Elwood College 2017 Newsletter No. 7 Thursday, 9 November

Principal's Note

Hello Everyone

We have a jam-packed newsletter for you with student photos throughout.  These photos are from the France study tour during the Term break. It was a wonderful trip and I was proud to see the Year 8, 9 and 10 students involved make the most of the experiences on offer.

After a fantastic finish to their school education (including a wonderful Valedictory Dinner with family and friends), our Year 12s are now well into their second week of exams, which are taking place in the Science and Language Centre.  As they entered their first exam last week (English), it was hard to believe that this would be the last time that they assembled as a ‘whole’ group at school.  We look forward to their official farewell at Presentation Night on 22 November at St Kilda Town Hall. Whether your child is an award recipient or part of the performance program or not, it would be wonderful to have you come along with your child and celebrate the successes of the year. 

While the building work continues to accelerate in what feels like continually diminishing grounds (at the moment), our students have been fantastic – without complaint. We are now slightly behind in the construction schedule. The estimated new building ‘handover’ date is 12 December 2017. It looks fantastic from the outside and ‘absolutely’ fantastic from the inside!  So the wait will be well worth it.  

Refurbishment has now commenced on the second floor of the Glenhuntly Road building.  The estimated completion date for the second floor is the first day of the new school year.  Refurbishment on the first floor and in the admin area will commence in December with an estimated completion by the end of February 2018.

The last of our ‘old’ buildings will be demolished in March 2018.

With increasing numbers, a new modular three-storey building will also be in place by March 2018 and in December this year we are expecting the arrival of two brand new, air-conditioned portables to provide additional teaching and learning spaces.

Our Environment Committee is now working on our grounds master plan, which will provide direction for all work over the next few years.  Students have provided feedback as to what they would like to have access to during their recess and lunchtime breaks. 

Please set aside a little bit of time on Sunday 26 November (between 1pm and 4pm) to help celebrate our 60th birthday.

Warm Regards
Rhonda Holt

Dates for your Diary

1-24 November: VCE written exams.

Saturday, 11 November: Elwood Farmers Market, 9am-1pm, Elwood College.

Wednesday, 22 November: Presentation Evening, St Kilda Town Hall.

Saturday, 25 November-Sunday, 3 December: Great Victorian Bike Ride.

Sunday, 26 November 1pm-4pm: 60th anniversary celebration

Monday, 27 November-Friday, 1 December: Academic Progression (students commence 2018 classes).

Friday, 8 December: Last day of canteen. Year 11 final day.

Saturday, 9 December: Elwood Farmers Market, 9am-1pm, Elwood College.

Friday, 22 December: Term 4 concludes.

No Canteen 10-22 December

Parents and students, please note: Friday 8 December will be the last day for the canteen in 2017 due to building work.

From 10-22 December, students will need to bring their lunch or buy it on the way to school.

Students will not be permitted to leave the grounds at recess or lunch time.

Invitation 26 November: Celebrating 60 Years

All students, families and staff are invited to our 60th anniversary celebration on Sunday, 26 November 1pm-4pm. The event will be held in the Science and Language Centre.

We have been reaching out to past students and teachers who attended Elwood College and before that, Elwood Secondary and Elwood High School. It would be wonderful to have a mix of current and past students attend on the day.

There will be music from alumni band Coco Chill, memorabilia and one last chance to tour B Block before its impending demolition. Due to building works, only a small part of the school will be open (all with wheelchair access). Despite unforeseen delays in our building program, we have decided to maintain the anniversary date due to strong interest from alumni.

Parent and student volunteers are invited to assist with organising memorabilia displays, running the registration desk and catering a Devonshire tea.
Please email elwood.co@edumail.vic.gov.au if you can assist. Thank you to the parents who have already offered their time.

If you are in contact with former students or teachers, please invite them along. 
Alumni are asked to RSVP with their name, maiden name (if relevant) and the years they attended by emailing alumni@elwood.vic.edu.au

City2 Sea Volunteers

Elwood College will again be volunteering at the City2Sea fun run on Sunday 12 November, helping behind the scenes as a fundraising effort for the college. Friends and family most welcome to join students on the day. Please contact Miss Robbins or email rob@elwood.vic.edu.au if you can assist.

