Melbourne Girls' College

20 April 2017
Issue Five
Important Dates
Principal's Report
Showcasing Action Research at MGC
The 2017 Attitudes to Schools Survey
 Leadership Report 
International Student Program News
Year 7 News
Performing Arts News
Global Village English and Chinese Competition
Melbourne Girls' College
9428 8955
Yarra Boulevard
Richmond, VIC, 3121

Important Dates


26th April: Year 7/2018, Information Evening

27th April: Rowing Presentation Night

27th April: Open Day


12th May: Parents' Association Mother's Day Breakfast

12th May: Dance Night

27th May: Parent's Association Trivia Night


Principal's Report

Thank you

Thank you to Roger Dunscombe, Harriet Turnbull and Jo Jepsen for devoting part of their term break to the Arts, Design and Culture trip to New York and L.A. The feedback from students and parents has been overwhelmingly positive. These amazing learning and life experiences are only possible with such excellent, dedicated staff. We are very proud of the girls who conducted themselves with maturity and excitement in the learning. Thank you all!


Information Night 26th April and Open Day 27th April – coming up!

Thank you to our Girls’ Leadership Leader, Ella McDonald, Brent Houghton, Staff, Public Relations Captains and Junior Ambassadors who are preparing for their work on Open Day. Our Ambassadors will guide visitors through the college and model the welcoming and inclusive culture of MGC. It is always a great opportunity to show case the people, learning, care and co-curricular programs of our wonderful school.
I am currently writing the address to prospective parents and this Aristotle quote keeps coming to mind,

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all”.


I hope you agree that this is something MGC students and staff work on every day.                                                 

Learning @ MGC

The work in preparing our students for their future success is part of what we research, plan and develop our own professional learning to support. The School Review has highlighted the professional learning design as a success. Teams of teachers working on specific action research directly related to their students is continually improving the girls’ outcomes.                                                                                   


22nd National Schools Constitutions Convention, Canberra from the 15th to the 17th March 2017

Gabriella Dawson and Lilian Gonzalez’s participation in the Convention along with 120 students from around Australia is a credit to them both. At the Convention, Emeritus Professor John Warhurst AO led a two-day programme in which students explored ‘Indigenous Australians and the Constitution’. After hearing from a panel of experts and considering the issues in working groups delegates voted in a mock referendum. The majority of people and majority of states agreed on proposed new sections 51A and 116A.


51A Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

Recognising that the continent and its islands now known as Australia were first occupied by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples;

Acknowledging the continuing relationship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples with their traditional lands and waters;

Respecting the continuing cultures, languages and heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples;

The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

116A Prohibition of racial discrimination

(1) The Commonwealth, a State or a Territory shall not discriminate on the grounds of race, colour or ethnic or national origin.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude the making of laws or measures for the purpose of overcoming disadvantage, ameliorating the effects of past discrimination, or protecting the cultures, languages or heritage of any group.


This outcome was included in a Communiqué which will be presented to the Senate for inclusion in Hansard.

Premier’s VCE Awards

On Thursday 27th April Sefija Demirova and Jason Kohlman will attend the Premier’s VCE Awards where our talented 2016 Year 12 students, Eirene Vlahogiannis (Legal Studies), Jenna Sullivan (French) and Jamieson Beaman (VET Hospitality) will be honoured. Sefija deserves her own award gaining three perfect 50 study scores with her teaching of Units 3 and 4 Legal Studies. Our other teacher VCE high achievers are Mei Francis for Mathematical Methods, Jason Kohlman for French and Harriet Turnbull for Visual Arts.


Parent – Student - Teacher Conferences 28th March, 2017.

It seems so long ago now! However, many thanks to our students, families and staff who made the reflections on our students’ term one work constructive, enjoyable and effective for future learning.

Department of Education and Training (DET) Government Schools in Richmond and Prahran

MGC welcomes the building of two new high schools nearby. Under DET rules this means boundary changes to ensure that students are enrolled at their nearest government school. This document on our website outlines the Year 7 enrolment policy agreed with DET


DET modelling indicates that even beyond 2020 all post code 3121 based girls will gain a place at the College as the MGC enrolment provision for 50% of the next closest girls shows this clear intent.



