From the Principal - Mr Chris Caldow Vol 6

Dear Members of the Penola Catholic College community,

We celebrated ANZAC Day last Sunday, where we commemorate the landing of members of the 1st Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on the shores of the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey on 25th April 1915. For Australians the day carries enormous and solemn significance because it is the day on which we remember and pray for all those who have died in the service of our country, and we remember also those who served in the defence forces in the very many conflicts and peace-keeping missions in which our country has been involved. We acknowledged ANZAC Day at our respective Campus Assemblies on Friday, 23 April, 2021. We pray for the honoured dead whose sacrifice and memory remain so dear to us.

The Gallipoli campaign was but one chapter in a terrible war that cost millions of lives and was dubbed at its conclusion as “the war to end all wars”. We know it today as the First World War, and we are also well aware that many wars and conflicts have since followed. Those who have been to war know full well of it horrors, and upon their return speak mostly of the sacrifices of their comrades and the cause of peace. As we pray for the dead, and all those who were injured or whose lives were deeply affected by war, let us pray also for peace in our world. Let us give thanks for the great privilege of living in land that is relatively peaceful and let us do all that we can to ensure that all people are able to live in freedom and peace.

Staff Changes for Term 2

Welcome to the following staff who have been appointed in the past fortnight.

· Ms Epiphany Tapu joins us for the next term replacing Ms Maree Farah whilst she is on Long Service Leave. Epiphany is a former student and will be teaching Jumpstart, VCAL Personal Development and providing EAL support in a range of classrooms.

· Ms Claire Kennett joins us for the remainder of the year replacing Ms Laura Elliott in teaching VCAL Literacy and VCAL Work related skills.

· Ms Pat Lourantos joins us from Oakleigh College where she has been working with their Enhanced Learning team and will be taking on the role as Student Enhancement Teacher for our VCAL students at Years 11 & 12 in place of Ms Laura Elliott.

· Ms Mansi Sheikhhassani joins us as a Learning Support Officer for 3 days a week at the Glenroy campus replacing Ms Victoria Raqaji who is providing EAL support (to replace Mrs Anita Harding) and working as an LSO all week at Broadmeadows

· Welcome back to Mr Shane Griffin who re-joins us after his surgery last term.

· Welcome back to Ms Nella Dalrymple who is working from Tuesday to Friday in the morning for her first week back at the Glenroy campus as she resumes after her surgery last term.

· Welcome back to Ms Sonia Rocco-Redvers who is resuming tutoring onsite rather than virtually this term.

· Welcome back to Ms Margaret Kostraby.

· Mr James Hajjar is taking Carer’s leave for at least the first month of this term and we are in the process of appointing a replacement.

Student Free Day- Friday, 14 May (Remote Learning Day Years 7-12)

We have organised a staff professional development day on Friday, 14 May to look at the Australian curriculum and rigorous forms of assessment. The facilitator for the day will be Bronwyn Ryrie-Jones who is familiar to most of the teaching staff for her work with us in the past on developmental rubrics. We intend on setting the day as a Remote Learning day for our students so that they are left work to complete on MyPenola at home rather than missing the whole day’s learning. Teaching staff will obviously not be available on the day as they will be involved with professional development. The set work will be available under the News section on the relevant class pages on MyPenola.

Staff Spirituality Day held on Thursday, 31 March.

Thank you to all staff who participated in our Staff Spirituality Day on the final day of last Term. It was great to have our guest presenters from ACU, Associate Professor Robyn Horner and Dr Teresa Brown to lead us through our exploration of the various Enhancing Catholic School Identity surveys and to help us gain a greater understanding of what they each actually mean in terms of our Catholic School identity. The intention for the day was for every staff member to recognise their role in supporting the Catholic identity of Penola Catholic College. We had some fantastic discussions on the changes we have witnessed within the Catholic Church and more broadly in society over the years and the challenges we face both now and into the future.

Mother’s Day Friday, 7 May

This term we will again mark Mother’s Day with mass at 7.15am in St Joseph’s Chapel at the Broadmeadows campus followed by breakfast in the Assembly and Sports Hall (ASH) from 7.45am. I encourage you to come along, particularly our mothers, as we acknowledge the special contribution that you make to your son or daughter’s life. The early morning start has never been a barrier to high levels of engagement and joy from our families. We will be running a bus from the Broadmeadows campus to Glenroy at the conclusion of the activities.

Best wishes to all mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers for a wonderful Mother’s Day on Sunday.

