Newsletter - Volume 3 - 9th March 2017

From The Principal: Chris Caldow

Dear Parents/Guardians,

 As we enter Autumn and the second month of the term, it is timely to reflect on some of the happenings so far:

• 1425 students have been engaged in learning across both campuses

• Years 7&8 and 9-12 Information Evenings have been conducted and were very well attended by the parent body.

• Enrolments for Year 7 2018 have closed.

• The House Swimming and Cross Country Carnivals were well organised, had a high amount of student participation particularly in Years 7 & 8 and resulted in a win to Smyth house.

• Our Opening Assembly presented the students with some great models from the VCE class of 2016.

• A highly successful Year 7 Welcome Dinner has been held by the Parents and Friends Association with over 300 people in attendance

• Parent feedback on the transition of our new students has been most positive…

All of these activities take planning and preparation to ensure that they are successful events.  I would like to take this opportunity on behalf of the Penola community to thank the Parents and Friends for their efforts and ensuring the success of the Year 7 Welcome Dinner on Friday February 24.  I also thank Mr Gary Cottom  and the VET Hospitality students who were instrumental in the preparation and serving of so many delicious meals on this night.

I would also like to thank the staff who have been extremely diligent and generous with their own time to enable the many events listed above to take place.  Without the support of staff these activities simply would not take place so I thank staff most sincerely for their efforts.

2018 Year 7 Enrolments

As I hope you are all aware, 2017 Year 7 Enrolments closed on Friday February 17.  If there are any current families with children in Grade Six who are intending to enrol them at Penola in 2018, I would ask that you make contact with Ms Jessica Alvarez at the College as soon as possible.  I would be saddened for one of our current families to miss out on a place due to the fact that they have not submitted an enrolment application.  I have asked Principals of our feeder Parish Primary schools to check that all of their families who indicated that they were applying for a position at Penola have indeed applied.  I ask our current families to do the same as a matter of priority.

Parent Teacher Student Meet and Greet Sessions

The first of our Parent Teacher Student Meet and Greet sessions took place last Thursday March 2 on the Broadmeadows campus.  This session was an opportunity for parents to meet with the subject teachers of your sons and daughters to let them know relevant information about your child/children.  I was delighted with the number of parents who came to this night and hope that it was a productive night for all parents who attended.  As many of you would be aware, we tried something different this year by scheduling our Year level Parent Information Evenings during the tea break (5.30pm – 6.30pm).  The intention was to reduce the number of nights that parents had to come out whilst relaying specific year level information for parents.  I would be interested to hear from parents as to whether this change was successful from your point of view.  Feel free to respond regardless of whether you attended or were unable to attend. I welcome emails to ccaldow@penola.vic.edu.au.

LOTE Homestay visits from Japan and France

Our sister school from Japan, Dokkyo Saitama High School, will visit on Thursday 16th to Friday 24th March. Our sister school from France, St Jean Baptiste de la Salle, Avignon will also visit from Thursday 16th to Thursday 30th March.  A number of our families will host these students throughout this time. I would like to publically thank each of the families who have volunteered to host a student from either Japan or France.  Without your generosity these programs would not be able to take place which would be a total shame given the benefits for both the host student, our students and their families.  The homestay experience is designed so that our sister school students get a taste of life in an Australian family and the Australian culture.

Year 12 Retreats

Year 12 Retreats take place on Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th March in 5 different venues in the Eastern suburbs.  Students and staff will travel to five camp sites on the eastern fringes of the city.  The programme involves reflection and discussion on key relationships and faith.  For many it is the highlight of the year 12 programme and for some it can be quite life changing.  It is a compulsory event for all Year 12 students and students who do not attend place in jeopardy their involvement in our end of year activities such as the last day and Graduation Dinner.  Obviously if there is a valid reason why a particular Year 12 student cannot attend then it will be taken into account.  I thank all Year 12 families for your support of this activity. We pray for the success of the programme.

Penola Medalists

At the end of last year two Penola staff members were recognised for their contribution to Penola Catholic College with the awarding of the Penola Medal. The Penola Medal is awarded to a staff member, Canonical Administrator or chaplain who has given service in a pastoral or professional capacity and has shown loyalty and commitment to the College for an extended period of time.

The first Penola Medal for 2016 was awarded to Ms Terri Matrenza.

At the end of term one in 2015 we bade farewell to our Deputy Principal: Pastoral Care and Administration Terri Matrenza after fifteen years of service at Penola Catholic College.

