Killester College Newsletter

16 August 2019
Issue Ten
Principal's Report
Latest News and Reminders
Community Service
Maths, Science and STEM
HEPE and Sport
Performing Arts
Killester College
03 9547 5000
433 Springvale Rd
Springvale, VIC, 3171

Principal's Report

Dear Parents and Friends,

In our Gospel this Sunday (Luke 12:49-53) we witness a Jesus who is both confronting and challenging; Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.  In this we are called to be like Jesus, to stir the pot and make our voices heard. Our young women are confronted daily with images and messages that are a total contradiction to that of Jesus. Social media, billboards, some mainstream commercial media outlets and many other forms of advertising tell our young people that the pursuit for material possession and external beauty is to be revered. In direct opposition to these messages I witness daily the young women of Killester challenge these social norms in the way they interact with each other, their teachers, their parents, our wider society and, as importantly, within themselves. Our challenge to the young women who walk through the gates each day is to ensure that like Jesus, they are encouraged to look for ways to fight and rail against injustice, to see and act so they live the mission of a Kildare Education in their hearts, actions, words and minds. 


Congratulations this week go to Bethany Forster from Year 12 who achieved amazing success at the ACT swimming championships last weekend. To be able to compete at such a high level whilst completing Year 12 studies is a significant achievement, a detailed report regarding Bethany's successes can be found further in our newsletter. My thanks to Ms Kath Lawson and the team of Year 12 Homeroom teachers who led our Year 12s through their last Killester personal development day. We are proud to be able to offer our students this opportunity to take time out from their studies and reflect on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, and ways in which they can draw strength from both the College and each other. Our Year 12 students are proving themselves to be a very capable and determined cohort of young women! Our Year 9 students travelled this week to the Shrine and I thank Ms Jackie Dunstan for her work in organising this interesting and relevant day. The feedback from staff at the Shrine was that our students conducted themselves in an exemplary fashion, showing great dignity and respect, whilst this is what we come to expect from the young women of Killester it is, none-the-less, always fabulous to hear such positive feedback. I congratulate Mr Troy Brodie and Ms Samantha Campion, and our Rugby 7s team, who have managed an extraordinary feat in making it through to the State Championships, this achievement is made all the more remarkable by the fact that we have not competed at Ruby at the College prior to this....our students certainly always set out to achieve the remarkable. Our best wishes to Mr Brodie, Ms Campion and the team for the next round of exciting matches. Today saw the culmination of Science Week with a full day visit from Professor Bunsen, there will be greater detail regarding Science in our next newsletter but I would like to thank Ms Ping Lim for her organisation of the week. 


The winter days remain with us but the warmth of the students who greet me at the gate in the morning is delightful. There is much chatter amongst the students as they prepare their costumes for our Brigidine Day celebrations next Friday. There is much to celebrate about being a member of the Killester community!


Sally Buick, Principal

Killester College 


I give you my children
Encircle them Lord,
Be ever beneath to break their falls.
Be ever beside them a constant friend.
Be ever behind them with wings of protection.
Be ever above them watching their way.
Be ever in front guiding each day.

Answer their prayers,
Stir up their hope,
Fill up their hearts with love.
Give them great dreams,
And the courage to try,
Hold them ever safe in your arms.

