Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 97 No 7• 21 September 2020


Loving God, help us to see and appreciate your daily blessings even when we feel like we’re trudging along. May we remember that you are at our side.

We make this prayer in Jesus; name. Amen

Please refer to the College Calendar for all Upcoming Events and Dates of Importance.
Term 4 commences Monday, 5 October 2020.

From the Principal

Ave Maria Day

On Friday, 11 September 2020 the Ave Maria College Community celebrated Ave Day.  This year’s celebration was somewhat different due to the COVID-19 restrictions but just as highly successful. I would like to draw your attention to the College Captains report by Claudia Fox and Danielle Reed along with our Arts Captain report from Mia Ranalletta.  All have most aptly written about the specific events of the day.

Normally we would celebrate Ave Day on the same day as the Feast of the Assumption. The Feast of the Assumption recognizes the important role that Mary played during her lifetime and occurs at the time where she transitioned into heaven and is reunited with Jesus at the end of her life.  It brings to conclusion her earthly story. Mary’s willingness to say ‘yes’ to God, her unconditional faith and her story has left an impression on the world for generations.  Francis and Helene are both known to have had an incredible devotion to not only Christ but to Mary also. 

At Ave we are also very privileged to be surrounded by four strong, humble and self-sacrificing patrons who were all committed to their faith and had an unwavering belief in God’s unconditional love and the importance of His Gospel message. They each took an incredible leap of faith into the unknown to commit themselves to God and in their own way to both care for and to make a difference to the communities in which they lived.

The learnings from COVID-19 provide an additional avenue to highlight the key message of our patrons, including reminding us of what is truly important, why we need to close the gap when it comes to the inequality that still exists with communities and what it means to care for the most vulnerable. In the unprecedented times of COVID-19 it has been a privilege to bear witness to the unconditional care and support provided by both students, families and staff to each other during this time.  In a time where we find ourselves learning to let go of what was as we adjust to this new way of living, I am incredibly proud to be a member of this community and continue to say a big thank-you to the Ave Maria community.

 Hail Mary full of grace, The Lord is with you:

Blessed art you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.


College Co-Captains 2021

At Ave, student leadership is a vitally important part of the leadership at the College, particularly in the areas of stewardship, agency, voice and culture. As leaders of their peers the Ave Student Leaders have an important role in motivating others, being a presence around the College, initiating programs, and providing a conduit for students to be heard. With this in mind the College has recently been through a process to select our College Co-Captains for 2021, with speeches delivered by our candidates on Ave Day.  Unlike previous years, in 2021 the College will have three Co-Captains.
It is will great pleasure that I announce that the College Co-Captains for 2021 are: Emily McMahon, Mya Mollica and Lilianna Morgan.

2021 Co-Captains Acceptance Video

I am sure that you will join me in wishing Emily, Mya and Lilianna a big congratulations and the very best as they commence their Senior Leadership role in Term 4. 

2021 College Co-Captains

Year 12 Letter

Recently Father John Hannon from St Therese’s Parish wrote to our graduating class of 2020.  His letter is a beautiful gesture and one that most adeptly describes the challenges faced by our Year 12 students this year due to COVID-19.  I have included a copy of his letter for you to read which can be accessed via this link.

Staff Appointments

In the development of the College new Strategic Plan which was launched in 2019 the pillars of Faith, Learning, Community and Growth became the strategic focus of the College. Introduction meetings that were held with staff in Terms 1 and 2, CEMSIS data and market research feedback indicates that innovation in learning through staff development, the introduction of enterprise skills, expansion of our career’s education program, student engagement and wellbeing, and, community engagement are key areas of future growth for the College. As such, following discussions with the College Canonical Administrators three new leadership positions have been developed and were advertised earlier this term.  It is with great pleasure that I announce to the community the following staff appointments:

  • Assistant Principal (Growth and Community)          Jo Hammer
  • Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)      Leonie Rushbrook
  • Human Resources and Compliance Manager         Anthony Kirley

Jo Hammer as you would be aware is a long-standing Ave staff member and will bring extensive knowledge of the Ave community and experience from previous leadership positions to this new role in 2021. Leonie Rushbrook will be joining us from Emmanuel College, Point Cook where she has been working as the Pastoral Leader at the Notre Dame Campus. She was also Acting Deputy Principal for a term in 2019. Leonie will bring with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in the areas of Student Management and Wellbeing when she joins the Ave community in January 2021. While Anthony Kirley, a previous Principal, joined us from 14 September following the completion of his tenure as Acting Senior Advisor to the Vicar General. Anthony will bring with him extensive experience in Human Resources and Compliance having previously established a new Catholic Secondary College in the northern suburbs of Melbourne.

