Elwood College 2017 Newsletter No.3: Thursday, 11 May

Principal's Note

Hello Everyone

A huge thank you to all the students, staff and parents who helped put on another fantastic Open Night. We received great feedback from prospective families. This photo of Peggy, Eric and Copper performing in the theatre foyer really shows the enthusiasm and commitment everyone brought to the event! It also demonstrates one of the key messages we share with prospective families about Elwood College: students do well when they are engaged in the school community and have the chance to explore their individual talents.

In the same week, we were beautifully represented on Anzac Day by our choir and college captains Liza Clerehan and Anton Merakovsky. Thanks to music coordinator Jodie Paxton who led the choir of our students together with Elwood Primary and St Columba's Primary students.

Our Term 1 High Achiever Awards were given out at the start of this term. We do this not just to recognise academic achievement, but the hard work and positive learning attitude that is required for success to happen. The Term 1 awards specifically focussed on students' EFFORT and ATTENDANCE. The Term 2 awards will focus specifically on academic achievement.

Finally, it's time for students to 'get their acts together', as the SRC Talent Night is coming up on Wednesday, 7 June. 
Warm Regards
Rhonda Holt

Diary Dates

15-17 May: Year 8 Camp, The Summit

Thursday, 18 May: International Food Day

Friday, 19 May: School Photos

Wednesday, 31 May: House Performing Arts

Friday, 2 June: Final day to submit photo orders online (you will require webcode from your personalised order form).

Wednesday, 7 June: SRC Talent Night.

Friday, 30 June: Term 2 concludes.

Mother's Day Gift Idea

College admin will be selling the Elwood College & Community Cookbook Come to the Table on Friday, 12 May in the lead up to Mother's Day. Students can bring $35 (CASH ONLY) to admin to buy the gorgeous cookbook for their mum, grandmother, aunt or other special person. 

School Photos 19 May: How to Order

All students need to be in full uniform for school photos on Friday, 19 May.

Order forms and envelopes will be sent home with students prior to photo day. Each order form has a personalised WEB LOG-ON CODE; please keep this form until after you have placed your order.

Place your order ONLINE PRIOR TO PHOTO DAY using the unique WEB LOG-ON CODE printed on your pre payment order form.  Tick “order online” box at top of order form and have your child hand it to our photographer on photo day.
Complete the pre-payment order form.  Include your cash, cheque or credit card payment in envelope and have your child hand it to our photographer on photo day.
You can choose to wait for 5 working days to go online to VIEW THE IMAGES and place your order by Friday, 2 June.

If you do not wish to purchase photos please tick the box printed at top of order form to say “am not buying photos today” and have your child hand the envelope to our photographer on photo day.

All queries should be directed to photos@schoolphoto.com.au  or go to our website at www.schoolphoto.com.au. Customer Service: Telephone 9707 6655 or 9707 6653.

House Sports

The House Sports Carnival was a great day out on 20 April at Duncan McKinnon Reserve. Congratulations to all in Milton house, who won the day based on events and participation, ahead of Lawson, Byron and Keats.

Thanks to everyone who assisted with the day, including teacher George Lekatsas for these photos capturing the fun and athleticism of the day.

Age Champions

Under 13: William McCarthy and Bri Bartleet

Under 14: Marlon Trevitt and Enya Talbot

Under 15: Hugo Townsend and Brier Mclean

Under 16: Jack Ranieri and Ruby Woods

Under 17: Henry Lucas and Tigerlily Guy

Under 18-20: Andrew Chabarwa, Sally Davis and Diamond O’Hehir Vargas

Millar batting for Victoria

Congratulations to Year 7 student Millar Kuhl who will represent Victoria in Baseball in June. His team, the Under 12 Southern Mariners, won the Victorian Championships in April, qualifying as Victoria's top team in the Australian Little League Championship being played in Lismore.

A keen batter and catcher, Millar is hoping his team can overcome the favourites from NSW and WA to win the event and qualify for the World Series in Pennsylvania, USA.

He has been playing since he was eight, after he watched the US World Series on television with his American cousins. "My dad took me to try outs at St Kilda Baseball Club and I started playing. Then I got into the Academy and then the Victorian All Stars team," he said.

Millar enjoys the opportunity to make friends from all over the state through baseball. "We didn't know each other before but we connect as a team. It's really fun. We always have a laugh."

Good luck Millar!

Sport Snippets

In other sport news...

Congratulations to Year 10 student Harper Massey, who placed third in the 200m Freestyle at the Southern Metro Finals.

