Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 97 No 9• 18 December 2020


Loving God we thank you for your guidance supporting us through the growth and the challenges of this year. May we know Your peace and joy at Christmas. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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

From the Principal

Each year Ave Maria Students completing a Unit 3 and 4 Art or Design subject have their folio work entered into the Moonee Valley’s annual Art and Design Award as part of the Fireworks Exhibition held at Incinerator Gallery. Congratulations to the following students from Year 11 and 12 who currently have their work on display as part of this exhibition.  

The outstanding folio works of these students are wonderful for both them and their teachers who have worked with them to produce pieces under the challenging circumstances of 2020.  Their work can be viewed at the Incinerator Gallery online from Tuesday, 8 December 2020 to Sunday, 17 January 2021.

Hannah Dau - Yin & Yang

Isabella Farfaglia - Subject #2 Purple and Orange Figure

Alyssa Liberman - Unforeseen Battles

Alessia Massara - Mechanical Eye #Red & Mechanical Eye #Green

Georgia McShanag - Crustacean Number One & Crustacean Number Two

Rachel Nguyen - Vọng Nguyệt (fish watching the moon)

Lucy Parente - Australia in Summer

Anastasia Roumeliotis - 1950's Glamour

Daniella Scambiatterra - Maria & Bruno

Mia Sciberras - Appropriation of 'Laocoön and his Sons'  

Tahlia Tassone - Gargoyle #1 & Gargoyle #2 

Claudia Vendramini - Family Women: The Series

Ave Maria Community Awards Assembly

During the last week of term, the College held the Ave Maria Community Awards Assembly.  Due to the unexpected and unprecedented challenges brought about by COVID-19 during 2020 the awards presented to the community were a little different than in previous years; however, they were just as important.  In this year’s celebration we acknowledged the efforts of our entire community – staff, students and families for the resilience, determination and achievements in navigating the challenges of the COVID-19 restrictions. We also recognised the achievements of individual students who are the recipients of awards provided by external organisations. The College is proud of its association with the wider community and we are grateful for their continued support of the College.

I am sure you will join me in congratulating the recipients of the 2020 Ave Maria Community Awards.

Spirit of Ave Award

Year 7

Alisa Villani

Year 8

Charlotte Rowbottom

Year 9

Katie Grocock

Year 10

Larissa Failla

Year 11

Olivia Dib

Year 12

Giselle Iaconis

Co-curricular All Rounder

Year 7

Jocelyn O'Keefe

Year 8

Meg Richmond

Year 9

Elizabeth Curtolo

Year 10

Emily Sawaya

Year 11

Michaela Vimba

Year 12

Karsha Pereira

Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars

Alexander Evans (Year 10)

Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award 

Janice Draim (Year 10)

Australian Defence Force Long Tan Leadership and Teamwork Award 

Sarah Lia (Year 12)

Australian Defence Force Future Innovators Award 

Chloe McMahon (Year 12)

Moonee Valley Foundation Award

Bridget Tennant (Year 12)

Moonee Valley Foundation Award

Eliza Wilson (Year 12)

Caltex All Rounder Award

Stephanie Nind (Year 12)

Helen De Chappotin Award

All Students

St Francis Staff Service Award

All Staff

St Clare Service Award

All Parents

Finally, as the year draws to an end, I would like to thank the entire Ave Maria community – students, staff and parents - for their ongoing support as we learnt to navigate the challenges of 2020 together. I particularly, would like to thank the following staff who will be leaving us at the end of this year – Ms Olivia Pearce, Mrs Kirstee Cananzi, Mrs Jeanne Deutscher, Mrs Trisha Sullivan and Mr Mark Wood.Each of these staff members has committed themselves to wanting the best for each of their students and ensuring they have received the best education possible during their time with us.  We thank them sincerely for their commitment and efforts and we wish them all the best in their new endeavours.

Thank-you to members of the College Executive – Mrs Michelle Robertson (Deputy Principal), Mr Patrick Jurd (Director of Faith and Religious Education), Miss Jo Hammer (Director of Professional Learning and Pedagogy), Mrs Natalie Meddis (Director of Student Wellbeing), Mr James Vella, Director of Studies, Mr Allan Thompson (Business Manager), Mr Anthony Kirley (Human Resources and Compliance Manager) and Ms Tanya Thornton (PA to the Principal).I thank them for their commitment, service to the College and agile leadership throughout 2020. They have been of great support throughout this year.

Thank-you must also be extended to our Delegated Canonical Administrators - Father Anthony Feeney (President) Peter Devery,Ward Italiano and Sister Heather Weedon.  I thank them for their continued support, advice and encouragement throughout 2020.

In closing I would like to finish with the following Advent prayer for families

God of light and hope,

look upon us with love,

and fill us with the Spirit of Jesus

that we may love you and serve you in your kingdom.

Protect us during Advent

and keep us watchful in prayer

as we await the coming of our Lord, Jesus Christ,

who is the light of the world,

and who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.


Many thanks to the Ave community for your continued support and I wish you all a safe, relaxing and blessed Christmas with family and friends.

God bless and as a community may we continue to strive for truth through love.

