Principal's Post


Please note: I always write like I speak. So not perfection in grammar, but just how I write. If you ever feel you do not quite get what I am talking about in my Post, just go with it. Maybe a podcast one day.


One of the great things about being a principal is that we get to work closely with people. So for me, like, does it get any better than working with St Columba’s people. Truly, just think about what I get to do. I get to be present with our kids, our parents/grandparents, our staff and our parish community. Nothing better. Right now, I am sitting in a classroom typing away, while watching our kids at work and the wonderful connections being made with their teacher. I see this all the time, and it is again one of the beautiful things to see happening so naturally. There is something about St Columba’s people that creates a vibe that is so tangible in the actions I see around our school.


This vibe is our culture. It is who we are. It is the feel. Now, I do not know if you have ever heard about a company called Zappos, but these guys have culture down pat. They have created an environment where their employees run to get to work. It is a joyous place that is smashing records in staff morale and connectedness. Their customers love them too. They are an on-line shopping network and call centre. They have beliefs that they stand for and have embedded across their company. People are drawn to them because they care before anything else. They know the stories of their staff and customers and provide joy. The biggest things for everyone is they belong, nothing better than belonging to something with inherent goodness and joy.

When I heard about this company and starting looking into some of their beliefs and what was it that made them who they. I asked myself what is it they have as their mantra, that has all their employees loving their work and loving those they serve. From their owners and directors, to the person on the end of the phone, to those packaging and in charge of freight they are seen as important and invaluable in what they bring. Their CEO, Tony Hsieh, wants people in the company that get what they are about. He believes it is about getting the right people to live this, not only at work, but in their lives. Life and working at Zappos are not separate. He believes in getting the culture flying and you will have everything else flow. I love this!

Here are their ten commitments about who they are. Now, when I read these, I thought about our St Columba’s community and felt it connected so closely to who we are and what we see as really important to us. It could just be me, but imagine if we could have these ten things embedded across our school, a part of all our thinking. Have a read and see what you think.

Let me just say, these set really high standards in being. Probably why I love them. A little bit aspirational, but that is cool. Aspirational just means we are working really hard to get there, and it is okay that we will not always get this right. I think about my own girls, Holly and Skye, and then think about our St Col’s Kids, and go to myself, imagine building these traits in them from a young age. What would Holly and Skye be as people right at this moment at 22 and 19 year olds? I think of Holly and straight away connect her on her 4th year teaching practicum and I know for her right now, it is about pursuing growth and learning as well as delivering WOW through her service to the kids in her class. She is so passionate and determined right now. She is also exhausted and sleeping really well. Skye, well, she is also passionate and determined. When she sets her mind to it, that is it. Whatever it takes attitude. Humbleness is also what she is about. Skye does not want to be the centre of attention and does not seek recognition for the good stuff she does. Skye just does it because it brings her and others joy.

I can give a 100 examples right now just looking at kids in the class I am sitting in. I look at one of the kids and go, humble, another kid, so positive when working with others, she brings joy. This young fella, I glance at right now, so determined in his Mathematics. If we think about our own kids, we can see so much of the ZAPPOS thinking in them. Think about these qualities for ourselves and we immediately feel a lift inside. I do not know a lot about much, but the one thing I do know is that if we can set ourselves beliefs we stand for, and all commit, then we create a nourishing environment for all who walk in through our gates. How we do this will always be our challenge. The idea is, just have fun with it, then try to deliver the WOW for those who you meet during your day.

Another example of the WOW factor was on Monday this week, when I returned after being away a few days, I had so many kids come up to say hi and welcome me back with such kindness. As parents, you are instilling such goodness and awareness in your children, creating something very special. This WOW factor is something you model as parents, and that is why it happens. It is always good times seeing parents in the morning or at Kiss and Drive as I see so much goodness. This is why I know I have it so good.