NAPLAN Testing

Next week students in years 7 & 9 will participate in the National Assessment Programme – Literacy and Numeracy. This programme is conducted by the Australian Government through its agency, ACARA, the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. The tests will be held over three days, Tuesday – Thursday,11th – 13th May. The tests provide useful information to students, parents and schools in terms of student capabilities and areas for improvement. Parents who have any queries in relation to the tests are invited to contact Mrs Sandra Warren at the Glenroy campus, or Mrs Vera Treloar at the Broadmeadows campus.

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

Our next round of Parent/Teacher/Student interviews take place on Thursday, 27 May from 3.00pm – 8.30pm with a dinner break in this time as well. This will take place via Teams which enables both staff and families to enjoy the interviews within the comfort of their own homes as the winter weather kicks in. I have been heartened by the numbers of parents who have been attending our interviews and taking an active role in the learning of their children. Research indicates that parents who take an active role in their child’s education results in significantly better outcomes for these students. Your son or daughter notices whether you attend these interviews, whether you are taking an interest in what they are doing and whether you think learning is important. Parents act as role models in so many areas of a child’s life and their beliefs about education and the importance of learning are vital.

Enhancing Catholic School Identity Parent surveys

Parents will receive a letter from Mr Robert Dullard, Deputy Principal-Faith and Mission in the next fortnight explaining how to access this survey where we ask for your own personal views on faith and what you would like to see in your ideal school. We are keen to hear the views of parents with regards to how you currently see the school in terms of our Catholic identity and what your ideal school would look like with regards to Catholic identity. To encourage parents to complete this survey we are providing all parents who complete the survey with the opportunity to go into a draw for $250 to be removed from your family fee account.

Best wishes to all students, staff and families for a successful second term.

All-loving God, we give you thanks and praise for mothers young and old.

We pray for young mothers, who give life and count toes and tend to our every need; May they be blessed with patience and tenderness to care for their families and themselves with great joy.

We pray for our own mothers who have nurtured and cared for us; May they continue to guide us in strong and gentle ways.

We remember mothers who are separated from their children because of war, poverty, or conflict; May they feel the loving embrace of our God who wipes every tear away.

We pray for women who are not mothers but still love and shape us with motherly care and compassion.

We remember mothers. grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love. Amen.

God Bless,

Chris Caldow


From the Head of Campus Broadmeadows - Mr Ernie Pisani Vol 6

With the term well and truly under way, there is much to look forward to over the next few weeks. The signs are that we are getting back to some level of normality and the experience of school is starting to look familiar. Think back to the time twelve months ago and the encounter with home schooling, the isolation that students (and society) felt, the restrictions that came with the times for students at school (e.g. no sport, no excursions or camps, no gathering with friends, etc.) – and one can quite easily be satisfied with the current school experience.

School Structure

Along with the return to normal school structures comes a responsibility to return to the expected routines. The experience of many staff in Term 1 has been that some students have struggled with the return to the normal school habits and expectations. Student decision making, application to the uniform standards and attending school (on time) determine some aspects of the culture of the school. The infringements related to these routines are made by a minority of students, but they have a big hand in establishing the dynamics of student behaviour and work ethic in the classroom.

Acknowledging college expectations

On the first day of the term, a campus assembly on the senior campus pointed out some of the student expectations required to get things back on track. The notion of respect of people, property and self was high on the list of significant non-negotiables for students to ponder. Our regular rules regarding the ban of mobile phones on the campus, common courtesy and manners, getting to class on time, establishing good work routines and work ethic was also addressed. Over the course of this term the focus will be on making students the best version of themselves to ensure that we all have a successful term.


One thing that wasn’t mentioned at the assembly, but that needs some discussion is the issue of the emergence of the vaping habit. Vaping poses a significant health risk to students and is considered a banned substance on the campus and out in public whilst in school uniform. Please take time to read the accompanying information sheet on vaping that is included in this issue of the Newsletter.

ANZAC Day Assembly

Last Friday, the campus assembled for the second time in a week for the ANZAC Day tribute. The tribute focussed on the meaning of ANZAC Day and the significance of the sacrifice of life in the pursuit of justice and freedom. Respecting this sacrifice of life by our armed forces is so important in understanding the development of the Australian character and the legacy of the ANZAC spirit from which we can all learn. It was inspiring to witness the way our students responded to the emotive tribute.

Wishing you success for this term!

