Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 96 No 10 • 1 November 2019


Loving God, bless our Year 12 students and their families throughout the examination period. Give the girls the grace and strength to do their best.

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

Fond Farewell and Blessings to the Class of 2019 

What a wonderful cohort of Women of Ave, the Class of 2019. Last week they were given a fitting farewell marked by appreciation and admiration for the gifts given to our community during their time with us. This fine group of young women were acknowledged for three distinctive contributions to the life of the College: their very evident love for each other and for Ave Maria; their positivity and resilience throughout the highs and lows of 2019; their commitment to making the most of this important year, in pursuing excellence in their studies. Individually and collectively, our community of faith, learning and growth has been enhanced by the energy and life of the Class of 2019. We thank them and wish them every blessing as they now prepare to sit exams and enter a new and exciting chapter in life.  

To live out your most precious dreams, to blossom into the best possible version of yourself, to grow into your full power, to find your own voice and to use it, that is the purpose of your life, the reason you were created. In the end, that is what good teaching, good parenting, good friendship, good religion and good art are about – to convince you of the beauty of your one wild and precious life, how to make it flourish and how to share life with all. To be fully alive is the greatest gift you can give to yourself, to God and to the universe. Don’t ask what the world can give you. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go and do that. Because, what the world needs is people who have come alive.”  Fr Daniel O’Leary 

New Leadership in 2020 

In recent weeks we have been delighted to announce the 2020 Year 12 Student Leadership Team. Included in this newsletter is a full listing of students elected to hold these important roles next year and we congratulate them. All students who nominated and those  subsequently appointed are wonderful ambassadors for a community working to ensure the vision of educating strong women of truth and love. The entire student body and broader community will be eminently well served next year by the Student Leadership Team and we congratulate them at this exciting time. 

Last Friday, in coming Principal Tanya Hutton was introduced to the staff as well as a number of students, including the 2020 College Captains, Danielle Reed and Claudia Fox.  Ms Hutton was given a typically warm welcome and she very much enjoyed seeing the College in action. Over the coming weeks Ms Hutton’s induction will continue during which time she hopes to meet more students, members of the College Executive and Board of Governance.   

At this time of endings and new beginnings we announce that Mrs Jessica Hall, Director of Studies has been appointed Deputy Principal, Learning and Teaching at Marymede College, South Morang.

As an outstanding educator and leader we know that Mrs Hall will be missed. We also know that her appointment is richly deserved and that she will be a great asset and gift to Marymede College.

Board Vacancies

At the end of this year, two members of the College Board of  Governance will vacate their roles as a result of completing their appointed terms of office. Mr Neil Saxton and Mrs Julianne Tkaczuk have given dedicated, generous and expert service to the College Board and sub committees throughout their time, for the benefit of our community. Ms Tkaczuk has served as Chair of the Board, with distinction, for the last two years. 

This creates two vacancies for new parent representatives on the Board of Governance. Expressions of Interest are called from those wishing to share their expertise in supporting the work of the College in the years ahead. Please visit the Board of Governance page on the College website for further information. 

Elizabeth Hanney

Graduation Prayer (written by Mrs Joanne Thompson, Junior School Leader)

Heavenly Father,

Give grace and courage to our Year 12 students who have worked hard and now greet this time of graduation.

We thank you for protecting and guiding them to this point and surrounding them with your grace.

We ask that your almighty hand be upon them as they approach their final examinations.

Inspire the graduates to put to good use all the knowledge, skills and life lessons gained through their education at Ave Maria College.

Most importantly, as they face unknown challenges and difficulties, help them to keep dear all the wisdom they have attained.

 As their high school journey comes to a close and another eagerly awaits.

Pave their road with opportunities and inspire our Year 12’s to live with hope in this incredible journey called life.

Bless Ms Stangherlin for her positive guidance and tutelage.

Continue to bless the graduates to stay true to their dreams, to use their gifts wisely, and to walk into the future with faith, so that they flourish.   And may hope be a light that the graduating Class of 2019 carry into each new day.


Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

Year 7-11 Final Assessments and Examinations

The mid-point of Term 4 is upon us and that means classes at Years 7-11 will be finalising Semester Two assessments and preparing for the end of year examinations! Teachers will shortly be distributing ‘Revision Guides’ to assist students in understanding what key areas of the course needs to be revised for the exam. Students should begin preparing revision notes and commence the revision process in readiness for the end of year exams. Examinations are a positive learning opportunity to demonstrate the skills and knowledge learned and practised throughout the year.

CEMSIS Survey 2019

Thank you to the families who took the time to complete the CEMSIS survey last term. We are currently analysing the survey data to inform our Annual Action Plan for 2020. This process will involve consultation with the whole Ave Maria College community. 

Michelle Robertson

Deputy Principal - Students, Learning Culture and Growth


As part of our ongoing partnership with families our aim is to communicate regularly. As a College we utilize the Parent Access Module (PAM) to inform parents/carers of excursions, incursions and events that are occurring. We also use PAM to inform parents of incidents students have received. In order to support this process, Mentor Teachers are also making contact with home after a student has been issued 3 incidents. This has been implemented to alert parents/carers to the type of incident received and also remind them of the College policy that after 5 incidents a student will be required to attend a 30 minute after school detention. In the detention students are required to complete a series of restorative questions helping them reflect on their choices and asking them to think about how to change their behavior. Mentor Teachers then discuss the reflection with students. This process of building relationships is essential in helping all students respect the rights of other students and members of our College community.

Part of this process is also rewarding positive behavior and staff issue students with Commendations. Students are also acknowledged through our Student of the Term Awards and Year Level Assemblies. As a College we are an accredited restorative practices community and this underpins our whole school approach to managing behavior. We have expectations of both staff and students to work together in building positive relationships across the community.

Angela Torelli

Director of Studies

VCAA Examinations

Our Year 12 cohort have finished formal classes with the majority of our students commencing the examination period on Wednesday, 30 October 2019 when the English examination is held.

The  “VCE Exams Navigator 2019” outlines all of the rules and regulations regarding the upcoming examination including a timetable that may be a useful reference. Students are reminded to allow plenty of time to arrive at school prior to the commencement of their examination, also considering their leaving time from home and accounting for any mishaps that can occur with transport.
Year 11 students completing a VCAA examination are required to return to normal class following the conclusion of their examination.

I wish students all the best throughout the examination period and trust that they will continue to prepare themselves to perform at their very best on the day. Their consistency and dedication throughout the year and most recently shown during the revision period has been very impressive.

End of Year Examinations

The remainder of the College will also engage in end of year examinations. The examination dates are as follows:

Years 10 – 11: Friday, 15 November – Friday, 22 November 2019

Year 7- 9: Wednesday, 27 November – Friday, 29 November 2019

The examination timetable for Years 10 and 11 has been published on Knowledge Banks and Skoolbag. The timetable for junior school examinations will be published in the coming weeks.

Students will be provided with an examination revision guide to help assist them with targeting their studies. In the meantime I would ask that you encourage your daughter to ensure she has a full set of notes, is reading over her texts and devising a study plan in order to best prepare for her examinations. This time of year is particularly busy with assessments but beginning examination preparation early will alleviate a lot of stress during the revision period. 

Jessica Hall

Director of Faith and Religious Education

The Year 12 students are now completing their final examinations. Their farewell, both at school in a handover to the Year 11 students and at the Mass at St Therese’s on Wednesday, 23 October 2019 with their families, was done with dignity and respect.
We wish them well whatever the future holds for them.

After a process of consultation with students and staff I announce that the 2020 College theme, which is a quote from Helene de Chappotin is ‘True power is love’.
A banner is being prepared and you will hear more in due course.

The Environment Ambassadors did great work this year in the areas of awareness, education and action and also prepared an Annual Action Plan which is a great starting point and legacy for future work in caring for God’s creation.

Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) instigated Partnering to Learn Collectives in RE. We have participated this year, partnering with St Columba’s, to support a pedagogy of encounter. Those staff who have participated in the meetings, as well as the Religious Education Domain as a whole, through funding which allowed vital time for planning, have found this collaboration very enriching.
We are looking to continue this partnership into 2020.

