Wantirna College Newsletter

03 February 2020
Issue One
Dates to Remember for 2020
Principal's Report
Annual Privacy Reminder
Later Year's Sub School
Middle Year's Sub School
Mobile Phones
School Uniform
  Maths News
Community Spirit
Homework Guidelines
Art Club
Accident Insurance
Wellbeing Centre 2020
General Information
Wantirna College
90 Harold Street
Wantirna, Vic, 3152

Dates to Remember for 2020

February 2020

Monday 3

Instrumental Music Lessons Commences


Tuesday 4

Student Photos


Monday 10 to Wednesday 12

Year 7 Transition Camp


Monday 10

Year 12 - VCE Parent Information Evening

6:30pm to 8:00pm


Thursday 13

VCAL Parent Information Evening


Monday 17

VCAL Ferntree Gully Toyota Guest Speaker


Tuesday 18

Catch Up Photos


Tuesday 25

College Swimming Carnival


Tuesday 3

Free Dress Day


Wednesday 4

English SAC P3 & 4


Thursday 5

Staff Music Concert


Tuesday 10

Outdoor Contemporary Court


Monday 16 to Friday 20

Year 8 Challenge Week


Sunday 22 to Tuesday 24 

Production Camp


Wednesday 25 to Saturday 5 April

New York Tour


Friday 27

Early dismissal 2:30pm

End of Term


Tuesday 14

First Day of Term 2


Wednesday 22

College Open Day


Wednesday 29

College Cross Country


Friday 1

Generations in Jazz


Tuesday 5

Unit 3 Theatre Studies


Thursday 7

NEVR Rehearsal


Monday 11

Unit 1 Theatre Studies


Wednesday 13 to Thursday 14

Year 10 Theatre Studies


Tuesday 19

Free Dress Day


Thursday 21

Showcase 4 Dance


Monday 25

NEVR Rehearsal


Wednesday 27 to Friday 29

Year 10 Exams 


Monday 1 to Tuesday 9

Year 11 Exams


Wednesday 10 



Friday 12

Assessment Day

Student Free Day


Monday 15 to Wednesday 17

Music Camp


Tuesday 16

Later Years Expo


Wednesday 17

English SAC


Saturday 20 to Saturday 4 July

Northern Territory Tour


Friday 26

Last Day of Term 2

Early Dismissal 2:3pm


Monday 13 July

Curriculum Day - Student Free Day


Thursday 16 to Friday 17

Production Rehearsal all day


Monday 27

VSMF Concert Band


Tuesday 28

Curriculum Information Night


Wednesday 29

Year 11 Course Selection Day


Thursday 30

VCAL Interviews


Friday 31

VCAL Interviews


Monday 3 to Tuesday 4

Production Dress Rehearsal


Tuesday 4

VCAL Confirmation


Wednesday 5 to Friday 7

College Production


Wednesday 5

Year 10 Course Selection


Thursday 6

Year 9 Course Selection


Friday 7

College Production


Tuesday 11

Athletics Carnival


Wednesday 12 to Friday 14

College Production


Monday 24 to Friday 28

City Experience


Friday 18

End of term

Early Dismissal 2:30pm


Monday 5

First day of school


Wednesday 28

Year 7 and Year 10 Immunizations

Unit 3 & 4 Exams begin


Monday 9

Last Day VASS


Monday 9 to Friday 13

Challenge Camps


Thursday 12 to Thursday 19

Year 11 Exams


Friday 20 to Wednesday 25

Year 12 Step Up


Thursday 26

Year 11 Exam Feedback

Last Day Year 11


Friday 27 to 3 December

Year 11 Step Up



Friday 4

Year 10 Exam feedback

Year 10 Formal

Last day Year 10


Monday 14 to Thursday 17

Activities Week

2020 Term dates:

Term 1:  28 January - 27 March

Term 2:  14 April - 26 June

Term 3:  13 July - 18 September 

Term 4:  5 October - 18 December

Principal's Report


Welcome back!

