News & Views

30 August 2018
Issue 14
Quick Dates
From the Desk of  the Principal
Deputy Principal Staff Development
Assistant Principal Student Learning
What Reading Means to Me
From the Program Leader - Careers
Father Daughter BBQ Dinner
School Bus Route Changes
La Cucina
Community Notices
Mount Alvernia College
07 3357 6000
82 Cremorne Road
Kedron, Qld, 4031

Quick Dates

Week 7/8, Term 3

Friday 31 August

Rugby 7s Tournament (Ballymore)


Tuesday 4 September

QCS Test - Year 12


Wednesday 5 September

QCS Test - Year 12


Thursday 6 September

8.00am  Year 12 Celebration of Learning Breakfast (Assisi Room)

5.30pm  Twilight Canapés - Volunteers' Celebration

Francis & Clare Study

Please note that Francis & Clare Study will conclude for Term 3 in Week 9 - Thursday 13 September, and resume for Term 4 in Week 2 - Tuesday 16 October.

From the Desk of  the Principal

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

It’s time for a Winnie the Pooh quote and this one seems especially apt at this stage of the term.  One of the myriad of issues that young women face, and many young men as well, is self-doubt.  As parents and carers of young women, we know that the cycle of self-doubt affects our reactions to so many life issues and I write particularly about our almost graduates – our Year 12 students.


This coming week, we have the Queensland Core Skills Test for the second last time.  The pressure to perform in this scaling test is just one of the matters with which these young women have to contend.  Others include timing of assessments, number of assessments, and just coping with the general busyness of life.  Today in the Year 12 meeting, Tania Henry – College Counsellor - reminded the students of the risk of negative thinking, and encouraged them to lift their spirits and believe in themselves.  That’s a message for all of us as we can be dragged down when life hands us challenges rather than successes.


It is hard to believe that we are moving out of winter into spring.  As I look out across La Foresta, I can see the flourishing gardens and the peaceful tranquility that is the College entrance.  Each day we receive compliments from visitors about just how lovely the College is.   I know that pleases you as well.

If you have visited the College recently, you would have noticed that the Rooftop Garden is being extended.  It is going to be a wonderful addition to our already beautiful garden and will, in addition to adding to the beauty of the College, provide much more useful learning and community spaces that we can use.  The project is scheduled to be completed by the start of Term 4 in time for celebrations such as the all-important Year 12 graduation.


There is a lot happening in the education sphere across both Federal and State jurisdictions.  Of particular interest for the College is federal funding from 2019.  With the change of government and ministerial appointments, I was disappointed to read that the Honourable Simon Birmingham had not been reappointed as Federal Minister for Education and Training.  He had begun to understand both the Independent and Catholic perspectives on funding, and had had many meetings with the National Catholic Education Commission to discuss the changes to Federal funding.  I am not aware, as yet, of the background of the new Minister, the Honourable Dan Tehan, apart from that he is from Victoria and has a Catholic background, having attended Xavier College, Kew.


With the changes to Socio–economic Score (SES) as part of the funding process beginning from 2019, we at the College have been asked to supply data to QCEC.  There was a review undertaken by the National Schools Resourcing Board (NSRB) about the potential impact on funding of a revised SES methodology.  The Resourcing Board was set up in 2017 as part of the negotiations around school funding and as a means of passing legislation.  There is more work to be done to give school authorities details of SES in 2019.  I will keep you informed about the likely impact of these changes on the College in the future.


To finish in the words of Winnie the Pooh,

Peace and all good things


[email protected]


Deputy Principal
Staff Development

Welcome to our New Teaching Staff for Semester 2

It is my pleasure to introduce to you two new teachers who are joining us for Semester 2.  We welcome them into our community.