Latest News and Reminders

The Week Ahead

Monday 19th August

School Tours 9.00am-9.45am

Yr 10 Margaret and Mark to  Caribbean Rollerama, 11.00am - 12.40pm

Yr 10 Volunteers to St Joseph's Homework Club 3.45pm

Monash Youth Festival Competition @ Huntingtower School, 2.30pm - 6.00pm

Joey's Van 5.30pm

Tuesday 20th August

SCSA Soccer State Football Centre Darebin, Thornbury, 7.15am - 4.00pm

VCAL Barister Training in Melbourne CBD, 8.00am - 4.30pm

Yr 8 RE Churches Walking Excursion, Springvale, 9.00am - 3.10pm

Building Bridges Program - Monash Gardens - All Day

Yr 10AN to Lawn Bowls, 1.30pm - 3.00pm

Cybersafety Information Evening - Parents only, 7.30pm - 9.00pm

Thursday 22nd August

Yr 9 Outdoor Ed Day Walk, Cape Schanck National Park, 7.00am - 3.00pm

Yr 10 Catherine to  Caribbean Rollerama, 9.00am - 10.45am

Friday 23rd August

Brigidine Day Celebrations

From the Finance Office

Parents of Year 12 Students

As your daughters finish much earlier than the other students, please be aware that unless you have an approved instalment plan (that will finish in November) all fees are to be paid by the end of October. If there is any difficulty in making payment, we are always here to help. Please contact the College without delay to arrange a meeting with the Business Manager to discuss payment options.


We still have some outstanding VET fees and Term 3 Bus fees. Payment is expected immediately.

Out and About

The fun and excitement of Science Week has been evident at lunchtimes and with daily quizzes, thanks to Ping Lim and her team. Students have been competing in SESA sports. There will be further sporting finals next week and we wish the teams all the best.  


On Thursday the Year 8 Churches excursion will occur, with the students visiting various places of worship in the city area. 


Next Friday is Brigidine Day; a day that is certainly hugely anticipated on the school calendar. There will be a liturgy, a fashion parade, a 'treasure' hunt, international foods and games, plus a staff vs students footy match. 


A reminder to parents that the Parent Student Teacher Learning Conversations for Years 7-11 will occur on Thursday 12th September and that there will be no classes on this day. Information for booking times with teachers will follow shortly.


Best wishes to everyone for the coming week.

Loreto Cannon, School Organisation and Community Development

Upcoming Events


Catholic Education Today

Published each term, Catholic Education Today celebrates the faith, life, achievements and culture of Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne.


Career News



Welcome to School TV 

Today parents face a multitude of modern day challenges in raising happy, well and resilient young people. Whilst there is a great deal of information available, this can often be confusing and overwhelming for parents looking for guidance. SchoolTV addresses this as a new online resource designed to empower you as parents with credible and sound information with realistic, practical ongoing support strategies.  


"The wellbeing of today's youth has never been more challenging." Dr Michael Carr-Gregg


Here, you’ll find a range of topics each published monthly with comprehensive videos from leading specialists and organisations.   You’ll also find Fact Sheets, suggested books, apps, websites and much more. And because SchoolTV is independent, there is some great content from organisations such as Beyond Blue, ReachOut, HeadSpace and others.


"It’s never been more challenging for parents to raise happy, healthy and resilient children. Like never before, parents need to be informed with clear, fact-based information on the many challenges faced by today’s youth. Topics such as youth anxiety, depression, self-harm, drug and alcohol use, cyberbullying and many others need clear explanation and guidance.”  Dr Michael Carr-Gregg

SchoolTV is a new ongoing resource that is now available to our parents.


Each edition will address a major topic with expert interviews, fact sheets, parent quiz, recommended apps, books and much more. SchoolTV aggregates information from many great resources such as BeyondBlue and ReachOut, amongst others. SchoolTV provides a single stream of independent factual information that saves parents time and confusion of searching online across multiple sites for information.

You can access the SchoolTV archive here:


If you have any concerns regarding your daughter’s wellbeing we encourage you to contact your daughter’s Homeroom Teacher or Student Development Leader to arrange a meeting to discuss any concerns.

 Luana Doko, Student Wellbeing Leader



Student Services - Brigid's Well


Community Service

Year 9 SCIP Program

We were provided with the lovely opportunity to visit Mercy Place Springvale this term, as a part of SCIP (School Community Involvement Program), which allows Year 9 students to explore various areas within the local community, and to contribute positively with them. Every Thursday, we spent two to three hours at the aged care facility, conversing and playing games with the residents. Gloria brought her guitar with her, and played music for the residents, while Sandra assisted.



