News & Views

22 May 2019
Issue Eight
Quick Dates
From the Acting Principal
Deputy Principal - Staff Development
Acting Deputy Principal - Student Development
Assistant Principal: Religious Life of the College
Assistant Principal - Student Learning, Data Analysis & Logistics
English Perfect
The Arts
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 7, Term 2

Monday 27 May

AFLQ Tournament


Tuesday 28 May

Met North Cross Country Meet

8.30am  Big Science Competition

12.00  Fighting the Kaiser (Year 9 History)


Wednesday 29 May

Year 10 Reflection Day


Thursday 30 May

8.30-11.30am  Year 11 Literature excursion

12.50pm  Sport and Cultural Assembly


From the Acting Principal

Open Day

Do you remember why you decided to send your daughter to Mount Alvernia?  Were there certain attributes that were more important to you than others?  When your daughter completes her journey at Mount Alvernia, will she leave with those values that you hoped would enable her to be a happy and productive member of society?


These questions in the future tense were asked of parents when they attended Open Day last Sunday.  It was pleasing to hear that, for many, the good reputation of the College, its facilities, and welcoming and inclusive community were at the forefront of their considerations.  What they experienced in their engagement with both staff and students was all of this and more. 


We had over 200 students participate in Open Day, and the majority of staff, both teaching and support, were also present.  Parents were amazed by the preparedness of our community members to engage with them in conversation around what we have to offer.  Our girls were celebrated for their self confidence, effective communication skills, and their passion for the College.  One parent wondered how we managed to have girls who did not have their heads engaged in their phones and avoiding interaction with anyone but their peers.  He asked what it is that we do that enables us to grow young women who can be such amazing ambassadors for Mount Alvernia.


If your daughter was at Open Day, you probably know that each of our girls is capable of being a fantastic version of herself.   She can take pride in herself, in her uniform, and in her college.  The students delight in speaking to people and showcasing every part of the College, from facilities to learning and to experiences.  They can be, and were, simply delightful.  From FCIP, to choir, to sporting opportunities, academic precinct showcasing, or tour guiding, our girls literally sold our college to future clients for all of the reasons I listed in the beginning of this article.  They were true ambassadors and a credit to you as their parents.

I also want to acknowledge staff for their presence and enthusiasm when asked to consider the most effective way to engage with the younger visitors who attended.  Research has shown that, in this day and age, whether we agree with it or not, it is the young person who makes a decision about which school she would like to attend.  It is therefore necessary to create experiences that help younger people  to make connections with what is possible when they are only seven or eight years of age - some even younger - and for parents to see that what we have to offer is going to prepare their child for a future that is way beyond what they can imagine.


Overall, you would have done yourself a service by attending Open Day to see that what was on display - both physical and human - lived up to the expectations of our visitors who may hopefully be our future clients.  It was a wonderful day full of delightful comments and excellent service.  Thank you to everyone involved, including our Parents and Friends who ran the sausage sizzle and provided items for the bake sale to raise funds for the Solar Buddy initiative.


If you ever have the inclination feel free to book in for a tour at any time during the school day to see what is going on in your daughter’s college.  We would be happy to show you around!


Sorry Day

26 May is the day each year when we acknowledge National Sorry Day.  This day is an important  one to remember the mistreatment of our indigenous people, and to ensure that we do not revisit the harm caused by the removal of children from families in what has come to be known as the Stolen Generation.   This time in Australia’s history caused significant harm and continues to do so for those who experienced it.


I, along with our indigenous students and friends, Mrs Hutchinson, and Mrs King feel privileged to be able to attend the Sorry Day ceremony at Kalinga Park on Friday.  Kalinga Park holds a memorial site which sits in the vicinity of homes and institutions where Aboriginal children were taken from their families between 1897 and 1990.  Gatherings for days such as this help to remind politicians and the wider community about the experiences of many of our indigenous people so that they are never repeated.

Annette Butterworth

Deputy Principal - Staff Development

Effective Feedback

Effective feedback can improve student learning by an additional six months or more over the course of a year (AITSL, 2018).  Teachers gather evidence about students’ progress and this informs feedback to students about their learning and what they need to do next to progress their learning.  This process is vital to support our learners, and it is for this reason the Academic Team has been working towards strengthening our feedback strategies this year.


Feedback comes in a variety of contexts - formal and informal, through summative and formative assessment experiences, verbal and/or written.  What is consistent though - effective feedback assists students to track their learning, and would address (in part or all) of the following questions:

  • Where am I going? (the intended goal in learning);
  • How am I going? (tracking of the goal);  and
  • Where to next? (what do I need to strengthen to improve my progress?)


