Our MFG Newsletter

09 December 2016
Issue Eleven
Important Dates
Principal's Report
What's On @ MFG
Matthew Flinders GSC
03 4243 0500
Lt Ryrie St
Geelong, Vic, 3220

Important Dates

Monday December 12, 2016

Selected students on World Challenge Expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam

Learning Area Activities Program for 2017 Year 8 – 10 students

College Council meeting

Tuesday December 13, 2016

Selected students on World Challenge Expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam

Learning Area Activities Program for 2017 Year 8 – 10 students

Sweethearts performing for invited primary schools in MFG Hall

Wednesday December 14, 2016

Selected students on World Challenge Expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam

Learning Area Activities Program for 2017 Year 8 – 10 students

Celebration Evening rehearsals

Sweethearts Board meeting

Celebration Evening – the Pier commencing at 6:30 pm

Thursday December 15, 2016

Selected students on World Challenge Expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam

Late start due to Celebration Evening – students and staff commence at 11:00 am

Learning Area Activities Program for 2017 Year 8 – 10 students

Selected students performing at Deakin University

Friday December 16, 2016

Selected students on World Challenge Expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam

Learning Area Activities Program for 2017 Year 8 – 10 students

Selected students performing at Deakin University

Saturday December 17, 2016

Selected students on World Challenge Expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam

Sunday December 18, 2016

Students return from World Challenge Expedition to Cambodia and Vietnam

Monday December 19, 2016

No formal classes or activities – interviews by appointment only for report feedback

Tuesday December 20, 2016

Student free day

Last day for staff

Monday January 30, 2017

Staff return

Term 1 begins

Tuesday January 31, 2017

Year 7 and Year 12 students return

Formal classes commence

Wednesday February 1, 2017

All students return and formal classes commence across all year levels

Principal's Report

Principal’s Report

The following is an excerpt of the speech I gave at the recent Year 12 Valedictory dinner.

Year 12s, one of the wonderful things about being part of a school is that you are connected to others in our community. In Year 12 there is no greater time when you feel like this in all of your years of schooling. You are not likely to feel this connected to such a large group of people who are your peers, ever again.

Tonight though, you will start your connection with Matthew Flinders Girls as an alumni. You are part of an elite group of young people who have graduated from Matthew Flinders since 1956, 60 years ago. No matter where you go in Geelong, Victoria, Australia and perhaps even the world – you will meet people with some connection to Matthew Flinders Girls. How lucky you are to have this on-going connection.

Recently I listened to a profound TED Talk about connection by Brene Brown, a psychologist/researcher from America, who talked about the connections in humans.

What Brene Brown found out from over 20 years of research is that there is only one variable that separates people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and connectedness to others and the people who really struggle for it. And that is, people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they're worthy of love and belonging. That's it. They believe they're worthy of love.

So what is it that people who think they are worthy of love and belonging have that allows them to feel this way?

There are two things. First they all have a sense of courage. And I want to separate courage and bravery for you for a minute. The original definition of courage, when it first came into the English language -- is from the Latin word "cor," meaning "heart" -- and the original definition was to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.

And so these people have, very simply, the courage to be imperfect. They have the compassion to be kind to themselves first and then to others, because, as it turns out, we can't practise compassion with other people if we can't treat ourselves kindly.

The other thing people who feel worthy of love do is they fully embrace vulnerability. They understand that making themselves vulnerable may not be comfortable but they know it is necessary. They understand the need to say, "I love you" first ... they are willing to do something where there are no guarantees.  They try out for a sports team even though they may not get in. They head down the snow field despite feeling enormous fear. They're willing to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.

So your challenge now is to go into the world and embrace all that it has to offer. To do this with courage and the knowledge that you must also be vulnerable. As you go I have three pieces of advice for you:

1.         Love with your whole hearts, even though there's no guarantee - and that's really hard, and I can tell you as a parent that can be at times very difficult. And I can see some of your parents nodding.

2.         Practise gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we're wondering, "Can I believe in this this passionately?  Can I be this fierce about this? Can I love this much?"  Just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophising what might happen, to say, "I'm just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I'm alive.

3.         And the last, which I think is probably the most important, is to believe that we're enough. Because when we work from a place, where we believe and say, "I'm enough" ... then we start listening, we're kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we're kinder and gentler to ourselves.

So Year 12s, the valedictorians of 2016, as you formally leave MFG I want you to know that once you have been a MFG student you will always have a place at MFG. You are invited to return whenever you feel the need or desire to re-visit us. This invitation will remain even when you are in your 70s and older.