I’d like to welcome all students and staff for what hopefully will be an exciting and engaging 2020. In particular, I would like to welcome our 274 Year 7 students and their families who are new additions to the College community. Likewise to all our new students, throughout all year levels beginning their first few days at Wantirna College, let me say that you have made the right choice, you are attending an amazing school with excellent students, teachers, programs and facilities. I urge all students this year to strive to do the best, to collaborate and form strong relationships with their teachers, to get involved in many and varied extra-curricula activities and to look after each other. This school has a strong and close community and we will continue to endeavour to harness that to deliver strong and positive learning outcomes.

New staff

We have a number of new staff beginning with us this year and therefore I would like to welcome Juanita Blair (Leader of English), Yi Li (Leader of International Program), Leigh Webster, Harriet Robertson, Cathy Ferguson, Jeffrey Wang, Amber Thomson, Paula Grinbergs, Jonathan Skovron, Surya Ganesan, Sherry White, Michael Bellm and Maggie Murnane. Likewise I would like to welcome back the following staff who have returned after various stints of family leave Alex Shephard, Ashleigh Benjamin and Rebecca Howell. All staff are looking forward to providing a rich and challenging learning experience for all students in 2020.

Facility Improvements

Thanks to our hard working facilities manager Chris Young, a number of important projects were completed during the holiday break. Importantly, air conditioners have been installed in all classrooms that previously didn’t have them. This has included an addition of approx. 40 new air conditioners. This project will considerably improve the conditions for learning especially on days like today where the temperature will exceed 40 degrees. Other projects of note include the completion of a wall in the Science and Language Centre that will prevent noise being transferred into adjoining classrooms, the painting of the two wood/metal technology rooms and the re-concreting of the path from the senior centre to the outdoor basketball courts. There are a number of other significant projects that will be completed this year and I will communicate their details in future newsletters. I would particularly like to thank and recognise those families that have paid the voluntary contributions and school fees. These contributions allow us to significantly improve and expand on the facilities and programs that we can offer. The air conditioner project is a great example of parent contributions directly impacting on improved learning experiences for our students.


Coronavirus update

As you would have seen in my previous communications, the Department of Education is taking significant steps to address concerns in relation to the virus including providing guidelines to schools on how to respond to students returning from travel in China. The advice specifically relates to students who live in or had travelled to Wuhan or Hubei Provence or students who had been in contact with someone who is diagnosed with the virus. I can confirm that neither of these circumstances apply to any of our students. We have taken a number of steps to ensure that all of our students and staff remain safe from being at increased risk of being exposed to the virus. I will continue to communicate any further developments or advice as soon as I receive them.


Kevin Murphy


College Year Book 2019

Unfortunately the College Year book arrived in the school too late for distribution last year.  It will be distributed to current students next week and Year 12 students at the alumni assembly which is coming up.  


Thank you to Mr Gene Easton and his team of students who worked on this project throughout the year.  It looks great and is a wonderful memento of 2019.


We understand the late delivery date is not ideal and as a result we are putting in place new processes this year to ensure it available for distribution before students finish school.


If you wish to buy a copy of 2019 or to order your 2020 copy please see Jacqui in the General Office.


Kevin Murphy


Annual Privacy Reminder

Department of Education Privacy Policy

Our school collects, uses, discloses and stores student and parent personal information for standard school functions or where permitted by law, as stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy

Please take time to remind yourself of the school’s collection statement, found on our website [add link to your school’s collection statement].

For more information about privacy, see: Schools’ Privacy Policy – information for parents. This information also available in nine community languages.

Media Release

In this modern era we take lots of photographs to celebrate and publicise the work we do at Wantirna College.  At enrolment parents are asked to sign a media release to allow these photographs to used within the school and education community.


If you wish to check what permissions you have granted or to change your permissions please contact the General Office.


Unless there is a very good reason we avoid identifying students by name in our online publications and when we do we do so with the students permission and inline with parent consent as provided at enrolment.


