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From the Principal

Questions about uniforms and dress codes continue to be controversial and there are diverse views as to the need for a uniform as well as differing interpretations of guidelines about how a uniform should be worn.  

Since its inception in 1940, Siena students have worn a school uniform and sports uniforms in various styles and colours from lemon bloomers for sport to blue and green plaid netball skirts.  The one constant has been the rust coloured blazer which persists until today.  The rust colour was chosen by the Dominican Sisters to reflect the rust coloured soils in Siena in Tuscany, Italy where St Catherine was born.  

Our current College uniform was introduced in 2013 and welcomed by staff and students.  It has generally been worn proudly and well, and has been the subject of complimentary feedback from members of the wider community.  

In all schools, students seek to express their individuality creatively and sometimes, in ways which are not in keeping with the way the uniform is intended to be worn.  I recall a story I heard on talkback radio of a boy who unpicked the crest on his blazer pocket, a Bishop’s mitre (hat), and replaced it with a skull and cross bones which was never noticed throughout his years at secondary school.  

For teachers, having to monitor uniform is a tedious and thankless task, as it is for parents who endeavour to support the school when they say goodbye to their daughters in the morning.  You may be amused by the excerpt from a 1969 Siena College newsletter below that indicates that nothing much has changed in relation to managing uniform transgressions, although our current approach has moved on from these times.  We no longer aim to be quite so prescriptive about what an appropriate dress or skirt length might be!  

We have worked hard to raise the profile of Siena College in the wider community and students’ grooming and presentation plays a big part.  Recent communication about dress length and other aspects of the College uniform is not new and the uniform guidelines/rules have been unchanged for some years.  We are aware however that greater consistency is needed in applying the uniform expectations so that all students are treated fairly and respectfully and the same expectations applied to all.  I am asking for the support of all students, staff and parents, to ensure that the uniform is worn appropriately and that students are well groomed.  We would prefer to focus our time and resources on our core business of education and the more important matters that are part of life at Siena College.  I am most grateful to all students and parents who have responded to our requests.

The term is now well underway as is GSV Sport.  Over the past weekend, fifty-five girls participated in the GSV Triathlon in Altona. Catherine Ryan completed her first triathlon last year and by talking about her own experiences and encouraging the girls to take on this challenge, we have seen an enormous increase in participation. Catherine inspired the girls and exceeded even her own expectations of how many students would compete on the day.  Head of Sport, James Houghton reported how wonderful it was to see so many Siena College parents supporting the girls.  Our students represented the College well, showing great enthusiasm and encouragement of each other.  Thank you to James and Catherine for working with the Siena team.  The girls are already talking about the triathlon in 2020!

I enjoyed watching our swimmers at the Genazzano Swim Meet on a warm Friday afternoon. Siena placed third and once again, the traditional team spirit was very evident.  We are looking forward to the Siena Swimming Carnival on 8 March.

It is lovely to hear music around the College in the mornings as the various ensembles and bands rehearse and the renamed Albertus Magnus Library that is now a Learning Centre, is a hive of activity.  Monday is fast becoming a day for games in that space and I look forward to hearing of our students’ travels to NASA and the US Space Centre when they share their experiences in the Learning Centre later this week.  It is lovely to see so many students participating in co-curricular activities.  




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