Parent Corner

26 July 2018
Issue 6
Quick Dates
Deputy Principal Student Development
Year 7 Pastoral Guardian
Year 8 Pastoral Guardian
Year 9 Pastoral Guardian
Year 10 Pastoral Guardian
Year 11 Pastoral Guardian
Year 12 Pastoral Guardian
Counsellors' Corner
Parent Forum
Entertainment Memberships
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 2/3, Term 3

Friday 27 July

9.30am-12.30pm  Years 9, 11 & 12 Art excursions

UQ Athletics Meet

Sunday 29 July


10.00am-3.00pm  Brisbane Sings rehearsal, San Damiano Centre

Monday 30 July

Year 10 SET Planning

Year 11 Spirituality Retreat (Francis Rush Centre, City)

Tuesday 31 July

Year 10 SET Planning

Year 11 Spirituality Retreat (Francis Rush Centre, City)

1.50pm  Year 8 Dancing - LG 3, 4, 5, 6 (Padua)

7.00-8.00pm  Year 9 into 10 2019 Subject Information Night (San Damiano Centre)

Wednesday 1 August

Year 10 SET Planning

Thursday 2 August

7.00-9.00pm  Parent Forum: Helping Your Teen Become Confident and Capable (San Damiano Centre)




Deputy Principal
Student Development

Another Term Begins ...

This term we begin the formal part of our leadership Raise the Bar Program, in particular for Years 7, 9, and 11.  While Years 8 and 10 will be getting involved and developing their leadership skills for the next year, Years 7, 9, and 11 students are in the process of either preparing their evidence booklets, or going through interviews to be shortlisted for various leadership positions.  Many students have taken to the program enthusiastically by ensuring they fulfil the requirements of the program.  Of particular interest was the number of students who signed up for the public speaking workshops which were held in first semester.  This is a crucial skill to be able to master, and the instructor was very impressed by the way the girls approached these sessions.  If you would like you daughter to have the opportunity this semester, then please let me know via email ([email protected]), and we will organise for a repeat of the public speaking workshops.


On another note, at the beginning of the year, the students were required to complete a survey to assess the level of bullying or non-Franciscan behaviour that occurs in the College, and to identify the efforts or ideas for the College to address these concerns.  There were some challenging findings which we are addressing through our Personal Development Program, but I would like to invite two parents to consider to be part of a Cyber Bullying and Bullying Task Force.  The Task Force will include students and staff and, together with parents, will work towards the following:

  • Reviewing the College’s current strategies to develop a proposed framework for addressing all forms of bullying and non-Franciscan behaviours;
  • Consulting the community to gain insights into the best ways to tackle such issues;
  • Finding effective ways to educate and engage the whole community to practise positive attitudes and behaviours;  and
  • Liaising between parents and students to encourage uptake of the initiatives

The Task Force will meet twice a term on a Thursday afternoon from 4.00pm.  If you would like to consider being included in this task force, please send me an email with your reasons for wanting to be part of this initiative.  When all members have been decided, the Task Force members will be contacted and noted in the college newsletter, News and Views.


The start of a new semester is always a great time to reassess our goals and the approach we are going to take to achieve them.  For students, receiving their Semester 1 results and being part of the Parent/Teacher/Student interview schedule can be a big enough incentive to get the ball rolling to change some practices which may be impacting on their potential to grow.   The Pastoral Guardians this week have provided some useful tips on what our young people can be doing to set viable goals for the remainder of the year and into the future.  Please enjoy reading and taking the time to ask your daughter the conversation starters provided.

Annette Butterworth


Year 7 Pastoral Guardian

"Without goals we achieve very little."  

Richard Branson


Jessica Schipper (Australian Olympic gold medallist and World Champion swimmer) stated that, as a teenager, she was beaten by a Queensland champion swimmer by almost 50 metres in 200-metre butterfly.  So, through determination and perseverance, she achieved micro-goals that each time she entered the pool she would be beaten by less.  So she increased her frequency and intensity of training.  A year later she achieved her main goal of being Queensland Champion.


How can you be the best you can possibly be?   Through useful goal setting that is realistically challenging and achievable.


Goal setting develops a sense of purpose.  If goals are clearly set and articulated, this improves self-belief, self-image, and self-esteem.  In turn, it enhances self-confidence and achievement.