Year 10 students Marven Lim and Jackson Clothier will be playing en route with their band Bang Wombat. Marven performed solo last year and enjoyed it so much he's back with a new bandmate.
Here is the bio for their band Bang Wombat! (penned by Marven in the hope of "sounding as ridiculous and corny as possible"):

Two young mop haired men set up on the stage. One sits down behind a drum set, a magic wand in each hand. The other filthy lay-about is visibly nervous, with his hair hanging in his face. Though there is fear, there is bravery in him as he hangs his guitar around his neck. The stage lights turn on, and they are introduced to a screaming crowd. They are both in a daze as they stare down at the wave of people before them. A few words muttered by the singer before he starts playing. Slowly the drummer begins to drum roll louder and louder building the snare to a roar; it sounds as if the room is about to collapse. All of a sudden it all comes together, becoming a unit, an eclipsing epitome of rock ’n’ roll.  They are Bang Wombat. 

Farewell Year 12

Year 12 Celebration Day was a fantastic event, starting with a BBQ breakfast and ending with a Valedictory dinner. As these photos show, both students and staff embraced the opportunity to dress up on the final day.

Congratulations to Class Valedictorians Jingyun (Ainy) Wu and Liza Clerehan.

Here is Jingyun's speech:

I'm so proud to be here with Liza as a Valedictorian. Maybe I should start with a big thank to everyone in Year 12. Thanks for believing in me to represent the whole year level, and for your friendship and support these last three years. 

I still can remember when I first walked into Elwood College in 2014. I thought, “Nice, cool, this looks like a park”. I remember at that time, the Year 9s still had their own building next to the G block and the library was still standing in front of the Science and Language Centre.

We have all had an amazing time in Elwood College. A lot of funny things have happened throughout the whole year. I will always remember Mr Alexander’s message to ‘chip, chip away’ to keep us motivated. Sometimes teachers say wise things and sometimes they don't. For example in my physics class. As I said in my introduction, my name is Jingyun, and Mr Barr just couldn't pronounce my name, so he ended up calling me ‘chicken wing’. I mean, I like eating chicken wings, but I might not choose to keep this nickname.

Joking aside, we need to say thank you to all the teachers and peers that we met throughout our lives in Elwood, especially to Ms Hutton and Mr Alexander for their work keeping us on track in Year 12. As an international student, we want to say thank you to Ms Stella and Mr Spring, thank you for looking after us for both our life and study. And I personally want to say thank you to Ms Tran, Mrs McDonald, Ms Pritchard, and Mr Barr. Thanks for helping us through our course work and giving our class many tips for university life. We are so glad we met lots of good people here. Now, I want to represent the whole Year 12, to say thank you to every parent, teacher and peer who has helped us become better! Thank you!

Our Young Victorian of the Year

Year 11 student Georgie Stone has produced yet another 'Wow!' moment, being named Victorian Young Australian of the Year for her role as a “brave and visible advocate for trans and gender diverse youth in Australia”. This means Georgie is the Victorian nominee for Young Australian of the Year, to be announced 25 January next year. Congratulations Georgie on this well-deserved honour.

Georgie is pictured here performing in this year's Whole School Production 'A Day of Sky'.

We Survived!

Middle School Outdoor Education students learned survival skills on camp in October with teachers Mr Burton and Miss Griffin.

Here they are creating their own tents out of sticks, rope and a tarp; hiking; and enjoying the great outdoors.

After Margrite!

Well done to the Year 11 Theatre Studies class on their successful production of After Margrite! held in the Phoenix Theatre last month. Staging the production as a team and reflecting on the process forms part of each student's Unit 2 assessments.

Photos by Copper Taylor-Bogaars.

Harry and Jamie's Healthy Chance

Congratulations to Year 10 student Harry Steedman who is a high-school finalist in a national photography competition and Year 9 student Jamie Lewis-Hanafin whose work made it to the semi-finals.

The Your Health Link National Photography Competition and Exhibition gave entrants a theme of 'Healthy Life, Healthy You'.

