From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 12

Advance Notice – Wednesday 7 September - No Years 11 or 12 classes
There will be no Year 12 classes running on this day as all Year 12 students are involved in the General Achievement Test (GAT). Year 11 students who are not required to sit the GAT will have a remote learning day where their work will be placed on MyPenola.

For the first time all Year 12 VCAL students will be required to sit the GAT on Wednesday, 7 September. All Victorian senior secondary students (Year 12) will this year have their literacy and numeracy skills measured against new standards in a redeveloped GAT.

The new standards will indicate whether students have demonstrated the literacy and numeracy skills typically expected of someone completing their secondary schooling – giving another indication of their readiness to move onto further education, training, or employment. VCE and Senior VCAL students who are enrolled in one or more VCE or scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequence are required to sit both Section A and B. This includes students who are enrolled in the VCE or a scored VCE VET Unit 3-4 sequence who are not planning to undertake their scored assessments. Year 11 students studying a Units 3 & 4 VCE or scored VET will be required to sit both parts of the GAT.

Professional Development Day (Student Free) – Thursday, 25 August
The day is focused upon mitigating the learning loss for all students from the past 2 years. Our Collaborative Planning Teams will meet together to look at evidence-based ways to teach the key skills and knowledge within their subjects. A range of our Year Level Coordinators, Learning Enhancement teachers and Coordinators of Students will be involved in a Mental Health First Aid training day on this day as well (20 staff in total). All teaching staff will be at each of their respective campuses on this day with all of the Support staff on the Glenroy campus for their own day of professional learning.

Leadership Assembly
Our guest speaker for the Leadership Assembly was former College Captain 2001, Daniel Whykes. Daniel is the CEO of Urban Camp Melbourne with a purpose to enable young people to thrive in urban experiences. Prior to joining Urban Camp, Daniel was the General Manager of The Summit a 350 bed, 50-acre adventure park in East Gippsland. In 2019 Daniel was appointed as a Non-Executive Director for the Australian Camps Association. Daniel has proudly held employment at the Australian Open for 23 years and is the Ballkid Operations Supervisor.

At our Leadership Assembly our prospective student leaders for 2023 addressed us and I am happy to report that their speeches were also inspirational. The Leadership Assembly was recorded prior to the day allowing homerooms to view the Assembly in smaller numbers.

The Transfer of Leadership Assembly will be held on Friday, 9 September. Also, as part of the Transfer of Leadership Assembly we will welcome representatives of the six charities that were supported in our fundraising efforts this year.

Josephite Exchange
Our Josephite exchange will take place in Port Adelaide this year on Thursday, 25 August and Friday, 26 August. It has been 3 years since we have had the opportunity to compete against Mt Carmel College, which is another AJASS school situated in Port Adelaide due to COVID. Both schools compete in a range of sports and activities, and it is an opportunity for our students to meet with another Josephite community. 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. My thanks to Mr Shane Griffin and Ms Kathryn Ennor, in particular, for all of their organisation as well as the other staff accompanying the students.

Year 7 Enrolments 2024
A reminder to all of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2023 close tomorrow Friday 19 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.

Father’s Day Breakfast
Father’s Day Breakfast is scheduled for Friday 2 September with mass commencing at 7.15a.m. followed by Breakfast at 8.00a.m. We hope that many fathers will be able to attend with their sons and daughters. In light of the increased COVID cases we have made the decision not to have a guest speaker to minimise the chance of participants catching COVID.

2023 College Captains and Vice Captains
After a comprehensive voting process by both staff and students, I am pleased to announce that the 2023 College Captains and Vice Captains are as follows:

College Captain:

  • Siala Maelasi
  • Leah Mc Grice

College Vice Captain:

  • Aston Motta
  • Ava De Amicis

Staff News
Congratulations to Mrs. Sandra Harrison who has been announced as the Deputy Principal of Santa Maria College in Northcote. Sandra has held the roles of Success Coordinator, Head of Instructional Practice and Head of English over the 6 years she has been with us and will be sorely missed. She commences after the Melbourne Cup weekend in November.

Congratulations to Mr Luke Reynolds who has been appointed as a Year Level Coordinator at Iona College in Geelong. This position is for 2023 and Luke and the family will be relocating prior to the commencement of the 2023 school year. I would like to thank Luke for his efforts here at Penola over the past 15 years and has held a number of roles including Head of Health and Physical Education and Year Level Coordinator amongst others.

Congratulations to Mr Steve Woodburn who has also been appointed as a Year 10 Level Coordinator at Iona College in Geelong. He has held the roles as Co-curricular Coordinator, Year Level Coordinator and Instructional Coach in the 10 years that he has been at Penola. His focus from the time that he has started with us has been on improving his teaching skills and he has worked relentlessly in this pursuit to become a great teacher.