Karen Money





Showcasing Action Research at MGC

Showcasing Action Research at MGC

The two models below inform Action Research at MGC:

Small groups of teachers in Professional Learning Teams choose an aspect of their classroom teaching on which to focus. The choice is based on available data. The impact of the strategies put in place are measured and the research evaluated.


The following is an example of Action Research from the Year 12 English Professional Learning Team (Paul Carter, Nunu Bisogni and Liam Brown)


Focus - improving student cohort results in the Year 12 English exam Language Analysis task.

Reasons for choice – Review of Language Analysis exam results from the period 2013 to 2016



1. Moving the initial SAC assessment to the start of the year;

2. Focusing upon a specific theme (‘Australia Day and issues of Australian identity’) as part of the teaching of the initial unit.

3. Revising Language Analysis skills fortnightly for the remainder of the year in the cohort’s shared seventh-period class;

4. Teachers collaborating on individual lessons to target specific language analysis skills, such as analysing the progression of an argument and building metalanguage for comparative analysis.

5. Semester Two practice exam to be externally assessed by VCAA assessors.


Results  - Student results from the Year 11 end-of-year exam, Unit 3 SAC,  ongoing Language-Analysis assessment in Units 3 and 4, and from the end of year practice exam and VCAA exam will be analysed

Measure of impact - seeking to improve the cohort median result in the Year 12 Language Analysis exam assessment by >5%.



Tip Kennedy

Assistant Principal 



The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests for Years 7 and 9 students will be held on Tuesday 9 May, Wednesday 10 May and Thursday 11 May. NAPLAN tests assess student knowledge and skills in Writing, Reading, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy. There is a change for 2017 – there will be only one numeracy test whereas in past years there have been two.


The results of the tests provide information for students, parents, teachers and principals which can be used to improve student achievement.


All students are expected to participate in the NAPLAN tests. Catch-up tests will be available for individual students who are absent on test days on Friday 12 May.


Students may be withdrawn from NAPLAN testing by their parent or carer. Student Withdrawal Forms are available at the school and must be completed and returned to the General Office prior to the tests.


Later in the year you will receive your child’s personal NAPLAN report. The report will describe your child’s particular skills in Reading, Writing, Language Conventions and Numeracy. The report will also show how your child performed in relation to national minimum standards. These describe minimum acceptable standards for students across Australia.


For more information about the tests, please visit the VCAA website at or the NAPLAN website at


Brent Houghton

Assistant Principal

The 2017 Attitudes to Schools Survey

The 2017 Attitudes to Schools Survey

Our school is conducting a survey to find out what your child thinks of our school. The Attitudes to School survey is an annual student survey offered by the Department of Education and Training. The survey assists schools in gaining an understanding of students' perceptions and experience of school.

Our school will use the survey results to plan programs and activities to improve your child's schooling experience. We used the 2016 survey results in term 1 as part of our School Review, to help determine student needs in our next Strategic Plan.


This year the Attitudes to School survey will be conducted at our school between Monday 22 May to Friday 23 June. The survey only takes 20-30 minutes to complete and occurs during your child's class time. Students from Year 7 to 12 at our school will participate in the survey. Your child will complete the survey online during school hours using a purpose built secure online survey tool. The Department has updated the survey for 2017 to include important new measures that are known to influence student engagement and performance.


The survey results will be reported back to the school in Term 3.


Students privacy is our priority. 


Your child will be provided with a unique login to complete the survey. The student login is an assigned identifier that may be used by the Department to combine data for research purposes only. Your child’s privacy and the confidentiality of your child’s survey responses will be protected at all times. No identifiable personal data is included in the survey response file.

This survey is not a test and your child has the right to refuse or withdraw from the survey at any point before, during, or after completion.


Want to know more?


