Melbourne Girls' College

01 November 2018
Issue Sixteen
Important Dates
Principal's Report
MGC Murnong Patch Develops
Cultural Exchange: Italy
Melbourne Marathon
Creative Writing Awards
Inside Out Project
Yr 9 Incursion: Brendan Stroud
Congratulations to the MGC Educational Support Staff!​
Performing Arts News
Instrumental Music- Continuation of Lessons for 2019.
Ergathon 2018
Year 7 AstroTours
Peace Poster Contest
Library News
MGC Homework Club
Melbourne Girls' College
9428 8955
Yarra Boulevard
Richmond, VIC, 3121

Important Dates


5th November - Student Free Day

6th November - Melbourne Cup Day

7th November - Yr 10 OED Surf Camp

7th November - Course Confirmation Commences

13th November - Yr 11 Performance Evening

14th November - Last day of Yr 11 Classes

Principal's Report

Wishing our Year 12 students every success!

On Monday 22 October, we celebrated the final day of formal schooling for our wonderful class of 2018. Thank you to parents, families, Pat Sklavakis, Sandor Kazi and their team of teachers who have nurtured our students.

The Valedictory celebrated award winners in each subject as well as community service, special and leadership awards. We see all of our students as exceptional, whether award recipients or not. Please see the list of award winners at the conclusion of this report.

The English Exam took place on Wednesday 31 October with many staff on hand to wish every success. The class of 2018 have been ambassadors and role models for so many at MGC and we will miss them.


2019 Planning

Student Free Days approved by School Council:

  • Friday, 8th March 2019 - Visible Wellbeing with Professor Lea Waters of The University of Melbourne
  • Monday, 4th November 2018 – 2019 Planning       
  • Friday, 16th August 2019 – Curriculum Day
  • Friday, 14th June 2019 -  Assessment, Reporting and Planning

The Victorian Education Excellence Awards!

Congratulations to our Business Manager, Nancy Sandilands and her team who won the Outstanding Education Support Team award on Friday 26 October. Nancy, Emma Kapoor, Mella Pescos, Kathy Schipper, Mary-Ann Baldacchino, Bryony Sahlstrom, Jordyn Taylor, Jaymee Booth and Glen Holland are excellent State educators. The award recognises their professional commitment to the values of the Department of Education whilst supporting our students, staff and parents in every way. The team also share their knowledge and expertise widely across our State system. We are all very proud of them.


2019 College Captains

The 2018 College Captains, Isabelle Carney, Ky Luong and Claudia Junge handed over to our new 2019 Captains Georgia Wolfe, Genevieve Cox and Meg Funston on 25 October. Issy, Ky and Claudia have been excellent role models and leaders for all students. Their inclusion of ideas and approachability has seen many barriers between year levels broken down. We wish Meg, Gen and Georgia every success in their new roles.


Art and Design Exhibition and Parent Association (PA) Art Acquisition Award ceremony, 30 October

The excellent showcase was a celebration of art, design, the girls’ creativity and talent. Thank you to Harriet Turnbull, Fiona Storrie, Jo Jepsen, Ollie Hull and Roger Dunscombe, who have been inspiring the girls and leading their Year 12 learning throughout the year. Of course all of our Art and Design teachers have contributed to this learning over many years.

Thank you to our PA, Gailean Hammond, Anna Makin, Robynne Smith and Sallie Carman who support our school in so many ways. Their award went to Monique Burns for her linoprint titled Banksia Prionotes'.

Congratulations to Emma Roe who is the recipient of the Suzanne Barrah special award this year.

This award is given to a senior student for considerable commitment and passion in their pursuit of a pathway within a creative design field. Emma hopes to study Fashion Design at RMIT next year and this award is intended to assist her with this vocational pathway.


Aerobics National Championships

As Lenore, our Aerobics Leader, reported in the last newsletter, 43 of our students participated in the Australian Aerobic Gymnastics National Championships on the Gold Coast in September. The Melbourne Girls’ College team was awarded the most successful school prize in Australia, and many of the girls won individual and group medals at the championships including overall club champion and second overall school champions.  The triumphs are a testament to the girls and to all the hard work and dedication of Lenore Twist, Catie Cameron-Martin, our coaches and parents. Congratulations to all involved.



