Newsletter . Volume 15 . 13th October 2016

From The Principal: Chris Caldow

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Term 4 Welcome

The term has begun and both the students and staff appear to be happy to be back at school. I hope that the holiday period was relaxing and that you were able to spend some quality time together as a family.

Term 4 within any school is a very unique term, and often in my imagination, the term seems like a period of continuous ‘count downs’, and I am sure many of the staff and students feel the same. Some of the countdowns include the last day of classes for our Year 12 students; the beginning of Year 12 examinations followed by Year 11 and 10 examinations. We also have a countdown to the Year 9 exams and then the many and various deadlines for the Years 7 and 8 students. All these events will be quite quickly followed by graduations, and before we all know it, it will be Christmas!


In this busy time, more than half of the school will be engaged in end of year examinations, and if you include end of year assessment tasks there should be many students with very demanding deadlines ahead of them. So for this reason, I thought it would be valuable to discuss with families how you might support your son or daughter during what can be a challenging period for school work.


At meetings with new parents I always try and make a habit of saying that school always will be the second educator of students, as parents are by a long margin, the number one educator. This is no marketing slogan or cute catch-phrase, but, I think, a very basic truth. And as such, it is most important that parents continue the very important role as educators of their sons and daughters. The type of assistance I am talking about is not meant to be like a teacher at home, but a more powerful supportive role that helps them perform well at school. So if I was drawing up a list of supportive things that families can do during this time of exams and projects, it would look something like this…

The highest priority might seem very obvious but I think it is still important to name it; and that is that most students perform at their best if their home environment is well ordered, has consistent rules and a warm and supportive emotional climate. All students prosper if there is regularity in their study habits and environment.

The second most important thing is that home study times should be in place which are consistently adhered to, preferably in a public place in the house where there is a quiet but supportive buzz of people around the student who is doing the study. I am sure I have mentioned before that in most cases, shutting a boy or girl in their room is just about the worst thing you can do.


The fact is, only a certain percentage of students really enjoy home study, so it can be a real benefit to students who do not enjoy home study to be in an environment where other people are around them, but this has to be done in a way which ensures relative calm.  In that environment students can seek quite a bit of support from parents about having, for example something read over, or a question made clearer, and parents can also get some understanding of how their son or daughter is coping with the work at hand.

In the case of older students (and I mean by this anybody from Year 10 onwards), the reality is they are becoming more independent and therefore parents have less control over some aspects of their life style. Nonetheless, I think it is really important that parents of this age group help their sons make sensible choices about balancing competing life style agendas.


For example, sleep deprivation can be a significant issue for young people, so it is important for parents to help older teenagers make wise decisions about how often they go out, work part-time jobs and generally cram into their busy lives. It is not uncommon for a young person to have a job, a busy social calendar and budding relationship whilst still at school. It can be a tricky business when parents try to step in and take control when teenagers are not making wise choices. It is important for parents to develop the knack of having these supportive conversations about managing their quite complex lives in a healthy manner.


Some lifestyle advice can be given more surreptitiously, for example, by putting bowls of carrot and dried fruit and nuts in front of them as they study, and keeping the coke and sugary foods at a distance. These sorts of proactive actions are often much more powerful than sitting down and telling them to eat properly.

Another area where parents can be of enormous benefit is with time management. Many young people fall into the trap of just starting at the start and ploughing through the work to the end. They often think that just working at 100 miles an hour is going to be the best way. Advice about assessing priorities, breaking down tasks into components and creating timelines can be of real benefit.


For some students, exam and assessment periods bring about an increase in anxiety levels. We know that once anxiety gets to a certain level there can be a loss of good judgment and a decrease in work quality. Therefore parents can be a great support for their children by assisting with planning deadlines, timelines and generally sorting out the broad scope of what has to be done. These are very much adult skills that many young people don’t have.

Another important but complex area of support is the help parents can provide with their emotions. Although there are no simple rules or guidelines, parents have an enormous role to play by helping their child’s thinking and feelings to be positive and realistic. Strange as it may sound, too many students, particularly boys, over estimate their ability and as a consequence, can experience disappointment due
to over confidence. If your child is like this, your job will be to keep him realistic and grounded. Overconfidence can be an unfortunate masculine characteristic and it is important to ensure that our young men are not too blasé about the capabilities.

Conversely, there is another group of students who are the opposite. Some are prone to anxiety and unfortunately talking that person up is not necessarily the best solution to this problem. Building confidence through pep talks may be a valuable ingredient, but by far the best solution is actually helping them think or work through whatever it is that is making them anxious. And when I say help them “think through” I do mean that. When it comes to school there is no doubt that one of the hardest things for some parents is to not tell their adolescent children how to think or act, but instead be a form of mentor.


The last aspect where support can be very valuable relates to a wider problem solving capacity that young people often don’t have. This falls broadly into a communication or seeking help category. It is most important that students are able to talk over problems with their teachers, or raise concerns and know that they will be heard and understood. Offering simple advice such as when or how an issue may be broached with a teacher, or reminding your son or daughter that it might be a good idea to let your teacher know about this, can be an enormous benefit. Young people can fall into the trap of thinking that everyone around them is a mind reader and know what their problem is. Conversely, they may think that nobody would care or pay attention. Generally putting teachers in the picture, and also putting Mum and/or Dad in the picture is tremendously beneficial.


