Parent Corner

07 February 2019
Issue One
Quick Dates
Deputy Principal Student Development
Year 7 Pastoral Guardian
Year 8 Pastoral Guardian
Year 9 Pastoral Guardian
Year 10 Pastoral Guardian
Year 11 Pastoral Guardian
Year 12 Pastoral Guardian
Counsellors' Corner
Literary Event
Tuesday Crochet Club
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 3, Term 1

Friday 8 February

Year 11 Ancient History excursion

7.00pm  Year 12 Formal (Hotel Grand Chancellor)


Saturday 9 February

CaSSSA Tennis commences


Monday 11 February

3.15-5.15pm  Interhouse Swimming Long Course Events (Mt A Pool)


Tuesday 12 February

Interhouse Swimming Carnival (Centenary Pool)


Wednesday 13 February

9.00am  Opening Mass (San Damiano Centre)

3.30pm  AFL Trials (Kedron Lions AFL Club)

3.30pm  Indoor Cricket Trials (Action Indoor Sports Centre, Nundah)

3.30pm  Intermediate Volleyball Trials (San Damiano Centre)

7.00pm  Year 11 Information Evening


Thursday 14 February

8.55am  Year 7 Growth Mindset presentation

3.30pm  Junior Touch Trials (Shaw Park)

3.30pm  Senior Volleyball Trials (San Damiano Centre)

Deputy Principal
Student Development

Introduction to Parent Corner

If you are a new parent of Mount Alvernia you may not be familiar with the purpose of Parent Corner.


Each month the college newsletter becomes a document that provides specific information and helpful hints to aid your parental journey with your daughter.  We try and focus the articles around a theme - one that directly relates to adolescent issues or  what is happening in the College at a particular time of year.


The Pastoral Guardians, who are champions of their year levels, provide insight around the theme so that it correlates with the year level of your daughter/s.  The additional treat is the conversation starters that are provided at the end of each of these pieces.  Two to three questions are provided that are directly related to information or guidance that the girls may have been given at school.  These questions open up a chance for you to discover what has been happening at school and which is of particular relevance to your child’s year level.   


This week’s theme is aimed at providing advice for you to assist your daughters to establish clear directions and purpose for the year ahead.


With this in mind,  my advice focuses on how to assist your child to establish goals to aid her to reach her potential.  With our special focus on Raising the Bar across all areas of performance at Mount Alvernia in 2019, next week will see all students set SMART goals, with the support of their teacher during Home Room.


Here’s how you can support the process:

  • Talk to your daughter about why goals are important.  Provide you own real life example.  Let her know when your goals have been achieved or the time when you didn’t succeed.  Encourage her to see that a way forward is to readjust and persevere.
  • Chat about what makes a ‘good’ goal.  Is it SMART -  Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely?
  • Ensure that her goal is not so easy that she is not raising the bar to grow her potential.
  • Let her know that sometimes goals need to be adjusted
  • Make sure the final goals your child sets are her own and not ones that you want her to work towards.


Goal setting is an enabler.  People from all walks of life set goals to better themselves and to see just how much they can achieve.  The most important thing to remind yourselves, as parents, is that it is more about the journey than the goal itself.  Learning to be responsible, manage time, and persevere are great building blocks for developing resilient and healthy adolescents.


I look forward to hearing from you if there is a particular theme that you would like us to address in Parent Corner in the future.

Annette Butterworth



Year 7 Pastoral Guardian


Welcome to Mount Alvernia!  As the Year 7 Pastoral Guardian, it was a real pleasure to welcome your daughters last week.  Within one short, but very busy, week, nervous smiles have transformed to glowing smiles, the girls are moving around the campus with greater confidence each day and, within the group, there is a real sense of joy and excitement for being at school and encountering new experiences.

Coming to a new school is a chance to create a new and desired present and future; it is a time to build important connections that allow students to thrive in all facets of life.  This is exactly what we want for the Year 7s of 2019.  So how can you help your daughter to go beyond her comfort zone and to build meaningful connections?

