St Mary's Coptic Orthodox College

Newsletter Issue No.2

The Joy Of The Resurrection

By H.H. Pope Shenouda III

The angels proclaimed the news of Christ’s resurrection to the women saying, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?

"He is not here, but He is risen” (Luke 24: 5-6). The news of the risen Christ brought tremendous joy to the disciples, but terrified the Jewish leaders. As much as the day of the crucifixion was painful emotionally, it was a day of salvation. However, people did not see Christ opening the doors of paradise, they only saw the suffering, insults and nails. As much as the disciples were disturbed and sad on Friday, they were very joyful on Sunday.

The promise of the Lord to them was fulfilled when He said, “But I will see you again and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy away from you” (John 16:22). Through His resurrection, they rejoiced that the resurrection is possible and realistic. He was the evidence. That is why St. John describes Him, “whom we have seen with our eyes and touched with our hands” (1Jn 1: 1). St. Peter also bears witness that “we have eaten and drank with Him after His resurrection from the dead.” (Acts 10:41). Through the resurrection, the fear of the disciples was turned into courage and indifference to all the powers that were fighting them. All their enemies could do is threaten to kill them, but what can the threat of death do to one who believes in the resurrection and has seen it!

In the resurrection, the disciples felt that they were under the wings of a powerful God. The One in whom they believe holds the keys to life and death. He is the resurrection and the life. He is the source of life, not only on earth. but eternal life also. The disciples rejoiced because God fulfilled His promise to them, when they saw the promise of His resurrection fulfilled, they were reassured of the outcome of all the other promises, like, “I go to prepare a place for you… and I will come again and take you, so that where I am, there you will be also” Jn. 14: 2-3).

They believed His promise that He is with us until the end of days (Matt. 28:20). Thus, all His promises gave them power, comfort and joy. Through the resurrection, the cross became a glorious crown, instead of a symbol of suffering. That is why St. Paul says, “I rejoice ‘in weaknesses and insults and persecutions for Christ’s sake” (2 Cor. 12: 10). He also says, “we suffer with Him, so we can be glorified with Him also” (Rom. 8:17). The resurrection of Christ gave believers hope for an after life and for an eternal fellowship with Christ. This hope enabled them to put all their treasures in heaven and live as strangers in this world. St. Paul described life in heaven as, “what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor entered the mind of man, what God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Cor. 2:9). The resurrection, then, is not an end in itself, but a means to the end which is everlasting life with God.

The disciples rejoiced for the heavenly body that comes with the resurrection. Christ will raise our bodies also as He Himself rose. Human nature will be glorified in the resurrection from death. St. Paul says that “the body which is sown in corruption will rise in incorruption, and that which is sown in weakness will be raised in power” (1 Cor. 15:42-44). He also said that the Lord will change the body of humility into the image of His glorious body (Philippians 3 :21).

The disciples rejoiced because in the resurrection, Christ revisited them. Christ spent a period of forty days with them, healing their wounds and doubts and forgiving their weaknesses. It was a period to prepare them for the upcoming mission. The resurrection gave the Christian mission faith and confidence. Confidence in the risen Christ whose disciples lived with Him for forty days after the resurrection, showing Himself to them with many proofs and talking to them about matters of the kingdom of God. The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord and their joy became a way of life for them and Christians after them.

Smoking and Vaping Ban In Schools

This is a reminder about smoking and vaping bans in schools.

By law, smoking and vaping are banned within the grounds of all Victorian childcare centres, kindergartens, preschools and schools.

The smoking and vaping ban applies to:

 Anyone on school premises during and outside of school hours (including students, teachers, contractors, volunteers, parents, carers and members of the school community).

 All activities that take place on school premises and on school events or functions held off school premises.

 Within 4 metres of any part of a pedestrian access point (or entrance) to school premises.

The smoking and vaping ban applies at all times, irrespective of whether the school building or grounds are being used for an educational or other purpose.

The ban seeks to ensure that children and young people can attend school without being

exposed to harmful second-hand smoke and vapour. Banning smoking and vaping in areas used

by children and young people also discourages them from using tobacco or e-cigarette products.

Examples of e-cigarettes that are available in the market

Nicotine is harmful to the developing brains and e-cigarettes pose health risks to younger users.

Parents and carers are encouraged to be vigilant and have conversations with their children about substances that pose risks to their health and development.

Examples of e-cigarettes that are available in the market Nicotine

Student Self-Administration of Medicine – College Policy

Self-Administration of Medicine

When considering whether it is appropriate for the self-administration of medicines, the College will consult with parents or carers, and may consult the student’s health practitioner, taking into account the age of the student and any other circumstances.

The following rules for self-administration of medicine must be adhered to at all times:

1. The self-administration of medicines must be authorised in writing by parents or carers, not the student.

2. The First Aid/Sickbay Officer will supervise the self-administration of medicines and keep accurate records.

3. The First Aid/Sickbay Officer will store self-administered medicine unless it is required to be carried by the student at all

times (e.g. insulin, asthma inhaler or EpiPen).

4. Students are not permitted to carry on them, or in their bags, any pain killers or medicines, other than insulin or asthma

inhalers. Over the counter medicines such as Paracetamol (e.g. Panadol), Ibuprofen (e.g. Nurofen), period pain relief

tablets (e.g. Naprogesic), cough tablets/lollies/syrup, etc., may be submitted to the Sickbay Officer with a Medication

Authorisation Form completed and signed by a parent or carer, not the student.

