MAC News 7 2023

Principal’s Report

It has been a very busy few weeks with a plethora of activities and milestone events including the Graduates 2023 Assembly and Celebration Day, MAC’s Got Talent, 2024 College Captain’s Assembly and more recently the Spring Arts Festival led by the 2022 Gnurad Gundidj students and the Arts and Technology staff. I would also like to thank the Year 11 Food Technology students who catered the event and the PFA for assisting on the night. It was wonderful to be able to showcase the artistic talents of our Visual, Digital and Performing Arts students and showcase the new building.

This term we opened the new Wellbeing Centre, located in the old General Office. The centre is home to the Student Wellbeing Coordinator Clark Mitchell, Psychologist Elaine Wong, Angela from Care in Minds Psychology, the Doctor in Schools Program consisting of Dr Erin Gordon and Practice Nurse Clara Hall. The space has several counselling rooms and a quiet space for students. Future works will include the refurbishment of the old Makerspace to be used as a therapy space for the range of external services and wellbeing programs delivered at the school.

In addition, we have renovated the boy’s toilets in A Block and recarpeted A104 and the Maths Science Staffroom. I would like to thank the families that have contributed to the Building Fund this year, as well as those families that have donated to the PFA fundraising events. Some of these funds have contributed to the redevelopment of these areas.

In the coming months we will be renovating the girl’s toilets in A Block. These works are reliant on locally raised funds and therefore your voluntary contributions are very important in ensuring we can maintain the College facilities and upgrade those that that are in desperate need. In 2024 we hope to upgrade the MasterChef kitchen facilities, refurbish the gym amenities, and do some much needed painting and recarpeting.

I would like to thank the PFA for its fundraising efforts and the most recently the Mango fundraiser which was a huge success. The PFA will be running a Bunnings BBQ on Saturday 2 December, as well as a raffle at the College Awards evening on Wednesday 6 December. I encourage you all to support these fundraising events. I would like to take this opportunity to thank PFA President Aprilia Vellacott and Bridget Naughton School Council member who have donated plants to the school and have given their time in planting and adding to the existing gardens.

I would like to conclude by congratulating Rashid Costa 2024 Graduate and Justine Escano Graduate 2025 who have been appointed as the College Captains for next year and Lachlan Janetzki and Gus Zaitzev 2024 Graduates to the Vice-Captain roles. I look forward to working with them and the rest of the leadership team next year and continuing to build on the great work of our current Student Leadership Team.

I am looking forward to the College Awards Evening at the Clocktower and congratulating all the award recipients and of course the 2023 Graduates.

Kind regards,

Dani Angelico, Principal


Spring Festival

Spring Festival @ MAC

GALE FORCE BLOWN AWAY BY THE TALENT OF THE ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY TEAM AT MAC

Students at MAC have truly outdone themselves with the biennial Arts Festival 2023.

The highlight for the Spring Festival this year was the exposition on Thursday the 2nd of November. This biennial event showcases the  diverse subjects on offer at MAC and celebrates the many talents of the staff and students. Visitors were treated to artwork, design, textiles, photography, music, performance, media and of course delicious treats baked by our talented food tech. The doors opened at 4pm and groups of visitors were guided through the new building from levels 3 to ground. 

On the 3rd level we had photography, textiles and graphic design works from entry and above entry. In the MacLab visitors could view Film and TV and preVCE Media works on the big screen. In the graphic design space we had an environmental and architecture installation, interactive drawing and a display of student’s work. The fashion studio showcased the creative textile designs and finished products from semester two. Digital Art students presented their creative response to a food poster.

On the ground floor the stage was set, the lights were flashing, and students could be heard singing, performing and mixing in the music department. We were treated to sounds and sights that truly complemented the VCE, entry, above and pre VCE talents. The main gallery area focused on the creative arts and the myriad of arts disciplines that students choose to focus on at MAC. Drawing, painting, digital art, sculpture, ceramics and photography were presented and were the catalyst for some robust discussion and reflection. The performance space was blacked out in order to experience the powerful media works of the VCE students. 

It truly was an evening to remember and we can be very proud of the creative team at MAC.