Our Facebook page is a great way of keeping up with what is happening at the school.  We use this to celebrate the achievements and work of our students and teachers.  To ensure student anonymity we never tag students and we only identify them in a post with their permission and in line with the family's media release details.  Our Facebook site is monitored daily by our administrators to ensure all commentary is appropriate to the school environment.  In appropriate comments are removed and perpetrators are blocked.

Later Year's Sub School

Welcome Back

The Year 12 students were amazing ambassadors for the school on their first day back, taking care of our new year 7 students and showing them the ropes.  The Year 12s certainly lived up to the trust that was placed in them to support our new community members of their first day when many were incredibly nervous.  The younger students were certainly very grateful for the care and consideration they were shown by the oldest students in the school.


Each year level began the year with a Year level assembly.  There was lots of enthusiasm as students greeted their friends and teachers after the long break.  Key messages in the Later Years were about stepping up and giving yourself your best shot by trying hard and stepping outside your comfort zone.  A big emphasis was placed on attendance and striving to do your absolute best.  We also talked about how students could care for their local and global environment by considering how much rubbish they produce and ways in which they can reduce single use plastic and rubbish in the school.  Mr Murphy was keen to talk to students who wish to be a part of a task force that would look at all matters concerning waste in the College.


The Year 12 students received their year 12 jackets on Friday in the 43 degree heat.  They must have been excited about them as there was a significant number wearing them after lunch despite the temperature.  At least next week's forecast might be a bit more conducive to showing them off.  We love the pride the kids show in these as it shows they have a real sense of achievement and connection with being in year 12.


Dina Mingos

Later Years Sub School Leader

Meet some of the team

My name is Michael Paneris. I teach Mathematics and Science which have always been a passion of mine. Mathematics is the underlying language of the universe and science endeavors to explain the universe around us, which makes them interconnected in an elegant way. This is what drives my passion for mathematics and science education. 


One of my goals as a teacher is to constantly be improving and refining my teaching practice using evidence based teaching and learning strategies, in order to achieve the best outcomes for all my students. Part of my decision in becoming a Year Level Leader is to understand my students' learning, help them achieve growth in their learning and development as a young person. 


Some of my interests outside of teaching include gardening, spending time with friends and family, and heading down to the beach. I look forward to working with students, staff and the wider Wantirna College community this year.


Hello everyone, I’m Phuong and I have been working at Wantirna College since 2015. I love my role as a year level leader and science teacher. Previously, I worked as a scientist in Sheffield, UK and Tokyo, Japan. However, the one thing I enjoyed most was educating and working with young minds, hence my transition into teaching. In my spare time I love reading, travelling and gardening.


Ms Chamberlain (Chambels). I teach Science and Dance, and am also one of the choreographers for the College Production. I’m a qualified and licensed wildlife rehabilitator specialising in bats, which takes up much of my time, especially during summer.  I know many people don’t like bats, but they’re critical to our ecosystems; grey-headed flying foxes are the only night-time pollinators of gum trees, and microbats eat 40% of their own weight in insects each night! This year I’m really looking forward to going on the Performing Arts New York Tour in March, and another wonderful Production.


Hi, this year I am one of the Year 12 Level Leaders with Benn Pollock. I am really looking forward to working with our Year 12s this year. I have worked with a lot of this cohort through Year 9 and 10 Science,  some in Year 10 Maths,  Year 11 Chemistry and I was one of the Year 11 Level Leaders last year.  On Thursday we had the whole day to start talking to the Year 12s about maximising their learning, creating opportunities to form effective study groups and general organisational information. It was great to see them all after the Christmas holidays.  Most of my spare time at home is currently being taken up with our new puppy, Bowie who is a 10 week old border collie X Labrador, preventing her chewing anything she can find. 



We will introduce the rest of the team in the next newsletter.


Mr John Davison:  Year 11 Leader

Mr Ben Pollock:  Year 12 Leader

Mr Phil Newham:  Careers Counsellor

Ms Katrina King:  Catalyst Programs and VCAL Leader

Ms Dina Migos:  Leader of Sub School

Ms Catherine Ford:  Assisatnt Principal Later Years

Middle Year's Sub School

Welcome Back

What a great start to 2020.  Students in the Middle Years Sub School have jumped back into the academic rigors of the school year.  The year kicked off with us welcoming our Year 7 students to the Wantirna College community.  They were fortunate enough to spend a couple of fun filled days with the Year 12 students and the Green Hat Organisation.

