News & Views

20 June 2019
Issue Ten
Quick Dates
From the Acting Principal
Prinicpal's eHonour Board
Deputy Principal - Staff Development
Assistant Principal: Religious Life of the College
Assistant Principal - Student Learning, Data Analysis & Logistics
Year 8 Digital Technologies
Year 9 Digital Technologies
Study of Religion
30-year Mt A/Padua Reunion
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Term 2

Friday 21 June

Year 12 Retreat

Term 2 concludes

3.30pm  Rugby 7s trials (Norths Rugby Club, Wooloowin)


Sunday 23 June

10.00am-100pm  Brisbane Sings rehearsal (San Damiano Centre)

Tuesday 24 June

6.00pm  Japan Trip 2020 Information Night

Friday 28 June - Sunday 30 June

Catholic Secondary Schools Choral Festival (All Hallows')

Sunday 14 July

FCIP Junior/Intermediate Music Camp commences


Monday 15 July

Term 3 commences


Wednesday 17 July

9.30am  Brainstorm Wired (Year 11)

11.45am  Brainstorm The Hurting Game (Year 9)

FCIP Junior/Intermediate Music Camp concludes


Thursday 18 July

1.00pm  Interhouse Athletics Long Course events (Arana Hills)



From the Acting Principal

As we come to the end of the term in my role as acting Principal, I would like to share with you some of my learnings from the top job.


The capacity of a leader of a school requires you to be many things, not the least a sounding board.  The beauty of being a sounding board is that you hear those things that parents, students, and staff are questioning.  You are able  to help people find their own solutions and you can be a coach in helping them to manage their way forward.


You need to be strategic.  If you want things to improve, then there is no use complaining about it and imagining the things that need shifting will magically happen.  Improvement comes when you consider the necessary steps to achieve a desired outcome.  There is no amount of panic that is going to take you where you need to be without some serious planning and constant reflection.


It is important to attempt to be inspirational.  When working with adolescents from eleven to eighteen years of age, this can be a difficult task requiring some serious work on ensuring you connect with the various psyches.  You have to realise that lecturing from a higher place is not going to encourage the girls to make the right choices.  It takes a village to raise a child, and it is only through consistency and emphasising shared values that our young people are going to eventually grow towards ultimate success.


Change needs to be managed with the well-being of children in mind.  With the introduction of the new senior schooling, our students are doing pretty well at managing the pressure of the unknown.  All schools in Queensland are stepping through the necessary hoops of the new system and there are very few, if any, schools that are enjoying the transition.  It is what it is, and the best way we can support our girls to handle the change is to remind them of the importance of balance.  They must have good sleep and eat well.  They must continue to have opportunities for down time.  They must include exercise in their regime, and they must learn to manage their time so that their capacity to study and retain information is as ongoing as their school days.


Finally you have to remember to have fun!  Mount Alvernia is a delightful college with delightful students and community members.  It is okay to challenge an avid New South Wales supporter to wear a Queensland jersey when their team loses the State of Origin.  It is okay to announce our lollipop lady’s birthday without her knowing so that the girls acknowledge this as they use the crossing;  and it is okay to 'gotcha' the girls on assembly by pretending to be angry with them!


I have enjoyed my time as acting Principal this term but will gladly welcome Kerrie back to begin the new semester.  On your behalf, I would like to thank Jeni Barlow for being Acting Deputy Principal – Students in my place.  We are lucky to have such an amazing person to be able to step into this role and manage it to perfection.


Enjoy your time with your daughter/s over the holidays if you have the opportunity to holiday with them.  Thank you for your support over the last nine weeks.  You are awesome!

Annette Butterworth


Prinicpal's eHonour Board

We acknowledge three students in this edition:


Deputy Principal - Staff Development

Congratulations to Helen Stower – Inaugural Winner of the Roslyn Otzen Award for Exceptional Teaching

Recently we received the exciting news that our very own Mrs Helen Stower (Program Leader: iCentre) was the worthy recipient of the inaugural Roslyn Otzen Award for Exceptional Teaching.  This award was open to education professionals in the Alliance of Girls Schools Australasia (AGSA) network across government, Catholic, and independent schools, and there were several worthy nominees.  


