • Archie Caldow (Yr 10) – who won the u16 800m with a new record of 1:58.86. Archie also won the 1500m event comfortably.

The following students also won their events at the ACC Athletics:

  • Fraser Stott (Yr10) first in U16 100m (11.90) and U16 200m (24.05),
  • Reggie Palmer (Yr 12) first in U19 High Jump (1.75m) and long Jump (6.04m)
  • Jackson McInerney (Yr 9) first in U15 400m (54.63)
  • Ben Mornane (Yr 12) first in U19 3000m (9:35.59) and 1500m (4:25.70)
  • Jacob Martin (Yr 9) first in U15 Shot put (10.75m)
  • Tristan Leyshan (Yr 9) first in U15 100m (12.06) and 200m (24.14)
  • Sam Lalor (Yr 10) first in U16 Discus (44.99m) and Shot Put (14.21m)
  • Nicholas Ide (Yr 7) first in U13 80m Hurdles (13.68)
  • Oliver Cape (Yr 7) first in U13 200m (26.95)
  • Samuel Oland Nending (Yr 8) first inU14 800m (2:17.83)

In addition to this, SPC teams won the U15, U16 and U19 4 x 100m relays!

Congratulations to all SPC athletes on how they represented themselves and the College last week. It was a remarkable first outing and I am very proud of their efforts!


International Women’s Day – 8 March

At this week’s College gathering for Ash Wednesday, one of our College Vice-Captains, Isaac Hucker spoke to all students about the importance of International Women’s Day and the important work we need to continue to do towards genuine gender equality. Isaac spoke really well to this important issue and captured this year’s theme of ‘Break the Bias’ in his address.


A number of initiatives will occur during the course of next week to promote the important messages and work around International Women’s Day and equality between the genders. I thank the members of the Student Council for their leadership in this and the work of Mr Robillard in supporting this.

Mr S J O’Connor