The Year 8’s and 9’s were also welcomed back to the College today and were engaged in a range of team building activities.  This allowed them to get to know the students in their new classes.

We have had a number of changes to our Sub School this year.  Therefore, I would like to introduce the Middle Years Team for 2020:

Year 7 Year Level Leaders
Mrs Gaschk and Ms Nugent
Year 8 Year Level Leaders
Mr Karwan and Mrs Digby
Year 9 Year Level Leaders
Mrs Franks and Ms Ivankovic
Student Engagement and Wellbeing Case Manager
Mr Brooks
Leader of Catalyst Programs and Transition
Ms Timms
Leader of Middle Years Sub School
Darren Hoogkamer

Assistant Principal Middle Years

Shane Kruger

Meet Some of the Team

My name is Mrs Gaschk and I am very excited to be one of your Year Level Leader for the year ahead (working with the fabulous Ms Nugent). I’ve been working at Wantirna since 2017 and have taught across both the English and Humanities learning areas. Aside from reading books, drinking tea and enjoying time with my crazy, very loud family, I also really love music. Looking forward to a great year with all of you



Welcome to the Year 8 cohort of 2020! My name is Mrs Andrea Digby and I am one of the Year 8 Level Leaders this year. I have been teaching at Wantirna College since 2007 and in that time I've taught from Year 7-12 in the subject areas of English, English Language and Humanities. I have also been a Year Level Leader numerous times during my time here. This year I am teaching Year 11 English Language and Year 8 English. I have two young girls, one who started Prep this year and the other who is nearly 3. I really enjoy reading, pilates and spending time with my family. I'm looking forward to a great year ahead, working closely with the Year 8s to achieve their best. 


Welcome to the Year 8 cohort of 2020! My name is Mr Ben Karwan and I am one of the Year 8 Year Level Leaders. This is my third year at Wantirna College, and this year I'm teaching Year 7 and 8 English and Year 12 English Language, though I have also taught Humanities in the past. In my spare time, I play the piano and do a lot of reading. I'm looking forward to getting to know the Year Eights really well and supporting them to challenge themselves and achieve their best.



Mobile Phones

Department of Education Mobile Phone Policy

It's official, students who bring mobile phones to school must leave them secured in their lockers from 8:30am-3:15pm.  Teachers have been asked to collect the mobile phone and take it to the General Office where it will be stored until the end of the school day.  We will be contacting parents regarding mobile phones to discuss other management strategies for those students who have their phones taken on more than three occassions.


There is a very small number of students, who due to health issues, are permitted to keep their phones on them.  These are students who need to use apps to monitor health conditions such as diabetes.  These students are issued with a mobile phone pass to show to their teacher should they need to access it in class.  Passes of this nature can be applied for through the Leader of Sub School or Assistant Principal.  Families will be required to present documented evidence from a medical practitioner for this to be considered.  


Last year we had a significant number of students request a pass to manage anxiety.  Passes of this nature will not be issued, however the Well Being team will work with the student to assist them to develop other management strategies.


On occasion, mobile phones are useful learning tools in class.  If a teacher requires students to have a phone in class they will notify students and families via Compass.


Our students were really great with this in term 4 last year so this year it should be smooth sailing all the way.


If parents need to contact their child during the day, please phone the general office and a member of the team will get a message out. 


Shane Kruger, Catherine Ford, Carrie Wallis and Andrew Lewis

Assistant Principal 


School Uniform

Policy Implementation

We are a school that expects that all students are in uniform and they take pride in how they present.  We have created a range of uniform options that are comfortable, durable and affordable.  They take into account the range of activities that students participate in and ensure the meet occupational health and safety guidelines.  School uniform creates a level playing field among students and removes the visual signs of cliques and in groups.


