Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 96 No 9 • 20 September 2019


Loving God we thank you for the blessing of holidays. May we use this break to rest, recharge and appreciate all of the gifts you give us every day. 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

The end of Term 3 marks a critical point in the academic year. It sees middle years students consider their options and pathways for study into their senior years. For senior students, it marks endings and new beginnings; endings requiring perseverance and deep thinking and new beginnings with hopes and dreams of happiness and success. For students in junior years, it involves those important, formative milestones of consolidating learning habits and stretching themselves in pursuit of excellence and success. Term 3 has been a busy and productive term, with staff and students at every year level working to enable learning and growth for every student. I offer three quotes from recent reading relating to learning and growth for young people:

“The types of jobs that are at the least risk of being replaced by automation involve problem solving, teamwork, critical thinking, communication, and creativity… Equally important, these skills form a strong foundation for independent thinking that will serve students well no matter what careers they pursue throughout their lives.”

Elizabeth Mann Levesque

“Kids are born with brains ready to be wired by thousands of experiences, including some scrapes, confusion, betrayal, frustration and fear. But when they don’t get a healthy dose of these, thanks to a sort of bubble-wrapped childhood, they don’t get the chance to become anti-fragile. They remain fragile.”

Lenore Skenazy in “Lost Learning: the Age of Bubble-Wrapped Kids” in School Administrator

“Izzy, did you ask a good question today?”

The question that the mother of 1944 Nobel physics laureate Isidor Rabi asked him every day when he got home from school – quite different from the query of most other mothers in his neighbourhood: “So? Did you learn anything today?” Rabi says that his mother’s daily prod made him a scientist.”

Quoted in “The Role of Questioning and Deep Thinking in the Learner-Ready School Library” by Kathryn Roots Lewis in Knowledge Quest, January/February 2019


This week, 6 students and 3 staff will travel to Timor-Leste for the fifth time.  We do this in providing our students and Timorese friends with a tangible example of solidarity and in living our College motto of Striving for Truth, through Love. I will be joined by Christine Lovell and Robert Martini as the staff travelling, along with:

               Mia Ranalletta                                                    Danielle Thompson

               Mia Kefenhoerster                                            Eliza Wilson

               Grace Abboud                                                    Emily McMahon

Student Leadership 2020

Last week the College gathered for the nomination speeches for those presenting themselves for Year 12 Leadership roles in 2020. Once again this year, I was most impressed with each of the candidates. It was wonderful to hear Ave girls speaking from the heart, inspiring their peers, reflecting on their journey since Year 7 and pledging themselves in service to the community in 2020; each of them most worthy of these important roles. Following the voting process, all student leadership positions will be announced in the first week of Term 4.

Elizabeth Hanney 

Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

Units 3 and 4 Examinations

‘It is not how you start the race or where you are during the race it is how you cross the finish that will matter’

The examination season is upon us for Unit 3 and 4 students with the upcoming Trial Examinations in the holidays and revision classes now commencing for all Unit 3 and 4 subjects.  It is important to follow the advice of teachers as to what work needs to be revised for each subject’s examination. It is also important to encourage healthy eating, regular exercise and good sleeping patterns to ensure that your daughter will be in the best mindset to achieve success.

Students should see the upcoming trial exams as an opportunity for a ‘serious practice run’ of the November Examination Period.

In order to support the revision process, a productive home learning environment should consist of:

-        a suitable desk and chair

-       be free of noise and distractions (such as the TV, iPhones, Social Media, other people, etc.)

-       be well organised, allowing easy access to resources and stationery

-       be well lit and ventilated

The home study environment should aim to replicate the exam room as much as possible.

We wish all students much success as they embark on revision for the end of year VCE examinations.

Michelle Robertson

Deputy Principal - Students, Learning Culture and Growth

Summer Uniform Change Over

Students are permitted to wear the College Summer uniform from the commencement of Term 4. They have the option of wearing either the Summer or Winter uniform for the first two weeks of Term 4.

