MWSC College News – Issue 2

19th February 2021

Read all the latest news and events happening at Mount Waverley Secondary College in this edition of MWSC college news.

Photo:  Year 7 Camp at Phillip Island Adventure Resort on 10 -12 February 2021.

Upcoming Events

School holidays
Sep 20 – Oct 3 all-day
Revision Lectures/Practice Exams – Year 12
Sep 27 – Oct 1 all-day
Performance & Languages Oral Exams and Extended Investigation: Oral Presentations
Oct 4 – Oct 31 all-day
Term 4 commences
Oct 4 all-day
Year 12 Elevate Session
Oct 4 @ 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

College Principal’s Report

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Communication is vital

Mount Waverley Secondary College has a commitment to provide all the care and support necessary for each student to do their best and achieve the highest possible learning outcomes.  It is important that when families have concerns about their children they contact the relevant staff members immediately to ensure a quick supportive response.

I encourage families to maintain open communication with staff members to ensure each student is provided with optimal support.

The most appropriate staff members to talk to when you have specific concerns are the classroom teachers, then Year Level Coordinator, then Sub School Leader or Head of Sub School prior to contacting one of the Campus Principals.  These are the staff members who have a thorough understanding of the needs of the students in their care:

Year Level Coordinators

Year 7         Ms Lauren Lockhart, Mr James Johnston
Year 8         Mr Mark Quiambao, Mr Jackson Waters
Year 9         Mr Wayne Griffin, Ms Sarah Smith
Year 10       Ms Jo Rogers, Ms Elektra Sassos
Year 11       Ms Gabrielle Phelan, Ms Stefanie Bear
Year 12       Mrs Antia Hill, Ms Rebecca Kosach

Junior School Leader              Ms Sam Cody
Head of Junior School            Ms Debbie Sekula

Middle School Leader             Mrs Meagan Merlino
Head of Middle School           Ms Sarah Chase

Senior School Leader             Mr Matt Cara
Head of Senior School           Ms Lisa McKiernan

During the last few weeks I have visited many classrooms and I have been very impressed with how focussed the teaching and learning activities have been and have observed that our teachers and students have a lovely rapport in the classroom.  Teachers and students are clearly demonstrating our motto “Community, Choice and Engagement”.  I am particularly pleased to report our new Year 7 students are making a very smooth transition to the college.

Our college is a safe and caring learning community and our students and staff believe that Mount Waverley Secondary College is a very special place which offers magnificent learning opportunities.


Community Involvement

Research clearly indicates that if parents are involved in their child’s education, they enhance the learning outcomes for their students.  I would like to thank all the parents who have already volunteered to be involved in our learning community.


Parents @ Mount

Parents @ Mount holds regular meetings and helps support college activities.  If you would like to become a member please refer to the Parents @ Mount page on the college website.


Ritchies – Community Benefits

I encourage all parents to patronise Ritchies Supermarkets and access a Community Benefits Card or you can download the Ritchies Loyalty App on your phone, nominating Mount Waverley Secondary College as your preferred beneficiary.  Each time you shop at Ritchies you will be actively contributing to your child’s education by helping us continue to provide quality resources throughout the college.


Student/ Parent/ Teacher Conferences

Our first student/parent/teacher conferences for the year will be held online via Webex on Tuesday 30 March from 1.00pm-4.30pm and 5.00pm-7.30pm.  Further information will be sent out closer to the time.


School Council Election 2021

Congratulations to our new and returning members; (Ms Lisa McKiernan, Mr Bill Thomas, Mrs Chelsea Eow, Mr Madhur Gupta, Mrs Heidi Lombard, Mr Nishant Patel, Jane Kim and Monil Bhatt) were successful in their nomination for College Council for the term March 2021 to February 2023. They will join our other parent, staff, student and community representatives on our College Council with the first meeting of the new council to be held on Thursday 18 March.

