Weekly Reflection

I am pleased to join St Francis Catholic College in 2024 as the new Director of Faith and Mission. I am passionate about all things faith-related, Franciscan and social justice, and I feel privileged to be a part of this vibrant community.

One of our main goals this year will be to interweave the Franciscan charism more vividly throughout the College. The Mission Integration Team will work hard to make this a priority in 2024 and I invite you to reach out if you have any ideas. You can read more about this new team here.

2024 College Franciscan Theme

Last year, more than 600 responses were gathered from the College community regarding our theme for 2024.

An overwhelming majority chose the quote below by our patron St Francis.

A special thanks to our Director of Community Relations, Amy Rowley, who did a wonderful job designing our theme banner, which will be hung at our liturgies, reflections, and other events throughout the year.

This year's theme can be seen through several lenses to understand what is “impossible”. Each week for the next few weeks, I will delve into the different lenses we could use to unpack our theme.

When discussing the potential imagery, we agreed on a mountain. Mountains are the perfect metaphor – they are daunting and unpredictable and can push us to our limits.

Climbing your own metaphorical mountain (the impossible) is imperative for your own growth and for the world as a whole. I look forward to reflecting on this further with you this year.

Rachel Prince

Director of Faith and Mission

From the Principal

Welcome back to the 2024 school year. It was wonderful to meet and greet our new Year 7 students at both campuses and to see their enthusiasm for starting a new school year. My initial observation is that they have settled into high school routines well.

I visited our Year 12 students on Thursday at Rutherford Park Country Retreat. They were wholeheartedly engaged in the reflections and have established clear goals for themselves over the next twelve months. We wish them well in their final year at the College. You can read more about their activities on retreat here.

Thank you to all families attending our house welcome evenings this week. This is an opportunity to connect with your child's learning environment and continue to get to know teachers and House Leaders.

In our new house structure, students will ideally stay under the care of one house leader and mentor from Year 7 through Year 12.

Student absences

The number of emails received notifying of student absence seems to have risen already this year.

I appreciate that family circumstances sometimes dictate that a student's absence is unavoidable. However, I would urge parents to make every effort to ensure students are consistently present at school.

The extract below from the Victorian Government Attendance Policy highlights that every day at school matters.

Every Day Counts – Secondary School Attendance

Going to school every day is the single most important part of your teenager’s education. Students learn new things at school every day – missing school puts them behind.

We all want our students to get a great education, and the building blocks for a great education begin with students coming to school every day. Students develop good habits by going to school every day – habits that are necessary to succeed after school, whether in the workplace or further study. Missing school can have a big impact on students academically and socially. It can affect their test results, including VCE & VCEVM, and, just as importantly, it can affect their relationships with other students, and lead to social isolation.

There is no safe number of days for missing school – each day a student misses puts them behind and can affect their educational outcomes. Each missed day is associated with falling behind in subject topics and assessment tasks, leads to fewer subject choices and may impact on achievement in years 11 and 12 and post-school pathways.

In Victoria school is compulsory for children and young people aged 6 – 17 years

Family holidays: it's vital that holidays are planned during school holidays where possible, and not during the term. If you are planning to go on holiday during term time, teachers can not be expected to design a separate set of materials. It is up to the students to communicate with staff and to ensure they remain up to date.

Being away from school for one day a fortnight equals missing 1.5 years over 13 years of school.

This year, we will further develop our Franciscan charism and begin to unpack what it means to be a Franciscan school. We begin 2024 with the theme: “Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible”.

Let's begin this year by supporting our students' attendance at school every day. This way, we will soon be doing “the impossible”.

Intercultural connections

The Dinka Ethnic Language School Victoria, hosted at our Melton Campus, used Australia Day to reflect and connect with the local Indigenous community.

Members of the Dinka school community were recognised with certificates of appreciation for their voluntary work supporting the development of language and community.

Members of the Wurundjeri council conducted a smoking ceremony and welcome to country. This was an opportunity for valuable and continued intercultural connection and education between Victoria's South Sudanese and Aboriginal communities.

