From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 2

Beginning of the Year
It is hard to believe that that the students have only been back three weeks. In this time, we have had a range of activities including our School photographs, Academic Assembly, 2022 Year 7 Information session, School Advisory Council Executive and Finance meetings and commenced demolition of the L-block and Student Services building on the Senior campus! At our first College Assembly we acknowledged our VCE high achievers from the Class of 2021 and presented College pins to our new Year 7 students.

At this stage, the intention is for the first of the PTSPM meetings to be TEAMS and the second via Face to Face. This gives parents the option of either meeting face to face or online, however parents cannot have a TEAMS Meeting on either 10 March or 16 March nor a face-to-face meeting on 7 April.

Term 1 PTSPM Dates

  • Thursday, 10 March – Broadmeadows PTSPM (TEAMS)
  • Wednesday, 16 March – Glenroy PTSPM (TEAMS)
  • Thursday, April 7 – Both campuses (Face to Face)

At Penola we appreciate that we are not the primary educators of the students who are part of the learning programs at our school. Everything we do to teach and support students is built upon the fabric of love, values, beliefs and habits each family instils throughout their child’s life. For this reason, we always aim to work in partnership with our families, to ensure that our Penola students experience community life and learning in a way that has a coherence between home and school. To achieve this, we work hard to get to know the students and their families.

As part of this approach, we recognise that during the period a young student is participating in their secondary education, they grow and experience many significant changes in their life. As such, we strive to have conversations with families about each stage of the adolescent journey. We share approaches the College has developed that promote positive conversations and effectively influence young people. Because this is a period where the students strive to be independent, there are some times when communications between sons and daughters and parents can be challenging, and for this reason Penola works hard to foster dialogue in the family.

The purpose of the Meet and Greet Session is for parents to meet the teachers of their child or children, to convey important information about your child or children to the teacher and to discuss their goals for the year. What we are seeking from these sessions is to find out as much information as we can about your child to assist us with planning and maximizing the growth of each student in our care.

Although we believe we are the educational experts in relation to each student’s learning, we readily recognise that parents are the experts in their children. Therefore, for us a parent’s insights and understanding helps the College tailor its approach to each young student’s learning and growth. We achieve this by aiming to ensure that all conversations and planning about each student’s development are undertaken in a collaborative and supportive way. This approach is used by everyone, teachers, school counsellors and leaders.

Rapid Antigen Testing
Thanks to the many students and families who are completing their rapid antigen tests on Monday and Wednesday mornings. A reminder that it is okay to complete on another day if you forget. As you will notice from the COVID notification letters released each day there are still a number of cases being reported each day and the vast majority are being picked up by Rapid Antigen Tests. This surveillance testing using RATs is helping our community to remain safer, so I encourage all to continue with the testing.

Student Vaccinations
COVID-19 third-dose vaccinations are now available to 16–17-year-olds who had their second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine three or more months ago.

Supporting as many eligible students as we can to be vaccinated will help make our school as safe as possible.

Getting vaccinated is one of the most important steps we can all take to get direct protection against COVID-19.

How to book an appointment
There are many convenient options to access vaccinations. These include statewide vaccination clinics, and your local GP or pharmacy.

You can book your appointment in a few different ways, including:

Year 7 and Year 9 Camps
Best wishes to our year 7 staff and students whose camps occur in the week of Monday, 7 March to Friday, 11 March. They will attend Camp Manyung, Mt Eliza. Our Year 9 Camps occur in the last week of March at Lady Northcote Camp near Bacchus Marsh from Monday, 28 March to Wednesday, 30 March for half of the Year 9 classes and Wednesday, 30 March to Friday, 1 April for the other half. Students attending the second camp will complete PBL preparation all day Monday, 28 March and periods 1-4 Tuesday, 29 March. Students attending the first camp will complete their PBL preparation in periods 3-6 Thursday, 31 March and all-day Friday, 1 April. We wish them well for successful and enjoyable camps.