Goal setting develops an ability to make better decisions and helps for better focus in the process.

Achieving goals in life helps to develop internal motivation.  Goals are always personal and meaningful.  Internal motivation helps people to reach the desired goal.  This intrinsic motivation also provides encouragement, energy, and strength to achieve whatever you want in your life.


Those who set goals and achieve them, whether sporting, academic, or personal, are more likely to perform better in life than those who do not.

Michael Butterworth

Conversation Starters

What do you want to do better at?

How are you going to do this?

What will you need to do to make goals achievable and within a suitable timeframe?

Will you need help to set these goals?

Year 8 Pastoral Guardian

We are one, but we are many….

Throughout our lives, we are faced with the big questions of, "What is my goal or purpose in life?", or "What do I really desire or need in order to live a rich life?".   According to many psychologists, humans crave four things in life: happiness, success, meaning, and integrity.


Today, in our Year level assembly, I posed these two questions to the Year 8 students.  Overwhelmingly, the response was that students want to be happy, and to live a ‘good life’.  So how can this be achieved individually and as a whole Year 8 cohort?  As Pastoral Guardian of Year 8, this semester the focus is going to be on two key relational qualities, and both of these align with our Franciscan values.

  1. Inclusivity – A sense of belonging and being part of something bigger is foundational to the human condition.  For adolescents, the need to belong is realised through their social groups, or activity groups.  If our goal is to be happy and to belong, then each of us has the responsibility to be friendly, welcoming, and non-judgmental, to extend kindness to everyone in our group, and to think and act with 'we before me'.  If each student can live these by these qualities – now and in in the future - she will realise greater happiness and belonging.
  2. Diversity – In the quest to be more inclusive, I also challenge the students to embrace diversity. This allows each and every student to be acknowledged for their uniqueness, and the very special place they hold in the Mount Alvernia community and the world.  Last week during NAIDOC Week, diversity was celebrated, and it was especially great to see two of our Year 8 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students – Tanna-Lai Hornung and Raphaela Faalafi - proudly dancing on stage and promoting their cultural heritage.  All too often, in order to belong, adolescents choose to blend in or try to become invisible, for fear of being seen to be different. However, these choices compromise happiness, success, purpose, and integrity!  So my question to each student in Year 8 is: "What is your positive point of difference, and how do you show and extend this to others?"  We do not want to be carbon copies of each other; instead, we want to be united, but unique and true to ourselves.


I look forward to journeying through this semester with the Year 8 students, as we work to be inclusive, acknowledge diversity, and strive to be a positive difference in others’ lives.

Jeni Barlow

Year 9 Pastoral Guardian

Welcome to Semester 2

It was uplifting to see that all the Year 9s have come back from their three-week break refreshed and eager to jump into their new electives and the challenges that this semester will bring and, hopefully, continued enthusiasm for learning. 


As parent/student/teacher conferences have been completed and semester reports have been received, this is a good time for students to set goals for the term.   I often hear from students that they work hard at school or within their personal life, but do not seem to be improving or getting the results they want.  The reason for this is that they often have not spent enough time thinking about what they want to achieve.   Setting goals gives you short- and long-term vision and motivation.  It allows you to focus on your acquisition of knowledge and helps you organise your time and your resources so that you can make the most out of school and life.  When setting goals, it is important to ensure that you allow yourself to take risks and challenge yourself.  By doing this, and believing in yourself, it can make a difference and lead to success.


“ ... Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -

I took the one less travelled by,

And that has made all the difference.”    The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost


Year 9 has started covering the Love Bites Respectful Relationships Program during Personal Development lessons this term.  Girls have been very active in class discussions and eager to learn and develop important life skills, such as collaboration, acceptance of differences, negotiation of different needs, and empathy.   This program focuses on healthy and respectful relationships, as well as relationships formed via social media. 


As you are aware, last Friday was the Interhouse Athletics Carnival, held at UQ.  It was pleasing to see so many enthusiastic Year 9 students attend this event.  Girls participated in as many events as they could, or supported their house by cheering them on. 

You will soon receive an email regarding information for the Year 9 Camp, which is held in Week 1 of Term 4: 9–12 October. 


