Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 98 No 4• 21 May 2021


Loving God, may the feast of Pentecost remind us of the gifts You have given us and use them to build the Ave Maria community. 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

Dear Ave Maria College Community, 

Welcome to our first newsletter for Term 2.   

I invite you to read this edition of our newsletter to hear and see about what is happening around the College, in particular a show case of events recently held:

  • yLead Seminar
  • Year 7 Camp
  • Year 8 Wellbeing Day
  • Year 9 Outdoor Adventure Camp
  • Year 11 Faith Formation Day
  • Year 12 VCE and Careers Expo

I would also like to invite families and alumnae to nominate for the School Advisory Council, please see below for more information.

School Advisory Council – Call for Nominations 

As you will be aware at end of last year a new company known as Melbourne Archdiocese of Catholic Schools (MACS) was formed to govern Catholic schools in Melbourne.  This new and very important change commenced from 1 January 2021. For students, staff and families,  Ave Maria College will continue to serve and lead our community in the ways that you are already familiar with.  The MACS constitution makes it clear that the College, through the Parish Priest, Principal and School Advisory Council, will have responsibility to collaborate and continue to build up Catholic schools as faith-filled learning communities.   

The new School Advisory Council will commence from the start of Semester 2 this year.  The Schools Advisory Council will play an important role in supporting the work of the College and Principal by: 

  • Promoting the school’s Catholic ethos and culture. 

  • Articulating and enacting the School’s vision and mission. 

  • Promoting faith formation and development. 

  • Implementing school policies as required 

  • Giving advice to the Principal on issues such as enrolments, school improvement plans and enrolment trends. 

  • Engaging in discussion with the Principal about the annual school budget and other financial matters. 

  • Giving advice to the Principal about the College Master Plan. 

  • Capital resource planning and maintenance support to the Principal. 

Therefore, I would like to invite interested families and alumnae to nominate to join the School Advisory Council. There are currently three vacancies - two vacancies for current parents/carers and one vacancy for a member of the College Alumnae.  Interested persons are asked to complete an expression of interest via the following link.  Once received you will be invited to meet with the College Principal. 

Mother’s Day 

Sunday, 10 May 2021 marked the 6th Sunday of Easter which also coincided with Mother’s Day. In Sunday’s Gospel reading taken from John 15:9 – 17 Jesus tells his disciples to ‘love one another as I have loved you.’ Within the family context there are many opportunities to witness love in action.  This can include random acts of kindness, being generous towards others or stopping to assist a family member. There are times where we make sacrifices for each other and our families. These can be small, but sometimes these are much greater sacrifices. Each time we stop and put our families first, we are making a choice to serve and love others.  There is no greater love or devotion within a family than the love of a mother for her children.  

Mother’s Day 2021 was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with our mother’s or significant person and to celebrate their unconditional love and the gift of human life they have given each of us.  We are called to cherish this love and to cherish our mothers. This year’s celebration was particularly special given that we were unable to gather in person to celebrate Mother’s Day in 2020.  I hope that all our Ave mothers/significant people were able to have a special day with family and friends. 

Loving God, 

as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children, 

so, you give life and care for your Church. 

Bless these women, as we celebrate this day in their honour. 

May they be strengthened as Christian mothers. 

Let the example of their faith and love shine forth. 

Grant that we, their sons and daughters, may honour and appreciate them with a spirit of profound respect. 

 May the example of Mary, mother of Jesus, inspire them to live their vocation as Christian mothers and call their children to faith. Guide and protect them in challenging times and help them to continue to trust in you all the days of their life. 

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Many thanks to the Ave community for your continued support.  

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

Tanya Hutton 

Deputy Principal

Tutor Learning Program

In recognition of the disruption to students’ learning in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Victorian Government has invested $250 million in the Tutor Learning Initiative. The Tutor Learning Initiative enables schools across Victoria to engage qualified teachers as tutors to work with small groups of students and support their learning in literacy and numeracy. The initiative is consistent with Australian and International evidence, which shows that small group tutoring is one of the most effective educational interventions available to support students to progress in their learning.

