07 February 2020
Issue One
McKinnon Secondary College
03 8520 9000
McKinnon Road
McKinnon, Victoria, 3204



Friday 7 February



Tuesday 11 February

7:00pm Year 12 Parent Night


Wednesday 12 February

9UP Day 1

2:00pm Year 7 Meet the Principal (Hall)


Thursday 13 February

Kingston Senior Cricket

Photo Day


Monday 17 February

2:30pm Early Finish

Kingston Intermediate Cricket

Photo Catchup

7:00pm Year 8 & 9 Parent Information Night


Tuesday 18 February

6:30pm Finance Sub-Committee

7:00pm School Council


Wednesday 19 February

Swimming Carnival (compulsory - all students must attend)

7:00pm Community Production (Theatre)


Thursday 20 February

Year 12 Outdoor Ed Bass Coast Camp


Friday 21 February

Year 12 Outdoor Ed Bass Coast Camp


Saturday 22 February

Senior Stage Band Big Band Sunsets


Monday 24 February

9UP Day 2

Kingston Lawn Bowls

Year 7 Immunisations (Hall)


Tuesday 25 February

7:00pm Buildings & Grounds Sub-Committee


Wednesday 26 February

Year 8 Survivor: Islands Challenge

7:00pm Year 10 & 11 Parent Information Night


Friday 28 February

9UP Day 3


Monday 2 March

Year 10 Outdoor Ed Surf Camp (Group 1 departs)


Tuesday 3 March

Year 10 Outdoor Ed Surf Camp (Group 1)

5:00pm Year 7 Parent Night


Wednesday 4 March

Year 10 Outdoor Ed Surf Camp (Group 1 returns)

Year 10 Outdoor Ed Surf Camp (Group 2 departs)

Beach Volleyball Schools Cup Years 7 & 8


Thursday 5 March

Beach Volleyball Schools Cup Years 9-10

Year 10 Outdoor Ed Surf Camp (Group 2)

6:00pm Year 12 Formal


Friday 6 March

Beach Volleyball Schools Cup Years 11-12

Year 10 Outdoor Ed Surf Camp (Group 2 returns)


Monday 9 March

Labour Day (Public Holiday)


Tuesday 10 March

7:00pm Education Sub-Committee


Wednesday 11 March

7:00pm House Music Festival


Thursday 12 March

Year 11 & 12 Outdoor Ed Camp

Kingston Swimming

Year 9 & 10 French Film Festival


Sunday 15 March

Junior School Production Rehearsal


Tuesday 17 March


6:30pm 9UP Presentations


Wednesday 18 March

6:30pm 9UP Presentations


Thursday 19 March

Kingston Intermediate Sport

6:00pm Year 11 Formal


Saturday 21 March

Year 10 Central Australia





Welcome back to all staff, students, parents and a special welcome to our new families. I hope 2020 will be a most rewarding year filled with many wonderful opportunities for learning and growth.


Congratulations to the school community for such a successful start to the year. I have been very impressed with the excellent way in which students have returned to school looking their best in their uniform, organized with all their appropriate materials and ready to learn.


It is with tremendous pride and honour that I continue as Principal of one of the best schools in the State! I look forward to the wonderful opportunities ahead and give a commitment to continue to serve this community with dedication and professionalism, providing all children with many opportunities to thrive and shine.


Thank you to everyone for their support and understanding during this difficult situation. 


As I mentioned through Compass communication, anyone who has returned from China from the 1st of February is to self isolate for 14 days as a precaution.


Below is a link to the most current advice from the Department:


Part of the secret to the McKinnon model of success with student outcomes is the very strong partnership that exists between parents and staff.


We value these quality relationships and I know students benefit from them tremendously.


Parents at McKinnon can be relied upon to attend concerts, drama nights, all information evenings but also they read the newsletter, Compass feeds and keep informed and up to date with all relevant events.


They also assist students to be organised, punctual and in full uniform.


This all contributes to student success and building strong relationships and I thank everyone for your efforts.


Congratulations to our Class of 2019 for their outstanding results. Once again McKinnon was one of the top co-educational, non-selective schools in the State.


100% of our students were successful in attaining their VCE


Our Duxes (Jared Abidi & Betty Wang) achieved an ATAR of 99.90.


16% of all study scores were over 40


30% achieved an ATAR over 90

59% achieved an ATAR over 80


33 was the average study score


I congratulate all students, staff and parents for these wonderful achievements. Our strong partnership ensures the best educational outcomes can be achieved.


This year we fondly welcome new and returning staff members to our College:


Ms Karen Bares -  Psychology/English                     

Mr Cedric Chamontin  -  French                      

Ms Clare Cocciardi  -  History/English

Ms Lucy Foskett  -  English         

Ms Stephanie Georgiou  -  English/EAL

Ms Nell Henning  -  English

Ms Sandy Hope  -  Maths/Science

Ms Katherine Johnstone -   Biology/Science

Mr Michael Lee  -  Maths/Biology

Mr William Lee  -  History/Global Politics

Ms Natalie Little -  Maths

Ms Jennifer Lynd  -  French

Mr Alistair McCooke -  Health/PE

Ms Rhiannon Parker -  PE/Sport

Ms Sofija Plavsic -  English/History

Ms Sarah Ridout -  Science

Mr Frank Russo -  ICT

Ms Megan Snell -  English/Global Politics

Ms Fiona Tingate -  Biology

Ms Claire Weiss -  PE/Sport/Outdoor Education

Mr Connor McMahon -  Science

Ms Deepti Arora  - Finance

Mr Sokratis Gavrielatos  -  Integration

Argiro Lianos - EAL/Literacy Support

Ms Tamara King  -  Integration

Mr Aiden Bonney-Cole -  ICT Support

Mr Kevin Eskandari -  Specialist Technician


I hope they find their work with our community professionally rewarding.


