Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

07 December 2018
Issue Nineteen
Key Dates
College Matters
Presentation Evening
VSL is here
Drama Legends
Space Camp 2018 
Performing Arts
In our community
School information 
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Key Dates

Friday 7 December

10.15am College Assembly 

Headstart ends for 2019 Year 11 & 12 


Tuesday 11 December

2019 Year 7 Orientation Day


Friday 14 December

Headstart ends for 2019 Years 8 to 10 


17-20 December

Environment Week


Friday 21 December

Staff Training Day

Last day of year. Office closes 


Tuesday 29 January

Office opens. Staff return.


Wednesday 30 January

Year 7 start

Year 12 conference - Day 1


Thursday 31 January

2019 Years 8-11 start

Year 12 conference - Day 2


Friday 1 February

9am, Welcome Assembly

College Matters


The Semester 2 reports will be available online at 3.30pm on Friday 14 December.

This report provides summary information on each student’s progress throughout Semester 2. This will include levels of achievement measured against the Victorian Curriculum Standards (Years 7-10), satisfactory achievement of outcomes (VCE) and work habits (Years 7-11). The report will show the grade for each CAT which has been completed in Semester 2, however no comments will appear on reports.

To access the written feedback which has been completed throughout the semester please access the learning tasks tab in the Compass Platform. More information on assessment and reporting at MGSC can be found in the Assessment and reporting Guide for Families on the college website

This guide is also on the Compass parent portal.

World Challenge

Earlier this week we heard that all the teams are all going well. At the last communication, some teams were headed to Kathmandu to commence trekking towards Mt Everest while another team had just completed white water rafting and was headed for Chitwan National Park for their safari. We wish all our World Challenge staff and students a safe, enjoyable and rewarding experience.


We thank Michael Warden, Deb Jarvis, Louise Rieniets, Amanda O’Hara, Ashleigh Bendall, Mel Erwin, Emma Colmanet, Amy Willett and Fiona Faulkes for the work they have done to prepare their teams. And an extra special thanks to Michael Warden for his dedication, commitment and outstanding leadership of the program over many years.




I would like to take this opportunity to thank the PFA for everything they have done this year. I would also like to acknowledge the tireless work of the crew in the Second-hand Uniform Shop – Annette Fitton, Val Tyers, Donna Harrison and Diane West. Donna and Diane are stepping down at the end of this year and thanks in advance to Geri Sumpter who will be taking over the morning timeslot – on a Friday morning in 2019. Upcoming events for 2019:

  • Serving tea and coffee to Year 7 parents at their first day on Wednesday 30 January
  • Meeting at 7pm on Tuesday 5 February
  • Serving refreshments at Year 7 parent information session on Tuesday 12 February
  • Year 7 Families Welcome picnic on Friday 15 March

MGSC Book Swap and Sell

The PFA has created a Facebook page titled MGSC Book Swap and Sell to allow students and parents to contact one another in order to sell and/or buy books. This is the process we are using to buy and sell secondhand books in 2019.


This is the link to the page:


On the page you will find a list of 2018 books that are also on the 2019 booklist. Please note that not all 2018 texts are on the 2019 lists. In some instances there are new editions or a change in the study design has necessitated a change of text.

2019 dates

Tuesday 29 January – First day back for staff

Wednesday 30 January – Year 7 and 12 students commence (Year 12 conference)

Thursday 31 January – Year 8, 9, 10 and 11 students commence (Year 12 conference)

Friday 1 February – College Welcome Assembly at 9am

Ms Carol Duggan & Ms Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principals

Presentation Evening

Principal's address

Good evening and welcome to the families, friends, teachers, members of our school council, Parents & Friends' Association, our special guest Ms Shanthi Pillai and Kristine Sohn, Dux of 2017.  Your presence here tonight is much appreciated.


We are here to give our full attention to the students of Mentone Girls’ Secondary College who, through courage, work and endeavour will be receiving awards here tonight. 


