Parent Corner

16 May 2019
Issue Four
Quick Dates
Acting Deputy Principal - Student Development
Acting Year 7 Pastoral Guardian
Year 8 Pastoral Guardian
Year 9 Pastoral Guardian
Year 10 Pastoral Guardian
Year 11 Pastoral Guardian
Year 12 Pastoral Guardian
Counsellor's Corner
Read Like a Girl
Z Club
Franciscan Pilgrimage
Bakers Required
Non State Schools Transport Assistance Scheme
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 4/5, Term 2


Friday 17 May

Period 4  NAPLAN Conventions of Language - Spelling  (Year 9

Period 5  NAPLAN Conventions of Language - Spelling - Year 7


Saturday 18 May

World Challenge Vietnam Training Weekend


Sunday 19 May

10.00am-1.00pm  College Open Day


Monday 20 May

7.30am  Girl Shaped Flames Breakfast

Period 2/3  NAPLAN Numeracy - Year 9


Tuesday 21 May

Period 2/3  NAPLAN Numeracy - Year 7


Wednesday 22 May

Period 6  Year 7 Musica Viva incursion


Thursday 23 May

Period 5  Academic Assembly


Acting Deputy Principal - Student Development

Appreciating the Mundane with Positivity and Gratitude

Parent Corner this week acknowledges that we are almost halfway through this term and the reality of student life is being felt by your daughters: wake up, get ready for school, attend classes, attend training for extra-curricular activities, come home and complete homework and study, go to bed ...  and, when tomorrow comes, do the same again.  The day in day out chorus of, "It’s boring", or, "I’m sick of this, life should be more fun", may cause you to shake your head in concern.  After all, you know that boredom or the sense of the mundane is something that adults experience too – same sense of emotion, different stage of life!


Reality is nothing like the diet we are fed through media, especially reality television shows that so many of our young people watch.  It is understandable that they develop unrealistic expectations of life; a belief that work, leisure, and family lives should be glamorous, flawless, fun and exciting, and so much better than the person next door.  However, this is not real or sustainable!  In fact, holding on to these unrealistic ideas chokes one’s spirit, sense of self, and capacity to embrace what each day brings.

One way to improve life satisfaction is by applying a mindset of gratitude.  This means taking the time to notice and feel the ‘good’ or side benefit in the mundane.  Best of all, cultivating gratitude is free, takes little time, and actually strengthens mental health and well-being over a lifetime. 


According to psychotherapist Amy Morin, those who practise gratitude experience:

* more fulfilling relationships;

* improved physical and psychological health;

* better mood regulation, and are more kind, helpful, and empathetic (and experience less envy); and

* improved self-esteem and resilience.

So, at every opportunity, encourage your daughter to embrace the good in the daily grind.  For example, the routine of the day offers safety, predictability, and comfort; addressing feedback on a rough draft is a chance to improve results and sense of accomplishment; being made to play a sport is a chance to enjoy the sunshine, learn a new skill, and find a new friend.  Developing a sense of gratitude is integral to happiness and, when this occurs, we begin to flourish. 


This week’s Parent Corner offers a wide range of advice for supporting your daughter through the normality of the rest of the term.  And, finally, a few Pastoral Guardians have included some special words for maternal carers in recognition of Mother’s Day.


Jeni Barlow



Acting Year 7 Pastoral Guardian

 Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

Francis of Assisi

This quote is widely attributed to St Francis of Assisi and, while there is some question as to his validity as the true source, it is a particularly appropriate message for this term.  Our Year 7 students have survived and thrived in their first term and for many life will now start to settle into the everyday routine of high school.  The excitement of beginning has passed, the shine of novelty has dulled, and this new phase in their lives is becoming a lived reality.


Doing what needs to be done day in and day out is difficult.  The daily requirements of learning can be exhausting, and it can be challenging for students, as it is for all of us, to apply themselves to the minutiae of routine.  New skills are required to navigate this phase, including focus, persistence, and resilience.  As those of us that have lived a little longer know, life is not always exciting and it can be difficult in the everyday to see the value in doing what is necessary.


But indeed there is value.  In fact it is only through doing what is necessary or ordinary that we can achieve the extraordinary or impossible.  As parents, we know that the hard work we put in with our children - the value in the daily grind of school drop-offs, packed lunches, sporting commitments, and homework - won’t be seen in the short term.  The reward for this effort will be the pride we feel when our children have grown into independent young adults.

