Always Aloysius, Winter 2019

Page 1

Title Here

A St Aloysius College Publication Winter Edition 2019

Contents Alumni Sub-Committee Introduction ...................... 2 Principal’s Welcome ........................................................... 3 College Co-Captains Message ....................................... 4 2019 College Prefects ......................................................... 5 2018 DUX .................................................................................. 7 Women in Technology Summit.................................... 8 Student Achievements – Top Design ........................ 9 Alumni Profile – Jamie Valdes .................................... 10 Alumni Profile – Sr Nicole Rotaru ............................ 12 Mother Daughter Breakfast......................................... 14 Alumni Function.................................................................15 Italy Tour ................................................................................16

Alumni Sub-Committee Introduction On the 16th April 2019 the St Aloysius Alumni Sub-Committee was officially established. The main role of the committee is to grow alumni engagement across the College community and provide opportunities for alumni to develop a lifelong connection with the College. Members of the committee include: Rose Parente – College Alumni Co-ordinator Vivian Vecchio – Class of 1978

Pilgrimage to Ireland .......................................................17 New Staff Introductions ................................................18 Staff Retirement – Lyn Gazal ...................................... 19 College Musical – Hairspray Jnr ..............................20

Nadia Cinalli-Wong – Class of 1988 Maria Ruberto – Class of 1985 Jamie Valdes – Class of 2014 For enquiries please contact Rose Parente, College Archivist and Alumni Co-ordinator on 3925 9200 or at

Year 7 Overview ................................................................. 22

Cover Image:

Follow us on Facebook St Aloysius College – Alumni Association 2

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

St Aloysius College 31 Curran Street, North Melbourne VIC 3051 Ph: 03 9325 9200 Email: Website: www. Design: DMC Group / /

Principal’s Welcome Welcome to the Winter edition of Always Aloysius. 2019 College Theme

This year has proven so far to be one of great opportunity, new learnings and certainly one that is living up to our 2019 College theme of Courage. We were inspired to choose this theme from both the values of Mercy Education and following deep reflection upon the teachings of our founder, Catherine McAuley. In her letters we meet a person of unfailing courage and resilience who would go on to inspire generations of others to trust in God for the strength they needed to be steadfast, no matter what difficulties they might encounter. In July 1841, shortly before her death, Catherine wrote a letter to her founding companion, Mary Ann Doyle, in which

she gave this advice: “Speak as your mind directs, and always act with courage.” These though were not just words, in fact this was the very way Catherine lived and these are very much the words that come to life in the pages of this edition of Always Aloysius. With features covering the College DUX of 2018, the College musical ‘Hairspray Jr’ and an overseas trip to our Sister School in Milan, we see Catherine’s words and our College theme in action.

of writings, which are themselves just a glimpse of the many wonderful opportunities and experiences our girls are exposed to. I know that you will enjoy this edition and I look forward to you visiting the College soon. In the footsteps of Catherine McAuley, Mary Farah Principal

This year we have also welcomed, and farewelled, staff and students and we have continued upon our journey of improving our school facilities with the commencement in July of our Master Plan Stages 5 -7 which are due to be completed during Term 4. Please enjoy this wonderful collection Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019


College C0-Captains Message We are the College Co-Captains of 2019 Abigail Clayton and Deborah Nguyen better known as Abi and Deb. As College Co-Captains we have enjoyed working with the Prefect Team on a range of College initiatives. So far we have been very successful in planning and organising events such as International Women’s Day and St Aloysius Day. International Women’s Day was our first big event to organise and we hit the ground running. We were able to put on empowering female music during lunchtimes and we had paper butterflies sent to every pastoral group where they were asked the question ‘which woman inspires you?’ These butterflies were then placed around the school for everyone to see. During our International Women’s Day Assembly, we had female empowerment quotes and purple ribbons set on each person’s chair to receive when they arrived in the hall that day. Students wore the ribbons on their blazers with pride and seemed to enjoy the small activities we did to celebrate International Women’s Day. We are currently working on planning St Aloysius Day which is always a highlight of the school year. We are very excited to see our plans come to life and the reaction of the students during the day which we are


Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

working very hard to make a celebration of youth and fun. On top of both these days we have hosted several College assemblies as well as our House Swimming and Athletics carnival. The assemblies have been very successful, and we enjoyed receiving such positive feedback about our positive and relational leadership style. We have been very happy with the relationship that has been created among the community which is very tight knit and fun.

