Newsletter - Volume 1 - 7 February 2019

From The Principal: Chris Caldow

Welcome back to all students and families. We particularly welcome those who are joining the College community for the first time.  We have a total of 304 new Year 7 students along with four Year 8 students, seven Year 9 students, six Year 10 students, three Year 11 students and one Year 12 student who are new to Penola.  In total there are 325 new students at Penola out of a total enrolment of 1526 students.  This means that over one in five students are new to Penola and I would ask all within our community to go out of their way to ensure that our new students are welcomed and supported in their transitional period.  In total we have 204 new families for 2019 so a particularly warm welcome to these families.  I hope that your time within the Penola community is both enriching and rewarding.

I am really looking forward to this year at Penola Catholic College commencing with our key foci to prioritise high expectations and authentic relationships.  To this end, this school improvement focus will tie together a number of areas that we have already been working toward; namely, explicit teaching of literacy, planning and coaching teams and improving student outcomes. I have introduced an alignment meeting for all POL holders once per term to explicitly discuss the focus for the upcoming term so that this can be reinforced at all meetings and discussions for the term. Professional Learning will be targeted to assist staff in using data effectively and developing student curiosity and powerful learning. 

Our theme for the year is “Never see a need without doing something about it.” (Josephite tenet)  This theme is particularly relevant for all of us as both we, our students and their families have a number of needs. One of the key needs within a school setting are the relationships that are established both between colleagues, students, parents and the broader community.  It is these relationships that are foundational in the teaching and learning process and ultimately builds our culture in all that we do and all that we become. The obvious interpretation for never seeing a need without doing something about it is an external focus on things such as social justice, equity and improving the plight of the marginalized and disadvantaged.  There is also a possibility that we can take an internal focus by turning our attention towards the areas where we know that we need to improve within ourselves and attempting to address our deficits or weaknesses.

As such, it is important that all students begin the year well in every context. It is important that the College uniform is worn well at all times; it means getting down to the core business of working hard in class and working with every teacher to produce the best set of results possible; it involves challenging oneself to participate in the vast array of co-curricular activities available; it means embracing the social justice programmes at the College and contributing to these. The evidence clearly supports the theory that the 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.


In recent times we have been aware of members of our community who have suffered loss, including

• Melissa Fry on the passing of her father-in-law, Brian Fry after passing away prior to Christmas.


Please keep the following staff in your prayers as well after recent surgery – Arnel Davis who had his plates and screws removed from his lower right leg after being re-aligned. Victor Pace (Joanne’s husband) who suffered a stroke over the holiday period. Victor is recovering well but Joanne will take Carer’s Leave for at least the first three weeks of this term.

On a brighter note, we congratulate Lisa Grech and her husband, Daniel on the safe arrival of Xavier Joseph Grech on 8 December 2018. Congratulations to Adam Hipwell and his wife, Josie on the birth of Jude Hipwell on 29 December 2018. Congratulations to Philip Whittaker and his wife Holly on the birth of Elijah Anthony Whittaker, coming in at 3.2 kilos on 31 January 2019. We also congratulate Katherine Meddis on her marriage in early December and Samantha Attard on her marriage on 14 December 2018. We would also like to congratulate Tahnee Bruynen and her partner Jamie Paisley as well as Erin Bonavia and her partner Matthew Forde who got engaged over the holidays.


I have provided a list of staff new to the College for 2019 including those who are returning to the College after a period of leave.


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 Mr Ernie Pisani, email address is: episani@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.

I hope that all students will settle into a productive routine as quickly as possible; I hope they will participate in activities new to them this year; and I look forward to witnessing a genuine spirit of cooperation and partnership between all students and their teachers this year.


The year 12 results were very good, particularly when you compare their predicted scores to their actual scores.  The Dux of the College was Jason Li with an ATAR score of 98.75 and a further 6 students had an ATAR above 90.  WE had 12 students with ATARs in the 80’s. These results are indicative of all the work that has been done in recent years to improve student achievement, and hopefully this will be a continuing trend.  I was particularly pleased with an increase in the number of students who achieved an ATAR in the 80’s, 70’s and 60’s.

93% of students who applied for an ATAR receiving an offer and 89% receiving one of their top 3 choices. 


Our first whole school assembly will take place on Friday, 15 February commencing at 9:00am. Year 7 students will be inducted and those 2018 Year 12 students who received an ATAR of 80 or more will be recognised with the presentation of plaques.  The Dux of the College, Jason Li, will be invited to address the students and staff.  We also asked students who received a study score of 40 or above to this assembly to be recognised.

Given the high number of new members of our community, I thought that this prayer was appropriate to begin the school year.

The Journey Begins

As we step into this new year,

Restore our spirits.

Renew our passion for sharing your wisdom

And nurture our compassion

for those in need of greater support.

Transform us as we seek to transform:

Guide us as we seek to guide;

Open our minds and hearts

As we seek to open minds and hearts

To the Good News of justice and peace.

Help us listen more deeply

To the world and to your Word,

So we can walk with those in our care,

Attentive to the Wisdom that

Calls us all to the Kingdom of God.


From the Deputy Principal Head of Broadmeadows Campus: Ernie Pisani Vol. 1

The year has started positively on the senior campus with students quickly settling into good work patterns. The opening Campus Assembly emphasized that working together, creating good and trusting relationships and making good decisions were instrumental in experiencing a successful year. Best wishes for the year ahead to those entrusted to our care. Campus Assembly The Campus Assembly also addressed …

Read more.