The WOW of service was no more apparent than on Sunday morning across at the Bayswater Primary School’s oval busy bee. With very short notice, we had about ten parents/grandparents come along and help out. The connection to Bayswater Primary School and their community was enhanced even further by this commitment. This is the WOW of service. This builds strong culture. Actions speak. When we do this with fun in mind and a willingness to give, there can be so much momentum built. I look at the bollards that we shifted and the mulching, and marvel at the precision of our parents in doing the job right. If you walk along the Leake Street side of the park, the one bollard not quite straight is probably Ben’s, definitely not one I put in.

Zappos talk about being part of the family, and that is what I believe is the strength of our Pastoral Care Group on a Wednesday. It is all about this building of positivity and a sense of family. We all know it to be true. I see how our kids interact with the raffle and the way out Pastoral Care team care so deeply for these kids, and all our families. I mean really, I could keep writing for the next hour about so much of this. Just look around and there is so much good stuff happening. I know I am the glass half full type of bloke, but I only say what is the truth about who we are. Embrace it!

Hence, I shall stop now and just say this, Number 3 on the Zappos Chart, ‘Create Fun!’

Morning Kiss and Drive

During the last few weeks, we have been having some issues with the morning drop-off and parents stopping their car, hopping out and walking their children to the gate. This causes the flow of traffic to become problematic and causes frustration for other parents and our local residents. Some parents are doing a U-turn after the drop off. This is dangerous and puts the safety of our families at risk. Please use this Kiss and Drive for what it is designed for. Kiss your precious one and have them hop out, grab their bag and enter the school grounds. We appreciate the support we have from parents with the drop-off and traffic management around the school during these busy times. This is a friendly reminder to ensure the safety of all.

New Website

Thank you for the positive feedback regarding the new website. Please feel free to give any other feedback on how we can further develop the website and anything you feel could assist in communication to parents. At the P and F meeting a suggestion regarding notifications is going to be looked at in the future. We will continue to add to the website over the next few months.


I thought I would put this quote in again from the last Donegal. I sort of think it is good to keep it in the forefront of our minds. One Donegal for such a quote is not quite enough. Enjoy it and know this is something we can all have in our day. I just think about the care others offer our families. You are all so much across this with other families. You bring your piece here and it makes our puzzle complete. In every conversation we have, we have this opportunity.

‘Everyone comes with them at least one,

and probably many pieces,

to someone else’s puzzle.

Sometimes they know it, sometimes they don’t

…and when you present your piece to another,

whether they knew it or not,

whether they know it or not,

You are a messenger from the most-high.’

Lawrence Kushner


Father’s Day Breakfast

The Pastoral Care team are busy organising breakfast for all the dad’s/grandad’s/Uncles.  The breakfast is on Friday 30th August at 7.30am.  Cost is $2.50 per child and $2.50 per adult.  Further information and RSVP slips are attached to this newsletter.

Kindy dads are also invited to visit the classroom for a ‘Stay and Play’ from 8.20am to 8.45am on the morning of the Father’s Day breakfast.

Wishing you a week filled with bringing something of yourself to others, that in turn brings something special to your life. Take care and thanks again for making St Columba’s School a very welcoming place, where there is a sense of belonging. This is our core purpose for being.

Goodness your way.


School Counsellor News

Can selfies affect a child’s mental health?

Dr. Linda Papadopoulos |

As one of the most well-known psychologist in the UK, she joined Internet Matters as an Ambassador and is on hand to give support to help parents keep their kids safe online.

The desire to explore and manipulate our identity is a normal process of development and underpins much of the appearance-driven behaviour that we see amongst young people.

Up until recently, this was done in front of the mirror; experimenting with clothes, hairstyles and makeup.  More recently the selfie has begun to play a role.

While there is a benefit to articulating one’s identity and getting feedback from one’s peer group, the problem is that doing this via selfies means that this feedback group, which reflects back to us how we appear, has increased exponentially, and with it the uncertainty of how we are perceived, and indeed valued, by others.

