Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 96 No 4 • 17 May 2019


Loving God, we pray that we might grasp the gift of a full Easter life each moment of each day, recognising your blessings in each person we meet and in creation. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen

Please refer to the College Calendar for all Upcoming Events and Dates of Importance

From the Principal

Helene Province

This week, the newly completed Helene Province comes to life! Staff and students have moved into this stunning new space this week, following nearly 18 months of construction. Year 9, 10 and 11 Mentor Groups will occupy the Helene Province with all students having classes there in Food Technology, Materials Technology, General classrooms as well as accessing Careers, Counselling and all services within the Helene Library. The Helene Province honors Helene de Chappotin, Foundress of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary (FMM) who established Ave Maria College in 1963.  When the FMM sisters presented the case for Helene (Mary of the Passion) to be canonized, Pope John Paul II described Helene as one who combined a mystical and active vocation, she was passionate and intrepid and gave herself with an intuitive and bold readiness to the universal mission of the Church.

Please look out for an opportunity for all parents and friends of the College to walk through the Helene Province ahead of our formal Blessing and Opening later in the year.

I take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support of this most significant building project. It brings to completion the second stage of the College Master Building Plan, supported by the State Government, Catholic Development Fund, College Board of Governance, Hayball Architects, Melbcon Construction and internal resources. We acknowledge staff and students who have occupied the portable classrooms adjacent to the College, affectionately named the Assisi site for the last 18 months.

Visiting Friends From Timor-Leste

This week we are very pleased to be welcoming two friends from Timor-Leste who will be spending the next fortnight in our community. Dulcita and Inocencia will get involved in College life and will work with staff and students to further learn about education in Australia, building their English speaking skills and sharing their faith and life with us.

Federal Election – What is being said about education?

With the federal election being held this weekend, I invite your consideration of what is being pledged for Education by the major political parties. Please refer to THIS LINK for a break down of major commitments and directions put forward by the Coalition, Labor and the Greens.

Thank you Messages to Members of the Community

In recent weeks, we have invited parent and community members to be involved in a range of initiatives and thank everyone for such a strong response to these events:

  • Supporting our Careers Benchmarking process via survey and/or consultation
  • Supporting our Year 8 Student Wellbeing Day with such strong parent presence for the twilight seminar with past student Mel Tracina
  • Supporting Kick Arts – our student run performing arts event in conjunction with St Columba’s and St Bernard’s – a great evening of entertainment! Congratulations to the Drama ensemble for taking out that category on the night, with stellar performances also by College vocalists, dancers and Abbey Crowley as Co host. Thanks to College Co-captains, Eliza Gollant and Natalie Cierpisz for their great leadership of this event and to all families who supported their attendance.
  • Supporting the recent Principal Summative review – my personal thanks to those parents who offered feedback and support of this process.

Student Learning

Congratulations to a number of students who have extended their learning in a range of initiatives in recent weeks:

  • Model of United Nations Assembly (MUNA) candidates Mia Ranelletta and Michelle Shaaya, representing their nominated country, Iraq. Michelle and Mia were wonderful in engaging in the Assembly held at Swinburne University and sponsored by the Rotary Club of Essendon North.
  • Mooting Competition – Congratulations, Tara Clark, Sara Hinton and Alessia Graziano for representing Ave Maria College in the national Mooting Competition on the Gold Coast last weekend. We thank Chris Moss and Ms Bianca Ganci (chaperone) for accompanying the girls in this wonderful opportunity.

Elizabeth Hanney

Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

Learning and Teaching Conference

On Friday, 26 April 2019 the teaching staff engaged in a professional learning day, focused on Feedback: building positive changes in teaching and learning practices that lead to improvements in student learning outcomes. As a teaching staff, we explored the differences between formative and summative feedback, focusing on the principle of Effective Feedback – One of the 9 principles in our College Learning Charter.

Drawing on the Learning Charter and other professional reading, we focused on developing a collective understanding of what effective feedback looks like in our pedagogical practice. In particular, an emphasis on using different strategies to deliver formative feedback in the classroom and how feedback can be used as an important source of data for teachers and students was explored.

The teaching staff then had an opportunity to work collaboratively during the day in Domain teams,             re-visiting developmental rubrics and how these rubrics can be used to provide effective and meaningful summative feedback to students. 

Michelle Robertson

Deputy Principal - Students, Learning Culture and Growth


“ If your daughter is late to school 15 minutes each day for a year, they will have missed a full 2 weeks in one year.”

At Ave Maria College we are committed to providing a high quality education for all students. To maximize student learning we have an expectation that all students will attend school regularly and on time. Being in school, on time every day and ready to learn is essential for success.