We are very happy with the way our Prefect Team has been working so collaboratively both in our meetings and with the College community. We have been overwhelmed with support from the community and are excited to see our next steps as Prefects. Abigail Clayton and Deborah Nguyen 2019 College Co-Captains

College Prefects The College Prefects fulfill important leadership roles within the College Community. We proudly introduce each College Prefect.

Hello! My name is Mia Simpfendörfer and I am your Arts Prefect for 2019! I’m looking forward to helping each of you this year find a medium to express yourself and feel comfortable doing what you love to do, and I am here to be your voice and to help you in times of need. I sincerely hope you enjoy your 2019 at St Aloysius College and find your own version of courage.

My name is Linda Nguyen, and I am the Student Action Prefect for 2019. I am really looking forward to working with the College community, especially the students, in maintaining a space where they feel comfortable and happy. I hope to not only encourage students to be diligent in their studies, but also ensure that they feel supported on their journey.

Hello, my name is Tiea Sacco and I am your 2019 Sport Prefect for St Aloysius. Being given this opportunity to be able to be a part of the Prefect team has been a dream come true. Although it is only the start of the year, I am looking forward to being able to provide the students of St Aloysius opportunities to participate in the sporting community.

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019


College Prefects Hello everybody my name is Avial Agong. I am the Fallon House Prefect for 2019. I am looking forward to working with everyone in the College community. My Prefect journey has been both challenging and enlightening. I do not regret the position, I am currently in—as it is one of my greatest achievements in the College community. This year I will try my very best to strive for higher things and look forward to serving the community as Fallon House Prefect.

Hello! My name is Thea and I am this year’s Scully House Prefect. I will be working alongside the other House Prefects to further promote a sense of community through strengthening school spirit and pride in each of our individual houses whilst having a bit of friendly competition and fun. I look forward to the growth of our school’s pride and unity throughout this year’s activities and hope that this year will be a fond memory to all of us.

Hello, my name is Julia Pham and I am the 2019 House Cup Prefect. I am excited to make students’ voices heard and do my best to strengthen the relations within our College community. I intend to collaborate with my fellow students and the staff of St Aloysius to work towards an even better school environment. Working together with the other Prefects, I also endeavour to ensure that every student feels welcomed and comfortable, striving to exude the Mercy values in my actions as a Prefect.

My name is Breana Galea. Although my role as McAuley House Prefect is often associated with major school sports events, my central focus is on the students of McAuley. I aspire to make your time at St Aloysius truly memorable. To provide you with opportunities that allow you to connect with other members of the school community. I have felt safe and free to thrive here; I hope to secure these same feelings in you.

Hello, I’m Heaven Mulugeta. I am the Social Justice Prefect for 2019. As a member of the Social Justice Team since Year 7, it has really instilled a strong sense of school spirit and initiative to be heavily involved in the wider community. I will be working closely with the girls at St Aloysius, particularly the Social Justice Team, to contribute to the various organisations St Aloysius works with, such as Caritas and McAuley House for women.


Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

Hello! My name is Keiko Mina and I’m the 2019 Verdon House Prefect. I’m excited to work with the school in hosting entertaining House Activities, to ensure the girls always feel accepted and to encourage them to live by the Mercy Values. Together with the other Prefects, we’ll work hard to be the voice of the students and to make their high school experience as fun and as rewarding as possible.

My name is Fireweyni Tesfay and I am the College Liturgy Prefect for 2019. My aspirations within my role is to provide students and the community of St Aloysius with a positive Christian approach, this will be achieved through promoting the Mercy values as well as encouraging liturgy participation from students.

2018 Dux As we reflect on the academic success of the Class of 2018, we are extremely proud of the results obtained but more importantly the journey each student undertook to get there. In this regard, we particularly celebrate the remarkable achievements of Christine Le, who achieved the highest ATAR at St Aloysius College in 2018, giving her the prestigious title of College Dux; her story is one of incredible perseverance, resilience and hard work. Christine describes her Year 12 year as “both the lowest of lows and the highest of highs, but nonetheless it was a year to cherish and a year to never forget.” She described it as a step closer to becoming the young woman ready to step out into the real world and to make an even bigger impact on the world. Christine commenced at St Aloysius College in Year 8, as an International Student, with little English. She recalls facing her academic future with neither excitement, nor with earnest anticipation. She said “I was scared, doubtful, as to whether or not I could make an impact in my time at the College. “ Christine reflects saying “I was never the smartest in the class, never the quickest thinker, nor the hardest worker. It seemed that, in no matter which aspect of schoollife I involved myself, there was always someone smarter, quicker, and just all-round better than I was.”

