Lowanna College

17 December 2019
Issue Eight
Principal's Report
College Updates
College Calendar
Junior School 
Middle School 
Senior School 
Community Updates
Lowanna College
(03) 5127 9200
72- 96 Newark Avenue
Newborough, Victoria, 3825

Principals Report

Principals Report

As we reach the end of the year, it is always a good time to reflect on our achievements as a college. First and foremost, I would like to thank the students, staff and families for the way they have welcomed me into the Lowanna College community this year.


It has been a big year in many ways, as we spent significant time looking inwards and understanding the brightest parts of our college that we need to continually celebrate, as well as the areas of the college we can improve.


This reflective practice and drive for excellence has seen a number of remarkable steps forward, in the short space of one year. We have seen growth in our literacy results, and we are excited about building on this in 2020 as we establish our ‘Literacy Hub’ and whole-school literacy plan. Our student and parent feedback (via DET surveys) and our staff climate feedback also improved across the college. We have seen a very positive improvement in our attendance, and I would like to thank students and parents for supporting us in recognizing the importance of attending school every day.


Congratulations to all of our Year 12 VCE students, upon release of results last week. A particular congratulations to Tess Sultana, Dux of 2019. Tess has worked incredibly hard throughout her six years of schooling, showing a real dedication to her studies and strong study habits. Moving into 2020, Tess is looking at taking up a career in education, which as teachers we’re incredibly proud of. Beyond university, Tess says she is keen to work with different aid organisations to help disadvantaged individuals and communities.

This year we have been fortunate to have strong leadership from our school captains– Danielle Jeffrey, Renzi Abuan, Harrison Puts and Caleb Michie. These students have worked hard to drive student leadership through our Student Representative Council. There have been many highlights, including the World’s Greatest Shave – raising $3200 for the Leukemia Foundation. The SRC also coordinated a Footy Colours day with a student/staff dodgeball competition and coordinated student participation in the National Day Against Bullying.


Through listening to our students, we have been able to make a number of key improvements. We have replaced all of our basketball backboards, purchased new bins, organised new drink fountains, new music equipment, and have ordered some new senior lockers.


Our students have worked together to raise awareness of health, wellbeing and resilience, through our Teen Mental Health First Aid training, our Tomorrow Man presentations, and Cyber Safety presentations.


Extra-curricular experiences always rate highly in the list of things that our students and community value. Our Year 7s began their high school journey with a camp to Philip Island (and somehow had me upside down on the giant swing, in my first week at Lowanna), making new friends and getting to know staff. Our Year 8s engaged in the City Camp, exploring the culture of Melbourne. Many students enjoyed the winter wonderland of Falls Creek, while some Middle Years students were able to spend time on the Gold Cost, and a fortunate few were able to attend the World Challenge experience in Laos, Vietnam.


We have been fortunate to have great sporting success this year, with four of our Sports Excellence Program alumni being drafted to the AFL, and our Under 20 girls taking out the gold medal at the D2 National Championships in Melbourne this month.


There has been some incredible musical and performance talent across our school, showcase through various performances for both the school and community. One of my highlights for the year was our school musical production – Seussical, The Musical. The students, well supported by staff in the background, did a remarkable job.


We have recently partnered with Microsoft to review and strengthen our entire digital literacy curriculum, and have worked hard to reenvisage our Laptop Program to truly enhance student learning. We are pleased that our 2020 Year 7 intake is currently sitting at 90% of students having a device next year, up from 40% this year.


We have also broadened our Careers Education scope, with all Year 9s engaging in the Morrisby Careers Assessment and featured guest speakers on a weekly basis, including several universities, the Defense Forces, Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria. We are also proud to have been able to support our students in a variety of extra-curricular activities, including STEM sisters, the Deakin University Engineering Roadshow and the Gippsland Tech School.


There are many aspects of Lowanna College for our community to be proud of. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to our college in 2019 – parents, staff, community partners, but most importantly our students, who make our college such a great place to be every day.


I would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Christmas, New Year and summer break. We look forward to your continued support in 2020.


