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College Principal’s Report

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We are currently in an exciting time of important milestones and transitions for many students at Mill Park Secondary College. We are about to see our current Year 9, 10 and 11 students commence their 2023 classes as part of the Headstart program. This provides them with two weeks of classes in their subjects, being taught by their 2023 teachers wherever possible. At their Awards Ceremony on Friday 25 November, I was able to congratulate our current Year 9 students and acknowledge that from the beginning of Headstart they would become our new ‘Year 10s’. As well as travelling to the Senior Campus, some of these students will be joining VCE classes for the first time and working alongside their peers in Year 11. I wish all the students the best over the next few weeks and encourage them to make the most of this opportunity.


Our Year 9 students celebrated the achievements of their peers in an excellent Awards Ceremony on Friday afternoon. It was a pleasure to be able to hear about the efforts and excellence of a wide range of students across all areas of academic and co-curricular school life. Our students were well-behaved and genuinely supportive of each other, and it was especially pleasing to be able to have a large group of parents present on the day to help mark the occasion. Achievement is one of our school values and we will have further opportunities to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of many more students at the upcoming Year 7, Year 8, Year 10, and Year 11 Awards Ceremonies; and of course importantly, at our Year 12 Graduation evening on Wednesday 14 December.


Our graduating Year 12 students have now come to the end of their exams and they should be very proud of reaching this milestone. It was marked by their Year 12 Formal at the San Remo Ballroom on Friday evening and I was pleased to attend this event and share in their celebrations. As well as looking fantastic in their ‘formal’ clothing, our students carried themselves very well throughout the evening. With a great performance from our Year 12 Band, there was also a DJ and it was a very positive experience to see our students out on the dance floor together with smiles on their faces. It has not been an easy path for many of our young people over recent years and they thoroughly deserve to celebrate at this point with a sense of joy and relief!


Our planning for 2023 is proceeding well and we expect to start the year fully staffed, with a wide range of programs and opportunities for students running smoothly. Given the challenges that have been created by staffing shortages during 2022, this is a good position to be in as a College. One change that is occurring for all students is a shift away from the current five-minute ‘Homegroup’ session at the beginning of each day. Instead of Homegroup students in all year levels will begin their school day directly in their first scheduled class. A warning bell will ring at 8:50am and students will be expected to be in class when it commences at 9:00am. Students will continue to be reminded of important information during their first session, and will be supported by their teachers to engage with the school day in an organised and positive way.


In 2023 we are also moving forward with a number of significant projects for the school. In coming weeks all families will receive information about our new Compass Portal, the new school management system to replace Sentral. We are currently finalising the transition and families will be provided with login details during December. We believe that the move to Compass will allow families to more easily monitor attendance, stay informed about upcoming events and provide consent where needed. In general this move will help families support their child’s learning in partnership with the school. As we roll out the platform across 2023 and beyond, additional functions will become available including the incorporations of school payments, assessment and reporting information, and the booking of Student Agency Conferences. For parents who are not familiar with Compass there will be training and support provided at the beginning of the 2023 school year. We look forward to your feedback as we begin using Compass.


Finally, I can inform you that the school is currently working closely with the Victorian School Building Authority to finalise the arrangements for our long-awaited $12.6m Performing Arts Centre project. Unfortunately costs are continuing to rise and this has made the approval of a tender within the allocated budget very challenging. Our School Council has approved the school to make a significant contribution to the project to ensure that our community gets the facility that it needs. Despite number of sacrifices have been required to be made, particularly in regards to the equipment provided for the theatre and surrounds. Whilst we are hoping to have a contract signed over coming days, the next steps for our school community will be to advocate to all levels of government for additional funding to ensure that the project is fitted out to the standard that was envisioned when the project was initially conceived of and designed in 2019. I look forward to reporting back on the status of the project in our final College Newsletter for the year in December.

Middle Years Campus – Principal’s Message

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Year 9 Exams

The effort from our Year 9 students during the exam week last week was commendable, particularly having to face exams after prolonged disruption to learning and challenges to everyone’s stamina throughout this year. A really great effort from the students. I thank Mrs Stephens, Ms Puche and Ms Boyle for the organisation and convening of supporting students and staff through the process.