In turn we must encourage our girls to recognise the value in approaching the ordinary in an extraordinary way, in giving their all to the daily routine.  A strong support for persistence is the development of life-long habits.  Consistency is the key to student success, and this term I would encourage you to help your children to practise self-discipline and develop the organisational habits required to support their learning.  In time they will understand that not all rewards are immediate, and that it is only through the application of effort to the ordinary tasks that they, like Francis, can achieve the extraordinary.


Conversation Starters

What are your goals for your learning this term?

How are you using your Student Planner to support your learning?

What methods are you using to keep track of your assessment?

How are you ensuring that you have everything you need for class?


Tonia Campbell

Year 8 Pastoral Guardian

Sometimes we think that tasks are mundane.  Wake up, go to school, come home to innumerable pieces of homework, go to bed, repeat.  Is it possible to find purpose in the predictable and meaning in the mundane?  These experiences train and equip us for something greater and to be active participants in life.  This is considered a continual process of heart and mind transformation.


When we consider the never-ending schoolwork or chores we do at home, we can be reminded of Daniel in The Karate Kid.  When the Sensei agreed to train Daniel in the art of karate, there were the countless menial tasks of wax on, wax off, paint right, paint left.  Day after day, Daniel wore himself out performing the mundane.


As the movie plays out, Daniel’s tasks were anything but menial.  Each one honed his physical, mental, and inner strength, transforming him from an insecure teen into a confident warrior.  Daniel’s focus was to survive high school but his Sensei wanted to see him thrive.


Think about people you know.  Look past their actions to their character.  Perhaps some may be naturally gifted, but most inched forward because of hard work, perseverance, patience, and dependability.  Coaches often say they prefer a hard worker over a natural star any day because ability has a limit.  They’ve learned that success without struggle is momentary, faltering the moment the first storm hits.


Real success is the person who perseveres and continues, no matter how hard life becomes, and is birthed in everyday decisions.  It’s where the choice to persevere overrides the desire to give up.


Conversation Starters:

What do you do when you get bored with homework/chores?  

Do you give up or do you continue to endure?

Do you see the big picture?  What does it look like?

Are you willing to put up with the mundane tasks to achieve?


Michael Butterworth


Year 9 Pastoral Guardian

I want to begin by wishing all the mothers of our Year 9 girls a very Happy Mother’s Day for last Sunday.  I want to applaud you for all of the other days in between each Mother’s Day.  It is on these other days of the year that mothers wake up and put their best feet forward to do the best for their beautiful daughters.  On these other 364 days Year 9 daughters can often be completely unaware and indeed offended by what you are doing as a parent and are certainly unlikely to consider giving you flowers.


I want to congratulate you for having to make the hard decisions to say no when they want you to say yes, to make them do their jobs and help at home, to encourage them to do their homework and study, to make attending school and school-related events not optional, to tell them to go to bed at reasonable times, to not stay up on their phones, to say no to parties that you intuitively know are not okay, and call them to account when they are disrespectful.  It is these more challenging, and at times exhausting, elements of being a mum for which I sincerely want to thank you.  We are blessed to have your beautiful daughters as a part of our Mount Alvernia community and, for that, as Year 9 Pastoral Guardian I say thank you and remind you how grateful I am to work alongside you on your daughters’ journey.

Therese Dooley


Conversation Starter

Why do you think I say no to you sometimes?

Year 10 Pastoral Guardian

At assembly last week, the Clare School House Leaders were announced.  I was very pleased to see so many Year 10 girls put themselves forward and nominate for a position.  Each of these girls showed her individual effort to raise the bar.  Congratulations to the following girls for being selected. 

Belle Prairie Erin King
Greccio Sophie Mitchell
Perugia Teliah Allen
Rieti Molly Browne
Spoleto Molly O'Brien
Villa Spada Charli Ryan

I look forward to the dedication and initiative of these girls throughout the year.  Thank you to parents who came to support their daughters and present them with their badges.


Camp is a perfect opportunity for students to swap the classroom and daily routine with the outdoors.  You would have received another email recently with important information of the Year 10 Camp, held Monday 3 to Wednesday 5 June at Marantha Camp, Yandina.  This camp exemplifies our theme for this year, Thinking Beyond Yourself, where girls discover that, in order to support others, a certain degree of personal sacrifice must be made.  Over the three days, girls will be challenged to participate in activities outside their comfort zones, foster relationships, and work collaboratively with students outside their friendship group, while building resilience and tolerance.  These activities address the General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum: Personal and Social Competence, Intercultural Understanding, Sustainability, and Critical & Creative Thinking.  On that note, thank you to those families who have already submitted their daughter's permission/medical/dietary form.  There are still outstanding forms that need to be submitted to Student Services.  Can I please ask that this is completed this week, to enable the administration procedures to be completed.


