Principal's Report

Reflection on an Outstanding Semester 1 2024 – ‘Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success’
It has been an outstanding first semester for our school community. Thank you for your commitment to the continuous improvement process at Ashwood High School. We are on track to achieve the goals and targets of the Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) for 2024 and the School Strategic Plan (SSP) 2023 – 2026.

School Strategic Plan 2023 – 2026 – ‘Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success’
The School Strategic Plan (SSP) 2023 – 2026 was an outcome of the School Review in July 2022. The theme of my first SSP at Ashwood College / Ashwood High School (2015- 2018) was From Good to Great. The theme of the previous SSP (2019 -2023) was From Great to Exceptional. The theme of our current SSP is Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success. Collectively we have transformed Ashwood High School from a highly underperforming school in the Inner East to one of Victoria’s high performing and high-profile government schools. The main goals for our current SSP 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.

I am delighted to report that Ashwood High School is making excellent progress in working towards these goals. Ashwood High School’s Student Attitudes to School Survey (AtoSS) data has historically been very high, above state and similar schools, complementing our positive staff and parent opinion that reflects positively on the school’s shared sense of community, belonging, and strong academic focus.

Staffing – Excellence, Continuity and Coherence – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’
Ashwood High School currently boasts a dedicated team of over 100 staff members who bring their expertise and passion to our educational community. Members of the Ashwood High School community are extremely fortunate to belong to a school that is strategically resourced. In 2022, 18 new staff members, in 2023, 36 staff members, and in 2024, 21 new staff members were recruited and inducted into the school. Due to the growth and prosperity of the school, a total of 75 new staff members have joined Ashwood High School over the past 3 years.

We welcome, two additional staff members that have joined Ashwood High School, Pamela Newton-Brown an experienced teacher of students in VCE English and Shehani Rukunayake, a qualified teacher who has taken the role of Mini-School Administrator and in the short-term Acting Executive Assistant, while Donna Mineo is on leave. The purpose of the mini-school administration role is to service our growing school, supporting our wonderful teachers and students. Ashwood High School has been set up for ‘ongoing growth and sustained success’. I remain confident about our school’s future.

Ashwood High School – The Family Oriented School Community – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’
I am pleased to introduce a recent addition to the Ashwood High School family. Meg McLellan, Middle School Assistant Principal, gave birth to a baby boy Emilio Otto Navarro on Saturday 25 May at 4:09am. Our congratulations to Meg and her husband Mauricio Navarro. In the words of Meg McLellan ’I feeling grateful and excited’. I had the opportunity of holding Emilio when my wife Jacqueline and I visited Ms McLellan and her family soon after hearing the special news. In the words of Meg McLellan ‘Emilio is not the son of a milkman; he looks like his Dad’. We welcome Emilio who will be part of the Ashwood High School Year 7 catchment in 2037. Expected to be living out of zone, Emilio’s enrolment should be able to be permitted on compassionate grounds.

Student Enrolment 2024 / Projected Student Enrolment 2025– ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’
The graphic below shows that Ashwood High School’s current enrolment for 2024 is 944 students. This is unprecedented growth for a school that was on the brink of closure at the time of my appointment as Executive Principal. The Path Forward has delivered outstanding public-school education for the Ashwood High School community.

The student enrolment for 2025 will be known near the start of Term 3. It is anticipated that the overall student enrolment for 2025 will be over 1000 students. I am incredibly proud of the school’s transformation and improvement.

Year 7 2025 Enrolment Restriction and Ceiling – ‘Ongoing Growth and Sustained Success’
On Wednesday 24 April 2024 Ashwood High School held a very successful Ashwood Revealed – Open Day program. The popularity of Ashwood High School is at an all-time high. I am committed to maintaining our school status as a ‘niche’ school, where every student is known by name, delivering outstanding social and academic outcomes for students.

Towards the end of 2023 and the start of 2024, I have been involved in negotiations with the Department of Education to establish an enrolment ceiling at Year 7 to secure the school’s prosperity, profile, culture, and sustained success. Recently, I have received correspondence from the Department indicating that due to the overwhelming demand for places, there will be an enrolment restriction imposed on the school. In collaboration with the Department of Education, an enrolment ceiling of 190 students has been set for Year 7 2025.

From this point forward, priority for enrolment will be given to:

  • students residing within our school zone (guaranteed entry)
  • siblings of current students, regardless of their zone status
  • students living outside the zone, prioritised based on proximity to the school as determined by the findmyschool

Careers Expo – ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’ & ‘Increasing Parental and Community Engagement’
With the increased student enrolment, Ashwood High School is able to boost its guaranteed and viable curriculum. This means that the breadth and depth of subject offerings, particularly in the Senior School will continue to expand. Ashwood High School students are aspirational. The school is committed to satisfying student (and parent) thirst for knowledge on future pathways to university, TAFE, and full-time employment with ongoing training opportunities. The Ashwood High School Careers Expo was held on Tuesday 21 May 2024, showcasing career and course opportunities for our students, including undergraduate programs for both local and international students, pathway programs, traineeships, and apprenticeship opportunities and services offered by institutions for students who require extra assistance due to a disability.

