Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 96 No 5 • 7 June 2019


Loving God, may we use winter as a time to slow down and go to ‘our inner room’ – and so be able to better see the work that you are doing in our lives and in the world. In Jesus’ name . Amen

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

From the Principal

In a very busy last fortnight, we have welcomed many visitors to Ave Maria College. This edition offers some highlights of recent events such as National Reconciliation Week, Special Persons’ Mass, two Open Mornings and this week, a special visit by the Minister for Education, James Merlino and Member for Niddrie, Ben Carroll.

Reconciliation Week

Our thanks to Sr Heather Weedon who addressed students in Years 7 – 10 in year level gatherings with the focus on National Reconciliation Week. Sr Heather provided students with an important historical overview of the history along with the themes for Reconciliation Week, those being Truth, Walking Together and Courage. Students were invited into an awareness of truth as experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. They were challenged to discuss how all Australians might better walk together with mutual dignity and respect and finally, they were asked to consider how they might be courageous in their own response to solidarity and reconciliation. We thank Sr Heather for her wonderful contribution to Reconciliation Week, 2019. 

Principal Leave

Commencing Tuesday, 11 June 2019, I will be taking three weeks Long Service Leave and one week Enrichment Leave, returning Friday, 19 July 2019. My husband and I are celebrating 30 years of marriage and will travel to Europe over this time. In my absence, Michelle Robertson will be Acting Principal and Jessica Hall will be Acting Deputy Principal, both of whom have my full confidence that all will be well in my absence! A number of staff are taking short blocks of Long Service Leave attached to the forthcoming holidays and details of replacement staff will be made known to students as appropriate. I extend thanks and appreciation to all members of our community for a very positive Semester One and trust that everyone enjoys a break over the coming weeks.

Special Persons’ Mass and Open Morning

It is always delightful to have students welcome to the College the special people in their lives. In doing so last week, we gathered for Mass in Francis Hall to give thanks for the blessings and love of parents, grandparents and friends of students in Years 7 and 8. We thank Fr Nhan Le for leading this celebration and appreciate all those who attended in support of our young women.

Our Year 9 Tour leaders were wonderful in hosting two Open Mornings in the last fortnight. It is wonderful for prospective families to visit our newly completed Helene Province and to see the College in action by visiting classrooms and witnessing the strength of our learning environment. 

Ministerial Visit

On Monday, 3 June 2019, we were pleased to welcome Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Niddrie Ben Carroll to the College. Along with the Acting Executive Director, Jim Miles and senior staff of Catholic Education Melbourne, architects and builders, they were invited to tour the Helene Province with our College Captains, Natalie Cierpisz and Eliza Gollant. The Minister took the opportunity to announce a $402 million Non Government School Capital Fund, opening the way for first round applications. As expected, all guests were most impressed with our College leaders and students and with the quality of our facilities. We in turn, gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Catholic Development Fund and the provision, in 2017 of a $500,000 grant from the Victorian Government for the Helene Province works. 

Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

Effective Home Study Habits

The Examination and Assessment period is upon us and Year 10 and 11 students will be commencing the process of revising the units of work they have completed in Semester 1, in order to demonstrate their learning in each subject area.

Students in Years 10 and 11 should see the examinations as a positive learning opportunity to demonstrate and have assessed all of the learning they have undertaken throughout the semester. Any questions or concerns regarding the format of the exam or examination expectations should be discussed with their subject teacher.  

A reminder that a productive home learning environment will consist of:

-        a suitable desk and chair

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

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

-       be well lit and ventilated.

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.

We wish all students much success as they embark on the Semester 1 Examination and Assessment period.

Semester 1 Reports will be available for parents via the Parent Access Module (PAM) on Wednesday, 26 June 2019.

Unit 3 Semester Reports – S/N Results Only

Parents of VCE Unit 3 /4 students, please see clarification below regarding Semester Reporting and continuous reporting of Units 3 and 4 subjects.

VCE Unit 3: Outcomes/Unit Results:

The codes used on Semester reports are as follows:

  • S:  Satisfactorily completed (Unit result/Outcome)
  • N: Not satisfactorily completed (Unit result/Outcome)
An ‘N’ result for the Unit is awarded when the student receives an ‘N’ result for one or more Outcomes.