Please make sure that uniforms are checked for the appropriate length, ready for Term 4.

Late Arrival to School Support

In the last few newsletters I have written about the importance of being on time to school and classes. Students have been receiving incidents if they arrive to class after 8.40am. The student planner outlines the school day commences at 8.30am, giving students enough time to get to their locker, unpack their bag and be ready for their first class at 8.40am. I would like to thank the community for the support that has been provided to the College in enforcing the start time. We have had a significantly reduced number of students arriving late to the College on a daily basis, and this indicates that commitment towards excellence.

Student of the Term Assembly

On Friday, 20 September 2019 we held our Term 3 Student of the Term Assembly. This is a wonderful assembly where both staff and students vote for a student of the term.  The Student of the Term Award is an individual recognition of students who actively seek to achieve excellence in their participation in and contribution to Ave Maria College school life - recognising and celebrating the “every day of school life” and contributing to our learning community culture. Students and staff nominate students for this Award. It is an excellent achievement and we congratulate all award recipients.

Our Term 3 Student of the Term Award recipients;

Year 12 - Georgia Wheaton                                     Year 9 - Kate Blackmore

Year 11 -  Claudia Fox                                               Year 8 - Olivia Mangion               

Year 10 - Alexia Bugeja                                             Year 7 - Abbey Kerr

Angela Torelli

Director of Studies


NAPLAN individual student reports have been posted to parents with a daughter in Year 7 or Year 9. These reports provide information about what students know and have achieved in the areas of reading, writing, language conventions and numeracy. The reports also provide information on how students have performed against the national average and the national minimum standards.

As a College we use the data to inform both teacher practice and whole school strategic planning. This analysis occurs at whole staff level and individual subject team level. Analysis of responses for each item in standardised assessments such as NAPLAN are helpful for identifying misunderstandings or knowledge gaps experienced by individual learners and cohorts. Looking at yearly trend data can assist us in measuring the impact of particular teaching strategies and learning programs.

Any individual sources of data, like NAPLAN does have its limitations so we have worked to compile the results of a range of data sources into student learning profiles on our Learning Management System. This triangulation of data allows teachers greater access to results and a more comprehensive understanding of student learning needs. Tracking student growth over time remains a priority of the College and we look to measure that with both internal and external assessments. For further information on interpreting your daughter’s NAPLAN results please read the additional information HERE.
If you do not receive your report, please contact me and I will order a replacement from VCAA.

Unit 3 and 4 Trial Examinations

A reminder that Year 12 Trial Examinations will be occurring from Monday, 30 September to Friday, 4 October 2019. These present an excellent opportunity for your daughter to test her knowledge and sharpen her skills before the official examination period. Full attendance is expected during this time. The supervisors are external supervisors employed by the College, and they will be the same supervisors students will have at the end of the year. These examinations will mirror the end of year VCAA examinations and, as such, students must adhere to all examination rules and regulations. Students must wear their College Summer uniform with Year 12 students permitted to wear their hoodies. 

Jessica Hall

Director of Faith and Religious Education

Vinnies Soup Van

In volunteering to participate in Soup Van, we walked away from the experience feeling grateful for the things that we had, and accomplished for being able to make a small difference in someone’s night. We gained a more humbled perspective towards assisting people to maintain dignity through times of hardship and understood how a sense of community could be formed through acts of compassion.

It showed us how easy it is to get involved in volunteering and made us privy to how people experiencing homelessness can live and what we can do to help (Quick tip: donate lots of thick socks in the winter). We now see Melbourne in a new light and we're all glad we decided to volunteer for St Vinnies Soup Van as it gave us the opportunity to meet inspiring individuals (people experiencing homelessness and Vinnies volunteers alike) and gave us the chance to give back to the community. The overall consensus at the end of the night was that we would do it all again.

