Newsletter - Volume 3 - 8 March 2018

From The Principal: Chris Caldow

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

• 1454 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 2019 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 Nolan house.

• Our Opening Assembly presented the students with some great models from the VCE class of 2017.

• Years 7 & 9 Camps have taken place.

• Principal Review and a whole School Review has taken place.

• A highly successful Year 7 Welcome Dinner has been held by the Parents and Friends Association with over 400 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 17. 

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.

2019 Year 7 Enrolments

As I hope you are all aware, 2019 Year 7 Enrolments closed on Friday, August 25 of last year.  We have had an additional 99 enrolments since the closing date. If there are any current families with children in Grade Six who are intending to enrol them at Penola in 2019, 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 1 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.  We continue to engage more parents and students in the learning process with the aim of further improving student outcomes. There were many conversations about learning, setting realistic goals for the year and future pathway options.

As many of you would be aware, we continued to schedule 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 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

ACER School Review

Thanks to all parents, students and staff for your willingness to be involved with the School Review last week.  We will receive a full report by the end of term which will enable us to develop a new strategic plan in conjunction with staff, students, parents and the College Board.  Hopefully the strategic report will be finalised by July with feedback sought by staff, students and parents. 

The key aspects in developing a new strategic plan are answering the following questions:

• Where are we now?

• Where do we want to be?

• How do we get there?

• Are we on track?

The review enables us to determine where we are now.  Key facets for us to focus upon in the new strategic plan are more effective use of data, differentiation of learning on a more widespread basis and a continued focus upon using contemporary pedagogies to improve student engagement with their learning.

Principal Review

The process for the review was that the panel looked at the survey responses as well as the interviews that they undertook with parents, students and staff to come up with a report that will contain both commendations and recommendations for areas of improvement.  Thanks to all involved in the process including staff who completed a survey and staff, students and parents who were involved with interviews two weeks ago.  Whilst I am yet to receive the report, the panel gave me a preliminary verbal report on Thursday afternoon, February 22 2018. 

Overwhelmingly it was very positive with the main recommendations focusing upon ways to incorporate student voice into decision making, looking at ways of empowering other leaders within the College and looking at staff workload and morale.  Once I receive a copy of the report, I will provide a summary of the commendations and recommendations.  My thanks to the panel members Fr Vo Duc Thien, Chair of the Canonical Administrators, Mrs Trish Cowling, Panel Chair from Catholic Education Melbourne and Mr Matthew Bryne, Principal of Damascus College, Ballarat.

Parish Primary Partnerships Mass

Staff from Penola and our feeder Parish Primary schools will celebrate together with prayer and a focus upon Indigenous reconciliation on Tuesday, March 14.  The purpose of this day is to meet the staff from our feeder Parish Primary schools and to foster greater links between the staff from each of the respective schools.

St Patrick’s Day Mass

I will take a range of our student leaders into St Patrick’s Cathedral to represent the College at the Catholic Education week Opening Mass on Friday, March 16.  Our VET Community Recreation students have been asked to organise tabloid sports activities for the Primary School students after the Mass.

LOTE Tours to France and Italy

On Wednesday, March 28, five of our French students accompanied by Mr Nicolas Sliwka and myself will travel to France and fifteen of our Italian students accompanied by Ms Lucy D’Angelo and Ms Giuseppina Graziano will travel to Italy.  They will visit many sites throughout the two countries as well as being involved in a homestay with French and Italian families respectively. We also have thirteen students travelling to Italy as part of an Art Tour accompanied by Mr Jason Hussey, Ms Maree Farah and Ms Hari Dimitriou.

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.  I 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 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. The following is an extract taken from Pope Francis when talking about lent.

Fast from hurting words and say kind words.

Fast from anger and be filled with patience.

Fast from pessimism and be filled with hope.

Fast from worries and have trust in God.

Fast from complaints and contemplate simplicity.

Fast from pressures and be prayerful.

Fast from bitterness and fill your hearts with joy.

Fast from selfishness and be compassionate to others.

Fast from grudges and be reconciled.

Fast from words and be silent so you can listen.

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani Vol. 2

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus Ernie Pisani Vol. 3

The opportunities for personal development through experiential learning are promoted heavily at Penola Catholic College. The Year 9 camp which took place at the beginning of this week was a great success and offered students many opportunities to develop skills and get out of their comfort zones. Students who completed the Survivor Camp were exceptional in their efforts and benefitted …

Read more.

From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan Vol. 3

From the Deputy Principal: Faith and Mission Nicole Allan Vol. 3

From the Faith and Mission Team From our Youth Ministers, James and Gilbert Mein Youth Ministry at Penola has started in a big way, even before the school year official started!! The College runs many retreats for our students throughout the year, and the start of the school calendar saw our Year 12’s begin their final year at Penola by …

Read more.

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Teaching and Learning Lucy D'Angelo Vol. 2

From the Deputy Principal: Head of Teaching and Learning Lucy D'Angelo Vol. 3

NEW RESUBMISSION PROCESS 2018 - Years 7-10 We are constantly reviewing our policies and processes so as to enhance the culture of student learning and the levels of student achievement at Penola Catholic College. We have just revised our Year 7-10 Resubmissions Policy and will no longer be enforcing that all students must resubmit a task if they have not …

Read more.