After a gap year travelling Australia coaching and playing futsal, Georgia Appelhof studied a Bachelor of Secondary Education at Griffith University, majoring in Health and Physical Education and Science. Georgia joins us as a graduate teacher; however, she is well experienced in joining new schools, attending a total of four different schools throughout her schooling journey, which included living and attending school in the Middle East (Qatar) and Western Queensland (Dalby).  In addition to her passion for teaching, Georgia is a remarkable sportswoman in her chosen sport of futsal, competing and coaching at state and international level, and having just returned from playing in Chile during Weeks 1 and 2 this term.


As a teacher in this community, Georgia is looking forward to getting to know the students, helping them to learn and achieve, and involving herself with the extra-curricular life at the College, beginning with basketball in Term 3 and futsal later in the year.

Michelle Hoile has just returned from teaching in the UK, and is excited to be joining the staff of our college.  Prior to this, Michelle taught in a Christian school on the Sunshine Coast for a number of years and also taught in Japan. 


With an educational background in Pharmaceutical Science and Biomedical Science, Michelle has a love for learning and hopes to pass that passion on to the girls at Mount Alvernia.  As a Maths and Science teacher, Michelle strives to empower students to develop problem solving skills that will enable them to make a meaningful difference in the world.


Congratulations to our Principal

On Wednesday evening, Dr Kerrie Tuite was awarded a Fellowship by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL).  This award recognises members of ACEL who actively support the Association, the teaching profession, and educational leadership, and who make an outstanding contribution to the improvement of student achievement and organisational effectiveness through their leadership.


Well deserved, Kerrie!

Congratulations to our iCentre Program Leader

It is with great pleasure that we congratulate our iCentre Program Leader, Mrs Helen Stower, on her very well deserved nomination for the Queensland School Library Association’s Teacher-Librarian of the Year Award.  Helen has been recognised for her contribution to teaching and learning here at Mount Alvernia, her innovative practice, and her advocacy for the teacher-librarian profession.  Both staff and students at Mount Alvernia are fortunate to benefit from the expertise, professionalism, passion, and care that Helen brings to her role and to the College – thank you for all you contribute to our community.  Well done, Helen.

Developing Networks

Here at Mount Alvernia, our teachers engage regularly in collaborative planning and in-house professional learning, where we share expertise to enhance the learning experiences and outcomes for our students.  In addition to this, and particularly at present in preparation for the new QCE in 2019, teachers are also making important connections with teams of teachers beyond our own school gates.


These important connections allow teachers to further expand and broaden their perspectives and gather insights and inspiration from a variety of colleagues.  In addition to members of the College Leadership Team being involved in Principal, Deputy Principal, and Assistant Principal Networks, over the last year our Francis School Pastoral Guardians, Jeni Barlow and Mick Butterworth, have run a highly successful Pastoral and Adolescent Leadership Support Network; Teaching and Learning Guardian, Anita Goldie has been part of a Catholic Colleges’ Teaching and Learning Network; and, over the last year HPE teachers, Shelley Tuner and Richard Rodgers have been part of the Religious Institute Schools HPE network.


In addition, over the next few weeks teachers in Mathematics, Accounting, Japanese, Home Economics, Business, and Digital Technologies will meet with teachers from a variety of schools to share practices and gather further ideas to enhance our learning programs.  Recently, our Teacher-Librarians, Helen Stower and Krystal Gagen-Spriggs, connected with their library colleagues at the EREA Library Conference, and Krystal shares the following reflection on the value of such experiences for herself and for all teachers.

Kerry Jell

The Value of a Good Network

Teacher Librarians (TLs) are great at sharing their learning and ideas with other TLs in their networks. There has always been a close support group around the country for TLs, due to the nature of the profession and, more often than not, the loneliness of it.  At Mount Alvernia College we are fortunate to have a large number of staff in the iCentre, but it is through professional networks that TLs are able to gain further ideas and support – thus the value of a good network.


Helen Stower (Program Leader – iCentre) and I were recently invited to attend the inaugural Edmund Rice Education Australia (EREA) Library Network Conference.  Mount Alvernia College is not a member of EREA; however, the TLs of the host school, St James College, Brisbane, very kindly extended the invitation to their other network, COTLIBS, of which we are a member.  Helen Stower was also invited to be one of the keynote speakers at the conference.