Tanya Hutton

Deputy Principal Staff, Learning and Teaching

As the school year draws to a close and we await the coming of Christmas, we look back on 2020 with gratitude and appreciation for all that was achieved by the students, staff and families of Ave Maria College. 
2020 highlighted the extraordinary community of Ave Maria College, especially our willingness to support each other in challenging times.
A reminder of the following key return dates for 2021: 

  • Friday, 29 January 2021 Year 7 and Year 12 students commence Term One.  
  • Monday, 1 February 2021 Years 8 – 11 students commence Term One.  

May I extend every blessing to all families for a safe and peace-filled Christmas and we look forward to welcoming you back for the 2021 academic year! 

God Bless, 

Michelle Robertson

Director of Studies

Congratulations to all of our students on finishing the year so well. Whilst this year has been challenging and felt like it would never end, the Year 7-9 End of Year and VCE Orientation Programs were well attended, with students remaining engaged right until the very end of term.

2021 Subject Allocations

2021 subject allocations were communicated to students in mid-November.

There will be a short period at the commencement of the 2021 academic year where VCE students will have an opportunity to request a change of subject. These requests are subject to the student’s other allocated subjects, class size limits and student pathways.

Information about this process will be communicated to students via Ave Learning in the week prior to the start of Term 1, as the final date to submit a request for a change will be Friday, 5 February 2021.


Booklist information was communicated to students and families as part of the 2021 Subject Allocation notification process. Booklists can be accessed via www.campion.com.au using the login code "HFDY".  Whilst the booklist closing date was Friday, 11 December 2020, Campion will continue to accept orders over the summer break – however delivery for orders placed after Friday, 11 December 2020 are not guaranteed to be filled for the distribution day on Wednesday, 20 January 2021. A copy of the booklist can be found on the College website.

A limited number of VCE studies are using Edrolo as the primary resource in 2021. Where this is the case, students and parents are required to log in to their Edrolo account and make the purchase via the Edrolo Payment Portal. Families are asked to purchase these resources via the payment portal prior to Friday, 18 January 2021. Instructions about accessing Edrolo accounts and the Edrolo Payment platform were communicated in late November.

Holiday Home Study

All 2021 Year 8 – 10 students are recommended to read their English novels in preparation for their learning in 2021.

2021 Year 11 and 12 students must read their English novels over the break, and have also been provided with holiday home study in each of their allocated subjects. This home study was communicated to students during the VCE Orientation Program, and is available to students via the Daily Messages in Ave Learning, and via the links below:

2020 VCE Results

Our 2020 Year 12 students, as well as our Year 11 students undertaking a Unit 3/4 sequence, will be able to access their results via the VCE Results and ATAR Service from 7.00am on Wednesday, 30 December 2020. To access results via the website or app, students will need to create an account on the site before 5.00pm on Tuesday, 29 December 2020.

Well done to all of our students who have persevered and been exceptionally diligent in their studies in 2020, despite all of the challenges that the pandemic and remote learning have brought to their year.

As has been previously communicated to Year 12 students, Mrs Poppy Ibrahim (Careers Education Leader) will be available to provide pathways support to your daughter (by appointment) on Wednesday, 30 December 2020 (10.00am – 3.00pm). She will also be available via phone on Thursday, 31 December 2020 (by appointment). Ms Marian Kolta (College Psychologist) will also be available (by appointment) on Wednesday, 30 December 2020 (10.00am – 3.00pm) to support your daughter.

James Vella

Director of Faith and Religious Education

End of Year Masses

The end of the year was marked with a Mass for Years 10 and 11 on Friday, 27 November 2020. Our celebrant was Fr Tony Feeney.
The Mass was based in the St Clare Chapel and was a live event via MS Teams. One of the learnings from 2020 is to be grateful and this was recognised by a video put together by the Franciscan Leaders. That practice was also emulated by the Year 7 to 9 Franciscan Leaders in the gratitude video they compiled for their end of year Mass on Thursday, 3 December 2020 that was celebrated by Fr John Hannon, also in the Chapel via MS Teams.

The easing of restrictions meant that the end of year staff Mass was held in Francis Hall to allow for distancing. We are grateful to Fr Nhan Le for being our celebrant.

A key lesson in the Franciscan tradition is to become aware of the ways that God has gifted each of us – then put those gifts to use to build community. This is constantly on display at Ave. The College community got very creative throughout the course of this year to ensure that gifts were on display and the community was being built. It is also a very good way to stay healthy during a pandemic that has seen us separated.

The practice of a Christmas crib began from the ministry of St Francis with the people of Greccio. At Christmas we celebrate God-with-us. The power of the Franciscan charism is that it teaches us that each day we have the opportunity to celebrate God-with-us, through the people in our lives. Wishing you Christmas blessings of peace and joy.

Patrick Jurd

Director of Student Wellbeing

As we end the year we reflect on what we have accomplished in Student Wellbeing in 2020. It goes without saying that the year has provided us with unique challenges but also opportunities. The highlight of this year has been the way we have been able to navigate those challenges in partnership with families, carers, students and external agencies in order to provide the best possible support for our young people. Sometimes students see their challenges as a problem. In reality, this is a call for us to work together to help students progress, to learn from their choices and to take a more active role in their own outcomes. We see this as a privilege. We are privileged with the trust of our students and their families or carers. We take this trust very seriously and this has been the ethos behind the hard work of the Student Wellbeing Team and Mentor Teachers this year.