Please email [email protected] if you would like more information or see: Attitudes to School Survey



Brent Houghton

Assistant Principal

 Leadership Report 

Welcome to Term 2

As Term 2 begins it’s time for the Middle and Senior School Executives to reflect on what has been a jam-packed Term 1! All captains have settled into their roles and their portfolio boards located around the school are looking fantastic. They are all centred around the theme for 2017: Good Vibes! This theme hopes to foster a sense of positivity and support amongst the school community as the leadership team wish for all students and staff to have the best possible 2017!


Events held in Term 1 have included two whole school assemblies. The first was to welcome the students back to the new school year and to present the Middle and Senior School with their badges. This was followed by Harmony Day, celebrated at MGC on the 22nd of March with another whole school assembly. It was a wonderful morning with performances including dances, songs and poems, performed from students in Year 7-12. A highlight was a parade of traditional dresses from a diverse range of cultures to conclude the assembly. See below for some photos.


International Women’s Day (IWD) was also a big event in Term 1! The Senior School Exec were fortunate to attend two IWD breakfasts, one held by The Alliance of Girls’ Schools Australia at Parliament House where an ex-MGC student and now our School Council President Maya Naryan was the guest speaker. The other half of the Senior School (SS) Exec attended the Annual Rotary IWD Breakfast at Crown where they met Susan Alberti, Sara James and Kitty Chiller. Both were great experiences and opportunities for the Captains made some connections with other female leaders from around Victoria.


It is also a good time to also recognise some significant achievements made by the portfolios which make up the Student Execs:

Environment – Moonlight Cinema

Public Relations – Ongoing Junior Ambassador Training

SRC – 2017 Congress

Sport – Swimming and Athletic Days

Philanthropy – World’s Greatest Shave

STEAM – Pi Day


Finally, Term 2 starts of full of events and planning, with Information Night (26/4) & Open Day (27/4) coming up, an Activities Fair on May 1st (where students can see all the extra-curricular options available to them). There will also be more fundraisers, assemblies and maybe a causal clothes day or two somewhere in the mix!


From the Middle School:

The Middle School Executive has hit the ground running in the first term of 2017, showing clear initiative and communication by successfully organising the bake stall and healthy food stall at MGC's swimming and athletics carnival. The Captains are full of positive energy and are looking forward to future events including assemblies and working together within their portfolios to help promote different aspects of Melbourne Girls College.


Emma Ferguson & Sophie Jennings

Communication Captain & Middle School Mentor       




International Student Program News


It’s been a month since our last newsletter and many things have happened, but most of them during the Easter holidays!  On 24th March we had our Athletics Carnival, and the international students turned out in force to cheer on the participating athletes.  There were international students who entered into several events, and many who looked on from the sidelines, wishing they had been brave enough to join in!



Student Profiles


Hello, everyone. I am Kary, who is an international student from China. I have been to Melbourne for two years, and this year is my last year studying in Melbourne Girl’s College.


This was the first time I came to Australia in July 2015, I was unaccustomed to living without my family and had no friends in school. However, MGC provides lots of opportunities for me to find new friends and to join the MGC community. Last year, I took part in long jump at the Athletics Sport Day, enrolled in the Maths Competition and participated in Pi Day. Now, I am so happy to be a part of the MGC big family, and I enjoy my life in Australia.


I live in a passionate and friendly host family. It is very lucky for me to live with them and I can learn more about Australian culture. We also celebrated Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, and I invited my friend Ariel to make dumplings together. I had a great time with my homestay!


Ellen CHEN

My Homestay Life

Hello, everyone. I’m Ellen. I’m an international student from China.

When I first came to Australia, I was very homesick. Luckily, I had a perfect homestay mother. She comforted me and gave me a  big hug. The homestay family has three special members which three big Doberman dogs. At first, I was scared but after a while I started to get along with them and now I can lie on the same sofa and watch TV. At this homestay, I met one of my best friends in MGC.


I moved to another homestay because my last homestay was too far away from school. During the Easter holiday, we went to Daylesford. We went boating on the lake and went to a zoo and a small lavender garden. We had a good time there. I have learned to cook and weave.


