Ave Maria College

Newsletter - Volume 98 No 9• 17 December 2021


A Franciscan Prayer for Christmas

In turning on the light of the Christmas tree,

we wish for the light of Christ to be in us.

Let there be light in the soul, in the heart,

let there be forgiveness to others,

let there be no hostilities or darkness.

Let there be the beautiful light of Jesus.

May there be light be in our hearts, in our families, in our cities.

And now, with this wish, let us turn on the light.


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

From the Principal

Fireworks Exhibition

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 City Council's annual Art and Design Award as part of the Fireworks Exhibition held at  the Incinerator Gallery. Congratulations to the following students from Year 11 and 12 who currently have their work on display as part of this exhibition. 

Studio Arts:

Alanah Grcic-Tenner (drawing)

Alyssa Africano (drawing)

Lucy Turner (acrylic painting)

Michaela Vimba (oil painting)

Monica Trang (B/W lino print)

Natalie Cachia (Paper collage)


Elisha Andres (digital photography)

Mya Mollica (digital photography)

Rachel Nguyen (digital photography)

Product Design and Technology:

Taylor McCarthy (garment construction)   

The outstanding folio works of these students are wonderful for both them and their teachers who have worked with them to produce work under the challenging circumstances of 2021.  Their work can be viewed at the Incinerator Gallery online from Friday, 10 December 2021 to Sunday, 16 January 2022.

Additionally, I would like to acknowledge Mya Mollica who has received the Mayoral Award for Art and Alanah Grcic-Tenner who received the overall Fireworks Award for Art. Congratulations is extended to both students.

Ave Maria Community Awards

During the last week of term, the College held the Ave Maria Community Awards (ACAN) as a combined onsite online event. As always, this night was a wonderful celebration of student achievement in a range of pursuits – academic, creative, artistic, sport and social justice, recognising the many ways that young people can excel and reach their own personal best. Students who received awards were recognised for the following characteristics in their chosen area:

·       Personal organisation, self-reliance and resilience

·       Participation, effort and contribution

·       Enthusiasm and passion in a particular area

·       Consistency in effort

·       Creativity and originality

·       Commitment, dedication and perseverance

·       Personal growth

·       Pursuit of excellence

I would particularly like to acknowledge the recipients of our most prestigious awards of the night.

The Helene De Chappotin Award, is awarded to one student and is open to all students at the College. The award acknowledges exceptional commitment to the dimensions of the College Mission Statement: Faith, Caring and Learning. This award symbolizes the motto 'striving for truth through love'. The criteria for this award includes academic effort; participation in faith and social justice activities; displayed leadership qualities; participation in and membership of different groups operating within the College; and a general commitment to and support for the College charism.  Congratulation to Talia Miatello from Year 12 who is the 2021 recipient of this highly regarded student award.

The St Francis Staff Service Award was awarded to Hazel Gard, a long serving and well-respected staff member of the College. Hazel was recognised for her involvement in multiple areas of the College; how she has contributed positively by being an excellent role model; for going beyond what is recognised as one’s normal professional duties; and for contributing positively to the ongoing moral and wellbeing of community members. Congratulations Hazel!

I am sure that you will join me in congratulating all the award winners for which a list has been included in this newsletter in the article prepared by Ms Joanna Hammer, Assistant Principal (Community and Growth). 

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.  I particularly, would like to thank the following staff who will be leaving us at the end of this year – Mr Cameron McNamara, Mrs Clare Meyeroff, Mr Danny Yin, Miss Hayley Gossow, Mrs Cinzia Stojkovich, Mr Claude Ferrarese, Miss Neve Lesnjak, Mr Justin Ossher, Ms Marian Kolta, Mr James Vella and Ms Tanya Thornton. Each of these staff members has committed themselves to wanting the best for students at this College and ensuring they have received the best education possible during their time with us.  We thank them sincerely for their commitment and efforts, we wish them all the best in their new endeavours.

