Mount Eliza Secondary College  ​ 'Educated for Excellence - Prepared for Life’  

17 December 2019
Issue Eight
Mount Eliza Secondary College
03 9787 6288
Canadian Bay Road
Mount Eliza, Victoria, 3930



As we come to the end of another year, I feel there is much to celebrate.

In 2019 we have been designated as an ‘Influence’ school by the Education Department, reflecting the fact that we are a high performing school, and also one which has shown continued improvement across the last three years. This is something to be very proud of, as very few secondary colleges across the state, and certainly none in our local areas have this status. It has come about through a relentless focus on the development of the quality of classroom teaching and learning, and our staff are to be congratulated for their dedication and willingness to continue to learn as professionals.

We are also very proud to celebrate our Authorisation as an International Baccalaureate World School. We are now the only government school in Victoria delivering the Middle Years Program, and this allows us to provide an internationally recognised standard of teaching and learning, which is firmly focused on the global perspective that is so relevant and necessary for young people heading toward the world of work.

Our VCE students have just received their results, and I would like to congratulate Violetta Minzenmay who is our Dux with an ATAR score of 97.55. We also had 27% of our students with an ATAR of 80+ and almost half received an ATAR of 70+. Well done to the class of 2019 and their teachers.

I would also like to take this opportunity to alert you to some important changes to the way we work, which will commence next year.

The Victorian Government has introduced a total ban on mobile phones commencing from the beginning of the 2020 school year. Whilst we have not allowed phones in class for some time, this policy includes recess and lunchtimes. We know that this will be a challenge for some of our students, and seek the support of parents by not contacting students between 8.45am and 3pm. In the case of emergencies, the office will convey messages to students, and other matters such as making pick up arrangements can be sent as messages and viewed by students when they finish class. As is already the case, all students will be provided with secure locker storage including combination locks. If students are seen using phones during the school day they will be confiscated and available for collection at the end of the day. This will also be the case for a second confiscation, but for the third, a parent must collect the phone. The full policy is available on the college website under Publications/Policies/Mobile Phone Policy.

We are also introducing a Learning Redemption Program which will run each Monday afternoon from 3pm until 4pm. Student feedback has indicated that students struggle in their senior years of schooling, because the firm expectations and rigid time lines that are expected, are not experienced in the earlier years. This program will allow us to continue with high expectations for learning effort, and will mean that any student who has:

  • not used class time productively,
  • who has submitted work of a quality which is not their best
  • who has not submitted work required
  • or whose work is submitted late will attend the Learning  Redemption Program on the Monday of the following week.

A team of teachers will be on hand to support them, and class teachers who have referred students to the LRP will attend at the beginning of the session to ensure students are clear about what is required.

This is not a detention but an opportunity to keep on track, and students not referred to the LRP can elect to attend and use the session as a Homework Club.

Further details about the program are available on the website under:-

Publications/Policies/Learning Redemption Program.

And finally, I would like to draw your attention to our Parent Payment letter which is included in this newsletter. It is from School Council parent members and details the levies for the college, the reasons why they are in place, and the ways we use the money collected.

Thank you most sincerely for your support throughout the year. The best way to ensure positive outcomes for our young people is through this partnership.

Best wishes for the holiday season.


Public schools are not fully funded by the government


17 December 2019



A letter from parent representatives on School Council

A regular discussion item at School Council meetings is the payment, or non-payment of annual college charges by families.

We understand that this is an expensive time of year and we would like to acknowledge and thank those families who pay their compulsory Essential Student Learning Items fees and who decide to contribute to the College Council Items, in any capacity. Those of you who are making payments on a regular basis through a payment plan, or have approached the college for assistance due to hardship are also acknowledged.

Whilst ‘free education’ may possibly have been available in the distant past, it certainly is no longer the case, and we would like to explain why. 

The annual operating expenses for running MESC total close to 2.2 million dollars and include;

  • classroom and program budgets
  • services not funded by the government such as First Aid and Wellbeing Support
  • cleaning costs beyond the funded amount
  • maintenance and grounds management.

This does not include staff wages. The Victorian Government contributes most of the cost of wages but less than half of the operating costs mentioned above. The shortfall must be found by the school.


Essential Student Learning Item Levies

These are compulsory levies for items, activities or services that the school deems as essential to student learning in the standard curriculum.

For students in years 9-12 we place a deadline on payment for elective subjects as it is necessary for us to confirm numbers in each of the electives in order that we can allocate teaching staff appropriately. This staffing is in place from the commencement of Jumpstart and we encourage parents to contact the college if personal circumstances are difficult, in order that students are ensured a place in their chosen programs.