MGC is the case study on page 11 of this 2018 report on “A Plan to Repower Our Schools”.


With gratitude

Our parents and staff work tirelessly to ensure every learning opportunity is supported, their dedication to the girls is extraordinary. Some highlights which will also be reported upon by staff in our newsletters are:

  • Girls in Property” thank you to our parent Vicki Sharp for organising the opportunity for our students to participate in a Property Council project aimed at gender equity in a male dominated industry. Melbourne Girls’ College has always looked for opportunities to ensure gender equality in every sphere.
  • Chinese trip celebration, thank you Lucy Chen, PingPing Elliott, Bibo Shi and Will Li
  • The Year 9 National Australia Bank Women IT Project, thank you Catie Cameron Martin
  • Parents’ Association Raffle, thank you Gailean Hammond, Anna Makin, Robynne Smith, Sallie Carman and Natasha Walsh
  • State Athletics Finals for School Sports Victoria, SSV Indoor Rowing thank you Andrew Fero-Kovassy
  • Melbourne Water Conference, thank you Andrew Vance and Samone Hosking
  • The piano and strings soirees thank you Anne Corry, Katrina Halliday, Wen Chin and Andrew Clarke
  • Year 7 Amazing Race thanks to the Year 7 team
  • Semester 2 Dance Showcase  thank you Jordan Evans
  • Do IT In A Dress Day” fundraiser for girls’ education, thanks to Lucy Skelton, Ash O’Brien, Wendy Keen
  • Rowing Season Launch and Ergathon, thank you Andrew Beck, Steph Burgess, parents, coaches and rowers!

Our staff and parents are exceptional. We appreciate the parent acknowledgement of everyone listed above, here is one eloquent example, thank you for allowing us to share your kind words Patsy.


Thank you for the music!

Dear Ms. Money, Mr. Arney, and all the music faculty,


I just want to congratulate you on the wonderful music program at Melbourne Girls.  My daughters have benefited so much from being a part of the music program since year 7. I have seen them blossom into confident, responsible and proud musicians and members of various bands and ensembles. Watching them perform this year in the school production and multitude of soirees made me so proud and so envious that I was never part of something so exciting. 


I am so glad you have added the 'A' in STEAM! If the aim is to encourage girls to participate and succeed in traditionally male pursuits, then it is working fantastically through the music program. Watching all the schools competing at Generations In Jazz, I was dismayed to see how few female musicians were among them, and even fewer taking on the roles of 'soloists'. My girls have never been made to feel that they are anything other than equal to their male counterparts and have been encouraged to push their musical boundaries and stand up and perform on their own in front of an audience from Year 7. The impact of this on their confidence and sense of identity has been enormous.


When they finish High School, my girls will take the skills and confidence they have gained through music away with them. I hope they continue to play music in some form, but if they don't, the lessons and experiences they have gained through MGC music will stand them in good stead when it comes to making life and work choices.


Thank you once again for your dedication, encouragement and patience!





To our parents, please consider joining in the work of MGC. The P.A. meets each term, School Council each month. The aerobics, rowing, cadets, environmental and STEAM teams are always looking for parent volunteers and support.


Many thanks for your ongoing support in preparing the girls for the best future possible.

Kind regards,


Valedictory 2018 - Excellence Awards

One award is presented for each VCE Unit 3/4 Study.

It is given to the student who has distinguished themselves above all others in terms of attendance, attitude, and involvement in class activities and has demonstrated excellence in the study.


Valedictory 2018 – Special Awards


Year 12 Teachers to be Thanked and Celebrated

Laura Allen –English

Desmond Ang - Biology

Jeanette Bathgate –Further Maths

Nunu Bisogni - English

Simone Bomar –Accounting

Liam Brown - English, Philosophy

Paul Carter - English

Martin Berezdecky - Chemistry

Susanna Castello - Further Maths

Anne Corry – Music Performance

Anna Crosswhite –Health & Human Dev.