VCE Unit 3 and 4 Subjects: SAC/SAT Scores

Unit 3 and 4 SACs/SATs  will be given a score for each component of coursework specified in the study design. The score will be accompanied with the statement, ‘VCE Unit 3 and 4 Assessment Task results are internally assessed and are conditional, subject to VCAA moderation’. Unit 3 and 4 subject teachers will also enter student SAC/SAT results as either a total mark or a percentage into Ave Learning as part of the online continuous feedback process.

Mrs Michelle Robertson

Deputy Principal - Students, Learning Culture and Growth

Enhancing the Learning Environment - School Bags in Classrooms

From Tuesday, 11 June 2019, school bags will not be permitted to be brought to any classes.

We feel that as a College this will enhance the learning environment.

Some of the initial reasons that it was decided to allow students to bring bags to classes no longer apply: there are many exits in the College and all lockers are in close proximity to classrooms. Some classrooms also have limited space and having bags in the environment can become a tripping hazard.

This information has been distributed to students via Daily Messages on Simon and all Mentor Teachers have discussed this with their Mentor Groups.

Morning Tea - Year 12

Over the next few weeks I will be inviting all Year 12 students to come to a morning tea in my office. I encourage all Year 12 students to come along and chat to me about any issues that are important to them. It is a great opportunity to have an informal discussion about the College and how they are progressing with their final year.

Student of the Term

Student Council have developed a new initiative recognising their peers at the end of each term with an award for 'The Student of the Term Award'. This 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. The voting will be open on Tuesday, 11 June 2019 with an online form.

Ms Angela Torelli

Director of Studies

Semester 2 Subject Changes – Years 10 and 11

The period for subject changes has now commenced and signed forms must be submitted by Wednesday, 12 June 2019 at 2.00pm. A reminder that 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.

 VCAA End-of-year Examinations

The VCAA Examination Timetable has now been released. All parents of students completing a Unit 3/4 subject are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the timetable and diarise the examination times relevant to your daughter. More information about the VCAA examination process will be communicated to parents and students closer to this period.

Helene Learning Spaces

With the opening of Helene Province the new learning spaces provide a great opportunity for students to collaborate in their learning, making use of the number of breakout spaces available to them. Students are enjoying the whiteboard tables, interactive screens and booth seating to further engage with their learning.

Mrs Jessica Hall

Director of Faith and Religious Education

Homework Club

We have been involved in the Refugee Homework Club on Monday nights after school where we have had the opportunity to help out primary school students with their homework. Participating in this program has been a very rewarding experience and the special bonds built with the students is invaluable. This opportunity will not only be valuable to those who volunteer, but it will also be a great learning experience for the students that they teach as well, supporting them and encouraging them with their learning. We would highly recommend anyone who gets the opportunity in the future to participate in this program.

Mia Salvador, Amelia Njegac and Hannah Liu, Year 12

Year 7 Faith Formation Day

The topic for the day at Maribyrnong Bowls Club was 'belonging' and how we belong at Ave Maria College. We came together in our House groups and talked about our House patrons: what they did, the values that they had and about how we can show this gift in our lives. For my house patron, Helene, we had a chat to Sister Heather who is a part of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary. After snack, there was a presentation about Samaritans Purse and something that year 7's at Ave Maria are heavily involved in, Operation Christmas Child. For lunch, some of the lovely mums volunteered and made us a barbeque lunch which was very delicious. After lunch Claudia Fox from Year 11 talked us through her Timor Leste experience. We then wrote a special letter to a student in Timor Leste which will be delivered by the students going to Timor Leste in September. The day ended with a small Liturgy. I thought that the day was fun and worthwhile and I believe that it brought me even closer to God.

Georgia Cullie 7A Faith and Social Justice Leader

Director of Student Wellbeing

It was reported in the newspaper on the weekend that a new app, Tellonym, is available and targeted at adolescents. This is another app that promises anonymity. The user asks a question and then receives anonymous replies from her list of contacts. This promise of anonymity joins other apps, such as Sarahah and Ask.fm, which have previously been popular among young people.

There have been warnings issued by the eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, regarding reports of cyber-bullying using this app. In addition to this, the article reports that the reviews on iTunes warn of trolling and harassment. This raises for us the issue of students using apps that make them vulnerable to cat-fishing, trolling, harassment and abuse.

