Leadership News


From the Principal

Ms Michelle Brodrick

When I look back on my time at Loreto, I will always remember the special ceremony that marked the Commissioning and Blessing as Principal of Loreto College Ballarat, officiated by Sr Wendy Hildebrand IBVM, Loreto Province Leader. I was overwhelmed by the Welcome to Country that was led by Macaylah Johnson, our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander officer. And very moved when Aunty Gwen, on behalf of the Wadawurrung Elders, and assisted by Kayla, placed the djirraburrin on my shoulders. It was very humbling to receive such an honour, and as a leader and proud Loreto woman, I will always strive to live up to the values, strength and wisdom of the generations of Wadawurrung women who have worn it before.

Fr Justin Driscoll, with whom I have known since we were children growing up in St Arnaud, celebrated a beautiful mass dedicated to Mother Gonzaga Barry and the Loreto sisters who arrived in Australia 146 years ago and established Loreto College Ballarat and I thank him for giving his time and wisdom, and friendship.

Following the mass there was a wave of enthusiasm for stalls, activities and the dress-up parade. Members of the student leadership Senate invited alumni Ruchi Page to speak at the Gonzaga Barry day gathering. Ruchi is a digital creator who advocates for inclusion in the beauty industry. She spoke out against racism and challenged us to think about the ways we can be more inclusive and supportive of those on the margins.

I am extremely proud of and grateful to Felicity Knobel, Director of Mission and all involved in the planning and preparation of the mass and commissioning ceremony, especially the Choir, Drumline, Sarah Allitt, Simone Jans and Jane Nice for sharing their beautiful talents.

Gonzaga Barry Day was a wonderful day of celebration and last year’s postponement of the commissioning has actually been a positive as it provided me with the opportunity to come to know Loreto College and the Ballarat community beforehand. In this article, I have included an extract from my address from the ceremony and I hope that in reading it, you can get a sense of how blessed I feel to be a part of such a faith-filled community which is dedicated to nurturing young women of character, strength and integrity.

“Being commissioned 12 months in has definite benefits.  I have come to know what it is to be Loreto.

Now it is so much more personal as students, staff and the community are myriad images and feelings …. I can picture Loreto to be:

  • Johanna walking in as a Year 7 heading to choir practice at 7:30 in the morning
  • Olive and Lil leading the climate change march
  • Layla working in the Mulhall Centre during remote learning
  • Roger Morris and Suzie Fraser (Year 12 Coordinators)rallying the Year 12s in preparation for their studies
  • Elizabeth Farrington at Reception welcoming everyone to the College
  • Tess in Year 11 delivering a coffee and chatting about her day
  • Nyawich speaking about her experiences before moving to Australia
  • Chloe laid up in hospital following a fierce clash on GMHBA stadium during the Respect Cup footy match

Last Saturday night I watched Ash Barty play in the Wimbledon final. All week I had heard how much winning the title would mean to her and the vision immediately following the championship point was particularly moving.  

I saw just how much it meant.

I watched her sink to the ground but then get up to respectfully hug her opponent. I saw her overwhelmed with what she had achieved. She spoke emotionally about her idol, Evonne Goolagong, the last Australian woman to win Wimbledon in 1980. Evonne Goolagong was often spoken about in my household growing up - her poise, grace and talent. My dad even named a horse, Goolagong, in her honour.  So, I also felt a sense of pride in Ash’s achievement along with many other people. 

What a difference it makes when things really means something to you.

Over the past year I have seen the love that exists for Loreto College – staff, students and community which has been nurtured over 146 years by those that have walked through these gates.

There are 30 principals that have been here before me. Judith Potter, Anne Fry…right back to Mother Gonzaga Barry whom we are celebrating today. I have even discovered that my grandmother’s cousin was a Loreto sister and was the Principal of St Joseph’s Primary School in Dawson St, which Mother Gonzaga Barry established.

As innovators and educators, they steered the College through wars, depression, the uncertain and glorious times in which they lived.

In our history we have many stories to call upon that tell us about when something has meant so much.

  • Mary Ward showed us what her faith meant in the 1600s when she was challenged by the Church and events of her times.
  • Mother Gonzaga Barry showed us how much education and opportunity for young women meant to her when she established Loreto in 1875.
  • Our First Nations people show us through their stories how much country means, a love for the land and our Earth.

