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College Principal’s Report

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We have recently seen our ‘Class of 2022’ finish school and commence their study break ahead of exams which for most students began this week on Wednesday 26 October. Our Celebration Day went well and most students (and some staff!) came dressed up and finished off the year in style. I would like to acknowledge all of our Year 12 students, the Year 12 teaching team as well as the Year 12 coordinators, Leadership Team and support staff as we reach this milestone. VCE exams is a period that places pressure on staff and students, but it is also a time to reflect and celebrate with students on what has been achieved. To get to this point in the year is an outstanding effort and we now hope that exams for all of our students go as well as they possibly can.


The beginning of this term has also showcased the creativity of our students through a number of important events: I had the pleasure of attending the Song and Dance night at PRACC during the first week of term and I was able to attend the opening of our Art and Design exhibition this week in the Whittlesea Council Great Hall. The talent, commitment and joy on show in both of these events was inspiring and none of this would have occurred without the commitment and efforts of the Arts Team. I would like to publicly thank them for their efforts. For students to take risks and put themselves in the public sphere and perform, or put their work up for public exhibition is a hugely important thing. I hope you were lucky enough to see our students perform, and if you have not yet viewed the exhibition, I encourage you to have a look over coming days.


In 2023 we are placing an additional investment in time for staff at the college to support the cocurricular Performing Arts program and I look forward to seeing continued growth in this area. The Performing Arts Centre project has now gone out for tender a second time and we await the close of this process in early November. Four contractors attended the tenderers information session and I am hoping that we have a positive outcome. If a contract is awarded out of this process there is the potential that works could commence this year which will be a fantastic result for the school, and a relief as this project has been a long time in the making and it will be god to start!


As a school we are also looking to improve what we are doing to support students engaging in sport and physical recreation. During Term 4 we are piloting an Afterschool Basketball program at the Middle Years Campus. This is being run by Robyn Boyle and so far the attendance and feedback from students has been really positive, which is great to see. I am very grateful to Robyn for her commitment to this program and I encourage students in Years 7 – 9 to come along on Tuesday afternoons in the Gym to see what it is all about. We hope to expand on this program in 2023 and as a school we are interested in your ideas or feedback. 


At a classroom level we are currently placing an additional focus on ensuring that students are not using their mobile phones whilst they are at school. The impact of phones at school in terms of distraction, and through creating social issues for students is significant and it has been a challenge to manage this especially after we have returned from remote learning in 2022. It is a Department of Education expectation that students phones are in their lockers and switched off from the first bell to the last bell during the school day. This includes at recess and lunchtime. As a school we appreciate your support with this policy at home especially when phones are confiscated until the end of the day if students are not complying with the expectations. If you need to contact your child during the day please call or email the school rather than calling or messaging the student directly  – This makes the process much easier.


Finally, I recently attended the retirement function of former Principal, Trish Horner, on Friday 21 November at the Middle Years Campus. I am pleased that we have been able to hold this function as it gives us the opportunity to celebrate Trish’s contribution to the College and publicly acknowledge her work. There is no doubt that Trish has provided outstanding leadership to the college over an extended period of time. I have thanked her on behalf of the School Council and the school community more broadly, and we wish her all the very best in her retirement.

Senior Years Campus – Principal’s Message

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Year 12 Celebration Day

Tuesday 17 October was the final day of classes for our Year 12 students as VCE students prepared for their final exams. To celebrate the completion of six years of schooling at Mill Park Secondary College, Wednesday 18 was Celebration Day. Most students dressed up for the occasion and even some of the staff got involved. It was great to have a light-hearted finish to their year before they started their weeks of study and exams.


This term there is a large focus on exams and final assessments. For students doing Year 12 VCE subjects, all of their years of studies have come to a conclusion at Secondary School with their final exams. These are occurring over the next three weeks. For some students, completing their VCE is a great achievement and the skills that they have learnt at school will serve them well in their next phase of their life. For a significant number of students however, Year 12 is the pathway to further study at University or TAFE. Many courses rely on an ATAR score and this is where the importance of exams comes in. Year 12 students have learnt the importance of study throughout the year and are honing their skills by doing practice exams.

For Year 11 and Year 10 students, we also want to build their skills in how to be successful with exams. For this reason, Year 11 VCE students will have formal exams for all of their subjects in weeks 8 & 9 (November 14 – November 23) while Year 10 students will have assessment in most subjects in week 8 with a formal exam for English and Maths on Thursday 24 and Friday 25 November. It is important that students learn good study habits, and this means regularly revising their work at school as well as at home and practicing exam type questions.