School Council elections are upon us and we will have Nomination Forms and Parent Information available in our next newsletter dated 20/02/2020.


There are numerous information evenings and “get-togethers” that will be held over the next few weeks. The Principal Class, Student Managers and Teachers look forward to meeting as many parents as possible. There is no doubt that one key aspect to success at McKinnon is the very strong partnership that exists between staff, students and parents in this community. See below for details and thank you in advance for your attendance and support.


Year 12            Parent Information Evening

                           Tuesday 11 February at 7:00pm


Year 7              Meet the Principal afternoon

                          Wednesday 12 February at 2:00pm


Years 8 & 9    Parent Information Evening

                          Monday 17 February at 7:00pm


Years 10 & 11  Parent Information Evening

                            Wednesday 26 February at 7:00pm


Year 7                Parent Information Evening

                             Tuesday 3 March at 5:00pm


I heard very favourable reports about the Year 12 Camp this week at Phillip Island and I congratulate all of our Year 12s for their respect, dedication, commitment and positive attitude. I would like to acknowledge and thank the Senior School Team, Mr Hudd, Mrs James and Mr Blackmore and all the staff who eagerly participated in the organisation of a very successful camp. I hope it is the beginning of a very rewarding year where incredible success eventuates. Most of all I hope the students feel a strong sense of belonging to their school.

I wish all the Year 12 students the very best in their endeavours and look forward to sharing in their success.


Congratulations to VCE students from 2019 Betty Wang (Music Investigation) and Orr Zaacks (Music Performance) who have been invited to perform for the Top Class performance in March 2020. This is a fantastic outcome for all their amazing work.  Well done to you both for your achievement and endeavour!



During the ordinary course of your child’s attendance at our school, school staff will collect your child’s personal and health information when necessary to educate your child, or to support your child’s social and emotional wellbeing or health. Such information will also be collected when required to fulfil a legal obligation, including duty of care, anti-discrimination law and occupational health and safety law. If that information is not collected, the school may be unable to provide optimal education or support to your child, or fulfil those legal obligations.


For example, health information may be collected through the school nurse or wellbeing staff member. If your child is referred to a specific health service at school, such as a Student Support Service Officer, or school-engaged psychologist, the required consent will be obtained.


Our school may use online tools, such as apps and other software, to effectively collect and manage information about your child for teaching and learning purposes, parent communication and engagement; student administration; and school management purposes. When our school uses these online tools, we take steps to ensure that your child’s information is secure. If you have any concerns about the use of these online tools, please contact us.


School staff will only share your child’s personal or health information with other staff who need to know to enable the school to educate or support your child, or fulfil a legal obligation.


When our students transfer to another Victorian government school, personal and health information about that student will be transferred to that next school.  Transferring this information is in the best interests of our students and assists that next school to provide optimal education and support to students.


In some limited circumstances, information may be disclosed outside of the school (and outside of the Department of Education and Training). The school will seek your consent for such disclosures unless the disclosure is allowed or mandated by law.


Our school values the privacy of every person. When collecting and managing personal and health information, all school staff must comply with Victorian privacy law. For more information about privacy including about how to access personal and health information held by the school about you or your child, see our school’s privacy policy:


Throughout this notice, ‘staff’ includes principals, teachers, Student Support Service officers, youth workers, social workers, nurses and any other allied health practitioners and all other staff at our school. This includes employees, agents and service providers (contractors) of the Department, whether paid of unpaid.


The Local Schools Community Fund provides funding of up to $200,000 for each Federal electorate to invest into small scale school projects.


I am delighted to advise that McKinnon SC has been successful with our school’s project application and we have been awarded $18,000 which will greatly assist with the New Gymnasium Carpark project.


I thank the local Federal Member Tim Wilson for his support.


School Council has worked tirelessly over the years to improve the facilities and grounds.


Much work has been undertaken and we appreciate everyone’s support.


This year we are constructing a second gymnasium (we would be the only school with this many students to only have one gym).


We ask every family to consider purchasing a brick to help us complete this project.


It is a tax deductable donation that will make a huge difference here!


The School Council Fundraiser Form can be obtained from the General Office, Finance Office or you can download the form from the link below:

On behalf of School Council I ask for your generous support.


Please buy a brick!


I would like to acknowledge Bao Dan (Danny) Pham and Thuy Khue Nguyen who both scored very well in their Vietnamese First Language, a subject they both studied through VSL.


Congratulations to both girls on this wonderful achievement.


All students should arrive at school by 8:30am to give themselves enough time to be organised for an 8:50am start. Lateness is considered a lack of respect and it impacts negatively on the good order of our school. Please assist us to ensure everyone is prompt each and every day.