The award - the first of its kind in Australasia to focus specifically on girls’ education - acknowledged Mrs Stower’s impressive work in leading an evidence-based research approach to inform her practice to improve reading across the middle years of schooling.  While it is evident this has led to positive outcomes for the young women at Mount Alvernia College, this research is also seen as significant within the broader educational community.  We are of course incredibly proud of Mrs Stower’s leadership in this area and are blessed by the work she does at our college.  Again, this is evidence of the quality of the staff we have at Mount Alvernia College, and the commitment, drive, and passion they exhibit for excellence in girls’ education.


Further information about the award and Mrs Stower’s nomination can be found here:


Curriculum Review

Over the course of the term, the Academic Team has been working on a Curriculum Review for 2020 and beyond.  This review has been informed by the Melbourne Declaration (2008), Through Growth to Achievement: Report of the Review to Achieve Educational Excellence in Australian Schools (2018), and the new Queensland senior system of schooling (2019).  The focus is on developing students’ skills to perform effectively throughout their schooling, while setting them up for success post-school.  The first phases of this review have seen a distinct focus on developing more depth in Year 10 to ensure students are best placed for success in their senior studies.  As a result, we will be offering more innovative and exciting approaches to curriculum delivery in this year level.  We look forward to sharing these advancements in the curriculum field with you through the various subject selection evenings next term.


June Staff Week

While the students take a well-deserved break period next week, our staff will spend this time collaborating and learning from one another to progress student learning and outcomes.  The focus of the week is on continued developments of the senior system and the programs that lead into this from Year 7 through to Year 12.  In addition, we will be engaging with psychologist Andrew Fuller who will be discussing the neuroscience of learning and the importance of well-being during this transition period of systems.  I look forward to sharing with you the learning of this week in subsequent editions of News and Views.


I wish the community all the best for this mid-year break, and look forward to working with you in the second half of the year.

Daniel Crump

Assistant Principal: Religious Life of the College

We Believe ...

At the centre of our faith tradition is a great paradox:  God is one, yet God is three.  We also speak of ‘three persons’ – Father, the creator; Son, the saviour and Holy Spirit, the giver of life – one God, separate but one.


There is a story about St Augustine who, on seeing a small boy at the beach collecting water from the sea and pouring it into a hole in the sand, asked the boy, "What are you doing?"

The child answered, "I am going to pour the entire ocean into this hole".

Augustine replied, "That is impossible; the whole ocean will not fit in the hole you have made".

"And you cannot fit the Trinity into your tiny little brain", said the boy.


Last Sunday was Trinity Sunday and, as my Parish Priest made valiant and valid attempts to link this mystery of our faith to something tangible for our thinking, it reminded me of the valiant and valid attempts the Year 7 Core Studies teachers made just a few short weeks ago to our eager groups of twelve-year-olds in their first term at Mount Alvernia. 


This concept of three in one is expressed each time we recite the Creed and profess our faith in one God who is Trinity.  This formed the basis of our instruction, when each student explored the beginnings of a new community for them – one steeped in the Catholic Christian faith through our Franciscan traditions.  Based on our Catholic belief statements, and the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, the girls explored the mystery of the Trinity and the values of our Franciscan traditions.


We explored reasonable concepts like the equilateral triangle and the shamrock, and even gave them a physical challenge: "Could you eat just the chocolate or the caramel or the nougat from your Mars bar without touching the other bits?"


Another illustration could be the sun – from it we receive light, heat, and radiation.  Three distinct aspects, but only one sun.   Yet another is drawing one circle using three coloured markers (perhaps pink, blue and green).  If you draw the same circle three times, with each colour overlapping exactly the previous one, you have one circle.  But the pink line is not the blue line, and the blue line is not the green line.  Yet all three lines enclose only one circle.


In the same way, father is not son; son is not spirit; spirit is not father, yet father is God; son is God; spirit is God – the one God.


While these illustrations may work in a very small part, the truth is that there simply is nothing in our experience that shows us exactly what the doctrine of the Trinity teaches.  But we valiantly pushed on and, in my opinion, the Year 7 girls grabbed the concept of Trinity as much as our tiny little brains were able to explain and illustrate it for them.  Oh, the mysteries of our faith … and together we pray: 


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,

as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.  Amen.

Happy Holidays! 


Denise Shaw

Assistant Principal - Student Learning, Data Analysis & Logistics

The Semester Wrap-up in Teaching and Learning

Our framework guides all we do at Mt A in teaching and learning, and in all aspects of the way we engage with each other and the wider community. 