Working with adolescents we know they will always try and push boundaries and school uniform is one of the areas where this occurs.  As a result we monitor uniform daily.  When out of uniform students should to report to the Assistant Principal's offices before home group where they will be issued with a pass. 


Life is hectic and busy and we understand that on the odd occasion a student may not have access to a particular piece of uniform.  Where this is the case we ask parents to provide a written note explaining this.  Students who have a note will be given a uniform pass which they show to teachers when asked.    Students who do not have a note from home will be given a pass and will also receive a lunchtime detention for 30 minutes that day.  Students who fail to show up for that detention will have an after school detention on Friday afternoon until 3:50pm

Shoes, socks, dresses and hoodies

There has been a lot of questions and clarification about shoe requirements for school but just in case some are still unsure the following is what is required:

  • All black
  • Low heeled
  • Lace Up
  • Full Leather Upper including tongue

Students must also have white socks.  We often laugh, our neighbouring schools that have black socks have ongoing battles with students who wear white sock whilst we have the reverse.  White socks can be purchased in bulk in discount stores like Kmart, Target, Big W and Best and Less.


Girls dresses and skirts should be no shorter than midway on the thigh.  Any shorter than this and their movement will be restricted which may impact on their ability to fully access learning.


The school has a number of warmer options for students on cooler days. There is no reason for a student to wear a hoodie to school.


Catherine Ford and Shane Kruger

Assistant Principals



Maths News

Welcome to Maths

Maths Boost


The great team of Maths Teachers run Maths Boost every Tuesday 3:30-4:30 in Rees House.  This is an opportunity for students to:

  • catch-up with missed learning
  • get help with topics that they are struggling with
  • a place to study alone or with a study group where you can access teachers, if required
  • develop summary sheets/logbooks
  • use the internet to access Mathspace
  • play maths games – such as Monopoly, Rummikub, Uno, Yahtzee, Rubik’s Cubes



Year 7-10 students should have access to a scientific calculator for use in maths classes, at home and during assessments. 

We are continuing our trial of Mathematica in Year 9 and extending into Years 8 and 10.  Mathematica is currently a free alternative technology to the hand-held TI nSpire CAS calculator that we have previously used in Years 9 and 10.  We have had some technical issues with the installation of Mathematica during 2018, primarily for students with BYOD devices.  Please watch out for installation instructions on Compass next week, and support your child if they need to install at home.

VCE Maths students will still need to use a TI nSpire CAS calculator.  Students who do not have a CAS calculator are unable to satisfactorily meet Outcome 3 of any of the VCE Maths’ studies, so it is essential that they have regular access to a device both in, and out of class and for assessments.


Workbooks/Logbooks/Note taking


It is important that all students have at least one book to use for working in their Maths classes.  Students cannot efficiently write Maths methodology on their computers and will need to write by hand on many assessments.  Grid books are more useful than a lined exercise book as students can line up their working and have a starting point for graphs/tables.

Many teachers will provide notes on the whiteboard during whole-class instruction, but it is not expected that students write everything in their books.  Alternative notes should be available on the OneNote, so that students may refer to these during individual study and/or revision time.  We hope that once students have practiced and embedded a skill, they will write fewer summary notes, or they write their own version of notes/examples that make sense to them.





We do NOT use a textbook in Years 7-10.  We ask that ALL students have access to Mathspace – this costs $20 and is purchased through a paywall that will appear on the student’s Mathspace account from March 7 2020.  There is no option to purchase early.  Teachers will use Mathspace to support formative assessment of students to enable them to diagnose where they need to provide support/extend the student in new learning.  It is used as a homework tool to ensure regular skills practice and may also be used to assess students at the end of a topic.  Mathspace also has an online interactive textbook for grades 3 to 12 and because of its adaptive nature, it will suggest topic areas that students need to practice, if they have completed all set work.