Parents should nominate a drop off and pick up point with their children outside the school buildings. The school reception foyer can become very congested during the day and is not the place to meet your child after school.


Students must not use their phones from 8:30am until the end of the day bell (including recess and lunchtime). We are committed to following through to help your child concentrate better in class, build stronger relationships with their peers and ultimately improve their mental health.


This decision was made through extensive consultation with students and staff and after reviewing the current research on the subject. It is now government policy.


Students are required to keep their phones at home or leave them in their lockers at school. If parents have an urgent need to contact their child over the course of the day they can leave a message at the school office.


Thank you in advance for your support.


Public Transport Victoria has written to me to ask that we communicate requirements to all students using public transport in Victoria.


Please note the following:


PTV Approved School Student ID

Since the launch in January 2019, hundreds of Victorian schools have signed up to participate in the PTV Approved School Student ID program, making it easier for Victorian students and their parents to access concession fares and student pass products.


The PTV Approved Student ID is effectively your school’s student ID card with the PTV logo. This flexible option means that students no longer need to arrange, pay for and carry the dedicated PTV School Student ID (available from stations/ticket agents for $9.00) to travel on student passes or concession fares.


This year the McKinnon student ID cards will include the PTV logo. These will be distributed to students in the weeks following photo day, which this year is Thursday 13 February 2020. 


For further information email


I would also like to remind all parents to be careful when driving along McKinnon Road. It is very congested and at times dangerous. Please be aware of street signs and adhere to road rules. Parents are being booked daily by parking officers from Glen Eira Council.


The school car park must also not be accessed by parents during school hours. 


The speed limit is always 40km per hour along McKinnon Road and u-turns are not allowed. We have many students riding bikes so please be careful parking and opening doors.


The Department of Education does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students. Parents/Guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance/transport and any other transport costs. Parents/Guardians can purchase insurance policies from commercial insurers.


Personal property is often brought to school by students, staff and visitors. This can include mobile phones, iPods, electronic games, calculators, toys, musical instruments, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises. The Department of Education does not hold insurance for personal property brought to schools and it has no capacity to pay for any loss or damage to such property.


Thank you once again for allowing me the privilege of continuing to serve this community.  We will endeavour to do all we can to ensure this important time in your child’s life is rewarding, engaging and prepares them for success and happiness.


I look forward to seeing everyone throughout the year.




Welcome to the 2020 school year. We especially welcome those families who are new to our school community. We hope all families had a terrific summer break.


McKinnon Secondary College uses Compass School Manager as our parent portal. It provides effective communication between parents and the College, and simplifies a range of administrative procedures. Using Compass you will be able to view your child’s assessment results through ‘Learning Tasks’, approve student absences, provide consent/payment for excursions (known as Compass Events), and book Parent-Teacher-Student Conference times, among many other tasks. 


All parents need to ensure their Compass username and password are kept secure and confidential. As parents have the ability to approve absences online; your login details should not be shared with your child. In addition to using Compass, parents are welcome to provide notes, emails and/or call the College to inform us of absences.


Parents can access Compass via the link on the McKinnon Secondary College website. Compass also has a phone app which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. Any parents who are new to McKinnon this year and have not received their login details should contact the General Office. For parents who accessed Compass last year, the same username and password still applies. 


Students who arrive late to Period 1 (which begins at 8:50am), will receive an automatic after school detention, unless a note with an acceptable excuse is provided by a parent. An acceptable excuse is a doctor’s appointment, illness, etc.


We have this system because we believe that:

i. Research shows the best learning occurs early in the day;

ii. Students must be organised and prepared for all classes;

iii. Our teachers and students who are punctual should not have their lessons interrupted by late students;

iv. Period 1 sets the ‘tone’ for each day.


Therefore we ask all parents to support our expectations by ensuring students arrive at school each day by 8:30am so they can get organised for the start of Period 1 at 8:50am.


Please ensure your child comes to school in correct uniform that is in good condition at all times. Uniforms should be clean and any tears, holes, etc. repaired. Boys must wear a plain black belt with both shorts and long trousers, with their shirt tucked in. Boys must wear plain college grey socks (no branding); black socks are not acceptable. Only polished black lace-up shoes are acceptable for both boys and girls. Facial piercings such as nose studs are not acceptable and students will be instructed to remove such piercings on-the-spot. Clear studs are also not permitted. We want students to wear the uniform with pride and it is an important part of our school culture.


A reminder to parents that the sports jacket is only to be worn with the sports uniform. This replaces the Kia spray jacket that will be phased out and is no longer sold at the uniform shop. Students in Years 10 to 12 may still wear this jacket with their sports uniform this year.


Please note that this year students in the Senior School (Years 10-12) who undertake PE must change into their sports uniform at recess or lunch, depending on when their scheduled PE class is occurring. Students who have PE in Periods 1 and 2 may wear the sports uniform to school - but must change back into their summer/winter uniform at recess. Students who have PE after lunch may wear their sports uniform home.  Year 10s must change in the gym change-rooms; Year 11-12 students must change in the new Senior Centre change-rooms on the ground floor.


