Hello Everyone! As we wrap up Term 2, our new building is progressing on schedule. We expect it to be finished in October, with an opening celebration to coincide with our 60th anniversary gathering on Sunday 26 November. We hope students and families will join us.
Fantastic art and technology facilities will be a highlight of the new wing, along with a VCE centre, library and stunning atrium cafe. Once the new wing is in use, the refurbishment of the existing main building will commence. It is scheduled for completion by December, followed by the demolition of our older buildings early in 2018.
As you will see in this newsletter, it's been another action-packed term. Pictured here are our Middle School girls representing Elwood College at interschool soccer on Winter Sports Day earlier this month. We will have lots happening in our final week of term next week: Year 10 work experience, Year 9 camp and the Year 7 Pirate Day Celebration. In the classroom, students have already commenced their Semester 2 units, ensuring that we 'hit the ground running' when we start back on Monday, 17 July.
Please mark Tuesday 8 August in your diaries (7-9pm). We have guest speaker Paul Dillon speaking about students being party safe. Paul is in high demand and we are very lucky to have secured him to speak to our parents. Whether you have a child at the end, in the middle or at the beginning of their secondary school education, there is never too much practical advice to be had in regard to supporting your child through their teenage years in terms of their socialisation.
School will be dismissed at 2.30pm on Friday, 30 June. I hope all students, staff and parents enjoy the break.
Friday, 23 June: Camps, Sports & Excursion Fund applications due (see note in newsletter).
Wednesday, 28 June: Year 7 Pirate Day
Friday, 30 June: Term 2 concludes, 2.30pm dismissal
Monday, 17 July: Term 3 starts
19, 20, 21 July: Whole-School Production
2-4 August: Year 9 Wellbeing Week, Year 10 Pathways Week.
Thursday, 3 August: VCE Information Night for Year 10, 6-7pm.
2-8 August: Obu Higashi sister school visit.
Tuesday, 8 August: PartySafe information night for parents, 7-9pm.
22-25 August: Ski Camp
Wednesday, 30 August: Years 7, 10, 11 & 12 vaccinations
A reminder that application forms for the Camps, Sports & Excursion Fund (CSEF) are due this Friday, 23 June.
Health Care Card holders may be entitled to claim for the CSEF for 2017. A form is available from our website: http://www.elwood.vic.edu.au/sites/default/files/eccsef.pdf or can be collected from Administration. A copy of your health care card should also be supplied with your application.
Any students in Year 7 (only) who are eligible and approved for CSEF funding will also be entitled to some limited uniform support as below.
Pair of school shoes Pair of school shoes
Summer dress Short Sleeve Emblem Shirt
School Jumper 1 pair of shorts
N.B: There may be a small cost associated with the above uniform if it exceeds the State Schools’ relief allocated amount.
Please contact Administration if you require further information.
Congratulations to all the students who performed at Talent Night and the SRC organisers.
The Phoenix Theatre was packed for the 7 June event, with MCs Vanessa Charles and Raffy Blay leading us through a sensational showcase of our talented students.
Year 10 student Clancy Lee won first prize for her sensational hula hoop act.
"For the second year in a row, Clancy blows us away with her hula hooping abilities, ending her act with hooping with 60 hoops!" the SRC reported on its Facebook page.
Second prize went to Year 9 student Kai Zalmon for an "incredible improv piece on keyboard".
In third place was Year 10 student Copper Taylor-Bogaars, "our extremely talented resident circus man" who "wowed us with the ability to woo the audience, ride a unicycle and juggle all at the same time".
Special thanks to our judges: alumni Yasin Leflef, teacher John Harte, student Duke Wilson and principal Rhonda Holt.
Finally, big props to our performers: Nader, Tamer and Elissa Burjawi; Keir Graham; Marven Lim and Jackson Clothier; Kai Zalmon; Jonathan Zuk; Copper Taylor-Boggers; Monica Ising and Emilyia Levene-Mpadinis (act name Monille); Henry and Peggy Lucas; Georgie Stone; Hossein Saeidi, Clancy Lee; and Victoria Szydlik.
Photography by Maggie Kontev and Copper Taylor-Bogaars.
Four students had a taste of international diplomacy at the 2016 Model United Nations Assembly. The event was held at Parliament House over the weekend of 30 April and 1 May, with 41 teams representing 41 countries from all parts of the world.
Zoe Eyles, Jacques Steedman, D'artagnan Holt and Ledia Terolli (pictured in order) enjoyed the opportunity to join debate in the Legislative Assembly.