  • Promote opportunities to make new connections – being involved in extra-curricular events is an excellent way to meet like-minded girls.  It is a great chance to learn new skills, and to explore hidden talents.
  • Discuss strategies, eg smiling; looking for small groups of girls to join; believing in yourself - others do want to know you; treating others as you would want to be treated; asking others non-threatening questions, for example, "What are your interests?", "What is your favourite subject so far?"
  • Listen –attentive listening shows interest in another person.  Listen to others talking about similar interests.
  • Hold on to friends from primary school who may have gone to other schools or they know from clubs – maintain these friendships as they provide a whole new dimension to friendship; they offer balance and respite, especially when school friendships may be challenged.
  • Discuss the need to value others.  Respect the confidence others afford you; avoid gossip and criticism, especially during conflict or when moving friendship groups.
  • Discuss the need for forgiveness.  Friends can upset each other.  Understanding and forgiving others allows friendships to grow deeper, as well as helping your daughter to understand that mistakes can be learning opportunities.

Conversation Starters

What new friends have you met in Home Room/your Learning Group?  What have you learned about them so far?

What did you most enjoy about the Big Sister/Little Sister afternoon?

What was the key message from your Year 7 Reflection Day?

Which events will you participate in at next Tuesday’s interhouse swimming carnival?

What are you looking forward to about Year 7 camp?

It has been a busy but exciting week, as the photos reveal.  Thank you, parents, for the support you have given your daughters.  I look forward to working with you and your daughters over the next two years.


Jeni Barlow


Invitation to Year 7 Parents

The Parents and Friends Support Network is delighted to invite all Year 7 parents to the Welcome Night on Friday 15 February on the Rooftop Terrace.


For more information and to record your attendance, go to


Year 8 Pastoral Guardian


Welcome to the 2019 school year!  I trust that you and your daughters had a relaxing holiday and some quality family time together.   We are all living such busy lives that it is more than needed to make the slow time during holidays or weekends count.  The day-to-day reporting of a troubled world also makes it so necessary to be there for each other, and for our families to be a space of safety, unconditional love, and comfort.


I am grateful and elated to continue the journey with you as your daughters' Pastoral Guardian.  Over the past year, I have had a chance to meet many of you, and look forward to continue building a strong relationship with you in the upcoming year.  As we enter this new school year, I want to let you know your daughter will be engaging in conversations around Raising the Bar.  We believe that every person at this college should always be growing and learning, and doing the best she possibly can to achieve in all aspects of college life.  Despite obstacles that may arise, we must always believe in our ability to rise above challenges and come out stronger on the other end.


Wishing you and your daughters an exciting, rewarding, challenging, and successful school year.


Conversation Starters

What goals have you set to raise the bar this year?

How are you going to achieve these goals?

Will you have a voice to assist in achieving these goals?

What are you going to change this year to improve on last year?

What are you looking forward to most this year?


Mick Butterworth


Year 9 Pastoral Guardian

Welcome to Year 9!

Welcome to Year 9!  All of us have been here before ourselves, and some of us have experienced this year with our other children.  Probably what stands out most is that Year 9 can have some extra challenges; often the need to belong and to fit in with friends becomes one of the most significant concerns.  Mind you, it was also important in Years 7 and 8; however, there seems to be a more heightened awareness of social status and the emotional impact of feeling disconnected that can be somewhat intensified during this period.  The next two years are an important journey for your daughters - they may face these challenges, they will have triumphs, probably still laugh a lot, and there will most likely be some tears.  Yet all experiences and challenges faced are an important journey for your daughters as they develop a stronger sense of self and a resilience which will prepare them for their futures.


It is very easy for those who care for their girls to want to shield them and protect them or even rescue them from these difficult moments.  It is, however, these very times which are such valuable teaching moments for them to learn how to problem solve, and draw on the very values which you as parents have already instilled in your daughters since they were born.  So, if the going gets tough, instead of jumping in to help too quickly, I encourage you to ask your daughters, “What are some possible ways to solve this?”,  and, “What have you tried already?”, and sometimes the question may also need to be, “What do you need to do to make this right?”  Because, sometimes, it may be your daughter who has made a poor choice, and this again becomes a perfect teaching moment.


I am really looking forward to coming to know your daughters as the Pastoral Guardian for Year 9 in Clare School.  While Years 9 and 10 can at times be tumultuous, there is a certain joyfulness, inquisitiveness, and always an awesome, crazy sense of humour that definitely makes girls in these two years the best years to be a Pastoral Guardian.  I look forward to meeting you as parents/caregivers and supporting your daughters as they strive towards personal growth and academic excellence.


Therese Dooley


Conversation Starters

What does being a ‘hat school’ mean?

Have you met the new girls in your year level yet?  What are their names?