Students in the Junior School (Years 7-9) may wear their sports uniform for the whole day if they have sport or PE. Some Year 9 subjects will require students to be in sports uniform occasionally - classroom teachers will inform students in advance where necessary. For days when Junior students do not have PE/sport, they must be in full summer/winter uniform.


The College blazer is the outer uniform garment for all students in Years 7 - 12. Blazers are optional in Terms 1 & 4; however, when travelling to/from school, students wishing to wear an outer garment must wear their blazer (rather than the College jumper). The blazer is the compulsory outer garments in Terms 2 & 3.


Please make use of our uniform shop located on campus. The opening times are included in this newsletter and on the McKinnon website. Parents in financial difficulty are encouraged to contact our Student Wellbeing Coordinator, Ms Patti Etcell, for assistance with the provision of uniforms.


School photographs will take place on Thursday 13 February. Please ensure your child attends in correct summer uniform.


Parents interested in purchasing school photos do not need to do anything before photo day. This year unique codes will be issued to all students on the day. This will provide details about registering online. When images are available in the webshop, all parents who have registered will be notified by SMS and email - they can then view and order. This year all school photos will be delivered directly to families.


McKinnon runs a very successful Chromebook program designed to improve student engagement and promote even greater academic achievement by providing teachers and students with new ways to learn and collaborate. The College’s teaching and learning program has been developed with the Chromebook’s functionality in mind and both the leadership team and teaching staff believe it plays a vital role in delivering an effective and engaging curriculum.


The success of our Chromebook program is based around all students using a standard platform. All students therefore need to have a school-approved Chromebook.  They must also adhere to the following expectations:


  • bring their Chromebook to school every day, with the battery fully charged (it is a good idea to plug it in the night before);
  • take their Chromebook to every class - when and how it will be used will be at the discretion of the teacher;
  • ensure their Chromebook is only used for educational purposes; students’ use of these devices (and all ICT resources such as gmail, Google docs, etc.) must be appropriate at all times and be in line with the College’s values of respect and integrity;
  • never sign-in to the school’s network using another person's Chromebook, and do not permit others to use their Chromebook at school;
  • always store their Chromebook securely when not using it - in lockers in between classes and in bags when travelling to and from school.


If families need to purchase a new Chromebook, please contact the IT office.


For more information about our Chromebook program go to:


We thank all families for supporting this important part of our teaching and learning program.


At this point in the year it is important that parents check that their children are getting into the correct habits with homework. The school diary has recommended homework hours stated for each year level. These suggested times should not just be used to finish set tasks from class but also to review topics covered in class and complete wider reading.


Students are encouraged to write all deadlines in their diary and parents are encouraged to check diary entries, so that students can meet all deadlines punctually.


As all students in Years 9 to 12 have exams in June and/or November, effective revision skills are essential. If no homework has been set for a given evening, students should revise work already completed so that revision is not left to the last minute.


CSEF is provided by the Victorian Government to assist eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities, for students in Years 7 to 12. If you hold a valid means-tested concession card (e.g. Health Care Card) or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. Application forms are available from the Finance Office. For more information about the CSEF visit 


PAT Testing will once again take place for all students in Years 7 to 9 in the areas of Reading, Grammar and Punctuation, Maths and Science. These tests focus on monitoring student growth over time and allow our staff to tailor their teaching to the needs of individual learners in our classrooms. These assessments reflect the College's commitment to deliver the best program to each student.


Please note the Walnut St Gate is locked at all times. Students accessing the school from the north must enter and exit via the Draper St gate. The Draper St gate is locked from around 9:30 am to 2:30 pm.



In 2018 there were 3,046 deaths by suicide, and 458 of these were young people under 25 years of age. In the face of this national tragedy, both the Federal Government and the Victorian Government have made mental health and suicide prevention top priorities. Community, family and friends are fundamentally important when it comes to suicide prevention. With this in mind, Mental Health Victoria – the peak body for mental health organisations – is very pleased to commend the collaboration of Health Play, Parent Guides and PoPsy to produce Jess Chooses Life, a sensitive and thought provoking play that examines the pressures faced by young people and how parents can broach challenging topics such as mental health and suicide. The format of the production – which includes audience discussion supported by mental health professionals – is highly engaging and thought provoking, while being sensitive and supportive to audience members who may have lived experience.” 

Angus (Gus) Clelland, Chief Executive Officer, Mental Health Victoria

Agenda: 7:00pm play, Q&A headspace, PoPSY, GP then tea & coffee


Venue: McKinnon Secondary College Theatre

Video testimonials:


Booking link:       



Chloe and Grace James, along with Michael Birkett performed with The City of Glen Eira Band at 'Carols in the Park' on Saturday 14 December at Hodgson Reserve in Bentleigh. The show was hosted by Anthony Callea!


What an amazing experience for you all!


Congratulations to Angus Apps and James Kay of Year 8 who have recently been selected in the Under 14/15 Victorian Beach Volleyball team.


The National Championships will be held in Coolangatta from 14 - 18 March and we wish both boys a successful tournament.


The AMEB (Australian Music Examination Board) held a national competition late last year with the topic being 'why do you love playing the trumpet.' The options were to either enter a 30 second video, write 25 words, or provide a picture about why you love to play the trumpet.