The College has identified students from Years 7 -10 who may benefit from the small group tutoring support provided in our school through the Initiative. This is based on achievement data and other measures of learning, which indicate that a student’s expected learning progress may have been impacted by remote and flexible learning. A literacy and numeracy tutor have been employed to work with these students at the College for the remainder of 2021.

Year 7-10 Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences Survey

Many thanks to parents/carers who completed this survey last week. The feedback was very positive and constructive and will inform our planning of PTS Conferences in Semester Two and beyond.

Semester One Reports

Communication will be sent to all families this term regarding the Semester One reporting cycle. Semester One reports will be available to all families on Friday, 25 June 2021 via the Parent Access Module (PAM).

Michelle Robertson

Assistant Principal - Students and Engagement

Seeing is Believing: She Who Belongs. She Who Thrives.

It is very important that when we state at Ave Maria College “She Who Belongs. She Who Thrives” that it can be backed up on a daily basis with evidence across all Year Levels. In the last month this evidence continues to mount as students partake in the myriad of opportunities on offer at Ave. It is through belonging that each student grows in their resilience and understanding of self, and as such will thrive in their learning and in their interactions with others.

This is evidence from the student’s perspectives below of a number of events that have taken place this term:

Leonie Rushbrook

Year 7 Camp with Year 11 Peer Support Leaders: She Who Belongs. She Who Thrives.

The Year 7 students really looked forward to attending the Year 7 Camp. lt was such a great experience for students to get to know other each other and enjoy fun activities along the way. There was so much enthusiasm from all the Year 7 students participating in many challenging activities. Some of our favourites were the Flying Fox: a 200m long zipline over a small creek and trees. Other favourites included; the High Ropes, 9 Squares in-the-air, Hut Building, Rock Climbing and the Initiative Course. These activities really extended us and encouraged us to step outside our comfort zones.

It made for such an enjoyable and happy camp with smiles on everyones faces. One of the highlights of camp was the Peer Support Leaders. They created an entire variety show for everyone to enjoy and participate in and they provided a great support system for the students to know that they had someone they could look up too! Everyone looked super happy during this time, and we all had so much fun. They were so supportive, encouraging some to face their fears and try their best on new and exciting obstacles.

The Year 7 students really showed their inner gifts. The camp was a huge success.

Mila Pickett and Millicent van Diemen - Year 7 Level Captains

Year 8: Project Rockit: She Who Belongs. She Who Thrives.

On Thursday, 6 May 2021 the Year 8 cohort had the incredible opportunity to work with the Project Rockit team. Through creative activities and interactive talks we gained knowledge about bullying and its place in our society. Their vision is, a world where kindness and respect thrive over bullying, hate and prejudice and every young person is free to realise their own potential.

During our day we focused on learning ways to combat both face to face and cyber bullying. It has helped us grow as people and understand to the full extent how our words can affect others. We don’t always think about the reasons people act the way they do, but hearing answers from such inspiring role models has empowered us to search deeper inside everyone else and find the root of their problems, so we too can be a person someone else can look up to.

We participated in workshops that helped us improve our confidence in standing up for ourselves and what we believe is right. This led us to cooperate with each other and freely share ideas whilst also pushing us to step out of our comfort zone to benefit those around us. Together we are now a stronger Year Level that is more than capable of fighting injustice.

Alisa Villani - Year 8 Level Captain and Isabelle Spicer - Year 8 Franciscan Captain

Year 9 Camp: She Who Belongs. She Who Thrives.

From Wednesday, 21 to Friday, 23 April 2021, the Year 9 cohort attended Auscamp’s Survival Camp in Wensleydale.
For three days, we were immersed in nature, surrounded by tall trees, creeks and animals. We participated in various activities, such as hiking in and navigating our way through the National Park, surfing in Anglesea, team building exercises and adventure sports. We also encountered many interesting experiences, like sleeping in tents or tarps and carrying our belongings in large packs.