I am sure that you will join me in congratulating them and welcoming Leonie and Anthony to the Ave community. 

School Holiday Hours of Operation

Over the school holiday period the College will continue to be closed to onsite visitors  due to the current COVID-19 restrictions. Parents who need to contact the College can still do so via the following two methods:

·       Telephone on 9331 9300 between 8.30 am until 4.00 pm from Monday, 21 September until Friday, 25 September 2020.

·       Email via community@avemaria.vic.edu.au

Parents wanting to follow up regarding Term 4 arrangements are asked to email community@avemaria.vic.edu.au

As the term draws to a close, I would like to wish all our students, staff and families a peaceful and safe break over the Term Three holiday period and look forward to seeing you return at the start of Term Four.

God bless and may we continue to strive for truth through love.

Tanya Hutton

Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

Ave Maria Day – a LIVE event on MS Teams! 

What a wonderful day we enjoyed on Friday, 11 September 2020 celebrating our Feast Day and coming together as a community to pray, have fun and celebrate! The Ave spirit was not diminished despite not being able to be onsite.  A big thank you to all staff and students who worked so hard to make this such a wonderful community event! 

Key Events and Term 4 Important Dates: 

A reminder of key events for Year 7-11 students, as communicated in a letter sent to all families last week. Please refer to this letter for more detailed information regarding these dates and events.  

Year 7- 10 End of Year Examinations - Cancelled.  

Year 11 End of Year Examinations – Tuesday, 10 to Friday, 13 November  2020.

'Head Start’ VCE Orientation  - Monday, 16 – 27 November 2020.

Last day for Year 10- 11 students - Friday, 27 November 2020.  

Last day for 7-9 students - Thursday, 3 December 2020.

If you have any queries regarding Term 4 arrangements – please send an email to community@avemaria.vic.edu.au  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all families for your continued support of the College and your daughters’ online learning in Term 3. Our students are to be congratulated for the learning success they have achieved in Term 3. May they also enjoy a well deserved term break. 

Michelle Robertson

Director of Studies

Unit 3/4 Practice Examination Paper Distribution 

Last week, all Unit 3/4 students (both Year 11 and Year 12) received a package of practice papers to help jump start their preparations for the end of year examinations. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Allan Thompson, Peter Vartto, Frank Libratore, Jo Hammer, Clara Morgan, Simone Maruzzi and Danielle Zarafa for a massive team effort to get 183 exam packs out to students over a 3-day period. 

Unit 3 and 4 Trial Examinations 

As communicated to parents of students in Unit 3 and 4 subjects earlier this week, the Trial Examinations have been postponed from Monday, 28 September 2020. They will now commence on Monday, 12 October 2020. Students have had the Trial Examination Timetable emailed to them and it is also available on Ave Learning. 

Students who require rescheduled examinations will have these times communicated to them during the term break. 

VCAA Examinations (7 October to 1 December) 

The VCAA end of year examination period commences on Wednesday, 7 October 2020 with the General Achievement Test (GAT) for all students completing a Unit 3 and 4 subject in 2020. The College is in the process of working through the advice provided by the VCAA and DHHS and will communicate arrangements for the GAT over the term break. We are committed to delivering the GAT and all VCAA examinations in accordance with all guidelines and advice.  

We wish all of our students completing VCAA performance, oral and written examinations this year all the very best. Students have worked very hard to persevere through the challenges this year has presented. I’m sure I am not alone in being exceptionally proud of our students for their commitment and dedication to their studies this year. 

The VCAA has published a guidance document for students which can be accessed HERE

2021 Years 8 – 12 Subject Selection Process 

Over the past few weeks, student consultations have been taking place regarding 2021 academic programs. During this time, we have also been receiving enquiries from students and parents regarding changes to preferences, which we have been happy to facilitate as best possible. 