Thank you to all the staff, students, PFA and guests who attended the evening and made this a successful event. 

Arts/Technology and Gnurad Spring Festival Team 2023

As soon as I walked into the festival, I was stunned by the beautiful singing of the music performance.Ching Chan, Chinese and Japanese Teacher

“We are really impressed by the quality and depth of the work done by the students” MAC Parent

“So much variety. I can’t choose which I like the best….” Guest

“ …….really looks like the students are very well informed about world events…..and they have avenues to express this” Parent


College Captain’s Assembly


2023 Graduate Assembly


VM MAC Market

Dear students, staff, and families,

The execution of the VM Mount Alexander College Market was a massive success. The class received many compliments, suggestions, and questions such as: ‘Will this happen next year?’ and ‘Can I be a part of this next time?’. The answer to those questions are undecided as of now but we can assure you that this isn’t the end of the plans that the masterminds of the VM class have for our school in the future.

You can expect to see more and more throughout the years to come at MAC. And please keep the questions and ideas flowing. Our united VM group loves to hear from our fellow students to help us do what we can do to surpass your standards of what’s possible.

VCE VM, 2023 & 2024 Graduates


Visual Arts Competition

Infinite Nebula, Jemima Marks

MAC’s Got Talent


Student Engagement

Mohamed Semra, Shooters Shoot and Black Women Workshop

Warsan joined the MAC community at the beginning of Term 3 and has made her mark here with our students and the wider community. Warsan is our School Community Liaison Officer who specifically works with our students and families of African and Pasifika background. This term, Warsan has been working with our students from Year 9 – 11 focusing on creating opportunities for our students to develop skills in leadership, community, empowerment, belonging, and self-love. Warsan invited Mohamed Semra to come to MAC to speak with our young men about navigating the transition into adulthood and what it takes to be a leader. We then had Sagalee from Shooters Shoot, a program designed to leverage the power of sport to break down the stigma of mental health. 

The Black Women Workshop was designed to work with our Above Entry 10 and Grad 11 students with a focus on what it means to be a young black woman and how their identity shapes them.

Kate Stevanovic, Leading Teacher Student Engagement and Wellbeing


Assessment and Reporting Update

Dear Parents,

Earlier this year we asked staff, students and parents to provide feedback on our Assessment and Reporting processes here at MAC. The community was a great support, providing us with a wealth of information about what is done well and where we needed to focus our efforts. After careful consideration, we will be making some changes to the way we report on student work.

One piece of feedback we received from parents was your frustration with the Learning Tasks on Compass, and how challenging it was to navigate. We will therefore be changing the way we record Coursework next year. We are moving to a portfolio of tasks per assessment cycle, rather than having each task listed separately. This Compass notification will be shared at the beginning of a unit and will list the 3-5 compulsory tasks to be completed over time. This should reduce the Compass Learning Task list by two thirds and provide parents with earlier information about what students must complete before their next assessment. As a result, we will mark the Coursework Portfolio as satisfactory or unsatisfactory, rather than complete or incomplete. This will bring our junior students more in line with the assessment principles used at VCE level.

Another common theme in our feedback from staff and parents was that Progress Reports are highly valued, but that presently they are not fit for purpose. We will make three changes to the Progress Reports, which we hope will help them to be more effective. The first change will be to postpone the first Progress Report from week 6 in the semester to week 7. This will allow staff some extra time to conduct their first assessment and reduce the frequency of ‘not assessed’ grades for Academic Progress. The second change will be to review the descriptors used for Coursework Completion so that they are aligned with the shift to ‘satisfactory’ as the grade for Coursework. This will be published in next year’s Assessment and Reporting Handbook. The final change will be to adjust our approach to the use of the ‘modified program’ tickbox, so that it is more inclusive of the varied student needs we see at MAC. This will also be published in the Handbook. Parents will be contacted directly if this becomes relevant to your child. 

Our end of semester reporting is mandated by the Education Department, so while we received a lot of feedback about parents finding it difficult to interpret, we can’t change the way this reporting works. As part of the Handbook review, we will include a more detailed explanation of how to read the information. We will also be working as a staff over the next twelve months to make sure there is more consistency and transparency around our processes.

