Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

13 October 2017
Issue Fifteen
Important Dates
Principal's Message
College Matters
College Assembly
Worldly Matters
Sub School Matters 
STEAM Matters - Science
STEAM Matters - Maths
Music Matters
In our community
A day on Dalgetty 
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Important Dates

Term 4 

Monday 16 October

9am,  College Tour


Wednesday 18 October

6pm, VCE Art & Design Show Opening


Thursday 19 October

8am-4pm, VCE Art & Design Show public viewing

7pm, Grade 6 Music evening


Friday 20 October

Year 7 and 10 Immunisations


Monday 23 October

10.15am,  College Assembly


Tuesday 24 October

9am, Year 12 Celebration Assembly

7pm, Year 12 Valedictory Dinner 


Wednesday 25 October

7pm, Reunions - 20 years (1997) & 15 years (2002)


Wednesday 1 November

Year 12 VCE exams commence 

7pm, Parents & Friends Association meeting


Monday 6 November

Staff Professional Development (Student Free Day) 


Tuesday 7 November

Melbourne Cup Public Holiday


Thursday 9 November

9am, College Tour


Friday 10 November

10.15am, College Assembly 


Monday 13 - Friday 17 November

Year 11 exams


Wednesday 15 - Friday 17 November

Year 10 exams


Thursday 16 - Friday 17 November

Year 9 exams


Tuesday 21 November 

8pm, Presentation Night, Robert Blackwood Hall


Monday 27 November

Headstart begins 


Wednesday 6 & Thursday 7 December

Report Verification - Early finish


Tuesday 12 December

Orientation Day for 2018 Year 7s


Friday 15 December

Last Day 2018 Year 8 to Year 10


Monday 18 - Thursday 21 December

Environment Week


Friday 22 December 

Last Day Term 4. 

Principal's Message

Dear Parents & Guardians

As I write this first Principal’s message for term 4, it is Wednesday 11 October, which is the International Day of the Girl. This is quite significant as it signals the start of a movement to raise awareness of the importance of empowering girls through access to education on a world-wide stage.  If you would like to know more about the day check out There is a terrific video on this site of young Australian girls between 10 and 17 years of age voicing their opinions of what they would like to change for girls in the future. When I watch a video such as this, it reinforces what our role is, as educators at MGSC, in preparing our girls for the future and how our College ethos, values and beliefs are pivotal to supporting our girls to meet the challenges ahead.


I hope that everyone is well rested after their holidays and that there was both quality and quantity of time spent with your families. I wish to acknowledge the Year 12 teachers who gave up time over their holiday break to come in to school to meet and teach their Year 12 classes.  I am sure that the students benefited immensely from this opportunity.  Our Year 12 students have completed their October tests this week which is an essential part of their preparation for their exams at the end of the year.  I wish them all the best with their revision over the next few weeks as well. 


We welcome back teachers: Michael Warden, Luke De Munk, Randy Marshall, Viv Tate, Jane Wainwright and Student Welfare Coordinator, Leona Thompson, from leave. Also, farewell and thanks to Diana Beggs who taught Maths for terms 1 to 3 and welcome back to Monica Meng replacing her for term 4. We also farewelled Doanvy Roberts (our International Student Coordinator), Rana Davidson (our SWC) and Monika Lowe (Art/Design/Technology teacher) last term. I thank them for their contribution to the school over some years.  We also welcome Angela Kellett (Food Technology Assistant) and Noriko Fukushima (Japanese and Maths Teacher) replacing Petra Witt for term 4.  Congratulations also goes to Stef Jager who gave birth to a beautiful baby boy at the end of last term.


I would also like to acknowledge Petra Witt and Yoshi Yamamoto’s dedication in taking our students on the two week Japanese Cultural and Educational trip which extended into the school holidays. The preparation for the trip, negotiations with our sister school and their care of the students is much appreciated. Student representatives from the tour produced a video of their experiences and it was shared with the staff yesterday at our staff meeting. We were impressed by the breadth of the experience and the way in which the girls embraced the challenges of being in a non-English speaking country. This will contribute to their readiness to take their place in a globalised community.

Kind regards


Linda Brown


College Matters

Reporting in 2017

This year we moved to a process of ongoing assessment and reporting, whereby students and parents are able to view the grade, comment and rubric on Compass as each learning task or SAC is completed. The end of semester report contains the previously seen grades and comments as well as a summary of the student’s work habits and attendance, and for students in Years 7 to 10, a record of their progress against the Victorian Curriculum standards.