So, as we enter a new phase of Loreto, one that includes an extension campus with options for new programs and initiatives, primary education and more, we don’t necessarily know what it will look like but if we hold on to the idea that it means something to us then we will continue the Loreto tradition.  And we get to be a part of that, whether it is as a current student, a past pupil or member of staff and Board.

I want us to continue to have the longing, the love that I have seen to ‘be Loreto’.

  • to be strong, brave and courageous
  • to respect our First Nations history
  • to speak out and take action…for those at the margins, for our Earth, for our Faith
  • to embody the values of Freedom, Justice, Sincerity, Verity and in this year of Felicity...to find the joy and be a part of the joy in people’s lives
  • and when things get tough, to seek guidance in the stories of the past but also in the present.

I want to say thank you to the many people here today who have been an integral part of my life and supported me….my family, previous principals and colleagues, to the Leadership Team and Steph and to the staff, Board and students of Loreto for their support every day.

To the Loreto community thank you for welcoming me. I can’t wait to experience ‘the ways we will do much’ together.” 


From the Deputy Principal: Learning & Teaching

Ms Linda McDonald
Lockdown Number 5

Congratulations to all our parents, students, teachers, and support staff for the smooth transition to remote learning. One minute we were celebrating the commissioning of Mrs Brodrick and the next minute we were preparing for another lockdown. The challenges just keep coming in 2020-2021.

As we are disappointed about going into lockdown and having to cancel family gatherings, Debutant balls and school events, I am grateful that we are so far, all fit and well and there are no known COVID 19 cases in our immediate community. So, let us count our blessing.

For both students, staff, and parents it will be difficult to maintain a positive attitude during another lockdown. Can I suggest a few things to help motivate you?

  1. Celebrate the little things and focus on the positives in your life.
  2. Routine is the key, keeping a regular schedule will be important.
  3. Find the ideal workspace and set yourself up there to work.
  4. Move your body regularly, do not become a couch potato.
  5. Embrace your emotions, its okay not to feel great, do not bottle this up.
  6. Stay connected to your loved ones and friends in way you can. (legally)
  7. Look after your mental health by doing something nice for yourself each day.
  8. Set yourself a goal for the day or the week and achieve that goal to find purpose in life.

From the Deputy Principal: Operations

Mr Pat O'Shea
What happened to your GB Day Donations?

Ballarat is truly cold and wet at the moment. However, your donations on GB Day have already brought warmth to many!

The groceries were loaded into the bus and delivered to Anglicare. They were finally part of this yesterday's homeless breakfast, served from the front of the Anglican church in Lydiard St.

Thank you to all. Further to this, the stalls will have raised around $5000 to add to this treasure.

This link provides some video feedback from Naomi at Anglicare. Anglicare is very excited to have this annual link to Loreto and wanted to pass on their gratitude (and to say the paper bags save them a lot of packaging in moving the goods on to their clients.)


From the Director of Faith & Mission

Mrs Felicity Knobel
Commissioning of our Principal Ms Michelle Brodrick and Gonzaga Barry Day

On Thursday 15 July we had the opportunity to commission our Principal Ms Brodrick at our celebration of our Loreto Sisters arriving in Australia which we call our Gonzaga Barry Day. It was no coincidence that we celebrated our first Principal Mother Gonzaga Barry alongside our 31st Principal Ms Michelle Brodrick. We, as always, are thankful to Fr Justin Driscoll for celebrating our Eucharist and also knowing that he and Ms Brodrick were school friends added something even more meaning to our celebration. 

Sr Wendy Hildebrand our leader of the Loreto Province ably officiated in our commissioning and blessing of Ms Brodrick. The commissioning focused on five areas of our College community that we believe are the essence of Ms Brodrick’s leadership; these are the Loreto charism, our Catholic faith, our Wadawurrung community, our education and importantly our community inclusive of staff, students and families. Our celebrations are never complete without our talented Liturgical Choir, led by Mrs Sarah Allitt.  We were also blessed to have our Drumline group who performed a piece that was composed by Michael Evans-Barker especially for the occasion. 

