College Newsletter

08 February 2019
Issue 21
Dates to remember
Principal's Report
Assistant Principals' Report
College Council
College Information
Around the School
International Students
Student Voice
Careers News
Community News
Doncaster Secondary College
+613 9848 4677
123 Church Road
Doncaster, VIC, 3108

Dates to Remember

Tuesday, 12 February

Swimming Carnival - Boroondara Sports Complex (Balwyn)
Year 7 Social Evening 

Wednesday, 13 February
Year 9 MyOutdoors - Sustainable Shopping & Trangia Cooking License


Friday, 15 February
Senior Sports Round Robin

Monday, 18 February
Year 12 Study Skills Session 
Year 12 Connections Lunch
Year 12 Restaurant Research Excursion 


Tuesday, 19 February
Intermediate Sports Round Robin

Wednesday, 20 February

Year 9 MyCity - Melbourne Cricket Ground

Year 9 MyFuture - Box Hill TAFE Tour 

Principal's Report

Welcome to 2019

I would like to extend a welcome on behalf of all Doncaster Secondary College staff to all those returning to us in 2019 and to the many new families who are beginning their association with us this year.  We have a very exciting year ahead with this being the year of our 50th Birthday and our new building works (12 new classrooms plus additional facilities) will commence.  I am very impressed with the confident and industrious manner in which our students have started classes this year.   A special welcome to our new Year 7 students, as well as the many other students who have transferred to us for the start of the 2019 school year.  Starting in a new college is always a daunting experience, but all reports are that new students are settling in to the “Donny” way of life.    Thank you to our staff for all the planning and work prior to the commencement of the year that has been so important in helping make our start such a smooth one. 


A great deal of planning has gone into continuing our focus on teaching and learning and more fully meeting the needs of individual students.  Also, student engagement and independent learning will continue to be improved through our focus on developing student agency.  As a school we are fully committed to the academic success of our students whilst at the same time promoting school norms that support learning.  It is our aim and our responsibility to provide the programs and teaching that will cater for the needs of all students and it is the responsibility of students to make full use of these opportunities. 


In addition to our excellent VCE and VCAL results at the end of last year, we have received our Year 12 ‘destination’ data.  Of the students who applied for Tertiary placement we had almost 90% receive an offer in the first round and we expect this percentage to grow when round two and round three offers are confirmed.  Of the very large number of students who received an offer in the first round, an amazing 52% of students were offered their first preference!  Once again, the most popular destination was Deakin University [18%] closely followed by Monash University [17%].  Students at Doncaster Secondary College undertake studies across many areas after graduating.  Courses in Business and Commerce, Societies and Culture, Sciences and Health / Medicine, were popular for the Class of 2018.  Congratulations on securing these outstanding pathways and we look forward to hearing of your future successes.


Éva McMaster


Assistant Principals' Report

Travelling on Public Transport to/from School

Students are required to tap on/off both the Public Bus routes and the School Bus routes using their MYKI card. Primary and secondary school students aged 5 to 18 can travel on Child MYKI.   Students who do not tap on/off may be fined for fare evasion.


When a bus arrives, students are expected to line up in an orderly fashion and wait till it is safe to board the bus. Students are expected to behave in an orderly and courteous manner whilst travelling on public transport.


Further information regarding both the Public and School Bus services can be found on the PTV website.


How to Stay Safe on Public Transport


If you come under threat while on a train, bus or tram, or while waiting to catch public transport, it's important to follow these steps.

  • Alert public transport staff or other passengers to help
  • Call the police on Triple Zero (000)


Whether you're heading out, going to work, or making your way home at night, you'll feel more empowered if you take the time to plan for potentially threatening situations. These rules of thumb will help you stay safe while you're on the move.


Plan your journey before you leave

Before catching public transport, think ahead to minimise the time you spend waiting at the train, bus or tram stops at night.


Make sure you can be seen

Choose a clear, well-lit walking path to and from the bus stop/station and stand where you can be seen at all times.


Make an effort to locate safety features

While you're travelling or waiting to catch public transport, take the time to locate nearby safety features. These may include emergency buttons, CCTV cameras, safety zones and public transport staff.


Keep your valuables secure and out of sight

Try to keep your valuable items secure and concealed. If you're carrying a bag, hold onto it at all times.


Stay alert and take note of suspicious people

Your personal safety is precious.


Belinda McGee

Assistant Principal

College Council

School Council Elections 2019

What is a school council and what does it do?

All government schools in Victoria have a school council. School council is a legally formed body that are given powers to set the key directions of a school within centrally provided guidelines. In doing this, a school council is able to directly influence the quality of education that the school provides for its students.