Over her time at St Aloysius College Christine developed an earnest ambition to go to medical school. She knew that to turn that dream into reality, she needed to push herself far beyond the boundaries she believed to be her limit. “I stayed up later and I spent countless hours in the library alone each day after school. I was driven, and persistent in actualising my goal” Christine realised that she could not do this alone. She enlisted the support and inspiration of her teachers and the College community to support her. “I am extremely grateful to everyone in the College community for being a part of this journey” These people provided the environment and community that helped shaped Christine’s success.

Christine recognises her faith and the support of her family and teachers, particularly her Mother, for the support they provided through her education. “My Mother is the biggest source of my strength. I thank her for her unwavering support and unselfish love during the last 18 years. No matter what we faced in life as a family, she always made sure that my wellbeing and education were never once compromised. She sacrificed so much, just so I could stand a chance in this new country we call home.” Jodie McLeod Community Development Manager

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019


Women in Technology Summit On the 28th of May St Aloysius College hosted teachers and students from various Colleges at our first Women in Technology Summit. The day featured workshops and presentations that included: •

• • • •

An opening keynote from Dr Dong Yang Wu, Chief Aerospace Division, from the Department of Defence. STEM Careers Design Thinking Workshop Hands-on VR experience facilitated by Smart Stone Technology Presentations from 3D artists and VR designers An industry panel presentation with members from engineering, mathematics and business analyst backgrounds

The day ran from 9:30am through to 1:30pm and had all the participants moving through different locations throughout the College and interacting with each other. The keynote was delivered by Dr Dong Yang Wu, Chief Aerospace Division, from the Department of Defence who shared her personal story that led to her being the Chief of the Aerospace Division for the Ministry of Defence. The audience was inspired and amazed by the passion and intelligence of a world class thought leader. Students moved throughout the following sessions:


Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

Session One: STEM Careers Design Thinking Workshop Irith and her team of facilitators took groups of 8-10 students through a 35-minute classic ‘double diamond’ Design Thinking process to explore ideas around STEM careers and to identify the goals and support students need to navigate their career pathway. Session Two: Panel Discussion with Industry Dr Maia Sauren lead a panel discussion along with Fiona Milne, Stefanie Kechayas and Zoe Lu. This panel allowed students to ask questions of each panelist and gain a deeper understanding into their industry. Dr. Maia Sauren works as a Project Manager and Business Analyst at ThoughtWorks, an international software consultancy. Maia took the scenic route here via teaching, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering, a stint as a script writer, and a lot of knitting. Stefanie is a Senior Business Analyst at Australian software company MYOB. She has worked in IT and Software for about 10 years, but if you had told her that when she was 22 right out of her Masters of Communications degree, she would have laughed at you. Zoe is an Infrastructure Engineer at Catalyst IT, an international IT consultancy. Zoe is quite inquisitive and enjoys making things, such as origami, crochet and customer’s website infrastructure.

Session Three: Hands on with VR Ye Yan and his team from Smart Stone technology demonstrated the power of Virtual Reality and Mixed Reality while showcasing resources that have been built around the Australian Curriculum. VR Headsets were available for students to try a truly immersive experience. Session Four: Professional Passion Yvette Wouters and Stephanie Kelso took students through how their love of cosplay and video games extended into their careers as 3D Artists who design virtual reality resources. These two young women demonstrated how they followed their dreams in the emerging field of VR and game design. At the end of the day several students presented in front of the entire co-hort. It was great to see a mix of students from different schools across Melbourne come together and share their ideas. St Aloysius College looks forward to coordinating and providing more of these opportunities going forward. Andrew Delmastro Design Thinking & Innovation Leader

Student Achievement Top Design Media 50 perfect score and Top Designs 2019 We are delighted to announce that Year 12 2018 student Therese-An Ho received not only a perfect score in Year 12 Media last year but has also been selected to display her work in the VCAA Season of Excellence exhibition entitled ‘Top Designs’. Therese-An produced an entirely original magazine called ‘Eunoia’ for her School Assessed Task. It is a reflective poetry, literature and art style magazine which will be shown along with the state’s best students in Media and other visual arts subjects at the Melbourne Museum 30 March – 14 July. Our students in Visual Communication Design and Media will have the pleasure of touring this significant exhibition. “We felt honoured to have accompanied Therese-An at the Premier VCE Awards event. Among so many bright young people Therese-An was very proud to represent St Aloysious College.” “Thank you so kindly for your support Cecelia Ho (Therese-An’s Mother).” Ric Roberts Visual Arts Learning Leader.

