Newsletter - Volume 13 - 22 August 2019


From The Principal: Chris Caldow


Prayer for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary

Last Thursday, 15 August, 2019 was the Feast of the Assumption.  I have included a prayer for the Assumption of Mary:

Woman of Listening,

Mary, woman of listening, open our ears;

Grant us to know how to listen to the word of Jesus among the thousands of words in this world;

Grant that we may listen to the reality in which we live, to every person that we encounter,

Especially those who are poor, in need, in hardship.

Mary, woman of decision, illuminate our mind and our heart, so that we may follow the word of your son Jesus;

Mary, woman of action, obtain that our hands and feet move “with haste” towards others.

To bring them the charity and love of your son Jesus, to bring the light of the Gospel to the world , as you did.



The week beginning 5 August was JJAMM (Julian, Joseph and Mary MacKillop) Week, an important and fun week in our College calendar. It is the week that we take time to honour Fr Julian Tenison Woods, St Joseph and, most importantly, we celebrate the Feast Day of Mary MacKillop. There were many fun activities throughout the week and I am very grateful to all who have been involved. Money raised during the week will be donated to the various year level charities. More reports in regard to JJAMM Week can be found later in this newsletter.

Mobile Phones

On 25 June, the Victorian Minister for Education, James Merlino, announced that mobile phones would be banned in all Victorian State Schools from the start of the 2020 school year. Under this ban, students would be required to switch off their phones and store them securely in their lockers from the start of the day until the end of the school day. This announcement has resulted in much discussion in the media and no doubt in many households and schools about the pros and cons of such a ban.

The reasons cited for the ban have been about the need to address cyber-bullying and to ensure that students are not distracted in classes. The latest research from Headspace states that 53 per cent of young Australian have experienced cyber-bullying. This is alarming and a concern to us all, however the cyber-bullying taking place is not necessarily during school hours and it is unfair to assume that it all occurs through the use of the mobile phone. My experience, and that of a number of our Senior Staff, is that this bullying often takes place outside of school hours and we, as a school, support parents and students to address these issues as they arise.

A bigger issue, I believe, is the amount of screen time that young people are exposed to over the course of a day and week. For us as a school, we embrace technology but also ensure that our lessons are varied and provide a diverse range of learning activities that don’t just involve the use of technology devices. What happens when the students leave school is beyond our control and, as such, parents also need to be involved in setting boundaries for the use of mobile phones and technology. As a school, we run a very comprehensive anti-bullying program across all year levels and our approach is to educate the students about their technology use and how to make good choices about that use.

We are currently reviewing our acceptable use of mobile phones policy with staff, students and parents.  If you have an opinion regarding mobile phones I would welcome your feedback via principal@penola.vic.edu.au

Year 7 Enrolments 2021

A reminder to all of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2021 closes tomorrow Friday, 23 August.  A number of families applied after the close of enrolment last year and it makes it very difficult to accurately plan for the following year so I ask that you submit your enrolment as soon as possible.  Often families assume that we know that there is a younger sibling but I would be very disappointed if one of our existing families missed out on an enrolment due to not submitting their enrolment in a timely manner.

Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings

These take place tonight on both campuses and provide parents with feedback about your son or daughter’s progress. I hope that they are informative and that teaching staff are able to highlight the areas where your child is doing well as well as areas for future improvement. This opportunity, scheduled at this time especially for students, reflects the key stage in the academic year for students. We hope the evening will provide an opportunity for dialogue for families that enables there to be every opportunity for success for our students between now and the end of their academic year. With Semester 1 reports not far behind us, we are asking students to make their subject choices for 2020. Penola staff are always very enthusiastic about promoting their subject areas and are more than happy to explain, discuss and encourage a student to select a particular course of study.  My advice is to talk with your son or daughter about their strengths and weaknesses.  Discuss their interests and consider possible career options.  Talk to friends, older students, and family who have been through the process.  For our Year 12 students visit Open Days and most importantly have as many conversations with your teachers as possible.  Staff at Penola are here to help, and it is part of our profession that is most rewarding. Supporting our young students to make considered mature responses which will hopefully influence their futures in a positive way is a highlight for our teaching staff.