College Council Items

These College Council requested levies are critical to providing us with the money to employ a maintenance person, provide first aid assistance, employ a Student Wellbeing Coordinator, maintain the grounds, develop Banksia Hall for performances, update old furniture, paint the college, purchase lockers, replace carpet and update learning spaces to improve their suitability for students, amongst many other things. Whilst these levies are optional we strongly encourage families to consider support for the services outlined which are provided for all students.


Voluntary contributions

These contributions allow us to put funds aside for longer term projects such as new signage, outdoor equipment, drinking stations and building works outside of the scope of annual expenditure. We are extremely appreciative of families who choose to provide support in this way.

The Essential Student Learning Item levies, College Council Items levies and Voluntary Contributions are the only means we have to meet the annual operating expenses. If we do not receive sufficient funds to pay for all these costs through parent support, then put simply, our students miss out and those who do pay are subsidising those who don’t.

We work very hard to minimise the costs for families, and will always arrange payment plans or other options to support families to contribute.

We hope this clarifies both government expectations and the need for the support we request, and creates a better level of understanding for all members of our community.

More importantly, we hope the majority of families who are contributing, are assured and satisfied that they are providing both a valuable education and a quality environment for their child, six and a half hours a day, five days a week.

We welcome feedback so please feel free to contact our Business Manager Brenda Barker, if you would like further clarification or more information about your school’s funding. The DET Frequently Asked Questions information regarding parent payments can be found on our website.


Lisa Massey [College Council president], Andrew Gill, Greg Cunnington, Nick Moses, Lisa Ingerton, Georgina Blennerhassett, Melissa Goulis, Stephen Baker, Linda Rickard and Donna Bragg

Parent representatives of Mount Eliza Secondary College Council.


Educated for excellence

Prepared for life

Angela Pollard 




Year 7 Excellence Awards


  •  Lizzie Abeling
  • Gracie Fielden
  • Livy Fitzgerald
  • Eleanor Ford
  • Sadie Gill
  • Freya Hollingworth
  • Monty Jacques
  • Katie Langenhoff
  • Jasmin Little
  • Remme Maison
  • Alex Maxwell
  • Lulia Mikhailova
  • Melody Pascoe
  • Sophie Peach
  • Sophie Price
  • Georgia Sharpe
  • Lucy Smith
  • Abbie Standfield
  • Charlotte Thripp
  • Cooper Woolf
  • Maisie York

Year 8 Excellence Awards

  • Natasha Bates
  • Chloe Carey
  • Aria Chidambaranathan
  • Milly Cunnington
  • Luci Curry
  • Evie Davies
  • Jayden DeSilva
  • Shelby Deyoung
  • Maddie Harris
  • Elise Laurent
  • Jessica Leatch
  • Sean Meghji
  • Zoe Messner
  • Jessica Meyers
  • Bella Pasic
  • Madeleine Pearce
  • Hayley Richards
  • James Richards
  • Hannah Robinson
  • Sarah Standfield
  • Emily Tei
  • Aaron Tran
  • Lucy Williams

Year 9 Excellence Awards

  • Ruby Anderson
  • Abbey Bradley
  • Avalon Bragg
  • Maddy Byrne
  • Tahlia Church  
  • Sophie Curtin
  • Ruby Davies
  • Charli Edbrooke
  • Amelia Gill
  • Natasha Haralambopoulos
  • Claire Howlett
  • Tara Krotwaar
  • Ella Pascoe
  • Anae Pledger
  • Brooke Turner

Year 10 Excellence Awards

  • Nathan Acheson
  • Imogen Cunnington
  • Charlie Lawrence
  • Taylah Lobb
  • Charlotte Marshall
  • Tilly McMillan
  • Grace Mitchell
  • Zara Parkes    
  • Tayla Ponzio-Dalton
  • Amelia Rickard
  • Olivia Shillington
  • Charlotte Westley
  • Belle York

Year 11 Excellence Awards

  • Flynn Brookes
  • James Farnill
  • Samantha Howlett
  • Soraya Pledger
  • Brianna Rees
  • Megan Smith
  • Kira Thomas
  • Katrina Ward

Dance Awards

  • Frankie Reynolds- Perseverance in Dance
  •  Emma Nicholson- Team Spirit
  • Sadie Gill- Encouragement Award

Sports Awards

  • Harry Doughton
  • Gracie Fielden
  • Remme Maison
  • Baylin Williamsom
  • Amelia Cunnington
  • Jacob Bigg
  • Amelia Rickard
  • Imogen Cunnington
  • Lily Fielden
  • Jacob Bald