Over my three years of being a TL I have had the opportunity to attend a few TL-specific Professional Development programs, but this one was particularly good.  Here's why ...


1.  I realised that we're all working towards the same thing.

A staff member from each of the schools represented at the conference shared a bit of their story. Each story showed just how different schools are around Australia, including the different challenges we all face, and the different resources at our disposal.  However, it also highlighted that, even though we all have different stories, we all have the same goals.  In the Mount Alvernia iCentre one of our goals is to put the right book in the right student’s hands, at the right time.


2.  I realised just how lucky I am to have the support of my college leadership.

There was some talk around the issue of declining support for the work of TLs, or the fact that some schools, organisations, or even governments aren't always aware of what Teacher-Librarians do.  I am fortunate to work in a college that has unconditional support from our Principal, Dr Tuite, and the College Leadership Team.  This support allows us to attend conferences such as the EREA Conference to learn more about our profession to enhance the opportunities to support student learning and growth here at Mount Alvernia College.


3.  I learnt so many things.

Some of the TLs had a further opportunity to share what they've been doing in their libraries, and I learnt something from every one of them!  From this, I’ve been inspired to try:

  • A version of The Kids Cancer Project Write a book in a Day.  Selected students in Years 9 and 10 have already had the opportunity to participate in Mount A: Book in A Day during our Literacy Week celebrations this week …… and it was a great success.
  • A game, shared by Nudgee College that allows students to test their genre knowledge.
  • Further creating a reading culture by integrating reading lessons in the library for Year 9 students in 2019.

4.  A good network is everything.

In many of the schools that sent delegates to the conference, there was often only a small number of library staff in their schools or, in some cases, they were it.  It really hit home to me then why networks for TLs (or anyone really) are important.  Having a strong and supportive network can give you confidence and provide learning beyond your own school walls, and gives you the opportunity to bounce ideas, commiserate, and celebrate with colleagues.  The connections formed at the EREA conference were strong, and I know that this not only enhances my own development, but allows me to gain ideas and motivation to create and enhance opportunities for our student here at Mount Alvernia College.

Krystal Gagen-Spriggs


Assistant Principal
Student Learning

Exams and Assessment Considerations – Student Learning

The end of term is looming, and students should be well and truly focused on achieving in their final assessments.  This time of any year can be stressful for students, parents, families, (and teachers), so it is essential to consider ways of working - organising our lives to maximise the time we have to complete the important things that must be done.  As well, it is necessary to allow ourselves downtime, a balance in our lives to ensure we are able to complete all that we need to do and maintain our health.


For our Year 12s in particular, this term is the BIG one.  Having had discussions with a group of seniors today, I know that from this week, there is much to be done.  With drafts due, final assignments due, with QCS (Queensland Core Skills tests) happening next Tuesday and Wednesday (4 and 5 September), then, in the following few weeks, exam block, it is critical that the girls keep their focus and maintain their commitment.  With the end in sight, we sometimes see the girls flail a little, and ease off, but I encourage all to stay calm yet dedicated and committed. 


For both you and your daughters, I share the following article that may provide some useful insights and tips to manage the coming weeks.  They may feel under pressure to perform, be worrying about the future, and finding it hard to focus.  You may be worrying for them and wondering how you can support them.

Queensland Core Skills Test Information


Tuesday 4 September

Wednesday 5 September

I provide you with a link to the following publications:

QCS Tests – A guide for Parents and Carers

Information about the QCS Test

A Guide for Students

QCS Test Brochure


The following excerpt may help to work through some of the stresses that your daughter may be experiencing at any year level, but in particular as she works through the final stages of Year 12.  You will find much information on this site, under various tabs.


