Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

18 August 2017
Issue Twelve
Important Dates
Principal's Message
College Matters
Sub School News 
STEAM Matters
Library & English news
In our community
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Important Dates



Friday 18 August

Year 8 Round Robin


Wednesday 23 August

Year 7 Round Robin

7pm, Winter Concert


Thursday 24 August

9am, School Tour


Friday 25 August

Free Dress Day - Footy Theme


Tuesday 29 August

1.30pm - 8pm, Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

Pupil Free Day. Student attend for their interviews only. 


Wednesday 30 August  to Friday 1 September 

Year 10 Camp 


Monday 11 September

9am, School Tour 

Beachside Track & Field competition


Thursday 14 to Thursday 28 September

Japan Study Tour


Wednesday 20 September

VCE Recital Evening


Thursday 21 September

College Assembly


Friday 22 September

Term 3 ends

Term 4 

Monday 9 October

Term 4 starts 


Monday 16 October

9am,  School Tour


Tuesday 24 October

Year 12 Valedictory dinner 


Wednesday 1 November

Year 12 VCE Exams commence 


Tuesday 21 November 

7pm, Presentation Night, Robert Blackwood Hall


Principal's Message

Dear Parents & Guardians

We live in an era when there is disruption in education on a global scale.  Our young people live in a world very different to the one their parents were born into.  There is an increasing dependence on digital technology and the workforce is constantly changing and reacting to it. The shifting demographic and mobility of people around the world means that families can find themselves living far away from their homeland and relatives. Our students engage in this world every day with many students taking advantage of going overseas on exchange or travelling to France, Japan and Nepal on one of our school organised trips.  Intersecting these real-world experiences is the virtual engagement that occurs on a daily basis for people around the world through interfaces such as Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (to name a few). 

It is because of this shrinking global landscape that our international students feel so welcome at our College. On Wednesday we had a morning tea in the English Language Centre for our newly arrived international students where our local students extended their hand in friendship. This is a small gesture but one which symbolises that our students are part of a global community. There is everything to be gained for us all in terms of embracing intercultural understanding.  When we facilitate the making of connections between individuals and groups from various cultural backgrounds we foster and promote respect and empathy which is so essential in contributing to a responsible and inclusive society. 

I recently spoke at an assembly on the importance of being a good citizen.  On this occasion we welcomed back David Russell who gave his farewell speech to the girls.  He touched on the school values of respect, personal best and resilience as he spoke to the girls about why MGSC will hold a special place in his heart. Being a good citizen and a supportive member of the community can make us feel great because we can have a direct impact on the lives of other people. It is a purely selfless act with no tangible gain. 

Coincidentally we are currently celebrating 'Random Acts of Kindness Week'. For some students who might find it hard to come to school, that smile or willingness to invite them to join a conversation, team or group activity can make a difference to their day.  We might never know the impact of a simple gesture, but if we make that offer we may glimpse a smile on their faces.  We live in a time when the virtual world and the real world exist simultaneously – we can be alone and connected at the same time. This can make it both difficult and possible to connect with others.

But this digital freedom also requires us to be responsible in the use of this technology so that we don’t forget that there is a person with feelings receiving the messages or images that are being posted or sent on line. There is great responsibility that comes with being a global citizen and guidance from parents and teachers is vital in making good decisions with regards to how to communicate online. As young people navigate through these adolescent years they will need to be empathetic and reflective as they interact in this online world.

We recently had a visit from our Regional Director, who was interested to in seeing our fine school and hearing of our plans for the future, both educationally as well as with facility development. As an all-girls educational environment we address the desires of parents who wish to educate their daughters in a single-sex environment. Parents see an opportunity for their daughter to excel in all areas, not just academic, such as music, art and sport. We showcase what is best in government education by delivering an affordable alternative to private schools. We complete the jigsaw of the broad range of offerings in Victorian Government Schools such as select entry, science, sporting and single-sex learning environments. We also offer an opportunity for families beyond the local area to send their daughter to a single-sex school.  It is important for us to remain contemporary in our delivery of curriculum but also in the environment that we deliver this in. We have plans to update our library facilities in 2018 and encourage you to contribute towards the building fund to help us to achieve our goals. We will also be exploring the refurbishment of other areas throughout the college. All of these enhancements will contribute towards improving the student learning outcomes for students at the College.  These are exciting times for us all.


