From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 4

Parent Teacher Student Meet and Greet Sessions
The first of our Parent Teacher Student Meet and Greet sessions took place last Thursday 10 March on the Broadmeadows campus and Wednesday 16 March on the Glenroy 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 attended via Teams and hope that it was a productive night for all parents who were involved. 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.

A reminder that another session is scheduled for both campuses on Thursday 7 April but this will occur through face-to-face meetings only.

The purpose of the Meet and Greet Session is for parents to meet the teachers of their child or children, to convey important information about your child or children to the teacher and to discuss their goals for the year. What we are seeking from these sessions is to find out as much information as we can about your child to assist us with planning and maximizing the growth of each student in our care.

Although we believe we are the educational experts in relation to each student’s learning, we readily recognise that parents are the experts in their children. Therefore, for us a parent’s insights and understanding helps the College tailor its approach to each young student’s learning and growth. We achieve this by aiming to ensure that all conversations and planning about each student’s development are undertaken in a collaborative and supportive way. This approach is used by everyone, teachers, school counsellors and leaders.

International Women’ Day – Tuesday, 8 March

Happy International Women’s Day to all of the women within our community. The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is to Break the Bias.

Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women's equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.
Individually, we're all responsible for our own thoughts and actions –

all day, every day.

We can break the bias in our communities.

We can break the bias in our workplaces.

We can break the bias in our schools, colleges, and universities.

Together, we can all break the bias - on International Women's Day (IWD) and beyond.

Year 7 Camps
Thanks to all involved with Years 7 camps last week. These camps are a great opportunity for our students to get to know their classmates and teachers in a setting other than our school. They also provide opportunities for students to challenge themselves and for personal growth through a range of activities. These opportunities would not be available to our students without the generosity of our staff and their willingness to forgo time with their families and friends for the benefits of our students. Whilst we have had approximately 10% of the year level reporting they have contracted COVID, I am hopeful that the number of further COVID cases reported after the camps remains relatively low.

Rapid Antigen Testing
Thanks to the many staff who are completing their rapid antigen tests on Monday and Wednesday mornings. A reminder that it is okay to complete on another day if you forget. As you will notice from the COVID notification letters released each day there are still a number of cases being reported each day and the vast majority are being picked up by Rapid Antigen Tests. This surveillance testing using RATs is helping our community to remain safer, so I encourage all to continue with the testing.

Congratulations to Ms Kim Nguyen who has been appointed as a Food Technology teacher at Creekside P-9 College in Caroline Springs. I would like to take this opportunity to publicly recognise the contribution that Kim has made here at Penola Catholic College and our burgeoning student numbers in Food Technology have been largely due to her efforts to make the curriculum as engaging as possible. I take this opportunity to thank Kim for her contribution and wish her well for the future.

Staffing Changes
Thanks to Dr Maria Joseph, who finished up last Friday 4 March, replacing Diane Farah. Welcome to Ms Madison Kaczalska, who is taking that load for the remainder of term. Farewell to Ms Nellie Mimms who started maternity leave last Friday 4 March. We wish her well for the impending birth.

Welcome to Mrs. Amanda Michielin who has commenced her role as e-Learning Leader. She will be teaching Year 12 Software Development as well as providing EAL support in some Math classes.

Welcome to Mr James Giannoukos who has been appointed as our new Psychology teacher and Literacy tutor has commenced. James joins us from Australia International Academy where he has been teaching VCE Psychology.

Welcome to Mr Anthony De Angelis who has been appointed as our new ICT Helpdesk person to assist staff and students with ICT issues. Anthony is a former student who graduated in 2014 and completed a Bachelor of Information Technology and previously worked as IT Service / Support Technician at one of Australia’s leading Desktop PC and Laptop suppliers, Aftershock.

2023 Year 7 Enrolments
A reminder to all of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2023 closed on Friday 20 August 2021. 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 and 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. If there are any current families with children in Grade Six who are intending to enrol them at Penola in 2023, I would ask that you make contact with Ms Anita Harding at the College as soon as possible.