Tonight each student will receive a tangible recognition of their achievement and endeavour from their teachers in the form of an award but this attainment will most likely be one of many they will receive over their lifetime. As those of us who have been around for some time will know, the journey has only just begun.  Tonight we acknowledge positive attributes such as perseverance, insight, talent and passion. 


As parents, relatives and friends you have seen the evolution of these qualities in our awardees over many years.  As educators we are here tonight to say that we recognise these attributes too.

When we are born, we were not gifted with a treasure map that will deliver us to our one-true calling.  Instead there will be multiple buried treasures waiting to be discovered along the way and you will make conscious choices as to which path to take and where to dig for that treasure. 


Let’s take a look at a few trail blazers that just happen to be inspiring women who, through courage and work, challenged themselves to be more than their circumstances would have predicted.   

There is the famous fashion designer Coco Chanel who lived from 1883 to 1971, long before social media could influence fashion trends.  She came from humble beginnings and was a daughter of a laundrywoman and a market stall holder. Before becoming one of the greatest fashion designers the world has ever seen, she was a club singer and a hat maker.


Looking at the political arena there is Angela Merkel who was appointed as the first female Chancellor of Germany in 2005 and is currently presiding over the most powerful European economy. Born in 1954, she was a former research scientist and holds a doctorate in physical chemistry.  It wasn’t until the she was in her 30s that she became interested in politics and she was elected to parliament in her 40s.


And finally, there is J.K. Rowling who could not have foreseen that she would break through the trap of poverty until she finished writing her first book for the Harry Potter series, which has now sold 400 million copies worldwide. She went on from living on state benefits in the UK to becoming a multi-millionaire after her book's success in a matter of five years.


What all of these women have in common is that they have reinvented themselves many times.  They were not afraid of failure and I am confident that they followed their passions and talents.  Call it problem-solving or pioneering spirit, they have each been fearless in breaking with tradition.  They would have been inspired by others before them too – as we can only take steps into the unknown if someone has done the ground work.


To everyone receiving an award here tonight, this is your ground work.  Keep striving for your personal best and don’t be content with the average when you know you can be the exceptional.  We look forward to seeing you embrace the opportunities that will come your way. Congratulations to you all and enjoy the evening.


Kind regards

Ms Linda Brown 


Council President's address

Good Evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Mentone Girls’ Secondary College’s Presentation Evening for 2018.


Tonight gives us opportunity to celebrate the academic achievements of students in Years 7 to 11 but also encourages the 2019 student cohort to aspire to strive for their  'personal best' and also to support their peers.


Unlike in previous years, this year we celebrated the outstanding achievements of our Year 12 students at the Valedictory Dinner at the Bayview Eden just over a month ago. As a father of one of the girls about to finish her secondary education, the dinner was a wonderful occasion, allowing us all to nostalgically look back on our daughters’ years at Mentone Girls’ and most importantly wish them all the best of luck and fortune for the future.


I know that the wonderful experiences that they’ve had and the knowledge that they’ve gained at the school will equip them well in their future endeavours, whatever that may be or wherever it may take them. They just need to remember the school’s motto “through courage and work” as they head out to face the new challenges ahead of them and hopefully achieve successful futures.


Currently in my second year as School Council President, I can tell you all that it’s been a very busy and productive year. Our principal, Ms Linda Brown, has been at the school now for just over two year and has pushed through many significant and much needed changes, all of which have benefited the entire school community.


Linda is an enthusiastic and passionate leader of our school and an ardent advocate on the education of young women. I, and the rest of members of the School Council, very much look forward to working closely with Linda in the years ahead. Thank you Linda.


We have also been very busy campaigning all the way up to the recent State election to have Mentone Girls’ recognised as a school requiring major upgrades to its buildings and facilities. We have not received any government funding for capital works in well over a decade and as the only government girls’ school in the south-eastern suburbs, Mentone Girls’ plays a very important role in the education of young women and is entitled to an equitable share fair of government funding.


However, despite the many hastily arranged meetings and ongoing communications explaining the reasons for our funding needs, unfortunately we were unable to get a commitment from both sides of the political divide for a large capital injection to fund the first stage of our Future Master Plan to upgrade the majority of the school’s facilities.


