News & Views

26 April 2019
Issue Six
Quick Dates
From the Acting Principal
Deputy Principal - Staff Development
Acting Deputy Principal - Student Development
Assistant Principal - Student Learning, Data Analysis & Logistics
Year 10 Art
Fabric, Zips, and Buttons
Mother Daughter Celebration
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 2 Term 2

Monday 29 April

Year 11 SET Plan follow-up

6.30pm  Drama X Ensemble excursion


Tuesday 30 April

Year 11 SET Plan follow-up

Year 10 Forensic Science workshop


Wednesday 1 May

8.30am  Year 10/11 Legal Studies - Guest Speaker

CaSSSA AFL, Indoor Cricket, Touch, and Volleyball



From the Acting Principal

Welcome back to News and Views for Term 2.


It is with great pleasure that I take on the  role of Acting Principal for Term 2.  The first week back, although being shortened, has been one of significant highlights.


On Tuesday we had our first Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews for the year.  It was wonderful to see so many parents taking advantage of the face-to-face connection with teachers.  From my observations and conversations with parents, they were very happy with how their child had begun the school year.  Where students were present, the wrap-around effect, that was created by the parents and teachers talking with each other and showing their encouragement and support for the child, can only result in the child becoming aware that we are all here to support her journey through secondary school.


At the Parent/Teacher/Student evening I was also made aware of concerns in obtaining assessment feedback through the Mount Alvernia College Parent Portal (Igloo).  The system in place is designed to provide continuous reporting of results and teacher comments after the girls have completed a piece of assessment.  For some subject areas, no results or comments have been recorded at this stage.


Please note that there is a specific time period in which teachers are required to enter results and comments.  For Francis and Clare Schools, the turnaround period is ten working days, with results in the Elizabeth Hayes Schools being provided within a fifteen working day time frame.  This is a new system for teachers, students, and parents, and one that will prove invaluable when you are able to access your daughter’s results throughout the year.


One thing we have learned from the experience for this year is that Parent/Teacher/Student Conferences will need to be placed further into Term 2, so that more evidence of your daughter’s results is available to you.  Given that the College has a ‘no surprises’ policy, you should be informed via email or phone if there are any concerns about your daughter’s progress, regardless of the results.  If you are concerned about your daughter’s progress to date and were not able to get to Tuesday night’s interviews, please feel free to contact your daughter’s teacher to consider an opportunity to connect.


The second highlight for the week was the opportunity for our college to celebrate and remember the Anzacs.  On Wednesday at our dedicated college assembly, we honoured tradition with the playing of The Last Post and Reveille by our music teacher, Amanda Holley, taking a minute’s silence to remember the fallen, recitation of The Ode, laying wreaths, and singing the National Anthem.  We were further blessed to have Amanda’s father, Major Alan Holley, give the Anzac Day address.  Major Holley paid particular attention to drawing a link between the spirit of the Anzac today and its relevance to his audience of adolescents.  While the story of the Anzac is well known to our girls, it becomes extra special when they can see that the story lives on in the preparedness of people to stand up for the land which we call home.  I would like to thank Major Holley and our other extinguished guests, the Honourable Dr Anthony Lyhnam, Councillor Fiona Hammond, Year 7 parent David Mortleman (UN Peacekeeping, Western Sahara, 1993-94), and Sr Catherine and  the Missionary Franciscan Sisters who were able to be present.


The respect our girls have for honouring ANZAC Day continued through to yesterday’s public holiday. This respect could not have been more evident than in the large number of girls who attended either the Dawn Service or the Student March and Service from 8.00am.  The pride in seeing over 80 girls dressed proudly in their hats and blazers and marching or standing to attention was breathtaking. Special mention must be given to the students who attended both services as part of the FCIP ensemble responsible to providing music for the service.  Congratulations to all, including those young women who attended other services in their own communities or marched with their relatives or community interest groups.  Mount Alvernia is blessed to have you as part of our community.


My final highlight for the week has to be dedicated to our first Principal’s eHonour Board recipient for the year, who is acknowledged in this issue.  Elizabeth Stephens in Year 8 (BP6) was nominated by a Mount Alvernia staff member for her work in Outreach and Service within the college community.  Elizabeth learned to crochet through the Tuesday Crochet Club and used these skills to make crochet flowers, which were  sold to raise money for the Breakfast Club in Redcliffe. The money was used to buy food items and day packs for the homeless.  Elizabeth has also contributed to creating the crochet blankets that are made for Delamore residents.