Thank-you to members of the College Leadership Team – Mrs Michelle Robertson (Deputy Principal – Learning, Staff and Operations), Ms Joanna Hammer (Assistant Principal – Community and Growth), Ms Leonie Rushbrook (Assistant Principal – Students and Engagement),  Mr Patrick Jurd (Director of Faith and Religious Education), 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 modelled throughout 2021.

As always, I extend the hand of gratitude to the Ave community for your continued support and I wish you all a safe, relaxing and blessed Christmas with family and loved ones.

As Christmas approaches it is a time where God comes to us in person when his son Jesus Christ is born. The story of his birth is one of love, joy, kindness and simplicity. As we celebrate the birth of Jesus who came to show us how to live, let us place our trust in God and look to him when we think about what this means for each of us and our families.

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

 God the father, who sheds light on the world.

Give us strength this season of Advent.

Prepare us to be better Christians.

Let the Holy Spirit give us courage and guide us in our actions and prayers.

Lord, we ask you to make your son Jesus our example and inspiration.

Let the Virgin Mary accompany us and carry us in her arms.

And let the saints be our fellow travellers along the way.

We ask this of you with open arms and willing hearts.


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

Tanya Hutton

Deputy Principal

To all our wonderful students, parents and carers,

I take this opportunity to congratulate all students on their resilience and tenacity throughout 2021 in their learning endeavours. Thank you also to all parents/carers who supported their daughters throughout this year, particularly during extended lockdowns and online learning. As a learning community, we can all be proud of what we have achieved and we look forward with hope and enthusiasm to 2022!

Information regarding classes for 2022 will be released to students in the week beginning Monday, 31 January 2022.

I wish you all the peace and joy of the Christmas seasons and rich blessings for a wonderful New Year!

Michelle Robertson

Assistant Principal - Community and Growth

Academic and Community Awards Night

The Academic and Community Awards Night (ACAN) is the annual celebration of achievement by staff, students, and community of Ave Maria College. This event is our celebration of excellence and high performance in a number of areas – College Spirit, Sporting and Cultural contributions, Community recognition and, of course, Academia. 

Well done to all award recipients.

Ave Maria College Community Award Recipients

  • Helene de Chappotin: Talia Miatello
  • St Francis Staff Service Award: Hazel Gard

Future Leaders Awards

The Future Leaders Awards recognize three students, one from the Junior School, Years 7-8, one from the Middle School, Years 9-10 and one from the Senior School, Years 10-12, who display outstanding potential to be a student leader. The criteria for this award are:

-       A high level of self-reliance and resilience

-       An outstanding display of leadership skills, participation and involvement in the life of the College community

-       An effective ambassador for the College in all areas of school and community life

-       A series of strong academic results in all subject areas

-       And have not held a major student leadership position previously.

  • Years 7-8:  Natasha Castello
  • Years 9-10:  Chloe Pimpini
  • Years 11-12:  Kristen Zammit

Spirit of Ave Award

The Spirit of Ave award was formulated to recognize those students who exemplify what we consider to be a model Ave Maria College student. A student who others look to for inspiration and guidance, a student whose attitude and behaviour reflects the things that we value, a young woman who is ready to embrace the world equipped with the qualities and skills to deal with life’s challenges.

The criteria for the Spirit of Ave Maria College Awards are:

-       Dedication to all aspects of learning

-       Active participation in and support for co-curricular activities

-       Exemplary conduct

-       Qualities and attitudes which reflect the College Mission.

  • Year 7: Grace Kulyk
  • Year 8: Siena Zampogna
  • Year 9: Isabella Ewing
  • Year 10:  Jade Dalla-Fontana
  • Year 11:  Jacinta Ragogna
  • Year 12: Hannah Dau

Horizons Rising to the Challenge Award

  • Ava Panopoulos (Year 11)

Major Community Award Recipients

The College is proud of its association with the wider community, and we welcome the opportunity to work in partnership with local businesses and large organisations. 