Thank you to all the parents and students who responded to the reporting survey at the end of term 2. The feedback on the process of ongoing assessment and reporting was positive. It is pleasing to note that the majority of students and parents who responded are able to access Compass to see grades, comments and rubrics. We are continuing to refine this process and ensure that we provide clear communication to parents and students.

Presentation Evening

Presentation Evening is on Tuesday 21 November at 8pm at Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University. This is our opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our students in their academic, community service, leadership, sporting and musical endeavours. We also farewell the graduating class of 2017.

The guest speaker is Helen Wilkie who completed Year 12 in 2004. She has worked as a physiotherapist and is currently completing an MBA. She works at the TAC, establishing a data sharing channel between the TAC and hospitals. She is passionate about young women, leadership and health and many of these passions were first established during her time at MGSC.

Parents and Friends' Association

The next PFA meeting is on Wednesday 1 November at 7pm in the staff room. Please note the earlier start time and the change from our usual day (Tuesday). We will be discussing ideas for the PFA in 2018. Hope to see you there.


Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal

Safe Schools Coalition

Following a parent inquiry, I would like to clarify what Safe Schools is and how it is included at Mentone Girls’ Secondary College.

Safe Schools is a formal and public commitment that schools make to create an inclusive and safe environment for their school community, including for LGBTI students, families and teachers. This commitment recognises that creating a safe and inclusive environment is key to tackling bullying, discrimination and harassment at schools, particularly arising from homophobia and transphobia.

What is Safe Schools?

  • The Safe Schools program helps schools foster a safe environment that is supportive and inclusive of LGBTI students.
  • How this commitment is realized is determined by each school, based on its local context and the needs of its school community.
  • Safe Schools is not a subject in the curriculum, nor is it prescriptive in any way.
  • Schools have the discretion to use as many or as few of the resources, training materials, and other support that the program offers to help them deliver their commitment.
  • Safe and inclusive schools benefit all students and are key to students achieving excellence.
  • National and international research shows that positive and inclusive school environments lead to better academic results, increased confidence and better attendance at school.
  • The Victorian Government wants to create opportunities for every student, in every classroom, in every community. It also wants all students in Victoria to develop high levels of resilience.
  • Safe Schools is now managed and delivered directly by the Department of Education and Training. 
  • The Government has committed to expanding the program to all government secondary schools by the end of 2018. Primary schools and non-government schools can also access support from Safe Schools.

How does Safe Schools work?

What makes a school a safe school is its public commitment “to building an environment that is safer and more inclusive for the whole school community”.

How this commitment is implemented is at the school’s discretion and therefore looks different for each school.

School principals take into consideration the views of their school community when working with children and young people and determining the best approach to implementing their commitment to being a safe school.

Schools choose from a range of evidence-based and age-appropriate information, resources and professional learning to help them prevent, and respond to, bullying arising from homophobia or transphobia. This could involve a review of school policies and practice, professional development for school staff, and establishing a student led group to organise inclusive events.

Safe Schools at MGSC.

As in all school populations, sexual identity can vary from student to student. At Mentone Girls’ Secondary College we acknowledge this and foster inclusive practices. We respect the privacy and provide individual support for all our students. We have been a Safe School since February 2011. Later in 2017 we will audit our processes and liaise with Safe Schools with the view of improving current practice.

We are currently investigating uniform options that support an inclusive environment and will seek community feedback on this.

MGSC does not teach any Safe Schools curriculum within our classroom programs.

Reunions: 20 and 15 years

The class of 1997 and class of 2002 will hold their reunions on Wednesday 25 October, from 7pm to 9pm in the VCE Centre.  Tickets are $10 at the door for finger food and beverages.  To assist with catering please RSVP by Friday 20 October to Maureen [email protected]m or 0403 174 976. The Past Students Association can also be found on Facebook. 


Carol Duggan

Assistant Principal 

VCE Art & Design Show is next week


College Assembly


The final assembly for term 3 on Thursday 21 September featured a number of presentations and acknowledgement sof the achievements of our students. 

National Youth Science Forum lab coats were presented to Margaret Bradbury, Olivia Jaconelli, Kate McMahon and Sally Walker.

The Pierre de Coubertin Award was presented to Sasha Long and the Olympic Academy Awards to Vivian Fidantsis and Sarsha Berntsen. 


It was the 21st of September 

A highlight of the Assembly was sensational performance of the Earth Wind & Fire hit ‘September’ by the Jazz Band. The song  opens with the line "Do you remember the 21st night of September?" and had the entire school in the right mood to start the school holidays when "Our hearts were ringing in the key that our souls were singing’".

