News & Views

02 August 2018
Issue 12
Quick Dates
From the Desk of  the Principal
College Deputy
Deputy Principal Staff Development
Assistant Principal Student Learning
Information Technology
STEAM Conference
Early School Leavers Survey
MAD Leadership Summit
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 3/4, Term 3

Friday 3 August

UQ Athletics Meet

Monday 6 August

FCIP Ensemble Photos

Tuesday 7 August

Year 10 Legal Studies excursion

1.50pm  Year 8 Dancing - LG 1, 2, 7 (Padua)

Wednesday 8 August

8.30-9.30am  Adolescents Aware survey - Years 10 & 11 (San Damiano)

1.30pm  Brainstorm Cyberia - Year 7

7.00pm  Francis School Subject Selection Evening (San Damiano)

Thursday 9 August

12.50pm  St Clare Feast Day Assembly

5.00-8.00pm  Breaking the Mold - Smashing Stereotypes (San Damiano)




From the Desk of  the Principal

Thought for the Week

It's different cultures that make the world go 'round at the end of the day.


Samantha Fox


Dear Parents and Carers, Staff and Students, and Friends of Mount Alvernia College



The College has been an interesting place this week.  Far from our usual Australian cultural mix, we have had visitors from South Korea, China, and Japan.  Most of the visitors were school students but, for today and tomorrow, secondary teachers from Korea have joined our community to learn about Australian educational practices.  They have been most impressed at the commitment of our young women to learning, and they commented at the high level of engagement and learning that was taking place.  Tomorrow they will look at the technology that underpins our Teaching and Learning, and visit classes.  I had the opportunity, before I came to Mt A, to visit Korea for two weeks to learn about the culture and educational practices – I learnt that our practices are very different, and so it was good to be able to share what we do with our Korean colleagues.  It is only when we have the opportunity to share with others that we can truly appreciate just what is offered at the College.  Perhaps we can take some students and staff to Korea so they can learn about Korea.  I am grateful for the generosity of parents, staff, and students who assisted in making these experiences possible.

On another much more mundane note, I met with Brisbane City Council officials and our local councillor, Fiona King, to discuss the vexed issue of traffic in our local area.  The Council and the College are developing a joint School Traffic Management Plan – this process is also happening with our other FOTH schools - and, once developed, it will be widely published.  Sadly, some of the practices of drivers in our community are less than safe, and I wonder, often, when a serious accident will happen with the dreadful flow on effects in our community.  We need to role model the Franciscan value of respect.  In this case, it is respect for the law and not prioritising our needs over those of others.  I would love to see more parents dropping their daughters away from the busy zones; it would have the effect of fewer cars and more people getting their 10,000 steps daily.  Thank you for your support and consideration in this matter.  I will give details of the plan when it is finalised.


This week I had the opportunity to be part of the Senior Education and Training Plans process for our Year 10 students moving into the new Senior Phase of Learning.  I was privileged to meet parents and their daughters to discuss their plans for their future studies.  The process is an excellent one, thanks to all in the Careers Area, and I know that this is part of setting our young women up for future success.  I would encourage all parents and students to make certain that they access the Careers Department of the College whenever you have a query about future directions, and read the great opportunities that are featured regularly in all our newsletters.


Next week I have the privilege of travelling to Lockhart River on Cape York as part of a rare and privileged opportunity to experience the environment, community, cultural heritage, and the people who are leading change in the Lockhart River community.  I will be away from 9 to 14 August and am looking forward to sharing my experiences with all of you.


Peace and all good things


College Deputy

Discovering New Horizons

This week is Catholic Education Week and the theme for 2018 is Discovering New Horizons.   The theme for Catholic Education Week this year has been aligned with the official Year of Youth theme for 2018 and is derived from a speech given by Pope Francis at World Youth Day 2016 where he called young people and the Church to "open new horizons for spreading joy".


However, at our assembly this week, we were introduced to another theme for the girls – Be an example – celebrate differences.  This is an important goal for each one of our girls as we celebrate our individual differences and being the best person we can be, for ourselves and others.  It would be wonderful at the end of this year, and in the future, our students can say that they were able to do something good because of the example of other students. 


