MAC News 10 2021
Dear MAC Community
It has been a busy month at MAC with all students returning to onsite learning and building works in full swing. It is great to hear the school come to life again with the sounds of students in corridors, classes and the yard. Students are adjusting to face-to-face learning and overall seem happy and engaged in their classes. It is wonderful to see restrictions easing and students able to enjoy things such as excursions. The Entry students will finally get to go on the zoo excursion which has been cancelled several times. I am looking forward to the whole school assembly next week and the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of our incredible students and school.
I had the pleasure of interviewing six very strong College Captain candidates alongside Kate Stevanovic, Jerry Ng and Marcella Martin early this term. I was impressed by the strength of their ideas and vision for the school. All six candidates gave compelling speeches making the voting for the captains tough for the students. Congratulations to Inas Adhil Ahmed and Arlo Pilley who have been selected as our College Captains for 2022 and Rea Tinoy and Brynn Valentine who have been selected as Vice Captions. Congratulations to all students who participated in the process.
I would like to congratulate Muna Osman, Bilhah Ryan, Arlo Pilley, Mahdi Hassan, Khang Phan and Kevin Tran who were shortlisted for the Skyline Foundation Scholarship Program. The scholarship is a two-year program which offers financial support, mentoring, leadership opportunities and tertiary residentials for students completing their final two years of schooling. Congratulations to Bilhah, Arlo and Kevin who have been accepted into the program.
Congratulations to our Graduates of 2021 who have now completed their exams. Our students once again showed incredible adaptability with an unexpected change of venue from Debney Meadows Primary School to Maribyrnong College mid-way in the three weeks of exams. I would like to thank Principals, Koreena Carlton from Debney Meadows and Nick Scott from Maribyrnong College for hosting our students, as well as Bett Prange from Kensington Community High School who loaned MAC their minibus to transport our students to Maribyrnong. I could not be prouder of these exceptional students who regardless of their final scores have triumphed and overcome the constant changes and obstacles placed before them. I am confident that our students have the skills to navigate whatever life throws at them.
I would like to wish Pre VCE and VCE Unit 2 students undertaking their end of semester examinations the best of luck. Despite the challenge of this year, students have worked hard to prepare for them and will no doubt give it their all.
I am looking forward to the end of year Awards Night on Monday 29 November and recognising and celebrating the achievements of our students both in and out of the classroom. I would like to thank Kate Stevanovic and her team for all the work leading up to the event. As per last year, the Awards Night will be streamed on YouTube and will include live and pre-recorded content. Thank you in advance to all our external presenters who are currently recording and sending in their presentations. We hope that we will be able to hold this event live in 2022! A link will be sent to you in the coming week. I hope that you will be able to join us.
I would like to welcome the following new staff to Heads of House Team in 2022: Tom Grocott to Artemis and Maddie Whyte to Athena House. Konrad Sosnowski will continue as the Apollo Head of House and Erin Murphy as the Poseidon. Thankyou to Vivian Duong who stepped into the Athena Head of House role. Vivian has done a great job and her efforts have been valued by the students and staff. Congratulations to Stephanie Balaburov who has been appointed to the Acting Leading Teacher Student Leadership and Empowerment role for 2022 while Kate Stevanovic fills in for Claire Runci who will be taking maternity leave. Congratulations also to Tony Le who has been appointed to the Instrumental Music Coordinators position and Emily Volpe who will be taking on the Sports Coordinator role.
The last month has been a hype of activity. G-Block has been completely demolished and the foundations, footings and slab have now been demolished. I would like to thank the students and staff and local residents, who have endured increased noise levels in the last week and half. We have all endured the worst of the noise. By the end of the year, all the excavation, inground and structural services and ground floor slab will be completed. The building is on track to be completed by mid-December 2022.
It is hard to believe there are just over 3 weeks to go to the end of the school year. I am looking forward to the upcoming weeks and ending the school year with hope and optimism for the new school year and one where we can reap the rewards of our collective sacrifices over the last 18 months.
Ms Dani Angelico, Principal
Inside this issue
- Term Dates 2026-2030
- Student Leadership Team
- Awards Night
- Student Wellbeing
- SPECIAL REPORT: Respectful Language
- Theatre Studies
- Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge Readers Review Competition Winner
- Resource Centre News
- Climate Change: A Global Crisis
- Guilty or Not Guilty
- History and Politics
- Interested in Technological Innovations?
