Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

22 November 2018
Issue Eighteen
Key Dates
Principal's Message
College Matters
Women in Science
Special events
Student Sport Coaches
World Challenge
In our community
School information 
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Key Dates

Friday 23 November

Year 11, 10 & 9 exams conclude


Monday 26 November

Report Writing - Pupil Free Day

2019 Student leaders training day 


Tuesday 27 November

Headstart - Week 1

8pm, Presentation Evening

Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University 


Wednesday 28 November

Late start - No period 1 


Thursday 29 November

World Challengers depart


Monday 3 December

9am College Tour

Headstart - Week 2


Tuesday 4 December

7pm, 2019 Enhancement program parent and student information session


Wednesday 5 December

Report Verification - 2.30pm finish


Thursday 6 December

Report Verification - 2.30pm finish 


Friday 7 December

10.15am College Assembly 

Last day 2018 Year 10 & 11


Tuesday 11 December

2019 Year 7 Orientation Day


Friday 14 December

Last day 2018 Year 7 to 9


Monday 17 to Thursday 20 December

Environment Week


Friday 21 December

Staff Training Day

Last day of year. Office closes. 

Principal's Message

Dear parents and families


Last Tuesday I had the occasion to be entertained by the Year 9 Drama class as they performed the play “Unbeatable”. The play, written by Richard Tulloch, was based on the much loved Paul Jennings books.  I shared this occasion with two classes of Year 7 students and their teachers.  Thank you to the class and to Mr Geoff Perks for inviting me and giving me time off to enjoy connecting with the hustle and bustle of the classroom.


The following day the canteen quadrangle also experienced a flash mob dance off to celebrate the Diwali festival of lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains across the world. The festival, which coincides with the Hindu New Year, celebrates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness. Many staff and students (including myself) were up following the dance moves of our students. Thank you to our international students, led by Ms Ekaterina Xanthopoulos for organising this day. A special thanks also to Mr Randy Marshall, our DJ, who busted a few dance moves as well.


The last day of the Unit 3 & 4 exams occurred on Wednesday. I have received feedback from the teachers that the students were well prepared for their exams and their spirits were high. So this brings the VCE journey to a close for our Year 12 students and I am sure they are relieved.  The teachers are all hoping that the students are pleased with their results. Year 12 students may still wish to make contact with our Career and Pathways Manager, Ms Rebecca Poulos, regarding their pathways planning.


Kind regards

Ms Linda Brown 

College Matters

School Council Report 

The midnight oil was burning at the last meeting of the School Council. We covered many topics with several being discussed in depth. 


There was a presentation from Rochelle Dickson (Director of Assessment and Analysis) regarding our Naplan results.  Ms Dickson is a Leading Teacher employed to teach our senior school students and assist teachers with the analysis of data from NAPLAN results for future planning and curriculum development towards continuing to improve student outcomes.


Kelly Lloyd-Vanni (Business Manager) delivered this year's Finance Report and our budget for next year.  The report was broken down into appropriate sections and we all had the opportunity to discuss and better understand the school's budget. A sound knowledge of the school's finances helps to plan for the future development of our school.


Discussion and other plans were put forward for the Year 7 and Year 8 camps as well as the trips to France and Japan. Many school policies were also tabled and approved for the school community.


On behalf of all the parents and students at MGSC I would like to thank all our wonderful teaching staff and administration staff for making the environment the best it can be for our daughters to learn in. 


Thanks you 


Darren Hawkless

School Council Member 

Presentation Night 

Tuesday 27 November at 8pm

Robert Blackwood Hall, Monash University


Tickets are free and can be reserved on this link :


Wednesday 28 November is a late start. There is no period 1. Students should arrive after 10am for the  classes commencing at 10.30am. 

Reports and Report Verification Days

Monday 26 November is a report writing day -  there are no classes on this day.


There are two report verification sessions coming up, requiring early finishes on Wednesday 5 and Thursday 6 December.  The bell times for these days will be:

Period 1: 8.50am - 9.55am
Recess: 9.55am - 10.20am
Period 2: 10.20am - 11.25am
Period 3: 11.25am - 12.30pm
Lunch: 12.30pm - 1.25pm
Period 4: 1.25pm - 2.30pm


The Semester 2 reports will be available online at 3.30pm on Friday 14 December.