One shift you may notice is the way we use comments on assessment tasks. Staff and students told us that it is more meaningful when feedback happens in the classroom, either through conferencing, assessment review classes or comments directly on the work and rubrics. We intend to reduce the time spent on Compass comments to balance workload. Staff will be encouraged to use comment banks that align with our rubrics. We will provide one area of achievement and one area for growth. Please be assured that while comments that appear on reports may seem impersonal, they will be targeted directly at the skills demonstrated by your child, and that teachers are working hard to ensure everyone is receiving meaningful feedback in their classes.

Once again, thank you so much to those of you who provided us with feedback. Please make use of the new Assessment and Reporting Handbook next year to clarify your understanding of our processes. I hope you find this to be the positive change we anticipate.

Louise Leong, Leading Teacher Curriculum and Assessment


Arts and Technology

Food Studies: Term 4 in the MAC Kitchens

Our Masterchef classes have continued to travel around the world, however this time with a personal lens. Students have been researching and discovering all about a selected country – its culture and cuisine. Students have been presenting to their peers this last week and will be cooking a selected dish from their chosen country. Some interesting countries we have learnt about include Mauritius, Somalia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Ukraine. We can’t wait to post all about them on our socials – so keep your eyes peeled.

PreVCE Students have been testing and trailing recipes that could very well be the next viral food trend.  Sustainability, fusion flavours, time hacks and nostalgic cultural collaborations are just some ideas students have explored. Some recipes we have made are Cheats Ramen & Big name Burger Chain Tacos collaboration.

Unit 2 Students have wrapped up their programme for the year and worked together with the help from extra VM students Sam Carlisle and Wendy Wong, to cater the recent Spring Festival. Students were tasked with menu planning, trailing recipes, refining and finally producing all the food for the festival. Thank you for all your hard work.

We wish our Unit 3 & 4 students all the best with their Food studies Exam on 13 November and of course all of our Grad ‘23s much success for their future endeavors. 

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @macmasterchef for all our culinary adventures.

Thank you,

Lezanne Webb-Johnson, Food Studies Teacher  


Health and Human Development

In Unit 2 of Health and Human Development, we have been learning about the lifespan and its stages. Recently, we were visited by a registered nurse and midwife, who gave an informative presentation on pregnancy, walking the class through an educational slideshow and a few interactive activities that we found engaging and helpful. Jane was a very knowledgeable professional who helped deepen our understanding on the prenatal stages of a pregnancy, even allowing us to roleplay a mock birth and become surprised at the hardships and realities of it.

Natalia Tasominos, Graduate of 2024


English

Inspiring Oral Presentations

In a display of passion, knowledge, and dedication, our Unit 2 VCE English students recently presented their final SAC to an audience of their teachers and peers. Each student was tasked with delivering an oral presentation on an issue that had been in the media over the past year.

The students approached the afternoon of presentations with maturity and respect for their peers. Their speeches were a testament to the effort they have put into researching and crafting their speeches.

The students should be commended on the diversity of subjects that they tackled. Their topics spanned the spectrum, from local issues like the State Government’s announcement regarding the Flemington high-rise flats, to complex matters such as the referendum, artificial intelligence, the rising cost of living and even the social impact of self-checkout machines.

What stood out, however, was the passion and knowledge displayed by each student. The way they delved into these subjects, offering fresh insights and innovative solutions, was both impressive and uplifting. It was a powerful reminder that these young adults are not only aware of the world around them but also deeply concerned about making it a better place.

Nicole Lawrence, English Teaching & Learning Leader


Science

La Trobe University – Unit 1 & 2 Biology Adaptations Excursion

On 12 October, Unit 1 & 2 Biology students headed to La Trobe Uni for the Adaptations Workshop. The workshop focused on the Eucalyptus species and how they have adapted to the Australian environment.