Sefija Demirova - Legal Studies

Alice Dawes – English

Olivia Day –English as Additional Language

Terry Donnelly –Literature

Tonia Douglas Scarf –Health and Human Development

Andrew Doyle – English

Roger Dunscombe –Media

PingPing Elliot –Chinese 2nd Language

Jordan Evans –Dance

Mei Francis - Math Methods, Specialist Maths

Leanna Ha - Further Maths, Math Methods

Elizabeth Hajzler –Global Politics

Peter Hilton –French

Trevor Howlett - Further Maths

Jo Jepsen –Product Design and Technology

Sandor Kazi –Physics

Wendy Keen – Psychology

Jason Kohlman - French, English Language

Isabella Kontogeorgis –Legal Studies

Alison Lam –Business Management

Amanda Lucas –Outdoor Ed Studies

Paula McIntosh – Psychology

Ella Macdonald – Psychology

Emily Miller - Further Maths

Megan Moat - Chemistry, Math Methods

Lindy Mumme – Drama

Amer Munro –English Language

Wendy Murray – Biology

Michael Newton - English

Ashley O’Brien –Food Technology

Brooke O’Callaghan - English

Shaunagh O’Connell - English Add Language

Lisa Rosos –History Revolutions

Emily Shaw –Math Methods

Bibo Shi – Year 12 Chinese First Language

Patricia Sklavakis –Chemistry

Georgia Sotiriou - Math Methods, Specialist Maths

Fiona Storrie –Visual Communication & Design

Bridget Tellefson –PE

Harriet Turnbull –Studio Art Visual & Digital

Andrew Vance –Biology

MGC Murnong Patch Develops

On Friday we welcomed Damien Nicholson, Darren Wandin and Glen Clapton from the Wurundjeri Narrap team to complete a long- planned aspect of the Murnong bush tucker garden; carving a traditional shield and creating a scar tree to mark the significance of the site.

The shield will be used for collecting Murnong tubers  during harvest ceremonies and the new scar tree is a traditional way of marking special sites. Our staff and students have worked hard this year to develop the outdoor classroom spaces. The Murnong site is accessible to the public. Community working bees are organized from time to time by the MGC Sustainability collective. For more information, please contact Sustainability Coordinator Mr. Andrew Vance [email protected]


This project has been carried out under the supervision of Wurundjeri elder Uncle Dave Wandin and has been part of the wider Reconciliation through Revegetation project, which is an ongoing  collaboration between MGC staff and students, members of the MGC Sustainability Collective team, (especially Dr Colin Hocking) City of Yarra and the Wurundjeri Council. Special Acknowledgement to Uncle Bill Nicholson and Aunty Dianne Kerr for their wisdom and guidance over the last seven years that we have been revegetating the banks of the Birrarung with Murnongs and other bush foods! We also acknowledge the financial support from the City of Yarra through providing a Community Partnership Grant to facilitate a lot of this groundwork and to embed the cultural and ecological significance of the Murnong into our curriculum.


Cultural Exchange: Italy

India Mazzoccoli, Year 10

I went on a self-organised cultural exchange experience in Italy in 2018 from July to December. Initially school was really hard and understanding what the teachers were saying was difficult, even though I went in being able to speak fluent Italian. The first couple weeks, school was extremely unenjoyable and I didn’t even want to get up in the morning, especially because school starts at 8 in the morning here. After I had begun to make friends and realise that I didn’t need to take school too seriously as it was just an experience to help improve my Italian things got easier and more enjoyable. It was also a shock having to adjust to the way school works in Italy where you go from 8:00am until 1:00pm but with only a 15-minute break at 11:00am. It’s hard when you get homesick and things get tough or you don’t have a good day and all you want to do is go home to your own bed and you can’t. Overtime however, I got used to the new conditions and had to realise that it was an experience and years from now I’ll be glad I did it.


Melbourne Marathon

Sweat, hard work and sore muscles is what myself and 5 of my Year 9 colleagues faced recently. Hazel, Cecilia, Ruby, Saskia, Mihiri and I went to the School for Student Leadership at the Snowy River Campus in term 3. As part of that experience we had to do a Community Learning Project. We chose to raise funds and awareness for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC). In order to do this someone in the group suggested running as a team in the 5 km race in the Melbourne Marathon. Everyone agreed on the idea, I however tried pushing for the 3 km walk but majority rules. Our goal was $1,500 but at the time of writing this we have raised over $2,180 for the ASRC. Running in the marathon was a challenge but as soon as we all crossed the finish line, we were over the moon and so excited. All of us girls would like to thank everyone who donated and supported us during the Melbourne Marathon and at the Snowy River Campus and a reminder that you can still donate using the link below.