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 9

Alumni Profile JAMIE VALDES - Class of 2014 Interviewed by Rose Parente decision to study a Bachelor of Education (Primary) at ACU and I’ve been extremely happy with this decision.

What year did you finish at St Aloysius? I completed Year 12 VCE in 2014. What study did you undertake after Year 12? After graduating from Year 12, I was accepted to study a Bachelor of Nursing degree at the Australian Catholic University (ACU). After a year and a half there was a turn of events and I realised that although I enjoyed studying the content in my nursing degree, I was still unhappy. It was my nursing placement that gave me the realisation of not seeing myself in this profession for the rest of my life. As I faced the obstacles and the immense pressure of having to think of what I wanted to study, after many prayers, thoughts, wisdom and support from family and friends, there, instilled in my heart, was the impact and difference I wanted to make especially in children’s lives. I made the

10 Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

What influenced your choice of career? For as long as I can remember, I knew wholeheartedly that I wanted to strive to live a life that helped others and made a positive difference in people’s lives. Since I was a little girl, I played teacher and looked up to my teachers. They always had such big hearts and made an impact on my education. When I was 17 years old, I became a church youth leader which opened up a multitude of wonderful experiences. I had the opportunity to speak in front of many young kids and teenagers, and to teach them more about the Catholic faith. I enjoyed encouraging children and teenagers, helping them to realise their potential and help shape the person they may ultimately become. I felt in my heart the need to help young people see their strengths and face the challenges that will essentially help them to become the best people they can. I believed teaching to be a pathway to allow me to do just that. Study/career/travel highlights In February 2018, I was blessed with the opportunity to be one of five Australian Volunteer Missionaries to travel to the Philippines to work with the poor. When I learnt of this opportunity, I was incredibly anxious but despite all my worries prior

to the journey, this was an unforgettable experience. I spent the entire month volunteering alongside four girls and a consecrated lay woman and developed a really strong bond with each of them. We spent the month visiting and feeding poor children and their families in their homes, teaching children at schools about the Catholic faith and spending time with children at hospitals and adoption centres. There were many laughs, and tears throughout the weeks – our hearts were so full. This experience turned my life around and changed my perspective on aspects of life. In turn, it made me eternally grateful for what and how much we have here, because the families we visited had the utmost joy and happiness despite how little they had. What skills have you learnt? Throughout my years studying to become a teacher and being a youth ministry leader, I have gained a multitude of skills from my experiences. I have learnt the importance of communication. Communication is not only important in the workforce, but also in our relationships with others. With communication comes great listening and honesty. Communication allows people to share ideas. It gives people a voice when people are listening. Communication involves learning how to listen and to understand one another, which is a great skill to have for the rest of your life.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve overcome? The biggest challenge I have overcome was when I realised nursing wasn’t for me and I wanted to become a teacher. Throughout Year 12 and after I graduated from St Aloysius College, both my family and I felt that I would become a nurse. I was so afraid of what my family would say when I told them I had changed my mind about my future career. It was an extremely hard and stressful time for me. I continuously doubted myself and did not want to disappoint anyone, especially my parents. When the time finally came where I felt ready to be honest with them, it was one of the greatest feelings in the world. My parents listened carefully and lovingly. To my surprise, my parents were not as angry as I had anticipated. If anything, they told me they had this parental instinct that I wasn’t happy with where I was. They were and have always been enormously supportive after my transfer. I have learnt to not be afraid, to be honest, not only with my family and friends, but with myself and what makes me happy. What do you recall of your time at St Aloysius College? What is your most fond memory? One of the fondest memories I have at St Aloysius College was definitely St Aloysius Day and the Mercy Day celebrations. Those two days every year would be the events that most of the students look forward to. I remember clearly the “Throw a pie at your teacher!” stall which was hilarious to see, and the school disco where all the students and teachers danced the afternoon away. I will always remember my Year 12 days in the common room and the beautiful friendships I had with fellow students.

Who or what has inspired you? I have been blessed with the most incredible, amazing and beautiful family and friends I could ever pray for. I am so grateful to be part of a family that thrives on love and support. My parents and siblings have always taught me to choose love and be kind, and to always find the good in others. My friends have hearts of gold and support me in my decisions along with tough criticisms that I know come from genuine care and love. The poor families and children I visited when I was on a missionary trip to the Philippines, inspire me because they radiate joy and love from the simplest of things. This inspires me to keep working hard to help make a positive change in this world. All these people in my life have helped shape me become the person I am today and who I will constantly aspire to be.