Sarah Burke 12D, Leah Bacak 11A, Alessia Fazio 11A, Sarah Giuffre-Fittipaldi 12B, Amelia Njegac 12A, Stephanie White 12C

Year 9 Faith Formation Day

On the Thursday, 29 August 2019 the Year 9 cohort had their Faith Formation Day. Through role plays, watching videos and a presentation by Mr Jurd, Year 9 students learnt about the College theme “God is doing great things for us,”. This highlighted the message to be grateful for what we have, and how one act of kindness makes a massive impact on others. At the conclusion of the day, we wrote a letter to ourselves, explaining our goals, ambitions, and hopes for the future – a letter we will read when we are in Year 12.
Overall, the day was exciting and very informative, and we thank all who helped bring the day together.

Ella-Grace Arnold and Holly-Rose Te Maro-Bogusz – Year 9 Faith and Social Justice Leaders

Year 8 Faith Formation Day

The Year 8 Faith Formation Day was held on Friday, 6 September 2019 at the College due to the poor weather making access to the venue very difficult. The day began with sharing. Fadak Alfayadh shared her story of being a refugee, fleeing Baghdad, Iraq. She is now a lawyer helping those in need. Clancy Moore from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre shared about where our student fundraising money (over $1000 from two bake sales) and donations would go. Students spent time exploring what services would best address the needs of refugees. As a group the cohort spent time focussing on the College theme ‘God is doing great things for me’ by making a gratitude box with daily prompts.
The day finished with a liturgy. Thank you to Mrs Thompson, Ms Maruzzi and all the staff who helped make the day successful.

Patrick Jurd

Winter Sleepout

Sleeping outdoors when it is 3 degrees celsius, using thin sheets of cardboard for makeshift mattresses, and going technology-free for the night – not the most ideal way to spend a Friday, right? Luckily for us, this was only one night of our lives, but heartbreakingly, this is an everyday reality for almost 105,000 Melbournians.
The St Vinnies Winter Sleepout was held on Friday,  30 August 2019 and provided students with the opportunity to help raise awareness for and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be homeless. A group of twenty-or-so students took the humbling challenge, and we all went home the next morning with a new appreciation for our comfy beds and cupboards full of warm hoodies. This experience helped open our eyes to the fact that poverty really isn’t as foreign of a concept as it may seem to many of us, and that there are people living in poverty right outside our doors.

Mia Ranalletta 11E, Sophie McAllister 11B and Danielle Thompson 11E

Director of Student Wellbeing

The Mentor Program provides our students with the opportunity to be guided and supported by their Mentor Teacher throughout the year. Mentor Teachers support students to manage their workloads and their time, they are someone for students to go to when they are worried or need some help and they are the first person families can speak to when they have questions or concerns. Mentor Teachers get to know the students well and often advocate for them when they are having difficulty.  

Mentor Teachers lead the Mentor Program, including Mentor Time each day. Meeting the students after recess, Mentor Time is when Mentor Groups spend time together and touch base with their Mentor Teacher. This is our time for prayer and Stillpoint, a one minute reflection that punctuates the busy day for our students and allows them a moment to stop and be still. Mentor Time is also when students can speak to their Mentor Teachers.

The Mentor Program is the forty minute session each Day 8 where students engage in a program designed to support their social and emotional learning, their engagement and their learning habits. We use Respectful Relationships as the basis for this program, but we also include elements of cybersafety, safe driving, money management, body image awareness, leadership, child safety and learning behaviours to ensure that we are supporting the development of the 'whole child'.

This week in Mentor Period, Year 7 students have worked on problem solving, where they have developed the skills to determine different causes of problems and different strategies to address their problems. Part of the discussion has been around barriers to those strategies as we aim to support our students’ critical thinking about the difficulties they encounter.

Our Year 8 students have begun to explore the topic of help seeking. Students discussed some statistics regarding mental health and young people, such as, both victims and young people who bully are six times more likely to suffer from depression and/ or anxiety. Students then worked on scenarios to explore different ways of helping and seeking help. This will lead onto a more developed discussion about places to go for help.