The day was used to reflect on belonging and connection to Australian society.

For more information or enrolments for the Dinka Ethnic Language School of Victoria, contact Principal Augustino Makuc Deng via email at makucdeng@live.com.au

Marlene Jorgensen


Looking Ahead - Melton Campus Students

Dates to remember

Thursday 8 February

House Welcome Evening, 6pm

Tuesday 13 FebruaryParents and Friends meeting
Wednesday 14 FebruaryYear 12 Information Night, 7pm (online)

Friday 16 February

Campus Opening Mass - full academic uniform required
Monday 19 FebruarySibling and catch-up photo day
Thursday 22 FebruaryCampus Swimming Carnival 

Looking Ahead - Cobblebank Campus Students

Dates to remember
Tuesday 6 FebruaryHouse Welcome Evening, 6pm
Tuesday 13 FebruaryCampus photo day - full academic uniform required
Parents and Friends meeting (at Melton Campus)

Friday 23 February

Campus Swimming Carnival

From the Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching

Six Year 12 students participated in the Australian Catholic University (ACU) Uni Step-Up program during the January school holidays. Completion of the two units of the program contributes to their VCE program.

Upon successfully completing both units, students will receive an unconditional offer for their nominated pathway. The results achieved are a fantastic reflection of our students' hard work.

For more information about the program visit the ACU website.

ACER-PAT Testing

Year 7 students will participate in ACER-PAT testing for Reading and Mathematics during their English and Mathematics classes this week.

The data will be used to differentiate and support our students learning in the classroom.


NAPLAN tests for Year 7 and Year 9 students will be held between 13 and 22 March. Please be aware of these dates when booking outside appointments for your child.

Catch-ups occur for students unable to attend on a scheduled testing day. More details will be sent out closer to the test period.


Being an independent learner at home allows students to think critically, analyse their learning and establish and maintain study habits while reflecting on the content and skills covered in class.

To help families support their child’s learning, the College has a Home Study Policy available on our website.

We recommend the following time be allocated to homework:

Year 7 - 45 minutes

Year 8 - 60 minutes

Year 9 - 75 minutes

Year 10 - 90 minutes

Year 11 - 120 to 150 minutes

Year 12 - 150 to 180 minutes

Year 7 students will not receive homework for the first few weeks of Term 1 to allow them to settle into the secondary school routine.

If you have a concern about your child’s progress or learning, please contact their subject teacher or Mentor.

Joanne Holmes

Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching

From the Deputy Principal Student Wellbeing – Melton Campus

The start of a new year brings opportunities for developing friendships, commencing new subjects, and building on the learning from the previous year.

The chatter of excited voices at the end of last week, of students regrouping and organising themselves in preparation for their classes, was wonderful to hear. Seeing many of our senior students supporting our new Year 7s in finding classrooms or assisting with opening their locks was also pleasing.

Last week our students worked in Mentor Groups and had time together, with their House Mentor, going through their diaries, receiving their new Yondr pouch and organising lockers. House assemblies discussed expectations for Term 1 and some of the activities in the weeks ahead.

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce the 2024 Melton Campus Wellbeing Team:

Anthony House – Rebecca Toms

Bakhita House – Lucas McLennan

Bernard House – Jo Clinton

Catherine House - Kath Jones

Dominic House – Loretta Kalms

Glowrey House – Nathan Hunter-Gerber

Lawrence House – Jordan Reithofer

MacKillop House – Bianca Mifsud

Director of Student Wellbeing – Meryem McLeod

Deputy Principal Student Wellbeing – Cheryl Bullen

This year, we have four psychologists:

Senior Psychologist Team Leader – Jessica Mitsch

Psychologist – Sarah Abbas

Psychologist – Amber Lawrence

Psychologist – Rachel Agius

If you would like to discuss your child’s education, please contact their House Mentor. They are your first point of contact with the College and will be able to assist you with any questions you may have.