Each of these staff have made a significant contribution to our school and on behalf of the entire College community I publicly thank them for their efforts and wish them well for the future.

Prayer for the Feast of the Assumption of Mary
Last Monday, 15 August 2022 was the Feast of the Assumption. Masses were held on both campuses, and I would like to thank the Faith and Mission Team for their efforts in organizing the masses and a particular thanks to our College Chaplain, Fr Tony Cox, for celebrating these masses with us. 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.


From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 12

It has been a busy week at the Glenroy Campus beginning with Feast of the Assumption Mass and excursions for both year levels.

Feast of the Assumption Mass
The Glenroy Campus celebrated The Feast of the Assumption on Monday. It was a beautiful mass, led by Father Tony with the 7 & 8 students being both respectful and engaged.

La Trobe University and 2023 Year 9 Subject Selection
Our Year 8s visited La Trobe University on Wednesday and Thursday of this week. The aim of the visits were for students to gain insight into the variety of courses available and what university life entails. There were some discussions with university staff, as well as a scavenger hunt around the Bundoora Campus. On the alternative day students remained onsite where they had a subject selection session. This meant that each Year 8 student engaged on an individual basis with a staff member around their 2023 Year 9 subject selection.

Year 7 Melbourne Zoo Excursion
The Year 7 zoo excursion on Wednesday was part of the Ecosystems and Classification topics that the Year 7 students are studying this term in science. Students had a fantastic day developing their knowledge of different ecosystems and classifying the different animals they encountered. A particular favourite for the students was the Butterfly House.

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 12

Feast Day 2022
Our Feast Day, 8 August, is the most important day in our calendar year because it commemorates the memorial of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, our patron saint and upon who’s charism, we have built our College values, mission and philosophy. It also provides a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate our sense of community as a College. Our connection to Mary extends back to the St Joseph’s Babies’ Home which was built here on our College site in 1901, when the then Archbishop of Melbourne, Thomas Carr, called on the Sisters of St Joseph’s Mother General, Mary MacKillop to assist in establishing a “sheltering home for unfortunate mothers and their young babies”. This provided mothers with no support, a place to live before and after their child was born. Families struggling with illness or poverty also used the home for respite care of their young children.

In 1995, Penola Catholic College was started through the amalgamation of three Catholic schools, Sancta Sophia College, now our Junior Campus at Glenroy and Therry College and Geoghegan College, which were both located on the grounds of our current Senior Campus in Broadmeadows. Due to our close ties with Mary and the Josephites, it was very fitting that we then endorsed the charism of Mary and the Josephites as our own. From this, we also became members of the AJASS network of schools. AJASS is an acronym for the Association of Josephite Affiliated Secondary Schools.

What an amazing day Feast Day 2022 was! The hype and excitement were huge. We started with our Feast Day Mass, and true to form, Fr Tony ensured that our Mass was a beautiful tribute to Saint Mary of the Cross Mackillop, Fr Julian Tenison-Woods and to our indigenous people. I am sure St Mary would have been quite touched by the sanctity of it all and especially, the role play in which Fr Julian and Mary figured quite prominently along with two of our students. The Mass led into the fun-filled festivities of the Little Long Walk, Penola’s Got Talent, rides, music bands and food stalls. This has been sadly missed for the past few years but our College community certainly made up for it, as evidenced by the excitement of the huge queues at the rides and the food stalls all selling out! It really was a wonderful celebration and God certainly played his part by ensuring that we all got to bask in the beautiful sunshine. The primary school students’ event was also quite a big hit with many families joining in the fun for the late afternoon session. There were smiles and laughter aplenty!! Feast Day was certainly all we had hoped for … and more!

Year 11 Reflection Day
Last Friday, 12 August, we held our Year 11 Reflection Day in the Auditorium. Gen Bryant and her Band, led the students through the morning in song and in testimony to faith. They were fabulous and the students really engaged in the sessions. Rose Rofaeel, CEO and founder of Christmas on the Streets, our Year 11 Charity, also spoke with the students about COTS in preparation for their Christian Service experience, which they will undertake for an afternoon over the coming weeks.

The Feast of the Assumption Masses
The Feast of the Assumption, 15 August, is a holy day of obligation in the Catholic faith and celebrates the wonderful and most sacred life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. As such, we celebrated the Feast of the Assumption with a Mass at each campus. They were both beautiful celebrations led by Fr Tony Cox, our College Chaplain, who explained the significance of this feast throughout his Homily.

