Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 98 No 8• 5 November 2021


Loving God, as we journey through the month of November we offer our thoughts and prayers for our dearly departed. May they enjoy the fullness of Your promise. 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 Community, 

Farewell to the Class of 2021 

On Monday, 18 October 2021, the College said farewell to the graduating class of 2021. We did so a little differently this year again, with our Year 12 students onsite and the remainder of the College watching from the comfort of their homes. The day consisted of some fun with students adopting a crazy hair and sock themed day, an assembly which was live streamed to the College community, a mentor celebration and a farewell lunch. This will be followed up the Graduation Mass and Presentation to be celebrated on Tuesday, 23 November 2021. 

During the final assembly I shared the story of Michelle Newland with our Year 12 students, a young woman that is familiar to many of them. Michelle had not long finished her secondary school years and had nearly finished her first year at university, when she had a bad asthma attack that caused her brain to be deprived of oxygen for 10 minutes.  Michelle at 19 years of age suffered a traumatic brain injury that caused her to spend an extended period of time in intensive care where she was then required to relearn how to eat, dress, read, talk and walk.  It was a long and challenging journey for Michelle. It was through the love, care and support of her family. friends and volunteers that Michelle was able to work towards her recovery and eventually her dream. For Michelle her dream was clear, she wanted to live independently even though she was originally told this would not be possible.  Well Michelle did achieve her dream.  It did not happen overnight; it took her many, many years. It took hard work and commitment. 

I shared this story with our Year 12 students as we know that the last two years have been a challenge for them both In their learning, wellbeing and socially outside of school. In reality hardship takes on many forms, lasts for differing amounts of time and effects each person differently.  One thing that most people share in common when they experience hardship is they are most often surrounded by someone and something that helps guide and support them through their experience.  It is this support that helps give them the determination to overcome challenges and setbacks to succeed. 

This year’s theme celebrating St Clare is, ‘God is our guiding light’. We chose this theme because of the very important role that God had is St Clare’s life.  Within the explanation there is a section that reads ‘God guides us through the people and events in our lives’.  In the case of Michelle, the event was her traumatic brain injury and the people were her family and her circle of volunteers and friends. In addition to God, her family, friends and volunteers were her guides and supports following what was nearly a life ending experience and what was a life changing experience. 

Throughout their time at Ave, our Year 12 students, have been guided and supported by both their family and the Ave community. Each has helped them grow and develop as young people so that they could become the young adults that they are today.   

My challenge to our Year 12 student as the graduating class of 2021 has been not to focus on what has not been over the last two years but to celebrate the journey and opportunities that they have had.  With each journey there is always a beginning and end.  The end of a journey brings with it new opportunities. 

As a community we are proud of the achievements of the graduating class of 2021, their various successes in a wide range of pursuits, the way they embraced the challenges encountered, their positive attitude, willingness to give things a go, flexibility, resilience and courage.  Their growth throughout their journey at Ave and the way they have risen above the challenges over the last two years is to be commended. 

As they finish their formal years of education and their time at Ave, we hope that as they leave us, they continue to be brave and courageous young people who go on to live extraordinary lives, making a positive difference to those around them and the world in which they live. 

We wish them all the best in their final examinations and future endeavours. And in the words of St Francis of Assisi 

 “Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible”. 

I believe they each have a little bit of this impossible in them, so that if they really want to and they work hard enough toward it they will achieve it. 

Finally, I would like to share the following prayer for our Year 12 students 

God we bring before you our Year 12 students.  

Give them the gifts of wisdom, right judgement, knowledge and courage.  

Bless them with calm hearts and clarity of mind as they sit for their examinations. 

May they be affirmed in their efforts, and may they know that you are there with them.  

We pray that they will stay calm under pressure and work to the best of their ability.  

May they feel your loving presence in their lives, now and always, and may they be strengthened by the prayerful support of us, the Ave community 

We ask this through Christ Our Lord. 