We aim to achieve 95%-100% attendance.

When students are unable to attend school we require notification via the Parent Access Module (PAM), phone call or a note on their return to school.

If a student is late please notify the College via a phone call or notice of explanation the following day.

In the best interest of students we are sending home attendance letters at the end of each term to any student who has less than 80% unexplained attendance. Their attendance will be closely monitored and if there is not an improvement a parent meeting will be required.

“ If your daughter has only 90% attendance from Prep-Year 10, they will have missed over one year’s education.”


As Term 2 commences we move into our Winter uniform. A reminder that students have the option of wearing pants instead of the skirt, which can be ordered through our uniform supplier, Noone Imagewear. The Health and Physical Education Uniform should only be worn on the allocated timetabled days.

Mobile Phones

The College is a Mobile Phone free zone. All phones must be turned off and kept securely in the student’s locker during school hours (8.30am-3.25pm) unless required for educational purposes as requested by the teacher.

-If a teacher requests mobile phones to be brought to class they must be on silent and only used when directed.

-Phones must not be seen or used at recess or lunch.

-Headphones/ear buds should not be visible during school, and should only be used when instructed to do so by a staff member.

Parents needing to contact their daughter throughout the school day are asked to contact the College Reception on 9331 9300.


Students who use their mobile phone during a lesson/recess/lunchtime without teacher authorization will receive an Incident and have their phone confiscated for the remainder of the day. Phones will be put in an envelope with the student’s name and be submitted to Student Services available for collection after 3.25pm.

Angela Torelli

Director of Studies

Mid-Year Examinations

All students in Years 10 and 11 will complete Mid-Year examinations. The examination period for Year 10 is Thursday, 13 June – Wednesday, 19 June 2019 and for Year 11, Thursday, 6 June – Friday, 14 June 2019. The examinations provide students with an opportunity to further develop their revision skills and demonstrate the knowledge and skills they have developed this semester. The examination timetable will be published for students and parents over the coming week. Please encourage your daughter to prepare early for her examinations and seek teacher assistance where required.

Years 10 and 11 Subject Changes 

Students requesting a subject change will require both their subject teacher and parental consent. The relevant form and process will be published over the coming weeks via Daily Messages and will be finalised after mid-year examinations. Factors such as class size, timetable constraints, and the nature of a student’s academic course, will influence whether the submission is either approved or declined. If your daughter has any questions about this process I encourage her to make an appointment to see me.

General Achievement Test (GAT) for Unit 3 & 4

All VCE students completing a Unit 3 & 4 subject in 2019 is required to sit the General Achievement Test (GAT) on Wednesday, 12 June 2019 in Francis Hall from 10.00am to 1.15pm. Students are required to arrive 30 minutes before the commencement of the test.  Although there is no need to study for this test, it is advantageous to be familiar with the type of questions asked and the format of this three-hour task. With this in mind, all students involved will have the opportunity to attend a presentation on the GAT during Mentor Period on Wednesday, 29 May 2019. Students will also be able to take away a practice paper to assist them in their preparation for the task and hear from a range of speakers on the purpose of the GAT and tips on how best to approach the various sections of the GAT.

More information for students and parents on the GAT can be found at: www.vcaa.vic.edu.au/Pages/vce/exams/gat/aboutgat.aspx

Jessica Hall

Director of Faith and Religious Education

Easter Liturgy

We began the term by gathering in Francis Hall to acknowledge Easter through prayer, poetry, music and reflection. The key question is: How do we live as Easter people, celebrating life to the full, throughout the year? One way is by acknowledging all of the great things that God is doing for me through an attitude of gratitude.

Environment Group

On Friday, 3 May 2019 Friends of the Maribyrnong Valley representative Judy Ingram, paid the Environmental Committee a visit to talk about sustainability, the reintroduction of native wild-life and importance of increasing vegetation in targeted areas. Members of the committee enjoyed Judy’s friendly and conversational way of educating us on the importance of environmental causes within our local area. Friends of the Maribyrnong Valley hope to recruit Ave students to join them in their regular planting sessions at areas throughout Moonee Valley. We would like to thank the Friends of the Maribyrnong but more specifically Judy Ingram for taking the time to come to our school and educate us on the history of their organisation and encourage girls to play their part in the rehabilitation of our environment within our local community.

Abbey Crowley and Georgia Wheaton, Year 12

Director of Student Wellbeing

This week our Year 8 students are working on their emotional literacy. This means that they are working to be able to name their emotions, to regulate their responses to emotions and to consider the role of body language in their communication.