As you leave tonight knowing you are now connected to the MFG Alumni I remind you of these three things: love wholeheartedly, practise gratitude and joy and believe you are enough.

I wish you all the most exciting lives where you practise looking forward. HAIL Year 12 2016.

Early Commencement Program

Our Early Commencement Program (ECP) has been a very rich learning experience for our students. Feedback from the students suggests on the whole that they like the ECP. The reasons vary from:  it means they are already able to get into their VCE studies, to others who like to know where their classes will be and who will be teaching them to some students enjoying the change of campus and seeing this as a rite of passage. I would like to thank parents/carers for their support of this program and the teachers for the extra energy and effort they put in to making it successful.

Celebration / Awards Evening

This year our Celebration / Awards Evening will be held at The Pier in Geelong on 14 December from 6:30 pm for a 7:00 pm start.  This year we will have our Art Exhibition and Music Concert performances on the same evening as part of a whole school end of year celebration. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come along. There will be more information about this evening in emails and on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Matthew-Flinders-Girls-Secondary-College-1493827064239613/


Our architects Balesso Cortessi: http://www.bcarch.net/  will be starting work on Master Planning early next year. This will involve discussions with parents, students and staff. We have already shared the feedback provided through survey monkey earlier this year and this will inform their initial thinking. The master planning will take most of next year. We are aiming to go to tender in Term 4 (2017) with the plan to start building and refurbishing around this time next year.

Office Relocation in 2017

In 2017 the General Office and first aid room on the Main Campus will move to the buildings near the garden that face onto Fenwick Street. This will inform the master planning as the architects believe it is the best place to have the office for community access.

Staff Update

Staff members on leave in 2017 in Term 1 are:  Kirsty Forsyth, Margaret Macauley, Natalie Angove, Bruce Bauer and Wendy Kerry.

Staff members leaving the school:  Kerry Haddon, Kerry Pennington, Leticia Nguyen

Staff returning from leave in 2017 will be:  Margot Cameron, Christine Fagan and Rose Maloney.

Thank You to our Wonderful Staff!

I would like to take this opportunity to express a big thank you to the staff who have so ably supported your child’s learning this year. We are very lucky to have such a dedicated group of teachers at our school.

Student News

Jo Toone and Stuart Myers have headed to Cambodia and Vietnam with 22 of our students. Here are some photos of their trip so far.



Dancing Robot Challenge – MFG Winners

Our students participated in a Gordon TAFE choreography competition, ‘Do the robot NAO’. Jess Griffiths and Bailee Adamson won the competition. You can read more about it their success in this newsletter or go to this link:


Holiday Break and 2017

I wish you all a restful and safe Christmas holiday. This can be a happy time for many but also challenging for others. I hope that you can find a sense of peace during this time.

School starts back at the following times:

  • Monday 30 January 2017 – Teachers and Educational Support staff only
  • Tuesday 31 January 2017 – Years 7 & 12 only
  • Wednesday 1 February 2017 – Everyone is back at school


Bell times for 2017 are the same as this year:



Home Group


Period 1


Period 2




Period 3


Period 4




Period 5


Period 6



Michelle Crofts



Compass: Push Notifications on phone

Compass now offers an additional communication method to email, print and SMS. Push Notifications allow you to send communications to iPhones, iPads and Android devices, with the Compass App installed.


Please note that only individuals who have installed the iOS or Android “Compass School Manager” native application and who have allowed notifications will receive these Push Notifications.


If you would like to receive push notifications to your mobile device, please download the app and allow notifications.


Android users can download the app on Google Play and iPhone and iPad users can download the app from the App Store.

End of Year Activities

With the end of the 2016 school year closing in it’s worth noting the arrangements for our Activities week – week 11. Our teachers have put together an activities schedule:





Philosophy and Poetry @ MFG – ‘To be or not to be…?’

In November we were lucky to be able to conduct a two day workshop of philosophy and philosophical writing sessions with Doctor of Philosophy Dr Adam J Bartlett (Monash University) and author and poet Lia Hills.

The College was bequeathed some money as a result of a former student’s love of philosophy. As a result we were able to have Lia and Adam come and work with a group of students to expose them to philosophy and philosophical writing.

Adam and Lia facilitated a symposium of philosophy and poetry and the different ways poets and philosophers see, think and speak about the world.

