Principal's Report

Welcome to Ashwood High School for 2023 – Safe, Welcoming and Orderly Learning Environment
It is a pleasure leading our school in 2023, a time of hope, excitement and optimism.  We have enjoyed an outstanding start to the year.  The academic program, which commenced on Tuesday 31 January was a positive experience for students and staff. We have inducted 26 new staff members and over 220 students into the school (Year 7 and other levels) this year. It is easy to learn your way on The Path Forward at Ashwood High School.  Students have enjoyed conversing with me in the yard each day, and regularly line up to shake my hand. Our ability to hold assemblies and gatherings of staff, students, and families is certainly worth cherishing.  

Whole School Assembly - Enhancing the Student Culture
Our first Whole School Assembly on Tuesday 14 February set the platform for a positive year. New staff were welcomed into their positions. The School Captains also set the tone, specifically welcoming new Year 7 students to the school. The theme of their presentation was ‘Gratitude, Self-Belief, and Determination’. 

Students from the Class of 2023 were presented with their Year 12 Badges which were first introduced to the school in 2016. The presentation of Year 12 badges is an established tradition and special occasion. The behaviour of students was exemplary.

Staff Professional Learning Conference – Valuing Staff and Building Capacity
The Professional Learning Program for staff, held on Friday 27 and Monday 30 January 2023, was most productive, focusing on the quality of teaching, learning and wellbeing support. The focus of my principal key-note addresses on both days was on Sustaining the Culture of our School.  Day one’s Learning Intention was to ‘get us in the position to be a highly successful team of staff with high levels of goal congruence, role clarity, empathy, engagement, enjoyment and performance results’. Day two’s Learning Intention was to ‘get us into a position to be a highly effective team of teaching and support staff with optimal levels of challenge and support to help staff to learn and perform at their best’. Definitively, staff feel challenged and supported to do their very best. Please refer to the correlation charts below.

The culture of Ashwood High School reflects the complex interaction of the values, attitudes, and behaviours displayed by its members. Staff were asked to write down their thoughts (definitive words) describing the culture of the school. The following words summarise their belief about the culture of our school:

  • Trusting
  • Supportive
  • Passionate
  • Excellence
  • Positive
  • Caring and inclusive
  • Teamwork
  • High expectations

Actual Enrolment and anticipated enrolment for 2024 – Growing Pride and Achievement
The student enrolment increase at Year 7 augurs well for the future of our school. The school’s prediction, below, made in February 2022 was 50 students shy of our actual enrolment in 2023.

School Captains 2023 - Enhancing the Student Culture
As is the tradition at Ashwood High School, the successful applicants for School Captaincy in 2023 were announced at the Year 12 Celebration Day Assembly on Wednesday 19 October 2022. At the time I acknowledged and congratulated all applicants for the quality of their applications, speeches, and interview performances. Each applicant gave a passionate, kind, and inspiring speech and interview and should be commended for their bravery in putting themselves forward. I look forward to supporting and working with our School Captains for 2023.  Congratulations to the following five students Jessica Sterle (School Captain), Sebastian Millan (School Captain), Stephanie Millan (Vice Captain), Isaac Roder (Vice Captain), and Carol Yuan (International Student Captain). These students will serve our school with distinction.

Congratulations and thank you again to the 2022 School Captains – Elizabeth Tziafas, Sam Harvison, Abby Helm, Jake Larking and Anthony Zhu for their outstanding service over 2022.

New Recruits 2023 – Valuing staff and building capacity
At our Staff Learning Conference and recent Whole School Assembly, the following new staff were presented:

The quality of the 2023 draft is outstanding.  Please be mindful that Victoria is experiencing significant workforce supply issues. Ashwood High School students and families are so fortunate to belong to a school that is strategically resourced.

Leading Teacher Portfolios 2023 – Valuing Staff and Building Capacity
The principal’s key-note addresses at the two day Staff Professional Learning Conference included a focus on culture, structure, processes and relationships. Over the course of The Path Forward at Ashwood High School, our school has increased from 1 substantive Assistant Principal with three substantive Leading Teachers, to two substantive Assistant Principals and nine Leading Teacher / Learning Specialists. Considered management of the school’s ongoing growth and sustained success has been evidenced in the strategic planning and allocation of resources to fulfil the vision and goals of the school. Please refer to the graphic image below to obtain an understanding of the leadership positions in place in 2023. I am excited about the next phase of the school’s improvement and the capacity of the leadership team in bringing about improved social and academic outcomes for students. It is my expectation that leaders in the school:

  • align their behaviours and practices with the vision, values, and goals of the school,
  • understand their role and other leaders’ roles
  • be empathic, compassionate, and competent in their role
  • support staff, students, parents, and the broader school community.

Staff Roles and Positions of Responsibility – Valuing Staff and Building Capacity
We are extremely fortunate to be part of a school where staff members want to make a difference.  Each year staff members undertake various positions of leadership and responsibility in addition to their teaching and support roles.

School Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 – Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success
The theme of the last Strategic Plan (2019 -2023) was From Great to Exceptional. The theme of our current Strategic Plan is Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success. The main goals for our current Strategic Plan are as follows:

  • Goal 1: To maximise achievement for all students
  • Goal 2: To enhance student agency in their learning
  • Goal 3: To improve student wellbeing and holistic learning growth for all students.

At the end of 2022 it was declared that many of the school’s earlier set targets had been surpassed, which was an incredible achievement for our school community, considering that two of the three years were remote due to the global pandemic.  I would like to congratulate our dedicated staff, aspirational students, and supportive parents for this incredible result.  The Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 projects an exciting period of ‘ongoing growth and sustained success’. I would also like to acknowledge the work of school councillors who participated in the School Review process in Term 2, 2022 and contributed to the School Council Strategic Planning Meeting that was held on Tuesday 23 August 2022. The Strategic Planning Meeting (as an additional meeting) was dedicated to developing a shared understanding through consultation, enhancing stakeholder voice and input. As Executive Principal, I am very grateful for the input of School Councillors, the quality of the inquiry and quest for knowledge and understanding.  As Principal, I am confident and excited about the next phase of The Path Forward at Ashwood High School.

Framework for Improving Student Outcomes - FISO 2.0 –  GREAT to Exemplary
It is important, for our shared understanding, that I reiterate the 5 core elements that together realise the goals of excellence and equity via a continuous improvement framework used in all Victorian government schools. The Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO 2.0) is an evidence-based framework designed to support schools to focus their improvement efforts on practices that have the greatest impact on outcomes. The principles underpinning FISO 2.0 have been explained and discussed with Council members. The School Review process of 2022 and the Strategic Plan 2023-2026 were informed by the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes.

Embedding the Mini-School Structure - Safe and Orderly Learning Environment – Enhancing the Student Culture and Growing Pride and Achievement
Our Mini-School Structure, designed in 2018, has maintained a safe and orderly learning environment for students and allowed us to better manage the increased student enrolment.  When I designed the School Colours badges which were introduced in 2017, separating badges into the Mini Schools, I had been planning this structure for the future growth of the school. The implementation of the two Mini-Schools was documented in the School Review and Strategic Plan of 2018 (which were both published in July 2018). This planning was expressed in the Mini-School Manifesto, budgeting, and resourcing. I am extremely pleased with the implementation of the Mini-School structure catering for the school’s enormous enrolment growth and stages of student learning.

Whole School Approach to Wellbeing – Enhancing the Student Culture
Work has commenced on developing a Whole School Approach to Wellbeing. Our school has a creative orientation instilling purpose, awareness, and insight. The following images encapsulate the philosophy and framework underpinning our school’s whole school approach to wellbeing.

Victorian Certificate of Education - VCE – Vocational Major (VM) – Growing Pride and Achievement
The Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is Victoria’s senior secondary qualification. It opens pathways to university, higher-level TAFE or VET certificate courses, apprenticeships, traineeships, and the workforce.

The VCE has expanded to include the Vocational Major, meaning students can study a new 2-year vocational and applied learning program within the VCE. This was reported and discussed at Education Subcommittee and School Council meetings in 2022. The VCE-VM develops personal and practical life skills. It will help to prepare students for apprenticeships, traineeships, further education and training, university (through alternative entry programs) and employment.

Ashwood High School and Parents & Friends Network – Year 7 Family Barbecue  – Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement
Thank you to the members of the Parents and Friends Network (PFN), who catered for the school’s Year 7 Welcome Barbecue, which was held at the school on Tuesday 14 February, 2023. Over 450 people attended this event, and plenty of sausages were consumed. The Ashwood High School PFN is highly valued by the school and its community.  The PFN is made up of volunteer parents who work to support the school, and students / families and in doing so organise special events, both inside and outside of school grounds.

School Musical Production 2023 - ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’
The 2023 School Musical Production, ‘The Wizard of Oz’, is in full swing with auditions for leads, chorus and dance completed. Congratulations to Ms Michelle Leanne, School Musical Production Manager and her dedicated team for their support of our wonderful students. 

Student Leadership Profile 2023 - Enhancing the Student Culture
Student leadership, voice and agency was part of Goal 2 in the previous Strategic Plan (2019-2022) and continues to be an important part of the Vision of the school. Developed in 2019 and implemented in 2021, our Student Leadership Profile has enabled our school community to deliver on its commitment to enhancing student leadership, engagement, and achievement.  A Prefect Investiture was held Thursday 2 March 2023, at which 59 students were officially appointed to these positions. Goal 2 of our new Strategic Plan 2023-2026 highlights the importance of student voice, inclusion and agency and extends on the significant work of the previous Strategic Plan.