At the completion of exams towards the end of this term, all students enrolled at the Senior Campus for 2023 will begin their 2023 work with two weeks of a ‘Headstart’ program.

International Student Program

On Friday 14 October, the International Student Program team fare welled seven Year 12 international students, each student received lovely farewell presents.

Ms Pan and Mr Dungey delivered this farewell speech, “Wherever your path leads you, know that we take great pride in your accomplishments and look forward to seeing what the future holds for you. Thank you for choosing Mill Park Secondary College and for being a part of our community.”

The Year 11 Psychology students had an amazing day in the city on Thursday 20 October. They went to the National Gallery of Victoria and reinforced their understanding of Gestalt Principles and Visual Depth Cues. Then they enjoyed the perfect Melbourne weather and took photos around the city that will be used in their assessment for Visual Perception.

Art/Design Exhibition

The annual Art/Design Exhibition has once again been able to be housed for public viewing in the Plenty Ranges Arts & Convention Centre. This is an opportunity to showcase students work from the wide range of art subjects offered at the school.

Middle Years Campus – Principal’s Message

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Stars on the stage

The creativity and talent of students was on show at our Song and Dance night on October 6, through their singing, music, dancing, and amazing ability to connect with the audience. Well done to the star-studded Middle Years performers:

Year 7:

Lillian B, Katia, N, Disha P, Willow P, Mia P, Lara A, Elena C, Benjamin H, Yashika R, Hadiya W, Ava B, Jamie-Lee C, Angelo B, Gurteshwar B, Yuvraaj C, Sanaa C, Jacob I, Senulya R, Nihita S, Raymond W.

Year 8:

Teagan M, Imogen M, Chelsea Y, Nikita A, Zain S, Jayden R, Scarlett Y, Gabriella D, Elizabeth HG, Max B, Sajjal C, Jasdees K, Jacob L, Jenaan NN, Ella R, Rhianne T, Jade Z.

Year 9:

Amitoz K, Zhaide Y, Jacie B, Lucas I, Max K, William N, Aishwarya P, Frensi R, Daniel X, Chloe N, Savannah J, Keira M, Isabella N, Vanessa R

Congratulations to Mr Pjipers, Mr Gooding, Ms Claridge, Ms Ashby, Mr De Leucio, Mrs Nagel and Ms Arsana (our amazing Music and Dance teachers) who so capably led our students to such heights on the night.

Expanding Minds

Our Year 7 students visited La Trobe University as part of the La Trobe Uni Buddies program. The program focused on the similarities and differences between school and university, clarifying some of the language. Student facilitators shared their experiences and described a typical day at university. There are options to complete different activities, such as the “Race Around La Trobe” and “Future World, Future You” activities, to further develop student understanding of university and students’ future beyond high school.

Gratitude for Students and Teachers

Our 30-Day Challenge focussing on being present, centred, and grounded has given plenty of opportunity for staff to expand their range of positive primers and brain-breaks, and students the chance to capitalise on the benefits of these strategies, which support engagement and stamina for learning. The challenge has seen 708 nominations for Middle Years Campus students, who have been engaging well in these activities, and 158 nominations by students, acknowledging the quality of teachers’ choice of activities.

Aboriginal Art Class

During Term 3 Bayley Mifsud, a proud Kirrae and Peek Wurrong artist of the Gundjitmara nation in South-West Victoria, came to educate and work with our aboriginal students to promote and inspire others. Student learnt of her aboriginal artist name being Merindah-Gunya meaning “Beautiful Spirit” in Peek Wurrong language, which was gifted to her through ceremony by her parents and Elders. During the session students discussed their identity and used this to create artwork to tell their story.


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On Monday 10 October, the Forensic Science elective students had the opportunity  to go to the Gene Technology Access Centre, in Parkville. While they were there they went through the process of analysing blood samples to discover the culprit of a fictional crime. The analysis included figuring out what blood type the samples were (A, B, AB, O) and STR Analysis (Short Tandem Repeat), which involves taking certain strands of DNA that are individually unique in order to identify which of the 6 suspects was present at the scene of the fictional murder. It was a very fun and educational experience for all involved, and the students recommend that those interested also try to go if the opportunity arises. 

On Tuesday 13 September, Year 9 students were fortunate to go to La Trobe University to explore university life and career opportunities. While they were there students attended a workshop to improve study skills and also one of the following areas: forensics, podiatry, the chemistry of shampoo, and wildlife conservation. Students also had time to explore the university campus to see what university life could mean for them in the future.