Kind regards,


Adam Hogan



College Updates

Presentation Evening

We are holding our annual presentation evening on Wednesday, December 18 at 7 pm to celebrate our students achievements for 2019!

If your child is receiving an award, a parent will have been notified.


Middle School Camp- Queensland

40 students and 4 staff left Lowanna College at 5.00 am on Monday, December 2  to fly to the sunny Gold Coast where they were greeted with warm weather! The next few days were spent full of laughter, screams, ice cream and unlimited drinks at Wet n Wild, Movie World, Sea World, and Dreamworld. In between all of this they headed to DFO for some retail therapy. On the final day, they were up bright and early for rock climbing before returning home. Thanks to all the students who attended for their outstanding behaviour and also to the staff who accompanied the students

World Challenge

Our World Challenge students and staff have been having an amazing time in Vietnam and Laos. They are now half way through the trip. More images and more detailed updates are available on our Lowanna College Facebook Page.

Nationals Basketball

On arrival at the Nationals Basketball, Lowanna College was presented with a 5-year participation banner. This was only the start of our good luck. All of our teams worked extremely hard and came up against some tough competition. Our under 15 girls had a rising injury toll but finished the week off on a win against Rockingham on Friday defeating them 44 to 27. Our Under 17 boys team played good basketball at times, it was proven that inconsistency was their downfall and lost their final game to Hillcrest by 2 points.
Our Under 20 women competed in a Division 2 gold medal match where they saved their best basketball until last and came home with gold defeating Erindale High School by 46 points. 
It was a great week for everyone involved. Thanks to the students, staff and all the parent volunteers who assisted in making it the week that it was!

Library Borrowing

Our Year 7 & 8 students have been steadily building both their interest and stamina for reading independently this semester. They should be proud of their success and we look forward to supporting them next year as they continue to grow as readers.


We would love our students to continue their reading over the summer.  We encourage all of our students to visit the Library to borrow some books to read over the holiday period. Students can borrow 4 books, so why not use the summer to try a new author, genre or series of books.


We look forward to seeing you in the library!

Year 8 Melbourne Camp

Our Year 8 students and some staff spent 3 days in Melbourne involved in a variety of activities such as Mini Golf, Melbourne Aquarium, Ice Skating, Rock Climbing and exploring our capital city. Our students were commended several times on their behaviour and manners. Well done to all students involved

COMPASS Support Session 2020

On Thursday, February 6, from 5.30-7.00 pm we are holding a COMPASS Support Session for those who require assistance with COMPASS. Attendees will be shown how to use COMPASS to its full capacity. Please keep an eye on our facebook page to register your interest. The session would be very useful for families who are new to the system or the college. If you have any questions please contact the General Office on 5127 9200. 

VCAL Program at Woorabinda

During the late part of Term 3 and early into Term 4, Lowanna College had the exciting opportunity to trial a Foundation VCAL Personal Development Studies (PDS) program at the local Woorabinda School Camp. The aim of the program was for Year 10 Foundation VCAL students to have the opportunity to meet some of their learning outcomes for Unit 2 PDS, as well as to develop other personal skills, such as leadership. Students had to contribute to completing a community activity, implement strategies to minimise risk, respect the rights of individuals and the diversity within a group, develop communication and leadership, and work together to deliver an effective program. The program offered a ‘hands-on’ experience for these students, taking them out of the normal classroom to participate in and deliver fun and challenging activities in an outdoor environment.

The first stage of the program required the Year 10 students to learn about and directly participate in two different adventure activities, which were Zip Line and High ropes. Their participation in these activities developed their confidence to be able to perform the activities, whilst at the same time, they were learning and practising the required procedures for the safe delivery of these activities. A total of 4 x 1.5hr sessions were used to develop the students’ confidence, knowledge and skills to be able to assist other students to participate safely in these activities.


The second and final stage of the program required the VCAL students to assist groups of Year 7 students from Lowanna College to participate in these activities. A total of two Year 7 groups, each group containing 16 students, participated in the program. Each group had 2 x 1.5hr sessions, performing Zip Line in the first session and High Ropes in the second. Having two different groups of Year 7 students allowed the VCAL students to share different roles across the 4 sessions and to also further develop personal aspects such as their self-confidence and communication. The chosen Year 7 students were students who had consistently maintained a very high GPA throughout 2019. This program was promoted as a reward for their outstanding effort across all their subjects.


