Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter

24 May 2018
Issue Seven
Key Dates
Principal's Message
College Matters
Career & Pathways
Junior School News
Classroom, Curriculum & beyond
Performing Arts
Student Competitions
School Information 
In our community
Mentone Girls' Secondary College
(03) 9581 5200
Corner Balcombe Road & Charman Road
Mentone, Victoria, 3194

Key Dates


Thursday 24 - Saturday 26 May

7.30pm, VCE Theatre Studies present

A Midsummer Night's Dream

NIna Carr Centre Lecture Theatre


Monday 28 May

Intermediate Round Robin


Thursday 31 May & Friday 1 June

7pm, Year 10 production of Hating Alison Ashley


Friday 1 June to Friday 8 June 

Units 1 exams 

Saturday 2 June

Aerobics State Finals 


Monday 4 June to Friday 8 June

 Year 9 & 10 exams 

No classes for Years 9,10 & 11 


Thursday 7 June

Year 8 Round Robin


Monday 11 June

Queen's Birthday Public Holiday 


Tuesday 12 June

Report Writing - student free day 


Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 May

Year 9 Camp 

Wednesday 13 June

GAT Testing


Thursday 14 June 

Year 7 Round Robin


Tuesday 19 June

Report Verification - early finish


Wednesday 20 June

Report Verification - early finish 


Thursday 21 June

7pm Class of 2008 10 year reunion 


Wednesday 27 June

Reports available online


Thursday 28 June

College Assembly 


Friday 29 June

Last day of term 2 - early dismissal

Principal's Message

Dear Parents & Families

When I was growing up I was unaware of boundaries or glass ceilings because I was raised by parents that didn’t set limits on what I could aspire to. There was no talk in my home of what was unattainable.  I am grateful to have been brought up by broad-minded parents who, in spite of their modest backgrounds, didn’t assume that their children’s futures were defined by their current circumstances or gender. 


This comes to mind because I wish to highlight that Mentone Girls’ Secondary College is a place where students from everywhere, every culture and every circumstances can achieve their goals. Every day I see the rich diversity of our school culture being celebrated and championed. I witness acceptance of difference and empathetic encounters between students and this is both humbling and heart-warming to see. I see celebration of excellence and talent and the willingness to strive for the personal best in an individual and collective sense.


We recently celebrated IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia) which was coordinated by a team of students, with the assistance of our Student Wellbeing Counsellors. It included a range of awareness-raising and inclusive activities to raise awareness and support LGBTIQ youth. 


We also had a terrific bonding experience recently in the form of House Music which culminated in a competition in the gymnasium last Friday.  The House Music Captains worked collegiately together and have inspired and coached their House members. 


Our past students continue to excel in areas not always well represented by women. Most recently we have celebrated Professor Belinda Gabbe being added to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.  You may remember that Professor Gabbe spoke at our International Women’s’ Day Assembly.  The Honour Roll of Women press release gives more details. 


A couple of weeks ago Lucy Pugh (Class of 2017) received a Women in Engineering Scholarship for $5,000 from Monash University. She is currently enrolled in an Engineering and Science Degree Program.


For each of these examples, the road to these achievement commences at this fine college.  Most recently one of our Year 9 students, Julia Le was selected as one of 30 students out of 350 applicants for the Girl Power in STEM Program, Graduate School of Engineering at The University of Melbourne. The program runs over a four year period.  Congratulations to Julia!


A learning environment is enhanced through the offering of curricular and co-curricular programs, inspirational teachers and encouragement from home. But a learning environment cannot flourish without buildings which encourage 21st century learning to take place. The school has largely funded many of the upgrades to the facilities over the years and this is done primarily through savings accrued from the hire of facilities and donations to the Building Fund. Examples of this are the Performing Arts Centre and the Art and Media Building.  We are currently developing a Masterplan that will have a focus on building works in the area of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).  This has been identified as a high priority as women are underrepresented in these areas in the workforce.