Recently we celebrated NAIDOC Week and the theme of that week was Because of Her, We Can.   This theme focused on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who, as pillars of our society, have played – and continue to play - active and significant roles at the community, local, state and national levels.  When we combine both these celebrations, our catchphrase for our girls - to be an example and to celebrate differences - provides a very relevant challenge for them.


Each week the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) published a book called Assessment Highlights, which showcases outstanding work completed by Year 12 students in a range of Authority subjects in 2017.   We celebrate the achievements of the students whose work has been included in the book.  We especially congratulate Hanna Chaki, one of our Year 12 students in 2017, whose assessment response - A Story of Sand and Sky - is included in the Assessment Highlights.  Hanna’s response is one of three, from across the whole state, that is included in the book.


It is a pleasure to include Hanna’s response with her comments as well as those of her teacher, Ms Carney, and of the QCAA Senior Education Officer.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful week.

Michael McDonald

Deputy Principal
Staff Development

Introducing a New Staff Member

This semester, Ben White joins the College as an English and Humanities Teacher.  Having graduated from the Queensland University of Technology, he has spent time in both Education Queensland and Christian schooling environments.  Throughout this time, Ben has gained experience teaching English, History, and, most recently, Learning Support, which has strengthened his ability to differentiate for students.  Ben has experience coordinating subject and sports programs, embracing opportunities to become involved in school communities.  Outside of the classroom, Ben has a wife and two young sons. He has also travelled to India on two separate occasions representing Vets Beyond Borders as a Community Education Officer.  Ben is enthusiastic about becoming a member of the college community, and looks forward to modelling the Franciscan values to the young women of Mount Alvernia College.


Bravo Bonaventure Awards

At our first staff meeting for the semester we awarded our Term 2 Bravo Bonaventure Awards.  These awards are designed to be nominated by colleagues, and recognise the exemplary achievements of our staff across the four categories of: Excellence in Service, Motivator, Collaborator, and Innovator.  The Term 2 recipients were:

Excellence in Service: Jeni Barlow (Pastoral Guardian)

Ms Barlow was acknowledged for her level of professionalism and excellence in service when dealing with staff, students and parents. She regularly ‘raises the bar’ and is outstanding in her service to others in the community.


Motivator: Donna Shepherd (Classroom Teacher)

Mrs Shepherd is known as a supportive and caring team member who puts everyone else before her own needs.  She is constantly challenging herself and people around her to be the very best they can be in all aspects of their lives.


Collaborator: Liz Feltrin (Uniform Shop Convenor)

Mrs Feltrin embraces her role as the Uniform Shop Convenor and is a great help to all within the Finance Team.  She is collaborative in her practice, supporting many areas across the College, and is considerate and supportive of her team members and their priorities.

Innovator: Amie Clark (House Guardian)

Miss Clark has developed several initiatives to bring to life the new Certificate courses in Hospitality and Business.  She is creative and imaginative in the construction of lessons that keep her students enthralled while providing deep learning experiences.

Congratulations to our Term 2 recipients.  We are truly blessed with our dedicated team of staff.


Spotlight on Staff

The future of Queensland women’s AFL was on display recently at Metricon Stadium, and featured our very own Courtney Daniec.   Courtney was fortunate to be selected to play in the Gold Coast Suns team that drew on players from all over Queensland.  While the Suns went down to the Lions on the day, there was a great display of talent from both sides, and the game certainly cemented the future of women’s AFL in the state.  This has been an exciting opportunity for Courtney, and we are extremely proud of her achievements.

Courtney was also recently selected as a Coach for the Queensland Under 15 schoolgirls’ team after successfully coaching the Met North Under 15 girls’ and Under 12 girls’ teams in 2017 and 2018.  She is one of the youngest coaches involved with female AFL.  Last week she was away in Adelaide with the Queensland girls team representing the state.


It is no surprise she has been recently nominated by the students of Mount Alvernia for the Students' Choice – AFL Teacher of the Year.   We wish Courtney all the best as she shines the light for women in sport from our state.   Congratulations!