The process has since moved to allocations and timetabling. Therefore, from the end of Term 3, we will do our best to accommodate requests however these cannot be guaranteed due to timetabling constraints and class size limits.  

Students will receive formal notification of their final allocation of studies for 2021 during Term 4. 

2021 Year 11 and 12 Early Resource List 

The Year 11 and 12 Early Resource Booklist is now available for families of 2021 Year 11 and Year 12 students. The Early Resource Booklist is being made available earlier than in previous years to recognise the financial strain COVID-19 is placing on many families across the College. 

The Early Resource Booklist has been sent to parents and is also available from the College Website. Orders are required to be completed by Friday, 30 October 2020 via the Campion website using the code ‘HFDY’

James Vella

Director of Faith and Religious Education

College Prayer

Students and staff will be able to join in prayer from 11.05am to 11.15am each Thursdays on the AMC – College Community Team.

Staff Faith Formation Day

Staff gathered on MS Teams to consider the College theme ‘True power is love’ then broke into small groups to reflect upon lived examples of the theme. One group prepared an extensive document that covered examples from leadership, staff, students and community. Here are some examples from ‘community’: Positive emails/messages sent to teachers/principal; Being understanding of the challenges being faced by staff and students; Parents realise that staff have put the students first and are going above and beyond.

Ave Maria Day

While completely different from every other Ave Day, it was a wonderful celebration of the giftedness and beauty of the Ave community. As an example, I share with you the opening prayer written by Franciscan Captains Mia Kefenhoerster and Danielle Thompson:


We gather together today as a community to celebrate the Assumption of Mary, the College feast day. As one of our patron saint’s, Mary is a model of faith and humility, with a strong commitment to God. She calls upon us to share this similar openness towards God and towards each other, inviting each of us to trust in the truth of God’s love and the truth within ourselves. 

As a community bound by faith, learning and love, we celebrate Mary today, as well as all of our unique gifts and talents which makes Ave a special place where each of us belongs. 

We give thanks for all staff members, students and friends of Ave for contributing their gifts and enriching the spirit of the Ave community. Although we cannot gather physically, together let us reflect on the blessings and opportunities we have received as members of the College. We pray that we may continue to persevere in times of hardship and live out God’s love in our words and actions. We make this prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Patrick Jurd

Director of Student Wellbeing

This year has challenged the skills of young people and adults alike in managing their mental health and maintaining any sense of calm and stability. When people are asked how they feel, they say things like overwhelmed, uncertain, scared, lonely, anxious, and exhausted. Words like wellness, mental health, positive psychology, and mindfulness have taken on a new urgency. During a pandemic we draw on the skills that we already have and develop some new ones. We practice and experiment with different techniques and activities to see what works for us as individuals, as families and as a community. Meditation can create calm in some, a brisk walk can settle others and still more respond to cooking or crafting. While some clean, others immerse themselves in television shows. What is important is finding what works for you to create optimum health in a challenging time.

The Student Wellbeing Working Group has been consulting with students, staff and parents about their perception of student wellbeing and their goals for student wellbeing in the school. We have heard a strong demand for a proactive, cohesive program that helps students develop skills that they can draw on in times of crisis, such as a pandemic, when they are most vulnerable to developing illbeing.
If young people are able to develop meaningful skills to manage their own emotional state, they have another protective factor that supports them during challenging times. We accept that we will all have difficulties and these skills are critical to meeting them head on and thriving nonetheless.

We thank the many parents who have taken the time to provide feedback through the survey and the consultation sessions last week. This feedback echoed that of the staff feedback, which welcomed the enhancing of an already strong relationship between families and the College. This emphasis on wrap around support is a key element of the student wellbeing program at Ave Maria which aims to support the flourishing of each student.

As we plan for 2021, as much as we can plan, we look to integrate a program into our College that supports the building of those skills, using an evidence based approach that is adaptable and responsive to each student. We recognize the individuality of each student at Ave Maria College and we aim to tailor our wellbeing to the needs of each of our students. 

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

Early Entry Programs

Many Year 12 students have been applying for Early Entry programs at various Universities. Congratulations to all students (over 50) who have been granted a conditional offer in a preferred or pathway course, upon meeting minimum requirements. A special congratulations to our successful students who have been recognised for their community contribution through the La Trobe ASPIRE and ACU Community Achievers program.