Students in Year 8 SEAL and STEM represented various countries in a mock UN conference project, reaching a resolution about the best course of action to manage a global pandemic. They were able to use their science literacy and analytical skills to critically evaluate the world’s response to COVID-19 and worked together with other representatives to build a Global pandemic management plan.

Visual and Performing Arts

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Mill Park Secondary College Arts Festival: Song & Dance Concert 2022

The Song & Dance Concert 2022, was live a concert that showcased the outstanding work created during this year by our Music and Dance students, who have been supported by our talented Performing Arts staff! 

Congratulations and thank you to the Music and Dance team for their outstanding effort and brilliant work in putting the concert together.

What an amazing show and great team work! 

The VCE music items reflected the use of creative processes used to perform, compose, improvise and arrange music. As part of their study, they composed and performed music ideas based on their intentions and performance context. The Dance items represented students from Years 7, 9, 10 and VCE & VET. Dance students have created or learnt choreography as part of their studies to produce highly imaginative and unique dance works.

These accomplishments have only been possible due to the dedication and commitment of Music teachers Mr Pijpers, Mr Gooding, Mr De Leucio and Ms Claridge and Extra Curricular Performing Arts Activities Coordinator and Music teacher Mrs Nagel.

The performances also highlight the inspiration and commitment of Dance teachers Ms Arsana and Ms Ashby and guest dance instructor Aaron Vidot.

Thank you to Mr Cetin and Mr Kneebone for assisting with the transportation of equipment and to administrative staff Ms Charles, Ms Hyland, and Mrs Carroll who have also assisted with the event. 

Thank you also to staff, who supported the event by being a part of the audience. 

Congratulations to all students and staff, who have contributed to the outstanding success of this concert.

As the Co-ordinator of Extra Curricular Performing Arts, I would like to thank and congratulate everyone who performed at Song & Dance Night. I am so proud of our students’ efforts, commitment to extra rehearsals, leadership from students with dance, vocals, equipment set-up, mentoring younger students, the friendship and bond you all share with each other.

The music included items from the Kool Skools Recording Project, VCE programs, MYC Ensembles and our combined Campus Vocal and Band ensemble who opened the show with “Welcome To The Rock” and closed the Music Act with an inspirational version of “You Will Be Found”. Thanks also to the music staff for the guidance and mentoring of music students.

The Dance Act was packed with colour, passion and skill. Congratulations to everyone for sharing your creativity.

Mrs Wendy Nagel

Art and Design Exhibition

Showcased and celebrated the achievements by the Art/Design students throughout the year:


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New resources in the Library

Each term, the libraries at both the Middle Years Campus and the Senior Campus purchase and make available to students new books and resources.

Here is a selection of our favourite new titles for Term 4.

The Final Gambit (written by Jennifer Lynn Barnes). Available in the Senior Library in the Fiction section at BARN.

‘One last game. Against all odds. Avery has survived nearly a year of secrets, schemes and love lost and found at Hawthorne House. She’s weeks away from fulfilling the terms of Tobias Hawthorne’s will and inheriting his billions. But there is one final twist…’

Book of Night (written by Holly Black). Available in the Senior Library in the Fiction section at BLAC.

‘Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear-and at worst, non-existent.’

Daughter of the Moon Goddess (written by Sue Lynn Tan). Available in the Senior Library in the Fiction section at TAN. Book #1 in the Celestial Kingdom Duology. 

‘Growing up on the moon, Xingyin is accustomed to solitude, unaware that she is being hidden from the feared Celestial Emperor who exiled her mother for stealing his elixir of immortality. But when Xingyin’s magic flares and her existence is discovered, she is forced to flee her home, leaving her mother behind. Alone, powerless, and afraid, she makes her way to the Celestial Kingdom, a land of wonder and secrets. Disguising her identity, she seizes an opportunity to learn alongside the emperor’s son, mastering archery and magic, even as passion flames between her and the prince.’

It’s not summer without you (written by Jenny Han). Available in the Middle Years Campus Library in the Fiction section at HAN. Book #2 in the Summer series.

‘It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come. But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again.’

The 156 Storey Treehouse (written by Andy Griffiths). Available in the Middle Years Campus Library in the Fiction section at GRIF.

