From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 18

Month of November
Traditionally, Catholics observe November as the month of the Holy Souls. The month commences with two great Feast Days, the Feast of All Saints (November 1) and the Feast of All Souls (November 2). As I have mentioned in previous editions of this newsletter, it is also quite appropriate that during this month we observe Remembrance Day, November 11, the anniversary of the day in 1918 when the hostilities ceased in the Great War, now more commonly known as the First World War. In remembering, honouring, and praying for the dead we recognise the inestimable value of life, the dignity and sanctity of those who have died, and the sure belief that life continues beyond death albeit in a way that we do not fully understand. In remembering and praying for own loved ones who have died, we pay tribute to the gift that they have been to us, and we extend to them the care that they shared with us during their lives on earth.

Last week, at a special Memorial Mass in St Joseph’s Chapel, we prayed with those in our community who have suffered the loss of family members and friends this year. The great consolation for us is that we know that those who have died are now with God and are experiencing the fullness of God’s mercy and love.

We also celebrated All Saints day on November 1. On this day we remember the people of God throughout history like our patron, St Mary of the Cross MacKillop, who have been recognised as Saints by the Church. These individuals, young and old have lived out their faith and, at times, have paid the ultimate price for believing in God by giving their lives as martyrs. We remember the living saints of our times, the people of God living in this world today who by their example live their faith out daily. We pray that the Saints past and present may inspire us all to follow their example of service to others.

Year 12 Graduation
Due to the current restrictions preventing mass gatherings we have made the decision to postpone the Year 12 Graduation Dinner until 2022 with the hope that mass gatherings can occur.

There has been a recent announcement indicating that the year level and staff can gather at the end of exams to conduct a graduation ceremony. The College staff will gather with the young men and women of Year 12 and it will be livestreamed for parents. It is very rewarding to see the pride and the joy amongst the students and the excitement about having finished this part of their educational journey. Congratulations to all members of the class of 2021, their parents, teachers, and all other staff who helped to get them to this point. We look forward to the release of the VCE results on Thursday 16 December and pray that our students get their just rewards for their efforts. More details will be provided in upcoming weeks.

At this stage, the Graduation will happen on Friday November 26, 6.00pm – 7.45pm under the shade area outside the Performing Arts Courtyard. The plan at this stage is for a mass to take place between 6.00pm – 6.40pm and graduation ceremony 6.45pm – 7.45pm. Year 6 and Year 12 graduations are permitted face-to-face in Victorian schools. Students from the graduating year level and staff can attend in person. Parents/carers and other family members or friends cannot attend in person but could engage via an online broadcasting of the event.

Confirmed COVID Cases
We have had 3 students and 1 staff member test positive to COVID-19 over the past week (2 Year 7 students at Glenroy and 1 Year 9 student and 1 Support Staff member at Broadmeadows). This causes significant disruption to classes, but it is not anyone’s fault as these students and staff member were not feeling symptoms whilst at school. When they experienced symptoms, they remained at home and were tested. In trying to determine who is considered a primary close contact factors such as the amount of time spent with the confirmed case, their proximity or closeness to other students and the vaccination status of the people involved. This meant over 180 phone calls to different families over the weekend to find out whether students were fully, partially, or completely unvaccinated.

To make this process quicker, I am requesting families to voluntarily complete the Operoo which was sent out this week regarding the vaccination status of your son or daughter. This information will remain confidential and is purely voluntary. In the event that you haven’t disclosed this information you will still get a phone call from the school so that we know the student’s vaccination status. For identified Primary Close Contacts who are fully vaccinated, the isolation period is 7 days whereas for partially or unvaccinated Primary Close Contacts the isolation period is 14 days. Thank you for the families that have already responded to this request.

Headstart Program
This year we have decided to continue our successful Headstart program at the end of the year for four days for current Years 7-11 students. In effect this means that our current Years 7 - 11 students will commence their 2021 classes on Monday, November 29 and finish on Thursday, December 2. The advantages to this program are that students can begin their 2022 classwork earlier, giving them additional time to learn their respective VCE and VCAL subjects or subjects for next year.

Students End of Year Mass
Years 7-11 End of Year Mass will be livestreamed on Monday, November 29 for both campuses. It is the beginning of Headstart and will mark the transition between finishing 2020 and starting 2021. The Broadmeadows campus mass will commence at 9.00am for current Years 8-11 students and the Glenroy campus mass will commence at 11.00am for our current Year 7 students. Parents are welcome to join our livestreamed masses via the links that will be placed on the Faith and Mission tab on MyPenola.

Year 12 students commenced their written exams with English on Wednesday, October 27. These exams continue through until Wednesday, November 17. The Year 11 exams commence on Wednesday, November 17 and conclude on Thursday, November 25.

