Every staff member of Stella Maris College is responsible for supporting the pastoral needs of the students so they may take their place in the world as well-rounded, resilient young people with a positive and grounded self-image, a clear sense of purpose and a strong connection to their community.
Student wellbeing is founded on core principles including:
- The Benedictine values of balance, hospitality, stability, peace, justice and community
- Care for the whole person
- Resilience, authentic self-esteem, optimism and connection as essential qualities for life-long happiness
- The necessity of growing healthy and mature relationships
- Personal responsibility and accountability with a focus on restorative justice
“There is one body, but it has many parts. But all its many parts make up one body. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. If one part is honoured, every part shares in its joy…You are the body of Christ. Each one of you is a part of it.” (1 Corinthians 12.12, 26-27)
The following are some of the ways that students’ wellbeing is prioritised at Stella:
- Specialist Wellbeing Team led by the Assistant Principal Wellbeing
- Close working relationship with families
- Multiple trusted points of contact between students and staff
- Stella Sisters peer mentoring
- Policies and procedures that rely on evidence-based research and the collective wisdom of hundreds of years of combined experience of the staff
- Opportunities for prayer and reflection, and to participate in the Sacraments
- Ongoing Child Protection training. All staff are required to hold a current Working With Children Check and a Senior First Aid Certificate
Benedictine spirituality requires balance, harmony and awareness so that we live life to the full. This is the very essence of wellbeing.
The Wellbeing TeamThe Wellbeing Team is the primary wellbeing structure at Stella.
- Assistant Principal Wellbeing
- Heads of Year
- Pastoral Care Groups
- College Counsellors
- International Student Pastoral Care
You’ll find the current team at Meet the Staff
Assistant Principal WellbeingThe Assistant Principal Wellbeing leads the Wellbeing Team and is responsible for student welfare and the implementation of pastoral programming within the College. The Assistant Principal Wellbeing works in close collaboration with the Leadership Team to ensure the effective operation and compliance of the College and the realisation of its Mission, Vision and Strategic Plan.
Heads of Year and Pastoral Care GroupsThe Heads of Year lead their Year group through their six years at the College. They are the main point of contact between the College and home, and work with PC teachers and families to ensure the best school experience for their daughters.
Every student is allocated to a Pastoral Care group that is aligned with one of our Houses. The group remains together for their six-year College journey, including the PC teacher. They begin each day together, providing support and guidance, celebrating achievements, building lasting friendships and managing the everyday workings of the College. Through the PC groups all Stella students are supported by a caring adult and their PC sisters who know and value them as individuals. PC is their anchor in the College community.
College CounsellorsOur highly qualified and experienced College Counsellors are always close at hand to help students cope when life presents challenging situations. They offer support for a range of issues including study skills, time management, peer-related issues, mood disorders and management of stress and anxiety. Referrals to external services are made when necessary and appointments for parent consultations are available by contacting them directly.
Contact the College Counsellor here.
International Student Pastoral CareOur international students are a long way from home and it is the responsibility of the College to ensure they are well cared for during their stay. Stella Maris strives to be a second home for our international students. It is the role of the International Student Pastoral Care Coordinator and International Program Officer to attend to their general wellbeing as well as their very specific needs as young women living away from home.
Restorative JusticeRestorative justice is a cooperative process of behavioural management that focusses on the needs of the offender, the victim and the community as a whole. It encourages the girls to
- Reflect on their actions
- Take responsibility for their actions
- Learn the importance of respect for other people and property
- Understand the importance of repairing damaged relationships and how to make amends
- Make a positive contribution to the College community through their words and actions
- Set positive goals for growth and change
Health and SafetyThe physical health and safety of our girls is supported by policies and strategies that cover hazard identification, contagion mitigation, cyber-safety, immunisations, allergy management, sun safety, management of complex medical conditions like asthma and diabetes, healthy eating, disability management, road safety, child protection and drug education, among others. All staff have their Senior First Aid Certificate.
The College is well able to move to partial or full online delivery of teaching and learning if and when the need arises.
HousesThe Houses are an important part of building a strong sense of belonging and connection to our community. Through belonging to a House, the girls learn good citizenship, team spirit, loyalty, enthusiasm and healthy competition. They also learn the personal satisfaction that comes from contributing their skills and knowledge for the good of all, just as all the House namesakes have done in the past.
Sr Sabina Shinnick, the first Principal of Stella Maris College in 1931.
A 19th century advocate for female immigrant welfare, Caroline Chisholm spent seven years in Australia and during that time placed over 11,000 people in homes and jobs.
Oodgeroo Noonuccal (formerly Kath Walker), prominent Aboriginal activist and writer. The first Aboriginal woman to be published.
Sr Colette Egan sgs, Principal from 1950-54 and later as a teacher, was one of our longest serving staff members, inspiring thousands of students with her passion for learning and her acute intellect.
Fiona Wood AM, inventor of spray on skin for burns victims. Australian Living Treasure. Australian of the Year in 2005.
Shirley Smith AM, committed advocate for Aboriginal Australians, known also as Mum Shirl. She was a committed Catholic and founding member of the Aboriginal Legal Service, Aboriginal Medical Service, Aboriginal Tent Embassy, the Aboriginal Children’s Service, and the Aboriginal Housing Company in Redfern.
St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, founder of the Sisters of St Joseph and Australia’s first saint.
Marie Bashir AD, first woman Governor of NSW, former Chancellor of Sydney University. Dame of the Order of Australia.