Newsletter . Volume 14 . 15th September 2016

From The Principal: Chris Caldow

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Without wanting to give the alleged ISIS threat any more publicity or acknowledgement, I have included part of the speech that I gave on Friday at our College Assembly.  Clearly a number of families believed the threat to be credible as there was a significantly increased number of students absent from school on Friday.


“I would like to speak today about terrorism and more particularly the threats made by ISIS.  3 days ago an ISIS magazine came out which encouraged terrorists to commit acts of violence on the streets of Brunswick, Broadmeadows, Bankstown and Bondi”. Yesterday one of the TV networks reported in the morning news that ISIS were threatening the Broadmeadows Railway Station. The College have phoned relevant authorities who are not aware of any specific threat but asked that we keep a regular level of vigilance.

In times such as these, it is natural to feel scared or frightened and I know that there has been a lot of discussion about these events between students.  However, this is exactly what the terrorists are hoping to do in releasing this information.  They are hoping to change your behaviour through fear and create uncertainty in the minds of the general public.  We cannot allow these terrorists to change our behaviour as by doing so we are assisting them in achieving their aims. Nothing can be taken for granted and we take every threat seriously, however there is no change to the threat level,” The Premier, Daniel Andrews said that “It’s important that we go about our business and send a message that we won’t be intimidated by these threats.”

It is natural to be scared or afraid but these fears are often irrational.  Often we hear of shark attacks at different beaches but that doesn’t stop us going to the beach.  Obviously if the shark has been spotted at the beach where you are then you would think more carefully about going in!  Fear is a powerful emotion but we cannot let it rule our life.  If you did then you wouldn’t step foot outside your house as you may be hit by a bus or involved in some random act of violence even though these events are highly unlikely.

I would like to read to you a poem that has been attributed to Mother Teresa that speaks of the essence of her as a person and is particularly relevant at this point in time:

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centred.  Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.


Family School Partnerships

The evidence clearly supports the theory that those parents who are engaged in their child’s learning assist their children in achieving the best outcomes.  It also suggests students who get the most out of schools such as Penola Catholic College are those who enthusiastically embrace the educational, cultural, sporting and social justice offerings available. One of my starting points for my discussion is the critical way the partnership between family and school develops – and overtime, has a quantum impact on the education of the students. I regularly make the point that school and family must work in close alignment with one another.

CBC St Kilda Newsletter Term 3 Number 13 cultivating boys’ character 2

The things we do at school are strengthened if they are in sync with the things that occur at home; and here, I particularly discuss the vital importance of developing right from the beginning, good home study habits, as well as the appropriate and safe use of ICT. For example, I make the point that the application of home study in the junior years can be a bit controversial. In one sense, home study can be a fairly ineffectual activity, inasmuch that it does not greatly impact on the day to day learning of the students – that is, until they reach senior school. However, in another sense home study is a remarkably valuable activity because of the way effective, productive habits are formed through its regular application. What home study achieves at an early age, is the forming of patterns of behaviour, among them the crucial participation of parents in their learning which reinforces that school and home ‘are one’. But as well as this, learning regularity, self-discipline and steady application become acquired skills that translate into embedded habits for later years.


We have a very strong commitment to developing learning programs that are highly engaging for students and call on them to have levels of independence, creativity and critical thinking that expand their mental capacities in all sorts of ways. But there is another side to learning, which was once a highly prized dimension of learning and now might be viewed as the poor cousin to this more attractive part of our educational endeavours; and that part of learning is the steady development of skills and habits of both mind and body. These are capabilities that are slowly absorbed and accrue to develop and deepen the capacity of the students in later years, and for life.


Staff who choose to work in Catholic schools often make a conscious choice to work in this environment.  It is often said that teaching is a vocation which requires equal measures of faith, patience and perseverance.  The reasons why people choose to work within Catholic education are many and varied but I am sure that the Holy Spirit is involved in some of these decisions.  Working in a Catholic school presents many challenges but also many rewards.