Josephite Exchange

On Thursday, 22 August and Friday, 22 August we will host one of our Josephite schools from South Australia, Mt Carmel College at Rosewater. The visit will involve a number of sporting competitions in sports such as netball, soccer, football, volleyball and basketball.  It also provides an opportunity for our students to engage with students from another Josephite school and get a better understanding of the Josephite charism. I thank in advance both the staff and students involved with the exchange for the way that they will represent the College.

Leadership Assembly

I have included an excerpt from my speech last Friday:

Given today’s assembly is focused upon Leadership, I thought about the different qualities of leaders to present to you today.  When God created humans they were created as social beings, and as a result, they have primarily operated in groups, not as individuals. Teams win and lose. Companies succeed and fail. And nations and empires rise and fall. For this reason, group leadership is critical.

Leadership is about the art of motivating, influencing and directing people so that they work together to achieve the goals of a team or broader organisation. It’s important for students to experience leadership opportunities during their schooling, to learn the art of building relationships within teams, defining identities and achieving tasks effectively. It also provides an opportunity to learn to identify and display effective communication and interpersonal skills.

Leadership begins with identifying and understanding our values. Our values are our fundamental beliefs – those principles we consider to be worthwhile and desirable. At Penola, we believe all members of our community should be capable of exercising leadership in different contexts. The more leadership is encouraged, the more it flourishes.

At the most basic level, we need to distinguish between dominance and leadership. In some groups, a dominant individual will seize power and assert control. This is the world of animal herds, of palace intrigue, authoritarian dictatorships, and mafia families. However, while these situations all make for great television, dominance isn’t leadership. Rather, over the years I’ve become more focused on the nature of leadership as a relationship – an honour that is bestowed upon a person by followers who are willing to place their trust in them.

The key question thus becomes what are the qualities in a person that cause others to trust him or her with the leadership of their group?  There are three key traits people require in order to bestow the mantle of leadership on someone.

• First, people look for integrity – confidence that a person will do the right thing, with the best interest of the group in mind, even when that may not be in the leader’s own self-interest. As a practical matter, this integrity is embodied in the leader’s behaviour. For example, leaders with integrity are comfortable adding people more talented than they are rather than throwing subordinates under the proverbial bus, or blaming failure on unforeseeable events. Make no mistake: leadership is an honour that often requires sacrifice.

• Second, people look for competence – a leader must have the skill to assess a situation and either directly take, or indirectly organize, the sequence, decisions and actions required to ensure the group’s survival and the achievement its larger goals. A leader also needs to be able to perform under pressure, to be resilient when adversely surprised, and to have the grit and persistence to overcome obstacles. A leader has to strike an appropriate balance between the optimism needed to inspire their team, and the overconfidence that leads to failure.

• And third, a leader must have empathy for the people who have entrusted him or her with the leadership of their group. Leaders authentically care about their people. You can’t fake this; evolution has endowed people with a very strong ability to tell the difference between leaders who are authentic, and leaders who are putting on an act. For example, leaders with empathy don’t hesitate to liberally share credit for their team’s success. And while they praise in public, they only criticize in private, and only do so when they can provide constructive coaching and advice. The last aspect of leadership is the ability to define a noble purpose for a group, and to give meaning to every individual’s effort. This exploration of leadership at Penola Catholic College focuses building authentic leaders who use their own values, beliefs and behaviours to model good leadership to the rest of the school. Authentic leaders lead from their values and are aware of their own and others strengths and use these strengths to serve others. Growing authentic leaders is not necessarily a framework or a checklist for leading others but is a mindset as to how a senior leader thinks, behaves and looks out for others. Penola’s Leadership Program equips students with the understanding that we don’t need a badge to have influence and that as leaders we need to build our grit and begin to practice our values. Instilling essential leadership and character development values and traits in students now will continue to build a flourishing foundation for the future.

