Principal’s Message

May 13, 2022

by Principal, Mr Steven O’Connor

SPC Drama Production: 12 Angry Men

I am really looking forward to the College’s production of Reginald Rose’s courtroom drama ’12 Angry Men’. The students and staff involved in this production have been preparing and rehearsing for several months and I know are looking forward to the opening night on Wednesday, 25 May. The work that goes into any drama and musical production is always significant and I am sure that we are set to enjoy an outstanding production again this year in ’12 Angry Men’.

I was fortunate to be in the audience for the opening night of Loreto College’s production of ‘Chicago’ this week. I congratulate the cast and crew from Loreto; their presentation of this well known musical was exceptional and very entertaining! Well done!

Photo: students rehearsing 12 Angry Men


Edmund Rice Day

After the decision to postpone Edmund Rice Day from last week, I am looking forward to this significant community day on Monday, 16 May. To gather as a community and celebrate the Eucharist, raise funds for those less fortunate than us in the walkathon and then celebrate the talents of our community in the talent quest, St Pat’s Has Got Talent is a significant series of events across Eddie Rice Day! I know that a lot of work has gone into preparing the various elements of the day and I remind all that Edmund Rice Day, an important community day, is important and not optional for students. If your son tells you that he is not expected to attend Edmund Rice Day, he is wrong, and I would ask that you remind him that it is a school day and he is expected to attend and participate in this important day.

As a Catholic school in the Edmund Rice tradition, to gather as a community and celebrate the Feast Day of Blessed Edmund Rice is really important.

Born in Callan, Ireland, in 1762, Edmund came to the bustling city port of Waterford as a young man. He was talented and energetic and soon became very wealthy. Married to Mary Elliot, in 1789 he experienced her tragic death soon after she gave birth to their daughter Mary. Deeply saddened by her loss, Edmund entered a time of mourning. As his daughter continued to open the depths of his love, his relationship with God deepened. In his own brokenness and grief, he was moved with compassion to recognise the brokenness and suffering of those around him. He entered more deeply into their struggle and found in the story of Jesus the call to liberation that is at the heart of what Jesus preached.

The Ireland of Edmund’s day was an unjust place where many lived in poverty and social structures deeply oppressed the majority of the population. In 1802 he set up a free school for boys living in poverty. His aim was to promote an education that recognised the dignity of each individual and thus he sought to liberate them from their ignorance of God and of their Catholic faith, while at the same time empowering them with an education which would enable them to rise from the demeaning poverty and sense of hopelessness in which they were trapped. Thus, Edmund sought to liberate individuals and indeed to free his society from oppression.

Of course, from these initial steps taken by Edmund, grew the Christian Brothers and Presentation Sisters and a network of schools and agencies across the globe, including St Patrick’s College in Ballarat.

I look forward to celebrating Edmund Rice Day with students and staff on Monday.

World Education Support Staff Day

Also on Monday, we acknowledge World Education Support Staff Day.  Whilst our schools cannot run without our students and teachers, it also needs our many dedicated support staff who ensure that we are able to do our jobs on a day to day basis.  Every person in every role at St Pat’s makes a difference to the education of our boys, I thank you all.

Carmen’s Legacy – Road Safety Presentation

This week, we welcomed Mr John Maher to the College to address Year 12 students about the significant issues of road safety. Mr Maher is connected to the College as a grandfather of two current students, Reuben Trigg and Max Filmer and the author of the book ‘Carmen’s Legacy’. The message that Mr Maher presented Year 12 is based on the true story of how two fatal car accidents impacted on the Maher family, who come from just outside Bendigo. It was a powerful message and hopefully highlighted a number of important safety issues, including the impact of fatigue to our young men, many of whom are commencing their time as ‘P’ plater drivers.

I hope that John’s honest and heartfelt message, based on both his family’s experiences and on the relevant data, was heard and respected by all those Year 12 students present. I would encourage parents to take every opportunity to reinforce the importance of road safety as young drivers. More information about Carmen’s Legacy can be found at



Congratulations to Year 12 student Tom Foley on his selection in the Australian Rowing team. Tom will represent Australia in the Men’s U19 Eight at the World Championships in Varase, Italy in late July.  Tom is the first St Patrick’s College student to be selected in a  Australian U19 Rowing team. 

Congratulations also to 2021 Old Collegian, Sam Butler who has been selected to make his debut Hawthorn this weekend. Sam becomes the 119th Old Collegian to play a VFL / AFL game.


Mr Steven O’Connor