Newsletter - Volume 4 - 21 March 2019

From The Principal: Chris Caldow


The Criminal Conviction of Cardinal George Pell

There has been a very wide range of responses to the outcome of the George Pell court case – some of it quite moving and courageous, some of it balanced, and some of it disappointing. Whilst I am conscious of the fact that an appeal has been lodged, the purpose of this article is to provide clarity around the school’s position in this matter, rather than commentary. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the survivors and their families. Should anyone wish to communicate their thoughts on this matter with me, they are welcome to email me: ccaldow@penola.vic.edu.au

The following statement was made by the President of the Australian Bishops’ Council, Archbishop Mark Coleridge, in relation to the conviction of Cardinal George Pell.

“The news of Cardinal George Pell’s conviction on historical child sexual abuse charges has shocked many across Australia and around the world, including the Catholic Bishops of Australia. The Bishops agree that everyone should be equal under the law, and we respect the Australian legal system. The same legal system that delivered the verdict will consider the appeal that the Cardinal’s legal team has lodged. Our hope, at all times, is that through this process, justice will be served. In the meantime, we pray for all those who have been abused and their loved ones, and we commit ourselves anew to doing everything possible to ensure that the Church is a safe place for all, especially the young and the vulnerable.” - 26 February, 2019

I am aware that the news from the Victorian Court, announced on Tuesday, 26 February, will be distressing from a number of points of view. I am particularly aware that some members of our Penola community know survivors of abuse and indifference by clergy and religious and that therefore awful painful memories will again be stirred with this court’s decision.

At this school, we teach our students to trust, respect and obey the laws of the land and the institutions thereof. We therefore place our trust in the judicial process and hope for a just conclusion. The College holds survivors of abuse close to our heart and keep them in our prayers. May the love, support and indignation of our community be of comfort to survivors and their families and friends.

Should any distress have been caused, the following agencies can be contacted for support: Lifeline 13 11 14 • www.lifeline.org.au

Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 • https://www.beyondblue.org.au

2020 Year 7 Enrolments

As I hope you are all aware, 2020 Year 7 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.

College Board

The first meeting for the new College Board was conducted Wednesday night where the following positions were determined:

Board Chairperson                                                      Mrs Mary Anastasopoulos

Deputy Board Chairperson                                         Mrs Alfina Astuto                                

I thank these people for taking on these important roles and for their support of me and the College.  I would also like to thank all of our College Board members for their ongoing contribution to our school:

Fr Vo Duc Thien

Mrs Jenny Vinten

Mr Stuart Harrison

Mrs Angela Xidias

Mrs Evelyn Assaad

Mrs Julie Lyons

Mr Chris Lang

Mr Anthony Alizzi

Mrs Carmen Alongi

Mrs Marija Cakarun

Mr Chanilka Amantha Jayakodi Arachchage

Mr Vishnu Satish.

Parish Primary Partnerships Session

Staff from Penola and our feeder Parish Primary schools celebrated together with a mass to recognise our partnerships at the beginning of Catholic Education Week. The purpose of this day was to meet the staff from our feeder Parish Primary schools and to foster greater links between the staff from each of the respective schools. My thanks to those involved with the organisation of the afternoon particularly Fr Dishan Cappara, Mr Rob Dullard and Mrs Melissa Fry.  My thanks to the Principals of our feeder Parish Primary schools and their staff for finding time in their busy schedules to attend the afternoon.

St Patrick’s Day Mass

I attended the St Patrick’s Day Mass along with a range of our student leaders at St Patrick’s Cathedral at the Catholic Education Week Opening Mass on Friday, 16 March. Attending the mass on a student free day shows the commitment of our leaders to Penola Catholic College and I thank our College Captains Chan and Vishnu as well as Callea Palmieri, Nathan Gallagher, Mason Bradford, Sabrina Batras and Ben Polimicos for attending the mass. You get a sense of how many students are educated in Catholic schools across the Melbourne Diocese with more than 3000 people attending the mass.

Japanese Homestay

On Friday, 15 March, we had 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.

Whole School Activity Days - Athletics Day Wednesday April 3

I would like to take the time to outline our expectations with regards to these events.  When students and families sign up for a place at Penola Catholic College they agree to the whole package and do not get to choose which parts of the package they will participate in.  Attendance is compulsory at all whole school functions including the Athletics Carnival.  If your son or daughter is going to be absent on any of these days could you please ask them to come and see me!  There will be follow-up of all absences on this day.