Now I live in a homestay with one roommate. Our rooms are beautiful. When our friend came, she said 'Your rooms look like princess’s rooms.’ Moreover, our homestay mother is good at cooking. Although she is from America, she can cook delicious Chinese food.


I think that living in the homestay is an interesting experience. All my homestays are friendly and come from different countries. I learn the cultures of different countries and eat different kinds of delicious food.



Teacher Profiles

Olivia DAY

My name is Olivia Day and I am an English and EAL Teacher at MGC.        


If I was to go to school again, I would want to be introduced to the idea that it is OK to change your mind when thinking of what you want to do in life. My journey to teaching was a round-about one as my previous studies were Fashion and Marketing. I moved from the Perth Hills to Melbourne in 2013 in the hopes of exploring a career in Fashion Events, where I promptly realised that I wanted to be a teacher! Since then, I have studied linguistics, English and teaching which has gotten me to where I am today. 


I have always studied dancing since I was little and my fondest memories of school, which I attended in Perth, include being involved in, organising and choreographing many dance productions. I believe it is so important to keep doing what you love throughout your life. ​I am also a Yoga Teacher, which has helped me to learn the value of mindfulness and patience (both very important things in day-to-day life!). 

If you see me walking down the hallways, don't be afraid to say hi. I look forward to chatting to you about anything and everything!


Student Work

In recognition of work well done, we would like to share some examples of our talented internationals’ writing!  If you would like to share some of your work, or your students’ work, please forward it on to [email protected] .



Creative Response


 (A letter to be opened in the event of my death)

November 1978, Ro Leap Labour Camp


My dearest children,


Probably you all have received the letter by the time I am no longer alive in this world. After sending Kim, Chou and Loung away, I have been searching everywhere around Ro Leap for a crumple piece of paper and a pen. I make sure the Khmer Rouge does not suspect what I am doing, as such civilised act can easily provoke them. After relentless days at work, I now use the moon as my source of light to start writing. Geak is sleeping soundly beside me. She looks so fragile that even a small wind can blow her away. I hold the pen up and widen my eyes with the realization that I have not written anything for more than 3 years. It is strange how the feeling of the pen reminds me so much of the sufficient life we had back in Phnom Penh. It also reminds me of you, my children who I love and cherish so much. Unfortunately, death is inevitable, and no matter how I loathe it, I must now let go of my children as well.


Words cannot describe how regretful I am towards all of you. It is such a shame that a mother must see her children suffer endlessly from the low quality of life at labour camps, with little to eat but so much work to do. I am sorry for the constant hunger that torments my babies, for the exhaustion and hopelessness which have already imprinted in your mind. I am terribly sorry for all those atrocious sights you have witnessed, for never allowing Keav to have her last words with the family, for letting Pa go and never come back. Sorry for having separated our family after all our endeavour to stay together. Most of all, I have been weak. I am just as confused as you all are while everything keeps happening out of hand, and I can never protect you well enough from whatever is going on. Sons and daughters, I beg for your forgiveness.


Meng and Khouy, it is horrible that you are forced into leaving our family too early. Especially for Khouy, the conscription news caught me and Pa off guard. We figured it was best for you to have an arranged marriage without considering how miserable you must have been. It has been over a year since I last saw two of my beautiful, young man and I pray every day that you are all still doing well. Kim, my little Monkey, my heart still breaks every time I think of how much you have sacrificed to our family. Sometimes, I wonder if it was worth it seeing scars marking all over your body as you obediently brought food back for us. My heart was tormented with guilt upon seeing you stealing corn from the fields. I should have stopped you from doing such wrongful acts, but as I have said, I am a horrendous mother, and my heart says one thing, but my brain says another. I am heartbroken that I could not protect you. My dear Chou, I hardly have the time to take care of you like a normal mother would, and I am beyond sorry for that. As for Loung, I feel the urge to even apologize to you for all the incidents back in Phnom Penh. I admit I have been a little harsh to you, telling you off frequently about your manners. I know my words mean little as you have proven to be so determined. I hope you still remember Pa’s words, that you are a “diamond in the rough”, and I know you are destined to achieve great heights in the future. Geak sends her greetings to her siblings. She and I have missed you all so much.