Each year there are student awards provided by external organisations and we are excited that members of our community are again recipients of some of these:

AMPOL All-rounder

  • Alissia Bellistri (Year 12)

Moonee Valley Foundation Award

  • Marina Nawar (Year 12)
  • Megan Burke (Year 12)

Kwong Lee Dow Scholarship (Melbourne University)

  • Elizabeth Curtolo (Year 10)

ADF Future Innovators Award

  • Alice Hengel (Year 10)
  • Abbey Nagle (Year 12)

ADF Long Tan Award – Leadership and Teamwork

  • Lauren Cunnington (Year 10)
  • Abbey Nagle (Year 12)

House Awards

House Co-Curricular Award the student who earns the most points for co-curricular (non-sporting) activities

  • Grace Kulyk (Year 7)
  • Charize Bacarac (Year 7)

House Sports Award – the student who earns the most points for sporting co-curricular activities

  • Natasha Costello (Year 8)

House All-round Champion – the student who accumulates the most individual house points; must earn points for both sporting and non-sporting co-curricular activities

  • Natasha Costello (Year 8)

Academic Awards – Year Level Honour Roll

The Year Level Honour Roll recognises the top 5 students in each year level who have achieved excellent results across their full academic program

Year 7 Honour Roll: Charlize Bacarac, Alana Bozzo, Gloria Crnov, Isabella Del Re, Mila Pickett

Year 8 Honour Roll: Charlotte Arnold, Tahlya Mardini, Jocelyn O’Keefe, Maya Touma, Ruth Waring

Year 9 Honour Roll: Isabella Ewing, Abbey Kerr, Anica Raspudic, Renata Raspudic, Ellie Smith

Year 10 Honour Roll: Alice Hengel, Emma Lemke, Olivia Malvaso, Julia Vendramini, Stella Xie

Year 11 Honour Roll: Olivia Cartwright, Isabella Dogovski, Alexandra Priestley, Kate Stephens, Gabrielle Whiting

Below is a list of every student who received an academic or community award in 2021.  Many students listed were recognised for one or more high achievement award in one or more subjects.  In all 178 students were acknowledged at our 2021 Academic and Community Awards night.

