16 May 2024

From the Principal

Article by Mr. Michael Exton | Principal

From the Principal

Dear Parents & Carers,

School Advisory Council Expressions of Interest

One of the valuable supports for the College’s leadership and management is the enthusiastic and supportive members of our School Advisory Council (SAC).

The SAC supports the College's principal, parish priests and leadership team. It is advisory and essential to the governing and operating of our College.

While no particular expertise is required, the school seeks people with a range of diverse skill sets to advise the principal, united by a desire to provide the best possible education for our students.

A balanced membership with parent voice on the School Advisory Council is well-placed to advise the principal about important matters, particularly those related to the school’s mission, students’ success, management and development.

The needs of the council will be given priority in terms of ensuring a balance of gender, cultural diversity and skill sets.

Following the retirement of three members of the SAC, an analysis of the current skill set and interests of the SAC members has identified the need for replacement members with skills and knowledge in the following areas:

  • financial;

  • risk assessment & management;

  • human resources management;

  • ICT/Business management;

  • occupational health and safety;

  • legal; or

  • building & construction.

Therefore, we are calling on parents and former parents to express their interest in being part of the SAC. If you are a member of a Geelong region Catholic parish or have children in the school, or have had children at our College and wish to serve the school community by joining the SAC, we would welcome your application in writing to me by 4 pm, Friday, 31st May 2024. All you need to do is send an email message to me via (E: principalsoffice@ignatius.vic.edu.au), which briefly introduces yourself and briefly explains why you would like to join the SAC and what you can bring to the SAC. An expression of interest does not mean an automatic appointment to the SAC. You are most welcome to contact the Principal’s Assistant, Kim Abbott (P: 03 5251 1136), if you would like more information.

We have a very dedicated, committed and capable team of SAC members who would welcome some new members. Meetings are usually on a Thursday (5:30 pm – 8:30 pm) at the College, about eight times per year.

Please consider whether you can serve the College community by joining the SAC or encouraging other parents to express their interest.

Jesuit Mission Maytime Fair

Saint Ignatius College Geelong was again very pleased to be able to support the Jesuit Missions Maytime Fair at Xavier College last Saturday. The proceeds will assist the Jesuits in their work with people in India, Myanmar, Africa, China, East Timor, Cambodia and The Philippines.

Well done to the Senior Student Leaders who, with some staff help, ran a “Tastes of the Bellarine” stall. In addition to raising valuable funds, the students were great ambassadors for our college and strengthened our connections with the network of Jesuit groups. In particular, thank you to Staff members Paul Lewis and Michael Tod.

School Review

This term, we will undertake our four-yearly School Review. The review has two parts:

  1. VRQA & Governments’ Requirements Compliance verification to obtain continuing registration
    Compliance: an audit/verification process of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) Minimum Standards for School Registration and other State and Commonwealth Requirements is conducted for all schools engaging in the school review process.

  2. SIF to SIP (2025-2028)
    Improvement: The School Improvement Framework (SIF) supports self-reflection and assessment of performance and growth in school improvement and informs planning for the school’s next School Improvement Plan (SIP).

The review will be facilitated by a MACS contracted review company, National Curriculum Services, NCS. The independent reviewers will be Ms Sheridan Coverdale and Mr David Allibon.


  • Thurs. 30th May 2024 (9 am - 11.30 am): Reviewers’ Preliminary Visit.
    • School tour, including classrooms (especially specialist rooms)

    • VRQA Minimum Standards check

    • Child Safety Standards check

    • Collect school data sets

  • Thurs. 6th June 2024 (8.30 am – 3.30 pm): Day 1 of Review
    • Focus group meetings (45 – 60 minutes) - leadership team, teachers, non-teaching staff, students (years 7 – 9), students (Years 10 – 12), parents, canonical authority. (8 – 10 people per group)

    • Classroom visits – there should be no ‘direct instruction’ during these visits so that the reviewer can speak to the teacher and individual students.

  • Thurs. 13th June 2024 (8.30 am – 4.30 pm): Day 2 of Review
    • Continue focus group meetings and classroom visits as for Day 1

    • Reviewers meet to collate data

    • Reviewers meet with Executive to share insights.

  • Thurs. 15th August 2024 (2 pm – 4:30 pm): Dialogue and Engagement Session with Reviewers & MACS Regional Leadership Consultant
    • Meeting with Executive & other key members of the school community.

    • Discuss the outline of the draft report, and develop priorities for the next 4 years.

  • The remainder of Term Three: develop the next School Improvement Plan (2025-2028) & Annual Action Plan 2025 (AAP 2025)

  • Early December 2024: SIP (2025-2028) & AAP 2025 completed

To provide the best possible sample of feedback for the reviewers, we will obviously need as many parents as possible to join a focus group for discussions with the reviewers. Soon, I will email parents inviting them to attend one of the focus group sessions. Thank you for considering this and in anticipation of your support if you can meet with a reviewer.

Time & Space Evenings

We held our annual “Time & Space” night for Yr 7 Mothers and their Yr. 7 son/daughter on Tuesday night. As in previous years, the night was very successful.

Our “Time & Space” programs are designed to strengthen and grow Parent – daughter/son relationships, especially during times of change and transition. In a busy world, these evenings provide time to stop, learn and reflect on what really matters in life.

I received very positive feedback from many attendees and the staff involved. Thank you to the parents and students who generously helped run these nights.

Thank you to staff members Emma Cuthill, Elana Cole, Deb Hodge and Stephanie Muscat, who were key organisers of this event.

We will hold the Yr 8 Father & daughter/son night leading up to Father’s Day.

Victorian Budget

Recently, the State Government announced a $400 School Saving Bonus for all school students in government schools regardless of income, but only for Health Care Card holders in Catholic schools.

This is deeply unfair.

We believe the payment should be means tested for all students or apply to all students.

It should not be based on which school you attend.

This policy is unfair to families who choose to send their children to a Catholic school.

Our school, MACS and the peak body, the Victorian Catholic Education Authority, are working hard to oppose this policy, and we need your help.

We need to show the Victorian Government that families who choose a Catholic school think this policy is unacceptable.

Please consider contacting your local Member of Parliament to express your concern.

Our school’s local MP is Alison Marchant (Member for Bellarine), and they can be contacted by calling (03) 5250 1987 or by emailing alison.marchant@parliament.vic.gov.au.

Thank you in anticipation of you advocating for your family and our College.

Best wishes for the next fortnight,

Michael Exton