Learning Area Advisors have been developing their teams in this area and are working towards ways in which feedback can be strengthened.  You can expect to see steady progress in this area over the remainder of the year and beyond as we continue our journey to strengthen our impressive learning culture.


Bravo Bonaventure Awards

Recently we celebrated our Term 1 Bravo Bonaventure Awards, that are awarded to four staff members each term across a variety of categories.  The following staff were acknowledged by their peers for Term 1 and deserve special recognition:

  • Excellence in Service: Natalie Finney (Student Services)
  • Motivator: Alison Hutchinson (Program Leader: Student Enrichment and Advancement Centre)
  • Collaborator: Jennifer Gibbons (Learning Area Advisor: Science)
  • Innovator: Monica Sargeant (Humanities, English, and Religion Teacher)


Congratulations to all!

Daniel Crump


Acting Deputy Principal - Student Development

If the sign of a thriving college community is happy students showing pride in and attachment to their college, and the confidence to share this with the wider community, then the Welcome Committee students excelled during Mount Alvernia’s Open Day on Sunday.


Over 100 students from the Welcome Committee acted as tour guides to show our potential new families the facilities and opportunities available at Mount Alvernia.  Prior to Open Day, students participated in training, helping them to hone their skills and excitement for the day.  The girls were impressive in the way they communicated their love of Mount Alvernia, and in the way they authentically connected with families, especially the young children.

Feedback from families was extremely positive about our college and especially in the calibre of the tour guides.  They were impressed that students from all year levels were tour guides (not just Senior students); they commented how comfortably and authentically our girls communicated to all ages; how well they respectfully and intentionally connected with their visitors; how encouraging they were to ensure the younger children engaged with activities on offer; how positively they spoke about teachers and the programs on offer; the depth of knowledge about our history and Franciscan values; and how they spoke with confidence and passion about what it means to be a member of the Mount Alvernia community.


Well done, girls.  You are a real credit to yourselves, your families, and college!


Jeni Barlow

Assistant Principal: Religious Life of the College

Food for Thought: Gratitude

At Mount Alvernia, we have many opportunities to be grateful and, after a stunning Open Day last Sunday, where the enthusiasm of tour guides enthralled our visitors, where the activities and take away items amazed and captivated our potential students, and where the ever present and always willing participation from our teachers and staff shone through, I am compelled to stop and shout:  "I am profoundly grateful for what I have here at Mount Alvernia!"


However, in case we need another gentle reminder, I share with you a story that gives us food for thought…


The Shoes

My alarm went off.

It was Sunday again.

I was sleepy and tired; it was my one day to sleep in.

But the guilt I would feel the rest of the day

would have been too much, so I’d go.   I’d pray.

I showered and dressed,

I adjusted by clothes,

I got there and sat in a pew just in time.

Bowing my head in prayer before I closed my eyes,

I say the shoe of the man next to me

was touching my own.   I sighed.

With plenty of room on either side, I thought, "Why must our soles touch?"


It bothered me, his shoe touching mine,

But it didn’t bother him much.

A prayer began.  "Our Father", someone said.

I thought, "This man with the shoes has no pride.

They’re dusty, worn, scratched end to end.

Even worse, there are holes in the side!"

"Thank you for blessings", the prayer went on.

The shoe man said a quiet "Amen".

I tried to focus on the prayer, but my thoughts were on his shoes again.

Aren’t we supposed to look our best when walking through that door?

‘Well, this certainly isn’t it", I thought, glancing toward the floor.

Then the prayer was ended and the songs of praise began.

The shoe man was certainly loud,

sounding proud as he sang.

His voice lifted the rafters, his hands were raised high,

the Lord could surely hear the shoe man’s voice from the sky.


It was time for the collection

and what I threw in was steep.

I watched as the show man reached

into his pockets so deep.

I tried to see what was pulled out,

then I heard a soft ‘clink’, as when silver hits tin.

The sermon really bored me to tears, and that’s no lie.

It was the same for the shoe man, for tears fell from his eyes.

At the end of the service, as is the custom here,

we must greet new visitors and show them all good cheer.


But I felt moved somehow and wanted to meet shoe man,

so after the closing prayer, I reached over and shook his hand.

He was old and his skin was tanned, and his hair was truly a mess

but I thanked him for coming, for being our guest.


He said, "My name is Charlie.   I’m glad to meet you, my friend."

There were tears in his eyes, but he had a large, wide grin.