Co-curricular Program 2023 - Enhancing the Student Culture
The Year 12 Study Advance, held at Deakin University, and Year 11 Queenscliff Camp were positive experiences for students and staff. I enjoyed a wonderful dinner with Year 12 students on Monday 6 February 2023 which was a great start to Year 12 students’ commencement program. The commitment of Ashwood High School staff towards the holistic development of each child is outstanding. The International Student Program Lunar New Year Celebration is an important part of celebrating our culture of diversity and inclusivity at Ashwood High School. A luncheon, held on Thursday 16 February 2023 was a great success. Although we are only in the fifth week of the school year, many other co-curricular programs have been running since the start of the school year, including:

  • Debating Club
  • Newsletter Club
  • Interact Club
  • Art Club
  • Sustainability Club
  • Performing Arts Club
  • A-Z Club
  • Chess Club
  • Maths Club

Year 7 Camp - Enhancing the Student Culture
The Year 7 Camp in Kinglake was a positive experience for all students and staff. The school became aware of a grassfire 30kms north of the camp and after liaising with the Department and Kinglake Forest Adventures as well as the CFA it was declared that the area was safe, as the wind was travelling in the opposite direction.  In the spirit of clear, consultative and transparent communication, the following text message was sent to all parents and carers of students attending the camp:

Dear Families, as you may be aware and as reported in the media there is a grassfire in Flowerdale, 30kms north of Kinglake travelling in a north direction away from the Yr 7 camp. The school is in close contact with the Dept of Ed, CFA, and Kinglake Forest Adventures.  We will continue to monitor conditions. It is expected that students will return to school by bus tomorrow, as planned. Please note that it is not necessary to call the camp, your children are safe.  Thank you. Dr Brett Moore, Principal.

Thank you to Harriet Cooper, Emma Doorley, Lenore Twist, Tom Grbac, Nick McMahon, James Boarotto, Zoe Schinina, Samuel Bugeja, Marnie Edmiston, Delphine Marie, Vivian Chen, Nicholas Gale, Jordyn Bracegirdle, Mia Cane, Matthew Dexter, Michelle Leane, Brian Lanigan and two of our wonderful pre-service teachers for attending this camp.

Year 11 Camp – Enhancing the Student Culture
The Year 11 Camp at the YMCA in Queenscliff was a three day, two night camp preparing students for their VCE journey.  Students engaged in activities that developed their teamwork, resilience as well as personal and social skills. Students enjoyed canoeing, cycling and boogie boarding in the Queenscliff area.  Thanks to John Sheehan, Stephanie Richards, Alistair Rayner, Ruby Cameron, Matthew Dexter, Michelle Leane, James Boarotto, Edward Williams, Sachael Miller and Zoe Schinina for attending this wonderful camp.

Afterschool Homework Study Hall Program – Years 7 – 10 – Growing Pride and Achievement
Ashwood High School will continue to offer a scheduled afterschool homework program run by teachers in the Educational Resource Centre; two afternoons per week (Monday and Thursdays) 3:15pm – 4:15pm. This is an outstanding offering for students and families. Students can get help in Maths / Science and English / Humanities / Languages.

Ashwood Revealed Campaign – 2023 – School of First Choice and School of High Trust
A plan has been developed for our Ashwood Revealed Campaign for 2023. The Ashwood Revealed Campaign will involve three main elements:

  • Weekly Tours of Ashwood High School by the Principal held during Term 1.
  • Primary School Visits – Ashwood High School Roadshow – Meg McLellan / Harriet Cooper and student ambassadors
  • Ashwood High School – Ashwood Revealed (Open Day & Night) Wednesday 3 May 2023.

School Council 2023 Elections – Sound Governance – School of First Choice
As the Executive of School Council, thank you to parent, student and staff members for their commitment to sound governance of Ashwood High School and realising the Vision and ‘The Path Forward’ at Ashwood High School. The following table reflects constituency and terms prior to the 2023 election process:

2023 School Council Elections – Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement
Nominations closed for School Council on Monday 13 February 2023. We have received the correct amount of nominations for staff, and parent nominations for three vacancies and an election is not required.  Thank you to Dean Hurlston and Rachel Shankland for their service on School Council throughout their terms.

2023 School Council
Congratulations to the following new and renominated members of School Council in 2023:

Parent Members:

  • Cory Pearce parent of Sasha Pearce, Year 12 (renominated)
  • Lisa Gillespie parent of Alyssa Pettingill, Year 10 (renominated)
  • Colin Lillywhite parent of Ava Lillywhite, Year 10 and Christopher Lillywhite in Year 8 (new member)

DET Members:

  • Meg McLellan
  • Sarah Reynolds

Student Members:

  • Sebastian Millan
  • Jessica Sterle.

New and renominated members will join Council Members Nicki Dear, Philip Connell and Graham Hawtin.  I look forward to our Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 29 March 2023.

Overseas Travel – International Student Recruitment to Vietnam and Cambodia The Education State – ‘The Jewel of the East’
I visited Cambodia and Vietnam, representing the Department, recruiting international students (Tuesday 15 November 2022 – Friday 25 November 2022).  This was a whirlwind tour, with meetings and International Fairs held every day, including weekends. The objective was to diversify the international enrolment at Ashwood High School and the Department of Education as well as meeting with our international student families in their home country.  The interest in our school was very high, with some families travelling three hours or more to meet and speak with me.

Book Publication and Conference Symposium Presentation – Valuing Staff and Building Capacity - The Education State
I attended the AARE Conference 2022 held in Adelaide from Monday 28 November 2022 until Thursday 1 December 2022. The Ashwood Alliance Partnership featured in a publication titled ‘Alliance school-university partnership - Perspectives and reflections from academia and school leadership’ as a chapter in a book published by Springer titled ‘School-University Partnerships - Innovation in Initial Teacher Education’. As a co-author of this chapter, I co-presented a conference paper, representing the Department advocating for school-university partnerships through the Teaching Academies for Professional Practice. The Ashwood Alliance is the first Deakin University alliance to become the subject of a publication and conference paper presentation. Our presentation was well received and I was pleased to present this important work we are doing at Ashwood High School.

Ashwood High School Community Garden - Revised Plan and Extension to the Licence Agreement
The placement of our Relocatable Mod 5 buildings was informed by many factors, with student safety being the highest priority. Students’ ability to hear the bell and alarm system, a safe path to get to classes and the ability to monitor the area with sightline to the buildings were paramount.  Coupled with our wetlands and some of the land near the wetlands being flood zoned, the Victorian School Building Authority and the school found only one suitable area for these buildings. This necessitated a revision of the licencing for the Ashwood High School Community Garden, as a small section of the garden would be required for the placement of the buildings. Although the Ashwood High School Community Garden’s licencing agreement ended in December 2022 and the school was not contacted to renew the licence, the Community Garden triggered a dispute process which necessitated a new agreement with the Community Garden and the school. The parties then entered into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding in December 2022 with the Department of Education (including the Victorian School Building Authority) to memorialise the agreement to vary the licence. This was signed by the President of School Council and myself in December. This allowed the urgent works (installation of the buildings) to go ahead. Congratulations to Donna Mineo for working with me when I was in Vietnam and Cambodia to ensure a successful outcome and to Tom O’Toole for his work with the Ashwood High School Community Garden and the VSBA. Thank you also to Nicki Dear, President of School Council for her positive engagement and advocacy of the school’s interests. Thank you to Arthur Georgakopoulos for managing the installation of the Mod 5 relocatables.

Installation of Relocatable Mod 5 Buildings – Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success
To cater for our burgeoning enrolment, our relocatable buildings, collectively known as Building I, were placed at the school over the summer break. The buildings are brand new single storey structures encompassing two classrooms with a small shared learning space.

Capital Works Program – Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success
A letter from the Victorian Schools Building Authority has been provided to the Chief Executive Officer of Monash City Council, signed by the Principal and the President of School Council. This letter details the variation to the existing Licence between Ashwood High School and Monash City Council by removing the construction zone for the new car park and access road from the agreement for the duration of the works, so that VSBA can operate a safe and secure construction site during the Capital Works Program.  Construction of the new school driveway will commence after the design and building tender process. I look forward to updating the community when these exciting works will begin.

Dr Brett Moore
Executive Principal



Welcoming New Staff

Hello, my name is Jordyn Bracegirdle and I am a teacher of English and Humanities. I completed my teaching studies at Swinburne University of Technology and have taught at Flinders Christian Community College down in Frankston. I have been teaching for about four years now, and I am so excited to be joining a school with such passionate students and staff. It has been such a positive transition into this tight-knit communtiy and I look forward to getting to know the students better. It is incredibly important to me as an educator to get to know my students, and to provide students with a vibrant learning environment where they feel supported to try new things and challenge themselves. When I am not teaching, I spend most of my time doing pilates, going to musical theatre shows and looking after my indoor jungle at home. Thank you for the warm welcome Ashwood High School, I'm looking forward to a great year together! 
Jordyn Bracegirdle

Hello, my name is Nicole and I teach English and EAL here at Ashwood High School. As a new staff member I have felt incredibly welcomed and supported and I have been having an absolutely wonderful time getting to know the students. A few 'fun facts' about me, I lived and taught in Bangkok, Thailand, which I really enjoyed. I am studying a Master of Applied Linguistics through the University of Melbourne and after a 3-year hiatus I have started running again, which I enjoy doing before school as I think it sets me up for a great day ahead.  

