From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 5

Dear Members of the Penola Catholic College community,
This is our last newsletter for the Term. Term 1 has been a very busy and successful start to the College’s Year. Activities are still being affected by the need for ongoing Covid-19 precautions. As we go into winter and the traditional cold & flu season these precautions become even more important. Thank you for your co-operation and patience.

Congratulations to students who represented Penola Catholic College at the SACCSS Swimming Carnival held on Tuesday 29 March at Melbourne Sports and Aquatics Centre.

Thank you for your support of the Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews. This term we provide an opportunity for face-to-face interviews or virtually through Microsoft Teams. These interviews are a vital part of the learning process. When parents take an active interest in their child’s learning, student engagement in learning increases greatly. These interviews are a great opportunity to meet your child’s teachers, hear about progress and work together to support your child’s learning. Thanks to all who booked interviews and engaged in the process.

On Tuesday 4 April we will undertake the annual House Athletics at the Broadmeadows Campus. 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.

The College will present our Easter Liturgy on Wednesday morning 6 April, period 1 on the Junior campus and period 3 on the Senior campus through a version of Stations of the Cross. I am asking all staff and students to wear a mask for these liturgies so as to minimise the risk of COVID transmission given that approximately 550 people will be in the Gym at the Glenroy campus and over 1150 people at the Senior Campus.

As most of you are aware, Friday 8 April is a student free day to provide time for our staff to provide feedback for our self-reflection for our School Review which will take place on 13 & 14 July. This day will enable all College staff to provide evidence for our ratings of the self-assessment rubrics. As part of this process, MACS provide rubrics for each of the 5 sphere areas of:

  • Student Wellbeing
  • Learning and Teaching
  • Religious Dimension
  • Leadership and Management
  • Community

Classes resume on Tuesday 26 April. Until then, I wish all students and families a relaxing and safe holiday. Happy Easter to all!

Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings – Thursday, 7 April
Given that these interviews take place on Thursday 7 April from 3.00pm – 5.30pm and 6.30pm – 8.30pm onsite (face to face), I have listed below the MACS Parents and Carers on School Sites Guidelines which states Parents, carers and other adult visitors (excluding students who visit a school to complete a secondary school subject) who enter school buildings must have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine or have a valid medical exception. Parents and Carers will be requested to show their proof of their vaccination status when scanning in to the PTSPM meetings. I have allocated a maximum of 3 teachers per classroom rather than using the Gym’s and the Centre to make it safer from a COVID point of view. As a result, the Shortis, Smyth, Tenison-Woods and McCormack buildings will all be used on the Senior Campus as well as most of the Cameron classrooms at Glenroy.

Parents and Carers on School Sites Guidelines
We are aware that schools have received enquiries from parents and school community members regarding the requirement in the Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools (MACS) Parents and Carers on School Sites Guidelines that:

Parents, carers and other adult visitors attending a gathering at school, such as a fete, school play or other school ceremony, whether indoors or outdoors, need to show evidence of vaccination on arrival.

They are designed to help keep our students, staff and school communities safe while ensuring that schools can remain open, which we believe is in the best interests of students.

Penola Catholic College will continue to ensure that we are implementing the latest advice and guidance from the School Operations Guide and the Victorian Government.

We encourage all eligible members of our school community to get vaccinated.

In keeping our school safe, the intention is not to exclude members of our school community.

We know our school community flourishes with the continued involvement of parents and others in the community in the life of the school.

Raising Concerns
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 Matters: Subject Teacher, Head of Learning, Deputy Principal of Learning & Teaching
  • Student’s Academic: Subject Teacher, Year Level Co-ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
  • Student Wellbeing Matters: Homeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-ordinators, College Psychologists/Youth Worker, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
  • General Student Behaviour: Homeroom Teacher, Year Level Co-ordinators, Deputy Principal Head of Campus
  • College Policies: Deputy Principal Head of Campus
  • Staff: Deputy Principal Head of Campus
  • Off Campus Incidents: Deputy Principal Head of Campus
  • Financial: Business Manager