One of the activities that we were fortunate enough to participate in was surfing. When the bus arrived at Anglesea beach, the mesmerizing ocean was enough to make everyone forget about the chill in the air. Each person was given a sized wetsuit and a lesson on how to safely handle a surfboard in the water. In no time everyone was up and giving it a go. The time washed past so quickly that it only felt like moments since we had walked within the shallows of the water. Many people had never been surfing before; however, it was definitely an excellent experience.

Something else which particularly stood out was carrying all our belongings in large backpacks called 'packs'. Most of those who attended the camp had never needed to carry their belongings and resources, such as food, equipment, clothes, tents and sleeping bags, in packs, so it was very much a new experience. Although there were times where it was challenging, everyone truly displayed determination and perseverance as they hiked and walked throughout the forest trails.

The entire Year 9 cohort thoroughly enjoyed this camp, as it has created so many unforgettable memories. We highly recommend this to the incoming Year 9 students of 2022.

Alannah Boccabella and Anica Raspudic – Year 9 Year Level Captains

yLead Leadership Seminar : She Who Belongs. She Who Thrives.

The yLead seminar was nothing like I had ever experienced.  On the Wednesday, 28 April 2021 the Student Leaders of Ave Maria College were invited to an afternoon beyond their imagination. During this time, we weren't told what leaders were, we were shown. We were all towers in the room. Equals, collaborating to understand why we chose to become the leaders of 2021. 

Through the seminar we grew in our understanding of what it means to be a leader. We looked at what inspired us to do our best and the strength required to never give up. As a Year 7-12 group of leaders we met so many amazing leaders from different Houses, Year Levels and positions and together we worked to solve problems and come up with ideas that we may never have thought of ourselves. 

The range of activities we participated in were my favourites, as we connected our learnings and findings to the world around us. We listened and we acted.

I really enjoyed the seminar and learnt so many amazing things that made me want to be a leader even more than I had before. Being a leader is not about having a badge, it’s about how we use our talents to collaborate and serve others. 

Olivia Sadiq - Year 10 Franciscan Leader

Year 12: Thriving through Choices at the Victoria VCE and Careers Expo: She Who Belongs. She Who Thrives

The below Photo Gallery speaks for itself: Thriving Ave women investigating their futures careers.

2021 Victorian VCE and Careers Expo

Director of Faith and Religious Education

Year 11 Faith Formation Day

On Thursday, 29 April 2021, the Year 11 students had their Faith Formation Day. They had the privilege of listening to Michelle Newland, who shared her amazingly inspirational story of courage and perseverance during her recovery after sustaining a catastrophic brain injury. Additionally, we experienced Sister Therese’s eye-opening presentation about the organisation ACRATH (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans) and how they are working against the travesty of human trafficking, which is the Year Level Social Justice focus. At the conclusion of the day, the Year 11 cohort participated in a liturgy which centered around hope and gratefulness.

Overall, the day was exciting and very informative, and we thank all who helped bring the day together. '

Simona Mussie Brhane 11C and Ella-Grace Arnold 11B

Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI)

In order to get the most accurate picture of the Catholicity of the College, we complete the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) survey every four years. The data from those surveys are part of the planning for the upcoming School Improvement Plan (2023-2026).

Thank you to those parents who have already completed the survey. Please complete the survey no later than Monday, 24 May 2021.

1. Access the surveys at www.ecsi.site/au/user/

2.Enter the case-sensitive password Ghj654 and click login.

3.If you’re a new user: Click the New user button.

4. Enter the College Survey Access Code aASY42

Sherene Hassan

Sherene Hassan from the Islamic Museum of Australia came and spoke to Year 11 students on Friday, 7 May 2021. She taught us about how she is Muslim and what that really entails. Sherene gave us an insight into her culture and what their different traditions mean to them and how it represents showing their love to Allah. She also broke down stereotypes about various things such as terrorism, like the 9/11 terrorist attack a few years ago, she explained how that impacted her day-to-day life. I can speak on behalf of Year 11 in saying that listening to Sherene was truly insightful and inspiring, we all took away so much from her time with us.

Tara Walsh 11D

Director of Learning and Pathways

Semester Two Commencement Date

Semester Two will commence at the College on Monday, 21 June 2021 for all Year Levels. 