We still have more work to do to raise awareness for the ASRC, so we will keep you updated on what other things we have planned. 

To give to this cause, please see the website here.

Jemima Kavanagh 9G

Creative Writing Awards

Congratulations to the winners and a big thank you to everyone who entered the writing competition this year. Thank you also to our generous sponsor, the wonderful MGC Parents’ Association. If you didn’t enter, please consider for next year!

MGC Creative Writing Awards 2018 Winners

Start typing your article in here...

MGC Poetry Award

1st Place: Lucy Xu – Partner

Runners up: Kate Thompson – Femme Fatale; Ophelia Murray – Quiet

MGC Prose Non-fiction Award

1st Place: Alissa Telkes – Not Blue

MGC Graphic Fiction and Non-fiction Award

1st Place: Luiza Albert – My Sincere Apologies Will Be Washed Away When Summer Comes About

4.    MGC Year 11 and 12 Short Fiction Award

1st Place: Milla Harrison - Dancing Crows

2nd Place: Min Marriott – The Adoption

3rd Place: Zakiya Ormsby - Abiogenesis

Runners up: Anok Bol – Designated Survivors; Hannah Scallion – Forgotten Balloons.  

MGC Year 9 and 10 Short Fiction Award

1st Place: Luiza Albert – Supersweat
2nd Place: Ophelia Murray – Every Midnight
3rd Place: Siena Chumbly Contin – The Night She Won’t Forget
Runner up: Carla Jones – The Sting

Listowel Short Story Award

Please note this is judged completely outside of school.

1st Place: Luiza Albert – Supersweat

Runners up:

2nd Ophelia Murray – Every Midnight;

3rd Devshri Patel - Death at First Sight.


Siena Chumbly Contin – The Night She Won’t Forget; Carla Jones – The Sting; Milla Harrison - Dancing Crows.

Inside Out Project

Melbourne Girls' College Year 10 Visual Arts Students have created a powerful large scale artwork that supports the right of all children to live in safety, go to school, enjoy their childhoods and have hope for their futures.  


Currently, there are many refugee children living in Nauru who don't have this freedom. We would like to see the removal all children living on the island of Nauru by World Children's Day – 20 November 2018. 

The year 10 students put in a massive effort and worked together as a fantastic team to instal the 25 metre long mural on Monday 29th October on the exterior of the school gym, which can be seen from Yarra Boulevard. ​The artwork is comprised of 102 portraits of MGC students (taken by MGC students). Each one represents a child living on the island of Nauru. ​


The mural has been independently organised as an 'Inside Out Group Action'. Inside Out is a large-scale participatory art project that transforms messages of personal identity into pieces of artistic work. Participants are challenged to use black and white photographic portraits to discover, reveal and share the untold stories and images of people around the world. The Inside Out Project is a creation of the artist JR, recipient of the 2011 TED Prize.


All Inside Out Projects are documented and archived and are available online at:


Special thanks to Oliver Hull, Visual Arts Technician, for his support installing the posters. 


Emma McCowan ​

Visual Arts Teacher

Intercultural Understandings Leader

[email protected]


Yr 9 Incursion: Brendan Stroud

On Monday 29th of October, Brendan Stroud came to Melbourne Girls College to share his life story. The Year 9s were given the unique opportunity to learn about physical disability from someone who has experienced it firsthand. Brendan has become well-known in the sporting community, but he spoke mainly of his emotional journey and the challenges that he had overcome. Sport became his release from the struggles of daily life. As well as highlighting his achievements, Brendan touched on the critical topic of road safety and responsible smartphone use. He gave advice and tips on how to help others stay safe on the roads. All in all, he gave an eye-opening speech which has influenced the Year 9 cohort greatly. Brendan’s message is an important one and the wider community should be made aware of it. Thank you to the Parent’s Association for making this event possible.