Holidays are a perfect time for students to wear the extra set of earrings, necklaces, rings and painting their nails in their favourite colours.  However, a reminder for our girls that, as they are now back at school, they need to follow Student Procedures. This applies to all accessories that are not permitted to be worn when wearing the College uniform and use of mobile phones.  A reminder also that blazers and the College formal hat must continue to be worn when travelling to and from school this term.


Congratulations to Jessica Dixon who recently represented Australia in the AAU Junior Olympics in the U14 Junior Women’s Inline Hockey team, which was held in California, USA.  Jessica has consistently worked and trained very hard to achieve this honour.   This follows on from her Queensland team selection in the U18 Junior Women’s team.


I would like to wish all students good luck for this term.  Remember to live your passion, challenge yourself, set goals, take action, reward yourself, have a positive mindset and most importantly, never give up.


Teena Christofis

Conversation Starters

  • Is there anything that you will change with the way you connect with your friends, teachers, parents, family?
  • Have you met all your friends on your social media platforms?  Are your profile picture and images you upload to social media appropriate?  Do they not contain any identification of Mount Alvernia College (eg have pictures with you and your friends in your uniform, etc)
  • What are your goals for this term and how are you going to ensure you achieve these?  How will you reward yourself when you achieve your goals?
  • What topic did you cover in PD this week?
  • What events did you participate in at the Athletics Carnival?


Year 10 Pastoral Guardian

Welcome to Term 3

There is no doubt that this is an important and busy time for your daughters and of course you, as their parents/guardians.  They have received their reports, visited ACU, visited TAFE, received SET Plan interview times, attended the Subject Information Evening, and today (Thursday) they attended the Futures Expo here at school.  This hopefully has meant there has been much discussion at home about what your daughters might like to do in their future.


At times this can be overwhelming for your girls but also exciting.  They still may change their minds many times over the next two and half years, and even perhaps still change their minds beyond Year 12. It is also the perfect time to harness the idea that their choices and that the goals they set now will influence how easy the pathways they want to take for the future can be.  By making choices around subjects they are good at and enjoy, it makes it even easier to set the goals of staying focused, completing assessment, and achieving academic success.  There is much happening here at school to assist your daughters through this process and, as always, we are working in collaboration with you as their parents/guardians to guide the girls on their journey through to adulthood.

Therese Dooley

Conversation Starters

  • What do you think would be good subject choices for you personally?  Why?
  • Did you talk to anyone at the Futures Expo about what you might like to do?  Did they have any advice for you?
  • Are you worried about doing your Set Plan? Why?

Year 11 Pastoral Guardian

Be Smarter with Your Goals

An important strategy which may help your daughter in Semester 2 is Goal Setting.  In particular, Smart Goal setting, which is an effective process for setting and achieving learning goals. (Dr Maurice J Elias, 2006) 


SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound, and learning how to frame goals as SMART goals and being willing to adjust them to get SMARTER is an important skill that will assist your daughter.


So, when setting goals, encourage your daughter to:

·         Specify what goals need to be accomplished.

·         Set measurable goals which are easy to evaluate.

·         Be realistic about attainable goals, this will give a more accurate overview of how much time                      there is to  invest in other activities.

 ·         Set relevant, rigorous, realistic, and results-focused goals, with clear distinct outcomes for to                       encourage your daughter to hold herself to them.

·         Lastly, set time deadlines for each goal, and for more complex tasks create clear steps, setting                      deadlines for each stage of the process.


Instead of setting a goal such as, "I want to improve my Maths results", be smarter, and create a series of steps: "I want to improve my Maths results, but I must listen more in class, ask for help when I need it, complete all the set work, revise after each lesson, and collaborate more with other students".


SMART goal setting not only relates to academic pursuits, but also can be applied to areas such as sport or, in some instances, it may relate to achieving small steps in your daughter’s social wellbeing.   


I encourage you to discuss with your daughter her goals for the next two years, to support her during her life-long learning, which we all know goes beyond her formal education.

Bridget Piper



Year 12 Pastoral Guardian

Goal Setting for the Future

Your daughters have reached an important turning point in their education as Year 12s as they look towards the final assignments and exams, QTAC decisions for study or work, graduation, and their dreamed about future.  On this part of their journey, just like us as adults, parents, and educators, every one of these young women has had to set short- and long-term goals, prioritise, change directions,            re-focus and reflect on the best way to achieve these goals.  In the process we grow.