Medal Haul

Fantastic news from the State Athletics Championships on 23 October. Year 9 student Marlon Trevitt won a gold, silver and bronze for the Under 15 400m, 200m and long jump. Year 11 student Nelson Gray came 2nd in the 16-20 years AWD Shot put. Year 10 student Evan Warman came third in the Javelin.
This follows a stunning medal haul by our students at the Southern Metro Athletics Carnival on 12 October.
Congratulations to our medallists:
Evan Warman - 1st in Javelin
Marlon Trevitt  - 2nd, 1st, 1st and 1st in 100m, 200m, 400m and long jump
Nelson Gray 100m - 1st in 100m
Kitty Smyth  - 3rd in hurdles
Darak Sok - 3rd in hurdles
Brie Bartleet - 3rd in 1500m
Well done also to Enya Talbot, Brock Tyers, Will McCarthy, Jack Ranieri and Tasmyn Tueli who competed at the Southern Metro event after great results at the inter-school athletics. It is an impressive effort just to qualify for this level of competition.
Top image: Nelson, Kitty, Brie, Marlon and Darak with their Southern Metro medals.  
Middle: Evan Warman with his State bronze medal.
Bottom: Nelson with his State silver medal.

Double Gold for Nelson

Nelson, Evan and Marlon all went on to compete at the Victorian All Schools Championships (encompassing both State and private schools) last week.

Nelson came first in both the Boys U18 Para Discus and Shot put, qualifying him for the Australian All Schools Track & Field Championships in Adelaide in December.

Marlon came 2nd in the Boys U15 400m "eight milliseconds behind the national champion" and 3rd in the Boys U15 200m.

Evan came 7th in the Boys U17 Javlin.

An excellent effort from all three boys making it through to this high standard of competition. Good luck at nationals Nelson!

Memories of France

Sunday Fleet, Year 9 (pictured top left): "I loved everything about the trip. I loved how different France was to Australia and I loved the way we as a group got to experience things we may never get to see or do again. We got to learn so much about the interesting history behind many different parts of France that we visited and I am so grateful that I was able to go and also become closer with others on the trip."

Kitty Smyth, Year 8 (pictured in red jacket): "The France trip was an amazing experience and definitely one to remember. I was able to extend my understanding of French language and practice my speaking in real life situations. There were so many incredible places to see and one of my highlights was rolling down the biggest sand dunes in Europe, it was extremely fun. I also made some great new friendships and learnt some remarkable facts about French history along with the connection between Australia and France."

Spectacular Experience

Our students performed in the Victorian State Schools Spectacular on Saturday, 16 September.

Year 10 student Isabella Hodgman was a Principal Vocalist while Clancy Lee, also Year 10, performed as a Circus Artist and Ensemble Vocalist. A further 19 students joined in the mass choir with students from all over Victoria. Thank you to music coordinator Jodie Paxton and teacher John Harte for helping our students have this fantastic experience year after year.

Isabella reports on her experience: "Performing as a Principle Vocalist in the State Schools Spectacular was one of the best experiences of my life. I got the chance to perform to over 6,000 people in Hisense Arena, work personally with and learn from music industry professionals, and make friendships with the cast and crew that I will never forget. Every level of participation, from mass choir and dance, student stage management, student media crew, costume design, to principle vocals is an amazing experience. The people I've worked with over the year are like a family to me, and we all came together and put on an amazing show."

From Clancy: I have learnt so many important lessons that will stick with me for the rest of my life. One, you should always surround yourself with people who care about you and will support you no matter what. Two, you shouldn't stress over the tiniest things in life, just have faith that you know what you are doing. And finally, treasure every moment you spend with the people you love, the cast of spec are my family and I have been so lucky to be a part of that family and I will never forget it. The overall experience was one of laughter and joy. I will always remember it.


Young musicians from Elwood College recently participated in the Junior Bandfest at Bentleigh Secondary College. The event, conducted by Joe O’Callaghan, gave instrumental students an opportunity to perform together in a large concert band. Over a hundred participants and their teachers attended from schools across the region.

Students Eric Farrugia, Tom Paratheras, Monica Ising, Nicole Huynh, William McCarthy, Liam Rogerson, Sofia Sioukaeva, Alice Coffey, Ollie Smith, Will Thomas and Sam Gulliver shared an enjoyable day. Mr McClean, Ms Knowles, Mr Montesante and Mr Voogd accompanied the group.

Leadership Opportunity

Elwood College students are invited to put their hand up for the The City of Port Phillip's Youth Advisory Committee.

This will be open to young people aged 16 to 25 years that live, work or study in Port Phillip with a desire to be involved and contribute to their local community on issues affecting young people.

One of the main aims of the committee is to increase young people’s involvement and representation in Council planning and decision-making processes. Council will be invited to attend meetings and speak with the YAC about key initiatives. The committee will offer development opportunities for participants and access to specialist guest speakers.