When speaking with prospective staff members, one of the first questions that I ask is why have you chosen to apply for a position at Penola?  This is generally followed by another question such as what does it mean to support the Catholic ethos of a school?

When listening to the responses, I am seeking to get an understanding of the motivations of the prospective staff member as well as the role that faith plays in their own life.  Parents are the primary educators of each child’s faith but we recognise that within Catholic schools a key role is to help support the students in their own faith journeys.  Therefore the questions about support of the Catholic ethos go to the heart of whether the person applying for the job is aware of the importance of faith development in our students and, more importantly, in their willingness to provide support in this area.



A key element in helping your child to succeed at the College is communication between you and your child’s teachers. While the student diary is the primary means of communication between teachers and families we also encourage other means of communication.  The email addresses of all staff at the College is the first initial of the Christian name followed by their surname, for example Mrs Sue Delaney.  Sue’s email address is sdelaney@penola.vic.edu.au .


We hope that this will further facilitate our ability to work closely with you in catering for the welfare and educational needs of your child.  Your child’s Homeroom teacher should be the first port of call for any enquiries with the school.  Please feel free to make contact with me if you have concerns that are unable to be resolved by your child’s Homeroom teacher, subject teacher, Year Level Coordinators or Head of Campus.


Year 12 Information Night

Thanks to the many Year 12 parents who attended the Year 12 Information Night on Wednesday August 31. These are very important occasions and knowing the effort that goes into them by our staff it is always pleasing to see so many in attendance. I hope the information you received was positive and will be useful in knowing our expectations for the upcoming weeks and the ways in which the school will acknowledge your sons and daughters as they complete their secondary education.

I would like to publically thank all Year 12 parents for their support of Catholic education and Penola Catholic College. In particular, I would like to thank those parents whose last child is completing their education at Penola Catholic College.  We hope that this is not the end of our association and that you will encourage your children to continue their association with the College through the Collegians Association.


Father’s Day Breakfast

On Friday of last week the College celebrated Fathers’ Day with a breakfast followed by an informative speech from Tony Wilson. Over a hundred father’s came to school at the early hour of 8:00am on Friday, 2 September to join the celebration of Father’s Day. Tony spoke about his own father and the role modelling and impact that he had upon him. He also spoke about his own journey as a father of four young children and the challenges that he had faced as a father.

It would be easy to become a little cynical about days like Fathers’ Day due to the fact that it has been hijacked by commercial interests. However, the original idea of reflecting on the importance of fathers and other significant males in our lives is important and I encourage you to do this.

It’s the day in the year when men stereotypically receive a pair of socks, a shirt or a bad tie, however if this is all it is then we have missed the point. Fathers, for the most part, don’t want or expect much; most are satisfied with the knowledge that they are loved and respected by their children.

Father’s Day is very special to me. Although receiving gifts is fun, it is not what I look forward to most. The two things I do focus on are; how fortunate I am to be blessed with two beautiful children and that being a dad is the most important job that I’ll ever have. A job that neither I nor any father ever receives formal training for. A job where there is no retirement age, a job we will never master, but a job that brings the greatest of joys, the deepest of learning and a job that defines who we are.

As fathers, I believe our job is to make family our greatest priority. Our children should never have a moment’s uncertainty about whether they are loved, that they are believed in, whether they are supported, or whether they belong. These are the great responsibilities of fatherhood.

I also believe as fathers we should never lose sight of the things we can learn from our kids. The influence our children can have on their parents is widely under-rated. I know that I’m continuing to learn and change through my kids every day. I think parents spend twenty years raising their kids, and about half-way through that process, the kids start raising their parents as well. In the end, everyone is better off – the older generation passes on its wisdom to the young, and the younger generation keeps us in touch, keeps us young.