Tertiary Scholarships

One Ave Maria student applying for University of Melbourne in 2021 will receive $5000. Another two Year 12 students, who apply for VU Guaranteed, will be eligible for $2000 each.

Middle School Careers: Industry Immersion and Virtual Work Experience

 Two industry immersion opportunities in these school holidays:

  • For Year 10 students who enjoy Maths, Science or Technology can attend the free online workshops at Melbourne University. Students may select one, or more days for these Engineering and Technology workshops. Workshops range from Coding for Covid, to Bridge Building, to So you think you can Maths?  Dates: Wednesday, 30 September 2020, Thursday, 1 October 2020, Friday, 2 October 2020.To register: RSVP to  careers@avemaria.vic.edu.au  and the College will register on students’ behalf.
  • For Year 9 – 12 students, industry immersion in Art, Music Industry or Design at JMC. Select from Character creation, Digital TV Studio, Visual Communication, Music Production, Filmmaking, Arts Event Management. To register: https://bit.ly/2wrhdbQ

This week, our Year 9 students participated in a Resume Writing Workshop with our MMLLEN (Maribyrnong and Moonee Valley Local Learning Employment Network). Students have started to develop their individual Resume that summarises their attributes, skills and achievements.

Year 10 students will test out career interests through the exciting Virtual Work Experience program during Term 4. From 2021, this innovative program will replace traditional work experience and will give students insight into many popular and emerging industries.

Newsletter articles available here. Topics this week include:

  • Missed an open day? access recorded webinars
  • New Physiotherapy, Dietetics and Speech Pathology courses at Victoria University
  • National Careers Institute - emerging occupations
  • RMIT and Monash University updates
  • Year 12 students – university scholarships
  • Three humanitarian STEM jobs making a huge impact
  • Early Admission programs – closing dates
  • Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine Degree Courses in Victoria in 2020

Poppy Ibrahim 

College Captains

We have made it to the end of Term 3! We would like to congratulate each and every member of our community for arriving at the end of what has been an incredibly busy, tiring and challenging term. This year has been like no other and it's safe to say that we have been presented with many obstacles to work through. In saying this, we believe that our community has overcome these challenges with such resilience and determination and for that, we are so extremely proud to be ending this term with a feeling of satisfaction and achievement. 

Term 3 saw intense preparations for Ave Maria Day which we celebrated on Friday, 11 August 2020 - virtually! After months of organisation for this event, students and teachers were finally able to experience a very new and different kind of Ave Day, which involved three live events via Microsoft Teams. Members of the senior student leadership team, as well as many members of the College Executive worked tirelessly to ensure that these livestreams ran as smoothly as possible, allowing for an extraordinary presentation. 

To start off the day, there was an assembly and a liturgy. We heard from our College Principal, Ms Hutton and then participated in a lovely service run by Mr Jurd. Throughout this liturgy, our Franciscan Captains, Danielle Thompson and Mia Kefenhoester, as well as various students across the College presented Gospel readings and prayers of the faithful. Our House Captains also delivered a reflection on their respective house patrons. This prayer service allowed students and teachers to reflect on the true meaning behind Ave Maria Day, coming together to celebrate the assumption of Mary and understanding what this means for our community. We felt, despite being in our own homes on this day, that our College was extremely connected and was able to experience a sense of unity like no other. 

To follow, many talented girls beautifully represented our College by showcasing their talents of singing, dancing and playing instruments, to our wider community during the annual Talent Show. The show was judged by four teachers, alongside our Deputy Principal Mrs Robertson. Congratulations to Elisha Andres, a Year 11 student, on her winning performance of Alicia Keys’ ‘Empire State of Mind.’ A massive thank you to all the students who participated - the tenacity of our community is a truly remarkable sight to see. In addition to the talent show, each house channel on Teams hosted a 50 question Kahoot. This event allowed for students and teachers to gain house points and maximise their chance in being crowned as the end of year House Champion! 

