News & Views

09 May 2019
Issue Seven
Quick Dates
College Captain
Principal's eHonour Board
College Vice Captain
Cultural Captain
Liturgy Captain
Outreach Captain
Spirit Captain
Sport Captain
Curriculum Captain
The Value of Career Development
Learning through the Arts
Study of Religion
Meet Mr Syme
Open Day
Thank you
Homestay Families Required
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 3/4, Term 2


Friday 10 May

Year 9 Science Field Trip (8.30-10.30am  LG 1, 3 & 6); 11.30am-1.30pm  LG 2, 4 & 5)


Saturday 11 May

4.00-6.30pm  Mother Daughter Twilight Event (Rooftop Terrace)


Tuesday 14 May

Period 1  NAPLAN Writing Task (Year 7)

Period 4  NAPLAN Writing Task (Year 9)

3.30-6.00pm  Year 10 Music Workshop (All Hallows')


Wednesday 15 May

9-a-Side Junior Girls Football Community Cup

10.30am-1.30pm  Year 12 Home Economics Market Visit

Period 4/5  NAPLAN Reading Comprehension (Year 9)


Thursday 16 May

Period 1/2  NAPLAN Reading Comprehension (Year 7)

College Captain

Through Our Eyes

It is with great excitement that, as the 2019 College Captain, I will be writing in place of the Mount Alvernia Acting Principal, Ms Butterworth, to present life at Mount Alvernia to our school community from a student’s perspective.  Throughout this issue of News & Views, which is alternatively known as Through our Eyes for this edition, our various college captains will share their addresses specific to their portfolios to provide an insight into life at Mount Alvernia through the eyes of a student.


When this opportunity to write was presented, I was very excited as I hold a strong pride for being a part of the Mount Alvernia community.  I have a genuine love for school and everything that comes along with it, which has been significantly enhanced since starting at Mt A.  I believe this college does an exceptional job at providing balance.  A balance between academic and co-curricular life.  A balance between a professional and friendly relationship between staff and students.  A balance across the various major aspects of a school such sport, arts, academic, liturgy and outreach, and school spirit. Through this balance, Mt A provides an environment for enjoyable and effective learning experience amongst all staff and students.


As we all know, motivation can be difficult to maintain; however, I have seen the efforts of students, as Term 2 kicks off, to really commit themselves and raise the bar in their efforts in academic, co-curricular, and social aspects of college life.  This has been noticed through the high levels of participation in Trimester 2 sport trials, impressive commitment to studies already providing results, and positive interactions in the classroom and at lunch time.  Through these observations, it is clear Term 2 will be one filled with determination, application, and success.


To assist in showcasing the excellence of Mount Alvernia, we have our Open Day coming up on Sunday 19 May.  Through the involvement of the college student leadership team in collaboration with staff across a plethora of fields, this year’s Open Day is set to be something exciting and unique to past experiences.  As a chance to display their pride in being a Mount Alvernia girl, students’ eagerness to participate and contribute to the day has been clear through the organisation processes.  I am confident it will be a successful day displaying the spirit, warmth, and culture of the College.

Maddy Riddle

Principal's eHonour Board


College Vice Captain

Positive Student/Teacher Relationships

This week the newsletter will be a little different to previous editions that are written by staff.  Through Our Eyes was created as a way to gain an understanding of life at Mount Alvernia through a student’s eyes.  You will have the opportunity to hear from many of our college captains as they discuss their portfolio areas.  As my role does not have one specific area of the College on which to focus, I will be taking on the role of Mr Crump, Deputy Principal for Staff Development, and explain how I see positive teacher-student relationships at Mt A and their benefits for developed learning.


In our fast-paced, hectic world today, we all want to feel loved and valued, and this does not stop at school.  High school students need this compassion and care as this time of their lives is filled with many exciting but difficult challenges.  Students attend school for six and a half hours each day, five days a week, for up to six years, and for this period of time teachers have a massive - if not the most valuable - influence on how our lives are shaped.  For students to be able to maximise their time and learning environment during school, I believe a positive student teacher relationship is essential. Successful teachers are those who have the ability to maximise the learning potential of all students in their class formed by positive relationships.  This method of teaching promotes a sense of school belonging.  It encourages students to participate cooperatively, developing confidence to experiment and succeed in a supportive environment where they are not restricted by the fear of failure.  In 2015, a researcher by the name of John Hattie identified a number of influences related to effective learning and achievement.  Hattie noted, in his study, that a classroom with a mutual respect between staff and students can assist with the development of creativity, as well as reduce the anxiety levels amongst students.  Teachers really do have the ability to assist with student motivation, goal setting, and be there to support them with comfort, advice, and guidance.