Common stresses and pressures at exam time

Exam time brings with it many extra stresses and pressures.  Some are easy to spot, and others can be less obvious.  Here are some things for you to consider when exam time comes around:

  • When stress goes from helping to hindering:
    A bit of stress for a short period of time can be productive as it can motivate you to perform at your best.  But when it starts to get in the way of your daughter being able to study, that’s when you might need to offer some extra support.  Things you can do to help reduce your daughter’s stress include making sure she takes regular breaks, eats healthy meals and doesn’t drink too much caffeine, and also by encouraging her to go to sleep at a reasonable time.
  • The pressure of expectation:
    Talking about results and the future with your daughter is a great way to know you’re on the same page.  It also shows them that she can come to you to discuss decisions she's trying to make.  Be sure she knows that her exam results aren’t the be-all and end-all by supporting her to managing her own expectations.
  • Trouble focusing:
    Whilst social media can help your daughter connect and unwind the constant notifications and ‘always on’ nature of it can sometimes get a bit distracting.  You can help her focus by suggesting social media-free times and by keeping TV and music volumes down while she's studying.
  • Post school options:
    Year 12 exams can feel like the most important thing in life.  Reminding your daughter that there are options whatever happens, and that people who’ve had setbacks still go on to achieve great things, can relieve the pressure. 
  •  The stress on you as a parent during Year 12:
    The stress and exhaustion of the year can take its toll on you and the rest of the family too.  Take care of yourself by making sure you still spend time doing things you enjoy and by exercising and getting enough rest.

If you're unsure how your daughter is coping, look out for these changes in her mood or behaviour:

  • being withdrawn or disengaged
  • a loss of interest in the things she usually enjoys
  • changes in her sleeping or eating habits
  • feeling grumpy or irritable.”

This information is taken from Parent,s (2018). Exam stress and teenagers., Retrieved from


I look forward to hearing of the successes of our girls as they complete their upcoming QCS tests.  I wish them all the very best, knowing that they have been well prepared during the past eighteen months.  Put your best foot forward, as I know you will.


Research Project

This week, we received an invitation from a PhD candidate from the Faculty of Education, Queensland University of Technology, who is researching parents’ use of private tuition in the senior years of school.  This research project has been fully ethics approved.  It is purely voluntary so, if you would like to participate, please respond to the following:

Debra Evans



Congratulations to Laphini Wynne and Aimi Clemons of Year 11, who both recently passed the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, Level N5.  People who undertake this exam usually have completed the entire senior course of study or have lived in Japan for one year.  To have achieved a passing grade in this exam, at only halfway through Year 11, speaks to the commitment and dedication to their studies that these girls have, and their achievement is thus highly commendable.  This certification of Japanese proficiency is recognised worldwide and authorised by the Japanese Government.

Well done, ladies!  I hope you consider undertaking the next level of N4 in the future.

Uhr Sensei

What Reading Means to Me

Taylah Butler, Year 7

What book/s are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Breathe and The Selection.

How many hours a week would you spend reading?

Personally I try to read every day, resulting in three hours and 30 minutes.

What is your preferred mode of reading?

I prefer to read a physical book (in my hands) in my bedroom, at night, with my lamp.  I also don't mind reading from a Kindle but I like having the covers and feeling the paper pages as I read.

What is a book that has had a powerful influence on you?

Dystopian romances have an impact on me because they always make me realise the things harming our environment and how lucky I am.  Romeo and Juliet.

What is one book that you constantly recommend others should read?

I have recommended The Selection series to many of my peers.  Although I have not read the entire series, from what I have heard and read it sound superb.  I also recommend it because many girls in my year take an interest in the romance genre.

Do you have a favourite author?

I like classic authors such as RL Stine and JK Rowling, but I have a deep admiration for Kiera Cass and the Japanese manga artist Hiro Mashima.

In one sentence, can you sum up what books mean to you?

Books are a means to pull me away from reality, and let me imagine a beautiful story as it unfolds, designing the novel as I read.

Paulette Corkery, Business Manager

What book/s are you currently reading?