‘Andy and Terry are celebrating Christmas in their 156-storey treehouse which now has 13 new storeys, including an aquarium wonderland, a wishing well, a world record breaking level, a TV quiz show hosted by Quizzy the quizzical quizbot, a lost property office, a lost sausage office, a super-stinky stuff level and the amazing mind-reading sandwich-making machine, which makes the perfect amazing sandwich for you – every single time.’

Nothing More to Tell (written by Karen McManus). Available in BOTH Senior and Middle Years Campus libraries in the Fiction section at MCMA.

‘Four years ago, Brynn left Saint Ambrose School following the shocking murder of her favourite teacher. The case was never solved, but she’s sure that the three kids who found Mr. Larkin’s body know more than they’re telling, especially her ex-best friend Tripp Talbot. He’s definitely hiding something. When Brynn gets an internship working on a popular true-crime show, she decides to investigate what really happened that day in the woods. But the further she dives into the past, the more secrets she finds…’

Please come and visit the library to check out these new titles! Students are able to borrow over the holidays.

Mathematics and Numeracy

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Mathematics Puzzle Competition

We had some great entries into the puzzle competition and we are keeping it going for the rest of the term! Anyone that submits a correct solution to their mathematics teacher will be entered into a prize draw and the winners will be announced in the December newsletter! 

September Results

The answers are below, along with the students that submitted a correct answer last month. Well done!

Junior Division Answer – Exactly 10+45 m or approximately 18.994 m

  • Daniel Xavier (9E)
  • Leanna Yang Yao (9A)

Senior Division Answer – 9 Tiles

  • Rudraksha Das (10I)
  • Mily Elambasseril (10F)

October Questions

Junior Division Question

Find the smallest number which when divided by 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 leaves a remainder of 1 in each case.

Senior Division Question

Suppose that a square dartboard of side length x cm consists of a circle that touches two adjacent sides and a diagonal as shown in the diagram. If a dart thrown at the board has an equal chance of landing anywhere on the board, what is the probability that it lands in the circle? (Ignore the possibility that it might land on the line or miss the board altogether!). Exact Answer or correct to four decimal places accepted.


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Term 4

Term 4 is an exciting and busy term as the students culminate their year of study with a lot of creativity and opportunity to express themselves.

The Year 7 students are spending time building up their narrative writing skills through the development of a piece of creative writing which will use an effective structure, dialogue, character development and literary techniques. They have worked hard all year and this should be a feather in their cap.

The Year 8 cohort is learning about poetry. Their task is to put together a folio of poems that they have developed across Term 4, relating to one theme that they have chosen. 

It is really exciting to see the Year 8 students tapping into their creative side and practicing their abilities to write metaphors and similes. The poems so far are in their draft stages, but we can’t wait to see the final presentations of the folios. These presentations will take place in front of the class, and students will have the opportunity to explain their poems’ purposes, messages and rhyme schemes. 

In order to inspire the Year 8 cohort with their presentations, a number of Year 11 students will be making a trip down to our Middle Years Campus to present their own poetry to 8B and 8C. Thank you to the Year 11 students who have volunteered to do this. They are eagerly preparing their poems and practicing their presentation skills to make a great impression on the younger year levels. Great work! 

The Year 9’s are closely looking at current issues and how they are represented in the media.  They are trying to understand how they and larger society are shaped by the media’s views and also deeply understand the issues of their choice. The students have been really engaged and have shown a passion for a range of issues which is fantastic to see.  

At the Senior Campus, the students are building toward their final year exams with the Year 12 students’ English and EAL exams on Wednesday 26  October. We know they are deep in study and it’s a challenging time, but keep encouraging them to regularly study, check in with their teachers and push themselves to achieve their best. It’s just a few weeks more and they only get one shot at it!  

The Year 10 and 11 students will also sit final year exams which will not only help them revise their skills and knowledge from the year, but also help them develop study skills and exam stamina. As they finish off their final units they should be putting in regular study sessions as guided by their teachers so that they can feel confident of doing their best in the exam.


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Middle Years Humanities

Term 4 is a varied and challenging term for our Middle Years’ students. In Year 7, students are putting their finishing touches to their liveable town plans (see pictures 1 & 2 below). Students have been considering the factors of liveability such as infrastructure, health care, culture and environment and are creating town plans for a place where they’d love to live.

Next, they’ll be learning about Australia’s political system and how citizens can advocate for change. This will culminate in students creating their own political parties and competing in a class election!

In Year 8 Humanities, students are finishing their unit on urbanisation and in particular, the interconnection and change that has led to the development of modern megacities. Next, they study business and economic principles before creating and advertising their own unique product that they believe the world needs.