At Mount Alvernia, while academic excellence is important to students and staff, the journey through high school is also about developing students to be strong, independent, empowered women in our communities, now and when we graduate.  From my perspective, I believe the relationship between students and teachers is remarkable.  They are always willing to have a chat, give advice on an assignment, or just say hi in the hallways.  I am sure my co-students would agree with me in saying that we are truly blessed to have such incredible, supportive teachers and staff here at Mt A.   These relationships really do make this college the most enjoyable community of which to be a part.


I hope everyone has had a great start to Term 2.  Keep working hard and stay focused.

Jessica Faulks


Cultural Captain

I have been thinking a lot lately about what the meaning of Culture is.  I have spoken on Assembly a few times this year, as the 2019 Cultural Captain, but what does this actually mean?  I found a definition that I really think reflects what the meaning of culture is: “Culture is a word for the 'way of life'; it is the characteristics and knowledge of a group of people, encompassing language, religion, social habits, music,  and arts”.  Mount Alvernia is one of these groups - a community whose way of life helps define us.  This way of life is what makes up our culture.


I’m sure all of you have noticed by now the pink pianos around the College.  These pianos are not just any old pianos, they aren’t just there for show and tell - they are now a part of our culture, the culture of Mount Alvernia College.  The pink pianos are, along with indigenous languages and international ones, St Francis and St Clare, Elizabeth Hayes and the Missionary Franciscan Sisters, FCIP and Choir, Art and Drama clubs, Cultural Festival, and even hats and blazers, a stepping stone in our way of life and our culture.  Without all of these things we would not have a culture, history, or traditions; we would not have anything to look back on or remember from the past or look forward to in the future.  Without culture we would not be the college we are now, today.  Over the years I have come to realise all of these things make up Mount Alvernia and its culture, and that we need to preserve this culture now and in the future. 


So the next time you put on your hat or sit down at one of the pianos, remember those moments. Because they are a part of our culture, a part of us.

Amy Strachan


Liturgy Captain


Saint Francis once said, "A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows".


I hope you have all had an enjoyable start to Term 2 of 2019.


The liturgical side of the College aims to support and encourage each person's unique religious views and beliefs in a welcoming way.  I, along with my mentor, Ms Shaw, Assistant Principal of Religious Education Curriculum and Religious Life of the College, and the Francis and Clare Schools' Liturgy leaders, lead the school community in liturgies, masses, and other religious opportunities at the College.


Last year an initiative called Food Friends Faith (FFF) was created by one of our 2018 Senior students. This youth group, for Years 10 to 12 at Mount Alvernia and Padua Colleges, aims to provide the senior students a safe space to discuss their faith in a contemporary setting.  Last year was a great success with the groups so it was definitely a daunting process trying to fill the leader's shoes.  Despite my trepidation, FFF has been a great success, with over 60 people attending the first session for the year.


I have also been fortunate enough to reintroduce an event to Mount Alvernia, where a few girls are able to attend Friday Mass at Padua each week.  The Mass is celebrated by Padua's rector, Father John, and it is here that students are able to take a break from the stress of secondary college and simply revel in the joy that is Jesus Christ.


Posters also are being placed on the Liturgy noticeboard to advertise such events as the FFF sessions and Friday Masses.  However, I have also planned to add posters with inspiring and inspirational quotes from our college's patrons, Saint Francis and Saint Clare of Assisi.  Along with these quotes, bible passages are being placed on the noticeboard.  It is my belief that, by having these passages and quotes visible to the student and staff body, everyone is able to find solace, knowing that, if they place their trust in God and their faith, everything that seems impossible will be possible and, when they feel like giving up, they know they can rely on the strength of God.  During the Liturgy and Outreach Assembly last term, a video titled God vs Me was played, aiming to show the college community how, for every question or concern people have, God and the Bible have an answer to reaffirm us.


