College Newsletter

30 November 2018
Issue 19
Doncaster Secondary College
+613 9848 4677
123 Church Road
Doncaster, VIC, 3108


Monday, 3 December

Australian School Basketball Championships
Interact Conference
Eastern Region String Workshop
Year 9 - Lake Ruffery Science Excursion


Tuesday, 4 December

Australian School Basketball Championships​

Wednesday, 5 December
Year 9 Myself - Celebration Day

Thursday, 6 December

Mentoring program - Celebration Day

Friday, 7 December
SRC Planning and Training Day

Monday, 10 December
Tasmani Camp 

Tuesday, 11 December
Year 7 HeadStart Tennis - 7A, 7B, 7C, 7D, 7E, 7F, 7G, 7H, 7I, 7J, 7K
Year 8 HeadStart Tennis - 8A, 8B, 8C, 8D, 8E

Thursday, 13 December
Year 7 Headstart Tennis - 7F, 7G, 7H, 7I, 7J, 7K

Year 8 Amazing Race - 8F, 8G, 8Hm 8I, 8J, 8K

Friday, 14 December
Year 8 Amazing Race


Year 12 Valedictory Ceremony

On Friday,  23 November, members of our school community gathered together to farewell our Year 12 young men and women at our Valedictory Assembly.  It was a special occasion to pause and reflect on the contribution of our Year 12 students, as well as celebrate their achievements in both academic and co-curricular pursuits.  Our Year 12 VCAL and VCE students were awarded their graduating certificates as proud families and school staff watched on.  The quality of the musical items were a personal highlight.  Thank you to the Senior Jazz band, rock bands ‘The Spin Tops’ and ‘The Sloths’ and Lara and Candy of Year 12 who performed a moving rendition of our National Anthem.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the day, including Ms Sonja Allen and the Food Tech team, Tim Sprigg and Tom Lansdaal for setting up the stadium, as well as all of our student helpers who have been integral in the running of the day.

I would also like to thank all of our special guests for taking time out of their busy schedule to attend.

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2018.  The following students were special award winners on the day:

  • Menzies Shield of Excellence Award   
    Layne Jansons and Joel Wong
  • Caltex Best All Rounder
    Annabel Carr
  • ADF Long Tan Youth Leadership & Teamwork Award
    Dylan Cheng
  • Donvale Lions Club Citizenship Award
    Noah Hechenberger
  • Rotary Youth Leadership Award
    Samantha Cunningham
  • The Doug Smith Award
    Liam Young
  • Merit Awards
    Stephanie Ratcliffe and Dylan Cheng            

Éva McMaster



Our official DSC Facebook page


Attention all students:
Return library books no later than Thursday, 13 December 2018.

All students need to return their library books by Thursday, 13 December.

If you have overdue library books, you are finishing school earlier, going on a school camp or exiting the school, please return them to us earlier.

Make sure to check your lockers and school bags for any library books that may need to be returned!

Welfare Library


I would like to extend a big thank you to all the students and families who have donated their unwanted school text books to the Welfare Library. With these donations the school can reach out to students in need. This is beneficial to their education and makes them feel more secure within the school environment.
The students who have received these text book loans have expressed their gratitude. We have also received positive feedback from the school community about this venture.

Please keep in mind that any student /family can still donate their old texts books to the school.  Drop them in at the library.  

Many thanks.


Sue Hayward

Curriculum Resource Manager

Year 7&8 Headstart STEM Rocket Challenge

Headstart for year 7 and 8 is fast approaching. giving another opportunity for our students to engage with STEM, which is an application of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths. The challenge this year will be to construct a Rocket.


Students are to design and produce a bottle rocket that flies the highest and farthest. The finished design will be launched from a bottle-rocket launcher.


To help support your child, our students and college, we request that your child brings these resources to the school.

  • A minimum volume of a 1.2L plastic bottle
  • Materials for fins – this can be either - lightweight materials or heavy-duty cardboard or other bottles can be used as fins or corrugated cardboard (Aldi boxes, wax boxes)

Students are to place their goodies in a NAMED bag and bring to G block staffroom. Either Ms Sapardanis or Ms Katiforis will store them in a safe place ready for Headstart. 