This report provides summary information on each student’s progress throughout Semester 2. This will include levels of achievement measured against the Victorian Curriculum Standards (Years 7-10), satisfactory achievement of outcomes (VCE) and work habits (Years 7-11). The report will show the grade for each CAT which has been completed in Semester 2, however no comments will appear on reports. To access the written feedback which has been completed throughout the semester please access the learning tasks tab in the Compass Platform.


More information on assessment and reporting at MGSC can be found in the Assessment and reporting Guide for Families on the college website


This guide is also on Compass parent portal.

College Tours

The College Tour on Monday 3 December at 9am is the last for the year.  

If you know of a family considering joining the our learning community in 2019 please encourage them to attend. The tour commences from the General Office, take about an hour and registration on 9581 5200 is appreciated. 


College Tours will resume in 2019 and the Open Day is scheduled for April.

Ms Carol Duggan & Ms Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principals


Leadership is action, not position  Donald H McGannon


Congratulations to all students who nominated for the various positions across the college for 2019. The teams for the Senior, Middles and Junior School, House and SRC (Years 9 to 12) appear below.


Year 8 Class Captains and SRC will be finalised during Headstart and the VCE Committee and club/committee positions and all Year 7 positions will be determined early in 2019.


It was pleasing to see so many students apply for many of the roles and I look forward to working with all the leadership teams together with the various liaison staff. We will be conducting our first training day on Monday 26 November with two sessions:


9.00am  to 10.45am for the Middle School team, Junior School Captains and all House Leaders, followed by a morning tea for all student leaders.


11.15am  to 1.00pm for the Senior College Captains, SRC (Years 9 to 12) and the Senior leadership team.


In 2019, each of the sub school leadership teams will meet every three weeks with teams combining as required for particular projects or events.


The training day will provide an opportunity for students to get to know their team and to undertake some preliminary planning and goal setting, review the current calendar of events and establish some dates including participation in upcoming leadership conferences.


Ms Wendy Harvey

Director of Student Leadership & Engagement



The ELC students are completing their final assessment tasks this week and are getting ready to move to mainstream classes. Headstart is part of their transition, and many people have been involved in this process. First, we would like to acknowledge the work of Ms Dahli Briedis​, Mr Philip Hull, Mr Jonathan Hall, Ms Rochelle Dickson, Ms Leah Liakos, Ms Si Feng and Ms Yinan Zhang. We would also like to recognise the efforts of both the Technology and Arts staff in running electives with the ELC students and making them feel both comfortable and successful in each subject. Lastly, a thank you to Junior School and Middle School Staff for organising new classes, lockers, buddies and subjects for the students who will now be in Years 9 and 10.


Good luck to Leah Chen, Chan Le, Hanwen Liu, Maggie Miao and Alice Xu. They are diligent and friendly young women who will do well in their new classes; we hope that you all make them feel welcomed and included.

Diwali Celebrations

What a great time! We had over 50 staff and students participate, and dancing to Indian music supplied by the school DJ, Mr Randy Marshall.

Both the ELC students and a group of Year 7s practised for several days to learn the dance steps and they looked fantastic and energetic on the day, encouraging more students to join.


Bridging Garden

The Bridging Garden is almost there. We are working on the paths around the hearts. The students have also completed their short films about the whole experience, focusing on separate topics. A great effort by all.


Ms Ekaterina Xanthopoulos

ELC & EAL Coordinator

Women in Science

Each year the L’Oreal Foundation and UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) award five exceptional female scientists in Australia and New Zealand with the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Fellowship.


Ten of our students attended this year's Girls in Science Forum, held at the University of Melbourne. They heard inspirational 2018 winners talk about the science that they do and how they got to where they are today. Students were able to ask questions and learn more about the background and daily life of these role models.