5. Under no circumstances students are to share any medicines with other students, including pain killers such as the

mentioned above, vitamin tablets, and the like.

Factors to be taken into consideration when permitting students to carry their own medication are:

a. whether the student requires immediate access to the medication e.g. insulin, asthma inhaler

b. any special storage requirements e.g. refrigeration

c. the risk of unsafe access to medicines by other students.

The College requires all students, parents and carers to adhere to the above rules and submit any medicines to the Sickbay Officer with a Medication Authorisation Form, signed by the parent or carer.

Year 12 Camp Report

In Week 9 of Term 1, our Year 12 students travelled to Angahook Holiday Camp for their final camp of Secondary School. ALL students had a fantastic (and somewhat cold) time but have returned with memories they will treasure for a very long time. The weather was atrocious but our students participated in all activities in the wet with enthusiasm and humour.

The experience was somewhat unusual as the students didn’t get to choose their groups or sleeping quarters. The students were not permitted to bring their phones or data storing devices in the hope that they could immerse themselves in each other and their surroundings.

Students worked together to overcome their fear of heights (giant swing) and experience new activities that had not been attempted by any student before (kayaking and surfing and disc golf). There was some success among the students in the surfing, the kayaking was one of the most hilarious experiences I have ever witnessed and everyone attempted the Giant Swing.There was little down-time as students tried – with no success – to beat the reigning table-tennis champion who is undefeated after two years, played Jenga (which was a new experience for me) and Uno as well as having a very memorable time around the camp fire on the second night.

I would like to commend the behaviour of the College’s students as they were polite and courteous toward their instructors and camp staff throughout our two-and-a-half days away. It is important to note that the camp would not be able to run without the participation and support of the teachers. A special thanks to Ms Mary McGowan, Ms Georgina Bilston, Ms Natalia Karanfilovska, Mr Jonathan Gianoudis and Mr Chris Mathew. The camp would not have been anywhere near as successful without their tireless work.

As I reflect on this experience, I believe that the students that participated came away with a greater sense of unity and strength after testing their limits in activities they had never attempted before.

Well done everyone!

Mr Evan Kasapis

Senior School Leader

SMCOC music performance!

At our last assembly of Term One, the gym was filled with beautiful music performances done by our College band and choir members. All performers' great skills, confidence and rendition of the songs were welcomed and enjoyed by the whole College audience who joined in singing and clapping.

SMCOC is blessed with musically talented students.

The Year 4’s Swimming Program

In March, the Year 4 students attended swimming classes. During this time, they learned and practised a range of swimming skills for them to be safe in and around waters. 

This program consisted of water safety, breathing while swimming, floating, co-ordinating of the body, kicking and a variety of strokes.

During every lesson, students seemed happy and engaged while developing their swimming skills and confidence. 

Year 5 Science Works Excursion

As part of the previous Science unit, the Year 5 students focused on how light works. Students have developed an understanding on how
shadows are formed through conducting experiments in class.
Students have learnt about different light sources and explored the difference between Opaque, Transparent and Translucent materials and investigated how light is refracted, absorbed, transmitted and reflected. 
On Tuesday the 28 of March, all Year 5 students went on an excursion to Science Works. They were able to explore and make observations, as well as make connections to their knowledge on light. They were eager to learn, and overall, they had a wonderful day.

Grade 3's Science Incursion


The Science Department has continued the active teaching of our students, with many innovate practicals and experiments in March.

The Year 12 Physics students have busily generated power using electromagnets with Mr Sibi in their introduction to electromagnetism.

In Psychology, students have studied different approaches to learning, especially through the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lens. We conducted a “yarning circle” in class to experience a small aspect of learning from another perspective.

Brain structure and function was the focus for Year 11 Psychology last few weeks of Term One. They have learnt about the connection between brain structures and behaviours. The photos below show the students carrying out a brain dissection to see in person the many structures of the brain that they have learnt about in class. The students appeared genuinely interested in the texture and appearance of the different structures throughout the dissection.

Ms Hayley Tronson

Head of Science

Foundation Phonics Fun Day

During Term 1, Foundation students worked very hard to learn all of the letters and sounds. On Tuesday 4th April, Foundation students celebrated their hard work by participating in a Foundation Phonics Fun Day.


Foundation students and teachers began the day by wearing a costume that begins with the same letter as their name.

Throughout the day, students took part in a range of activities focusing on different letters and sounds.

All students had lots of fun and enjoyable day!

We are so proud of the Foundation students for all their hard work and effort during their first term at school. Well done everyone!

The Foundation Team.

Swimming Carnival

On Friday, the 28 of April 2023, the Year 4-7 Swimming Carnival was held at the Splash Aquatic Park and Leisure Centre in Craigieburn. 

The day was filled with excitement and fun activities such as body slide, raft slide, novelty races, inflatable long run, kayaking and aqua park play. All students showed great sportsmanship and friendship by supporting each other. It was lovely to see our students encouraging each other to attempt new and challenging activities. The teachers were proud to observe our students demonstrating polite and courteous behaviour to all of the staff members at Splash, as well as members of the general public.

Congratulations everyone!

 Liz Robertson 

St Mary's Coptic Orthodox College

19-35 Thorpdale Avenu, Coolaroo 3048

03 - 9301 0999