- Year 12 Women in STEM: Software Engineering Internship 2022 at Stile
- MAC Parents and Friends
- Bunnings Fundraiser
- Community News and Advertising
Term Dates 2026-2030
The Education and Training Reform Regulations 2017 require the Minister for Education to determine the days on which a government school is required to be open for attendance by students.
The Minister for Education has set the term dates for 2026-2030.
Setting school dates well in advance assists with school planning and ensures the school community knows the days Victorian government schools are open for student instruction.
The 2026-2030 term dates are based on these criteria:
- there are four school terms
- the school year is 200 days
- the Australia Day holiday occurs before students return to school
- the first term vacation is to coincide with Easter
- that, as far as possible, a consistent pattern be maintained from one five-year block to the next.
More information is on the Department’s website: School term dates and holidays in Victoria (education.vic.gov.au)
Student Leadership Team
Dear MAC Community,
We are pleased to invite you to view our Virtual 2021 Awards Night on November 29 at 7.00pm.
The night will be a celebration of our students and their achievements across the year. Importantly, this night is where we formally farewell our 2021 Graduates.
We look forward to you all joining us on the livestream with this celebration.
Kate Stevanovic, Leading Teacher Student Leadership & Empowerment
SPECIAL REPORT: Respectful Language
In today’s world, it is common to hear socially offensive language on the streets, on social media channels, streaming services and in some forms of modern music. While swearing is becoming more common and less taboo, the use of derogatory language or the act of swearing at someone, or about someone, is a form of verbal violence. It transgresses the usual rules of social interaction by impinging on an individual’s self-image and sense of dignity.
It is becoming apparent that some young people are being influenced by the language they hear. Proliferating the use of swear words can sometimes normalise, glamorise and desensitise their impact for kids who may misunderstand the true meaning of some derogatory terms. Whilst some students may use swearing or derogatory terms as a misguided attempt at belonging, others may use it simply because they are still learning how to moderate their language and are not accustomed to making adjustments to suit different situations.
Although many schools enforce a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to swearing and derogatory language, parents need to also play an important part in enforcing this approach. Parents and carers can be proactive in monitoring what their children are viewing or being exposed to. Discussing the use of words or the origin of some derogatory terms and gaining insight into the reason behind their child’s use of such language can help prevent inappropriate or disrespectful language filtering into the classroom or the school yard, which in turn helps to build more tolerant, safe and connected communities.
This Special Report offers a number of guidelines to help manage a suitable approach when discussing the importance of respectful language. We hope you take a moment to reflect on the information offered, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you, a loved one or the wellbeing of your child, please seek medical or professional help.
Here is the link to your special report https://mountalexandercollege.
Carmel Nielsen, Student Wellbeing Coordinator
Inspired by the creativity and extravagance of the Met Gala, students in Theatre Studies decided to explore their own version. We have collaboratively designed costumes, props and accessories centred around the four elements of fire, wind, water and earth. Each design group was tasked to create both ‘good’ and ‘evil’ representations of these characters. These are some of the designs the students created.
Calypso by Chantal Leon
My design is inspired by a ’Sea grunge pirate adventure.’ The textures and colours of coral, sea foam, shipwrecks & sunsets are all part of this inspiration. As the Pirate is the greatest influence, I’ve designed and created the garment with a historical aspect (18th century). I find that there can be a duality of both romanticism and brutality when interacting with water. The idea that there is both beauty and danger in an adventure -“You’re safe on the water if you understand it and play by the rules.” So I want to express this in the garment, while still keeping the ‘good’ aspect as a highlight.
My story behind the design is the idea of this wealthy 18th century woman getting caught in a shipwreck, joining a Pirate crew and eventually becoming a sea goddess-It’s almost my take on ‘Calypso’/Tia Dalma from “Pirates of the Caribbean.”
Earth by Hazel, Olivia and Lola
Our designs are all inspired by lots of high fashion designs and a bit of a royalty feel. Our designs are also inspired by nature such as plants and animals. In contrast to the ‘good’ we want ‘evil’ to have darker colours, and a more rigid design and ‘good’ being the opposite with lighter colours and more flowy smooth look. The ‘good’ earth will represent all the healing properties and the ‘evil’ earth will represent natural disasters and the way mankind has ruined them as well as all the poisonous and dying nature.
Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge Readers Review Competition Winner
Hi Mount Alexander Community! Recently, I was privileged enough to win a visit from the Australian author Shivaun Plozza, the author of many successful books like Frankie, Tin Heart and a few others. I won this visit for my class and I by writing a review for a book in the premier reading challenge. In this story I will be sharing my experience with the author, and how I won this prize!