2021    Parent Members are:

Mrs Pene Dedes
Mrs Chelsea Eow
Mr Madhur Gupta
Mrs Heidi Lombard
Mr Jimmy Mastrandonakis
Mr Nishant Patel
Mrs Divya Sharma

2021    Staff Members are:

Mr Ian Davidson
Ms Lisa McKiernan
Mrs Debbie Sekula
Mr Bill Thomas

2021    Student Members are:

Jane Kim Year 12
Monil Bhatt Year 12

2021    Community Members are our College Captains:

 Lila Owen
Aarya Trivedi


Star Performer

Congratulations to Luke O of Year 12 for being selected as a midfielder for Melbourne City FC Youth (Soccer).  Luke has also been participating in Melbourne City FC’s A-league team training. We look forward to following Luke’s sporting career in the future!




Mrs Karen Wade
College Principal

Campus Principal’s Report – Junior School

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Year 7 Phillip Island Camp

Our Year 7 students enjoyed an action-packed three days at Phillip island Adventure Resort last week. This camp is always a great way for teachers and students to get to know each other, face challenges, and have a lot of fun. I would like to acknowledge the hard work of our Junior School team in ensuring this camp went ahead safely this year; Ms Debbie Sekula, Ms Sam Cody, Mr James Johnston, Ms Lauren Lockhart, and of course all of the other staff members who gave so generously of their time to attend. Thanks must also go to the students for their outstanding attitude and participation.

Year 8 Challenge Week

While the Year 7s were on camp, the Year 8s were involved in the ever-popular Challenge Week program. This program is a wonderful opportunity to face their fears, try new things, and get to see a different side to their classmates and teachers. I would like to recognise the preparation done by our Junior School team to put the program together for the students this year; Ms Debbie Sekula, Ms Sam Cody, Mr Jackson Waters, and Mr Mark Quaimbao. Thanks must also go to the students for their participation and enthusiasm in this unique program.

Remote Learning

Well done to all of our Junior Campus students for meeting the challenges posed by the move to remote learning earlier this week.  As always, we are in awe of the resilience, persistence and grit of our students.



This is a reminder to all families that unfortunately there is no parking available on-site at the Junior Campus. We ask that any families travelling by car make use of the streets adjacent to, and opposite, the campus, while respecting our neighbours’ needs. We also ask that families refrain from stopping on Stephensons Road for pick-ups and drop-offs as this is very disruptive to the flow of traffic.


Student accident insurance, ambulance cover arrangements and private property brought to school

Parents/ carers are reminded that the Department of Education and Training does not provide personal accident or ambulance cover for students. Parents and carers of students, who do not have private health insurance or ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for their injured child.

Private property brought to the college by students, staff or visitors is not insured and the Department is not responsible for any loss or damage. This can include mobile phones, calculators, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises.
It is recommended that parents/ carers consider insurance policies that can be purchased from commercial insurers.



Mr Matt Sheehan
Acting Campus Principal – Junior School

Campus Principal’s Report – Middle School

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Well done to all Middle School students on their adaptability and flexibility in moving to remote learning at the start of this week.  It’s been pleasing to hear positive feedback on how students have approached their learning during this remote phase.  We look forward to welcoming students back on campus to resume onsite as soon as possible.


Morrisby Year 9 Careers Program

The Morrisby Careers Program, funded by DET, is a unique program combines an online questionnaire and a follow up Careers Counselling Session for our Year 9 students.  The program is designed to help students identify possible careers, interests and options.  Planning is underway for running this program during Term 1.


School Photos

Arthur Reed have completed our first photo day with a catch-up day to be scheduled soon.  They are busy processing the photos already taken.  At this stage, the anticipated delivery date of photos is late term 1.  Parents are encouraged to register for the online portal which allows them to view and order photos online.


Hall Walkway

Work has continued across this week, with the decking starting to take shape.  We are nearing the completion of this project with handover scheduled for March.


STEAM Centre

Work on Schematic Design phase of the STEAM Centre has been progressing well.  Meetings with BKK Architects, project managers Johnstaff as well as VSBA and regional staff alongside a team from Mount Waverley have been very productive and we are closing in on a final schematic design which then leads to detailed design phase of the project.