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani

Last Friday, our elected student leaders for 2017 were commissioned at our final College Assembly for the term. Congratulations to Darina Carvalho and Stavro Marogi who were commissioned as College Captains. Congratulations also to the appointed Portfolio Captains: Gabrielle Ifi (Christian Service), Isabella Polimeni (Performing Arts), James Warren (Academic Excellence), Jake Coutinho (Applied Learning), Matilda Ryan (Sports) and Ashley Milich …

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From the Deputy Principal: Head of Junior Campus Stuart Harrison

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Junior Campus Stuart Harrison

It has been a busy month on the junior campus with many activities taking place on and off the campus as well as some sporting achievements. Thank you to the science department for the engaging and wide variety of activities for staff and students during science week. One of the activities was by James a former Penola student who is …

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From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan

From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan

Parents & Friends Association Penola Community Market

The Penola Parents & Friends Association is having its first Community Market on Thursday the 6th of October between 3:30pm and 7:30pm. Please see more information on the flyer in this newsletter. Last week every Year 7 and 8 student received a letter regarding a free shuttle bus that will be provided on …

Read more.



Congratulations to the 207 Year 7-12 students at Penola Catholic College who participated in the Australian Mathematics Competition. Results of the competition were very pleasing. One student received a certificate of High Distinction, 14 students received a Certificate of Distinction, 60 achieved a Credit and 59 achieved a Proficiency Certificate.

All entrants received at least a Certificate of Participation and an individual performance report.

Adrian Alessio from Year 11 received a High Distinction (top 2% in the state)

The following students received Distinctions (top 15% in the state)

Year 7    Phi-Phi Nguyen 7F, Mikaela Borg 7E, Emily Collings 7F

Year 8    David Nguyen 8F, Christopher Ainsworth 8F, Vu Hoang 8G, Samuel Tunnacliffe 8E, Hannah Tran 8G

Year 9    Nathan Gallagher 9I, Daniel Alessio 9L

Year 10  Thomas Morrison 10E, Jason Li 10G, Jesse Osrecak 10I

Year 11  Daniel Bertone 11D



I’d like to take this opportunity on behalf of all Maths Staff to wish students in Year 12 Further Maths, Maths Methods and Specialist Maths all the very best as they conclude their academic year and begin a rigorous study routine. I encourage students to prepare well for their practice exams in the second week of the holidays, as this will place them in good stead as they continue to prepare for their final exams and will ensure that they perform to the best of their ability.

Pam Johnson

Head of Mathematics Learning Area.


Penola’s Regional Italian Transition Poetry Competition

Penola’s Regional Italian Transition Poetry Competition for 2016 has yet again been a great success. This year nine of our fourteen feeder Primary Schools have taken part. Hundreds of students have recited a poem in Italian and were judged by our Italian teachers.

The grade 6 finalists then recited their poem again in order to award our Regional winners for 2016 by our Italian Assistant.

Our winners for 2016 are:

1st St. Carlo’s Alexandra Priestley

2nd St. Matthew’s Elisa Blancato and Mia El-Khoury

3rd St. Oliver’s Giorgia Franzoni, St. Mark’s Tiana Marchio and from St. Dominic’s Madison Romao


Here are some of the comments from our Regional winners for 2016:

Hi, my name is Alexandra Priestley and I am in year 6 at St. Carlo Borromeo Primary School. This year myself and many other people attended the Penola Poetry Competition for 2016. The poem I chose was “Al Mercato” which means “The Market”. I chose this poem because as soon as I read it I already had an idea of how to present it and what props I could use. The props I used were foods that were mentioned in the market such as meat and jam and a basket to carry them in. I used one of my dance outfits which was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz that made me look like a young lady going to the market. I put in a lot of effort to practice and make it perfect to recite it in front of the judge. I was a very lucky girl as I recieved 1st place twice at regionals and my school competition. I felt very confident and excited to present my poem at regionals because I had practiced every time I had a spare moment. I was really proud of my achievement!