                                                                                                                                                                                          Daniel Crump

Assistant Principal
Student Learning

Effort, Commitment and Achieving Excellence

I have been overjoyed to be able to peruse student results from Semester 1 during the last couple of weeks.  There have been many students who have clearly been incorporating good study habits into their routine, putting in extra effort, and who are striving to achieve the very best that they can.  Congratulations to all of those students who have lifted their results in any way; whether from Bs up to As, Cs up to Bs, or Ds to Cs, etc – well done to all of those girls!  If we continue to put in the effort, no matter what level we are at, we should see some improvement.  Furthermore, if we continue to work together for the benefit of your daughter, then we are on the right journey.

With learning at the heart of what we do here, it is so important for you, our parents, to be up to date with all of the information that we offer, and it is important for the girls to be organised and clear in setting goals and processes in order to achieve.  Having said this, it was also really energising to be able to speak with so many parents and students at our recent Subject Selection Information Evenings, for both those students going into their senior years and for students moving from Year 9 to 10 in 2019.  Information about the new Queensland Certificate of Education, specific information relating to each of the Learning Areas and subject offerings across 10, 11 and 12, and the opportunity to connect with leaders and teachers at the College have hopefully provided a great platform for your daughters (and you) to make clear and positive choices for their future studies. 


If you were unable to attend the evenings, or have any further questions, please access the Subject Handbooks and Presentations via the Parent drop-down menu on Moodle, or directly through Igloo.  Students will be able to access the 2019 Handbooks via their respective Information Hubs on Moodle.


Additionally, the SET Planning process has been another really positive and valuable exercise for all of our Year 10 students.  This enables us to collaborate with you, assist with guidelines for future pathways and subject choices, and ensure that all have a clear understanding of the senior years.


The final Subject Selection Information Evening occurs next Wednesday evening, 8 August, commencing at 7.00pm for our Francis School students and parents.  Information about choices for Year 8 and 9 will be provided at this evening.  (You should have received a direct email outlining this).


So, as we move forward into Semester 2, all students should do a quick stocktake of where they are, and consider where they would like to be by the end of this year.  For our Seniors, in particular, make the very most of your time; it will go quickly.  I include a link to a useful article for you here.  Whilst it is American-based – for example, you will substitute university for college, etc – it is very relevant.  Your time here is so precious – enjoy it. 

What to do during your last semester of High School 

For all students and parents, I have taken some excerpts from another blog that I think will help to guide you through this semester, as it offers some excellent advice and ideas.  If you are interested in more information, go to this [Australian] site and try the links, as well as the further reading provided.  It is very relevant, and evidence-based.

Taken from the following website: The Conversation., (2018), Study Habits for success: Tips for students., Retrieved from


Focus!  And don’t multi-task

Our brains are impressive machines, but they can’t handle everything at once.  There is simply too much going on in our sensory environment for us to digest.  To be effective, we need to direct our attention to just one or two tasks at a time.  That generally means no background music – it won’t help you learn.


Don’t be tempted to multi-task while you learn.  When you do, your brain is actually trying its hardest to switch rapidly between tasks.  But, whenever you get distracted and switch focus, it takes minutes to settle back into the groove of studying.  Minimise your distractions and focus your attention on the task at hand.


Sleep well, learn well

Learning isn’t easy, and being able to focus is important for digesting new information and understanding concepts.  When you get a good night’s sleep, you feel fresh and attentive the next day.

Sleep is also critical for what happened the previous day.  Extensive work in both animals and humans shows a crucial function of sleep is to re-process and consolidate what happened during the day.


For example, scientists have recorded brain activity patterns first while an animal learns a task, and again when the animal next sleeps.  Remarkably, the patterns in sleep are strikingly similar to what is seen when the animal learns.


This replay of activity patterns during sleep happens in your brain too, hundreds of times each night.  As a result, the connections between our neurons change, helping the patterns become embedded in the brain.  In other words, sleep plays an indispensable role in storing our memories for the long-term.


