From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 19

End of Year
As this is the final newsletter for 2021, 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 2022 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. Rather than detail the challenges that all of us have faced living in the most locked down city in the world, I would like to focus on the resilience that all within the community have demonstrated throughout 2021. Clearly this Global Pandemic experience has been much worse in terms of the number of deaths in other countries throughout the world but the mental strain, stress, and anxiety that it has caused has been significant. Despite this, our students, staff, and families have done all that they can to provide support to one another and retain a true sense of community despite being physically apart for large periods of time.

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.

School Advisory Council Information Session
We have one vacancy arising on our School Advisory Council at the beginning of next year as one of our School Advisory Council members has resigned. An invitation is extended to parents to come along to an information session being held on the evening of Tuesday, 22 February for parents who are interested in the work of the School Advisory Council. 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 Educational Resource Centre (Library) at the Broadmeadows campus followed by our February School Advisory Council meeting for those wishing to stay on.

Year 12 Graduation
Density limits have been abolished and, as a result, I have great delight in inviting all fully vaccinated Year 12 parents to our Graduation Mass and Ceremony on Friday, 26 November. Melbourne Archdiocesan Catholic Schools (MACS) have issued a directive that parents must be fully vaccinated as the Graduation is being held on site. Parents will need to scan into the Assembly and Sports Hall and there will be members of staff acting as COVID Marshalls to check the vaccination status of parents.

The Graduation will commence at 6.00pm in the Assembly and Sports Hall and we ask that students are present no later than 5.30pm. Limited parking will be available on site as there is a Calisthenics competition being held in the Performing Arts Centre at the same time. When parents drive through the gates at the Senior Campus they will need to turn left for the available parking and follow the directions of our staff who will assist with parking. Once the parking is full, parents arriving after this point will need to park in the surrounding streets.

2022 Year 7 Orientation Day
2022 Year 7 Orientation Day will occur on Friday 3 December. This will provide our incoming 2022 Year 7 students with an opportunity to meet their homeroom teacher as well as other students within their class.

2022 Year 7 Laptop Distribution Night
The Distribution of the Lenovo Yoga 11e Convertible Notebook for students commencing Year 7 in 2022 will take place on Tuesday 30 November for all new Year 7 students and their families.

The collection of the Notebook will take place as a drive thru.

Families are asked to drive their vehicle into the Broadmeadows Campus where you will be given the laptops through the car. As you enter through the gates you will be required to turn left and follow the directions of onsite staff. At no stage are families to be out of their vehicle. Drivers Licence ID or a current Health Care Card must be provided on collection.

Please see below your allocated time in accordance with your Child’s surname. SURNAME


A - B

4.00pm - 4.15pm

C - D

4.15pm – 4.30pm

E – F - G

4.30pm – 4.45pm

H – I - J

4.45pm – 5.00pm

K - L

5.00pm – 5.15pm


5.15pm – 5.30pm

N – O – P – Q - R

5.30pm – 5.45pm

S - T

5.45pm – 6.00pm

U – V – W – X – Y - Z

6.00pm – 6.15pm

College Awards Evening
On Tuesday 23 November we held our annual Awards Evening, in which students are recognized for their achievements and contributions throughout the year. It was heartening to see so many students receive recognition for their efforts and participation throughout the year. I congratulate all award recipients and I thank

Mr Ernie Pisani, Mrs Dianne Lee and the members of the organising committee for their work in ensuring the success of the evening. I would also like to thank our AV department, Mr Paolo Muccini and Mr Stanley Azarcon, for all their work in producing the Awards Night vodcast.

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 2022 classes on Monday 29 November and finish on Thursday 2 December. 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.

Student Free Days this Term
Friday 26 November is another Student Free Day. This will allow our Senior students (Years 9 - 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, this is time for correction and report writing of the end of year reports.

In the next fortnight a number of staff members will be leaving the College. Mrs Anna Favrin has decided to retire after 23 years of fantastic service here at Penola Catholic College. Throughout her time, she has held the role as Head of Languages and Homestay Coordinator and been instrumental in the organisation of the Languages tours to France, Italy and Japan and hosting our sister schools as well. Anna has overseen the introduction of the CLIL program in Italian in 2013, Japanese in 2019 and French in 2020. She is a passionate advocate for Languages and the importance of learning Languages and was instrumental in establishing the first year Melbourne University Italian for our students.