Terri commenced in 2000 as the Deputy Principal: Head of Glenroy Campus and in 2005 was appointed as Deputy Principal: Pastoral Care and Administration. Prior to Terri’s appointment at Penola Catholic College she worked at St Aloysius’ College, North Melbourne for seventeen years followed by three years at St Monica’s College, Epping.

Terri has taught in Catholic education for more than 35 years which is an outstanding and extraordinary achievement. It is impossible to describe all that Terri has done during her fifteen years at Penola, but it must be noted that she has been a committed Deputy Principal and member of staff throughout this entire time.

Terri’s contribution at the Glenroy Campus was significant and attention to detail was second to none. In her Pastoral Care role Terri was responsible for organising College events including assemblies, Awards Night, Penola Collegians reunions; overseeing publications (including newsletter, year book, student planners, College calendars and prospectus); reviewing College policies and uniform; relied upon for assisting with staffing and the wellbeing of staff and students; responsible for Co-Curricular, House and Sports program coordinators; overseeing the process for awarding College medals; overseeing College administration tasks for compliance; liaising with our parent community and overseeing second hand book and uniform sales. As well as these responsibilities, Terri also taught.

Terri has served the College community with great generosity, loyalty and love. Many staff here worked alongside Terri and know the efforts she went to as she went about her Deputy Principal role. Terri was very supportive of staff and it goes without saying that she is still very much missed by her colleagues.

Terri enjoyed her time at Penola and felt like it was a place she was meant to be in from the moment she walked in. She hopes that in some small way, she made a contribution which has made life a little better for you all today. Terri fondly remembers her time with you all and still misses being a part of such a vibrant community.  Given Terri’s commitment and service to the College for an extended period of time she is a worthy Penola medalist.

The second Penola Medal for 2016 was awarded to Mr Ashley Mills

Ashley has been as Penola Catholic College since 2005 and for the entirety of this time he has been an elite teacher. His academic records indicate an expert level of performance, consistently being one of our highest performing VCE teachers including being the first staff member to teach a student who received a perfect study score of 50.

Previously, Ashley worked tirelessly as a Year Level Co-ordinator of Years 9 and 10 since 2010 where he supported many staff and students in creating a positive community here at Penola Catholic College. Prior to year level co-ordinating he was the college Sports Co-ordinator where he conducted himself with great professionalism.

In regards to co-curricular Ashley has been an integral part of the school’s coaching team. He has coached a variety of sports where he has encouraged students to conduct themselves in a fierce yet respectful manner. He has given up his own personal time year after year with training sessions as early as 6:30am for our students.

Ashley is now working is his capacity as a literacy coach where he is helping to improve student outcomes through building staff capacity across a variety of learning areas.

His approach with students is pastoral displaying a deep level of care and compassion for the individuals he teaches and professional with his manner in the high expectations he sets in all of his classes. Given Ash’s loyalty and commitment to the College for an extended period of time he is a worthy Penola medalist.

Faith Dimension of the College

Many lament the lack of participation of youth in organised religion, particularly attendance at Mass.  For those of us who attend Mass on a regular basis it is clear to see that the general profile of the congregation is ageing.  However, this does not necessarily reflect an absence of religion or spirituality in the youth of today.  One of the best quotes that I have heard in recent times in this area states “Catholic schools are for many the closest experience to Church that the youth of today are involved in, and therefore we have an obligation to make it the best experience possible.”

We are in the midst of changing times.  It was once described to me by Fr Hugh Brown, a former Principal and Catholic Education Office administrator, as a state of liminality, where we knew we couldn’t go back but were unsure of the way forward.  I am constantly amazed at the opportunities that are provided to our students on a regular basis and hope that they take time to reflect upon their own spiritual journey throughout their time here at Penola Catholic College.

The life of Jesus Christ and the Church is about allowing all people to have many chances for “getting on” in life, in the truly human sense of that term.  The life of Jesus Christ is about respecting and encouraging people’s various talents, about patience and tolerance, about equality.  The life of Jesus Christ is about challenging people and forgiving them, about listening to others’ points of view and being prepared to change.  The life of Jesus Christ is about hope, perseverance, and new life.

All who are involved in Catholic schools are able to develop and maintain this particular quality of life.  And this quality has to be developed and maintained if our schools are to retain and grow in their specifically Catholic nature.  This quality is developed in the ways that teachers relate with students, in the way that they relate to one another, in the ways that the students relate to one another and the support that is provided by the parents.  Everyone who is part of a school contributes to its ‘ethos’ or quality.  For a school to claim the name “Catholic” validly, that ethos or quality must be in the order of Jesus Christ and His Church.