During Personal Development lessons over the next few weeks, Year 10 students will receive information from a variety of relevant guest speakers to assist them to develop their SET (Senior Education and Training) Plans.   This information will assist you and your daughter to make the correct decision for choosing senior subjects and future career.  With all this in mind, this is a perfect time for girls to reflect on their personal goals and make any necessary changes to their individual study plans and extra-curricular or work commitments, to focus on their studies. 


Nothing is impossible, even the word itself says, I’m possible.

Audrey Hepburn


Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers and female role models in our community.  Please enjoy a few reflections written by Clare School leaders.

Teena Christofis

On 12 May, in a lot of places around the world, people celebrated Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate and thank our mothers or a special woman in our life for all their achievements and efforts.  All around the world there are many different traditions.


In Brazil it is considered the second most commercial holiday after Christmas and, in Serbia, mothers are tied up until they give their children small treats or gifts.  Just like the rope that ties the mothers in Serbia, there is an invisible rope that ties my mum and me together.  We have a strong bond, and it is a bond that I cannot replicate with anyone else.  My mum inspires me every day to be the best I can be and always gives me the best advice.  She is one of my most influential role models.  Even if we do argue sometimes, it just helps us get closer and helps us know each other better.  Ever since I was little she’s always been there to help me through life’s most difficult challenges, to lend a shoulder to cry on, and to celebrate my successes.  The importance of Mother’s Day is to cherish, remember and, most of all, thank your mothers for all the things they have done for you.

Sneha Reju


For me, my mum has always been a really huge inspiration and a large reason I try to do my best in everything I do.  Her constant enthusiasm to attempt new things (such as crocheting blankets for my entire family) and her drive to always achieve the most in even the simplest activities makes her one of the main role models I have in my life today.  I cannot thank my mum enough for constantly making such amazing memories with me; whether it be travelling or going to a Taylor Swift concert nothing with Kellie O’Brien is ever boring.  Words cannot express how eternally grateful I am to have my mum in my life.

Molly O’Brien


My family and I organised an afternoon tea on Mother’s Day so we could be together as a family for Mum.  Mother’s Day is a special day to celebrate all of the women who have a major influence on all of us, especially the mothers who have sacrificed so much for us.  This day is an important day for me, as my mum is like my best friend, and I love her so much.  I believe that sometimes we forget how much our mothers mean to us, and how much they do for us.  I am so grateful to have her in my life, and I honestly couldn’t ask for a better person to dance around and blast my favourite music with.  She has helped me my whole life, and I can’t even imagine what I would do without her.  That is why, whenever it is Mother’s Day or her birthday, I try my best to let her know that I appreciate what she does for me, and that she could not be a better, or a more incredibly beautiful, mum.  Love you, Mum, Erin x


* * * * *


Last Sunday, 12 May, was Mother’s Day.  Mother’s Day is defined as a day of the year on which mothers are particularly honoured by their children; however, it means so much more than that.  To me personally, it is a day of the year where people can gather together to celebrate not just their mothers but all women who have influenced them.


This year, I celebrated with my family by gathering for a dinner to celebrate three generations of mothers, all of whom have made a difference in my life.  For me, my mum has made the biggest difference in my life as she is my personal role model and is who I strive to be. 


Mother’s Day is a way to thank the female role models in our lives for everything they have done for us and everything they will do in the future.  Mother’s Day shouldn’t be an annual occurrence; it should happen every day.  Every day, the women in our lives need to be acknowledged and know that other people look up to them and know the tremendous impact they have on us and our future.

Samantha Maguire

Year 11 Pastoral Guardian

Resilience is a term we often hear in education contexts and life coaching contexts.  What does it mean? Resilience can be described as your ability to deal with challenges or setbacks, to do the best you can in your circumstances, and to find internal fortitude when times are tough.  As adults we face many situations when life doesn’t go the way we had planned and we have to bounce back and have strategies to cope.  The same applies to adolescents who have to manoeuvre through the challenges of growing up, managing relationships at home and school, and the additional demands of their completing assignments and exams and receiving feedback and results about their academic success. 