Here are their learnings and experiences from the day:

“On the excursion, I learned that there are around 812 species of gum trees. I enjoyed looking through the microscope and seeing the little green patches on the leaves” Harry Kippin

“I discovered that the gum fruits have ovaries to reproduce. I enjoyed the workshop where we had the opportunity to identify eucalyptus species from smelling the leaves. I also really enjoyed the cafes a La Trobe uni, especially the Turkish pitas!” Zoe Marks

“Some Eucalyptus trees are named after how they smell and by breaking up the oils found in the leaves you can note the differences” James Baptie

“I learned about the probability of the widespread existence of gumtrees on pangea supported by the fossils discovered in south america of the early gum nuts. My favourite workshop was the one where we got to analyse the leaves underneath the microscope due to it furthering the ‘immersion’ and being able to view the functions up close. I enjoyed being out of the school” Maya Barr

“On the excursion I learned that there are 812+ species of gum trees in Australia. My favorite workshop was looking through the microscopes and being able to see the leaves and oil glands as well as identifying the scientific names of selected gum trees. I enjoyed being able to explore the university” Zamzam Habib

GTAC – Biomedical Science Day

Read the media release from the University of Melbourne about this event here.

Scienceworks – PreVCE Physics excursion

Medicine and Disease – Heart Dissection

Lab Rats – Lemon Battery

STILE – Women in STEM Software Engineering Internship

 

STILE are offering a paid internship in 2024! Through this internship, the intern will learn how to code under the guidance of the engineering team while working directly on the Stile platform. 

This internship is based in Melbourne and is open to female-identifying and non-binary Year 12 graduates. 

Applications close on 20 November 2023, with interviews in January. If you or someone you know may be interested, check out further details in this link.


Mathematics

Foundation Maths Excursion

Our task was to create an itinerary for the class to travel to and from the city to investigate shapes and objects. It was fun practically taking our SAC outside the classroom, and in a way we can adapt to further our learning.

Wendy Wong, Graduate of 2024

A stop in the beautiful Block arcade and visit to Haigh’s Chocolates was fun – yummy tastings. Violet’s itinerary was a winner!

Justine Johnston, Mathematics Teaching and Learning Leader

General Maths Excursion

As part of our current space and measurement unit, the year 11 general math students went on an excursion to Federation Square where we participated in a treasure hunt. There were 16 tasks each worth between 1 and 4 points. We split into teams of our choosing in a race to complete tasks designed to challenge our math knowledge and collaboration skills. One task involved talking to the poor information volunteers who were asked the same question they didn’t know the answer to by the roughly 50 people on the excursion.

Some tasks were as simple as finding out how many visitors Fed Square has had since its opening in 2002 (over 100 million), and some were more difficult like counting the amount of triangles on the Fed Square building or measuring the height of the flagpole based on its non-existent shadow due to it being overcast. When we had 10 points on the sheet, we went to the teachers and collected a puzzle piece from one of the 3 puzzles. We then had to put together the puzzles and solve the clues to find out where we were going for lunch which ended up being the Queen Victoria market.

The day was filled with memorable moments like how on the way there a tram driver lied to us so we wouldn’t get on her tram by telling us there was another right behind her which was actually 15 minutes behind her delaying the task as the group got split into two. A few highlights of the day were Ryan having a bee sitting on his shoulder like a parrot and Dali almost falling out of the spun chairs. The excursion was a fun day with friends serving as a good break before we properly started exam revision and we are grateful for all the work put in by the teachers to make it happen.

Lily McNamara, Graduate of 2024

Working with 3D Nets in Entry

Students in Entry were rewarded for their hard work in this term’s measurement unit with some time to craft 3D shapes. Some architectural marvels and silly faces were made by all!

Alex O’Brien, Classroom Teacher

Talking Mathematics

Positive Mindset: It is ok not to know the answer or even where to start with the problem. The idea is to think about what you do know about the problem and use this as a starting point. Check out this TED Educational video for more information on maths anxiety: https://ed.ted.com/lessons/why-do-people-get-so-anxious-about-math-orly-rubinsten

For further information, download this Maths Tips for Parents booklet here.


Student Wellbeing

Health Day

On 13 September, students in Year 7 – 10 attended a Health Day at school where they attended a variety of presentations and workshops. 

In total, there were 16 different presentations/workshops presented by over 25 different facilitators. Students were able to experience information and practice in order to enhance their own health knowledge as well as issues affecting the larger community. 

