September Issue 2022 Feature

Alumni in STEM 
(Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

Deborah Bohan (2010)
After finishing school, Deb completed a Forensic Science and Criminology course at university while tutoring VCE mathematics. Inspired by her own Year 11 chemistry teacher at Sacred Heart College, Franca Bonanno (Caruana), Deb pursued a teaching career and now enjoys teaching alongside Franca!
Deb teaches chemistry, science and coding and is a House Leader for Siena House.

Deborah Bohan (2010) teaching Year 11 Chemistry at Sacred Heart College, 2022

Deb’s father's family attended SHC and her aunt, Maria Bohan (1968), was recently a critical companion on the school's Empowerment and Leadership Team. The Bohan family has many ties to the College and are always excited to hear stories of how the school has evolved since they left. 

Sacred Heart College is a strong community and carries a sense of, "Once an SHC girl, always an SHC girl", with Deb regularly telling students that these are the years in which you will find your lifelong friends.

"Returning to the College to teach and seeing the staff who taught me, it is evident how proud they are to see their students become teachers".

Q. Could you tell us about the current programs and opportunities at SHC?

A. There are so many more subjects and choices offered now.

Deb wrote a Forensic Science course in conjunction with a legal subject called 'Catch a Killer' (legal studies) and 'Forensics CSI' (science), where science students analyse evidence at a crime scene she sets up and then present it to the legal studies class.

The program imitates a real-life experience of convicting a suspect of a crime and has been running for three years, succeeding with gratitude to the many staff who have kindly participated in being a suspect, being interviewed and then also fingerprinted by students. The goal is to use the evidence to explain a story of events which eventually leads back to a staff member as key suspect. The legal studies students then run a mock trial to convict the suspect. 

Q. What are some significant changes you see at the school?

A. Buildings have changed significantly and the styles of classes and choices for students. Staff are better able to cater to different learning styles. The main goal now is to support the students in their choices.There are a lot more opportunities to experience something that they are interested in. Immersions such as East Timor CTID and Supporting Worlds Greatest Challenge in Nepal. Experience Ind Comms in NT/ France/Italian and Japan trips where students can go as a group with a school (Years 10, 11 and 12). 

There are more social justice opportunities where students are able to give back to the community. Coding and digital technology is now a compulsory subject and newer students attending the school are very interested in practical building. 

A VCE computing class called 'Applied Computing' is being run for the first time next year, building and developing technical programs, applications and games. There are also more project-based clubs. The Bradbury Club was one that was designed by students to complete long term projects they were interested in. One was a fantastic initiative developed by the students for a school crossing needed on a dangerous corner intersection. Students wanted something to be done and by counting cars using graphs and statistical analysis, their data was presented to TAC and after three years in the making TAC built them a crossing. 

A future Science Week activity will be utilising the expertise of the senior Chemistry students to run a Titration Competition where students will be teaching staff members how to complete an experiment to determine the concentration of different vinegar solutions. An experiment that really makes students 'feel like a scientist'. 

With a focus on student wellbeing, there are now various lunchtime activities available for students such as Anime Club, Free to Be Me Club, Nerd Club and Embroid Me Club along with the Weights Room in the Gym which is open to all staff and students. As part of STEM and Science Week, students were engaged in an open dissection activity at lunch exploring a fish head, a rat, cows eyes and some sheep's hearts to dissect. This engaged students learning more about how organisms differ and some real hands-on experience of scientific dissections. 

Another Science Week activity was utilising the College's laser cutter to create light boxes. All students were welcome to design their own acrylic pattern and build their own light box. Students who were experienced in Physics or Systems Engineering could then code the LED lights how they wished. The Makerspace is full of amazing equipment that students are able to be trained in and use for their creative and innovative projects. 

The biggest change is the new Vertical Homerooms which have been introduced from Year 7 to Year 12 where House Mentor groups of 23 students (consisting of 3 to 4 students per year level) gather each morning. The aim is to build the capacity of older students to mentor and coach downwards which can help guide younger students through subject selections and career paths. 

Alumni Sisters in STEM
Jessica Holmes (2004) and Alana Holmes (2009)

Images: Jessica Holmes (Class of 2004)

Jessica Holmes (2004) develops science and reasoning assessments and does research in STEM education for  Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER). 