"Let me explain", he said,

wiping tears from his eyes.

"I’ve been coming here for months and you are the first to say, ‘Hi’.

"I know that my appearance is not like all the rest,

but I really do try to always look my best.

I always clean and polish my shoes, before my very long walk.

But, by the time I get here, they’re dirty and dusty, like chalk."

My heart filled with pain and I swallowed to hide my tears,

as he continued to apologise for daring to sit so near.

He said, "When I get here, I know I must look a sight,

but I thought if I could touch you,

then maybe our souls might unite."


I was silent for a moment,

knowing whatever was said

would pale in comparison.

I spoke from my heart, not my head,

"Oh, you’ve touched me", I said,

"and taught me, in part, that the best of any man

is what is found in his heart."

The rest, I thought,

this shoe man will never know

like just how grateful I really am

that this dirty old shoe touched my soul …



Have a wonderful week, in seeking opportunities to give thanks to our God. 

Denise Shaw


Assistant Principal - Student Learning, Data Analysis & Logistics

Acknowledging Academic Effort and Excellence

At Mt A, we have a strong focus on engaging our students in meaningful learning.


Our recent Open Day demonstrated, in a superb fashion, the engagement of many of our young women. It showcased our committed staff and the variety of outstanding programs that we have in place to support and engage our young women in their learning.   With a clear aim of raising the bar this year, we have many initiatives in place. 


One important focus is to ensure the ongoing acknowledgment of our students who are achieving outstanding academic results.  This week at our Academic Assembly many of our young women will be rewarded for dedication to their studies.  Students in Francis, Clare, and Elizabeth Hayes Schools will be awarded Academic Excellence certificates at the assembly.  I congratulate these girls for the work that they have put into achieving these high level results in one or multiple subjects.  In addition, students who have been recognised by their teachers for Academic Effort will also be awarded certificates.   I encourage all of these girls to continue to strive for success; you are great ambassadors for our college and role models for all students.  Congratulations and well done! 


With more assessment being undertaken to complete Semester 1 subjects, I encourage the girls to continue to aim high and to be committed and dedicated to their studies, and we look forward to being able to award the young women who achieve Academic Excellence in each of their subject areas at our first Academic Assembly in Term 3.


Being acknowledged for academic success is something of which to be proud.

Debra Evans



Gathering Feedback from our Students - Student Voice is Important

Tell Them From Me® (TTFM)


Mount Alvernia College is delighted that this term, the Years 7, 8, 9, and 10 students will participate in the Tell Them From Me (TTFM) Secondary Surveys.


In the coming weeks we will be inviting students to provide feedback on their experience of our college using an online platform.  The surveys will assist us with our planning process, both within the classroom and when considering the variety of programs that we offer.  The focus of the student surveys is on student wellbeing, engagement, and effective teaching practices.


More than 6300 schools in Australia and around the world have used the suite of Tell Them From Me to survey 5.4 million students.


The information provided will be used to maintain our commitment to working together in partnership to further improve student learning and wellbeing at Mount Alvernia.  As we value the role of students at our college, we would greatly appreciate their feedback.


Please be assured that the surveys are anonymous, and participating in the survey is entirely voluntary. The surveys are conducted online and will typically take approximately 20 to 30 minutes to complete. The student survey will be administered during school hours in a Homeroom session between 27 May and 7 June.


Further information will be provided closer to the survey window by way of parent email.

We look forward to processing and analysing the feedback from your daughter.

Debra Evans


English Perfect

This year I decided to compete in the Education Perfect English Championships. 


The competition ran from 2 to 8 May, and was immensely time-consuming, competitive, and analogous to a marathon.  I won a $50 voucher in my final ranking by placing sixth globally and second in Australia. I undertook the competition because I desired an award to showcase my hard work and dedication, and because I was determined to surpass the previous result I set last year.


It’s unbelievable that I have earned this monumental achievement.


Thiana Gunther




The Arts


Another fortnight, another Careers update!  Read Careers News for all the latest information.


Melissa Loveday, Careers Program Leader



La Cucina


Friday 24 May

Natalie Mills, Kellie Jilani

Monday 27 May

Rachel Browne, Vicky Ferlito

Tuesday 28 May

Margaret Hutchins

Wednesday 29 May

Robyn Nicolle

Thursday 30 May

Kathy Leddy


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 Kim at College Reception, ph 3357 6000.

Community Notices


News & Views
L to R: Alison Hutchinson, Natalie Finney, Jen Gibbons, Monica Sargeant