End of Year Message - Acting Principal

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2019

Dear Members of the St Patrick’s College Community,

I hope that you and your son(s) have had an enjoyable and fulfilling year. By now you should have accessed your son’s academic report via the REALM Parent Portal and Parent Lounge. This will have also included the student analytics dimension to the report. I trust that all the information now made available to you on the report allows you to view a more thorough picture of your son’s academic achievement over the semester and year. Whilst the report is a “point in time” view of his academic progress, it should also provide a stimulus for discussion about the persistence, effort, attitude and work ethic he employed to achieve the goals that he set for this semester and across the year. It also provides information to allow you both to start planning goals that will assist him continue to reach his potential in 2020. 

I have also included a 2019 Financial Report for the College.  As in the past, this report will give you an insight into the financial operations of the College as well as detailing expenditure in 2019 and proposed budgets and expenditure in 2020. You will already have been sent an email outlining the School Fees for 2020.  There is a small increase of 3.5% in fees for 2020.  Once again, we have tried hard to ensure that our fee requirements are kept to the lowest possible level. 

The positive changes to the College campus environments over the past few years and those that are planned into the future clearly indicates that the College Building Fund is being put to very good use and I am very thankful for the generous support of the parent body and the added support of the College Foundation. I am very conscious of the sacrifices and efforts our families make to invest in a St Patrick’s education and am very appreciative of the efforts you make in addressing your financial commitments to the College. The 2020 budget has been prepared to ensure that resources are in place to allow us to continue to offer an excellent educational pathway for your son to reach his potential.

The new College Café will be functional from the beginning of 2020. The Café will continue to provide excellent service to the students and staff each day. A critical part of this service is the large number of parents who generously give of their time to volunteer on a roster basis.  The 2020 rosters are currently being developed and If you can assist us or need more information about this, please email cafe@stpatricks.qld.edu.au  or phone the College Office on 3631 9000. We would like to thank Mrs Demetria Karydas for her service to the College Community as Tuckshop Convenor for the past 12 years. Demetria will continue working in the new Café in a different capacity

Textbooks for each student are provided as part of the tuition fees. However, for us to be able to continue this practice, it is imperative that all textbooks are returned in an acceptable state.  If your son has not returned all his textbooks or library books, I ask that he does so by Friday, 6 December.  Any outstanding books after this date will be billed to you.  Each of these books is needed for next year.  Your assistance with this matter is greatly appreciated.

Students are also provided a laptop. To assist with the ongoing maintenance of these laptops, the following devices were collected at the end of the school year:

All Year 6 laptops and chargers
All Year 9 laptops and chargers
All Year 12 laptops and chargers
All Year 5, 7, 8 and 10 laptops only for general maintenance and software updates.
If your son is in Years 6, 9 or 12 did not return his laptop and charger, the full amount of a replacement device will be added to your parent account.

As of 2020, all parents will be required to agree to the Terms and Conditions of the Laptop Program via our Parent Approval/Tour & Excursion process. Details will be outlined in communication via Realm in January 2020, but it is important to note this process must take place before boys are able to collect their laptop for the academic year.

This agreement will allow the College to better cater for repairs and replacements resulting from accidental damage, malicious damage, neglect and/or loss of the device.


The following report for the 2019 academic year gives an overview of the financial operation of the College in the context of current and future directions.

The issue of changes to the way the Commonwealth Government provides funding to Catholic schools in Australia remains an issue.  We are grateful for the assistance of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission for the critical role they play in advocating to the Governments on behalf of Catholic schools. Currently, we have advice on our funding for next year and fortunately, we have been largely unaffected by any changes.  However, there is still uncertainty from the end of next year depending on the outcome of the Federal election during 2020.
Over this Christmas holiday break, work will be completed on the ground floor of the O’Connor Building and in the Dowd Building to produce extra classrooms. There will also be work done on creating shadier places for our students to enjoy. We will also continue to develop classrooms as new contemporary learning spaces including different technology within the rooms.
The ongoing investment into the College’s facilities is only made possible because of the generous support of the College community through donations to the College Foundation and Building Levy.  I thank all families for their past support and request your commitment to continuing this into the future.

College Income

The College receives approximately 55% of its income from State and Federal Government Grants.  Income from school fees form the bulk of the remaining 45% of income.  As mentioned above, despite the changes to government funding, the College has been fortunate to be largely unaffected at this point in time.  There remains however the constant tension between income and the increasing cost of education.

College Expenditure Salaries and Related Expenses

A significant part of the Annual College Budget (approximately 65%) is salaries, wages and superannuation.  The non-government Enterprise Bargaining Agreement EB8 expired in June 2019 and negotiations are continuing for the new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. We are hopeful that this will be finalised in early 2020.