Despite the setback it was decided to invest $1.9m of school raised funds, which have been saved over many years, for the redevelopment of the Technology and Arts building to create an innovative STEAM Centre, which will begin in in 2019. This new building will be a state of the art facility for the teaching of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths subjects.


The school is passionate about giving as many girls as possible access to STEAM subjects as it’s an area very much under-represented by women in today’s workforce. As a girls’ school we feel it’s imperative to address this issue urgently as it can no longer wait for our politicians to act.


There is still much more that we need to do but we require both the School Council and the entire school community to come together and be proactive in voicing the needs of our school.


I’d like to thank a number of people who helped me out over the course of 2018. Thanks to my fellow school councillors, particularly Rachael Angus, the Vice President, for all of their support and encouragement during a very busy year on council.


Also a very big thanks to both of the Assistant Principals, Ms Bronwyn Moline, and Ms Carol Duggan. They have both been a great support for Linda, the entire School Council and most importantly the wider school community. Thank you Bronwyn and Carol for the care and passion you bring every day to Mentone Girls’.


I’d also like to thank all of the teaching, support and administration staff for their on-going commitment to our school. Your role in educating, supporting and inspiring our daughters to reach their full potential cannot be underestimated.


To all the parents who get involved with the school and volunteer, thank you. Your gift of time and commitment makes the school community a vibrant and stronger one and I encourage as many parents as possible to participate.


Again, congratulations to all of the students who are receiving academic rewards tonight and to the girls who have been selected to be part of the leadership team at Mentone Girls’ in 2019. I wish you a wonderful and exciting year ahead.


Finally, as I did in my speech at last years’ Presentation Evening, I would like to leave you with some words of wisdom, this time from a great orator and an inspirational man, Barack Obama, on working towards gender equality.


At a graduation ceremony in 2012  of an all-female class of Barnard College he said the following: "My first piece of advice is this. Don’t just get involved. Fight for your seat at the table. Better yet: fight for a seat at the head of the table."


Thank you and enjoy the rest of the evening.


James Malliaros

Council President 

VSL is here

MGSC is a VSL centre

From 2019 Mentone Girls’ Secondary College will host a language centre for the Victorian School of Languages (VSL).


The Victorian School of Languages is a state-wide service of the Department of Education and Training, which has a proud record in teaching Languages since 1935. The VSL is a complementary provider for all Victorian Government, Catholic and Independent schools. It assists all schools with language provision by providing additional choice to students at an affordable rate.


As the biggest language provider in Victoria, the VSL offers 50 languages in 40 locations throughout the State and 12 languages via Distance Education. The VSL has an outstanding record and produces excellent VCE results.


Due to the increased demand for classes in Keysborough and surrounding areas the VSL has partnered with Mentone Girls’ Secondary College. From 9 February 2019 classes will operate here on Saturday mornings from 9am to 12.20pm. 


Languages offered will be:


Chinese Second Language - Foundation to Year 10 ($80 fee)

Chinese First Language - VCE ($90 fee) 


There are 30 teaching sessions for the year. The VSL will consider additional languages if there is a demand in the community.  Enrolment for 2019 is now available online at


The MGSC community is welcome to 'spread the word' to your friends, family and community. 


For any queries please contact the Area Manager Mr Kon Pappas on 9558 5566 or email [email protected]



Drama Legends

Congratulations to our staff member Belinda Peterson. 


In honour of her contribution to Drama Education, Belinda Peterson has been recognised as one of Drama Victoria’s “Legends.”


Drama Victoria, as part of the Memories and Memorials Archive (MAMA) project, created a documentary of 50 leading Drama teachers around Victoria.  


The Archive Project will display MAMA Legends as well as presenting a five minute clip of the documentary that includes some highlights from the MAMA interviews and a performance at the Victorian College of the Arts on Friday 30 November. A full audio recording of all interviews has been uploaded to the ‘Aside’ Podcast.