Our School Council is actively highlighting the importance of fairness and equity in girls’ education by reaching out to our local Members of Parliament to secure funding for the works identified in our Masterplan. We have already had visits from Hon Mark Dreyfus QC, MP (Federal Member for Isaacs), Tim Richardson MP (Member for Mordialloc) and Murray Thompson MP (Member for Sandringham) to tour our school and discuss our plans for the future. Many schools around us are funded for new works and renovations yet MGSC does not attract any funding. In line with many other awareness raising campaigns of late which highlight a lack of support for women in industry, it is felt that “time’s up” in the area of educational provision for our school in the form of facilities upgrades. As the only government girls’ school in the Southern Region we have a responsibility to our school community to address this. There are approximately 1150 students attending our school travelling from over 60 different suburbs. This demonstrates an overwhelming interest in girls’ education and in particular a government girls’ school education with a history of striving for excellence and the breaking of new ground for women.  We hope that parents will raise questions in relevant quarters in order to make their concerns known.


In the meantime, we continue to paint, repair and landscape our school in order that our students have pleasant and safe environments. We are currently negotiating with the Department to have our portables upgraded as they are quite old and in need of repair. We hope that families will also contribute to our Building Fund so that we can continue to upgrade our library and main buildings. These upgrades will benefit the students of the school in the short term whilst we await a significant funding investment to undertake work on additional science rooms and additions to the auditorium. The bonus to contributing to the Building Fund is that any donations to this fund are tax deductible.


Kind regards


Ms Linda Brown 



College Matters

From the School Council 

This is my second year on the Mentone Girls’ Secondary College Council. My daughter Maisie is in Year 9 and I too attended MGSC as a student from the mid 1980s through to early 1990s.  This year I was nominated for and accepted the role of Vice President of the School Council.


Our School Council President, James Malliaros and I, with the support of our Principal Linda Brown, have been very busy these last few weeks inviting and hosting visits from local members of parliament from all parties in both lower and upper house seats and across State and Federal roles.  


We will continue this activity well into June and are excited to be able to showcase our amazing school as well as discuss some of the issues we are facing with regards to government funding for building works.


As always it is a busy time of year at MGSC with many things going on in all areas of our school - a snapshot of examples include:

  • We have welcomed many new staff to the school as well as our new Business Manager, Ms Kelly Lloyd-Vanni, who attended her first School Council meeting last week.
  • Selected Year 7 students visited their former primary schools to talk to prospective students about transition from primary to secondary school.
  • Year 7 and 9 students showcased all their heard work at the Famous Women in History Expo’ and the My Migrant Story Expo.
  • MGSC hosted Singfest and welcomes students from the Ubuntu choir from South Africa.
  • We had a very successful Open Night which was well attended and the student leaders did a wonderful job presenting their College to the wider community. 
  • Four of our school Aerobics teams made it through to the State Finals including our Year 12 team who managed to get up very early after the VCE Ball.
  • Our All Star Choir and Madrigal groups performed at Monsalvat Festival.
  • Two year 11 students participated in the Model United Nations Assembly.

Along with the many new parent members on School Council this year I am proud to be able to support the initiatives of our Principal and her Management Team.


Ms Rachael Angus

Vice President

Winter Uniform

A reminder that the end of the transitional period is one week away. From Friday 1 June only the winter uniform can be worn. 

Host families needed

Nakamura High School students will be visiting our school in term 3.  This is part of our Sister School relationship where MGSC students visited their school in 2017.  Homestays will be required for a mixed group of about 15 students in Years 10 to 12. Hosting a Nakamura High School student is open to students in all year levels. For further information or to express interest in hosting student please contact Mrs Petra Witt via email [email protected]


Mrs Petra Witt

Exchange Visit Coordinator

Career & Pathways

Work Experience 2018 

Earlier this month, the Year 10 cohort had a week's work experience. Feedback from employers, students and visiting teachers has been positive and encouraging. Placements were wide and varied with students experiencing some amazing opportunities. Once again our students have been exemplary ambassadors for our College. Congratulations to all students and thank you to all those who helped make this possible.

