From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 18

School Advisory Council Information Session
We have two vacancies arising on our School Advisory Council at the beginning of next year as two of our School Advisory Council members reach the end of their tenure. An invitation is extended to parents who are interested in the work of the School Advisory Council to come along to an information session being held on the evening of Tuesday 28 February. The information session will provide an opportunity for parents who may be willing to offer their services as School Advisory Council members in this year or subsequent years, to gain an understanding of the governance of the College.

The information session will commence at 7:00pm in the Conference Room at the Broadmeadows campus followed by our February Board meeting for those wishing to stay on.

End of Year
As this is the final newsletter for 2022, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all members of the Penola Catholic College community a very safe, happy and holy Christmas and summer holiday. For some in the community this time will include receiving VCE results and then confirming plans for 2023 at university or in another tertiary setting or commencing an apprenticeship or other employment. For students undertaking Units 3&4 VCE subjects, this time should include some form of preparation for the year of work ahead. It is important, however, that we enjoy the time shared with family and friends and that we express gratitude to our Lord for these gifts and blessings.

The year has been marked with great energy and success in many areas at the College. Congratulations to all students who committed themselves to their studies, to the co-curricular sporting and cultural activities available at the College and who were involved in some form of community service activity throughout the year. These are the students who will gain the most from their time at Penola Catholic College.  

On behalf of the wider school community, I would like to thank all staff (teaching and support) for their commitment, dedication and enthusiasm for providing the best for all students.

This Advent, as we prepare for the Blessings of this Christmas Season, may I thank all Penola Catholic College parents for your support of the College throughout the year and for your partnership with us in the education of your sons and daughters. May Christ’s Peace and Joy be with each of you and with your loved ones.

One of the things that Mary MacKillop was fond of saying was “to never see a need without doing something about it.” Mary MacKillop saw a need for Catholic education for the poor. She tried to address this need by creating a religious order, the Josephite nuns, where they would go out to help the poor and help educate them and try to improve their situation and their life.

If you look at all of the great people within history, they have all had a significant effect upon society. Mary MacKillop is certainly one of these people. Mary battled many hardships throughout her life, her health, she was ostracised and even had a period of ex-communication from the Catholic Church. Throughout it all, she never lost faith in her own beliefs or her convictions that she was doing the right thing. Mary MacKillop is an outstanding example of leadership in action.

Solidarity Trip
Best wishes to Mr Rob Dullard, Mr Gerard Knobel, Mr Andre Mirko, Mrs Melissa Fry and the 8 students including members of our Ministry Band, M22, who will travel to Alice Springs on Friday 25 November, for the solidarity immersion experience. Once again, our students will support the people of the Amoonguna indigenous community located near Alice Springs. We wish them every blessing and trust that both communities, ours and theirs, will be enriched by this experience.

Year 12 Graduation Dinner
Last Monday night the College staff gathered with the young men and women of Year 12 and their parents at their Graduation Dinner. It was a fantastic night made better by being able to share it with staff, students and 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 2022, 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 Monday 12 December and pray that our students get their rewards for their efforts.

College Awards Evening
On Monday 28 November, we will hold our annual Awards Evening, in which students will be recognised for their achievements and contributions throughout the year. We will welcome to the College as our guest of honour, Mr. John Domantay, a former Penola Catholic College student and College Captain. John is a 1996 graduate of Penola Catholic College and he achieved ATAR of 90+. His qualifications include Bachelor of Science (Biomed) and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University, a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice from Monash University and a Diploma of Financial Services. John currently is the Founder and Director of Alecto Finance and the Founder and Director of EcoGen Technologies. John is a past recipient of the Mary of the Cross Medal. It will be heartening to see so many students receive recognition for their efforts and participation throughout the year. I would like to congratulate all award recipients and I thank in advance Ms Erin Bonavia, Mrs Nella Dalrymple, Mrs Dianne Lee and the members of the organising committee for their work in ensuring the success of the evening.

In the next fortnight several staff members will be leaving the College.

Congratulations to 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 PE and Year Level Coordinator amongst others.

Congratulations to Steve Woodburn who has 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. I would like to publicly acknowledge his efforts over the past 10 years and thank him for the service that he has provided.

Congratulations to Kim Agbeti who has been appointed as a Learning and Growth Leader for Year 12 at Santa Maria College in Northcote for 2023. Kim has been with Penola for more than 15 years and has held a number of roles in this time including Year Level Coordinator, VCAL Coordinator of Students as well as teaching both VCAL Literacy and Senior English.

