News & Views

14 February 2019
Issue Two
Quick Dates
Deputy Principal - Student Development
Deputy Principal Staff Development
Assistant Principal Student Learning
Keen on Palaeontology?
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 3-4, Term 1

Friday 15 February

QUT excursion (30 Year 12 students)

Year 11 Arts in Practice - artist incursion

5.00pm  Mount St Michael's Swim Meet (Marist Ashgrove)

6.30pm  Year 7 Parent Welcome Night (Rooftop Terrace)


Monday 19 February

Year 12 QCS Immersion Day

Year 11 Reflection Day (Kedron Wavell Services Club)


Tuesday 19 February

School Photo Catch-up Day

5.00pm  Vardaesia Book Launch (San Damiano Centre)

6.30pm  Year 11 Drama & Drama Club excursion (La Boite Theatre)


Wednesday 20 February

Year 7 Camp commences

7.00pm  Year 9 Parent Information Night (San Damiano Centre)


Thursday 21 February

7.30pm   FCIP Parents of the Program Welcome Evening (Padua)


Friday 22 February

Year 7 Camp concludes


From My Desk

Dear Parents and Carers, Staff and Students, and Friends of Mount Alvernia College


As today is the Feast of Saint Valentine, I thought the following quotation was most apt.


“To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.  Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.  Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.  But, in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change.  It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.  To love is to be vulnerable.” 
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves


Yesterday the College celebrated the Opening Mass for 2019.  Father Mario ofm was the celebrant, and the whole college was together in San Damiano for the celebration.  In spite of the heat, students and visitors participated fully and managed to cope for the hour we were together. 

In an interesting twist, the three FOTH schools - St Anthony’s, Padua and ourselves - had decided that Wednesday was to be a casual clothes day to raise funds to support our two Franciscan schools in Townsville.  After Mass I congratulated the students on managing in the 34+ degree heat but also reminded them that we weren’t in Townsville where it was not only 36 degrees as well as being malodorous from the flood residue.  February is always a trying month weather-wise, made worse by these natural disasters, and we were very happy to support our Franciscan sisters and brothers in the North.


We had, as our focus for Mass, the International Year of Indigenous Languages, with a reminder that this important part of Australia’s cultural heritage needs to be preserved and protected.  It was coincidentally, the eleventh anniversary of the Apology to the Stolen Generation and it was most appropriate that we were reminded of this.  We do run the risk of consigning the Apology to history; however, as Catholics and Franciscans we must keep this in our minds and not forget our responsibilities to our First Australians.


Over the course of the last two years, the College has been using a Learning Analytics Tool – TrackOne. This programme allows teachers to track the academic progress of each student throughout her time at the college.  As parents, this is a vital tool and, if you have any concerns about your daughter’s progress, please contact Ms Debra Evans – Assistant Principal, Student Learning and Data Analytics, or the Teaching and Learning Guardian for your daughter’s school.  I am finding TrackOne a very useful tool to see if our young women are reaching their potential.  You will find it interesting as well.


Thank you as always for your ongoing support of everything at the College.

Take care

Pax et bonum


Dr Kerrie Tuite

[email protected]


Deputy Principal - Student Development

Raising the Bar on Student Development

You have probably heard a lot of talk lately about the Raise the Bar Leadership Program that is happening at Mount Alvernia.  Last year you were provided with information that described the process for leadership.  This process described how your daughter could become involved if she has aspirations to be a captain of the whole college or a member of the Francis and Clare School Leadership Teams.  If you haven’t checked out what is required then you can do so by accessing the Raise the Bar Leadership Program on the Student Portal in Moodle.


I mention this program at this very early stage in 2019 because there is a real buzz among staff and students alike where Raise the Bar is quickly becoming the college mantra.  Having attended meetings with Learning Area Advisors, Teaching Learning Guardians, and the Pastoral Guardians, it is exciting to notice the urgency for all to create a vision that is enhancing practice and delving into actions that will assist each and every student to settle for nothing less than her best.


