From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 7

Student Free Day- Friday, 14 May (Remote Learning Day Years 7-12)
We have organised a staff professional development day on Friday 14 May to look at the Australian curriculum and rigorous forms of assessment. The facilitator for the day will be Bronwyn Ryrie-Jones who is familiar to most of the teaching staff with her work with us in the past on developmental rubrics. We intend on setting the day as a Remote Learning day for our students so that they are left work to complete on MyPenola at home rather than missing the whole day’s learning. Teaching staff will obviously not be available on the day as they will be involved with professional development. The set work will be available under the News section on the relevant class pages on MyPenola.

Management of Parent Complaints
Penola Catholic College works in an educational partnership with parents for the benefit of all students. On entering into this partnership, families assume a number of important responsibilities which include: Loyalty to the College community, a commitment to the College Mission statement and support of all College policies and expectations.

It is acknowledged that there may be occasions when parents wish to express concerns / make complaints regarding College matters. Parents are always encouraged to communicate with the relevant College personnel to discuss their concerns.

The College is always available to assist parents through discussion in developing a clearer understanding of College expectations in all areas.

Parents are required to express their concerns in a calm and respectful manner towards all staff who may be involved. On presenting the concern the family must be able to be identified. Any anonymous concerns or complaints cannot be satisfactorily investigated as the College would be unable to confirm them as genuine.

In having specific concerns / complaints addressed we recommend that initial contact be made with the relevant College personnel in the order below:

Curriculum MattersSubject Teacher, Head of Learning, Deputy Principal of Teaching & Learning
Student’s AcademicSubject Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
Student Wellbeing MattersHomeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Head of Student Services, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
General Student BehaviorHomeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
Transport MattersTransport Co-Ordinator, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
College PoliciesDeputy Principal Head of Campus
StaffDeputy Principal Head of Campus
Off Campus IncidentsDeputy Principal Head of Campus
UniformHomeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-Ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
FinancialBusiness Manager

In all cases where the matter cannot be satisfactorily resolved, parents are encouraged to contact the College Principal.

Mother’s Day Breakfast
The Mother’s Day Breakfast was held on Friday 7 May. It is a great community event which enables mothers and grandmothers to spend time with their sons and daughters or grandchildren. My thanks to Garry Cottom and other staff who assisted with the preparation and serving of the breakfast, our fantastic Maintenance Team for their efforts in setting up and packing up the Assembly and Sports Hall and to Mrs. Xidias for her overall organisation of the various aspects of the event.

This week our students in Years 7 and 9 sat the annual NAPLAN tests in literacy and numeracy. This is a major event organisationally and requires much preplanning so that the testing process can run smoothly. The student data generated by these tests will assist the College in continuing to improve student learning outcomes in the future and will provide valuable information about the level of improvement in student literacy and numeracy skills in the College.

My thanks to staff involved with this organisation particularly Mrs. Sandra Warren, Mr. Keven Zavadlal, Mr. Simon Greatwood, Mrs. Vera Treloar and Ms. Clare Moore.

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 our website 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 Yearbook each year.

Enhancing Catholic School Identity Parent surveys
Parents should have received a letter from Mr. Robert Dullard, Deputy Principal-Faith and Mission over the past fortnight explaining how to access this survey where we ask for your own personal views on faith and what you would like to see in your ideal school. We are keen to hear the views of parents with regards to how you currently see the school in terms of our Catholic identity and what your ideal school would look like with regards to Catholic identity. To encourage parents to complete this survey we are providing all parents who complete the survey with the opportunity to go into a draw for $250 to be removed from your family fee account.

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews
Our next round of Parent/Teacher/Student interviews take place on Thursday 27 May from 3.00pm to 8.30pm with a dinner break in this time as well. This will take place via Teams which enables both staff and families to enjoy the interviews within the comfort of their own homes as the winter weather kicks in. I have been heartened by the numbers of parents who have been attending our interviews and taking an active role in the learning of their children. Research indicates that parents who take an active role in their child’s education results in significantly better outcomes for these students. Your son or daughter notices whether you attend these interviews, whether you are taking an interest in what they are doing and whether you think learning is important. Parents act as role models in so many areas of a child’s life and their beliefs about education and the importance of learning are vital.

National Reconciliation Week (next fortnight)
National Reconciliation Week celebrates the rich culture and history of Indigenous Australians. It is the perfect time for all Australians to think about how to help turn around the disadvantage experienced by many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. It is also a time where we can reflect about what we are doing to advance the process of reconciliation.