This week we also celebrated Elizabeth Hayes Week through homerooms' involvement with our neighbours at Delamore, visiting displays and explanations of the wondrous work Elizabeth Hayes has done and how she embodies the Franciscan values upon which our college is built.


I look forward to the rest of the academic year and am excited to see how the liturgical side of the College can flourish, giving students and staff alike the opportunity to relish in the Franciscan values upon which our college's community is built.


Fiona Hollamby

Outreach Captain


Outreach, I believe, is something that truly represents the spirit and nature of Mount Alvernia.  Since taking up this role, I have been asked on multiple occasions what Outreach actually is.  The answer I have given every time has remained the same: it is about community engagement, justice and, most importantly, service.  By partaking in Outreach initiatives through the College, we, as students, are able to engage with not just our Franciscan community but also the external community; it enables us to act on our drive and determination for justice in our world, and teaches us to be servant leaders by allowing us to serve our wider community.


Commitment to Outreach work is so important to me as an individual and for the College as a whole, as it teaches us empathy and enables individuals and communities to unite and be advocates for change. Those who choose to devote themselves to this aspect of the College truly live out the quote from Mother Teresa, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.  As Outreach Captain, I try to apply this quote to both the Outreach initiatives in which I participate and my leadership role this year.  Outreach is all about making change for the better in our world and, this term, this is being demonstrated through the launch of the Solar Buddies program for 2019, which aims to eliminate light poverty in neighbouring countries.  I am so excited to continue working with the compassionate, yet determined girls in our college throughout the year to make a positive change in our community.

Maya Ballantine

Spirit Captain

Through my role I have the privilege of leading  the Spirit Squad, Welcome Committee, Anti Bullying Task Force, our Peer Support Team, and the enthusiastic and proud girls of Mount Alvernia in our wider community.


The spirit of Mount Alvernia is what makes our college so fantastic.  To me, school spirit encompasses the sense of welcome you feel when you walk through the college gates, the electricity at carnivals that comes from everyone cheering their hearts out, showing pride in your college through words and actions, and the sense of unity and enthusiasm that develops from being involved in all aspects of college life.  The spirit of the College has been heavily influenced by the women who have come before us; it is our responsibility to nurture and develop this spirit further and carry their legacy into the future.


Through my journey so far, I’ve learned that everyone has their own challenges to face.  While some are more obvious then others, I hope I can be an example of how to treat everyone equally with kindness and empathy, for we all have our own stories.  Because of this, my aim is to make the spirit of Mount Alvernia one that is defined by the acceptance of everyone and their differences.  As the 2019 Spirit Captain, I want to ensure that each student feels supported, has a voice, and strives to achieve her full potential.  I remember feeling so welcomed into this college from the moment I walked into the San Damiano Centre in Year 8, and I hope I help all members of the college community feel the same way. Students having the opportunity to embrace who they are, feeling like they belong, and having support is important to me, and I believe this is achieved through a spirit-filled school community.  This is why I am passionate about creating opportunities for students to engage and connect with their college, teachers, peers, and opportunities that allow them to grow.


In 2019 so far, I have had the privilege of initiating some amazing activities.  On 15 March our college joined forces with St Anthony’s School and communities across Australia to promote the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.  The streets of Kedron have never been so noisy, with over 80 students denouncing bullying and associated behaviours.  This term, a morning tea has been held for new staff and new students in Years 8-12, as a way to check in on our newest members and to build connections.  At sporting carnivals, our spirit is always evident, so this year Spirit of the Moment certificates have been presented to students who live the Mt A spirit and encourage others to do so.


Life at Mount Alvernia is always full of opportunities for each of us to grow.  I look forward to leading more ventures over the year, so that the Mount Alvernia spirit continues to shine. 