Who is on the school council?

There are four possible categories of membership:

  • A mandated elected Parent category. More than one-third of the total members must be from this category. Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DET) employees can be Parent members at their child’s school as long as they are not employed at the school.
  • A mandated elected DET employee category. Members of this category may make up no more than one-third of the total membership of the school council. The principal of the school is automatically one of these members.
  • A mandated elected Student member category (2 positions). Members of this category are enrolled at the school and in Year 7 or above.
  • An optional Community member category. Its members are appointed by a decision of the council because of their special skills, interests or experiences. DET employees are not eligible to be Community members.

The term of office for all members is two years. The term of office of half the members expires each year, creating vacancies for the annual school council elections.


Why is Parent membership so important?

Parents in school councils provide important viewpoints and have valuable skills that can help shape the direction of the school. Those parents who become active in a school council find their involvement satisfying in itself and may also find that their children feel a greater sense of belonging.


How can you become involved?

The most obvious way is to vote in the elections, which are held in Term 1 each year. However, ballots are only held if more people nominate as candidates than there are positions vacant.

In view of this, you might seriously consider:

  • standing for election as a member of the school council
  • encouraging another person to stand for election.


Do I need special experience to be on school council?


No. What you do need is an interest in your child’s school and the desire to work in partnership with others to help shape the school’s future.


What do you need to do to stand for election?

The principal will issue a notice and call for nominations following the commencement of Term 1 each year. All school council elections must be completed by the end of March.


If you decide to stand for election, you can arrange for someone to nominate you as a candidate or you can nominate yourself in the Parent category.


DET employees whose child is enrolled in a school in which they are not employed are eligible to nominate as parents for the school council where their child is enrolled

Once the nomination form is completed, return it to the principal within the time stated on the notice of election. You will receive a Nomination Form Receipt in the mail following the receipt of your completed nomination.


If there are more nominations received than there are vacancies on council, a ballot will be conducted during the two weeks after the call for nominations has closed.


Some things to remember:

  • Ask at the school for help if you would like to stand for election and are not sure what to do
  • Consider standing for election to council this year
  • Be sure to vote in the elections

Any queries, please contact Mandy Rohrlach on 9856 1011 or email: [email protected]


If you wish to nominate, please refer to the following attachments:


Notice of Election and Call for Nominations

Information for students seeking election to school council

Information for parents of children seeking election to school council


Éva McMaster





College Information

Our official DSC Facebook page


Doncaster Secondary College celebrates 50 Years

We invite you to help us celebrate an important milestone for us, as we celebrate our 50th Anniversary this year. This will be an opportunity to see familiar faces, the College grounds and to take a trip down memory lane as the College's history comes alive. Pencil this date into your diary and start contacting friends and encourage them to do the same.


If you would like to help out in the lead up to this event please contact Chelsea Rohrlach on email: [email protected]


Register your interest in attending by clicking on the link below.


Music Program

Welcome back to another great year of Music at Doncaster. Instrumental lessons and rehearsals have started this week so any students who haven’t made contact with their instrumental teacher yet please do so as soon as possible. If you are in year 7 and have had an offer sent to you to learn an instrument but haven’t responded yet, please return your form or email Mr Dean at [email protected] as soon as possible.

If you are in year 7, are new to the school or have only just decided you’d like to learn an instrument and would like to take advantage of the heavily subsidised lessons and ensemble experience, please see Mr Dean or Mrs Howes in the Music Centre office. Instruments that are currently available are Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium, Bass Guitar, Percussion/Drum kit, Violin, Viola and Cello. We also run a Rock Program, so if you play the Guitar, Keyboard, Bass, Drums, Sing or create Electronic Music and didn’t audition on Wednesday there still may be a place available for you in one of the bands. See Mr Dean in the Music office to arrange an audition.


2019 Ensemble Rehearsal Times

Soundworks – Monday 3:30 -4:10 pm

Junior Jazz – Tuesday 7:30 – 9:00 am

Vocal Ensemble – Tuesday Lunchtime

Concert Band – Tuesday 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Senior Jazz Sectionals – Tuesday 3:30 – 4:30 pm

Stringworks – Wednesday 8:00 – 9:00 am

Wind Symphony – Thursday 7:30 – 9:00 am

Senior Jazz – Thursday 3:30 – 4:30 pm

String Orchestra – Friday 8:00 – 9:00 am



Important Music Dates
Music Camp - May 27 - 29

Winter Concert - June 4

Rock Showcase - August 14

String Soiree - August 28

Spring Concert - October 22


Wellbeing Garden 

Last year we had a brand new shaded area installed in the Wellbeing Garden. This area will be available to students during their lunch and recess breaks and will also provide an excellent space as an outdoor classroom setting. 