School Advisory Council
The first meeting for the new School Advisory Council will be conducted Tuesday night, 22 March where the following positions will be determined:

Board Chairperson Deputy Board Chairperson

Ms Louise Pacor was the only parent nomination received for the advertised vacancy on the School Advisory Council and, as a result, she has been accepted onto the School Advisory Council. I would like to thank our other School Advisory Council members for their ongoing contribution to our school: Fr Dishan Candappa, Ms Rose Crocitti, Mrs Jenny Vinten, Mrs Karen Harvey Collings, Mr Seyit Kaplan, Mrs Alfina Astuto, Mrs Julie Lyons, Mr Stuart Harrison, Mr Angus Drennan and Mr Jordan Gioskos.

Whole School Activity Days - Athletics Day Tuesday 5 April
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 one’s 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’s / 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 interviews and other school events.

I have been pleased with the numbers of parents that have attended our initial Parent/Teacher/Student interviews. The purpose of these interviews 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 schoolwork 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 they either 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.

St Joseph Prayer
Within the Christian tradition, the feast of St. Joseph is celebrated on March 19. St. Joseph's life was that of an ordinary workman, yet his ability to see and communicate the presence of God made him extraordinary. Although Sacred Scripture doesn't tell us a great deal about him, we know St. Joseph listened to God in his dreams, and he protected and cared for Jesus and Mary.

Today, let us ask St. Joseph to give our Sisters, and all who serve the healing ministry of Jesus, the courage to listen to our dreams and follow what we know to be right, so that we will continue to care for those within our Josephite communities in the spirit of Joseph.

Prayer to Joseph,
Who is Known by Many Titles

Faithful Joseph:
Teach us to listen and not be afraid to trust
as you did in God's promise.

Loving Joseph:
Teach us to love courageously with a heart
that is free and just.

Protector Joseph:
Teach us to protect one another and all
that belongs to God.

Dreamer Joseph:
Teach us to dream a world where all are neighbours;
a vision illuminated by God's light.

Teacher Joseph:
Teach us to keep the Word of God close to our hearts, and to proclaim it in word and action.

Gentle Joseph:
Teach us to be gentle with our power and
strong in our tenderness.

Parent Joseph:
Teach us to be for all persons a living lesson
of goodness and truth - a blessing for all
generations to come.


From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 4

Year 7 Camp
Our Year 7 Camp was a great success last week with all students experiencing all that Camp Manyung had to offer. The experience that the students are given assists in educating the students wholistically. They develop a whole range of skills including communication and leadership, while developing the relationships with their peers and staff.

Year 8 Humanities and Religious Education Day
On Wednesday 9 March our Year 8’s spent the day completing rotations based on the work that has been completed in their Year 8 Humanities and Religious Education classes. The humanities component was around life such as weapons and fashion in medieval Europe and gave some real-life emersion to what they have been studying. The Religious Education component consisted of an exploration of the Eastern Rites and iconography of the Catholic Church with guest speakers and artists broadening our students knowledge on Catholicism. These activities bring to life our classrooms and allow students to draw connections to our modern world

Year 7 Reflection Days
Our final Year 7 reflection days for 7A & 7H and 7B & 7G was cancelled this week due to close contacts and will be moved to April. These days play an important part in developing a deep reflection of our faith, as well as an opportunity to be emersed in the charism of Mary MacKillop.

Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meeting
Our first PTSPM took place via Microsoft Teams on Wednesday with the staff touching base with parents on the best ways they can support their child’s developments. If you were unable to see a staff member, we will have a subsequent PTSPM on April 7 which will hopefully be onsite.

From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Ms Erin Bonavia Vol 4

I hope the long weekend provided students, staff and families the chance to catch their breath as it certainly has been a very busy term! It has been great to witness students engaged in learning both on site and on several excursions and camps.

Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings
Thank you very much to families who were able to join the Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings last week. As a College we very much view your child’s education as a partnership and we value the insights about your child that you provided to staff during the meetings. For those unable to attend last week there is another opportunity this term to meet with your child’s teachers which will be face to face meetings taking place on Thursday April 7. I encourage you to please make these bookings to avoid disappointment.

Uniform reminder
As the weather begins to become cooler students may begin to find their summer uniform is not providing enough warmth. Students wearing non permitted items with their summer uniform i.e. a long sleeve shirt under their dress or shirt or a non school jumper or jacket is not acceptable. These items may be confiscated by a teacher if a student persists on wearing them. A reminder that students have the choice to wear either summer or winter uniform throughout the year. Students are to please ensure when choosing to wear summer or winter uniform that they are wearing that the full uniform correctly.