Year 12 Student Leadership Team 2022 

As you may remember in the last newsletter it was my great honour to announce the College Co-Captains for 2022.  Since the time of this newsletter the College has finalised the remaining Year 12 Student Leadership appointments. It is with great pleasure that I share this information with you as part of this newsletter publication. 

College Captains:  Alexandra Evans and Majella Portelli  

Franciscan Captains: Ella-Grace Arnold and Simona Mussie Brhane 

Academic Captain: Hannah Masters and Alexandra Priestley 

Arts Captain: Caitlin Grech 


Clare House: Amelia Panaia and Sienna Zoccali 

Francis House: Emily Bock and Olivia Grande 

Helene House: Charley Hinton and Emily Sawaya 

Mary House: Ella Hill and Chiara Liberatore 

Each of these leaders will bring their own talents, aspirations and ideas to the team and their role.  We wish them all the best as they take up the very important positions of being student leaders at Ave Maria College. 

Arts and Technology Festival 2021 

Congratulations to all our senior students for the wonderful work submitted and displayed as part of the Arts and Technology Festival. The subjects represented include Media, Studio Arts, Visual Communication and Design, Drama, Music Performance, Applied Computing: Software Development and Product Design. The creative talent of our senior students is both inspirational and a cause for celebration. Well done to all! A special thank-you to the Arts and Technology staff who worked with our students to make this online event the success that is has been. In particular, I would like to thank Mrs Cheryl Kerin, Domain Leader for the Arts area, for her vision, mentorship and leadership over many years at the College. 

You can view the Arts and Technology festival HERE.

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

Tanya Hutton 

Deputy Principal

VCAA Examinations 

Our Year 12 cohort have finished formal classes and are almost halfway through their final examinations. All students completing a Unit 3/4 examination are to be congratulated on the way in which they have presented for each exam and approached the examination centre following COVIDsafe guidelines.  

The VCE Exams Navigator 2021 outlines all of the rules and regulations regarding the VCE examinations including a timetable that may be a useful reference for families. Students are reminded to allow plenty of time to arrive at school prior to the commencement of their examination and should be arriving 30 minutes prior to each examination. 

We wish our VCE students every success throughout the examination period and trust that they will continue to prepare themselves to perform at their very best on the day. Their consistency and dedication throughout the year (even through the most trying of circumstances) and most recently shown during the revision period has been very impressive. 

It has been wonderful to welcome all students back onsite this week for face-to-face learning. The focus of learning in Term 4 for our Year 7-9 students is to consolidate their learning – especially any areas that require additional focus, in order to best prepare them for their studies in 2022. Final assessments for Year 7-9 students will be completed in class over the next two weeks. 

A reminder that Thursday, 18 November 2021 is a Professional Practice Day for staff and this is a Student Free day for all students.  

Michelle Robertson

Assistant Principal - Students and Engagement

Why a Face to Face Education is Important

Many parents breathed a sigh of relief on hearing that all students would return to face-to-face learning. Staff have very much appreciated the parent partnership in ensuring that student’s learning experiences were the best they could be during remote learning. We thank parents for getting students out of bed and logged onto their classes over the last number of months. We know that this was not always easy as teenagers linked into their friends in the hours after their normal bed times. We thank parents for contacting teachers when issues arose.

This photo shows the strength of face-to-face teaching: socialisation, care for each other, awareness of each other and collaboration are evidenced through this everyday learning experience. Students are valuing learning and working together. Students have enjoyed being back with their friends and with their caring teachers. Being back into the face-to-face learning environment provides support for student’s educational and wellbeing needs. Whilst all these support services continued in remote learning, face-to-face allows for greater depth of support, greater comfort for students to be supported by their peers and staff, and greater body language messages to be picked up.

We are delighted to have face-to-face teaching available for all students and pray for those affected by the ongoing presence of Covid. We ask that parents continue to re-iterate the need for correct mask wearing indoors to protect all in our community and to have those conversations regarding the benefits of vaccination.

Leonie Rushbrook

Director of Faith and Religious Education

Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for October

Pope Francis’ prayer intention for October, in this video, asks all Christians to be missionary disciples, ‘being witnesses of a life that has the flavour of the Gospel’.