• Grow as authentic leaders who can role model positive leadership to the rest of the school

• Understand how they can use their influence and impact of their leadership on their peers and the school.

• Appreciate the importance of investing in their relationships to build a healthy support crew.

• Understand the power of servant leadership and that service is often found in the little things we do every day.

• Under that we need to practice our values and know how we use them in testing times.

• Build an intrinsic vision and grow their grit to motivate them for the future.

Good luck to all those nominated for Leadership positions both within the College and within the wider community. 

I wish you well for the remainder of the term, Particularly the Year 12 students with less than 8 weeks of timetabled classes before exams.  A reminder to all students studying at Units 3 & 4 level that the compulsory practice exams will occur in the second week of the holidays and this provides you with the best possible preparation for your final exams in late October and November.

From the Deputy Principal Head of Broadmeadows Campus: Ernie Pisani Vol 11

From the Deputy Principal Head of Broadmeadows Campus: Ernie Pisani Vol 13

Academic Intervention Program

The Academic Intervention Program has recently been established in the junior and senior campuses to assist students who are underachieving academically. In most cases these students lose motivation and develop behaviours and attitudes that impact negatively on the work habits required to achieve success. Students have already been involved in a workshop aimed at self-reflecting on their current efforts and identifying routines that will ultimately bring them success. It is hoped that in the weeks ahead, this program can increase student productivity and develop positive attitudes towards their schooling. Riding on the back of this program is the opportunity for all students to attend the Homework Club which runs every Monday and Tuesday on the senior campus, and the various catch-ups clubs that are organised by each faculty.

School Uniform

The recent cold weather has brought a real challenge to all students and staff. As a school we offer students sheltered areas which allow them to get out of the cold and rain. The cold snap also brings all sorts of pressures on the application of the college’s strict uniform standards. In recent weeks there has been an outbreak of students who insist on wearing beanies or using the PE jacket or the rain jacket in place of the college blazer. Whilst we understand the motives of such decisions, it infringes the college uniform standards. The rain jacket is purely a raincoat for rainy days and the PE jacket can only be worn with the PE tracksuit. On extremely cold days, students are encouraged to wear the college jumper under the blazer. Whilst students can wear shorts during the winter months, these must be worn with the long sleeve shirt, tie and blazer. Whilst we recognise that in some instances, there may be extenuating circumstances preventing students from wearing the correct uniform, we would expect that every effort is made to comply with the uniform standards. Over the past few days there has been a blitz on certain aspects of the uniform to ensure that the standards that students apply are in line with the values of the school.

Student Free day

Please note that Friday 6th September is a designated student free day as staff will be involved in professional development activities throughout the course of the day.

Best wishes!

Ernie Pisani
Deputy Principal
Head of Senior Campus


Year 11 French Excursion

On the 15th August, Derek, Matthew, Will, Oceane, Sargon and myself, together with the Yr.11 French class with Mrs Favrin and Charlotte went on a trip to taste the wonders of France at 'Paris Go' Carlton. When we arrived, none of us had really tried snails before and gave it a go after much anticipation. The main course was next, it was wonderful, with a choice of “poisson, steak-frites or coq au vin”. Finally the dessert – crème brulee, tarte au citron or oeuf à la neige - was great to indulge us. All this while practising our French oral skills.

Thank you Mrs Favrin for organising the wonderful lunch.



Year 10 VET Outdoor Recreation - Maribyrnong River Canoe

On Friday the 2nd of August, our Year 10 VET Outdoor Recreation students set off to the Maribyrnong River for an all-day canoe excursion. This trip involved our students paddling north from Essendon up the Maribyrnong and returning to the Essendon canoe club; a big day given this was the first time many of our students had canoed.

However, despite their lack of experience and the occasional splashing battles our Penola students did a wonderful job and completed the day in exemplary style… although cold and wet for some!

Our next excursion, surfing at Torquay in Term 4 which is always a great day.