Each of us has an opportunity to build the faith dimension of our school in our daily interactions.  We cannot expect justice within our school if it is not modelled.  The Gospel values need to be a lived experience of our students within the College otherwise we are merely giving platitudes and we are not providing a genuine or authentic experience of being a Catholic School in the Josephite tradition.  The old saying that it takes a village to raise a child has never been truer, in what is increasingly becoming an individualistic and secular society.  Our hope is that we can make a difference to each student here at Penola Catholic College.

Prayer for the First Week of Lent

Lent is a time to pray, fast and do good deeds. It is also a time to change our ways and to

turn to God for forgiveness. The Church invites all to pray traditional prayers such as The Confiteor, the Act of Contrition and the Our Father as these are prayers of acknowledgment of our sins and prayers, asking for forgiveness. Each time Mass is celebrated, those gathered ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness in the Penitential Act.

The Church also offers the sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation: a sacrament of healing and forgiveness. It is a celebration of God’s love and mercy. In this sacrament Catholics are invited to confess their sins and receive forgiveness from a priest who is God’s representative.

Lent is an appropriate time for celebrating the Sacrament of Penance. One of the key messages for Lent is ‘Turn away from sin and believe the good news!’

Leader: Let us pray a Litany for Forgiveness. The response is the verse from the Responsorial Psalm for the First Sunday of Lent:

Be merciful, O God, for we have sinned.


All: Be merciful, O God, for we have sinned.

Reader: For the times we have used hurtful words or body language to bully or exclude others.

All: Be merciful, O God, for we have sinned.

Reader: For the times we have chosen to show disrespect for creation.

All: Be merciful, O God, for we have sinned.

Reader: For the times we have turned away from God’s call to listen and pray.

All: Be merciful, O God, for we have sinned.

Leader: We will take a moment to reflect on our past words, thoughts and actions.

Let us name in the silence of our hearts any sin we are sorry for and ask for forgiveness from our Merciful God.

(Time for silence)

All: Be merciful O God, for I have sinned.

Leader: Let us bow our heads as we pray for God’s continued blessing on us during this season of Lent. 

All: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen 

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani

On Thursday 2nd March the Senior Campus held its first Parent Teacher Student Interview for the year. The event was billed as a meet and greet, recognising the importance of the relationship between student and teacher and parent and teacher. The campus also hosted the annual Parent Information Night during the staff dinner break. A big thank you to parents …

Read more.

From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan

From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan

From the Faith and Mission Team

Wisdom from Sr. Rita Malavisi rsj St Joseph’s Day – 19th March

Growing up for me, 19th March was always my Nonna’s feast day. She was named – Giuseppina. Today, even though I still celebrate all those named Joseph, Joe, Joey, Josephine, Josie, Giuseppina and any other derivative of the name, I celebrate with …

Read more.



YETI sighted by VCAL Students

On Friday morning, 24th February, VCAL students attended a very informative and engaging presentation by Mr Evan Henry who is a Career Coach for the Youth Employment Training Initiative, better known as YETI. Evan highlighted several valuable career and life skills that our Year 11 and 12 VCAL students will benefit from when applying for jobs in their future careers.

Careers in our current job market are highly competitive. Students learnt about the importance of job skills, well-crafted resumes, interview preparation and overall readiness to improve their chances of securing an interview for that potential dream job.

Social media, such as Facebook, is becoming a valuable resource that employers are using more and more in order to obtain background profiles of prospective job applicants. Students were taught the implications of not maintaining a professional and respectable profile on their social media.

Transferable skills gained through community involvement and leadership roles was also explained to students as being equally important as their academic skills. The information reinforced the strengths of each of the VCAL strands, including Numeracy & Literacy, Personal Development Skills and Work Related Skills.

On behalf of the Penola VCAL staff and students, I would like to express our gratitude to Evan for his time and effort in planning and delivering these real-life skills and information to our VCAL students. Also a big thank you goes to Mr Arnel Davis for organising the visit from Evan.

Get Smart with START SMART

When Penola Catholic College students start entering the workforce, it is vital that they are equipped with the necessary financial skills and knowledge to understand their earning entitlements as new employees. Over the last few years, Mr Jamie Robertson has regularly been invited to Penola Catholic College to deliver important financial information to our Year 11 and 12 VCAL students.