Congratulations to Rose Crocitti who has been appointed as Executive Assistant at Santa Maria College in Northcote. She commenced on the first day of Term Four. I would like to publicly thank Rose for her efforts over the past three years and she will be sorely missed. We wish her well for the next phase of her career.

Congratulations to Mark O’Dowd who has been appointed to a teaching position at Parade College for the 2023 school year. Mark has contributed significantly over his 18 years with the College most recently as a YLC and we wish him well for the future.

Congratulations to Philip Whittaker who has been appointed to a teaching position at Emmaus College for the 2023 school year. Phil has been with us for the past 7 years.

Sara Clark has made the decision to resign at the end of the year after 19 years at Penola Catholic College. Over this time, she has provided support for hundreds maybe even thousands of students and their families. She has also held the role as Head of Student Services which was such a big role, we had to split it in two, to replace her!

Congratulations to Rhonda Davies who is retiring after 13 years of service at Penola Catholic College. Rhonda has worked mainly as a Food Technology Assistant.

Congratulations to Etty Bonnici who is also retiring after nearly 7 years in the role as receptionist at the College reception on the Broadmeadows campus.

Congratulations to Andrea DeAizpurua who is also retiring after 2 years as an Enhanced Learning Teacher, supporting some of our most vulnerable students.

Congratulations to Maria Alberto who has been appointed as Head of Learning (Pedagogy) for Religious Education at Xavier College. Maria has held several roles throughout her time at Penola including, Head of Religious Education, Acting Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission, Instructional Coach and Research Lead.

Stacey Noulas has made the decision to resign from Penola Catholic College finishing at the end of this year. Stacey has held a number of roles in her time at Penola including Year Level Coordinator positions on both campuses.

Congratulations to Teeka Dour who has been appointed as a Psychologist at Overnewton College for 2023. Teeka has been with us for the past 10 years and has provided significant support for a range of our students and their families throughout her time with us.

Thanks to Rebecca Lang who has resigned after nearly 8 years of service at Penola Catholic College mainly as a Food Technology Assistant and Textiles Assistant.

Francesca LoPresti has accepted a teaching position at CRC North Keilor for 2023 after 5 years as a language assistant at Penola and Loyola. Unfortunately, we did not have a teaching position available for 2023 but I thank Francesca for her efforts over the past 5 years as an Italian Language Assistant, particularly this year when she was able to get permission to teach to replace Ms Giuisi Graziano and Mrs Joanne Pace.

Katherine Gayton has resigned from her position as one of our College Psychologists after her maternity leave. I would like to thank Katherine for her efforts here at Penola over the past 6 years and wish her well for the future.

Congratulations to Shane Griffin who has been appointed as Head of Student Wellbeing at CRC North Keilor for 2023. Shane has held the roles as Sports Coordinator and VCAL Coordinator of Students over the four years here at Penola and we wish him well for the future.

Congratulations to Emily Hastie who has been appointed as a Learning Specialist - Mathematics role at Whittlesea Secondary College for 2023. I would like to thank Emily for her efforts over the past three years. Emily held the role as Year 10 Coordinator this year.

Congratulations to Letesha Ruberto who has gained a position as a Health and PE teacher at Auburn High School for 2023. I would like to thank Letesha for her efforts over the past 3 years as an early career teacher and as Year 7 Coordinator this year.

Stephanie Cassino has made the decision to resign from Penola Catholic College finishing at the end of this year. Steph has accepted a position at Our Lady of Mercy College in Heidelberg which is closer to home for her. Steph has been an excellent Italian and Humanities teacher throughout her time at Penola and she will be sorely missed.

Congratulations to Mr Phil Ineson who has been appointed as Director of Learning and Teaching at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Bentleigh after 4 years with us. Throughout this time Phil has held the role as Head of Learning Information Technology as well as Instructional Coach. I would like to thank Phil for his efforts.

A number of other staff members are leaving because they have gained positions in other schools or settings, or because their contracts have concluded. On behalf of the college community, I thank them for their work and efforts in guiding, developing and nurturing our students. Best wishes to Jacinta Muscat, Ciaran Ross, Sue Lombardo and Jessica Wu.

Congratulations to all who are pregnant and will be taking maternity leave in 2023 Penny Tully, Carli Saddington, Sam Thompson and Hanna Blizzard.

Nellie Mims rejoins us from maternity leave at the beginning of the year and Andrea London and Samantha Veneziano will rejoin us at the beginning of Term 3.

Catherine Harkin and Sam Papadopoulos are taking leave for 2023.

Melissa Braganza, Pascal Roulant and Devaraj Kumar are taking leave Semester 1 and Samia Boudaher Term 1.