I begin by thanking you for supporting your daughter or daughters in their academic endeavours this semester.   It is so important that we are all on the same page, fostering excellence and, at the same time, building resilience in our young women.  To thrive in society, we must all be able to learn from our mistakes, pick ourselves up, and live our lives as responsible contributing citizens.  It can be the case that we take for granted the outstanding educational opportunities provided at Mt A.  We live in such an affluent society and often forget the vast numbers of women around the world who do not have these advantages and, despite not having the type of education our young women are privileged to, still do amazing things.  I constantly encourage our girls to make the most of, and take, every opportunity provided to them - be that academic or other.  Everything that we do here is grounded in our Catholic and Franciscan values and always designed with the students at the centre. 


Our aim to prepare each girl for her very best future. 


So to the achievements and successes of Semester 1, 2019.


Congratulations to all students who received awards on Assembly for Academic Excellence, achieving As in the majority of their subjects, and for Academic Effort this semester.  It is so important that effort is maintained to ensure that our young women are reaching their potential, then to acknowledge those who have achieved so successfully.


Well done to all girls who grasped the opportunity of Study Groups this semester.  The Francis, Clare, and Elizabeth Hayes students who embraced this opportunity will most certainly reap the rewards.  They not only demonstrated commitment and dedication to their studies, but have really been able to strengthen the skills of communication, collaboration, and critical thinking as they worked together at those sessions.  I encourage all students to participate in this program next semester.

Meeting with the senior students in the Seniors Achieving Excellence Group has continued to be of high value.  The conversations in which the girls engage around the table truly demonstrate maturity, drive, and strength.  I, again, encourage all seniors who are working towards reaching their potential to come along and be part of this group.  Excellence grows excellence.


The Academic Assemblies this year have been a showcase of the breadth and depth of learning that goes on here at the College.  We have had students involved in so many academic ventures, both within and outside.  It was wonderful to see the Arts being showcased on several occasions; the Humanities Ancient History Dig; the Conrad Challenge; and the various awards our students have received for competitions and Education Perfect - to name just a few.


The MakeHerSpace is up and running.  Our students in all year levels are benefiting from this, with specific subjects throughout the College, and in the many extra-curricular activities offered for students to engage with STEM activities.  I look forward to seeing this grow as the year (and years) progresses.  This is definitely a point of difference for our young women. 

The Futures Hub, located in E111 has been an excellent innovation for the students.  This space offers our students ongoing support around their learning pathways.  It is critical that we meet the needs of all of our students and, whether that be a university or vocational pathway, this area is purposely designed to ensure that the girls have ongoing access to conversation and guidance.  Our role should be, as I mentioned at the beginning, to set our girls up for their best futures.  It is important that each girl's pathway is the right one for her.  I know that the girls are taking advantage of this space and, as Semester 2 comes around, for the Year 12s in particular, this will be a regular destination with QTAC interviews and tertiary choices to make.

Early next semester will see the Subject Selection Evenings for all students who are moving into Years 11, 10, 9, and 8.  These meetings will occur in the San Damiano Centre as follows:

  • Year 10s into Year 11 and 12 - 2020 - Wednesday 24 July at 7.00pm
  • Year 9s into Year 10 – 2020 – Tuesday 30 July at 7.00pm
  • Francis School – Year 7 into 8 and Year 8 into 9 – 2020 - Tuesday 6 August at 7.00pm.

Please make a note in your calendar to ensure that both you and your daughter can attend.

I look forward to speaking with you and your daughter at these evenings, as they map out their learning pathways.


Congratulations to all of the students for a great semester of learning.  I hope that you and your families enjoy some well-earned down time.

Debra Evans

Year 8 Digital Technologies

Happy Belated Mother's Day from Year 8 Digital Technologies Students

During this term Year 8 students had the opportunity to learn about different data types and how to create, store, and manipulate them.  Rather than some boring lectures about files, the students created audio, movies, and playlists for their favourite female.


Michael Buble is no longer a mum favourite, but Dean Lewis appeared on a lot of lists.  Here is one of the personalised playlists that one mum received.  Hopefully mum and daughter are singing along to it in the car.


The students were able to send their electronic gifts to their mums, and reportedly a few tears were shed.