Some employer comments included: 

  • “very proactive with every task given to her”
  • “we wish she could stay longer"
  • “has a pleasant demeanour and engages really well with people”
  • “an employer would benefit hiring her in their business”
  • “an asset to our team”
  • “we have offered her a job doing database maintenance”

Mrs Rebecca Poulos

Career & Pathways Manager


Class of 2017 students 

Two of our class of 2017 students  have received special awards acknowledging their successes last year and further education goals. 


Congratulations to Lucy Pugh who received a Women in Engineering Scholarship for $5,000 from Monash University. She is currently enrolled in an Engineering and Science Degree program. 


Congratulations to Jessica Hooper who was presented with the Outstanding Student VET in School Hospitality-Kitchen Operations award by Holmesglen Institute of TAFE.  Jessica completed  the Certificate II in Hospitality as part of her VCE studies.  We wish her well in her future endeavours.



Junior School News

Year 8 Camp

Year 8s are currently enjoying their camp. Lots of fun is being had and new friends are being made.

Let The Games Begin!

Year 7 students have started preparing for their Mentone Games that will be held on Friday 1 June. Each team of approximately 12 students will be representing a Commonwealth Nation at our Mentone Mini Games. Students are currently researching their country, designing flags and creating suitable ‘themes’ that represent the culture of their country.


Ms Jackie Mathews

Acting Director of Junior School 


Girl Power in STEM

Congratulations to  Julia Le of Year 9 who was selected to attend the University of Melbourne’s 'Girl Power in STEM' program. Of the 350 students across Victoria who applied to take part in this program, only 30 students could be selected to experience the fantastic opportunities that this program would involve.

Julia will begin her journey at the four day camp in July at the University of Melbourne at which she will learn about careers in STEM, participate in hands-on interactive workshops, interact with University of Melbourne engineering and IT students, hear from industry and academic staff, and form a network with like minded individuals.

The program continues into Year 10 where she may complete the Faculty of Science work experience program, choosing from a range of disciplines including engineering and IT.

The final stage during Julia's VCE she will be mentored by University of Melbourne engineering and IT students.

Once again, congratulations to Julia for her achievement.

The Conocophillips Science Experience

Local Rotary Clubs are offering to fund a 3-day science camp for students in Years 9 or 10. 

There are a number of camps in Victoria that focus of different fields of science throughout the year. 

Students need to look at the full list diverse science experiences on offer. If interested then: 

1.Complete the application form (found here online) - don't pay anything yet though.

2.Email Ms Briedis a copy of the application form.

3.Once processed and approved students will be advised. 

There are two camps coming up in July, so get started on the application form today!

National Youth Science Forum 

Katie Barnshaw attended a Cheltenham Rotary Club meeting recently. The local Rotarians are supporting her application to attend the 2019 National Youth Science Forum. Here she is with an exchange student that was also sponsored by Cheltenham Rotary.


Ms Dahli Briedis

Science Domain Leader

Classroom, Curriculum & beyond


Year 11 and 12 Media students visited the Melbourne Museum and ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image) to view the best photo, print and video work from the 2017 VCE Media students. Our students had the rare opportunity to read through Media Production Plans (MPDs) to see what made up a high quality work. ACMI’s special screening of the best 14 films included a talk by the State Reviewer for VCE Media who went through the major production for the Year 12s (SAT). The films especially were of a very high standard. The day allowed the students to embrace what the city had to offer, with a trusty booklet containing all kinds of galleries and media-related venues that can help inspire their productions this year. Top Designs is free for students through to 15 July 2018 or free with a museum ticket for adults.

Ms Lisa Blumenstein

VCE Media Teacher

World Challenge

I hope you have the chance to visit Aldi to buy some of their cheap but great winter clothing as the weather during the trek will be incredibly cold. Please remember to buy lightweight but warm clothing to minimise the weight of your backpack and maximise your warmth.

On Tuesday 19 June at 6pm in the Lecture Theatre there will be an information session with a travel doctor  to explain vaccinations, altitude sickness and provide general medical advice relevant to the expedition.

Hint #12: Now would be a great time to start learning some Nepali phrases such as "Namaste".


