Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 96 No 8• 30 August 2019


Loving God, we thank you bringing us to the end of Winter. May we take the lessons we have learned from our slowing down and embrace this time of new life in spring.

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

Loving God, may we love this created world as You love it. 

Help us to transform this universe from within by seeing Christ in the heart of matter in all peoples, creatures, elements, stars and galaxies. 

We realise that such vision requires openness to new relationships, new ideas abandoning messianic expectations, accepting incompleteness as part of life, recovering the capacity of wonder and living in the primacy of love. 

Help us to realise that You are intimately involved in our personal lives; 

Assure us that we have the capacity to heal this earth and bind its wounds in love. 

We pray this in union with St Francis and all who have deeply loved Your creation. 


Sr Ilia Delio osf, from The Emergent Christ 

This prayer was shared by Sr Heather Weedon FMM at our most recent Board of Governance meeting. As a female theologian, cosmologist and Franciscan, Sr Ilia Delio writes powerfully of God’s creation and humanity’s vital role as collaborators, with God, in healing and renewing the earth. 

On this theme, several weeks ago I had the pleasure of hearing another female theologian speak, Dr Carmody Grey. A young woman in her thirties, she too spoke powerfully about our relationship with the environment. Carmody challenged us by suggesting that humanity and our relationship to the environment needs to beware a culture of ‘anthropocentrism’; that the earth and its resources all centre around us, that nothing has any purpose other than to serve us.  Carmody proposed the following that we might reflect upon: 

“What I think something IS, will determine how I treat it.” 

“Creation is a web of relationships, reality is a web of relationships, faith is a web of relationships.”  

Therefore, what I think each of these IS, will determine how I threat them.  Something to think about! 


Congratulations to all students and staff involved in such an outstanding College Production of Grease. Sell out crowds last Friday and Saturday evening, along with great numbers at our final show last Sunday marvelled at the talent of our students in singing, acting and dancing. Congratulations to students involved in the Crew who ensured precision in all things behind the scenes. We were very proud of the Creative Team consisting of Senior Students and staff who brought the Show to us with such professionalism, energy and grace.  


At this time of year, and in conjunction with Student Subject Selections and staffing intentions, we begin in earnest preparations for 2020. Following a review of the Careers service within the College, I am pleased to advise that we are seeking to increase and enhance our service delivery of Careers Education at Ave Maria College. This will see the appointment of a Careers Education Leader who will ensure, with their team, that all students receive the very best careers learning, advice and assistance in preparing for their journey beyond Ave Maria College. A first step in this has been the development of the Careers website, under the direction of Ms Jess Hall and in collaboration with Ms Helen Aliaga.   

 Elizabeth Hanney

Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

Learner Attributes Report Term 3 and Parent-Teacher-Student Interviews

Learner Attributes Reports will be available via the Parent Access Module (PAM) on Wednesday, 4 September 2019.  Each subject teacher will provide an indication of your daughter’s demonstration of the six Learner Attributes, thereby providing an outline of her approach to learning during Term Three.

Parent-Teacher-Student (PTS) interviews are a key part of the on-going parent-teacher relationship at the College, and we encourage all parents/carers to take the opportunity to discuss your daughter’s progress in Term 3 at the Year 7 – 10 PTS interviews. 

 The interviews will take place on:

·         Wednesday, 11 September  2019 1.30p.m. – 8.00p.m. (This is a Student Free Day)

The booking process is as follows:

•       Interviews are booked via the Parent Access Module (PAM) on the College website. Please log into PAM using your previously supplied login details and book your appointments.

•       Parents will book interviews of five minutes duration with teachers; please ensure you leave a gap between each appointment to allow for movement between interviews.

•       Parents will also be able to make appointments with their daughter’s Mentor Teacher. 

•       Teachers will use the system to request interviews with those parents they would particularly like to see. These requests will be visible when you log in. 

•       The Parent-Teacher-Interview system will be open for parents to make bookings one week prior to the interviews, from 9.00am Wednesday, 4 September 2019 and closes 4.00pm Tuesday, 10 September 2019.

Michelle Robertson

Deputy Principal - Students, Learning Culture and Growth

Late Arrivals and Absences

Non-attendance has a variety of effects on students, both academically and socially. Absenteeism can increase social isolation, including alienation and lack of engagement with the school community and peers, leading to emotional and behavioural difficulties.  

Every day counts

“ Every day counts and there is no ‘safe’ threshold for absences”

 There are many factors that influence student achievement, including teacher quality and student engagement. Attendance is also an important contributor to a student’s academic achievement – all school days matter. The correlation between absence and achievement is consistently negative and declines in achievement are evident with any level of absence. Although authorised absences and smaller amounts of absence were associated with only small declines in achievement, all absences count.

Ave Maria College is committed to providing high quality education and classes commence each day at 8.40am. Any student who is not ready for class with materials by 8.40am is late and will be issued an incident. Our expectations are that students arrive at the College by 8.30am, giving them time to unpack their bags and collect the correct materials required for Period 1.