Belinda Peterson has been a teacher at Mentone Girls’ Secondary College since 2003 and has shared her passion for Drama with our students for many years. 


Ms Linda Brown




Student Leadership Training Day

On Monday 26 November, while the rest of the students enjoyed a day off, the dedicated 2019 student leaders attended a leadership training day.


We learnt many new skills, came up with some amazing ideas and learned more about our roles and responsibilities. The day was split into two sessions, one for the Junior and Middle school leaders and one for the Senior leaders. Both prepared us for the upcoming year and taught us everything we need to know about helping the school community. We covered topics such as what qualities leaders should have, what was expected of us and what we wanted to do in 2019.


We can’t forget about the delicious morning tea that was served between the two sessions. Both sessions were very beneficial for everyone, and you are sure to see 2019 student leaders making a difference.


Chloe Shovelar (2019 Year 8) 

Junior School Captain

VCE Committee 2019

Students from Years 11 and 12 (2019) have the opportunity to be part of the VCE Committee.


This senior team consists of up to six students from each VCE year level. A link to the current document has been sent to students and parents of both year levels and appears below. Hard copies are also available from the Senior School Office and are to return there when completed.


The process of electing student to these roles will take place at the start of 2019.


Ms Wendy Harvey

Director of Student Leadership & Engagement




Best wishes to Kisarna Berntsen (Year 11), Zoe Cunningham (Year 11) and Emily Ryan (Year 9) who will be representing MGSC when they compete at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships in Cairns, Queensland at the weekend.  Good luck! 

Kingston Council Women of the year

Kingston Council has introduced a Woman of the Year award which will be announced on International Women’s Day 2019.  To promote the award and encourage applications there is an article on a few worthy women in the community in the latest Council newsletter distributed to all households – Kingston Your City.


Millie Belleville (Year 10 ) features as a young women making an impact on her community through sport.  If you haven't received one in your home letterbox it can be found online below:

Student coaches 2019 

As we wrap up the school year, I would like to remind those students who have expressed interest in coaching a sporting team in 2019 of some important information:

  1. All coaches will be notified via email early in 2019 of their successful role.
  2. As part of this role the expectation is that they attend a very important meeting. All details for this meeting will be highlighted in the email you receive.
  3. If you are unable to attend the scheduled meeting and do not inform me, your coaching role may be compromised. Please ensure that you let me know BEFORE the meeting if you are unable to attend.

If you have not completed the form posted on Compass in order to express your interest in becoming coach in 2019, please click on the link below. Applications close on Friday 14 December at 9am.


I wish you all a happy and safe holiday ahead and look forward to working with you all in 2019.


Ms Ilana Parker

Interschool Sport Coordinator

Space Camp 2018 

Three MGSC students will be attending Space Camp in Houston, Texas this month. This follows on from the inaugural Alliance of Girls' Schools Australasia excursion to NASA in December 2017. 


Selina Slamin, Trixie Sumpter and Tilde Verhoeven (2019 Year 9) depart on 8 December for a two week program at NASA facilities including tours, experiments, activities and lectures. 


Best wishes for your adventure which will be particularly special as NASA gears up for the 50th anniversary of landing man on the moon in July 2019.

Performing Arts

Choir Christmas Tour

The combined All Star Choir and Madrigal will be doing a tour singing carols to various members of the public on Thursday 13 December.


They start at Southland with carols organised by the Salvos, then they are going to the Woodlands Golf Club for an end-of-year function and finally a performance at Mentone Childcare.


Thanks to all the girls for their regular attendance at rehearsals. I'm sure they'll have lots of fun spreading Christmas cheer to people of all ages! Happy holidays to all!


Ms Blanka West

Voice teacher


On Monday 3 December, the Year 9 dance class participated in a Hip Hop Workshop. They learnt about the history of hip hop,  basic skills and performed a routine. 


Ms Tess Molina 

Dance teacher 


Congratulations to the International and EAL students who have worked consistently all year to learn all subject topics and improve their English. They would not have been able to do this without their teachers, support staff and of course, their local friends and classmates.