Sousanna Katiforis, Vicky Sapardanis, Sarah Emanuel, Jialing Sun, Stephanie Langadiotis, Jordan Vlahos, Andrew Tarrant

Year 7&8 Headstart team


National Young Leaders Day

On Wednesday,  14 November, six students (three Year 8 students and three Year 11 students) and two teachers (Ms Chiappa and Mr Hore) participated in the National Young Leaders Day hosted by Halogen. Early in the morning, we caught a bus to the city and then a tram to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre where the event was being held. The four speakers were Cosentino (Australian illusionist and escapologist), Holly Ferling (Australian cricketer), Leisel Jones (Olympic gold medallist) and Uli Latukefu (Australian actor and singer – featured in Marco Polo, Alien Covenant, Jonah from Tonga, and more).

I learnt so many things about the individuals – I was definitely inspired. My favourite speaker would have to be Cosentino because his story was so incredible and I have always been a big fan of his since I was very young. The program was very captivating as the four speakers had so much wisdom and advice to share. The hosts DJ Raf and Teigs also kept us entertained and interactive. We also had numerous opportunities to meet new people from other schools. There were hundreds of students who attended, so in between speakers or after food breaks, we would often start with a game that involves two or three people from different schools having a conversation. In summary, the Doncaster Secondary College team had a fantastic time at this event, and we would like to thank our teachers and Halogen for giving us this opportunity.

Elina J. 8E

On the 14th of November, six Doncaster Secondary Students attended a National Young Leaders day – hosted by Halogen. The six students consisted of three Year 8s and three Year 11s, with Ms Chiappa and Mr. Hore. We were fortunate enough to be invited to the event that had hundreds of students and be able to hear some very successful and inspirational people speak. The speakers were: Cosentino, Holly Ferling, Liesel Jones and Uli Latukefu. They all shared their experiences in their career and journey in life, they also informed us about tips and advice on how to become the best version of ourselves, what a leader is like and how to embrace who we are as an individual. I learnt so much about being unique to ourselves, and that if I am not what others want, I shouldn’t be changing myself to find acceptance and belonging. We were told from their experiences that working hard will get us places, but life is never just a linear line that goes up. It will go back down, different directions and that whatever journey we go on, it will teach us valuable lessons. We were told that whatever situation we are in we should be taking in those circumstances, learning from them and enjoying them even if they seem to be everything we don’t want at that moment because we will always get something out of it. There was so much that I learnt, and so much that inspired me to now apply to my own life, my leadership roles and future ahead. I am extremely thankful for the gracious opportunity given by the school and Halogen.

Kelly N. 8E

Manningham Promoting Character Award

On Thursday, 29 November, Doncaster Secondary College was awarded A Manningham Promoting Character Crystal.  The award was presented by Ms Liz Guiver at our recent Senior School Presentation night.  The award was given to recognise that Doncaster Secondary College consistently demonstrates the following character traits: commitment, dedication, dependability, generosity, honesty, integrity, loyalty, respect responsibility and truthfulness.

I was honoured to accept this award on behalf of the Doncaster Secondary College community.


Éva McMaster


Share the Dignity - Christmas Charity

Each year, Share the Dignity collects handbags filled with personal care products. These Christmas gifts are then distributed to homeless, at-risk and women experiencing domestic violence. Doncaster Secondary College staff have been gathering personal hygiene products and everyday luxuries to donate as part of the #itsinthebag campaign. 

J Block Staffroom


VCE Arts Exhibition

The official opening of the VCE Arts Exhibition was held at the College in the evening on Monday, 12 November. Final artworks from the VCE Studio Arts, Art, Media and Visual Communication & Design were showcased in Tunnel Vision. It was a fantastic evening enjoyed by parents, students, staff and other members of our community. Well done to all the students involved. Thank you to Tyler P. of 12C for her artwork that was included in the marketing materials used to promote our event and to Selina C. of 11I for photographing the event. Another massive thank you to all the support that was provided to make the exhibition come alive. 

Simon Cross
Art Learning Area Leader

Pictured - Tyler P. 12C

Year 10 Visual Communication & Design

This semester, the Year 10 VCD class were each challenged to become the lead designer for their favourite band or performer. Through various marketing needs, students were asked to create a new CD cover for this chosen artist/s. Working specifically with the Elements and Principles of Design, students were able to manipulate various aspects to best suit the needs of their target audience. Here are a few examples of the outstanding work completed. A very happy and proud, Mr Tomada!


Daniel Tomada
Visual Communication & Design Teacher



Year 9 MyRobot

This semester our MyRobot students have been getting familiar with using Ev3 Lego, Spheroes and the Mbot. Students have used the Mars Rover maps to program their Ev3 Lego Robots to get to certain locations on the map as part of their mission. They also programmed their Spheros and Ev3 Lego Robots to go through obstacle courses they had designed. The MyRobot class attended their first excursion to Latrobe University for the ‘Robots Rule’ Workshop, where they met second-year university students studying engineering at Latrobe University.