The students looked at Plato’s ‘The Allegory of the Cave’ and learnt about Socrates. They explored the idea of appearance versus reality.  They discussed:  What is good? What is love? What is bad? and examined Plato’s quote ‘Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder’. They explored the ideas of Diotima of Mantinea, a Greek female philosopher and Aristophanes, a Greek comic playwright and ideas such as what we mean when we say we love our mum, pizza or nature.

The workshop involved forming statements about philosophy and poetry, walking excursions to the waterfront and the Geelong Arts Precinct and completing ekphrastic poetry combining questions of the existence of beauty.


‘Do the Robot’ – NAO Challenge

Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary School joined The Gordon's ‘Do the Robot NAO Challenge’ and produced this programmed dance for NOA to perform. This was an extension of the students’ participation in our Digital Technologies curriculum and the participants - Jess Griffiths, Bailee Adamson, and Susan Goedegebuur - each received a $50 voucher for their efforts. Well done programmers!


The Victorian Curriculum (VC)


Next year all schools officially implement the Victorian Curriculum. Our teachers have been busy using the Victorian Curriculum to develop units of learning for 2017 that reflect the Victorian Curriculum priorities and achievement standards.

The General Capabilities feature a new direction for learning with the introduction of Ethical Understanding and Intercultural Understanding. Our Curriculum Committee are currently unpacking these capabilities, auditing where we are already teaching these and looking for possibilities for new directions and ways of teaching the understandings, skills and knowledge related to these areas.

Below is an example of the achievement standards (Years 7 and 8) for Critical and Creative thinking.


Ashby Primary School Visit

A very important part of our transition program is to provide our ‘feeder’ schools and other local primary schools an opportunity to experience life at MFG. Recently we were delighted to host 70 students from Ashby Primary School for a day. These students were hosted by a select group of our Year 10 students who guided the primary school students through a ‘Race Around Matthew Flinders’ and then did some ‘Zine’ making with the students. If you don’t know what a zine, check this out:


The day was a wonderful success and the primary school students left MFG with memories they will never forget…especially of the platypus and their garden-cooked pizza lunch! Many special thanks to Ms Kerry Haddon, Ms Kellie Walker, Ms Leticia Nguyen and our Yr 10 helpers for creating such as fabulous experience.

Damien Toussaint, Assistant Principal, Learning and Teaching

What's On @ MFG

Visit from Ashby Primary School

On Thursday November 24, approximately 60 Year 3 and 4 students visited our college from Ashby Primary School.  It was a fun packed day with our Year 9 students taking the lead and organising a really memorable day for them.  


The 9N students devised a “Race around Flinders”, where the Matthew Flinders students accompanied groups of 4 Ashby students who raced their way around the Old Building and Embling wing.  Students had to count items, guess heights and find clues.


After a recess break, with fruit and water provided, the students went to rooms and made “Zines” again with the help of Matthew Flinders students.  These “zines” were small magazines, inspired by the Ashby students’ imagination and they became a memento of the visit.


At lunchtime we had pizzas cooked in the pizza oven in the garden, again expertly cooked by Matthew Flinders students.  One of the highlights of the day was a visit by “Flinders” the platypus, who was a big hit with the primary students.  


A huge thank you must go to the 2016 9N students who worked so well with the Ashby students, and really tried to make the day fun.  Also thanks to Miss Williams, Miss Nguyen and Mr. Toussaint for helping on the day.  We really hope the Ashby students enjoyed their visit!

Ashby Students and Flinders the platypus


Kerry Haddon

English and Humanities Leader

MFG Wins Robot Competition

The AI takeover has begun at Matthew Flinders Secondary College, with students teaching a cute little robot – dubbed Charlie – to walk, talk and dance.


Charlie remained under human control – for now – as students Jess Griffiths and Bailee Adamson choreographed its latest moves. “Once you get used to it, it’s pretty easy,” said Year 8 student Jess on Monday, as she animated Charlie from a laptop.

“It feels like he’s a real person.”


Gordon TAFE lent the robot to Matthew Flinders and eight other schools for a choreography competition, ‘Do the robot NAO’, earlier this year.  Over a few months, IT students programmed the 58cm robot to perform a 30-second dance, with Matthew Flinders winning the competition.


Charlie – a French-designed Nao humanoid – can recognise human faces and speech.  “He’s just like having another friend”, said Year 9 student Bailee,” except you can make him do whatever you want.”  Although Charlie was still mastering communication, replying to the girls’ requests to dance with, “Sorry, I don’t know how to speak Chinese”.  Later, the robot took a tumble as it busted some moves.  “At times it can be confusing,” admitted Bailee.