Co-curricular program
The co-curricular program for 2022 has commenced. A number of sporting activities have taken place and the Year 10 Premier League has commenced. I encourage all students to participate in one or more of the extensive array of activities that are on offer. Our Swimming and Cross Country Carnival will be held on Friday, 18 February at the new Oak Park Aquatic Centre. This is a compulsory event for all Years 7 & 8 students and Years 9-12 students must sign up to participate in the event. Best wishes to our students and staff for a successful carnival.

School Advisory Council Vacancy
College School Advisory Council Information Session
An invitation is extended to parents sign up for an information session being held on the evening of Tuesday, 22 February for parents who are interested in the work of the College 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. We will have 1 vacancy for a parent for the College School Advisory Council in 2022.

The information session will commence at 7.00pm and will be conducted via Microsoft Teams with a link sent to your preferred email address.

I am calling for nominations for one representative from the Parent body to join our School Advisory Council for 2022-2023. If there is more than one nomination, then an election will be held to determine the representative. If you are interested in finding out more about what it entails, your responsibility as a School Advisory Council member and the time commitment required then please contact me via email so that you can be sent the link.

The College School Advisory Council meets eight times this year, generally on the fourth Tuesday of the month during term time. If you have any other questions don’t hesitate in contacting me. I have attached a copy of the nomination form for the College School Advisory Council vacancy and any interested parents are requested to email a completed nomination form to

Monday, 21 February – International Mother Language Day
This prayer invites us to come to a deeper awareness of the linguistic and cultural traditions that are part of the fabric of our community and city. We will be invited to pray for the grace to be people who aspire to solidarity through respect, understanding, tolerance and dialogue of and about cultural diversity. Given the wonderful diversity within our own Penola community with 43% of our families speaking a language other than English at home, I thought this prayer was most appropriate.

Loving God,

To foster sustainable development, learners must have access to education in their mother tongue and in other languages. It is through the mastery of the first language or mother tongue that the basic skills of reading, writing and numeracy are acquired. Local languages, especially minority and indigenous, transmit cultures, values and traditional knowledge, thus playing an important role in promoting sustainable futures.

Help us all acknowledge the importance of learning through the mother tongue.

We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 2

Ignite a Passion for Learning
This year the focus for the Glenroy Campus shall include cultivating a student learning culture. Cultivating a student learning culture amongst our students involves both an academic and wellbeing focus that educates and empowers students to take ownership of their own educational pursuits and wellbeing development through guidance and support. The 2022 Wellbeing Framework, The Resilience Project and the accompanying student planners, aim to cultivate an energetic and enthusiastic student learning culture.

The key message to staff, student and our families is to ‘Ignite a Passion for Learning’. As parents and caregivers we can ignite a passion for learning using MyPenola, where families can access the class pages for your child’s different subjects, thus gaining insight to what is being studied at present. This can aide parents in having discussions around the topic being studied, thus impacting on your child’s learning.

The staff and I look forward to working with each of our families this year in developing a love for learning.

Year 7 Information Evening
Thank you to parents who logged onto our Year 7 Information Evening on Wednesday, conducted by our Year & homeroom teachers. The information provided was largely around the upcoming Year 7 camps. There was also a vodcast that was played and can be viewed on the Year 7 page of MyPenola. If you missed the session or wanted further clarification on what was discussed, please reach out to your child’s homeroom teacher either by email or phone.

Year 7 Camp
With Year 7 Camp to Camp Manyung in Mt Eliza taking place in just two weeks can parents please ensure that they have completed all relevant documents on Operoo. Camp dates are:

  • Group 1- 7A,7B,7D,7F & 7H Monday 7 to Wednesday 9 March
  • Group 2 - 7C,7E,7G,7I & 7J Wednesday 9 to Friday 11 March

This is a key event for our Year 7 students and assists in developing relationships with peers and staff.