There were so many moments in our celebration that were prayerful, offered opportunities for reflection and time with our God. We are privileged at Loreto College as a Catholic school to have opportunities to come together as a community and celebrate our faith. Though a year after Ms Brodrick started at Loreto College we were so very pleased to officially welcome her to our community.

Welcome to Country

Our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community is an integral part of Loreto College. Ms Macaylah Johnson our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education and Support Officer gave Ms Brodrick a Welcome to Country, it seems only fitting at the end of NAIDOC week that I include the entire text.

Goodmorning Ladies and Gentlemen, friends and visitors, my name is Macaylah and I am a proud Wadawurrung woman. I am joined today by my malee korrag mundi -gurruk, Aunty Gwen a Waddawurrung Elder who is here on behalf of the Wadawurrung Elders.

It is a universal Aboriginal lore governed by our dreamtime stories and ancestors that one must dedicate their life to uplifting, educating, nurturing and protecting their Elders, pupils, young peoples, culture, lore, language, lands and waters in order to be appointed and recognised as a respected Elder.

This is a djirraburrin (female ceremonial garment) made from possum skins hand-stitched with kangaroo bones by our female ancestors. It is a symbol of utmost respect, power, strength and leadership. Worn only by those who have earnt the right. Each skin represents a different leadership quality which are essential in order to be a good sustainable leader. Examples being the ability to listen and empathise and the ability to grow and adapt.

This is a garment that a young woman like myself strives to be presented with each day, not because I want to be a leader, but because it holds the strength and wisdom of my old people who have worn this for generations and generations before our time. 

Michelle, as we place our djirrburrin on your shoulders we call our ancestors back to country.

Kawok, budjelgna bab-rrang, tandop. Mok -borri, mok borrin, gobata wungurrwil.

We as a tribe recognise and give thanks for all of your hard work, dedication and enthusiasm you have shown towards our people, not just during your time at Loreto, but also in your time working with our people in Geelong.

Your drive and want to see our young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to flourish is invigorating and empowering. The depth of your knowledge and respect for our culture is immense. And your optimistic and grand future prospects have given our people a refreshing sense of hope for better life for our young people. 

During your time of leadership we look forward to bringing new life to our Loreto community whereby the depth of the history of this land will be honoured. And where with time our school community can make meaningful and positive connections, memories and decisions for the future, while honouring our past. With your leadership we look forward to working towards reconciliation and the formation of mutually beneficial, and harmonious relationships between our people and the Loreto community.

We have a deep appreciation for you respecting and acknowledging the significant value of the historical, cultural and spiritual connection we have to our country.

In return for all your hard work, dedication, alliance and friendship we ask our ancestors to guide, nourish and protect you while you are on Wadawurrung Country. May you have the strength, resilience and courage from all our ancestors who have also worn this very cloak around their shoulders during ceremony of becoming Elders. May you feel at home while on Wadawurrung Country, for you are not a visitor to our custodian lands, but a friend.  

I pay my deepest respects to my Elders, Aunty Gwen and those who could not make it here today. I would like to acknowledge all of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and all of you before me.

I would also like to acknowledge my Wadawurrung ancestors and their strength, resilience and determination which set the foundation to pave the way to a better future.

On behalf and with permission I’d like to welcome you all to Wadawurrung Country.

Koding wada - ngal


College News

Gonzaga Barry Day
Last week we celebrated Gonzaga Barry Day (also known as GB Day) following the Commissioning and Blessing of Principal, Michelle Brodrick. Our 2021 Senate led an assembly that was filled with entertaining games, a 'Throwback Thursday' fashion parade and a guest speaker. We were lucky enough to have Ruchi Page (Class of 2011) speak to the school about her journey in the beauty industry, emphasising on confidence, passion and inclusivity. The day also featured some great stalls! Each Mentor Group had a different stall which ranged from bingo to fondue and of course the 'Haunted House'. Generosity was importantly at the forefront of the day with lots of donations coming in for the Soup Bus and Anglicare.

Humanities Faculty News

Ms Rachael Littore (Humanities Faculty Teacher)
Year 11 Legal Studies Q & A Session

On Wednesday 14 July the Year 11 Legal Studies students participated in a Q&A session with Justice Felicity Hampel. Her Honour spoke to the class about the changing direction of the legal world, with an increasing amount of women choosing a legal pathway. She spoke to them about empathy, making assumptions being patient in the pursuit of change. The students asked wonderful questions related to their upcoming Unit 2 studies, particularly about trends in crime and factors relating to sentencing.