Reconciliation involves achieving an understanding of the facts of Indigenous Australia, including history and its continuing effects, the importance of culture, the contribution of Indigenous people to the Australia that we live in today, and the diverse situations of Indigenous people living in our communities. This understanding is fundamental for respectful engagements and mutual acceptance between people.

The week coincides with two important dates in Indigenous Australia’s recent history. 27 May marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum in which more than 90 per cent of Australians voted to remove clauses from the Australian Constitution which discriminated against Indigenous Australians. It enabled Indigenous people to be included in the Census, and Federal Parliament the power to make laws in relation to Indigenous people.

3 June marks the anniversary of the High Court’s judgment in the 1992 Mabo case. The decision recognised the Native Title rights of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the original inhabitants of the continent and overturned the myth of terra nullius – the belief that the continent was an empty, un-owned land before the arrival of Europeans in 1788.

Prayer for the Journey of Healing

Almighty and loving God, you who created ALL people in your image,
lead us to seek your compassion as we listen to the stories of our past.

You gave your only Son, Jesus, who died and rose again so that sins will be forgiven.

We place before you the pain and anguish of dispossession of land, language, lore, culture and family kinship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples have experienced.

We live in faith that all people will rise from the depths of despair and hopelessness.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families have endured the pain and loss of loved ones, through the separation of children from their families.

We are sorry and ask Your forgiveness.

Touch the hearts of the broken, homeless, and inflicted and heal their spirits.

In your mercy and compassion walk with us as we continue our journey of healing to create a future that is just and equitable.

Lord, you are our hope. Amen.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 7

Strengthening Our Learning Culture
As outlined previously by our Principal Chris Caldow, our 2021 college goal is Strengthening Our Learning Culture. In line with this we have started a focus on improving the organisational skills of our Year 7s. Our first session held last Friday focused on the use of the college planner. We will also be educating students on the difference between homework and study and how to establish a study routine at home.

Assembly 22 May
On 22 May we have a full school college assembly at the Broadmeadows Campus. Students will need to arrive at the Broadmeadows Campus by 8.30am and will be bussed back to the Glenroy Campus at the conclusion of the assembly. Can I please ask parents that are dropping 7 & 8 students off at the Broadmeadows Campus that they do not enter the school grounds.

The Future Proofing Study to all Year 8
As you might already know, we are excited to be offering the Future Proofing Study to all Year 8 students here at Penola Catholic College. If you haven’t already done so, please could you let us know of your decision regarding your child’s involvement in this study? You click here to complete the online consent form or you can complete and return the paper consent form if you have one.

Researchers at the Black Dog Institute and the University of New South Wales are working with over 170 schools to build a better understanding of the mental health challenges that young people experience. Students in the study will complete surveys and try out mental health apps in order to identify and prevent symptoms of depression and anxiety. Participating students will also be reimbursed with a $20 gift card they can spend at most major department stores and online retailers.

The results of this study have real potential to shape scientific knowledge and government policy and programs for youth mental health. For this reason, we are very keen to get a good representation from Penola Catholic College!

Kind Regards,
Stuart Harrison

From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mr Ernie Pisani Vol 7

As the term continues to rush on by, the calendared events are taking place at a rapid pace. The National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) has taken place across Australia this week. For many of our Year 9 students it was first time they have gathered in a major exam/test setting such as our Assembly and Sports Hall for a formal assessment activity. Some students were nervous and unsure about what it all meant, but the majority of them took the event in their stride and were able to get through the process without major issues. The NAPLAN results will be made available to parents later in the year.

College Backpacks
Over the past twelve months some modifications were made to the normal everyday processes to satisfy the COVID requirements. One of the changes was to allow students to bring small backpacks to school which they could take to class with them. The plan was to minimise the large gatherings of students at lockers.

Given, the improved situation with COVID in our city, the college has decided to revert to pre-COVID requirements regarding the backpack. As from this week, students have been instructed to place their bags in their lockers and not to carry them into classrooms. They were also instructed that from next week the genuine College backpacks are the only bags to be brought to school. For those who need to purchase a College backpack, they are available from the college’s reception building.

Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings (PTSPMs)
The next PTSPMs will take place on Thursday 27 May. Given how close we are to the end of Semester One, this is an opportune time to talk to teachers about your child’s progress as well as preparation for upcoming exams. This round of PTSPMs will be done via a Teams Meeting. Instructions on how to book can be found here.

Student Leadership
Over the next few weeks, the college will commence the process of identifying and preparing student leaders for 2022. In two weeks’ time, an assembly to launch the leadership program will take place for current Year 10 and 11 students. This launch is an invitation for them to be involved in the program that will prepare them for student leadership opportunities. This program is highly recommended, as students will be able discover and enhance their own qualities of leadership that will assist them in experiences both at school and beyond. More information about the Student Leadership Program will be passed onto students in the coming weeks.