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

An Easter Prayer
Good and gracious God,
Our most glorious Creator,
As we greet the signs in nature around us:
Of Autumn once again regaling us in a myriad of colours,
In the songs of returning birds and fields soon to be planted,
We give you praise for an even greater sign of new life: the resurrection of your Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ, that we especially celebrate at this time.
The sadness and despair of his death has given way to the bright promise of immortality.
For the Resurrection is our guarantee that justice will triumph over treason, Light will overcome darkness, and love will conquer death.
As we celebrate, we also dare to ask for your grace that we may live the promise given to us,
By imitating the life of Jesus in reaching out to the poor, the marginalized, the least among us,
As we strive to be neighbour to all those we meet,
We ask your special blessings each and every day on our Prime Minister.
Working with him may we strive to make this great country of ours a beacon of hope and justice in a world hungry for peace and so in need of your love.
We praise you in this Easter season. Change our lives, change our hearts to be messengers of Easter joy and hope.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ, our risen Lord forever.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 5

As we finish Term 1 it has been wonderful to see all the exciting learning and community building opportunities that have taken place this year. With our Year 7s being the newest members of the Penola Catholic College community, it has been fantastic to see them immerse themselves into secondary life, forge new friendships and develop authentic relationships with their teachers.

Parent Teacher Student Partnership Meetings
Just a reminder that we have our second round of PTSPM next Thursday 7 April. This is for those parents in Years 7 & 8 who were unable to meet with the teaching staff in the first round. These meetings will be face to face on the Glenroy Campus. Please make sure you book in prior.

Global Academic Challenge
On 3 mornings last week we had a number of Year 8 students participating in the Global Academic Challenge organised by ACER (PAT testing). The initial data gave us insight to how these students perform on a local and international standard. The initial data has indicated 2 of our students who both achieved international numeracy and literacy 90% rankings. There were additionally 4 students that achieved 90% on the international level in reading and another student who achieved above 90% in science. This data will be able to assist us as educators to ensure all these students are given the opportunities to be extended.

At both Year Level Assemblies last week students were largely commended on the way they have been wearing their uniform, with the majority of students taking pride to ensure they are wearing it correctly. We remind parents and students that from the start of Term 2 the blazer is the outer garment to be worn to and from school.

Year 7 Premier League
Premier League is interschool sports with other co-educational schools in the Northern and Western region. Over the course of this term our Year 7 Premier League coaches have been training their teams in preparation for the start of Premier League in week 1 of Term 2, taking place during school hours on a Wednesday.

Some key upcoming for the Glenroy Campus are:

Remainder of Term 1

  • Monday 4 April Yr 7 Immunisations (Human Papillomavirus Vaccine – HPV and the Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whopping Cough Booster)
  • Tuesday 5 April Athletics Carnival – all students start and finish at Broadmeadows Campus
  • Wednesday 6 April Stations of the Cross- Period 1
  • Thursday 7 April PTSPM – Early Leave day 2.20pm finish – Meetings taking place on campus
  • Friday 8 April Staff Professional Development day – Student Free

Term 2

  • Tuesday 26 April First day of Term 2 and ANZAC Day assembly on campus
  • Wednesday 27 April Yr 7 Premier League begins
  • Tuesday 3 May Yr 8 Reflection Day – please complete Operoo
  • Friday 6 May Mothers Day Mass at Breakfast at Broadmeadows – please registar

Enjoy the break

From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Ms Erin Bonavia Vol 5

It is hard to believe we now only have two weeks of term to go until school holidays.

I commend students for their perseverance this term as they adjusted to the routine of attending school again, developing personal organisational skills and interacting with peers. I know there are families who have experienced Covid-19 in their household this term leading to periods of isolation and additional stress. The holidays are a time to re-set and recharge for term two. It is also a time to reflect, and I encourage you to talk to your child about what has worked well this term and what could be even better in Term 2. I wish all students and their families an enjoyable break.

The next two weeks will be a busy finish to the end of term. Our Year 9 students are participating on Year 9 Camp this week and we wish them an enjoyable experience.

College Athletics Carnival
We have our College Athletics Carnival on Tuesday 5 April, which is always an enjoyable experience as our whole school comes together to participate and show House spirit. A reminder that the College Athletics Carnival is a compulsory school event and any student absences on this day requires a medical certificate. Year 12 students however who have a TAFE class scheduled on this day are to please attend TAFE.