Apps can provide “anonymous” protections or they can expose young people to other people outside of their known social circle. This means that they are exposed to people they do not physically know but to whom they might be revealing a great deal of personal information.

It is also important to note that nothing is really anonymous online! The police and the Comissioner’s office can gain access to the digital identifiers so that they can pursue any incidents of criminal harassment.

The website of the eSafety Commissioner provides excellent and well-researched information that can help inform parents about new apps and the dangers hidden inside apps that young people have been using for a while. There are apps, such as Yubo and Monkey, which allow young people to be paired with a stranger for a 15 second conversation. Young people may be unaware that these apps are used to target them for grooming and manipulation.

Additionally, online gaming allows the outside world access to young people. Through these games young people are connecting with others around the world, some of whom may not have the best of intentions. It is important to educate our young people about the potential dangers of connecting online.

The Office of the eSafety Commissioner website provides guidance regarding online safety, good online habits, talking with your young person about their online behaviours, and how to protect your child’s privacy online. You can find more resources at: https://www.esafety.gov.au/.

If you think that your child has been targeted, harassed or bullied online the Office of eSafety will advise you on what to do. This is a great resource in an ever-evolving online world.

Mrs Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

Upcoming Dates to Diarise

Year 10 Work Experience Week - Monday, 24 June – Friday, 28 June 2019

Year 12 University Excursion Day -  Tuesday,  11 June 2019

Year 11 Tertiary Information Excursion -  Monday,  17 June 2019

Experience Clever at LaTrobe University

Experience Clever gives Year 10, 11 and 12 students the chance to experience University for a day.  Students will choose from over 50 workshops in a broad range of study areas.  From there, they will experience real classroom environments and interact with university staff and students. Students are encouraged to register early before sessions fill up.

Date: Friday 5 July 2019.

Time: 9.00am – 4.30pm.

Campus: La Trobe University, Melbourne Campus, Union Building

Register at Experience Clever at La Trobe

Future of Work Event

Ernst and Young invites students in Years 11 and 12 who are interested in STEM, to visit their offices in Melbourne to learn about what the future of work will look like.  

Date:  Wednesday, 10 July 2019.

Time:  9:00am - 4:00pm.

Location: EY Melbourne, 8 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.

Register here to reserve a spot at this free event.

Deakin Explore 

Deakin Explore is an excellent resource that students can use to explore courses and careers.  With more than 600 paired courses and careers, it’s the best way to explore future careers.

Even if students are not considering studying at Deakin University, this is still a very valuable resource to use.

Further information at Deakin Explore

Science Precinct Tours

Year 12 students considering studying Science at Monash University next year, are encouraged to register for a free Monash Science Precinct tour during the upcoming school holidays. 

Register a place at Monash Science Precinct Tour

More information on all eh above is available via the Careers and Pathways Knowledge Bank.

Ms Helen Aliaga

College Co- Captains

Since hitting the halfway mark of 2019, it feels appropriate to reflect on the past few months of the Senior Student Leadership Team’s “12 Months of Empowerment” campaign. We helped the Ave community “Feel the Love” in February, we asked everyone to “Make a Stand” in March, showed “Appreciation” in April, and encouraged students to be “Mindful” in May.

“Appreciation April” was a month of gratitude for our environment, where the Senior Student Leadership Team made a pledge on behalf of the College to show greater respect, appreciation and care for the world around us. The planting of the aptly titled “Ave” Camellia tree in front of Clydebank symbolises this promise. This symbolic gesture is a simple way of encouraging every member of the Ave community to reflect on the importance of making the world a more liveable place.

As we transitioned into May, a time where constant SACs are on the horizon, and many students are preparing for the onslaught of mid-year exams, the Senior Student Leadership Team felt it was more than appropriate to encourage mindfulness within the College community. “Mindfulness May” placed emphasis on the importance of self-reflection, kindness and supporting each other in quintessential ”Ave Army” fashion. A Q&A session with student counsellor Ms Sue Hall proved to be an exceptionally welcoming, safe, and supportive space, where students from Years 7 to 12 were welcome to participate in an open and honest conversation about manoeuvring the ups and downs of adolescence. Moreover, there were various other ‘mindfulness’ activities occurring throughout the course of the month, including therapeutic mandala colouring, and meditation sessions.