Math/Whole School Numeracy Coordinator


Community Spirit

Bush Fires 

What a difficult summer it has been for Australians.  Our hearts go out to the families of those brave fire fighters who lost their lives and to those who lost their homes.  The devastation to our beautiful bush and native wildlife is extreme.  We understand that many in our community were impacted as they traveled to these regions for their annual holiday with evacuations and hastily changed travel plans.


Its times like this when you see the true Australian and Wantirna spirit shine through.  Year 11 student, Logan Gallacher and his ice hockey team, the Melbourne Mustangs held a charity appeal on January 19 this year.  In front of over 1500 supporters including many CFA volunteers (who had free entry) they played a charity match.  In tribute to our fireys the opening ceremony puck was dropped  by the CFA Deputy Chief Officer, Garry Cook.  The teams guernseys were auctioned off at the end of the game with Logan's selling for more than $200.  Overall the event raised $50,000.


On behalf of all Victorians a big thank you to Logan and his team for their efforts.


If there are any students who have been impacted by the fires who need additional support, please contact Ms Katrina Katz the Student Wellbeing Coordinator.


We would love to hear other stories of student fundraising efforts over the holidays.


Flying Foxes

Environmental Science teacher Kate Chamberlain has always been a little bit batty.  We say that due to her love of Flying Foxes and the work she does as a volunteer to protect the species.  Flying foxes are vital to pollination of the bush and without them entire Australian ecosystems would vanish.  However they are particularly vulnerable to heat events.  When the temperatures reach extremes they literally fall out of the trees.


On days when the temperature exceeds 40 degrees, Kate can be found after work at the bat colony on the Yarra River in Kew.  With other wildlife carers she attempts to rescue the adult bats that have succumbed to the heat and take in the infants that have been orphaned.  Rehabilitation for these babies is hard work with multiple feeds during the night. 


National Geographic has recently published an article regarding the work that Kate and the other carers do.  Please see the link below:



Catherine Ford

Assistant Principal


Spain Cultural Tour

Wantirna College is excited to offer a cultural tour of Spain to all students in years 8-12 .  The tour offers a 12 day cultural tour of Spain covering the three major cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Seville. 


The group will have the opportunity to explore these cities and experience the contrast between the medieval and modern whilst enjoying  the unique way of life in this vibrant and exciting culture. Spain is known for its vast history,  rich and varied architecture, and the rich traditions of art which include the masters Picasso, Goya and Gaudi. 


Students will experience the different pace of life in Spain, including the afternoon siesta and dining late into the evening.  We will visit the famous La Rambla Street food market where we will sample paella, tapas and other Spanish delicacies.  We will experience the excitement and music of a traditional flamenco show.


Any interested students and parents can contact Ms Azar Rahmatzadeh, Languages Leader, at the college to find out more via email rah@wantirnacollege.vic.edu.au or phone 9801 9700. As the tour was initially advertised in December, deposits are now being paid. If you would like to be invited to make a deposit please let us know as soon as possible. 


Ms Azar Rahmatzadeh

Language Program Leader




Homework Guidelines


As teachers who work with adolescents we understand the impact that homework can have on home life, particularly in those pressure times of the year around assessment times or for students who may be disengaged or struggling with a subject or skill. However, homework is an essential component of secondary school education.  The practice and discipline of Homework assists students in consolidating their knowledge, skill and understanding whilst developing more autonomy as learners, time management skills and organisation. 

To support your child with homework please assist them in developing a study timetable and a regular routine.  If they say they have no set homework encourage them to do some self initiated homework such as:

  • Revision of previous learning
  • Reading
  • Practising Maths problems
  • Watching the news
  • Journal Writing
  • Creative Writing
  • Artwork

Students need a quiet space to study, away from digital and other distractions where they can focus on the task at hand. They should have a desk or place they can work in the home that is dedicated to study.  In busy households this is not always possible so our school library is open from 8:15am-4:30pm for those students who  prefer to study at school.  The senior centre is also open for Year 10-12 most days until 5pm.  We encourage students to use these facilities as there are always teachers around who can assist them.


