Principal’s Message

May 13, 2021

by Principal, Mr Steven O’Connor


This week, students in Years 7 and 9 participated in the prescribed literacy and numeracy tests known as NAPLAN. During the course of 2020 and as a result of COVID-19, NAPLAN tests did not run across the nation. Thankfully, things are far more settled this year and NAPLAN has been able to run in all schools across the country in 2021.

NAPLAN provides schools, parents and students with an important snapshot or insight into the literacy and numeracy skills of each student. Whilst I have always argued that NAPLAN is not and cannot be the main measure of student progress, growth or success at a school, it does provide schools and parents with some useful information around the key areas of literacy and numeracy. NAPLAN cannot effectively measure a vast range of important elements of a holistic education offered at St Patrick’s College. It is not designed to do this and therefore should be viewed as it is – a measure of student ability and growth in literacy and numeracy. As NAPLAN did not occur in 2020, most schools are eager to receive the data provided through these tests.

I wish all boys in Years 7 and 9 all the very best as they complete the NAPLAN tests this week.

Edmund Rice Day

On Wednesday, May 5 the entire College gathered to celebrate Edmund Rice Day. The day started with Mass in the O’Malley Gymnasium, followed by the walkathon to raise funds for our Edmund Rice charities, lunch and then the 2021 ‘St Pat’s Has Got Talent’ competition back in the O’Malley.

I was really pleased with the entire day and the way in which the boys entered into each of the elements throughout the day. The Mass was a lovely celebration and an important way for us to begin the day, acknowledging the important legacy and example left by Blessed Edmund Rice and the charism which shapes our school community. The boys are encouraged to embrace the commitment to standing in solidarity with those on the margins as they go about raising moneys towards helping those who need our help. Some boys raised money in the form of sponsorship or donations to their walkathon involvement. We have also encouraged boys to raise money via doing extra jobs at home or for friends, relatives or neighbours or if they have a part-time job, perhaps donating some of their pay from a shift at their job. The boys are able to contribute towards raising funds for Edmund Rice Day throughout the month of May.

The day culminated with the St Pat’s Has Got Talent competition with a wonderful range of acts being presented in the O’Malley Gymnasium. I was really impressed with the courage, talent and enthusiasm of those who performed and I congratulate and thank all boys who contributed so much to this year’s competition. In addition to this, I was really impressed by the reactions and the warm and genuine support of the audience. It was great to see the boys in the audience support and acknowledge each of the acts as they performed – a great expression of community from our boys. Well done and thanks, boys!


Over the last year or so, an alternate summer shirt has been trialled at the College. At the beginning of the term, I asked the boys to provide us with feedback, via a survey, on the trial summer shirt in comparison with the current white shirt with the College tie.

Following the closure of the survey, the current or existing shirt was the preference of the majority of students. Therefore, I confirm that the College will retain the current uniform arrangements in terms of the shirt they are required to wear year round. The trail open neck shirt will no longer be allowed to be worn during the summer terms at the College.


Staff Acknowledgment – 30 Years’ Service to Catholic Education

This week the St Patrick’s College community and Catholic Education Ballarat joined in acknowledging and celebrating the significant contribution of 30 years of service to Catholic education of both Ms Clare Kavanagh and Mr John Richards.

To contribute to the mission of Catholic education via its schools over 30 years is a remarkable milestone. Both Clare and John are highly respected and admired professionals and have made amazing contributions to Catholic education and more specifically to St Patrick’s College during their time on staff. Clare has been both Head of Mathematics and Head of Science during her time as a member or staff at St Pat’s. John came to the College as an experienced Principal of Catholic Primary schools and contributed to the College via the senior leadership role of Director of Junior School for many years.

The combined contribution of Clare and John to the formation of so many fine young men and to the St Pat’s community is immeasurable and remarkable. On behalf of the entire College community, I thank and congratulate them for all that they have done and on reaching this wonderful milestone!


Year 12 Students Gathering       

On Wednesday, May 12 the Year 12 students from St Patrick’s and Loreto College met together in the OCA Pavilion at the College to listen to a presentation around the important issue of Consent, sexual assault and domestic violence. All of these issues are incredibly important and it was really worthwhile for the students to hear from experts from Ballarat Community Health and Victoria Police on these matters. My thanks goes to the people from these agencies for taking the time to talk to our young people. Thanks also to the student leaders and staff from both St Pat’s and Loreto for working together to organise and prepare this presentation.

It is important that we continue to provide opportunities for this conversation and that we regularly address these issues as part of our commitment towards the formation of fine young men at the College.



Mr Steven O’Connor