Party Safe with Paul Dillon: Tuesday 8 August, 7-9pm, Phoenix Theatre
This session is for PARENTS ONLY with drug education expert Paul Dillon. (We ran tailored sessions for Year 9, 10 and 11 students at school in June).
Through his business, Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia (DARTA), Paul works with school communities to provide best practice drug education and practical advice.
Please feel free to invite any non-EC parents who may be interested.
On 30 August, 2017, students in Years 10, 11 and 12 will be offered a free meningococcal ACWY vaccine. Year 7s will also receive the vaccination as per previous years.
Nurses from the City of Port Phillip will be providing the free vaccinations at Elwood College. A consent card will be sent home with students in these year levels. Parents/guardians of these students are asked to complete and sign the Meningococcal ACWY consent card, regardless of whether or not the student is to be vaccinated at school. The nurses cannot vaccinate a student without a completed consent card.
The free vaccine program for Years 10, 11 & 12 has been introduced by the Victorian Government to combat a recent rise in cases of Meningococcal W disease and will run from April-December 2017. Young people receiving the vaccine will be protected against the ‘W’ strain of the disease, as well as three other strains (‘A’, ‘C’ and ‘Y’).
Information regarding the Meningococcal disease is available in English and other languages at: https://www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/publications/formsandtemplates/meningococcal-secondary-school-vaccine-program
Would you like to host a student from our Japanese sister school for one week in August? On 2-8 August, we have about 16 students visiting from Obu Higashi High School as part of our long-running exchange program.
We are seeking expressions of interest from families who can voluntarily offer homestay to students on 2-8 August.
Host families’ responsibilities are:
- to offer accommodation to a student (six nights) – a shared bedroom is just fine;
- to offer three meals a day during his/her stay; and
- to assist the student to go to and return from the school.
This is a wonderful opportunity for your child’s education, particularly if your child is interested in our biannual school trip to Japan, and wishes to build a friendship with an Obu Higashi student prior to the trip.
Hosting a Japanese student provides a highly beneficial opportunity for Elwood College students to improve their Japanese language skills and learn firsthand about the Japanese culture as they interact both formally and informally a student from Japan of similar age.
If you are interested in becoming a host family, please email our Japanese teacher Hiroki Kurihara at email@example.com at your earliest convenience.
It was both stunningly beautiful and stunningly cold for the 20 Middle School students who attended our first ever Survival Camp in May.
The camp started with students constructing their own shelters out of sticks. Thankfully, Mr Burton and Miss Griffin were generous in allowing students to each bring a tarp and ropes to assist with their living arrangements!
As well as camping in below zero temperatures and starting their own campfires, the group went canoeing on Lake William Hovell and hiked 20 kilometres through the King Valley over two days.
It was fun in the great outdoors for our Year 8s at The Summit camp on 15-17 May.
Students took on the challenging activities with gusto. They tackled great heights on the Giant Swing, Abseiling and the 'Leap of Faith' and tested their mental strength by walking on nails and cuddling a rather large snake.
Mr Green reports. Photography by Copper Taylor-Bogaars.
Students competed in House Performing Arts (Theatresports) on 31 May 31 and 1 June, displaying great courage in applying the skills of improvisation to create spontaneous scenes from...nothing but a given location or other scenario.
Actors earned points for their houses through their performances, based on quality of Storyline, Entertainment and Technical areas of Improv, There was also an allocation of bonus points for those on the backstage crews who showed special leadership in coordinating their team-mates and keeping the show running smoothly. Great job, you people!
In preparation, Patrick Duffy from Impro Melbourne ran a fantastic workshop for students of all year levels on 26 May.
The Sub-School winning houses based on performances only were: Junior - Milton; Middle - Milton; Senior - Keats, with the overall winners to be announced, and perpetual trophy to be presented at the next Whole School Assembly.
Thanks and well done, again, to all the students that participated and made for a great show in each sub-school.
There was no lycra in sight but that didn't stop VCE students and staff getting active on Wednesday, 31 May.
Year 12 Learning Leader Mr Alexander led the aerobics class as an instant mood lift and stress release for our hard-working senior students. The class ended with a relaxation session.
Photos by Copper Taylor-Bogaars.
A super effort from Catherine Oliver and Maeve Brown, winning first and second place respectively at the Beachside Cross Country on Monday, 22 May. Catherine (Year 10, pictured left) and Maeve (Year 11) competed in the 16yo age group.