Yael Greenberg (Year 9) created a 30 second video and entered it into the competition, later to find out that she had won. There were over 300 entrants in the competition. The prize that Yael has won is a YTR8335II Xeno trumpet from Yamaha, valued at $3,499! She collected the trumpet on Tuesday and met the CEO of AMEB, Bernard Depasquale.


Congratulations Yael on this wonderful achievement!


Merryn Walker




At McKinnon we aim to encourage our students to be SunSmart so they can reduce their risk of skin cancer later in life. We know that a healthy balance of exposure to the sun’s UV rays is important for everyone. However, the latest information indicates that the information we should be paying particular attention is to the UV Index reported by the Bureau of Meteorology.


This is a far more accurate way of protecting ourselves against skin damage that can lead to skin cancer. The predicted temperature for the day, the time of day and the month of the year are also important considerations, but UV radiation can be high even on cool and overcast days.


The recommendation is therefore to apply sunscreen prior to coming to school and bring some from home to apply, when necessary. SPF50+ is the recommended sunscreen and needs to be applied liberally.


The school hat is a compulsory part of the PE and sport uniform and MUST be worn Terms 1 and 4 during these lessons. It can also be worn to and from school, at recess and lunchtime or when attending an outside class such as peer support.


We are now aware that eyes are very sensitive to UV damage. Wearing a broad-brimmed hat can cut the amount of UV radiation reaching your eyes by 50%. Wearing both a broad-brimmed hat and sunglasses can reduce UV rays to the eyes by up to 98%, therefore sunglasses may also be worn when in the sun.


A lot of us are aware of the Cancer Council’s important message.

  1. Slip on sun-protective clothing.
  2. Slop on broad-spectrum sunscreen at least 20 minutes before going outdoors and re-apply every two hours.
  3. Slap on a hat.
  4. Seek shade.
  5. Slide on sunglasses.

Our Annual Swimming Carnival, this year, is to be held on WEDNESDAY 19 FEBRUARY. We encourage and expect our students to be responsible by wearing hats, sunscreen and covering up whilst waiting for their events or watching other students participate. It is the students’ responsibility to manage their SunSmart behaviour although we do remind them and reinforce sun protection measures. If they do happen to forget their Sunscreen on the day, there will be some sunscreen lotion available.


It is also important to be mindful that, as we know, Melbourne can have four seasons in one day, so be prepared! Leading up to the day, and on the morning of the carnival, check the weather forecast and if it predicts rain or cooler weather then bring raincoat, warm clothes and an umbrella.


The following may be useful if you want more information: 


Cancer Council Australia has a SunSmart app is a great way to check the UV Index when you are out and about.


iPhone users can download it at the iTunes App Store and


Android users at the Google Play store.


I make no apology if you have seen very similar information in previous newsletters. We all need to make a very conscious effort to establish good habits when it comes to our health.


Susan Wilken

Health Learning Area Manager



Code Club starts in A3 on Monday 10 February.


Mr Munro will be running this club every Monday lunchtime so come along and improve your coding skills.


For Year 7s, it is good to know that you can get help with ICT any lunchtime in the computer room A04. This room is open every lunchtime and is staffed by one of the Year 7 ICT teachers.


For all other students, A4 is a great place to come and catch up on work for any subject. Sometimes your teacher may ask you to come to A4 to complete a test that you have missed but students are free to use this room at any time for completing work. 





For the first time in 2020, the National Computer Science School (NCSS) Challenge is running twice a year. The first challenge starts on Monday 17 February and will run for five weeks. The challenge will use the Grok platform which some students will be familiar with already and the programming language being used is Python. The first challenge of the year will be offered at three levels - Newbies, Beginners and Intermediate. 


Any student interested in taking part in the challenge needs to send an email to Mrs Munro by Wednesday 12 February who will be holding a meeting to let potential participants know more about what is involved. The Grok challenges are enormously rewarding but they also demand a lot of effort and resilience. The school has been extremely successful in recent years with many students gaining perfect scores. McKinnon is recognised as one of Grok’s Champion Schools as has been for the past few years.


This year we are delighted to welcome a new member of staff to the ICT faculty. Here is a short bio from Mr Frank Russo.

Hi everyone my name is Frank Russo and I am really excited to be joining the McKinnon Community for 2020. I have been teaching IT, Maths, Science and Robotics for 30 years.

I grew up in East Bentleigh so it’s great to be home. This year I will be teaching ICT to Year 7 and Year 9 classes as well as VCE Applied Computing & Data Analytics. I look forward to meeting everyone. I am sure 2020 is going to be a great year.


Mrs Munro

ICT Teacher



Unfortunately we had to say good-bye to Mr Kamener at the end of last year who has taken on a leading position in another school this year and Miss Koehne also left McKinnon for employment in a Primary school.


And as I am very happy for Ms Dickson to start her parental leave next week and we are all excited about the expected addition to the McKinnon family, we all will be missing her exceptional contributions to the faculty. I sincerly thank Ms Dickson for the transition within the French team and the clear guidance she prepared for our new staff members.

