Parent Corner

01 November 2018
Issue 9
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
The Drama Club invites you
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 5, Term 4

Monday 5 November

6.30pm FCIP Junior Showcase Concert (San Damiano Centre)


Tuesday 6 November

7.30am Year 12 Students' Breakfast


Wednesday 7 November

6.30pm Sports Awards Evening (San Damiano Centre)


Thursday 8 November

7.00pm Year 7 Social (San Damiano Centre)


Friday 9 November

6.00pm A Christmas Choral Showcase


Deputy Principal
Student Development

It is always a great time of year when we have the opportunity to formally acknowledge and celebrate all the good work that has occurred throughout the year. This year's Art Show, Awards Night, and FCIP concert series are no exception. In fact, I would have to argue that the quality seems to get better and better. This will be no different next week when we celebrate all sporting achievements, and our choirs at the Choral Showcase.

But what are we celebrating? Is it the As, the final series wins, outstanding performances? All these are definitely warranted, but what I enjoy most is watching the joys on student faces when they are acknowledged for effort and approach to their studies.


As Chloe Peoples in her address at Awards Night as Vice Captain stated, “Over the past year, I have had the absolute honour to see many young women discover the power to express their individuality. Whether it be in the classroom, on the sporting field, or even at an assembly, the enthusiasm and passion displayed by the girls who are proud to be themselves is truly inspiring.”

As Chloe also pointed out, success doesn’t come without its difficulties and that it is in fact these moments that make us stronger.
“Although there have been times where I wished that these challenges would magically disappear, I wouldn’t have it any other way as I truly believe that it is these challenges that shape us into the women that we are destined to become. They allow the inner qualities that we did not know we had to shine through, changing us for the better.”


Perhaps the best way to sum up the achievements of our girls is through providing you with some of the script from our College Captain for 2018, Tahlia De Felicis.  Tahlia thoughtfully used the story of the chicken farmer who found an eagle’s egg and put it with the chickens. It grew up thinking it was a chicken doing everything that they did.

“He thought that was what he was supposed to do. So that was all that he thought he could do. Consequently, that was all he was able to do.
From time to time we can mistakenly think we are chickens too, just wanting to fit in or feeling that we are not up to the challenge…Setbacks are inevitable; however, the thing that separates those who fail from those who ultimately  succeed is that those who succeed always get back up when something strikes them down. So, if you feel like you are surround by chickens, remember to reach down deeply to be that courageous eagle who is born to soar; always know your worth.
Tonight, let us celebrate the achievements of the girls and most importantly acknowledge the hours of effort and commitment that has brought you here. You have soared high, just as you were meant to.”  


Any young girls listening to either of our Captains would have to have been truly  inspired by their insights. Knowing what success looks like brings each person one step closer to knowing how to achieve it. Well done to our award recipients for 2018, and equally so well done to every student who  has soared like an eagle and achieved the goals she set out to achieve.  

Annette Butterworth


Year 7 Pastoral Guardian

On Tuesday evening the Year 7 students attended the Awards Night to acknowledge and reflect on their personal success and achievements this year, and those of their peers.  It was an inspirational evening that I hope will encourage your daughter to set herself meaningful goals for academic, social, sporting, and cultural success during her future years at Mount Alvernia College and beyond.


Over the last couple of weeks, the Year 7 classrooms have been busy with many of our students welcoming a ‘buddy for a day’. Their buddies were students who have enrolled to commence their secondary schooling at Mount A in 2019. It was a wonderful opportunity for our Year 7 students to develop their leadership skills by communicating their pride in their college, providing care and consideration for the needs of their buddies, and giving encouragement and reassurance where needed. Judging by the smiles on the faces of the buddies at the end of the day, the Year 7 cohort should be very proud of how they handled their responsibilities.


Some of the feedback from the Year 7 students about their experiences over the last few weeks:


“On 30 October, the 2018 College awards were held in San Damiano. One of the speeches that I found very inspiring was by Tahlia De Felicis, the College Captain. The message that I got from the story was that you can be like everyone else and always try to fit in, or you can try and be unique and have others see those unique qualities and really excel at Mount Alvernia College. Another speech that I found super inspiring was the speech read by Chloe Peoples, the Vice Captain. I found that I could really relate to her even though I'm only in Year 7. Chloe described the things that her mum had done for her during her time at the school and I realised that my mum has done exactly the same things for me. She really made it clear that your mum doesn't just clean the house or pick up after you 24-7, she is there to love and help you when needed.”  By Emma Green


