Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 96 No 12 • 20 December 2019


Loving God, may this time of Advent open our hearts and minds to your presence with us constantly. You are ‘God-with-us’, now and throughout the year.

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

She Who Excels

Last week we were delighted to celebrate the success of the Class of 2019. Congratulations to all graduating Women of Ave. We are very proud of each of you! Their success is the result of their determination, pursuit of excellence and passion for their chosen studies. The support of family, teachers, friends and the Ave community has been evident over 6 years and has contributed greatly to the success they have enjoyed this year. We know that Ave women will shape the world for good and we wish each of these fine women every blessing in doing so.

Congratulations to Natalie Cierpisz, College Dux, ATAR 98.85 and Madeline Saxton, Dux Proximus, ATAR 98.8. Natalie intends to pursue a pathway in Science and Engineering and Maddy will study Arts and Law. We are also very pleased to note that 18% of the Class of 2019 achieved an ATAR above 90 and an outstanding 47% achieved an ATAR above 80. Further congratulations to Stephanie White for achieving a Study Score of 49 in Psychology (Teacher: Jacquie Bigby) and Maddy Saxton for achieving a Study Score of 49 in Biology (Teacher: Kristian Davies). The median Study Score rose to 33 – an outstanding result and reward for the hard work of students and teachers. Please visit the College website for further details. We wish all graduates the very best as they receive pathway offers this week.


I close with a greeting of thanksgiving. Thank you to all members of the Ave Maria Community for the graced days of being Principal in this very special place. I wish all students, staff and families abundant blessings of peace and joy this Christmas and always.

Rejoice in the Lord always,

Again I say, rejoice!

Let your richness of spirit be known to all, the Lord is at hand.

Let no anxiety make its home in your heart

But whatever your needs may be, by prayer and supplication,

And with thanksgiving,

Let them be known to God.

 And the peace of God,

Which exceeds anything that the mind can comprehend,

Will protect your hearts and minds in Christ.

And finally sisters and brothers,

Whatever is true

Whatever is worthy of reverence,

Whatever is good and holy,

Whatever is lovely to look at and beautiful to hear,

Everything that has virtue

And everything that deserves praise,

Let this be what fills your thinking

And the God of peace will be with you.


  • St Paul’s Letter to the Philippians 4: 8- 9

 Elizabeth Hanney

Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

Blessings of the Season

I cannot believe a full year has already passed for me at Ave Maria College and what a wonderful year it has been! On a personal note, I would like to thank the students, parents and staff for embracing me into the Ave Maria community – I feel very fortunate to be a part of such a vibrant and inclusive faith and learning community. I am looking forward to my role as Deputy Principal in 2020, working alongside our excellent leaders, teachers and support staff.

I wish to acknowledge and say farewell to Mrs Elizabeth Hanney. Although I have only had the privilege of working with Elizabeth for one year, her experience, expertise and devotion to this community has been so rich and apparent. Elizabeth has been instrumental in leading strategic change and innovation in all aspects of the College over the past six years. We wish Elizabeth every blessing as she goes on to lead another faith community at Siena College, where she will continue her excellent leadership in Catholic education.

In 2020, we will welcome Ms Tanya Hutton to the role of Principal at Ave Maria College. Tanya brings with her a wealth of experience in other Catholic schools and we look forward to working with Tanya and inducting her into our wonderful Ave community in the new year!

Finally, may I wish the entire school community peace, joy and love for the Christmas season. May the holiday break be enriching and renewing for you all. I look forward to welcoming you back to what will be an exciting year of faith, learning and teaching at Ave Maria College in 2020!

God bless,

Michelle Robertson

Director of Studies

Congratulations to all of our students on finishing the year so well. Both the VCE Orientation program and Year 7-9 End of Year Program was well attended with students remaining engaged and working hard right to the very end.

VCE Results

Congratulations to the 'Class of 2019' on their outstanding results. The commitment and dedication throughout the year by both students and teachers was admirable and has led to such strong individual and collective performances. I wish students all the best with their future pathways as offers are made in December, January and February.

2020 Subjects

There will be a short period at the commencement of the 2020 academic  year that VCE students will have the opportunity to change a subject. Subject changes are dependent upon the students timetable and current class numbers. Further information will be communicated at the commencement of next year.

Holiday Home Study

All students are required to read their English novels in preparation for their learning next year. VCE students will have also received additional home study for each of their subjects. This work must be completed prior to the commencement of classes next year. Students that do not complete their holiday home study will be issued an incident and may be required to stay after school on a Thursday to complete outstanding work.