Wellbeing Framework

Our Wellbeing Framework is underpinned by our College’s Shared Vision and our Pastoral Care philosophy which calls for a standard of care for students that is explicitly modelled on the example of Jesus and the Charism of St. Mary MacKillop. It fosters concern for the dignity and growth of all students, staff and parents. It requires a commitment to create forgiveness, hope, healing and reconciliation in order for all members of the college community to experience the formation, development and enrichment of authentic and positive relationships. Student wellbeing is at its best when students feel connected through the formation of authentic and positive relationships. When these are visible in a school, students are more likely to flourish and be active participants in an educational setting that seeks to enhance their learning and develop their physical, emotional, spiritual and social attributes.

Purpose of the Framework
The Penola Catholic College Wellbeing Framework consists of an overarching vision, key elements, guiding principles, and effective practices to support the school community in order to build and maintain safety, positive relationships and wellbeing in the Catholic tradition. The key elements focus on inclusion, student voice and community partnerships with the view of developing respect, empathy, gospel values and through our Josephite charism, fostering a sense of community.

This framework creates a platform for staff, as well as students and parents to build a positive and inclusive learning environment through explicit teaching, evidence informed practices and active participation of the whole school community.

In addition, this framework seeks to work with all the key stakeholders via a whole school approach to wellbeing, with pillars of support that includes proactive strategies for the development of positive student attitudes and behaviour. It features programs focussed on resilience, creative thinking, the development of becoming a global citizen and the importance of life-long learning.

Our framework is informed by the AITSL teaching standards as well as the Australian Curriculum and Melbourne Archdiocese Catholic Schools eXcel framework. It affirms students’ rights to accessible education, safety and wellbeing and emphasizes the importance of students having authentic opportunities to give voice to issues that involve them.

Resilience Project
As part of the Wellbeing Framework Penola Catholic College has introduced the Resilience Project in 2022. Please find an introduction by founder Hugh van Cuylenburg on what the project is and what it aims to do.

The Resilience Project was founded by a primary school teacher – Hugh van Cuylenburg. This is his story;

“In 2008, I was fortunate enough to spend a few months living and volunteering in the far north of India. In this

desert community, there was no running water, no electricity, and no beds; everyone slept on the floor of their desert hut. Despite the fact these people had very little to call their own, I was continually blown away by how happy they were .It was this experience, and subsequent post graduate studies, that have led me to some pretty simple conclusions about the things that we need to be doing here in Australia if we want to be happier. In a nutshell, I learnt in this desert village that practicing gratitude, empathy (compassion) and

mindfulness leads us to a happier more fulfilling
experience.Once I discovered these three principles
were alsoevidence based, I thought it might be a good
idea to turn this into a program for schools. Turns out it
wasn’t just schools that wanted to hear this message!”
– Hugh van Cuylenburg

We deliver emotionally engaging programs to schools –
providing practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness. Through presentations, school curriculum, teacher diaries and our app, we seek to help all Australians become mentally healthy. We have delivered programs
to over 1000 government, independent and private schools
nationally and are regarded as one of the most engaging
positive mental health programs in the country. Our schools
program has been designed by teachers for teachers, and has
been evaluated by the University of Melbourne.

Erin Bonavia and Stuart Harrison

Learning at Penola

Our students have commenced the year well and appear to be developing positive learning partnerships with their teachers. All students are reminded that they have responsibilities as learners at Penola Catholic College. The ideal learner is organised, responsible, demonstrates a great work ethic and approaches their studies with enthusiasm. By now students should have all items required to support their learning in the classroom and at home. It is essential that all necessary devices, texts and stationery items are brought to each lesson. This will aid in developing learning skills along with the support from our diligent and dedicated teaching staff.

Parents, we do ask that you:

  • Regularly view your child’s assessment data via MyPenola.
  • Discuss your child’s progress in each subject
  • Provide a space that is conducive to study at home
  • Attend Parent Teacher Student Progress Meetings

NB: The Term 1 PTSPMs are scheduled for March 10 (Broadmeadows), March 16 (Glenroy) and April 7 (Broadmeadows and Glenroy). Further details will be published in due course.