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

How many hours a week would you spend reading?

Two to four

What is your preferred mode of reading?

Printed book

What is a book that has had a powerful influence on  you?

This year, I have read Lilac Girls: A Novel - historical fiction novel centred around World War II.

What is one book that you constantly recommend others should read?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Do you have a favourite author?

Daniel Silva

In one sentence, can you sum up what books mean to you?

When I read, my everyday world fades - often leading to see the world in a different light.

Gabriella Cross, Year 8

What book/s are you currently reading?

The Outsiders

How many hours a week would you spend reading?

Four to five

What is your preferred mode of reading?

Hard copy

What is a book that has had a powerful influence on  you?

Zac and MiaWonder

What is one book that you constantly recommend others should read?


Do you have a favourite author?

JK Rowling

In one sentence, can you sum up what books mean to you?

A book to me is a way of going into an alternate universe.

Jess Hynds, Year 8


What book/s are you currently reading?

Currently I'm reading Eleanor & Park.

How many hours a week would you spend reading?

I'd say around eight hours currently.

What is your preferred mode of reading?

I love to read in a nice, comfy spot, usually my room, and usually by myself.

What is a book that has had a powerful influence on  you?

The Fault in Our Stars;  I don't think I've had such an emotional roller-coaster in a book than this one.

What is one book that you constantly recommend others should read?

The Lunar Chronicles

Do you have a favourite author?


In one sentence, can you sum up what books mean to you?

Reading is an escape from reality.

Literacy Week

Visit our Facebook page for all the excitement that has been Literacy Week - Love is in the Air - at the College.


Queensland Catholic Schools and College Music Festival

What great results from our FCIP musicians and choirs at the recent QCMF:

Intermediate String Orchestra - Gold (B Grade)

Senior String Orchestra - Silver (A Grade)

Percussion Ensemble No2 - Gold (B Grade)

Jazz Combo - Gold (A Grade)

Senior Big Band - Gold (A Grade)

Jazz Ensemble - Gold (B Grade)

Percussion Ensemble No 1 - Gold (A Grade)

Intermediate Concert Band - Gold (C Grade)

Rock Band - Gold (A Grade)

Wind Ensemble -Silver (B Grade)

Senior Concert Band -Silver (A Grade)

Performance Chorale: Silver

Showcase Chorale: Silver

Mount Alvernia Voices: Gold


Well done to all musicians and choristers, as well as to all College and FCIP staff who assisted throughout the Festival.


Thanks for all the parent support over the weekend.


Lorella Masci

Curriculum Leader - The Arts

From the Program Leader - Careers

Careers News

Another fortnight, another Careers update! 

Melissa Loveday

See Careers News for information on the following:


Open Days, Expos, and Careers Markets

     Mater Education Open Day

     Selected 2018 Queensland Tertiary Institution Open Days

Private Provider Updates

      HTMi Australia - Swiss Hospitality Now in Brisbane!

     September/October High School Workshops at JMC Academy

     JMI: Auditions Open for 2019 Courses at the Jazz Music Institute

     QATC: 2019 Courses at the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges

     Queensland School of Film and Television

     School Holiday Bootcamps

     THINK: Billy Blue College of Design Higher Education Diplomas

QTAC and Tertiary Entry

     Choosing the Best Course to Study

     I am OP-ineligible: When Will I Have My Selection Rank?

     Pros and Cons of Mid-year Entry

     What is Deferment?

   Apprenticeships and Traineeships

      How do I Find a VET Course in Queensland?

      I Want an Apprenticeship.  How do I Find an Employer?

      New AusAppPathways Mobile App

     Tip from the AATIS

Australia’s Careers Online website (COL)

Looking Beyond Credentials

Companies Broadening their Entry Requirements


     Are You an Aspiring Filmmaker?