Leah Patchett

Sport Captain


With the second trimester of CASSSA sports programs set to start in less than two weeks, trials for Volleyball, Futsal, Netball, and Hockey have begun.  Sign-up numbers have shown a decline in participation rates compared to previous years, starting with Year 9 and continuing through to the senior school.  The importance of women’s participation in sport needs to be reinforced to the girls, along with the many benefits that sport offers regarding time management and academic success.  My goal as Sport Captain this year is to motivate all girls at the College to sign up for as many physical activities as possible.  There are currently inter-school sporting initiatives being developed to encourage the girls to increase their own personal participation rates, so I am sure that this will improve our numbers as the year progresses.


According to the Women’s Sports Foundation, “By the age of fourteern, girls drop out of sports twice as often as boys”.  This is heavily influenced by many factors, including social stigma, lack of access, safety and transportation issues, costs, and lack of positive role models.  At Mount Alvernia, we encourage all girls to participate in sport - whether it be in a team or individually, competitively or socially.   Participation in sport and physical activity positively impacts on social and mental health.  It helps girls meet new friends, work towards and attain goals and increase confidence, which are all important factors for adolescents.  Meeting new people in other year levels, or even in their own, who have the same interests can spark long-lasting friendships.  Studies also show that adolescent girls who spend time participating in sports also tend to achieve higher grades, develop leadership skills, and become more successful in team work.  These are just some of the reasons that we want our students participating in as much sport and physical activity as possible at the College.


It is very exciting to be starting the training and hard work that goes into success for Trimester 2.  Good luck to all girls who are in the process of trialling; you are successful already by just getting out there and giving it a go.  Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.  You never know, you may love it!

Maddie Brown



Curriculum Captain

As Curriculum Captain of 2019, my goal is to promote the academic success of each student, to celebrate learning, and to ensure that students are proud of their achievements.


This year, goal setting has become an integral part of setting girls up for success.  By using the SMART process, each student has been able to set real, achievable goals for herself during the first semester.  I believe this process is essential to achieving excellence throughout every aspect of my life for a variety of reasons:

  1. The end goal is always in sight, so it provides me with the motivation to reach it.
  2. It gives me time to check in with myself to see where and how I'm travelling.
  3. I know that I'm working towards something real and exciting.


Each student has the ability to reach whatever goals she has set herself, whether it be academic, sporting, personal, or cultural.  So, when we review our goals at the end of the term, I only have one wish: that the girls feel proud of themselves for working hard, and achieving up to whatever stage of their goal they reached.


Another valuable initiative that has been set up this year is the opportunity to engage in Study Groups on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.  I have had first hand experience of working in a study group on these afternoons, and they have been the most wonderful and productive sessions.  Whilst girls may still attend private study sessions in the iCentre, Mt A has established this option of collaborative study, as research shows that it can significantly boost a student's learning and academic achievements.  Forming your own group of like-minded classmates, bouncing off each other's ideas and thoughts, peer reviewing, and the opportunity to nut out and problem solve difficult concepts with others are just some of the many benefits forming a study group can provide.  I strongly encourage anyone who hasn't attended to organise a group and time and participate - it is definitely worth it!


Study groups have also been a component in preparation for QCS in September this year.  Each week the Year 12s have three QCS classes where we are able to continue to work both individually on activities and strategies, as well as working collaboratively to help each other achieve the best results possible.  Again, I cannot stress enough the value of participating and working with others; being guided by our teachers, and able to work through challenging scenarios independently, then collaboratively to break it all down, allows for the gathering of ideas and formation of tactics.  This process will significantly help when we get to QCS 2019 and have to complete the questions individually.  This all helps to build our confidence and knowledge and understanding as we prepare for the major event!


Finally, I have gathered some tips and tricks I feel are important when embarking on high school, and into your senior years:

  1. Be organised - having a weekly (or termly) planner helps to relieve so much stress!
  2. Manage your time efficiently - plan your evening or your weekend, make a checklist!
  3. Start making study cards Week 1 - by doing this, you don’t need to rush through a term's worth of work!  Each week, add to your study cards, this way, you immediately solidify what you have learned.


Next week and the following week, the Year 7s and 9s will undergo their NAPLAN tests.  I would like to wish these students the very best when doing these tests — as they will be taking them online.  I have complete faith that these girls will achieve their very best …  just stay calm and do the best you can!