Tim Sprigg
Facilities Manager


Sustainable School Shop - Secondhand Uniforms

More than 200 families at the school per year use the Sustainable School Shop service for buying and selling second-hand uniforms, items that are listed for sale to sell.  More items for sale are needed as there are far more buyers than there are sellers. If you have items you no longer need please list them for sale. 


The items you list for sale will appear in the secondhand uniform Stocktake Report that is regularly sent to families. Given it is the beginning of the school year, this is a busy uniform trading time. 



Around the School

Italian News
Ciao a tutti

One time or another, you have probably eaten pizza, seen a photo of “Mona Lisa”, heard about the leaning tower of Pisa. So... you know Italy! Italy is not a “big” country in the literal sense of the word. In fact, despite its population of over 60 million people, Italy could fit into the state of Victoria! It has a funny shape: it looks exactly like a boot equipped with heel and spur. It is plunged into the Mediterranean Sea. The term the Mediterranean actually means “between lands” because such sea is surrounded from all sides: by Spain to the west, ex-Yugoslavia to the east, north Africa to the south. Italy is right in the middle.


Italy is known around the world for its delicious food. Besides pizza, who hasn’t had a piece of “lasagne”, a slice of “tiramisu’” or a cone of “gelato”? Italy is also renowned for fashion: many are familiar with brand names such as Gucci, Armani, Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, to mention just a few. Most people have heard of Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo’s artistic genius, of places such as the water streets of Venice and her gondolas. Many are also familiar with the names of scientists like Galileo, who studied the skies through his telescope, and Marconi, who invented the radio, or poets such as Dante Alighieri who, with his poem “The Divine Comedy”

Watch this space for more information about this beautiful country, its culture, its people and its language.



Luisa Allen

Learning Area Assistant Italian


Social Media - Reporting Offensive Content


This is a short video about a social media issue that surfaced this week. Once you have watched the video, if you would like to report offensive content that you or your child have seen online please click on the link below. This will take you the eSafety Commission website, which is run but the Australian Government to empower 'all Australians to have safer, more positive experiences online.'


Ty Dennis 
Head of Senior School




International Students

Welcoming our new International Students

On Wednesday, 30 January, we welcomed sixteen new International students who come from Myanmar, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia and China. We held an entire day of Orientation events for our International Students which covered a range of topics including:

  • getting familiar with the College grounds
  • how to read the timetable and school diary
  • subject selections and textbooks
  • what our teachers expect from the students
  • some strategies for those students with  Western Homestay living arrangements

The launch of our Buddy Program for International Students was held at the International Student Program lunch. The aim of this buddy program is to provide International students with more support from local students to help them to integrate into the DSC community. The local students who are part of the Buddy Program are interested in Chinese culture and are currently studying Mandarin. It is, therefore, beneficial to these students as well as they have the opportunity to improve their Mandarin speaking skills. We are really excited about the launch of this program and we anticipate positive feedback from our students. 

Sally Huang

International Student Program Coordinator

Chinese New Year


On Wednesday, 6 February we celebrated Chinese New Year in the Senior Centre at lunch. Teaching staff joined our International students for over lunchtime to celebrate Chinese New Year, a very important festival in Chinese culture.  International student leaders organised and hosted this event. A very talented student even made Chinese New Year badges for our new International students to show her welcome and support to these students.



The Chinese New Year Lunch went as well as I expected. All the International students would like to thank the College and the teachers for providing such a great opportunity for us. We really feel a sense of belonging to the school. Spring Festival has always been the most important holiday tradition for Chinese people, and celebrating with family and friends is so important. We feel so lucky that the College really cares about the Chinese students who didn't get to spend the time with their family overseas. Celebrating with our teachers and each other helped us to celebrate Chinese New Year somewhere that is so far away from home. Everyone enjoyed it so very much and we really appreciate all the work that went into this event. Happy Chinese New Year!

Judy Zhu, 12A 


Student Profile

My name is Jenny, I am 13 years old and I came to this Doncaster Secondary College from Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam. At the College what I enjoy the most is the friendships I have made with local and International students, the extra curriculum activities, the care from my teachers, and the newly built facilities we have here. 


The International team supports me a lot at the College. They help me to get to know the school, introduce me to teaching staff, allocate a buddy for me. They find out where am I at by checking with me often throughout the day.