What are your career aspirations/goals in the coming years? I will graduate from University and have become a fully-fledged primary school teacher. One of my goals is to teach children in another country and delve deep into the culture and the experience.

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 11

Alumni Profile SR NICOLE ROTARU - A Teachers perspective Teaching at St Aloysius College 1970’s and 1980’s

A Touchstone to Diversity Teaching at St Aloysius College in the 1970s and 1980s was a strong touch stone in my life to living a Mercy life as a newly professed Sister of Mercy. Over the years students came from a vast range of countries. The surrounding housing saw wave after wave of ‘new arrivals’ - initially from Vietnam then expanding into different parts of South East Asia and South America. Many people came to Australia in these years either as refugees or as sponsored migrants. So many of their stories touched the hearts of our St Aloysius staff and the Sisters living in the convent. We were galvanised into the gospel imperatives taken so strongly by Catherine McAuley, the first Sister of Mercy - welcome, hospitality and excellence in education which would assist these young women to live life to the full. A richness of difference permeated the College environment. The grounds and classrooms were crowded with students whose laughter and chatter and often ‘noise’ evoked a sense of ‘it was good to be here’. The Feast Day of the patron saint of the college, St Aloysius, was always marked with special celebrations. I can still see,

12 Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

smell and taste the variety of foods that were part of the fare on this day. The vibrancy of the different music booming through the buildings made my body want to move and dance. Colour was everywhere as students wore clothing with colours that represented their culture and decked the hall with flags from all the countries. It was truly an awesome sight! Students shared stories of suffering and hardship, resilience and dreams. The joyful celebration of such diversity within our college engendered a deep appreciation of humanity and fostered a living reality of working together through respect, acceptance, and harmony. Teaching at St Aloysius College in those years stirred echoes that gave me further valuing and rejoicing in my own story. My background is Rumanian, French, Australian and, I remember well going to school in a country town here in Victoria in the 1950s with salami stuffed between layers of thick bread and having to answer other students’ queries: ‘What’s that stuff that smells?’ How I begged my mother to give me Vegemite and cheese on sliced bread so that I didn’t stand out. In the early 1990s I had the opportunity to work in two refugee camps in the

Philippines and two detention centres in Hong Kong where hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people fled the trauma of the fall of Saigon. They journeyed for days and weeks on boats, ill-prepared for their basic needs of water and food and they were often attacked by pirates. Those who survived these traumatic experiences filled these camps and many others throughout South East Asia where other Sisters of Mercy ministered. Every day I heard more and more stories, such as the one I heard while in Bataan, Philippines. ‘...a tiny light...’ Trung and his wife Trahg and three children Hung, Phong and Mai had been given refugee status and were waiting to be accepted by a host country. The family had been in the camp for several years because no host country would accept them - one of the children was intellectually challenged. I asked Trung what kept him going. ‘I see a long tunnel, a tiny light is at the end.’ Trung had hope! Not only that, he lived generously. ‘We wait together. We help new people know what to do here.’ Truly in adversity there is strength and there is beauty. Since 2013 my ministry has taken me to the Nuba Mountains, Sudan. The seeds of this ministry were planted in 2006 when I visited Sister Cathy Solano there. Her passion in setting up schools so that children had an education fired my spirit. As did the extraordinary desire for education among the Nuba people. So now I spend up to four months of the ‘dry season’ there, teaching students to be primary teachers, helping out in the Mother of Mercy Hospital, running workshops, and ‘being around’ in the compound and local community.

The Nuba Mountains is a wilderness of rugged mountains marked by rough dirt roads that turn to mud in the wet season. The people live in mud brick tukels (traditional houses) with straw roofs or a simple lean-to made of sticks lashed together. Magnificent clumps of mango trees yield luscious fruit and the women, along with a smattering of men prepare terraced garden plots to plant sorghum, maize, ground nuts and lubia beans when the rains come in the wet season. Boreholes are dotted around the area for people to access daily water. Seeing women and girls carrying jerrycans of water on their heads and bundles of firewood, men and boys looking after cattle, goats and sheep, and little children playing with stones in the dirt are common scenes. So, too, are the daily activities of hundreds of children crowded into the classrooms in the established schools in the larger settlements and others gathering in the slowly growing number of village schools. I was always heartened to hear from the newly trained primary teachers. Amani and Kunda share what motivated them to give back to their Nuba people. Amani struggled with her studies. She learned best by seeing, so she often sat in a pre-unit class and watched. After a while she took on little groups and gained confidence. She now teaches preunit students with amazing energy and passion. She says of her beginnings, ‘I started my school under a mama tree.’ That initial experience made her want something more for other children.