Remembrance Day Commemoration

On Thursday 11 November, Years 10-12 students are in their exam period. Students in Years 7 to 9 will have a service to commemorate Remembrance Day during their Mentor time on that day. More details closer to the date.

Patrick Jurd

Director of Learning and Pathways

Year 10 and 11 Examinations 

Year 10 and 11 examinations will be taking place between Wednesday, 10 November and Wednesday, 17 November 2021. Students and families should have received a copy of the timetable, along with a revision guide that will assist students with their preparations. 

 Students are encouraged to be studying from home where possible, and only attend the College when they have a scheduled examination. Students onsite will be supervised between exam breaks. 

2021 Subject Allocations and Booklists 

Students will have received confirmation of their 2022 Academic Programs via their College email addresses. This confirmation will include a link to the relevant year level booklist and change of subject documentation. Parents should have received an email and Skoolbag notification highlighting when the 2022 Academic Programs have been delivered to students to encourage the conversation at home. 

Limited opportunities for subject changes will be available (subject to timetable blocking, class availability and capacity limitations). 

Booklists are available through Campion (www.campion.com.au) using the code “RTDP".  The booklist closing date is Friday, 17 December 2021.   

2021 VCE Orientation Program 

Students in Years 10 and 11 will commence the VCE Orientation program from Friday 19 November. Students in Year 9 who will be studying a VCE subject as part of their 2022 Year 10 program will also participate in the program as fully as possible. 

All students are expected to attend the Orientation program as it will help students to start 2022 on the right foot. Critical VCE/careers information and wellbeing sessions will also be included as part of the program, as well an introductions/refreshers to Edrolo and Studiosity. Teachers will communicate holiday homework to students throughout the program.  

Parents are encouraged to discuss the Orientation Program with their daughters to ensure they are feeling supported in a key transition within their secondary education journey. 

James Vella


Director of Student Wellbeing

Supporting the Return to Onsite Learning 

The Australian Psychological Society has released some hints and tips for parents to help them support their teenagers in the return to onsite learning. The advice focuses on the return to routines and ensuring that you check in with your teenager at the end of the day. We have noticed that students are often tired with the return to onsite routines, partly as a result of getting up earlier but also because they are taking in more sensory stimulation in the school environment. We encourage students to take time for themselves at the end of the day, relaxing busy minds that have been highly stimulated throughout the day.  

If you would like to find out more about supporting your teenager/s in the return to school you can go to the School TV site which profiles a range of issues, such as managing overwhelm, anxiety and depression. You can also find a report by Michael Carr-Gregg as he discusses how parents can approach the return to school.  

On the School TV website you will also find a section on Positive Parenting. Positive Parenting has close links with the Visible Wellbeing framework that is used by the College to support our approach to Student Wellbeing. Visible Wellbeing is a strengths based approach created by Lea Waters through the University of Melbourne, evolving from her work in positive psychology. Her book, The Strength Switch, focuses on positive parenting and provides an insight into our approach to student wellbeing.

As we look to support our students returning, we know that being overwhelmed can result in unexpected behaviours. The additional stress can make it difficult for our students to operate at their best and this can make organisation and learning challenging. These final weeks of term are a good opportunity for students to acknowledge how they respond to stress. They can then work with parents, carers, Mentor Teachers or a member of the Student Wellbeing team to develop some strategies to help manage their stress so that they can clear the pathways for learning.  

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

Local Job Opportunities

Ave students 16 years and older, are invited to apply for casual summer work at Keilor East Leisure Centre (Belgravia Leisure). Applicants need to be customer friendly, reliable, and have good interpersonal and teamwork skills. Positions available are for Lifeguards and/or Swim Teachers. Free training is provided (Lifeguard, First Aid or Swim Teacher Certification). Hours will vary from 4 hours to 20 hours per week over the summer period. Students should apply early Simply The Best Summer Jobs belgravialeisure.com.au)

STEM Industry Immersion

On Wednesday, 10 November 2021, three Year 10 students will be participating in the 'Connecting Learning to Work' project which encourages female students to look for a career in a Science/Maths/Engineering/Digital Technologies profession. This will feature professional panellists who will be responding to questions from female students about prospective careers (similar in format to the ABC TV show Q&A).  It will be facilitated by Dr Jo Blannin, Senior Lecturer in Digital Transformations at Monash University and professionals from Cybersecurity, Robotics, Education and Coding.