There are many opportunities for students to access support or resources. These include: the ERC, Maths Club lunchtime sessions, tutoring and catching up with teachers individually just to name a few. Please encourage your son/daughter to avail themselves of these opportunities.

Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s subject teacher or year level co-ordinator should you have any concerns or queries.

Has your child just started Year 7?

Is your child new to Penola Catholic College?

Would you like to know more about transition or homework?

Please visit School TV to view some informative short videos on these topics.

Performing Arts

Instrumental Music Program 2022
Penola’s Instrumental Music Program provides students the opportunity to learn a musical instrument with specialist instrumental tutors. Students receive weekly lessons in a private or group setting in a relaxed and enjoyable environment.

Instruments Offered:
Flute, Clarinet, Oboe, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Tuba, Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass Guitar, Piano/Keyboard, Voice, Drum Kit and Percussion.

Music Ensembles:
Our Music Ensembles complement and support our Instrumental Music Program. Penola offers the following music ensembles (at no additional cost):

  • Junior Concert Band
  • Senior Concert Band
  • Stage Band
  • Junior Voices
  • Senior Voices
  • Rock Band Program


  • Individual Lessons (30 minutes): $280.00 per term
  • Group Lessons (30 minutes): $220.00 per term
  • VCE Music Performance Individual Lessons (45 minutes): $280.00 per term

Limited Vacancies:
We currently have limited vacancies in Brass, Woodwind, Guitar, Drums, Strings, Voice and Piano lessons.

For information about our Instrumental Music Program, please contact:
Mrs Ramona Arney Head of Performing Arts/Instrumental Music Coordinator

For an Instrumental Music Enrolment Form please contact:
Mrs Dianne Lee, Music Administration

Performing Arts Co-Curricular Activities
At Penola, we have an exciting and engaging Performing Arts co-curricular program where our students are actively building a culture of high-quality performances. The performing arts play an important role in developing skills that extend beyond the classroom, giving students opportunities to develop their creativity and confidence.

We welcome students of all ages and abilities in our performing arts programs and no prior experience is required. Some of our performing arts activities include:

  • College Production
  • Junior Voices
  • Senior Voices
  • Junior Concert Band
  • Senior Concert Band
  • Rock Band Workshops
  • Junior Drama Club
  • Senior Drama Club
  • Dance Workshops
  • Instrumental Music Lessons

If your child is interested in joining our Performing Arts co-curricular activities, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Ramona Arney, Head of Performing Arts for more information

2022 College Production
We are excited to announce that the 2022 College Production will be High School Music Jr. More information will be released in future newsletters as well as on our Facebook page.

Religious Education

During the first few weeks of term, 8J was busy working on the College Theme. Our teacher, Ms Shkembi took us to the Mary of The Cross Chapel on our school grounds, where we were able to reflect quietly.

I enjoyed working there as it helped me enhance my concentration and reflect more deeply.

All of us has to make a Word Document that highlighted the three main concept from our College Theme; The Love in Our Acts, Bearing with One Another, and Forgiving and Forgetting.

We all included photos and short sentences describing our experiences and how we related to the Theme.

They have all been printed onto a big poster, and put together as a “class collage” which we will refer to during the year.

Isabelle C (8J)


…And they finally made it!

Yes, resilience is everything. Or, as we would say in Italian, “Chi la dura la vince!” The Italian newspaper Il Globo has finally published an article about Penola College Italian excursion to the Abruzzo Lab at the end of last year. In the photo, you can see the happy faces of our wonderful Italian assistants, Martina and Francesca (also the writers of the article), as well as our previous Head of Languages, Mrs Anna Favrin, and some of our Year 10 Italian students. The article celebrates the success of a mostly awaited excursion, which was postponed several times because of lockdowns. Far from just describing the cooking demo and the amazing food teachers and students tasted, the article explains the idea and the vision behind the creation Abruzzo Lab, which opened thanks to Michelle Di Pietro’s willingness to “import” her Italian region, Abruzzo, into Australia (if it’s time to leave Abruzzo, I will bring Abruzzo with me.) It is true that gastronomy, food in every tradition means connection with our homeland. It is about our background, our stories and our sense of home. But, guess what: our Italian home is open to everybody who is ready to share the same love and passion.