We know that young people can struggle to identify the emotions they are feeling. They may not be able to name the emotion and may be, at times, confronted by the intensity of their emotions. Students have been asked to identify an emotion that causes them difficulty and to link this with their normal response. It might be frustration that leads to crying or giving up. Parents are often aware that their daughter’s emotions are causing her to make poor choices and they can help simply by supporting her to name what she is feeling. This can offer the young person clarity that can allow her to take a step back and think through responses or reactions in a more considered way.

As part of the work with emotional literacy we have also addressed the role of body language. Young people can often be unaware of the messages they communicate with their body language, although they are often sensitively attuned to the body language of others. We asked students to role play different forms of body language in conflict, with a focus on reducing or de-escalating conflict. Parents could talk with their daughter about how she is experiencing conflict in her life and what things she does that helps her navigate and resolve those conflicts.

Our Year 10 students have worked this week on assertiveness. They have learned the difference between assertiveness, aggression and submissiveness. Students will have rehearsed “I” statements that allow them to assert their needs or position, while also respecting the needs and position of others. These “I” statements allow students to communicate in a clear manner.  We encourage them to think through their statements so that they are able to present their thoughts in a controlled and meaningful way. Parents can encourage their daughters to practice these statements at home so that they are comfortable using them when they are in pressure situations socially.  Discussions around pressure situations help students plan their responses and manage their relationships to reduce conflict while also asserting their own needs. 

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

Law Week 2019

Law Week will take place Monday, 13 - Sunday, 19 May 2019.

Check out the Law Week program at Law Week 2019

REMINDER: Entry to Medicine in 2020

Year 12 students planning to apply for any of the medical university courses listed at UCAT - University Courses, are reminded that registrations and scheduling of the test date for the University Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) close on Friday, 17 May 2019. Please note that both aspects of the process must be met; students should register and schedule their UCAT date. The testing dates will be from Monday, 1 July – Wednesday, 31 July 2019.

New Courses at RMIT in 2020

Bachelor of Business (Digital Business), students will learn the application of industry-used tools and will develop the essential skills and mindsets in the workplaces of today and the future. 

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours): Engineering at RMIT In this new degree, students spend their first year of study experiencing the breadth of engineering options available at RMIT University before entering their specialised program in second year with a strong technical foundation.

Of significance importance is that students can also apply with any Unit 3/4 Maths. 

Bachelor of Youth Work and Youth Studies. A new, recently updated three-year full-time course. 

Swinburne University offers the study of Neuroscience through a number of courses, including the following:

 ·         Bachelor of Health Science (Professional) with a major in neuroscience

·         Bachelor of Health Science with a major in neuroscience

·         Bachelor of Health Science (Honours) 

·         Master of Health Science (Research)

·         Doctor of Philosophy - Health Sciences

Bachelor of Engineering Practice (Honours) Degree in 2020

Students should note that the VCE prerequisite subjects are: VCE Units 3 and 4: a minimum study score of 25 in any English or 30 in English as Alternate Language (EAL) or equivalent VCE Units 3 and 4: a minimum study score of 20 in any Mathematics. More information available on Pathways Knowledge Banks.

Helen Aliaga

We congratulate all students on the appointments to the College Student Leadership Team. Click here to view our 2019 Student Leadership Team

2019 Production Student Leadership Team

In 2019 the Production Team introduced five new student leadership positions, empowering members of our Cast and Dance Chorus to step up and assist in driving the direction of this years Grease Production as well as mentoring, supporting and representing their peers. We would like to congratulate the following successful students:

Assistant Director: Abbey Crowley

Assistant Choreographer (Cast): Madeline Saxton

Assistant Choreographer (Dance Chorus): Georgia Wheaton

Assistant Musical Director: Joanna Ckuj

Assistant Vocal Coach: Giuliana Lombardi

We look forward to seeing the ongoing leadership, optimism, passion and growth of these students as we embark on the rehearsal process.

Year 9 Outdoor Adventure Camp

At the start of May, the Year 9 cohort was lucky enough to go on a three-day survival camp. We participated in a range of team building activities such as adventure sports, hiking, initiatives and surfing.  Over the three days, we cooked our own meals for our camp group, assembled our own tents and carried all our belongings, food and equipment for the group. We really loved and embraced the independence we were given. We were relying on ourselves and each other and less on technology. This gave us the opportunity to learn how to truly appreciate nature and the simpler things in life.

We really enjoyed the surfing lesson because it was something most of us hadn’t done before. It was great stepping out of our comfort zone and trying something new. It was an amazing experience and a great way to wind down after the storms from the previous night.

