Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 98 No 3• 1 April 2021


Loving God, we thank you for the gift of being present with each other during Term 1. May we continue to value that gift so that we can live life to the full. We make that prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Please refer to the College Calendar for all Upcoming Events and Dates of Importance.

From the Principal

Dear Parents and Carers, 

At Ave Maria College we are committed to the care, safety and wellbeing of our students and see this as a central and fundamental responsibility of our College. Our commitment is drawn from the teaching and mission of Jesus Christ, with love, justice and the sanctity of each human person at the heart of the gospels. Our College Motto, Striving for Truth through Love, guides our collective efforts in enabling our students to thrive in recognising the truth of God’s love and their own call to seek truth and love, in themselves and in their relationships with others. 

The following principles underpin our commitment to child safety at Ave Maria College  

  • All students deserve, as a fundamental right, safety and protection from all forms of abuse, violence and neglect.  

  • Our College works in partnership with families, carers and the community to ensure that they are engaged in decision-making processes, particularly those that have an impact on child safety and protection.  

  • All students have the right to a thorough and systematic education in all aspects of personal safety, in partnership with their parents, guardians and caregivers.  

  • All adults in our College, including teaching and non-teaching staff, clergy, volunteers, and contractors, have a responsibility to care for children and young people, to positively promote their wellbeing and to protect them from any kind of harm or abuse.  

  • The policies, guidelines and codes of conduct for the care, wellbeing and protection of students are based on honest, respectful and trusting relationships between adults, children and young people.  

  • Policies and practices demonstrate compliance with legislative requirements and cooperation with the Church, governments, the police and human services agencies.  

  • All persons involved in situations where harm is suspected or disclosed must be treated with sensitivity, dignity and respect.  

  • Staff, clergy, volunteers, contractors, parents, guardians, caregivers and students should feel free to raise concerns about child safety, knowing these will be taken seriously by College leadership.  

  • Appropriate confidentiality will be maintained, with information being provided to those who have a right or a need to be informed, either legally or pastorally. 

As part of our policies and procedures the College has a Child Safety Reference Group which includes both student and staff representation. This group meets regularly throughout the year.  The College also has two nominated Child Safety Officers who are:

  • Ms Leonie Rushbrook, Assistant Principal (Students and Engagement)
  • Mrs Natalie Meddis, Director of Student Wellbeing

A key element of the important work of the Reference Group and Child Safety Officers is to conduct an annual audit, which is currently underway, of our child safe practices to ensure best practice. 

Parents and carers who wish to access more information regarding child safety at Ave Maria College are welcome to visit the Child Safety section on our College website in the ‘About’ tab.

As many parents and carers will be aware, I recently wrote to all families regarding the College Respectful Relationships Program.  Please see the newsletter article from Mrs Natalie Meddis which outlines the areas of focus for Term 2.

Before concluding I would like to congratulate all students for their participation, resilience and adaptability throughout Term 1 as they have transitioned to the new COVID-19 normal.  Their ability to remain committed to their goals and studies so they can continue learn and grow is to be commended.  They have a lot to celebrate.

As a community who is inspired by our Franciscan Tradition, we continue to want them to develop as young people who are hope filled, resilient and compassionate. We want them to have a strong sense of connectedness and belonging to the Ave community.  We want them to grow and develop so they can be their best and give their best. We want them to make the most of the opportunities availed to them by both their family and the College.  Therefore, as your daughter continues to learn, develop and grow as a young person, we look forward to our continued partnership with you.

Finally, as Easter approaches, I would like to wish all families a safe and restful break. 

Let us accept the grace of Christ’s resurrection! 

Let us be renewed by God’s Mercy. 

Let us be loved by Jesus. 

Let us enable the power of his love to transform our lives too. 

And let us become agents of this mercy,  

Channels through which God can water the earth, 

Protect all creation and make justice and peace flourish. 


Pope Francis – Lenten message of peace

God bless and may we follow the way of our College patrons as we continue to strive for truth through love. 