Beth Falzon

The Value of Career Development

The Value of Career Development in Secondary Schools

The Australian workforce of the future will need to be larger, more flexible, and more highly skilled and qualified in order to maintain economic growth and prosperity.  In the schooling context, students will need to keep pace with changing technologies and industries, be able to seize new employment trends, or be entrepreneurial in their approach to new business and self-employment ventures.  Unlike generations before them, young people are unlikely to follow a single career trajectory across their lifetime.  Rather, they will enter a workforce characterised by multiple job changes, and increasingly casualised and part-time work opportunities.  Students will not only need professional and technical skills, but employability skills and adaptive capacity (Borg, Bright, & Pryor, 2016).  Increasingly, the ability to make informed study and career decisions will be essential for both individual success and national productivity.  The implementation and promotion of high quality careers services can prepare students to manage these challenges and navigate the world of work.


With such disparities in the quality and delivery of career guidance in schools, it is little wonder that students often struggle to make informed decisions about their future careers.  In the state system, students are supported by a Guidance Officer, who may or may not have formal careers training and/or education.  As well, Guidance Officers employed by Education Queensland are typically responsible for the wellbeing and personal counselling of entire cohorts - an enormous and time-consuming task that often leaves little time for career education and activities.  In private schools, there may be a psychologist, social worker, or personal counsellor with little or no career education or knowledge, who is responsible for career development delivery (CICA, 2017).  Indeed, in Queensland, a formally qualified and experienced Careers Counsellor is somewhat of an anomaly in the current school system (Amundson, 2003).


Careers Education in Schools

In a labour market context that is increasingly unforgiving to low-skilled young people, the role of Career Advisers with formal training and experience in schools is crucial.  Career Counsellors work with young people with diverse backgrounds, and varying dreams and ambitions, and are often under pressure from systems and school leadership who prioritise particular career education activities.


As well, Career Advisers are increasingly under-resourced, with research from the Career Industry Council of Australia (CICA) showing that one in three career practitioners is provided with less than

$1000 annually to undertake career development activities across their entire school.  This equates to half of schools with a population of over 1000 students having less than $3 per student to spend on career education.


As CICA (2017) has highlighted:


“Preparing young Australians for an ever-changing workforce is a growing challenge, particularly when career practitioners are under-resourced and under-funded.”


The research shows that Career Advisers in schools are largely female (80%), over 45 years of age (77%), and more than half (52%) work part-time.  The age and working profile of these practitioners can have implications for sustainability and continuity of quality provision in schools (CICA, 2017).


The Value of Quality Career Counselling in Schools

The decisions that young people make at school can have a lasting impact on their lives – affecting not just their further education, training, or employment, but also their social lives, finances, and health outcomes (Miller, 2006).  A key function of secondary schools is to prepare students to transition successfully toward a future career path.  This involves providing curriculum opportunities to build students’ general capabilities, support students’ interests and aspirations, and support them to make informed decisions about their subject choices and pathways.


The two key components of career education and career guidance are:

  • Career education – developing knowledge, skills, and attitudes through a planned program of learning experiences in education and training settings which will assist all students to make informed decisions about their study and/or work options, and enable effective participation in their working life.
  • Career guidance – assisting individuals to make educational, training, and occupational choices and to manage their careers and move from a general understanding of life and work to a specific understanding of the realistic learning and work options that are open to them. Supporting students in making well informed choices about subjects can lead them to have a more optimistic outlook on life, sense of purpose, and greater level of contribution that they make to their families and society.  There are economic and social benefits when students are supported to make effective transitions from secondary school to further education, training, or employment (Patton & McMahon, 2006).


Put simply, students are more engaged in education and highly motivated about their future when they have a clear understanding of themselves and how they might live and work when they leave school. High quality career education and guidance is an essential part of schooling in preparing young Australians for their futures.  Careers are now increasingly seen not as being ‘chosen’ but as being constructed through the series of choices about learning and work that people make throughout their lives.  Career education in this sense need not be confined to the few - it can, and must, be made accessible to all.


Reference List

Amundson, N. (2003). Active engagement: Enhancing the career counselling process        (2nd     ed.).

Richmond, B.C.: Ergon Communications.

Borg, T., Bright, J. & Pryor, R. (2016). How planning and chance can be integrated in the careers of secondary school students. Australian Journal of Career Development, 15, 54-59.