Supporting Wellbeing
Technology has expanded the way in which we can engage with useful and credible information during times of personal distress. As a family you may be aware of some of the following services which can be accessed in our community including online chat functions which operate after hours:

Kids Helpline 24/7 phone service 1800 55 1800 and webchat

Beyond Blue: 24/7 phone service 1300 22 4636 chat line also operates from 3pm-midnight

Lifeline 24/7 phone service 13 11 14 chat online from 7am – 12am at or text 0477 131 114 between 6pm – 12am.

1800RESPECT Phone service 1800 737 700 or web chat at Support if you, or someone you know, is experiencing sexual assault or domestic and family violence (all ages).

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 4

The Year 8 students participated in their annual Religious Education and Medieval Day on Wednesday 9 March, aiming to support students in their investigation of the question being explored this term; ‘What tells me I belong?’ Through three rotational workshops, students explored topics including the East West Schism, an introduction to the Chaldean rite of the Catholic Church, and Iconography. In the coming weeks, year 8 students will be choosing a holy person and for their Term 1 assignment creating their own icon in RE class.

Student Leadership

A Message from the Student Leadership Coordinator: Miss. Elizabeth Perkin

The Student Leadership Team at Penola Catholic College have commenced their respective leadership journeys with both a growth mindset and clear commitment towards the College community. It has been both fulfilling and truly rewarding to meet with both the Junior and Senior representatives in order to plan the year ahead and the array of opportunities that these young leaders will immerse themselves in. As the weeks of Term 1 have progressed, many of our leaders have shared ideas with the whole team and have been an active presence in a range of ways. Amongst these, it has been delightful to witness the student leadership teams involvement at the Opening College Assembly and Opening College Mass, the College Captains attendance at the Glenroy Campus for the Year 7’s first day of school and day attendance at the Year 7 Camp, active leadership at the Swimming Carnival and involvement in the International Women’s Day Video Clip and Broadmeadows Vodcast during week 1. What a promising start showcased by the 2022 group. I feel truly blessed to laisse and mentor such a passionate and dynamic team of students.

Please find attached a short recap completed by our College Captains Angus and Jordan and Captains of Sport Joulia and Tara.

Student Leadership Coordinator

Penola Catholic College Student Leadership News

College Captains Report from Angus and Jordan:

Beginning of the Year
It is hard to believe how quickly the time has flown by, this first month back to school has proved to be an action-packed start to the year 2022 for the Student Leadership Team! With a range of activities and events that having taken place during the first four weeks of Term 1.

Opening College Assembly
On Friday 4 February the 2022 Opening College Assembly took place at the Glenroy Campus, where the Year 7s were present in the Gymnasium, with Year 8 - 12s watching a live stream in homerooms. The College Captains, College Vice Captains, and Portfolio Captains were all presented with their badges which is symbolic of the student leader's commitment to their new role. Throughout the assembly, all leaders had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the school and outline their goals and hopes for the year to come.

First Student Leadership Meeting
On Thursday 10 February Miss Perkin and the Student Leadership Team virtually attended the first Leadership Meeting of 2022. These meetings serve to allow our student leadership team to relay ideas and help introduce innovative change to the school. As restrictions ease, it has been wonderful since then to additionally meet collectively in person whereby a range of ideas and discussion points took place. The Student Leadership team have been planning for events inclusive of student leadership involvement at the upcoming College athletics carnival, mental health initiatives that will be carried out throughout the course of the year, study lessons and opportunities reflective of each of the Key Learning Areas, subject selection consideration and more. If you would like the student leaders to discuss an area of interest, opportunity or an area requiring review please do not hesitate to contact our Student Leadership Coordinator, Miss. Elizabeth Perkin via email at

Year 12 Jackets
The first order of the Year 12 Jackets arrived on the morning of Friday 11 February and were distributed to everyone who had placed an order within the first round of online orders. On behalf of the entire Year 12-year Level, we would like to express the deepest of gratitude to Mrs Prescott for all of the background work and extra effort that she has put in to assisting the process, which was vital for the year 12s to have received their jackets now, the earliest they have arrived for any year 12 cohort.

On Sunday 20 of February, we as the college captains attended the 2022 JJAMM meeting, which had transpired via Zoom due to COVID-19 restrictions. This was an amazing opportunity for us to get in contact with young leaders from other Josephite schools and discuss leadership ideas as well as gain insight on how to better ourselves as leaders. The in-person meetings have been postponed and hopefully will take place later in the year hosted in Sydney for us to gain even more valuable insight.