Ernie Pisani

Deputy Principal

Head of Senior Campus

From the Head of Campus Glenroy - Mr Stuart Harrison Vol 6

Welcome to Term 2, I hope all families had a Holy Easter and an opportunity to have a restful break.

Swimming Program

Our Year 7 and 8 swim program begins this term with students having swimming lessons at Elite Swimming in Pascoe Vale. The students will have a total of 4 lessons which aim to improve their swimming skills.

Year 7 Premier League

For those families new to Penola Catholic College, Premier League is the name given for interschool sport for one term a year. Our Year 7 students had their first Premier League match against Kolbe Catholic College on Wednesday. Thank you to all the students that are representing our school, as well as to the staff who coach them.

Year 8 Retreat

Our Year 8s spent last Friday at the Broadmeadows Campus for their annual retreat. They were blessed to have Father Rob Galea for the day with the message focusing on how faith plays an integral role in one’s life journey. The students got to hear from Father Galea, worked in small groups, as well as time spent in self-reflection.

Kind Regards,

Stuart Harrison

From the Head of Faith & Mission - Mr Robert Dullard Vol 6

Sr Fran Mannes (7th May 1931 - 2nd April 2021)

Sr Fran Mannes, a former staff member of our College, passed away on Friday, 2nd April 2021. Sr Fran was born in Bendigo on 7th May 1931 and was the fifth of six children to her parents, Anthony and Mary Mannes. Sr Fran originally taught in the Victorian State Education System for eight years before entering the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart on the 19th March 1956. Following her profession on 6th January 1959, she received the name of Sr Mary Anthony Joseph of the Infant Jesus. Sr Fran ministered in a variety of places and schools all over Victoria and throughout New South Wales and Queensland. Sr Fran spent two periods working within our College community. Her first appointment within our community was at Geoghegan College (1984 – 1989), one of the three predecessor Colleges to Penola Catholic College. Her second stint of service here began in 1995, following the establishment of Penola Catholic College, through to 2004. Her role here at the College was as the Family Liaison Officer where she provided wonderful support to all students and families within our Community.

One of Sister Fran’s major achievements was that she played a large role in the formation of the Association of Josephite Affiliated Secondary Schools (A.J.A. S.S.). The aim of this Association was to link and build connection between all the Josephite Secondary Colleges around Australia. This remains a very strong network and continues today to build the charism of St Mary of the Cross MacKillop and the Sisters of St Joseph, within and across, all the AJASS schools.

It was truly touching to hear at Sr Fran’s funeral recently, how Penola Catholic College held a special place in her heart and how proud she was to have worked here for many years as a member of staff. So much so, the Sisters of St Joseph thought it fitting that we should be given her professional cross (the cross given to her when she professed her vows and an exact replica of the cross worn by St Mary of the Cross MacKillop when she professed hers), along with her original AJASS flag, which she was also very proud of. Therefore, we have decided to create a display cabinet in Mannes House (named in honour of her wonderful contribution to the College), in which we will place these treasured items for all to view and to remind us of her beautiful spirit, love and service within our community.

Mother's Day Breakfast

Penola Catholic College is excited to be hosting our annual Mother’s Day Breakfast on Friday, 7th May.
All mothers or significant adult females of both girls and boys from Years 7-12 are invited to join us for this special occasion.

To book visit

Dangers of e-cigarettes/vaping

There is a growing concern about the number of young people trying and taking up vaping chemically flavoured e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes are battery-operated devices that allow the user to inhale nicotine or other chemicals in a vapour form (known as vaping). The liquids used in e-cigarettes can contain nicotine, but also flavourings and harmful substances such as heavy metals, volatile organic compounds and cancer-causing chemicals.

Many of these young people are unaware of the chemicals in the e-liquids and what those chemicals do to a human body. Patients identified in the United States reported experiencing respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath or che

st pain) and some have reported gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, or diarrhoea). Some patients also reported non-specific symptoms such as fatigue, fever or weight loss. They all had a history of e-cigarette product use within the past 90 days.

A study, supported by Lung Foundation Australia and Minderoo Foundation, completed a comprehensive examination of the composition and toxicity of e-liquids supplied or manufactured in Australia and has confirmed serious concerns about their safety and respiratory health impacts. E-liquids are commonly available in Australia as a consumer product. It is illegal to sell e- liquids that contain nicotine in Australia, but due to importation loopholes, they can be easily purchased online.