Grace Foa – Middle School Captain


Congratulations to the MGC Educational Support Staff!​

Victorian Educational Excellence Award: Our reflection


The journey began in 2015 to establish the Educational Support Operational Integrity Team at Melbourne Girls’ College.
Our team was committed to encourage evidence-informed, open, respectful discussions of current professional practice.
Our approach at school was to provide a shared understanding of what students at the centre meant to all stakeholders, including parents, students and all staff.
We worked together to raise awareness of financial accountability and how this is linked to our values in regards to student wellbeing, compliance, hardship and governance.


The award application consisted of a 2000 word proposal which led us to be invited to an intensive interview and on 26th October we were presented the prestigious award.
-Emma Kapoor and Mella Pescos

Performing Arts News

MGC Instrumental Music Soirees

Vocal Showcase


Congratulations to our voice students, Choir, A’capella Choir and Soul band who performed at our Vocal Showcase on Monday, 16th October. There were over 30 acts, featuring solos, duets and small groups, culminating in a mass finale of “Mamma Mia”. Some of the many highlights included Felicity Edmondson’s solo scat in the Choir’s rendition of “Blue Skies”, Jaeda McPherson performing her own composition, “Wonderland” and our Year 12 vocalists, Alex Dolan, Indah Parna and Astrid MacFarlane performing for the last time at MGC. Thank you to our choir captains, Jo Vossos and Georgia Clarke for being our MC’s. A huge thank you to Andy Clarke (Soul Band) and our two voice teachers, Ellyce Calder and Susan de Jong for all their hard work and inspiration.

We look forward to the final performance for the year from our Choir, A’capella Choir and Soul Band at Presentation Night on the 27th November.

A reminder that Choir rehearses on Monday lunchtimes, all welcome.

Soul Band rehearses Monday and Wednesday lunchtimes.

Auditions for 2019’s A’Capella Choir will be held early next year- don’t miss out!

Piano Soiree

Congratulations to all 35 of Katrina Halliday’s piano students for their performances on Tuesday, 23rd October. It was a black and white theme and winner of the best costume went to Grace Rawlinson, dressed as a panda bear. The best bow competition was won by Maya Garrett and Mia Casey.

A special thank you to our Year 12 piano students, Lulu McCraig, Sophie Townsend, Isla Jamieson and Olivia Badanach, who performed for the last time at MGC.

A huge thank you to Katrina Halliday for all her hard work and inspiration.


String Soiree

Congratulations to our guitar, violin and cello students who performed at our String Soiree on Wednesday, 24th October. A special shout out to Erica Brown-Yamada, who also performed at our piano soiree the previous evening! Some of the many highlights were the performance of the March from “The Nutcracker” and “Pirates of the Caribbean Medley” from our String Ensemble, Darby Stoffel’s vocals on “Rhiannon”, Clare Elliot and Layla Enriquez-Tsilfidis’ harmonies for “Landslide” and Victoria Kozbanis’ vocals for “When Love Loves Alone”. The evening culminated with an electric guitar rendition of “Hysteria” by Laura Wilcox, Ashley Osborne, Aimee Stranks and Caitlin Moloney.

A huge thank you to our guitar teacher, Andy Clarke and our cello teacher and String Ensemble leader, Wen Chin for all their hard work and inspiration.

A reminder that String Ensemble rehearse Thursday lunchtimes- all welcome!


Woodwind Soiree

Congratulations to our woodwind, brass and band students who performed at our Woodwind Soiree on Tuesday, 30th October. We had a fantastic variety of both orchestral and jazz pieces. Highlights included the performance of Hayden’s Trumpet Concerto, featuring Charlie Young on trumpet and Mozart’s Flute Concerto in D Major, featuring Anne Mao. Also featured were our Saxophone Quartet, Flute ensemble and a gypsy jazz string ensemble! Soloists included Eirene Carajias (flute) Vivienne Carey (trumpet) and Daisy Huang (Flute). Anne Mao (flute) and Miranda Moloney (Sax) performed solos from their upcoming Year 12 Music Performance exams this weekend. We wish them all the best! A special shout out to Caitlin Moloney (bass) for performing at our Vocal Showcase (Soul Band) our string soiree and our woodwind soiree!

There were some fabulous student improvisations in “Memphis Underground” and the evening concluded with more improvisation opportunities during “Cold Duck Time”.

A huge thank you to Tony Hicks for all his hard work and inspiration.