Abbey Nagle

Abbey Kerr

Adriana Dinoto

Aine Whiting

Alana Bozzo

Alana Centofanti

Alannah Boccabella

Alessia Palazzolo

Alexandra Murphy

Alexandra Papadopoulos

Alexandra Priestley

Alexia Vourgaslis

Alexia Zhang

Alexis Stephanou

Alice Hengel

Alisa Villani

Alissia Bellistri

Aliza Hall

Allegra Carnovale

Alyssa Liberatore

Alyssa Caruso

Amelia Gray

Amelia Zarb

Amelia Belcastro

Amelie Farmer

Amelie Schembri

Amy Marazita

An Hoang

Andrea Hrkac

Andrea Evdokimou

Angelina Ngo

Anica Raspudic

Annabelle Alissa

Anna  Jackson

Anya Anthony

Ari Weidman 

Asha Brown

Ava Panopoulos

Ava Newman

Caitlin Attard

Cara Brown

Cate Ciccarelli

Charley Hinton

Charli Kennedy

Charlize Bacarac

Charlotte Arnold

Charlotte Rowbottom

Chelsea Atkins

Chiara Hutchinson

Chloe Huygen

Chloe Pimpini

Christina Occhino

Dahlia Cambon

Ebony Rivera

Eliana Daoud

Elizabeth Curtolo

Ella Colomer

Ellie Smith

Elly Mercieca

Emily Ewing

Emily Hicks

Emily Dogovski

Emily Ronald

Emily Ribera

Emma Lemke

Erica Di Matteo

Ethnie Lobo

Gabrielle Whiting

Georgi Hinton

Georgia Flajnik

Georgia Glavas

Giulia Kopievsky 

Gloria Crnov

Grace Kulyk

Grace Colson

Grace Mulgrew

Hannah Masters

Hazel Gard

Indiana Cambon

Ines Hrkac

Isabella Ewing

Isabella Del Re

Isabella Taranto

Isabella Pernice

Isabella Chiaravalle

Isabella Jessen

Isabella Mingaars

Isabella Cipolla

Isabella Dogovski

Jacinta Ragogna

Jade Dalla-Fontana

Jade Howell

Janice Draim

Jennifer Nguyen

Jessie Luu

Jessika Duryea

Jocelyn O'Keefe

Jordyn Vasiliadis

Josie Nguyen

Julia Vendramini

Kaitlyn Chen

Kate Stephens

Kiara Hagidimou

Kiara Cardinale

Kristen Zammit 

Kristen Hagidimou

Lara Peric

Lauren Cunnington 

Lauren Facciolo

Lauren Buttigieg

Lauren Harb

Lindsay Cecil

Loredana Gattellari

Lucy Harrop

Mackensie Wilson

Madison Phillips

Maia Culina

Manuela Cano Gomez

Marina Nawar

Maya Touma

Megan Burke

Mia Vari

Mia Rillstone

Mia White

Mia Bacci

Mia Darmanin

Mia Papadopoulos

Mia Di Natale

Mila Pickett

Milla McManus

Millicent van Diemen

Monique Lafauci

Movindhie Gunasekara

Nardine Tadros

Natasha Castello

Niamh Nelson

Olivia Basile

Olivia Bacak

Olivia Turczyniak

Olivia Panaia

Olivia Ferrali

Olivia Malvaso

Olivia Mangion

Olivia Sadiq

Olivia Cartwright

Paisley Brooker

Piper Mollica

Renata Raspudic

Roache Meilak

Ruby Fitzgerald

Ruth Waring

Sabine Contini

Scarlett Colson

Shenuki Silva

Siena Zampogna

Sienna Inguanti

Sienna Scodella

Sienna Athaide

Sienna Cadee

Sofia Valerio

Stella Mona

Stella Xie

Stephanie Allawi

Stephanie Hensley

Tahlia Miatello

Tahlia Goodwin

Tahlia Castello

Tahlya Mardini

Talia La Rocca

Tiana Marrocco

Tylah Bell

Viola Antakly

Zoe Ng

Jo Hammer

Class of 2021 Graduation

On Tuesday, 23 November 2021 the Class of 2021 was finally able to come together to celebrate the conclusion of their formal education.  After initial plans for graduation celebrations in Week 3 were postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions, we were so happy that we could welcome all Year 12 students back on site for a wonderful graduation event.  Beginning with official photos in Academic Gowns, followed by some social mingling and catch-ups,  staff and students celebrated mass with Father Tony Feeney.  Following our Eucharistic celebration the formal graduation ceremony took place, as each student was presented with their graduation certificate by Ms Tanya Hutton, College Principal.  The formalities concluded with a heartfelt speech for the Class of 2021 Valedictorian, Olivia Dib. The rest of the evening was spent enjoying delicious food from Yum Catering and enjoying video montages of the students time at Ave, including a photo book of their Year 7 photos to remind them just how far they have come.

Whilst it wasn’t our usual celebration, like most events during Covid-19 we were able to livestream the event for parents and made sure they weren’t left out of the celebrations, offering them a small grazing box from local caterer TaylorMade.
The Piazza and Hall were decorated with coloured lights and balloons to create a magical atmosphere fitting for such a joyous event. 
We wish the Class of 2021 the very best as they embark on new adventures and endeavours.

Jo Hammer

Assistant Principal - Students and Engagement

During this time of Advent as we prepare for the birth of Christ, the very apt words of St Teresa of Avila always come to mind:

“Christ has no body but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,

Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.”

I saw much evidence of the hands and feet of Ave staff and students working to ensure that other people’s lives are viewed with compassion and support though the Vinnies food collection. Many items were collected and presented to Vinnies to ensure that others less fortunate are supported through Christmas.

Students finished the year on a joyful note at the Academic and Community Awards night (ACAN) and at the End of Year Assemblies where achievements and efforts were celebrated. Staff are to be commended for their commitment, patience and persistence in a year of four lockdowns. They continued to strengthen connections and ensure that mental health was central in all their interactions with students. Students are to be congratulated for the impact they have had on encouraging each other, and for putting their best efforts into their learning. Every time they returned though our gates was a celebration in itself of wanting to be back on site where they belonged and where they were able to be with their friends.

