News & Events

Dear Parents & Guardians,


I was doing a quick Google search to prepare for this newsletter and I came across Pope Francis’ Lenten reflection for 2024:

When I saw this, the statement and image it really made me think. Pope Francis has not only captured the essence of the meaning of Lent but also created a statement that reflects the challenges of our time.

All us have to spend time in the desert – not the physical deserts (though the weather today feels like we are in one!), but deserts that reflect the challenges we face, be they financial, emotional or spiritual. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded to have more; better and bigger houses, the latest gadgets, nicer cars and, in my case, more exciting motorcycles! Perhaps this is the desert to which His Holiness refers.

Freedom comes through faith and that faith can help us find the path through the desert, even when that is very difficult. Lent is a time for us to renew that connection with our faith and help navigate through the desert. It is a time that calls us to think not of ourselves, but of those less fortunate than ourselves – and let’s face it, there are an awful lot of them in the world right now. There are very few places in the world as blessed as Australia.

Let’s all take time to do reflect during Lent and think about ways in which we can renew our faith. Supporting activities such as our Project Compassion Appeal is one simple way in which we can support those less fortunate and find a path through our personal deserts by helping others rather than just helping ourselves.

On another note, it has been a pleasure again to spend time with our oldest children at camp (though we were forced to finish this one early due to the weather conditions. Often, I stand back at camp and just watch these children; the way in which they interact with each other, support each other and make others feel valued. I know that on occasion our children can make mistakes and demonstrate poor choices but taking a moment to stand back and watch them just reaffirms how amazing the children at St Lawrence of Brindisi are, and why I love my job. They are just really great children and I am really proud of each one of them.




Some of our teachers have asked me to provide some clarity to parents and guardians regarding celebrating your child’s birthday with their classmates and friends. Birthdays are very special celebrations for our children and it is important that we acknowledge their special day, however, this must be done in way that ensures the safety and wellbeing of all our students.

Distributing food at school always has some inherent risk given we have a number of children with specific food allergies. This is why we discourage teachers using food rewards. It can also lead to having some very upset children if it is not done equitably.

To be clear to parents and guardians, teachers will not be distributing food brought in to celebrate children’s birthdays at school. Any food will need to be taken home so parents and guardians can decide if they want their child to eat it.


When sending items to school to celebrate your child’s birthday, we would ask all parents and guardians to follow these expectations:

  1. If you send cakes to school, these must be individually wrapped and there must enough provided for each child in the class to avoid anyone being left out. The ingredients that have been used must be clearly provided with each cake so other parents and guardians can make a decision on whether this is safe for their child to eat.
  2. You can send small bags of lollies to school but again, these need to individually wrapped and enough provided for each child in the class. These cannot contain lollies with sticks as these are a safety risk.
  3. Please do not send small gifts and trinkets to school as presents. These are easily broken and often misplaced which can lead to some very upset children which our staff then need to console.

If you are giving out invites to children’s parties, please do this tactfully and ideally, away from school. We do not expect all children to be friends, but when children are left out, particularly in the younger years, it is not easy for them to understand why and this can lead to upset and hurt. As a parent, I know how this can feel when your child is not included and a Catholic school, two of stated values are compassion and justice.



A polite warning to our parents and guardians. We have been following up with Melton City Council regarding our concerns with the parking at the beginning and end of the school day and the council are now going to do patrols of the roads at these times to make sure our school community is following the rules. Please avoid the possibility of you getting a fine for parking illegally.

We have placed a lot of cones along Waterway Boulevard to remind parents and guardians where not to park. Please do not move these cones – they are there for the safety of our children.



A reminder from the bulletin last week.

  • It is a legal requirement to send your child to school. If they are sick, they should be at home recuperating, however, parents and guardians are expected to notify schools if they are absent. This notification must state the child’s name, date of absence and a reason for their absence. If this is not provided, our admin team will contact you to seek further clarification.
  • If our admin team do not receive an absence notification from a parent or guardian by 9.30am, you will be contacted to check on the reason for your child’s absence. If we cannot contact you, your child’s absence will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. Repeated unauthorised absences must be reported to the Department of Education and our governing authority.
  • If your child is attending a medical appointment (including a dental appointment) within school hours, parents and guardians are expected to provide evidence that this is a legitimate medical appointment.
  • If children are away for more than three days without notification, we will contact you to enquire as the reason for their absence. Persistent absence from school requires us to notify our governing authority and the Department of Education, who can potentially issue an infringement notice to parents who are not sending their children to school without a valid reason.
  • If your child is participating in a non-school sports event in school hours and is absent from school, parents and guardians should provide some evidence that this is a legitimate sporting event.
  • It is the principal’s discretion to determine if a holiday during term time is legitimate and can be counted as a reasonable absence. Any absence due to a holiday should be discussed with the principal prior to the child leaving.
  • Absences due to birthdays, shopping or visiting friends or relatives is not considered a legitimate absence within the government requirements and principals cannot approve these as an authorised absence.


Most importantly, if you are having difficulties with your child attending school, it is vital that you come and talk to us so that we can support you in getting your child back to regular schooling.

I would ask for your cooperation in this matter. Please do not be offended if we call you regarding the absence of your child as this a legal requirement for all Victorian schools; we are not meaning to question you but instead ensuring we meet our legal obligations and duty of care to the children.


God bless,


Bill Hill



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