I would like to thank students and families for their support of our College uniform and acknowledge the many students who wear their uniform with pride. The holidays are a time to locate winter uniform items as the cooler weather approaches and/or look to replace any uniform items missing. I ask that you remind your child about our uniform expectations to help them in their choices i.e. hair cuts, acrylic nails, piercings right before school that will be in breach of our uniform expectations. Thank you for your support.

Support for Families
Our Wellbeing Team including Psychologists/Counsellors and Speech Pathologist are working incredibly hard to meet the demand for services. There is currently a wait list that they are doing their best to work through. For this edition of the newsletter our Wellbeing Team has provided the following links to external services for your reference that promote mental health and wellbeing. You may know of another family or friend who may benefit from this information.

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 5

Last Friday 25 March, we held our Year 12 Reflection Day, for all Year 12 students, here at the Broadmeadows Campus. The focus for the day was an exploration of the theme, "Launching into the deep". Throughout the day, students were provided opportunities to reflect upon and share thoughts about their own personal faith journeys as well as their priorities moving forward throughout Year 12 and beyond.

Our students were blessed by the willingness of several staff members to present to them on the day. It is no easy task to share very personal stories of faith to a large audience of Year 12 students; in fact, it takes a lot of courage to do so. Each presentation, although very different in nature, captured the essence of our theme, "Launching into the deep", enriching the depth of our program and ensuring the day was definitely a very positive experience for all involved.

The Reflection Day activities concluded with a late afternoon paraliturgy, which led into our sit-down dinner, where the students were able to share a meal with one another and the staff present. Following the meal, our day concluded with our guest entertainer, Jason Vargo, a mentalist, who engaged the students with his powers of the mind. The Year 12 students were eager to volunteer and participate in his act. It was loads of fun and ensured the day finished on a tremendous high.

A message from Fr Tony

In relation to what going on in world and Russia and Ukraine
There is a situation in the Gospels where Jesus had just performed a miracle, restoring to a mute man his power of speech. Some of the people who saw it were amazed. Others, for some strange reason, were offended and said, "He is casting out devils by the power of the Devil". In other words, they were accusing him of doing a good thing by a wrong means. He had healed a mute man; they could not deny that. It was a good thing; this they would not dispute. But they concluded he had done it through the use of demonic power.

Their accusation gives us an insight into human nature, for this is the kind of thing that we try to do. We see it at work when two people try to break the heart and will of the other by means of bitter insults. We can now see it at work when two nations beat their ploughshares into swords and send their young men and others who volunteer, and they go off to war. It is the age-old superstition that somehow evil can be conquered by evil.

His accusers did not know it, but they were actually accusing Jesus of an impossibility. When a devilish circumstance is met with devilish forces nothing is resolved. All it does is set up a vicious cycle of devilish deeds. When two wrongs come together, they never give birth to a right. When hatred is met with hatred, it sows the seeds of continuing hatred. On and on the cycle will go on until someone somewhere decides to put an end to it.

The thing that the critics of Christ forgot, and that we forget, is that we can never reach the right destination by taking the wrong road. The road that we travel must be on a par with the goal that we seek else we will never get there. If our aim in life is to accomplish good, to cast out evil, to leave the world a little better than we found it then we are going to have to live as he lived. We must learn to turn the other cheek, to answer harsh words with soft words, to repay evil with good. This may sound insane, but it is the only thing that will ever work. Evil cannot conquer evil; only good can do this. Never in all the history of the world have two wrongs produced a right.

Ukraine is showing true Christian spirit. May we continue to pray for a softening of minds and hearts in all throughout this conflict and continue to keep the principles of openness, respect, understanding in the forefront of our desires for our whole world.