Here is an overview of what each year level experienced on this day:

  • Entry: Cyber Safety, Game addiction, The role of the General Practitioner/Vaping/CPR/Anaphylaxis, Physical Activity. 
  • Year 8: Mental Health and Wellbeing, Body Positivity, Gaming and Gambling, Physical Activity. 
  • Year 9:  Drug & Alcohol Prevention, Risk and Choices, Mental Wellbeing- Headspace, Healthy relationships and consent. 
  • Year 10: Positive Speakers Bureau, Cowards Punch- Violence is never OK, Sexual Health and healthy relationships, Road Smart Program. 

MAC would like to thank the wonderful presenters from community and government organisations that attended on this day. Without their support or enthusiasm, this event would not have been possible. 

Michelle Hynson, School Health Promotion Nurse and Clark Mitchell, Student Wellbeing Coordinator

SchoolTV

SchoolTV is an online resource designed to empower parents with credible and sound information with realistic, practical ongoing support strategies. You can access SchoolTV by either clicking the SchoolTV icon on the home page or this link.

Because parenting doesn’t come with instructions, SchoolTV is a wellbeing resource implemented at our school to help support you in the challenges of modern-day parenting relating to youth mental health and wellbeing. Parenting is a learning journey and SchoolTV supports families by providing credible information from trusted sources with practical strategies to help alleviate some of the challenges being faced by young people today.

Watch video interviews with leading wellbeing specialists and browse a library of resources. Each topic is accompanied by factsheets, podcasts, books, articles, apps and other videos.

This award-winning resource helps families build relationships, foster connections, enable understanding and break down barriers to navigate a pathway towards better mental health and wellbeing for young people. It will assist you in starting those conversations on topics that can sometimes be awkward or difficult to tackle.

Parents and caregivers are the greatest influence on a young person’s life and SchoolTV focuses on empowering confident parenting. Explore SchoolTV today!

Australian Government: Office for Youth

Youth Advisory Groups:

The Office for Youth runs Youth Advisory Groups. They work with the Australian Government on the development of policies or programs that matter to young people.

Applications are open from 30 October to 19 November 2023. We’ll let you know the outcome of your application in January 2024.

We’ll be hosting an online information session on 9 November at 6pm AEDT. There we’ll share more about the application process and answer your questions.
We can also support you to complete the application form. We can also accept applications in different formats. Contact youth@education.gov.au for help applying.

There are five advisory groups you can apply for.

  • Creative Industries Youth Advisory Group
  • Civic Engagement Youth Advisory Group
  • Prevention of Gender-Based Violence Youth Advisory Group
  • Employment Youth Advisory Group
  • First Nations Education Youth Advisory Group

For more information, visit https://www.youth.gov.au/get-involved


Careers and Pathways

Download the MAC Work Experience Resource Book

2024 Dates – 24 – 28 June

CALL OUT FOR POTENTIAL WORK EXPERIENCE OPPORTUNITIES 

If anyone in our MAC community or their networks can offer up an opportunity for one of our students, please do not hesitate to get in contact with Alison Lovett. 

Work Experience Opportunities for 2023 – Parliament Victoria and Austin Health

Although we won’t begin our work experience program with our current Year AE9 students until later in Term 4, certain industries will open their 2024 applications early. These include the areas of Parliament Victoria, Western Health and certain University programs. The application process for many of these opportunities are very competitive and will only accept one application per school. I will notify families as these applications open.

For more information, please keep an eye out for work experiences emails and updates in the weekly Career News.

Work Experience program 

Targeting typically year 10 students. Work experience offers the opportunity for a ‘first taste’ of the health industry where students can observe a workplace in action.

About our programs for 2024

COVID-19 has affected the delivery of our student placement programs since 2020. We are pleased to be able to offer limited SWL and work experience places from 2024 onwards.

Application closing date

From now until November 4th only. See: How to apply.

Applications for the 2024 Year 10 Work Experience Program will be open from November 1-15, 2023.

The formal application process will involve completing an online application form via our eRecruit system (http://westernhealth.mercury.com.au/). Our online system allows students to have a greater understanding of the process involved as a job seeker.