Wishing all in the community a safe and Merry Christmas. We hope you enjoy your time off, spending time with family and friends. I look forward to welcoming you all back in 2023.

Mr Chris Caldow

From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Ms Erin Bonavia Vol 18

It is hard to believe we are now approaching the end of the academic year. My congratulations to all students and staff as we come to the end of our first full year of schooling after the past two years of remote learning. Whilst I know as a society, we are still experiencing the challenges of returning to a new normal it has been really pleasing to be able to see students engaging in many learning opportunities and personal growth experiences that were difficult to access in 2020 and 2021. It was wonderful to once again be able to celebrate with students and families at the Year 12 Graduation dinner earlier in the week.

Next week all students on the senior campus will begin classes in their 2023 year level. Students will meet their new teachers and class peers, begin course work for their new subjects, access their holiday homework and hear valuable information from their Year Level Coordinators about the year ahead. We warmly welcome the 2023 Year 9 students to the campus along with several new students at each year level. The Year 9 students will be engaging in additional pastoral lessons focused on assisting in the transition to the senior campus. This includes time with Year 12 students who will be assigned the Peer Support Leader for each homeroom.

On Monday 28 November there will be a final Mass for the senior campus students as we come together to give thanks for the blessings of 2022 school year and look forward with hope to 2023. I ask that all students please wear their College blazer to the Mass.

Preparing for 2023
The holidays is a great time for rest and recuperation after a very busy year. I also encourage students to organise themselves for the new year ahead. This includes:

  • Replacing school shoes if required. Black runners or skate shoes are not permitted with the College uniform, I urge families to pleas be mindful of shoes that are marketed as school shoes.
  • Checking length of the summer dress, the hem should be knee length
  • All students require a school padlock, this can be purchased from the Accounts office.
  • The only permitted bag is the College school bag
  • Please see the book list for books, resources and materials required for each class.

Thanks to all families for their support of the College. I wish students and staff who are leaving the College at the end of the year every success and thank you for your contributions to our school.

Wishing you a safe and happy Christmas period and looking forward to working with you all in 2023.

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

Our Year 8s finished their time at the Glenroy Campus this week before transitioning to the Broadmeadows Campus. It has been fantastic to have a whole school year onsite considering they missed a portion of their Year 7 due to extended lockdowns. They finished the week with a Year 8 celebration assembly followed by an ice cream van.

Year 8 English and Maths Exam
On Thursday our Year 8 students completed their English and Maths exams in the ASH at Broadmeadows Campus. This was a great opportunity for our Year 8s to begin the process of sitting formal exams and the expectations that accompany them.

Year 8 Social
The Year 8 Social will take place tonight from 6:30pm to 9:30pm in the Glenroy gym. It is a fantastic night where students will celebrate their time at the campus with dancing, laughter and pizza.

Year 7
Our Year 7s will transition to Year 8 next week. Monday is a transition day as seem below:

Monday 28 November - Period 1 - Mass
Period 2 – locker/class clean up
Period 3 & 4 – Assembly
Period 5 & 6 Year 8 Homerooms/Getting to know activities/lockers

Tuesday 29 November - Normal Timetabled 2023 Year 8 classes

Thursday 1 December - Term 4 Concludes

Have a Merry Christmas and a safe break.

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

Tomorrow Friday 25 November, we will once again be heading off to Alice Springs to the aboriginal community of Amoonguna. We, at Penola, have a long-term partnership with this community through REMAR. Although REMAR no longer exists, we wish to continue our connection with the Amoonguna people and the primary school. As such, we are taking some of our student leaders and M22 to run various activities throughout the week and to record a song with the students. Both, the students at Amoonguna and our Penola students, are truly excited about our visit and hopefully, we will return with a great recording that both parties will feel proud of and be able to share with our communities in the new year.

End of Year Masses
Next Monday 28 November, we will be celebrating our End of Year Masses, marking the closure to our 2022 College year. Mass will take place at the Glenroy Campus for our current Year 7 students during Period One and during Period 3 at the Broadmeadows Campus for our current Years 8-11 students. The Broadmeadows Campus Mass will be livestreamed from 11.20am for parents and any members of our extended community to view. A link will be made available for all to access via MyPenola, Youtube and the Penola Facebook page prior to the commencement of the Mass.

AJASS Student Leadership Day
Last Monday 21 November, some of our student leaders attended the AJASS Student Leadership Day at MacKillop College, Werribee. This provided an opportunity for our students to develop leadership formation from a Josephite perspective. This is such an important element for our student leaders to grasp because leading at Penola Catholic College requires an understanding of service in the way of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. It also provided a great opportunity for them to mix with student leaders from other AJASS schools, share their thoughts and ideas and to commence their planning for their year ahead in leadership in 2023.