Fr. Tony Cox
College Chaplain

Student Leadership

Captains of Christian Service Report from Sofia G and Sarah S

Project Compassion Launch 2022
On March 1, Caritas Australia held a virtual meeting with 40+ schools from across Australia, in preparation for the launch of Project Compassion 2022, with this year’s theme being ‘For All Future Generations’. Spanning across the six weeks of Lent each year, Project Compassion brings thousands of Australian schools, Parishes, and supporters together to raise funds for people living in some of the most vulnerable communities across the world. Every year, Penola Catholic College takes part in this initiative; raising money to help people around the world. During the meeting, Caritas representative Romina introduced us to the story of Anatercia, a 12-year-old living in southern Mozambique, and her struggles to cope with adult responsibilities after her father passed away. Using donation money, Caritas was able to source clean water for her village, which helped the young girl and her family to access clean water any time of the day. This story, and many other beautiful stories of Caritas helping others in need are truly an inspiration to practice alms giving; we hope to see every student at Penola put an effort to assist the generations of the future.

Opening Mass (Ash Wednesday)
On Wednesday 2 March, Penola Catholic College held a whole school mass to celebrate Ash Wednesday and to mark the beginning of the 40-day Lenten period for 2022 where we remember Jesus in the desert for 40 days without any food or drink. All staff, and students from Years 7 to 12, attended. Most received the Holy Ashes, and everyone was reverent and respectful throughout the mass. We would like to give a huge thank you to all the students involved in the readings and distributors of the ashes to the different year levels. Our Penola Catholic College community unites much more when we gather as a community and live our Faith. Especially throughout these times, we must ensure we maintain our Faith alive, join in prayer and be grateful for all the blessings received from God. Lent is a time for all of us to fast not only from food but also from selfishness, hurting words, anger, pessimism, just to name a few.

St Patrick’s Day
On Thursday 17 March, one of the College Captains, Jordan G, Principal Mr Caldow, and I attended the St Patrick’s Day Mass 2022 at the Cathedral in the city. Jordan and I had the opportunity to meet the School Captains of St. Dominic’s Primary School in Broadmeadows, and converse with Mr John Kennedy and Ms Lizzie Blandthorn, two of the Members of Parliament. The mass service was incredibly special and memorable with over 40 Catholic primary and high schools from across the state attending, which included an amazing choir from one of the schools present.

Indigenous Garden Project Report from Captain of Sustainability Grace J and College Vice Captain Siala M:
Currently, we are in the process of constructing an indigenous garden in the new Year 12 area. We hope to fill the space with native flora and artwork. Creating places like these is incredibly important because as a community we aim to celebrate diversity in our college and at the core of this is the traditional custodianship that Indigenous Australians have on this land. At the present time we are organising funds and setting out the blueprints and we hope to have the final plans drawn up by the end of Term 2. Later on, the cultivation of selected plants will be a task for the sustainability club to partake in, amongst other things.

Learning at Penola

NAPLAN Coordinated Practice Test
Recently, the Year 7 and Year 9 Students participated in the Coordinated Practice Test. The students were able to familiarise themselves with the NAPLAN Online test platform by completing the Writing and Omnibus tests. Our students are now more familiar with the testing process and the different types of questions in preparation for NAPLAN tests which begin on May 10 and conclude on May 20. Please note that the practice tests provide an opportunity for schools to confirm they are ready to undertake NAPLAN from a technical and administrative perspective. Students do not receive results for the Coordinated Practice Test.

In advance of taking NAPLAN Online, students, teachers and parents are invited to use the public demonstration tests to familiarise themselves with the type of questions and related functionalities available in the NAPLAN Online assessment.

Some of the key features include a range of question types, onscreen tools, timers and interactive navigation. Students are encouraged to try all the tests for their year level to practise the complete range of question formats available in the online assessment.

For more information

  • Watch the video NAPLAN Accessibility (6m 12s), where students, parents/carers and teachers talk about the benefits of NAPLAN Online.
  • See frequently asked questions about NAPLAN Online
  • Access the Public demonstration site

Parent Teacher Student Progress Meetings
Partnering with families is one of the most powerful ways to promote a sense shared common goals in a child’s learning journey. Connecting with families is of vital importance to Penola staff as we discuss and reflect on students’ school experience thus far. As you are planning to meet with your child’s teachers, please prepare some questions you may wish to ask and review the academic feedback on MyPenola. In addition, please share with staff any information that may assist us to support your son/daughter with their learning. We look forward to meeting with as many parents as possible on in person on April 7.


Senior Science Update
This year in Year 9 Science we are running two new subjects. These are STEM in action and Solve the mystery. Throughout the year we will be giving parents an insight into the students learning.