I have been nothing but a terrible mother, but I beg all of you to hear my advice so that you can overcome these hard times. My premonition is that the Angkar Regime is coming to an end due to the Youn’s attack. When the time comes, I reckon Meng and Khouy to stick together, escape from the camp and start building things up from scratch. Only by doing that will you stand a chance of reuniting with your relatives again. Kim, go find your little sisters and try to give them shelter. Hopefully you all can find others despite difficult circumstances. Chou and Loung, my beloved daughters, do not let yourselves be downgraded by the Angkar’s moral standards. Please stand tall and believe the worst will be over soon. The last thing I want to remind you is that do not seek for revenge on the Khmer Rouge. Their wrongdoings are unjustifiable but violence cannot be extinguished by more violence. Revenge will never compensate for all our losses. Also, spare your thought for Pa and Keav as well, and pray for them as we are greatly indebted to them for their sacrifice.


The sun is rising and the Khmer Rouge will check on us very soon, so I figure I will stop here. My faith is strong that our family will reunify again. I am sincerely sorry for everything you have gone through. Goodbye my children. Bear in mind that I will meet you all again. Time is nothing.


Kiss you all,



Call for Story Tellers

We are all part of the Melbourne Girls’ College community, so we would like to hear the stories of some of the people that make up our diverse and colourful community.


We’d like you to share your story; where did you come from, where have you been?  If you have a family member, particularly a grandparent or older relative, who is a particularly good story teller, we’d like to invite them to tell us a story at school!  Please let us know!


League of Homestay Champions

If you are interested in hosting one of our fabulous international students, please contact Lluani Williams via the College number: 9428-8955, or by email: [email protected] , or you can pop by my office in room 302.  We are always looking for new Melbourne Girls’ College homestay families!

Year 7 News

Year 7 Bunny Brooches  

Year Seven Bunny Brooches


The Lyceum sunroom was a hive of activity in the last two weeks of term with Year Seven girls making beautiful bunny brooches. Felt, ribbon, buttons, pom poms and stuffing in house colours were set out in a colourful array across the tables, with girls swooping in and out to gather materials. The bunny brooches was a fun optional activity; they were about 7cm tall and had all kinds of unique accessories like bells, pom poms and coloured thread. Miss Busetti and some of her helpers from older year levels looked on, offering handy tips and advice and assisting anyone who was having trouble. Some girls were sewing, some stuffing, some cutting, but all concentrating hard on creating their bunnies. Seated in cushy sunroom chairs, they worked all lunchtime to perfect their little brooches. The creative and unique bunnies were worn proudly by their makers for the last few weeks of term one. Thanks Ms Busetti for setting up this activity.  


By Ellie Bellsmith 7R2



Programming Robots

On Monday the 20th of March, the Year Sevens in Melba 1 were given the most amazing opportunity to work in the STEAM Centre! In the STEAM Centre, we enthusiastically explored using and programming robots!


With much excitement and laughter, we used an app to control and play with our robots. Some people used computers to control their robots. We could make them jump, change colours, spin and even chase our friends around the room! We used many different types of robots including DASH, SPRKS, OZBOTS and many more!


Afterwards we were taught to use another app (or computer). We used the app to complete the different challenges the teachers set for us. By programing the robots, we could make them complete the challenges that we were given. On the app there were different blocks, which you had to connect. Written on the blocks was a movement or action like move forward at 100% speed, jump, spin, turn right 90 degrees or even change colour!


For our challenges, some of us had to program our robots to pick up and put golf balls into a small area. That was really funny to watch! Some of us had to program them to take plastic cups out of a small space. Others had to program our robots to make their way around many different items in a very tricky obstacle course! We all took great delight in the adventures our robots undertook with our brilliant assistance.


We ended our outstanding lesson with a presentation from NAO the robot, where it told us all about itself, how it was created and what it can do! It was astonishing to watch NAO talk, walk, sit and stand!  It was hilarious to watch NAO gesture to things all around the room! We all loved working in the STEAM centre and we can’t wait to go again!