Christmas with or without Jesus. What’s the difference?
FRG Ministry is hosting a FREE international online Advent Retreat starting on 27 November, 2022. Filmed in both the Holy Land and live from Melbourne, this retreat will feature weekly Sunday Masses, live reflections, and times of prayer hosted by Fr Rob Galea, Alyssa Agius & Roseanne Rofaeel. In a world filled with family issues, famine and war, they will be exploring the difference that Jesus makes in these difficult circumstances, this Christmas, and beyond. All sessions are recorded to enable on-demand viewing. To find out more information or to register please web address below.

A Message from Fr Tony

A Message from Fr. Tony Cox


We all love to celebrate. We have been doing it all our lives both individually and collectively and now, as we come to the end of yet another year of life at Penola Catholic College for 2022, our need is heightened. As we all have experienced and know deep down in our being, the very purpose of any celebration is to heighten and intensify the meaning of the event. (Birthdays, Weddings, major achievements, a Premiership, a Graduation, a Birth, a Death, the beginning and as we are soon to, an ending of an academic and relational year.) Each and every one of these occasions demand to be shared and their meanings broadcast all around.

But what does it really mean to celebrate? As human beings, yes, we do celebrate and often times It is to excess in certain areas and we pay the price later on but when we seriously reflect upon its meaning, to celebrate an occasion is to heighten it, to share it, to savour it, to enlarge it. On top of this, we celebrate in order to link or bind ourselves more fully to each other, to be even playful, to intensify a feeling of respect and appreciation, to bring ourselves even to a level of ecstasy in terms of life, living and relations and, possibly more acutely and commonly, just to unwind and to take a few deep breaths in and out to rest and appreciate the moment.

But being human and having endured great stress and grown through varying levels of angst and the like in the course of a day, a week, a month, a year.... perhaps it might be just the living and experiencing of the sheer delight of the occasion.......yes, the moment might overcome us as we celebrate. We have all fallen into this trap!

No matter what though, I think that there is one sector which we often forget in all of this! We are to celebrate all things in and of life. To help us along this way, we have a great example in Jesus, our Lord.

Jesus came and declared a Wedding, a feast, a celebration, at the heart of life. He actually shocked many people as much by the way he enjoyed his life as by the very way he gave it up. As we know, in the end, he was rejected as much for his message of enjoyment as for his message of level headedness and the sharing joyfully of life and relations. Generally, this is still true today. We do, don't we, or many people do, tend to read the Gospels selectively so as ignore Jesus' positive challenge to enjoy without feeling any guilt.

I think it is true to say that because we have never been and never are challenged religiously and in the name of Jesus, to enjoy, deeply and without guilt, the very human pleasures of our lives, our healthy, God-bestowed, need for pleasure and enjoyment tends to go and get buried underground. Yes, we still seek pleasure and enjoyment, but all too often we split it off from what is religious and holy and almost "rob God" rather than enjoy them purely, simply and religiously.

Like the many rich and lasting talents each and every one of us has been endowed with, let us individually and collectively, never forget the fact that God has given us permission to enjoy life and its pleasures. In a world that is increasingly becoming more and more individualistic (The "I"-phone era), this fantastic truth needs to become and always be a central part of our life and especially our religious teaching. Pleasure is God's gift to us all. It is not the forbidden red apple from the Garden of Eden!


As we have come to the end of 2022, I am reminded that we are all privileged to be connected to the Penola Catholic College community. We have enjoyed watching our students grow and develop in every aspect of school life.

One of the highlights for me has been working with the student leaders, especially our Captain of Academic Excellence, Leah M. Leah was always keen to enhance the culture of learning at Penola and support her peers in the pursuit of academic achievement.

Students will receive feedback on their marked school based examination papers and MyPenola. It is important that students review their strengths and identify areas that require improvement. Sitting examinations requires developing important skills over time. Semester Two Reports will be available to parents and students online in the week beginning Monday 12 December.

The VCAA and VTAC offer several options for accessing VCE results and the ATAR: internet, mail, and app. VCE and VCAL results and ATAR statements will be available from Monday 12 December. Congratulations to all our graduands. We wish you all the best as you embark on your next journey.

The Headstart Program begins next week, Monday 28 November and concludes on Thursday 1 December. Students are advised to be optimistic and focused on their approach to their new subjects and teachers. To maximise the benefits of the Headstart program, students are to complete all the set holiday homework and set themselves up for a successful year in 2023.