Online Music Concerts
Given the difficulty of meeting together for performances, the Performing Arts faculty have decided to organise a range of different concerts for students to perform online. On Monday, November 8 there was a concert for Violin and Voice, Tuesday, November 9 was a concert for Woodwind and Brass and Wednesday, November 10 was a concert for Guitar and Drums. Congratulations to all performers for your efforts and a huge thank you to our Instrumental Music teachers and Music staff for their efforts in preparing the students. In particular, thanks to Mrs Ramona Arney, Head of Performing Arts, Mrs Tania Hatherell, Head of Preforming Arts – Glenroy and Mrs Dianne Lee for all of their organisation of these concerts.

Student Free Days this Term

  • Monday, November 22 is a Student-Free Day to allow staff time for planning, preparation, assessment of student learning, collaboration, curriculum planning and professional learning. This day will be student free for both campuses.
  • Friday, November 26 is another Student Free Day. This will allow our Senior students (Year 11) a small break between finishing exams and commencing their Headstart program and allow our staff to have a Correction Day to finalise grades. For our Junior campus staff, time for correction and report writing of the end of year reports.

Year 12 & VCAL Building update
In good news for the College, MACS has approved our application for the building of our new Year 12 and VCAL building as well as the loan to finance this building. It has been advertised for tender with the six builders who had been shortlisted by MACS and our Architects for the project, McIldowie Partners. Tenders close on Thursday, December 2 2021 at 2pm.

The projected timelines are listed below:


Anticipated Date

EOI Application Close

7 October 2021

Planning Permit, Tender Drawings & Cost Plan D

15 October 2021

Review and Shortlist of Tenderers

End October 2021


3 November 2021

Tender Period

November – December 2021 (4 weeks)

Final Offer of Grant

December 2021

Award Tender

Dec / Jan 2022

Site Possession

Jan / Feb 2022

Practical Completion of works

Feb 2023

Year 7 Enrolments 2023
A reminder to all of our existing families that Year 7 enrolments for 2023 closed on Friday, August 16. A number of families applied after the close of enrolment last year making 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.

God our Father,
Your power brings us to birth,
Your providence guides our lives,
and by Your command we return to dust.

Lord, those who die still live in Your presence,
their lives change but do not end.
I pray in hope for my family,
relatives and friends,
and for all the dead known to You alone.

In company with Christ,
Who died and now lives,
may they rejoice in Your kingdom,
where all our tears are wiped away.
Unite us together again in one family,
to sing Your praise forever and ever.


Chris Caldow


From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mr Ernie Pisani Vol 18

As the year enters its final days, most students are busily engaged in completing the end of year tasks for each of their subjects. The Year 12s are fully into their examinations which will continue until the early stages of December and Year 11 students are starting to gear up for their end of year exams.

Year 11 End of Year Program
The Year 11 exams will commence on Wednesday November 17 and will conclude on Thursday November 26. A full exam timetable has been established and has been given to our Year 11 students. Students have been briefed on the requirements re the exams. I wish them well as they continue their senior programs journey which will culminate in the Year 12 program.

Awards Night
As you can imagine, the challenges that we have had to face in 2021 will mean that Awards Night this year will be celebrated in a vastly different way. The college is currently pre-recording the night’s program which will be made available for students, parents and staff to view on Tuesday November 23. Each presentation will be made available in chapters which gives you easy access to all aspects of the night or the most relevant section for you. Students who are nominated for awards will be sent information to them and their parents about how to access the recordings; this will include the link to the recording.

2022 Scholarships
A large number of students applied for scholarships for 2022. All applications have been read and students have been interviewed. Parents and students will receive letters in the coming days to inform them whether they were successful in their application. We were extremely pleased with the way students have prepared for the process.

Year 12 Graduation
Despite the uncertainty created by the times, we are still able to hold a Graduation ceremony for our graduating class of 2021. We are immensely proud of their efforts and achievements and will acknowledge them on Friday November 26 in a Graduation mass and ceremony starting at 6.00pm. Our Year 12 students will be honoured on site and parents and friends can watch the mass and ceremony online. The link to this event will be sent to parents in due course. A letter to parents of Year 12 students will also go out on Operoo which gives much more detail about this event. For those who are unable to watch the Graduation mass and ceremony live, a recording will be made available.

As students enter these final weeks of what has been a difficult year, I wish them all the very best for a calm and productive finish to the year.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 18

Year 8 Headstart
Our 2021 Year 8s will have their final day at the Glenroy Campus on November 25. During that week we encourage all Year 8 students to bring their books home and begin the process of emptying their lockers. They will then transition to the Broadmeadows Campus on Monday November 29, where they will have 4 days of their 2022 Year 9 classes. Our Year 8s have spent considerable time in remote learning over the last two years and I hope their 2022 academic year has a sense or normality.

Resilience Project
Penola Catholic College will introduce the resilience project in 2022, a wellbeing program that focuses on the four areas of Gratitude, Empathy, Mindfulness and Emotional Literacy. The program will largely be conducted through the pastoral sessions that take place period 1 every Friday with 3 pastoral sessions per term being devoted to the resilience project. The lessons are designed specifically for each year level targeting students at their appropriate age. The resilience project is one of the new initiatives taking place in 2022 as part of the introduction of the Penola Catholic College Wellbeing Framework.