Change of Subject Requests for Semester Two

Students in Years 9, 10 and 11 are welcome to make requests to change a subject for Semester Two by completing the Change of Subject Request Form (found on Daily Messages on Ave Learning). Students and parents/carers are reminded that whilst we always do our best to accommodate requests, some cannot be granted due to class size limits or timetabling constraints.

Unit 1 Mid-Year Examinations

Unit 1 Mid-Year Examinations are taking place from Thursday, 10 June to Thursday, 17 June 2021 (inclusive).
Students in Year 11 and those Year 10 students who are undertaking accelerated studies are expected in attendance throughout the period. Some examination clashes are present within the timetable, and students will be advised of an alternative time that they will be required to complete the examination. Class teachers are also in the process of preparing students for these examinations.  

The Examination Timetable, along with further information and FAQs, will be communicated to students and parents/carers on Friday, 21 May 2021.

General Achievement Test (GAT)

The VCAA General Achievement Test (GAT) is taking place on Wednesday, 9 June 2021 for all students currently studying a Unit 3 and 4 subject. This will take place between 10.00am and 1.15pm. Students should aim to arrive at the College approximately 45 minutes beforehand. Further information will be communicated to parents/carers over the next week.

 Studiosity - Reminder

Students across all Year Levels have access to Studiosity, the online study help platform designed to complement the work of your child’s subject teachers. As part of this platform provided by the College, students have access to the Writing Feedback and Connect Live services.

  • Writing Feedback provides students with feedback about their writing structure, as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation.
  • Connect Live allows students to seek assistance from subject specialists in English, Mathematics, Science, and general study skills.

Students can access Studiosity via Ave Learning >> Learning Areas >> Student Resources >> Studiosity.

Students can access this service on demand at any time outside of school hours (subject to some limitations). Response times on the platform are indicated to students prior to submitting work for feedback or asking questions so that you are not waiting aimlessly for a response from the study specialists.

For more information, please visit this LINK or watch this brief VIDEO.

 James Vella

Director of Student Wellbeing

Visible Wellbeing

We have been privileged to have Lea Waters work with our staff to introduce the foundations of Visible Wellbeing and to introduce the first module: Strengths.

As you may recall, from previous newsletters, Visible Wellbeing is an evidence-based framework. Lea described the essence of the framework as making the invisible visible. We are learning about how to read behaviour, tone and mood in the classroom. In reading these indicators of wellbeing we are better able to understand the wellbeing of the people we are working with. Visible Wellbeing also supports a strengths-based approach, emphasizing working with each other’s strengths in order to work at our best.

Lea described emotional or psychological fitness as being similar to physical fitness. She talked about improving wellbeing by working consistently on developing those protective factors. This includes healthy relationships, developing a growth mindset, practicing good habits and investing in self-care regularly. Teachers are working on those habits and self-care strategies by incorporating brain breaks into the classroom routine. This allows students a pause during lessons to clear their minds and take a short break. Part of our aim is to help students to be aware of their own mental health throughout the day, to be able to build the skills to manage positive mental health and to practice this regularly. Through regular practice under low-stress conditions, students are better able to draw on those skills during high-stress conditions (such as assessments or moments of conflict). We practice taking a pause and a break so that students become used to managing their emotions using these tools. Students have reported that they feel clearer and more energized after a brain break, which leads to a better learning experience.  Students may recognize Stillpoint, when we pause for a reflective minute each day, as being connected with the practices encouraged in Visible Wellbeing.

This highlights the importance of students engaging in self-care activities at home and ensuring that they get enough physical, mental and emotional rest. Routines and structures can help in this, but it is also important that students learn to read their own emotions and identify strategies to help manage those emotions. 

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

National Careers Week

This week we celebrated National Careers Week at Ave. Our theme was ‘Careers – Discover and Explore’.

Our Year 12 students kicked off the events last Friday, 14 May 2021 by attending the VCE and Careers Show at Melbourne Showgrounds, where they engaged with over 70 tertiary and industry exhibitors and attended VCE seminars.

