It was a privilege  to attend the extraordinary liturgy of the Rite of Election of Catechumens at St Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday night.  This was an important part in the journey of three of our staff – Mr Mark Potts, Miss Amy Edwards and Miss Jessie De Leon - who are preparing  for the Sacraments of Initiation at Easter.  At this celebration they will be fully incorporated into the Catholic Church.  It was also wonderful to see some of our College parents at the Cathedral as catechumens and sponsors.

Congratulations to Mrs Laura Billingron and her husband, Henry, on the birth of their son last week.
This week we farewell Mr Ian Oxwell, Digital Technologies Coordinator.  Mr Oxwell has made a significant contribution to Holy Cross in the past six years.  His commitment and expertise has provide us with ICT systems to support learning as we have grown as a leading digital school.  Mr Oxwell also played a key role in the implementation of pilgrimage as a faith practice at Holy Cross College. I think Mr Oxwell for his dedication and his contribution to so many areas of College life.  I wish him well as he embarks on a wonderful sailing journey.
This week we welcome the following new staff to the College :
  • Mrs Joanna Nigro  - Education Assistant
  • Mrs Carol Oats – Café Assistant
  • Mr Adi Trehan – Digital Systems Coordinator  (Mr Trehan will officially start at the College on 15 April, but  will spend some time at HCC during the next few weeks doing handover.)
I have been asked to lead a group of Principals and CEWA staff on the Camino de Santiago in Spain during April.  It is wonderful to be able to share the spirit of pilgrimage which is so important to the faith story of Holy Cross.  I will be away for Weeks 9 and 10 of this term.  During this time Mr Peter Collins will take on the role of Acting Principal.  Mrs Kylie Day has been appointed as the  Acting Vice Principal.  Miss Aoife Hickey will take on an Assistant Deputy Principal role.  During Weeks 8 – 10 Mrs Christina Davini will take on an Acting Deputy Principal – Inter-relationships position and Mr Jarrad Pisano will take on the Frayne House Coordinator position for this time.


Salvado House celebrated their Feast Day on Wednesday.  The day started with a Mass for Salvado students and their parents.  At the end of the Mass Student Leaders in Salvado House were commissioned with a special blessing.  The celebration continued into lunchtime with a share meal of pizzas.  Each House celebrates their Feast Day on a date which is close to that of the birth, death or canonization of their patron. Rosendo Salvado was born on 1 March in Tui, Spain and Salvado Feast Day is usually on a Wednesday on or near to this date.



The Sydney Morning Herald recently reported that 13 per cent of Australian students are missing a year of school by Year Ten. This is a concerning figure. If a student has a day off school each fortnight they will have missed about a year of schooling by the time they reach Year 10.  Regular days off and holidays in school time can add up to a student missing large amounts of learning.  While students need to stay home when they are sick, absence for other reasons should be avoided. I encourage parents to be very aware of the time students take off during the school year and the way in which the aggregation of these days can impact on student learning.  Professional Learning Days are usually attached to the long weekends in March and June giving families the opportunity to take an ‘extra long’ weekend away without impacting on class time.  This weekend students have a four day weekend asTuesday 5 March, is Professional Learning Day for staff. There will be no classes for students on this day.


Congratulations to St Helena’s Catholic Primary School who celebrated their 20th anniversary with a Mass and BBQ last  night.  St Helena’s CPS was the first Catholic school in Ellenbrook and prior to our opening as a College we had our office at St Helena’s.  We value our relationship with St Helena’s as we work together as one Catholic community in Ellenbrook.

Last week were privileged to have a visit from John McCormack, brother of Sr Irene McCormack.  John visited Holy Cross with his cousin Graham Fisher.  It was a pleasure to be able to show them our College and to share our Faith story which has been strongly influenced by the faith-filled life of Sr Irene.  We heard stories of Irene growing up on the farm in Trayning and of her final years in Peru.  John also told us of a visit by his nephew to Huasahuasi and shared some photos of this small town, high in the Andes mountains where Irene was executed by Shining Path Terrorists.  Her crime – handing out Caritas food parcels.  Talking with John, it reminded me that in Irene was an ordinary West Australian who loved her job as an educator and was passionate about football.  She has had an extraordinary influence on so many people because of her courage in living out the Gospel message by working with impoverished villagers in Peru despite the danger to her own life.  We were delighted to be able to tell John and Graham that our new Gymnasium will be named Lima. This city is the capital of Peru, and a place where Irene also worked with the poor in Peru.  

We celebrated our Opening College Mass on Wednesday, coming together a College community to give thanks for the beginning of a new school year. At the beginning of Mass we had a special blessing for new staff and students, as well for Board members and the Executive of the Friends of Holy Cross.  Thanks to Mr Ben Bull for coordinating the organisation of the Mass and to our celebrant and Parish Priest, Fr Bona.

Years 4 – 7 enjoyed their swimming carnival yesterday. There was a wonderful sense of House spirit and a great level of participation.  The final scores were very close, with Ozanam taking the shield and Frayne a close second.  It was great to see many parents and family members at the carnival, as helpers and spectators.  Thanks to Mr James Parsons and the Health and Physical Education Team for their organisation of this event.


