Learning at St Vincent's College is so much more than great teaching and quality time in the classroom.
We recognise students as individuals and encourage exploration of their unique expression outside the realms of the traditional classroom. Our students enjoy the benefits of an exciting and extensive co-curricular programme that caters to their diverse talents and interests nurturing mind, body and spirit to build individual confidence and self-esteem.
Pastoral Care at St Vincent’s College is centred on the Tutor system which involves small vertically structured groups each under the care of a dedicated staff member offering encouragement and guidance to the students. The depth of communication between the varying year levels is further enhanced by the community nature of the Tutor system as well as the variety of peer support networks in the College.
The College House system builds on the strengths of the Tutor Group and uses the vertical house as the unit around which all the pastoral and administrative functions will revolve.
With a strong community focus the College ensures parents and carers of the students are valued partners, assisting and complementing the pastoral care and education of their daughters.
The College ensures the emotional and physical needs of the students are met by employing a full-time College Nurse and Counsellor.
Annual camps are enjoyed by students in Years 7 to 10 with senior students undertaking retreats that strengthen their relationship with God and friends.
Mrs Elizabeth Brooks
Deputy Principal, Pastoral Care
Of the core values of St Vincent’s College respect, justice and hope are lived out through the pastoral care of our students.
Girls who feel that they are in a nurturing environment and are known by teachers thrive intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.
The most significant and positive group in the College is the Tutor Group because it is where each girl is known and where a strong sense of belonging is formed.
Girls are nurtured in this small group of students from Years 7 to 12 and all of the girls learn the expectations of the College and culture of the College through the first contacts that they have in Tutor Group.
This group is an extension of family, and where the five values of the College are given life and will remain with students for their years at the College and beyond.
COLLEGE HOUSE SYSTEM
The College House system builds on the strengths of Tutor Group and uses the vertical houses as the unit around which all the pastoral and administrative functions revolves.
The use of the House structure:
- Provides continuity and quality of care for each student – so that they are known, valued and affirmed within the context of the House unit;
- Establishes a means whereby the pastoral and academic lives of the students are integrated;
- Reflects the College’s commitment to holistic education;
- Facilitates strong ‘systemic’ relationships between staff, students and parents in the care and support of students;
- Enables relationships within Tutor Groups to continue to develop and recognises the strength of this pastoral base of the College;
- Enables students to have opportunities for academic and personal support from key members of staff, particularly their Tutor and Head of House;
- Enables students to develop relationships amongst their peers within and beyond their cohort;
- Develops rich and varied experiences of community and leadership for students;
- Enhances the infusion of College values;
- Establishes an appropriate coordination and management model of Pastoral Care under a shared leadership and team model.
As Mary Aikenhead Ministries educators we all work hard to sow robust values and life skills, both in and outside of the classroom, with an added emphasis on applied effort, resilience and mindfulness, participation has long been a trait of the Aikenhead House.
Engagement at all levels builds a strong community and Aikenhead is well represented in the co-curricular opportunities on offer at the College. Our students are aware of our collective desire to live above the line that elevates accountability and responsibility with effort and obligation over blame, denial and excuses. We strive to all be inclusive and involved so we may deliver many positive moments, more often.
Students and staff are all committed to making a positive difference and cherish the opportunity to go to the margins of selected aged care facilities on St Vincent’s Day to celebrate Aikenhead’s patron saint, St Vincent de Paul. His example of service and love was inspired by Mary Aikenhead to take him as the model for the schools and hospitals founded by the Sisters of Charity. Serving the aged deepens each Tutor group’s sense of social justice.
At Aikenhead we strive to be simply better people who advocate justice, respect and hope in a world yearning for stronger independent women of action. We are committed to making positive differences, to seek out happiness for all and nourish enduring relationships.
Mr David Woolbank is the Aikenhead Head of House. He has been with St Vincent’s College since 2014 and in this pastoral lead role since 2016. Mr Woolbank teachers Stage 6 Legal Studies and Stage 5 Commerce.
At Aikenhead we strive to be simply better people.
We respect ourselves and the whole person
- their rights, dignity and needs.
The challenge of trying harder, so we may be more, motivates us.
As mindful learners we’re not afraid of making unrepeated mistakes:
we know this enhances our growth.
Our world is a better place when we contribute, care and do more.
As courageous women of action
we are committed to making a positive difference.
We remember Mother Mary Aikenhead.
“God will, Amen.”
Aikenhead House Patron:
Sr Mary Aikenhead
Mary Aikenhead demonstrated enormous courage sending five of her Sisters from Cork, Ireland to the distant shores of Australia. Mary was responding to a need; a call made by Bishop Polding to provide care and support for the women and children in the fledgling colony of Australia.
Sister Mary John Cahill was an independent, resourceful woman of faith and courage. A devoted educator, she led a long life of obedient service to those in most need. She worked with the vulnerable: children and women in prison, the poor and the sick. Her lifelong work in education empowered many to aspire to a better future.