Holiday Blessings

Finally, my thanks to all members of the Ave Maria College community for their support during my time as a member of staff here. I wish your daughter continued success in her studies and encourage you to challenge her to work outside of her comfort zone and make the most of all the opportunities afforded to students at Ave Maria. Have a Merry Christmas and a safe, restful break. 

Jessica Hall

Director of Faith and Religious Education

End of Year Mass

Students in Years 7 to 11 gathered in Francis Hall on Thursday, 5 December 2019 to celebrate the end of the year and thank God for all the great things God has done for the Ave Maria community in 2019. Aside from the musical leadership provided by Mr Minty and the Vocal Ensemble, the College Prayer was launched. The College Prayer was an initiative of the Student Council and flows from the College Mission Statement as well as student and staff consultation. The College Prayer will be used at assemblies and school gatherings:


God who loved us into life,

May we trust in the truth of God’s love.

May we see the face of God in others.

May we develop a love for learning.

May we come to know ourselves in our relationships with others.

Like Mary, may we trust in the truth within ourselves.

Like Francis, may we imitate Jesus who took the side of the vulnerable.

Like Helene, may we understand that learning is for fullness of life for all.

Like Clare, may we grow into people of firm faith and unconditional love.

In these ways, may we strive for truth through love.


Wishing all members of the College community a blessed Christmas and a restful break.

Patrick Jurd

Director of Student Wellbeing

While for many, Christmas is a time of celebration, re connection with family, and rest, unfortunately, holiday cheer is not everyone’s experience. The Christmas season is an important time to consider those who are less fortunate, or who may be finding this time of year difficult. Family separation and conflict, grief or loss of a loved one, isolation and financial pressures, are just a few factors that leave some families and individuals facing challenges at this time of year.

You or your family may consider seeking opportunities to reach out to others, who may otherwise be alone this holiday. As a community, it is important to keep an eye out for those who are vulnerable, and to teach our children to share this same care for others. Should you find that you or someone you know requires support for mental health related concerns over the break, consider any of the resources below. Recommending a visit to a General Practitioner, is also an option all year round. There are also many free and affordable activities, events and excursions, offered by your local council youth services, that your kids can access too. Maintaining social connectedness is a useful ingredient for supporting our overall health.

Support Services for Adults:

·         MensLine Australia: 1300 78 99 78

·         Women’s Health West: 9689 9588

·         Lifeline: 13 11 14

·         Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

·         Parentline: 132289

·         www.beyondblue.org.au

·         www.mindspot.org.au

Support Services for Young People:

·         Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800

·         www.kidshelp.com.au

·         Youth Beyond Blue: 1300 22 4636

·         www.youthbeyondblue.com

·         Headspace Sunshine 9927 6222 or Glenroy 1300 880 218

·         www.headspace.org.au

·         www.reachout.com   

If you are in anyway concerned about the mental health of a young person please call:

·         Royal Children’s Hospital - 9345 6011

·         Orygen Youth Services - 1800 888 320 (for young people 15 years +) 

·         Orygen Youth Services -1800 445 511 (for young people under 15 years of age)

Wishing you a blessed Christmas, quality time with loved ones, and a safe break.

Natalie Meddis

Helene Library

Ave Maria College students ‘Reading for Pleasure’ increased in 2019 with the Library loaning over 5000 books.  A further 300 students attended the libraries Co-curricular lunchtime activities of Book Corner and Creative Spaces.

This year we were fortunate enough to move into the spacious new Helene Library which saw the return of bustling lunchtimes in the library.

As we prepare to finish up after a very successful 2019, I would like to thank all the students for their adaptability over the past 12 months with the many changes in the Library. 
A gentle reminder to parents to ensure your daughters overdue resources are returned to the College Reception by no later than Friday, 20 December 2019.

I’d like to encourage all families to consider visiting the State Library of Victoria these school holidays. The State Library reopened last week to reveal the final phase of its $88.1 million transformation.  Melbourne’s State Library is in the heart of the city and is expected to become the fourth busiest library in the world.

Laura Pugliese, Helene Library Leader

2020 School Photos

School photos will be taken at Ave Maria College on Tuesday, 4 February 2020. A makeup day for any student who is absent on this day has been scheduled for Thursday, 13 February 2020.

There is no need to return any forms or money to the College prior to this date.

Unique codes will be issued to all students closer to photo day allowing families to register online to view your daughter's images.

When images are in the Arthur Reed webshop, all families who have registered will be notified by SMS and email that images are ready to view and order.

If you do not have internet access, please contact the College for an order form but please note; these orders can only be accepted up until photo day.

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