Click here to read the full story

Image: Alana Holmes (Class of 2009)

Alana Holmes (2009) works as a Web Application Developer for Gieman IT Solutions and an External Consultant for Sony Music Entertainment.

Click here to read the full story

Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2022
Sacred Heart Alumni Association

Sunday 6 November
10.00am onsite at the College or via Zoom

The Sacred Heart Alumni Association is calling for expressions of interest for a number of vacant positions on the general committee. As outlined in the recently developed strategic plan, the Alumni Association enables past students to re-connect, celebrate the College’s rich history and help shape the future of the organisation.

Further details regarding the AGM’s agenda, re-nominations and vacant positions will be sent shortly. For a nomination form or if you have any questions regarding the committee positions, please contact Jo Welch before Monday 3 October 2022:

Jo Welch, Development Officer

Maptivate is now live!

Sacred Heart is pleased to unveil an exciting project with Circ Consulting called Maptivate.

Maptivate provides an innovative and engaging way to connect and share our stories and information. By using an interactive digital map of the school site, you can now explore the College buildings, watch videos, get the latest information, see historic photos and listen to stories from our Alumni about their time at the College. 

Click to Launch Maptivate

Welcome to our new College
Development Officer, 
Jo Welch

As the newly-appointed Development Officer I welcome our alumni and past staff to remain connected to the school community by ensuring your personal contact details are up to date: click here to update your details.

The deep sense of community and Mercy values of compassion, justice, respect, hospitality, service and courage continue to be upheld through the Association's new strategic plan.

The plan's strategic goals aim to meet our purpose and live out our values for building the alumni, connecting communities through four pillars:

  • Networking: By connecting and sharing opportunities and wisdom to learn together.

  • Experiences: Include our past alumni in various activities which provide mutual benefit allowing our alumni opportunities to give back.

  • Giving Back: To give back through scholarships and social justice initiatives that align with our Mercy values.

  • Communication and Sharing Stories: Through this act of sharing stories we hope to celebrate and inspire impact. The ethos of making a difference.

The Development Office team brings together projects and activities that impact the College’s relationship with internal and external stakeholders. This includes coordinating the above pillars through mentor programs and College events, marketing and communications, public relations, brand management, media and advertising, regular peer reunions, fundraising, archives and community relations.

We encourage our alumni who consider their knowledge, experience or career journey that tells a story, to please contact us - we would love to hear from you.

I look forward to hearing more of your stories and being the first point of contact for the Sacred Heart Alumni Association.

You can contact me on the following:
P: (03) 5221 4211

Jo Welch
Development Officer

Thank you!
We warmly thank our College Community

Catherine McAuley founded the Sisters of Mercy in 1831 in Dublin, Ireland. McAuley sought, through her service to the poor, sick and uneducated, to reveal the mercy of God in our world. With a particular concern for women, she endeavoured to help them recognise their inherent dignity and become self-directing and self-sustaining. Education was at the heart of this effort, as was a desire to meet needs not being addressed by others. – Carlow University, 2022

A very big thank you to our generous College community for supporting our 2022 Annual Giving appeal. With an ambitious target of $100,000, your generosity has already helped us raise $55,000.

Tax-deductible gifts to this year’s appeal will support our two scholarship programs:

  1. General Equity Scholarship program

  2. Inclusion and Diversity Scholarship program*

*The new Inclusion and Diversity Scholarship program acknowledges Catherine McAuley’s desire to meet the needs not being addressed by others. The program is the College’s commitment to fostering an inclusive culture which promotes and values equality and celebrates the wonderful diversity of Geelong’s population.