When Dr Moore walked me through the school last year I knew I would really enjoy teaching here and thrive as a passionate educator. I look forward to getting to know everyone within the Ashwood High School community.
Nicole Gladman

My name is Bruce Verity. I am a scientist and have been fortunate to have worked in a number of industries, including as a lecturer in chemistry, in the mining industry, and for most of my career in research and development of medical devices that were designed and manufactured in Melbourne and sold globally. I chose to transition to teaching to share my experience with the young people who take the reins in tomorrow’s world. At Ashwood High School, I teach Chemistry, Science and Maths. It has been a pleasure to meet the talented and engaged students and staff at Ashwood High School and I am excited to have the opportunity to contribute to the teaching and learning of the Ashwood community. When not at school, I enjoy badminton, keeping fit at the gym, the arts, world movies and catching up with my adult children.
Bruce Verity

Hello, my name is Stephanie Poland and I am teacher of Humanities and Commerce this year at Ashwood High School. As a recent graduate from Monash University, I have been blown away by the welcoming nature and dedication of both the staff and students here at Ashwood High School. Although I have only been here for a few short weeks I feel extremely welcomed and valued in this community. Prior to teaching at Ashwood High School, I worked at Frankston High School as a Geography Teacher as well as a PE Teacher’s Assistant and Rowing Coach at a school in the UK. This year I am determined to take everything that I have learnt in these positions and apply them here at Ashwood High School to be the best teacher I can be. My passion for Humanities lies mostly in Geography, as I believe it is a vital subject for teaching our students about different places and cultures, allowing us to become more connected to issues around the world. Please feel free to stop and have a chat with me as I look forward to getting to know more of the students, staff and parents/carers that make Ashwood High School the great community it is. 
Steph Poland 

Hi, my name is Olivia Jean. I’m a new teacher at Ashwood High School and am excited to be teaching in the Health/Physical Education and Humanities Departments. I recently moved to Melbourne and am so grateful for the warm welcome and kindness shown to me by the lovely community of staff and students at Ashwood High School. I am from Canada where I completed my Bachelors of Education and Honours Bachelors of Arts. Before moving to Australia, I worked at a Canadian international school in Tianjin, China for three years where I also taught History and HPE. I’m passionate about teaching, traveling, trying new things, and am always happy to have a chat. I am really looking forward to getting to know and work with such wonderful people here at Ashwood High School.
Olivia Jean

Hello, my name is Lenore Twist and I am thrilled to have joined the Ashwood High School community as the Director of Student Voice, Inclusion and Agency as well as teaching Maths and Food Studies. I will have numerous roles around the school, particularly in assemblies, co-curricular, inclusion, and the list goes on! I have been blown away by the kindness, support and high standards at Ashwood High School; I know this is the right environment for me to thrive in and build positive relationships with all. Outside of school, I love participating in activities including dancing, walking my two beautiful dogs and spending time with my family. I am very much looking forward to getting to know all staff, students and families over the coming years, becoming part of the Ashwood High School family and being part of the continuous growth of this amazing school.  
Lenore Twist

Hi, my name is Shenae Dixon and I am excited to start my teaching career at Ashwood High School. I graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Health and Physical Education with a major in Mathematics. This sees me teaching across both Mathematics and Health and Physical Education subject areas. It has been fantastic to meet all the wonderful staff and students at Ashwood High School and I have felt so welcomed by the school community. After such a positive start to the term, I am eager to continue to see the students grow and support them to achieve their goals. In my personal time, I spend lots of time involved in local sporting clubs.
Shenae Dixon

Hi, my name is Zheng Hong Tan and I am teaching Science, VCE Mathematical Methods and VCE Chemistry in Ashwood High School. My passion for teaching started during my Honours year, working part time as a teaching associate for first year chemistry students. It is a great privilege to be part of the Ashwood High School team and I am thankful for the opportunity to educate students with high expectations of themselves and others.
Zheng Hong Tan

It’s Daniel McBride here, and for those interested here’s a bit about myself and my background before now commencing in this Mental Health Practitioner position at Ashwood High school. I love being active; I enjoy tennis, bike riding, love video games, and have a gog who’s 6 months of age (who’s a good boy most of the time!). My education background involves a Bachelors of Psychology and a Masters of Social Work, and I have worked primarily in counselling and wellbeing positions assisting young people and families, for schools in Melbourne (Taylors Lakes Secondary College, Ringwood Secondary College and now Ashwood High School), and a Mental health organisation called Better Place Australia where I counselled young people there. I have also worked in family services too, which involved me visiting families in their home to provide case management support.

I hope I can make a meaningful contribution to sustaining the wellbeing of the students here at Ashwood High School, and also provide help as much as I can, to the incredible parents, carers and staff members that make up this great community.
Daniel McBride

Hi, I am Jen Wang and I’m teaching Maths and Chinese First Language. It has been my privilege to be part of the Ashwood High School family. Teaching is my life’s passion, and I have been teaching students of Year 7 to Year 12 for 6 years. My years of experience as a teacher have shaped a teaching philosophy that guides how I help my students succeed in the classroom and beyond I truly believe that their success begins with making them engaged in the classroom. I really look forward to working with the lovely students and friendly teachers at Ashwood High School.
Jen Wang

Dia dhaoibh (hello in Irish language) My name is Brian Lanigan and I am delighted to be joining such a fantastic school. I am the new Business Management, PE and Health teacher here at Ashwood High School. The staff and students have been extremely welcoming which has made my first couple of weeks much easier. A little bit about me, I am from Ireland, I moved over to Australia late last year. I have been working in many different areas of teaching since I arrived in Australia including special education and youth justice. My journey into becoming a teacher started when I left secondary school and started in University, I completed a Bachelor of Arts degree (honours) where I studied a number of different subjects, I then completed a Professional Master’s in Education at University College of Cork and have been in the profession since. I’m excited to continue getting to know the staff, students and parents here at Ashwood High School.
Brian Lanigan

Hi, my name is Zoe Schinina, I am the new Health and Physical Education Teacher. I recently graduated from Monash University with a Masters in Inclusive and Special Education. Prior to my Masters I also completed my Bachelor of Primary and Secondary Health and Physical Education (Honours) in 2020 at Monash University. I am extremely privileged to begin my journey as a teacher at Ashwood High School surrounded by an amazing community with extremely supportive and respected staff and students. Over the last few weeks, as well as attending Year 11 camp I have had the opportunity to learn and experience the amazing culture Ashwood High School has formed. I have always been passionate around teaching, and hope to focus my career to developing inclusive pedagogical strategies to implement into my teaching to promote student participation and achievement. Thank you for the warm welcome to Ashwood High School.
Zoe Schinina

Hello, I am Christina Siomos and I am so pleased to be teaching Science and Chemistry here at Ashwood High School. I have taught across a range of settings prior to Ashwood High School, the most recent being the Monash Tech School. I have a keen interest in all things science, particularly environmental issues. Prior to teaching, I worked in environmental consulting and assessment. I realised my favourite part of the job was working with clients to help them understand their responsibilities. This led me to a shift in teaching, where I could fully utilise my skills in building a love of science in students and confidence in themselves. The staff and students of Ashwood High School have been fantastic in welcoming me into the school, and I am very excited to be a part of the Ashwood community.

A fun fact about me: I love coffee and could probably give you a comprehensive run-down of speciality coffee roasters in Melbourne.  
Christina Siomos

Hello! My name is Nicholas Gale (Nick is welcome), and I am joining the English teaching team at Ashwood High School in 2023. I am greatly excited by this opportunity, and I would first like to express my gratitude to the Ashwood High School community for welcoming me with open arms in the first few weeks of the school year! 2023 at Ashwood High School, while not my first teaching role, is my graduate year of teaching – I graduated from Monash University with a double degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education (Honours)/Bachelor of Arts in 2022, majoring in Literary Studies and History. Here at Ashwood High School, I will be working closely with Years 7 and Year 10 English classes, as well as my own Flynn House Tutor Group in the Middle School. Outside of school, I enjoy playing a wide range of video games, listening to audiobooks, and going to the theatre. Thank you once again to everyone in the Ashwood High School community for the warm welcome.
Nicholas Gale

Hi everyone, it is my honour to be joining the community of Ashwood High School this year. After a few short weeks, I have already seen and heard amazing things emanating from the Music Department! I look forward to collaborating with the fantastic musicians of Ashwood High School, as well as the passionate and dedicated people (and monster players) that make up our music staff.

My enthusiasm for high quality music education has grown throughout my experiences as a music student and piano teacher, and I will endeavour to deliver this for every student at Ashwood High School.

Throughout my studies, I was able to combine my interests in Music and History by writing a thesis on medieval keyboard improvisation, so I am also excited to work with the great historians and geographers of Year 9 in my role as a Humanities teacher. I hope to see you around!
Samuel Bugeja

Hi! I am Andrea Van Olst and I am excited to be teaching English and Humanities at Ashwood High School. I have come into teaching later in life, having worked for many years in Human Resources and Organisational Psychology, across a number of countries and cultures including South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and China. As a teacher, I hope to apply my skills and experience to assist young people to determine their preferred pathways, through and beyond their schooling years. I feel privileged to be teaching English and Humanities; I’m so passionate about stories, real and imagined, and believe in the power of these stories to open minds and transform lives. I have already received such a warm welcome from the Ashwood High School community; including staff, students and carers/parents and I look forward to deepening these relationships over the coming months and years.
Andrea Van Olst

Hello! My name is Liam Headland and I am teaching Music and Drama. Stepping into Ashwood’s music program has been an absolute treat over these past four weeks. It has been lovely stepping into a school with such a vibrant music culture cultivated by both the students and the teachers. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being surrounded by music educators who all share a common goal in sharing their own passion for music with the students of Ashwood High School.  One thing I have to commend is the overwhelming welcome I’ve received at Ashwood High School, everyone in this school has been remarkable in their generosity and kindness and I thank you all.
Liam Headland

It has been a great pleasure to join the Ashwood High School community as the Senior School Assistant Principal in 2023.

I am a passionate educator and leader who strongly values the development of the whole student with a focus on lifelong learning, academic achievement and success and positive and active engagement in the community. I'm an experienced educational leader, having led Wellbeing and Engagement and the Middle and Senior School as Assistant Principal at my previous school in Melbourne's outer South East. My passions are literature and music and for the past decade I have taught VCE English, recently joining the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority (VCAA) as a VCE examiner. I have also been heavily involved in co-curricular at my previous schools, and look forward to seeing and supporting the many extra-curricular talents of our Ashwood High School students. I love learning and continue to learn myself, recently completing my Masters of Education in Inclusive and Special Education at Monash University. Outside of school, I love spending time with my family and two groodles: Mishka and Simba and love a good musical!

Already, there have been many opportunities for me to get to know students, staff and families this year including Year 11 and 12 Camps, parent information evenings and mini-school and a whole school assembly; a big thank you to everyone who has made me feel so welcome over the course of my first few weeks at Ashwood High School. I very much look forward to getting to know the whole school community across the course of the year and continuing to see such proud displays of our school CHOIR values and our motto: 'Vision Inspired Action'.
Sarah Reynolds

Middle School News

Term 1 2023 for Middle School has been a great success. Our amazing staff have been so enthusiastic and supportive welcoming back our Years 8-9 students who are so excited to be back in the classroom working collaboratively with their peers and getting to know their teachers. Our new Year 7 students have been supported in their transition to high school and we have loved meeting all new students, answering their questions and of course welcoming them to our great school.

