News & Events

Dear Parents & Guardians,

Firstly, can I say a big thank you to all our parents, guardians, grandparents, and special friends who came along to our Carols Celebration on Tuesday night. It was great to see so many of you there. I am sure that everyone will join with me in showing our thanks to all our staff who worked so hard to prepare the children, but in particular, Natalie Bruzzese, who did a lot of the organisation of this event.















On another note, next Tuesday, December 5 our children will participate in Step-Up Day, the day our children get to meet their new teacher and classmates for next year.

Attendance at the Step-Up day is required for all new students starting at St Lawrence of Brindisi in 2024, excluding next year’s prep students. These students will receive a letter from their teacher next year introducing themselves and welcoming them to their class.

The class lists for Step-Up Day will be announced on Tuesday morning. While we appreciate that some children will be anxious to know which teacher and classmates they have for next year, unnecessary speculation can increase their anxiety and can sometimes be based on inaccurate information.

The allocation of teachers and children to classes is a time-consuming process. This is not something that is done quickly but is repeatedly reviewed and discussed by our staff. We give children the opportunity to provide choices of which children they would like to be with next year. This is information is taken into consideration; however, it is always balanced with the best interests of the children. We must remember that though their opinions are important, they are still children and decisions such as these must be made by adults able to look at the bigger picture.

We acknowledge that parents and guardians know their children best, however, in this task, the people best informed to allocate children to classes are the classroom teachers. They see your children every day; how they interact with their peers and how a particular classroom mix will benefit and support individual children.

The selection of classes is not a perfect science, it is not always possible to give every child exactly what they want. In my experience, there is a risk that sometimes, children go home disappointed that they did not get all their friends in their class. It is really important parents and guardians take care not to feed this anxiety. Children are remarkably resilient and for the most part will make new connections in a new class. They will also continue to play with their existing friends outside in the playground. Parents and guardians can support their children by reassuring them and encouraging them to build new friendships. This is a critical life skill and building resilience in children is important.

Occasionally, parents and guardians will want to meet with me to discuss the placement of their children. I am always happy to meet to discuss this, however, I never make any promises in this regard. It is never as simple as moving one child to another class. Moving one child invariably has a knock on effect for other children and moving one child can throw the whole class allocation out.

Please be assured, we have looked long and hard at the class allocations for 2024 and I hope that our parents and guardians trust the skill, wisdom, and professional capacity of our teachers in the placement of children.

The 2024 teacher allocation is as follows. Please note that we reserve the right to change this structure according to circumstances and in the best interests of the children and the school. We also note that we are still looking for at least one further teacher for 2024 and until this process is finalised, the 2024 structures are open to change. This process might well continue into the school holidays as I strive to ensure that we have the highest quality teaching staff for our children next year:



You will notice a number of new teaching staff for next year. We welcome Charlene Zhou, Bridget Fairman and Karina Romania to our team. Melanie Allen is actually not a new member of staff; she was previously one of our Learning Support Officers and is now undertaking a full-time teaching role in 2024.

Some of the classes have two teachers. This is to account for teachers who have taken on leadership roles and need to be released for time to complete these roles:


Religious Education Leader: Jamien Russell

Wellbeing Leader: Courtney Daly

Literacy Leader: Helen Saunders

Languages Leader: Natalie Bruzzese

Digital Education Leader: Thomas Punzalan


The other leadership positions will continue with Caroline as Deputy Principal, Lorraine Stevenson as Learning Diversity Leader and Emma Daniels as Office Manager/Bursar, and yes, you are still stuck with me as Principal (and for a long time I hope!)

We have also had some changes in Learning Support Officers. Over the last few weeks, we have said farewell to Kirra Walker and Diana Lay who both resigned from their positions at St Lawrence of Brindisi. We wish them both well in their future endeavours and thank them for their contribution to our school community. We will now begin the process of finding a replacement for at least one of these roles before the end of the year and potentially, adding further Learning Support Officers to our team early next year depending on funding and financial viability. This advert will be placed on our website and Facebook pages and can also be found on the CECV Job Position website: 2024 LSO Position Advert.



The season of Advent begins this Sunday and continues through the four Sundays of Advent and ends on Christmas Eve.