Australian Dental Health Victoria
Australian Dental Health Victoria will be visiting the school in August to conduct free dental health checks for students. This is not a compulsory dental check, however, it is highly recommended as it may identify dental issues that are developing and that may be corrected with appropriate advice. In the next few weeks consent forms will be distributed to students which will have further information about this program. To be eligible for these dental checks, the consent forms must be returned to the college and signed by a parent.

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 7

Mothers’ Day Breakfast

Last Friday, 7th May, we celebrated our College Mothers’ Day Mass at 7.20 am, prior to our annual Mothers’ Day breakfast. It was truly wonderful to have a number of our Mothers and students come along to our Mass and celebrate the Eucharist together. All mothers, grandmothers and those who fulfill mother-like guardian roles are very special to us all. The love, nurturing, care, guidance, and protection that all mothers give unconditionally to their children and families, often at the sacrifice of their own needs, is truly sacred. As a Catholic community, honouring the occasion by sharing in the Eucharist together was a truly wonderful way of celebrating the beauty of motherhood and thanking God for the wonderful gift that they are. During Mass, all the mothers present and those viewing online via livestream, participated in a beautiful, symbolic ritual, where they were called to the altar and given a special blessing and white carnation, a fitting way to thank them for their love. We thank Fr Tony Cox, our College Chaplain, for his ever-willingness to celebrate mass for us and to all members of the Faith and Mission and Audio-visual teams for their assistance in preparing and presenting our Mass.

Last Chance to go in the draw for $250.00 off your Family’s School Fees

If you have not yet completed the Enhancing Catholic School Identity Survey (ECSI), then this your last chance!! You only have until Monday, 31st May to do so and be in the special running to win $250.00 off of your school fees for this year. All details of how to complete the survey are uploaded on Operoo for easy access. Please do not hesitate to call the school if you have any questions or assistance with completing the survey. We are more than willing to help.

Mother's Day Breakfast

On Friday 7 May, Penola Catholic College hosted its annual Mother’s Day Breakfast. After a year of not being able to gather in large groups, it was fabulous to gather together for a special celebration in the lead up to Mother’s Day on Sunday 9 May. It was a wonderful morning commencing in St Joseph’s Chapel with mass celebrated by Father Tony Cox and then moving into the ASH.

Penola staff and some student helpers hosted approximately 330 people for breakfast. It was very uplifting and moving to see so many mothers sharing breakfast with their children and mingling with other parents and staff. The Parents and Friends ran a raffle and once again worked tirelessly to raise funds for the College. The mothers and children enjoyed the Mum Song, a funny take on all the many, many jobs in a mum’s life!

As you would appreciate, an event like this requires a lot of organisation and helpers. A big thank you to Fr Tony and the Faith and Mission Team; all the maintenance staff, the student helpers and the many staff, both teaching and non-teaching, who were on deck at 7.00am to begin cooking under the guidance of master chef Mr Cottom and the many staff involved in the preparation for the day. By the responses that I have included below, it certainly seems to have been a great success and we look forward to seeing mums again next year and the dads at the Father’s Day Breakfast on Friday 3 September.

Mrs Angela Xidias.

Good morning Angela, I attended the Mother’s Day breakfast yesterday and I am so grateful and happy to say it was the best Mother’s Day breakfast I have ever attended, the thought that went into the presentation of the tables, the gifts and atmosphere was beautiful, breakfast was lovely and so filling it set me up for the day. The morning was an absolute credit to everyone who was involved. I look forward to seeing everyone next year.

Dear Ms. Xidias,
Just a quick note to say ‘Thank you’ so much to you (and your team of helpers) for the lovely Mother’s Day Breakfast on campus this morning – I felt very spoilt! I hope that you have a very Happy Mother’s Day on Sunday and that your loved ones will spoil you as well.
Ms. Carolyn Drenen

Performing Arts

The red curtain is finally up at Penola! After a year of cancelled live performances and heavy restrictions placed on performing artists, our Dance, Drama, Music and Instrumental Music Programs are all back, face-to-face and sharing their love for the Performing Arts. Our Performing Arts building is finally alive again with the buzz of musicians, dancers and actors, and we couldn’t be happier!

As always, it is a busy start to the year in the Performing Arts. Here is a snapshot of what the Performing Arts Department have been working on:

College Production
Term 1 began with auditions for our College Production of Fame Jnr. Students from the junior and senior campus auditioned for the school show and rehearsals swiftly started the week after. We have a tremendously talented cast this year and their drive and passion for performing and musical theatre is admirable. They make each rehearsal fun, energetic and engaging!