I wish to acknowledge and congratulate our incredible Years 8 and 9 students who have been such wonderful role models and have taken the time to welcome all our new Year 7s. I wish to thank our student leaders who were so kind and caring to students on their first day and always do the Middle School proud by upholding their strong commitment to our CHOIR values.

Tutor Group has begun with great success. It has been excellent to see new friendships form amongst the students across varying year levels and the excellent leadership qualities that our Middle School House Captains have exhibited in their facilitation of student activities and in their preparation for the upcoming Swimming Carnival. We have a strong dedication this year in Tutor Group to enhance House spirit, peer and school connectedness and will continue the implementation of a skills-based framework to support vision inspired action across the middle years.  

Year 7s have made an excellent transition to high school. All Year 7 students participated in activities over the first 2 weeks of term where students took part in numerous sessions run by classroom teachers and our ICT team. Year 7 students participated in numerous ‘Getting to know your Home Group’ sessions and learning about the lesson plan structure at Ashwood High School through understanding Learning Intentions and Success Criteria. Students also completed a session titled ‘Four Pillars of a Great School’ to learn about the amazing opportunities available at Ashwood High School from student clubs, co- curricular opportunities, and leadership portfolio positions.

Our Year 7 cohort attended camp from Monday 20 February 2023 to Wednesday 23 February 2023 at Kinglake Adventures Camp. Camps enable our students to engage with valuable learning outside of the classroom. Students demonstrated their resilience, tenacity and optimism throughout – by engaging in a number of skill-building activities, including an overnight stay in tents on one of the nights. I would like to thank all the staff who attended this camp and ensured all students had a supported and valuable experience over the three days.

I also wish to congratulate our 2023 Student Leaders in the Middle School, appointed at the end of 2022. You have made such an outstanding start and we are all very excited to see the initiatives you are implementing get underway for 2023.

It has been a such an excellent few weeks for me in my new role as Acting Middle School Engagement, Wellbeing and Transitions Leader. I want to thank the House Coordinators Mr Guy Driscoll (Cowan House Coordinator), Ms Emma Doorley (Melba House Coordinator), Mr Andrew Padbury (Paterson House Coordinator) and Mrs Vicky Dernikos (Flynn House Coordinator) for the continuous care and support they give to our students and families and the incredible dedication they have to their roles.

It is an absolute pleasure to work with our school community every day. I wish to warmly welcome you all back to Ashwood High School for 2023 and I trust you are looking forward to a successful, positive year, filled with learning, fun and exciting opportunities.

Harriet Cooper
Middle School Student Engagement, Wellbeing and Transitions Leader

Cowan House Report

On the back of a fantastic 2022 for the mighty Batters, another wonderful year is shaping up on the horizon!

With brand new leaders stepping up to assist in running the House, a large and fantastic new Year 7 cohort joining our ranks, and older students relishing the opportunity to compete for the Yellow, Cowan House has never looked so strong.

Congratulations to our new House Captains, with Miles Guy and Hava Samad becoming our new Senior School House Captain and Senior School Vice-Captain respectively. In our Middle School ranks, our Captain this year is Riley Makin and our Vice-Captain being Amy Russo. All four leaders are well deserving of their positions and have already shown fantastic leadership and enthusiasm. I am confident that Cowan House will further succeed under their guidance.

Furthermore, it is important to acknowledge that Cowan has an abundance of leaders at our disposal, with a magnitude of students showing fantastic capabilities and leadership ahead of 2023, with a further five students holding high leaderships positions elsewhere in the school.

It fills me with great excitement to look forward at the upcoming year for Cowan House, including the continuation of our newly tweaked Tutor Group program, to continue with the sensational guidance of our Cowan members throughout the year. At the conclusion of 2023, I fully expect great success to have eventuated with the personal growth of students, as well as the promise of winning the House Competition at the fore.

Up the Batters,

Guy Driscoll
Cowan House Coordinator

Flynn House Report

The beginning of another exciting year at our great school has been smooth and successful.  There has been a strong sense of community resonating throughout the entire school with our wonderful students embracing the challenges of an ever-growing school. It makes one proud to be a part of  such a welcoming, warm and supportive community.  I am grateful that our students show empathy and kindness to new students and in particular,  to the new Year 7 cohort.

Our Flynn House has gone from strength to strength in numbers and in the dedication shown to plan for this year. Our Captains and Vice-Captains have already begun preparing for the upcoming Swimming Carnival and it is inspiring to observe their excellent leadership skills and positive work ethic.

We welcome our new Middle School Flynn Captain, Matilda Rostan and Flynn Vice-Captain, Matisse Simpson and wish them every success in their role as they proudly lead our House in 2023. Their commitment and enthusiasm have already shone through, as we prepare for the upcoming Swimming Carnival.

Tutor Group sessions have begun positively for the year as there is a true buzz with students getting to know others and foster a true sense of belonging to our great school. Congratulations to many Flynn students who are already accumulating School Colour nominations from across the plethora of categories.

I look to the future with great enthusiasm and positivity as we set and commit to new goals, build new relationships, develop and aim to support our students in being valuable citizens of a great school.

Vicky Dernikos
Flynn House Coordinator

Melba House Report

Dear Students and Families of Melba House. I wish you all a warm welcome back to Ashwood High School for the 2023 academic year and hope you had a pleasant summer break. I am really excited to take on the role of Melba House Coordinator this year and getting to work in support of you and your families.

To begin, I would like to congratulate our magnificent Middle School Melba Captain and Vice-Captain for 2023- Tom Houghton and Ameer Bux. So far this year, both Tom and Ameer have demonstrated decisive leadership and commitment to Melba House- keep up the fantastic work!

Now to our new cohort of Year 7s: It was great to see so many faces at the Year 7 Welcome Barbecue and again on Year 7 Camp at Kinglake. Both were extremely successful events in which our Melba students were super Ashwood High School representatives, demonstrating our school values at all times. The Ashwood High School community look forward to getting to know you over the coming weeks and months.

With reference to House events, first up this year is our annual House Swimming Carnival. I am confident that we have a large pool of multitalented Melba students here at Ashwood High School and I really look forward to working with our Middle School Captains to promote participation in this event.

To those mighty Melba students who have previously competed in House Swimming- keep up your tremendous efforts. And to those who have never signed up before- why don’t you let 2023 be the year that you finally take the plunge? (Excuse the pun.)

I conclude this article by thanking the outgoing Melba House Coordinator, Mr Ned Hayward, for this dedication to students in Melba House over the past number of years. We as a House wish you the best in your new position as Humanities Learning Area Coordinator.

Emma Doorley
Melba House Coordinator

Paterson House Report

After a hugely successful 2022 for Paterson, winning the House Cup and achieving some fantastic academic results, we have high expectations for Paterson House in 2023!

Having the opportunity to work with the students of Paterson House for the first time has been extremely rewarding. We are so lucky to have such a friendly, supportive and selfless cohort of students.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate our students for embracing the Tutor Group program. The program has already seen our students working collaboratively to get to know each other and their Tutor group teachers further, as we continue to foster a strong sense of belonging at Ashwood High School. A second congratulations is in order for the huge number of Paterson students who have received School Colour nominations so early in 2023. Well done!

A new year brings new leadership opportunities. Congratulations to our new House Captains, with Themis Tziafas and Cormac Morrin becoming our new Senior School House Captain and Senior School Vice-Captain respectively. In the Middle School, our Captain this year is Ava Morrin and our Vice-Captain being Isla Minton. All four leaders are thoroughly deserving of their positions and have already shown fantastic leadership and enthusiasm. I am confident that Paterson House will have continued success under the guidance of these emerging leaders.

Furthermore, I would like to congratulate and welcome our new Year 7 cohort. The entire Paterson House community is excited to see how well the Year 7 students have settled in at Ashwood High School. The Year 7 Paterson House students are already living by the CHOIR values and I have no doubt they will involve themselves in the many opportunities that Ashwood High School has to offer.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Paterson House students and many Paterson House families for the warm welcome I have received. I am excited to see our students continue to strive to do their best both in and out of the classroom.

Andrew Padbury
Paterson House Coordinator



Middle School Captains' Report

We are honoured to be representing Ashwood High School’s Middle School Captains. We are Amy Noy, Gilbert McCann; Middle School Captains and Evelyn Chew, Samuel Bryan; Middle School Vice -Captains for 2023.

This year at Ashwood High School we have started to introduce the new Year 7s to the school environment, although they may have started school with a few hesitations, we also noticed that all of the students have had such a great attitude towards their learning path as well as getting to know their peers and teachers since their start on the first day of school.

We are very excited and grateful to be working with this year’s Leadership Team for 2023. While happy as we are to be leaders of the school, we are also thrilled to be helping out and around our community. In our positions as leaders and peers, we strive to be our best selves and serve through the school and surrounding community, this opportunity will help us improve and develop our student voice.

We are also very excited to announce the new Year 7 ambassadors and SRC for 2023. This will be announced at the Swimming Carnival on 1 March. We know how much hard work has been put into these decisions to better our school and further progress the Year 7s confidence throughout the school.

We are proud of everyone for beginning a new school year with such a great mindset and hope that all will fulfil their ambitions for this year.

Amy Noy, Gilly McCann, Evelyn Chew and Sam Bryan
Middle School Captains

Senior School News

What an exciting and busy start to the 2023 school year. It is an absolute privilege to lead the Senior School this term and I am so proud of all our Senior students and the excellent start they have made. I would like to start by sharing some beautiful words from our 2023 School Captains, Jessica Sterle and Sebastian Millan, who spoke at our first whole school assembly for the year. We are so lucky to have such wonderful leaders!

 “ As most of you know, one of our CHOIR values is ‘Optimism’ and this is theme at the centre of today’s assembly. So, we’d like to start our speech by saying a big congratulations to all of you! The first couple of weeks of school are done and hopefully you have all settled into a good routine; one that will bode you well for a productive and successful year ahead.

Firstly, we’d like to officially welcome all of the new staff members to our school community. Thank you all for your tireless dedication and commitment to our education.