A reminder that any absence must be parent notified and the College must be alerted to any absence. This can be done on the day by 9.00am via the Parent Access Module (PAM) or the Student Absence Line 9331 9359.

Angela Torelli

Director of Studies


The coming weeks are particularly busy for all students with assessment occurring in many of their subjects across all year levels. This can be a particularly stressful time so careful monitoring of deadlines and effective time management is essential to ensure that your daughter is able to perform to her capacity.  

I would ask that you please check the Parent Access Module (PAM) regularly to note any upcoming assessment dates, overdue task notifications and to read the feedback from teachers on all tasks submitted. The feedback provided by teachers on this continuous basis allows you to be informed in real time of your daughter’s progress and gives her targeted areas of improvement to work on. If you have any concerns about your daughter’s learning I would encourage you to contact the relevant subject teacher and to attend the upcoming Parent-Teacher-Student interviews.

Extended Absences

It is often at this time of year that families consider taking holidays which results in students having an extended absence. The College policy requires at least 1 month notification of this trip, with students required to discuss with each of their teachers the work they must complete whilst away. It is incumbent upon students to ensure these tasks set are done so they are best prepared to continue with their learning upon their return. Students completing VCE, whether it be Units 1-2 (Year 11) or Units 3-4 (Year 12) should not be taking extended leave. The interruptions to their studies has a profound impact on their learning and the ability for students to reach their capacity in both coursework and assessment. I would ask that you please consider this when planning any holidays either for the remainder of this year or in 2020.

VTAC Sessions

All Year 12 students have undertaken an Introduction to VTAC session where they have created their logins and learned how to navigate the preference system. I encourage you to be having conversations with your daughter about her preferences and pathways options, noting that all students should have completed their preferences before the conclusion of the term. For more information about VTAC, courses or pathways options please see www.avemariacareers.com

Jessica Hall

Director of Faith and Religious Education

Winter Sleepout

The Winter Sleepout is being held as this newsletter goes to press on Friday, 30 August 2019. It is held each year to raise money and awareness of the work of St Vincent de Paul, especially with the homeless. This is the Middle School Social Justice focus. Year 10 cohort are getting behind the Winter Sleepout itself while Year 9 students are encouraging members of the College community to donate warm clothing and blankets. The collection has begun and concludes on Friday, 6 September 2019.   

Ave Maria Day

This was not just the College Feast Day, it was also an opportunity to acknowledge the retirement of long-serving member of staff, Dr Helen Eischeid. While there were the formal ways in which she was acknowledged, the cheers and clapping that she spontaneously received when she entered Francis Hall prior to the commencement of Mass were a genuine and heartfelt tribute. President of Canonical Administrators, Fr Tony Feeney spoke powerfully to the College of the importance of making the most of the gifts that God has given us, seeing God’s hand at work in our lives every day. He also succeeded in getting the girls to raise the roof with the final ‘Amen’ and with their singing of the Hymn to St Francis. Our pilgrims going to Timor in September were blessed and the group attending the Australian Catholic Youth Festival were presented to the College. It was a wonderfully memorable celebration. 

Patrick Jurd

Director of Student Wellbeing

Late in Term 2 Mrs Joanne Thompson and I took six Year 8 students to Buckley Park College for a Respectful Relationships Student Forum on Bystander Training. Joining students from other Catholic and State primary and secondary schools all participants looked to gain a deeper understanding about being a positive bystander.

We were extremely proud of our students throughout the day as they participated fully in the activities and discussed different ways of bringing their knowledge back to the College. They agreed to lead a professional learning session for Ave Maria staff, which they conducted in Week 6. The students gave up their lunchtimes to organize their session and activities. They collaborated and compromised with each other, coming up with different ideas to make the session as effective as possible. Although they were nervous beforehand, they did a fantastic job. Their presentation and activities engaged the staff and gave them an insight into the work we are doing around Bystander Training.
Our next step will be for our Respectful Relationships students to recruit some more support to help them lead sessions in their Mentor Groups in the final week of term.

Student Reflection

Attending the Bystander Training seminar at Buckley Park College was the first step into learning all about this topic. Doing all the activities really deepened my understanding of what a bystander truly means and how we can have a positive effect of bullying scenarios. The group of girls and I had so much fun meeting and organising the presentation for the staff. We met various times to prepare our seminar for the teachers. We split ourselves up into pairs and did 3 of our favourite activities from the Buckley Park seminar.

Approaching the seminar, we practiced multiple times and were confident in what we were going to say and how we were going to present. The staff presentation was so much fun to do as all staff participated and I was able to make everyone laugh a few times which really boosted my confidence as a presenter. It was an honour to be selected to go to Buckley Park and I hope that I have this opportunity again. 

Madeline Piccione Year 8

We congratulate Chloe Huygen, Ella Colomer, Evelyn Zuccarelli, Grace Williamson, Madeline Piccione and Olivia Mangion of Year 8 for an outstanding effort and a wonderful session.

Coming up later in the term, will be sessions that address key issues that are relevant to teenagers. Year 10 students will hear from an external speaker about road safety, which is an important topic as they contemplate gaining their Learner’s permits.