Later in the day, we enjoyed our school’s biannual performance of ‘Spectacular Spectacular,’ in which each House brought to life a ten-minute performance, with participation across all year levels. This performance needed to reflect our College Theme - ‘True Power is Love’, which each house did in their own unique way, drawing attention to the need for love of oneself, love of the environment and love for each other. We believe these messages are particularly crucial during such a difficult time, hence, we urge everybody to remind themselves that love is indeed our strongest and most pure form of power. Congratulations to Helene House and our Helene House Captains - Elyse Boderick and Karsha Pereira - for finishing in 1st place! Despite being the winner, we believe all teachers, student leaders and participants in each house performance should be commended for their consistently hard work and commitment to creating what is now remembered as an iconic virtual performance on Ave Day. 

In addition to this incredible celebration, we have finally decided on a winner for our sustainability challenge! We would love for you to check out the school’s social media over the next few days to find out who was the most creative and inventive participant in this competition! We also hope that everybody had a chance to witness the amazing ideas and creations that students developed in their efforts to remain sustainable, as these initiatives are certainly easy to adopt in your own home!

We would once again like to acknowledge our community and the incredible courage and persistence you have displayed throughout this term. We feel extremely honoured to lead this College, knowing that it is full of such resilient, talented and loving people. 

We hope that you stay safe and healthy over these holidays - taking some time away from technology to rejuvenate and reboot before tackling our final term of 2020. 

Claudia Fox and Danielle Reed - College Co -Captains

Arts News

Hey Ave!

Coming off the back of a wildly successful Ave Day I wanted to say a huge congratulations to everyone who participated in any capacity!

In particular, the students who submitted an entry into this year's Talent Show did an outstanding job! Each and every one of you should be proud of your efforts and I absolutely cannot wait to see what the future holds in store for you.

A big thank you to everyone who participated in the Spectacular Spectacular House Competition also! I was blown away at the immense skill and talent on display, proving exactly why we call it ‘Spectacular’. Every single singer, dancer, actor, role, and part in Helene, Mary, Francis, and Clare’s shows held a unique and special part in the performance and truly made the performance as special as it was. 

As your Arts Captain it makes me unbelievably proud to witness the sheer display of creativity on offer here at Ave!

Again, a big thank you to everyone involved, our MC’s, Eliza Wilson and Catherine Lewis, our judges and, in particular, those working behind the scenes, including Mr Minty and Mrs Morgan, without which, the day would not have been as brilliant as it was.

Remember to stay healthy, connected, and most of all CREATIVE!

Mia Ranalletta, Arts Captain

Around the College

Ave Maria Day 2020


Studiosity is coming to Ave Maria College!
Studiosity offers 24/7 on demand study help from subject specialists with academic literacy skills and core subject support.
In Term 4, we will be rolling out this program for all Year 7-12 students to access at home.

We are inviting all parents/carers to attend an Information Night on Thursday, 8 October 2020 at 7.00pm. More details regarding this event will be posted on the Parent Access Module (PAM).

Community Events

Talk to Ten Online Program for Parents

2022 Enrolment Applications

Excellence Scholarships

Excellence Scholarships are now available for Year 9 and 11 students in 2021.

Open to current and prospective students.

Apply for a Scholarship.

College Uniform

Noone, the College official uniform supplier, retail stores currently remain closed at this time. Uniform items for current students can be ordered online using contactless "Click and Collect'. You can also call the the store for assistance.

Please see website for further details regarding all student uniform needs https://www.noone.com.au/

Simon Everywhere

Ave Maria College is proud to introduce Simon Everywhere, a smartphone app, designed to streamline the communication process for our families.

Simon Everywhere allows you to conveniently access your daughter’s reports, grades and attendance, update medical information, notify student absences, give consent for excursions and communicate directly with teachers. Essentially it is your Parent Access Module (PAM) account in the convenience of an app.
To utilise this facility simply download the Simon Everywhere app from your devices App Store, select Ave Maria College from the schools dropdown list and enter your previously supplied PAM account credentials.

Click here to access the College Parent Access Module (PAM)
The SkoolBag App is the easiest way to keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.

CDFpay is an online payment platform families can use to pay for school services from your mobile, tablet or computer at any time.

Families can:

  • place student online lunch orders.
  • add funds to student accounts to be used for over the counter canteen purchases.
  • add funds to student accounts to be used for Printing Credit.