With vacancies to fill, we welcome this year two very experienced staff members. Madame Jennifer Lynd joins us from Hampton Park Secondary College and Monsieur Cedric Chamontin is joining us from Glen Eira Secondary College. Our colleagues will teach French students in nearly all year levels. I wish them an enjoyable and successful year and look forward to their contributions to the McKinnon program. 


The McKinnon Spanish program for beginners at Year 9 level has now been extended into a Year 10 Spanish course including a VET Certificate in Applied Language qualification that students may obtain. The course is based on social and vocational communication as well as cultural enrichment and includes a closer collaboration with our sister school in Cuenca, Spain. Ms Jimenez, who has been training as a VET trainer next to her teaching load and has developed the courses for our students, works closely with the Ripponlea Institute, our RTO for VET programs. Ms Jimenez ́s skills as Spanish native speaker benefit not only our students but the entire school community. In addition we are looking forward to our first inaugural tour to Spain in March/April this year which was also organised by Ms Jimenez. Students will visit our sister school and surrounding areas and deepen our ongoing relationship with our sister school in Cuenca. I would like to thank Ms Jimenez for her outstanding contributions to the Languages program at McKinnon and we look forward to hearing more about this program throughout the coming year.


All French Language students are using the e-book version of the course book which needs to be purchased from Campion. Language lessons are a compulsory part of the Curriculum and give students the best start in an increasingly multilingual world. 


Your child will require the online version of the prescribed textbook. You will receive an access code for the purchased book. Please make sure you keep this information secure, in case your child's access gets interrupted. 


All German students, Year 11 and 12 French students are subscribed to Oxford online resources which are purchased by the school. The cost for these books has been included in school fees. Students will be enrolled by the administrator and have full access for the entire year.  


As in the past years, all Year 10 German, French and Spanish students will be enrolled in the 10297NAT Certificate II in Applied Language. This course includes social and vocational language and is auspiced by a Registered Training Organisation, Ripponlea Institute.


The course is funded by the Government and encourages each student to complete this certificate.


This national qualification is part of our Year 10 program and acknowledges the students' language learning. It counts for three units at Units 1 and 2 level and could be completed with Certificate III in Applied Language in Year 11. For the Certificate III, students will receive an increment to their ATAR - 10% of their 4th subject.


This course should attract students who do not feel confident in completing VCE languages, but would still like to have their languages qualifications acknowledged in their final VCE statement.


If your son/daughter studies another language outside of school, the Victorian School of Languages offers this certificate in several languages. 


An information session will be held before the Year 10 Information Night. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further questions. 


Please support your child in learning another language! Research confirms that the parents ́attitude towards language learning has a significant impact on the child's success. 


Another language is a lasting asset in an increasingly demanding global world whilst many other skills undergo constant change. Languages do not only teach communication skills but also develop flexibility, creativity and higher order thinking. Language learning also adds health and social benefits. As already Goethe said “The more languages you know, the more you are human”.


The following article will give you a few tips on how you can help your child!


Andrea Fowler

Head of Languages


Welcome back for another year of learning languages and exploring cultures at McKinnon. We aim to maximise exposure to authentic French texts and experiences in the classroom but we also like to share information about other French activities that you can enjoy in Melbourne.


Interested in opera? In partnership with the Festival d'Aix en Provence, the Alliance Francaise are screening some of Europe's best opera performances from their garden in St Kilda in February.


Interested in fashion? Early in March, presented in partnership with the 2020 Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival as part of their Art Program, French Couture designer Delphine Genin exhibits her new collection at the Alliance Française for an intimate showcase of fine French craftsmanship and delicate embroidery.


Interested in cinema? The annual French film festival opens in Melbourne on Wednesday 11 March with a range of films screening in Brighton, South Yarra, Balwyn and the CBD.


Interested in acting? The Melbourne French Theatre Inc. have just announced their new play for May: La Candidate. If you are interested in being part of this new play, auditions will take place on Saturday 15 February at 2pm and Monday 17 February at 7pm.


Heard of anything else French-inspired happening in the community? Let us know!


Ms Kellie Dickson

French Teacher


The first stage of the exchange took place in June/July when fifteen McKinnon students and their families each hosted a French student for three and half weeks in Melbourne. The McKinnon families were generous hosts, enabling our overseas guests to visit different parts of Melbourne, of Victoria and even of Australia.


Just before Christmas, the second leg of the exchange was completed with the McKinnon students returning home from their stay in France with their host families. Our Year 10 French students (now in Year 11) faced many new challenges during their time in France. Whilst they had already an established relationship with their French counterparts, it still proved to be initially challenging to make the adjustment of living with them in their own families. This was not unexpected, of course, and they should be very proud of the way they responded to these new challenges. Many of the French parents commented on the positive way the Australians interacted and contributed to the life of the family.


The time at school was probably the most challenging part of the experience, if one was to ask our students. However, there were also some great excursions that our students enjoyed immensely and in which they were able to fully relax. Some of our students were also lucky to visit different parts of France as well as other European countries with their host families. Being away from home was no doubt somewhat tough for everyone. However, it turned out to be an experience that everyone would agree they would never forget. The French families went to a lot of effort to make the stay of their 'Aussies' as enjoyable and culturally enriching as possible, just as the McKinnon families had done for 'Les Français' whilst they were in Melbourne.