Students will be required to submit a cover letter, a resume/CV, and COVID-19 vaccination record as part of their application and answer a several questions.

Places are limited, so we cannot guarantee all students will obtain a placement.

Whether you’re interested in politics, planting trees, law-making or baking, your work experience placement at the Parliament of Victoria will be an experience you’ll remember. This is a unique opportunity to undertake a one-week placement in either a Parliamentary Sitting or Parliamentary Services program.

Submit your expression of interest

Parliamentary Sitting placements provide the opportunity to see the law-making process up close. Students will go behind the scenes with the staff who directly support Parliament sittings, to get a deeper understanding of our democratic processes.

Find out more

Parliamentary Services placements offer a variety of opportunities that can be matched with a broad range of student interests and career goals. Students will have the option to work with staff in one of the many professional service areas that support the day-to-day business of Parliament.

The Port Phillip Eco Centre

The EcoCentre provides a range of opportunities for High School Students to complete their work experience.

  • Research – Conducting desktop research on key areas of science or practical projects that the EcoCentre is considering.
  • Citizen science data collection and analysis- Contributing to fieldwork and collecting data.
  • Development of environmental education curriculum resources – Creation of short environmental educational clips and handouts for use in classrooms and excursions. 

Cora Graves centre

38 Blessington St, 

St Kilda. 3182

9525 3102

https://www.ecocentre.com/jobs/

Alison Lovett, Career Education & Pathways Coordinator


International Student Program


Resource Centre

Staff and students can use the Library Catalogue (login using the Single Sign On with your school email address and password) from school and from home. It’s a great way

to see what books are on offer in the library and to reserve a book that you’ve been looking forward to reading.

A friendly reminder to anyone who has overdue books to please return them to the Resource Centre. Bringing books back by their due date ensures that everyone is able to enjoy our collection.

Do you know we have ebooks and audiobooks?

The Eplatform has over 2500 ebooks and audiobooks that you can read or listen to with new books being added every day. You can access it by downloading the app on your device and signing in with your school details in the Single Sign On (SSO). Find out more here: mountalexandercollege.wheelers.co

Carla Iannarella, Resource Centre, Communications and Marketing Manager


Parents and Friends Association

MAC Parents and Friends is a vibrant and friendly forum for parents, carers and interested members of the community to discuss matters relating to the College.

It provides an opportunity to become involved in the life of the College, ensuring the College continues to provide the best education and is the local community’s school of choice.

MAC Parents and Friends meets at 6:00pm on the first Monday of the month during school terms. Meetings are publicised in the school newsletter, and on the events calendar.

All members and new members are warmly invited to attend.

To receive notifications of forthcoming meetings, email the PFA: mac.parents.friends@gmail.com


Community News and Advertising

We advertise and support local organisations that reside in our catchment area. These suburbs include Flemington, Kensington, Ascot Vale, Moonee Ponds, Maribyrnong, West Brunswick, North Melbourne, and Parkville.

MAC News Deadlines

The MAC News is published twice a term.

Please see the below dates for MAC News submissions deadlines for articles and advertising. Any advertising requests must be sent to mount.alexander.712@education.vic.gov.au

Term 2 2024
  • MAC News 3 - Wednesday 19 June
Term 3 2024
  • MAC News 4 - Wednesday 14 August
  • MAC News 5 - Wednesday 18 September

Term 4 2024

  • MAC News 6 - Wednesday 6 November
  • MAC News 7 - Wednesday 11 December

Upcoming Events

Community School Since 1858

Mount Alexander College is located where Flemington National School was established in 1858. The school, which has undergone many changes, has always served the community.

Contact Us

Email: mount.alexander.712@education.vic.gov.au
Phone: 0393761622
Fax: 0393765232
Address: 78 Wellington St, Flemington VIC 3031
Provider No.: 00861K

Mount Alexander College is accredited under the Department of Education and Training’s CRICOS registration (CRICOS provider name and code: Department of Education and Training, 00861K). For further information refer to www.study.vic.gov.au.

Mount Alexander College acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nations, the Traditional Owners of the land on whose unceded lands the school stands, and pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.