Well done, Elizabeth, for being the first recipient.  Elizabeth will receive a certificate and be acknowledged on the College’s Electronic Information Board.  She will be he first entry on a future list of well deserving young women who know what it means to be the best they can be and, in so doing, be excellent role models to others.


Peace and good will

Annette Butterworth



As most of you would be aware, Kerrie Tuite has taken leave for Term 2 for a well deserved break. Currently she is out of the country and was teased into sending a photo that I promised would end up in this week’s News and Views.  You will see the evidence within this edition, and I challenge you and your daughter/s to locate it. The first student who can identify the country which Kerrie is currently visiting will receive a $10 lunch voucher to use at La Cucina.  Please note: Your daughter must be the first person to visit me in person, so no emails please.




Deputy Principal - Staff Development

Sharing Practice


A key tenant of the Mount Alvernia Learning and Teaching Framework is sharing practice.  Over the past few weeks some of our staff have embraced this aspect more broadly, sharing their practice in wider educational spheres.  We are incredibly proud of the expertise of our staff, and are blessed to have many leaders in their respective fields on the national and international stage.  Here is a snapshot of what has been happening:


Our iCentre featured at a National Conference


Over the break Helen Stower (Program Leader: iCentre) and Krystal Gagen-Spriggs (Teacher Librarian) presented at the 2019 Australian School Library Association Conference in Canberra at the National Library of Australia.


Over the past year, the iCentre has been involved in an influential study to establish evidence-based practices in school libraries.  Under the mentorship of Dr Lyn Hay, they have been on a journey to collect hard data to “extrapolate the links between library programs, literacy…and student achievement” (Commonwealth of Australia, 2011, p.118).  While they are in the early stages of the research, indicators at present suggest there is a correlation between the programs cultivated by our iCentre and student outcomes for both literacy and reading.


The feedback on Helen and Krystal’s presentation was extremely positive, with many other teacher-librarian colleagues making contact to learn further from our team.  Another example of how Mount Alvernia College is promoting best and next practice.


Staff Development Practices take Centre Stage at the Global Summit on Educational Leadership



Prior to the Easter holidays, Dr Tuite, Ms Butterworth, and I presented at the Global Summit on Educational Leadership in Bangkok.  Our presentation was on staff development practices we have embedded at Mount Alvernia College over the last five years.  The summit was a gathering of innovative and progressive educational institutions from around the globe, and it was such a highlight to have Mount Alvernia College recognised amongst these leading organisations. 


While it was great to share our presentation and to receive such positive feedback on our work, it was the learning we did alongside this that was most powerful.  As part of the summit we had the opportunity to work with Professor James Spillane, who is a lecturer in human development and social policy, learning sciences, and management.  As senior leaders we were able to work with him to interrogate our educational infrastructure for school improvement, and this certainly was beneficial as we look to shape improvement practices into the future.


Sharing Practice in New South Wales

Over the break I spent a couple of days doing intensive training of staff at a vertical high school in the centre of Sydney.  While I have taught in quite a variety of different schools and contexts, the vertical concept was new for me.  What also amazed me was that 1600 students and another 200 staff can operate and learn effectively in the space.  It just goes to show what creative use of space can do.


I always enjoy working with staff from other schools and contexts as it enriches my own learning and what I can bring back to my daily work at Mount Alvernia.  Given our transition to a new senior system and external testing (like New South Wales), the learning this time was quite significant, and I was affirmed in our preparations to date for the new system.


I wish you all the best for the start of Term 2.

Daniel Crump

Acting Deputy Principal - Student Development

Welcome back to Term 2, and a special welcome to our new students and families.  It has been wonderful to welcome back the girls after the Easter break and to feel the positive energy that comes with a new start.  For many students, Term 1 has given them a very clear indication for how they have settled into Mount Alvernia, and how they are progressing with the many facets of school life.  As we are reminded through the Easter story, new beginnings offer hope and the chance to ‘make new’ of what has been.


With the start of a new term, it is important for our students to reflect on Term 1 and to make plans for how this term can be an improvement on the past.  Now is a timely opportunity for students to review their SMART goals that were established at the start of the year; to review and evaluate the strategies used; and to put plans (perhaps new and/or refined ones) in place for ensuring that the goals and desired outcomes become reality.


