Our School

History

Catholic education in the Bacchus Marsh area began with the opening of a Roman Catholic school in a small chapel at Hopetoun in around 1851. The school, now named the Bacchus Marsh Catholic Common School, was relocated to Fisken St in 1863.

In 1890 four sisters of the order of St. Joseph’s, arrived from Sydney to act as educators. A house was purchased for them to use as a convent and high class ladies’ school. In time, a detached schoolhouse was erected at the site and it was then that the students were relocated for the last time to our current site in Gisborne Rd – St Bernard’s School.

The sisters’ convent was erected in 1900 with classes being held in the downstairs area and the upper floor being used as a convent and boarding school. The attached chapel was built in 1905.

St. Bernard’s was the first Catholic school in the Archdiocese to be run by the Sisters of St. Joseph, founded by Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop. St Mary would often visit the convent on her journeys between Sydney and Melbourne and the archives record accounts of past students  remembering her kindness and generous distribution of boiled lollies to the children of St Bernard’s.

By 1910 a new building was erected, which is now used as the school’s resource centre and staff room, and the students began taking classes there. Over the years more buildings have been added and extended to cater for our growing numbers.

The Sisters continued to dedicate themselves to the religious and civic education of St Bernard’s students until 1990, marking 100 years of service to the school and parish community.

PARTNERS IN EDUCATION

St Bernard’s Parish School

St Bernard’s Parish and School have been partners in Catholic education for nearly 150 years. Father Alex Clemente, Parish Priest, and the associate priests are regularly present to celebrate the Sacraments, important feast days in the Church’s liturgical year, and to provide support for the spiritual growth of the students, staff, and families of St Bernard’s.

For more information about Mass times and parish events, visit the Parish website and Facebook page:
www.stbernardsbacchusmarsh.com.au
www.facebook.com/stbernardsbacchusmarsh

Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools

St Bernard’s Parish Primary School is a school which operates with the consent of the Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne and is operated and governed by Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools Ltd (MACS).  There are approximately 300 MACS schools in the Archdiocese, with over 16,000 teaching and non-teaching staff and 112,000 students, MACS provides a robust network of support to its staff, students and families.

MACS governs and operates Catholic schools in the Archdiocese to continue the mission of Catholic education to proclaim the Good News and equip our young people with the knowledge, skills, and hope to live meaningful lives and enrich the world around them.

Because the good work of educating the young is a co-responsible task led by every member of the Catholic school community, School Advisory Councils have been established to provide a crucial point of connection between the wider school community and school leaders. This governance model was designed to ease the administrative burden on our schools and parishes, allow parish priests to focus on the mission of education in the parish, enable greater collaboration between schools and ensure greater consistency in school policies and procedures.

More information about MACS is available at www.macs.vic.edu.au.

Working Together in Mission: A Charter for Parishes and Schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne

Vision and Mission Statements

Our Vision

Grounded in our Catholic faith, we embrace our history and as members of a vibrant community, prepare our students to flourish in a diverse and changing world.

Our Mission

To provide an opportunity for every student to reach their full potential as engaged learners and active members of the community, built on strong relationships in a joyful, nurturing Catholic environment.

Our Staff

Leadership

Sr Mary Sarah Galbraith
Principal

Gaby Piriz
REL Coordinator

Olivia Wallace
Learning and Teaching Literacy

 