During this week students have been receiving individual and general feedback about their performance. It is important to note this should be viewed as a learning opportunity, without placing too much emphasis on grades. It can take a while to build effective exam skills and this is probably supported by the number of students who commented that “the reading time is a waste of time”. Clearly the learning opportunity is important and no doubt this thinking will shift with more experience and students will build other preparation and performance skills.

City School

It was great to see students responsibly engaged in their city school experience during this week. Thanks to Ms Ziajka and all the staff who had roles to support checking in and out and the activities during the week. Students participated in a selection of activities including the MCG tour, laser tag, visiting ARTVO, Ten pin bowling and other guided activities around the city. 


The Middle Years Campus Music Night was a great success, with plenty of support from families and friends and a wealth of talent on display. In terms of character strengths the performers drew heavily on their strength of bravery on the night and perseverance in the lead up in order to hone their skills. The character strength of gratitude was also displayed by students to staff, the audience to performers and staff and everyone through their contributions to packing up after the event. Your support and help was greatly appreciated.

Congratulations to Mrs Nagel, Mr Gooding, Mr Pijpers, Ms Claridge and Mr De Le Leucio for bringing out the best in our performers. A final act of gratitude on the night was Wendy’s acknowledgement of Ms Claridge, who after many years of contribution to music programs at Mill Park Secondary College and other schools, is going to enjoy jamming in retirement. Thank you for all you have offered to those keen on growing their musical skills.

Well done to Ms Prideaux and the Year 7 boys tennis team, Yuvraaj, Jayden, Ali and Nehan, the State semi-finalists! Check out the article from the “super-coach”.

Finally congratulations to all our Year 9 award winners, the student leaders for such a fabulous job of hosting the awards and the student engagement team for the coordination of this event.

Headstart (Year 9 into Year 10 transition)

Headstart will begin on Monday with an assembly during Session 1 for all (2023) Year 10 students. Students should meet at the Senior Campus Gymnasium at 8:45am. Students will begin their 2023 classes, with their new teachers (in almost every case). Many of our Year 9 students are excited in anticipation for this move. The aim is to get a “Headstart” on positive relationship building and learning for 2023, so attendance is crucial. Absence at this time means students will begin the next year behind, so make sure attendance and effort are a priority to support this “Headstart”.

Alternate programs for the end of year

Classes finish for Year 7 & 8 students on Friday 2 December, including awards ceremonies for each year level. We look forward to celebrating and recognising the significant achievements of our students.

For the period of the 5-12 December, a Year 8 Camp and a range of excursions/incursions will be running for students in Year 7 and 8. Families are encouraged to give approval for excursions and selected incursions, only if your child wishes to attend, as many activities have limited places. Deadlines for all activities posted on Sentral will be on or before 30 November. If an excursion reaches capacity, this will be noted via the Sentral app. Restrictions on excursion capacities are related to venues or providers and while this can lead to disappointment for some students, we trust you understand these are restrictions out of our control.

Students are welcome to attend school if they are not on camp or excursions, but we understand families may make other arrangements at this time of year. If you indicate other arrangements via Sentral or by contacting the general office, this will stop you from receiving absence messages.

For students who attend school, that are not part of a camp/excursion, an alternate program will be run on campus focussing on hub and school beautification, and general activities as directed by different learning areas (these may include fun and games related to a learning area or other tasks to support a positive start to 2023).

Tuesday 13 December is the state-wide Year 6 transition day, so no supervision will be available at the Middle Years Campus. Parents need to complete the permission form on Sentral, if their child requires supervision at the Senior Campus on that day.

The Funfields excursion will be considered the final day for Year 7 & 8 students. No supervision will be available at the Middle Years Campus on 14 December, as all staff will attend the Funfields excursion.

If students require supervision on any day from 15-19 December, families need to contact the Middle Years Campus General Office by 12 December.

Senior Years Campus – Principal’s Message

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The year has now finished with all students in Years 10, 11 and 12 completing their exams.

This has been a welcome relief from the changes that have had to be made to the exam roster for the last two years due to COVID-19 restrictions. Students are now becoming more familiar with the routines around exams and the preparation needed before attempting an exam.

With two weeks of classes to go, it is now time for students to look forward to beginning their 2023 studies which start next Monday 28 November in our ‘Headstart’ program.


Headstart will occur for the next 2 weeks at the Senior Campus with all Year 10, 11 and 12 students in 2023 starting their scheduled classes and getting a ‘Headstart’ with their work. This is particularly important for Year 12 students as well as any Year 11 student studying a Year 12 subject as work will begin on the first outcome with their first SAC occurring very early in Term 1 next year.