“Last night at the awards night I was listening to some inspiring and positive speeches. The speech that really inspired me was from Dr Tuite. She sounded really grateful to be a leader at this college and how she loves watching all of us trying our best in whatever we do. She also loves seeing us being involved with the life of the college. Last night Dr Tuite spoke about how a young girl came in and had an enrolment interview with her, and the girl had said the school felt safe.  That is how I feel too. Last night was a great night to congratulate all who got awards and listening to the inspiring speeches.” By Emily Faulks


When the first group of Year 6s were coming for their Experience High School day, I was assigned to have a buddy. She was super sweet, and really smart. From this experience I learnt what it is like to be responsible for explaining things about the college and showing her about. I quite enjoyed this experience as I could confidently walk her to places and tell her where certain parts of the college are, and what they are called. I liked being a leader for my buddy, and I hope that she enjoyed this experience as much as I did.” By Sofia Coco


“Having a Year 6 buddy to take around the school was a great experience. I remember my day at Mount Alvernia and it was crazy to think that I was doing this last year. I felt a sense of responsibility and leadership showing my buddy around. I realised that I am now comfortable and I have settled into Mount Alvernia well because I could show someone where everything is as well as confidently do my work in class. I really enjoyed the day and I hope my buddy did too.” By Alice Kelly

Alison Ward

Year 8 Pastoral Guardian

What is success?

As the end of the academic year draws to a close, richly deserved acknowledgement is bestowed upon many within our community for a successful year. On Tuesday night at the Mount Alvernia Awards Night, I felt immensely proud of our young women who were recognised for their success. But this success was only possible due to their self-sacrifice, grit, determination, hunger for exploring and expanding their potential, and the unfailing support of others, especially parents.


However, while strict criteria apply in measuring success for an awards ceremony, the measure of success is variable and knows no boundaries when it comes to the big picture of school and life. As a Pastoral Guardian, I see success in a myriad of ways and this, too, is worthy of acknowledgement.


So, how do Year 8 students define success, and in what ways have they experienced success in 2018?


Success is setting high standards for myself, working step by step to achieve them and enjoying the buzz at the end. For me, dancing in the Cultural Festival has been a highlight and moment of success because it is very daunting to dance, particularly tap because it is so challenging, in front of my peers. I love dancing and, after my performances, I felt proud of myself for pushing my comfort zone, and for achieving one of my goals for 2018.

Hannah Weston


Success is about effort, not always the result. This year I have worked really hard on developing my netball skills. To do this, I have had to really focus and apply myself during training. I am proud of my commitment to be a better netball player; consequently, I am also a better team member and have really enjoyed my netball season.

Amber Lawrey


Success is doing your absolute best and being satisfied with your effort. This year I have focused on improving my musicianship by dedicating more time to areas of challenge, rather than the easier skills. Now I feel more confident about playing, and in helping others to achieve success.

Amelia Spanevello


This year, our netball team were beaten almost every week! That meant, for our last game we played for either seventh or eighth position on the ladder. Today, our team played our final game like it was a grand final for the premiership. We gave our very best on the court, we played for each other, our coach and team ‘mum’, and we made sure that we encouraged and praised each other’s effort. In the end, we came seventh, but we had so much fun during the season, learning new skills and the importance of team work, and making new friends. We stayed strong, united, and positive and we looked forward to our weekly games. For me, we were successful!

Liza Kori


Success comes in so many forms. So, as your daughter looks back on her journey through Francis School and Year 8, please encourage her to look at the big picture when measuring her success: her effort and skill development, the quality of her relationships with others, the ways she has worked to be a better version of herself compared to the previous day. Yes, your daughter is successful and has much to celebrate. And of course, thank you, parents and carers, for the unfailing support, wisdom, and sacrifices you make, so that your daughter can experience and enjoy her success.




To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;

To appreciate beauty;

To find the best in others;

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;

This is to have succeeded.


Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803 - 1882, American Author & Philosopher

Jeni Barlow


Year 9 Pastoral Guardian

News from Year 9

With the end of the year fast approaching, there surely is a lot to celebrate.


During the first week of this term, I had the pleasure to spend four days away with your Year 9 daughters at Adventure Alternatives Education Centre, Woodford.


I not only valued this time as it allowed me to be outdoors, but gave me the opportunity to spend time with Year 9s away from school.  During this time, I enjoyed observing the girls working collaboratively, facing challenges positively and enthusiastically and, most importantly, having fun.  Girls participated in a range of activities including vertical play pen, high ropes, group initiatives, orienteering, sustainability project and a eight-kilometre hike.