Larissa Feketa
Deputy Principal/Student Wellbeing

Joy Bueti
Learning Diversity | OHS Coordinator

Matt Wheelahan
Learning and Teaching Numeracy

Administrative Support

Ruth Baas
Reception Administration

Karina Bettio
Business Manager

Alana Turner
Administration Support

Gen McMillan
Intervention Coordinator

Gavin Haughton
ICT Manager

Karlea Prince
Medical Officer

Teachers

Foundation

Tonena Battaglia

Catriona Jackson

Klara Rawdanowicz

Joshua Schwabe

Grade 1

Emily Baker

Judy Ciappara

Livinia Misfud

Grade 2

Raphael Alimangohan

Rosemary Farrugia

Michelle Moeser

Katie Smout

Grade 3

Nathan Williamson

Ethan Tartaglia

Grade 4

Tania Bennett

Emily Leith

Tara Wilkes

Grade 5

Sister Mary Helen Hill

Kristen San Pedro

Matthew Wheelahan

Grade 6

Yvette Rowland

Sue Kro

Rebecca Harmon

PE/Sport

Neisha Duggan

Livinia Misfud

ICT

Rebecca Harmon

Katie Smout

LOTE

Joshua Schwabe

Performing and Visual Arts

Sr Mary Ruth

Neisha Duggan

Learning Support Officers

Jasmine Rankin

Natalie Rabottini

Kylie Borg

Balsam Dawood

Rosanna Tejedor

Julie McKay

Angela Paproth

Meryam Youssef

Mirna Elia

St Bernard’s School Advisory Council

The St. Bernard’s School Advisory Board meets approximately four times a year and once every school term.

The key responsibilities of the board are to:

  • promote the Catholic ethos of the school and to strengthen religious attitudes and values in the lives of the students;
  • To develop and promote the school as a Christian community;
  • support the principal in the development of the School Improvement Plan;
  • advise the principal in ensuring the school provides an educational opportunity for all students;
  • provide advice on budget planning and finance-related matters;
  • contribute to the development of needs in school capital infrastructure, maintenance and master planning; and
  • contribute to the development of strategies to promote the school to increase enrolments from within the Bacchus Marsh and surrounding communities.

For more information or to enquire about applying to serve as a member of the School Advisory Council, please contact Sr Mary Sarah at principal@sbbacchusmarsh.catholic.edu.au

School Advisory Board Members 2023

Sallee Carter

Shane Cook
Parish Council Representative

Rob Cummins

Paul Iannazzo

Sandra Ibrahim

Joel Watson

Sr Mary Sarah Galbraith
Principal

Gaby Piriz
Staff Representative

Fr Alex Clemente
Parish Priest

St Bernard’s House System

St Bernard’s students and staff belong to one of four houses: Bacchus, Hopetoun, MacKillop and Duffy.  Our House names draw from our history and tradition and are an important part of our school culture.  

Throughout the year, students contribute to their Houses by making substantial, positive contributions to the building up of our school culture.  Students who do voluntary service work at the school, support their peers, volunteer in the community and at major civic events, participate in school sponsored sporting events, or demonstrate other forms of service leadership add tokens to their houses.  

On House Sports Day, held in December, the House with the most tokens is announced at the all school assembly.

St Bernard’s House System

St Bernard’s students and staff belong to one of four houses: Bacchus, Hopetoun, MacKillop and Duffy.  Our House names draw from our history and tradition and are an important part of our school culture.  

Throughout the year, students contribute to their Houses by making substantial, positive contributions to the building up of our school culture.  Students who do voluntary service work at the school, support their peers, volunteer in the community and at major civic events, participate in school sponsored sporting events, or demonstrate other forms of service leadership add tokens to their houses.  

On House Sports Day, held in December, the House with the most tokens is announced at the all school assembly.

Policies

Democratic Principles Statement

At St Bernard’s Parish Primary School we recognise that the school plays a vital role in advancing democratic ideals and principles. For democracy to continue to thrive, children must be taught democratic ideals and principles and to value its way of life. St Bernard’s Parish Primary School will explicitly and implicitly support and promote the principles of Australian democracy, including a commitment to:

  • elected government
  • the rule of law
  • equal rights for all before the law
  • freedom of religion
  • freedom of speech and association
  • the values of openness and tolerance.

     

Through our curricular and extracurricular programs, St Bernard’s Parish Primary School will prepare our children to become citizens who will preserve and shape democracy in the future. Democratic values will be taught explicitly in the curriculum and implicitly in the child’s experience of the school, from classroom practice, and from what is taught to how it is taught.

School Policies

Access policies and documents published on the MACS website: https://www.macs.vic.edu.au/About-Us/Policies.aspx

Parent Information Book