Kind regards

Linda Brown


College Matters

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

  • Wednesday 23 August    Interim reports (Years 7-11) available online at 3.30pm
  • Wednesday 23 August    Bookings open for all students at 3.30pm (including Year 12s who may not have been able to attend on 15 August)
  • Tuesday 29 August    Bookings close for parents at 9:30am
  • Tuesday 29 August    Years 7-11 P/T/S interviews 1.30 – 8pm (Dinner break 5pm to 6pm).

This is a Pupil Free Day. Students attend school with their parents for their interviews only. 


If have any questions, please contact the school. 

Reminder - Parent Opinion Survey

Parents who have been randomly selected to participate in the annual Parent Opinion Survey would have received an email last week requesting their participation.  Thank you to those that have responded. Please take the time to complete the survey as your opinions are important and will contribute to the future of our school. The survey is open until Sunday 27 August.  


Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal

International Student Program & ELC News

Year 10 Peer Support students have been buddied up with the new ELC students to make their transition within the school and to life in Australia easier. These students have volunteered their time to support the new students, and from past experience, many have remained friends beyond their ELC time. Next week they will all attend a morning tea to discuss future goals with a focus upon cultural and social exchanges. We would like to express our thanks to Si Feng and Rana Davidson, our Student Welfare Coordinators, who have helped us facilitate this program.

Doanvy Roberts, International Student Program Coordinator, recently hosted a visiting delegate to our school. Ms Roberts is looking to Study Abroad and international students to diversify the program and to offer local students an opportunity to study with students from around the world. The guests were from the International Education Division and Katia McKenzie, an owner of accredited education agency, Discovery Education and Travel. It was rewarding to hear that Mariana Amaral (from Brazil)  is very happy at our College as she is 'able to be herself' confidently. Our visitors were impressed by our international student program as well as the caring school environment of Mentone Girls' Secondary College. 


Ekaterina Xanthopoulos

ISP and ELC Manager

College Assembly 

At each college assembly a school leader addresses students. At the August assembly Tara Graves (College Vice Captain) gave her experience of  passion, mistakes and motivation. It was a busy event for Tara who performed with the senior aerobics team and the percussion ensemble.  


When I was 7 years old I made a mistake and that mistake haunts me to this day. When I was 7 years old I was playing on top of the wooden playground on a sunny day in March, and two of my friends fell and landed on each other. Little did I know that these two friends had fallen on top of each other by accident. Being the naive 7 year old I was I yelled "stacks-on’"and jumped on top of my two friends lying flat and helpless on the tanbark. I wouldn’t have called myself the lightest 7 year old on the planet and stacks on was not the game they were playing, which I soon found out. When I got up laughing I realised the friend at the bottom was softly crying and holding his arm. You know what I did? I helped him wash the dirt out of his eyes and took him to First Aid. It turned out he had broken his arm. I broke his arm.

I’m not telling you this story to show you what a game of stacks-on can achieve but instead that you can fix any mistake you ever make. It is not the end of the world if you fail a science test, or you forgot to wish your friend a happy birthday, if you watched TV all night instead of studying for English essay, or you said something you know you shouldn’t have. You can turn that mistake around. You can make it better but only if you’re willing. You can say "alright I made this mistake once. I’ll do better next time". You can always make things better. Surprisingly enough this friend whose arm I broke did acknowledge my existence again and we a still friends today. Well sort of - if you call grunting and nodding his head whenever I see him a friendship.

It’s August now. I know right. Time flies. This is the time when our will to learn, our will to study,  and our will to leave the warm comfort of our beds, drops. And those mistakes start to get to us. Those mistakes always come in waves and, at this stage, mistakes are coming in tidal waves worthy of a gnarly surf.  It is okay to make mistakes because everyone does. Everyone makes them, but trust me, in five years you will not be defined by the mistake itself but how you recovered from it. How you made it better.

But how do we recover from breaking someone’s arm? How could I motivate myself to speak to this poor boy again who I squashed like a bug, or play on that wooden playground that I loved so dearly?

One word, passion.

I have this belief that passion, in all cases, beats raw skill. Passion conquers motivation. Find something that you are passionate about, whether it is sport, music, science, writing, reading ANYTHING.  Within that passion you will find the motivation to succeed in whatever your heart desires, despite the mishaps, mistakes and brick walls you come across.

So let’s solve these mistakes. We will start with one that the Year 10s can learn from,  better sooner than later.  Mistake: the VCE students did not clean the area around the microwave. Nor did we bother to clean the microwave itself and hence no microwave. That microwave had vanished before our very eyes. Now only one microwave remains. We need to find the motivation within ourselves to ask for that microwave back, to clean those microwaves until they are spotless. We are passionate about our lunchtimes, the only time of the day to catch up with our gal pals and talk about the weekend. We do not want to waste our lunchtimes, standing in line to warm up last night’s curry? Through passion we will motivate ourselves to clean the microwaves after we have used them.