School Sports Victoria State Representative 

  • Abbey Brady

HPV Awards

Outstanding Contribution

  • Erik Gourdoulis
  • Alex Maxwell
  • James Richards
  • Amelia Rickard

Fastest Lap Times

  • Thomas Blennerhassett
  • Amelia Cunnington
  • Imogen Cunnington
  • Harris Rickard


Raymond Ringer Scholarship Award

  • Isobelle Edwards

Jim Crawshaw Community Service Award

  • Abbey Bradley

Brent Moncrieff Award

  • Zac Evans Brumby

The Dunkley Shield Award

  • Phoebe Baker

The Australian Defence Force Long Tan Youth Leadership and Teamwork Award

  • Zara Parkes

Mount Eliza Lions Club Awards

  • Year 7 – Freya Hollingworth                  
  • Year 8 – James Richards
  • Year 9 -  Jack Empson                
  • Year 10 – Amelia Rickard
  • Year 11- Trinity Joseph

Dux Awards

  • Year 7 DUX  - Remme Mason
  • Year 8 DUX  - Sean Meghji        
  • Year 9 DUX  - Abbey Bradley   
  • Year 10DUX - Belle York
  • Year 11DUX - Brianna Rees
  • VCAL DUX   - Foundation – Sam Fennell 
  •  VCAL DUX - Intermediate - Zara Parkes

Leadership Team  2020

School Captains   

  •  Samantha Howlett
  •  Trinity Joseph

Communication Leaders

  •  Phoebe Baker
  •   Paige McKenzie

House Captains

  •    Phoebe Wilson McDonald
  •    Katrina Ward
  •    Jacob Bald
  •    Ben McLean

VCAL Leaders

  •   Harry Thouas
  •    Lachie Harvey





30th  JANUARY 2020



December 16 -December  18 - Activities Program

December 19 - January  27 - School Holidays





February  3 to February  5 - Year 7 Camp

February  6 - MESC House Swimming Sports

March 24 - Whole School Athletics Day  

May 11 to May 15 - Australian Dental Health Victoria 

Parents are advised to login to the Compass portal for full details on any upcoming events.








On 20 November 2019, the Year 11 cohort attended an Orientation Camp that led us into the start of Year 12. Although most students attended the camp in year 7, it was still full of new challenges. We had to use teamwork and friendship to power through each activity and this helped us build new relationships with people who we may have never spoken to normally. The camp has definitely made a positive impact in the way we have tackled the start of a new year in Jumpstart, as we re-assessed our goals, the way we applied ourselves to work at school or at home and the way we approach others. With Target (something that you are confident you can achieve), Stretch (something that is achievable but definitely out of your comfort zone) and Super-Stretch (something that you never thought you could do) as a camp philosophy, we learned that not only we can achieve by ourselves, but we can also support others to succeed.



To wind up the year VCAL students spent their time in food tech class making and decorating Christmas cookies to give as gifts to local businesses in the Mount Eliza Village. Once completed, students boxed the cookies and personally delivered them to a selection of businesses. Students and businesses alike felt joy in this act of kindness and generosity.


Our new VCAL group for 2020 spent their last two days of school getting to know each other and team building at a camp in Shoreham. They participated in a range of activities such as stand up paddle boarding, hiking and team games. As a class we are all looking forward to working together in 2020.



Student Leaders Update

As a Senior Pathways Team, we would like to congratulate our Student Leaders on how they stepped up to their roles and have already organised and implemented the following:

  • Made sure that our new Year 10 students were welcomed to the Senior Learning Centre during the first Connect Session – they have left the first three rows of seats for Year 10s, who they kept outside until all Year 11s and 12s were there and seated. As the new Year 10s were entering the centre, they were met with applause. The leaders followed up with a welcome message talking to all students about being inclusive and having the ownership, rights and responsibilities in the centre.
  • Arranged furniture in the SLC to suit learning styles and requirements of our Senior Pathways Program  students.
  • Took responsibility in overseeing the kitchen area and ensuring that other students understand that using kitchen is a privilege.
  • Collected feedback from Senior Pathways students and presented collated notes to the Senior Leaders and Leanne Paterson (Careers Practitioner) about the direction of Connect and Career sessions.
  • Took ownership over planning and conducting Connect sessions based on peer feedback, asking for advice when needed.
  • Brought in and decorated a Christmas tree.
  • Put up a new suggestion box in the Senior Learning Centre.

Well done, Student Leaders, for encouraging others and being great role models in Student Voice and Agency!


Congratulations to all Senior Pathway students on a successful completion of Jumpstart!  It is fantastic to see our students taking their movement to the next level so seriously and working hard.



Work Requirements

All Senior Pathways Program students are required to complete a Jumpstart CAT task in each subject.