Progressive Achievement Test
The school conducts Progressive Achievement Tests (PAT) on the Year 7 orientation day, and in Term 4 of Years 7 and 8, in an effort to assess the progression of our students literacy and math skills over a two year period. The tests help teaching staff have a better understanding of the literacy and numeracy skills and knowledge of the students in their class so they can make relevant adjustments in their learning and teaching. The tests this year will be completed in the final two weeks of the academic year.

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 18

Memorial Mass 2021
Last Thursday evening, November 4, we celebrated our annual Memorial Mass. As a Catholic school community, nothing unites us closer than to share in the Eucharist together. As you are aware, it is always part of our practice here at the College to end our prayers with this phrase, “and may we always remember … to pray for one another”. Although this is only a very simple phrase, we believe it is a really important one, with truly significant meaning, because it reminds us that we are a community, and that as a community, we are all one big extended family. Families love and care for one another and therefore, it is important that we don’t forget to care for each other. It was with this in mind, that we hoped that our Memorial Mass would be a truly special and fitting way to pray for and remember all of our loved ones within our Penola Catholic College family who have passed. As always, Fr Tony Cox, our College Chaplain, celebrated a beautiful Mass. The inclusion of our memorial reflection clips enabled us to highlight the plaques in our Memorial Garden and the photos of our loved ones. This Mass truly captured our College’s spirit of community and enabled everyone who viewed via the livestream, a true opportunity to stop, reflect and pray for those who have meant so much to us.

If you were not able to partake in the Mass last week but would still like to view it, it can still be accessed here.

Remembrance Day
Today our focus for prayer is Armistice Day. Armistice Day is celebrated on November 11 each year and is also known as Remembrance Day. It marks the day World War One ended, at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918. We now use the anniversary to remember all the people who have died in all wars - not just those in World War One.

And so we pray...

Lord our God,

On this day of remembrance, we entrust all our prayers and needs to your infinite mercy.

May the memory of wars strengthen our efforts for peace;

May the memory of those who died inspire our service to the living;

May the memory of past destruction move us to build for the future;

O God of peace, O companion of our souls, O builder of Love and Justice in the world, Hear our prayer.

Teach us the way of peace,

Not a peace that is frail and feeble but a peace that is strong and firm and brave,

A healing of wounds, a facing of truth, a building of new understanding, and generous always.

Teach us the way of love, not a love that is blind and foolish but a love that is deep and true and wise,

An opening of hearts, a joining of hands, a valuing people as precious, and generous always.

Teach us the way of life, not a life that is mean and narrow but a life that is rich and full and free,

A finding of strength, a sharing of wealth, a reaching for joy at its fullest and generous always.

Teach us the way of peace.

And we ask this through Christ our Lord,


St Mary of the Cross... Pray for us,

St. Joseph… Pray for us,

And may we always remember… To pray for one another.


Moreland City Council immunisation service will be visiting the Year 7 students at Penola College on Wednesday November 17 to give the final dose of the HPV (human papillomavirus) vaccine. In some cases where the Year 7 was absent at our first visit, their first dose along with their whooping cough booster will be given instead. We may also request to see any Year 8 who was absent previously and has not received the consented vaccine/s elsewhere. Please note that these vaccines will only be given to children whose families have previously consented.

Please be aware that previously the recommendation was that no vaccines are received within 7 days of any Covid-19 vaccine. This information was updated recently to say it is preferable to leave the 7 day gap, but not essential. If it is the case that a student has received a COVID-19 vaccine within the 7 days leading up to our visit, and you would prefer to have a 7 day gap between vaccines, please contact Moreland City Council Immunisation Service directly (not via the school) at or on 9240 1111 and choose the option for Immunisation. Otherwise, the vaccine will be administered as consented.

Moreland City Council immunisation service does not have access to, and will not give the Covid-19 vaccine at these school visits.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions at or 92401111 and follow the prompts.

Art Show

Congratulations to the Unit 4 Studio Art students. They have overcome the challenges of working remotely during this critical time to develop and produce their final art works. Limited access to materials and equipment created significant challenges for these students. They should all be very proud of the work that they were able to create. Each student was required to produce two cohesive artworks. These final artworks represent the themes and ideas that have been trialed and developed this year during the Unit 3 Studio Art process. Students have explored a variety of themes, materials and techniques including, dry point etching, acrylic and oil painting, collage and digital processes.

Please enjoy the gallery of our incredibly talented students work.



Don’t forget to return your library books.

We need all overdue items returned immediately.

Thank you
ERC Staff

Important Dates


Monday 22
- Student Free Day
Friday 26
- Student Free Day
Monday 29
- Year 8-11 students commence 2022 Headstart program


Thursday 2 - Term 4 Concludes
Friday 3
- 2022 Year 7 Orientation Day

Community News

PCC Newsletter Volume 18 - 11 Nov 2021