I quite enjoy the buddy program as my buddy is really familiar with the school and can pass on information to me. Ms Huang, the International Student Coordinator and Mr Tomada, my Year Level Coordinator have been so helpful and are always there for me if I have any questions. I love my new friends here as they are so friendly and supportive. I’m also really enjoying my subjects this year.
I would love to make more new local friends and get to know Australian culture more. I am also planning on joining more clubs at school, such as Art Club, Debating and Public Speaking, Interact club, and Class leadership roles.
Jenny Le, 8F



Student Voice

Alumni Interview - DUX 2018

Our 2018 DUX Felice Lok achieved a perfect study score of 50 in English Language and an ATAR score of 98.35. Felice is set to study Bachelor of Laws and Arts at Monash University this year. Felice shares how she remained focused while facing the challenges throughout year 12 and what her biggest take away from the year was and what her plans are for the future.

When did you start your studies at Doncaster Secondary College and what units did you undertake last year?

I started my studies at the college in Year 7 in 2013. Last year, I studied English Language, English, Math Methods, and Psychology. I also completed Chinese Second Language and Legal Studies during year 11.

Felice, how did you manage to stay focused and committed to your studies throughout your final year?

Undoubtedly, there were many times I lost motivation and the thought of studying was gruelling, but I kept reminding myself that working as hard as possible during the year would be so rewarding and accomplished at the end. I guess it was the anticipation for this sense of satisfaction and relief that really pushed me through. I was also surrounded by many highly-motivated and diligent classmates who inspired me to work as hard as them!

What are your immediate plans for this year, now that results are out?

I plan to begin my double degree of Bachelor of Laws and Arts next month at Monash University.

What process did you go through to make decisions about your future?

Planning for the future is definitely not easy, especially when you have little idea of what you want to become. For me, I tried to narrow down what fields I was interested in based on my subjects, which were predominantly liberal arts and decided what degrees encompassed that. I also attended some university seminars and open days, and asked Ms Ramsay many questions! Discussing with family and friends was also extremely helpful in seeing different perspectives towards my choices.


What has been your biggest take away from your final year?

As difficult as Year 12 may seem, I think the biggest take away is that there are so many people who are supporting you even when you feel alone in this marathon. Whether it be family, friends, classmates, or teachers, it’s a marathon where everyone is so willing to help each other. So I think reciprocating this support is really important because you never know how much your encouragement and genuine concern could mean for someone else.


When you think about how your life will look like in 5 – 10 years from now, what comes to mind?

Hopefully, in five years’ time, I will have successfully graduated and have been able to settle into a career worth waking up early for every day. Honestly, I’m not sure what this career will look like but perhaps one in the legal or diplomacy field. I also have many countries I want to visit with my family and friends, so hopefully, that will be possible then!


Last year, the 2018 College Annual Theme was ‘I Can, and I Will’, what did this mean for you?

‘I Can, and I Will’ echoes the saying, ‘where there is a will, there is a way.” I think this reflects determination and enthusiasm not only in learning but also in striving to overcome the inevitable obstacles of life when your mind is convinced that it can. I also think that it suggests the importance of confidence which essentially empowers us to achieve set goals.


Do you have any parting words or advice for students at Doncaster Secondary College?

Six years in high school seems like an eternity but it flies through in the blink of an eye. Seizing every possible opportunity that comes your way will make the entire experience much more memorable and fulfilling. Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone to set higher goals, learning new instruments, participating in the production, taking part in leadership activities and more will give the future “you” something worth reflecting on and feeling super thankful for.

Well done on your outstanding VCE results. We look forward to hearing about all you achieve in the future.
Chelsea Rohrlach
Marketing Communications



Introducing Doncaster Secondary’s new Wellbeing Team!​

This year we would like to welcome a whole new wellbeing program to Doncaster Secondary College. The Wellbeing program is a team is made up of Glenn Morris (Assistant Principal), Drew Hanna (Head of Wellbeing), Sylvia (Counsellor/Social Worker), Bethany Moody (Counsellor/Social Worker) and a number of placement students/ volunteers named James, Shae, Emily, Amy, Charlotte, Yulanda, Jaimee, Melanie, Michael, Vanessa and Alex.

For the first two weeks of the school year, the wellbeing team has focused on easing the transition from primary school to high school for our year 7 students. Members of the wellbeing team are walking around the campus during recess and lunch to support student wellbeing, we are all wearing a bright orange lanyard so we are easy to spot, so if anybody has any questions please come up and ask us, we love to help!


What is wellbeing and what the wellbeing team hopes to achieve

Wellbeing is the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy. Wellbeing is fundamental to the overall health of an individual. The wellbeing team aims for all students to achieve wellbeing and to feel supported and encouraged to do so, and for students and parents to be aware of the supports available at Doncaster Secondary College.