The process of posting the ‘perfect selfie’

The act of taking multiple photos, scanning them in order to reject the unflattering ones, then editing them, whether through the use of filters or other apps, is literally an exercise in poor body image.  To compound this further, once this process is complete, we then post the selfie for all to see and comment on- and so begins the painful wait for the accumulation of likes that will hopefully (temporarily) allow us to feel ok about the ‘self’ we have created.

This access to up to date research on how we are received and where we stand socially can be debilitating- especially for young people where peer acceptance is paramount. The process is like having a global focus group providing running commentary on who you are and the decisions you make.

The worrying thing about this kind of exposure to others’ beliefs is that there is no end to it.  If what others think or believe about you matters and your visibility is not something that you can control then maybe you will never be able to firmly say who you are.

There will always be another like or comment or share ready to unsettle you- and if we are conscious of this, that’s when you lose the freedom to be you or to know who you want to be – and ultimately you begin to feel that you can never live up to the selfie they’ve created.

Using selfies as a comparison tool

The other issue, of course, is the fact that selfies are used as a means for comparison- a ruler to see how we measure up to our peers.  More often than not these are images that reflect their subjects in the most positive light: the right angle, perfect lighting, amazing friends, always having fun.

Lasting impression of selfies

Being exposed to idealised images day after day would have an effect on anyone, but on young minds, it can leave a more lasting impression that is much harder to shake off. When you’re faced with a constant stream of images showing perfect bodies in perfect locations with perfect friends, it’s hard not to avoid a sense of inadequacy and the feeling that you’re not keeping up. Those feelings can eat away at self-confidence and self-esteem, but avoiding social media isn’t really an option when all of your friends’ lives are playing out on there.

What parents can do to help

My advice is simple; talk to your children. As adults, we understand that the world of social media, just like any other form of media, is stage-managed, but often we forget to reinforce that message to our own children. Explain that people aren’t perfect and talk to them about girls who are posting – who’s taking all of these perfect pictures? How many shots do you think they took to get that perfect angle?

Likewise, it’s just as important to talk to them about what they’re posting so they don’t get sucked into the cult of perfection. Real life is what you see all around you, not just what you see through the filtered lens of an iPhone. Discuss why it’s important to disconnect from the ‘constructed’ identities we all feel we need to develop online and underscore the notion of being free to be who you really are.

Keep an eye on who they’re following on sites like Instagram and what they’re posting and talk to them about the effect their images could have on other people.



Jennifer Maughan
Social Worker
Tuesday & Wednesday
9208 2703



P & F News

Wine and Cheese Night

This is the last week to get your tickets to the P&F Wine and Cheese Night. The event will take place on Friday the 16th of August from 7.30-10.30pm in the school’s undercover area and mutli-purpose room. Tickets are $25 each (Purchased through quickcliq under the event tab) and includes 6 wine tastings, or 2 beers and access to an amazing grazing table. We have beer, wine, gin and soft drinks available for purchase on the night too. We have awesome door prizes to be won and a fantastic silent auction table. Light entertainment and heating will be provided, so get your friends together and come along and support our amazing school. Ticket sales close on Friday the 9th of August and you will not be able to purchase tickets after this date.

We are still accepting donations towards the silent auction, please contact me if you would like to donate.


Colour Run

This year we will be holding a colour run on Friday the 25th of October from 11.00am. Information packs will go home later in term 3.

We are looking for items to create obstacle courses for the kids. IF you have any items that could be of use such as tyres, ropes, climbing frames please email me.


Pharmacy 777

Don’t forget to mention that you are from St Columba’s if you are shopping at the Maylands or Bayswater Pharmacy 777. 10% of all retail (excluding prescriptions) sales goes back to the P&F.



Thank you
Rachel Lange
P&F President

Library News

2019 CBCA Book Week 
Reading is my SECRET POWER
Dates: 17th – 23th August 2018

Dress Up Parade (Kindy-Year 6)
Monday 19th August 2018

All students Kindy to Year 6 are invited to come to school dressed as their favourite book character.  The purpose of this event is to celebrate Book Week, therefore the focus is on participation rather than the costume. Why not recyle a costume, or put together something from home! Please keep it simple and stress free

Please note: Costumes are not restricted to ‘Reading is my SECRET POWER’ theme.