We would also like to welcome the Year 7s and all other new students to our school. When we started Year 7 at Ashwood High School, our cohort of just over one hundred students was the largest year level the school had ever seen. What a difference 5 years makes. Dr Moore’s vision to grow our school and make Ashwood High ‘The Jewel of the East’ has certainly become a reality. With this year’s Year 7s totalling more than two hundred, it’s clear that the message is well and truly out there and we’re so glad to have you join our community.

And finally, we’d like to acknowledge and celebrate our Year 12s. Year 12s, today we will be presented with our badges. This is a huge milestone, and we know that you will wear your badges with pride. We’re almost there! Not long to go now. It may be a stressful year, but I have no doubt that we can get through this. We are a year level that has been together for quite some time now, so I know that we all hope that each one of us succeeds in whatever way that means to us.  We know that this is the start of an amazing year and the beginning of the end of our high school journey. Thank you to each of you for the memories and let's start off this year as positively as we can! “
Jessica Sterle and Sebastian Millan

I would like to acknowledge the dedicated and passionate Coordinators of each year level: Ms Edwina Nolan (Year 12), Mr John Sheehan (Year 11), Ms Matilda Wraight (Year 10) and the VCAA Curriculum Services Coordinator, Mrs Julie Huggins. Thank you for the important work you do every day and for supporting each student in their educational journey. I also wish to acknowledge the committed team of Senior School teachers and wellbeing support staff who are working so hard to engage students in the classroom and are always ready to assist students to reach their full potential.

We have had numerous events take place in Senior School this term. Welcome Sarah Reynolds, our new Assistant Principal to the Senior School!

This year’s 2023 Senior School Parent Information and Elevate Evening ran online via Webex on Tuesday 14 February. The parent information component provided detailed information on the VCAA rules and regulations, how to apply for Special Provision, Senior School expectations, and key dates for the year. This was followed by the Parent Seminar run by Elevate: empowering parents to reinforce study skills at home. The presenter delivered a 60-minute webinar which delved into practical strategies for parents and carers assisting their children with motivation, organisation and engagement. Thank you for all who attended and I hope this was helpful in assisting your child in their senior educational journey.

Year 12 camp was a huge success. Here are some words from the wonderful Edwina Nolan. Thank you for your tireless work to ensure the camp was memorable for students.

Our Year 12 students have gotten off to a very strong start to 2023 by showing maturity and enthusiasm in adjusting to the higher expectations that Year 12 brings.

The year began on a high with our Study Advance Program at Deakin University, where students challenged themselves academically in lectures whilst also having opportunities to reconnect with their peers and staff during the House Olympics and Year group dinner. Study Advance proved to be an extremely positive experience with both staff and guest speakers being impressed with the student’s participation and enthusiasm.

The celebration of the commencement of 2023 continued for our Year 12s with congratulations and best wishes from the entire school community in the first whole school assembly. Following the Principal’s Address by Dr Moore and Welcome Address by our School Captains, Sebastian Millan and Jessica Sterle, our Year 12s received their Year 12 badges in person! Congratulations, Year 12s, Class of 2023, for your great work in the first couple of weeks of 2023.

I am looking forward to witnessing all the amazing things you as a year group will achieve this year and supporting you in this along with your other teachers. Wishing you all the best for the year ahead.

Edwina Nolan
Year 12 Coordinator

Year 11 Camp in Queenscliff was also outstanding. Thank you also to John Sheehan for organising and running this wonderful experience! Here are some words of reflection from the Year 11 Coordinator John Sheehan:

Welcome back to 2023 to all students, parents, and guardians,

The Year 11 group in 2023 have made a positive start, adjusting with maturity to the increased rigours of the VCE programs. While there is no doubt a ‘step-up’ in academic expectations at this level, Ashwood High School students should feel confident that they are well prepared to meet the challenges that lay ahead in their final two years of secondary education. ­­

The year began on a high with a team-building camp to Queenscliff, where students challenged themselves and reconnected with their peers and staff. It was a positive experience, and we were incredibly pleased with the way in which the students conducted themselves during the busy 3 days. It was great to see the group’s cohesion and their enthusiasm as they actively engaged with the camp program and interacted respectfully with teachers and camp staff.

I would also like to thank the following staff that gave their time to attend: Matthew Dexter, Sachael Miller, James Boarotto, Ed Williams, Stephanie Richards, Ruby Cameron, Zoe Schinina, Michelle Leane and Alistair Rayner. Also, thank you to Assistant Principal Sarah Reynolds for spending a day with us, I know the students really appreciated it. 

I wish the group a positive and productive year and if you have any inquiries regarding the Year 11 program, please feel free to contact me for assistance.

I would like to thank Abi Oh, Charlotte Savakis and Miles Guy of Year 11 for providing a student’s perspective of the camp, below.

John Sheehan
Year 11 Coordinator

“After meeting bright and early at school, we boarded the buses and set off for Queenscliff. After a short stop at the Geelong waterfront, we arrived at camp Wyuna YMCA. The site was great, with clean facilities and lots of space and after a tour of the site by the staff we dropped off our bags and started on the activities. My group started with the beach activities where we had some fun competition and got sand in places where sand should never be! Following this, we went canoeing. In my opinion, this was one of the best activities we did. As tiring and as wet as it was, standing up and switching canoes with other people while out in the middle of a lake was actually ridiculously fun. The dinner of pasta, garlic bread and salad were great. (Although everything tastes amazing when you're starving and exhausted!). After a walk into the town and some free time back at camp, that was the first day done. On our second day of camp, we felt like a true group of joined souls. There was nothing but smiles all day. On this day our group, led by Miss Leane, headed into Queenscliff, where we were allowed to buy food, trinkets and explore the town and socialise with the locals. After that we went on a mountain bike ride to the Pt Lonsdale lighthouse and then canoeing on a beautiful lake behind camp. When I think back, all I remember were the joyous smiles of everyone in our group. Last activity of the day was boogieboarding, the weather was perfect, and we all loved being in the water. After some free time, at the end of the day, and after a staple camp dinner, we gathered as a year level united, to toast marshmallows around a fire.

On day three we all packed up our things and said goodbye to the camp. Said goodbye to the random Justin Bieber singalongs and late-night snacks! The camp was an amazing time to create new friendships and memories with our year level through exciting activities. We all walked along the beach to the park where we spent the rest of the day. We got to the park, had something to eat and were then organised into two teams by the camp staff. We were then involved in a massive water balloon battle, using giant slings to fire them at one another. It was a great bonding time and incredibly fun activity. Afterwards we had a sausage sizzle and hung out in the park or went into town to look or shop around. Overall, this camp was a great chance to get to know all the students in our year level, to challenge ourselves and to start this important year in a positive way. All in all, an amazing camp and something for other year levels to look forward to!   
Abi Oh, Charlotte Savakis and Miles Guy of Year 11

Year 10s have had an excellent transition to the Senior School. Thank you to the wonderful Matilda Wraight for all your support during this important time and see below for a great reflection of Year so far:

I would like to wish a warm welcome to all of the Year 10s joining the Senior School this year and congratulate them for making such a positive start to the 2023 school year.

Year 10 is a year of big changes and new experiences that I know all of the students will take in their stride and make the most of. The staff in the Senior School are looking forward to guiding the students through the unique opportunities that this learning stage has to offer, including Work Experience, the VCE and Careers Expo, and Year 10 Camp.

This is the largest Year 10 cohort that Ashwood High School has seen in many years and it is clear already that this group of young people have bright futures ahead of them. The teachers of Year 10 and the VCE Early Commencement subjects have been blown away by the effort, dedication, and enthusiasm that these students have shown to their studies and the excellent results that they have already begun to achieve.

Matilda Wraight
Year 10 Coordinator

Well done to all students on your work so far and I look forward to seeing all that you achieve in 2023.

Congratulations Senior School Model UN winners!

Congratulations to the Ashwood High School students for an exceptional performance in Model UN. Ashwood High School won the ‘Best High School Delegation Award’, for their organisation and preparation throughout this round. Three of our senior students: Alexei Bradley Malcom (12), Angela Hewerdine (12) and Ved Karve (10) for winning Diplomacy Awards granted the World Health Organisation, and Cormac Morrin (10), for winning Position Paper.

Khwaish Madan
English Teacher

I look forward to a highly successful rest of Term 1 in the Senior School. All the best to students, parents, families, and guardians.

Sachael Miller
Senior School Engagement, Wellbeing and Pathways Leader

VCAA Curriculum Services Coordinator Announcement
The VCE, VCE VM and VPC students have had a very positive and busy start to the year.  As we enter Week 5 the students are well into their various courses, in many cases having already completed some assessments, attended excursions, and participated in incursions.  Students, parents, and guardians should be checking Compass regularly for SAC and Outcome due dates, which will appear as events on both the student and parent dashboards.  I would also like to take this opportunity to remind students that any absence from a VCE SAC or VCE VM/VPC Outcome event requires a medical certificate.

Please note that in order for fairness and equity, as stipulated under the VCAA Guidelines, some assessments will take place after school.  This is to ensure that in subjects where there are multiple classes, all students undertake the assessment at the same time. Subject teachers have advised students of this where appropriate.

Students undertaking VCE and VPC courses are aware that attendance should be a priority.  To this end we would please ask that non-medical appointments are not made during class time, and that reference is made to assessment schedules prior to making medical appointments.  Any extended absences should be discussed with the appropriate Year Level Coordinator.

VCE students are also reminded to contact Mrs Huggins ( if they believe that they qualify for Special Exam Provisions. The forms must be completed as soon as possible to enable these provisions to be put in place in the classroom, as well as for external assessments.  As explained at both the Year 12 Advance and the Parent/Guardian Information session these provisions allow for a “level playing field” for all students. 

Julie Huggins
VCAA Curriculum Services Coordinator

School Captains' Report

Welcome to 2023! We, as this year's Senior School Student Executive Team are so excited and honoured to be able to lead this great school. With the rest of the leadership team behind us and our great community, we know that this year will be one that we will never forget and that many Visons will be put into Actions this year.