Make a Gift to the Scholarship Program

Thank You

Aldona Martin
Alumni Association
Amezdroz Family
Andrews Family
Anglin Family
Anna Beamish
Anne Hunt
Anthony Costa Foundation
Atkinson Family
Audrins Family
Austin Family
Badrock Family
Balcombe Family
Bell Smith Family
Berg Family
Dr Bernadette Trifiletti
Biggs Family
Bird Family
Birkett Family
Blood Family
Blood Motor Group
Boyd Family
Branson Konieczka Family
Bremner Family
Britt Family
Bryan Poutney Family
Burke Family in memory of Pat Burke
Caitlin Moore
Carla Juric
Carmel Allen
Carmel Dingemans
Carole McDonald
Cate Slattery
Catherine Pegg
Cathy Leen
Claudette Brennan
Claudia Burgio-Ficca
Codd Family
Condie Braniff Family
Connie Costa
Courtney Family
Dalton Families
David and Karen Costa
Davie Family
Deakin University
Demeo Family
Dess and O'Shea Family
Diana Darcy
Diana Primavera (Cobau)
Dianne Spence
Donna Argent
Edmondstone Family
Egan Family
Elizabeth Gayner
Elizabeth Macpherson

Fatouros Family
Fiona Biggs
Fiona Leahy
Forsyth Family
Fran McKenna
Franceen Kenny
Francis Family
Gael and Richard Perrry
Garcia Caldwell-Garcia Family
Gargan Family
Gary Hogan
Geelong Community Foundation
Genevieve Jordan
Goodwin-Calafiore Family
Hayes Family
Helen Jordan 
Hellard Family
Ida V Calafiore
Ines Collins
Janet Moyle
Jelley Family
Jennifer Falco
Jessica Lonergan
Jim and Catherine Gulli
Joan Cameron
Joan West
Joanne Worsley
Jordan and Sarah Beale
Jordan Beale
Jordan Family
Julianne Price
Kathleen McKinley
Kirsty Suffield
Kolic Family
L Deppeler and B Brady Families
Laura Doherty and Noel Tuddenham
Leong and Lai Family
Louise Callaghan
M Byrne
M. Bertilla Benedet Nordio
Malcolm and Anne Mathieson
Marianne Zabukosek
Marita Fitzpatrick
Mark Pleasance
Martin Ching
Martini Family
Mary Francis Parry
Mary Hickman
Mary Lane
Mary Stekelenburg
Maureen Leahy
McDonald Family
McGivern Family
McKeegan Family
McMahon Family, Chilwell

McNamara Family
Mendoza Family
Michelle Bisinella
Middlemiss Family
Mills Family
Morris Family
Nelson Family
O'Donnell Family
O'Keefe Family
Oxspring Family
Pamela Hudson
Papworth Family
Paul Conway
Penton Family
Peter Morris
Priest Family
Pritchard Family
Pyke Family
Ramsay Family
Rees Famly
Richards and Squires Family
Richardson Family
Rochelle Nicolson
Rosa Brancatisano
Rowe Family
Rudd Family
Saunders Family
Second Hand Book Supplies
Senftleben Family
Shanahan Family
Sheelah Egan
Silvana Scafidi
Simonetta Pidgeon
Skoko Family
Stacey Harris
Stenos Family
Theresa Clarke
Threlfall Family
Townsing Family
Troy White
Walker Family
Wanat Family
Wasterval Simondson Family
Watts Family
Winkler Family
Wolter Filipovic Family
Wrigley Family

And we thank our College Supporters

The College acknowledges and thanks the many organisations that have supported us this year. Your generosity has added to the success of our fundraising efforts.

Sea All Dolphin Swims Queenscliff
Live Wire Park
Readings Cinema Waurn Ponds
Waurn Ponds Shopping Centre
Geelong Football Club
Move Athletica Westfield Geelong
Effective Skincare Steigen
Little Miss Meringue
Candles For a Cause
Smooth & Tan Salons

We remember our school friends who are no longer with us.
We especially remember our alumni who have passed away this year.
Let us take a moment to pray for them.

Julianna Casboult (nee Jones) (Class of 1960’s)
Elizabeth Fagan (1947)
Aileen Redden (McMahon, 1948)
Marycath Reed (Coughlan, 1945)
Marianne Van T ‘ Hag (Bendle) (1958)

James Hayes

James Hayes was the first caretaker and groundsman at Sacred Heart College from at least 1863. He not only looked after the grounds, buildings and animals but also cared for the sisters and acted as a chaperone, driving them out in a buggy to visit and care for Geelong’s poor, sick and imprisoned.

He lived on site, with his wife Ellen and sons, including Michael who followed in his father’s footsteps and became a groundsman at the Convent in the 1880s. The continued family service followed with Lawrence, Michael’s son also taking up the mantle in the early 1900s. During a recent literature survey of newspapers and articles relating to the Convent and daily College life, the following article turned up, from The Ballarat Courier, November 3 1880.