While meeting Shivaun, she shared what she does day to day, how she deals with writer’s block, how she manages her time and what she does to keep her mental and physical health up to scratch! She told us about her own personal writing experience and how hard it was for her to get her first books published. The meeting really opened my eyes to how difficult and time consuming the life of an author can be. It was a really inspiring visit and I really hope to have more opportunities like this in the future.
If you want to win similar prizes like this, you can do so by participating in the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge Readers Review Competition! All you have to do is write a review about one of the books you have read (make sure to put in a lot of effort!) and submit it for the chance to win a prize! The winner is decided by some judges, who will award the winner the prize. If you have any questions about this, you can ask Ms Dunley in the Resource Centre. Before I go, I would like to thank Ms Suzanne, a librarian I know who really inspired me to write my reviews so I would like to give her my gratitude. Once again, I really enjoyed my visit from the author and wish to have more opportunities akin to it in the future, and I really recommend everyone to at least give it a try!
Samuel Chong, Above Entry 8, Victoria Premiers’ Reading Challenge Readers Review Winner
Resource Centre News
It has been so lovely to see everyone back at school and using the library again. I have restarted the automatic emails from the library system so students and staff may be receiving emails reminding them of books that are overdue. Please take the time to find all overdue books and put them in your schoolbag to return them so others can use them. If you have school books other than those mentioned in the emails, please also return these as they may have inadvertently been taken from the library.
Staff and students can see what books they have outstanding via the Library Catalogue (login using the Single Sign On with your school email address and password).
It’s a great time to reserve a book that you’ve been looking forward to reading. You can reserve books through the Library Catalogue and when you return to school, I will have the book available for you.
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). It’s a great way to access books during uncertain times. Find out more here: mountalexandercollege.wheelers.co
Meg Dunley, Resource Centre, Communications and Marketing Manager
Climate Change: A Global Crisis
Our last unit of work in Climate Change: A Global Crisis, was a mock COP 26 Simulation where students picked a country to represent and then tried to be responsible global citizens negotiating the best outcomes for their country and the world. This is the opening address that a student gave as the Prime Minister of Australia.
Australia stands here at the COP 26 Conference because we as a nation agree that we need to take immediate action. We support COP 26 because we feel as if we have a responsibility to our citizens, many of whom have already experienced first hand effects of climate change first hand. In the year of 2020 we experienced the worst bushfires on record. This has given us a new perspective on climate change and we are now willing to do whatever it takes. We also feel as if we have responsibility to the world as a country with almost double the global average for emissions per capita. Australia believes that COP 26 is important because Australia believes multilateralism is important in solving the problems of climate change.
Our nation has struggled in many ways environmentally but our renewable energy policies are quite shocking. Why is Australia so behind the international standard when it comes to converting to renewable energy? This is a question that many Australians would have been asking themselves as of late. Well there is one answer to this question: the fossil fuels and mining industry has Australian economics in a death grip. And it doesn’t look like they are going to agree to let go anytime soon. If you were to look up the top ten richest people in Australia, Gina Rheinhart, Andrew Twiggy Forrest and Clive Palmer would all come up (Gina is the richest in Australia, Twiggy is second and Clive is seventh). So to put that into context for a second, thirty percent of the richest and most influential people in Australia got there through mining and fossil fuels. Gina Reinhart is also friends with Rupert Murdoch who happens to own around sixty percent of all Australian media. This is a dangerous combination as this is probably one of the most powerful friendships in Australia. When the facts are presented to you like this suddenly the question becomes super easy to answer. The reason Australia is so far behind on converting to renewable energy is because the most powerful and influential people simply don’t want us to.
However, we have been collaborating with some developing countries throughout the pandemic and climate change has always been a topic of discussion. There is a topic that we have been asking ourselves: Why do developing nations care more about climate change than developed ones? Well there is one simple answer to this question, they are the ones that are, and are going to be, most impacted by climate change. In places like Brazil and Fiji that are already experiencing more extreme weather patterns due to climate change, people are starting to take greater action. The difference between a place like Fiji and Australia can be linked back to the annual GDP of both countries. Australia has an annual GDP of 1.379 trillion while Fiji has an annual GDP of a mere 5.4 billion. Now you may be asking how GDP relates to climate change, well I’ll tell you. You need money for things like good sturdy hurricane-proof houses and insurance, that is money that more than some Fijians clearly don’t have. These countries can’t afford to protect themselves from extreme weather like other more developed countries can. Hence why they have resolved to solve the issue rather than try to live with it. Honestly regardless of country, wealth, and other things, this is a mentality that we all should adopt.