What’s the name of Mrs Dooley’s new puppy?


Year 10 Pastoral Guardian

Welcome to Year 10!

Welcome, Parents and Caregivers to Year 10, Clare School – 2019.


It is with much pleasure that in 2019 I continue as your daughter’s Pastoral Guardian.  I am looking forward to caring for the pastoral development of your daughter, and providing guidance and support for her so that she can reach her full potential this year. 


The girls have returned more confident and ready to focus on the year ahead.   The theme this year for all members of the College – staff and students - is to Raise the Bar and aim for excellence.  Over the next week, during Home Room, all girls will be setting new goals.  This should not only include goals for their academic studies, but also goals that can be achieved outside the classroom.  Girls should begin the year by being open to new opportunities and challenges, that allow them to increase their involvement in college life.


As part of the Raise the Bar Leadership program, your daughter will be given the opportunity to nominate to be a House Representative of Clare School.  By participating in the process, this allows her to further develop her leadership and public speaking skills.  I encourage all girls to consider nominating themselves for these important positions of leadership within the College.


Year 10 is a special year as girls have many opportunities to grow in areas of academic, outreach, community service and leadership.  The theme for this year is Thinking Beyond Yourself.   Year 10s will discover that, in order to support others, a certain degree of personal sacrifice must be made.  During Personal Development (PD) classes this term, the first topic is based on the concept of Paying it Forward.  This will encourage girls to be creative and to think of the world outside of them and what matters to them.


“As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands,

one for helping yourself, the other for helping others”.  Audrey Hepburn


During the first Home Room session for this year, all students read and signed the College Student Protection Policy and Student Procedures outlined in the Student Planner.  This information is also provided to parents in the Silver Pages, which is available on the college website or on the college app. This year we are implementing The Year of the Hat.  It is wonderful to see that Year 10 students are embracing this positively and abiding by our college procedures, in turn enhancing our Franciscan community. 


As part of my role, I would also like to continue to acknowledge Year 10 students for their personal achievements, both within and outside the College.  If your daughter achieves or is acknowledged for any special accomplishments outside of the College, I would love to hear about it.  On this note, I would like to congratulate Julia Cavanough, who is travelling to Canberra next month to represent Queensland in the girls' U15 cricket team.  This is an amazing achievement, and we wish her the very best for her tournament. 


I would like to warmly welcome new Year 10 students and their families to the Mount Alvernia community – Jamie Nel and Santaliya Wutzke.  It is a pleasure also to welcome three students from Japan who will be in Year 10 for Term 1 – Anna Kaihara, Ikumi Mino, and Reimi Ishizuka.


Please contact me at the College on 3357 6000 or via email at [email protected] if you would like to inform me regarding your daughter’s achievements or if you have any questions or concerns during the year. 


I look forward to a successful year where each student is raising the bar – achieving excellence and striving to be the best version of themselves.


Teena Christofis



Conversation Starters

Have you enrolled in Year 10 Info Hub course on Moodle?  What information can be found in the course?

Are you nominating to be a House Rep of Clare school?  Why or why not?

What extra-curricular activities have you signed up for in Trimester 1?

What were your SMART goals you set?  How are you going to achieve these?



Year 11 Pastoral Guardian

Welcome to Senior Schooling

Welcome to Senior Schooling in the Elizabeth Hayes School.  It gives me great pleasure to be your daughter’s Pastoral Guardian over the next two years of her education.


Your daughter has reached an important turning point in her education as a Year 11 student, as she looks towards the final two years of schooling.  It is a time for your daughter to make informed decisions about her subjects, and to prioritise commitments to ensure a balance of healthy lifestyle and study to achieve the very best she can to enable her to reach her dreamed-about future.  On this part of their journey, just like us as adults - parents and educators, - every one of these young women has had to set short- and long-term goals, prioritise, change directions, re-focus, and reflect on the best way to achieve these goals.  In the process we grow.


Much is written to attest that setting personal goals and working hard to achieve your individual goals gives you the power to transform your life.  Successfully achieving goals is about believing in yourself and being supported along the way by significant others who believe in you and encourage you.  I have no doubt that you have been engaged full time over your daughter’s education doing just that for her to have reached this stage of her education and blossomed into an amazing young woman.