It was lovely to celebrate the new school year with a community gathering on Wednesday evening.  It was an excellent opportunity for parents to hear important information from their child’s teachers and to interact with other parents during the BBQ.  Thanks to Friends of Holy Cross for organising the sausage sizzle.

Year 7 students have been engaged in a transition programme during the first two weeks to support them in their transition to Middle School.  This programme has included a Retreat to enrich student’s understanding of the faith story of the College.  Students also took part in a team building day during which they went kayaking and tried crate climbing, as well as taking up the challenge of the big swing –  a definite favourite!

I look forward to seeing parents and family members at the College Opening Mass on Wednesday and the Years 4 - 7 Swimming Carnival on Friday.

Ms Mandy Connor

A New School Year

Our College Assembly on Wednesday was a community celebration in which we welcomed new students and staff to the College. Our prayer focused on Dom Rosendo Salvado on whom we will have a special focus this year,  Salvado represents the Enrichment Pillar for our College and the values of gratitude and stewardship.  In Salvado’s life as he lived out the Gospel calling he lived out these values. 

We welcomed the following staff back from leave :
  • Mr Murphy
  • Ms Carter
  • Mrs Knoblauch

We also welcomed the following new staff :
Mr Bull – Assistant Deputy Principal – Faith
Miss Waters – Learning Innovator and Year 5 Teacher
Mrs Barrett – Sports Coordinator, Physical Education and Religious Education Teacher
Mrs Andrews – Art and Textiles Teacher
Mr Bowen – Mathematics and Physical EducationTeacher
Miss Carrara – Physical  Education and Mathematics Teacher
Mrs Foxbridge – Humanities and Science Teacher
Miss Gray – English, Humanities and Religious Education Teacher
Miss George – Year 2 Teacher
Mrs O’Hanlon – Year 1 Teacher

We also acknowledged staff taking on new roles this year :
Mr Shelton – Deputy Principal (Learning)
Ms Keating – Learning Innovator
Ms Dunstan - Learning Innovator
Mr Hughes and Ms Rafferty– Middle School Innovators

It is a tradition at our opening assembly to invite back high achievers from our graduating class.  We congratulated Meagan Jones, our College Dux for 2018 received an excellent ATAR score of 96 and also received a Certificate of Distinction from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority for outstanding levels of achievement in the WA Certificate of Education. Meagan has been accepted into Law at the University of Western Australia with a direct pathway into the Masters programme as a result of her excellent results. 

We  also congratulated the following students who received an ATAR score above 90:
  • Darrell Chiu – who will study Commerce at Curtin University.
  • Kaelan Hesketh - who will study a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Western Australia with a direct pathway into Masters in Architecture due to his high score.
  • Laila Davies - who also was awarded a Certificate of Merit for high levels of achievement in the WA Certificate of Education.  Laila will study  Biomedical Science at the University of Western Australia.

In addition to these students the following students received Certificates from the School Curriculum and Standards Authority:

  • Zophia Paluszak was awarded a Certificate of Distinction.  Zoe will study Occupational Therapy at Curtin University.
  • Paige Albuino was awarded a Certificate of Merit and has been awarded a Dance Scholarship to study in Sydney, where she is currently. 
  • Sebastian Feszczur was awarded a Certificate of Merit and has been accepted to study Computer Science, with a major in Cyber Security, at Curtin University.

Students achieving a 90 plus ATAR will have their name inscribed on an honour board.

In addition to these individual student achievements, Holy Cross College was also recognised by the Standards and Curriculum Authority as being one of the highest achieving schools in WA in Religion and Life.

Our Graduating Class of 2018 did very well with 100% of General students achieved a Certificate II, III or IV, giving them a head start on vocational courses.  83% of students who applied for university received an offer for their first preference of courses and 96.2% received an offer form university in the first round of offers.

I congratulate the Class of 2018 for their results and wish them well for the next stage of their journey. 

This is our 10th year as a College.  In 2010 we started the year with just 69 students and a small number of staff. We couldn’t have imagined then that in our tenth year we would be a Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 College with over 1000 students and over 100 staff. Since that time we have embarked on significant building programmes.  We are about to open the St James Centre which is in the Santiago de Maria building.  This building is named for the Diocese of Santiago de Maria which in a poor region of El Salvador  and includes Ciudad Barrios, the town in which St Oscar Romero grew up.  Romero served as the Bishop of Santiago de Maria form 1974 – 1977.  Witnessing the suffering of the landless poor in Santiago de Maria strongly influenced Romero’s commitment to social justice.  The Cathedral in Santiago de Maria is called the Cathedral of St James the Apostle and it is from this we take the name of the St James Centre.  For Holy Cross, St James also has a link to the Camino de Santiago as the great cathedral in Santiago de Compostela is also called the Cathedral of St James.  The St James Centre at Holy Cross will include the Wellbeing Centre which will house our College Counsellor, Psychologist and Nurse, and also the College Staff area.  It is a beautiful facility and I look forward to us taking full occupation of it in the weeks to come.  The next facility we will be building will be a Sport Centre. The  building of this this will commence this year.

In this 10th year we will look back and we will look forward, but our young people live each day of the present time at Holy Cross College I hope they live life to the full.

Ms Mandy Connor
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