Learning at Penola

General Achievement Test, September 7
In 2022, the General Achievement Test (GAT) has changed to provide value to all Victorian students finishing Year 12. While the GAT already plays an important role in quality assuring Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) assessments, it will now also assess a student’s skills against new Literacy and Numeracy Standards (LNS). Literacy and numeracy skills are a core part of the curriculum in both VCE and the Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) and are a key skill expected of students leaving secondary school. Explicit assessment and reporting of reading, writing and numeracy gives students the opportunity to show that they are ready for further education, training or to enter the workforce – regardless of the pathway they have chosen. Please read more details in the attached GAT Information Sheet.

Year 12 Practice Exams
Students studying Unit 3 & 4 VCE subjects are required to attend compulsory Practice Exams from September 26 - September 29. A detailed timetable will be published shortly. These exams allow students to demonstrate their knowledge in a formal setting and respond to constructive feedback from their teachers in preparation for the VCAA examination period. It is our expectation that students revise thoroughly and aim to do their best so that they are well prepared and can achieve their full potential.

Subject and Pathway Selection 2023
Students currently in Year 8-10 have attended course counselling sessions with staff in order to finalise their program and subject selections for 2023. These have been very fruitful discussions regarding strengths and future ambitions. The students have been able to select from a wide range of subjects that include VCE, VCE – VM and VET studies. Students in Year 11 must submit their preferences online by August 23.

Many resources have been made available to support students to make an informed decision. Please be sure to consult the Curriculum Handbook and view the subject/key learning area vodcasts available on MyPenola.

Students can access all vital information and links to key documents via their year level page.

They can also visit our Careers Website

If you have questions please:

  • Read/view the curriculum resources on MyPenola
  • Contact your Year Level Co-Ordinator or Ms Treloar
  • For VCE matters contact Ms Barton
  • For VCE - VM matters contact Mr Catoggio
  • For Careers or external VET contact Ms Doan

General Achievement Test Information Sheet for Parents

VET Hospitality

RACV Club Excursion

At the end of July, the Year 12 VET Hospitality students ventured into the heart of the CBD and spent the day at the RACV club.

The RACV Club located in Bourke Street and is a member exclusive venue that is home to accommodation, dining, lifestyle and recreational facilities for their members use. Most people believe that the RACV is a company that comes to assist at the roadside when we have a flat tyre or a flat battery. The RACV club is widely recognised within the hospitality industry as one of the best venues in Victoria.

The purpose of the excursion was to showcase to the students the wide variety of job opportunities that the hospitality industry has to offer. It is not just an industry of chef and wait staff.

After two years of constant lockdowns the hospitality industry was dramatically affected in the way they could operate. Many businesses did not survive unless they were entrepreneurial in their operations. The RACV went above and beyond. They have opened two new spaces that are both are outside dining and accessible to the general public not just RACV members

We began the day by being greeted by the Executive Chef Jason, along with a group of 25 students from other colleges, we ventured in and around the entire club. We visited the many dining options they have which range from a French inspired patisserie which serves Baguettes and cakes, to the private wine cellar dining rooms, the dining rooms where all current and past state premiers and prime minsters dine regularly. We also visited the many kitchen spaces, the members areas which include - large scale billiard table hall, Olympic swimming pools, gyms and an even a library.

We stopped for lunch, we dined at the new space created by the RACV club post lockdown called Sojurn. This is a venue which is located in Chancery laneway. We enjoyed a 6-course degustation lunch. The students were fully engaged and given many new flavours and foods to experience.

Jason explained to us that the RACV philosophy is to have the customer have an experience when they dine at the RACV club that involves more than just the senses, we were able to experience this firsthand.

Following on from our long lunch we wandered around more of the RACV club, Penola students were very keen to find out how they could gain employment within the club. As the tour came to a close, we posed questions around gaining employment and the process was explained.

Since we have returned to the college, is it most pleasing to say that RACV club has offered both our students’ apprenticeships. They will commence these at the start of 2023. They must first complete their respective Year 12 VCE and VCAL certificates, in term 4 they will also commence a placement program to commence the working relationship with the RACV club.

VET Outdoor Recreation

Year 10 VET Outdoor Recreation have had a great year so far! After completing their theory assessments and tests, they now get to put their theory into action!

This month we went to You Yangs Regional Park to complete our abseil & mountain bike riding unit as well as head down to Maribyrnong River for our paddle a craft unit. On these excursions, students were assessed on their bike riding and canoeing skills as well as their ability to complete these activities safely.


Year 12 VCAL Community Service
Over the past few weeks, the Senior VCAL students worked collaboratively to clean and tidy the Dallas Neighbourhood House Community Centre. The students demonstrated teamwork skills, compassion, and commitment to service our community in need.

Last week’s group worked at the Dallas Neighbourhood head office in Broadmeadows preparing meals and packaging food parcels for the community in need. Due to tremendous work of the previous Year 12 VCAL groups, it allowed for the rest of the senior VCAL students to commence painting of the internal walls.