Researchers from Curtin University and the Telethon Kids Institute tested the ingredients and toxicity of 52 e-liquids for sale over the counter in Australia, in both their original and vaped (heated) form. They found:

  • 100 per cent of e-liquids had between 1 to 18 chemicals which have unknown effects on respiratory health
  • None of the brands had a complete accurate ingredient list, which would be noncompliant with European Union labelling regulations
  • 21 per cent of e-liquids contained nicotine or nicotyrine (despite it being illegal to sell e-liquids containing nicotine in all Australian states and territories)
  • 62 per cent of new e-liquids and 65 per cent of vaped e-liquids contained chemicals likely to be toxic if vaped repeatedly.

“More and more young Australians are trying and taking up vaping chemically flavoured e-cigarettes. Yet, it is clear from this study, that these young Australians are unaware of the chemicals in the e-liquids and what those chemicals do to a human body,” Mr Brooke said.

“Consumers must be informed about ingredients and short-and-long term health impacts, and unknowns. Just because a chemical may be safe to use in a disinfectant or as a food preservative, doesn’t mean it is safe to inhale into your lungs. This study clearly demonstrates that we cannot take safety in consumer products as a given and Governments need to intervene urgently to protect the respiratory health of young Australians.”

“We already know that e-cigarettes can increase the chance of a non-smoker taking up cigarettes and that they are deliberately targeted to appeal to young people,” Dr Burnell said.

“Now we find that e-cigarette users are being exposed to unknown ingredients and chemicals already known to be toxic to human health.

Lead researcher, Associate Professor Ben Mullins from Curtin University’s School of Public Health said the e-liquids tested contained multiple chemicals that were not listed on the labels.

“While some of these chemicals may be safe and approved food additives, it has frequently been shown that there is a vast difference between a chemical that is safe to ingest and one which is safe to inhale long-term,” Associate Professor Mullins said.

“Many such chemicals are harmless when ingested but could cause significant negative health effects if inhaled long term.”

Despite a decrease in the prevalence of smoking across Australia, the most recent Australian National Drug Strategy Household Survey revealed an increase in the use of e-cigarettes (both nicotine and flavoured) by Australians:

  • Aged 14-19 – lifetime use rose from 12.6% in 2016 to 14.5% in 2019
  • Aged 18–24 – lifetime use rose from 19.2% in 2016 to 26% in 2019
  • Aged 25–29 – lifetime use rose from 14.8% in 2016 to 20% in 2019.

The World Health Organisation estimates young people who use e-cigarettes are more than twice as likely to smoke tobacco cigarettes later in life.


Penola Catholic College

Students found in possession, using or in the company of other students vaping, will be issued with consequences as per our Behaviour Management Policy.

Parents who are concerned about their child’s use of e-cigarettes is encouraged to contact their child’s Year Level Coordinators or College Counsellor.

Mrs Angela Xidias

Coordinator of Students

Science update

During term 1, the science staff at both the Junior and Senior campuses have been busy building their knowledge and establishing new tasks for their students.

At the junior campus, the staff met after school to play ‘student’. They worked through a STEM task that the year 8 students would get in term 2. In the process they had a great time working in teams to solve a problem “Unblocking an artery”. As they did this, they were able to experience the issues that the students would face when completing this project. An excellent initiative driven by our Head of Science Fiona Trapani.

At the senior campus, the staff met to learn how to use particular equipment for year 9 electricity. Our senior Physics staff, Pascal Roulant and Lik Hua Chow, demonstrated how to use the equipment and were instrumental with problem solving issues that the students may find.

2020 brought lots of obstacles, challenges and trials but it gave us the opportunity to purchase some new equipment that we would not have been able to afford otherwise. The new Gel Electrophoresis equipment is a great investment to build the practical skills of our Senior Science students. The year 10 Genetics students have had an opportunity to use this Gel Electrophoresis equipment for the first time and completed a project called ‘Shark Attack’. They had to complete DNA analysis to determine which type of shark had bitten a surfer’s board. The students, with the help of our laboratory technician Bethaney Warren, worked well to use new techniques and solve the problem.

Our new Year 10 Forensics topic has thoroughly engaged the students with a variety of hands on activities. Emily Hastie and Belinda Carbone have worked hard to deliver an interesting curriculum that has sparked curiosity and provided the students with unique learning opportunities.

We look forward to working with your children throughout the year and to chatting to parents in our next PTSPM’s.

Leanne Attard

HOL Broadmeadows campus.


