Principal’s Message

October 20, 2022

by Principal, Mr Steven O’Connor

Positions of Leadership – 2023 – 2025

I am pleased to be able to announce the Positions of Leadership for St Patrick’s College for 2023-2025.

The POL Review is always an exciting time for a school, and I am looking forward to working with all those who have been appointed in this next cycle. The POL cycle allows us to reflect as a school and to renew positions which are integral to our strategic directions and ambitions as a school. It also offers individuals the chance to grow professionally and to be considered for new positions as part of the review and cycle.

I am grateful for those staff who contributed to the review along the way. I wish to thank all those who applied for a POL position and to Narelle Laing, Director of HR, and Richard Brodrick, Deputy Principal, for being part of every one of the 52 interviews; this was a massive undertaking but also a rewarding process.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce and congratulate the new POL holders for 2023 – 2025!

Director of Students                                                                        Jarrett Giampaolo

Director of Boarding                                                                       Brendon Gilbert

Head of Curriculum & Assessment                                              Luke Corden

Head of Analytics, Systems & Data                                              Simon Peake (Christian College, Geelong)

Head of Enhanced Learning                                                          Kerryn Parkinson

Head of Senior School / VCE & VCE-VM Coordinator               Mark Robson (Ballarat Clarendon College)

Head of Middle School                                                                   Karina Dunne (Catholic Regional College)

Head of Junior School                                                                     Rodney Clarke

Head of Sport                                                                                    Jason Lappin (Geelong FC/Ballarat Grammar)


Head of English Faculty / EAL/D Curriculum Coordinator Sarah Slater

Head of Mathematics Faculty                                                         Steve Biggin

Head of HaPE Faculty                                                                      Tom Nash

Head of Humanities Faculty                                                           Matt Miller

Head of Religious Education Faculty                                            Mitch Leviston

Head of Drama  Faculty                                                                  Monique Allen

Head of Languages Faculty                                                             Paul Tucker

Head of Computing Faculty / VET Coordinator                           Katherine Swagerman (Notre Dame College)

Head of Technologies Faculty                                                        Roger Knight

Head of Science Faculty                                                                   James Russell

Head of Arts Faculty                                                                        Jeanene Pritchard (Highview College)

Head of Music Faculty                                                                     Jerry Lau

YLC – Year 7                                                                                      Jacinta Burge/Margie Dodd

YLC – Year 8                                                                                      Sam Cue/Hannah Walter (Marist-Sion College)

YLC – Year 9                                                                                      Glenda Morris/Ryan Williams (Kurunjang Sec. College)

YLC – Year 10                                                                                    Rachael Leighton/Matt Taylor

YLC – Year 11                                                                                     John Sullivan/Liam Young

YLC – Year 12                                                                                    Shane Murphy/Kathryn Ward


Literacy Coordinator                                                                        Abbey Panosh (Ballarat Grammar)

Indigenous Curriculum Coordinator                                            Kate Millan

Daily Organiser                                                                                 Daniel Sutton

Domain Leaders – Faith in Action                                                 Michael Weadon


Sporting and Boarding Events

I have attended three sporting dinners this term – Rugby, Basketball and Soccer.  It is a wonderful opportunity to see how the boys have played and progressed in their teams and for the community to acknowledge their achievements and sportsmanship.  I would like to thank the coordinators (Leigh McKee – Rugby, Tamara Westwood – Basketball and Emmanuel Desfosses – Soccer), the many coaches and our Head of Sport, Tina Benoit, for their dedication to these programs and for providing our boys with these opportunities.  I would also like to thank the parents and carers for their support, both during the season and by attending these special events.

On Saturday morning I had the pleasure in attending the christening of our new rowing boat “The Brian Vear”, named after one of our Old Boys and the College’s first Olympian.  Sadly, Brian has passed away, however, his three brothers were in attendance to mark the special occasion.  The christening coincided with the exciting start of our Rowing Season.  I would like to wish the boys and our Coordinator of Rowing, Tom Nash, all the very best.

Also on Saturday, I was fortunate enough to meet with some of our Boarding families at the Boarding Mass and Dinner.  It was the perfect opportunity to wish our Year 12 boarders all the best for their exams and for their years ahead.  The boarding families put their faith and trust in us to provide a home for their son and so it is always a joyful time when we can welcome the families to the College and for them to see their home away from home.   I would like to thank and acknowledge the Director of Boarding, Brendon Gilbert, and our Housemasters, Tamara Westwood and Liam Young, for their contribution to boarding.  My gratitude is also extended to Geoff Brodie, Assistant Principal – Mission & Identity, and his team for their preparation and involvement with the Mass.

Farewell to the Year 12 class of 2022

On Wednesday we farewelled our Year 12s.  It is a day filled with mixed emotions but mainly excitement as our young men step away from school life and prepare for their exams.  This day is filled with many events, starting with a breakfast and including an assembly of the College specifically to farewell the cohort.  The day finished with a beautiful Mass with students, parents and staff at St Patrick’s Cathedral.  I hope the day has the same impact on the students as it does the staff; it really is a beautiful and significant day.

At their farewell assembly, I said to the Year 12s:

As you leave us, I encourage you:

  • To risk love – for is there any other way?
  • To reach out – for the poor need your hands and you need their wisdom
  • To forgive – for the hardened heart forgets how to dance
  • To play and dance and wonder
  • To bow in awe before the truly beautiful and the truly courageous
  • To savour each moment and live each day
  • May each day be walked in love
  • Each day lived with courage
  • Each day faced with hope
  • Each day never walked alone
  • May each day be a gift
  • We and your God of the journey will always – yes always – walk with you
  • Go with God Year 12
  • We are justly proud of you
  • Be the best you that you can be!

I finish by taking you back to something which is dear to my heart as an educator, as a Christian and as a person. I have always resonated with this short verse from the Book of Micah, when it says:

‘And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God’. 

Please God, let yours be a journey of justice, kindness and humility; give us all the grace, wisdom and courage to do what is right and to our very best in all that we do.

God bless gentlemen; go gently.

I wish the Year 12s all the best with their exams and look forward to sending them on their way, as Old Boys of the College, at the Valedictory Cocktail Party next month.



St Patrick’s College is very pleased to unveil our new College app.  This app has been custom-made for our requirements and will help simplify our communication with families. Built by Digistorm, the app integrates with our existing software systems.

The app will enable us to centralise family communication in one place – including being able to send out urgent messages when required. It also contains links to our website, the calendar, PAM and other important communication sources.  It is important to note, that we will continue to use existing forms of communication including email, PAM, the website and social media.

The St Patrick’s College app is available on the Apple App Store or Google Play.  Follow the simple steps, subscribe to notifications and easily set it up on your device.

SPC App Info

SPC App User Guide


Kind regards

Mr Steven O’Connor