Much is written to attest that setting personal goals and working hard to achieve your individual goals gives you the power to transform your life.  Successfully achieving goals is about believing in yourself and being supported along the way by significant others who believe in you and encourage you.  I have no doubt that you have been engaged full time over the past twelve years of your daughter’s education doing just that for her to have reached this stage of her education and blossomed into an amazing young woman.   You may have heard or read about the acronym SMART, which means goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely.  Two further hints are: to be accountable by communicating your goals to significant others, and to ask for advice or seek a mentor.  Finally, honestly and regularly reflecting on your progress is an important step in the process.


As I write this Parent Corner article, I have been thinking about our Year 12 students and their achievements.  I chatted to dedicated athletes at last week’s Athletics Carnival and asked what goals they had set for their final carnival.  Some said to jump higher than last year, achieve personal best in sprints, or improve this year on both track and field events.   Other students have successfully competed nationally and internationally in their chosen sports.  For all of these students, their fitness, training, self-belief, and setting of achievable goals was rewarded.  It was not without effort or sacrifice and you know because you were, most probably, at the early morning or evening training sessions as Team Exceptional, giving encouragement.

Students in our Year 12 classes started Week 1 in their final semester reflecting on their academic performance to set realistic and achievable goals.  Looking across the year level, some students have successfully completed certificates, diplomas, and university transition subjects.  So active goal setting is taking place at many different levels.  All of these successes have been achievable by hard work, dedication, sacrifice, time management, careful goal setting, and your encouragement.  In this final semester of your daughter’s schooling, enjoy assisting her to set her future goals and strategies to reach her dreams.

Karen Farrow

Student Reflections on Personal Goal Setting for Team Sport

My personal goal for the season was to go out onto the court and play my own game, meaning that I will not let the opposition get in my head and negatively influence my game.  A strategy that I put in place to achieve this goal was to view every team and every player as equals.  This helped me to stay out of my own head and play the best netball I can.  When things weren't going to plan, I tried to just go back to the basic skills I've been taught and just focus on perfecting those.  We - the whole team - adopt this mindset; we are a very connected team.


My future goals are to remain positive and out of my own head.  I will achieve this by keeping a calm manner on the court and by knowing that netball is a team sport.  It takes everyone to make the magic happen.

Chloe Peoples


A goal I set myself to achieve the level of ice hockey I am at now is to continuously challenge the norms of the male-dominated sport, by proving a point all across Australia that girls can play ice hockey too, and sometimes even better than the boys can.  I continuously push myself to work harder by doing workouts off ice, related to what I do on the rink, or attending many different hockey camps and tournaments to improve my on ice skills and mental prepping myself before, during, and after games.  I work hard to make sure I continue to play in my semi-professional women’s team travelling around Australia.  It’s the same as pushing yourself in school - the harder you work, the more effort you put into it, the better marks you achieve, and in the end all the blood sweat and tears put into it will be well worth it for the end achievement.


Some strategies I use to help me achieve my goals are sticking to my strict pre-game routine, continuing to do what I’m passionate about (because, well, if I didn’t love the sport I wouldn’t be competing at the level I’m at), and showing commitment to my goals by doing the most I can every day to achieve them.


Obviously when things don’t go as planned, it is upsetting and frustrating initially, but one thing I do on the bench during my shifts is take a few seconds to close my eyes and take deep breaths to clear my mind from what had occurred, because dwelling on a mess-up during a shift will affect the rest of the game because I will be thinking about it more than thinking about the game play.  By taking a second to calm down I realise it's not the end of the world that something went wrong; I can regenerate and continue playing the rest of the game the best I can.


A future goal that I am working towards is getting into the Open Women’s Australian team, and I can achieve this by continuing working hard day in day out and keep in the mindset of achieving my goal.

Abi Brown


I didn't have a main goal, but one general goal is that I want to achieve the most I can out of myself at each practice so that I can be successful and achieve the highest result possible.  My strategy is to keep motivated by reminding myself of what can come from achieving that goal.  When things aren't going well, I try to work out why things weren't going as planned and then create a new goal to get back on track.


My future goal is to complete studies and have a career in a field of interest of which I can be proud.

Niamh Kent

Conversation Starters

What are your short-term goals?  How is your progress in achieving these?

