Newsletter - Volume 10 - 27th July 2017

From The Principal: Chris Caldow

Term 3 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. In particular, I would like to welcome a number of new students and their families: Esther Plochino Year 7, Zohrab Aygho Year 7, Luca Seago Year 8, Daniella Emanuelli Year 10 and Frankie Falcon Year 11.  We hope that your time with us is both productive and rewarding.

This is an important term in terms of consolidating the work of first semester and using the time wisely. This is particularly true of students undertaking Unit 4 subjects as the end of year exams will be upon them before they know it. In preparation for these exams the College conducts trial exams during the second week of the Term 3 holiday period.  These exams will take place on Monday October 2, Tuesday October 3, Wednesday October 4 and Thursday October 5. These exams are considered compulsory as they provide the best possible preparation prior to the VCAA exams in late October and November.

The College will also lead students in Years 9 & 10 through the process of subject selection and an important information evening was held on Tuesday evening. Later in the term we will go through the process of electing student leaders for the 2018 school year, another important aspect of third term. I spoke with students about the opportunities to become involved as student leaders at the College to commence this process last Friday, July 21.

As many of you would be aware from media reports, there has been a huge fire at the recycling centre in Coolaroo that has meant that some houses in Dallas were evacuated. Under directions from Catholic Education Melbourne, we sent staff and students involved with rehearsals for Cinderella home on Friday, July 14 due to poor air quality. We will continue to monitor this situation but a positive sign is that that the evacuated families in Dallas have returned home.

Staff Changes

A particularly warm welcome to new staff members:

• Miss Stephanie Ongarello replacing Photini Zafiropoulos whilst she is on long service leave. She will be teaching Years 7 & 8 Art.

• Mr Dion Hughes replacing Mr Deveraj Kumar whilst he is on long service leave teaching Years 9 & 10 Physical Education and Health.

• Ms Amanda Hawker who is replacing Melissa Braganza as one of our Educational Psychologists as Melissa commences maternity leave.

• Mr Joe Bilotta who is replacing Ms Vivian Saad for the remainder of the year.

• Ms Nellie Mims who is replacing Mr Thomas Le whilst he is on long service leave. Nellie will also replace Mrs Noeleen Ellis whilst she is on long service leave later in the term.

• Ms Connie Vindigni who is replacing Ms Anna Di Perna whilst she is on long service leave.

• Mr Troy Jacuta who is replacing Ms Jocelyn Rambaldi whilst she is on long serve leave.

• Welcome back to Kim Agbeti and Jenny Doan who both return from maternity leave.

• Welcome back to Ms Angela Villella who has been appointed to replace Ms Soula Argyropoulos for Term 3 whilst she has long service leave.

• Welcome back to Ms Amanda Abboud from maternity leave to replace Ms Julie-Ann Palma whilst she is on maternity leave.

Welcome back to Ms Josie Carr, Ms Jenny Carroll, Mrs Maria Mancuso, Mrs Anna Favrin and Mr Peter Hatherley after periods of leave at the end of last term. Welcome back to Mr Keven Zavadlal who has been on leave.


Congratulations to the following staff members on the recent births of their children:

Maria and Dennis Alberto on the birth of their daughter, Adreana Lucinda Alberto.

Julie-Ann Palma on the birth of her son, Tristan Donato Palma.

Matthew and Catherine Weekes on the birth of their daughter, Scarlett Aria Weekes.

Diane Farah on the birth of her son, Achilles Cassius Kfourny.

The term ahead

As ever, we have our ongoing teaching and learning- our core business. Term 3 means planning for 2018: subject selection, information evenings, Year 9 interviews, determining staff intentions for 2018, staff reviews and School Improvement Framework surveys. I thank you in anticipation for your support of these ventures so that once again, we may be off to a smooth start for 2018.