Other great results included: Liam Harari (2nd place in 17yo boys), Brie Bartleet (3rd in 13yo girls), Spencer Curran and Marlon Trevitt (3rd and 4th in 14yo boys), Sebastian Harris-Knipe (4th in 15yo boys) and Will McCarthy (3rd in 13yo boys).
More than 100 students represented Elwood College, running the 3km course at Karkarook Park. Well done to everyone.
Swiss exchange student Fabian Hammesfahr reports on the international student camp.
I was looking forward to an amazing few days on the Gold Coast when I left my house at 6am on Tuesday. When we landed at Gold Coast Airport in the afternoon, we went to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Feeding and petting animals like kangaroos really was a unique experience for me, considering that there aren’t any kangaroos in Switzerland.
Thank you to all the International Students who put on a wonderful feast for staff and students on Thursday, 18 May.
International Food Day is a huge highlight on our college calendar - a great opportunity to get to know our International Students better as they share their food and culture with us.
Well done to the students who performed in the Live Music is Good For You festival at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Friday, 5 May:
Marven Lim, Siobhan Tomelty, Peggy Lucas, Henry Lucas, Orlando Treleani, Hugh Cowie, Copper Taylor-Bogaars, Vadhana Anil Ram, Madisyn Soroczynski, Corey Jones, Jonathan Zuk, Timna Shushan, Lily Lau, Izzy Hodgman, Clancy Lee, Jackson Clothier, Paris Malthouse, Eric Farrugia, Rowan Daly, Jack Mardling and Georgie Stone.
The annual festival sees musicians undertake workshops with the hospital's music therapy staff and perform for patients, staff and visitors all around the hospital.
A message from Jill Sokol, former Elwood College teacher and founder of Love Our Street 3184. "I am thrilled to announce that Love Our Street has been successful in obtaining a significant grant (more than $36,000) through the State Government Bay Fund to roll out Love Our Street groups over the next three years in the catchment of Elster Creek. The grant will be administered via our auspicing organisation Beach Patrol Australia. Thank you all for helping to make LOS3184 a reality and for helping to develop a model for community action on litter. Our communities can only be stronger and the Bay and its creatures can only benefit from this exciting next step."
Elwood Primary is hosting a film night 'Our Bay: Treasures and Truths' in the Phoenix Theatre on Tuesday, 27 June 6.30-8.30pm.
Monash University is offering Year 8 students a hands-on taste of engineering in the July school holidays (3-5 July 9am-3.45pm).
The three-day course costs $250 per student (early bird rate $200 available until 31 May). Registrations close: Wednesday 28 June.
For more information, visit: https://www.monash.edu/engineering/challenge
Alan Kogosowski attended Elwood High 1966 – 1967. Alan won “Showcase”, a national talent competition, as a 13 year old pianist in 1966. He is an internationally renowned virtuoso pianist and a world authority on the music of Frederic Chopin. He studied, lived and performed in London, the USA and Europe for 30 years before returning to Australia in 2005.
“My parents came from Europe after the war and, from the moment they arrived in Australia in 1949, were determined to make a new and happy life for themselves. My sister and I both attended Elwood Primary School, Elwood Central (Year 7 and 8) and then Elwood High (9 and 10).
We lived in Spray Street and the whole of Elwood then was like my huge personal home. It was much more neighbourhood-style living in my day. Everyone knew each other and the school was the central point of the Elwood community. It was really like one big school in three stages, from Elwood Primary to Central to Elwood High. The school was perfect for me. Nobody cared or noticed where you came from and my sister and I loved it.
We had a dog, a kelpie ‘Rusty’, when we lived in Spray St. That dog would get through the fence at home and every day would run to the school and wander down all the corridors until he found me in my classroom. I was forever being called over the PA to come and collect my dog and take him home.
I started practising piano for hours a day when I was at Elwood Primary and by the time I was at High School I was practising 8-10 hours every day. Playing piano, classical piano, is all I ever really wanted to do.
I would start at 6am and do three hours before I ran to school for the 9am start, run home at 12 noon and do another hour over the school lunch break, and then run home at 4pm to do another four hours.
I knew I stood out from others then. No average kids were interested in classical music. They were listening to the Beatles or the Rolling Stones - yuck.
When I was 10 my father took me along to the Melbourne Town Hall to see the famous Polish American pianist Arthur Rubinstein, then aged almost 80, in concert. In those days it was common for fans to go backstage to meet artists. They were generous with their time and would greet everybody. Rubinstein was signing autographs but could not get through the pile so we were told to come to the Southern Cross Hotel the next day to pick up the signed programmes from the reception desk.