  • It is important that the work students submit is of the standard in line with a subject Study Design requirements (for VCE subjects) and completed to the best of a student’s ability (for Year 10 students).
  • Whilst Senior Pathways Program students will not attend Redemption Day on 16 December, it is expected that they will complete outstanding Jumpstart tasks by Tuesday, 28 January 2020. If they haven’t completed this work by this date, they will not be allowed to attend their classes on Thursday, 30 January, and will have to complete outstanding tasks instead.

Could we please ask all parents to encourage their students to put the best effort into their work and touch base with them and their teachers about their progress.


VCE Study Guidelines

According to the VCAA, to pass a VCE unit successfully, students are required to complete 50 HOURS OUT OF CLASS WORK in addition to your class time.

Watch a video to understand why we might find it difficult to stay on task and how to deal with this:



A reminder to all Year 10 to 12 students that lockers should now be empty. During the holidays the lockers will be cleaned and anything left there will be disposed of.




Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our Library Team


A Word from the 2019 Library Leaders...

The library team was full of wonderful, motivated students this year. Not only have we helped with shelving and small jobs around the library, each member has been involved in creating their own display and planning a theme. We also were able to attend the Melbourne Writers Festival in Melbourne this year, and later on we were able to help out at the schools, very own, Literary Festival.

The Melbourne Writer’s festival was a fun and engaging day. We got to meet one of the very few female writers from Marvel and were able to meet authors who had just recently published new material. The highlight of most participants day though, was the grand poetry slam that ended the day. Students from around the state composed a poem related to the environment and the struggles it faces daily.

There have been many, beautiful displays in the library this year, including Halloween, Spring, Remembrance Day, Christmas and BookFlix. The BookFlix display was cleverly designed, so that the books posted will always be changing. There are always new suggestions to check out and read in the Library.


Overall, being part of the library this year has been amazing and educational. It has been a privilege and amazing fun to be the senior library leader this year. Come into the library and you will easily see how much effort is put into not just creating displays, but also put into maintaining the library, to ensure that it is a wonderful space for everyone. Mrs Swannell is an inspiration to all of us and puts so much effort and care into everything she does for the library and the school. I would highly recommend coming into the library at recess or lunch. There’s always books to read, puzzles to make, displays to look at and games to play.

Thank you for another wonderful year.

Belle York

Library Leader

Senior Program


Over the past year the Library Team have made promoted many different  literary events, such as Library Lover's Day, ANZAC day, Melbourne Writers festival, Book Week, Halloween, and our MESC Lit Fest.  In September  the Library Team and a few others went to the Melbourne Writers Festival.  We attended some fantastic writer's workshops that were great fun and I certainly recommend going again.  I have enjoyed my year as the MYP Library Leader. 

Kinds regards

Bella Pasic

Library Leader

Middle Years Program

MESC Lit Fest 2019

"The Literacy Festival this year, included such an array of authors and workshops. The writing styles of the authors ranged from fantasy and crime, to sports novels and comics! In the workshops that I participated in, we focused on using fear and our desires to form a micro story. I found it very helpful and fun, because when the story was more relatable and real, it was easier to expand and move forward in the story. This workshop was held by the wonderful Emily Gale. The next workshop was focused on cartooning and creating emotions of sadness, anger, disgust, joy and surprise, through different facial features (especially the eyes and eyebrows). The final workshop was with a new author to the literary world, Katherine Canobi. She took us on her journey of publishing her newly released book Mindcull and all of the failure and attempts that went into creating the futuristic novel. It was a great experience and it would have been fantastic for any authors  in the making, to show where persistence can lead and the fact that what you think is your best, can always be improved further. Overall, the Literary Festival was a wonderful experience and an added bonus, were some goodies, like a new book, that we got to take home. Thank you Mrs Swannell! "

Amelia Gill

Year 9


Holiday Reading

The holidays are a great time to dip into our collection of online eBooks and Audiobooks which you can access via the ePlatform app on your device.  Why not try reading, or listening to, something from a different genre, or a new author, or try a title recommended by a friend, start a series, or just take a look at the recent titles or popular titles listed.  You are sure to find something to help you relax and enjoy your holiday.  


Overdue Library Books

Please remember to check the 'due dates' of all items borrowed and ensure that they are returned promptly.  General overdue reminders are sent via Compass news to all students and individual notices are also sent out via students' school email which should be checked regularly.  ALL library books, including class set titles, should be returned by the end of year.  If there are any concerns regarding late and/or lost items then please contact Mrs Swannell asap.




Mount Eliza Secondary College  ​ 'Educated for Excellence - Prepared for Life’  
MESCLitFEST19 - Booklet.pdf
MESCLitFEST19 - Preorder.pdf