Our students were given the chance to ask current university students questions followed by an interactive workshop where they were able to play with the curiosity bots that were designed and programmed by the engineering team at Latrobe University.

The MyRobot students attended their second excursion at Deakin University on Thursday, 28 November, for another interactive workshop. A first-year Deakin university student guided the students for the day. We had the opportunity to get to know the student ambassador at Deakin and were able to ask him questions about university life and the programs offered at Deakin.

We began the day at a Riot Lab workshop where we were introduced to the new Nao Robots. Students were fortunate to be given the opportunity to program these robots, get them to stand, dance, talk and walk.  In their final workshop, students experienced the labs that are used by current university students, where they were able to code some of the robots. Toward the end of the day, they reflected on the types of careers available in the robotics industry and the array of courses that are offered by universities.


Stephanie Langadiotis 
Year 9 MyRobot Teacher

Year 7 class plant succulents

Last week, students in Year 7C were involved in an activity, reusing packaging to plant succulents that they will use for future environmental
projects at the school. 

Lisa Chiucharelli
DiSCovery Program Coordinator

Bogong Leadership Camp

During our time at Bogong, we learned many skills such as the importance of communication and how to work as a team effectively. 
We participated in many activities that tested our teamwork and communication, these included pioneering, canoeing, rock climbing and other group activities that we took part in every night. 

Every day, during breakfast, lunch and dinner a group of people called the ‘hospitality group’ worked as a team to set up all the tables, clean up after everyone and wash all the dishes. They also recorded the weather by finding the temperature, biometric pressure, wind speed and UV index.  The camp was such a great opportunity to make friends and learn new skills. We were given the opportunity to do so many fun activities and make some wonderful memories. 

Mehrtash Emam, Jack Griffins 8E

Sport Education in Physical Education Program (SEPEP)

Over the past four weeks, 7E and 7F have been participating in a class tournament called Sports Education in Physical Education Program (SEPEP). The two classes have chosen teams of 7-9 people and every PE class each team goes head to head competing in various games. So far we have played basketball, AFL, volleyball and this week we did netball. Points are awarded for winning, drawing and losing. 

At the start, everyone was assigned a role, such as coach, warm up leaders, timekeeper, referee, captain, scorer and best and fairest voter (BAFVs). At the end of every game the BAFVs from the two competing teams come together and vote for the Best & Fairest. We still have a few weeks left which means a few more sports. We have all really enjoyed this program because we get to work in teams and get to know people from different classes. This has been really fun and I hope we do it again! 

Coco C. 7E


Year 12 Valedictory Ceremony

On Friday, 23 November the Year 12 cohort of 2018 celebrated their graduation at the Valedictory ceremony. It was fantastic to see the students all dressed up and excited to receive their VCE certificates. A number of students also received special awards, highlighting their school and extra-curricular achievements. After the ceremony an afternoon tea was enjoyed by all, giving parents and students the opportunity to say goodbye to their teachers one last time. It has been a great honour to coordinate this wonderful group of young adults and I wish them all the best for the future.


Elly Stewart 
Year 12 Coordinator

Senior Boys enter the Volleyball Victoria Schools Cup (VVSC)

The senior boys (year 10, 11, 12) have created a new volleyball team to enter The Volleyball Victoria Schools Cup (VVSC) in 2019.

“We had initially formed this team because of our shared interest in volleyball, but over time we realised that it is more than a hobby, it’s a passion. We are constantly improving. One of the steps we took was to participate in the Manningham Social competition at Mullum Mullum Stadium. By participating in the competition we are gaining experience by playing against different teams with different playing styles. We also have the chance to experiment with different formations and apply what we learn during training. We are training on Monday and Friday mornings to prepare for the VVSC and the Australian Volleyball School’s Cup later in the year. We know the skill level required is different to that of a social competition, but we will be there, we will come ready and we will come strong.” - Dominque T. 10K


If you are interested in joining the Senior Boys Volleyball team, please see Ms Blake.


Cass Blake
Health & PE Teacher



Get to know our College Leadership Team


When did you start your studies at Doncaster Secondary College?

Year 7 in 2013.
Tell us about your family? 
I am the youngest of 3 brothers who both attended Doncaster Secondary College. My dad, brothers and I were all born in Innsbruck, Austria and my mother in Australia. We moved here when I was 6 years old.


Tell us about some of your interests.
I enjoy playing and watching soccer and I support Liverpool FC. I am also really interested in travelling and want to visit Europe after year 12.
Year 12 Studies:

History Revolutions, Further Mathematics, English Language, Economics, Accounting (Completed in 2017).