There are some students and families believe that the Athletics Carnival is not a valuable activity and may condone the absence of their son(s) or daughter(s) from the Athletics Carnival.  This is most concerning to me, as I believe that students should be involved with all aspects of College life, not just the ones that they enjoy or want to do.  As a school, we will make contact with the students who are unexplained absences from the Athletics Carnival.  Each student and family has signed up for the whole package and I believe that whole school activities are important and that each student should attend.   

Parental Engagement

Driving to work the other morning I heard a report on the radio, which talked about the link between the education levels of parents and their children’s NAPLAN success rates.  Simply put the higher the level of parent’s education the more likely the student was to succeed compared to other families.  I believe we need to be very careful when considering research such as this as there is a danger that we can accept these findings without question and it becomes a self-fulfilling idea.  That is, students cannot change their level of performance and it is all pre-ordained according to genetics, postcode and income levels.  In my experience in education, I have met many outstanding students who come from families with a variety of levels of education who succeed extraordinarily well.

Fortunately, the researcher went on to say that, what they do next is to see what these so called ‘successful families’ do to support their children’s education. I believe that there are strategies and approaches that consistently benefit students when instituted at home on a regular basis.  As parents, you should have been able to access your child / children’s reports online.  One of the key ways that you can support your son or daughter’s education is by taking a genuine interest in what they are doing at school.  Ways that you can show that you are interested is by asking how their day was at school or through your attendance at Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings and other school events.

I have been pleased with the numbers of parents that have attended our initial Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings.  The purpose of these meetings is for staff to find out from parents information about your son or daughter, to meet with your child’s subject teachers and for teachers to give feedback about their performance to date.  Many of you will have noted a change in practice with our progress reports in terms of when they are available and whether interviews have been requested.  We have sent personal invitations to every family as we are seeking to promote two-way communication between the school and our families.

One of the most important study habits a student can institute is ensuring study times are regular and immoveable unless there is a remarkable reason to make a change.  Times can be sorted around sporting or musical commitments, part-time work or even favourite television programs but once they have been sorted out, it should be as regular as brushing your teeth in the morning.  If there is no homework then some school work such as revision, additional maths or reading a novel should be done instead.  There are always a certain number of students who will cram their class work so that they can come home to announce that they don’t have any homework!  Having an unconditional homework time can encourage students to expand and develop their work further.

Secondly, usually the best place for homework is in a public place in the house.  Especially where adults are quietly doing other things around them, and are touching base with how they are going.  For both of my children this place is on our kitchen table!  Some students find doing homework locked away in a bedroom so crushingly boring that either they don’t get on with anything or they are constantly tempted by distractions such as Facebook, computer games or even just surfing the net!  The other advantage with this suggestion is that there is considerable research around that says that when parent’s take an interest in the child’s school work, this improves the attitude of their child to everything associated with schooling which improves learning. What is also critical is that the homework is done earlier in the evening rather than late at night.

All students struggle with motivation at various stages and one of the things that we can assist with as parents is reminding our children that nearly every form of success that we have achieved has been as a result of hard work and lots of it!  Some students need assistance with their organisation to ensure that they start tasks early enough to be able to complete their best work rather than in a huge rush just before it is due.  Others simply need help in planning and recording what tasks they need to complete and prioritising this work.  Despite what your children may believe, you know them better than anyone else so you will know the areas where they need support and ways that you can help. 


As we continue with the fourth week of Lent a lot of people consider what to give up.  The following reflection was in my local church bulletin at St Monica’s Moonee Ponds, which I offer to you:

What to give up

Give up complaining -             focus on Gratitude

Give up pessimism -               become an Optimist

Give up worry -                       trust Divine Providence

Give up bitterness -                turn to Forgiveness

Give up hatred -                      replace evil for Good

Give up negativism -               be Positive

Give up anger -                       be More Patient

Give up pettiness -                  become Mature

Give up gloom -                      enjoy the Beauty all around you

Give up jealousy -                   pray for Trust

Give up gossiping -                 control your Tongue

Give up sin -                            turn to Virtue

Give up giving up -                  Hang in there!