What longer term future goals would you like to set?  What steps do you think you need to take to achieve these?

How can I best support you?

Counsellors' Corner

Changes in Counselling Department

Welcome to Term 3.   I hope that you and your daughters were able to enjoy some much needed relaxation and family time over the break.


This term has seen a few changes to the Counselling Department.  We said farewell to Lorraine Slaven at the end of Term 2.  Lorraine has taken a position with Brisbane Catholic Education, and we thank her for all of the care, guidance, and expertise she provided to the students and families of Mount Alvernia.  Tania Henry will be returning from twelve months living and working in Malaysia; we look forward to sharing the wealth of knowledge she has accumulated from her time away.  I will also be leaving Mount Alvernia to take up a position at a Catholic boys' school and am excited for this new challenge.  It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with your daughters, and with you, over the last seven years.  Thank you for entrusting a small part of your daughters' social and emotional welfare to me.


We then welcomed Liz Marlay in Week 1.  Liz has a teaching background and is a social worker who joins us from Child and Youth Mental Health.  Liz worked as a teacher at the Barrett Adolescent Centre School, where her interest in mental health was sparked.  Liz has a particular interest in adolescent mental health and wellbeing, and is keen to meet and support your daughters to function the best they can at Mount Alvernia.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding your daughter. please contact Liz Marlay ([email protected]) or Tania Henry ([email protected])

Lisa Farrow

Parent Forum

Helping Your Teen Become Confident and Capable

Mount Alvernia College P&FSN is excited to announce that clinical psychologist Dr Judith Locke is offering a two-hour parenting session (plus fifteen minutes of question time) to parents of students at our college.  Judith uses latest research and clinical experience to show positive and effective strategies parents can use to help their teens become more confident and capable at school and beyond.


The Session

  • assists parents to help their teen experience happy, fulfilling years at school, and build their resilience and confidence in a range of areas;
  • gives parents strategies they can use to improve their relationships with their teens through what can be tricky adolescent years;
  • teaches parents how to encourage their teens to be responsible, contributing members of the family;  and
  • helps parents assist their teens to start to become ready for the demands of the young adult years (particularly if they’ll remain under your roof!)

About Dr Judith Locke

Dr Judith Locke, the founder of Confident and Capable, is a clinical psychologist and former school counsellor, teacher, and workplace trainer.  Judith is the author of The Bonsai Child,  a best-selling book for parent which details modern parenting changes and practical strategies to help children develop confidence and resilience.


Judith trains throughout Australia and internationally on topics related to parenting, education, and personal wellbeing.  She also provides psychological commentary on current issues to local and national media, including television and radio.


Judith believes providing useful information to parents early on will ensure a long-term positive impact on children and families and assist students to achieve their potential.


Feedback from Judith's Previous Sessions

       "I loved this workshop ... it told me the things I wasn't doing right."

     "Very enjoyable and informative


The session will be delivered on Thursday 2 August, 7.00pm in the San Damiano Centre.  Tickets are $10 per head, and can be purchased here.


Please note this is a parents-only session and your children should not attend.

Entertainment Memberships

Alumnae - Entertainment Memberships

  • The Entertainment™ Book comes with the Gold Card and vouchers, and contains over $20,000 worth of valuable up to 50% off and 2-for-1 offers for many of the best restaurants, cafés, arts, attractions, hotels, travel, shopping and much more!  Digital memberships are also available.
  • Order now to assist the Mt Alumnae in its fundraising in support of the College community.

La Cucina

Roster - Term 3

Friday, 27 July

Angela Bodman, Jan Nichols

Monday 30 July

Christina Knight, Cathy Conaghan

Tuesday 31 July

Jo Galvin, Teresa Highfield

Wednesday 1 August

Renay Green, Julie Wilson

Thursday 2 August

Colette Rosso, Natalie Mills


Open from 7.15-9.30am & 10.30am-3.00pm (3.15pm Wednesday).   Staff, parents, and friends are very welcome to drop in for coffee—$3.50; $3 in own cup.


Please direct any enquiries to College Reception, ph 3357 6000.

Community Notices

QUT Survey


Parish Garage Sale


Baking for Garage Sale


Parent Corner
School Newsletter item - Survey.pdf
QUT Survey - Information for Parents.pdf
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