Tanya Hutton 

2021 Student Leadership

The staff and students at the College would like to congratulate all students who have been appointed to leadership positions for 2021.

See below for a full list of the Ave Maria College Student Leadership Team. 

Deputy Principal

Year 7-10 Progress Reports – published on 31 March via PAM

Our Ave Charter for Education speaks to the Learner Attributes. If we are to instill these attributes in our students, then we need to ensure they are an integral part of the language we use and the feedback we provide to students.

Accordingly, we report on Learner Attributes in the following way:


we support and help each other; we uphold high expectations of ourselves and our peers.  

  • she works collaboratively
  • she works in a way that has allowed others to contribute
  • she is ‘on-task’, i.e. not a distraction to herself and others
  • she behaves in a community-minded manner


we speak in the positive, we encourage others, we believe in our capacity to improve.

  • she speaks in the positive
  • her language reflects an upward approach to learning: "I can improve here by..."
  • her efforts and willingness to learn reflect a growth mindset
  • she uses this same language and effort when working with others

Critical Thinking:

we question, we challenge, we verify, we reflect.

  • she contributes to class discussions
  • she asks questions and seeks further clarification
  • she offers ideas and strategies to improve her learning, either in writing or verbal
  • she reflects and acts on feedback


we own our responsibilities; we go beyond the minimum requirements.

  • she owns her responsibilities
  • she brings all the required resources to class
  • home study, set activities/tasks and assessment tasks are completed and ready for class
  • she meets and/or negotiates deadlines before tasks are due
  • she completes all tasks beyond the minimum standard        


we take on harder problems, we challenge ourselves, we try new things.

  • she attempts problems and tasks that are beyond her current level of understanding
  • she asks "What if…" questions
  • she looks to improve her knowledge regardless of her starting point
  • she explores real-world applications for her learning


we ask for help, we access the available resources, we work hard, we keep trying.

  • she works hard
  • she proactively seeks assistance
  • she demonstrates evidence of looking for other resources
  • she acts on suggested areas for improvement
  • she looks to improve her skill level regardless of her starting point       

We recognise that student learning takes place in partnership with school and home. To that end, we ask you to support your daughter’s learning in the following ways:

  • create an environment in the home that is conducive to and supportive of independent learning.
  • access learning programs and assessment feedback via Ave Learning to understand the student’s learning experience.
  • encourage discussion and reflection on areas of growth and future focus.
  • support the development of a growth mindset.

Wishing all families the blessings of the Easter season and a wonderful term break!

 Michelle Robertson

Assistant Principal - Students and Engagement

National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence

As Ave Maria College is a school that has its values based on the Franciscan ideals of inclusiveness and love, it was very apt for the students to focus on this during the recent National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence.

Students signed a pledge stick to pledge that they value each person who has been created in the likeness of God, and who has their own unique gifts and talents. In signing the pledge sticks, it is a commitment that the student does not support the bullying of anyone, anywhere: face to face or online. 

Each day of the week students were presented with a video to discuss during Mentor Time regarding standing up against bullying and speaking up even if their voice shakes. They were made aware that one stick may be broken, but when the sticks were all tied together it represented a united front from the Ave community that there is a zero tolerance against bullying.

On the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence each Mentor Group committed to two actions to prevent bullying. One action was based on face to face interactions where respect and kindness should be the foundation for all face to face interactions. The other action was deciding how their online behaviours should be to ensure posts are positive and support students belonging to our Ave Maria community.

Some examples are:

7B Face to Face Commitment: we will work with teacher input to help tell the bully that their words and actions are hurtful.

7B Online Commitment: we will screenshot, block and report any online bullying.

10F Face to Face Commitment: we will be an upstander and then offer support to the victim during and after the situation.

10F Online Commitment: we will not send on nasty material, we will take screenshots to get further support from the school, and we will leave groupchats that are nasty.

These commitments will be regularly reviewed in the Mentor Period to remind Ave students that to belong means these commitments are actioned every day.


As we enter the autumn/winter months of the cold and flu season, it is very important that students do not come to school if they are experiencing sore throats, runny noses, headaches or other cold and flu symptoms. This allows our community to stay healthy, and prevents other students/teachers/family members missing days if they also catch the infection.

