Good News Stories

Matilda - Dancing Towards her Dreams

Ackinclose, Matilda.jpgMatilda Ackinclose, a passionate dancer, has waltzed her way to success by completing her Certificate IV in Dance. 

Matilda's love for dance has been a constant thread in her life. From twirling in her living room as a child to mastering intricate routines, dance has always been her muse. When asked why she chose to pursue a Certificate IV in Dance, Matilda shared, “Dancing is my passion, and over the years, it has evolved from a hobby into something I want to explore further after Year 12." She discovered that this certification could be seamlessly integrated alongside her other senior subjects while also contributing to her ATAR ranking. 

Matilda's journey wasn't all pirouettes and pliés. The Certificate IV in Dance demanded both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. Here's a glimpse into her coursework:

  • ​Theory: Matilda delved into subjects like anatomy, fitness, nutrition, dance teaching, and auditions. Understanding the science behind movement was crucial.
  • Practical Components: She honed her skills in jazz, ballet, acrobatics, conditioning, contemporary dance, musical theatre, and even choreographed her own routines. With 34 assessments to tackle, Matilda navigated an online learner portal, maintaining a self-paced rhythm. It was hard work, but her determination prevailed.

​Matilda's Certificate IV in Dance isn't just a piece of paper; it's a gateway to her dreams. She shared, “This certificate equips me with the skills and knowledge needed to pursue dance studies beyond Year 12." Whether it's performing on stage, teaching, or choreographing, Matilda is ready to pirouette into her future. 

Matilda's parents, Carley and Paul, couldn't be happier. “We are incredibly proud of Tilly," they exclaimed. “Completing her Cert IV in Dance was no small feat. Global Dance Pro's online platform allowed her access to top-notch content and teachers. Saint Mary's provided her the space and independence to pursue her passion." 

Ms. Cashin, Assistant Principal Secondary, emphasized Saint Mary's commitment to student exploration. “Even though we're a small school," she said, “we ensure that every student discovers and explores subjects that resonate with their aspirations. Matilda's journey exemplifies our dedication to nurturing individuals to realise their dignity." 

Matilda Ackinclose's dance journey is a testament to passion, hard work, and the unwavering support of her school community. As the curtain rises on her future, Matilda is ready to pirouette into the spotlight.​

Celebrating Benji's Journey in the YouFor2032 Beach Volleyball Program!

s243650.jpg​​​​From the moment Benjiman Whalan, our talented Year 12 student, stepped onto the court, he ignited a passion for beach volleyball that has taken him on an extraordinary adventure.

Benji’s curiosity led him to explore this unique opportunity. The YouFor2032 program, with its array of sporting possibilities, intrigued him. It wasn’t just about athleticism; it was about camaraderie, growth, and discovering untapped potential. When Benji received the offer to join the Beach Vo​lleyball program, he hesitated. But an enlightening information session changed everything. Suddenly, the sand court became his canvas, and the net his challenge. After three intense months of trials, Benji’s dedication shone through. He was selected to continue for a full year.

Benji’s journey is a family celebration! His parents, beaming with pride, share their excitement. The “YouFor2032” Beach Volleyball program, in collaboration with Volleyball Australia and The QLD Academy of Sport, has set the stage for Benji’s future success.

Congratulations to our talented student, Benji Whalan! As Principal, I am incredibly proud of Benji’s dedication and hard work. His journey to the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games begins right here. So, let’s celebrate Benji’s passion, commitment, and unwavering spirit.

“With every serve, every spike, and every dive into the sand, Benji, you’re not just playing a sport - you’re writing your legacy. Embrace the sun, feel the grains beneath your feet, and let the waves of determination carry you forward. The beach is your canvas, and the volleyball your brush. Paint your dreams in gold!” 

Benji, may your journey be filled with joy, growth, and the thrill of chasing greatness. We’ll be cheering you on every step of the way!​



Celebrating Josie and Michael: A Path to Excellence

Perrett, Josie.jpgPolley, Michael.jpg

​The recent acceptance of Year 11 students Josie Perrett and Michael Polley into the esteemed ACU Step-Up Program has ignited excitement within our school community. These exceptional students are embarking on a journey that promises growth, learning, and a bright future.

Josie Perrett: Nurturing Compassion in Healthcare

Josie's acceptance into the ACU Step-Up Program, with a focus on Nursing, Midwifery, and Paramedicine, reflects her passion for healthcare. When asked about her decision to apply, Josie shared, “As I approach my senior years of school, I realised the importance of exploring different pathways beyond high school. The Uni Step-Up program seemed like the perfect chance to get a head start on my university education."

Josie's parents, Marty and Lisa, expressed their pride and anticipation. “We know this path will be challenging, b​ut Josie is up for it," they said. “We're grateful to the College for accommodating her timetable, allowing her to begin in her chosen field. The possibility of early entry to a university course after Year 12 brings us great peace of mind."​

Michael Polley: A Vision for Impact

Michael, too, has set his sights on making a difference. His acceptance into the ACU Step-Up Program, specializing in Exercise Science, reflects his desire to help others. “I want to explore as many areas as possible while still in school," Michael explained. “My goal is to positively impact people's lives after I graduate, and this program is a stepping stone toward achieving that."

Upon receiving his offer to join the ACU Step-Up Program, Michael's joy was palpable. “This opportunity brings me closer to my goals," he said. “I can't wait to dive into the world of exercise science and contribute to improving people's well-being."

Michael's parents, shared their excitement. “When hearing about Michael's acceptance into the ACU Step-Up Program, his father and I were thrilled but not surprised," they said. “Michael has immense potential, and it makes us proud to see him tapping into it. We eagerly await his flourishing in this program and look forward to witnessing his next steps."​

Carmel O'Brien, the College Principal, expressed her pride in Josie and Michael. “I am thrilled that they are seeking out opportunities to realize their dignity," she stated. “At Saint Mary's, we believe that when we work together, all our students can soar toward success."

The ACU Step-Up Program at Saint Mary's provides a unique chance for students to experience university life while still in high school. Not only will Josie and Michael get a head start on their university journey, but they will also develop essential skills for post-secondary schooling.

Principal Carmel O'Brien hopes that Josie and Michael's achievements will inspire other Saint Mary's students to dream big and seize the wonderful opportunities available to them.

​2023 DUX of the College

​Eleanor Schick was honoured to be named the 2023 DUX​​ of the College.

Upon receiving the award, Eleanor reflected on her father's message to her when she was feeling burnt out at the end of Year 12. "You don't enter the​ 100m race to finish at the 97m mark, so don's stop now," he told Eleanor.

Eleanor gave a friendly reminder to her younger peers to always make sure you submit a full draft as that is the best way to ensure you are able to receive as much feedback as possible from your teacher to ensure you are able to achieve your best possible end result.

Ms O'Brien congratulated Eleanor on her accomplishment. "To Eleanor our top student for 2023 our DUX of Saint Mary's Catholic College, you are the embodiment of these ideals. Your late nights poring over text books, your dedication to your craft, your unwavering pursuit of knowledge, it has lead you here. You are not just the top achiever, you are an inspiration to your peers. To every student remember this: success is not reserved for a select few; its within reach for all who dare to Realise your Dignity and, persist so that you will excel".