In setting homework we follow the Department of Education guidelines regarding the amount to time students should be spending on homework.  These are as follows:

Year 7 and 8:  30-60 minutes per day

Year 9 and 10:  60-90 minutes per day

VCE:  Up to 3 hours per day including weekends.


If you have concerns about your child's homework, such as the amount or level of difficulty please contact the classroom teacher for that subject.




Art Club

Art Club

Welcome back for 2020! if you would like to extend your creative output this year, consider joining Art Club, which will meet on Thursday's after school. 


Art Club allows students to pursue their own creative interests with self-directed activities, or participate in group activities such as creating murals to decorate the school.


Mrs Tate, one of the Art staff, will be present to supervise and assist. Students can learn a new skill, work on their personal projects, extend their class work or design a community art project. The sky is the limit!


If you are interested in joining in this year, send Mrs Tate an email on tat@wantirnacollege.vic.edu.au to express your interest, and then keep an eye on Compass for information about starting dates and permission forms. There is no charge for participation. Sessions run from 3:30 - 5pm.


See you soon!


Ms Tate

Accident Insurance

Student Medical Expenses

 Parents and carers are reminded that neither the school nor the Department of Education provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students. We strongly encourage all parents and carers to have up-to-date ambulance cover. Parents and guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of any medical expenses such as ambulance costs if their child is injured or requires an ambulance at school, or whilst participating in a school activity. Parents and carers can purchase insurance policies from commercial insurers. The Department’s Student Medical Expenses Policy on SPAG is available here (https://www.education.vic.gov.au/school/principals/spag/governance/pages/medicalexp.aspx) and can also be used to refer parents to the Department’s policy on this matter.  


Mr Shane Kruger

Assistant Principal

Wellbeing Centre 2020


Our Ethos

The purpose of the Wellbeing Department is to build a culture of student wellbeing in the College community by taking a preventative and proactive approach to mental health to allow students to participate fully in their educational programs. We ensure agency in relation to student wellbeing to all stakeholders:  students, parents and staff and provide a triage/referral service in times of crisis based around a case management approach.


Our Role

The Wellbeing staff’s role is to work with students and their families to identify and find appropriate external support services to refer them to. We are not able to provide on-going long-term counselling for our students.


We also act as an advocate for students at school, communicating with all stakeholders, supporting students so that they are able to be at school and focus on their learning.


The Wellbeing staff will also run preventative programs with whole year levels and small groups of students to educate and give agency to young people in a range of Wellbeing areas.


The Wellbeing Centre has a large space at lunchtime where any student is welcome to come and hang out. It has kitchen facilities including sandwich press.


Quick Release Card (QRC)

Students with a QRC are able to use the Wellbeing Centre for some time out when they are feeling overwhelmed. This is usually for 15 minutes and they are then sent back to class. Students will be assessed by a member of the Wellbeing Team on a case-by-case basis as to whether they qualify for a QRC.


Our Staff

Katrina Katz – Leader of Student Wellbeing

Guiseppe Relia  – Social Worker

Sanela Avdic – Social Worker


Katrina, Guiseppe and Sanela  provide ongoing support and short-term counselling for students in need. They communicate with families, staff and service providers to support students.


Department Social Worker (Thoula McLinden) – 1 day a week

Department Psychologist (TBA) – 1 day a week


Our Department Social Worker and Psychologist are employed to handle crisis and emergency situations, high level cases, and are involved in applications for funding under the Department’s Program for Students with Disabilities.


Counselling Placement Students

Each year the Wellbeing Department hosts approximately 10 Counselling Placement Students who are completing their final year of Bachelor/Masters in Counselling at university. They provide counselling for low-level and short term cases.


If you have any questions regarding the role of Wellbeing within Wantirna College, please contact Katrina Katz.


Ms Katrina Katz

Student Wellbeing Coordinator

General Information

General Office

Office Hours:                  8:00am - 4:00pm

Telephone:                      9801 9700


Parents should always make contact with the General Office first when visiting the school or trying to make contact with their children.  Appointments with teachers must be made via telephone or email them directly.


All visitors to the College must sign into and out of the College using the Compass Kiosc in the General Office.