Five teams represented Elwood College in Touch Football at the Victorian School Championships (qualification event) in March. The Under 15 Boys Cup team came third and were invited to play in the State Final on 5 May, placing fourth in Victoria (pictured).  Kitty Smyth and Maya Simmonds also participated in the State Finals event as Level 1 referees (pictured). Congratulations to the Years 7 and 8 girls' team which won the Under 15 Girls Plate (event for beginners) at the Qualification event.

After winning gold at the Victorian Athletics Championships, Year 11 student Nelson Gray competed at the Australian Athletics Championships in March, in the Men’s U20 Para Shot-Put. Nelson threw an awesome personal best of 7.79m and placed 4th in the country. Well done Nelson.

Anzac Day Speeches

Here is an excerpt of the speeches made by 2017 Captains Anton Merakovsky and Liza Clerehan at the Elwood Sailing Club ceremony.

Liza: Today, I am wearing the medals of my great grandfather, Adrian Cole - someone who was and is publically recognised for his efforts in both world wars. However, it is essential that we acknowledge all individuals whose courage and sacrifice contributed so much to shaping the identity of this nation, and to those that continue to serve, as Australians gather today, in the thousands, or in communities such as ours, to do just that.

With thanks to the ANZACs and other Australian men and women, of the past and present, we can all learn to unite and accept one another, as the spirit of the Anzacs bonds us all, today, and in all days. With this, we can take these virtues into the future.

Anton: As a 17 year old on the cusp of adulthood, I cannot begin to understand the terror which our ANZAC soldiers would have faced on the shores of Gallipoli, many of whom would have been the same age as I am. I believe the best way of paying our respects to the ANZACs is by embodying the very spirit which was born on this day, 102 years ago. The values of courage, honour, endurance, initiative, discipline and mateship are ones which we should hold with the utmost importance. Not just on this day, but on all our days, as that is what it means to be Australian.

The way in which we pay our respects should be more than just a moment of silence, one day of the year, or by wearing a badge or attending a football game. It is essential that we embody these traits, as to not allow the sacrifice of our ANZACs to be in vain. We must be courageous and fight for what we believe in, even in the face of adversity, just as our soldiers have. We must never give up at the first hurdle, but strive for greater. In a divisive world, we must remember to love and respect our fellow man, rather than cast him aside.

Spectacular Voices

Congratulations to Year 10 students Isabella Hodgman (pictured right) and Clancy Lee for winning lead roles in this year's State School's Spectacular.

Following auditions across the state, Isabella will be a Principal Vocalist while Clancy will be a Circus Artist and Ensemble Vocalist. 

The Elwood College choir will also participate in the mass choir, which includes about 13,000 voices every year.

Rehearsals have already started for the Spectacular, which will be performed twice on Saturday 16 September at Hisense Arena and later broadcast on Channel 7.

The Department of Education and Training’s Performing Arts Unit coordinates the show.

Liberty Award for Georgie

Congratulations to Year 11 student Georgie Stone on winning the first ever Liberty Victoria award for young people.

From the Liberty Victoria website: "For the first time this year Liberty will present a Young Voltaire Award, which goes to a person aged 30 or under. In standing up for her rights, Georgie has succeeded in a landmark case that means other transgender children do not have to undertake a complex and intimidating legal process to access hormone treatment.  Now aged 17, Georgie's visibility, and her advocacy for the medical and educational rights of transgender children and adolescents, has helped highlight these issues and change the national conversation."

Year 7 Camp

Rowan and Cassie report on their adventures at camp.

Rowan: The Year 7 cohort were piled onto a bus and driven to Roses Gap in the Grampians. There were highs and lows but some of us faced fears and made new friends. We spent days doing challenging activities and nights watching movies and dancing in fluoro colours. I think I can speak for everyone that we all didn’t want to leave.

Cassie: While being in a cabin without their best friends made some people unhappy, everyone eventually accepted the purpose of this camp was to make NEW friends. Spending our days in activity groups working as a team to build rafts; belaying each other and working as group to pull a group member upwards with a rope; and nights doing activities or talking in our cabins trying not to be heard by teachers – it all definitely caused us to bond.

Rowan: By the end of the camp we had all grown closer. The first night we showed up to the recreational area sporting pyjamas and slippers. Lying down in sleeping bags we watched ‘Moana’, with lollies occasionally thrown around by teachers. The last night we rocked up to the recreational area for a second time wearing the most fluorescent things we could find in our wardrobes. Everyone danced to the music and the colourful light created a fun mood. There was even a dance battle!