Mr Michael Warden

World Challenge Coordinator

Performing Arts

House Music  

Thank you to everyone for making this year's House Music Competition a great success.  It was fantastic to see you participating with enthusiasm and supporting your Houses. The Senior House Captains, Music Captains, Soloists, Ensemble Directors and Accompanists all did a wonderful job. It was great to see all of the hard work pay off.

I would like to thank all of the staff for their participation and enthusiasm. In particular the PE staff for being flexible with their space, the IT staff and Gerry Van Den Berg for helping to set-up, and the music staff for their assistance and flexibility throughout the House Music preparation. The final results were: Kenny 113, Mackellar 112, Jackson 110 and Melba 98.

Our guest adjudicator, Rob Farnham, was extremely impressed by the House spirit and the high quality of all of the performances. The high quality of the performances made it very difficult for him to pick a winner, given that the sole responsibility of scoring this competition rested on his shoulders. 

Although I myself have no allegiances in this competition, as a Jackson member, I would like to congratulate Kenny for their outstanding performances. Their creativity and individuality paid off.

Well done!

Mr Tim Veevers
Director of Performing Arts

MTC Scholarship

Congratulations to Year 10 student Tereza Nebesky who has been awarded a 2018 Betty Amsden Youth Scholarship Course at the Melbourne Theatre Company. Each year 25  14 to 16 year olds from across Victoria get the opportunity of a life-changing week of intensive drama workshops at MTC in the July holidays.  We know that Tereza it going to have a fantastic experience. Well done. 


Mr Geoff Perks

Drama and Theatre Director

A Midsummer Night's Dream 

VCE Theatre Studies students annual production is this week.  Twenty students are performing 32 roles in of one Shakespeare's most popular comedies of lovers, actors and fairies in a forest.  The play runs until Saturday 26 May at 7.30pm in the Nina Carr Theatre. Tickets are $10 & $8.


Hating Alison Ashley

The Year 10 production of 'Hating Alison Ashley' - a book, movie and play - will have two performances next week at 7pm on Thursday 31 May and Friday 1 June in the Nina Carr Theatre. Entry is by a gold coin donation.




House Cross Country 

Congratulations to all students who completed the Cross Country event last Wednesday 16 May. Although it was a cool and wet under foot type of day, the enthusiasm amongst the Years 7 to 9 students was infectious.

Some notable runners include Freya Brown who came first the for 13 years old runners with a swift time of 10.59, followed by Chloe Shannon in 2nd and then Maya Buhl in 3rd.

Hope Maillard won her 14 years old age group with a time of 11.37 followed by Malia Callaghan and then Charlotte Agombar. Angel Caris 12.01 won her 15 years old age group followed by Sienna Lee and then Poppy Livings. 

The 16 years old age group was won by Millie Belleville with a speedy time of 9.55, Delaney Rawlings was the winner for 17 year olds and Eleanor Karahasan took out the Open Age group.


A big thank you those year 10 Sports Coaching students who were assigned various jobs and competently completed them without an issue. And to the staff who supervised around the course. 


Students who have qualified went onto represent the College at the Beachside Cross Country on Tuesday 22  May.


Beachside Cross Country 

What an impressive group of 50 students keen to represent the college at the Beachside Cross Country Carnival at Karkarook Park. The students took their place in the team with pride rugged up and ready to run at the best. Although the cool breeze was blowing a gale for the majority of the day, their spirits were raging. The day kicked off with the 17 years old and Open students represented by four of our students – Charlotte Collins (7th), Delaney Rawlings (6th), Eleanor Karahasan (10th) and Emilie Templin (3rd).


The 16 years old age group was better represented with Millie Belleville finishing 1st, Timara Logan coming in 2nd, Daisy Walker in 6th place , Anni Doorey  in 9th,  Ailish Byrne in 10th and Tereza Nebesky in 11th position.


Sienna Lee completed her race in 3rd position for the 15 years old age group. Mackenzie Scott coming in 6th overall for the 14 years old age group followed by Poppy Livings in 7th, Lucy Belleville in 8th and Hope Maillard in 9th overall.