All students are expected to attend and timetables have been constructed so that the majority of classes have their 2023 teacher in front of them. A small number of teachers have been employed for next year and will not be present for Headstart but these classes will be covered by existing teachers who are planning to leave at the end of the year.


Mill Park Secondary College is currently looking to add an extra item of two to our uniform so that students have warmer options on the cooler day. Samples will be displayed over the coming weeks so that students can indicate their preferences. It should be noted that the current school uniform items are not being replaced, they are being added to. Students will still be expected to wear full school uniform every day but there will be a greater variety of items to select from.

Samples are for style only. Once the extra uniform items have been determined, they will be made in Mill Park Secondary College colours with the school logo.

Awards Day

On Friday 9 December, at the completion of Headstart, there will be an award ceremony in the gym for current Year 10 and Year 11 students. This will be a great time to acknowledge the hard work that a large number of students have put in over the course of the year. Current Year 11 students awards ceremony will begin at 11:00am. Year 11 students will be dismissed at the completion of the awards. Current Year 10 students awards ceremony will begin at 1:30pm and students dismissed at the completion of the awards.

Year 10 Camps week

Following Headstart, Year 10 students have the opportunity to participate in a number of Year 10 camps. Twenty-eight students and four teachers will leave Tullamarine airport on the morning of Monday 12 December for 5 days at the Gold Coast. They will have a fun packed program of Wet n’ Wild, Movie World, learn to surf, Mt Tamborine Skywalk, Dreamworld and a visit to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. After a quick flight home, students will be looking forward to a good sleep in.

A second Year 10 camp is going to Torquay for an overnight camp on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 December. These students will have the opportunity to participate in learning to surf, mountain bike riding and canoeing.

After having endured so long in lockdown over the past few years, it will be great for the students to experience some different activities with the added social benefits.

There are many new and exciting changes that we have planned for 2023 so have a safe and relaxing break.


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What are we learning in Italian?

The month in Italian, the Year 7’s have been completing the unit looking at animals in Italian. They are now preparing for their end of semester assessments. The Year 7s will finish the year increasing their cultural awareness and understanding, while studying how Italians immigrated during the 1950s. 

The Year 8 students are also preparing for their end of semester assessment. They are revising the two units studied this semester, Fashion and Weather, linking this with the learnt grammatical concepts throughout terms two and three.

The Year 9 Italian students and Year 8 SEAL Italian class participated in the Mill Park Secondary College Italian Poetry Competition. All students did an excellent job reciting their poems! Mrs Filippone also set up an authentic Italian treat that students were able to enjoy after the competition. 

This month in Italian, the VCE students undertook their end-of-year exams. The Year 12’s completed their exams on Tuesday 15 November and the Year 11 students sat their exam on Thursday 17 November. While the exam period can be a stressful period for many students, the students have been working extremely hard all year and should be very proud of their overall effort in Italian this year.

The students in Unit 2 of Italian celebrated the completion of their Italian exam with some pizza (and their trusty Italian dictionaries).


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Innovation Youth Centre’ visited the Middle Years Campus at lunchtime on Thursday 10 November, with activities and prizes for students.

It was a great turn out by students and staff, promoting the new local youth service.

Some of the services on offer include:

  • Counselling support
  • Drop in programs
  • Small group programs with aims to increase young people’s social recreational and employment skills

City of Whittlesea’s Youth Service – fun and mostly free activities happening over the January school holidays

Visual and Performing Arts

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The Annual College Arts Festival Art/Design Exhibition was held in late October with the official opening on Tuesday 25 October.

It showcased and celebrated the achievements by the Art/Design students across the college from Years 7 to 9 at the Middle Years Campus Library and Years 10 to 12 at the Great Hall – City of Whittlesea Council Office.

It was a great night with the artwork in a gallery space and a couple of our students Louise and Valerie who were performance artists as a part of an installation as moving sculptures, our music students also performing original musical items from the MPSC CD recording ‘Back on Air’. This was also the official launch of the MPSC CD recording. It was a delightful event enjoyed by all who attended. The feedback from the community has been astounding and acknowledges both the College and student exhibitors and performers.

Congratulations to the students and their teachers, who have encouraged and guided them through the learning and creative process.

Thankyou to the following staff whose outstanding efforts have made this all possible.