The first week of Advent focuses on the return of the Lord; the following weeks focus more specifically on the anticipation of the birth of Jesus. Rather than simply commemorating a historical event, Advent is a time of preparing our hearts to ‘receive’ Jesus into the world each year.

Advent is traditionally marked by the colour of violet – the same colour as used in Lent. In recent years, some parishes have moved to a more blue/mauve colour for Advent to try to distinguish it from the season of Lent.

By Greg Sunter:

 Prayer for the first week of Advent:

O Lord, as we enter this season of Advent, this time of waiting and anticipation, fill me with the hope of Christ.

Help me to wait in great expectation for your great light to shine in this world, for all who are living in darkness to see the dawning of your light.

This world can be so dark, so troubling, so full of despair, yet you are light and love.

May your light fill all the darkest corners of this world and all the darkest corners of my own heart. May your love conquer all despair and hate, leading us all to a better life in you.

This is the hope of Christmas, that the birth of a baby – Jesus Christ, your Son – will change the world, and will work a change in my own life.

Lord, I pray to be filled with this hope that light will triumph over darkness, love will conquer evil, and Jesus will save us all. This I pray through your Son Jesus Christ


By Kathryn Shirey


Jamien Russell




The Challenge Learning Community children will lead the school in our second advent liturgy tomorrow morning at 9.15am. We hope to see lots of parents there as we prepare for Advent and the Christmas season.



Our final School Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting has to be rescheduled for Monday, December 4. The SAC meeting, which is only for SAC members starts at 6.00pm and our AGM starts at 6.45pm.  Our AGM is open to any parent or staff member and is usually one of two occasions where we receive nominations from any parent or guardian who is interested in joining our amazing SAC team.

If you are interested in joining the SAC team, you need to send me an email to:



Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) is excited to be launching a Christmas campaign in December. The focus of the campaign will be on giving the biggest thanks possible to our amazing teachers.

To make the campaign more special, students have the chance to be part of it. MACS has created an online form at, where students can write a message of thanks to the teacher who has helped them to flourish, whether by igniting their passion in a certain subject or by inspiring them to believe in themselves.


Not only will the messages of thanks be shared with teachers, but some of the students’ messages will appear on billboards around Melbourne and in future communications. We need parent/carer/guardian consent in the online form to give students the chance of having their message used in this way.

The form will be open until Friday 1 December. We look forward to seeing the messages of joy and positivity from students as we celebrate our wonderful teachers this Christmas.



All take home books will be collected on Monday 4 December for a stocktake. Please can you check around your house, particularly under beds, to see if you have any books that belong to school.  Thank you for your assistance.


Helen Saunders




We celebrate masses and liturgies in our school throughout the year, however, our beginning and end of year mass will always be celebrated in the parish church of St Anthony of Padua, recognising that our school is part of a bigger, parish community.

Our end-of-year mass at St Anthony of Padua will take place on Friday, December 15 at 10.30am. I hope that lots of parents, guardians and other members of our community come and give thanks for the year we have had by celebrating mass with us. Having it at St Anthony of Padua also means we can fit in a lot more parents and guardians. Please make time to attend.



Our Grade 6 Graduation Dinner will take place on Tuesday, December 12 at 3.30 pm. More details will be sent out to the relevant parents and guardians soon. The 2023 Grade Six Graduation mass will take place at St Anthony of Padua Parish Church on Wednesday, December 13 at 6.00 pm.



On Wednesday, December 8, all the Catholic Grade 3-6 children will be bused to St Anthony of Padua Parish Church to participate in the sacrament of Reconciliation in the parish church.

The 2023 Reconciliation liturgy and sacrament will take place on Thursday, December 7 at St Anthony of Padua Parish Church at 7.00 pm.



Please remember, our Semester Two three-way learning conversations (parent-teacher meetings also involving the students) have been organised for Monday and Wednesday, December 4 and 6.

School will finish at 11.30am on both of these days to allow for the three-way learning conversations to begin.

The booking information for these sessions will be sent out today. Please contact the office if you need any assistance with this process.

It is expected that all parents and guardians make an appointment to meet with the classroom teacher to discuss the progress of their child. Please do not be offended, but I will be following up with any parent or guardian who does not attend a meeting. It is a reasonable expectation that every parent or guardian makes time for this meeting.

The Semester Two reports will be sent home tomorrow to give parents and guardians time to review these before meeting with the teacher.


God bless,

Bill Hill.


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