Our first night was a good learning experience and quite a shock for most of us as the weather wasn’t on our side. We were all hit with rain, thunder and lightning all at once, but we were able to be resilient and learn how to handle wet tents.

On behalf of Year 9, we would like to thank all the Ave staff who came along on this trip and provided us with positivity and enthusiasm throughout all our activities. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ms Zahra for organizing and helping us through this memorable journey.

Alexandra Evans and Kate Maxwell 

I.D.E.A.L Tour - USA 2019

On Sunday, 31 March 2019, 32 students and 5 staff headed off to the United States of America on the learning adventure of a lifetime.  Visiting 6 cities (Los Angeles and San Francisco, Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC) in 16 days was an ambitious itinerary, but we were up for the challenge. Each city provided a range of learning opportunities covering the visual and performing arts, commerce, history, sciences, sport, religious education, technology, media and communication.  I.D.E.A.L stands for Innovation, Design and Enterprise Applied Learning, and this tour was jam packed with opportunities to witness this first hand.  In addition to the many learning activities, each tour participant designed a research project that combined the skills and knowledge from at least two of their current subjects, with one or more cities or activities in the itinerary. Student projects covered everything from the physics of bridges and rollercoasters, to the effectiveness of billboards in Times Square, to comparisons between healthy food options across states and countries. The tour was a wonderful experience with both staff and students creating memories and friendships to last a lifetime.

Jo Hammer and Jessica Hall

Mother's Day Breakfast

The College once again hosted the annual Mother's Day Breakfast this week.

Attended by over 150 mothers, daughters and grandmothers we heard from past students Avital Miskella (Class of 2015) and Dr Natalie Borg (Class of 1993). We also thank students from the VCE Music Performance class for their wonderful rendition of 'Sweet Creature'.

Thank you to all who attended this wonderful College event.

College Fees

A friendly reminder that Term Two Fees were due Friday, 26 April 2019.

Refer to the 2019 Family Finance and Information Guide which was emailed to all families on 19 December 2018.

Where payment has not yet been made, kindly contact the Finance Office on 9331 9307 immediately to discuss suitable payment options.

If you have already made contact with the Finance Office regarding your Fee Account, alternatively if payment has already been made, or should you have a payment plan in place by way of either a Direct Debit or Credit Card Authorisation, then there is nothing further for you to do.

Please note, a Late Payment Fee of $100 may be imposed.

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund

If you hold a Health Care Card or another concession card which names your daughter, we strongly encourage you to complete the CSEF application form and return to the college immediately, provided you haven’t already done so.

The Health of all our Students is of Utmost Concern

One of our students is currently receiving medical treatment and a major concern is if she develops measles or chickenpox, she can become seriously ill.

The College seeks your cooperation in preventing this possibility.

If your daughter has or may have measles or chickenpox we ask that you do not send them to school during this time and you notify the College as soon as possible.

Your understanding is greatly appreciated.

NCCD Information Sheet for Parents, Carers and Guardians


2019 | 2020 Entertainment Book

Ave Maria College is once again raising funds in support of St Maria Mazzarello School in Venilale. The more Memberships we sell, the closer we get to our goal. Here's how you can help... From every Membership we sell, 20% of the proceeds go towards our fundraising.

Memberships are available in the form of a hard copy book or a digital app which can be used on up to four different devices. This means up to four different family members could use it on their smart phones. The digital app makes it so much easier to use as you don’t need to carry the book with you, hence the discounts are accessible at any time anywhere. If you choose to buy the book, they are available for collection from the Finance Office at the College.

Pre-order from Ave Maria College and receive your NEW 2019 | 2020 Entertainment Membership in time for school holidays!

Help us raise funds by buying an Entertainment Membership, and you can enjoy value the whole family will love this school holidays. You'll receive hundreds of valuable offers to keep the kids 'entertained' and help our fundraising at the same time. PLUS, pre-order now and you’ll receive bonus Early Bird Offers.



Community Events

Timor-Leste Benefit Trivia Night - Friday, 19 July 2019

It's on again!

The Timor-Leste Benefit Trivia Night is a great community occasion. This major fundraising event sees proceeds going directly to our sister school in Venilale, Timor Leste.

Friday, 19 July 2019 7.00pm to 11.00pm

Francis Hall, Ave Maria College

Tickets on sale soon

Back to Ave Day - Sunday, 4 August 2019

The classes of 2014, 2009, 1999, 1989, 1979 and 1969 are invited to save the date for a reunion event at Ave Maria College.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

12.00pm to 2.00pm

High Tea at the College

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