Justice Hampel has a distinguished career and it was a privilege to engage with her, even so remotely. Among many other professional highlights, she has served as the Victorian Law Reform Commissioner, and as Deputy Co-convenor of the Australian Republican Movement; however, the students were very impressed with the role she played as a SC in 2014, fighting against discrimination in a case where she argued that 14 year old girls should be allowed to play footy. In her own words “we won and we lost” indicating to the students to take the wins as they come on the way to greater change.


Academic Extension News

Mrs Tammy Vandenberg (Academic Extension Co-Ordinator)
ASHA Lectures and Rotary Club of Ballarat - Viral Pandemonium, Public Health case Challenge 2021

In June, a team of Year 10 students represented Loreto College in the ASHA Lectures and Rotary Club of Ballarat - Viral Pandemonium, Public Health case Challenge 2021 and came away with 1st Place!

Our students, Sania, Gracie, Ann, Renae, and Haya, were outstanding and thoroughly deserved their win. Both judges and audience members were highly complimentary of the visual presentation and performance of our Loreto College group.

All participating students were required work as a team to conduct widespread research and prepare a presentation based on the brief – COVID 19 and the impact of the virus on communities in both Australia and globally.

There were three complex parts to the challenge - the science of Covid-19, the case and data analysis and a design project - so this was not an easy task for the team of student volunteers!

Congratulations Sania, Grace, Anne, Renae and Haya!

Co-Curricular Sports News

Ally Trigg (Sports Trainee)
BAS Term 2 Sports Wrap Up

Loreto were the premiers in the Junior Soccer this term and LC Blue were also premiers in the Intermediate Basketball.

All four of our Senior Netball teams played in grand finals, all against Ballarat Grammar.

The 1sts, 2nds and 4ths were runners up putting on very strong performances against Ballarat Grammar.

The Senior 3rds Netballers were premiers, coming from behind to beat Ballarat Grammar in the 4th quarter!

BAS Road Relays

On Thursday 15 July a team of 28 students represented Loreto in the BAS Road Relay event. All 7 teams performed amazingly in cold and wet conditions!

Loreto came 3rd overall in the girls aggregate.

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Aussie Bread tags for Wheelchairs Competition Results

Congratulations to the winner of our Mulhall Bread Tag Guessing Competition, CHARLI FORBES! Charli has won 5 hot chocolate vouchers or a weeks worth of HOT CHOCOLATE!

With an incredibly close guess of 1763, Charli was the closest to the total of 1762 bread tags in the jar! Congratulations Charli - we hope you enjoy your week of free hot chocolates from the Hunter Coffee Van after the holidays.

Thank you very much to the Mulhall girls who attended House Committee on the final Tuesday of Term 2 for their assistance in counting up the number of tags in the jar and to the girls who spent parts of their lunchtime collecting tags off students and recording guesses.  We greatly appreciate you volunteering your help – it all contributes to making our team work so well together.

A very special thanks to Jill Wheatland and the VCAL students who organise the delicious hot drinks at the Hunter van for this generous donation and supporting our project.

We have collected tags for the first semester and have collected over 3.789kg grams of bread tags! Thanks to all Students and Families who have spent any time collecting these and contributing.

Final thanks to Helena Spencer who is off to Robe these holidays for delivering these. In Robe, they will be sorted into colours by Dementia patients, made into art pieces and sold  - with profits going to fund wheelchairs to those in South Africa who need them.

Congratulations Charli!
Congratulations Charli!

Library News

Mrs Sarah Lane (Library Officer)

The Library will once again be opening a “Pop-up Book Shop” during Book Week, which kicks off on 23rd August.  This is a fundraiser for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation and over the years we have been able to send over $1000 to the foundation, an organisation making a difference to the lives of many indigenous children and their communities.  We are looking for donations of books and they can be fiction, non-fiction, picture books or good quality magazines or even DVDs, board games or jigsaw puzzles.

If you have items you are willing to donate to our ‘Pop-Up Shop’ they can be brought up to the Library, placed in a box in the staff room or left at Student Reception.