What have you been involved in throughout your school years?

I was lucky enough to be a part of Peer Support in 2015 in which we mentored the new year 7’s, I also participated in inter-school sports most years playing soccer, volleyball and basketball.

What gave you the confidence to apply for/ be in this role? 

In late primary school and much of high school, I participated in a lot of public speaking which increased my confidence levels. Although it was a nervous process I wanted to make the most of my last year at Doncaster Secondary College.


What advice would you give to those students who aspire to be future leaders? 

It is a cliché but just believe in yourself and take a chance because at the end of your schooling career you don’t want to regret that you didn’t participate more.



What does this mean to you?

“I can and I will” is a mindset that I believe all students in Doncaster Secondary College should adopt which will allow them to achieve the best they can.


How will you live by this statement throughout the year?


I will stand by this statement by remaining resilient throughout the year even when year 12 is getting tough.

What are your goals for 2018:

For yourself personally and as a Year 9 student?
My goal in this role is to encourage better student-teacher relationships as well as bringing the whole school, especially year 12 together. My goal personally for year 12 is to achieve my best ATAR possible.

What are your long-term life ambitions and aspirations?

I would like to graduate university and enter the workforce and eventually reach the top of my respective industry.


What would you like your legacy to be for Doncaster Secondary College?

I would like to leave a legacy that promotes community solidarity and equality as well as a leaving a more welcoming and productive Senior Centre for all coming VCE students.


In one sentence what would you like to say to your fellow students about your Pride in Doncaster Secondary College?

Pride in Doncaster Secondary College means to be proud of the culture in school and how the school image is being held up.



Year 12 Valedictory Ceremony 

On the 23rd of November, the Year 12  International Students, with their families, parents, carers, siblings and close friends attended Year 12 Valedictory ceremony at Doncaster Secondary College.


The ceremony was filled with mixed emotions and feelings for these Year 12 internationals; happiness, excitement, tears and laughter.  During their senior school years at DSC, many friendships were forged in and out of the schoolyard and these connections and friendships will last longer than their time at school.

Congratulations on your graduation and best wishes for your next adventure! I encourage you to look over the horizon and to not be afraid of life outside school. From the moment you graduate you will find new futures and pathways all around the world!

Sally Huang 

International Student Program Coordinator

International Students in the College Bands

At DSC, we have quite a few international students who play in different school bands, which not only help them to better their music instrument performance, but also help them to interact with the College community.


I am currently playing in Wind Symphony, which is the senior band in our school. Before I joined this band, I used to play in the Concert Band which is the junior band in DSC, however as my skills improved, I moved here in order to further enhance my ability as a flute player.


The reason why I first joined in this school’s music program was to become a better flute player. As expected, through various interactions with both my teachers and friends, my skills improved immensely, almost incomparable to my prior self. Furthermore, I could talk to others who share the same goal or who has the same disposition as myself, therefore making new friends who could understand me the most and gaining useful experiences. Joining the school band has not only helped me to achieve my first goal, but also has given me various opportunities and chances to socialise, and hence, for me, it was one of the greatest thing I have ever done in my life. I am very grateful to my teachers who first offered me this opportunity, and I also would like to recommend other students to play in our school band as well.

Haein (Franchesca) LEE 9E


I am in Concert Band and Vocal Ensemble. At first I studied flute in China and I wanted to continue studying in Australia. I also enjoyed singing and joined school choir in China. When I first started at DSC, I didn't really know how I could become part of the band. My friends encouraged and helped me to pursue my love for music. Now I study flute at school and I have joined the Vocal Ensemble. Recently my flute teacher invited me to join the band. I have already performed three times at our school concert. It has helped me so much to be more outgoing and form friendships with people who are in the band. We work together to make the performance better. Being part of the band has helped me to enjoy music and has given me another way to relax. Whenever I feel bored, I play my flute. It is not just instrument, it is a friend to me, too.

Lichang (Silvia) GUO 10D

VCE Art Exhibition Week

This year, the VCE Art Exhibition week was an exciting time for two of our international students; Xiyun (Amy) ZHANG and Caihua (Joanna) YANG. Their fine artwork was exhibited in Tunnel Vision, showcasing just how wonderfully talented our international students are. Well done!

Sally Huang
International Student Program Coordinator



Supporting your young person during the school holidays

Holidays can take students away from friends and their usual school supports. Changes to routine can cause some young people to feel stressed, isolated and alone. Parent support is very important at this time. The document attached below, provide some information to help you support young people to stay in a healthy headspace in school holidays. This may help you to identify when your young person might need some extra support and where you should turn to for help.