This is only one small example of how passion can create motivation. When motivated, we learn from our mistakes and grow as people. But failure and mistakes still don’t feel like an awesome learning opportunity. So embrace failures, mistakes, screw ups and shortcomings because they not only make us uniquely who we are, they also teach us powerful lessons.

Mistakes teach us to engage in our lives - to live fully. We are not our behaviours and we are more than our mistakes. Many people, when faced with a big mistake, begin to pull back - to retreat. Instead, we can use the failure as evidence that we are growing, risking and stretching to meet our potential, motivating us to continue to push on. Mistakes help us to remember that we are not content to play it safe. We understand that without risk there is sometimes no reward.

My Nan is a very important person in my life, if you haven’t already guessed. She has recently developed a fascination that I can’t quite comprehend where it’s come from and why it is so. My Nan has all of a sudden become obsessed with AFL, the Australian Football League. This born and raised English woman’s favourite pastimes consist of napping with her dog, watching Eggheads, completing Sudoku on the beach and drinking wine at the local bowls club. AFL was a much unexpected leisure activity my Nan developed. Now she refuses to miss a game on the telly and could tell you a thing or two about shepherding. A lesson can be learnt here as always with my Nan. It's never too late to be passionate about something, about anything. You are never too late to grab life by the ears and give it a go. Of course I can’t say we will be seeing her on the field at the MCG kicking goals, but that sure has heck hasn’t stopped her from dreaming. That hasn’t discouraged her and it shouldn’t discourage you, because age is but a number. It does not define you.

Your mistakes happen, but they won’t define you. Don’t let them. Follow your passions and find that motivation within yourself to continue to strive for greatness. In my eyes, you are all full of greatness.


Tara Graves

College Vice Captain 


Sub School News 

Middle School - City Experience

From Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 August all Year 9 students travelled into the city for a fun-filled three days of camp. They did activities such as rock climbing and visited Eureka Tower Skydeck, Old Melbourne Gaol, the MCG, SYN FM, The Big Issue and the Koori Heritage Trust. The students braved the cold weather and enjoyed their time in the city, learning how to navigate their way around Melbourne. A big thanks to both the students and the teachers for a fun camp.

Emily Price & Amanda O’Hara

Student Managers  

Senior  School 

It has been a very big year so far for students and teachers. As we move through the winter months some students have not been able to escape the many viruses that are going around. We remind everyone of the importance of providing a doctor’s certificate for absence due to illness especially if the student is missing a SAC or SAT. 

Throughout the year there have been high pressure periods when the students may have had multiple assessments in a week. Unfortunately this cannot be avoided and it is not possible for schools to dictate to the domains when they can assess the students other than provide a final day for SACs. These periods of time, while difficult, can be viewed as helpful in the building of work strategies and resilience for the final exams. We urge the students to stay focussed at all times, ensure they complete their prescribed work and continually check in with their teachers if there are difficulties. We also encourage students to speak to the Senior Team so we can provide counselling to assist them in the management of their studies. It’s not too late to make changes to the management of their studies before they head into Term 4 and the final three weeks before the VCAA exams.

Last week Year 12 students attended an assembly about how to apply for tertiary courses in 2018. All Year 12 students must make an appointment with Rebecca Poulos, Career and Pathways Manager, to help them in the planning for 2018. They also received an invitation to the Valedictory Dinner on Tuesday 24 October. The details for payment are included in this letter as well as a tear off slip for parent response.

The draft 2018 courses for Year 11 students will be made available by the end of term.

Thank you to Ms Mel Erwin for her contributions to the team while Ms Leah Liakos was away. Ms Erwin was able to easily fit in to the VCE routines as she has multiple VCE classes and knew many of the students in her charge. She has a direct but relaxed and fun approach to the students that was appreciated by the VCE community at MGSC. 


Sylvia Christopoulos

Senior School Leader

STEAM Matters

National Youth Science Forum –
Congratulations to the new 2018 participants and ‘staffies’

Every January the National Youth Science Forum (NYSF) welcomes Year 12 students from across Australia to Canberra or Brisbane for a 12 day science experience, hosted on the campus of Australian National University (ANU). The students are led by student staff, or 'staffies',  former participants of the program who return to Canberra after participating in extensive leadership training. You can’t apply to become a staffie - you need to be selected.