As we now enter over 2 months of COVID free days, organisations are beginning to slowly open their doors again to students. This is a positive and It is time to actively seek opportunity for those who are interested. Bunnings is one who at this stage remains closed for placements, I expect this to dissipate over the next month.

On the home front I am hopeful of securing further outside employment opportunities in Umpiring for students through the Essendon District Football League. Although a unique sport, students with minimal knowledge of the game can still commence as Boundary and Goal umpires and take home over $60 tax free dollars per game. This is an opportunity well worth considering, anyone who likes the sound of this should contact me as soon as possible.

At present I would like to remind both parents and students of the opportunity the School Holidays brings for placement. If I was in Year 12 I would seriously consider organising a placement with what may be a future employer. This can’t hurt your chances of a job, and you have 2 more Holiday periods where you can be covered by school insurance.

Anyone interested in further support around setting up LinkedIN folios, and setting up accounts should call me on (03)9908-9033 or e-mail me at

Arnel Davis - VCAL Liaison

Rasile Dazzle:

For a number of our Certificate II in Building and Construction students they are fortunate enough to have been taken on by one of our former students Stephen Rasile. There is nothing better than this experience, as former sons and daughters of the college display their capability to current students.

Stephen now boasts 8 working crews and is expanding his business. Stephen also realises the unheralded responsibility, of developing those around him and giving back to the local community. Stephen recently hosted a group interview with students who were seeking a placement, he outlined the do’s and don’t a well as his expectations.

Stephen has been good enough to assign some students to his working crews.
Thanks to Stephen.

Unblocking more opportunities:

Dylan Davies is well aware of what is required to become a Plumber, after all it’s a part of his family life. However in order to further his knowledge of the intimate parts of Plumbing, Dylan has commenced a School based traineeship with the Reece group.

Dylan is learning there is far more involved in just that quick phone call to order a part, and is also applying his product knowledge directly to his Certificate II in Plumbing studies at Kangan.

Dylan believes he will be much better placed to land a Plumbing apprenticeship due to his product knowledge. Well done Dylan!

Sparking an Interest:

Kha Nguyen is studying the Certificate II in Electrotechnology at Holmesglen, in preparation for his initial placement with an Electrician. Kha plans to engage in a placement at local Electrical wholesaler J&R, Kha is hoping to gain some further knowledge of parts prior to commencing his electrical career. We look forward to Kha's progress.

Approved PTV Student ID Card

Penola Catholic College currently has an approved Public Transport Victoria Student ID Card

A PTV Approved School Student ID is now accepted as a students’ entitlement to buy student passes and concession fares – this will be included on the 2021 Penola Student ID cards.

Victorian school students are now able to use their PTV approved school ID to access concession travel on public transport, saving time and money and will no longer need to apply for a separate concession card.

The student ID will need to be carried at all times on public transport when accessing a student concession fare

Term 2 School Fee Payment

Payment of Term 2 School Fees is now due.

As previously advised, School Fee Statements are now sent by email only. If you have not received your Statements this year please contact us to update your email address.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss your account please contact Lisa Crosbie or email

Thank you

Ms Lisa Crosbie

Parents and Friends Association

The Penola Catholic College Parents and Friends Association (PFA) exists to support the College by fostering an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere within the College. It provides an avenue for parents to engage with the College and to have a voice, sharing thoughts and expressing ideas. It also helps to conduct several community building activities for the College, along with some fundraising initiatives throughout the year. The PFA meets monthly during school terms and gratefully welcomes new members.

The PFA would like to warmly invite all parents, guardians or friends of the College to our Parents and Friends Association Meeting for 2021 on Monday, 3rd May at 7:00 pm. This will be held in the Kerrsland Boardroom at the Broadmeadows Campus, 29 Gibson Street, Broadmeadows. We really hope to see you there!

Academy Uniforms

Uniform can be purchased in the following ways:

Visit select ‘order on-line’, and choose ‘Penola Catholic College’.
Use the password Broadmeadows.

Uniforms can be delivered to a home address or collected at Thomastown store.
Allow 48 hours for processing.

In Store at Academy Uniforms, Thomastown:
Families are welcome to visit Academy Uniforms Thomastown store during the following times:
Monday to Friday: 9am - 5pm Saturday: 9am - 12noon.
238 Wolseley Place, Thomastown.

Phone: 9460 8011

View the 2021 price list here.

Items not available at Deer Park or Springvale stores.

Community News

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PCC Newsletter Volume 6 - 29 Apr. 2021