We all need strategies to manage life’s challenges and to recognise what we can and cannot control.  I would like to share the following website link that sets out useful strategies in an easily worded and visual format that might be helpful for you to work through with your daughter when you realise that she needs to have some help in developing her resilience.  Some useful advice was communicating, finding a supportive network, finding ways to feel good about yourself, setting achievable goals, and looking after yourself.


I asked Year 11s what resilience meant to them and what resilience strategies they have employed this year:


Resilience means developing strategies to face challenges, never give up, and to improve.  Teanna Carius


When we got our marks back coming back this term we decided to try to do better.   Rebecca Ives

Some of the resilience strategies that you can read in the Kids Helpline link above tie in with our PD program this term that is focusing on body image and feeling happy with who you are.  The girls have been viewing the video Embrace, about one woman’s incredible journey for herself to battle challenges and her own perceptions of her image.  In the series, she interviews women who have faced astronomical challenges and changes and have had to bounce back and never give up.  To complement the information in this program, a nutritionist, Megan Bray, addressed all Year 11 students this week about body acceptance, balanced eating, and healthy lifestyle and its effects on how you can take control of managing your life positively.  All of these strategies can help you to be more resilient at difficult times.


The message the Year 11 students took away from this presentation were that:


Rave diets don’t work; healthy eating does.  Teanna Carius


It was interesting to find out how much and how often you have to eat every day to fuel your body and brain.  Monica Ciobo


Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy outlook improve academic work and control mood swings.  Emily Smith


I hope the students take up the challenge of using some of these life strategies that they have been learning to assist them this year and in the future.


As a cohort, the Year 11s have been complimented this week for the positive way that they have approached senior schooling - by Ms Butterworth in her address to Year 11s about leadership, by Mrs Goldie in her presentation about academic strategies, and by me as Pastoral Guardian.


Karen Farrow

Year 12 Pastoral Guardian


When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are faced with the challenge to change ourselves. 

Viktor Frankl (1946)

This may be a big challenge for our senior students, but it is possible to bounce back, withstand adversity, learn from experiences, and cope confidently with life’s daily challenges.


Student resilience and wellbeing are essential for both academic and social development, and are optimised by safe, supportive, and respectful learning environments.  Our college shares this responsibility with the whole community.


Not only do confident and resilient young women with a capacity for emotional intelligence perform better academically, these skills can also contribute to their ability to create strong social bonds and supportive communities, and to maintain healthy relationships and responsible lifestyles. 


Factors that make our daughters resilient are: maintaining a positive attitude, being optimistic about life after school, having the ability to regulate emotions, and seeing failure, at school and relationships, as a form of helpful feedback.


So, in the face of challenges, such as mental stress, transitioning from secondary school to work or study, managing workloads or exams, change in friendship groups, conflict with peers or family, loss, and grief, your daughter can learn to control her emotions through practising coping strategies.  Taking a break from study and doing something simple that your daughter loves can foster a positive mindset, as can eating well and exercising, using relaxation techniques such as yoga, engaging in positive self-talk and, most importantly, modelling positive behaviour strategies.


Make it real!  Have a conversation with your daughter, sharing moments where you have used strategies successfully to overcome your emotions, when faced with challenges.  Just remember that your daughter’s resilience can be compared to a branch of a tree in a storm.  When thunder, wind, and rain shakes their world, the hope is that their flexibility and strength will enable them to recover,  to continue to grow, and recognise the impermanence of everything in life.


So let your daughter fall in the safety of school and family, so she is equipped to rise up and manoeuvre the tricky bits in everyday life.

Bridget Piper


The greatest glory in living lies, not in falling, but in rising every time we fall.” 

Nelson Mandela (1993)

Resilience is the foundation of effective and enjoyable learning at school.  It opens opportunities for growth and self-development as well as academic progress.

Maddy Riddle

The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun.  It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for its existence against the winds and rains in the scorching sun.  Napoleon Hill

Caitlyn Goan and Mady York

Resilience is pushing or bouncing back from academic and social challenges.  If faced now in our everyday life at school, we are able to carry this ability to respond in to the challengers beyond the College gates.

Amy Hart

Seeking to be better is resilience.  While it is difficult to receive critical feedback, we have to take it on board.  Resilience is asking questions, identifying our mistakes, and seeking peer and teacher support or advice.  Resilience is taking a breath and trying again.

Lauren Kroll



Counsellor's Corner

The focus of this week’s article is to help you to build your daughters' resilience and to assist you in effectively communicating with them. 


Many of you are beginning your parenting journey with an adolescent.  Quite often adolescence is viewed as a difficult time and a time of conflict and as parents we should be ready for this and the ensuing battle ahead.