Congratulations to Tara Graves and Lucy Tsuchida who have been chosen for this role at the 2018 NYSF.

Congratulations to Year 11 students Margaret Bradbury, Olivia Jaconelli, Kate McMahon and Sally Walker who will take part in the 2018 Science Forum. The program is designed to inspire young Australians to value science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and its importance in our communities.

Not only is MGSC well represented in the program, Tara is featured on the website promoting the program. We are very proud of their achievements.

Louise Rieniets

Science Domain Leader

Emerging Sciences Victoria

This time of year is very exciting for seven Year 10 students who applied to take part in the Emerging Sciences Victoria program run by John Monash Science School (JMSS). The  students are girls who are interested in Neuroscience, and the course is an amazing opportunity to learn about the brain in a slightly different stream than is taught here at MGSC. We will be gathering twice a week until November to learn from two teachers from JMSS about the brain via a virtual classroom. A great start has been made in the past few weeks and we are thoroughly looking forward to the rest of the course.

Christina Copeland 10H

Year 10 student’s ‘College Experience in Boston’

Jumping out of the stereotypical yellow taxi, I saw the lush Harvard Law School campus in Boston, Massachusetts in front of me - my home for the next month. I spent the next four weeks living in college dorms, studying Neuropsychology and Medicine with the most knowledgeable, inspiring and fun teachers, who were truly passionate about their field. I lived, studied and explored a new city and country with some of the best people I have ever met, who lived all over the world and spoke countless languages. As one of my friends said, we met as complete strangers and parted as best friends, regardless of distance. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone who is interested in exploring a new field of study, discovering a new city, or making lifelong friendships and understanding new cultures. This experience is a once in a lifetime, and I cannot express how much of an impact this month abroad has changed my life.

To find out more about this program follow this link:

Or email me at [email protected]

Grace Lawson 10G


437 students from Years 7 to 10 sat the UNSW ICAS Maths Competition on Tuesday 15 August. They completed a broad range of maths questions designed to test their numeracy skills at their respective year levels. 

The competition is part of MGSC’s Numeracy co-curricular program where we encourage students to stretch themselves and apply their maths skills in a range of different situations.

All students who participated will receive a certificate and an individual student report indicating their results and their score compared with the cohort of students tested. The tests are an excellent preparation for future exam situations and the student report is useful for highlighting strengths and weaknesses. The certificate and individual student report are also suitable for including in a portfolio.

Maths Domain Team

Maths makes a real difference

Library & English news

Book Week - 19- 26 August 

The much awaited book week is upon us.  Each year across Australia, libraries celebrate ‘Book Week’. Our library has organised many fun activities and educational games in past years. This year we offer something even better. 

We have invited  Will Kostakis, a young and a budding Australian author, to give an inspirational talk to our students about writing and sketching. Will came to fame quickly after writing his first novel ‘Loathing Lola’ at the age of just 19 and won the Golden Inky award in 2014 for ‘The First Third’.  He is hugely popular among teen readers and his talks entertaining and educational.

Will will be at MGSC on Friday 25 August to talk about his writing experience and run workshops with   selected classes. 

Neelika Kottachchi

Manager, Library & Information Services



Last week the Year 9 students enjoyed the Romeo and Juliet incursion where they experience live theatre. This provided them with a heightened awareness of genre as they learnt a little about stagecraft.

Students are reminded to check the English noticeboard for ongoing poetry and fiction writing competitions.

Anne Gamble

English & Literacy Coordinator


Hitchcock at The Astor

In my time as a Media teacher I’ve relished the opportunity to choose and incorporate texts into the curriculum suitable for Year 9 to Year 12. One of the biggest joys of the last seven years has been teaching Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film ‘Psycho’, that I myself studied at VCE, and sharing my passion and appreciation of this classic work with my students. This year will mark the end of the current VCE Media study design and with it a new opportunity to review a new range of texts for 2018 and beyond. Before saying farewell to this iconic 20th century horror film gem (or at least for a few years) I wanted to fulfill my dream of Year 12s experiencing the film as Hitchcock intended - in a large darkened theatre with an audience. Last week the Year 12 Media class attend a public screening in the 1000-seat ‘The Astor’ built in 1936. The Media curriculum includes discussing how the technology of the film and the audience environment can affect audience engagement and understanding. The extremely large screen gave the girls the opportunity to see more of the image than they had ever seen on their laptop or even on the screen in our dedicated Media screening room. I’m so glad that the experience of going to the ‘old movie theatre’ to see a ‘classic’ may stay with the girls for years to come.