Instrumental Music Lessons
Students and Instrumental Music Tutors were keen to get straight back into face-to-face instrumental music lessons this year, particularly after last year’s lockdown. We are very fortunate at Penola to have a dynamic and passionate team of instrumental music tutors who make lessons fun and engaging. Students are currently preparing for College and Community performances as well as VCE and AMEB examinations.

Music Ensembles
Our Junior and Senior Voices, Rock Bands and Concert Bands are all back rehearsing in person. Our Music Ensembles are all busily preparing for Performing Arts Camp and our new concert - Performing Arts Variety Night this term. New members to these ensembles are always welcome to join at any time of the year.

‘Rock Band Week’ Lunchtime Performances
In Term 1, we introduced a week dedicated to Senior Rock Band lunchtime performances. These performances will take place in the final week of every school term. We had our inaugural lunchtime performances last term in the Performing Arts Quadrangle, and we were absolutely overwhelmed with the number of students that came to support our senior rock bands. All Rock Bands performed marvellously and really put on a show!

Rock Concert – Rebound ’21
On Wednesday 28 April, two of our senior rock bands performed at the Hume Central College Rebound ’21, a rock concert for local secondary schools. We are very proud of our rock bands that represented the College – Year 9 Band ‘Black Tsunami’ consisting of Ella Di Nuzzo (vocals), Sienna Giddings (guitar), Seth Walton (guitar), Bhavana Santhoshkumar (bass) and Matthew Collings (drumkit) and VCE Rock Band ‘Antim’ consisting of Emily Collings (vocals and guitar), Jonathon Nicolazzo (guitar), Spencer Adams (bass) and Kai Betros (drum kit). Both rock bands performed superbly to an audience of 400, plus with an extra 150 watching the event via livestream. We look forward to many more performance opportunities this year.

Instrumental Music Program Enrolment
It is never too late to learn a musical instrument! Students can join the Instrumental music program at any time of the year by submitting an Enrolment Form which can be collected from the Music Noticeboard at both campuses. We have limited spots available for some instruments, so please submit your forms asap to avoid disappointment. The instruments on offer are: Piano, Keyboard, Voice, Violin, Viola, Cello, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Bass Guitar, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Flute, Clarinet, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone and Baritone Saxophone.

Term 2 Performing Arts Dates

VCE Music Night: Tuesday 18 May, Mary MacKillop Auditorium @ 5.30pm. This is a free, but ticketed event for contact tracing purposes.
Please book tickets in advance by contacting

Performing Arts Camp: Friday 21 to Sunday 23 May

Performing Arts Variety Night: Wednesday 26 May, Mary MacKillop Auditorium @ 6.30pm

Rock Band Lunchtime Performances: Week 10 Lunchtimes

College Production - Fame Jnr: Tickets will go on sale very soon! Please keep a look out for our promotional poster in the upcoming College Newsletter for more details.

We look forward to seeing you at our performances!

Mrs Ramona Arney
Head of Performing Arts/Instrumental Music Coordinator

SWOT Masterclass Program

FREE revision classes for Year 12 Students

SWOT is a not-for-profit program run under the Melbourne University Health Initiative, which is sponsored by the University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. SWOT is partnering with Penola Catholica College to offer the SWOT Masterclass program for 2021.

These classes are a series of completely free of charge VCE workshops designed to help equip students with the knowledge and skills required to perform and make the most of their Year 12 subject experience. The following sessions will be available to students in Term 2 and held at the Broadmeadows Campus.

We strongly encourage all students to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. Students must register via the Year 12 page on MyPenola. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Year 12 Coordinators, Mr Luke Reynolds or Mrs Erin Bonavia.




Friday 21 May (2.30-4.00pm)


Tuesday 18 May (2.30-4.00pm)


Wednesday 26 May (3.30-5.00pm)


Thursday 27 May (3.30-5.00pm)

Further Maths

Monday 17 May (3.30-5.00pm)

Maths Methods

Wednesday 19 May (3.30-5.00pm)

Specialist Maths

Thursday 20 May (3.30-5.00pm)

College Debate Team

Last week, the Penola debate team had another late night as students competed with representatives of the Epping region.

The VCE grade team was tasked with defending cancel culture, while the Year Nines were asked to make a case for animal testing. Both contentions were challenging, but Penola students made excellent cases and walked away with a victory.