When working with the various committees with which I am involved, the students themselves are immersed in this hunger to raise the bar.  The feel in the school is electric.  There has already been an increase in the number of students who are signing up and becoming involved in all aspects of college life.  The numbers in the Anti Bullying Task Force and Z Club have doubled; the Welcome, Outreach, and Liturgy Committees will no doubt do the same; and our Sports Development Leader, Josh White, has said that there has been an amazing increase in the students who have become part of the United Swim Club.


Dr Tuite has insisted on us being a hat school.  While we know that it is important to protect ourselves from the harshness of the Australian sun, this simple action has a double effect.  We are symbolically enabling and reinforcing our intent to Raise the Bar.  The act speaks volumes -  we are ready, we want to walk with dignity and show pride in our college, and wearing our hat is just one way of doing this. 


In 2019 you will see the College Captains taking on greater roles where they lead college assemblies that promote the good of the College and guide the younger students on how to raise their own bars.  This type of role modelling is creating a ripple effect.  More students are wanting to be involved as they witness others raising the bar and inspiring others to aspire to be what they see.


One of my other favourite mantras is to wrap around our young people by working together as a community - home and college - to nurture and support our young women.  Help us help your daughter to raise the bar on her own expectations and performance in 2019.  Take time to have the conversation to find out how your daughter aims to raise the bar this year.  Have her consider what will be different to how she approached things last year.  Let us work together to wrap around our young women and let them see that each one of them can raise the bar to heights that she never thought imaginable.

Deputy Principal Staff Development

Welcome back to 2019


We have had a very rewarding start of the academic year, and I look forward to working with you again this year in leadership of staff development and curriculum matters.


Our focus in 2019 is on raising the bar, and our staff too have been working towards this professionally, in developing strategies to best target growth and improvement of the young women under our care.  As research suggests, teacher impact is the most significant factor at a school level that influences student outcomes.  It is important we nurture our staff development and, over the January Staff Week we have had the opportunity to do this.  During this time staff have strengthened their understanding and preparedness for the new senior secondary system, along with having had an opportunity to gain clarity with their role in enacting the mission and vision of the College.  I look forward to sharing with you, over the course of the year, ways in which our staff work towards developing best and next practices at the College to impact student outcomes.


As we begin a new year, we have some new faces joining the Mount Alvernia team.  It is my pleasure to introduce the following new staff members to the College in 2019:


Mrs Kim Darragh – College Receptionist

Kim is a motivated and professional receptionist.  With extensive experience and a high level of customer service, Kim has an energetic personality that is welcoming as the first port of call at the College.  When not at the front desk, Kim also enjoys working out with her personal trainer and has a love of traveling overseas.


Mr Anthony Hooper – Mathematics Teacher

Tony joins Mount Alvernia from Central Queensland - Rockhampton.  He has sixteen years’ experience as a Mathematics specialist.


Kirsty Jarrett – Risk and Compliance Officer

Kirsty joined Mount Alvernia in our newly created role of Risk and Compliance Officer.  Her role is to ensure we continue to build on, maintain, and monitor our risk environment in a simple, effective, and accessible way.  New to the education sector, Kirsty comes to us with a financial services background from some of Queensland’s largest insurers, banks, and superannuation companies, with broad leadership, technical, project, and risk management experience.  When not at the College, Kirsty is balancing the needs of her busy young family and finding the time to relax with friends and family.


Dr Ellie Keane – Counsellor

Ellie is a familiar face at Mount Alvernia, having been at the College in a part-time capacity several years ago.  She returns full-time with us as a Counsellor at the College, and you would have read all about Ellie in last week’s Parent Corner.  It is great to have Ellie back at Mount Alvernia.