The students’ work demonstrated their achievements of the key learning outcomes in VCAL Personal Development Skills. I am very proud of the level of comradery and efforts to support our local community with Dallas Neighbourhood House. An overall fantastic job by all involved.

Year 10 VCAL Business Stalls
During JJAMM week our Year 10 VCAL students worked together to raise money for The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, which is one of the College’s listed charities. The students ran Business Stalls selling various foods and beverages. The students also ran Hoop Time and Handball Target events. The students managed to earn approximately $800 in revenue, which proved to a successful event. It was great to see their commitment and efforts to this worthy cause. I am extremely proud of the students’ efforts, and I look forward to further school-based projects like this in the future.

Daniel Catoggio
VCAL Coordinator


Science update
This week is Science week and we have been focussing on this year’s theme Glass: More than meets the eye.

Across both campuses our students participated in a range of activities including the production of Mock stained glass, producing jelly lenses, glass mosaic tiles, glass beaded necklaces and key chains, fantastic fun flying drones and a masterclass demonstrating that production of edible sugar glass used in the production of movies. They also participated in quizzes and our Year 7 classes were lucky enough to attend an excursion to the Melbourne Zoo on Wednesday. An update on the Zoo excursion will be provided in the next newsletter article.

It has been so wonderful to see so many students getting involved, and we are so fortunate to have the resources to provide these activities. None of these activities would be able to run without the hard work and planning of our fabulous support team and we thank Julie, Lisa and Bethaney for the work that they have put into these activities.

If you would like to learn a little more about how Glass is made, you may want to check out the link

Happy Science week everyone!

Leanne Attard and Fiona Trapani
Head of Science Broadmeadows and Head of Science Glenroy

Santos Science Experience
During the midyear school holidays, I participated in RMIT’s Santos Science Experience, where I was able to engage in a range of science activities under the guidance of scientists and students from RMIT. I performed experiments in laboratories, met and heard senior lecturers, visited the city campus and the Bundoora campus of RMIT and went to Werribee Zoo which included a safari tour.

I was informed of RMIT’s Santos Science Experience back in 2021, by Miss Attard. To apply I had to write 400 words as to why I would like to participate in the experience. I was 1 of 25 who received the scholarship.

On the first day, we met at the city campus at 8:30am and were then bused to the Bundoora campus. Both RMIT’s Bundoora and City campus have beautiful facilities, especially the city campus and its bright and vibrant interior design. At Bundoora, we participated in two workshops. One in which we learnt about how your surroundings, specifically the sounds in your environment, affect your judgment. We were identifying aromas, and all found it easier to identify Australia Native plants while surrounded by Australian bush sounds. The second workshop was distillation. We crushed up the leaves of a variety of native Australian plants which were then distilled to produce essential oils.

On the second day, we met at the city campus again. We started with making rockets out of paper and launching them. My team won! The aerodynamics of our rocket meant that it flew the furthest and we also won the best rocket design. We all got to try out virtual reality and play with robots who could copy your movements and actions, as if they were playing Simon Says. There was a scavenger hunt around the campus, where we learnt about RMIT and its history. We were also able to play around with the coding of the traditional game ‘Space Invaders’, adjusting the code to change the features of the game. We listened to lectures from past RMIT students about their education and how they got to where they are now. It was very interesting to hear about how your career paths can change so much, yet still lead you to something you love.

On the last day, we were taken to Werribee Zoo. We went on the safari tour and engaged in a workshop educating us about the Gorilla Doctors and their amazing work. On the same day, back at the city campus of RMIT, we watched a science show, run by RMIT science students, where they used liquid nitrogen to freeze objects and foods. It was insane how brittle the objects became and how easily they fell apart. We also got to try ice-cream frozen with liquid nitrogen, it was only 3 ingredients and tasted the same, if not better and smoother than original vanilla ice cream.

The experience was fantastic, I made new friends and learnt new and exciting things about science. I am so grateful that I was given the opportunity to apply for this scholarship. I would like to thank Miss Attard for offering this to me and for teaching me the content, I was grateful that I had the prior knowledge to help me engage in this experience fully.
Kelly G, Year 11

Book Week

Next week marks Book Week for the 2022 academic year. The theme this year is Dreaming with eyes open and acknowledges our wonderful indigenous culture

Below is the schedule of activities that all students can participate in throughout the week. We do encourage all students to participate and immerse themselves in the wonderful opportunities offered to them throughout the week.

Happy Book Week and Happy Reading…

Mrs Pliszka and Mrs Harrison

Parent Reform

PCC Newsletter Volume 12 - 18 Aug 2022