Test yourself

The 'testing effect' is a well-established phenomenon in learning.  Essentially, we learn much better by testing our own knowledge than by re-studying material.  So, if you’ve got an exam coming up, don’t just re-read a textbook and highlight important passages.


Instead, test yourself by doing practice exams.  The process of actively recalling information helps deeper learning take place, and it works even better if you can check whether your answer is correct.


You don’t have to wait until exam time to capitalise on the testing effect.  As you read through a textbook you can give yourself mini-tests, trying to recall the major points of each chapter you finish.

Although researchers are still trying to figure out the brain mechanisms behind the effect, there is plenty of evidence for its effectiveness.  When combined with spacing (below), practising recall is an efficient way to commit information to your long-term memory.


Space out (your learning)

Teachers and parents are always telling us cramming is the wrong way to learn, and for good reason.  It just isn’t as effective as spacing your learning over days, weeks, and months.  This is known as the 'spacing effect'.


Whenever you practise something, you give your brain the opportunity to strengthen the connections between neurons.  The strengthening process is similar to how hikers trampling through a forest create worn paths over time.  The more hikers, the more distinct the path, just like repeated practice helps lay down strong neural pathways to store memories.


Although the best spacing strategy isn’t known, we do know an expanding schedule is better than a contracting schedule.  In other words, it’s better to review your course material after a day, then a week, then a month, rather than the other way around.


Use memory aids

If you learned music as a child, you probably remember one of the mnemonics for notes on a scale – for example, 'Every Good Boy Deserves Fruit' (E-G-B-D-F).  Mnemonics like this make difficult things easier to remember.  You can make up your own mnemonics for classroom concepts.


For example, maybe you need to memorise the noble gases in the periodic table (He, Ne, Ar, Kr, Xe, Rn). Just make a crazy sentence out of it and you’ll find it much easier (for example, 'he never argues, Krusty, xenophobic runt'.  This one might only make sense if you watched The Simpsons).


Another approach, and one frequently used by people in the World Memory Championships, is the memory palace technique (also called the 'method of loci').


Your 'memory palace is a place you know well, like your house, or the route you take to the bus stop. You fill this palace with the things you need to remember, and then you re-create a path that takes you past all those items.


This technique relies partly on the fact that our hippocampus – the part of the brain where many memories are formed – is also crucial for navigation.  Both anecdotal and scientific evidence shows  anybody can improve their memory using this approach.

Debra Evans



Maths Week

Everyone was invited to a fun Maths Kahoot sessions in the lunch break last Wednesday, as part of Maths Week.

It really was a lot of fun, with twenty questions put to student and teacher panels.  It was not serious maths!  Questions were in the style of: "Why is 7 afraid of 6?" - Answer: Because 7 ate 9.

The lesson was that you can have fun in maths.  (By the way, the students won!)

Information Technology

Year 9 Digital Technologies

Last term Year 9 Digi students created a video for their parents on what they use their smartphones for and some tips and tricks on how to use your smartphone. 


Watch our YouTube stars:

April Waldron  explaining Google drive and Facebook,  and





Elise Hart  telling you about Spotify and Instagram.

Digi Tips from Linda

Linda Clark


STEAM Conference

​It Takes a Spark Conference

We invite girls and their teachers to connect with inspiring female role models, industry innovators, and universities at the upcoming It Takes a Spark Conference.  Leading STEAM teachers and students will showcase their current school-based activities and projects with hands-on teacher mini masterclasses and student digidesign workshops.  Create networks with teachers and student teams, be inspired by the keynote Stars of STEAM, and use STEAM to solve social justice design challenges.

Registration is now open for the Brisbane Conference being held at Mount Alvernia on Wednesday 15 August.


Early School Leavers Survey

2018 Next Step - Early School Leavers survey

The Queensland Government is conducting its annual statewide survey of Years 10, 11, and 12 students who in 2017 left school without obtaining Year 12 certification.  The Early School Leavers survey is a short, confidential survey that collects information about what young people are doing the year after leaving school.


Between August and September, students who left school early in 2017 can expect to receive an invitation to complete a web-based survey, or a telephone call from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office to complete the survey.  Please encourage them to take part.