Your child has now received their confirmed subjects for 2023. The Resource List is now available for you to order textbooks, digital subscriptions, and stationery. All orders must be placed by Friday 16 December to ensure timely delivery. Alternatively, in person collection at Penola Catholic College (ERC Broadmeadows Campus) will be held on Friday 20 January 2023. All orders must be completed online at using the code “6KYJ”. I would like to remind parents and students that the digital resources listed for some subjects such as Edrolo and Education Perfect are compulsory and are to be purchased via Campion Education, as previously advised. The digital resources provide access to learning and skill development from any digital device, at any time and reinforce the learning that takes place in the classroom.

Thank you to students, parents and staff, for the commitment to continually improve by working together to ensure that we provide a high-quality education for all.

Wishing everyone a very special Christmas. May you have a great start to the New Year and enjoy happy, safe and rejuvenating holidays!

College Fees

It would be much appreciated if all school fee accounts could be finalised by 30 November 2022. We appreciate your attention to this.

If you would like to discuss your account please contact Lisa Crosbie by email or call 9908 9041.

Thank you.


We have had an exciting year at Science Club in 2022. Having students on campus for the year meant we could be involved in a number of different activities and competitions across the year. We meet during the first half of lunchtime, and I am always very proud of the amount of work students can produce in this weekly 20 minute time frame.

In Term 1 and 2 our focus was on the Science Talent Search, with students selecting their own projects and making models or planning inventions. We hope to enter finished projects in the 2023 science talent search.

In Term 3 we worked on coding, and during Term 4 we participated in Moonhack 2022. We had 5 students work on different programming using microbits, including programming satellites to locate falling trees, and alert for bush fires. Students will be issued certificates for their work in this extracurricular extension program.

A big thanks to Mrs Tatam for her extra work and sharing her expertise across a range of student projects this year.

I hope that 2023 is another great year of science club fun and friendships,

Dr Trapani
Head of Science Glenroy

Extra Curricular

Scienceworks Design Sprints 2022
On Wednesday 9 November, Dr Trapani and Mr Katsahambas supervised our Tournament of Minds teams at a STEM Design Sprint full day workshop hosted by Scienceworks.

The students involved were Ruby J 7B, Vuong L 7B, Melany C 7D, Ivy L 7H, Jaede R 7H, Tej B 7I, Ryan C 8B, Lucas P 8B, Maria L 8G, Krystal T 8G, Alyzza L 8I, Bridget M 8I, and Artemis R-M 8I.

The day began with setting the problem to be solved which was encouraging humans to be more active through exercise of sport. The two guest speakers were Dr. Emma Woessner, clinical exercise physiologist (Victoria University) and Glen Walton, interactive street artist (Playable streets).

Their presentations set the scene for the students to explore the Sports works section of Scienceworks and conduct their research on which exhibits invited physical activity. After this research students then came up with ideas in their groups for STEM solution to get people more physically active. Our teams developed their two ideas: A dance program and reward system for older people in retirement homes and a series of physical challenges and a leader board system for high school students. These two ideas were creative and original, and were well received by the other participants on the day. Our students thoroughly enjoyed the activities and their day at Scienceworks.

FUSE Cup National Finals
On Thursday 17 November, our Year 8 E-Sport team competed in the National finals of the FUSE cup in Rocket League. You may recall this team won the state finals for Rocket League which were held at Ivanhoe Grammar at the end of October.

The students were in the last 4 teams competing from around Australia. In the preliminary final we won against SA: Pulteney Grammar School, 5-0. The grand final was a best of 3 games competition and unfortunately we were unable to beat the QLD school: Whites State Secondary College, however the team work, defensive strategies and some amazing goals made it an exciting grand final to play and watch.

Well done to Lucas P 8B, Hugo T 8G, and Mahit K 8I on their commitment as the inaugural E-Sports Rocket League team. We hope they will be able to compete in the Year 9/10 competition in 2023.

In 2023 at both campuses the E-Sport team will continue. We plan to have teams competing in Rocket League, Just Dance and Mario Cart across different local and national competitions.
Thanks to the Co-curricular co-ordinator, Head of ICT, Head of Sport Glenroy


St Vincent De Paul Christmas Appeal

Thank you to all the families and students that donated to the Vinnies Christmas hampers.

Your generosity, support and kindness will go a long way to support those in need in our community.

Thanks again
Mrs Quiriconi and Mrs Bruzzese.

Community News

PCC Newsletter Volume 18 - 24 Nov 2022