Most of the things I have talked about fall into the category of life skills. They don’t require university courses or degrees but they do need careful thought and consideration. If you are able to provide these valuable life skills for your child, you will be giving them a significant form of education that will not only benefit them while they are at Penola but will set them up for success in whatever area of pursuit they follow after school.

With my own son and daughter currently preparing for their end of Year University examinations, it is easy to suggest these strategies but it may not mean that your son or daughter takes them up!


Ernie Pisani’s Review

Thanks to staff, parents and students involved in the review process of Mr Ernie Pisani on Tuesday September 13 and Wednesday September 14.  This involvement may have involved completing an electronic survey or attendance at an interview with the Review panel.  I would like to take this time to publically acknowledge the other Review panel members in Mr Chris Bence, Principal Consultant for the Northern region of Catholic Education Melbourne and Mr Warrren Arrowsmith, Deputy Principal at MacKillop College, Werribee.  It was clear to the panel that Mr Pisani is very passionate about his role, is a man of integrity and deals with difficult situations in a calm manner and with a significant degree of compassion.  There were many commendations that were given throughout the appraisal as well as a small number of recommendations for the future.  Congratulations to Mr Pisani for the ongoing contribution that he makes to Penola Catholic College and his constant pursuit of improvement and excellence.


Capital Projects

Our Glenroy Gymnasium should be complete by December 12 which will be a fantastic addition to our facilities at the Glenroy campus.  These facilities are state of the art and will be used to deliver Health and Physical Education program as well as an area for Campus Assemblies, Masses and Information Evenings to take place. 


Community Market, Thursday October 6

Our community Market was held on Thursday October 6 from 3.30pm – 7.00pm.  This also coincides with the annual Technology Show opening which commenced at 4. 00pm.There were a range of different activities in place for the market and I would like to publically acknowledge the extensive work of the PFA Market committee in preparing for this event particularly Ms Nicole Allan who has coordinated this committee. I thank our existing families who attended our Market as well as the wider community and prospective students and their families as well.

Japan Study Tour

I have just had the pleasure of accompanying Ms Josephine Carr and 13 of our Years 10 & 11 students who are currently studying Japanese to Japan from Friday September 16 to Tuesday October 4.  The tour consisted of approximately one week of sightseeing taking in the sights of Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo followed by 10 days of homestay with our sister school in Japan, Dokkyo Junior and Senior High School in Saitama which is on the outskirts of Tokyo.  It was my first time to Japan and it has been a thoroughly enlightening experience.  Despite knowing very little Japanese (3 words) prior to leaving, I found ways to communicate with a range of people throughout my time in Japan.  This experience gave me an insight as to how difficult it must be for some of the refugees who come to Australia, particularly those who cannot speak English.  I know that many of our families have either faced this situation or are still facing this situation.  The mental fatigue that is associated with trying to listen to unfamiliar sounds and language is enormous let alone the extremely long days for our Japanese counterparts. 


A typical Japanese student would leave home by 6.30am to arrive at school by 8.00am.  School runs from 8.30am – 3.30pm followed by compulsory activities or clubs from 4.00pm – 6.00pm followed in some cases, by Cram school until 9.30pm and a return home at around 10.30pm.  This happens six days a week with Club activities or competitions often taking place on their day off! As a result, many Japanese people find ways to sleep to counteract these long days, particularly on trains and buses when travelling to or from school.


Italian Sister School Visit

In the second last week of third term we welcomed 18 students and three staff from our Italian sister school Liceo Versari-Macrelli who were on a Language homestay with our Penola families for two weeks. The students attended classes, participated in activities and were taken on a number of tourist excursions. The group was presented to the College community at the end of term assembly held on Friday September 9.   These programs are of great value to the students and the families who participate and create wonderful opportunities for friendships to develop. These programs also support the importance of learning other languages as we live in a global community. I thank all the Penola families who hosted. I also thank Mrs Anna Favrin our Homestay Coordinator for overseeing the program, the languages staff and other staff who have been involved in delivering a rich experience for our visitors.   A thank you dinner was held on Thursday September 15 in the Foyer of the Assembly and Sports Hall for all the families, the students and staff involved. The meal was organized by Mrs Sue Delaney who was assisted on the night by Mrs Jennifer Vinten, Mr John Paul and our Hospitality students with over 100 guests in attendance. I am grateful to them for a wonderful evening for all involved.   



On behalf of our College community I express our deepest sympathy to Ms Andrea London on the recent passing of her mother. We pray for the Casey family during their time of loss.



On a more positive note I congratulate the following staff members on the recent additions to their respective families:

Ms Marian Kolta and her husband Kerr on the birth of their third son, Alex Ryan Forbes on Monday August 29th.