When I was in the Nuba in 2015, I learned that Kunda, one of the brightest students, spent his holiday time networking with local tribal leaders and parents talking about the importance of education. He harnessed the energies of his village community to make bricks to rebuild the village school. He told me about his first days of school, ‘Learning a little made me have the courage and interest to further my education because of the love that I have experienced from the Nuba children who really lacked well trained qualified teachers to lift up their standard of learning.’ Kunda has become a leader in his community. He has re-established the bombed school in his village by networking with his people and organising brick making and school building working-bees. Like many others I was shocked and horrified by the recent murdering of 50 Muslim people at prayer and the many others dealing with injuries and trauma. How refreshingly inspiring to see Jacinda Ardern’s leadership with her government around this terrorist attack. Prime Minister Ardern led by example. Her empathy and decisive actions have been applauded throughout the world. Striving for higher things is the DNA of St Aloysius College. It speaks to me of our human endeavour. We all want to flourish, to thrive in our living. Our best selves want this for everyone. Trung and his family, Amani and Kunda are examples of this desire.

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 13

Mother Daughter Breakfast Each year our College community gathers in celebration of Mothers Day for our annual Mother/Daughter breakfast. It is lovely to see our students share this time with their Mother, enjoying breakfast and listening to a guest speaker. This year families heard from the inspirational Prue Kenny who spoke of her career and experiences working for the United Nations. She highlighted the need to apply determination and hard work to achieve your goals. This event has become a very special celebration for our College. Jodie Mcleod Community Development Manager

14 Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

Alumni Function On a lovely Melbourne afternoon in April, Alumni from the classes of 1969, 1979 & 1989 were invited back to the College. Those that attended the function shared wonderful memories of their time at St Aloysius College and reconnected with other past students. They commented on the changes that have taken place within the College grounds and remembered fondly their time as students at St Aloysius. Stories of studies, houses, family and various life experiences filled the room. It is always wonderful to meet alumni at these functions and to see what life journey they have undertaken since leaving the College. The College welcomes alumni to reconnect via the Alumni Facebook page or by contacting Rose Parente – Alumni Co-ordinator at the College. Jodie Mcleod Community Development Manager

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 15

Italy Tour

Stories of the excitement of this year’s trip to Italy may still be heard around campus. Students enjoyed thoroughly their time with their host families in Milan and spent days visiting the Duomo, La Scala and shopping in Europe’s fashion capital. The learning focus for the trip was very much an immersive experience: Language, History, Religious Education, Art, Culture, Social ‘norms’ and of course experiencing the different classroom and family environment. A spiritual memory: Seventeen students and three staff attended Palm Sunday Mass

16 Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Whilst it rained outside there was warmth and calm inside the marble walls. The Mass was spoken in Italian, yet the students participated actively and reverently, to the point that a member of the congregation congratulated them after Mass on their conduct and maturity. Onto the much smaller towns of Siena and San Gimignano, which were just beautiful. Plenty of churches, towers, sites and plenty of Italian speaking opportunities for our students. Experiencing medieval towns such as these and Assisi gave a newfound perspective of time and history for the students. This appreciation was amplified

of course amongst the ruins in Rome. This final city before returning home was indeed exciting. The students were confident travellers and shoppers by this stage always supporting each other, engaging positively with locals and participating fully in this wonderful experience.

The students represented not only St Aloysius College perfectly but were fine ambassadors for what a Mercy education instils in the way we conduct ourselves globally. Rachel Valentine Deputy Principal Learning & Teaching

Pilgrimage to Ireland When I first learnt that I had been invited to join the Mercy Dublin Pilgrimage – March program, I was absolutely delighted. After all who wouldn’t be thrilled to have the opportunity to travel to the beautiful city of Dublin, to visit Baggot Street and to be immersed in the story of Mercy and Catherine McAuley? To say that I was thrilled and excited for such a wonderful opportunity was certainly an understatement. Going into the program, even though I felt as though I already had a very good knowledge of the Mercy charism and Catherine’s story, I was curious about what else would emerge from my experience. It is certainly very difficult to articulate the profound impact that the pilgrimage has already had on me and the reality of being immersed in the program is that even though I learnt so much about Mercy, Catherine and indeed myself and my leadership, in the days and weeks since leaving Baggot Street further learning continues to reveal itself. I often find myself reflecting on the program at various moments in my life as a Deputy Principal; there is both comfort and confidence that comes with connecting the work that I do with what I learnt from Catherine’s story and remembering that “the way a person leads comes from the heart.” During the program I had expected to learn more about Catherine and I had also expected to understand the Mercy

charism in a little more depth but what I hadn’t expected was the way that I would feel Mercy. The gentle and genuine way that hospitality is lived at Baggot Street was one of the most profound learnings that I took away. I was reminded of the importance of giving people your full attention and the importance of asking oneself “What is God telling me and what am I going to do with it?” Walking in