2019 College Theme

The theme for this year is “Never See A Need, Without Doing Something About It”. This is not a direct quote from Mary MacKillop as we would normally have but it is a Josephite tenet (guideline / principle) that Mary and the Sisters adhered to. This is a wonderful theme because it lies at the very heart of Mary’s Charism, which is built upon the concepts of Justice, Dignity & Liberation through Love. She was a person of enormous faith & as we know, placed all her trust in God. She was a lady of strong conviction, courageous and very importantly, a lady of action. Mary always reached out to those on the fringes of society, the poor, the weak, the scandalous, the homeless & she saw a real need to educate the children of the bush. She set about ensuring they had an opportunity to be properly educated, to learn about God and to develop their faith. As a lady of action, Mary never waited for others to do something, she always took it upon herself to roll up her sleeves and get dust on her shoes.

Our theme this year, calls each of us, as followers of her charism, to follow her lead & do the same. It calls us to renew our commitment as a school community, to reach out and support one another; students, staff and families alike. In the first instance, it challenges us all to reflect upon our own personal needs and to take positive action to address these needs. Secondly, it challenges us to become more aware of the needs of others within our own Penola community and make a concerted effort to support them and further, it calls us to commit and become more deeply involved in supporting social justice activities and programs in the wider community and more globally, where possible.

Clearly, this theme offers our community so much in our endeavour to emulate the charism of Mary MacKillop and so throughout 2019, our focus will definitely be to roll up our sleeves, get dust on our shoes and to act positively to address such needs.

Robert Dullard
Deputy Principal, Faith and Mission


Are you interested in making a friend abroad?

Are you interested in going on one of the overseas College trips?

Then this is for you…!

Early next year we will be receiving a group of approximately 15 students from Japan on a Homestay program. Our Penola students travel regularly to Japan and are hosted by families from our Japanese Sister School, Dokkyo Saitama High School. They are now looking to visit Melbourne and complete Homestay with our Penola families.

This experience, as one can imagine, has many benefits, both for our visitors who are keen to improve their English language skills and their knowledge of Australia, and for our students studying Japanese who will be able to develop their Japanese language skills and learn more about Japan and its culture.

The Japanese students will be in Melbourne from March 15 to 25, 2019. We are now calling for expressions of interest from families who would be able to host a student during this period, providing board and lodging for the duration of the stay. While the Japanese students would attend school daily, it would be the responsibility of the host families to care for these students after school hours and during the weekend. Students who wish to go on any of the overseas College trips will be given first preference in the selection of candidates for future trips.

If you are interested in hosting a Japanese student, would you please email me at afavrin@penola.vic.edu.au  or telephone me on 9301 2757 as soon as possible.  

Of course, none of these programs are viable without the generous support of our families. I look forward to receiving a favourable reply from many of you..       

Please note also – there will also be a group visiting from France in May, should you be interested in that experience. More information to follow later in the year


Penola Parents and Friends Association - Introducing our President, Mrs. Sarah Alizzi

Sarah Alizzi is the current President of the Penola Catholic College Parents and Friends Association.  Sarah is a mother of three children all who are currently attending Penola: Allanah is in Year 12, Amy is in Year 10 and Nathan is in Year 9. 

Sarah has been on the Penola PFA committee for a few years and has been President since the beginning of 2018.  Her husband Anthony is also on the PFA committee.

Sarah loves spending time with family and friends, travelling and staying active.  Sarah enjoys meeting other parents at the College and is hoping more parents become involved with the PFA and have a say in their school community.

The PFA meet on the first Monday of every month (except school holidays).

Meetings start at 7pm at either the Glenroy or Broadmeadows campus.  Please visit https://penola.vic.edu.au/parents-friends/ for dates and locations.

Please come along to a meeting to hear more about the College, volunteer to assist at one of our events or come and share some of your ideas for the College.

The next meeting is on Monday 4th March in the staffroom at the Glenroy campus – enter via the gate on Pengana Avenue.


Why Music?............

Because it’s FUN!

Learning a musical instrument is fun! The opportunity to learn a musical instrument is available to all students at Penola Catholic College, and is a very rewarding experience for students who take part. All students who learn an instrument will be instructed by teachers of the highest quality in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.

Enrolments are now being taken for the Instrumental Music Program

If you are interested please collect your enrolment form from the Music Department.


Penola Sport Facebook Page 



Second Hand Uniform Sales 

Fortnightly Tuesdays, Broadmeadows Campus

8.45am - 10.30am

Term One: Feb 5, Feb 19, Mar 5, Mar 19, Apr 2
Term Two: Apr 23, May 7, May 21, Jun 4, Jun 18
Term Three: Jul 16, Jul 30, Aug 13, Aug 27, Sept 10
Term Four: Oct 8, Oct 22, Nov 12, Nov 26

Interested in selling your uniform?

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


2019 Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund (CSEF) Changes

Every Victorian child should have access to the world of learning opportunities that exist beyond the classroom. The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps ensure that no student will miss out on the opportunity to join their classmates for important, educational and fun activities. It is part of making Victoria the Education State and the Government’s commitment to breaking the link between a student’s background and their outcomes.

To Submit a CSEF Application in 2019

If you have applied for the CSEF  in a previous year, you do not need to complete an application form in 2019 unless there has been a change in your family circumstances. The school will apply for the CSEF on your behalf.

You will ONLY need to submit an application form in 2019 if any of the following changes have occurred:

• New student enrolments: your child has started or changed schools in 2019 or you did not apply at the same school in a previous year

• Changed family circumstances: such as: A change of custody, change of name, concession card number, or new siblings commencing at the school in 2019.


Delia Gaetano
CSEF Administrator

Attachments: (English, Arabic and Vietnamese)





Community News (Adverts/Sponsors)

• Ace Tennis Hot Shots

• Calling All Budding Netball Players


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