Cassie: There were some amazing activities a favourite was abseiling. The activity took up two of the rotations in the camp and was well worth the time spent. Each group was taken up the rock face and told by the instructors how to abseil down. And then you waited. As people began to make their way down the rock face, the nerves kicked in. When it finally came to your turn, you got strapped into a harness and you began the process of walking down the cliff. Most people’s first few steps were slow while others ran down the cliff. Many people conquered their fears and everyone as a year group was proud of their achievements.  

Rowan: Another amazing activity was the Giant Swing. People conquered fears and had fun. Cassie and I saw people cheering each other on and helping each other with fears and concerns. This activity required huge effort, as each group had to pull up one of their members by pulling a rope attached to their harness. Once the person on the harness reached a certain height, the group below would count down from three, signalling for them to reach up and yank a rope that detached them from the rope held by the group. After a few seconds of free falling, they would swing back and forth. This activity was equally as fun as it was scary and most of the people in our group were pining for another go.

Cassie: Camp was a great experience for the whole year group because it allowed us to bond, get to know each other and make new friends.

Term 1 High Achievers: Junior School

Congratulations to the following students who received awards for effort and attendance across all subjects in Term 1.

Year 7: Aditya Arya, Ari Capetanakis, Rowan Davey, Phoebe Greenwood, Bonnie Grining, Monica Ising, Maggie Lambrechts, Lily Lau, Will McCarthy, Max Morris, Ana Ramljak, Timna Sushan, Coco Ting-Ntimih, Lily Walker, Renee Warman and Sophie Woods.

Year 8: Kitty Smyth, Lily Ranieri, Rowan Daly, Amaya Filipovic, Blanche Flaster, Zeta Hamilton Durkin, Nyna McQuarrie, Tia Mallios, Alia McIntosh, Flynn Richardson, Amy Richardson and Zoe Symes.

Term 1 High Achievers: Middle School

Year 9: Elissa Burjawi, Lenie Chin, Brier McLean, Wenting Gu, Sunday Fleet, Vincinius Scalioni-Souza, Sophia Hodych, Neelu Sidhu, Lily Rekittke, Ka Yan-Cheng and Faith Rodrick.

Year 10: Chloe Gent, Harper Massey, Sabrina Phillips, Isabella Hodgman, Yen Ling Ng, Tongxin Pan, Ruby Woods, Catherine Oliver, Marven Lim and Monique Bauer.

Term 1 High Achievers: Senior School

Year 11: Yihan Du, Vadhana Anil Ram, Zoe Eyles, Georgie Stone, Mylla Meira Purcinelli, Jonathan Zuk, Harrison Stone, Jacques Steedman, Eleonora Cascitelli and Hugh Cowie.

Year 12: Jingyun (Ainy) Wu, Liza Clerehan, Jayde Elvey, Zali Guecia-Ghelardini, Huiwen (Shirley) Shi, Zain Noorani, Kyan Hodges, Kye Gray and Caitlin Deane.

Premier's Awards for Patricia and Sol

We are extremely proud of 2016 Dux Sol Charles and current Year 12 student Patricia Sumargo, who both received prestigious Premier's VCE Awards on Thursday, 27 April.
These prestigious awards are for outstanding academic results. Sol was awarded for high achievement in Geography, for which he achieved a perfect study score, and Patricia for Indonesian as a Second Language, which she completed through the Victorian School of Languages.
The Minister for Education James Merlino presented the awards to the top-performing VCE students from 2016. Sol and Patricia were joined at the award ceremony by their families and Principal Rhonda Holt, Senior School Director Clare Hutton and last year's Year 12 Coordinator Nick England.

Meet our International Students: Hanna Korn

From Whitehorse, Canada, Hanna is in Year 12.

Tell us about life at home: In Canada I like to photography and play lots of music in an orchestra and an ensemble with friends. I also like to bike in the summer and do biathlons in the colder months.

How is Elwood different to school at home? You have to wear a uniform here and there are less courses for the year.

What is the strangest thing about life in Australia? All the weird slang people use.

What do you like most about being here? New people and cultures, including the other international students.

Any advice for new international students? Don't stress, the people here are really friendly. Be outgoing and make friends! People are always happy to meet you.

Meet our International Students: Julie (Shuyun Li)

From Yuncheng (Shan Xi province) in China, Julie started Year 10 with us in Term 1.