The positive outcomes of an exchange can be seen in the renewed enthusiasm of our students for their language learning in general, including the obvious improvements in their linguistic skills, their confidence and resilience to tackle new and challenging situations, their ability to communicate and empathise, as well as to reflect and make considered decisions, to name just a few. And, the bonus for many, a life-long friend! 


Annette Reid

German Language Teacher



Welcome to Science in 2020. Our team of staff are committed to creating a comprehensive school-wide curriculum that provides students with opportunities to engage in purposeful and inspiring science. Our students will participate in a range of activities that will enable them to develop an understanding of important scientific concepts and processes, the practices used to develop scientific knowledge, the contribution of science to our culture and society, and its application in our lives. We will organise school-based incursions, year-level challenges and excursions that will complement our curriculum and help foster a love of science in our students. We will showcase these activities in this newsletter every fortnight. We hope you enjoy.


Cherie Marks

Head of Science




Students in Years 9-12 will be asked to sign up for teams via a google form in the coming weeks. Below is a list of important dates when sport competitions will take place:

  • Kingston Senior Boys and Girls Cricket - Thursday 13 February;
  • Kingston Inter Boys and Girls Cricket - Monday 17 February;
  • McKinnon House Swimming Sports – Wednesday 19 February;
  • Kingston Lawn Bowls - Monday 24 February;
  • Kingston Swimming - Thursday 12 March;
  • Inter Round Robin - Thursday 19 March (Sports Include Baseball, Softball, Tennis Boys and Girls, Volleyball Boys and Girls);
  • Senior Round Robin - Monday 23 March (Sports Include Baseball, Softball, Tennis Boys and Girls, Volleyball Boys and Girls, Basketball Boys and Girls, Futsal Boys and Girls);
  • SMR Swimming - Thursday 26 March. 

Good luck to all teams in 2020!


James Bridges

Sports Manager 9-12


The annual McKinnon Swimming Carnival is fast approaching this term. The carnival will be held at Caulfield/Carnegie pool, once again, which is located on Moira ave in Caulfield. Parents are reminded that students will be expected to meet at the pool on Wednesday 19 February by 8:45am for roll call. Students will be dismissed from the venue at 2:45pm


The theme for this years Carnival is House Colours. Hopefully we see some funky outfits and the day promises to be an excellent day for students to participate in a range of activities including swimming, beach volleyball, water polo and table tennis.


Please note that attendance is compulsory.


Greg Hoskin & Liam Adlington

Swimming Sports Coordinators 



A warm welcome back to the new year in the Music Department. We are thoroughly looking forward to the fantastic performing opportunities that will present themselves throughout the year.


We are pleased to welcome Mr Stephen Hardie who will be covering for Mr Sergei Golovko for the 2020 year. Mr Hardie will begin at McKinnon Secondary College on Friday 14 February.


Congratulations to VCE students from 2019 Betty Wang (Music Investigation) and Orr Zaacks (Music Performance) who have been invited to perform for the Top Class performance in March 2020. This is a fantastic outcome for all their amazing work.


VCE students are reminded that they should be setting up their rehearsal schedule NOW for whole year to ensure success in the final performances.


We are excited about the House Music Festival where the students have the opportunity to showcase their talents as arrangers and performers. This will take place at 7:00pm on Wednesday 11 March in the School Hall. Make sure you mark your calendars for this very exciting event. Once Music Captains have been announced at the upcoming General Assembly, rehearsals will begin.


The allocation process for new music students has just started for both the band and string classes and this will continue to take place over the next few weeks. Students will be advised when to bring their instruments for their ensemble practice. Please note that this process does take some time.


Rehearsals for out of class ensembles will start progressively over the next few weeks. Students are reminded that they will need to be prompt to all rehearsals.  


All personally owned instruments brought to school must be clearly identified with the student’s name and a contact number. It is also advisable that something that is a ‘point of difference’ is attached to the case so that students can quickly and easily identify their own instrument.


On Saturday 22 February 2020 at 3:00pm the Senior Stage Band will be performing at the Big Bands Sunsets Festival in Mordialloc.


All fees will be payable online through Compass.


Megan Papworth

Head of Music



I would like to welcome students and staff back to school for 2020 and I look forward to seeing lots of students in the library this year.


I would like to remind students about the library opening hours.


Our usual opening hours are 8:15am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday.


The library is closed at recess and open at lunchtimes.


From Monday 10 February the library will commence extended opening hours:-

  • 8:15am – 5:30pm Monday to Thursday
  • 8:15am – 4:30pm Friday.


The library offers students a wide range of resources to support their learning and recreational reading.


A wide range of fiction books including the latest titles;

  • A well-resourced non-fiction collection;
  • Magazines including Inside Sport, New Scientist, Wheels and Vogue;
  • Online resources including Britannica and World Book Online;
  • Digital editions of The Age and the Australian Financial Review;
  • VCE resources such as Checkpoints for overnight loan.

 Visit the library catalogue or ask library staff for more information.


The library now subscribes to the Good Reading magazine. The magazine has been around since 2001 and is the most popular consumer magazine about books and reading in Australia. The magazine contains book reviews and author interviews. The magazine is available to read in the library or to borrow.