Short listed books have arrived in the library.

Come in and have a look at this year’s finalists. Which one do you think should win?

Don’t forget to enter the Book Week Colouring In Competition.  Entries are available from the library. $20 Gift Voucher available for each year group. Entries close end of Week 3.




The library has lots of books needing covering.  If you can help out by taking a small number of books home to cover over the holidays, please call into the library. Your help is greatly appreciated by staff and students.

A warm invitation is extended to all families to visit the library from 8:15am most mornings. (Please note, when Mrs. Cuthbert is unavailable, the library is closed.) Kindy & Pre-Kindy families take advantage to come and read all our fabulous picture books with your little ones till 8:45am.

YES! Library open most lunch times 1:15 – 1:35 daily.

If any families have childrens magazines that they no longer need, the students at lunch time would enjoy reading them.








Homework/Library Bag

Just a reminder that students require the school green ‘Homework and Library Bag’ in order to borrow from the Library. Many students will already have the bag from previous years.

The ‘Homework and Library Bags’ can be purchased from the Uniform Shop at a cost of $10.







Rita Cuthbert
Library Officer

Pastoral Care

Happy Birthday to:

Andre Fragomeni 4W
Mathilda Meyers 5W
Ramon Quintal 5W
Blake Kenyon 1G
Olivia Harris 1W
Tessa Cavalli PKG
Hannah Pollitt 3W
Roisin Veale PKG
Thomas Wright 4W
Justin Ahn 2W
Nicholas Wiinschl 6G

Families rostered to bring in the raffle prize will be notified through the newsletter and on lists outside the classrooms. New families to St Columba’s will be rostered later in the year. Pastoral Care Team

Week 4 (14/8/19)
Week 5 (21/8/19)

Kindy Green

Week 4 Oliver Hoyne
Week 5 Anh Hoang

Kindy White

Week 4 Luca Marrapodi
Week 5 Maya Katich

PP Green

Week 4 Emmanuel Wai
Week 5 Lucinda Tran

PP White

Week 4 Lana Ly
Week 5 Stella Kent

Year 1 Green

Week 4 Keira Pollitt
Week 5 Edmond Cavalli

Year 1 White

Week 4 Maya Thompson Mewburn
Week 5 Max Pierre

Year 2 Green

Week 4 Abbie Hartus
Week 5 Leo Rakitic

Year 2 White

Week 4 James McDougall
Week 5 Eeishu Mithun

Year 3 Green

Week 4 Zane Lee
Week 5 Kassandra Flexman

Year 3 White

Week 4 Andrea Mandujano Liu
Week 5 Orlando Martino Da Fonseca

Year 4 Green

Week 4 Emily Falzon
Week 5 Miel Fuentes

Year 4 White

Week 4 Mackenzie Brand
Week 5 Orlando Lindsay

Year 5 Green

Week 4 Luca Lee
Week 5 Bianca Magill

Year 5 White

Week 4 Charli Cameron
Week 5 Lily Chudzik

Year 6 Green

Week 4 Oliver McLaughlin
Week 5 Alyssa Giacci

Year 6 White

Week 4 Zoe Brindal
Week 5 Miel Solana

Community Notices




The Council for Australian Catholic Women (Perth) invite women to join us and Rabbi Sheryl Nosan to “re-view” women and the Bible.The roles of women in the scriptures are varied and complex and include women as challengers, change agents, and as inspiration for those working towards greater understanding and equality of ministry.

Wednesday 21 August 2019, 6-9pm in the Staff Room Trinity College, 2 Trinity Ave, Perth.

Light refreshments will be served from 6.00-6.30pm.

Parking is available and the Red & Yellow CAT buses travel to Hale Street.

RSVP by 18 August:Email phone 08 93975988 SMS 0400 886 835






St Columba’s School Bayswater

32 Roberts Street, Bayswater WA 6053
PO Box 61, Bayswater WA 6933
Phone: (08) 9208 2700