Being an active member of the Mount Alvernia community is a goal of many students.  On Thursday morning, I, along with Ms Annette Butterworth, had the immense pleasure of marching with over 60 Mount Alvernia students in the Kedron-Wavell Sub-Branch RSL ANZAC Day March and Service.  Our students held a very strong presence amongst other school and community groups, as they came together in unity to honour the sacrifice servicemen and servicewomen have made, and who are currently making, to give us the freedom we enjoy today.  I also want to acknowledge the students in the FCIP band, who played throughout the service, and to Mrs Helen Stower who accompanied Mount Alvernia girls at the Dawn Service earlier in the morning.  Well done, girls, for your commitment and pride, and for being active ambassadors for our college.

On Sunday 19 May Mount Alvernia College will be holding its Open Day.  This event provides opportunities for your daughter to be involved in a wide range of activities and programs on the day.  Therefore, please encourage her to watch Student Notices and to speak with her teachers about ways she can be involved in welcoming new people to our Mount Alvernia community.


Now that Term 2 has begun, students are required to wear their winter uniforms.   This entails:

  • regulation day dress;
  • Mount Alvernia formal hat;
  • Mount Alvernia monogramed blazer every day;
  • Mount Alvernia regulation pullover (an optional extra);
  • a white, black, grey, or maroon scarf may be worn.

The usual procedures regarding make-up and jewellery continue to apply and we ask that, as parents, you work with us in promoting our values of simplicity and respect for self by wearing the uniform correctly and proudly. 


Term 2 is a nine-week term but, as usual, life at Mount Alvernia is always busy with countless opportunities for your daughter’s life to be enriched each day.  I look forward to witnessing this over the term.

Jeni Barlow


Assistant Principal - Student Learning, Data Analysis & Logistics

Achieving Academic Success

Welcome back to the second half of our first semester.  Term 2 is an important term for consolidation of work for all the girls as we lead up to end-of-semester exams and assessments ahead of Semester 1 reports.  It is important that the girls engage with the work from the beginning of term, planning and keeping up-to-date in all areas.  I encourage them to make the most of all opportunities provided, maintain effort, and seek assistance as required, which will ensure they are successful.  Don’t leave it until the last week to ask those important questions.  Begin as you intend to go on is the best method.


For all year levels, it is important that the girls are organised in their approach to their own learning and study.  It is timely to check goals for Term 1, build upon the successes, and consider the areas for stronger and more targeted focus.  This week I provide an extensive list of Tips for Staying Organised for School.  Whilst some of these strategies will not suit all students nor be possible, there are many take-aways that are worth talking through with your daughters.  I am sure that there will be aspects that will benefit all.  I have included the website as well, and this is worth perusing - there is much valuable advice in this extensive list developed and published by Daniel Wong, 2019.