Their resilience was, at times, really tested during these challenging activities; however, I believe they exemplified the true nature of our theme for the year – ‘self in relation to others’.


A huge thank you must go to all the staff that attended both Woodford and Kenilworth camp sites for the four days and gave up their time to spend this valuable time with your daughters – Annette Butterworth, Alison Ward, Courtney Daniec, Dan Martin, Georgia Appelhof, Liz Marlay, Rasika Flux, Krystal Gagen-Spriggs, Ben White, Josh White, Celeste Cook, Sacha Carney, and Deb Evans.  Also, thank you to Jennifer Southern for all the work she did behind the scenes in the lead-up to camp.

Finally, thank you and congratulations must go to all the Year 9 girls who attended camp for their positive spirit and eagerness to challenge themselves by trying things outside their comfort zone.

Many girls have commented that they are extremely proud of what they personally achieved on camp, how they made new friends or strengthened current friendships, and appreciated the luxuries usually taken for granted - such as a bed, warm food, and opportunities their parents provide. 

Hannah Schaper
This year camp was a challenging experience that I know challenged me, and my camp group. As soon as we arrived and met our camp instructors, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. The activities challenged each and every one of us, with the hike being the most challenging of all! I was very close to giving up on the side of the mountain, but with a little help from my camp group, instructors, and teachers, I made it to the campsite, with very sore feet. Then came the rain, although most of us didn't mind getting wet. It rained for quite a while, and most of the activities we did with mud on our clothes, but smiles on our faces. The hardest part was when the rain became too much for us on our second last day. That night, sitting around a makeshift fire (aka Will's camping stove), you could see the exhaustion on everyone's face. But, despite all that, I believe we made the most of that night, and spent a good hour talking about home, our families, and how much we needed a shower. That's when I knew the whole purpose of the camp: to reconnect with people, push the limits of our comfort zone, improve our decision making, and integrate beans into our daily diet. While the challenges were non-stop and harder then ever, I believe everyone came home a stronger person, who really needed a shower and some dry clothes.


Over the last week, I had the pleasure to review Year 9 student applications for the Raising the Bar Leadership Program, as well as attend interviews for these positions.  Each student showed a genuine commitment to developing her leadership skills and shared her personal vision for leadership.  The successful applicants will be part of a team of students who will lead Clare School in 2019 in a variety of positions.  I look forward to seeing their multi-modal speeches held in the next few weeks.  Congratulations to all girls who have taken the opportunity to apply for this program and show their dedication to being part of the Mount Alvernian community.  It is a time to celebrate your continued hard work and determination to reach for your goals.


On Tuesday evening, we attended the College Awards night. This is a time to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of students throughout the year, in all aspects of college life – academic, cultural, sporting and Home Room.  Congratulations to all Year 9 students who received an award.  

You would have recently received an email outlining the last day of the term celebrations on Friday 30 November.  All Year 9 students will attend Chermside Aquatic Centre.  This is a compulsory school day, where girls will celebrate the end of the year together in a casual setting.  Please refer to the email for relevant information and link to give consent for your daughter to attend.

Teena Christofis

Conversation starters:
What was a highlight from camp? What was one thing that you found challenging at camp? Are you proud that you accomplished this?
Are you up-to-date for all your subjects and following your study plan?
Did you apply to be part of the Raise the Bar Leadership Program?

Year 10 Pastoral Guardian

News from Year 10

As we near the end of the year, the girls will be soon ending their time in Clare School and will return in the new year as Senior students in the Elizabeth Hayes School. The girls have successfully navigated the notoriously challenging Years 9 and 10 and this is in itself is a reason to celebrate. We celebrated academic and cultural success of the students last night at the College Awards night and we will celebrate the success of our sporting achievements at the Sports Awards night. Many girls have already been, or soon will be, recognised for their individual achievements across these areas. They are most deserving of this recognition.


There are many other successful students within Year 10, however, who have also faced different challenges in a variety of aspects of their life both at school and home. While these successes are not recognised publicly, they too are important for the girls to identify and acknowledge. I heartily encourage you to talk with your daughters and help them identify what successes they have had this year. It could be lifting a grade from a C to a B, it could be joining an extra-curricular activity, or perhaps not leaving their work until the last minute. Identifying and celebrating these little successes and building on these is the ultimate goal for all. Feeling and celebrating these successes can then drive further success.