Student accident insurance, ambulance cover arrangements and private property brought to school

Parents/ carers are reminded that the Department of Education and Training does not provide personal accident or ambulance cover for students. Parents and carers of students, who do not have private health insurance or ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for their injured child.

Private property bought to the college by students, staff or visitors is not insured and the Department is not responsible for any loss or damage. This can include mobile phones, calculators, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises.

It is recommended that parents/ carers consider insurance policies that can be purchased from commercial insurers.



Mr Ian MacLeod
Campus Principal – Middle School

Campus Principal’s Report – Senior School

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VCE Information Evening

On Tuesday 9 February, a VCE parent information session was held via Webex.  194 families joined the session. It covered information on the VCE, policies, careers and wellbeing support. The session has been recorded for those who were unable to attend.
Thanks to Ms Lisa McKiernan – Head of Senior School, Mr Matt Cara – Senior Subschool Leader, Ms Kerri Haworth- SC Wellbeing Coordinator and Ms Jo Hall -Careers Education Manager for their presentations.


Communication at the college

School is a partnership between parents, students and the college.

While we, as a college, make every effort to respond to parents in a timely manner, it can sometimes be difficult when staff work in a school with more than 1800 students and their families. We, as do many schools, use Compass as a means to communicate with families and students. Please check Compass on a regular basis as we send out forms and information through this.

Please note that all staff, including those in the subschools, have a teaching allotment and may not always be available. Please contact the college to make an appointment if you wish to meet with someone. If you need to contact a teacher this can also be done through the email facility in Compass or a phone message can be left.

Student progress on assessment tasks – both CATs and SACs – can be monitored via Compass. Once tasks are assessed and feedback provided they appear on Compass. Please check and contact the relevant subschool or classroom teacher if you have a question or concern.


Student /Parent /Teacher Conferences

Term One Parent Teacher Conferences will occur on Tuesday 30 March. There are no scheduled classes on this day. The parent teacher conferences will take place using virtually using Webex.  Information will be sent to all parents in the next few weeks via Compass and bookings can be completed online.


Proposed Year 11 & 12 Central Australia Trip 2021

The college has tentatively booked a 9-day trip to Central Australia starting in the last few days ot term three.  An information evening will be held early in term two. More information will be provided closer to the end of term.
While it is scheduled it is subject to the health advice and guidelines of the department.   Please contact me – if you have any questions.


Parking in the college grounds

Please note that parents cannot park on the junior or senior campus. Visitors to the college should park in the designated visitors’ car park on the senior campus.   Please be aware of others when dropping off and picking up students around the school to ensure the safety of all.



Mrs Julie Cain
Campus Principal – Senior School



Head of Senior School’s Report

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I continue to be amazed as to how resilient our students really are. Congratulations to our VCE cohort for transitioning successfully to remote learning, and then back to onsite learning.
During our snap lock down our students displayed maturity and dedication to their learning by continuing to try their best regardless of the circumstance.  To ensure students were supported during this lockdown we temporarily paused SAC tasks for the week of Monday 15- Friday 19 February, please see the SAC calendar for revised assessment dates (please see compass newsfeed).
We also continued to run our regular mentoring classes with our Year 11 students focusing on help seeking, and our Year 12 students focusing on goal setting and time management. Again well done to everyone, the Senior School team are very proud of your achievements and attitude during this time.


VCE Information Evening

Thank you to the large number of families who attended our virtual information evening on Tuesday 9 February. A recording of the presentation and accompanying materials can be downloaded from compass. Please refer to the compass news feed.


VCE Student Handbook 2021

This week VCE students and families were emailed a link to the 2021 VCE Student Handbook. It is a VCAA requirement that all students completing their VCE studies have a copy of the VCAA rules and the school’s rules and procedures. It is recommended that you take the time to read through this document and familiarise yourself with the VCAA and Mount Waverley Secondary College expectations as your student completes their studies. Please see the compass news feed to download the document.