As Lent draws to a close we look for hope in the Resurrection of Christ our Saviour and Redeemer. Through His sacrifice, He has made possible our salvation from sin. Jesus tells us that He is the way to the Father. Let us take time in this Easter season to reflect on our own lives and invite the Risen Lord’s companionship on our life’s journey towards our Eternal home. 


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. 


From the Deputy Principal Head of Broadmeadows Campus: Ernie Pisani Vol 4

Dear parents, As Term 1 nears its conclusion we can well reflect on the achievements of the past two months. The calendar has been full with exciting things which truly reflect the holist nature of the educational experience at Penola. These experiences continue over the next two weeks before the term holiday. The House Athletics Carnival is due to take …

Read more.


From the Deputy Principal Head of Faith & Mission: Robert Dullard Vol 4

Year 8 Religious Education Excursions During the first week of March, year 8 students attended an excursion to various places of worship in East Melbourne as part of their term 1 work in Religious Education. Places visited included St Patrick’s Cathedral, The East Melbourne Synagogue, St Nicholas Antiochian Church and Our Lady of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. In class …

Read more.


Easter Egg Donations

Dear parents and guardians,

During the Lenten season, we are challenged, especially at this time, to think of others who may be less fortunate than ourselves.

This year, as in previous years,  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 18th March – 2nd April. 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


Penola Sport Facebook Page 


SACCSS Senior Boys Basketball

On Wednesday the 13th of March our senior boys basketball team competed in Division 1 of the SACCSS Senior Boys Basketball tournament held at Werribee basketball stadium. Our boys have been training since the beginning of the year for this day, getting to school at 7:20am to improve as a team and most importantly have fun and enjoy getting to know each other. After finishing runners up last year our boys were excited about what we might be able to achieve in 2019

Our boys represented Penola Catholic College fantastically well as they played with a strong sense of competitiveness and fair play. By the end of our four round robin games we had won two games convincingly, however, we narrowly lost to Kolbe College (by 4 points) and Mackillop College (by 3 points). This meant we failed to reach the final where Kolbe went on to beat Mackillop in another close game. In short, our boys were not far off from being overall champions.

Best players for the day were Daniel Alessio, Zac Taylor and Mitchell Pieper who put in great performances in each of our games. A big thank you to Benjamin Pieper, Jordan Masters, Anthony De Lorenzi and Emmanuel Addo for their help on the day and congratulations to following for making this year’s SACCSS senior boys basketball team:

• Daniel Alessio (c)

• Mitchell Pieper (c)

• Angus Collins (c)

• Jordan Charran

• George Enchev

• Zac Taylor

• Derek Sakyi

• Lucas Repic

Thanks for reading and looking forward to competing in
the Victorian College Championships during Term 2.

Mr Hipwell


SACCSS Senior Sports Day – Girls Basketball

On the back of winning the Division Two title last year, our Senior Girls Basketball team made the jump up to the premier division for 2019, enjoying a day of competing and having fun at the impressive Eagle Stadium in Werribee. Whilst the results on the day weren’t in our favour, the girls gave their all and demonstrated outstanding sportswomanship and team spirit throughout the day, ensuring it was an enjoyable one for all.  

Members of the team were:

• Pavaneet Sidhu – an A+ student in the classroom, Pav was also awarded an A+ for her effort and calm nature on court

• Annabella Mansour – our backup guard for the tournament, she smiled all day and was always first to offer help with equipment and anything that needed to be done off the court  

• Tahlia Downs – short in stature but not in energy, TD started in the guard spot and gave her all in each game  

• Georgia Di Lizio – another diminutive guard who was a pest on defence and played with speed and determination     

• Ella Ryan – coming off an extended layoff due to a knee injury, Ella continued the legacy her siblings created representing PCC – run hard, jump high, have fun

• Erin O’Dwyer – a netballer by trade, she made up for her inexperience with physical defence and maximum effort

• Madeline Kos – her calculating nature and resilience were on display all day with her flawless attitude and reliable play

• Marissa Vocale – strong, focused and skilled, Marissa was our leading scorer and rebounder on the day and demonstrated a steely resolve whilst competing against taller opponents close to the basket  

• Claire Leahy – our “Jaclyn of all trades”, Claire showed her athleticism and endurance by hardly resting all day and playing with boundless energy and grit; she ended the day with the most bruises and loose balls retrieved

A big thanks to all our girls for participating and representing our College in the manner they did.

Mr. Mills      



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