As Mary Aikenhead Ministries educators of Cahill House, we work diligently to uphold our values of diversity, originality and creativity. Our House is inclusive and resilient, supporting each other, as we strive to be the very best we can be. Cahill is committed to making a positive difference and we take opportunities to serve in our local community. Cahill supports local missions and women’s refuges as well as assisting local schools on St. Vincent’s Day.
Mrs Jo Anderson is proud to lead a spirited and dynamic House. She has been with St Vincent’s since 2012 and in this pastoral lead role since 2013. Mrs Anderson teaches Stages 5 & 6 French. In Term 2, 2019, she will be Director of Pastoral Care and Mrs Mariann Barkho will lead Cahill House for the term.
May we be inspired by the life of Sister Mary John Cahill.
May we follow her example of Courage, Conviction and Independence.
Lord, allow us to life out these qualities through our
actions, words and experiences.
We pray that the Cahill House Community be a fine example
of the individuality and determination expressed to us
through thestory of Sister Mary John Cahill.
May these qualities be ever present in our daily lives at school and in
the wider community. Amen.
Cahill House Patron:
Sr M John Cahill
The most senior by age within the Sisters of Charity pioneer group and also by profession date was Sr M John, born Margaret Cahill on 10 May 1793. Appointed superior for the voyage by Aikenhead, the foundresss, she was the eldest of the Pioneer Sisters and was 45 when she came to New South Wales. Her special ministry was with prisoners in Sydney, Parramatta and Hobart. She also gave religious instruction in churches in Sydney and Hobart and was a very good teacher. When a Sydney convent was needed in 1840 and one for Hobart in 1841, Cahill was the natural choice for superior each time. She died in Hobart in 1864 at the age of seventy one.
As Mary Aikenhead Ministries educators, we all work hard to sow robust values and life skills, both in and outside of the classroom, with an added emphasis on inclusion, community and embracing challenge, participation has long been a trait of the Cater house.
Engagement at all levels builds a strong community and Cater students enjoy the co-curricular opportunities on offer at the College. Cater students are a positive, inclusive group of individuals who celebrate community spirit and personal achievements. They consistently support College and House events with enthusiasm and attitudes that encourage and celebrate spirit and challenge.
Students and staff are all committed to making a positive difference and cherish the opportunity to support our established links with the First Nations community on St Vincent’s Day. Students are very aware of the ‘Bridging the Gap’ initiative, which allows them to reflect on their own opportunities while supporting those First Nation groups that aim to improve the education and health care of their community.
In Cater, we strive to model behaviour that allows students to become advocates of justice, hope, generosity of spirit and to equip students with the resilience to be independent women of action, upon completion of their studies at St Vincent’s College. We are committed to making positive differences, challenging students to engage in activities outside of their comfort zone and to nourish enduring relationships through their learning.
Ms Edelle McCrudden is the Acting Cater Head of House. She has been with St Vincent’s College since 2017 and in this pastoral lead role since 2019. Ms McCrudden teaches Science for Years 7 - 10 and Stage 6 Earth & Environmental Science and Chemistry.
May we be inspired by the life of Sister Lawrence Cater. May we follow her example ofCourage, Conviction and Independence. Lord, allow us to live out these qualities through our actions, words and experiences.
We pray that the Cater community be a fine example of the individuality and determination expressed to us through the story of Sister Lawrence Cater.
May these qualities be ever-present in our daily lives at school and in the wider community.
Cater House Patron:
Sr M Lawrence/Magdalen Chantal Cater
The youngest of all, and the only Englishwoman in the group, born Julia Cater on 28 June 1811, was professed on 23 January 1833 as Sr M Lawrence. Though she had aristocratic connections, she was personally poor. She was the youngest of the five Sisters and was 28 when she came to Australia. She became the Head of a school for orphans at Parramatta.
De Lacy House
De Lacy House is grounded in the values of the Sisters of Charity and the Catholic traditions of Mary Aikenhead Ministries. We are committed to being true to the vision of our patron Sr M John Baptist De Lacy and are guided by the Sisters motto ‘Scientia cum Religione” (knowledge and religion united).
It is with tenacity, strength of purpose and courage of conviction that De lacy House lives the College values and belief in unlimited kindness in relationships, joy in learning and academic adventure is fostered. De Lacy students are encouraged to live with a spirit of humility and a balance between seeking individual excellence and generously being a person for others.
Students and staff are all committed to making a positive difference in our world by and cherish the opportunity to go to the margins on St Vincent’s Day in the footsteps of De Lacy’s patron, Sr M John Baptist De Lacy, through her mission for health care. She was a courageous woman of the time and she initiated the foundation and development of St Vincent’s Hospital Sydney and would no doubt be proud of its commitment to care today. As a continuation of this mission, we take part in making birthing kits for the Kiriwinna community in Papua New Guinea, supporting the work at Holy Family Parish Emerton and our new initiative ‘Days for Girls’ in Timor Leste.
De Lacy House strive to be strong and independent, to be interested and concerned about each other and the world through respect and hope, where students are encouraged to show their genuine selves with opportunities to learn to stand on their own, to be resilient, adventurous to be challenged and enabled to act for the common good.