This was exactly the same day as the Beatles famously visited Melbourne and stood on the balcony of the Southern Cross Hotel to wave at screaming fans. We had to push our way through huge crowds in Bourke Street to get to the Hotel where we picked up my program signed by Rubinstein. I still have that programme today and I have grown accustomed to the Beatles.
I remember at Elwood High we had an outside assembly every Monday morning. The Vice Principal wore a black cape and carried a pointer. He used to walk up and down the rows looking for anybody whose trouser cuffs were too thin or too wide. He would measure the cuffs with a tape measure and if they were less than eight inches wide they were considered to be stove pipe pants, like those worn by the Beatles, and declared to be illegal. Students were promptly sent home to get them altered and were not allowed back until they were the right width.
This was pretty funny because by 1967 the trouser fashion had changed to bell bottoms and this time if the cuffs were more than 8 inches wide these were also declared illegal and had to be altered.
I knew I was seen as a bit of a dag at school. But when I won the talent competition on the 1966 “Showcase” TV show and then started appearing regularly on Graham Kennedy’s IMT, the other kids gave me a bit more respect. The Principal gave me some afternoons off, as long as I agreed to be the piano accompanist for school productions.”
The first episode of “BP Showcase” debuted in September 1965 and Alan, aged 12, was a contestant in the very first episode. He returned to the programme in 1966 and won the grand prize at the end of the series, which included $1,000 dollars plus an overseas trip for two to LA, New York and London.
In New York he performed on the internationally popular Ed Sullivan show and reported that the host was “very kind and supportive”. Other guests that night included Count Basie, Tony Bennett and Nancy Sinatra. Alan wrote a story on his overseas trip for the 1967 school magazine.
He left Elwood High at the end of Form 4 and finished his high school education at Melbourne High where he continued to “whack off” school to take the bus home to practice piano.
He studied music for two years in Philadelphia, Paris and London before returning to Melbourne to study at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music with renowned piano teacher Roy Shepherd. He was the youngest person ever awarded a Churchill Fellowship which enabled him to study in Paris and then London, and later he studied in Warsaw. Aged 20, he made his debuts at the Lincoln Centre in New York and the Wigmore Hall in London to critical acclaim.
At 21 and back in Australia, he was involved in a car accident and broke the bones of his right hand. The hand was saved by Melbourne plastic surgeon Frank Ham and after 18 months he had regained its full use. This led to him developing a method of helping people affected by carpal tunnel syndrome, by studying the anatomical aspects of piano technique to change his own posture at the keyboard.
Alan is a world authority on the music of Frederic Chopin (1810–1849), has produced a six-part television series about Chopin’s life and music (NY 2003), has orchestrated and completed an unfinished Chopin Piano Concerto and has written extensively on Chopin’s life and work.
He conceived, and for a decade hosted, a series of musical evenings in London with guest artists from all around the world. These were attended by members of the Royal Family including Princess Diana and the Queen Mother. He performed for them on many occasions after he became friends with Princess Diana.
In 2001 he became the artistic advisor to the Palm Beach Symphony in Florida. In 2000, he devised a programme called the “Two Allans” where he performed with his great Melbourne friend and acclaimed pianist, Allan Zavod.
In 2017 Alan lives a few kilometres from Elwood High and is writing and producing a new show showcasing the music of Liza Minnelli and Judy Garland called ‘Liza and Judy’.
Pictures (top to bottom): Alan being congratulated by Ed Sullivan after his performance on the Ed Sullivan show in New York in 1966, Alan with Princess Diana and Prince Charles, Alan with the Queen Mother, Alan winning Showcase in 1966.
Rachel Rovay attended Elwood High 1970-1973. She is a contemporary fine artist and is represented in numerous public and private collections in Australia and internationally. Her thematic focus is on the “experience of living in and around the urban environment”.
“I was born in Jerusalem and arrived in Australia and Elwood High in 1970 with next to no English. There were no special ESL classes at that time so when other students did French I was sent to the library and started to learn English by reading cartoons.
By communicating with all around me it did not take me long to learn English and I had a superb time at Elwood High. I did not gravitate towards those with similar backgrounds to myself. I embraced every culture and my best friend Beverley Pinder was from Sri Lanka.
Mr Whitehead, the Drama teacher, was just dynamite as a teacher and he supported me to do the choreography for school productions which included classical ballet and modern dance moves. By form 4, I was writing and singing songs on the guitar and loved Geography lessons because the teacher would give me the last 15 minutes of every lesson to sing songs to the whole class. This made him a very popular teacher!