The VCAL students assisted the Year 7 students by helping to fit the harness and helmet, to fit the Zip Line runner to the harness, to state safety procedures, to attach and disconnect the student to the Zip Line and High Ropes course, to help a student progress through the High Ropes course, and to remove the harness, helmet and Zip Line runner at the end of the session. The activities were closely supervised by Mr. Bailey and staff from Woorabinda School Camp. The program also helped to build a friendly relationship between younger and older students, which could prove beneficial back in the normal day to day school life. It would be fair to say that the program was enjoyed by most, if not all, students involved, as well as the staff.


The program would not have been possible or successful without the support of the Woorabinda Principal, Bruce Milkins, who could see the benefits that would arise from such a program. His enthusiasm towards the initial idea greatly motivated me to organise the program, and the VCAL students too were very keen to be involved when they learnt about the high probability of the program occurring. Besides allowing us to use the Woorabinda facilities and equipment at no cost, Bruce also supplied a staff member each week to help with the running of the program and to ensure the activities were conducted safely within the Woorabinda procedures. Without this support, the program would not have been able to go ahead, and I thank Bruce for his fantastic support.


Finally, thanks to Elise Demczuk, who assisted with managing the students most weeks, and also Ella Cornish, who helped out when Elise was absent. Thanks to Mr. Lakeman for funding the bus travel out of a special grant and thanks to Mr. Cox and Ross Magnuson for providing transport on occasions.


Brett Bailey

Foundation VCAL PDS Teacher

Lowanna College

Moe Rotary Awards

Several of our students were recognised recently in the Moe Rotary Awards Presentation evening.
Ashlyn Levy was awarded the John Dwyer Citizenship Award for her role as the president of the Lowanna SRC, and the Pride of Workmanship Award was presented to Darcy Sawyer.
The Lowanna Interact, Leadership for Sustainability Program Office Bearers Bella Simpson-Jung (President), Cruz Mylne (Treasurer), Chelsea Anderson (Secretary) and Lauren Langmaid (PR) were also awarded Pride of Workmanship awards. Congratulations to all of our students who have worked hard over 2019 to achieve these awards.

Chinese Language in 2020!

The long-awaited Chinese Language classes will be returning to Lowanna College in 2020 for both junior and middle school students who chose this elective.

Chinese language and cultural activities will be accessible to junior and middle school students at recess and lunchtime. 
There will be images of both ancient and modern Chinese lifestyles, exploration of the old nation and even an excursion to where Chinese people reside. You are most welcome to join us!

Beleza Holiday Trading Hours


College Calendar

January 2020

Wednesday January 29
Year 7, 11 and 12 First Day of School

Senior School Assembly


Thursday January 30

All students at school

Whole School Assembly


Friday January 31

Yr8-10 Gippsland Tech School Incursion

Semester reports released to parents


Tuesday February 4

Year 7 Welcome BBQ- 5pm


Thursday February 6

COMPASS Support Session 5.30-7pm


Friday February 14

Swimming Carnival 



Monday February 17
School Photos Day 1


March 2

School Photos - Catchup Day


March 19

Athletics Carnival





Junior School 

Junior School Report

Welcome to the final Junior School report for 2019


As 2019 draws (far too quickly!!) to a close, I have taken a few moments to reflect on a busy and productive year that has seen our Junior School community involved in a wide range of activities including academic, sporting, cultural and social. What has sprung to the front of my mind is a myriad of moments that I have witnessed and shared with students of both genuine joy and excitement as well as perseverance through frustration. Recalling the looks of happiness on student's faces, the echoing sounds of laughter as they move around the yard and the furrowed brows of concentration culminating in that wide-eyed “aha” moment all remind me why teachers have one of the best jobs there is. It is this breadth of experiences over the year, the challenges and the successes, that have resulted in great individual growth and learning amongst all of our students. Reflecting on these moments makes me very proud to be part of the Junior School and to work alongside the great students and staff who attend here each day. I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to parents for your support this year. 