It is most fitting then that we should be celebrating all of our girls and their time spent together in Clare School. The Social will be held on 29 November and you will receive a letter early next week with more detailed information. In collaboration with the girls we have decided to begin this event straight after school with an opportunity for the girls to simply relax and celebrate the year together, share a meal, have a swim, and engage in some fun activities organised by the girls. The goal is to enable them to simply enjoy being fifteen, laugh, have fun, and farewell their time as Clare School students; after all, there is plenty of time for them to be ‘grown up.’


The girls can then invite a guest each who can join the event for the disco from 6.00pm. This is simply an opportunity to share their celebration of the end of the year with other friends from other schools. There is absolutely no pressure for girls to invite anyone but those who wish to can do so. Thus, the event will provide the girls with the ‘best of both worlds,’ a fun celebration with their cohort and also a social event with an invited guest.
I am really looking forward ending the year with a positive, fun, and new celebration as it will be certainly very hard to let them go as a Pastoral Guardian.  They truly are a remarkable group of girls, all successful in their own ways. They will of course be in the very capable hands of Karen Farrow as their Years 11 and 12 Pastoral Guardian.

Therese Dooley

Year 11 Pastoral Guardian


Celebrating student success, while important, also marks the end of another year for Year 11 students. In our final celebrations this week, it was satisfying to see that hard work of students has paid off. Subsequently, the sense of satisfaction gained from this recognition translates into continued engagement and increased levels of self-efficacy.

While individual students should certainly be recognised for achieving personal goals, as evidenced in this month’s award evenings, the intrinsic reward, for most, comes in the form of maturity, and a readiness to enter into the final year of their formal education. The students have had a plethora of opportunities to grow this year with outstanding achievements in academia, sport, music, and service. Celebrating these feats has not only made the girls feel great physically and mentally, but has created positive attitudes and behaviours and no doubt will support them in facing new challenges or opportunities in 2019.

Bridget Piper


Year 12 Pastoral Guardian

News from Year 12

As graduation nears, it is a time for your daughter to reflect on her personal success milestones, whether that be academic achievement, cultural, or sporting participation, liturgy and outreach service, or participation in the spirit life of her house and college life.  It is also, importantly, a time for you to celebrate your success as parents and carers in your accompanying school journey, supporting and encouraging your daughter. Congratulations to you and your family!


You know only too well how excited the girls are as they count the days left, while also being tentative about the future. I remind them of the great wave of adventure, discovery, and growth that is ahead.


This week we celebrated success at the College Awards evening and many proud parents and family members celebrated your daughters’ hard work, dedication, love of learning, and outstanding commitment to college life. Congratulations, girls! The end of year certainly highlights successes. I particularly enjoyed celebrating the success and skill of the Year 12 Art and Fashion students at the Art Show recently. As a cohort and College, we celebrated Odette Jonelynas’s prestigious well-earned ADF Academy and Education Award on both assembly and Awards night. The whole assembly on Thursday congratulated the thirty four students in Year 12 who have completed Diploma or Certificate courses off campus in a range of courses. This required excellent time management and commitment to maintaining their school subjects.

Next week, we will have the pleasure of celebrating further successes at the Sports Awards Evening and FCIP Showcase evenings in which so many Year 12s are actively involved.  Additionally, throughout Years 11 and 12, at our own year level assemblies in our Inspiring Young Women Program, we have celebrated many successes of our senior girls who continue to manage their studies excellently while representing at a state, national, and international level in their pursuits.


In the past few weeks of Year 12, the girls have maintained their focus, completing their final assignments and preparations for exams. They have also been engaged in a Transitions Program with guest speakers such as Caitlin Mitchell, a successful young Brisbane businesswoman, Edmund Rice Camps trainers, RACQ and RYDA Road Safety excursion, and Red Frogs. These presentations give opportunities for the girls to enjoy connecting as a cohort to support one another in our final weeks, to be guided by hints for future success and safety, and to be aware of opportunities to give to others in a Franciscan way in the future.


As I reflect on our two-year senior journey together, I recall the Year 11 acknowledgement at their Retreat that their unique year level identity was one of creativity, positivity, supportiveness, brightness, and fun.  This identity has carried through the Year 12 year with our delightful cohort. Every girl - or 'young woman' - would be more appropriate, will have a special opportunity to reflect on her own individual journey and growth in her high school years as well as their growth as a cohort at Evolution Day on 14 November before graduation. I look forward to meeting you at the forthcoming Graduation Mass and Graduation on Thursday 15 November or the final graduation ceremony on Friday 16 November to celebrate the closure of one journey and the embarking on the next.