Ms Simone Lock is the De lacy Head of House. She has been with St Vincent’s since 2012 and in this pastoral lead role since 2015. Ms Lock teaches Stage 6 Legal Studies and HSIE and Religious studies in Stages 4 and 5.
de Lacy House Patron:
Sr M John de Lacy
The next in age in the group was Sr M John Baptist, born Alicia de Lacy on 1 July 1799 and professed on 25 September 1837. De Lacy was in a unique position within the Sisters of Charity from the beginning of her religious life. She had entered expressly for the "Australian Mission". De Lacy commanded the respect of many Catholic laity, including John Hubert Plunkett, Solicitor General, and she took the courageous step of initiating St Vincent's Hospital Sydney, the first hospital run by religious women in Australia.
As Mary Aikenhead Ministries educators we all work hard to sow robust values and life skills, both in and outside of the classroom, with an added emphasis on inclusion, community and embracing challenge, participation has long been a trait of O’Brien house.
Engagement at all levels builds a strong community and O’Brien House is always well represented in the sporting carnivals, House events, leadership and co-curricular opportunities on offer at the College. O’Brien students are a positive, inclusive group of individuals who celebrate community spirit and personal achievements. They consistently support College and House events with enthusiasm and demonstrate positive and inclusive attitudes that encourage and celebrate inter-house challenges.
Students and staff are all committed to making a positive difference and cherish the opportunity to support our established links with the local community, much like the early sisters did. We have worked closely with St Canice’s Church, Wayside Chapel, Lou’s Place, Rough Edges, Matthew Talbot Hostel and the Children’s Hospital Randwick. Students are very aware of ‘bridging the gap’ for others which allows them to reflect on their own opportunities while supporting those groups on the margins of society. As a House group we have taken the initiative to sponsor a student at the School of St Jude’s in Tanzania. This is an opportunity for our students to recognise the value and importance of education as they strive to become “Women of Action” in the world and to appreciate their own opportunities at the College.
In O’Brien House, we strive to model behaviour that allows students to become advocates of justice, hope, generosity of spirit and to equip students with the resilience to be independent women of action, upon completion of their studies at St Vincent’s College. This means we participate in actiion and reflection at every opportunity and practice inclusiveness at all times, nourishing relationships inside and outside the classroom.
Mrs Penelope Radford is the O’Brien Head of House. She has been with St Vincent’s College since 1997 and in this pastoral lead role since 2013. Mrs Radford teaches Science in Years 7 - 10 and Stage 6 Biology and Chemistry.
O’Brien House Patron:
Sr M Francis de Sales O’Brien
Sr M Francis de Sales, was born Catherine O’Brien on 1 June 1809 and professed on 29 August 1834. She came from a wealthy family and was educated at the Sacred Heart convent Bordeaux. She was beautiful in appearance, charming and fashionable. Mary Aikenhead sent her and two other Sisters to Paris to be trained in nursing and hospital management. She also left Sydney and ministered in Hobart. She died in 1871, aged 62.
Mother Francis Xavier Williams travelled far by sea to live a long life of obedient service to those that lived on the periphery of society. She worked with the most marginalised of people: women in prison, the poor and the sick. Her work in education empowered people to have a better life.
The values and spirit of the House: strength, resilience and persistence are evident in all we do. Students and staff are committed to making a positive difference and cherish the opportunity to go support our established links with the Refugee and Asylum Seeking community of Sydney. Students have worked closely with the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, The Refugee Council of Australia and The Jesuit Refugee Service on St Vincent’s Day.
Mrs Mary Cartmer feels privileged to lead such an exciting and vibrant House which offers great opportunities, academically and pastorally, for the Williams House students. The Williams vision has always been one of inclusivity and striving for personal best. This vision has synergy with her own beliefs about education and care of adolescents. As a member of the Diverse Learning Faculty Mrs Cartmer supports students’ learning across all faculties and across multiple year groups. Her hope for every student in Williams House is that they discover their unique talents and are proud of all that they achieve whilst at the College.
Like the Jesuit St Francis Xavier, our Patron travelled far to serve faithfully those at the margins:
convicts - especially women;
children – especially orphans;
& the poor – especially through education.
In our journey through life, may we draw strength from her courage; resilience from her persistence & inspiration from her selflessness.
Urged on by the love of Christ, may we seek to serve where the need is greatest.
May we have the caring spirit, the persistence and the selflessness that marked the life of our patron’ Mother Francis Xavier Williams.
Williams House Patron:
Sr M Francis Xavier Williams
Sr M Francis Xavier, was born Elizabeth Williams on 12 July 1800. She was a Novice at the time of the arrival in NSW and was the first religious woman to take vows in Australia at Parramatta on 9 April 1839. Williams appears from her letters as an open and affectionate person, on good terms with her sisters. She is one of the three Sisters who went to Hobart in 1847, where she visited gaols, hospitals and the homes of the poor. Sr. Xavier died in Hobart at the age of 92.