Mrs Justine Malinowski – Design and Home Economics Teacher

Justine Malinowski has a great passion for design and education.  She has a Bachelor of Design in Fashion and Textiles Design from UTS and gained post-graduate qualification with a Master of Teaching in TAS from Sydney University.  She has been teaching in New South Wales for the last twenty years, and Mount Alvernia College is her first appointment in a Queensland school.  She is thrilled to be teaching the new QCE Design course in Year 11 as she will be able to share with her students her past experiences of working in the fashion and costume industry as well as teaching the New South Wales Design Technology syllabus.  As a new teacher to Mount Alvernia, she hopes to demonstrate the possibilities of technology and design in the 21st century and inspire a new generation of caring, thinking, and intuitive designers and creators.


Mrs Victoria Nicolas – Learning Area Advisor: Mathematics

Victoria joins us as the Learning Area Advisor – Mathematics.  She previously held the same role at St Laurence’s College, South Brisbane.  In addition, Victoria has held several middle and senior leadership roles during her time in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales.  Prior to this she taught in Sydney. Victoria’s goal is for the Mount Alvernia girls to look at maths questions and problems and say, “I can do this!”


Ms Tamara Richardson – Health & Physical Education and Science Teacher

Tamara is a passionate teacher of Health and Physical Education and Science.  She is motivated to inspire all students to love physical activity, live a life of good health, and be fascinated by the world around them.  She has extensive experience teaching in girls’ education, including roles as Head of HPE, Sports Coordinator, and most recently Middle School Curriculum Leader at Lourdes Hill College.  Tamara has enjoyed many years of competitive sport, predominantly in netball, running, and triathlons.  Her commitment to triathlons was rewarded with Australian representation, and podium finishes in 70.3/long course races and Cairns Ironman.  Tamara begins at Mount Alvernia after maternity leave with her second son, and is excited to be part of the community where she hopes to inspire all her students to dream, believe, and succeed.


In addition, we welcome the following contract staff this term:

  • Ms Lisa Kelly-Crawford – CORE studies, History, and English;  and
  • Miss Zara Carnes – Japanese.

I hope everyone has a good start to the year.  I am excited by the opportunities 2019 brings, and look forward to catching up with many of you at our beginning-of-year functions over the coming weeks.


Daniel Crump

Assistant Principal Student Learning

Raising the Bar

The academic school year has begun quite smoothly, with our students taking up the challenge as we raise the bar for all.  Our senior results for 2018 were pleasing, with our girls all receiving first round offers.  Destinations to the University of Queensland were significantly greater than previous years, with Bachelor of International Studies being the most popular degree.  At ACU and TAFE, Bachelor of Nursing and Diploma of Nursing were most popular; with Bachelor of Science (Psychology) the top preference at QUT.   You can view the list of areas our girls accepted on the attached presentation.   We congratulate the girls on their achievements, and look forward to following  their progress into the future.


This year, we have two senior schooling systems running concurrently, with our Year 12s aiming for the best OP they can achieve, whilst our Year 11s have begun with an ATAR in sight.   In addition to our university pathway students, we continue to have approximately 30% of our girls choosing to undertake Certificate courses, either on campus or at TAFE.  It is important, irrespective of the studies being undertaken, that our girls strive to achieve their very best result.  It is essential that they take ownership of their own learning - asking questions, collaborating with their peers, being organised, and maintaining focus and momentum.  School should be their priority - aiming to be as successful as they can be, no matter which pathway.  It is about setting themselves up for the next part of their educational journey.


Take note of the following – Habits of Successful Students

Get organised                         Don’t multi-task

Divide it up                              Sleep

Study                                          Take notes

Collaborate with others      Manage your study space

JOIN A STUDY GROUP           ASK Questions!


For the girls in Francis (Years 7 and 8) and Clare School (Years 9 and 10), I encourage our girls to maintain maximum effort - staying committed and dedicated to their learning and being as organised as possible; this will serve them well.  There are many people who can assist our students in this process, in particular their Teaching and Learning Guardians, who have, as their main aim, the academic success of each individual. 


I look forward to following and supporting the progress of our students throughout 2019, as they aim to reach their potential.