We cannot even express how grateful we are to be given this opportunity to lead and support our growing school community with more than 200 Year 7s joining us this year. It has brought us so much joy to welcome all the new students and new staff members to our amazing school. This year, we as a leadership team aim to be there to support the members of our school community whilst also assisting and encouraging students to achieve their personal goals.

So far, three assemblies have been held; the Middle School and Senior School ‘Welcome to 2023’ assemblies on 31 January and also this year's first Whole School Assembly held on 14 February. It was so wonderful to see all of the students together recognising the importance of welcoming new staff and celebrating the new Year 12 class as they were presented with their badges; a tradition that sparks the value of optimism.

On 6 and 7 February 2023, the Year 12 Deakin Study Advance took place which allowed for the Year 12 students to get into the right frame of mind for the challenging, yet exciting year ahead. This event was extremely educational and promoted ideas of dedication to our Year 12 studies, whilst further bonding our cohort – ultimately setting us up for a positive and social year ahead. We were also lucky enough to be joined by Dr Moore at our dinner that we also shared with our Year 12 teachers. The night’s atmosphere was encouraging and optimistic, and no doubt made for some great memories.

On Thursday 16 February, we had the honour of attending the Lunar New Year celebrations which was organised by the International School Team. This was an incredibly inspirational and inclusive event in which all International Students felt recognised. We also wanted to thank Dr Moore and the International School Team for organising a truly wonderful and supportive event; the catering was also delicious. We know that this event will help to strengthen the bonds between international and local students.

On Monday 20 February, the Senior School Executive Team had the honour of visiting the Shrine of Remembrance to commemorate the 81st Anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin, organised by the Darwin Defenders Association. We were so lucky to experience this truly significant day in which we – on behalf of Ashwood High School – laid a wreath in respect to those that lost their lives during this tragic event in our country’s history.

We are so excited to see what the rest of the year will bring – as already it is off to a fabulous start. We look forward to seeing all students make the most of this year to thrive academically and mentally, whilst achieving their personal endeavours. Good luck to everyone!

Jessica Sterle and Sebastian Millan
School Captain

Careers & Pathways

It has been a great start to the year for careers! During the first week I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the Year 12 Study Advance to deliver their last ever Career Action Plan session. From what I have seen so far, we have a very ambitious Class of 2023; congratulations and stick with your plans. For the Year 12’s who have not yet completed you still have time, if you need a refresher you will find the student user guide here – remember to click ‘Share with your Teacher’ it will come through to me for feedback. Or I am happy for you to make contact with me via email at to set up a time to go through the CAP process.

For Years 7 to 11, you will also be completing your Career Actions Plans throughout the year with Year 10 next in Week 5.

Senior School - Structured Workplace Learning (SWL)
The 2023 VCE – Vocational Major (VCE VM) class have started their search for industry related placements including Hospitality, Horticulture, Business, Engineering, Information, Digital Media & Technology, Carpentry, Community Services. Some students have been successful in securing placement, however some industries are more challenging than others especially at this time.

If you or someone you know could offer a student one day per week placement on a term by term basis – you are not locked in for a full year – please make contact with me on 9807 1333 or your support is greatly appreciated. Offering a student work placement is very rewarding and a great way of giving back to the community.


Year 10 – Work Experience
On Tuesday 21 February 2023, Year 10 students had their first career lesson for the year, a Work Experience Information session. During the information session they students learnt the basic of Work Experience:

  • When is Work Experience and the duration?
    • Monday 11 September 2023 – Friday 15 September 2023, one full working week – 5 days.
  • Who is responsible for finding my placement?
    • You are, however, Mrs Higgins is always here to help and offer guidance.
  • What is my deadline for securing placement?
    • Friday 23 June 2023

They also received a Work Experience information pack which included a letter for parents. If you missed out on a pack, please email Mrs Higgins direct at, and Mrs. Higgins will organise one for you.

With the holidays just around the corner it is a great time for Year 10 students to source their Work Experience placement for September.

Some tips for sourcing placement include;

  • Local councils are quite good as they offer structured work experience programs for schools:
  • Also, use your connections!It’s not what you know but who you know. Ask your aunties, uncles, cousins, older siblings, friends, neighbours, and acquaintances if they can offer you a work experience position within their organisation.

Jodie Hechenberger 
Careers & Pathways Coordinator

Wellbeing at Ashwood High School

Student, parents and carers. Welcome back to Ashwood High School for 2023!

We have some exciting news to share, our wellbeing team is growing! We have Mr Daniel McBride, our new Mental Health Care Practitioner, working full time. Daniel’s role will be focused on supporting the wellbeing of individual students and implementing wellbeing activities at a cohort and school wide level.  

We would like to welcome all the Year 7s to Ashwood High School! Transitioning to High school is a big step, so reach out to your House Coordinator if you would like support during this time.

Our Breakfast Club is up and running! Every Friday morning, we have the Ashburton Baptist Church volunteers cooking pancakes for our students. This is a great way to catch-up with friends and staff, as well as meet new peers.

We are looking forward to a packed 2023, with more news coming soon!

Dr Elisa Jones Arango on behalf of the Wellbeing Team
School Psychologist

Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment Program

A warm welcome back to the 88 students who will be part of the ACE program at Ashwood High School in 2023 and an especially warm welcome to the 24 students who will be joining us in Year 7 ACE this year.

In other news, I would like to acknowledge the achievement of the 9 students in Year 8 who are participating in the Victorian High-Ability Maths and English programs through Virtual School Victoria in Term 1 this year. Congratulations to these students on their achievement in securing a place in this prestigious program. We wish you all the best with your studies.

Finally, back by popular demand in 2023, this issue will once again feature the segment ‘Spotlight On’ which takes a closer look inside the classrooms of our ACE program. This month, we welcome 9ACE Humanities and their teacher, Mrs Caroline Servadei.

Spotlight on 9ACE Humanities
In Year 9 ACE Humanities, students have been exploring the world’s biomes as part of our studies in Geography this semester. Students worked together to prepare a debate on the topic: “Australia has the most diverse selection of aquatic and terrestrial biomes in the world”. Our students not only researched and presented their debate, they also collaborated to construct a rubric for the task and provided peer feedback using the “feedback sandwich” technique. And the winner…? Australia, of course!

Caroline Servadei
Enrichment and Professional Learning Leader


English Learning Area Report

Healthy Habits: Supporting Your Child’s Literacy Development in 2023

As a cornerstone of success in English, positive reading habits encourage the development of vocabulary, written expression, and the ability to concentrate for an extended period of time. However, embedding the love of reading can be challenging when myriad distractions abound in everyday life.

All students of English are required to read one or more novels for their studies throughout the year and their knowledge of these texts is paramount to their success in the subject. We understand that students often lack motivation when it comes to reading a text they are ‘told’ to, even the biggest bookworms can struggle with this! The good news? The amazing English team at Ashwood High School are here to support you through this challenge.

Establishing Reader Identity and Positive Routines
To support the development of healthy reading habits in both our Middle and Senior School students, we work towards positive engagement with (and discussion of) written texts in our classrooms. Our curricular approach promotes transparency about student’s impressions of a text, this includes opportunity for them to share and reflect on their experience and preferences of many texts such as films and comics. This works to develop a ‘reader identity’ – the conscience belief that they are a person who enjoys the meaning created by texts. Many students feel as though they are not ‘readers’, and the acknowledgement of their own relationship with text works to demonstrate that they are, or can be, ‘readers’ even if they are convinced otherwise.

It is also important to recognise that student’s attitude toward reading needs to be either remedied or fostered early in their secondary schooling. Therefore, to emphasise the importance of reading and allow students more time to engage in reading, the sole homework English task for all students in Year 7 is to read a text of their choice for a minimum of 20 minutes  four or more times a week. This is supported with sporadic reflective writing tasks that ask students to draw on what they have chosen to read at home and have opportunity to share their reading experiences with their peers.

How can I support my child’s reading?
Positive reading habits, like all skills, flourish when supported and promoted at home. To assist your child in completing their reading homework, consider trying the following strategies:

  • Talk about reading materials with your children: ask literal and inferential questions and have a conversation about the contents of the story. For example, if they tell you they are not enjoying it, ask them why and do not accept “because” for an answer.
  • If possible, read the texts yourself and discuss your child’s interpretations: forming and supporting opinions about what they are reading encourages critical thinking and inferential skills that allow deeper understanding of texts.
  • Talk about reading: often a discussion about texts you have read or want to read promotes the idea that reading is not a chore but a positive experience.
  • Model reading: if your child sees you reading then it normalises this positive behaviour. You could even have designated reading time as a family!

In a world of screens and distractions, it can be an uphill battle to get children excited about reading. If you feel as though your child is struggling with their relationship with reading, we kindly ask that you reach out so we may work together to ensure their success.

Michelle Leane
English Learning Area Coordinator


Mathematics Learning Area Report

This year is shaping up to be a very exiting year in Maths. Many new teachers to the Maths Team. We would like to extend our warmest welcome to Ms Jen Wang, Dr Amanda Li, Mr Zhen Hong Tan, Dr Bruce Verity, Ms Lenore Twist and Ms Shenae Dixon.

Maths Club is up and running twice a week during lunchtimes. This club is for students seeking extra help with their studies (please see your Compass timetables).

Additionally, the Australian Maths Competition and Maths Challenge will again be happening this year. In addition, Ashwood High School will begin competing in the Computational and Algorithmic Thinking Competition for the first time. Details for these competitions will be made available soon on Compass.

Our students have also been very busy. Students of 8Z started the year studying the Financial Maths topic. They are already onto their second topic of the year – Geometry and Measurement.

As part of their revision of units of measurement, perimeter, and area, students participated in a ‘Create Your Own Measurement’ activity. Assuming the role of ruler of their own country, students were tasked to create a unique unit of measurement based on a body part.

Using their measurements, students were then asked to find the perimeter and area of objects, convert between their own units of measure and those of neighbouring ‘rulers’ before finally converting their units of measurement to the metric system.

8Z students are exceptionally creative. They came up with fascinating names for their measurements, including the ‘Shakespan’ which is the hand span of one Shakthivel Dhivakar. Tarik Srinivasan had the most interesting unit of measurement – the ‘Tarik’ which was his own height!