Term Three within secondary schools is an essential time of preparation. For Year 12 students, it is their last full school term in their lives - which can sometimes be a scary thought! It is undoubtedly a time for Year 12 students to consolidate their knowledge, continue to revise and prepare for the end of year exams. For all other students the focus of Term Three is upon subject selections for 2018 and, with this, a focus upon future career choices.

Term 3 is traditionally a very busy time of year for students, staff and parents as planning for the next year begins in earnest. As a school we are attempting to provide as much information as we can to ensure that all of our students are making informed choices with regards to their subject selections. I understand the anxieties experienced by both parents and students in trying to determine which subjects to do in the subsequent years. At 14, 15 or 16 years of age it is difficult to determine a future career path or even direction. Many students are in exactly the same position of not knowing what it is that they may do in the future. 

There are some broad principles in terms of subject selections that apply to all students:

Choose subjects that you enjoy. 

This makes sense to me, as students will put more effort into subjects that they enjoy and where there is an increased chance of receiving good grades.

Choose subjects that are required for your future career path

Provided you know your future career path, you should choose any prerequisite subjects that may be required. Generally this means choosing the highest level of mathematics that you are capable of, continuing with a language if possible or investigating/researching the subjects that are required for tertiary study. Where a future career path is unknown, it is best to keep your options open by choosing a broad course or researching the consequences of not choosing a subject. 

Choose subjects that you are good at.

Students may not necessarily like a particular subject but they are very talented in the area, or have always found the subject easier than most. 

I ask all families to allocate time to discuss subject selections over the next few weeks. Take advantage of the information sessions available here at the school, organise interviews with relevant staff members and complete your own research regarding what is best for your son. As long as the decisions that are made are informed decisions, then we are all doing the best that we possibly can!

The School Production “Cinderella ”

Staff and students have been rehearsing almost non-stop in preparation for our Annual College Production on Thursday August 3 at 7.30pm, Friday August 4 at 7.30pm, Saturday August 5 at 2.00pm and 7.30pm.  Countless hours of practice and rehearsal has gone into this year’s production.  I am attending the Saturday night session and I encourage all members of our College community to attend as well.  I thank in advance the student body involved with Cinderella including the cast members, band, backstage and costumes.  I am mindful of the time commitment that this has meant for our students and staff as well as parents as they have had to ferry around their sons or daughters to rehearsals and the like.  I hope that the performances are an accurate reflection of the effort, commitment and talents of all those involved.  Bookings can be made on https://www.trybooking.com/QHEX

Development of College Master Plan

Ezio Costa, our Architect, has decided to retire after 39 years working at Clarke Hopkins Clarke.  Ezio has been fantastic to work with and we will miss him greatly for both his knowledge and willingness to listen to our concerns to come up with an appropriate solution. As part of his transition to retirement, Ezio introduced our new architect, Mr Simon LeNepveu, to John Gribble and myself on the first Monday of the holiday period.  Simon will be developing our new Masterplan which we spoke about extensively and he will present a draft for discussion by the middle of August.  The draft will go to the College Board as well as Staff and the wider community for discussion.  Unfortunately, we were not successful with our Capital grant application with the Victorian State Government for next year but we will continue to seek these grants.

Student Sporting Successes

Congratulations to Year 8 student, Leann Serna, who has been selected in Tennis Australia Girls 12 – 15 Development Team due to her recent performances.  The Tennis Australia development opportunity is designed to offer players the ability to train and compete with their peers on a regular basis. Leann will be working with National academy coach Steve Blundell as part of this team.  This is a wonderful achievement and we wish Leann well for the years ahead with her tennis career.

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani Vol. 6

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani Vol. 10

On Tuesday 25th July, a successful Careers Expo was held on the senior campus as Years 9 -12 students campus were able to access information given by the various tertiary institutions and organisations which attended. Following on from that expo, in the afternoon/evening three information sessions were provided to parents and students to seek information about the programs and pathways …

Read more.


From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan Vol. 10

From the Faith and Mission Team Reflection from our Chaplain, Fr. Tony Cox One of the reasons we struggle with faith is that God's presence inside us and in the world is rarely dynamic, sensational or something impossible to ignore.  He does not work like this!  His presence rather is something that lies quiet and seemingly helpless inside us.  It …

Read more.