Uniform Changeover

With Term 1 finishing the change-over to Winter uniform commences from Term 2 onwards.
Students have the option of wearing either the College Summer or Winter uniform for the first 2 weeks of Term 2.

All students must to be in the College Winter uniform from Week 3, Monday, 3 May 2021.

May the joy of Christ’s resurrection be with all of you.

Leonie Rushbrook

Director of Faith and Religious Education

Mission Action Day 

Thank you to staff and students for their efforts in walking, raising awareness and money for St Maria Mazzarello school, Venilale, Timor-Leste. Mission Action Day is a wonderful opportunity for us to live our faith through the Catholic Social Teaching principles of solidarity as well preferential option for the poor. A group of students, including the Franciscan Leaders is exploring ways that the Ave Maria community can have greater awareness of the Venilale community.  

Those wishing to donate to Mission Action Day can do so via Trybooking. All donations are greatly appreciated.

Refugee Homework Club 

For the past three weeks, seven students and I from Year 12 have been fortunate enough to tutor primary and secondary school students at St Albans Community Centre. While we were fortunate enough to practice our ballet skills on the second week when the Australian Ballet came to do a seminar with the kids, we have also developed a strong bond with each of the students we have met and within our group. This opportunity has taught us that taking that small step and helping someone with something (like a Year 3 with fractions) can lead to bigger changes in someone’s education. We recommend this to anybody who’s not afraid to step out of their comfort zone and help the community. As Malala Yousafzai once said, “one child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world”. (Grace Abboud Year 12) 

Patrick Jurd

Director of Learning and Pathways

NAPLAN 2021 

NAPLAN testing (Year 7 and Year 9 students) will take place between Tuesday, 11 May and Friday, 14 May 2021. Parent information regarding arrangements for NAPLAN testing at the College will be communicated in the coming weeks. 

James Vella

Director of Student Wellbeing

Mentor Period  

The foundations for the Mentor Period in Term 2 will be the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program that was implemented in the College in 2018. The program has been designed to develop students social, emotional and positive relationship skills. The program provides age-appropriate content that supports student growth in a range of areas. In Term 2 we will be focusing on:  

  • In all Year Levels, we will continue to develop skills in emotional literacy, personal strengths, problem solving, help seeking, positive coping and stress management.  
  • In Year 10 we will also look at gender-based violence and begin to navigate the concept of consent. This is further explored in Year 11 with students learning about safer socializing, gender and identity and positive gender relations.
  • In Year 12 we aim to support good time management and stress management strategies while also further exploring positive gender relations. Our aim is to support our students to make healthy decisions that help them to create positive relationships that nurture them and their growth.  

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

School Holiday Opportunities

There are some wonderful opportunities over these school holidays to visit onsite at Monash and Deakin Universities for a campus and faculty tour and to speak to current students. There will also be many seminars on careers areas throughout April, including Victoria Police, Australian Defence Force, Hospitality and Tourism at William Angliss, Business, Sport and Nutrition at Victoria University, Dramatic and Performing Arts with NIDA and more. To register for these exciting programs, see the links provided in this week’s Careers Newsletter.

Year 10 Morrisby Profile Reports

Year 10 Morrisby Profile Reports are now available to access, using student login details. All Year 10 students will develop an individual Career Action Plan using their individual Morrisby profile. Parents are welcome to attend a 15 minute, 1:1 meeting with their daughter and a Careers Adviser in Term 2. Appointments will be emailed to students in advance, with the date and time confirmed. In addition, notes from these individual meetings will be provide to students for further discussion at home before subject selection.