Assembly Address 

Today is a very special day, it marks the day before the 150th school day this year, not that I’m counting or anything! That’s 150 days you’ve gotten out of bed knowing full well that maybe you have no food for the day and will have to try and coax your friends into giving you some food,  or you haven’t done any homework for the past two weeks and will get absolutely roasted but you came anyway to further your education. I think that deserves a round of applause.

In some ways this year has gone incredibly fast, and all the excitement has just blurred past us. So many amazing things have happened in the world this year and time keeps flying by.

First of all, women’s AFL finally kicked off this year with eight teams which is pretty awesome and well overdue considering AFL started over 100 years ago.  Of course it was extremely successful and will most definitely continue to expand over the coming years.

Donald Trump became the president of the United States and was lucky enough to see the solar eclipse that happened a couple of weeks back.

The Unit 3/4 Visual Communication students officially handed in their folios last week and are collectively getting more that 3.5 hours sleep.

Kenny House hasn’t been winning overall for the entire year. Jackson was actually in the lead at one stage.

Matty found love on 'The Bachelor' even though it wasn’t Tara!

Here’s something you maybe didn’t know; Gogglebox won a Logie this year for most factual program! Which confuses me slightly considering it is probably the least factual show I’ve ever seen.

At the moment our school has a bunch of students in Japan and at the start of the year there was a class of girls in France as well! How awesome is that!

A few of the major adult roles have been switched around for this school year. We got our lovely new principal Ms. Brown after Ms. Lehner retired. And we said farewell to one of the greats, Mr. Russell, as he went on his way to become the principal of Parkdale Secondary College. 

In a way school life can be compared to a sports season. You have your weekly training and gym sessions, which can be compared to all the homework and study you do for school. Some weeks you feel physically able to work hard, some weeks you cannot be bothered and instead of doing all that work or training you just come home and take a cheeky four-hour nap.  It is not always easy or enjoyable, sometimes you get less court time than others, sometimes more than others - even though you feel like you train as hard. There’s always that one person who gets 100% on everything, and you have to work twice as hard to match that, but then at the end of the day you know you’ve done your best.  It’s full of ups and downs and that’s why you have your friends and family to support you.

At this point in time in terms of a sports season, we are up to the week before the grand final. For me personally, whenever I’m in the week leading up to a grand final, my mum yells at me every night to get to bed at 7.30pm. It’s a bit different for us at school. We get two weeks of holiday to prepare ourselves for that grand final. In those 2 weeks make sure you think about all you’ve accomplished this year

To the Year 12s, I don’t think there’s much more to say than that you have 12 official days of school left! To my fellow Year 11s, I know it doesn’t compare to 12 days but after 11 years and three terms of school, we only have one year and a term left! The Year 10s only have one term left until they dive into the VCE life. Live it up while you can! The Year 9s have had their first year of exams; the Year 8s are moving on up into middle school and the Year 7s, only 1020 school days left to go.

We’ve accomplished so much this year and I would like to congratulate you all on your successes. We get a bit of a break now before we come back for term 4. I know there will be lots of study done over the holidays but remember to take some days off as well and recharge ready for your final assessments next term. Only one term left until the long anticipated summer holidays!  



Sally Walker

Year 11 School Vice Captain 

Worldly Matters

Japan Tour 2017 

OnThursday 14 September, 20 students excitedly met at Tullamarine Airport to head off on their Japan Tour. Joined by Mr Yoshi Yamamoto and Mrs Petra Witt, this group was ready to meet their host families, use their language and explore the country they have been learning about for the last four or more  years.

The adventures began at Nakamura Senior High School our sister school in Nagoya where our girls spent seven days at a home-stay and enjoyed local school life and activities.

We sincerely thank Mr Kosuge, the principal, his staff, the home stay families and the Nakamura community for the warm welcome and friendship. Our time at Nakamura Senior High School was most certainly the highlight of our visit to Japan.

The school experience was followed by independent travel to Historic Hiroshima, Beautiful Miyajima, Traditional Kyoto and Nara and Bright Neon Lit Tokyo. Our girls engaged with the local culture as they explored World Heritage Sites, tried many different types of Japanese food and endeavoured to use and learn as much Japanese language as they could. We congratulate them on their conduct!

Japan, as seen through our eyes, can be seen by visiting our blog:


Petra Witt

Japan Tour Coordinator

World Challenge

To assist students with their fundraising, a walkathon has been scheduled for Wednesday 25 October starting at 3.30pm outside the gym.  Information forms are available from the Middle School Office. 