In the Year 11 Personal Development Program, the theme for Term 1 is Success in Senior Schooling - academically, emotionally, socially, and physically.  Students engage in activities that focus on setting and reviewing goals, time management, stress management and prevention, proactive health and a balanced lifestyle, managing procrastination, and developing study skills strategies.  We discuss with students the importance of communicating their goals to significant others and asking for advice or seeking a mentor. 


In Elizabeth Hayes Skills (ESK) lessons, students will engage in study skills strategies and an academic mentoring program to enhance their development.  This week in ESK, students have viewed a video on study tips and being organised for senior studies, starting with the home study environment and creating an effective workspace.  There are sections in these resources as well for parents, with hints on supporting the study habits of your child.  Please ask your daughter to show you the study skills handbook link on the iCentre page. 


Home Room teachers are also engaged as mentors in supporting all students in setting realistic and achievable academic and wellbeing goals.  Honestly and regularly reflecting on your own progress with the support of mentors is an important step in raising the bar.  So active goal setting will be taking place at many different levels. 


At regular intervals, your daughter will be able to acknowledge and celebrate her successes that will have been achievable by hard work, dedication, time management, and careful goal setting.  I am impressed with the positive way that Year 11s have embraced being in Senior School.  They have been excellent Big Sister Mentors, especially supporting their Little Sisters in this week’s Year 11/7 Mentor/Mentee afternoon, and in Home Rooms.  I was also pleased to meet many Year 11s who came to see me about the Raise the Bar Leadership Program, because this is the year when they can apply for college leadership positions.

I asked Year 11s what it was like being in senior school:


Year 11 has enabled me to step up and become more independent and confident in my ability to be a good role model.

Year 11 has shown me how much my education is my responsibility and has enabled me to become more independent. 

Teachers are treating us like we’re more mature and we are forming stronger bonds with them. 

I love that I can choose my classes that I enjoy and that my classes help me with my future. 

We are able to prepare for our futures beyond school. 


I look forward to meeting you at the Year 11 Information Evening on Wednesday 13 February at 7.00pm. 


Karen Farrow 

Conversation Starters 

(prompted by our ESK, PD and mentor programs)

What are your personal and academic goals?

What do you think you need to succeed in Senior?

How can I support you in creating an effective workspace and study habits?

How do you feel about your role as Big Sister Mentor?  How is this helping you?

Year 12 Pastoral Guardian

Year 12 Matters

My name is Bridget Piper, and it is my pleasure to be the Pastoral Guardian for Year 12 in 2019.  Over the past week, it has been a joy to reconnect with Year 12 students, parents, and carers.


As leaders of the College, it is expected your daughters are visible and active in the community, and I hope to provide opportunities for all students to Raise the Bar and embrace their leadership responsibilities.


The Commissioning Ceremony marked the commencement of the College year, where your daughters pledged to:

Senior Pledge 2019

As the 2019 leaders of Mount Alvernia College, we pledge to serve the college community by upholding the Franciscan and Gospel values.  We promise to serve with integrity, simplicity, and pride.


Our mission is to be role models for the College community, to inspire and guide each student on her journey.  As women of resilience and ambition, we will strive to support the achievements and celebrate the growth of each student.
We will motivate others to flourish.

Our aim is to leave a legacy, not just one that will be remembered, but one that encourages the spirit of the College to be celebrated.  We are honoured to be your 2019 Seniors and committed to the Mount Alvernia College community.


This promise acknowledges their commitment to the College, and reveals their connectedness to the its Franciscan   values .  The occasion also revealed their capacity to act with grace, respect, and humility, setting a wonderful   example   for    all    students; a precedent we wish to uphold through the remainder of the school year.

Year 12 can be both challenging and exciting.  During your daughter’s final year of school, there are many strategies you can use to keep things in perspective and to manage any stresses that come along. In the next week, have a conversation with your daughter about:


Ensuring to start the year organised and ready to go!

Studying Smart

Research shows students who use social media sites while studying (even if only in the background) achieve twenty per cent lower marks than students who don’t.  Non-users of Facebook were also found to study a whopping 88% longer outside class.

Keeping Things in Perspective.  Don’t Believe the Hype!

It’s important to keep things in perspective, and remember that you are NOT your OP or Rank Score.

Being Motivated - Goal Setting

Write down your goals and revisit them each week—keeping the end goal in sight.

Looking after Herself

Encourage a healthy lifestyle and do what you can do to support her.