Study Groups

In the tips to being a successful student, I mentioned 'Joining a Study Group’.  This year, we are introducing Study Groups for all year levels.  They may look a little different at each level, but the premise is that students will work together in small groups of five or six, set goals for the session, have discussion, work through problems, focus on assessment, and so on.  These will be facilitated by a number of Middle Leaders and College Leadership Team members on various afternoons.  Information will be available soon on our website through the Student Learning, Co-curricular, Academic menu.


Study Groups will be run on the following afternoons:

Elizabeth Hayes School

Tuesday afternoons; 3.15–5.15 pm - iCentre

Clare School

Thursday afternoon; 3.15–5.00pm - iCentre

Francis School

Thursday afternoon; 3.15-4.30pm - SEAC


Parent Information Evenings for Years 11, 9, and 7 – Academic Expectations

I thank the parents and students who attended our Year 11 Information Evening last night.  The extreme temperatures may have been the cause for the lower than usual numbers attending and, as such, I have included the presentation here for perusal.  There was a great deal of important information pertinent to the new Senior Schooling System, so I encourage parents and students to peruse the presentation and be sure to seek guidance and assistance from Anita Goldie, Mel Loveday, Karen Farrow, or me to ensure a clear understanding of requirements and processes. 


Questions raised – External Exams, what are they?  These are examinations set by QCAA for all students in Queensland.  These will be run in a similar manner to NAPLAN and QCS testing - onsite on particular days as set by the Authority.  Parents were interested in the weighting of various external exams for Maths and Science.


Once you have viewed the presentation, if you have further queries, please contact either Anita Goldie or me for clarification.


I look forward to working with you this year.


Upcoming Evenings

  • The Year 9 Information Evening is being held next Wednesday, 20 February.
  • The Year 7 Meet the Teacher Evening is on the following Tuesday, 26 February.


Debra Evans



Tertiary Education Experience

Please see below for information about Tertiary Education Experience for students with disabilities:


Keen on Palaeontology?

Field Experience Opportunity

Michelle Johnston (nee White – Senior 1988) is a palaeontologist and curator of Kronosaurus Korner – a marine fossil museum in Richmond, North West Queensland.  She featured in the 2016 edition of Remarkable Women of Mount Alvernia College – a special book showcasing the extraordinary lives of some of our wonderful past students.


For perhaps the first time in Australia, a genuine palaeontology field experience specifically for high school students is being conducted in Richmond in July.  This is a collaborative initiative between Kronosaurus Korner Museum and Sternberg Museum of Natural History (Kansas, USA).


Students will learn foundational concepts in sedimentary geology, skeletal anatomy, evolution, and ecology against the backdrop of the incredible Australian Outback.  Explore the natural history of Australia as we excavate fossilised giant fish and marine reptiles, and learn the history of the amazing wildlife that inhabits Australia today.


This program will include groups of American and Australian high school students working and learning together in the classroom and in the field.  During this trip, students will work with expert palaeontologists and science educators in established field areas and dig sites, collecting material that will contribute to ongoing research on Australian natural history.

Overarching themes will include critical thinking skills, use of the scientific method, understanding the process of biological evolution through natural selection, applied geology, ecology, and generating an informed argument through the use of evidence.  This camp is designed to be an immersive learning experience for students interested in biology, geology, or palaeontology.  Our goal is to make sure any student planning to pursue a career in life or earth science will leave our camp with relevant, practical skills and knowledge in both scientific disciplines.


Please see details on Kronosaurus Korner Facebook page. Alternatively contact Michelle directly – [email protected] or 4719 3388.


La Cucina


Friday 15 February

Angela Bodman, Kellie Jilani

Monday 18 February

Christina Knight, Cathy Conaghan, Rachel Browne

Tuesday 19 February

Margaret Hutchins, Melinda Day

Wednesday 20 February

Gianna DiVirgilio, Anna McNee

Thurday 21 February

Liz Feltrin, Jo Galvin

Friday 22 February

Jen Davissen, Trisha Kerrin



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
TEE flyer.pdf