For more information, visit or telephone toll free on
1800 068 587.


Careers News

Another fortnight, another Careers update! 

See Careers News for information on the following:

QTAC and Tertiary Entry

      A QTAC Key Dates Summary

     Fixed Closing Dates

     How are Applicants Selected for Courses through QTAC?

     How Will I Know I Have an Offer?

     Key Dates for the QTAC Application and Offer Process for 2018

     Shift to ATAR from 2020

     What is a QTAC Selection Rank?

Apprenticeships and Traineeships

     Apprenticeships with Aurizon

     Automotive, Technical, and Parts Apprenticeships

     The My Skills Website

     Want to Be an Electrician?

     Find out about Electro

Career Exploration

     Career Quiz App

     Following Your Passion Could Make You Less Successful

     The Skills and Attributes Requested by Employers in Australia


     Country to Canberra Leadership Competition


     The 2018 STAQ Queensland Science Contest


     Five Trends Shaping the Future of Work

     Opportunities with Drones and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

     Social Enterprises

     The Five ‘Super Skills’ You Need for Jobs of the Future

     What do I Need to Know when I Start a Job?

Financial Assistance and Scholarships

     Griffith University Scholarships

     Low Income Health Care Card

     Queensland University of Technology Creative Industries Scholarships

     TAFE Queensland Scholarships for Semester I 2018

     University of Queensland Sporting Scholarships

     University of Southern Queensland Year 12 Early Round Scholarships

GAP Year Program News

     Southern Cross Cultural Exchange

     World Education Program Student Exchange

     Youth for Understanding (YFU) Student Exchange Programs


     Aurora Education Foundation: Indigenous Scholarships

     Griffith University Indigenous STEM Experience Day

     Queensland Police Service Indigenous Recruit Preparation Program (IRPP)

Interstate and International

     Q&A Session: The Advantages of a US & UK Degree

Labour Market Information

     I Want to be a Pilot but I’m not sure I’m Suited for the Job

     ICT for Girls

     Interested in Being a Police Officer?

     Veterinary Nurse – Charlotte’s Story

     What Jobs need Mathematics?


     National Science Week

     National Student Volunteer Week

TAFE Queensland Updates

     International Students in 2019

    Manufacturing and Engineering


     Australian Catholic University

          Community Achiever Program (CAP)

          Exercise Science Pathways and Careers

          Pathways into Teaching

     Open Universities Australia (OUA)

     Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

          Assessing VET Qualifications After the Shift to ATAR

          Elite Athlete Special Entry Scheme

          Leadership and Development Opportunities

          START QUT

          Year 12 Entry Bonus Scheme

     University of Queensland (UQ)

          Apply Now for the Enhanced Studies Program (ESP)

          Download UQ Brochures

          Engineering and Computing Careers Evening

          International Student Applications

           Pharmacy Experience Day

     University of the Sunshine Coast (USC)

          Parent Lounge

     University of Southern Queensland

          Creative Arts Audition

          Open Days

MAD Leadership Summit


La Cucina


Friday 3 August

Jen Davissen, Kristen Purvis

Monday 6 August

Cheryl Poy, Jacqueline McLindon

Tuesday 7 August

Lidia Ranalli

Wednesday 8 August

Michael McErlean, Donna Parker

Thursday 9 August

Leighann Carey, Michelle Sweby


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.


Would you like to volunteer?

We are looking for extra volunteers for La Cucina.  You would only be required to volunteer once a term if possible.  Even if you are able to volunteer for a morning, that is also a great help.  Thanks in anticipation.  Please direct any enquiries to Cathy at College Reception, ph 3357 6000.

Luisa Scimshaw


Community Notices

Invitation to Try Scouting


St Anthony's Bush Dance


Baking for Parish Garage Sale


Aspley Little Athletics Sign-on


Brothers Touch Assoc Season 2


News & Views
bush dance flyer july v8.jpg
bake sale flyer 4.jpg
Little Athletics.pdf
2018 season 2 touch flyer.pdf
It Takes a Spark.png
A Story of Sand and Sky.pdf