It is hoped that all families have been able to process the first major instalment for the expedition.

Some helpful hints will be included from time to time so:

Hint #1: take Diamox, drink lots of water and travel slowly when ascending to altitude to minimalise altitude sickness.


Michael Warden

World Challenge Coordinator

International Student Program 

We would like to welcome back the students who travelled overseas to visit their families and friends during these holidays. We hope that everyone had a refreshing break!

Our International Student Program Co-ordinator, Ms Doanvy Roberts, accepted a new position at another school. We would like to thank her for all her incredible work in the International Program and wish her all the best at her new college.

On Thursday, 26 October, the ELC students with their Peer Support buddies are heading off to Sovereign Hill for a 'goldrush' experience. With panning for gold and visiting underground mines, there will be many opportunities to uncover a golden nugget.


Ekaterina Xanthopoulos

 ISP and ELC Manager

Sub School Matters 

Junior School

Welcome and farewell

We have farewelled our fantastic Year 7 Student Manager, Ms Petra Witt who is taking long service leave during term 4. Ms Witt has been Year 7 Student Manager for several years and we will miss her expertise and caring manner with the girls. We look forward to her return in 2018. Miss Emily Price will be replacing  Ms Witt and we give her a warm welcome to the Junior School.

We wish Ms Diana Beggs well in her new school and welcome Ms Meng who will be taking Ms Begg’s classes this term.

We also welcome Ashleigh Thomson into 7F. Ashleigh has come from Ireland to MGSC. We wish her all the best and hope she enjoys being at MGSC and is able to make the most of all of the opportunities here .


Form groups for 2018

Year 7s and Year 8s will be asked shortly to nominate which other students they work well with and the student managers begin the enormous task of putting together the form groups for 2018. Staff will also be asked for input as to who works well together. All students need to check their emails to ensure they don’t miss out on submitting their preferences.


Year 7 2018 Parent/Student Information Evening

A huge thank you to the Year 7 leaders and some volunteers for coming to the Year 7 2018 Parent/Student Information Evening and running  activities with the incoming Year 7 girls. The 2017 Year 7 students have been meeting for most of last term to organise the evening’s activities and I am sure the new girls will have a lot of fun and learn more about our great school.


Gayle Steinfort

Junior Sub-School Leader

Senior School

The Senior Team welcomes students, teachers and parents back to the final term of the year.

This term can be the most satisfying as it is when students can consolidate the whole year’s learning with final revision recognising all the links in their learning and preparing for the final performances, the VCAA Exams.


October Tests

To help with the final preparations, all students were required to sit practice exams in all of their subjects in the first two days of term. Students should use these October Tests as a means of helping them identify areas of the studies they need to revise and consult with their teachers for additional help.

Although this can be a very serious time in a student’s life we do encourage a balanced timetable of study, physical activities and some fun rewards for work well done.



A reminder that all Year 12 English students are expected to attend a revision lecture, period 4 on Friday  13 October in the Lecture Theatre. The presenter, Kay Perry is a Curriculum Specialist and Education Consultant and is the author of several study guides. The English Domain and the Senior School have funded this event and it is expected that all English students will attend.

STEAM Matters - Science

2017 ANSTO Big Ideas Forum

Mentone Girls’ Secondary College students selected

Congratulations to Year 10 students Katie Barnshaw and Dessy Turk who have been selected to have an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia’s home of applied nuclear science – ANSTO (Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation). Their 40-second video outlining a problem they hoped science would solve in the future was selected along with  only 10 other entries from across Australia. 

Link to their video:

The forum is in Sydney in early November and will allow our students to see a whole new side to what is possible in STEM. For the accompanying teacher there will be a specially designed program of professional development workshops and practical experiences in ANSTO’s unique facilities.


2017 L’Oréal-UNESCO Girls in Science Forum

Invitation for Year 9 & 10 students to attend

Ten students from Year 9 and Year 10 have the opportunity to attend the 2017 Australian L'Oréal-UNESCO Girls in Science schools forum. The half-day event will be at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Parkville on Friday 3 November. 

This free event connects girls with a passion for science and provides the opportunity to hear from  L’Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellows, and  learn about their scientific interests and research and make participants aware of potential future studies or careers in science. 