All students participated in Headstart last week – during this time they got to know their teachers for 2020 as well as meeting their classmates and gaining an early start on the content they will be continuing with next year. It is critical that all students approach the Headstart period with a commitment to work hard and complete any homework that is set over the holidays in order to establish a solid foundation for success in 2020. I know this time can cause some anxiety for students and their families but it has been great to see everyone embracing the change and making the most of the new opportunities and keeping their learning at the forefront of their minds. It was exciting to welcome and meet our 2020 Year 7 students on Monday 9 and Tuesday 10 December. Their energy, excitement, and enthusiasm was contagious and a breath of fresh air at a time of year when students and staff alike are all a bit tired. Thank you to all of our current Year 7 students who were great ambassadors for the school and helped to make these new students feel so welcome during these days.  


We look forward to students taking part in end of year activities this week. I know there are a number of students who were excited to head to Gumbuya World on Monday, and there will be a variety of activities taking place here on site for those students who are not attending these opt-in excursions. The final day for students will be Wednesday, December18  and our Presentation Evening will take place that night, commencing at 7 pm in the Auditorium. Families of those students who are receiving an award should have already received communication concerning arrangements for this and I am looking forward to celebrating the achievements of our students – both in Junior School and across the whole College – in what is always a really positive and uplifting evening! 


I wish all of our families a relaxing and joyous break and a very Merry Christmas. I look forward to seeing everyone back on January 30 next year – refreshed, and eager to make the most of the opportunities that 2020 has in store! 


Nicole Taylor 

Junior School Leader 

Middle School 

Middle School Report

Well here we are for our last newsletter for the year, and 2019 has been a big year for Middle School!


The end of year Head Start program was well attended; giving the students a glimpse into next year’s program.


We would like to welcome the year 8’s who have started their Head Start program into year 9, the transition into their Middle School classes has gone smoothly.


We wish our year 9’s continued success in 2020 in their year 10 classes.


To the 2019 year 9 & 10 students we congratulate you all on your success of the years’ work.

Congratulations to all students who have received awards for your hard work.


The Middle School Camp to Queensland was a huge success again this year. Reports of laughter, screaming and generally having a good time seemed to be the consensus of all who attended. The staff at the accommodation were very impressed with the behaviour of our students, which is always pleasing to hear. Congratulations.


I urge parents to check that your child has the correct uniform as per the Lowanna College uniform policy for the start of the year and if necessary to take the holiday time to update your childs uniform.


Students are also reminded of the importance of school attendance. All students should strive for 100% attendance, as this will give them the best opportunity to achieve successful outcomes in their learning.
Please ensure that all absences are recorded on Compass or a phone call/note are given to the Middle School Office.


Last of all a big thank you to the Middle School team who help the Middle School run extremely smoothly.


We wish all families a happy and safe holiday and ready for a fresh start in the New Year.



Darren Mitchell

Middle School Manager

Senior School 

Senior School Report

Senior School has had an extremely busy end to 2019. We have supported our students through the stress and anxieties of studying, exams, results and the nerve-racking process of completing school to move into the adult world. We have many students who have begun working, travelling and planning for study.  

Term 4 each year sees us say goodbye to our graduating class and welcome new students to the senior school, as well as preparing our Class of 2020 for the intense year that lies ahead for them.  


We celebrated the Class of 2019 at our Annual Graduation Ball in November. It was a great night and the perfect way to unwind after exams and spend some quality time with our graduating class.   


The last two weeks of November saw the year 10 and 11’s begin Headstart and begin their coursework as senior school students. This gave students the opportunity to get a feel for how the senior school operates, begin working on some vital coursework and get into good study habits before school holidays begin. We are pleased to say that Headstart ran smoothly and we are very excited to support our new senior school students to success in 2020.  


VCE results were released to students on the 12th of December. We have had feedback from many students that they are happy with their results and we couldn’t be prouder of how hard everyone worked throughout the year and during exams. 