Mr Hipwell & Mr Woodburn

Year 10 VET Outdoor Recreation teacher


Year 11 Park Run Charity Fundraiser

On Saturday the 27th of July, a large number of Year 11 students volunteered to participate in a community run Park Run event in order to raise funds for our charity Christmas on the Streets, a not-for-profit organisation group who help homeless Australians (https://christmasonthestreets.com/about/who-we-are/).

Meeting at Penola Catholic College at 6:30am we made our way to the Maribyrnong River where we would start our run. Although crisp, the weather was fantastic with clear blue skies. In order to warm up Mr Mills took our students through a small routine to get the blood flowing. At 8:00am our students undertook the run along with approximately 200 other people from the community. The effort and attitude of our students was fantastic. Well done to Sargon Yousif who finished first out of the PCC representatives and well done to everyone else for participating and completing the 5km course. A further congratulation to Mr Reynolds who organised this wonderful event. And finally, thanks to Mrs Jones, Mr Schaffner and Mr Mills for coming along too. The Year 11 cohort really appreciate your support.

Kind regards,
Mr Hipwell
Acting Year 11 Co-ordinator (replacing Ms Johnson)


Melbourne Catholic Youth Games Report

Saturday the 10th of August saw the annual Melbourne Catholic Youth Games take place at Mazenod College in Mulgrave. Over 150 young Catholics from various Catholic Secondary Schools and Youth Groups in the Archdiocese of Melbourne competed in the event, and for the first time, Penola was one of those groups!

Led by Rob Dullard, Deputy Principal, Head of Faith and Mission along with the two College Youth Ministers, Gil and James, a group of 13 current and former Penola students competed throughout the day in Volleyball, Basketball, Indoor Soccer, Dodgeball, Table Tennis, Chess and Uno, finishing off in the evening with every team joining together for Mass.

The team had a strong start to the day, raking up wins in Basketball and Volleyball, but faced a few challenges in the draw for Soccer and Dodgeball. While we walked away in equal 6th place, everyone Penola student was a winner, being the most outstanding examples of sportsmanship and Catholic spirit in every match they played, while challenging themselves to give each sport a go and to push themselves to the next degree. A few students left with a new found passion for sports they never played before, while Rob Dullard joined us on the court and helped form some solid plays in Volleyball and Dodgeball!

A big thank you goes out to Rob for leading the excursion, to Melissa Fry for all her organisational work behind the scenes to get the team to the venue, and to every current and former student in attendance for coming together as a team and showing the Penola spirit in every match.

We’re looking forward to bringing another team to the 2020 Melbourne Catholic Youth Games! If you or someone you know would be interested in playing for Penola in 2020, let the College Youth Ministers know at gmein@penola.vic.edu.au today. See you on the court!


Biology Excursion

The trip to GTAC on 6th August was just amazing and gave all the biology students an opportunity to be in an research experiment, where we could work with scientist mentors to generate DNA barcodes of intestinal worms by applying molecular biology. GTAC is collaborating with the Australian Society for parasitology to characterise the diversity of intestinal parasites infecting Australian livestock using DNA barcodes. This investigation forms a citizen science project for which each participating student is recognised for their contribution to science. This made us feel important as we could do something to the society and environment. We would be recognised as the authors of this DNA barcode sequence. This sequence results will be published in Genbank and accessible online.

Students also got to work with research quality equipment’s and work with scientists and ask questions about their research and where the study of science in university may lead. This allowed the students to gain insight on how their career may go if they choose to take on science in the future. Overall, the experience was enlightening for the students, who plan to further expand their knowledge of science in the coming years.

Navreet, Pavaneet, Mary and Annabella on behalf of Year 12 Biology students at Penola Catholic College.


Sport Report 


Penola Sport Facebook Page 


Attwoord House Community Centre

Please note
There has been a venue change for this event. This will now take place in the ERC of the Broadmeadows Campus. 



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) 

CSEF applications have closed as from 28/6/19 except for:

Families on a bridging visa, temporary protection visa, are in community detention or are asylum seeker families

A letter from the Australian Red Cross, AMES, or similar organisation is required as evidence. A copy of an 'immi' card is also acceptable evidence.

Delia Gaetano
CSEF Administrator


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