It’s rather bittersweet reflecting on the year so far. As College Co-Captains, we have been putting our all into this role and it is absolutely thrilling to see the impact we have had on our dear Ave Army thus far. But to think that we have a mere four months left in this position leaves us wanting to do more, inspire students, and empower young women to the best of our ability until the end of our captaincy. Get prepared for a whirlwind of astounding alliterations, exhilarating events, and as the theme goes… electrifying “Empowerment”!

Natalie Cierpisz and Eliza Gollant

Around the College

Library Genre Collection

To increase students reading for pleasure the Helene Library has moved the Fiction collection into Genres.  Genrefication is the process of classifying literature into specific categories based on similar characteristics or style.

This week we unveiled our new Genre Collection which coincides with the newly opened Helene Library Learning and Reading Areas.

Library staff conducted extensive study and research, in conjunction with student feedback (Year 8 student survey) and decided on 13 genres to represent the collection.  We hope this enhances your daughters experience and enjoyment of reading.

Which Genre will you choose?  

Soup Van

The second group for St Vincent de Paul Soup Van helped out on Wednesday, 29 May 2019. Year 12 students who participated reflect on their experience below;

It took me a while to comprehend people rejecting the toiletries we offered, as I assumed that they would take everything they could. However, Sarah (Vinnies Volunteer) explained that they know there are people that need it more than themselves, so they only take what they truly need. I found this inspiring as they put others needs before their own and don’t complain about what they don’t have.

Hannah Portelli

By interacting with the homeless and having conversations with them, I learnt that we shouldn’t take for granted daily items we can so easily access, and to reject society’s demeaning stereotype of ‘homeless’ people.

Katia Pietrolungo

While it was a little confronting, I was surprised to find that the people served were just like us. Their stories were varied, and they were genuinely open and happy for just a chat. 

Alessia Latina

This experience has allowed me to appreciate the simple things I have access to and changed my outlook to not take life for granted because it can change very quickly. 

Chelsea Reid

Bond University National High School Mooting Competition

Just a few weeks ago, Alessia Graziano, Tara Clark and myself were privileged enough to represent Ave Maria College in the Bond University National High School Mooting Competition. The national competition brings together schools from every state and territory who battle it out in front of real judges, barristers and members of the legal profession. This year the competition was held at the Bond University Faculty of Law, Queensland.

For those unaware of what exactly mooting is, it is the oral presentation of a legal issue or problem against an opposing counsel and before a judge. As students, it is perhaps the closest experience that we could have compared to appearing in court.

After weeks of preparing the facts of the case, our day in court finally arrived. Walking into a mock court was daunting yet exciting. The case we were arguing was quite complex and difficult. As the respondents to a civil case, we were arguing on behalf of a large company that claimed they were not to be found liable for the actions of third parties, which ultimately led to an injury on their own premises. Even though we knew the facts of the case back to front, the judges managed to ask us questions about the case in a light we had never even thought of before. This required great confidence and expectation to think on the spot in order to bring justice to the very complicated and skill-required activity, which is mooting.

At the end of our submission to the bench, the most valuable experience followed – a discussion with the judges whereby they provided feedback on our performance. All in all, this feedback was quote positive, the judges believed that our preparation and confidence was to be commended, yet just like anything, there is always room for improvement.

On behalf of the other students and myself, I think it is fair to say that being up on location at the Faculty of Law at Bond University, allowed us to put our knowledge and skill regarding our studies into practice. We would like to thank the College, and our supervising teachers Mr Moss and Mr Spanti especially, for providing us this opportunity, which was definitely highlight of our education so far, here at Ave.

Sara Hinton, Year 11

Lab Rats

From engineering and physics to botany, pathology and chemistry each week has provided our students with an opportunity to take part in an experiment showcasing the many fields of science that may one day lead to an exciting career.

In week 7 of Lab Rats our scientists were busy at work dissecting hearts and learning all about how this vital organ pumps blood around our bodies.

Lab Rats will ultimately conclude with the students taking all they have learnt about scientific method. This will involve the design of an experiment, before presenting their findings to their peers and a panel of judges (VCE Science students).

Mr Kristian Davies - Domain Leader Science

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.

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.

Buy a new Membership and get a

BONUS $10 Priceline eGift Card!

Right now until Midnight June 1st, when you buy an Entertainment Membership you will also receive a bonus $10 Priceline eGift Card!



Community Events

Back to Ave Day

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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