In Year 11 we will cover some of the core elements of the Respectful Relationships program, including Safer Socializing. The topic of Gender and Identity will be covered in Religious Education classes. We follow the guidelines of Respectful Relationships and Catholic Education Melbourne in the teaching of this topic, with a focus on accepting our students as they are today and ensuring that they are part of an inclusive and embracing community. 

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

Dates to Diarise in Term 3

  • University / TAFE Open Days 2019 – throughout August 2019
  • Year 12 VTAC Timely Applications – throughout August and September 2019
  • VTAC SEAS and Scholarship applications open August and September 2019

ACU New Bachelor of Educational Studies

The new Bachelor of Educational Studies has been designed for students who are passionate about becoming teachers, but do not achieve the entry requirements to go directly into a Bachelor of Education (Primary) or the Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary).

Find out more at Bachelor of Educational Studies

Swinburne University Advice Nights

Swinburne’s Advice Nights are an opportunity for students to find out everything they need to know about courses, careers and what university life, and the juggle, is really like.  Hawthorn Advice Night – Wednesday, 18 September 2019 from 4.00pm – 6.00pm

Aviation Advice Night (Hawthorn Campus) – Wednesday, 18 September 2019 from 6.00pm – 8.00pm.

Register at Swinburne University Advice Nights

New Engineering Specialisation

Monash Engineering offers ten specialisations for students to choose from once they complete the common first year.  In 2020, the Mechatronics specialisation will transition into Robotics and Mechatronics, and will incorporate two new streams of study - AI and Automation. 

Find out more at Robotics and Mechatronics

Diagnostic Imaging Courses at CQU Melbourne

CQU offers a variety of Diagnostic Imaging Courses for students interested in Science and Healthcare.

Bachelor of Medical Sonography/ Graduate Diploma of Medical Sonography

Bachelor of Echocardiography and Cardiac Physiology/ Graduate Diploma of Echocardiography

Helen Aliaga

Student Achievement - Amelia Cain

Amelia Cain, Year 10 recently took 4th place at the World Karate Tournament in Osaka.

Participating in Kyokushin Karate, a full contact fighting style, Amelia took the current World Champion to an extension to find a winner as they were too close for the 6 referees to call a winner. 

With over 1900 competitors and 200 in Amelia’s U16 age group Amelia's 4th placing is an amazing result.

 After returning to Australia Amelia then fought for the Australian National Title in Sydney and WON!!

Amelia Cain is the current Australian under 16 Champion – Full Contact Karate Champion.

Congratulations Amelia, your success and dedication is fantastic.

Around the College


The Clocktower Centre was brought to life last weekend with the Ave Maria College 2019 Production of Grease. After five months of rehearsals and preparation, over 60 students showcased their talents to three audiences and impressed the wider community with an entertaining, professional and vibrant show.

Congratulations to all members of the cast, crew and dance chorus on their dedication, resilience and enthusiasm. Each student developed and shared their immense talents with the community, formed beautiful friendships with their peers and grew into confident and brilliant young performers.

Our Production Student Leaders shone this year, supporting and mentoring their peers and working tirelessly to ensure each student had an enriching experience. These girls embody what it means to be a driven, creative and compassionate 'Ave Girl'. Congratulations to Abbey Crowley, Madeline Saxton, Georgia Wheaton, Joanna Ckuj and Giuliana Lombardi.

A show like Grease only happens with the support of many. I would like to thank the College Executive and Administrative, Maintenance and Arts staff for their ongoing support over the year, as well as the dynamic team of teaching staff who generously gave their time and talents during Production Week.

Finally, thank you to the wonderful creative team of Mr Craig Minty, Ms Melanie Zahra and Mr Claude Ferrarese for creating lifelong memories for our students.

Olivia Pearce - Performing Arts Leader

Inaugural Literary Week Festival

Literary Week was a weeklong celebration of all things books in the newly refurbished Helene Library.

Thanks to all the students and staff who participated in the fun competitions with lots of prizes won! 

The daily emoji quiz was very popular and overall more than 230 people participated in the very first Literary Week. 

The award-winning Will Kostakis entertained students with his engaging stories and autographed many books.

The week ended with parents and students attending Books and Breakfast in the Library with bestselling author and screenwriter Anna Snoekstra.

Laura Pugliese - Helene Library Leader

2020 Extended Study Tour to Italy

The College is currently taking applications for the 2020 Extended Study Tour to Italy.

The Italy Study Tour is offered to 2020 students in Years 10, 11 and 12 studying Italian and Year 11 and 12 students studying Studio Arts, Visual Communication and Design and Media.

See Mrs Godoy,  Extended Study Tour Leader for further information.

Community Events

Year 7 - 10 Parent-Teacher-Student (PTS) Interviews

Year 7 – 10 Parent-Teacher-Student (PTS) Interviews will take place at the College on 
Wednesday, 11 September 2019 from 1.30pm – 8.00pm.

Bookings open Wednesday, 4 September 2019 and can be made via the
 Parent Access Module (PAM)

Please note; this is a Student Free Day

Click here to access the College Parent Access Module (PAM)
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