Patrick Jurd

God speaks to each of us as he makes us, then walks with us silently out of the night. These are the words we dimly hear: You, sent out beyond your recall, go to the limits of your longing. Embody me. Flare up like flame and make big shadows I can move in. Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror. Just keep going. No feeling is final. Don’t let yourself lose me. Nearby is the country they call life. You will know it by its seriousness. Give me your hand. Rainer Maria Rilke

Director of Student Wellbeing

Our students are approaching examinations at each year level, with our Year 12 students embarking on their final secondary examinations this week. This is a period of increased stress and anxiety for many students (and their families).

Preparation and planning are key to reducing stress during this time. Planning might include preparing a study timetable or creating a schedule to manage home study, assessment preparation and exam preparation. Students can also ensure that they have a quiet space at home that is organized to support efficient study. By setting time aside each day, study can be broken up into manageable chunks. This might mean cutting back on work or commitments after school or on weekends until the exam period is over.

Limiting distractions can help students focus and concentrate better. Distractions include mobile phones, a nearby TV or people talking. Students can turn off notifications for a period of time to allow them the mental space to concentrate.

Social interaction is important during this time, but students should be aware of the nature of that interaction. Attending parties or staying out late can impact on the ability to concentrate as students can be tired in the days following. Spend time with friends that relaxes you and supports positive thinking.

It is important that students practice good self-care during these final weeks. This includes getting enough quality sleep, taking regular breaks, exercising each day and eating a relatively healthy diet. Although it is tempting to reach for fast food and sweets while studying, good nutrition helps concentration.

Winding down at the end of the day is important. Students need to ensure that they switch off in preparation for sleep. Have a bath, herbal tea or try some meditation to help you slow down. The Smiling Mind app provides some great meditations to help your mind and body relax.

Students should monitor their wellbeing throughout this time, don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. If you find that you are becoming very anxious, that you can’t sleep or that your thoughts are overly negative come and speak to the College Counsellor, your Mentor Teacher, Year Level Leader or Subject Teacher. We can help you address any concerns and support you with study techniques to help you prepare. If you find that you are becoming concerned about how you are feeling, and you don’t want to talk to someone at school, you can contact your GP for a referral to a counsellor or psychologist.

For further support, students and families can also contact:

Kids Helpline: https://kidshelpline.com.au/

Headspace: https://headspace.org.au/

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

VTAC Dates

VTAC Personal Statement - Friday, 6 December 2019

ATARs Released - Thursday ,12 December 2019

CoP for December Round Offers closes – Saturday, 14 December 2019

December Round Offers- Wednesday, 18 December 2019

CoP closes – Friday, 20 December 2019

January Round Domestic Offers – Wednesday, 15 January 2020

February Offer Rounds – Monday, 3 February 2020 onwards

VCE Study Scores, ATAR and VTAC Scaled Study Scores

VCE Study Scores, ATAR and VTAC Scaled Study Scores will be available to students via the Results and ATAR website and the Results and ATAR App in December - https://resultsandatar.vic.edu.au/results/applicants.htm.  Students will receive a Statement of VCE Study Scores from the VCAA, and those who applied for courses through VTAC this year and have paid their VTAC processing fees will be sent an ATAR statement in the mail.

Students who wish to receive their results online, will need to register at https://resultsandatar.vic.edu.au/results/applicants.htm before results are released.

Registrations are already open, and students are encouraged to register soon.

To register, students need their VCAA student number and will be requested to choose a secure password on registering.

2019 Australian Jobs

In 2019, the Australian labour market is markedly different from that experienced by workers in past decades. Browse Australian Jobs to find out more.

For more information on any of the above please go the Ave Maria Careers website.

Helen Aliaga

Helene Library

The Helene Library staff wish the Year 12 cohort the very best of luck with their upcoming examinations.

Over ninety VCE students visited the library for individual study during the term break, making great progress towards their final examination preparations.

The Helene Library provides an inclusive and productive environment where all Year Levels can utilise resources and facilities in the most effective and valuable way to enhance learning outcomes.