CICA (2017). Why Career Development Matters. Retrieved April 7th, 2019, from development%20Matters_FINAL.pdf.

Miller, J.H. (2006). Using a solution building approach in career counselling. In M.         McMahon, & W. Patton (Eds.), Career Counselling: Constructivist  approaches (pp. 123-136).

Abingdon: Routledge.

Patton, W. & McMahon, M. (2006a). Career development and systems theory:    Connecting theory and practice (2nd ed.). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.


Careers News

Another fortnight, another Careers update.  Click here for the latest Careers News.


Melissa Loveday

Program Leader - Careers




... to the following students for their achievements in the 2018 EducationPerfect Maths Championships.

Elite Award winner Jessie McMurray answered 11,824 questions, earning 10,437 points and placing her in the top 0.2% of 60,000 competitors from around the world.

Thiana Gunther received an Emerald Award for answering 6916 questions and earning 5469 points, which places her in the top 1%.

Olivia Evans earned 2121 points by answering 3026 questions, which won her a Silver Award and places her in the top 5%.

Molly Kerr received a Credit Award for answering 2029 questions and earning 714 points - a top 20% performance.




Learning through the Arts

Year 9 Literacy Essentials Learning through The Arts Immersion 


As a part of the College’s ongoing commitment to adolescent success and wellbeing, my Year 9 Literacy Essentials class has been selected as a case study to explore the benefits of learning literacy skills using an Arts pedagogy. 


As a part of this program, students have been reading the novel When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead, and completing a range of visual literacy activities, specifically regarding the context of the novel - New York City in the late 1970s.  To this end, students have viewed films and images related to this era, including the trailer for Saturday Night Fever, Baz Luhrman’s  The Get Down, and 1970s NYC in 41 Terrifying Photos.  Students will be describing these images using the Dystopian vocabulary list and responding in the form of a PEEL paragraph.  We will also be exploring music and lyrics from the era, including Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five’s The Message, which explores life in The Bronx in the late 1970s.

 To help bring this environment to life for the girls, Mrs Karen Farrow (Drama teacher) joined us during the double last Tuesday to help the girls identify emotions that characters were feeling in certain scenes in the novel.  Under the direction of Mrs Farrow (and wearing her genuine 1970s clothing and props), the students collaborated to create freeze frames of the emotion of fear and scenes from the novel where characters experienced this emotion.  Many of the girls are to be commended for the way in which they participated in this program which moved them out of their comfort zone - a crucial component of effective learning.


We look forward to further exploration of both visual and dramatic pedagogies to assist students more effectively deepen and develop their literacy skills in a creative and dynamic environment throughout the rest of this term.  Feel free to share your memories and experiences of life in the 1970s (however brief!) to help the girls approach this task in an informed and engaged way, and to deepen their understanding of what life was like before the invention of Instagram, smart phones, and, heaven forbid, the Internet! 

Rhiannon Markwell, Teacher


Year 11 Performance

Year 11 Drama students delivered an outstanding, moving ensemble performance for their assessment at the end of Term 1.  The students directed and performed multiple roles in scenes from Brisbane playwright Sally Mckenzie’s play Scattered Lives about the plight of refugees who had to flee their countries from war - their dangerous journeys to reach Australia, and challenges and humorous moments in their new country.  The play was a verbatim-style with the script constructed from interviews with refugees.  Audience members were engaged and deeply moved by the performance, stating that the students did not seem as if they were acting; rather they had become the roles they were playing.  The cast appreciated the support of Drama X students as chorus in the performance.


Throughout the rehearsal process and the performance, the Drama students demonstrated their maturity, intellectual engagement, confidence, ability to work in an ensemble, communicative ability, and creative skills.  Skills gained in studying Drama equip students with strong ability in leading teams, collaborative decision making, presenting confidently, creative problem solving, and confident communication necessary in a wide range of careers: event management, creative arts, teaching, pitching projects in design and architecture, marketing, administration, and the  health industry.  Drama prepares students excellently for confidence at school and for their futures.