Dr Michael Carr-Gregg : Year 12 Incursion – Surviving Year 12

On Monday 22 March we have the pleasure of welcoming Dr Michael Carr-Gregg adolescent psychologist. During 2020 Dr Carr-Gregg worked closely with the Education Department supporting students and schools develop and implement resilience building skills specific to working through the challenges of a global pandemic.

As part of our college wellbeing program Dr Carr-Gregg will be working with our students on developing strategies to survive the challenges of year 12. This is a compulsory incursion that all year 12 students are required to participate in. The incursion will be held during common time (period 5&6, 1.30pm-3pm).

Program Summary : The art of surviving and thriving in year 12 lies in the balance of work and play, pursuing physical as well as mental wellbeing and nurturing the inner self.
2020 research from Mission Australia suggests that school and study rank 2nd overall as the most stressful aspects of young people’s lives in Australia, and nowhere is this more prevalent than in Year 12.
Year 12s have high levels of depression, anxiety and suicidal ideation.  Couple this with enormous parental anxiety and the media beat up, it all makes for a rough road. Based on a lifetime of research into the wellbeing of teenagers, this talk gives practical advice and useful insights on how students can survive Year 12.



Ms Lisa McKiernan
Head of Senior School


Student Voice Report

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School Council Student Representatives

Year 12 students Monil and Jane have been elected as the 2021 School Council Student Representatives. Thank you to all nominees, and thank you to all students who voted in the election. Jane and Monil will attend their first School Council meeting in March.


iLearn Values Working Party

For the last three weeks, a group of students and staff have been working together on a project to promote the College Values: Integrity, Learning, Excellence, Accountability, Respect, and Nurturing, or iLEARN.

Year 9 students Charlotte, Georgia, Farah, Luna, Maya, Alannah, and Clementine, together with Year 11 Sophia and Year 12s Luc, Francis, Lila, Hifzhan, Thidas and Aarya, together with Ms Sarah Smith (Year 9 Coordinator) and Mr Thomas (Head of Community Engagement) to plan activities for Home Group, focusing on the behaviours and actions associated with each of the college values.
Thank you to these students and staff for their time and effort.  We look forward to seeing what the working party comes up with!


Lions Youth of the Year

Year 12 Leaders Aarya (Captain), Jaquelyn (Deputy Captain) and Stephanie (Prefect) will represent MWSC in the 2021 Lions Youth of the Year (YOTY) competition this Sunday 21 February. The competition involves a written application, interview, and public speaking component. The focus is on leadership and community contribution.

Aarya, Jaquelyn and Stephanie will be interviewed by the panel and will compete in the public speaking component of the competition at an afternoon tea. We wish them the best of luck!

More details about the competition can be found at:


Year 10 Student Leadership Team

It is with great pleasure that we can announce the 2021 Year 10 Student Leadership Team!  Congratulations to the following students:

Kiska ATom HIshwari N
Marios ARiana JVidyuth S
Izak BJade LJocelyn S
Sienna DEllen LNetra S
Sophie DStanley LDhairya S
Tessa GLachlan MNikhil s
Tasfiya HVineth MLeah W


The Year 10 team will have their first meeting this week, supported by Mr Myers.
Thank you to Mr Jacob Myers and the Middle School Team for their time and effort in shortlisting applicants and finalising the team.


Mount Matters

Each year, Home Groups and Mentor Groups from Year 7 – 11 nominate two Mount Matters Representatives.

Who can be a Mount Matters Rep?

Anyone. You don’t need to have leadership experience or love public speaking (although if you do, you can get involved too!). The point of Mount Matters is to have a group of students who represent your cohort, so we want all students to consider the position. There are no specific academic or co-curricular requirements.

What’s involved in being a Mount Matters Rep?

You will be invited to attend fortnightly Mount Matters meetings. Usually these meetings are for 25 minutes before school. Student Leaders facilitate the meetings. Your role is to represent your Mentor Group and share their opinions and ideas. You will be asked to report back to your Mentor Group (your Mentor teacher can help you with this if speaking in front of people isn’t your thing!). At times you may be asked to gather input and collect feedback from your Mentor Group. You will contribute ideas and actively participate in Mount Matters sessions and list to other people’s views respectfully.