Our Year 9’s will also be delving into the economic world and are practising the skill of budgeting and managing their personal finances. Students will work out the costs involved in moving out and will have to make a plan to balance the books before they are able to live independently!

Finally, in Year 10, students have finished investigating the Indigenous rights movement and are now looking into some social history. The rise of popular culture that came with the economic (and baby) boom of post-war Australian is the term four topic, and students will choose an element of popular culture to research. They will need to find out how it has changed due to technological, economic and political factors since World War Two and most importantly, show what this says about our society.

VCE Humanities

Exam, exams, exams! These are the focus of all our year twelves at the moment as well as many year elevens who have accelerated in a subject. We wish all our students the best of luck and urge them to keep working hard until the exam period is (finally) over!

For any parents or carers who have questions about how to best support and challenge your child through this stressful time, don’t be afraid to reach out to your child’s teacher. We have plenty of ideas and resources on how to revise and fully prepare.

On Wednesday 26 October the Year 9 students visited ACU and participated in a mock trial. 


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What are we learning in Italian?

This month in Italian the Year 7s have started learning about animals. We have been busily creating animal habitats while learning the new vocabulary linked with the topic. We will be increasing our capabilities to find the lost animals, by practicing our reading skills.

The Year 8 students have started learning the new vocabulary linked with the weather. Students will be working towards understanding and  giving their own weather reports. 

The Year 9 students have been practicing their poems to take part in the Mill Park Secondary College Poetry Competition which is taking place on Monday 24 October. Once the students have recited their poems, they will be taking part in an Italian celebration afternoon. 

The Year 10 students are working in the present while studying the past tense. The students are learning about the imperfetto tense whilst enjoying un caffè perfetto, even with un biscotto.

It has been a very busy few weeks in the VCE Italian classroom. Students in Year 11 have been preparing for their final SAC of the year, where they are looking to the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and creating a presentation on environmental issues in Italy and Australia, and how they can be resolved. The Year 12 students are busy preparing for their End of Year exams. On Wednesday 5 October, Year 12 students in Italian completed their Oral exam in Italian. Zoe M has shared her experience below:

‘On Wednesday the 5 October, the Year 12 VCE Italian class attended our end-of-year Oral Exams. It involved a 15-minute conversation in full Italian with two assessors who asked us questions about our personal life like family, school, and work. We then had to present research on an Italian product, for which we did the Italian product “Baci”. Despite lots of nerves, we all did very well and were very relieved to finally have it over with, so we celebrated by going out to lunch together. Un successo!’

Physical Education/Health

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Year 10-12 Indoor Soccer Round Robin

The Inaugural MPSC Senior Campus Soccer Competition has been run and won. The tournament ran over 4 weeks during Term 3 and 4. It was carefully and purposefully organised by the Year 12 VET Sport and Recreation students to be inclusive, and focus on participation and enjoyment. Given the incredible number of spectators to each game, it’s safe to say that both goals were well and truly met. Well done to the Year 12 VET Sport & Recreation class for organising and to all the participants on such a successful event.

Year 8 Physical Education / Health

Year 8 classes are currently studying how Games classification allows us to examine different sports in order of tactical complexity and categorizes games of similar intent. Games of similar intent share similar tactical decisions. All sports can be categorized as any of the following:

  • Target
  • Net/ Wall
  • Striking/ Fielding
  • Invasion

As part of their assessment students in groups of 2-4 have been busy creating and developing  a game based on the game classification system that they are expected to teach to the rest of the class. As part of the task students have developed lesson plans and will be required to complete a reflection on their lesson.

VCE Physical Education / Health /Outdoor & Environmental studies

All Year 12 classes have been busy preparing for their end of year exams. It has been great to see so many students returning to school after celebration day working with their classroom teachers to strengthen their understanding of the key knowledge and skills required for each area of study. All Year 11 classes are completing their final outcomes for Unit 2, with some classes preparing for their end of year exams. Good Luck to all students!

Planning for 2023:

Year 7 – 10 Health and Physical Education (Victorian Curriculum)

Currently all Middle years and Senior Campus PE/ Health teachers have been busy reviewing current Year 7-10 curriculum across college and developing new and engaging curriculum for students for implementation in 2023.