The debating competition has offered students an invaluable opportunity to develop public speaking skills, engage with topical issues, and network with other schools. Here is some feedback from two team members:

“What I’ve enjoyed about debating is that it not only makes you learn more about the topic you are doing but it allows you to have your own say and the fact we go against other schools excites me and makes me do better each time!” Alisha Neupane (Year 9)

“Being a part of the debate team is a rewarding opportunity that has taught me the tricks of persuasion, researching skills, reasoning, and critical thinking. I look forward to the nights of the debate as they are the times for presenting our speeches and, although being in the moment is incredibly nerve-racking, the nights hold the excitement of what we have all prepared for. I have been taught the wonders of having to improvise and to do it naturally. I continue to learn new things in debate and am now challenged to think outside of the square. Debating makes learning a game, you might have the will to win, but to win you need to prove why the opposition should not. Debating is a worthwhile experience that is an honouring way to practice your skills.” Isla Rousakis (Year 9)


Term 2 School Fee Payment

Payment of Term 2 School Fees is now due.

As previously advised, School Fee Statements are now sent by email only. If you have not received your Statements this year please contact us to update your email address.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your account please contact Lisa Crosbie or email

Academy Uniforms

Uniform can be purchased in the following ways

Visit select ‘order on-line’, and choose ‘Penola Catholic College’.
Use the password Broadmeadows.

Uniforms can be delivered to a home address or collected at Thomastown store.
Allow 48 hours for processing.

In Store at Academy Uniforms, Thomastown
Families are welcome to visit Academy Uniforms Thomastown store during the following times:
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 12noon.
238 Wolseley Place, Thomastown.

Phone: 9460 8011

View the 2021 price list here.

Items not available at Deer Park or Springvale stores.

Please Note
College bags will now be sold at Academy Uniforms from Day 1 of Term 3.
The College will no longer sell school bags onsite.

Secondhand Textbooks and Uniform

The college is conscious of the need to provide an efficient process for families to be able to buy and sell their second-hand textbooks, uniforms, and other student resources.

We are delighted to inform you of the school’s new initiative to provide parents with the ability to trade these second-hand items via Sustainable School Shop.

Results from other schools have been excellent - families have enjoyed a very comprehensive and convenient method of buying and selling second-hand items.

The new service is very accessible, it preferences our school first and then provides access to buy and sell items with families attending other schools. Many schools use this service. Access to second-hand textbooks, uniforms, calculators, stationery, musical equipment, etc is available all year.

For the best results

  • Register on the Sustainable School Shop website and nominate the school
  • A subscription to the service will be provided to you
  • List your items for sale
  • List wanted ads for those items you are looking to buy
  • The school’s uniform and book lists are loaded into the system to make listing ads easy
  • The system matches the ads of buyers with sellers and notifies the buyer via email
  • Buyers contact sellers and arrange where and when to trade
  • Most trading will occur with other parents from our school
  • Parents are well supported via Sustainable School Shop’s telephone (0438 743 444) and email help lines
  • The system is simple and easy to use - If you don’t have a computer, internet access or an email address, please call the Sustainable School Shop for assistance
  • You can pre-arrange the transaction and then trade after the texts are not required.

    Penola Catholic College is providing this service so there is no cost for families. Each family that registers on the Sustainable School Shop will be given a subscription.

    We are very excited about this new initiative and we hope you will make the most of this opportunity and gain the benefit from recycling your children’s school items, while at the same time helping another family within our school community.

    Click here for the Sustainable School Shop users guide.

    Community News

    Community News brings you the best and latest local news.
    Join your local sporting club or sign up to a free work shop at the local library & many more!

    PCC Newsletter Volume 7 - 13 May 2021

    SWOT Masterclass Program

    FREE revision classes for Year 12 Students

    SWOT is a not-for-profit program run under the Melbourne University Health Initiative, which is sponsored by the University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences. SWOT is partnering with Penola Catholica College to offer the SWOT Masterclass program for 2021.

    These classes are a series of completely free of charge VCE workshops designed to help equip students with the knowledge and skills required to perform and make the most of their Year 12 subject experience. The following sessions will be available to students in Term 2 and held at the Broadmeadows Campus.

    We strongly encourage all students to make the most of this fantastic opportunity. Students must register via the Year 12 page on MyPenola. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the Year 12 Coordinators, Mr Luke Reynolds or Mrs Erin Bonavia.




    Friday 21 May (2.30-4.00pm)


    Tuesday 18 May (2.30-4.00pm)


    Wednesday 26 May (3.30-5.00pm)


    Thursday 27 May (3.30-5.00pm)

    Further Maths

    Monday 17 May (3.30-5.00pm)

    Maths Methods

    Wednesday 19 May (3.30-5.00pm)

    Specialist Maths

    Thursday 20 May (3.30-5.00pm)