I am looking forward to many more amazing excursions with our amazing Languages students and teachers.

Fulvia Galigani
Head of Languages

Circle time with 7A Italian
On Thursday 3 February, I met my very first Year 7 (A) Italian Class. I decided to start my lesson with a circle time activity to get know my students better and understand the dynamics of my new class.

Students had to count to 23, in Italian but also English for those doing Italian for the very first time, without speaking during the game, other than when they said their number. There were other rules which students had to follow such as not going clockwise/anti clock wise, not saying the same number at the same time…etc..

It didn’t take them long to come up with their own strategies as a class to fulfill their aim. The three main skills that my students took away from this activity were improved problem-solving skills, improved speaking and listening skills and a better understanding of how their individual behaviour affects others in a group setting. Moreover, it also gave them a sense of belonging to the class and they appreciated being able to move out of the traditional classroom setting and out to the oval while still learning.

We look forward to doing more fun, engaging and educational activities during this semester.

Ms Anisa Shkembi

Ambulance Cover

Ambulance Victoria
Please find the following information regarding Ambulance membership in Victoria. As part of our First Aid policy the College will inform parents of the Ambulance Victoria membership costs. If a student is injured at the College, the College insurers will cover the cost of an ambulance. If a student becomes ill at the College, then the parents will need to pay for an ambulance unless they meet the criteria listed below or are members of the Ambulance Victoria Service. In the instance of a student being unwell the College has a duty of care to the student. If an ambulance is required to be called it will be called regardless of whether the family has membership.

Under the State Concession Scheme the Victorian Government provides Victorian pension and health care card holders free ambulance and non-emergency patient transport services (where authorised as medically necessary) to/from the nearest appropriate medical facility.

A valid card holder shares the same transport fee benefits as an Ambulance Victoria member.

Eligibility for the concession card must be valid at the date of transport, regardless of the date on the card. This eligibility is determined by Centrelink, not Ambulance Victoria and is regulated by Department of Human Services.

Customers unsure of their eligibility status should have this confirmed with their card provider. The safest option to ensure year round cover is to purchase AV membership.

Individuals eligible for free transport include:

· Persons with a valid Pensioner Concession Card.

· Persons holding a current, valid Health Care Card (excluding Cards with payment types CD and FO) and their dependents as listed on the Card (in circumstances where the dependant is the patient).

· Children holding a current Child Disability Health Care Card (payment type CD) or Foster Care Health Care Card (payment type FO), but not their guardians/families as listed on the Card.

Ambulance Victoria Membership costs 2022




quarterly direct debit only


quarterly direct debit only


1 year membership


1 year membership

College Fees

Please visit the Fees and Levies page on our College website for the most up to date information on fees and payment methods.

School Photos

Photographs may be purchased as follows:

Online Payments
Online Order Code located on your Envelope/Flyer to make payment

Late Payments
If paying online after photo day for your class/portraits, online orders are open via The School Photographer website for you to make payment. A late fee applies for all orders placed after the bulk issue of School Photos are delivered.

Phone Payments
Call directly on 9674 9824 - Order over the phone via credit card payments. (Note – there is a processing fee of $5 for all phone order payments) Please note cheques are no longer accepted due to a change in bank policy.

For all Student photo order enquiries
Call : 02 9674 9824

Please note students are issued with a current ID card annually and this must be carried at all times should this be misplaced or lost students must replace the card at their own cost (from $10.00).

Please note in 2022 the group photo for each class will be supplied in the following format

Community News

PCC Newsletter Volume 2 - 17 Feb 2022