Mary MacKillop Feast Day, 8th August 2017

On Tuesday the 8th of August we celebrate the Feast Day of our Patron, St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop, with our annual Feast Day Celebrations. Please read the information below carefully because there is a new structure of the day in place for 2017.

Mary MacKillop Feast Day - Student & Parent Memo


Nationally Consistent Collection of Data

All government and non-government schools in Australia are required to participate in the annual Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (the national data collection).

This notice contains information to help prepare your school to participate in the 2017 national data collection.

Click here to find out more. 

NCCD Consent Form for parents. 


University Italian at Penola Catholic College as of 2017 through University of Melbourne Extension Program

For the first time in 2017 Penola Catholic College in collaboration with the University of Melbourne has offered our current Year 12 students who accelerated their Italian studies by completing their VCEUnit 3 & 4 Italian in year 11 (2016) the opportunity to enrol in the University of MelbourneExtension Program. This Program is designed for high-achieving Year 12 students who are eager to challenge themselves academically and allows them to complete university studies alongside their final year of high-school. In 2016 Mr Chris Caldow, our school Principal, and Ms Anna Favrin, LOTE Coordinator, liaised and discussed with Matthew Absalom, subject coordinator of Italian at University of Melbourne, the requirements and benefits of offering this Program at our College. As a result, as of this year Penola Catholic College has been offering the great opportunity of studying first year University Italian to its eligible Year 12 students.

Upon successful application and selection, Adrian Alessio, Natalie Gigliotti, Nicholas Papazacharia and Stefanie Maiorana, four current high-achiving Year 12 students at our College, have been offered a place in the 2017 Extention Program in the subject area of Italian. These students are currently enrolled in Italian 5&6 at Melbourne University, meaning that by the end of the year, they will have completed not only their VCE but also the equivalent of first year Italian at university.

The Extension Program includes three main components consisting of speaking classes, language classes and history classes on contemporary Italy. In line with the Program structure, classes are held both on Campus with expert University academic staff and at our College, with trained teaching staff. Students are therefore expected to attend university two afternoons a week and also have regular classes at school for 100 minutes once a week, with myself, a senior teaching staff at Penola Catholic College, trained in the Extension Program and a native speaker of Italian. In order to be able to complete the Program students do one less subject at school which grants them five free periods to work on their Italian studies, while continuing to meet their secondary school requirements.  

At Penola Catholic College we are proud of being able to collaborate with the University of Melbourne, the oldest University in Victoria, and of our role as a pioneer in offering our students a great academic opportunity such as that of accessing the Extension Program in Italian and all its benefits while completing their final year of secondary schooling at our College. The Program offers students the opportunity to build on their VCE studies and it also rewards them with an ATAR contribution from 3 to 5 points, depending on their average mark. Furthermore, it allows students to gain credit and proceed to second-year level of the subject area in their undergraduate degree.

Italian 5&6 that our four Year 12 students are completing is fully equivalent in content and assessment to current first-year University subject and as such it requires a considerable time commitment and motivation from students. In applying for the Program our students demonstrated a level of maturity necessary to be able to recognize the many and unquestionable advantages it would offer them in further developing their learning and study skills.

In my role as an Italian teacher at Penola Catholic College and a tutor at our College for the Extension Program, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be part of such an innovative and exciting learning experience which provides our students with numerous advantages. To name a few, this Program allows students to experience what University life is like while still at school; develop independent learning and research skills; improve their time management skills in order to cope with the volume of work and balance their study commitment with private life; and, of course, build on their Italian skills, which is a subject area our students have worked on with effort and dedication during their VCE and that they have chosen to further consolidate through the Extension Program.

Our Language Faculty is committed to continue to nurture our students’ talent and instil the passion for studying a Language Other Than English with all the benefits it includes. We strongly support the Extension Program by the University of Melbourne and we look forward to continuing to offer it at Penola Catholic College in the years to come.