Our upcoming presentation night is another event where we will celebrate the achievements of our Class of 2019. All Year 12 students are invited to attend the night to receive their VCE or VCAL certificate and our high achievers to receive awards to recognise their efforts throughout the year.  

We have many great individual efforts and results to celebrate on Presentation Night. On this night we will also be presenting the Dux of 2019.  


Lowanna College is proud to announce the Dux of 2019 – Tess Sultana 

Tess has worked incredibly hard throughout 2019, showing a real dedication to her studies and strong study habits. 


Moving into 2020, Tess is looking at taking up a career in education, hopefully in a Primary and Secondary Inclusive course. Beyond university, Tess is keen to work with different aid organisations to help disadvantaged individuals and communities. 


Lowanna College had 104 students complete their Year 12 this year, both in VCAL and VCE. “Our Year 12 cohort has been a fantastic group with a diverse range of strengths and interests that worked well together. We are proud of all our graduating class of 2019 and look forward to keeping in touch as they move forward onto the next stage of their lives” Justin Rea,   Senior School Leader



Careers Report

Wow this year has flown by! The careers program has been filled with so many events and activities which have been hugely successful…


I am Ready Program

The ‘I am Ready’ program has been fantastic in offering additional support to our students in readiness for employment. The program was conducted in three stages, with Stage One – I am Exploring beginning in term 2. Over 8 weeks students attended workshops to improve their work readiness skills by building confidence, exploring their interests areas and providing training in employability skills such as team building, dressing for success, mock interviews and industry visits. Stage Two – I am becoming ready provided the bridge between developing work readiness and work experience. Finally with Stage Three – I am ready – students entered into supported structured workplace learning opportunities. Our students have gained so much from being part of this amazing program. The program finished off with a celebration lunch to recognise their achievements and participate in a workshop forum. The lunch also included guest speaker, Beau Vernon, who was a truly inspirational man. Beau spoke with the students about overcoming their challenges and having a positive mindset to achieve their goals. Congratulations to Ben Koot, Ebony Dawson and Caitlyn Thompson who participated in the program. Lowanna College would also like to thank ‘I am ready’ in conjunction with the Baw Baw LLEN for overseeing this wonderful program.


STEM Sisters Ambassador Program

As our STEM sisters program comes to an end we reflect on what has been a year filled with exciting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) events. The students have been on local industry tours, taster days at Gippsland Tech School, Royal Women’s Hospital – Meet a Scientist, L’Oreal Melbourne University Science Forum and a celebration event. This program has given our students an informative look into the STEM fields and the vast array of careers within these areas. During the program our students have conducted themselves incredibly well and were great representatives of Lowanna College.

Congratulations to Mai-Ling Promdonchat, Eliza Walsh, Tracy Anseline, and Mi Krutbangyang for being fantastic STEM sisters!


Year 9 ‘My Career Portfolio’

My Career Portfolio’ is designed to support students with resources to capture their career goals and plans, share their skills, experiences and accomplishments, and keep all the information they will need to plan their education and career pathways. Students can use My Career Portfolio to create and update an online career action plan, store files related to their course and career planning, such as their Morrisby Online report, resumes, awards and examples of their school work (e.g. videos and artworks) and access links to current information and resources to support course and career exploration. Our Year 9 cohort have been working through this during November and December. It’s great to see so many students using their Morrisby Careers Report as a platform into their pathway planning. We will continue to access this portfolio next year and it will also be rolled out to all remaining students in Years 7 to 12 in 2020.


Industry Thank You Breakfast

On Friday 29th November we hosted an ‘Industry thank you’ breakfast. This breakfast was designed to say a big thank you to local businesses that have supported our work experience and work placement programs over recent years. It was a fantastic morning, celebrating wonderful connections between school and industry, while hearing speeches from students about their work experiences.


Careers Website

Please follow below link or access through the Lowanna College website under ‘Careers’



Wellbeing Team Report

2019 has been an exciting year for The Wellbeing Team where I have lead the team in my dual role as Wellbeing & PSD Co-ordinator. We have offered unwavering support to students, staff, and families.