In 2023, across all Year 7 -9 classes there will be a greater focus on the Personal, Social and Community Health strand of the Victorian curriculum in theory sessions by covering important topics such as Mental health and wellbeing, positive and respectful relationships, the dangers of alcohol and other drugs and nutrition. Practical classes will continue to focus on Movement and Physical Activity. The Curriculum day planned for Monday 31 October staff will use this day to continue working on the planning and implementation of the curriculum.

Below outlines the rationale of the Physical Education / Health curriculum which is organised by two strands: Personal, Social and Community health and  Movement and Physical Activity.

Personal, Social and Community Health

Health and Physical Education focuses on students enhancing their own and others’ health, safety, wellbeing and physical activity participation in varied and changing contexts. Health and Physical Education offers students an experiential curriculum that is contemporary, relevant, challenging, enjoyable and physically active. Students develop the knowledge, understanding and skills to strengthen their sense of self, and build and manage satisfying relationships. The curriculum helps them to be resilient, and to make decisions and take actions to promote their health, safety and physical activity participation. As students mature, they develop and use critical inquiry skills to research and analyse the knowledge of the field and to understand the influences on their own and others’ health, safety and wellbeing. They also learn to use resources for the benefit of themselves and for the communities with which they identify and to which they belong.

Movement and Physical Activity

Integral to Health and Physical Education is the acquisition of movement skills, concepts and strategies to enable students to confidently, competently and creatively participate in a range of physical activities. As a foundation for lifelong physical activity participation and enhanced performance, students develop proficiency in movement skills, physical activities and movement concepts and acquire an understanding of the science behind how the body moves. In doing so, they develop an appreciation of the significance of physical activity, outdoor recreation and sport both in Australian society and globally. Movement is a powerful medium for learning, through which students can acquire, practise and refine personal, behavioural, social and cognitive skills. The Health and Physical Education curriculum addresses how contextual factors influence the health, safety, wellbeing, and physical activity patterns of individuals, groups and communities. It provides opportunities for students to develop skills, self-efficacy and dispositions to advocate for, and positively influence, their own and others’ health and wellbeing.

For further information:

Interschool Sport

On Tuesday 25 October our Year 8 Girls Volleyball team competed in the Northern Metropolitan Region finals. They had a very successful day winning a majority of their matches and making it all the way to the final against Eltham High. Unfortunately they were unable to get over the line against Eltham. All the girls and their coach Ms Puche are very proud of their accomplishment to finish second in the region! Well done and good luck for next year!

State Athletics

Jack Williams competed in the State Track & Field championships on Monday 17 October. Jack was one of eight students to compete in the event across the state. He did an excellent job representing the school and I am sure it will be an experience he won’t forget. Good luck for all your future sporting endeavours!!


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Family Forum – Communicating and Engaging with your Teen

On Monday 24 October, our mental health practitioners, Steph and Sarah, held the first evening family forum at Middle Years Campus Library – the topic focussed on Communicating and Engaging with your Teen, aimed to support parents/carers.  Throughout the hour, parents/carers explored emotional intelligence (what it is and why it is important), and an introduction to emotion coaching to help connect and engage with their teen.

Stephanie and Sarah extend the opportunity to ALL families at the College to a FREE emotion coaching group program for parents/carers, “Tuning into Teens”.  To register interest to the program click here

If you would like more information about and/or have any questions about Tuning into Teens Group program or future Family Forum topics, please contact or

Mill Park Secondary College – Tuning into Teens Parent Program

Tuning in to Teens

Emotionally Intelligent Parenting

A six-session parenting program for parent(s)/carer(s) of adolescents

An evidence-based emotion coaching program for parent(s)/carer(s) to help connect with your teen and manage conflict.

Come and connect with other parent(s)/carer(s) from the Mill Park Secondary College community to learn strategies to support your teen in a small and friendly group environment.

Where:  To be advised…

When: One group every term, starting Term 1, 2023

How To Register: complete the form attached to this link –

Please feel free to contact mental health practitioners:



City of Whittlesea – Raising Resilient Teens

Berry Street Family Therapy

‘MATTERS’ Family Therapy program

Matters is a free family therapy program that supports families who live in Melbourne’s North East region. The program works with a diverse range of families who are experiencing challenges with family functioning and connection.

Our family therapists work with the ‘whole of family’, which allows various family members to attend sessions. This approach gives each family member the opportunity to express their thoughts or feelings, not only about the problem, but also possible solutions.

The program aims to help families:

  • strengthen the connection between older children or adolescents and their family
  • increase parenting confidence, capacity and skills
  • experience less stress, conflict and harmful behaviours
  • have more positive family relationships.