Year 9 students had a fun House Competition to end the term, while Year 10 students attended a seminar on Road Safety from Victoria Police. This is particularly important as they begin to get their Learner’s Permit and start to take their first trips behind the wheel.

Assertiveness was the key theme for our Year 11 students as the first part of their exploration of Safer Socialising. This session aimed to draw out the difference between aggressive, assertive and submissive behaviours with the aim of empowering our young people to express their needs, wants and preferences in a healthy way.

The Moonee Valley Police visited our Year 12 students for a Respectful Relationships presentation called 'Love Bites'. This seminar supports young people to make more informed decisions in their relationships and to be aware of the relevant laws.

We would encourage parents and students to get in contact with us with any suggestions for the 2020 program. Please email Natalie.Meddis@avemaria.vic.edu.au if you have any suggestions for topics or experiences for our students next year.

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

Reminder: VTAC 2020 Upcoming Key Dates

  • Timely applications through VTAC close: Monday, 30 September 2019.
  • SEAS Applications close: Friday, 11 October 2019.
  • Scholarships through VTAC close: Friday, 11 October 2019.

Students applying for courses that have essential requirements (i.e. submitting a folio, a pre-selection kit, arranging an interview, etc.) are reminded that failure to meet the deadline date for these means students may no longer be eligible for selection into their desired course. Students eligible to apply for SEAS are also encouraged to apply for VTAC Scholarships. 

Monash University

  • Monash Guarantee: Monash Guarantee promises entry at a lower ATAR, while the SEAS adjusts the selection rank. Every Monash University course has a Monash Guarantee ATAR. Please find on following link. https://www.monash.edu/__data/assets/pdf_file/0006/1353912/monash-guarantee-seas-brochure.pdf.
  • Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS): Special Entry Access Scheme (SEAS) adjusts the Monash selection rank in recognition of circumstances that may have affected a student’s education. Students receive adjustments that reflect the severity of their circumstances.
  • Guaranteed Scholarships: A student who has experienced financial disadvantage and qualifies for the Monash Guarantee, will receive a minimum $1500 scholarship in their first year at Monash and $500 in every following year. Also students will be considered for a range of scholarships if they submit their scholarship application through VTAC.
  • Access Melbourne 2020: Guaranteed places are available to students who meet the following SEAS categories: disadvantaged financial background, applicants from rural or isolated areas, indigenous students. Scholarships: The University of Melbourne offers close to 200 scholarships ($5000 per year for the duration of the course) to Access Melbourne applicants.

Helen Aliaga

College Co-Captains

As the classic saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun”.

As quickly as we entered Term 3 it seems that we are now experiencing the very last leg of the race- as the Year 12 students are getting ready to face the end of our secondary schooling era.

Long gone are the tightly wrapped scarves adorning every students’ neck, endless mugs of scalding hot tea or coffee, gone is the reality of waking up at 7.00am to the pitch black darkness of winter. Rather, we wake to the sound of birds chirping, enveloped by the scent of morning dew, and the sun shining through our blinds. Spring has sprung, and so has the time to finish off our Semester 2 subjects and of course, dive straight into examination prep.  The past term of school has brought with it the end of Unit 4 for the Year 12 students, as well as the end of the Senior Student Leadership Team’s '12 Months of Empowerment' campaign. To recap, this term we experienced Justice July, Athletic August and Stress Less September. Most notable was also our revamping of Ave Day on the Feast Day of the Annunciation, that proved to be most successful. This was an authentic example of how the College community has come together to empower each other in 2019, making us feel confident in not only our '12 Months of Empowerment' initiative, but also in the legacy that we will be leaving behind as the two of us approach the end of our captaincy.