I thank the Sub-School Leaders: Joanne Thompson, Melanie Zahra, Tania Stangherlin, the Director of Student Wellbeing: Natalie Meddis and the Counselling Team of Cara McMahon and Marian Kolta for their unwavering support of all students.

May the joy of Christmas be with you all,

Leonie Rushbrook

Director of Learning and Pathways

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 10 and 11 examinations and VCE Orientation Programs were well attended, with students remaining engaged right until the very end of term.

Further to this I would also like to congratulate the Class of 2021 on their determination and resilience to achieve their VCE over the past few years.

2022 Subject Allocations

2022 subject allocations were communicated to students in mid-November.

There will be a short period at the commencement of the 2022 academic year where Year 11 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. Unfortunately requests for changes to subjects with academic programs for Year 9 and 10 are not able to be accommodated.

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, 4 February 2022.


Booklist information was communicated to students and families as part of the 2022 Subject Allocation notification process and a follow-up communication to parents. Booklists can be accessed via www.campion.com.au using the login code "RTDP".  Whilst the booklist closing date was Friday, 17 December 2021Campion will continue to accept orders over the summer break – however delivery for orders placed after Friday, 10 December 20210 are not guaranteed to be filled for the distribution day on Friday, 21 January 2022. 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 2022. 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, 14 January 2022. Instructions about accessing Edrolo accounts and the Edrolo Payment platform were communicated in late November.

Holiday Home Study

All 2022 Year 8 – 10 students are recommended to read their English novels over the holiday period in preparation for their learning in 2022.

2022 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 channel in the 2022 VCE Orientation teams.

James Vella

Director of Student Wellbeing

At the end of a challenging year, it is important to use the time wisely to rest and recharge. In order to feel fully rested students will need more than sleep. There are 7 types of rest that will help our young people to make the most of the break and to feel ready for the challenges of 2022.

1.       Mental rest – we need to give our brains a break from mental stimulation and overload.

2.      Sensory rest – unplugging from sensory input.

3.      Creative rest – taking time to create without worrying about the end result.

4.     Emotional rest – processing your emotions and allowing yourself to feel them without judgement.

5.      Social rest – spending time alone or limiting the time you spend in social environments that drain your energy. Gravitate towards those who recharge you.

6.      Spiritual rest – connecting with something beyond the physical and mental.

7.      Physical rest – sleeping and allowing your body to slow down or pause to relax.

We encourage our students to be deliberate and mindful about the ways that they recharge. By identifying the types of rest they need, in order to take a holistic approach to rest, they are more likely to be effective in fully relaxing and recovering from the challenges and stresses of the year.

The Student Wellbeing Team wishes you all many types of rest this coming Christmas and we look forward to seeing our returning students in 2022, recharged and re-energised!

Natalie Meddis

Careers and Pathways

Unit 3/4 VCE subject results (Year 11 and 12 students)

The ATAR was released yesterday (Thursday, 16 December 2021), together with VCE subject results via the Results and ATAR website. For any FAQ see: https://resultsandatar.vic.edu.au/results/html/faqs.htm   

All students will receive a statement of VCE study scores from VCAA via post, from Monday, 20 December 2021. Only students who have applied for courses through VTAC, will receive an ATAR statement in the mail.

Year 12 Final Change of Preference

After receiving results and ATAR, students may change tertiary course preferences, but final changes must be entered on the VTAC website by Monday, 20 December 2021, 12.00pm Our Careers Advisers, Ms Viti and Mrs Ibrahim, will be available on Friday, 17 December 2021 on
0429 633 600, or careers@avemaria.vic.edu.au

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

 Offers and Enrolment

·       Offers are emailed to students and are available in VTAC accounts on Friday, 14 January 2022, 2.00pm.

·       Enrolment = Accepting the offer (due within a few days)

·       Always accept the offer

  • You MUST attend/or enrol online
  • Pay the student amenities fees
  • Choose your subjects
  • Pay tuition fees, or provide a Tax file number for HECS
  • Officially defer prior to enrolment date, as per University email instructions.

Poppy Ibrahim

Around the College

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.