     Win a Scholarship to Bond


     Five Things Recruiters Want to Tell You in Your Interview

     Employment Projections for Five Years to May 2022

     MySkills: Revealing the Benefits of Vocational Education and Training

     NCVER: How VET Education Will Change to Facilitate Digital Disruption

     New Work Reality Report

     The Key Factors to Full-time Work

     Tips for Future-proofing Your Career

     What is a Virtual Assistant?

Financial Assistance and Scholarships

     2019 Science and Engineering Scholarships at QUT for Year 12 Students

     Australian Veterans' Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT) Scholarships and Bursaries

     International College of Hotel Management (ICHM) Entry Scholarships

     Selected University Academic Scholarship Application Dates

     TAFE Queensland Scholarships

     University of Queensland Academic Scholarship Programs

     University of Queensland's LEAD Scholarships Closing Soon

     Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships at QUT

GAP Year Program News

     Upcoming Gap Year Program Information Events


     USQ Indigenous Higher Education Pathways Program (IHEPP)

     What is UQ's InspireU and How to Enrol

Job Market Information

     Australian Jobs 2018: Where the Jobs Will Be

     Becoming an Architect

     Career Lessons from Comedians

     Careers in the Meat Industry

     Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism Careers

     Labour Market Snippets

TAFE Queensland

     Courses at TAFE Queensland

     TAFE At School Programs in 2019


      Australian Catholic University

          Adjustment Factor Schemes

      Griffith University

           Applications for the Queensland Conservatorium

           Bachelor of Computer Science

           Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) Major in Civil and Architectural Engineering

           New Degrees for 2019

            New STEM Double Degrees

        Queensland University of Technology

             Accommodation Assistance

             Check out QUR on the School Holidays

             Consider Scholarships

              Elite Athlete Admission Process Through QTAC

              Important Information for Year 12  International students

              Important Remainder - Audition and Portfolio Entry Requirements

              Study a Uni Subject While You're Still at School

         University of New England

                UNE's Early Entry Program - A Reminder

         University of Queensland

               UQ Employability Award

               2019 Scholarships Guide

               Adjustment Factors for Regional and Remote Students

               Anthropology Day

               Applications Now Open for the Enhanced Studies Program

               Bachelor of Advanced Business (Honours)

               Campus Tours for the Gatton Campus

                SPARQ'ed Research Immersion Program

                Study Overseas with a European Engineering Double Degree

           University of the Sunshine Coast

                 Access USC Adjustment Schemes

                 Headstart Program

            University of Southern Queensland

                 Pathway Programs at USQ

                  Sport and Exercise Clinic Opens

             Supporting VET Pathways to University

             Elite Athlete Schemes Through Universities


Father Daughter BBQ Dinner

School Bus Route Changes

Timing Changes

Effective as of Monday 27 August, the following school bus runs will reflect TransLink-approved amendments that will impact students travelling to and from Mt A.

6852, 6871, 6874 - Timing changes


Parents and students can also reference the TransLink journey planner page on the TransLink website. (with postdate on or after 27 August to see future changes)

As a TransLink service provider, Thompson Bus Services will assist in the communication of these changes by providing drivers with flyers to hand out to the students, as well as reminders for the first two weeks of the new service.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Thompsons to discuss or clarify anything (ph 3882 1200).

La Cucina


Friday 31 August

Carla Di Fabio


Tuesday 4 September

Jo Galvin


Wednesday 5 September

Michael McErlean, Donna Parker


Thursday 6 September

Tanya McMinn


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 Cathy at College Reception, ph 3357 6000.



Community Notices

Kedron Parish Bingo - 8 September


Green Heart Fair - 9 September


Travelling Scholar Parent Presentations - 11 & 12 September


Battle of the Rock Bands - 14 September


Coding and Robotics School Holiday Program


News & Views
FOTH Bingo.pdf
Travelling Scholar.pdf
Green Heart Fair.pdf
Junior Engineers.pdf
Green Heart Fair.pdf
Battle of the Rock Bands.jpg
Battle of the Rock Bands.jpg