Wear your Converse sneakers for a student project

Year 11 Media student Charlotte Hockey is asking students who own a pair of Converse-brand sneakers to wear them on Friday 25 August and participate in her student project. This coincides with our casual dress day. Charlotte's major media production for the year is a television commercial for the iconic shoe brand. The theme is individuality and the more custom-made and colourful the Converse look, the better. Filming is at  lunchtime on the oval and only participants' feet  and shoes will be the stars of this advertisement. 

Lisa Blumenstein

VCE Media teacher

Media students at 'The Project’ 

On Monday 31 July, the Year 11 Media class attended a live taping of the popular news program, 'The Project'. The excursion coincided wit learning about different production roles that exist within the media industry. At Channel Ten, we were able to look around at many photos of the faces on the network, see the rooms in which the airing was managed and even take photos with a cardboard cut-out of the beloved 'Bachelor', Matty J!  Before we entered the studio, we were greeted by a hilarious ‘warm-up’ comedian who got us pumped up for the show and directed our reactions during the live program. It was a unique experience to see how many people were involved in the production of the program as well as all the equipment used. Though the highlight of the night by far was when my friend and I waved to Waleed Aly (our favourite presenter!) and he gave us a thumbs up! Overall it was a such a fun night and gave us a real perspective of the theory we had been learning in our VCE Media class.

Charlotte Hockey 11C 


Winter Concert

Next week  the school will showcase the music ensembles at the annual Winter Concert.

Details are:


Wednesday 23 August at 7pm

Nina Carr Performing Arts Centre

Entry by gold coin donation


Tim Veevers

Director of Performing Arts


Netball - Year 7s going to state final 

Last Friday A and B teams from Year 7 and from Year 8 played in the netball regional finals.  All four teams made it through to the grand final with the Year 7 A team being victorious. They will now be going to the state championships with their super coach Amanda O'Hara and the amazing student coaches, Abby Manning, Tessa McHenry and Mikala Clarke.

Well done to great coach Jackie Mathews and her superb student coaches for the mighty fine effort with the Year 8 teams. Her student coaches were Olivia Morris, Ruby Crofts and Chloe Hollow.

Congratulations to all our girls who once again did MGSC proud.

Philip Hull

Interschool Sport Coordinator


In our community

Summer sport for girls

Warmer weather brings a change of season and a change of sport. Many local sport clubs are offering girls the opportunity to try a new sport activity or join a team. 

Mentone Cricket Club - Registrations

Junior registration evening Friday 18 August. 


Cricket Clinics- Free 'come and try' clinics

Co-hosted by Brighton District and West Bentleigh Cricket Clubs 

Thursday nights in September at Insportz Sandringham. 


Brighton District Cricket Club

Smash it out of the Park.  Girls can play at junior, community or premier team level.



Cheltenham Baseball is recruiting. It's not too late to join pre-training.


High Resolves - 'Videos for Change' Challenge

This is an exciting opportunity for Australian students in Years 7-10 to showcase their talents and make a positive mark on the world. All they need to do is grab a few friends and create a one-minute video on a social issue they care about. An amazing panel of leaders, including Waleed Aly, will vote on the top ten finalists, and the winning team will score a segment on 'The Project'.  

See the website for more information.


Saver Plus Program

This program assists parents on lower income with up to $500 in matched funds for their future school costs for items such as school books, uniforms, laptop/Ipad, school shoes, stationery, music, art, sport etc.  See for more information. 

Boomerang Bags

Boomerang Bags Bayside is a local volunteer organization currently making 1500 bags for people to purchase and use instead of single use plastic shopping bags. The bags are made from donated doona covers, tablecloths and sheets, screen printed with environmentally friendly ink and constructed by a team of volunteers. Boomerang Bags Bayside is a finalist in the current Leader Local Grants competitio to establish a 'Schools Project', where kits of sewing machines, fabric, screen printing materials, etc can be borrowed by students to create their own Boomerang Bag.  Follow the link below to vote for this fabulous sustainable, environmentally friendly project! Each person has 10 votes once you register, and you can use all of these for Boomerang Bags Bayside or you can spread your votes between the various contenders.

This is the link to the Leader page so you can read all the information about the Boomerang Bags Bayside’s entry -

And this is the home page -

Beaumaris Art & Craft Show - Call for entries


Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter
MCC Junior Rego Flyer 17 18.pdf
GirlsCricket_ClinicFlyer_Sept2017 - Copy.pdf
BDCC_WmnsRecruitmentFlyer_2016_email (1).pdf
Baseball Cheltenham Rustlers.pdf