Families are encouraged to contact the team to discuss their needs and whether the program is suitable.

You may be eligible for the program if you:

  • live in the local government areas of Darebin, Whittlesea, Nillumbik and Banyule
  • have a young person aged 10 to 20 years old.

TARA: Teenage Aggression Responding Assertively

TARA is a parent focused workshop that provides information, support and strategies for parents to manage their adolescent’s challenging and aggressive behaviour.

Our Matters family therapists run the workshop.

TARA can help parents to feel:

  • less alone
  • more hopeful
  • better equipped to respond to challenging behaviours in a way that promotes safety, trust and connection for all family members.

For more information:

Northern Region

677 The Boulevard, Eaglemont VIC 3084

T (03) 9450 4700

F (03) 9450 4701


MPSC Events in October

Mental Health Week – October 10 to 14

Monday 10 October 2022 was World Mental Health Day, extending to Mental Health Week – aim to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world. The Wellbeing Team held mental health stalls across both campuses for students to create their own personal showbag filled with information about various mental health (e.g., anxiety, depression, substance use, eating disorders to name a few) along with some treats. It provided an opportunity to start conversations with students about mental health, things in daily life that can affect it, and ways to look after our mental and emotional wellbeing.

Students also submitted a creative piece (song, dance, poem, artwork) about what mental health means to them, and a wellbeing pack was given to all submissions.

2022 Student Wellbeing Ambassador Celebration and Reflection

In 2022, MPSC mental health practitioners, Sarah and Steph, formed a student wellbeing ambassador (SWA) group, consisting of 12 students across all year levels (7-12). The SWA’s played an important role in giving a voice to students around student mental health and wellbeing at the school by providing input, planning, participation, and promotion of mental health and wellbeing at the school.

Student wellbeing ambassadors worked with wellbeing team on various health promotion activities throughout the year including International Day Against Violence and Bullying, EID, International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism, and Transphobia, National Reconciliation Week, Push-Up Challenge, International Day of Friendship, Wear It Purple, R U OK Day, and Mental Health Week to name a few. We were able to celebrate and reflect on the achievements throughout the year at a Bowling excursion, where students were presented with certificates to acknowledge their efforts.

Information For Young People and Their Families

Cyberbullying and Cyber Safety

With increased access and time spent online, there may be increased worry about your child(ren) and cyberbullying. It can be helpful to understand cyberbullying and can be done to help support your child(ren) stay safe online. Almost up to 50% of young people have experienced it and it commonly occurs in late primary school and early high school.

What is cyberbullying?

Cyberbullying is the use of electronic means/devices (e.g., internet or mobile phone) to aggressively and intentionally harm someone.  It can include abusive comments, name calling, threats of physical harm, being ignored or excluded, spreading of rumours, online impersonations, being sent rude or upsetting images and/or personal information/images sent/shared with others.

How can you support your child(ren)?

It can be helpful to try and remain calm and level-headed to consider talking the following options with your child:

  • Inform/speak with the school about the cyberbullying
  • Inquire more about the school’s anti-bullying policies
  • Help your child(ren) ‘call out’ the bullying behaviour
  • Report serious cases of cyberbullying to the police – this can include cyber stalking (repeated harassment usually involving threatening messages with aim to intimidate and create fear)
  • Encourage your child(ren) to use statements like “you are going too far – this is bullying, and I want you to stop”
  • Help your child(ren) keep a record of the bullying in the event it needs to be reported
  • Suggest to your child(ren) to block or remove people that may be bullying them from their friend list and change their username or mobile number
  • Help your child(ren) spend some time away from their electronic device by increasing their options for doing other enjoyable activities
  • Help your child(ren) log a complaint with the website manager
  • Follow-up with your child(ren) after they have attempted a solution to see how it went
  • Explore the esafety website for more information on cyberbullying including access to their reporting and complaints system

How can we help kids stop cyberbullying?

Everyone plays a role in keeping children safe online, as cyberbullying can result in serious consequences for everyone involved, including their families and friends. Respect for others and oneself is an important factor in having healthy and positive relationships offline and online. It’s important to help children to treat people online in the same manner that they would treat someone face to face.