  • Ms Wilson, Ms Burum, Ms Hesari, Ms Varano, Ms Szitarity, and Ms Ouslinis

  • Ms Allender, Ms Johnston, Mr Kneebone

  • Ms Arsana, Mrs Nagel, Mr Gooding , Mr De Leucio, Mr Claridge, and Mr Pijpers

  • Students who designed the CD cover – Andrew and Natalie

  • Student exhibition assistants: Insiyah, William, Oscar, David, Rose, Andrew, Natalie and the Visual Arts Captain, Ambrosia

  • City of Whittlesea Council staff and Sandy Caldow, Mahony Maia Kiely, Kelly Toghill – Arts, Culture & Events | City of Whittlesea for supporting the MPSC exhibition and assisting with the arrangements of the gallery space.

  • Mr Natoli, Mr Dungey, Mr Mcrae and Mrs Stephens, Mrs Carroll, Ms Charles, and Ms Hyland for supporting the Arts.

  • Students, Parents, Guardians, Staff and friends of the Arts who attended the event

MYC Music Night 2022

Congratulations to all students who performed at the MYC Music night last Thursday 17 November. There was a wonderful range of musical styles and development, original music and cover pieces, solos and group items. Thank-you to the music team: Mr Gooding, Mr Pijpers, Mr De Leucio and Ms Claridge for all the effort and supportive guidance of our students. Thank you to MYC Visual Artists for the fabulous art works which provided the perfect setting. Thanks also to the families, parents and friends who attended – the library was full!  


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What’s going on in English?

Year 9 

Students in 9E are wrapping up their revision before their English exam on Tuesday (15/11). After a week and a half of recapping our learning from the year, 9E participated in a Monopoly revision activity. In groups of three, students took turns rolling a die and answering questions relating to our different units of work. 

Land on: 

  • Blue and answer questions about ‘Night’ – Elie Wiesel
  • Yellow and answer questions relating to language conventions
  • Red and answer questions about persuasive writing
  • Green and answer questions about ‘The Boat’ Nam Le

Congratulations to the students who collected the most coloured cards by answering questions correctly! 9E reported that this was a fun, engaging and exciting activity that allowed them to really refresh their learning in a different way. 

Great work, Year 9 and good luck on your upcoming exams! 


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Mathematics and Numeracy

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Maths Puzzle Competition

Last Months’ Entrants: Rudraksha, Junhuyk, Hieu and Mily all submitted correct answers to the Senior Division question – 0.2695 (4 decimal places).

Submit a solution to these problems on loose leaf paper to your teacher. If you’re correct get mentioned in the next newsletter and you’ll go into the draw to win a prize!

Junior Division Question – The question returns

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.

Hint: This question is easier when they represented as compositions of prime numbers…

Senior Division Question

Find the value of x


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It’s been a busy few weeks for extra-curricular science activities both at Mill Park Secondary College and in the community! Mill Park Secondary College held its own Science Week across both campuses in Week 6, with a range of lunch-time activities including a microscope guessing game, science trivia, kite-flying, ice-cream making, and a liquid nitrogen demonstration.

A range of science teachers and Middle Years students have also been visiting local primary schools to deliver science workshops and demonstrations to Grade 5 students. The students had the opportunity to explore static electricity, create electric circuits (including a banana piano), use microscopes, and observe chemical reactions. Everyone involved had a lot of fun and it was fantastic to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the next generation of scientists.

Well done to all students from Years 9-11 who have recently completed their exams across their science subjects – we are proud of all of the work you have put in.


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Year 9 SEALs Geography Fieldwork

On Friday 28 October, the Year 9 Humanities class ventured down to the St Kilda beach precinct to do some fieldwork about how the local council is attempting to conserve the natural environment. Given the high-density residential nature of the area and tourist attractions that characterise the region, there was plenty to observe that affect the beach.

This time of year would normally be warm but this Friday was cold, windy and wet…very Wintery. Having acknowledged the unfortunate climactic conditions, the students braved the elements and collected information from four locations: Catani Gardens, the pier and foreshore region, the Marina and Acland Street. Retreating to the comforts that Acland Street offered (food and shelter), the students enjoyed taking over one of the best fish and chip shops in the region. The owner happy to allow us to fill the premises on such a bleak and forsaken day.