Scene at the Geelong Convent 

For some days past rumours have been abroad that a large portion of the grounds attached to the convent of Our Lady of Mercy, at Newtown, was to be claimed by a stranger just arrived from Queensland. In some quarters the rumour caused a little excitement, from the fact that it was based on the assumption that the claimant had a sound title to the ground—which has been fenced in, and now forms a portion of the convent enclosure. The claimant is a man named Thomas Needham, sixty-two years of age, a general dealer by trade, and a married man, with a wife and six children.

He has lately arrived in the colony from Rockhampton, and, according to his own statement, has come to Geelong for the purpose of residing on an allotment of ground facing Aphrasia street, and lying between that thoroughfare and the wall of the convent kitchen. The land claimed, according to Needham, consists of about a quarter of an acre, having 66 feet frontage to the street named by a depth of 450 feet, which goes so far back as to take in nearly 2 feet of the stone building forming a portion of the kitchen at the convent Mr Needham, who appears to be an old resident of Newtown, states that he obtained the title to the land through buying it from a man named John Jones when in Melbourne twenty-three years since. The matter appears to be rather mixed up. Jones borrowed £10 from a person James Rook, who resides in Aphrasia street.

After a time Needham advanced to Jones the sum of £10 to release the deeds from Rook, and then gave Jones £30 more for the land, obtaining the deeds for the property, with a bill of sale written on the back of the document. Needham claims that he once resided on the land, which was sold to Jones by the New South Wales Government before the separation took place between the two colonies, and that he left Victoria sixteen or seventeen years since. He values the land in dispute at £50. As there are always two sides to a question, it is now necessary to give the other one.

In the first place the land is not worth more than £15; instead of being 450 feet in depth it is only 450 links; thirteen years since it was fenced and, and has formed part and parcel of the convent grounds; Needham cannot produce any title; the paper he holds being at most merely an equitable mortgage, and in fact he has no claim to the property. The solicitors are Messrs Taylor, Buckland, and Gates for the Roman Catholic trustees of the convent premises, and Mr W. Higgins for Thomas Needham. Acting on the advice of his solicitor, Mr Needham on Monday forenoon proceeded with a tent and other material, and together with Thomas Barber, of Malop Street east, scaled the convent fence and began erecting the tent on the coveted ground. They had scarcely commenced operations when James Hayes, the groom and gardener at the convent objected to the presence of the intruders, especially as to Barber's hand in the affair.

Evidently acting under legal advice also, Hayes, armed with a dangerous looking bludgeon,commenced a vigorous attack on Barber, who, acknowledging the unusual warmth of his reception, beat a hasty retreat across the fence and Needham, fearing similar treatment, played " follow the leader" in a style which would have done credit to a first-class steeplechase horse. Having discomfited the enemy, Hayes hurled the tent and materials into Aphrasia Street, and from a commanding position on the dividing fence invited a renewal of hostilities, but the sight of a broken-handled spade in his right hand caused the offer to be rejected. During the afternoon Messrs Barber and Needham loitered about the outside fences of the convent ground, and Hayes guarded the disputed land with a determination to sacrifice his blood, if necessary. We understand that the attack will be resumed by Messrs Needham and Barber. During the scene there was considerable excitement about the convent grounds, and there was a great stir in the neighbourhood.

Sadly, there are no further reports of what happened next and Thomas Needham seems to have dropped his case, not wanting a repeat of the hostilities and disappears from history. Thomas Barber, who was a strange choice of companion for Needham, goes on to spend a life of infamy and crime, with numerous reports of him appearing before the courts for running a disorderly house, handling stolen goods and forging documents, winds up being expelled from a Geelong benevolent asylum for misconduct in 1904. He dies soon after.

James Hayes goes on to live to 100, dying at his residence in Aphrasia Street in 1920. The descriptions in the Geelong Advertiser describe his funeral with hearse, two mourning coaches and a number of conveyances, his pall bearers are local councillors and town elders. James’s connection to the Sisters of Mercy and Sacred Heart continues to this day with descendants in five families attending the College.