By Milli Tregear, 7M1


Performing Arts News

2017 House Production 

Just a reminder to students that we have begun rehearsals after school on Tuesdays this term for this year’s student run production of “It’s Not the End of the World…or is it??”


Rehearsals run every Tuesday (apart from Anzac Day) from 2.30 - 3.20pm, meeting in the Drama room.

It is not too late to join- all welcome! Come and support your House and be involved!



Urban Camp, Parkville

Our choir, band and string students will be attending their annual music camp from next Friday afternoon (Period 4) to Sunday morning where all their hard work rehearsing will culminate in a concert for parents and friends at 11am. Apart from making beautiful music together, highlights include a movie night, dinner at a Lygon street restaurant and a “MGC’s Got Talent” competition performance evening.

Students are allowed to come in casual clothes on Friday, 28th April and can leave their bags in the music room until we leave. Please click here for clothing/equipment checklist:

Staff attending will be Ellyce Calder, Wen Chin, Tony Hicks and Anne Corry.


Thank you in advance to all our parents of our music students for their support.




Anne Corry

Global Village English and Chinese Competition

Congratulations to Katherine Jessop and Savarna Chandra!

On the 10th of March, two of our Chinese students-Katherine Jessop and Savarna Chandra went to China to participate in “Global Village English and Chinese Competition”.


Students from Australia, America, Singapore, Korea and Ecuador took part in the competition. They communicated with Chinese local students and were able to experience traditional Chinese culture. They visited historical city Nanjing and Home of Silk Suzhou. In Nanjing, they got the chance to make lanterns, paint traditional operatic faces and make clay figurines. What’s more, they went to museums and were introduced to miracle ancient antiques. They were also allocated Chinese host families and visited the local schools.


In the competition, each English speaking students cooperated with a local Chinese student to compete. Katherine and Savarna introduced Melbourne and Australia in Chinese and cooperated with their buddies introducing China in English. Katherine has won the first prize and Savarna received the second prize.


They both feel excited and have fantastic experiences in China. As Katherine noted “During the trip I ate some delicious food such as dumplings and tried some new things like duck blood.” And Savarna also said: " I met so many great new friends that I hope to stay in touch with and it was so great being able to experience the unique and beautiful culture of China.”



Training Camp

On the 24th of March, the twenty seven new recruits from the cadet program went on a camp to RAAF Base Williams in Laverton. The camp went from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening and there were 138 recruits from five squadrons at the camp.


The recruits learnt how to do a variety of activities such as basic drill, how to take care of our uniform and belongings, how to cooperate as a team and it also gave us a minor insight into what it would be like to live on an air base. We were also very fortunate to have the opportunity to go to the

 Point Cook airbase and fly in a plane with a professional pilot. We were given a thirty to forty minute flight around Werribee and Laverton. Overall the camp was both challenging and rewarding and we are all looking forward to our next camp.


A big thanks to the Corporals, Sergeant, Flight Sergeant and also to Trevor Howlett for all of your efforts to keep us motivated, energetic and for getting us through our first camp.


By Jean Palamara and Mary Carajias


If you saw anyone lugging suitcases to school on athletics day, here’s why. Twenty-seven new AAFC recruits, two corporals, a sergeant and a flight sergeant went on camp last weekend. After Athletics Day, we set off over the Westgate Bridge to RAAF Williams Laverton for Recruit Training Camp, a weekend all about doing things properly, precisely and efficiently and making new friends.


Surprised by the tight schedule and new environment we may have been, but what a time we had. On Friday night we arrived, new uniforms in hand. After dinner at the mess, we attended a presentation and were told of the precise structure of the day (in 24 hour time nonetheless).


By Sunday our feet were tired, but we kept on marching around the base. After a quick bus ride over to Point Cook, we took turns flying in a small plane, three of us at a time. Some of us got to sit in the front of the plane next to the pilot. Our drill is now much improved thanks to the hours of marching!"


Thank you!!


CDT Hudson


Melbourne Girls' College
Urban Camp Clothing list.pdf
Urban Camp Clothing list.pdf