Professional Performance

Years 8, 9, and 11 Drama classes, Drama X students, and Padua Senior Drama students were privileged to attend a performance today of Scattered Lives.  The two actors performed multiple roles effectively to create a moving performance.  The actors used symbolic props and a central  iconic  Australian clothesline  transformed into a  projection screen for shadow images. 

The student actors - Year 11 students particularly - were very excited to view the professional performance to compare directorial interpretations and meet the playwright, director, and actor Sally McKenzie in person.  The cast leaves for Melbourne tomorrow for a three-week tour of the play, so we were privileged to be one of only four schools that saw this performance in Queensland this term.


Karen Farrow, Drama Teacher

Study of Religion

Year 12 SOR Interfaith Excursion to Islamic College Brisbane

On 2 May, twenty Year 12 Study of Religion students, along with the Padua year 12 SOR class, went to the Islamic College of Brisbane for a day of interfaith dialogue.  This day was definitely an eye-opener as we got to see how life at the ICB is very different to our own.  That being said, the girls still enjoy the same things we do, obsessing over formal dresses, Coachella, and TV shows.

We were fortunate enough to hear presentations of all the wonderful ways their college gives back to local and international communities, and this was very inspiring.  It was amazing to hear from their school captains about how both of our religions are founded on the same principle: peace.  With the recent tragic events of Christchurch, interfaith dialogue visits and communications are so important, as we can negate the negative and untrue stereotypes of the Islamic religion.  One of their teachers, along with their senior students, showed us how they pray five times a day.  It felt truly special, being able to watch them so dedicated to their religion and faith.  We then had the amazing opportunity of the ICB girls dressing us with colourful hijabs.

All in all, the day was one that none of us will ever forget, and friendships were forged that will last for a very long time. 



Fiona Hollamby



Meet Mr Syme

Introducing Jim Syme, Tutor in Mathematics at Mount Alvernia College

Jim is passionate about helping students to learn mathematics.  He conducts a Maths Help Desk in the college iCentre every lunchtime (first break), and students from all year levels are free to bring their maths problems to him.  Jim knows that learning maths is not always easy, and promises to do his best to explain it in simple terms.


"Maths is a foundation stone for so many careers", Jim says, "so it's important to keep up with class teaching and not fall behind.  Often simple stumbling block can be overcome quite easily so that you stay on track."


The position as teacher's aide, Tutor in Mathematics, follows Jim's research career in agricultural science.  He holds degrees of B.Sc.Agr(Hons) (Sydney) and Ph.D.(Nottingham), and has received several notable awards, including the Farrer Medal, Australia's peak award in agricultural research.



Open Day

Tell Your Friends!


Thank you

Dear Students, Parents, and Friends


Thank you so much for your kind donations to the Orangutan Foundation International Rescue and Rehabilitation Care Centre in Central Kalimantan, Borneo.  The staff at the Care Centre were very appreciative.


Kind regards

Sally Ludlow

Homestay Families Required

Visit of Students from Nigawa Gakuin


Please consider becoming a home stay family for a visitor from Japan.   This visit overlaps with the annual visit from Murakami, so we are desperately in need of more families to assist with housing another 25 girls.


A group of 40 students (ages 13-17) from our sister school, Nigawa Gakiun in Japan, arrives in Brisbane at approximately 2.45pm on Monday 29 July.  Upon arrival, the boys and girls will split up and go to Padua and Mt A respectively for the meet-and-greet with the host families.  The students will depart Brisbane on Sunday 4 August.   A full program will be provided closer to the dates. 


$240 is payable for hosting a student for the duration of the visit.


As part of our sister school relationship, Mount Alvernia students will be offered the opportunity to spend a period of up to a year at Nigawa.


If you are interested, please complete the form below and return it to Camilla Horn in the College Office ([email protected]).  Please direct any enquiries to Camilla.

Thank you for considering hosting a student from Nigawa.

La Cucina


Friday 10 May

Kellie Jilani

Monday 13 May

Christina Knight, Rachel Browne, Cathy Conaghan

Tuesday 14 May

Sharyn Hall, Margaret Hutchins

Wednesday 15 May

Gianna Di VIrgilio, Vicky Ferlito

Thursday 16 May

Colette Rosso, Tamara Sheedy


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.

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News & Views
Host Family Application Form.pdf