Our reflection on the past few weeks

The past two weeks at Doncaster Secondary the wellbeing team focused on the year 7 transition program. The wellbeing team has been spending time in each year 7 class ensuring all students are getting involved in class activities and feeling supported in doing so. While attending these classes we have noticed students are following Doncaster Secondary’s four core values which are Teamwork, Respect, Resilience, and Responsibility. During recess and lunchtime, the wellbeing team has been in the schoolyard assisting students with numerous things such as classes and lockers, aiming to ensure a smooth transition for students.


Coping with the Back-to-School routine

Sometimes, hearing the words “going back to school” can cause a range of different emotions, it can cause good emotions such as excitement and happiness, or it can cause not so good emotions such as feeling scared or nervous. Last week on Wednesday, 31 January, Doncaster Secondary students returned back to school. To make the transition back to school easier, the wellbeing team here at Doncaster Secondary College have some tips for you!

1. Adjusting your sleeping routine

When we think of holidays, one word usually comes into mind and that is sleeping in! But then when the school term begins again it can be difficult to get used to the early mornings, and we often press the snooze button a few too many times. A good way to adjust your sleeping routine is to begin a few days prior, slowly waking up earlier and earlier each morning. Another tip is removing electronic devices from yourself 2 hours before bedtime, this is because the light from electronic devices suppresses our melatonin levels, melatonin is what makes us feel sleepy so we definitely do not want them to below.


2.Good Nutrition

Teenager years are a critical period of growth and developmental, so it is important students are eating healthy and frequently throughout the day. Some quick and easy snack options might look like, vegetable sticks with dip,  fruit or greek yoghurt with granola. It is important to feed our bodies nutritional foods so we feel awake and energised during the school day.


3.Being aware of your schedule and staying organised

Mornings can be quite stressful, especially when we are unsure of what we are doing that day. Organising yourself the day before can help tremendously, that way when you wake up students are already aware of what classes they have that day and what they need for those classes (e.g. homework). The Doncaster Secondary College planners are a great way to outline your weekly schedules and keep on top of important due dates.


4.Speaking to a member of the Wellbeing Team

Members of the wellbeing team can be seen walking around the campus at recess and lunch and we encourage students to come to speak to us regarding anything, whether you need help finding a class, or just want to tell us about your favourite movie! Students can also request to speak to somebody from wellbeing by speaking to there teachers or coordinators.


5.Become aware of campus resources

All students were given planner at the beginning of the first week, if a student does not yet have a planner, they can mention this to a member of the wellbeing team or their year level coordinator. At the start of the planner, there is a college map, this map will quickly become your new best friend! it shows students where every class/facility is located within the school.


6. Self-care

Self-care is an activity which we do to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. The most important part of returning back to school is focusing on your own wellbeing! Self-care can be practised in a range of ways such as a healthy diet, exercise, daily journaling, meditation, hobbies (e.g. sports), or expressing how you feel with family and/or friends. It is important that we take care of ourselves at all times.

If any students have any questions feel free to come up to us and ask, we are here to help! If you want to get into contact with a member of the wellbeing committee, speak with your Year Level Coordinator or Discovery Teacher. 
Emily Presley
DSC Wellbeing Committee

New additions to our Wellbeing Team - Therapy Dogs

We are thrilled to have our two therapy dogs, Ziggy and Bowie, onboard with our Wellbeing team this year!


Careers News

Year 10 Careers Experience Program - June 24-28

As part of Year 10 and the Careers Curriculum in 2019, all Year 10 students will undertake one week of Work Experience Placement. 'Careers Experience' allows students to develop key transferable skills which link directly to the classroom through better engagement, learning and achievement. Careers Experience allows students to develop these skills in an authentic environment, investigate a future career path and to see the connections between future study areas and the world of work. In preparation, students last year received a 'Careers Experience Handbook' and Information Pack and commenced researching and contacting possible placement locations.


Year 10 Students 


Please be actively seeking to finalise your placement arrangements and, once the Work Experience Arrangement Form has been signed by the employer, yourself and a parent/carer, return the form to the Careers Centre. 
All students should have arrangements finalised by March 16th.


Vanessa Ramsay

Careers Coordinator


McDonalds - Part-time Work Opportunity

McDonalds in Doncaster East has advised that they are looking to recruit new junior team members. Students (15yrs +) should complete the online application, specifying the Doncaster East store.












Community News






College Newsletter
Access Education Summer 2019.pdf
6D Student Ballot.pdf
Notice of Election & Call for Nominations 2019.pdf
Parents of students seeking election Information.pdf
Students seeking election Information.pdf
Parents of students seeking election Information.pdf