Catherine’s footsteps, sitting where she sat and praying where she prayed was an honour and a privilege; I am so grateful to be have participated in the pilgrimage and to be able to continue Catherine’s work in some small way. Pauline Cutajar Deputy Principal Wellbeing & Development

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 17

New Staff Introductions The following staff members joined the St Aloysius College community this year. They have already made valuable contributions to the College and our students. Kristy Boettcher Teacher

Andrew Del Mastro Design Thinking & Innovation Leader

I am delighted to join St Aloysius College in 2019! As a graduate, the initial stages of the school year so far have been an exciting time of rapid learning and acclimatising to the new environment, alongside my wonderful Year 7 Pastoral group. Prior to commencing at St Aloysius, I completed my studies at Monash university, graduating with a Bachelor (Honours) of Education; majoring in Health Education & Behavioral Sciences. I am lucky to be teaching these subjects in 2019 including Health and Physical Education, Health and Human Development and Psychology, all of which I am extremely passionate about. I am looking forward to a year of new experiences, learning and fun alongside my students.

Kristen Lechte Teacher I started my teaching career ten years ago after completing my university degrees at Victoria University and Australian Catholic University. I majored in Physical Education, Health and Science. Since finishing university, I have worked in a range of co-educational and girls only schools across Melbourne. I have predominantly taught Physical Education and Health from Year 7-12, however I have also taught Science from Year 7-10. I started working at St Aloysius College in 2014 within the Health and Physical Education faculty. In late 2015 I stopped working due to the birth of my eldest son. I returned to work at the end of 2016 as a casual teacher and I also completed a replacement position in a primary school. In 2017 my second son was born, and after having another year off work, I was very lucky to gain a teaching position back at St Aloysius College within the Health and Physical Education Department once again.

18 Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

I am the Design Thinking and Innovation Leader. I have worked in education for the last 15 years and have experience in primary, secondary and higher education as well as the business sector. I am passionate about exploring the ways we can challenge our students to be adaptable and creative regardless of what challenges they face.

Francis Dillon Teacher I grew up in Geelong and studied Physics and Psychology with an honours year in Physics at the University of Melbourne. I have spent several years working as a research assistant and data analyst for Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute as well working as a physics tutor and laboratory demonstrator at the University of Melbourne. My hobbies include playing guitar and banjo and playing indoor soccer.

Arina Mizuno Teacher I am a graduate Japanese and French teacher at St. Aloysius College. I recently completed a Master of Teaching (Secondary) at the University of Melbourne and hope to apply the knowledge and skills I have gained from the course to my teaching practice. I am particularly passionate about language education and intercultural communication. This stems from my Japanese background, as well as my experiences learning French language and literature. I look forward to nurturing a love of languages in all students at the College.

Staff Retirement LYN GAZAL SHARES HER INSIGHTS AS SHE PREPARES FOR HER RETIREMENT YEARS “A school is as good as it’s teachers. I’ve been blessed as I’ve taught with some of the best in a school that pursues best practice in facilitating learning….today that is a hard gig but you have outstanding leadership and each and everyone of you are up to the present day challenges.” In 1984 I had a job interview with the then Principal Sr Francis Baker. We talked art, food and fashion and I got the job. This was the start of a 35 year association with St Aloysius College. I have had the privilege of working with two extraordinary female principals here at the College. At the beginning of my St Aloysius College life and at the end. Mary Farah didn’t interview me for my job as I was already part of the furniture here but rather I carried out a secret appraisal of her and I thought ‘here comes a dynamo’ and I was right. Recently I met with Mary to formally resign and she took me on a tour of the school. The place has been transformed both inside and out. Learning areas are amazing and very forward focused, thanks to Mary. Both Francis and Mary were/are visionaries and they created the conditions under which the college blossomed and I was able to flourish My tertiary education was in Fine Arts and Education and I dabbled in education for