The Youth Advisory Committee will meet at the St Kilda Town Hall on Tuesday evenings every three weeks except for school holidays.

This is a great opportunity for students to develop leadership qualities and experience. 

Please email Lisa Lorenz on Lisa.lorenz@portphillip.vic.gov.au

Baketball Summer League

Expressions of interest are invited for a Basketball Summer League hosted by Chase Basketball (which runs the Elwood College Basketball Academy). Competition will commence in November 2017 at Albert Park College. The league will run for 12 weeks.

Leagues will be available for boys and girls from under 12’s (born 1/7/2005 – 30/6/2007) and under 14’s (1/7/2003 – 30/6/2005) age levels. The girls’ league will run on Thursday nights from 4:30pm to 8:30pm and the boys’ league will run on Saturday afternoons from 1:50pm to 6:50pm.

Games will be played with 18-minute halves and two referees provided for each game. Game days will have no parking or stadium entry fees and scorers will also be provided for each game so parents won’t have to score!

Head to the website chasebasketball.com.au/competitions and register your interest by filling out our expression of interest form. *Team and Individual Registrations Welcome.

Local Events

Ripponlea Primary is hosting its annual Ripper Twilight Market this Friday, 10 November between 5pm and 9pm.

The City of Glen Eira invites families to the Groove n Graze event in the Hopetoun Gardens on Sunday 19 November. Details: http://www.gleneira.vic.gov.au/Places-and-events/Arts-and-Culture/Groove...

Alumni Speakers

As part of our 60 year celebrations, we have invited past students back to Elwood College to share their school memories and career experiences. We are very grateful to diabetes advocate and blogger Ashley Ng (attended Elwood College 2003-2007), Prof. John Zeleznikow (1964-1968), Prof. Damien Kingsbury (1969-1972) and The Hon. Justice Mordy Bromberg (1971-1975) for giving their time to the school. Their presentations were both entertaining and insightful, and the feedback from students of all year levels was fantastic.

Pictured here are Damien Kingsbury and Mordy Bromberg with our senior students.

We are looking forward to Georgina Chin Quan (1962-1964) joining us next month.

Former parent and school council president Sue Constable has collated the fascinating stories of numerous alumni, which you can read on our website at https://www.elwood.vic.edu.au/past-students

Alumni Stories: From Kung Fu to the Cup

Barry Pang attended Elwood High 1963-67. Although he has a Mechanical Engineering degree, his real passion was always martial arts and he founded one of the first Kung Fu schools in Melbourne in 1974. With an entrepreneurial spirit, he has other interests in property, art consultancy and horse racing. In fact, Barry is a part owner of 2017 Melbourne Cup runner Ventura Storm and was a part owner of 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente. He is pictured with his wife Anne, with the Melbourne Cup trophy, and practising Kung Fu in the 1970s.

“My parents were both born in Canton, in China, and came to Australia at the end of WWII. I was born in Australia. In the late 1950s we lived above our delicatessen in Acland Street. My father would cook legs of ham in a huge copper pot to sell in the shop and my mother made home-made pies which were very popular. We knew all the owners of Chinese restaurants in the street and I knew John Zeleznikov, who went to Elwood High, as his parents ran the café Scheherazade.

I went to St Kilda Park Primary School, Elwood Central for Form 1 (Year 7) and then Elwood High for Years 8 – 12. I have such fond memories of Elwood High and still see a lot of friends from those days. I was struck by the large number of Jewish students at the school; they were competitive and hardworking and academically the school was very strong. I remember that our form got 16 Commonwealth scholarships one year.

The teachers were a mixed bunch. They all wore academic gowns and were very serious. I was a bit naughty at school and one day I got the strap from Mr Will, the Deputy Principal for play wrestling with my friend in the corridor. Mr Will thought we were fighting and the strap, which had special heavy leather at the end, hurt. We had Mr Will for Pure Maths. He would photocopy the whole of the Maths syllabus for the year and we would be expected to work through the exercises in class and at home. He would write the solutions to problems on the board but there was very little real teaching or discussion.

I played in the school footy team, and also played cricket. I had been taking Tae Kwon Do lessons since primary school at St Johns Church in Elwood. In Year 12 you could choose to do sport or do private study at home. I was the only student in the whole school who elected to do sport. I invited the Tae Kwon Do instructor to come to the school to teach students, and I helped him during sport times.