Overall, we felt very empowered by SCIP. It gave us skills on talking with residents and taught us to be more patient. It was an incredibly insightful and eye-opening experience. We enjoyed every moment of it, even when the Monopoly game with a resident went on for two hours. We learnt that it is very important to give back to the community, especially to those who are less fortunate than us. 


We would like to thank Joy Gammon, our supervisor, who was so hospitable and kind to us even when we missed the bus and had to walk to Mercy Place. Without the SCIP program, none of this would have been possible, so we would like to also thank Glenda Merrilees and all the staff involved in the management of the program. 

Gloria Le and Sandra Nguyen, St. Rita


Joy, from Mercy Place, was so impressed by Gloria and Sandra’s enthusiasm and compassion during their SCIP placement, she emailed the College:


Hi Glenda,

The SCIP program is going well.  I have had many students this year who come here, but have two students that I feel should be recognised for their efforts on your end as well.  Sandra Nguyen and Gloria Le have showed me so much promise and demonstrate that they have enjoyed their time here and can clearly think outside their comfort area.  They both show initiative and make residents feel, useful, happy and comfortable with their presence which makes a happy outcome for all of us.  I am hoping you have something in place your end to show recognition of what they have done here in a short time. Thanks Glenda. Kind Regards, Joy

Leadership Program - City of Greater Dandenong

On Monday the 29th myself and three other girls were fortunate enough to be able to attend a seven week program run by the Dandenong Youth Service! We took part in many activities, where we got to know each other more and we meet people that we didn't know we got to plan out activities and help out the people in the community.  They were very welcoming and we got to meet people that we wouldn't have met if not for this program.  We discovered new things and we found it very inspiring and fun to learn new skills. It was also challenging at times, and the activities helped build our resilience to cope with new situations. We learned about the library resources and all the great, interesting things that this facility can provide to us and the community.


What have we learned about leadership during the program?   

We learned about what responsibilities come with planning and being a leader. We learned about planning and working in a team doing things together and the art of communication.  It involved learning about what it is to work in a team. 


What do we do?  

Each Monday afternoon we have met at Greater Dandenong Council for seven weeks. Our leader is Josh who works in Youth Services for the council. We do many activities, planning for summer holidays and programs that the council will run during school terms. Everyone has amazing ideas working together, in a positive, collaborative manner. 


How did we feel? 

Going into this program I was nervous because I had no idea who would be there but we all went in there and have met new people in the first 10 minutes.


 I think we all are happy and used to it. We think of ideas and share them and we have so much fun making new friends and sharing ideas. I would recommend the program to all students in the future.


Safia Coleman, St Rose, on behalf of Year 7 students:

Katelyn Hannah, Isobel Lawson, Keeley Smith and Venita Dimopoulos

Maths, Science and STEM


HEPE and Sport

Congratulations to Bethany Forster

Bethany Forster is a Year 12 student who began swimming at an early age. She has represented Killester in Interschool swimming from Years 7-12 , where she has won many individual events. She was also the co-captain for the inter-school squad at this year’s carnival, where she encouraged all members of the team and led by example.  Bethany swims for Swimland Swim Club and trains four mornings and three nights a week.  She is up each morning by 4.30am and in the pool by 5.00am, after school she is back in the pool again for another two hours.  This is a huge commitment and one she thoroughly enjoys! 


Bethany is always on time for school and completes her busy Year 12 studies around all her training. She has competed at many state championships, with her most recent event in Canberra last weekend.  Bethany achieved fifth in the 400 individual medley, third in the 100 metre butterfly and received her fourth state qualifying time in the 100 Backstroke with a time of 1:12.14.  


These are fantastic results ! Well done Bethany a huge congratulations for all your hard work dedication and achievements in swimming. Keep up the great work!


Emma Sadler, Health Learning Area Leader


SCSA Aerobics

On the 6th of August, on a bright and early Tuesday morning, more than 20 girls were able to experience what it is like to perform under the big spot light at the SCSA Aerobics competition. After sacrificing many early mornings and lunchtimes to train, the day had finally arrived. 