With this mindset it may seem that as a parent we are working at trying to cure or fight against adolescence itself, where rather we should focus on loving and enjoying our adolescent.  As parents we will experience the ongoing tension between our teens trying to enact change, where we as parents are wanting them to stay the same.  It is important to remember that rifts do not allow growth for our adolescent or our new emerging relationship.  Allowing them to grow and make mistakes is important in building resilience.


The experience of being an adolescent today is vastly different from many of our own adolescent experiences.  Adolescence is a time where young people strive to be individual and yet still want to experience togetherness in the family.  The adolescent is trying to be independent yet also struggles with this and so very much needs our guidance.  This means encouraging the adolescent to develop as an individual so she can be separate enough from the family yet remain connected to the family. 

Your kids need to feel they can approach parents/adults where they will not be judged.  By avoiding judgment from an adult perspective we can help guide them toward making better choices.


Teenagers can be incredibly sensitive and private, which also means they can also get hurt very easily. 


Keep in mind the following the five pillars as recommended by Andrew Fuller (clinical psychologist) and John Hendry (educator).   Trust, forgiveness, compassion, integrity, and hope can put us on the right pathway to a stronger relationship with our girls.


As our girls will make many mistakes, parents need to admit they also make mistakes, and that is important in the journey to becoming a resilient adult.  We must also accept sometimes we will get it wrong but, if we use this as a guide in our relationship with teens, encouraging them to do the same, then our relationships will be stronger. 

Liz Marlay



Read Like a Girl

Read Like a Girl with Your Dad

Tickets are available on the college website.

We hope to see you there!

Helen Stower, Program Leader, iCentre

Z Club

I am Aimi Clemons from Mount Alvernia's Z Club.  As part of our Z Club, we have three sub-committees: Advocacy, Service, and Fundraising.  I have the honour of being the chairperson of the Advocacy Sub-Committee.  The Advocacy Sub-Committee looks after promoting Z Club initiatives by raising awareness and advertising on social media pages, the college newsletter, and assemblies.  We also create posters informing students and teachers of important information and upcoming events.


So What is Zonta?

Zonta is an international organisation that focuses on empowering women.  We fundraise for, and raise awareness about, issues that women face today.  Our vision is to create a world in which women's rights are seen as human rights, and to see that every woman can achieve their full potential.


Inititiatives - A Brave New Life

Z Club has many initiatives that work on bringing this vision to life - such as birthing kits, hygiene kits for mothers who have experienced domestic violence, and - our most recent initiative - working with A Brave Life.  A Brave Life is a registered not-for-profit organisation that focuses on walking alongside  and motivating teenage mothers while they complete their school education, through their LIVE LIFE BRAVE Mentoring Program, and providing necessary baby items to teenage mothers through their Baby Bundle Program.  Thanks to A Brave Life, they have provided a donation box (outside the staff lunch room) for their Baby Bundle Program.  It would be greatly appreciated if students, parents, and teachers could donate newborn items for the Baby Bundle Program.  These items include baby wash, bibs, breast pads, cotton wraps, face washers, newborn nappies, newborn singlets, wipes, and wondersuit/coverall (size 0000).  Please note that all newborn items must be new and in their original packaging.


I would like to thank our Liaison Officer, Mrs Goldie, for assisting the Z Club, to Mel from A Brave Life for taking time out of her day to come to talk to us and providing us with a wonderful initiative, and to the Z Club members for making these initiatives happen.  Z Club is a wonderful opportunity for your daughter/s to get themselves involved in during their time at Mount Alvernia College, and will encourage them to be open-minded and to be of service to others once they leave high school.



Upcoming Event:

Friday 24 May     Sausage Sizzle: between C and F Block

Franciscan Pilgrimage


Bakers Required

P&FSN Stall on Open Day

Donations can be delivered to College Reception tomorrow, or to the stall in the Undercroft on Sunday.

Please remember to include an ingredients list.


Thank you in anticipation!

Non State Schools Transport Assistance Scheme

NSSTAS provides financial assistance for families transporting students to non-state schools in Queensland.  Find out more here.

La Cucina


Friday 17 May

Gianna Di Virgilio

Monday 20 May

Cheryl Poy, Rachel Browne, Jacqueline McLindon

Tuesday 21 May

Margaret Hutchins, Lidia Ranalli, Sharyn Hall

Wednesday 22 May

Erica Patterson, Leisa Voysey


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


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

Community Notices


Parent Corner