A reminder that Orchestra/Band rehearse from 7.45am on Wednesday mornings. All welcome!


Generations in Jazz 2019- 3rd-5th May.

We hope to be heading to Mount Gambier for Generations in Jazz- the biggest Stage Band competition in the southern hemisphere!

Save this date and watch this space!

AMEB Piano Exam Results

Congratulations to the following piano students for completing their recent AMEB Piano exam:

Year 7

Sari Telkes - 2nd grade 

Natalie Barone - 2nd grade classical


Year 8

Nisha Van der Veen - 2nd grade 

Jade Tan - 3rd grade 

Georgie Watson - 3rd grade 


​Year 9

Alex Coates - 3rd grade 

Mia Casey - 6th grade 


Year 10

Jocelyn Phuong - 8th grade (A​!)

Instrumental Music- Continuation of Lessons for 2019.

To assist in our planning for 2019, please complete the continuation of lessons application form and return to the General Office by the 23rd November to guarantee your place in the program.

For students wanting to learn an instrument in 2019, please complete the application form and return to the General Office by the 23rd November.


Ergathon 2018

On Friday the 26 from 9am all the way until 9am the following morning, the MGC rowers were smashing out another year’s ergathon. The ergathon is MGC rowing’s most profitable fundraiser and what is it? During the ergathon, we take it in turns to row for 20mins on the rowing machines all throughout the night and get sponsored for each km that we row. This year we rowed over two million metres woooo! Every single girl that participated this year absolutely smashed it and it was great to see this year’s pick of rowers getting behind each other and cheering each other on at unbearable times of the night and early morning, this gave a fantastic indication of the season to come. Another important aspect of the ergathon is the election of the captain of boats. Six of the sixteen senior senior girls gave beautiful speeches and a huge thankyou to those girls. The results of the voting were revealed at 10pm and we are proud to announce that we, Molly Sharrock and Polly-Jane Decker and Hayley Turnbul as vice are the COBs for the 2018/19 season. We’d like to say a huge thankyou to everyone that made the ergathon possible: firstly, to the amazing team of parents who made a delicious Bolognese pasta for dinner and bacon and eggs in the morning, to all the coaches who came and cheered us on at 2am (even though they were eating maccas and drinking redbull and iced coffee right in front of us). And of course, A huge thanks to Steph Burgess (head coach) and Andrew Beck (rowing coordinator) who this would not be possible without.


- Molly Sharrock, Polly-Jane Decker and Hayley Turnbull

Year 7 AstroTours

By Amelie Foa 7C1

Last week year 7 Chisholm classes took a trip to Swinburne University on an entertaining but equally informative tour of space. All the Year 7s have had this opportunity as part of their Physical World classes. Led by a brilliant and genius presenter, Leonie, we put on our 3D glasses and journeyed out of this world. We saw videos on scientists and all of their work, showing us that they are just like detectives. We also found out how extremely big everything in our galaxy is, including stars 2,000 times wider than our own sun. Looking back through the history of telescopes we learnt how much they have helped with breakthrough astronomical discoveries and how they will evolve to explore more of the universe. The amazing 3D experience paired with all the enlightening information created a very interactive and enjoyable AstroTour. The well-researched Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics and Supercomputing provided a fascinating experience that I personally will remember for quite some time.


Peace Poster Contest


Library News

Library Book Club

The Library Book Club is a space for students who want to read books, read about books, talk about books, and then read and talk some more. We meet on Purple Mondays in the library - keep an eye on the Student Bulletin for which room!


If you have any questions or you'd like to get involved, please email Beth at [email protected].

Library Events


MGC Homework Club


Come and join us Monday and Thursday afternoons for Homework Club.



The Library




Hope to see you there!

Ms Hajzler

Melbourne Girls' College
2019 Continuation of Tuition form.docx
2019 Expressions of Interest Form and Payment updated .docx
Picture caption: L to R: Damien Nicholson (front), Darren Wandin and Glenn Clapton holding the shield and displaying the Murnong carving in the cambium layer of a River Red gum that grows in the middle of the Murnong bush tucker garden. The team coated the carving with Ochre after completing the work with help from MGC students.
Emma Kapoor (Accounts Receivable Officer) and Mella Pescos (Careers Leader) Educational Support Staff