By Giuseppina Graziano


The students’ voice

“We are 4 year students who completed year 12 Italian in 2016. This year we were given the opportunity to partake in the University of Melbourne Extension Program. This amazing opportunity allows us to experience university life a year earlier, it gives us university credit, it contributes to our ATAR and a foot in the door at the best university in Australia. The subject has proven to have many advantages, it allows to experience learning in a new and exciting way, teaches us to be independent from our teachers, gives us access to many resources at the university such as study tips, VCE lectures and wellbeing support. It teaches us to have better time management and to be organized. We would definitely recommend this opportunity to the current year 11 accelerating students and not just those doing Italian but anyone who is doing a 3&4 subject. We would like to thank all our teachers who have taught us through VCE Italian (Ms. Santoro, Ms. Cassino, Ms. Di Perna and finally Ms. Graziano who is also teaching us this year, in helping us develop our Italian Language to the level that it is now. We extend our thanks to Mr. Caldow for approving and allowing us to take part in the program and Ms. Favrin and Ms. D’Angelo for offering and assisting us in the enrolment of the course.”

By Adrian Alessio, Natalie Gigliotti, Nicholas Papazacharia and Stefanie Maiorana

From left to right: Adrian Alessio, Nicholas Papazacharia, Miss Giuseppina Graziano, Stefanie Maiorana and Natalie Gigliotti


Dante Alighieri Competition

On the 28th of June, the Year 11 Italian students were given the opportunity to recite an Italian poem at the University of Melbourne. We were asked to practise one of four poems that would have to be recited in front of a judge who would then decide if we made the finals in the annual Dante Alighieri Poetry Recital Competition. One of our choices was one of the most famous extracts from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. Two of us were brave enough to tacklereciting Dante!

Performing these poems was an incredible experience for us as we were able to conquer something as difficult as reciting a poem in a completely different language. Each of us had our fair share of nerves before it was our turn to recite the poem, however, after getting it over and done with, we felt immensely proud of ourselves.

We are so grateful that we were given this chance to be thrown in the deep end with a fairly challenging task as we learned so many new things about ourselves, such as, being resilient and getting over our nerves. The fact that we were able to speak to a stranger in a foreign language made us realise that we could conquer much more. This was even more stressful for he many of us Year 10 students who are accelerating and therefore competing with Year 11 students studying Italian across the State of Victoria.

During the stay at the University of Melbourne, the staff there made us feel comfortable and the judges themselves were quite friendly and patient. As well as reciting the poem, we were given an outside tour of the colossal university with our teachers who tried to inspire us to aim high! After the tour, we were taken to Lygon Street to have lunch at an Italian restaurant.  We also went to an amazing gelati place for ice-cream.

Overall, we really enjoyed this amazing day and undertaking the task of reciting our poem at the University of Melbourne is an opportunity we will never forget.

Thank you to our Year 11 Italian teachers: Ms. Graziano, Mrs. Grech and Ms. D’Angelo and to Marco Degano, our Language Assistant, for preparing us for the competition and organising the day.

We hope to report that we have some finalists and prize winners next term!

Alessia Vigiano (Year 10 student accelerating in Italian)


Penola Sport Facebook Page 



Penola Catholic College introduces our 2017 production, Cinderella.
Click the link below to secure your tickets now. 




Second Hand Uniform Sales 

Fortnightly Tuesdays, Broadmeadows Campus

8.45am - 10.30am

Term Three: Jul 18, Aug 1, Aug 15, Aug 29, Sept 12
Term Four: Oct 10, Oct 24, Nov 14, Nov 28

If you wish to sell your freshly dry cleaned second hand uniform items (new logo/uniform), you can do so by leaving them at Reception at the Broadmeadows Campus. Blue blazers with the old logo will also be accepted. All items must show they have been dry cleaned by having the dry cleaning tag attached. 

Academy Uniforms 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 3:00 - 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