The 12 to 13 years old runners were well represented with Freya Brown in 2nd position overall.

A big thank you to Miss Emma Milliken and Mrs Becky White for accompanying the team and for parents/guardians or grandparents for coming to support the team. Students who have qualified for the SMR Cross Country event will be notified shortly.   


Ms Ilana Parker

College House and Carnivals Coordinator


More sport news 

Visit for more sport news and images. 

Student Competitions

Something for everyone

The competition season has opened. Various state and national organisations run interesting and challenging competitions for students at all levels.  If the prestige wasn't enough, many offer cash prizes to the student and the school.

Here are a selection of competitions and festivals open to secondary students.  If you are interested contact one of the staff competition coordinators contact: 

Humanities Competitions coordinator - Ms Paula Cohen

English Competitions coordinator - Ms Jennifer Perry 


2018 John Marsden & Hachette Australia Prize for Young Writers: Recognising writing excellence in fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry.  Entries close 29 June.

Parliament Prize: Write an essay, make a video, design a poster or multimedia presentation about an event or person that has influenced Victorian Parliament. Entries close 20 July. 

Charles Dickens Prize: Show your love of reading and studying Charles Dickens' literature through a creative writing piece or an essay. Submissions open until 10 August.

 Front Page: Create an 8-page school newspaper. Entries close 21 September.

Red Room Poetry Object: Submit a poem inspired by a treasured object.  Entries due by 28 September.


Making Waves 2018 Cover Competition 

Each year the cover of the school magazine - Making Waves - features artwork created by a current student. All students at any year level are invited to submit a design. It can be any medium -  painting, drawings, photography, textiles, digital media, mixed media or a collaborative work.  All elements of the work need to be original student work and multiple entries are welcome. The magazine committee make the selection and then work with the artist  to reproduce their work on the magazine's cover. Entries and enquiries to Ms Jane Garrow (Magazine Coordinator) on [email protected] Start creating!  Entries are due Friday 29 June.

School Information 

General Office

8.15 am to 4.15pm

Monday to Friday 

Tel 03 9581 5200

Principal Team

Principal - Linda Brown

Assistant Principal - Bronwyn Moline

Assistant Principal - Carol Duggan

Director of Junior School - Jackie Mathews (Acting Term 2)

Director of Middle School - Deb Jarvis

Director of  Senior School - Sylvia Christopoulos

Attendance & Absences

Students should aim for an 100% attendance record. They are expected to attend school regularly and remain at school and in class until officially dismissed.

Year 7-10 absences: Parents/guardians use Compass to log when and why before 9am.

VCE students absences:  Parents/guardians contact the VCE Office on 9581 5231 before 9am and update attendance on Compass.  If contact is not made on the day of absence, an explanatory note must be brought from home on the day the student returns and handed in to the VCE Office for VCE students. All notes should be written and signed by a parent/guardian and must clearly show the student’s name, form and date of absence.

Late arrival - after 8.50am

Years 7-10 must sign the arrival book at the General Office and take the white late slip to class. 

VCE students sign in at the VCE Office.


Second Hand Uniform Shop

Open during the term on:

Tuesday 2.45pm - 3.45pm

Wednesday 8.15am - 9.15am

Reimbursement after sale of items is by bank  transfer. Cheques are not issued. 

Please label all items for the second-hand uniform shop clearly with: 

  • Seller's name  and contact details
  • BSB and Account Number

Hand into the Office. 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact Carolyn Page, Finance Manager.


Uniform Supplier - Costume World 

Shop 5 1291 Nepean Highway, Cheltenham

T: 9584 7006

Library hours

8.30am to 4.30pm, school days

Facilities Hire

Many of the schools spaces are available to hire including the gym and lecture theatre. 

For information on hire rates and availability, contact Bronwen Petersen, Facilities Manager

on 9581 5200.

In our community

Saver Plus school cost assistance

Saver Plus is a matched savings and financial education program that allows participants to receive up to $500 in matched funds for their children’s educational expenses. Find out if you are eligible. 


Mentone Girls' Secondary College Newsletter
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