After the talk we conducted two workshops. We first visited the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy and Pathology which is not open to the public. Students looked at a huge range of human specimens and even held plastinated lungs, bladders, and brains. We couldn’t take any photos as they were all from deceased people who had donated their bodies to the museum.


The second workshop was in the Robotics lab in the School of Design. We saw huge 3D printers at work and spoke to the students using them to explore designs. We used augmented reality (AR) headsets that guided us to build a wall out of blocks. This was challenging and we all felt a little silly, but it was so much fun.


Ms Dahli Briedis​

Science Domain Leader 



1:1 Bring Your Own Device – Year 9

Information regarding the 1:1 Bring Your Own Device Program for Year 9 in 2019 was recently sent to all parents and students via Compass email*. The options for 2019 devices are as per those described at the Year 8 into 9 Information Evening in Term 3.


Please note that Year 9 is a transitional year and that families have options to best suit their needs. iPads are still an acceptable device in Year 9 and if you are moving to a laptop device, there is no requirement for this to happen for the Headstart program.


Any students who are intending to move from an iPad to a laptop device during Headstart may do so from Wednesday 28 November onwards. New devices will not be connected to the College Wi-Fi on Tuesday 27 November.  Students have received instructions about this.


If you have any questions after reading the letter and the information on the website, please do not hesitate to contact me.


* Some parents have old or invalid email addresses recorded in our school systems and so will not have received the information above.  If you are not receiving email correspondence from the College, please login to Compass to check and update your email address.

Free Software 

Students can access the following software at no cost:

  • MS Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, etc) - Students can download from using student MGSC GSuite credentials.
  • Adobe Creative Cloud Suite (including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Animate, XD).

Students should ask their Visual Arts or Media teacher for details regarding installation of Adobe software.


Mr Jonathan Hall

Director of Innovation

Special events

English Language

Professor Kate Burridge was our very special guest lecturer on Monday 12 November. Professor Burridge is a prominent Australian linguist, who currently occupies the Chair of Linguistics in the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at Monash University. Among many other publications, Kate is the co-author of the VCE text book used across Victoria, Love the Lingo, and is a regular presenter of language segments on ABC Radio and a commentator in the media.


It was a unique opportunity for our Year 11 English Language students and a few Year 12 students who took time out from their revision before their final exam.  Many thanks to Kate Burridge for visiting our school and sharing her knowledge with our students. 


Mr Marko Berkhout

English, English Language and Humanities teacher

Top Design

Year 12 Media student, Nicola Reeves, has been short-listed for Top Designs for her vegan cookbook, "So a vegan walks into a BBQ...".  From the short-list, selected works will be included in the Top Designs annual exhibition at Melbourne Museum presenting work created by students who completed VCE Media, Product Design and Technology, Theatre Studies, Systems Engineering, Visual Communication Design and VCE VET studies in 2018.  Congratulations Nicola.  


Student Sport Coaches

Students interested in becoming a coach in the inter school sporting program in 2019 are encouraged to apply now.  Please click on the link below and fill out the application form.


Ms Parker, who will be in charge of this program in 2019, will contact applicants early in the year.


Thanks for your interest.


Mr Philip Hull

Inter School Sport Coordinator

World Challenge

A week before departure 

As the expedition departs in a week's time, please ensure all of the gear has been packed ready to go (place the sleeping bag and heavy gear at the bottom of the backpack with lighter gear above it and ensure the pack stands by itself or leans towards your back when being worn). Please ensure hiking poles (if applicable) are packed inside the backpack.


Could all Challengers be at the airport around 9pm to 9.15pm on Thursday 29 November. You may wish to wear summer gear as Bangkok will be quite warm. If you suffer motion sickness, please carry travel calm, qwells or ginger in your daypack.


Each team member will be given approx US$1500 team money and should ensure this money, their spending money and their passport are always kept on their person and not in their back/day pack or left in seat pockets.


The College would like to thank the families for supporting their daughter and the teachers, principals and personnel from World Challenge for supporting this expedition.


Hint #21: Nepal shops have many items for sale at great prices such as 20 degree down sleeping bags ($100), down puffer jackets ($75), fleece jumpers/jackets ($30), hiking poles ($15), beanies, hiking pants, socks and drink bladders if you have not got all of your gear.