8Z proudly showing off their units of measurement.

After the activity, 8Z agreed that it was a very good thing that only one unit of measurement exists.

Jay Chan
Maths Learning Area Coordinator

Science Learning Area Report

Students in 7H and 7F are being introduced to Science. They were learning about the Bunsen Burner but had demos of “Coloured flames” and “Hands of Fire” along the way.
Michael Cifra
Maths and Science Teacher

Humanities Learning Area Report

Humanities is off to a strong start in 2023. We are pleased to welcome a number of new staff to our faculty: Ms Van Olst, Ms Poland, Mr Bugeja, Mr Astorino, Ms Jean, Ms Bracegirdle, and Mr Lanigan. These are all passionate teachers who introduce a range of different backgrounds and areas of expertise to our team.

Our Year 7s have begun the year by becoming historians. They have been studying the key skills and concepts necessary to this field - skills which will be invaluable in becoming critical thinking and perceptive adults. They have now begun their study of Ancient Egypt and are chomping at the bit to learn the grisly details of mummification.

The Year 8s, by now almost veteran historians, have been diving into the world of Medieval Europe. They were able to experience life at the time through an exciting role play activity, with one lucky student wearing the crown! At the moment they are creating replicas of medieval artefacts with a few students building castles in Minecraft.

In the older year levels, particularly in Senior School, students have been continuing with the development of their skills in the many domains included in Humanities; Geography, Economics, and Civics and Citizenship. We are especially excited that this year VCE Geography is running for the first time. Our VCE classes are being expertly guided by teachers with a fascination in their respective fields. I wish all of our students and teachers a successful year of Humanities.

Ned Hayward
Humanities Learning Area Coordinator


Creative Arts/Technologies Learning Area Report

With Term 1 well and truly under way, Middle School and Senior School students have made a wonderful, creative start to the year. In Year 7, students are engaging in studies in Music, Visual Art, Food Studies and Digital Technologies. In Year 8, students are exploring Design Technologies, Drama, Food Studies and Music. Students in Year 9 and above are able to choose electives in alignment with their interests and passions within and beyond school. Across the subjects offered in the Art and Technology Learning Area, students are demonstrating exceptional growth, optimism and a willingness to experiment as they engage in creative practices and problem-solving.

Outside of the classroom, clubs, events and other co-curricular opportunities are on offer to students. Progress is already being made with the 2023 school production, with lead-role auditions complete and further planning and preparations underway. A variety of clubs have started up again, including Art Club which has been especially popular with our Year 7 students.

Keep an eye on the Compass Newsfeed for further updates relating to clubs, competitions and other events on the way for the Art and Technology Learning Area.

Rylee Cherry Year 9 Art Moodboard   

Linda Peters Year 9 Art Watercolour Artwork  

Eirini Vilianioti Year 11 Art Observational Drawing

Jessica Lindholm
Creative Arts and Technology Learning Area Coordinator

Instrumental Music Report

2023 has started with the Instrumental Music Program exploding with popularity! We have received over 200 enrolments across the instruments of trumpet, trombone, euphonium, guitar, electric bass guitar, drumkit/percussion, clarinet, saxophone, flute, violin, viola, cello and double bass.  To all our students in the Music Program, I thank you for your excitement towards the Music School; I feel extremely lucky to be taking on the role of Director of Music here at Ashwood. There is a clear passion that every single student in this school has for Music and I can’t wait to begin developing more opportunities for music students to flourish.

Please see below for the Instrumental Music Ensemble Rehearsal Schedule for Term 1.


7:45am – Chamber Strings


7:45am- Percussion Ensemble
12:40pm – Jazz Band
3:15pm – Guitar Ensemble




7:45am- String Orchestra
12:40pm – Junior Concert Band
3:15 – Concert Band


7:45am - Stage Band

I would like to congratulate all of those who played at our first Lunch time concert, which will continue to take place every second Friday in the PAC at 1:00pm for anyone interested. I would also like to congratulate the Jazz band, who played brilliantly at the first whole school assembly this term. 

I would like to thank each one of my instrumental staff Mr Navin Gulavita (Violin & Viola) Mr Troy Rogan (Cello), Ms Christine Clarke (Saxophone, Clarinet, Flute), Mr Jasper Bruten (Drums and Percussion), Mr Thomas Fraser (Guitar, Bass Guitar, Double Bass), Mr Nelson Woods (Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium) and Mr Samuel Bugeja. You have been brilliant in accommodating for such massive interest in the Music Program and I can not wait to see where the Music Program goes this year.

A massive thanks has to go to Dr Brett Moore for his complete passion and support of the Music Program at Ashwood High School. A special thanks to Ms Megan McLellan and Ms Sarah Reynolds who have supported and guided the Music Program through countless meetings.

The Music Program has some incredibly exciting projects in the works which include Soiree in each term, performances at fetes and events, the creation of a Rock Band program, the creation of a Junior Symphony Orchestra and much more.

We look forward to a year filled with musical opportunities at Ashwood High School!

Liam Headland
Director of Music

Health & PE Learning Area Report

Dear Families and Students of Ashwood High School,

Welcome back to the 2023 academic year and boy has it been a busy one in the HPE Department.

Year 7
The new Year 7’s hit the ground running in HPE with eagerness and energy. In PE, students began learning the staple PE games at Ashwood such as ‘Benches and Boarotto Ball’ and have recently began participating in ‘Orienteering’ which set them up well for their hike on Year 7 Camp. In Health, students are learning about the ‘Benefits of Physical Activity’, understanding the importance of being physically active and what positive effects physical activity can have on our physical, social, and mental health.

Year 8
The Year 8s finally started the year as the ‘old’ kids on the block. In PE and Health, students are learning about ‘Fitness Components’ and applying their knowledge practically, meaning what they are learning in their Health lessons they are applying during their PE lessons.

Students are completing various fitness tests that focus on their Aerobic Capacity, Speed, Muscular Endurance, Agility, Muscular Power & Flexibility.

Year 9
The Year 9s have started the year with a bang. In PE, students are focusing on a unit called ‘Invasion Games’ in which they learn and apply the skills of ‘attacking, defending, creating space and maintaining possession’. Students are participating in small, sided games that will give them a base skill set that will allow them to be successful in any sport they play. In Health, students are learning about ‘Safe Partying’, in which they are gaining the knowledge and decision-making skills to make decisions regarding partying, alcohol and drug use when they get older.

Year 10
The Year 10s enter the Senior School and have HPE as a semester based subject. In PE, students have learned a plethora of ‘Cultural Games’ that are aimed at students learning non-traditional sports. These include ‘Finska, Mer Kai, Blind Snake and Jianzi’. In Health, students have learned about ‘Nutrition, Sports Nutrition and Performance Enhancing Drugs’. This knowledge will enable them to make healthier food choices and gives them an understanding of what fuel and hydration choices they can make if they want to train for a specific sport or event.

Our VCE subjects have seen two new teachers take over in 2023. Our VCE students are in great hands.
Year 11 HHD: Zoe Schinina
Year 12 HHD: Katherine Klopsteins

VCE PE has finally gotten up this year after being absent which the whole HPE Department is stoked about. The impressive numbers of Years 9 and 10 students that are choosing the different HPE electives has been a reason for this. VCE PE is an excellent subject and I highly encourage all students to try a HPE elective in Years 9 and 10 to see if they have an interest in doing either VCE HHD and/or VCE PE in the future.

James Boarotto
HPE Learning Area Coordinator

LOTE Learning Area Report

As the new LOTE Learning Area Coordinator I am pleased to say that we started 2023 on a strong note as the Years 11 and 12 French classes are preparing for their first School Assessed Coursework (SAC). The students are engaged and showing eagerness to learn and deepen their language skills. Whilst the Year 12 have started preparing for their end of year exams through their Study Units, the Year 11 are experiencing what it means to study French at a high level.

Our Chinese First Language students in Year 12 are also busily preparing for their assessments under the expertise of Ms Jen Wang - new addition to our team. They are presently working on imaginative writing and also preparing on their oral presentation which is a whole year project.

With the growing number of students learning French this year, especially in Year 7 and 8, the French faculty is also very happy to welcome Ms Meg McLellan and Ms Georgia Kazis. Their eagerness and proficiency are real assets for our middle school students.

We are pleased to announce that French Study Hall and French Club are again running this year.

French Study Hall offered on Mondays for students in Years 10 – 12, aims at assisting our learners who are seeking extra help with their French studies. I will run these sessions and encourage all our senior students to bring their work and  studious spirit to classroom G01, on Mondays after school from 3:30 to 4:30pm.

French Club will also continue on Wednesdays at lunchtime in classroom G01 with the support of Mr Rayner and Ms Kazis. This session is particularly tailored for our Middle School students and will allow them to learn French through games or work on upcoming assessments for extra practice. We look forward to seeing our students there.

Finally, after many years in waiting, under the supervision of Mr Rayner, our Year 9 and 10 students are actively preparing for their trip to New Caledonia this June. 23 students of French are planning to travel to New Caledonia with their French teachers, to increase their cultural knowledge and apply their comprehension and conversation skills immersed in the langue.

The French Film Festival is starting on 8 March to 5 April. We are planning excursions with our Years 9 and 10. Please be on the lookout for information about this event in the near future. I also encourage our wider school community to consider checking out some of the films on offer this year!

We have undoubtedly a great year ahead of us and I am looking forward to the various events that we will be organising for our students and the whole school community.

Delphine Marie
LOTE Learning Area Coordinator


Director of Sport Report

Welcome back to another year of Ashwood High School Interschool Sport. We will be looking to produce some even better results this year, as we have been steadily growing (both in enrolments and winning teams) since 2016.

You may have noticed the event on Compass titled: Sports Carnivals 2023. This year once again, all 3 major whole school sporting carnivals, Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics have been bundled into one Compass event. This is to make it easy for families to make one payment of $40 which will cover the cost of running all three sporting carnivals.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to do this as soon as possible as the first major sporting carnival of the year, the Swimming Carnival is due to take place on Wednesday March (Week 5).

Here is the list of upcoming interschool sports days in Term 1:

As always, if you have any questions, please email me at:

I look forward to another year in the helm as the Director of Sport and continuing to grow from a good to great sporting school.