The months ahead will go very quickly, and I ask you to remind your daughters that, in less than a year, they will graduate.  While this prospect may bring a tear to your eye, remember that this will then be a time to celebrate and be excited as they begin their story beyond Mount Alvernia College.


Many blessings

Bridget Piper

Counsellors' Corner


Welcome to 2019!  We hope that your family had a restful break and that your daughters are excited for the new school year ahead.


The Counselling Department has experienced quite a few changes in staff over the last year.  We are very excited to have Dr Ellie Keane join us from St Peter's Lutheran College.  Ellie is a very experienced school counsellor and brings a wealth of knowledge and practice wisdom with her. 


The role of the College Counsellor involves working closely with teachers, Pastoral Guardians, and families to support the emotional and social wellbeing of all students at Mount Alvernia College.  This can include one-on-one sessions with students, intellectual and ability testing, mental health assessments, and referrals to external professionals.  We also prepare the Personal Development programs for the girls from Years 7 to 12.  These programs are tailored to address the developmental needs of the year level, and aim to teach students key resilience and support strategies.  We have also developed training programs for the 2018 College Captains and Peer Support Team, and will continue with a Connections group to foster social connection for our girls. 


We would like to take this opportunity to introduce ourselves to you and provide some information in regards to the Counselling department at Mount Alvernia College.


Hello, everyone, and welcome back to another eventful school year.  My name is Liz Marlay, and I was fortunate to join the counselling team in Semester 2 2018.  My experience as a new staff member was one of feeling welcomed and a part of a wider staff of very caring people committed to the social and emotional wellbeing of your daughters.  I am a social worker with experience in child and youth mental health, having worked as a social worker at Child and Youth Mental Health Service and as a specialist mental health teacher at an extended-stay adolescent mental health unit.  I am so pleased to be working in a school again as I believe this is the environment where we as counsellors can make the most impact in early intervention.  I feel privileged to work in this role and hope I can continue to assist your daughters in the journey to good social and emotional wellbeing.


My name is Ellie Keane, and I’m very pleased to be joining the Mount Alvernia counselling team this year.  Although I am a new member to the team this year, I briefly worked in the counselling team here one day per week for a term in 2016 while Tania Henry was on leave.  I am thrilled to be back on a full-time basis and look forward to getting to know the Mount Alvernia community.  I am a registered clinical psychologist, having completed my Doctor of Psychology (Clinical) in 2015.  Throughout my training I completed placements in university clinics, schools, community mental health, and hospitals.  Prior to Mount Alvernia, I was working at a co-educational school for five years, and I am passionate about working with young people in this context.  Working in a school gives the unique opportunity to work collaboratively with young people, families, teachers, and the wider school community, and this is something I highly value.


We both look forward to working with you all to ensure that your daughters thrive here at Mount Alvernia College.  If you have any questions or concerns please contact us via email (Liz – [email protected]  or Ellie – [email protected] ) or via phone on 3357 6000.

Literary Event

International Women's Day Breakfast

It is with great pleasure that we invite students from Mount Alvernia College, together with their mothers or significant women in their lives, to attend the College’s annual literary breakfast in celebration of International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March.


This year we are very excited that Fleur Ferris will join us as the keynote speaker at our International Women’s Day Breakfast.  Fleur’s books are consistently in the Top Ten Borrowed Books from the iCentre.  This very popular author writes crime/thriller novels for Young Adult readers.  For the first twenty years of her working life, Fleur worked as a police officer and then a paramedic.  Her colourful and diverse background has given her unique insight into today’s society and an endless pool of experiences to draw on.  Her novels include Risk, Black, Found, and Wreck.


The breakfast will be an event in our Read Like a Girl program. 

Tickets may be purchased at

Tuesday Crochet Club

Call for Donations

Our very popular Tuesday Crochet Club is about to start up for 2019, and we are looking for donations of yarn and crochet hooks.  If you are able to supply wool in any colour - 8ply acrylic yarn  - and/or 4.5 or 5mm, this would be gratefully received.


Please contact Melissah Lester in the iCentre - [email protected]

La Cucina


Friday 8 February

Carla Di Fabio

Monday 11 February

Emma Reid, Rachel Browne

Wednesday 13 February

Lilly Boccalatte

Thursday 14 February

Kathy Leddy


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


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

Community Notices


Parent Corner
Kedron Scouts Come and Try Any time 2019.pdf
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Padua Rector's Tour.jpg
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