Mr Ernie Pisani has made the decision to retire at the end of the year after 20 years of exemplary service at Penola Catholic College. He has been involved in Catholic Education for 42 years at three schools – St John’s College, Braybrook for 17 years, MacKillop College, Werribee for 5 years and the remainder of his time (20 years) here at Penola. Throughout his entire time within our community, he has held the role as Deputy Principal - Head of the Broadmeadows Campus and has worked loyally with Joe Favrin, Chris Blake, and Chris Caldow in their time as Principals of Penola. Words cannot accurately convey his immense contribution to our community, and we are forever in his debt. Ernie’s attention to detail is second to none and has ensured that student safety and wellbeing was paramount throughout his time.

    Mr Ashley Mills has resigned after teaching Health and Physical Education for the past 17 years at the College. Ash has held a number of roles throughout his time including VCE Coordinator of Students, Senior Football Coach and Year Level Coordinator to name a few. Ash has been Appointed as Head of Student Wellbeing at Iona Catholic College for 2022 and we wish him well. Mrs Nola Francis has resigned after more than 13 years at Penola Catholic College. I would like to publicly thank Nola for her efforts as a Humanities and Religious Education teacher throughout this time and she has held the roles as Head of RE - Glenroy and Literacy Coach. Mrs Despina Eleftheriadis has resigned after 11 years here at Penola and has been appointed as a teacher at Marian College, Sunshine West. Despina has taught Religious Education, Global Politics, Business Management, and Information Technology throughout her time with us. We wish her well. Ms Katie Murray-Fawcett has been appointed as Deputy Principal – Student Wellbeing at Catholic Regional College Caroline Springs. Katie has been with us for 14 years in the role as English and Drama teacher as well as holding the roles as Year Level Coordinator and Coordinator of Students at Glenroy. We wish her well. Mrs Marnie Caldow leaves us after 4 years as she has made the decision to retire. Her support of our funded students and their families has been second to none and on behalf of the College I thank her for her contribution to Penola. Ms Anita Duhig has been appointed as NCCD Coordinator at Emmanuel College (Altona and Point Cook). Anita has been fantastic over the past 4 years here at Penola particularly in redesigning the NCCD system to make it much more teacher friendly.

    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 on behalf of our students. Best wishes to George Puckering, Tina Corso, Tony Regan, Daniel Milutinovic, Mary Nagle, Judy Matthews, Lena Nappa, Clare Moore, James Warren, Oscar Yildiz, Julian Verite, Charles Brain and Scolaighe Morison.

    The following staff will be taking maternity leave during 2021 –Nellie Mimms, Evelyn Assaad, Stacey Noulas and Katherine Gayton. Mrs Gwen Prout and Ms Mary-Ann Masters are taking 12 months of leave and Ms Fran Pascalis re-joins us from maternity leave at the beginning of next year.

      The Hume Whittlesea LLEN recognises and awards students excelling in vocational education. The HWLLEN Vocational Education Awards are proudly supported by Hume City Council, the City of Whittlesea, and the Hume and Whittlesea Youth Commitments, and celebrate student achievements in VCAL, VET and SBAT.

      Click here to read the HWLLEN Vocational Education Award 2021 recipients for Penola Catholic College.

      From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mr Ernie Pisani Vol 19

      Hi everyone … this is my last ever Newsletter article as I will be retiring at year’s end after 41 years as a teacher. And I will not be doing a Johnny Farnham.

      As a teacher, your core business is to develop adolescents into young women and men ready to go out and face a weird, wild and sometimes wacky world. But the experience of teaching is so much more. The journey teaches you about people, about the world you live in, about yourself; and you hope that in some measure you have left your mark on students and staff eager to learn from you. I hope that over the years I have been able to do that, because if I have, I can gratefully say “mission accomplished.”

      I have been over-joyed with the experience and will treasure so many memories: memories of success (students who have gone on to do great things because of hard work and the use of their talents), memories of laughter (you’ve got to laugh to keep your sanity sometimes), memories of friendships forged (… in a world that tries to suck the life out of you, friends help you through the day), memories of growth (the educational experience shapes you as a person), and then, the stories of loss (the personal grief and the genuine shedding of tears on losing a student to an illness or ill-fated accident). Each have left an indelible mark on me and I consider myself extremely fortunate to experience these highs and lows.

      I am indebted to Joe Favrin, former Principal of Penola Catholic College, for employing me at Penola in 2002. His drive and passion and vision for the school was second to none; to Chris Blake who took over from Joe, for his humility and gentleness; and to Chris Caldow for his passionate drive to improve the school. I have enjoyed working with a hard-working College Executive, making decisions that shaped the college. Each of them has left their mark on me and shaped the educator I have become. Thank you.