We look forward to seeing you all families at the House Welcome Evening this Thursday. It is an opportunity to meet your child’s House Leader, House Mentor, and subject teachers. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have for the year ahead.

We look forward to working closely in partnership with all our families to develop the best and most productive learning environment for all our students.

Cheryl Bullen

Deputy Principal Student Wellbeing - Melton Campus

From the Deputy Principal – Head of Cobblebank Campus

It was with excitement that we welcomed our second cohort of students to the Cobblebank Campus last Wednesday.

Year 7 students spent the day making new connections and familiarising themselves with the new routines and procedures of secondary school.

On Thursday, our Year 8 students returned and quickly settled back into school. They were a great support for our Year 7 students. Seeing the increased activity around the campus has been wonderful, with an extra 220 on-site this year. We look forward to a year filled with learning, growth, service to others and new experiences.

We encourage all students to try new activities, expand friendship groups and actively participate both in their learning and outside the classroom.

New Staff

We warmly welcome staff who have joined us at Cobblebank Campus this year:

Angelica Bautista, Cassi Bottrell, Lucy Cassar, Peter Commisso, Jye Craggill, Eva Davoli, Blake Ivory, Sophie Jewell, John Kavanagh, Natalie Malle, Lauren Marett, John Marshall and Jessica Meegama.

School Photos

Annual school photos including sibling photos will be taken by Arthur Reed Photos on Tuesday 13 February.

There is no need to return any forms or money to school.

Unique image codes will be issued to all students on or after photo day so families can register online to view images when they become available in the webshop.

Registration is simple; just follow the three simple steps on your child’s personalised flyer once you receive it and remember to add the codes for all your children attending the school.

When images are ready to view and in the webshop, all parents who have registered will be notified by SMS and email.

Once registered, please wait for notification that 2024 images are online to view before making your purchase.

Kerrie-Ann Matthews

Deputy Principal - Head of Cobblebank Campus

Mission Integration Team Strategic Planning

Last week, the Mission Integration Team consisting of our Liturgy Coordinators Jonathan Antony (Cobblebank) and Andrew Sciberras (Melton), Social Justice Coordinators Trish Griffin (Melton) and Charlee Keating (Cobblebank) and I, joined with our Deputy Principal Learning and Teaching Joanne Holmes and Lecturer of Theology at Australian Catholic University, Teresa Brown to unpack our Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) Survey data.

This data collected from staff, students and parents is invaluable in helping the College identify the type of Catholic school experienced by our community.

The aim of our strategic planning session was to help us understand how we can become more recontextualised, dialogical, and post-critical, and we are very excited to explore this over the coming years.

Rachel Prince

Director of Faith and Mission

Young Citizen of the Year – Ophelia Fernando

We’re proud to share that one of our 2023 graduates, Ophelia Fernando, was awarded the Young Citizen of the Year award by Moorabool Shire Council during its Australia Day Awards and Citizenship Ceremony last month.

Ophelia was nominated for her unwavering dedication and tireless community service through St John Ambulance, her commitment to social justice at the College and her contributions to youth development within Moorabool.

Ophelia joined the St John’s Youth Program in 2019 and has become a leader within the program. She demonstrates integrity, compassion and empathy in her interactions with others and has volunteered more than 150 hours providing first aid services at community events, putting into practice the skills learned through her training.

During her years at SFCC, Ophelia was involved in a range of leadership teams and extra-curricular groups including the Social Justice Team and Student Representative Council. She also helped establish the first Debating Team in 2021.

Ophelia has also been an integral part of the Moorabool Shire Council Youth Action Group, completing various projects and grant applications.

Year 12 Retreat

Last week, Year 12 students participated in a retreat to Rutherford Park in Blampied.

This faith retreat provided a time to look inward and connect with God.

We were privileged to have special guest Juliet Talarico with us to facilitate a session to deepen our connection with Mother Earth.

St Francis of Assisi could be viewed as the original Earth Day advocate. Not only did he care for the poor and sick, but he preached multiple sermons on animals and wanted all creatures on Earth, including humans, to be treated as equals under God.