The aim of National Careers Week is for students to participate in positive career development activities and have career conversations. The highlight of the week was the Ave Alumnae Panel for Senior School students where they were inspired by Ave Alumnae guests from various graduating years, working in different industries and careers.

Other activities included throughout the week included:

  • Daily Quiz Questions and Prizes – many Year 7, 8 and 9 students visited the Careers Centre to collect prizes.
  • Mentor Period Careers Activities – interactive classes and using our Ave Careers website
  • Social Media Alumnae Profiles – families are encouraged to follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter
  • Subject Specific Careers – discussed in classes this week

For upcoming events and updates, click here

Poppy Ibrahim

Around the College

Education Perfect Languages Championships 2021

This year, language students at the College had the opportunity of participating in the Education Perfect Languages Championships. As a collective, the 318 participants answered 302,988 questions and amassed a total of 485 hours of online learning. During the competition, students were tested on language skills which included listening, reading, writing, dictation and grammar tasks. After the week-long competition and the great work of the Ave Maria students, the College was ranked 5th for Italian in Australia out of 779 schools, and 13th for Indonesian in Australia out of 724 schools.

Running concurrently with the Education Perfect Languages Championships, were the Ave Championships, pitting one language class against another in the running for the elusive pizza luncheon, or for the individual voucher. There was considerable competition between the classes but there was also lots of language learning. At the end of the championships, the 7B Italian class came up trumps winning the pizza luncheon, whilst Lauren Facciolo, Year 10, won the $50 voucher, after she answered a staggering 35,008 questions, amassing 15,522 points. Lauren is also to be congratulated for being placed in the top 0.2% of 208,000 competitors from around the world. In addition, another student who just missed out on being the Ave Maria champion was Erica Di Matteo, Year 9 who also ranked in the top 0.2% of 208,000 competitors, and achieved 14,214 points.

Whilst all students who took part contributed to the overall school ranking, the following  students are to be acknowledged for achieving Elite, Emerald, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Credit Awards in the Language Perfect World Championships. 

Marisa D'Astoli-Carinci - Domain Leader Languages

Lauren FaccioloEliteGagani LokukalugeBronzeJessika DuryeaCredit
Erica Di MatteoEliteOlivia LulicBronzeAbbey KerrCredit
Anna NguyenEmeraldZoe NgBronzeGrace KulykCredit
Isabella TarantoGold Josie NguyenBronzeJessica LimaCredit
Alissia BellistriSilverHollie RasoBronzeLara MalvasoCredit
Ava FabianiSilverIsabelle SpicerBronzeChloe OrtegaCredit
Jocelyn O'KeefeSilverOlivia TurczyniakBronzeMadison PimpiniCredit
Taylor AndronacoBronzeLucy TurnerBronzeDaniella ScambiatterraCredit
Anya AnthonyBronzeStephanie AllawiCreditMaja StajewskiCredit
Olivia BasileBronzeOlivia BacakCreditAlexia VourgaslisCredit
Mikayla ConidiBronzeLucy BarbutoCreditAine WhitingCredit
Isabella Del ReBronzeAnnjali BhardwajCredit
Dominique ImbesiBronzeEmily CarterCredit

2021 House Athletics Carnival

Helene Library Book Corner

Does your daughter love all things books?

Helene Library’s co-curricular Book Corner is back this year and we are looking for new members. 

Book Corner is a casual gathering of students across all Year Levels to discuss book themes, plots characters and villains.

Students are encouraged to bring their lunch, bring a friend and their passion of reading.

Book Corner meets twice a term, next gathering on Tuesday, 8 June 2021.

Laura Pugliese - Helene Library Leader

Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) On School Students with Disability

The National Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) counts the number of students who receive additional adjustments or “help” at school because of a disability. The NCCD helps governments plan for the needs of students with disability.

For further information regarding NCCD please refer to the attached files.

NCCD Information Fact Sheet for Parents - English

NCCD Information Fact Sheet for Parents - Vietnamese

NCCD Information Fact Sheet for Parents - Arabic

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.