      I have worked with hundreds of teachers and other staff members over the years, and at three different schools. They have shared a commitment and passion to educate the youth of the world in the hope that their toil would make our planet a better place to live. Whilst our world struggles with the various challenges of our world, and the ills that humanity has created, the work of educators has continued to navigate ways around the maze in the hope of creating a peaceful, happy and successful world. I am in awe of the work that they do.

      I have had the support of three personal assistants over the past twenty years; Suzi Miotto, Kathy Fawcett (dec.) and Mary-Ann Masters; they have been invaluable assistants and friends and worked tirelessly to meet the heavy demands of their role.

      The various Year Level Coordinators and the current Coordinators of Students, Ashley Mills and Angela Xidias, have worked at the coal face of student development and been avid supporters of students and staff. They are cogs in a machine without which our school experience would be so much harder.

      My educational experience (as a student and then as a teacher) has spanned many years; significantly, 32 of those years have had some connection with St Mary of Cross MacKillop. In primary school I was taught by the Josephite nuns and then I worked 25 years in MacKillop schools. St Mary of the Cross has looked after me and I am thankful that she has given me many opportunities and graces.

      My wife, Mary, has been significantly supportive in my work life, particularly in the years when we had young children. As every day became an 11 hour day, she held the mantle and allowed me to continue in the role that I loved, as a Deputy Principal for 28 years at two different schools. From the fruits of our love, I have enjoyed immensely watching my children grow into decent and loving individuals with the same passion for education that I have. Thank you, Mary.

      And finally, best wishes to Erin Bonavia who takes on the role as Deputy Principal: Head of Senior Campus in 2022. I am certain she will be a great ambassador for Penola Catholic College.

      To all parents and students, thank you for allowing me into your lives and giving me the satisfaction of being involved in the greatest taskforce in the world: the education of our youth.

      With best wishes to you all for a safe and happy life … and a holy Christmas.

      From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 19

      French Excursion
      On Wednesday 17 November, the Year 8 French students had a walking tour in French throughout the streets of the city of Melbourne to discover some fascinating and little-known facts about its history and laneways. The Tour started at Federation Square and ended at the Old GPO Bourke Street. Thank you to Rana Nahas for all her organisation and for Joanne Pace for accompanying the student on the day.

      Year 8 Final Day
      Today we wished our Year 8s farewell as they transition to the Broadmeadows Campus as of Monday. While they were not able to have their Year 8 Social they did have end of year celebrations which included an ice cream van. We wish them all the best for their head start week and hope they settle into life at the senior campus.

      Year 7s Final Week
      Next week begins the final week for our current Year 7s. On Monday they will have an assembly period 1 & 2, period 3 will be the Year 7 Mass and a final celebration in their 2021 homerooms before moving to their 2022 Year 8 classes. They will then have their Year 8 classes for the remainder of the week but will also complete PAT testing and a puberty session as part of the Year 7 program.

      While this year has been a stressful and disruptive one, I hope that 2022 brings some normality. Can I wish all the student and the families a Holy Christmas and a restful summer break.

      From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 19

      Year 12 Graduation Mass
      Our Year 12 students and their parents will gather tomorrow evening, Friday 26 November at 6.00 pm for our Graduation Mass and ceremony. This promises to be a beautiful occasion as we welcome both students, parents and staff back on-site to celebrate our Mass in person for the first time since returning from lockdown. There is no better way to conclude our Year 12 students’ time here at Penola Catholic College than by sharing in the Eucharist together as a community. We will also be livestreaming the occasion so that extended family members and friends will be able to view the occasion from home. The livestream link can be accessed here.

      You may or not be aware that we have a tradition, that when each student commences their schooling here at the College, their names are placed into our Penola Catholic College Sacred Community Chest. This is a symbol of their belonging and that they are each valued members of our College community. The Sacred Chest will be processed into Mass and will be present on the altar throughout. Although our Year 12 students will move on from the College following their Graduation, their names will remain forever in our Sacred Chest, as they are and always will be, a part of our Penola Catholic College community.

      End of Year Masses – Monday 29 November
      Our End of Year Masses will take place in the morning on Monday 29 November. This will consist of two Masses, one for all the students in Years 8-11 on the Broadmeadows Campus commencing at 9.00 am, followed by one for all our Year 7 students at the Glenroy Campus, commencing at 11.00 am. These will be beautiful ways to conclude our school year and give thanks to God for the positive personal and academic growth made by each student, despite the challenges faced through lockdown.

