"Come, follow me..." - Matthew 4:19

Welcome to Marist College Bendigo

Marist is a Foundation to Year 12 Catholic co-educational learning community, owned and governed by Marist Schools Australia Limited. We are a learning community of 1,140 students and 150 staff. The 13-year journey of learning at Marist has three distinct learning areas La Valla (F-4), Montagne (5-8) and Champagnat (9-12). 

Marist College Bendigo is a learning community where the student is at the centre of all learning experiences.  We have been able to specifically design our learning environment to suit the exciting new challenges, that education faces early in this 21st Century. This allows us to focus on developing the skills our young people need to work collaboratively, inquire critically and become independent learners. Our community has attracted Educators who are excited about these new ways of learning and each has been drawn to the opportunity of working at the cutting edge of learning.

At Marist, we are committed to learning structures that will ensure our students are known and loved. At the centre of our learning structure is our Marcellin group (previously known as 1:14). Here one Educator walks alongside 14 students. This Marcellin Group Educator becomes the key point of contact for the family and is the centrepiece of our learning structures. The group meets for thirteen minutes each morning and for 80 minutes on a Friday afternoon. Yes, Friday afternoons at Marist are dedicated to setting and reviewing personal goals for each student.

Entry levels at Marist College Bendigo are Foundation, Year 7 and Year 11. 

Please feel free to browse this site. I recommend you begin with a visit to the “Our College” tab to read our Vision and Mission statement. Feel free to return each week and read below the Principal’s weekly letter to our community.

Dear Marist Communty,

Student Power

Each week our staff commence their week with a briefing led by a member of our college leadership team. This week Mr Ben Fitzpatrick had the pleasure of sharing the leadership of the briefing with our Laudate Si Captains Jemima Kreutzer and Wade Harrison.

Wade and Jemima presented two separate whole college initiatives for our community to action that will help us care for our environment. The first required each Marcellin Group to adopt a space around the college to ensure the litter in this location was well managed. This was certainly delivered as a temporary intervention whilst we all work on our personal responsibility in this area. Our Captains acknowledged the work of a group of La Valla students who are championing the care of our beautiful college grounds by volunteering their lunchtimes to gather rubbish across our college. Jemima publicly thanked these students but also acknowledged this should not be their work, but a shared responsibility across the college.

I too wish to thank these students:

It is a great pleasure to cross paths with this group of passionate environmental activists each day, however, as our Laudate Si Captains acknowledge this should not be ‘their’ work but ‘our’ work. Jemima challenged all Marists to start being responsible for our own rubbish to allow these young Marist to return to enjoying their break times with activities of fun rather than service.

The other initiative our Laudate Si Captains launched with our Educators was the awareness raising event ‘Sandhurst Switches Off’. Our college community was encouraged to turn off their lights on the day. This action Jemima acknowledged is symbolic of our commitment to the preservation of God’s fragile creation as our college is fitted with energy saving LED lights, but nonetheless raising our awareness to our use of power each day at Marist. It is also symbolic of our solidarity with those who are suffering due to climate change. Let us reimagine our partnership with all of creation.

This event promotes Pope Francis’ words from the very encyclical after which our captains are named Laudate Si… Pope Francis says

‘If we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs.’  (Laudate Si, Pope Francis, p. 17)

Well done Jemima and Wade for leadership in our college this week, we look forward to the launch of these two initiatives this term and the many more over the remaining school year.

Marist Schools Australia Principal Conference 2023

This week I had the pleasure of attending the first Marists Schools Australia Principals’ Conference.

The conference, after having been cancelled since 2019, was a welcome opportunity for all Principals from around Australia to recommit to our core purpose as communities focused on young people’s learning, lives and faith. We used our Marist annual theme “Created and Called” to recommit, collaborate and share programs being run across our schools.

Parent Partnership – leading a commitment to engage parents in the learning of their children.

For those with good memories you may recall my first newsletter article as Principal back in 2022 championed the cause of literacy in our college. I encourage all parents to read the texts that their children were reading and studying at school. There are so many conversations that can be had about life when you know the characters from the books they are reading.

