Founded in 1964, St Monica’s College in Epping stays focused on its testament, aiming to provide a contemporary and relevant education to young Australians, treasuring cultural diversity and shared understanding of community.
Located on two modern, well-equipped city campuses in Melbourne’s northern suburbs, along with Ostia, its country campus in the tranquil valley of Strath Creek, this Catholic co-educational secondary college has grown to enrol more than 1,900 students.
Named after St Monica (AD332-AD387), a rich source of inspiration and determination to succeed via prayer and perseverance, the school seeks to develop and nurture the formation of the whole person for boys and girls alike.
The college also takes pride in its language teaching and activities, which encourage multiculturalism and genuine relationships among students. One of the most popular language classes at the college is the teaching of Greek, offering individual classes from year 7 to year 12. Languages are highly supported and encouraged not only by teachers but by senior leadership as well.
When teaching Greek students, St Monica’s staff aim to teach the language as a second language, not as a primary language, as many of the students are second or third generation Greeks.
It’s important to note that in religious education classes, students are taught about world religions, not just the Catholic religion.
“There are many mixed marriages as well, so we need to be sensitive to cultural awareness,” says Greek language teacher Maryanne Theodosis.
“We have students who are from different religions that are accepted and respected and we offer five languages aside from English − Greek, Italian, Spanish, French and Japanese.”
The programs at SMC are student-centred and lead to respect of self, others and the environment, cultivating an appropriate sense of responsibility.
Meanwhile, in the senior classes, aside from focusing on detailed studies and on enriching the four skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing, students are taught topics such as social justice and emotional awareness.
“I always try to teach a variety of skills and topics per week to ensure the students are focused and prepared to learn,” notes Ms Theodosis.
“We avoid doing the same activity twice over a short period of time. Enriching vocabulary in a fun and exciting way is also important, as I believe students learn more when they are interactive. Personally, I organise many games and activities in Greek to build on these skills as well as creating a warm relationship among my students and the different classes. Many students love coming to Greek because of the safe and warm friendships they have established and built over time. We are a dynamic family.”
St Monica’s College is regional in ownership and governance serving the parish of Reservoir North as well as the parishes of Epping, Thomastown West, Lalor, Mill Park, Reservoir, East Reservoir and East Preston. Applications are received from other parishes too.