An example of this is how the Outdoor Education Class has been supporting the EAL students with the Bridging EAL garden by completing the path around the hearts. Another example is how Fee Funke supported Vicky Cheng at assembly this week. Finally, all the students who have made the ELC students feel welcomed and encouraged in the classroom.


As the ELC has ended classes for the year, thank you to all staff involved this year in the program: Leah Liakos, Rochelle Dickson, Dhali Briedis, Jonathan Hall and  Phil Hull. A huge thank you also to  Si Feng and Yinan Zhang who have been an invaluable asset to the program.


Wishing you all a safe and happy summer break and all the best for next year!


Ms Ekaterina Xanthopoulos

ELC and EAL Coordinator

In our community

Free Soccer Clinics




Twilight Christmas market


Free Outdoor Cinema Event - Back to the Future

Boombox Events and Bayside Youth Services are presenting FREE outdoor screening of ‘Back to the Future!’ on Friday 21 December 8pm-11pm

 Bring your blankets, friends, family and sense of nostalgia to Peterson Reserve (Corner of Peterson St and Highett Rd, Highett) 

 This FReeZA event is strictly smoke, drug and alcohol free with no pass outs.  I'm ready to book!
Follow our facebook event for updates and information

School information 

General Office

8.15am to 4.15pm

Monday to Friday 

Tel 03 9581 5200

Principal Team

Principal - Linda Brown

Assistant Principal - Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal - Carol Duggan

Director of Junior School - Lisa Kosack

Director of Middle School - Deb Jarvis

Director of  Senior School - Sylvia Christopoulos

Attendance & Absences

Students should aim for a 100% attendance record. They are expected to attend school regularly and remain at school and in class until officially dismissed.

Year 7-10 absences: Parents/guardians are asked to use Compass to log absences. 

VCE student absences:  Parents/guardians contact the VCE Office on 9581 5231 before 9am and update attendance on Compass. If contact is not made on the day of absence, an explanatory note must be brought from home on the day the VCE student returns and handed into the VCE Office. 

Late arrival - after 8.50am

Years 7-10 must sign the arrival book at the General Office and take the white late slip to class. 

VCE students sign in at the VCE Office.


It is your responsibility to ensure your child attends school every day. Learn about your responsibilities and what you can do to help your child's attendance. Schooling is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 -17 years. School participation will help your child develop important skills, knowledge and values to further their learning and participation in the community. Attending school every day also helps your child develop crucial social and emotional skills such as good communication, resilience and the ability to work in teams.

Children and young people who regularly attend school and complete Year 12 have better health outcomes, better employment outcomes, and higher incomes across their lives. 

For more information see:  DET Attendance and missing school.



Second Hand Uniform Shop hours  until the end of 2018 are:

Tuesday 2.45pm - 3.45pm

Wednesday 8.15am - 9.15am

Reimbursement after sale of items is by bank transfer.

Please label all items for the second-hand uniform shop clearly with: 

  • Seller's name and contact details
  • BSB and Account Number

Please hand in items to the General Office. 


If you have any financial queries please, contact Carolyn Page, Finance Manager.


Uniform Supplier - Costume World 

Shop 5 1291 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham

T: 9584 7006

Assessment & Reporting

A parents' guide to assessment and reporting can be found on Compass under School Documentation, which is located in the Community tab on the menu at the top of the page. The guide is also on the website under the Curriculum tab.  Guide for parents.

Library hours

8.30am to 4.30pm, school days

Facilities Hire

Many of the school's spaces are available to hire including the gym and lecture theatre. 

For information on hire rates and availability, contact Bronwen Peterson, Facilities Manager

on 9581 5200.


Online ordering is available through the canteen operators Bocca Foods. 

Register at


Like and follow us on Facebook. 



Statement of commitment to child safety 

Mentone Girls’ Secondary College is committed to safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.

Mentone Girls’ Secondary College has zero tolerance for child abuse. Mentone Girls’ Secondary College is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

Every person involved in Mentone Girls’ Secondary College has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.  Please refer to our policies on our website: for detailed information.

Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter
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