Parents are welcome to contact us via email careers@avemaria.vic.edu.au

To view our Career Newsletter articles, click here. Topics this week include:

  • Monash and Deakin Campus Tours
  • Australian Defence Force – Information Sessions
  • Victoria Police - Information Sessions
  • National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) – Short Courses
  • Australian Catholic University - Entry Pathways Webinar
  • William Angliss – Experience Day
  • University Early Entry Programs (Year 12)
  • Monash University – Inside Monash Seminars and Information Evenings
  • Medicine and Dentistry – UCAT ANZ Preparation Programs
  • Victoria University – Course Information Webinars
  • Collarts and JMC Academy – Open Days

Poppy Ibrahim

College Captains

We hope you all have had a great start to the year and are looking forward to a much needed Easter holiday.  

This term, it has been fantastic to see so much community spirit, engagement and unity throughout the College and we have been  privileged to have witnesses the togetherness and participation so far this year. We hope to see this continue into Term 2 as we build on working as a community to value all, be more united and empower others as we continue to VUE this year with positivity, inclusivity and strength.

As we head into the end of the first term and the holidays we would like to take you through the highlights of this busy and productive term.

We started this term greeting the new Year 7 students with their massive smiles and welcomed back the Year 12 cohort  for their final first day. Our first whole school day back was on Monday, 1 February 2021, the students were met with the overly loud and eager Year 12 leaders at the main gate. After a busy few days of hard work, it was already time for a break as the Year 12 cohort headed off to Grantville to spend some restful days learning to work better together and reflecting on the past 5 years of their lives at Ave Maria College. 

Next, the whole school participated in the annual House Swimming Carnival at Queens Park, which involved lots of amazing athleticism and teamwork. All Houses really pulled together a fun day, but it was Mary House that finished the day as winners.  

Then we were back into online learning for a few days which would not have been possible without the resilience, flexibility and strength of the Ave community, who were willing to keep working and smiling no matter what challenges occurred.  

Throughout the term there have been many excursions and incursions which are great opportunities for students to explore their curiosity within subjects and develop deeper passions for learning whilst also having a bit of fun and a break from normal classroom teaching. Some excursions which students have been involved in this term include the Year 9 Geography excursion, Year 9 STEM excursion, the Year 11 and 12 Drama excursion and the Year 12 Physics excursion. Well done to all students who got involved and took these opportunities as a positive experience to further their education and growth.   

The Year 7 students and Year 11 Peer Support Leaders this year were involved in a different camp experience during the term as they headed off to Adventure Park Geelong. Their day was filled with bonding and fun, going down waterslides and relaxing in the Lazy River.    

Then we saw the Year 10 and 12 Outdoor Environmental Studies classes head off to camp as the Year 10 group headed off to Wilsons Prom and the Year 12 students to Torquay. These camps were a great opportunity to explore the practical side of the subject.  

On Tuesday, 9 March 2021we celebrated International Women's Day, an important date in our College that shows our recognition to the hard work and dedication of women within our community! Our support and solidarity was marked by wearing the color purple which resembles visionary thinking and the color of the future which represents the exact kind of gender equality we are fighting for.   

We have also recently celebrated  National Anti Bullying Week where  as a College we signed house colours sticks to resemble us uniting as one and that together, we take a stand, to stop bullying. As a College, we acknowledge the need in our community to empower others and allow all to feel comfortable to speak up and share their stories, even if their voice shakes.   

Most recently the whole school participated in our annual Mission Action Day where we united to show our support and demonstrated our faith by giving to those in need at our sister school St Maria Mazzarello in Timor Leste. As staff and students at Ave Maria College we are in a position of so much privilege and it is important that we recognize how lucky we are and give back to those who are not as fortunate as us. Thank you to everyone who participated in the walk and donated.   

Once again, we appreciate and acknowledge everyone's hard work and contributions to all events throughout Term 1! This term has been very promising for the positive, inclusive and supportive atmosphere that we as College Captains want to see continue this year, and are so blessed to be a part of as leaders of this faith community.  

As we end term 1, we excitedly look forward to the next term where we will be introducing new initiatives  such as 'the voice it box' where we are looking for student voice to find ways of improvement and feedback.   

We wish you all a safe and happy Easter and a well-deserved break. 

Emily McMahon, Mya Mollica and Lilianna Morgan  

Helene Library

School Holiday Library Hours

The Helene Library will be open daily during the Term break for borrowing or returning of books or quiet study.
9.00 am – 3.00 pm  (except Public Holidays).