Ministry Band
Thanks to the efforts of Mr. Alberto and the Faith and Mission team, the new music ministry group named M22 has hit the ground running with big plans for the year ahead. They aim to bring song writing and music recordings to the music ministry at Penola, as well as serve as a program that provides mentoring to younger students. M22 is aiming to release their first single later this year, they are also planning a tour of Penola's feeder primary schools.

Captains of Sport Report from Joulia and Tara:
On Friday 18 February our annual Swimming Carnival as well as Cross Country took place.

It was great to see many junior students participating and cheering from the sidelines, showing their house spirit. This was also a great opportunity for the seniors to have fun and earn points for their houses! It was very exciting for us to dress up, encourage students and make the day a unique experience for everyone. We are so grateful for all the staff and students for their efforts into this day to make it possible. We look forward with great anticipation towards our upcoming Athletics Carnival, whereby we will promote active involvement and opportunities for all staff and students to showcase their House and community spirit.

Attached below is a summary of results from the Swimming Carnival:






Sancta Sophia























Whole School












Sancta Sophia























Winning House








Japan-Australia Online Exchange Program at Junior Campus

On March 8, the Year 8 Japanese CLIL students had an online chat with the students in Japan using breakout rooms in Microsoft Teams. Throughout the time of the online exchange, it was extremely entertaining and all of the students in Japan were talking in English to a point in which we all could understand. The students showed their presentations and we also showed ours, during this time we found out that we all have a lot of things in common and we bonded really well. I enjoyed the online exchange and I hope everyone else did and I hope we could do it again.
Samuel R (8J)

Co-curricular at Penola

It has been great to see the staff and students involved in the co-curricular program this year after a challenging past 2 years. There are a range of activities on offer for students to participate in. These include subject-based clubs, sporting activities and service-based activities. Students are encouraged to get involved in these activities as they can meet new friends, interact with staff and have fun.

There will be more activities on offer throughout the year. They will be advertised in homerooms, through year level assemblies and the daily bulletin.

Below I have provided a link to the co-curricular handbook that outlines the many activities on offer.

I have also provided a link to the activities that have started running this term at both the Glenroy and Broadmeadows Campus.

If there are any activities that you would like to see introduced at Penola, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Belinda Carbone

Co-curricular Handbook

Co-curricular Timetable Term 1 - Glenro

Co-curricular Timetable Term 1 - Broadmeadows

Year 7 Camp

Year 7 Camp, an essential aspect of the transition for our students to Secondary Education here at our College, took place in the second week of March at Manyung, Mt. Eliza.

During the three day stay at YMCA Camp site, our students were encouraged and supported in further developing their social and emotional skills and forming new connections with their peers and staff. As a team we worked together with our students to achieve common goals and helped them build resilience and coping strategies while undertaking various activities.

Our students had the opportunity to participate in Raft Building, Open Water Learning, Tree Top Challenge, Leadership Challenge, Crate Climbing, Low Ropes, Snorkeling, Sea Kayaking, Archery and the most popular activity, the Giant Swing. Students also had fun while competing in the Trivia Competition and they also show cased their dance moves during the Disco Night.

I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our Year 7 students for their involvement during this week and for giving things a go. Recent lockdowns in Victoria, meant that for a lot of our students this was their first time away from home. We were really proud with resilience they showed during their stay on camp.

Furthermore, I would like to thank our parents/guardians for preparing their son/daughter for this valuable event as well as our staff for all their hard work and dedication in making this week possible for our students.

Anisa Shkembi
Transition Coordinator

Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund (CSEF)

Eligibility Dates:

For concession cardholders CSEF eligibility will be subject to the parent/legal guardian’s concession card being successfully validated with Centrelink on the first day of either:

Term 1 (31 January 2022) or Term 2 (26 April 2022)

How to submit a CSEF Application in 2022

If you have applied for the CSEF in a previous year, you do not need to complete an application form in 2022. The school will apply for the CSEF on your behalf, unless there has been a change in your family circumstances.

You will ONLY need to submit an application form in 2022 if any of the following changes have occurred:

  • New student enrolments: Your child has started or changed schools in 2022 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 2022.

CSEF Flyer Attachments: English, Arabic and Vietnamese

CSEF Application Form Attachment

Community News

PCC Newsletter Volume 4 - 17 Mar 2022