Despite our challenges on the day, we returned on time and various groups put together some brilliant Geography presentations of their evaluations of the region. Presentation, collaboration, evaluation and communication skills…tick!

Thanks to parents who helped students to the train station a little earlier than normal and Ms Pellegrini who accompanied the students for this excursion and assisted with preparation for the day. Big thanks to Mrs Stephens who assisted with preliminary organisation and approval. 

Middle Years Humanities

Year 9 students have been undertaking their very first exam this term which will cover various content from throughout the entire year. These are great practice for our students as they prepare to make the journey to senior campus. Exam results will be published in the upcoming reports.

As part of their business and economics unit, Year 8 students have been developing a brand new product that they have to design, cost and market. Their creativity and business acumen has really shone through and I can see many of their product ideas really making it in the real world!

Our Year 7’s have been finishing the year learning about our political and legal system. They’ve investigated the purpose of our constitution, the separation of powers and even negotiated a bill in a mock parliament.

They will build their knowledge of our courts and their rights in our legal system as the year concludes. 

Senior Campus Humanities

Headstart will soon begin on the Senior Campus where we will welcome our new Year 10s and students will get a taste of what to expect in 2023. Mill Park SC offers a huge range of humanities subjects, and students will begin subjects as diverse as philosophy and accounting or legal studies and ancient history. We hope all students will enjoy their subject selection and look forward to a fun and productive 2023!


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Senior Campus Library

In 2023 there will be a number of changes to the texts studied for VCE English and Literature.

The library has copies of the below texts for students to borrow over the holidays if they wish to get a head start.

New texts 2023

Year 12 English

Bad dreams and other stories written by Tessa Hadley

Two sisters quarrel over an inheritance and a new baby. A housekeeper caring for a helpless old man uncovers secrets from his past. A young girl accepts a lift in a car with a group of strangers. An old friend brings bad news to a dinner party.

In these gripping and unsettling stories, the ordinary is made extraordinary and the real things that happen to people turn out to be every bit as mysterious as their dreams.

Year 11 English

The White Girl by Tony Birch

Odette Brown has lived her whole life on the fringes of a small country town. After her daughter disappeared and left her with her granddaughter Sissy to raise on her own, Odette has managed to stay under the radar of the welfare authorities who are removing fair-skinned Aboriginal children from their families. When a new policeman arrives in town, determined to enforce the law, Odette must risk everything to save Sissy and protect everything she loves.

Year 11 Literature

Terra Nullius by Claire Coleman

The Natives of the Colony are restless. The Settlers are eager to have a nation of peace, and to bring the savages into line. Families are torn apart, reeducation is enforced. This rich land will provide for all.

This is not Australia as we know it. This is not the Australia of our history.

Year 12 Literature

The fire next time written by James Baldwin

At once a powerful evocation of James Baldwin’s early life in Harlem and a disturbing examination of the consequences of racial injustice, the book is an intensely personal and provocative document. It consists of two “letters,” written on the occasion of the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation, that exhort Americans, both black and white, to attack the terrible legacy of racism.

Smart ovens for lonely people written by Elizabeth Tan

Conspiracies, memes, and therapies of various efficacy underpin this beguiling short-story collection from Elizabeth Tan.

In the titular story, a cat-shaped oven tells a depressed woman she doesn’t have to be sorry anymore. A Yourtopia Bespoke Terraria employee becomes paranoid about the mounting coincidences in her life. Four girls gather to celebrate their underwear in ‘Happy Smiling Underwear Girls Party’, a hilarious take-down of saccharine advertisements.

Physical Education/Health

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Year 7 Boys Tennis State Finals

On Friday 18 November, at Boroondara Tennis Centre with a cheer squad of three parents, (See, Ewa and Janaka) and three student siblings, the Year 7 Boys Tennis Team were motivated to do well in their State Finals competition. Encouraged to use their tool bags of shots, they managed to beat both Warragul and Horsham schools (5 sets to 1) to reach the Semi Finals against Maribyrnong Sports Academy. Unfortunately, in spite Yuvraaj, Jayden, Ali and Nehan’s regular training, perseverance and a dauntless spirit on the day, the boys could not clinch a place in the finals against a much stronger and more experienced opponent.  

However, disappointment could not dampen the great day had by all and the boys’ sense of achievement at having reached this level to date. Their good spirits and optimism were in fact sustained as we departed the tennis centre with the boys declaring, “There is always next year”.