  1. Develop a routine - Write down your general weekly schedule and create a routine.
  2. Set rules for yourself - eg Start studying for tests at least one week in advance.
  3. Write everything down - Use a notebook or planner, or use an app like Google Keep.
  4. Create your own deadline that is before the actual deadline - Set your own deadline two days before the actual deadline.
  5. Work on one task at a time; don’t multitask.  Stay focused on the task at hand.
  6. Use the following websites and apps . . . Habitica, MyStudyLife, and KeepMeOut.
  7. Use a planner - Put the planner on your desk once you get to class.  Alternatively, you can use Google Calendar and Google Keep.
  8. Declutter once a week - Clutter attracts clutter.  Decluttering once a week will help you to stay organised in general.
  9. Put sticky notes on the front door to help you remember things - Use this tip for things you absolutely don't want to forget.
  10. Keep one notebook and one binder for each subject - This is a better method compared to using only one notebook in which you take notes across all your different subjects.
  11. Bring an accordion folder to school every day - Create one section of the accordion folder for each subject and label each section clearly.
  12. Do filing once a week - This will ensure that your accordion folder doesn’t get too full or messy.
  13. Do five minutes of daily planning each day - Before you start doing your homework or studying for a test, look at your planner first.  Then decide what specific tasks to work on for the day.
  14. Learn to say no - If you want to be an organised and effective student, you can’t say yes to everything.
  15. Block out time in your schedule for the things that matter most - eg family events, religious activities, volunteering, and studying.
  16. Break down big tasks into smaller tasks - Breaking down big tasks and projects makes them seem less overwhelming and more manageable.
  17. Once a week, review the upcoming events in your planner/calendar - This will help to ensure that you don’t overlook any important projects, tests, or assignments.
  18. If a task takes two minutes or less to do, do it immediately - When you follow this rule, small tasks don’t pile up and become overwhelming.
  19. Clear your desk at the end of each day - This only takes a minute to do and prevents clutter from building up.
  20. Develop a specific plan for every upcoming test and exam - In addition, create a rough timeline to go along with your plan.
  21. Create a conducive environment at home for studying - If you want to be an effective student, you need to have the right environment to work.
  22. Before you start work, eliminate all distractions - Put your phone in another room, turn off Internet access on your computer, etc.
  23. Use a stopwatch or timer - Using a timer adds a sense of urgency.
  24. Double-check that you’ve completed all the homework that’s due the next day - This will prevent you from scrambling at the last minute or pulling an all-nighter just to get the assignment done.
  25. Every day review all the new information you learned in school earlier that day - Doing this helps to ensure understanding, so you stay on top of the material.
  26. Keep an ongoing list of the questions you have about the class material - As soon as you’re able to, ask your teachers about the items on your list.
  27. Every school night, pack your backpack for the following day - This way, you won’t have to scramble in the morning to pack
  28. Wake up a little bit earlier each morning so you don’t have to rush - For most students, waking up five to ten minutes earlier is enough to avoid the unnecessary stress of rushing in the morning.
  29. Every school night organise your uniform for the following day - This only takes you a minute to do but makes the morning that much less stressful.
  30. Make your bed every morning - This is a small victory to start the day.


For a detailed account of these tips and links to other relevant sites, see:

Wong, D., (2019) Equipping students to be successful and happy., How to get organised for school: 30 tips for students., Retrieved from



This term will see NAPLAN testing for Years 7 and 9, and our teachers are providing many opportunities in the lead-up to ensure that the girls will be confident in their approach to these tests.  In addition to normal classroom activities, we are undertaking some targeted activities to assist the girls in strengthening specific areas of literacy and numeracy.  Our NAPLAN testing will be completed online and, as such, we have already begun to familiarise our students with the platform with a number of practice tests and activities.  If you have any questions about the upcoming tests, please contact Mr Michael McDonald or me.


QCS Immersion Day and Non-OP Activity

This week all Year 12 students involved themselves in either targeted QCS strategies or were involved in an outside excursion to the State Library and City.  I was very impressed with the way that the girls engaged with the QCS activities, learning how to work through various activities in a methodical and confident way.  I know too that those girls who were representing us outside of the College availed themselves of the opportunity and were great ambassadors for us.  Well done to all involved.


Study Groups and Private Study for Clare and Elizabeth Hayes Schools

A reminder that we open the iCentre from next week for students who wish to study.  The iCentre is open Monday to Thursday until 4.30pm; however, Study Groups occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5.15pm for seniors and until 4.45pm for Years 9 and 10 students. 


I have already provided information about the advantages and research around students forming study groups.  Collaborative study has been proven to benefit students’ results and their success at school and university.  We encourage the girls to engage in these groups on either Tuesday or Thursday afternoons from 3.15pm.  Of course, if girls from Clare and Elizabeth Hayes Schools wish to study and complete work independently, this can also occur.  We ask that the girls sign into the iCentre according to the mode of study that they are undertaking. 


As is the case and very much in full swing, Francis School students must sign up to Junior Study which is held in the SEAC classrooms.  In addition to this, Year 8 students are involved in Study Groups on Thursday afternoons.


I look forward to hearing of the many successes of Semester 1 2019.


Debra Evans


Year 10 Art

Year 10 Visual Art Explores Urban Environments


The Year 10 Visual Art class had the opportunity to visit QAGOMA in the last days of the Asia Pacific Triennial (APT9).  Leading into their study of urban environments for Term 2, students focused on two key artworks made by artists in Indonesia and South Korea.  This gave them a deeper insight into the social issues and concerns of people in these countries.  Through their artworks these artists are telling the stories of which they want the world to be aware  and, as students of Visual Art, we can come to understand the power of communicating through the use of materials, symbols, and technologies.