As places are limited students need to send an expression of interest email to Mrs Rieniets - [email protected]


Louise Rieniets

Science Domain Leader 

STEAM Matters - Maths

2017 UNSW ICAS Maths Competition

Congratulations to our 2017 UNSW ICAS Maths Competition Award Winners

Distinctions were awarded to: 

Year 7 - Aidan Huang, Sarisha Dhawan,   Keziah Sansom-Gower 

Year 8 - Georgia Dilnot, Olivia Rybinski

Year 9 - Tina Mao

Year 10 -  Gabriella Hall


Earlier this year 384 students sat the ICAS Maths Competition from Year 7 to Year 10. Our students performed impressively with seven Distinctions, 54 Credits and 46 Merits being awarded.  Detailed student reports are currently being distributed to every participating student, along with related certificates. Distinction certificates will be presented at our College Assembly in November. 

We congratulate the students who were involved in this important activity which is a great way to challenge themselves and practise exam style test conditions.


Gary Hughes                                                                           
Director of Mathematics & Numeracy

Maths makes a real difference


VET Hospitality Studies at Holmesglen


Congratulations to our 2nd Year VET Hospitality students, Jessi Hooper and Isabel Foord who once again wowed us with their delicious creations at their annual Showcase Cocktail evening at Moorabbin Holmesglen.

As well as earning themselves a Certificate II in Hospitality, they have also gained invaluable experience in the industry and a head start in a career if they so choose.

Their food and presentation were amazing and the professionalism of the students left us wondering whether they were fully qualified chefs. Well done girls!


Rebecca Poulos

Career & Pathways Manager



Knockout Championships

The Intermediate athletics team won the 2017 State Knockout Championships held at Albert Park at the end of term 3. This was a repeat of their performance as a Junior level team at the Knockout Championships in 2016.  

Competing with three girls who could be in the junior team they set their sights on a top five result. Taking the top podium spot over Firbank Grammar 2nd and Caulfield Grammar 3rd exceeded all expectations. Our athletes were congratulated by countless private and public school coaches and teachers who all said that it is great to see a public school dominate an All Schools athletics competition. 

The Intermediate team is now off to the  Australian Schools Knockout Championships held in Adelaide in November. 

Congratulations to all the Mentone Girls' students who made up the Intermediate and Junior teams. 


Anthony Bruhn 

Health &  Physical Education Teacher

Colour Run

Our inaugural MGSC Colour Run on Wednesday 11 October was a colourful and joyful celebration combining friends, fun and fitness. The event was initiated by the student wellbeing team to promote positive mental health. With the support of the SRC, staff and all participating students it proved to be just that. Thanks to all involved. 


Jackie Mathews

Health & Physical Education Domain Leader

Music Matters


At the end of term 3  Year 8 music students were fortunate to take part in the South East Victorian Region’s Intermediate ‘Bandsfest’ at Mordialloc College.

They teamed up with students from four other secondary college to form a 70 piece ensemble and took part in a masterclass with renowned conductor James Le Fevre. In a single day they learnt about how to play as part of an ensemble, what to listen to, how to move an audience, and rehearsed numerous pieces including ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ up to a performance standard. The day finished with a recording that the students will be able to take away with them.

Tim Veevers

Director of Performing Arts

In our community

Lightbulb moment initiative

The Rotary Club of Beaumaris is looking for new community ideas that may benefit from their support. 'Your Lightbulb Moment, Make your Bright Idea Happen' wants to know your idea, community project or dream that needs people power, financing and their help to happen.


More information at


Run for Change 


'TicToc Tea Party' at Mentone Life Saving Club

This Alice in Wonderland themed event is to raise funds for  Able Australia. 

Date:  Sunday 22 October

Tickets: Tickets $24.72 per ticket are available online at or the Facebook event page - Tic-Toc Tea Party 


Free research trial for parents of teens 

Researchers from the Parenting and Family Support Centre at the University of Queensland are conducting a study into a new online parenting intervention for parents of teens and tweens. Participation in the study and program are completely free and are open to families with teenagers between the ages of 10 and 16. To find out more or register for the study visit:



Evesham Road Kindergarten

Evesham Road Kindergarten Staff and Committee warmly invite you to join us in celebrating and thanking Karen Rosenbrock for her 15 years of service.

Date: Saturday 21 October, 2017

Time: 2:00pm to 4:00pm – Afternoon Tea Provided

Venue: Evesham Road Kindergarten, 75 Evesham Road, Cheltenham

This is an open invitation to anyone that would like to come along and share Karen’s special day.

A day on Dalgetty 

Beaumaris Primary School fete 

Best wishes to our friends at Beaumaris PS for their famous 'fun for all' fete. 

It starts with the Arts & Craft exhibition opening on Friday 20 October with the big fete on Sunday 22 October.

See for more. 



Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter
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