Ms Kim Agbeti and her husband Aaron on the birth of their second child, Kuami Joseph Agbeti on Thursday September 15.

Ms Teeka Dour and her husband Amit on the birth of their first child, Jahaan Isaac Mategaonkar on Thursday September 29.

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani

Over the past few years the college has established a good reputation for its behavioural standards. Over time, a series of policies and procedures for the maintenance of appropriate behaviours and the development of respectful interactions between students and staff have been established. In the main, the majority of students comply with the values and tenets of the college and …

Read more.

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Junior Campus Stuart Harrison

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Junior Campus Stuart Harrison

Welcome to Term 4 on the Junior Campus.

On Tuesday we welcomed our 2017 Year 7s at our information evening. It was fantastic to meet some of our new and existing families, whose children will be joining Penola next year. We have completed round 3 of Year 8 Premier League with all teams going well especially our Year 8 girl’s …

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From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan

From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan

Sacramental Program

On the 2nd of October three dedicated Year 7 girls experienced the final step in their preparation to become more fully fledged members of the Catholic Church. After preparing all term Grace Garfi, Valentina Ferrante and Jennifer Sanchez received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Oak Park.  Fr. Thien, Parish Priest of St. …

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From the Deputy Principal: Teaching and Learning Lucy D'Angelo

From the Deputy Principal: Teaching and Learning Lucy D'Angelo


All students will be required to have all of their resources ready for the Headstart Program. The date has just been changed for Headstart to begin on 21st November (not the 22nd as previously advised) until 8th December. During this period students …

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Performing Arts News

Congratulations to Tim Douglas (10F) who was selected to participate in the Melbourne Theatre Companies Scholarship Course over the recent school holiday period.  Students are guided through processes of performance-making via intensive, practical workshops and encouraged to extend their expressive skills, learning how to contribute as a member of as ensemble.  The course concluded with an informal presentation for parents and teachers.

Mr James Maddocks

Head of Performing Arts


Italian Homestay – 8th to 17th September

During this period, we welcomed our friends and Sister School – Istituo Professionale Versari-Macrelli – from Cesena, Italy. During the week spent with us, both they and our Penola students involved in the homestay were able to profit from some wonderful experiences. Activities included excursions to the City, Italian Immigration Museum and Lygon Street, and finally Phillip Island with their hosts. While these excursions brought smiles to many faces, the thing which was cemented in the memory of all the visiting students was the time spent at school participating in special classes such as Aboriginal Art Painting and Aussie Rules Footy Clinic, as well as the time spent with their buddies in and out of classes and the time spent working in Italian classrooms.

We at Penola are very fortunate to have 3 wonderful Sister Schools with whom we run very successful exchanges, and this last week has not been an exception. My thanks go to all those who helped me during the week in a variety of different ways. We wish our visitors well as they depart to Sydney and then back home to begin the next academic year, and look forward to our trip to Italy in 2018.

Mrs A. Favrin


Japan Study Tour 2016

Ms. Carr & Mr. Caldow led the Japan Study Tour 2016 of 13 enthusiastic learners of the Japanese language and culture. It was an experience of a lifetime! Words cannot describe the time spent in Japan.

During our journey, we travelled to impressionable landmarks, including Hiroshima's A Bomb-Dome, Kinkaku-ji, Sanjūsangendō, Heian Shrine and Fushimi Inari. The group developed a deeper understanding of Japanese history, together with the language and culture.

After 8 days of travelling through Hiroshima, Kyoto and Tokyo, we arrived at Dokkyo Saitama High School, where we would spend the remainder of our stay with our respective host families. Students attended scheduled classes with their host brother/sister, as well as Cooking, Calligraphy and Science classes, prepared for Penola Catholic College students.

An excursion for the Penola Catholic College staff and students, together with hosts, also took place and we travelled to Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura, where we enjoyed a day in the Samurai Village, set in the Edo period. The Ninja shows were certainly highlights of the day!

The hospitality and care, received by the Host families, will never be forgotten. Students developed their language skills, while learning about the culture first-hand.

The day of our departure was always going to be emotional, but through all the tears, we sought comfort knowing that some of the strongest bonds were forged to make the Japan Study Tour an unforgettable experience. 

Ms. Carr, Jason Dang and Abbey Shore (11A)



Penola Sport Facebook Page


Vote 1 Tony Astuto

My name is Tony Astuto and I’m one of the parents from the Penola Catholic College community.

I’m currently running as an independent candidate for Moreland North West Ward.

I have lived in Pascoe Vale with my wife for 20 years.  We have 2 sons, aged 11 and 16. My oldest son is currently in Year 10 at Penola and my youngest will be starting Year 7 at Penola next year.

I’m running for Moreland because I want to make a difference in our community and make positive contributions in Moreland.  I want to represent Moreland residents and advocate on your behalf.

I will fight for  

• Improved aged services for our seniors

• No rate rises above Inflation

• Protection against overdevelopment and high rises, considering both traffic and parking concerns.

• Improved public facilities, including public restrooms.


My contact email is tonyastuto@gmail.com



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