We could go on an endless tangent about our pride in the success of the events that have occurred on the grounds of the College not only this term, but over the past few months. But the reality is, there is no better way to understand the beauty of empowerment than to experience it yourself. We want anyone reading this Newsletter, parents, students, staff, members of the College Executive, next-door neighbours- to simply remember the power that is held in kindness and showing support to those around you. Empowerment is a potent experience. It is one that brings people together. Do not forget that it is by lifting up others that you too lift yourself up.

Natalie Cierpisz and Eliza Gollant -College Co-Captains 2019

Around the College

Dante Alighieri Poetry Recitation Competition

At the end of Term 2, 41 students from Years 9-12 studying Italian took part in the Dante Alighieri Poetry Recitation Competition. From this cohort, 5 finalists were chosen to return to be reassessed this term. During the competition period there were 2891 participants from 67 Victorian schools, and on the day of the finals, 262 candidates were vying for a win. The students from Ave Maria College who were successful in making it to the finals were; Alexandra Priestley, Alexandra Evans and Isabella Dogovski from Year 9, along with two finalists, Isabella Trinchera and Giuliana Lombardi from Year 12.

  • On the day of the finals, these students conducted themselves with true spirit and determination, as they underwent a round robin challenge. They were all assessed by two adjudicators, with three students performing to an exceptional standard and being called back for a second round. From this group of finalists, we are pleased to announce;
  • Giuliana Lombardi was awarded 1st prize in the Year 12 Italian-Australian category.
  • Alexandra Evans was awarded 2nd prize in the Year 9 Non-Italian section.
  • Isabella Trinchera was awarded 3rd prize in the Year 12 Italian-Australian category.

Well done to all the students from the College on their fine achievement, and for the way they represented the College during the competition period. A special congratulations is also extended to the three winners who received their award on Friday, 6 September 2019 at the Dante Alighieri Society Awards Evening held at the University of Melbourne.

Swinburne Junior Poetry Competition

Congratulations are extended to students from 7B and 7E who studied Italian in Semester 1 and took part in the Swinburne Junior Poetry Competition. Everyone performed well, and certificates of Honourable Mention and Merit were awarded to the participants. However one student performed exceptionally well and was awarded a prize for her performance in the Italian Section. Congratulations to Alyssa Caruso who received 2nd place and a $50 voucher.  

SCSA Netball

Congratulations to all members of the 2019 SCSA Netball teams. All teams played well, 5 teams played in semi-finals with 2 going on to the Grand Final. Special mention to the Senior B Team who took out the win and the Intermediate B Team who just narrowly lost in a close game. Congratulations also to Janice Draim and Alyssa Chiarilli for being awarded best on ground in their Grand Finals.

Helene Library

What a busy term in the Helene Library! 

The new Genre fiction classification has been hugely popular, and students are still talking about the success of Literary Week.  Library staff have catalogued over 60 new fiction titles this term giving students access to the most popular YA reads for the school holidays.

If you ran out of time to visit the Helene Library – why not borrow an audio or eBook from the libraries Wheelers online collection and read it anywhere or explore your local library.

Helene Library hours during the School Holidays are Monday - Friday 8.30 am – 4.00 pm 

Laura Pugliese - Helene Library Leader

Teachers volunteering at Ave Maria College

Please note, teachers who volunteer at Ave Maria College (ie: in the Canteen) are now required to notify Working With children Check Victoria of this fact.  This is a five minute process. 

Teachers registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) must please notify WWCCV at https://service.vic.gov.au/services/teachers-notifications/

College Fees

A friendly reminder that Term Four Fees are due Friday, 11 October 2019.

Please note, a Late Payment Fee of $100 may be imposed where accounts are not paid in accordance with the College Fee Policy.

Refer to the 2019 Family Finance and Information Guide 

Kindly contact the Finance Office on 9331 9307 immediately to discuss suitable payment options if unable to pay in full by the due date.

The College reserves the right to review the students on-going participation in Extra Curricular Activities, including Year 12 Valedictory, with the impact of any action taken in this regard being cost neutral to the College. 

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.

Community Events

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