Juliet helped us explore our ecological identity and eco-spirituality and explore actions that the College could take for justice.

During the retreat, students also had opportunities for prayer and reflection. During the final reflection, they privately identified something they wanted to let go of and offer to God.

During this prayer session, students were able to call upon the sacredness within and consider what they need from God to help sustain them on their Year 12 journey.

Rachel Prince

Director of Faith and Mission

Parents and Friends Meeting

Families are welcome and encouraged to become involved in the College community through the Parents and Friends Association.

The Association provides an opportunity to meet other families, hear about what is going on at the College and have a say in new initiatives. Each meeting includes a short presentation from a College staff member.

Our first meeting for 2024 will be held on Tuesday 13 February from 7pm at the Melton Campus.

All formal positions will be open and appointed on the night.

To express interest in joining the meeting, please email arowley@sfcc.vic.edu.au.

Amy Rowley

Director of Community Relations

Road Safety – Cobblebank Campus

Cobblebank Campus families are reminded to take extra care when dropping off and picking up their children on Adelong Boulevard, especially with the significant increase in traffic this year.

We have opened the College for the safe drop off and pick up of students and encourage you to drive slowly and carefully around the campus at all times.

If you pick up your child on Adelong Blvd, please use the parking bays available.

The street is busy before and after school as students move to and from vehicles. Stopping on the road or illegally, allowing your child to step out of the car and onto the road or dart out between cars is dangerous and puts the safety of all pedestrians and motorists at risk.

We have been informed that Melton Police will be patrolling the area.

Drop-off and pick-up zone

Vehicles can enter the school grounds to access the designated pick-up and drop-off zone.

You can enter from the small section of Bridge Road that can be accessed via Adelong Blvd.

Please follow staff directions when dropping off and collecting students and move through the zone at a walking pace.

Vehicle access opens at 8.10am and closes at 8.40am, then reopens from 3pm to 3.30pm.

Please refer to the attached map for the location of the pick-up and drop-off zone and follow the guidelines below.

  • Do not leave your vehicle.
  • Children should travel with bags in the car (not in the boot).
  • To assist with traffic flow, drivers should remain in the car while children get in and out. If you need to get out of the car, please park in Adelong Blvd.
  • Pick-up: If your child is not in the designated pick-up zone when you arrive, you must leave immediately and re-enter the zone.
  • Please ensure children get in or out of the vehicle on the kerb side.
  • Stay in sequence: drop off or pick up your child close to the top of the zone, as far forward as possible. This allows vehicles following you to enter the zone in an orderly manner.
  • Observe traffic when entering or leaving the zone. Use your indicator to advise when moving into or out of the zone.
  • No parking is permitted on the school grounds.

Road Safety – Melton Campus

As roadworks continue on Bulmans Road in front of the College, families are reminded to take extra care travelling through the area.

Streets surrounding the campus (both behind and opposite) are busy before and after school as students move to and from vehicles.

Stopping on the road illegally or allowing your child to step out of the car and onto the road or dart out between cars is dangerous and puts the safety of all pedestrians and motorists at risk.

Please abide by all traffic safety signs and speed limits for your safety and that of all pedestrians, construction workers, and road users.

We ask that families refrain from dropping off students on Sovereign Boulevard due to the high volume of traffic on this road. There is a temporary car park on Bulmans Road, just past Happy Feet Childcare Centre (see map below) for student drop-offs and parking.

The footpath at the front of the school is open so students can enter the campus at the front gate.

Camps Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF)

A reminder to families who have a valid Centrelink concession card that you must complete a CSEF application form by 27 June 2024.

If you applied for and received CSEF at the College last year, your application will be rolled over, and there is no need to reapply.

To submit your application, please complete the form below and email it, along with a copy of your current concession card to azammit@sfcc.vic.edu.au

Melton Campus House Welcome Evening

You are invited to our annual House Welcome Evening at the Melton Campus this Thursday 8 February from 6pm.