Tell us about life at home: I live with my mother, father and brother. We eat dumplings. I like to sing.

How is Elwood different to school at home? Elwood is an open school. At home, we only have all the lessons in a classroom.

What is the strangest thing about life in Australia? My homestay has two interesting dogs.

What do you like most about being here? The sky and the weather.

Any advice for new international students? If you want to learn English, it is necessary to communicate with teachers and classmates.

Alumni Stories: Leading Change

Damien Kingsbury attended Elwood High in 1969–1972. He is a Professor of International Politics at Deakin University specialising in political and security issues in Southeast Asia. He has worked extensively in Timor-Leste since the mid-1990s. He led the Australian observer group to Timor’s 1999 ballot for independence and all subsequent ballots (he is pictured here with independence leader Xanana Gusmao at the launch of his most recent book).

“I came to Elwood High from Richmond High in 1969. The cultural mix of students at Elwood from Northern and Eastern Europe stood me in good stead for future life as it helped me to easily mix with people from non-Anglo backgrounds.

While the school was generally a good social experience I was not a good student. I refused to wear the school uniform (which was abolished in 1973), I never did homework and was much more interested in, what were then, wider social changes.

Our Drama teacher Mr Whitehead was brilliant and helped many of us build self-confidence. As a then introspective person, the classes helped me to feel confident about standing up to speak in large groups.

I also enjoyed English and History classes with Mr Pittock. Despite telling me that I could not express myself in writing, he was kind enough to write to me to congratulate me on having my first book published, years later, when I was at Monash University.

I played drums – badly - in the school band and had minor roles in school productions but, like other “alternative” kids in the school, was not interested in sport.

In 1972 I lived out the rebellious youth thing when I led a school strike over the lack of student involvement in school decision making. I remember attending an organising meeting at Melbourne Uni and there being a radical element there. This led, in May of that year, to some Elwood students joining in a protest in the city. A friend and I were pictured on the front page of the Sun Newspaper with our fists, grasping pencils, raised in a symbol of student protest. In Melbourne, 900 students attended the city march from Treasury Gardens to the City Square. Despite the threat of being suspended for taking a day off school, the protest led to the Principal agreeing to set up the first Students Representative Council (SRC) at Elwood High.

As often happens to people who lead ‘the revolution’, I became its first victim when my nomination for Chairman was defeated by a bloc of more conservative students.

At the end of a confrontational Year 11 and with a very poor academic record, I was asked not to come back to the school. I took myself off to Sydney where, aged 17, I talked my way into a job as a cadet journalist with News Limited. I abandoned this after a year and returned to Melbourne where I continued to hang out in a shared house with some of my old friends from Elwood High."

Damien revelled in Melbourne’s mid-19070s alternative/intellectual environment and, surrounded by very bright people, he began to read voraciously. This led to returning to study politics and journalism at RMIT.

In 1980 he travelled and wrote articles from El Salvador during the civil war, which were published in The Age in 1981. This led to work for the next four years as a journalist for the newspaper. In 1983 he was awarded a scholarship to undertake a Masters in Journalism at Columbia University, New York for his journalism from El Salvador.

In 1981, Damien interviewed political prisoners in San Salvador. Photographs of the prisoners were widely published in The AgeSydney Morning Herald and some London newspapers and this helped get them released. One of the prisoners became El Salvador's vice-president. The prison is now an art gallery and community art school. 

He continued on with academic study with a MA at Monash University in 1993 and a Doctor of Philosophy at Monash in 1997.

In 1985, he left The Age to join the ABC’s Radio News Division and then with Radio Australia covered Asia and the South Pacific. Since 1989, Damien has contributed to a number of media outlets, is a regular international affairs commentator for ABC 774 and writer for Crikey. He is currently Deputy Chair of the Balibo House trust, a small NGO operating in Timor-Leste, and has worked extensively there since the mid-1990s, having led the supervision of the independence ballot in 1999 when Xanana Gusmao was elected leader.

In academia, Damien lectured in Journalism at Deakin University (1989-1991), Asian and Development Studies and International and Community Development.

While with Deakin, in 2005, he was adviser to the Free Aceh Movement in the Helsinki peace talks, which ended almost three decades of conflict in the western Indonesian province of Aceh.

Damien has also advised on conflict resolution to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, West Papua Coalition for National Liberation and on separatist internecine conflict in Nagaland (India).

He coordinated election observer missions to Timor-Leste in 2007, 2012 and 2017 and Myanmar in 2015.

In 2015, he was named Professor of International Politics.