Linda Clark, Teacher


Year 9 Digital Technologies

Escape Room Excursion

On Tuesday 19 June, we traveled to Kingpin at Westfield Chermside as a part of the Year 9 Digital Technology class excursion.


My group had to escape an abandoned reactor, which pushed us to think outside the box and piece together information.  We learned that even the simplest of details from warning signs on the walls to measurements of liquid would mean something crucial to get the next clue.  We only were scared when Twitch, the lady who was helping us in the rooms, opened the main door at the end and made us all scream as we didn't expect her.  I would like to thank Mrs Gagen-Spriggs for accompanying us on this trip and helping one of the groups in its room.

Keeley Boucher

We spent the last lesson of the semester attempting to get out of an Escape Room.  When we arrived, some basic rules were explained to the whole class before we split into our groups.  I was in a group with two other girls, and we chose to do the room called Total Carnage Total Carnage was the only horror room out of the three available to us and was based off of the movie Saw.  When we walked into the room we were blindfolded and therefore had to link arms.  One by one, our instructor led each of us to a separate part of the room and handcuffed one of our hands to the floor.  She explained our situation and then left the room, leaving us to figure out our escape.

Aleisha Ling

When we arrived, we met our guide, an employee named Twitch.  She was really funny and explained the rules of the escape room.  My team consisted of five people.  We decided to go with the logical option of choosing the easiest room, while the other teams got the harder ones.  We entered our rooms.  The scenario for my room was that my team and I were unknowingly locked in a factory that we would have to get out before the oxygen ran out, and also before a nuclear explosion in one hour.  It started off with having to figure out how to turn the lights on with nothing but a torch which was attached to the wall with a small piece of unbreakable string (so we couldn't steal it).  Throughout the excursion, my team and I needed many clues and we had to decipher many different locks and codes.  In short, it was difficult.  By the end my team technically 'escaped' but it was just after the timer ran out.  I had a lot of fun.

Natasha Hurst



Study of Religion

Year 11 Excursion to Chung Tian Buddhist Temple

This term the Year 11 SOR students travelled to Chung Tian Temple whose adherents practise the Mahayana Buddhist faith.  We enjoyed touring the temple and experiencing the Buddhist culture, in relation to what we are learning in class.  Through the tea ceremony, meditation, calligraphy, and bell ringing we were able to experience a different perspective on life.  The beautiful buildings and artworks allowed us to reflect on our day, and the ways in which they can embed their customs into our everyday lives.  Overall, we thoroughly enjoyed our experience.  Thank you to Mrs Bopf, Mrs Farrow, and Ms Flux for taking us.

Isabelle Lange, Olivia Evans


When we walked into the temple, we all looked around in amazement at the buildings and statues.  The temple seemed so peaceful, I was instantly calmed.  Upon arrival at the temple we instantly felt a sense of peace and tranquillity.

Erin Jones, Amy Turner, Maddie Ellis, Izzy Walker,

Hend Abdullah, Emma Stone, Lauren Holding

It was an amazing experience to immerse ourselves in the Buddhist culture whilst learning key practices and traditions.  We learned not to be attached, to be respectful, to meditate, not to enter through the central door, and that Buddhist temples are peaceful.  We also learned that: 


The temple architecture is modeled on the Chinese Imperial Palace; 

Rubbing the Buddha’s stomach is disrespectful;

Incense is used to purify the atmosphere and ward off insects to protect the people;

Tea ceremonies are forms of meditation using unfermented camellia leaves. 

Meditation is the key to purifying your mind.

Calligraphy is also a form of meditation and you must learn to practise the art.


It was a fantastic, engaging way to learn about the peaceful religion of Buddhism.

Jessica De Felicis, Lauren Cooper



Another fortnight, another Careers update!  Read the latest Careers News here.


Melissa Loveday, Careers Program Leader



30-year Mt A/Padua Reunion


La Cucina


Tuesday 16 July

Caterina Gugliucciello

Wednesday 17 July

Lilly Boccalatte, Christie Chung


Open from 7.15-9.30am & 10.30am-3.00pm (3.15pm Wednesday).   Staff, parents, and friends are very welcome to drop in for coffee—$3.50; $3 in own cup.


Please direct any enquiries to Kim at College Reception, ph 3357 6000.

Community Notices


News & Views
Athletics Information Letter and Permission Form.pdf