  • Talk about respect in relationships including providing examples of what a respectful interaction looks like. This may include:
    • Using respectful language and not swearing at others
    • Being kind to others and sending positive messages to cheer someone up rather than calling people names or making jokes at others expense
    • Thinking about how our actions may impact othersg., if I send this message, how would other(s) feel?
    • Respecting ourselves by not doing things that may hurt ourselves e.g., ending friendships when an issue/conflict arises or when we are disrespected
    • Understand, acknowledge, and accept differences including not saying mean things to others or about others, even if we don’t agree with them
    • Ask for permission from other(s) before sharing information or photos about them
    • Recognising that there are consequences to our behaviours online as well as offline
    • Being anonymous does not give us a right to say or do whatever we like.
  • Inform children that everyone has a right to feel safe online without being abused or attacked
  • Talk to children in your life about how to communicate online
  • Help children manage difficult emotions in healthy positive ways
  • Remind and emphasise the importance of treating others the same as how you would like to be treated
  • Invite and engage in conversations about positive caring and interactions, and how children themselves can be healthy and positive role models for others
  • Check in regularly with the children and young people in your life about their online relationships

Facts About Smoking and Vaping

What is smoking and vaping?

Smoking is a practice where a substance is burned, creating a smoke that is breathed into the lungs. Vaping is a process where a liquid is heated, creating a vapour that is breathed into the lungs. Both smoking and vaping involve inhaling chemicals into the lungs which can harm your health.

E-cigarettes, also known as ‘vapes’, are electronic devices that heat a liquid (or ‘juice’) to create an aerosol that users inhale. Using an e-cigarette is commonly called ‘vaping’. E-cigarettes come in all shapes and sizes and can look like a highlighter, a pen or USB.

What’s inside an e-cigarette?

There are no quality or safety standards for e-cigarettes, or the liquids used in e-cigarettes, meaning their manufacture, contents and labelling are unregulated.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine which is harmful and addictive. Most e-cigarettes and e-liquids that are labelled nicotine-free do contain nicotine. Hazardous substances, including heavy metals and cancer-causing agents, have been found in  the aerosol produced by e-cigarettes.

Effects of vaping

Vaping can cause significant harm in the short and long term, even if non-nicotine e-cigarettes are used:

  • Short-term effects include vomiting, nausea, coughing, shortness of breath, mouth irritation and asthma
  • Long-term effects include lung damage, heart disease and cancers

E-cigarettes haven’t been around long enough to know if they cause other diseases, but most experts think it is likely they will cause lung and mouth cancers.

Nicotine exposure during adolescence can harm brain development and lead to higher risk of addiction. Nicotine is a poison and can make people sick if it is swallowed, and it has been linked to deaths of small children. Children and young people who use e-cigarettes are more than three times more likely to move onto smoking cigarettes. There have also been cases of e-cigarettes exploding and catching fire.

Vaping laws

Smoking and vaping are banned in and around schools. The Tobacco Act 1987 (the Tobacco Act) bans smoking and vaping on school premises or within 4 metres of any pedestrian access point to school premises.

The smoking and vaping ban applies to:

  • anyone present on school premises during and outside of school hours including students, teachers, contractors, parents or carers or the wider community, such as sporting groups
  • all activities that take place on school premises including pre-schools, kindergartens, outside school hours care, cultural, sporting or recreational activities and school fetes

Smoking and vaping are also not permitted at school events and excursions held off school premises.

Resources and Support for smoking and vaping

Quit Victoria

Offers resources, information and support for people to quit smoking and vaping as well as factsheets for parents and children about.

The Royal Children’s Hospital

The e-cigarettes and teens factsheet has information on how to talk to teens about the health risks of using e-cigarettes and a podcast episode on vaping created by paediatricians.

Better Health Channel

Information on the health effects of smoking, strategies for quitting, statistics and Victoria’s laws on smoking, the dangers of e-cigarettes, liquid used in e-cigarettes and the dangers of nicotine poisoning.

The Royal Children’s Hospital Video

Contains a video suitable for school staff and parents/carers on health risks of using e-cigarettes.

Cancer council: E-cigarettes

Information on safety of e-cigarettes.

Australian Drug Foundation: Nicotine Facts

What’s On in the Community for young people

Satellite Foundation – ‘It’s A Mad World’ Creative Workshop on 22 October

The second chapter of It’s a Mad World kicked off on Saturday.  Satellite Foundation is running a second workshop  planned for 22 October – join them as they use creative mediums like photography, performance, sculpture, storytelling, film, audio, writing to share how lived experiences shapes your thoughts, ideas, questions, and insights about the complex world of mental health. It’s a Mad World Creative Workshop that will take place from 10am – 4pm at Siteworks in Brunswick. Email if you would like to join in! More information at


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