There were only two other Chinese or Asian families at Elwood High when I was there. Most of my friends were Jewish. There was racism in Australia at that time but not at Elwood High. It was such a multicultural school. Being a student there enabled me to mix with anyone and I learned how to network and market.

In Year 12, the school dispensed with Prefects, chosen by the teachers and Principal, and allowed students to vote for their representatives. I had friends in Years 10, 11 and 12 so I got them to help me campaign and I was elected.”

Barry wanted to study at Monash University because it was a new campus, and it was lively because of the student protest movement against such things as the Vietnam War. He enrolled in Mechanical Engineering but never enjoyed the course and wanted to drop out after first year. His parents insisted he complete the four-year degree. As soon as he did, he headed off to Hong Kong for a year to study martial arts under Bruce Lee's famous Wing Chun instructor, Wong Shun Leung.

Lee died the year before Barry arrived in Hong Kong. Lee’s father was related to Barry’s mother and they were from the same village in Canton. On his return to Australia, Barry started teaching martial arts and, although he also completed a Diploma of Education and taught Maths and Science for a year, he was soon teaching Kung Fu full time. He founded one of the first Kung Fu schools in Melbourne in 1974. These schools have produced many state and national champions.

In 1998 he established the Southern Universities Sports Association (SUSA) Kung Fu championships, which opened up martial arts competitions to seven universities.

In 1996 Barry was awarded the Blitz Hall of Fame Kung Fu Tribute Award, the most prestigious award in Australia.

By the late 90s Barry had diverse interests in property, the share market and other businesses and began an art consultancy firm, dealing in Australian fine art with his wife Anne. They set up a gallery business and became keen art collectors, amassing an impressive collection that featured some of the biggest names in Australian art history. They sold the collection in 2015.

His other real passion has become horse racing. He joined the stable of the highly regarded trainer Gai Waterhouse and the horse which he part owned, Fiorente won the Melbourne Cup in 2013. The story of Barry’s life and journey to the Melbourne Cup featured in an ABC TV story in 2013 (see the first link below).




Alumni Stories: An Academic Life

Andrew Wirth attended Elwood High 1961-1965. Leading classroom discussion in Mr Green's Physics was a fantastic apprenticeship to a career teaching engineering at the University of Melbourne.

"Although I did not fully appreciate it at the time, Elwood High was just the school for me, a nerdy, non-sporty kid from Poland. The co-ed mixture of Aussies and migrants allowed me to stick to the more familiar 'wog ball' and better still to woodpushing (chess). 

I remember the teachers as dedicated and some, for example Mr Pittock, as inspiring. David brought the larger than life characters of Great Expectations alive. His modern literature reading list guided me for many post-school years. Heidi Earl's youthful enthusiasm also bore fruit. Some, like Miss Rowan, had a harder time of it. Her attempts to excite me about Mary Anne Evans (George Eliot) succeeded only in my middle age. On the other hand, I was fascinated by the school's daring production of Ionesco's (then new) absurdist play Rhinoceros.

It was a particular delight to discover there was a fellow nerd in my Form 2 (Year 8) class. Discussions about maths, physics and Mad magazines began then and continue still. In my last school year, our physics teacher, Mr Green, when asked a question he considered to be a 'curly one', would frequently encourage Barry and me to lead the classroom discussion. This experience, no doubt, as well as the work of the many fine maths and science teachers, like Mr Will and Mr Clift, contributed to our taking up university jobs.

A Melbourne University Bachelor of Science was followed by time at Monash, resulting in a PhD and marriage to a fellow maths post-grad. An academic career culminated in teaching mathematics to engineers and research in scheduling as an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Melbourne. Lecturing classes of 300-odd engineering students was an interesting challenge; chocolate frog bribes worked a treat. But the best fun was working with PhD students and colleagues on a variety of mathematical modeling topics.

Melbourne is a town obsessed by the question, which school did you go to? In my family, "oh they went to Elwood" is considered a badge of honour. The fact that about half the class of 1965 attended the 50-year reunion suggests that this view is widely shared. I am very grateful to my Elwood teachers and fellow students for showing me the way."

Andrew joined Melbourne University's business school in 1980 and moved to engineering in 1992. He is now on an honorary appointment dividing his time between supervising a PhD student, peer reviewing and most importantly being a grandfather.