Climate change is connected to social justice due to the effects of climate change on homeless and poor people. Less fortunate citizens of any country could be affected by climate change significantly more than a more wealthy citizen. Even though It will affect us all in the end.
As we know climate change is now responsible for a lot of extreme weather such as the Australian and Californian wildfires and global droughts; however, it doesn’t just stop there. Studies also show that climate change can also be responsible for hurricanes showing that increases in greenhouse gases and decreases in air pollution have contributed to increases in Atlantic hurricane activity since 1970. Now this isn’t a problem for richer residents who just bunker up in their mansions, but for homeless people and others who don’t have a decent place to shelter, this could be devastating. Likewise with scenarios such as heat waves. Climate change is a social injustice because it affects less fortunate citizens millions of times more than wealthier citizens.
This is why I think it is very necessary to have the Kyoto Protocol in relation to developing countries. The protocol recognises that developing countries such as Chad wouldn’t produce anywhere near the same amount of emissions as the United States. The reason this is so important is because a developing country shouldn’t have to take the same action and sacrifice the same resources that they rely on to do the same as a country that can really afford to do so. In America running something such as a food warehouse on green energy is just a question of will whereas if a developing country was forced to go green and a warehouse full of food was spoiled, thousands could starve. The Kyoto protocol prevents situations like this from happening.
However, as grim as some of these statistics are, the fight is long from over. A very relieving fact is that most climate activists are the leaders of tomorrow. Also we are all attending this conference are we not? And as United Nations chief António Guterres stated “climate change knows no borders”. So let’s come together as individuals, states, nations, and as citizens of this globe and stop this.
Alex Mcintyre, Above Entry 9, speaking as the Prime Minister of Australia
Preeti Maharaj, Climate Change: A Global Crisis Teacher
Guilty or Not Guilty
In this class for our first Major Assessment Task in Semester 2, we looked at the age of criminal responsibility in Australia and students were asked: Should the age of criminal responsibility in Australia be changed?
I think that the age of criminal responsibility in Australia should be changed because 10 years old is the criminal age of responsibility. A child being labelled a criminal is not a justice system working it is a society failing its youngest members. Anyone aged between 10-18 can end up in a watch house in Queensland. A Watch House is a place where people are put on temporary arrest. The maximum you should be held in a Watch House is 48 hours. Many of the inmates have been in there for 6 days some for months and they are not convicted of crimes. While these children are in the Watch Houses they experience increasing amounts of physical neglect and emotional neglect, these children have never felt safe. This is a traumatic experience for an adult so imagine the impact for a 10-year-old child.
I also think that the age of criminal responsibility in Australia should be changed because in Queensland there is no human rights bill. There is no support system for children coming out of prison or even a program to stop them from reoffending. Without any help for ex-prisoners, “all we are doing is punishing their suffering.” When the cells are full in the Watch Houses, the inmates are flown south to Brisbane from Queensland which is almost 200 kilometres away. Not only are these prisoners stripped of their rights but they are being flown far distances away from everything they know. Some of the children in imprisonment have even experienced the horrors of isolation. There was a teen held in isolation for 23 days. To communicate with them you must kneel on the ground to communicate through a small hole. Isolation is extremely humanising for adults. Imagine what it would be like for kids? I think that the honest way that this treatment is affecting these children is unimaginable. The effects of the COVID lockdowns in Australia had a huge toll on our communities. The impact on these children is ten times worse because of the dehumanising treatment that they have to endure. This is an extreme failure on behalf of our society. How did we let this happen? Why are 10 year olds being held with the most dangerous people in Australia?
Molly Short, Above Entry 8
Preeti Maharaj, Guilty or Not Guilty Teacher
History and Politics
For their Major Assessment Task 2 this semester, students in History and Politics investigated a conflict in history in the 20th century. They were required to answer the question: What is a proxy war?
The conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo is significant in relation to the Cold War because it demonstrates how the USA and the USSR fought despite never attacking each other directly. When Lumumba was the first elected prime minister of Congo, Belgium (the DRC’s colonisers) and the United States disapproved of his anti-colonialist beliefs, whilst Lumumba was receiving military aid from the USSR. This shows how the US and the Soviets indirectly fought by trying to impose their ideology onto a foreign state.