Katherine Lazarus
College Chaplain

Welcoming our new four-legged friends

It is with great pleasure that we can announce that two therapy dogs, Ziggy and Bowie, will be joining the wellbeing team for 2019 and beyond. Similar to service dogs, therapy dogs are highly trained and required to meet certain standards of testing procedures before they can become qualified. However, their specific roles are quite different. Service dogs are trained to perform assistance tasks that help their handler deal with disabilities they may face, which is commonly seen through seeing-eye dogs. These dogs have a no “petting” policy and are strictly for the benefit and daily support of their handler. In comparison, therapy dogs have a responsibility to provide psychological and physiological support to individuals other than their handlers. Therapy dogs are encouraged to interact with a wide range of people while they are ‘on-duty’ and under the guidance of their owner/handler. 

Benefits of therapy dogs in schools
Research provides strong evidence to suggest that in response to student hardship/trauma, therapy dogs can help facilitate a reduction of post-traumatic stress, depression and anxious symptomology across a range of presenting cases. Specifically, the presence of therapy dogs has been proven to have the ability to reduce cortisol levels within the brain (stress hormone), which is important given heightened cortisol levels can strongly disrupt both our learning and memory. The introduction of therapy dogs within a session can provide a student with a safe and comforting support figure to explore their issue with.
Within the school setting, recent findings suggest that therapy dogs are beneficial for students with social and emotional needs and their presence has even resulted in clear literacy development. Further benefits include increased attendance, increased confidence, increased motivation toward school and an increase in ability to express emotions which has a direct effect on positive relationships with peers and teachers. This final benefit is developed by the trusting relationship formed with a therapy dog that consistently provides unconditional love and support.


The ‘pet effect’ exists
Research shows that pet owners not only provide companionship but also directly correlates with increases in quality of life. Positive effects of pet ownership/contact have been found to influence multiple components of our overall health including our:
Physical Health
•    Lower heart rate
•    Lower blood pressure
•    Lower cholesterol and overall heart health
Psychological Health
•    Decreases loneliness
•    Increases empathy
•    Increases trust
•    Increases confidence
Social Health
•    Increased sense of connection
•    Proven to be a social enabler 
•    Provide companionship to vulnerable people
We are thrilled that Ziggy and Bowie will be onboard for next year, as we strongly believe they will be a vital part of our team for many years to come. The dogs will be an important tool we can implement to help facilitate positive outcomes and provide a comforting presence for students in need.


Timothy Blacker
ACU Student Counsellor 



Key Dates for Term 4

Friday, 7 December 2018
VTAC Personal Statement

Friday, 14 December 2018
ATARs released

Saturday, 15 December 2018
COP for early International offers close

Wednesday, 19 December 2018
Change of Preference (COP) closes
December International  round offers

Tuesday, 8 January 2019
Main round International offers

Wednesday, 16 January 2019
Main round Domestic offers

Monday, 4 February 2019 - onwards
Further round offers

Monash University MySci Science Program

MYSci is a three-day science program designed specifically for students in Years 11 and 12 in 2019 and includes workshops from Monash University’s five Schools of Science; Biology, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy, Mathematics and Earth, Atmosphere & the Environment. The workshops will be run in Monash’s teaching laboratories and outdoor science classrooms. Students will also have direct access to Monash University’s research scientists who will provide an insight into their disciplines and provide students with potential career pathway information.

Wednesday 9 – Friday 11 January 2019
Monash University Clayton campus
Cost: $95.00
Registrations should be made at MYSci Science Program

Are you interested in a career working in the animal care industry? 

Are you interested in a career working in the animal care industry? Gain insight from current industry specialists and unlock pathways to a fulfilling career with animals. As the leading animal welfare organisation in Victoria, we utilise a range of skilled staff to care for animals and campaign for better animal welfare. We invite all those interested in working in the animal care industry to come and listen to skilled professionals who are actively working in animal care industry, and how they got to where they are. For more information and to book, visit:

Date: Thursday, 13 December
Time: 9:00am – 3:30pm
Location: RSPCA Education Centre, Burwood East
Cost: $75 includes registration, morning tea, RSPCA career show bag, and all activity costs.


Vanessa Ramsay

Careers Coordinator



1st Lower Templestowe Scouts


Donvale Calisthenics Club


Girls Footy 2019


Community Christmas Celebration


The Curtain Rises - Doncaster Playhouse


Doncaster Junior Football Club


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