Jamie is the Victorian Secondary Facilitator for START SMART program and is a very polished and dynamic presenter who engages students from the start. The original program launched in 2007 consisted of a range of workshops aimed at secondary school students. Each workshop was tailored towards a topic of direct relevance to secondary students’ daily lives and experiences: Earning, Saving, Spending and Investing.

In February 2012, Start Smart launched a new program: Pathways. This program has emerged in response to research highlighting gaps in financial awareness among 18 to 25 year olds. It aims to empower upper secondary and vocational education students to take control of their financial futures, through an all-new set of six workshops.

On the 24th February, Jamie visited Penola Catholic College and conducted 5 workshops for our VCAL students over the course of the day. In one activity, VCAL students were asked to roll play an interview, in order to develop their questioning skills when asking a potential employer about the expected earnings of a job. This is not always an easy question in a job interview. Jamie introduced students to the very informative and user-friendly Fair Work Ombudsman website. This site offers students up-to-date financial advice and information such as employee entitlements or awards and agreements. Students were also amused to find out how some famous people started their first jobs. Who knew that Sir Richard Branson started selling budgerigars at the age of 11 and Beyoncé use to sweep the hair clippings off the floor of a hairdresser salon?

On behalf of the Penola VCAL staff and students, I would like to express our gratitude to Jamie for his time and effort in planning and delivering these valuable workshops for our VCAL students. A huge thank-you also goes to our Ms Vivian Saad for organising the visit from Jamie.


Environmental Action Team 

Last week we had our first E.A.T meeting and we are ready for a year of hard work to improve our school environment and surrounding areas!

E.A.T is Penola’s student environment group, and we are looking forward to running many initiatives that benefit the overall health of the environment and encourage the community to take action to live more sustainably. Our group meets every fortnight on the Broadmeadows campus and we welcome all new members!

Ashlee Milich

Captain of Sustainability



All Year 10 students will be participating in compulsory Work Experience from 5th June to 9th June 2017.

All year 10 students should now have completed the General Module of Safe@Work. This is a compulsory Occupational Health and Safety training module which must be completed prior to commencing Work Experience.

Students will also complete an Industry Specific Module of Safe@Work early in March which complete the compulsory Occupational Health and Safety requirements.

Parents are asked to assist their child in seeking a suitable placement. It is recommended that students start looking NOW to avoid disappointment as some industries are extremely difficult to secure suitable placements.

Students are to collect a yellow Work Experience Request Form from the Careers Office. This form is to be completed and returned to Careers Office at the earliest possible time so that the Ministerial (legal) Documents can be processed for signatures from the employer, parent and student. The Principal must also sign this document to complete all legal requirements.


The Work Experience Request Form is also available from the Year 10 Careers page on MyPenola.

For further information, please feel free to contact Mrs. Foster or Mrs. Rullo in the Careers Office.


Debutante Ball 

Any girls interested in making their debut with Our Lady's Parish, Craigieburn are asked to contact Mrs Bretag on 93056915 or Mrs O'Neill on 93081592 ASAP. The ball will be held on 30th June at Melrose receptions. 


Penola Sport Facebook Page 




Forms can be filled out NOW for 2017 providing your card is eligible

CSEF eligibility DATES

For concession card holders CSEF eligibility will be subject to the parent/legal guardian’s concession card being successfully validated with Centrelink on the first day of either term one (30 January 2017) or term two (18 April 2017).

CSEF Applications forms can be collected either:

• Accounts Office (Broadmeadows Campus)

• Glenroy Campus Office

• Attached to this newsletter

• www.education.vic.gov.au/csef

• Emailed to dgaetano@penola.vic.edu.au

CSEF Flyer

CSEF 2017 Application Form


Please note: The second hand uniform shop is no longer accepting maroon blazers due to an excess amount already in stock. They are still accepting the blue blazers, dry cleaned with the receipt attached.


Second Hand Uniform Sales 

Fortnightly Tuesdays, Broadmeadows Campus

8.45am - 10.30am

Term One: Feb 7, Feb 21, Mar 7, Mar 21
Term Two: Apr 18, May 2, May 16, May 30, Jun 13, Jun 27
Term Three: Jul 18, Aug 1, Aug 15, Aug 29, Sept 12
Term Four: Oct 10, Oct 24, Nov 14, Nov 28

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 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: Academy Uniforms
Choose Penola Catholic College and enter password Broadmeadows
Orders can be sent to the School Shop or home address.


Academy Uniforms
238 Wolseley Place,
Ph: 9460 8011


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