Junior and middle school students continue to partake in Co-curricular lunchtime activities, de-stressing with a jigsaw puzzle at the library main desk and a 'Book in a Bottle' competition to be drawn on Friday, 1 November 2019.

Laura Pugliese, Helene Library Leader

Around the College

Year 11 Business Fair

The Year 11 Business Fair occurred on Thursday, 12 September 2019 during lunch time.

The Business Management students were tasked with undertaking market research through the format of word of mouth and school wide surveys, to develop a ‘product’ or ‘service’ that they could sell to their peers. The objective of this task was to appropriately price, market and order the correct quantity of their products to ensure that their ‘business’ broke even, and optimistically made a profit. This year, all 12 groups opted to sell food, including; KFC, dessert slices, cookies, hot chips, cupcakes and many more.

In preparation for this task, students learned about marketing techniques and tirelessly worked during class and at home to guarantee their businesses were a success. Marketing techniques such as making posters, using music, dancing and vocally promoting their products were used and on the day, the majority of the groups sold out of product, with every group breaking even and some making extremely high profits.

The profits of the Year 11 Business Fair will be donated to our sister school, St Maria Mazzarello, in Timor-Leste.

In classes after the conclusion of the Business Fair, students have been completing a group assessment task reflecting on their performance as a business, and will later complete a SAC that ensures that they are knowledgeable about the theory behind making and marketing a business.

Overall, the feedback from those who participated, was that it was an extremely positive and challenging, yet rewarding experience.

Year 9 Wellbeing Day

On Friday, 18 October 2019, Year 9 students had the pleasure of participating in their Wellbeing Day; one that was very useful and enjoyable. We engaged in various activities and workshops to prepare us for exams, de-stress and ways to strengthen our relationships with others.

First was a workshop by Elevate Education that was taught by university students on how to effectively study for our upcoming exams. Students learnt how to pay more attention and how to efficiently store and retrieve information.  The program informed us of techniques to use that we had never heard of before, involving us in fun, creative and unique ways to help us remember and retain the information. 

We then participated in a self-care session and made our own DIY Bath Bombs as a way to be able to take time out for ourselves. We got to choose colors and scents and created some amazing masterpieces.

The Respectful Relationships session led by Katherine who taught us how to de-stress and provided us with strategies and techniques we could use for the upcoming examination period. She also helped us meditate. We finished off this highly interactive and beneficial session with a friendship workshop. Katherine explained the different ways friends can impact on us and how we should act in a friendship.  We ended this by writing and sharing compliments to each other in order to strengthen our friendships and to let our friends know we love and care about them.

Overall, the Year 9 Wellbeing Day was very successful as we all had a great time and it provided an array of valuable techniques, skills and activities that can help our everyday lives.

Kate Maxwell and Alexandra Evans- Year Level Captains

2019 Arts and Technology Festival

On Wednesday, 16 October 2019 the College once again celebrated our annual Arts and Technology Festival in a most dynamic style, showcasing the many diverse and creative talents of our wonderful students. Through a combined display of Folio work of Year 12 VCE subjects Media, Studio Arts, including Product Design and Technology and Visual Communication Design, the third floor of the Mary Centre and our wonderful new space on Level 3 in Helene Province were transformed into exciting exhibition spaces allowing the Ave Maria College Community to acknowledge and experience varied and skillful practical folio work.

The Mary Centre featured collective displays of Visual Arts folio work from all areas of Years 7 to 11 and M205 became a theatre and featured the Year 12 Media Production films and the Year 11 Horror movies.

The melodic sounds of wonderful live music performances filled the Atrium of Helene Province, a spectacular space and perfect setting for our students to perform and audiences to engage.  Everyone enjoyed viewing the Textiles, VET Fashion, STEM and cooking demonstrations from Food Technology in the newly designed areas on ground level of Helene Province.

The evening was warmly supported by an overwhelming number of people to view the diverse and creative performances and range of styles on exhibition.

We finished in Francis Hall with VCE Music and Drama performances and the ever-popular fashion parade of the Year 12 Product Design Technology folio garments.

A wonderful evening enjoyed by all. 

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Please click here to view the 2019 Term Dates.