Mr Michael Warden

World Challenge Coordinator

In our community

Community Carols are coming  

Kingston - Sunday 9 December at Bicentennial Park Chelsea
New venue with with guest performer Marina Prior

Bayside - Tuesday 11 December at Dendy Park

The famous fireworks display is a hightlight

Glen Eira - Saturday 15 December at Bentleigh Hodgson Reserve 

Feature artists Silvia Paladino and Bella Paige

Acacia Avenue Preschool farewell


Free Soccer Clinics

Beaumaris Soccer Club will be running three free clinics for girls U10 to U16 in December at Mentone Girls' Secondary College. 

Clinics are Thursday 6, 13 & 20 December, 6.30pm to 8pm. 


Register using the link below.  

Families and kids at Christmas


School information 

General Office

8.15am to 4.15pm

Monday to Friday 

Tel 03 9581 5200

Principal Team

Principal - Linda Brown

Assistant Principal - Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal - Carol Duggan

Director of Junior School - Lisa Kosack

Director of Middle School - Deb Jarvis

Director of  Senior School - Sylvia Christopoulos

Attendance & Absences

Students should aim for a 100% attendance record. They are expected to attend school regularly and remain at school and in class until officially dismissed.

Year 7-10 absences: Parents/guardians are asked to use Compass to log absences. 

VCE student absences:  Parents/guardians contact the VCE Office on 9581 5231 before 9am and update attendance on Compass. If contact is not made on the day of absence, an explanatory note must be brought from home on the day the VCE student returns and handed into the VCE Office. 

Late arrival - after 8.50am

Years 7-10 must sign the arrival book at the General Office and take the white late slip to class. 

VCE students sign in at the VCE Office.


It is your responsibility to ensure your child attends school every day. Learn about your responsibilities and what you can do to help your child's attendance. Schooling is compulsory for children and young people aged from 6 -17 years. School participation will help your child develop important skills, knowledge and values to further their learning and participation in the community. Attending school every day also helps your child develop crucial social and emotional skills such as good communication, resilience and the ability to work in teams.

Children and young people who regularly attend school and complete Year 12 have better health outcomes, better employment outcomes, and higher incomes across their lives. 

For more information see:  DET Attendance and missing school.



Second Hand Uniform Shop hours  until the end of 2018 are:

Tuesday 2.45pm - 3.45pm

Wednesday 8.15am - 9.15am

Reimbursement after sale of items is by bank transfer.

Please label all items for the second-hand uniform shop clearly with: 

  • Seller's name and contact details
  • BSB and Account Number

Please hand in items to the General Office. 


If you have any financial queries please, contact Carolyn Page, Finance Manager.


Uniform Supplier - Costume World 

Shop 5 1291 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham

T: 9584 7006

Assessment & Reporting

A parents' guide to assessment and reporting can be found on Compass under School Documentation, which is located in the Community tab on the menu at the top of the page. The guide is also on the website under the Curriculum tab.  Guide for parents.

Library hours

8.30am to 4.30pm, school days

Facilities Hire

Many of the school's spaces are available to hire including the gym and lecture theatre. 

For information on hire rates and availability, contact Bronwen Peterson, Facilities Manager

on 9581 5200.


Online ordering is available through the canteen operators Bocca Foods. 

Register at


Like and follow us on Facebook. 



Statement of commitment to child safety 

Mentone Girls’ Secondary College is committed to safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. This will be the primary focus of our care and decision-making.

Mentone Girls’ Secondary College has zero tolerance for child abuse. Mentone Girls’ Secondary College is committed to providing a child safe environment where children and young people are safe and feel safe, and their voices are heard about decisions that affect their lives. Particular attention will be paid to the cultural safety of Aboriginal children and children from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds, as well as the safety of children with a disability.

Every person involved in Mentone Girls’ Secondary College has a responsibility to understand the important and specific role he/she plays individually and collectively to ensure that the wellbeing and safety of all children and young people is at the forefront of all they do and every decision they make.  Please refer to our policies on our website: for detailed information.

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