I hope that the holiday break has commenced positively for your family and that students are settling into a period of rest and rejuvenation. The 2022 school year had one final sting in the tail for our staff with one of us testing positive for COVID after having been present at our onsite Mass and gathering on Tuesday. Most staff are being tested and are isolating pending a negative test result. We have a skeleton staff onsite and phone calls will be diverted to message bank which will be monitored. For essential matters including students following up VCE results, please make contact by email.

In this final communication for the year, there are a number of important matters I wish to bring to your attention including our 2021 Year 12 results, school fees for 2022 and staffing changes.

School fees

We are committed to maintaining fees at the most affordable level possible. Recently the College Advisory Council approved a 2.5% fee increase for the 2022 school year. This increase translates to a rise of $150 per student for the year or under $4 per week of tuition. This moderate increase is needed as a result of additional staffing demands and a mandated salary increase expected to be about 3.5%. Fees at St Joseph’s College remain the lowest of any ‘like’ school in the EREA network and among the lowest of Catholic schools in the Geelong and outer metropolitan Melbourne regions. Any family for whom the fees become unmanageable is encouraged to contact the College Accounts Office or Business Manager.

Year 12 Results

Much has been written and spoken about the challenges that faced our graduating class of 2021 during their two-year VCE / VCAL certificate. I’m pleased to report that the vast majority of students achieved extremely pleasing results.

30 students successfully completed their VCAL this year with a small number obtaining full-time work prior to completion. Congratulations to William B who is our VCAL high achiever of 2021.

Most of our students completed the scored VCE pathway and hence receive an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR). An ATAR does not define a student nor measure his worth, but for many, it is an important means to achieving their post-secondary school ambitions. As such it is one of many measures in which the College seeks to pursue and promote excellence.

In 2021 26 students (15%) achieved an ATAR over 90, (the highest since 2014), 32% achieved over 80 and 53% over 70. This was an increase from 9% over 90, 25% over 80 and 47% over 70 in 2020. Our average ATAR was 70.1 which again was a pleasing improvement from 2020 when it was 68.3.

In looking at study scores 8.2% achieved a study score higher than 40, a slight decrease from 9.3% last year. Our median study score was 31, the same as in 2020.

Congratulations to Jarrod Z who was Dux of the College achieving an ATAR of 99.10. Jarrod’s scores were; English - 41, Specialist Maths – 41, Maths Methods – 39, Physics – 47, Systems Engineering(2020) - 41 and Further Maths (2019) 46. Congratulations also to Harry R and Griffin B who achieved perfect scores of 50 in Business Studies (John Mitchell) and Outdoor Education (Sam Hughes) respectively.

Congratulations to our 90+ high achievers: Campbell B, Harry R, Alex C, Samuel W, Oscar M, Archie L, William A, Jack D, Will B, Michael F, Ryan S, Hamish D, Jack M, Conall G, Andrew D, Joseph C, Ashley W, Tom B, Joshua K, Tom C, Ned M, Joseph A, Josh M, Macgregor D and Xavier T.

Farewell to staff

Earlier this week College staff gathered for Mass in the College Chapel to formally farewell those who will not be returning in 2022. It was a lovely occasion with Mass, led by Fr Darien Stickland, after which we acknowledged staff for their contribution to the College and wished them well in the next phase of their careers and lives. It is always sad when colleagues and friends move on, however, we know that it provides growth and rejuvenation for both the individual and the organisation. Thank you and best wishes to the following staff.



Christian College Geelong






Bayview College Portland (Deputy Principal)






Oberon College Armstrong Creek



Iona College Charlemont









Iona College Charlemont






Xavier College, Harvey Bay QLD






Work outside teaching



Bacchus Marsh Secondary College



Geelong College



Simmons College West Melbourne



Work outside teaching



St Francis Xavier school -Daly River NT



St Ignatius College Drysdale




We also thank and offer our best wishes to Annie Bourke and Victor Cebergs who are finishing their time teaching with us and Michael Wright, Claire Riley, Caterina Giacomazzo, Raylene McMahon and Shane Dawson who will commence periods of extended leave from the start of 2022.

A number of support staff are also leaving St Joseph’s:

Travis Smith who has maintained our grounds and gardens magnificently and Zara Szakiel who has been office manager and Human Resources Assistant. Our AFL trainees, Jack Farrow and Matt Manly, and Education Support Officers, Kate Didulica, Rachel Hobbs, Eliza Rundle, Will Gray and Harry Ling have all made valuable contributions to the College.

I would like to acknowledge those long-serving members of staff who are retiring after a working lifetime of commitment to the education of young people. Neal Arthurson and Peter Griffin have both been wonderful contributors to St Joseph’s and mentors to many of our younger staff. Margot Davies retires after 20 years teaching English and Religious Education at St Joseph’s and has left a wonderful legacy. Michael Davies has inspired a generation of young men in the area of Technology in his 22 years of service. Jack Jurica retires after 15 years at St Joseph’s during which time he has made a tremendous contribution, Wei Zhang who is a remarkable man and a remarkable teacher and has been the driving force behind the teaching of Chinese language at the College for 25 years also retires and finally David Breheny whose 36 years on staff across five decades makes him a bonafide legend amongst his students and his peers.

Student performance

There has been much speculation about what impacts the last two years of interruptions and remote learning on the performance of our students. In addition to VCE results, in recent weeks we also received and collated other results including Allwell testing, which is the same extensive testing program the students complete before coming to the College in Grade 6. These results give our teachers a greater understanding of the students learning needs and also show the growth in student learning over the previous two years.

Our Year 8 students (yr 9 2022) showed very positive learning growth in all areas, including: General Reasoning, Mathematics, Reading and Writing. Between 80 and 90% of our students displayed learning growth which was either average or significantly above average for their year level. This is a great achievement given the changes in the learning environment over the past two years, and we congratulate this group.

And finally

The word Emmanuel in Hebrew means ‘God is with us’. As we celebrate Christmas amidst the tinsel, reindeer, Santa Claus and gifts, we are really celebrating the presence of Christ in our world and our lives. I hope that this Christmas your family and loved ones become the living presence of Christ to you and you to them.

God Bless,
Tony Paatsch