Please help us make this fundraiser a wonderful success!

With the extension of lockdown 5.0 we would like to send everybody our good thoughts and wishes and a reminder that the Library is again offering a ‘Click and Collect’ service. Simply send an email to library@loreto.vic.edu.au with your item request and we’ll get back to you regarding it’s availability and collection procedure. As with previous lockdowns we’re also available via the above email to answer any questions you may have.

You can explore our Subject Guides, Reading Lists and Online Resources here: https://libguides.loreto.vic.edu.au/Loreto-Library

And access our Ebooks and audiobooks online here: https://loreto.wheelers.co/

Book Club is happening online this Thursday at 1pm and all are welcome. You can join us in our google classroom here: https://classroom.google.com/c/MTMzODI5MjQ3MzYz?cjc=guxe3q5

We have also just launched our own Instagram Page! Connect with us @loretoballaratlibrary to stay up to date with Library events, new books, reading recommendations and much more!

Stay Safe and Keep Reading!

The Library Team

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Career News

Ms Jodie Howlett (Careers Co-Ordinator)
In this week's Career News:
  • Reset program – for students to consider doing during remote learning
  • Apprenticeship resources
  • Open Days – Victorian dates
  • Tertiary admission dates for Victorian courses
  • 2021 Schools Career Guide
  • What is upskilling and why does it matter?
  • Scientist of the year video competition (Year 7 – 10)
  • Upcoming events

Loreto Community Notices

MWIA Current Appeal LG 2
Mary Ward International Appeal

MWIA is doing a final push for their Current Appeal. This appeal is raising funds to urgently help provide life-saving medicine and nutrition to vulnerable children under the age of five in South Sudan.

The Mary Ward Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) in Rumbek, South Sudan, provides essential health services, particularly to vulnerable children, women and the elderly. Our Sister and team in South Sudan have reached out to MWIA and its supporters requesting funds to specifically help children under the age of five. They are the most vulnerable, and at risk of dying, as their developing bodies have little resistance to disease.

“Our Clinic has become the focus of so much activity. Each month the team treated over 5,000 new patients. Before coronavirus we were only able to support 1,500. This was possible because of your support.” – The PHCC team.

Please join them to urgently help provide life-saving medicine and nutrition to more children, and help them survive into adulthood.

Details on how to support MWIA can be found here: https://www.mwia.org.au/donate/current-appeal/

Search Help for the Archives – Do you know anyone who has a working pianola?

Our next edition of Verity will feature a story on a wonderful past pupil, Lettie Keyes, who attended Mary’s Mount in Ballarat between February 1908 and 1912. She went on to become a beautiful pianist and innovative music teacher. Our Archives team have managed to secure six pianola rolls that were recorded by Lettie and would love to be able to create a video and record them playing. We are asking our Loreto community for any contacts they know who may have a working pianola that would enable this recording? Please contact development@loreto.vic.edu.au or achivist@loreto.vic.edu.au

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Vline: Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough Line Disruption: 17 to 25 July

Due to works on the Level Crossing Removal Project, coaches will replace all Ballarat, Ararat and Maryborough line trains between Southern Cross and Melton from Saturday 17 July to Sunday 25 July.

Finance News

Conveyance Allowance 2021

The conveyance allowance is a form of financial assistance for parents/carers to transport children to and from school in rural and regional Victoria. Allowances are available for public transport, private car and private bus.

In some locations, students are unable to access free school buses. In these instances, students may receive a conveyance allowance to assist with travel costs.

Important Dates

Due to the unpredictability of the current COVID-19 situation, please keep an eye out on PAM, the Loreto College App, website and social media for any updates to scheduled events.

For the full Loreto Events Calendar please visit via the Loreto College Ballarat app or https://pam.loreto.vic.edu.au/Login/Default.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f

Wednesday 22 July
  • Cancelled: Year 9 into Year 10 2022 Subject Selection Information Evening (Presentation now available on PAM)
  • Postponed: Year 7 Retreat
Tuesday 27 July
  • TBC: Year 11 Leadership Day
Thursday 29 July
  • GAT (for VCE Students)
Wednesday 4 August
  • Postponed: Parent-Teacher Interviews Year 7 - 12