Ashwood Ball Kids
During the school holidays, Sebastian Trent (Year 9) and Mitchell Morton (Year 10) were selected amongst thousands of kids across Victoria and Australia to be a ballkid at the Australian Open.

These are volunteer positions and it's not an easy job they have, they are on call every day of their holidays from 8-29 January, they are expected to work very long days (Seb’s longest shift was 11 hours, and as late as midnight finish), and through very hot temperatures. A special mention about Mitch as he was among a handful of ballkids on the net that worked on the Women's final and Men's Doubles final on the final Saturday night, such an amazing achievement.

A very special achievement to have two boys from the same school. We are very proud of them as a community and hope that you may have seen them on the tv throughout the summer. Congratulations Seb & Mitch! Here are a selection of shots of the boys in action:

Tom Grbac
Director of Sport


Student Culture

My name is Lenore Twist and I am new to Ashwood High School this year. I have the privilege of having the role of Leading Teacher- Director of Student Voice, Inclusion and Agency. Along with teaching Maths and Food Studies, my role will be seen around the whole school. My job is to activate student voice, and agency in learning to strengthen students’ participation and engagement in school. This will be achieved by enhancing current opportunities for students to be involved in the education experience, for example through leadership opportunities, in assemblies and via co-curricular activities. It will involve devising processes to support students to have greater input and therefore greater independence and self-regulation in their own learning. I will also provide support for the inclusion of all students at Ashwood High School by working with staff to improve their inclusive educational practices, use Individual Education Plans, improve their differentiation, and reflect on the accessibility of their curriculum and assessment for all learners in their classroom.     

In my short time so far at Ashwood High School I have had the privilege of:

  • Working closely with the Principals and School Captains to facilitate the first whole school assembly for 2023.
  • Liaise with Student Led Club Prefects to ensure they have a staff member to assist with each club and organise the meeting schedule for all clubs
  • Work closely with Middle and Senior School Leadership Coordinators to establish SRC and appoint Year 7 SRC Leaders and Year 7 Ambassadors (through a competitive application and interview process)
  • Attend and assist at the Year 7 BBQ
  • Meet with Koori students and their families to support and develop their Individual Education Plans
  • Attend and assist with the running of Year 7 Camp

I am very much looking forward to my future at Ashwood High School, the culture is second to none and I am privileged and honoured to be a part of the community. I am eager to continue to meet and develop relationships with all members of the community; staff, students and families.

Lenore Twist
Director of Student Voice, Inclusion and Agency

International Student Program

Welcome to new international students
I would like to welcome our twenty-six new international students who recently joined our Ashwood High School family. I am sure they will appreciate the opportunities offered at Ashwood High School and enjoy our friendly, inclusive, and supportive community.

In Term 1 2023, we have 52 international students at Ashwood High School. Our international students are from China, Vietnam, United States of America, Cambodia, Chile, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Philippines.

I am pleased with our international students’ achievements in 2022 and I look forward to seeing more international student awards winners in 2023!

Homework Club
To provide additional academic support to international students, the International Student Program team is running Homework Club for Year 10 and Year 11 international students starting this week. The Homework Club commences in EO5 from 3:15pm to 4:15pm, Monday to Thursday.

If other year level international students wish to join the Homework Club, please feel free to speak to Ms Williams or Ms Wang.

Lunar New Year Celebration
At Ashwood High School, we take great pride in the development and diversity of our International Student Program, and we are delighted to celebrate this diversity with our annual Lunar New Year celebration. This year’s event was a tremendous success as always, and we would like to thank everyone who supported and participated in this important occasion.

Our school principal, Dr Moore, gave a heartful speech recognising the commitment, effort and dedication required by international students to study in a new country. He also expressed gratitude for their contribution to the school community and acknowledged the challenges they face. His words resonated the school’s commitment to supporting diversity and inclusivity. The students were very grateful to receive the red packets with Dr. Moore’s blessing for the Lunar New Year.


The school Leadership Team and the student Leadership Team have also shown their great support for this event.

The highlight of the celebration was undoubtedly the student performances, which showcased the talent and diversity of our student body. The two MCs are our International Student Captain, Carol Yuan, and our Year 11 VCE Perfect, Jason Suryanata, who also performed a high-level electric base solo.

The first standout performance was a duet featuring a western drum set played by our new student Jinchen (Mike) Mao in Year 7, and the Guzheng, one of the most popular Chinese traditional string instruments, played by Mike’s parent. This unique combination echoed our school’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Additionally, we had a talented violin player, Anya Zhu who is also a new student in Year 9, delivered a high-level performance that captivated the audience. Two Year 9 girls, Xuanyue Zhou and Tara Liu, sang a Chinese song which the lyrics were written while dressed in stunning traditional costumes.

The Year 12 cohorts closed the event with an uplifting and festival song to wish everyone luck in the new year.

We are proud of our International Student Program and contribution of our students to our school community. We look forward to continuing to support and celebrate the diversity of our program in the future.

Thank you for your ongoing support to our school community and Happy Lunar New Year.

Yonghong Williams
International Student Program Manager

Education Resource Centre Report

The Education Resource Centre’s mission is to promote information literacy and support teaching and learning at Ashwood High School by providing students and staff with access to relevant, well-managed information resources.

Open Hours
This term, the ERC is open as a quiet study space, at lunchtimes (no food or drinks please) and after school. We close at 3:30pm on Mondays and Fridays, and 4:30pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Online Access
Our Infiniti library management system provides staff and students with anywhere, anytime access to the ERC’s catalogue, and online resources. To access the homepage, follow this link or go to, Compass > Star Icon > Library System.

The ERC facilitates student research with easily accessible, up to date resources in a variety of formats. In addition to our broad collection of non-fiction books, the ERC provides access to two, excellent, online research databases, ‘Links Plus’, and ‘Britannica School’, as well as the educational video database, ‘ClickView’ and the media issues database, ‘Echo Online’. These online resources are searchable through the ERC’s catalogue, and they are highly recommended as initial go-to sites for all student research.

Recreational Reading
Reading makes us happier and more creative. To broaden the reading culture that exists at Ashwood High School, the ERC has a wonderful, ever-growing, fiction collection full of classic novels and current best sellers. The collection also includes highly acclaimed graphic novels and audiobooks. All items are available for loan and all loans must be registered before leaving the ERC.

Remember to find time to enjoy reading every day.

Matt Feeney
Education Resource Centre Coordinator


Parents & Friends Network Committee

Fundraising, Revenue & Building Works

Parent Payments
Ashwood High School has introduced a new structure for parent payments.  A payment of $450.00 for Year 7 – 12 students.  Years 9 and 10 students pay $450.00 and an additional $150.00 for electives.  Thank you to the families who made their payments prior to the end of the year and to families who have paid this year your contributions are greatly appreciated.

Information for parent payments has been added to the Compass Portal.  There are a variety of methods of payment available.

Ashwood High School values the high level of support it receives from families. Your contributions continue to assist us to broaden the educational experience of our students.  It has allowed us to provide: 

  • Student leadership and team building sessions
  • New classroom furniture
  • Award ceremonies
  • Education Resource Centre equipment – Library fund donations
  • New outdoor learning centre – Building Fund donations
  • Classroom resources
  • Gym equipment
  • Media equipment and resources
  • Art equipment and resources

Camps Sport Excursion Fund
CSEF applications can be submitted to reception by 23 June 2023.  For secondary school students the amount received will be $225.00.  This funding must be spent on school camps or trips, swimming and school organised sport programs, outdoor education programs, excursions and incursions.

If you are eligible for the CSEF fund and haven’t submitted a form or your family situation has changed, please contact reception on 9807 1333.

Accident Insurance and Ambulance Cover
Parents/Guardians are reminded that the Department does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students. Parents and guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance or transport as well as any other transport costs.

As there is no whole-of-school policy for student accidents or ambulance cover, you are reminded that:

  • parents or guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance or transport as well as any other transport costs; and
  • parents or guardians can purchase insurance policies from commercial insurers.

Personal Property
Parents, guardians and staff are reminded that the Department does not hold insurance for personal property brought to schools and it has no capacity to pay for any loss or damage to such property.

This can include mobile phones, calculators, toys, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises.  Students and staff should be discouraged from bringing any unnecessary or particularly valuable items to school.


  • Capital Works Program – Senior STEAM and Research Building.
  • Classroom resources
  • New photocopier will be purchased for Building H – Student and Staff use
  • Routine inspections for the school are scheduled for 2023 e.g. evacuation system
  • Building G will go under renovation in Term 2
  • New locker area
  • OH&S matters continue to be maintained

A warning to the school community to read parking restrictions signs outside the school.  The City of Monash frequents Vannam Drive during pick up and drop off times to ensure the safety of the school community on the roads.  Families have been booked in the past for stopping and letting their children out of the car in restricted areas.  A caution to students to use the attended crossing during drop off and pick up.  Vannam Drive is a busy thoroughfare during the day and student safety is of utmost importance. 

The Administration car park (Gate B) is for visitors only and not for student drop off or pick up.

Annual privacy reminder for our school community
Our school collects, uses, discloses and stores student and parent personal information for standard school functions or where permitted by law, as stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy.

Please take time to read our school’s collection notice, found on our website

We ask parents to also review the guidance we provide on how we use Microsoft 365 safely at the school and what parents can do to further protect their child’s information. If after reviewing the guidance, you have any questions or concerns regarding your child using Microsoft 365, please contact the school.

For more information about privacy, refer to:  Schools’ Privacy Policy — information for parents.  This information is also available in ten community languages:

  • Amharic
  • Arabic
  • Dari
  • Gujarati
  • Mandarin
  • Somali
  • Sudanese
  • Turkish
  • Urdu
  • Vietnamese

Fundraising is a function of the School Council and Council must approve all school-related fundraising events or activities on behalf of our school.

At the beginning of each school year, the School Council will approve any school-related fundraising events or activities for the upcoming year.  Please contact Debbie Whitehouse, Director of Business, with regards to fundraising at Ashwood High School.

Debbie Whitehouse
Director of Business