Some Year 10 students recount some of the highlights, learnings, concerns, and questions they have after visiting the APT 9 art exhibition at QAGOMA.  The exhibition closes this Sunday with special activities.  I strongly encourage students and families to visit this weekend.

Lorella Masci

The Arts Learning Area Advisor

From the Students:

The highlight was being able to look deeper into the meanings of artworks and understand the artists’ inspiration.  The artworks of Kim and Novali made me wonder about the urbanisation of the world and how can we make changes for the better.  This exhibition made me think about concerns I have for people and the world’s safety and growth, and how we could maybe alter it to have a better effect on us. I learnt about how different types of art techniques can really change an artwork and its meaning.

Lily Hampstead


The highlight for me was seeing interesting artworks on display and being able to photograph them. The artworks of Kim Beom and Aditya Novali made me wonder  what their inspiration was behind them.  Some of their artworks show urbanisation as a threat and other artworks gave positive feelings about the urban environments.

Bianca Long


 The highlight of the exhibition for me was to see all the different artworks by different artists.  The artworks of Kim Beom and Aditya Novali made me wonder what they thought about and what ideas they had while creating them.   The ideas I gathered about the urban environments of Brisbane, Indonesia, and South Korea were that all three have many buildings but green spaces are also a feature. I learnt that this exhibition showed an unlimited range of artworks all unique in their own way.

Imogen Beck

The highlight of the recent visual art excursion to QAGOMA was the free time we were given to roam around the gallery and explore the diverse range of artworks from the ATP9 exhibition.  I was constantly in awe of the creativity of the many artists, and how they conveyed messages of such importance to our society through their works.  The artworks of Kim Beom and Aditya Novali were a particular focus for the excursion, and made me wonder about what occurred in the artists' lives that influenced their artworks in a way that enabled the audience to interpret major societal issues in relation to their countries of origin.  These two artworks we focused on raised ideas of contrasting urban environments in Indonesia and South Korea.  The sculptural piece focused on housing and lifestyle in Indonesia, giving viewers a chance to see inside tiny apartment windows with caged doors and death as a recurring theme.  On the other hand, the South Korean artworks focused on inventions and blueprints that offered people solutions to the country’s major issues.

The art excursion to QAGOMA has taught me about the diversity of artistic styles and representations and how art is truly a form of communication - in this case, about societal issues currently being faced in Indonesia and South Korea.

Livi Snape


The highlight of the art exhibition was looking at each of the artworks and understanding the meaning behind them.  The artworks by Kim Beom and Aditya Novali made me wonder about each artist's life and what they had experienced during their life which had influenced them.  Some ideas about urban environments were that they included many different parts to create a whole.  A lot of the urban environments were not very colourful, and obeyed the norms of today's society; nothing really stood out - especially the Indonesian environment: from the outside, it was quite repetitive and bland whereas, inside each apartment room, there were many cultural influences which made the artwork more interesting.  I learned that urban environments in different countries vary to meet the needs of the country.

Victoria Jorgensen


Another fortnight, another Careers update.  Click here for Careers News.

Melissa Loveday

Program Leaders - Careers

Fabric, Zips, and Buttons

Donations Required Please

Fabric, zips, and buttons would be gratefully appreciated for use in the Home Economics department to assist students in completing a sustainable item for a charity this term.  Please drop at the College Office or alternatively students can bring to Mrs Popplewell at the staff room.


Thank you!


Mother Daughter Celebration

One Week Left to Purchase Tickets!

Tickets are selling fast for this sought-after event on the Mt A calendar - Saturday 11 May from 4.00 to 6.30pm on the Rooftop Terrace.


$30 per head will provide girls, their mothers, grandmothers, and other special women in their lives, with an afternoon of fun and camaraderie, along with delicious food and drinks (bubbles for the adults), a band, and lucky door prizes.


To purchase tickets (or for dads, brothers, etc to volunteer some time on the day), please visit the website.


Thank you to our wonderful Parents and Friends Support Network for once again hosting this wonderful occasion.

La Cucina

Week 2, Term 2

Monday 29 April

Emma Reid, Rachel Browne

Tuesday 30 April

Rachel Browne, Julie Ingle

Wednesday 1 May

Tamara Sheedy, Erica Patterson

Thursday 2 May

Tanya McMinn, Liz Feltrin, Jo Galvin


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


News & Views