It has been such a pleasure being your daughter’s Pastoral Guardian over Years 11 and 12, and I wish your very special daughter a happy, fulfilled future as she progresses to adulthood.

Karen Farrow


Counsellors' Corner

Dear Parents

With a constant stream of images in society forcing our girls to compare their bodies against a ‘bikini clad ideal’, social media streams sending subliminal and often more overt messages of how their body ‘should look’, an ever-changing fast fashion industry causing our girls to tread water in an attempt to keep up with the next ‘trend’, and a western culture placing a disproportionate focus on looks rather than smarts, it is no wonder that our girls are struggling to stay afloat and content in this image driven world.


In my own counselling room here at Mount Alvernia I am finding myself more and more having conversations with students from Years 7 to 12 about their own body dissatisfaction, disordered eating behaviours, and how they are struggling with negative thoughts around their image. Mission Australia Youth Survey (2016) found body image as one of the top three stresses that young people are struggling to cope with today, alongside schoolwork-related stress.


In Year 11 this term the girls have focused their Personal Development classes around the documentary Embrace, which takes a look at the growing body image problem in society and the role big marketing companies can play. The girls put together some creative media campaigns to ‘bite back’ at the marketing and fashion industry following the notion of ‘riot not diet’, as we empowered the girls to critically analyse marketing images and understand the impact these images can have on their own self esteem.


We need to continue empowering our girls to talk kindly about themselves as sadly body dissatisfaction in women (and increasingly in men) has become the norm. I have included some tips below that you may be able to try out to help your daughter develop a healthier image:

  • Praise and comment on your daughter’s achievements, hobbies, interests, and passions but avoid commenting on her body size and/or shape (she is already doing this herself) 
  • As a family talk about being healthy, with the consumption of nutritious food and physical activity but avoid ‘weight goals’, ‘diet talk’ or ‘fat chat’ 
  • Talk about food and exercise in the context of fueling the body and/or mind rather than using it to shift image and/or weight  
  • Model your own healthy body talk and lifestyle and avoid pointing out your own body dissatisfaction in front of your daughter 
  • Encourage your daughter to talk kindly about her friends, family, and people in the media and discourage conversations that revolve around body judgment and shaming others 
  • Encourage your daughter to critically analyse media images, the fast fashion industry and gender role expectations, especially in regards to their bodies 
  • Set limits around technology use as social media is a forum for social comparison. Encourage your daughters to take a break, be outside and in nature.

If you have any further concerns about how your own daughter is coping with her own body image or if you have concerns regarding any disordered eating behaviours, please do not hesitate to contact Liz Marlay or myself on [email protected] or 3357 6000. 


Let’s join together to help our girls feel good about themselves! 

Tania Henry


The Drama Club invites you

Beauty is a Beast - Saturday 3 November, 7pm



Year 12 Networking Conference

Last Tuesday 23 October, four Year 12 students attended the FUEL Speed Networking RoundTable Conference during which they were able to speak to several PWC senior executive consultants.


This was an exceptional opportunity for senior students to explore how university degrees directly assist young women with thriving in a typically male-dominated industry.


These students have returned to the College with a greater outlook and understanding of the venture on which they are about to embark with regards to working in the finance sector.


Lisa Warnock, Arianne Ancheta, Kaitlin O'Brien, and Ella O'Sullivan 

La Cucina


Monday 5 November

Kate Wilson, Emma Reid


Tuesday 6 November

Debra Dotto, Margaret Hutchins


Wednesday 7 November

Michael McErlean


Thursday 8 November



Friday 9 November

Jen Davissen, Melanie Horswill


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

Padua College Race Day Saturday 3 November

Tickets are limited and may be purchased via

All tickets purchased will be available for collection from Padua College Office

Grange Thistle Football Club Development Coaching


Charity Cent Auction Saturday 10 November




Anglicare Volunteer Services


Delamore Retirement Community

115 Turner Rd, Kedron, QLD 4031 

You will love this boutique retirement community, offering residents a peaceful and beautiful environment
Three 2-bedroom units are now available for sale ranging from $355,000 - $399,000.
Call 07 3357 7028 to arrange a tour of our facilities
Parent Corner
Beauty is a Beast PosterFINAL.pdf
Beauty is a Beast.pdf