I was really nervous at the start but after practicing I knew my poem off by heart. I had a great and wonderful experience. I’m glad that I placed 3rd in the competition and that I took part. It has been an honour to also to take part in the regionals. It was a privilege for St Matthews to win 2nd place. This has been a wonderful experience that I will never forget. I would also like to thank Signora Cesile for helping me achieve my goal.                                                            

By Elissa Blancato


I first started off as a very shy and doubtful person but I finally had the courage to put my hand up and take on the challenge. I really enjoyed the opportunity as part of my last year at primary school. It has been an honour to be part of the regionals. I love Italian and will never forget this experience and the pleasure of being an Italian student. I would like to thank Signora Cesile for her help.             

By Mia El-Khoury


Sincere thanks must go to the nine feeder schools and their Italian teachers, for their hard work in preparing the students. A special thanks to all the students involved.  Thanks also to our devoted Italian teachers who have assisted with the judging, Professoressa Mancuso, Professoressa Pace and our Italian Assistant Martina.

We look forward to continuing to foster our rapport with our Feeder schools and our love for the Italian language in 2016.


Professoressa Franzoni


BATTLE OF THE BANDS – 2016 – Super 70s Show

Friday August 12th saw Penola Catholic College host the 2016 Battle of the Bands Competition. What a sensational event this has become.  Out of the 23 bands performing we had six outstanding contributions from Penola.  Gladstone Park Secondary College, Hume Central Secondary College, Hume Anglican Grammar and this year we welcomed Overnewton Anglican Community were also well represented on the evening.  Battle of the Bands gives students the opportunity to perform at a professional level.

Without a doubt it’s a most rewarding experience for all involved.  The standard of performances was amazing as the bands smashed out classic songs from the 70s.  We are pleased to announce that Olivia Bruns of Year 9 took out Best Junior Performer and our very own Lincoln Avenue (Lewis Ciavarella, Lorenzo Romeo, Alex Weaver, Matt Capuana and Huyen Nguyen) knocked everyone’s socks off with their renditions of The Beatles – I Want You / She’s so Heavy followed by a great version of Neil Diamond’s Crunchy Granola Suite that had the whole audience rocking and taking out the prize for Best Senior Band.

A huge thank you to all involved with the night including our amazing instrumental teachers Mr Michael Hanley and Mr Ben Stivala who along with Mr Maddocks, Mr Linton, Mrs Lee and Mr Greatwood make the night the much anticipated annual community event it has become.

The Performing Arts Department

Sport Report by Brett Dickinson

Sport Report by Brett Dickinson

This year the group travelled to Adelaide for a 3 day tour in late August to compete and connect with others of the same age involved in the Josephite Tradition.

39 students and 7 staff had a fantastic time jam packed with plenty of sporting action. All students involved competed fantastically and conducted themselves in a manner in which they can be proud to have represented Penola.

A huge thank you to all staff involved and a congratulations to all students who took part! Results from the Tour with pictures are featured below.



Second Hand Uniform Sales


Fortnightly: TUESDAYS at Broadmeadows Campus from 8.45am until 10.30am

Term 3:       9th August,  23rd August,  6th September

Term 4:     4th October,  18th October,  8th November,  22nd November,  6th December

Anybody who wishes to sell their freshly dry cleaned second hand uniform items, can do so by leaving them at Reception.  A small fee will be charged for postage and handling.

All items must show they have been dry cleaned by having dry cleaning tag attached. 


Academy Uniforms

238 Wolseley Place,


Ph: 9460 8011

Academy Uniforms also run a school shop service at Broadmeadows Campus in the current second hand uniform area in the Mannes building on:

Wednesday mornings from 8:00 - 9:30am

Thursday afternoons from 2:30 - 4:00pm


Academy Uniforms are now ON-LINE

- Simply go to www.academyuniforms.com.au


- Choose Penola Catholic College and enter password Broadmeadows

Orders can be sent to the School Shop or home address.


Penola Catholic College

Junior Campus: 35 William Street, Glenroy, VIC 3046
Senior Campus: 29 Gibson Street, Broadmeadows, VIC 3047

Postal Address:
PO Box 637, Glenroy, VIC

Telephone:(03) 9301-2777
Fax:(03) 9301-2770