The challenges of the year have called on us to develop new ways of supporting students. We have reconstructed our Counselling Services Team to provide choice for students and a broad skill set that means that we can provide the best expertise for our students. We have also implemented Pulse, which allows students to check in and ask for help if they need it. Although Pulse will be closed for the summer break, this has given us a new insight into the way students are feeling on a weekly basis. As students have been at home for so much of the year, we have spent more time talking with parents, supporting them to support their daughters. This increased connection has been a highlight of the year.

The resilience and community that has been shown this year has exemplified the strength of our community and our commitment to the wellbeing of our students. We hope that the girls take the time over the holidays to invest in their wellbeing. This means creating positive habits that enhance their lives, developing positive relationships with the adults around them, seeking help when they need it and making the effort to do things for themselves. In doing this they develop their own belief that they are competent, productive individuals who make a substantial contribution to their world.

We look forward to seeing the contribution they will make in 2021! 

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

VCE Student Results

VCE students must register to access Unit 3-4 results online.

Year 11 students who have accelerated in a Unit 3/4 subject, can access their Study Score on Wednesday, 30 December 2020 at 7.00am, via the Results and ATAR Service online, or via the app.
Students must register by 5.00pm Tuesday, 29 December 2020 resultsandatar.vic.edu.au

To register, students will need to provide their name, VCE Student Number, date of birth and an email address. You will be asked to select a secure password when registering, this password can then be used for both the internet service and mobile app.

All students will receive a printed statement of VCE Study Scores from  VCAA.

All Year 12 students and parents/carers have received information on the results process, support and resources for the Change of Preference Period.

Considering a Career in Medicine?

Other than prerequisite subjects for direct medical entry in Australia and New Zealand, a UCAT test must be undertaken during Year 12 as part of the admission process. There are several private companies who offer commercial preparation programs – www.nie.edu.au/ and www.medentry.edu.au/ are examples. It is important to note that the universities who use the UCAT do not endorse any of these companies and you can access free preparation materials from the UCAT site at https://bit.ly/2tjIewA  

Coming up on Sunday, 20 December 2020, a private provider (NIE) is offering an intensive online and interactive UCAT Training Workshop. To register click here.

Career Exploration

School holidays are an opportunity for students to continue their online research of careers and courses. Students are encouraged to explore occupations, labour market growth and careers using ourAve Maria Careers website. On the homepage, students can search the VTAC site, which contains all Victorian university courses by entering a keyword ie. architecture, law, medicine, engineering. Career Bullseye Targets are a great way for students to see the careers that favourite subjects can lead into.

Latest newsletter articles available on our here.

Poppy Ibrahim

Junior DAV Debating

Debating in 2020 provided an opportunity for the Junior School cohort to unite after months of remote learning. However, the  program looked very different from previous years with the actual debates being held on Microsoft Teams.

During the program, we practised for three debate rounds, which were all spread across Term 4.  With many participants new to debating, it was a chance to push ourselves outside our comfort zones and ultimately try something new! Whilst having lots of laughs, and familiarising ourselves with new people, we were able to gain more knowledge about pressing issues and their significance within our society.  

The debate topics were: 

Round 1 - That schools should enforce consequences for students who participate in strikes during school hours.  

Round 2 - That we regret the use of participation awards. 

Round 3 - That we should incentivise people to relocate to the country.

We are proud to say that Ave Maria College won 7 of 8 Debates 

On behalf of the Junior School Debate Team, we would like to thank all the teachers that helped us prepare for each round, Mr Wood, Mrs Cullie, Ms Colbert, Ms Lake, Ms Mills and Ms Mamo. Thank you to Mrs Thompson and Mr Whicker who organised the DAV Program for the Junior School. Your constant assistance and words of advice are deeply appreciated. A special thank you and well done to the following students who participated in the Junior School Debating teams;

Year 7: Alisa Villlani, Maryliza Gagliardi, Movindhie Gunasekara, 

Charlotte Arnold and Tahlya Mardini.

Year 8: Abbey Kerr, Ellie Smith, Charlotte Rowbottom, Katrin Antakly, Erica Di Matteo, Amelie Schembri .

Alisa Villani and Charlotte Rowbottom

The College recognises that during 2020 many of our families businesses may have been impacted by COVID- 19. We also believe now more than ever, we need to support our community. As such Ave Maria College is launching a Community Business Directory. If your family has a business or service that they would like to include in the Ave Maria College Community Business Directory please complete the online form HERE. The directory will be published in early 2021 via the College website. It is a great opportunity to promote your business or service to the broader College community.  Any current family or past student of the College is welcome to advertise in the directory.  If you have any questions about the directory or issues with completing this form please contact the College via businessdirectory@avemaria.vic.edu.au or via phone on 9331 9300. 

Simon Everywhere

Ave Maria College is proud to introduce 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.

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.