It is important to encourage your daughter to continue reading during the school holidays.  Studies show that exposure to books on a regular basis can result in higher academic achievements. 

If your daughter prefers to read or listen to novels online the Wheelers eBook service is an extension of the Helene Library fiction collection.  Students have convenient 24/7 access to borrow classics and contemporary fiction from Wheelers.  All digital loans are automatically returned at the end of the lending period! 

Browse Wheelers books at https://avemaria.wheelers.co/

Student College username and password required to login.

Laura Pugliese

2021 School Fees

A reminder that Term Two Fees are due Friday, 23 April 2021.  

Thank you to all the families that have made a payment or have provided details of payment plans.   

Where payment has not yet been made, kindly complete either Direct Debit or Credit Card Authorisation Form, previously supplied, and return to the college immediately. 

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund 

If you hold a Health Care Card or another concession card which names your child, we strongly encourage you to complete the CSEF application form and return to the college immediately. 

Families who successfully claimed the CSEF Rebate in 2020 and have no changes to any details on the application, there is no need to complete a new form for 2021.  Families with a student in Year 7 will need to complete a new application. 

Please contact the Finance Office on 9331 9307 should you have any queries or concerns. 

Ryman Healthcare

The view from Ave Maria College is changing as retirement living and aged care provider Ryman Healthcare’s new village quickly takes shape next door.

Founded in New Zealand in 1984, Ryman Healthcare’s Aberfeldie village is the company’s first in Melbourne’s north-west. The village will include 64 independent living apartments and 27 serviced apartments. At present Ryman has Nellie Melba and Weary Dunlop retirement villages in Wheelers Hill, John Flynn Retirement village in Burwood East, Charles Brownlow village in Highton and a village in Ocean Grove.

Providing care that is ‘good enough for mum’ is at the core of everything Ryman does, and this extends to the relationship between a village, its staff and residents and the broader community. The Aberfeldie village will enable locals to remain within the beautiful City of Moonee Valley while enjoying the support that comes from living in an independent or serviced apartment or receiving care at the village’s care centre. The village’s amenities will include a bowling green, cinema, village centre and worship room, and residents who are engaged in already existing local groups, or wish to start one, will be encouraged to use these amenities to host meetings and events for the community.

Campion Education Essendon Store Closure

Campion Books, 319-321 Pascoe Vale Road will close permanently as of 5.00pm on Friday, 16 April 2021.

Campion is currently undertaking the search for a new premises. In the meantime the 2 stores closest to Essendon are:

  • Heidelberg West – 96 McEwan Road, Heidelberg West
  • Derrimut – Unit 8, 12 Makland Drive, Derrimut.

Families awaiting orders are asked to contact Campion Education to arrange collection prior to the closure date or visit one of the above stores.

Office Closed - Monday, 19 April 2021

Families are advised that the College will be closed for all visitors on Monday, 19 April 2021. There will be no access to Reception or Finance on this day.

On this day all College staff will be involved in Professional Learning and Curriculum Planning.

Simon Everywhere

Simon Everywhere, a smartphone app, designed to streamline the communication process for our families.

Simon Everywhere allows you to conveniently access your daughter’s reports, grades and attendance, update medical information, notify student absences, give consent for excursions and communicate directly with teachers. Essentially it is your Parent Access Module (PAM) account in the convenience of an app. To utilise this facility simply download the Simon Everywhere app from your devices App Store, select Ave Maria College from the schools dropdown list and enter your previously supplied PAM account credentials.


Further information regarding the latest version of Simon Everywhere and it's new functions and key features can be found in the attached file.


Click here to access the College Parent Access Module (PAM)
The SkoolBag App is the easiest way to keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.

CDFpay is an online payment platform families can use to pay for school services from your mobile, tablet or computer at any time.

Families can:

  • place student online lunch orders.
  • add funds to student accounts to be used for over the counter canteen purchases.
  • add funds to student accounts to be used for Printing Credit.