So far our students have collected evidence from the crime scene and completed two practical investigations on the forces of falling objects and fibre analysis. Along the way they have learnt about gravity, forces, motion, types of chemical reactions and combustion.

In Year 10, there are 6 different sciences on offer and many have undergone practical investigations already this year. From DNA extractions to blood splatter analysis, our students are given lots of students to explore the world of science.

In Year 11 and 12, the students have well and truly settled into the routine of study, preparation for SAC’s and experimentation. We currently run lunchtime sessions for students to attend if they wish to seek extra help and so far we have seen a steady stream of students take on this opportunity.

Our students have worked hard this Term and we congratulate both our teaching staff and our students for their dedication to Science.

Finally, we are proud to announce that Amy H (10C) has received a scholarship to attend Zoos Victoria’s 2022 Youth Leadership program. We look forward to hearing from Amy throughout the year as she embarks on this learning journey.

Leanne Attard
Head of Science Broadmeadows


Year 7 Art and Design 2022
In Year 7 students at Penola study “Art and Design” for the whole Year with 3 periods per cycle. The subject includes 5 Areas of study which are Drawing, Painting, Sculpture/Ceramics, Design and Visual Analysis. This gives students the opportunity to develop creative and critical thinking skills, explore and express ideas, use a range of materials, present artworks, respond to and interpret artworks.

The Year 7 Students have been working on their Drawing unit with the topic being Still life. They have been developing skills by drawing objects from observation, using art elements, representing and rendering 3D form and using a range of drawing materials.

In class students use an A4 Visual Diary where they develop ideas by means of sketching, annotating and trialing materials before staring a final still life artwork. Photographed for this article working on their final still life artwork are Holly S 7E, Juliet G 7E and Angus K 7J.

The students have been working enthusiastically and productively in class and are excited to develop new skills, use materials and express their ideas.

Ms Monica Tromp
Year 7 and 8 Art and Design Teacher


Premier’s Spirit of Democracy Study Tour Award
The Premier's Spirit of Democracy (PSoD) Study Tour explores the origins of democracy, building a deeper understanding of the influence that democracy has on contemporary Victorian and Australian society. It is an annual competition open to students enrolled in Years 9, 10 and 11.

A number of Penola Students submitted an application at the end of 2021. They were required to respond to the following statement “Ancient democracy is often viewed as a system of government where the citizens of the city-state held the power. The ability to choose one's government and fully participate is essential to an inclusive and fair society”

It is with great pleasure to announce that Henry A (11K) has been awarded one of the positions on the tour. In his essay response, he argued that the flaw in democracy is that those who receive power, their interests do not always align with those of the people they are supposed to represent. In order to resolve some of these issues, Henry argues that “Political education, more diverse news, and a way for the news to explicitly fact check politicians are things that are necessary for society to become fair and inclusive to all and of all ideas. This begins in Parliaments, and extends to newspapers, school, households, and everyday conversation. Work must be done for improvement.”

Through the Humanities program at Penola, Henry has studied Civics and Citizenship, Civil Rights and the Law as well as Classical Studies (the study of Ancient Greece and Rome) which certainly assisted in his ability to respond to this statement.

Congratulations Henry and we wish you an informative and enjoyable 5 day study tour in Melbourne and Canberra over the school holidays.

Ms J Palma


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

Please note that Parent Applications Close on: 24th June 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

College Fees

Please ensure your Term 1 School Fees have been paid.

If you are not receiving your School Fee statements each month please contact us at to update your email address.

To discuss your account please contact Lisa Crosbie on 99089041 or email

2022 Easter Egg Collection

Community News

Important Dates

Tuesday 5 April - Athletics Carnival

Thursday 7 April - Term 1 Concludes

Thursday 7 April - Parent / Techer Interviews

Friday 8 April - Student Free Day

Friday 15 April - Good Friday

Saturday 16 April - Holy Saturday

Sunday 17 April - Easter Sunday

Monday 18 April - Easter Monday

Monday 25 April - ANZAC Day

Tuesday 26 April - Term 2 Commences

PCC Newsletter Volume 5 - 31 Mar. 2022