This week I would like to celebrate the Parent Partnership Champagnat Team’s Book Club initiative.

The chosen book was our Year 9 students’ wonderful novel "When Michael Met Mina" is a young adult nonfiction book written by Randa Abdel-Fattah. The book explores various themes related to race, identity, family, social justice and relationships both friendship and family. This novel is a prefect fit for our Year 9’s who are navigating many of these themes each day in their lives. As a parent by reading the book, I feel it gives you many opportunities to commence valuable conversations either incidentally when the words in the text mimic your own families experience or simply just sharing points of interest or fun in the text. As an old 1:14 Educator now Marcellin Group Educator I found reading my student’s texts gave me countless conversation starters that ended up being great conversations about life… ‘teachable moments’ really.

Sadly with my attendance at the Principals’ Conference I was deeply disappointed that I was unable to attend. This was the first hopefully of more Book Clubs where we can gather to unpack the books and themes your children are grappling with. No pressure on the Parent Partnership group but I am looking forward to discussing our VCE text “Nine Days” by Toni Jordan, another terrific Australian novel for young adults.


NAPLAN continues in our community until the 23 March. For those that may have missed my newsletter article last week please do take some time to read my editorial on NAPLAN, an important read for all parents/guardians/carers with students in Years  3, 5,7 & 9 – link to article here

Farewell Zali Clayton

Today we farewell Zali Clayton who has been at our College since 2016. Zali commenced as a bright-eyed Year 7 student, who enjoyed Marist so much after 6 years she decided to stay one more year after graduating in 2021. Zali joined our staff in 2022 to complete a Traineeship and has been a wonderful support to our Learning Commons and beyond. Last week offered her expert services as a badged netball umpire to our student’s vs staff match.  I would like to thank Zali for all of her service to Marist in this role and wish her well as she leaves Marist.

Year 9 River Quest

I would like to wish all Year 9 students a wonderful adventure as they head off to their River Quests over the next two weeks. I am thrilled that rich learning experience arrives a time when our young people’s world starts to open up to new more adult experiences, such as part-time work. The Quest foremost is a learning experience where we continue to support the growth of our young adults’ independence. Special thanks to the committed team of Educators supporting this experience led by Mr Tim Bailey. I look forward to our students return to hear everything about their tales of adventure.

International Women’s Day

I am pleased that my article today commenced with acknowledging the work of our student leaders and I now wish to conclude my contribution to the newsletter this week with another powerful example of exemplary student leadership. This week our community continued to acknowledge and celebrate International Women’s Day. The need to celebrate the day a week later was to secure the presence of Bendigo’s very own Youth Mayor Victoria Tangey.  This year’s theme ‘Cracking the Code' is about championing the skills of women in all areas of innovation, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).  I wish to acknowledge a wonderful speech given by our Year 12 student Jasmine Aquilina.

In her outstanding speech Jas encouraged the audience to “live big, pursue our dreams regardless of the stereotypes or statistics that exist. We need to think about the life we live and the choices we make so our own children can pursue their dreams - no little girl should be told her dreams are too big or unreachable. We need to not think twice and not be discouraged by the voices of others as one day we will achieve gender equality and the work and thought we put into it now will help us crack the code with future generations living an equal life.”

Thank-you to all those who contributed to running this special lunch time celebration of women at Marist. I have decided to use a poignant Caritas prayer to close my newsletter article this week, that prayer for women all around the world especially those challenged by poverty.


Jesus our Friend

we pray for women all over the world,

especially those challenged by poverty and other injustice.

Stir us to know women’s dignity.

Quieten us to listen to women’s voices.

Awaken us to see women’s realities.

Strengthen us to stand for women’s rights.

Fill us with hope to make a better future together.



St Marcellin Champagnat… Pray for Us.

Mary our Good Mother… Pray for Us.

And Let Us Always Remember… to Pray for one another.



Take care

Giselle Talbot

Upcoming events 

MARCH 26-30

MARCH 27-31




APRIL 7-23







MAY 8-12