Core values of Mount Matters: Honest, Reliable, Respectful, Helpful, Encouraging, Fair, Cooperative, Supportive, Empathetic, Considerate.

How does the Mentor Group choose the Mount Matters Rep?

Mount Matters is not a popularity contest. It’s about the Mentor Group choosing someone who they think will contribute to a group of students who is a genuine representation of the student body. The aim is to select a representative who you think will attend meetings and fulfil the role. How your Mentor Group does this is up to you! You can do a nomination process (self and/or peer nominations) and a vote, or if you don’t want to do a vote you could pull a name from a hat or do scissors/paper/rock!

Thank you to the Year 9 Home Group Teachers and Year 10 and 11 Mentor teachers, who will oversee this process next week.   Year 7 and 8 Mount Matters positions will be filled in the coming weeks!


Miss Hayley Dureau
Head of Student Voice

Student Wellbeing Report

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The resilience of our students was once again tested in the last week with the immediate lockdown and return to remote learning.   Although it was only for 3 days, it would have brought on a lot of negative and anxious thoughts for some.  It was a reminder to us all to be prepared for future lockdowns and how we can best look after ourselves during this time. For most part our students were incredibly resilient and were able to deal with the changes.

I do encourage parents to check in with their child and have open conversations with them about how they have felt about the recent lockdown. It may give you an insight into how they are feeling and will help you with supporting them in the future.
In the last newsletter I mentioned the support you can access through student wellbeing at MWSC. T here is also some great support in the community for students and families.

Monash Youth Services run several programs including Youth Worker Support which is ideal for those students who don’t want a “counsellor” but need extra support.  Click here for more information. Headspace in Hawthorn is another great resource and support. They have several different clinicians including family therapy.
If you would like to refer your child to Headspace please email me and I will be able to refer them directly which can take off some of the waiting time. Some of you may know that the City of Monash were successful in getting a Headspace. The new Headspace will be located at 265-267 Blackburn Road Syndal and will be open in the next few months.

Finally I want to mention the Student Wellbeing Website which we created last year. There is a lot of information and resources available to students including the ability to self refer to student wellbeing. NB the website is only accessible to MWSC students and the link can be found under the star on compass or on the student wellbeing page on the college website.


Mr Paul Graham
Manager of Student Wellbeing

Music Director’s Report

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Week 3  saw our ensembles beginning to rehearse and our senior ensemble auditions take place.   Well done to all of the students who attended their first rehearsals and prepared for auditions. The next few weeks will see the remainder of ensembles begin, as well as our beginners attending first rehearsals towards the end of the term.

Year 7’s began trial’s on their instruments during music class Thursday and Friday this week, and these trials will continue through to Week 9 where the students will find out the instrument they have been allocated. I look forward to seeing the 2021 Year 7 cohort experience the opportunity to play a musical instrument and encourage parents to support the practice and learning that will take place starting in Term 2.


Congratulations  Sam S – (Year 12 2020)

Sam, one of our 2020 Music Captains has been selected to perform for the VCAA season of excellence, Top Class.
This is a real honour as this concert series, held at the Melbourne Recital Centre  presents 3 concerts by outstanding VCE performing arts students who have completed VCE Music Performance. Sam will be performing repertoire from the Contemporary Piano repertoire.
Congratulations Sam!





MWSC Jazz Night – “Jazz Under the Stars”

Planning is well underway for the MWSC Jazz Night. This is an annual event at the college and features current students, alumni and staff. It  is always a great night of music and community spirit.

Date:       Thursday 25 March  (alternate date in the case of rain 31 March)

Time:      6pm-8:30   (gates will open at 5:30pm)

Venue:   Senior Campus Fishbowl (enter through Gate 5, Beaufort Street)

Tickets (limited):      $5 per person,  on sale from 22 February via trybooking.    Link:  Link can also be found on our college website.

This is a picnic style event.   BYO chairs, rugs, food and drinks  (max.groups of 10 sitting together)



Mrs Tijtje Keatley
Music Director

MWSC College News – Issue 2