Newsletter - Volume 3 - 7 March 2019

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:

• 1511 students have been engaged in learning across both Campuses

• Year 7 and Years 9-12 Information Evenings have been conducted and were well attended by the parent body

• Enrolments for Year 7, 2020 have closed

• The House Swimming Carnival was 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 2018

• Years 7 & 9 Camps have taken place

• A highly successful Year 7 Welcome Dinner has been held by the Parents and Friends Association with over 450 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, 16 February. 

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

Beginning of Lent

The church season of lent begins this week and is a time of preparation for Easter, the key event of Christianity.  Yesterday saw all of our students involved in liturgies, which included the distribution of ashes as part of our Catholic ritual on Ash Wednesday. These liturgies took place at the Broadmeadows and Glenroy Campuses as well as the Year 7 Camp at Mt Eliza and the Year 9 Camp at Lady Northcote Camp just outside Bacchus Marsh. Each person has a sign of the cross marked on their forehead and, in doing so, we are taking part in a tradition that reaches back thousands of years.  The ashes are an ancient symbol of repentance and purification. They are the outward sign of our inner intention to set aside the things that keep us from God and try to be better people.

2020 Year 7 Enrolments

As I hope you are all aware, Year 7, 2020 Enrolments closed on Friday, 24 August of last year.  We have had an additional 91 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 2020, 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 Partnership Meetings

The first of our Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meeting sessions took place last Wednesday, 27 February 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. These presentations will be available on the respective Year Level pages on MyPenola for those who were unable to attend.  Feel free to respond regardless of whether you attended or were unable to attend. I welcome emails to: ccaldow@penola.vic.edu.au

Parish Primary Partnerships Mass

Staff from Penola and our feeder Parish Primary Schools will celebrate together with Mass on Tuesday, 12 March.  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 our College Captains into St Patrick’s Cathedral to represent the College at the Catholic Education week Opening Mass on Friday, 15 March. 

Japanese Homestay

On Friday, 15 March, 15 students and 2 staff arrive from our Japanese sister school, Dokkyo Saitama High School. As part of this visit these students and staff will complete a range of excursions and activities as well as getting a taste of Australian life through their homestay experience.  They leave us on Monday, 25 March for a short visit to Sydney prior to returning to Japan.  I thank the 15 Penola families who have agreed to host these students for their generosity in giving our sister school students a taste of Australian life. Without their generosity and support, this program would not be able to run which would be a significant loss for us as a College and for our students.

College Board Vacancy

After six years of service to our College Board and community, Mrs Vivien Miles, is required according to the constitution to step down from the College Board.  First and foremost, I would like to thank Vivien for her efforts throughout this time and her support of me as College Principal and our Board throughout the past six years.  She has worked tirelessly in this role as well as being a consistent member of our Parents and Friends Association throughout this time as well. Fortunately, for us, Vivien will continue her involvement as Secretary of the Parents and Friends Association.

I am calling for nominations for a representative from the parent body to join our Board for 2019-2020.  If there is more than one nomination then an election will be held to determine the representative.  If you are interested in finding out more about what this entails, your responsibility as a Board Member and the time commitment required then please contact me via email: principal@penola.vic.edu.au

The College Board meets eight times this year, generally on the third Wednesday of the month during term time. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate in contacting me. I have attached a copy of the nomination form for the College Board vacancy and any interested parents are requested to email a completed nomination form to principal@penola.vic.edu.au

Click here for nomination form. 

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.  In addition, 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.  Out 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.


Student Photographs

A reminder to all parents that you need to notify the College if you do not give permission for your son or daughter’s photograph to be published in newsletters or promotional materials.  We would like to begin to place more photographs and videos on MyPenola and so I take this opportunity to remind you of the student permission form for photographs.  If we have not received your permission form back at the College we have assumed that your consent has been provided.  It is the responsibility of each family to make this decision and notify the College if you decide to exclude your son or daughter from having their photograph published.  In practical terms, this will mean that your son or daughter will need to be excluded from most group shots such as class photographs as these are published in our Year Book each year.


Parking Restrictions

There is restricted parking in Gibson Street, Broadmeadows, William Street, Glenroy and the surrounding streets in both these areas.

Please take note of the signage as parking officers are constantly patrolling the area. 

It is advised that parents are not to drop off or up pick students on the school grounds.

Parking in the reception car park is restricted to parents wishing to see reception or the accounts office only. It is not to be used for drop off/pick up of students.

Thanking you in advance. 


Catholic Education Arts Exhibition

Congratulations to Lorraine Batras and Hannah Emeagi, from the class of 2018 who will have their Studio Art Finals exhibited at this years Catholic Education Arts Exhibition as part of the Catholic Education Week celebrations 12 - 17 March.  Penola Catholic College has a long history of having student Art works exhibited at this event. If anyone is interested in attending the event please contact me for information.

Jason Hussey​​​​​​​
Head of Visual Art 


Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies Wilsons Promontory Excursion

On Saturday the 16th of February, the Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies cohort headed to the scenic Wilsons Promontory National Park for their 4-day hiking expedition. Blessed with some great weather, our students completed their journey which involved carrying all that they needed on their backs and hiking for approximately 35 kilometres across some very challenging terrain.

The camp was a testament to the fantastic resilience and positive attitude of our Penola Catholic College Outdoor & Environmental Studies group. Our students visited Sealers Cove, Refuge Cove, Little Waterloo Bay and Oberon Bay where they had the opportunity to visit some of Victoria’s most spectacular and pristine locations.

Another highlight for many was the opportunity to spend time getting to know others in the year level more closely, share plenty of laughs (special mention to Charlie Grant), 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 Ms Flynn for assisting with this trip.

Mr Adam Hipwell

Year 12 Outdoor & Environmental Studies teacher


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…!

In March this 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


Year 10 VET Outdoor Recreation

Hardrock Indoor Rock-climbing Excursion

On Wednesday the 27th of February our Year 10 VET Outdoor Recreation 2019 cohort commenced the practical component of their Certificate II by participating in two hours of indoor rock-climbing at Hardrock in the Melbourne CBD.

For many of our students they had never rock climbed before and were relatively new to the sport no doubt invoking a few nerves when they first laid eyes on the 15 metre plus climbing walls! However despite their relative inexperience, this was a small obstacle for our students and we are pleased to report they participated in an enthusiastic manner. This activity provided some great opportunities for our students to broaden their comfort zones whilst supporting each other.

A huge well done to our students for making such a positive start to the year and we are looking forward to many more positive experiences over the course of 2019.


Mr Steve Woodburn & Mr Adam Hipwell

Year 10 VET Outdoor Recreation teachers


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)





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