The Victorian Premier’s Literacy Awards were established in 1985 to honour literary achievement by Australian writers.


The award shortlists were announced in December 2019. In the category of ‘Writing for Young Adults’ the shortlist included:


  • How it Feels to Float by Helena Fox
  • Invisible Boys by Holden Sheppard
  • This is How We Change the Ending by Vikki Wakefield


Highly Commended:


  • Highway Bodies by Alison Evans
  • When the ground is Hard by Malla Nunn.

Helena Fox was honoured for How it Feels to Float. The book gives a hopeful portrayal of living with mental illness and grief.


Some reviews of How it Feels to Float:


I haven’t been so dazzled by a YA in ages” Jandy Nelson, author of I’ll Give You the Sun.


Fox writes with superb understanding and tenderness” BCCB


For more information on the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards including the winners of other categories go to:



Use this fun tool to find out the best-selling book the year you were born:


Just enter your age.


 Janene Watson

Resource Centre Manager



McKinnon Secondary College would like to pay tribute to those families impacted by the recent bushfires around Australia. We also want to acknowledge the devastating loss of animal, bird and plant life.


The fires affect us all as a larger community and it is completely normal to experience a range of emotions, whether directly affected by the fires or not. Talking to someone and feeling connected can be incredibly important during times like these. We encourage all members of the community to reach out and look after themselves and each other.


If any parents or students are having difficulties managing their day to day lives, the Federal Government has announced additional funding to address the mental health needs of people affected by the bushfires.


From Friday 17 January, people impacted by the bushfires will have access to 10 immediate Medicare funded counselling sessions without requiring a GP referral or mental health care plan. 


To access this support for students, we recommend making an appointment with your local headspace centre who specialise in youth mental health support ( 


Alternatively, support can be accessed through any local community or private mental health provider. If students or parents require support with referrals, please speak to your local GP, or you can contact a staff member in the wellbeing team on (03) 8520 9000.


The McKinnon Student Wellbeing team consists of counsellors, psychologists and social workers who can provide support and counselling for early intervention mental health, social and emotional concerns.


Referrals to the McKinnon Student Wellbeing Team for counselling can be made in one of three ways:

  • Students can self-refer to the Student Wellbeing Team via email (, or by visiting the Wellbeing Office during recess or lunchtime;

  • The Principal, Assistant Principals, Student Managers, School Nurse or Heads of Senior/Junior School can arrange a school referral to the Student Wellbeing Team if they have concerns about a student’s health or wellbeing;

  • Parents can request an appointment for their child with the Student Wellbeing Team by contacting the team via phone or email.

Alternatively, there are a wide range of support services out there, including:

  • Lifeline - 13 11 14 (for more immediate mental health crisis);

  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 (free phone or online counselling for young people aged 12-25);

  • Headspace (Bentleigh) – 9076 9400 (free or low cost counselling for young people aged 12-25);

  • Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636 (General mental health support for both adults and young people).

The Student Wellbeing team is also available to respond to any child safety concerns. For further information regarding the policy our school has in place to assist in protecting children from abuse, family violence and neglect, please visit our Child Safety Policy on the college website.


Patty Etcell

Student Wellbeing Coordinator



Office hours are:                        8:15am - 4:30pm

Telephone:                                                8520 9000


Parents should always make contact with the General Office first when visiting the school or trying to make contact with their children.


Appointments with teachers must be made via telephone or email them directly.



Student absences should be reported to the school before 9:00am. Please email the Attendance Officer Courtney Mauger ( or telephone 8520 9050 on the day of the absence by 9:00am. 


A note on the day of return to the General Office is required for absences where no parent contact has been possible.



In order to minimise disruption to class and maximise learning opportunities for our students, we would like to remind you of the school policy regarding late arrival to school. Students are expected to be at school at 8:30am. A locker bell rings at 8:35am and class begins punctually at 8:50am. If your child is late for any reason, please notify the school by phone 8520 9050, email or by writing a note in the student's diary explaining the reason. 


If no explanation has been received students are given a pass to class and an after school detention for the following day.


Please ensure that if your child is leaving early or arriving late for any reason that a note needs to be written in the diary so that the teachers are aware too.


If your student needs to leave school early for any reason, please write a note in their diary explaining the reason. Teachers will not allow any student to leave their class unless there is authorisation.


We appreciate your support in this. If you have any questions please call Courtney on 8520 9050.


Families are now able to order and purchase uniforms online. Ordered items can be collected from the Uniform Shop. Please allow three working days for pick-up. Please click on the attached link to order uniforms:

Phone/Fax No:  9578 2151



Tuesdays                                      8:15am - 12 noon

Fridays                                        12:30pm - 4:00pm

1st Saturday every month    9:30am - 12 noon


Please ensure all school clothes, books and personal property are clearly labelled with the student’s name. Many items are not returned to their rightful owners because they are not labelled correctly or clearly.


USBs should include a folder with the student’s name and form to assist in returning it to the correct person. If you have lost anything see Mrs Plate in the Sick Bay during recess, lunch or end of day.




Fundraising Form - Buying Bricks for the 2nd Gym.pdf
Pitsa Binnion
Michael Kan
Richard Long
Lachlan Noble