In line with the Government’s commitment to compulsory attendance, the College is required to ensure all absences are recorded pursuant to DET guidelines. It is the responsibility of a student’s parent/guardian to explain why their child is absent/late. This can be done using the parent portal on Compass, by written note, by phone call to the General Office or by face-to-face conversation with a staff member.  Given the convenience and security the Compass portal offers for this important part of college life, this is the preferred method.


The General Office team will continue to be available for assistance on all attendance and Compass matters, and in every instance, any student arriving late or leaving early must report to the General Office to be signed in or out.


If your child has missed a SAC or been away for more than a couple of days, then they will be required to supply a doctor's certificate.

Arriving Late to School

Students are expected to be at school at 8.40am. Locker Bell rings at 8.44am and Home Group commences 8:54am.  If you are aware your child will be late to school, parental approval should be submitted in the Compass portal, or by notifying the General Office.


Students arriving late (after the first roll is marked) must report to the General Office to be signed in. Where a parent approval hasn’t been submitted on Compass prior, the absence will be shown as an unexplained absence until an approval is submitted. Should a written note from a parent be provided with the student when they arrive, it will be entered in Compass.


To promote the importance of being punctual to class, students arriving late to any other class will be recorded as late. Whilst late arrivals do not show on the Compass dashboard, they are displayed on the ‘unexplained’ tab under Attendance. The Compass system does not provide a sensible ‘reason’ for this scenario, however until a more appropriate option is made available, parents wanting to acknowledge/clear the unexplained late arrivals may do so by using the ‘Parent Choice’ reason, assuming no other reason is suitable.

Early Departure from School

If a student has an appointment and needs to leave early, parents should enter an approval in Compass and select the appropriate reason from the list of options stipulated by DET. The approval appears on the class roll to alert the classroom teacher, and the student will be excused from class at the designated time. Students should then attend the General Office to be signed out. If a parent provides a written note on the day, this should be taken to the General Office before school or at recess, and it will be entered into Compass. Students will not be permitted to leave class without an approval entered in Compass.


If you need to collect your child unexpectedly, please contact the General Office.

Uniform Shop

Uniform Shop is open on MONDAYS and THURSDAYS from 3:00pm to 5:00pm, and the first Saturday of the Term from 1 - 4pm. Prices and additional trading hours can be found on the Compass portal under school documentation.


Direct Phone:  9881 7168

Library Hours

Monday to Thursday:

8:15am to 4:30



8:15am to 3.30pm

Lost Property

Lost Uniforms are taken to the Maintenance Office, which is located near Health Centre.  There is a double draw finling cabniet on the right just inside the door.  If you have lost any valuables, ie: phone, watch, etc... they are usually handed in to the main office.

Car Parking

Parents are advised that the main car park on Harold Street is not a drop off or pick up point for students.  The car park is very busy and very tight at peak times.  It is not a safe place for students and waiting cars create congestion for people entering or leaving the car park.


The best drop off and pick up points for the school are:

  • The designated drop off and pick up zone on Harold Street in front of the Home Economics rooms
  • Georgian Gardens (street opposite school crossing on Harold Street)
  • Amesbury Avenue (fenceline along the bottom oval)
  • Templeton Street (South of the roundabout)
  • Saxon Street (off Harold Street)

College Vision

Wantirna College is committed to educating our students to be inquiring learners with high levels of literacy and numeracy, prepared to be global, ethical citizens in the 21st Century, capable of showing resilience and flexibility of thinking, willing to show initiative and take on challenges throughout their lives.

Wantirna College


Kevin Murphy


Assistant Principals:

Catherine Ford, Andrew Lewis, Shane Kruger and Carrie Wallis


College Council President:

Dr Joanne Challinor-Rogers


Sub School:

Dina Mingos (Later Years)

Darren Hoogkamer (Middle Years)


College Captains:

Sam Styles

Isabelle Davis

Connor Winter

Jacob Lacchiana


Parents Association President:

Pam Wade


Parents of Performing Arts Chairperson

Stuart Broadley

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