Unit 3/4 VCE Subject Results (Year 11 and 12 Students)

Students have received the following information on dates and processes. All  students will receive a Statement of VCE study Scores from VCAA via post, but to view results online, students are required to:

Register now - until 5.00pm Wednesday, 15 December 2021, on the Result and ATAR website: https://resultsandatar.vic.edu.au/results/an/students/register.htm to view results online on Thursday, 16 December 2021, 7.00am. The Results and ATAR App can also be downloaded and used.

To register, students will need to provide their name, VCAA student number, date of birth, email address and create a 8 letter password. The password created will be valid for use in both the app and website.

For more FAQ see: https://resultsandatar.vic.edu.au/results/html/faqs.htm 

 Year 12 Transition information


The ATAR is released on Thursday, 16 December  2021 7.00am, together with VCE subject results via the Results and ATAR website. As per above, students must register to access their results and ATAR online.

Final Change of Preference

Students can change tertiary course preferences if desired, but final change of preference closes Monday, 20 December  2021 (12.00pm). Our Careers Advisers, Ms Viti and Mrs Ibrahim will be available on Thursday, 16 December 2021 for counselling.

Phone or email for an appointment careers@avemaria.vic.edu.au

All Universities/TAFE have 1:1 counselling hotlines and online service between 16 -19 December 2021. Contact details are here

Offers and enrolment

1. Friday, 14 January 2022, 2.00pm emailed to students & in VTAC account

2.  Enrolment = accepting the offer (due within a few days)

3.  Always accept your offer

  • MUST attend/or enrol online
  • pay students amenities fees
  • choose subjects
  • pay tuition fees or provide a Tax file number for HECS

4. Officially defer prior to enrolment date, as per University email instructions.

Latest newsletter articles available on our Ave Maria Careers website

Poppy Ibrahim

College Captains

Hi to the Ave Maria College Community,   

We are honored to have this opportunity to be your College Co-Captains and help lead Ave in 2022.   

As leaders, we look forward to working with the leadership team of each Year Level, and the staff to strengthen relationships and gain more insight on the perspectives of each cohort. This will allow us to act as a voice for the students and ensure that everyone feels heard.  

 Our goal for 2022 is to promote women’s empowerment and encourage the Ave girls to strive for their personal best with the support of the Ave community. We hope to create an environment where every student feels that they  belong and have the resources to thrive.    

Throughout the upcoming year, we hope to introduce more guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds to expose and inspire the College community. We will seek feedback from all the community on areas where we can make a positive difference. 

We are so excited to be working with the staff, students and families of  Ave  Maria College, and we look forward to everything 2022 has to bring.   

Majella Portelli and Alexandra Evans   

Around the College

Student Drop Off and Pick Up

When dropping off or picking up your daughter each day, please do so in a respectful manner.  Take care to not park over driveways, on nature strips or footpaths and in no standing areas.  The school drop off zone in Vida Street is a no parking zone during the designated times. 

Moonee Valley Council Officers will be patrolling the streets around the College.  Fines ranging from $83 to $165 will be issued for any offence that they detect.


Vida Street - Change of Traffic Conditions

The College has received notification from Ryman Healthcare that part of Vida Street will be reduced to one way traffic during working hours, 7.00am to 5.00pm, for the month of November.  The section of Vida Street between Buckley Street and Knight Street will be open for south bound traffic only.  Please seek alternative pick up locations.  Traffic delays will be expected.  Ryman have engaged additional traffic wardens to assist with the flow.

In addition the west side footpath will be closed at all times during November.  Students are requested to use the school crossing in order to cross Vida Street.

Simon Everywhere

SIMON Everywhere is a mobile app designed to increase parents' engagement with the College.

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.