The evening has been organised to welcome all our families at the beginning of the new school year. It will help you build a positive partnership with your child’s House Mentor and House Leader and is an opportunity to get to know students and families in your child’s mentor group.

All families, especially those with children in Year 7, are encouraged to attend.

Please enter the College through Gate 11 on Sovereign Boulevard and proceed to the oval (weather permitting) for a barbecue. Please use the parking at the front of Happy Feet Early Learning Centre on Bulmans Road and avoid parking on Sovereign Boulevard.

6.30pm – Welcome and introduction by College Captains and Principal Marlene Jorgensen. Introduction of House Leaders by Deputy Principal Student Wellbeing Cheryl Bullen.

7pm – Meet your Mentor. Families move to House Mentor Group rooms for a short information session and chat with their House Mentors.

Please click on the link below to confirm your attendance.

House Welcome RSVP

Scholastic Book Club

The College is participating in the Scholastic Book Club this year.

Up to twice a term during the school year, we will send home a club catalogue with a different selection of books for all ages.

It is easy to order. The Book Club LOOP platform for parents allows you to pay by credit card. Your child’s order is submitted directly to the school and the books will be delivered to class.

You can place your child’s order at scholastic.com.au/LOOP or by downloading the LOOP app from the App Store or Google Play.

Owning your books is something special! I hope that you will encourage your child to order books this year. Each order helps earn free books and teaching materials for our classroom however there is never any obligation to order.

What better way to encourage reading than to allow children to choose the books they want to read!

SFCC Library Team

Melton Campus Canteen

We are excited to be back for 2024!

With the new timetable our lunch service will be at 11.25am, which means our cut-off time for lunch orders will now be 9am via the Flexischools app or students can visit the canteen to place their order before school starts.

We accept cash, card or contactless payments. Phone payments are not accepted after the first school bell.

We have partnered with Flexischools to allow parents and students a more convenient way to order and pay online.

Simply download the Flexischools app from the Apple or Google stores and follow the prompts to create an account. Once set up, click Order Food to see the online menu, place your order, and pay.

Orders can be placed at any time (up until 9am on the day you require your order).

There are some new items on our menu, which students can view on Simon. A copy is also available below.

Simon Everywhere App

Simon Everywhere puts permission requests for excursions, emails and school reports at your fingertips.

The app gives you access to PAM, the College online parent portal and allows you to:

  • give permission for excursions
  • log student absences
  • receive notifications from the College
  • sign in without having to enter your username and password each time
  • access your child’s reports, grades and attendance
  • update medical information.

Simon Everywhere can be downloaded from the Apple Store or the Google Play store. Click here to watch our video guide or see below for instructions.

Please email itsupport@sfcc.vic.edu.au if you require further information or assistance.

Community Notices

Western Bulldogs Youth Leadership Project

The Western Bulldogs Community Foundation’s Youth Leadership Project is returning to Melton in 2024, with applications now open.

This FREE program, led by the Western Bulldogs Community Foundation offering unique opportunities for young people aged 14-16 to build confidence, make new friends and develop skills that will enable them to become leaders in their community.

The 10-session program consists of sessions involving opportunities to develop a range of life skills and connections and culminated in a ‘social impact’ project on a topic of the participant’s choosing.

The program kick starts with a 2-day camp in the April school holidays.

Throughout the 10-sessions, participants learn from experienced leaders in the community who discuss topics including mental health, intercultural understanding, social inclusion, gender equity, education and employment pathways and public speaking.

Due to the popularity of the program, participation is by application only. To find out more, and to start your application scan the QR code below.

School Crossing Supervisor of the Year

Nominations are now open for the School Crossing Supervisor of the Year Award. 

The biennial award acknowledges the dedication of school crossing supervisors who contribute to the safe journey of students to and from school throughout Victoria. 

Click here for more information and to nominate your local crossing supervisor.

Soup Van volunteers wanted

Useful Links

Keep updated with College events, procedures, resources and information via the links below.

PAM – Parent Portal


Parent Handbook

SFCC Careers Website






▲ Back to top