We were excited for the day, even though we had to arrive at school at the very early time of 7.00am. We took off at around 7.30am to head to Star of the Sea College and arrived around 8.20am. We decided not to practice too much before the start of the competition, as we worried that we might get too overworked and forget some parts of our routine. 


The Year 7s started off the competition at around 9.08am and really set a high standard for the day. With their big smiles and high energy, they placed 1st! Well done Year 7s!


There were no Killester teams for the Year 7 to 9 category but, instead, we had two Killester teams going face to face against one another. We have one team of four girls but unfortunately Vanessa Lin injured her knee one day before the competition, so the team was down to three girls. The girls went on to place second, which was very impressive. Our Year 8 to 12 team came in third position, which was a great effort. This was pleasing for our senior girls in the team, as this was their last SCSA Aerobics day. 


Finally, the Year 9 to 12 team came fifth, which was a fantastic effort considering they had the most difficult routine of all our teams competing. With dedication and energetic smiles, our aerobics team has been very successful the last three years, we hope to see you all at Killester’s aerobics tryouts in 2020! A big congratulations to all the girls involved. 


Melinda Lao, Year 9, St Emilie

Performing Arts

Import Dates Coming Up

Sunday 18th August 

Essentially Ellington Festival at Xavier College, Kew - Stage Band  2.30pm-6.00pm

Monday 19th August 

Monash Youth Music Festival at Huntingtower School, Mt Waverley Swing Sisters  2.00pm-6.00pm

Friday 23rd August 

Brigidine Day - Concert Band, all choir girls for Liturgy


I was scrolling through the ABC FM website this week and came upon this article which captures, for me at least, why all of our girls should be exposed to a music education. It makes for interesting reading if you have five minutes.


A new study finds a high correlation between school students studying music and performing well at maths, science and English. But is the students' academic performance a cause or effect of studying music?  


The study, published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, compared the results of all students who graduated high school between 2012 and 2015 in British Columbia.  The correlation between academic performance and music study was evident even when the researchers controlled for socioeconomic background, ethnicity, gender, and their prior performance in mathematics and English, suggesting that improved academic performance is an effect of music study.  The study's principal investigator from the University of British Columbia, Peter Gouzouasis, said that  "The students who learned to play a musical instrument in elementary and continued playing in high school not only score significantly higher, but were about one academic year ahead of their non-music peers."  


Students who studied at least one instrumental music course in the regular curriculum counted as students taking music. Qualifying music courses are courses that require previous instrumental music experience and include concert band, conservatory piano, orchestra, jazz band, concert choir and vocal jazz. The researchers found the predictive relationships between music education and academic  achievement were more pronounced for those who took instrumental music rather than vocal music. The findings suggest skills learned in instrumental music transfer very broadly to the students' learning in school.  "Learning to play a musical instrument and playing in an ensemble is very demanding," said the study's co-investigator Martin Guhn, an assistant professor in UBC's school of population and public health. "A student has to learn to read music notation, develop eye-hand-mind coordination, develop keen listening skills, develop team skills for playing in an ensemble and develop discipline to practice. All those learning experiences, and more, play a role in enhancing the learner's cognitive capacities, executive functions, motivation to learn in school, and self-efficacy."  


The researchers hope that their findings are brought to the attention of students, parents, teachers and administrative decision-makers in education, as many school districts in British Columbia have emphasised numeracy and literacy at the cost of other areas of learning, particularly music.  "Often, resources for music education — including the hiring of trained, specialised music educators, and band and stringed instruments — are cut or not available in elementary and secondary schools so that they could focus on math, science and English," said Gouzouasis. "The irony is that music education — multiple years of high-quality  instrumental learning and playing in a band or orchestra or singing in a choir at an advanced level — can be the very thing that improves all-around academic achievement and an ideal way to have students learn more holistically in schools."

Bernie Hickey, Music Learning Area Leader


Language Perfect Championships


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