the gifted and more recently educational neuroscience. My teaching methods were Art and English however I’ve taught in several faculties including VET & VCAL but never English. I love what I do, working in the arts and the creative technologies enabled me to facilitate students’ ability to extend their physical self through the use of tools and stretch their minds to embrace innovation and creativity. This College has fed my spirit and has energised, stimulated and provoked my engagement in a variety of ways. In my time here I was supported when introducing new initiatives and given opportunities to grow personally and professionally. Working with the Graduate School of Education at Melbourne University and more particularly Dr Jarad Horvath was and still is my watershed. Five years of reading, listening, sharing and implementing Madena’s brain rules etc changed my thinking and enhanced my teaching. Another standout experience for me was my 2013 Italy trip. Travelling with twenty students and long time colleagues, Rina and Kim-Sue. I’ve travelled a lot (my record stands at 17 countries and 59 cities, towns and villages in 5 months) but this was one of the best adventures of my life. These twenty girls (I had taught every one of them at some stage) were a credit to the College. We educated them not just in the classroom stuff but in thoughtfulness, friendship and care for each other. I was very proud of our girls.

We who teach spend more waking hours with our students than most of their parents do in a school week. We spark their curiosity, help them to explore their talents and most importantly show them what is possible when we engage with human innovation and creativity. I will not be idle in retirement. I’m planning to travel later this year and once my new shoulder is fully functional I might try something completely left field. Watch this space!” Lyn Gazal

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 19

College Musical – Hairpray Jnr “You gotta think big to be big” “Non-stop energy!” “Amazing talent!” “I thought the harmonies sung by the ensemble was a recording, surely their voices couldn’t be that good!” These were some of the glowing responses from parents and the community after being entertained by St Aloysius College’s production of Hairspray Jnr, which ran for 5 shows in May. Set in the developing American civil rights movement of 1962, it follows the story of a teenage girl’s dream to dance and sing on television. In achieving this, she led great change under a banner of social justice, for race integration and acceptance of everyone no matter what they look like or to which ethnicity they belong, a story that is still relevant to today’s audiences. 20 Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

With skilled dancing, perfectly blended harmonies and fast-paced energy the cast of over 40 students from St Aloysius College left tears in the eyes of so many, either from perfect comic timing or sensitively and artistically sung solos. Students received the best performing arts education with exposure to professionals guiding and mentoring them through acting, singing, dancing, audio and the latest digital screen technology, adding brightness and colour to the stage. The cast, ranging from students in Year 7 through to Year 12 performed to over 1,200 people. Opportunities such as this allow students to develop their creative talents, work collaboratively and learn from their peers. The performance is one element, but those leading costumes, hair and makeup, props, audio and lighting were working

hard keeping the show on stage. However, it was clear to any observer, that the staff leading the production, from actor to usher, donating so much of their skill and time, were teaching students more than performing arts skills. Teamwork, resilience, courage, self-discipline, collaboration and confidence are the traits taught that will carry all students involved in Hairspray Jnr through any academic challenge ahead. Jodie McLeod Community Development Manager & Musical Producer

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 21

Year 7 Overview “From little things big things grow” – Paul Kelly

I am proud to report that the Year 7 Students at our College have commenced secondary school life with ease and class. What a cohort they are!

start their new adventure. The girls have reported that this program helped them to feel connected to the school community before the adventure had even began.

When we send our children out into the world of secondary school we are often fraught with fears, will they be able to navigate the transport, find a friend or just work out how to use their lock? Many of these concerns are shared by all, they were the same concerns that we too had as we entered our own secondary school journey. Our girls faced these fears and I can now report that they are very much at home.

Early in the year all students participated in voting in their Class Captains, it gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the following students that have represented the Year 7 cohort during semester 1 in 2019:

Our students have the chance to attend a outdoor education experience in Torquay very early into their time at the College. This camp is designed to help them build on their skills of resilience, skills which will be invaluable as they journey through adolesence. Camp is an opportunity to make friends and gain a greater understanding of what it means to belong to a Mercy community. Our girls took on all the challenges of camp life, they embraced surfing, kitchen duties and making new connections with courage. The transition to our College was made easier by our TLC program. Our girls make contact with a ‘friend’ before they

22 Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019

• • • • • •

Jennifer Pham

Charlize Gohonuwattage

Gillan Fox

Rory McLeod

Olivia Lanyon

Grace Jaikla

Jennifer Pham 7A Charlize Gohonuwattage 7A Gillan Fox 7B Rory McLeod 7B Olivia Lanyon 7C Grace Jaikla 7C

There will be numerous opportunities for leadership roles in the future, I thank this group of young women who worked tirelessly to help shape the future of this College. I look forward to watching them grow and take courage on this learning adventure. Tamara Lourdes Acting Year 7 Leader

Always Aloysius – Winter Edition, 2019 23

Strive for Higher Things

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.