In 1970, when I was in Form 3, us girls had to line up outside classrooms and a female teacher would come along with a ruler to measure the length of our dresses. If they were above the knee or too short we were given detention.
In that same year I remember that our very old Art teacher would make us line up outside the classroom and we were not permitted to sit until we had all pulled out our chairs and moved to the right. We were then told to “pick up the brush, put it in the water, move it to the side”.
By 1973 however, some teachers were much more progressive and we were allowed to wear pants or jeans in Form 6. Us art students were even allowed to smoke cigarettes in the Art Room which seemed like a groovy thing to do and made us all feel terribly mature and privileged.
As a student at Elwood High I never felt like education was a ‘mass production’. We were all given the freedom to pursue our own interests.”
Rachel wanted to be an actress when she left school but was not accepted into NIDA. She was selected for the Diploma of Design and Fine Art at Monash University (1974-1977) where she was awarded a scholarship and a studentship.
By 1979 she had her first (sold out) solo exhibition in Melbourne. After completing a Graduate Diploma in Education at the University of Melbourne in 1980, in the following year she taught art at the VCA’s secondary college to especially gifted music and ballet students.
In 1982 she was offered an assistant art director position on an Australian feature film which was produced in Sydney and New Zealand. Her boyfriend at the time (now her husband) also worked on the same film as a line producer. It was at that time she realised that what she really wanted to do was “pursue the ache in (her) heart and respond visually to the world through painting”.
She continued to supplement her art practice with part-time teaching, while also working in commercial television.
She has had 17 solo exhibitions, 60 group exhibitions including in Italy, South Africa and England, and was one of 100 local artists selected for “The Other Art Fair” (TOAF) organised by Saatchi Art in May 2017.
In 2014 she entered her painting of her friend, fellow Elwood High student and Deakin University Professor, Damien Kingsbury, in the Archibald Prize. The painting (pictured) is now in the Deakin University collection.
Rachel’s husband, John Hipwell, made a short documentary film about her friendship with fellow Elwood High student, Beverley Pinder and this is now part of the Australian Jewish Museum collection.
Dr Stefania Jha (nee: Ruzsits) attended Elwood High School in 1958-1959.
"We came to Australia in January 1958 as Hungarian refugees. After a short stay in the Bonegilla Immigration Center we moved to Melbourne where my mother found a wonderful high school for us, Elwood High School, a short tram ride from our house. At that time it was only a one-year-old institution in simple one-storey buildings around a courtyard. It had few students, a fair proportion of them immigrants. The teachers were excellent and helpful to those who needed extra instruction in mastering English.
There were two teachers who made a lasting impression on me: Mrs Rita Lynch my form teacher in 4C who was also my advisor and the librarian;and Mr Will my mathematics teacher. Mrs Lynch spent many hours helping me with my grammar and précis writing, so I would be able to understand my subjects and participate in all my classes. I spent many hours in the library selecting gradually more difficult literature for my home reading. Mr Will’s clearly presented geometry and algebra lectures were a delight for me, not only because I always liked mathematics, but also because it was a the first subject I could do well without speaking English fluently. I also enjoyed the chemistry and physics laboratories that were well run.
In sports we played tennis and field hockey, at neither of which I shined, but the courts and fields were nicely kept and my teammates were encouraging. The school was organized into four Houses. I was a member of the Marshall House seniors. Activities were capably organised by our form captains - ours were Lana Foster, Ken Baker, Judy Fox and Robert Timms. (I wonder where they are now. How did their lives turn out?) There were a few star pupils in our class who were written up in the class notes in the Sea Horse Magazine of 1958. I hope those magazines are still in the school archives! I had one more wonderful year at Elwood High School, 1959 with dear friends.
Six months after completing my School Leaving Certificate in 1959, my parents decided to relocate the family to Boston in USA, where I attended college. Mrs Finch kindly wrote glowing recommendation letters for me.
As Mrs Finch reminded me, I was to focus on becoming a medical doctor, as I had promised her. I studied biology as well as philosophy, however I became a philosopher of science instead of a medical doctor. Sorry Mrs Finch! After I brought up our two sons, I went back to graduate school and received a doctorate from Harvard University at the age of 55. Now I enjoy publishing, spending time with my grandchildren and travelling.
In December 2015 on our Asia journey, my husband and I stopped in Melbourne to celebrate the New Year by the Yarra River and to visit Elwood High School. I walked around the old buildings full of memories and around the neighborhoods of Elsternwick and South Yarra where I lived. Melbourne has inevitably grown much in the past 60 years, but it is still beautiful – and the city where I now live, San Francisco, reminds me of it."