GoIT Girls Work Experience Program

I am very proud to announce that the following two students, Cindy Dang and Jordana Nguyen, both from year 11, have been accepted into a week long IT work experience program at TATA consultancy group in the city on the week of the 21st of May.


This will be a great opportunity for them to:

• get some insight into the technology industry,

• challenge gender stereotypes by being witness to women in STEM as role models,

• build technical skills through coding,

• enhance confidence and employability skills.


It is internationally recognised that Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths are the fields of the future in terms of development and employment.  We are very excited to be providing these girls with this fantastic opportunity! 


Penola Bookworms!

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The library system statistics at Glenroy have revealed some exciting news related to our literacy improvement journey here at Penola Catholic College. February 2018 has been an exceptionally busy month for the Glenroy library as our Year 7 and 8 students have borrowed over 600 novels from our fiction collection. This level of borrowing is being driven by the Renaissance Reading program and our passionate English teachers who have been bringing their classes to the library to find a book to read as part of this program.  

We would like to congratulate our students for taking on this initiative and hope they are enjoying the novels they are currently exploring. Research referenced by the highly regarded Visible Learning organisation states “reading volume matters.” In fact, students who read for 20 minutes a day will encounter approximately 1,800,000 words per year and are likely to score in the 90th percentile of standardised tests. Contrast this with students who only read 1 minute per day, they will encounter in the region of 8,000 words per year and are expected to score in the 10th percentile of standardised tests. Reading volume does indeed matter!

How can how parents support the Renaissance Reading program at home?

• Ask your son or daughter about their book.

• Set aside some time of an evening for your son or daughter to read their novel.

• Consider reading the book yourself.

If you have any queries about this program please feel free to make contact to discuss further.

Warm regards,

Adam Hipwell
Literacy Leader


Easter Egg Collection!

Dear parents and guardians,

This year we are collecting Easter eggs for St. Vincent De Pauls. All Easter eggs donated to the school will be given to the St. Vinnies charity. Staff at St. Vincent De Paul, will then distribute them to children in the community who will not be given the opportunity to celebrate Easter with a special treat.  The collection will take place from the 5th March – 23rd March. All eggs can be left at the Broadmeadows campus office situated in Kerrsland. Our aim is at least one Easter egg to be donated by each student at Penola Catholic College. Though, not only Easter eggs can be donated, we will also accept Easter activity books and Easter themed reading books which will develop educational skills to children in our community.

Thank you in advance for your kind generosity.

Wishing you and your families a happy, safe and blessed Easter.
Soula Argyropoulos


Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies Wilsons Promontory Excursion

On Saturday the 17th of February, the Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies cohort headed to the picturesque Wilsons Promontory National park for their 4-day hiking expedition. Blessed with some fantastic weather, our students completed their journey which involved carrying all that they needed on their backs and hiking for approximately 25 kilometres across some challenging terrain. The camp was a testament to the fantastic resilience and positive attitude of our Penola Catholic College Outdoor & Environmental Studies group. The hikes visited Sealers Cove, Refuge Cover, Little Waterloo Bay and Oberon Bay where students had the opportunity to visit some of Victoria’s most spectacular and pristine natural environments. Another highlight for many and as camps should be, was an opportunity to spend time getting to know others in the year level more closely, develop positive relationships with staff and to expand the boundaries of our capabilities. Well done to our students on such a great start to the Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies course and thank you to Mr Reynolds and Mr Romero for assisting with this trip.

Mr Adam Hipwell - Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies teacher


Past Student News

In honour of International Woman's Day, we are extremely proud of past student Ezi Magbegor who will be representing Australia in the the first Commonwealth Games Basketball team since Melbourne 2006.

Congratulations Ezi!

Click below to see the article:



Don't forget to sign up to Flexischools!

Flexischools system allows students to pay at the canteen using their existing student card.
Parents can set daily limits and view transactions online.

Click here!


Penola Sport Facebook Page 


Please click the link to view the Fees, Levies and Charges Credit Card Agreement


2018 Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund (CSEF) Changes

The Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET) performed a review of the 2017 Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund (CSEF) payment and application process with a view of simplifying the process for 2018. Changes include:

• The requirement for parents / legal guardians to complete and submit a new application form each year has been removed. This change has been made to simplify the application process for parents / legal guardians and reduce the administrative workload for schools

• Parents / guardians who received the CSEF payment in 2017 at Penola Catholic College will not be required to submit a new application form in 2018 (or subsequent years)

• The automatic Centrelink validation process will verify CSEF eligibility by confirming if the parent / guardian holds a valid concession card

• A CSEF form will only be required to be completed if:

• new students are to enrol at Penola Catholic College (includes students in Year 7 2018)

• parents / guardians applying for CSEF for the first time.


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 (29 January 2018) or term two (16 April 2018).

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 2018 Application Form



Second Hand Uniform Sales 

Fortnightly Tuesdays, Broadmeadows Campus

8.45am - 10.30am

Term One: Feb 6, Feb 20, Mar 6, Mar 20
Term Two: Apr 17, May 1, May 15, May 29, Jun 19
Term Three: Jul 17, Jul 31, Aug 14, Aug 28, Sept 11
Term Four: Oct 9, Oct 23, Nov 13, Nov 27

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. 


Interested in selling your uniform?

If you are interested in selling your clothing please have them dry cleaned and handed in to Reception.
All items must contain the NEW College logo. 
The College will also accept NEW logo items as donations for struggling families.


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