A proxy war is a war indirectly fought between two powers by backing opposing sides in a conflict that is often in the form of a civil war. In 1960, Patrice Lumumba became the first elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and he held anti-colonialist beliefs, of which the Belgium-controlled army disapproved. The military’s disapproval led to Lumumba requesting Soviet aid. The United States became concerned about the DRC’s resources, so they held a coup to overthrow Lumumba and replaced him with Joseph Mobutu, a dictatorial capitalist. This shows how the US and the USSR both backed opposing sides in a civil conflict, to reflect and impose their own beliefs on a state such as (but not limited to) the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Marta Giudici, Above Entry 10
For Major Assessment Task 3, this semester, students in History and Politics investigated the role of power in the 21st century by examining how power has operated and currently and operates on the global politics arena. They were required to answer the question: What criticisms does Sashi Tharoor make about colonisation, power, poverty and the Industrial Revolution?
The first criticism Sashi Tharoor presents about colonisation, power, poverty and the Industrial Revolution is how much of the history of British colonisation of India is untold. Despite the narrative that India gained infrastructure, education, and systems during British colonisation. Shashi Tharoor argues that this is a falsehood arguing that the “British “reduced [India] to a poster child for third world poverty.” I believe Sashi Tharoor’s opinions regarding British exploitation of India are both valid and correct. He argues that India missed the bus to the industrial revolution “because they threw us under it.” An example of this was his response to a question directed towards him regarding what India gained during British colonisation. He first presents context and his opinion to the audience about the discussion:
“The British came to one of the richest countries in the world… and over two hundred years of exploitation, depredation, loot, and destruction reduced it to a poster child for third world poverty.”
Directly after this, he presents numerous examples as to why this is so, “90 percent of the population living below the poverty line… a literacy rate below 17% and a life expectancy of 27.” To sum up, I agree with him.
Bonita Rathgen, Above Entry 8
Preeti Maharaj, History and Politics Teacher
Interested in technological innovations?
Over three days, Years 9-10 students will work in teams to explore the social, economic and environmental implications behind technological innovations and projects around the world. The challenge is centered around a range of engaging hands-on and virtual activities to show students the importance of teamwork, communication and community consultation in problem solving.
The Innovation Challenge is hosted virtually, by the Engineers Without Borders University of Melbourne Chapter and is run by volunteers studying a variety of disciplines at different levels. Participants will get the chance to interact with current university students and gain an understanding of day-to-day university life, subjects and course pathways.
At the completion of the main challenge, students will present their team’s proposal to a panel of judges. After assessing all submissions and providing valuable feedback, the top three projects will be awarded prizes.
The challenge will begin 10am Friday 26 November 2021 and will run until 5pm Sunday 28 November 2021. There are no costs associated with this year’s program.
If you’re interested in more details please email Ms Berkovich or sign up here – https://forms.gle/KTz2y8esRPfVNLu79
Year 12 Women in STEM: Software Engineering Internship 2022 at Stile
Are you good at collecting, organising, and finding patterns in information? Do you like science or solving puzzles? Are you curious about the way apps work and interested in learning how to build them? Have you considered taking a gap year in 2022? What if you used it to learn to code and got paid to do it?
More info here: https://stileeducation.com/jobs/software-internship-2022/
Eligibility and selection criteria
- You’re a young woman or non-binary person finishing school in 2021 or have graduated from school in the last 24 months.
- You will have completed some Year 12 Maths
- You can demonstrate an interest in science, maths, education, or something equivalent. Do you have a side project you’re working on? Do you tutor your friends? Do you have any other STEM interests?
- You’ll be 18 by 31 March 2022.
- Prior experience with code isn’t necessary, but you’re keen to learn! That said, we’d love to hear about any previous coding projects you’ve done.
- You live in Melbourne and will be able to commute into the Stile offices. Alternatively, you are in regional Victoria or interstate and would be willing to relocate.
- We will have a strong bias towards applicants from socially disadvantaged or minority groups.
Applications close on 20 November
Miriam Berkovich, Science Teaching and Learning Leader
MAC Parents & Friends
The next MAC Parents & Friends Association’s meeting is Monday 8 November at 6.00 pm. Contact the MAC Parents and Friends to stay in contact with them about what the format will be: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are thrilled to announce the return of the Bunnings Sausage Sizzle at West Footscray Bunnings on Sunday 5 December! Please let us know if you are available to help out. Shifts are 2 hours running on the hour from 8.00 am until 4.30 pm.
Bunnings run a COVID-Safe BBQ, with the option of four roles: Greeter, Order, Cook and Collect. I will send you the role description when you nominate a role.
You must be double vaxed to participate in the event and over 15 years of age.
It would be lovely to see some older students join us too.
Join the MAC Parents and Friends conversation over on the PFA Facebook Group
Second-Hand Uniform Shop
Clare Mendes (shop volunteer), MAC Parents & Friends
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.