The Gordon’s Mardi Spittle said the ‘Do the robot NAO’ challenge gave students a chance to see their coding skills come to life.  “It’s a great way to get them enthusiastic and engaged about future careers in the science and IT sector.”  The robots are now are an integral part of learning experience in Gordon IT courses, she said.


By Luke Voogt – Geelong Independent

Summer Garden Chat

It’s been an extremely fun and successful year in the garden at MFG! Here is a snap-shot of what’s been happening over the past month or so:


  • Matthew Flinders won the 2016 Victorian Schools Garden Award. This is a State-wide award and our school has won it for the second year in a row. Well done to Mr Paul Dangerfield for his marvelous effort getting the garden ready for inspection! Sugar MacGillivray and Kyhanna Tabakovic of 9L accompanied Mr Dangerfield to the Melbourne Botanic Gardens to be presented with a certificate and cheque for $350.


  • Students in Food Technology classes have been using fresh, organic rhubarb from the Garden in their cooking. The warmer weather has also seen the appearance of many other fruits and vegies, including strawberries, raspberries and snow-peas. These don’t last very long, as students and staff tends to search them out very quickly!


  • The peer support team leaders have been running their ‘Garden Chat’ program on Thursdays, which involves peer support students chatting with anyone about a variety of things, such as friendship issues and school work


  • White Ribbon Day took place this year at MFG on Thursday the 24th of November. This day promotes healthy, respectful relationships. To celebrate, there was a special lunchtime event in the Garden, organized by our school nurse Amanda Patterson. We were also lucky enough to have some visiting students from a local primary school who spent several hours being shown around the school by some helpful Year 9 students. They also enjoyed a pizza lunch in the Garden.


Thank you to everyone who has assisted in the Garden this year! We look forward to another great year in 2017.


Paul Dangerfield 


So,   Christmas is coming….

As the end of the year draws near our thoughts turn to Christmas, food and long summer days.   For some of us the year slowly grinds down to some relaxation but for many it’s the opposite.  It becomes a time of endless breakup parties, lists of shopping to get and wondering how the budget is going be met.  It might be a good time to take a breath and consider just what Christmas and the holidays are about.   The biggest issues tend to be:

Budget:  If you are struggling with money – don’t push yourself to buy the presents you can’t afford.  Nobody who loves you would expect you to push yourself into debt in order to provide presents or a big feast.   Set a budget and don’t stretch it. 

Parties and breakups: Prioritize which ones you want to attend.  You don’t have to go to them all

Loneliness: Christmas and special days can be really lonely for some people.  Try to treat it as ‘just another day’. Get out of the house and volunteer for an agency.  

And, remember to look after yourselves.   On hot days over summer make sure that you slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen, slap on a hat, seek some shade and slide on some sunglasses.  Keep hydrated with water.   Eat well, exercise and get some sleep. These steps will not only help you on the days you are out and about but will also ensure that the next day is a good one as well.

Have a happy and safe break and we look forward to seeing you next year.

Helpful resources:

Kids helpline: 1800 551 800                           Volunteering:  www.volunteeringgeelong.org.au

Lifeline:  131114                                                https://salvos.org.au/christmas/need-help-this-christmas/

University Hospital Geelong   42150000   

http://au.reachout.com/                             www.beyondblue.org.au/

Have your say in the future of Greater Geelong

Our Future  is an ambitious community engagement project to develop a long term vision and strategy for Greater Geelong. The City of Greater Geelong is collecting the views of 25,000 people about what the Greater Geelong region should be in 30 years and how we can get there.


Have your say about what you want for the future in the next 30 years by completing a short survey online at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/ourfuture


Asthma Update!


KRock 95.5 “Ocean”- Open Water Swim Festival

The Ocean Grove SLSC is excited to be hosting its first ever open water swim. We would love to get as many people involved and would appreciate it if you could share the attached advertising flyer with your contacts.

This swim will raise much needed funds for the Surf Club, with community safety our number one priority. We encourage all ages to give the swim a try whether that be the 400m, 600m, 1.2km or 2.5km swim. Each will be well supervised with lifeguards in and out of the water.

If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to email or call Arne Solterbeck at [email protected] or on 0417268 960.



Our MFG Newsletter
Asthma Update.pdf
Swim Poster A3.pdf
Swim Flyer A5.pdf