Capital Developments

Café Construction. The Café construction will be completed in preparation for the beginning of 2020. O’Connor Building.  Over the Christmas break the College will undertake refurbishment works in the ground floor of the O’Connor Building to create two extra classrooms in the College.
Masterplanning.  During 2019, the College Masterplanning Committee continued working in partnership with the College architects to create a Masterplan for the College for the next ten (10) years.  The Masterplan is not yet finalised; however, we look forward to finishing it and presenting the plan to the School Community early in 2020.
Tuition Fees and information for 2020
School fees for 2020 will be increased by 3.5% and a schedule of proposed fees has been emailed to all parents and will also be found on the College website following approval from the EREA Board.  The increase is consistent with the annual increase in the Educational Index, which forms part of the Consumer Price Index prepared by the Australian Government’s Bureau of Statistics.  For the coming year, the Building Levy will remain at $700 per family for 2020.  The College continues to support more than $15 million in capital loans from the developments of recent years and this investment in quality buildings has been very beneficial to the teaching practices and overall physical development and environment of the College.

The setting of tuition fees is always a process of balancing the financial needs of the College and continuing to provide a high-quality education against the desire to maintain fees at levels within the reach of the parent population.  The fees cover the cost of your son’s tuition, book hire, outdoor education camp, excursions, laptop equipment and music programs (Years 5, 6) but do not include Private Instrumental or Music Tuition or Kairos Retreat (Year 12 only).  The College Board devotes considerable time in deliberating over any fee increase to ensure that it reflects sound financial management, while remaining consistent with EREA’s focus on affordability and the Mission of the College.

As usual, the calendar for 2020 will be available to families when textbooks are collected in the New Year.  However, I have included below some information that may be useful over the Christmas holiday period.

The full-time staff who will be finishing this year include Mrs Anne Mare Bliss, Mr Paul Toohey, Ms Nicola Bone, Mr Pat O’Connor, Mrs Karen Cantwell, Mrs Susan Harris and Mr Chris Brown. The following staff will be leaving us after completing a period of contract to replace staff who were on leave: Ms Leigh Wissmann, Ms Lucy Hulme, Ms Jodi Biggar, Mr Sonny Ali, Mr Sean Riley, Mr Maher Wahba, Mr Ben Meerman, Ms Emily Duncan, Ms Kelli Moore, Mr Samuel Sprenger, Mr Matthew Ingram and Mrs Kaylene Campbell.

Mr Paul Johnson, Mr Michael Alvisio, Mr Matthew Seers, Mr Clinton Hall, Mrs Ashleigh Walker, Mrs Katie Moro, and Mrs Sandra Cartwright will all return from leave.

Mrs Sonia O’Brien, Mrs Kate Belfrage, and Mrs Cassandra Purcell will be on leave during 2020.

The following staff will join us in 2020 in either a full-time or contract capacity to replace staff on leave.  


  • Head of Sport – Mr Jim Potts
  • College Counsellor – Mr Kenneth Loftus
  • Teacher of Humanities– Mr Rebecca Harris
  • Teacher of Senior Business – Mrs Julie Smith
  • Teacher of Mathematics and Science – Ms Nina Lau
  • Teacher of Mathematics and Science – Mr Leon Hill
  • Teacher of Health and Physical Education – Mr Tom Christie
  • Teacher of Manual Arts – Mr Gregory Christensen
  • Teacher of English and Religion – Ms Eloise Svendsen
  • Teacher of English and Religion – Mrs Marissa Price
  • Teacher of English, Humanities and Religion – Mr Steven Wallace
  • Teacher of Senior and Junior Science –Ms Danielle Clark
  • Teacher of Year 5 – Ms Tracey Mortimer
  • Teacher of Health and Physical Education – Mr Tim Bermingham


  • Teacher of English – Mr Aaron Lee
  • Teacher of Year 5/6 – Mr Christopher Charnock
  • Teacher of Music, and Woodwind – Mr Kevin Camrass

Important Dates

  • Finance Office closes - Friday, 20 December 2019
  • College Office closes - Friday, 20 December 2019
  • College Office opens - Monday, 6 January 2020
  • Finance Office opens - Monday, 20 January 2020                                         
  • College Leadership Team resumes - Wednesday, 15 January 2020
  • Teaching Staff resume - Tuesday, 21 January 2020
  • First day for Years 5, 7, 12 (+ new students in other year levels) – Wednesday,29 January 2020 (8.30am – 3.00pm)
  • Classes resume for all students - Thursday, 30 January 2020.                      

The College website is also available for additional information www.stpatricks.qld.edu.au  

There are some families whose son(s) will also be finishing at the College this year. I hope that they, and you, found their time with us to be memorable and fulfilling. On behalf of the entire community, we wish you well in your future endeavours.

I pray that all members of the St Patrick’s College community enjoy a safe, Holy and happy Christmas and joyful New Year and I look forward to working with you again in 2020.

Live Jesus in our Hearts!

Mr Frank Torrisi
Acting College Principal