      Our Year 8 students will be present in the ASH for the Broadmeadows Mass. All other Year Levels (Years 9 - 11) will have the Mass livestreamed to their Homerooms. Parents and family members will be able to view the livestream as it can be accessed via the link here.

      Our Year 7 Mass will take place with all our Year 7 students present. This is important because our Year 7 student have not had many opportunities to experience the strength of our College’s Catholic identity in person this year. Virtually, they have participated in a feast of celebrations but it is wonderful that we can conclude the year together in each other’s presence.

      Learning at Penola

      As we have come to the end of another year, I am reminded that we are all fortunate to be connected to the Penola Catholic College community. We have enjoyed watching our students grow and develop in every aspect of school life despite the obstacles we faced throughout 2021.

      One of the highlights for me has been working with the student leaders, especially our Captain of Academic Excellence, Jayan D (12G), to discuss how to enhance the Culture of Learning at Penola. Jayan was always keen to support his peers in the pursuit of academic achievement.

      The Year 11 students will receive feedback on their marked examination papers and MyPenola. It is important that students review their strengths and weaknesses under examination conditions. Sitting examinations requires developing several important skills over time.

      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 Thursday 16 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 29 November and concludes on Thursday 2 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 2022.

      Your child has now received their confirmed subjects for 2022. The Resource List is now available for you to order textbooks, digital subscriptions, and stationery. All orders must be placed by Friday 17 December to ensure timely delivery to your home. Alternatively, collection date at Penola Catholic College will be held on Friday 21 January 2022. All orders must be completed online at using the code “JP6H”. 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.

      This year we continued to use MyPenola for posting due work and for continuous reporting to students and parents as assessment tasks have been assessed. The Semester Two Reports will be available to parents and students online in the week beginning 13 December.

      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. I would like to thank all the members of this vibrant community for the support I have received. It has been a privilege to serve Penola Catholic College for the past 12 months and I look forward to many more.

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


      On Monday 15 November our Advanced Italian class took a visit to an amazing restaurant called Abruzzo Lab. Michelle, the founder of Abruzzo Lab, greeted us and gave us an introduction about how her restaurant came to be, as well as giving us some information about the Italian region Abruzzo. She spoke about the food culture, as well as general points about the land itself. It was really intriguing to hear about the culture and then be able to taste some of the magnificent dishes, and it tied in so well with our Term 3 unit of study “La Cucina Regionale” in which we studied the region of Abruzzo before choosing our own region to research and present to the class.

      To begin with we were served pallotte cheese balls, crumbed scarmoza cheese and fiadone cheese puffs as a starter. For main we had a taste of timballo (crepe lasagna), chittara pasta and the dish that Abruzzo Lab is most well-known for, arrosticini. There are no other words to describe this food other than delicious. It was even better to be able to sample these dishes while knowing their history and origin. To finish off our trip, we had pizza dolce cake and pizzelle Italian waffles for dessert.

      The food was absolutely amazing, and the trip was such a good way to finish off the year. Thank you Mrs Favrin for organizing this, as well as Martina and Francesca for coming with us. It was an amazing excursion.

      Leah M 10I



      Don’t forget to return your library books.

      We need all overdue items returned immediately.

      Thank you
      ERC Staff

      College Fees

      2021 College fees
      Kindly ensure your School Fee Account is fully paid by November 30, 2021.
      If you have any questions or would like to discuss your account please contact
      Lisa Crosbie or email

      The 2022 College fees will be as follows:
      Year Level Annual Fee

      • Year 7 $3,050
      • Year 8 $3,190
      • Year 9 and Year 10 $3,620
      • Year 11 and Year 12 $4,140

      A family concession will be granted to all families who have two or more students enrolled at Penola Catholic College. A discount of 10% for the second child, 50% for a third child and 100% for the fourth and subsequent children will apply. The maximum family fee will be $8250.

      A compulsory Building Fund contribution of $200 will be charged annually for each student enrolled at Penola Catholic College.

      Important Dates

      November 2021
      Friday 26 - Student Free Day
      Monday 29
      - Year 8-11 students commence 2022 Headstart program

      December 2021
      Thursday 2 - Term 4 Concludes
      Friday 3
      - 2022 Year 7 Orientation Day

      February 2022
      Tuesday 1
      - Year 7, 9, 10, 11, 12 commence the 2022 school year
      Wednesday 2 - Year 8 commence the 2022 school year

      Community News

      PCC Newsletter Volume 19 - 25 Nov 2021