One area of support is with the gardening program known as Green Tradies. Students have worked intensely with our volunteers Joseph, Ernie, Lillian, and Kathryn to plant seedlings and nurture them to full growth. The students have been selling vegetables to various staff members. Students have been taught how to cook their own produce, learning about healthy and fresh food choices. Students have contributed to sustainability by growing and cooking their own vegetables. I look forward to this program continuing next year.


Quantum Support Services have facilitated support groups for many students during the year. Quantum has worked collaboratively with The Wellbeing Team, teaching students about resilience, mental health care, drug and alcohol safety, safe partying and establishing/maintaining healthy relationships. I look forward to having Quantum’s continued engagement in 2020.


Lowanna was a successful school in the Pick My Project initiative. Along with the guidance by our School Nurse Karen Thurgood, Mental Health Nurses visited Year 8 and Year 11 students to educate them about Youth Mental Health First Aid. Various staff took this opportunity for extra learning, to assist further in the support of our students. Mental Health is a contributing factor to student’s wellbeing and is cared for in many ways by our staff.


Trevor Cox, Assistant Principal was behind the Tomorrow Man sessions. Tomorrow Man held workshops at the Middle and Senior level with male students, primarily about ‘Breaking the Man Code’ which creates a unique conversation about the secret life of males and ways to re-write the rules on what it means to be a man. Tomorrow Man also facilitated a workshop on the evening for parents, to help explore ways to look after ourselves and our children.

During my role as Wellbeing Co-ordinator, I have had the pleasure of working with many students and families on a variety of platforms. Each student is a unique and developing adolescent, which has captivated me at times. I am passionate about all of our students and look forward to continue to advocate and support each student as needed in 2020.


Kate Shields has continued her role in student support. Kate has been a strength behind the organisation of student times, working in a variety of programs. She has been the driving for State Schools Relief Fund, a government program assisting families with the cost of uniforms and books.


Larnia Sobbett has worked alongside myself and our team, counseling and supporting students with her fresh and empathetic approach.


Karen Thurgood (aka Kaz), is the School Nurse who has brought a fresh vibrant aura to our team. Kaz has established groups to support students with a growth mindset and mental health wellbeing support. With her support, the Wellbeing Team has embraced services such as Headspace and Red Frogs to visit our students to offer support on a social and emotional level.


Wills Mana, the College Chaplain, was a part of the Wellbeing Team earlier in the year. Wills brought togetherness for many students who participated in Wills’ soccer team and music groups. Wills left Lowanna College in term 3 to follow other interests. We wish Wills good luck on his journey.


My year has been full of successes and positivity with growth and outcomes made by many students. I have enjoyed supporting and advocating for students with elements of wellbeing, stress, mental health, personal complexities, and relationships. I have witnessed students at Lowanna develop their social skills and form strong relationships with their peers.


My door has been open early most mornings where I have enjoyed a cup of milo or toast with a number of students. Not one of these students have yet to try my morning turmeric and banana shake, some have smelled the turmeric and have politely declined my offer. This is the innocence of children which I will recall fondly. I look forward to working with many of you again in 2020.


2019 will be my last year working as PSD Co-ordinator, a role I have shared with Sarah Lynne.  During my time as PSD Co-ordinator I have lead a dedicated team of Integration Aides and Trainees. I thank you each of you for your commitment to each PSD students as well as the additional student support to many classrooms. Thank you for being part of this team.

2020 has a change in culture at Lowanna. I will be focusing solely on Student Support and Wellbeing as I continue with my present role as Wellbeing Co-ordinator.


Merry Christmas and I wish you all a safe and happy holidays.


Donna Perkins

Wellbeing Co-ordinator


A Note from The Nurse


Community Updates

Diversity Ball

If you didnt get to do you Deb Ball and are interested in attending please complete the EOI form: https://forms.gle/i9MvE47UqJhASA6Q6 by January 17th, 2020.




Breast Screen Victoria is in town!


Student Exchange 


Relationships Australia




Saver Plus


Teen Boxing


Lowanna College