Several reputable organisations, including Monash University, Le Cordon Blue, Box Hill Institute, Deakin University, Australian Defence Force, Holmesglen Institute, University of Tasmania, Swinburne University, Kangan Institute, Richmond Football Club Leadership Program, Gateway LLEN and many more exhibited on the night which was well attended with approximately 350 students and families attending.  Congratulations to Jodie Hechenberger and her team for the coordination of this magnificent event.

Subject Offerings 2025 – CAPs, VCE, VET & VCE VM Programs – ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’
I am pleased that the arrangement of the two mini schools implemented in 2021 (and designed in 2018) has led to subject blockings that better align Year 10 subjects with the structural conditions for successful studies at VCE.  The school’s teaching and learning program is based on providing a guaranteed and viable curriculum in conjunction with the school’s overall resources. Greater flexibility in the subject blockings provide more opportunities for student choice.  The school firmly believes in student engagement and academic excellence being driven by learner agency. The following subjects are being offered in 2025 (in addition to 2024) as part of the Senior School Handbook at Ashwood High School:

  • VCE Literature Units 3 & 4
  • VCE Geography Units 1 & 2
  • STEAM – Engineering at Year 10
  • Outdoor Education will run as a Year 10 Elective

Staff Workforce Planning for 2025 – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’
Ashwood High School will continue to retain, attract, and develop quality staff to the school. This period of growth and prosperity continues to provide us with an opportunity to continue to strengthen the quality of our workforce in support of the school Vision, values and goals.  Ashwood High School currently boasts a dedicated team of over 100 staff members who bring their expertise and passion to our educational community. Members of the Ashwood High School community are extremely fortunate to belong to a school that is strategically resourced. In 2022, 18 new staff members, in 2023, 36 staff members, and in 2024, 21 new staff members were recruited and inducted into the school. Due to the growth and prosperity of the school, a total of 75 new staff members have joined Ashwood High School over the past 3 years. It is anticipated that fewer staff members will be recruited into the school for 2025. Leading teacher positions will be the first positions advertised. The recruitment (advertising) process for 2025 has already commenced, with interviews scheduled early in Term 3. It is anticipated that due to school leadership’s strong focus on quality recruitment and coaching for improvement, there are positive opportunities for staff development, retention, and succession into middle leadership and leading teacher positions at the school. The school has been set up for ‘ongoing growth and sustained success’. I remain confident about our school’s ongoing growth and sustained success.

Leadership for Excellence and Equity – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’
Currently I am working with my leadership team to identify and develop our ‘next generation leaders’. As part of ensuring the school’s ongoing growth and sustained success, I have been able to attract high calibre teachers to the school, which in turn will provide additional leadership opportunities to meet the complex needs of a high performing school. Please refer to the new Academy Leadership Excellence Framework (ALEF) which is being used to build leadership capacity. The leadership framework sets out the practices, capabilities, and dispositions required for excellence at all levels of leadership. ​ It aims to equip teachers and school leaders with the skills and mindset to navigate student-centred decision making, continuing to drive positive improvement, innovation, and positive change.

Pupil Free Day – Report Writing Day – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’
A Pupil Free Day was held on Friday 7 June 2024 for the purpose of report writing.  Report proof reading continued in week 9 and reports will be published on Compass on the last day of school for Term 2, Friday 28 June 2024. I would like to congratulate staff for their commitment to quality teaching and learning, assessment and reporting.

Additional 5th Pupil Free Day for 2024 – Professional Practice Day – ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’
In line with Department guidelines, School Council has approved an additional pupil free day for 2024. The purpose of the Professional Practice Day is to develop curriculum through teacher collaboration. We will continue to focus on personalising the curriculum through consistency of implementation centred on the PIVOT Teaching and Learning Model.

The 5 pupil free days in 2024 are as follows:

  • Monday 29 January and Tuesday 30 January - Staff Professional Learning Conference
  • Friday 7 June - Report Writing Day
  • Tuesday 30 July - Professional Practice Day
  • Thursday 15 August - Curriculum Day.

School Examinations – Semester 1, 2024 - Growing Pride and Achievement’
Ashwood High School is focused on delivering high academic and social outcomes for students. The examination program which was introduced in June 2015, ensures that we have disciplined and accountable teaching and learning. I am pleased with the quality of the professionalism and care taken by staff and students. The examination program reflects positively on the school when I am taking prospective parent tours. The examination program occurred for years 7-11 students during the week of Monday 27 May 2024 to Friday 31 May 2024.  Thank you to all staff involved, ensuring a highly professional, rigorous and authentic assessment process.

General Achievement Test (GAT) and Practice GAT - Growing Pride and Achievement’
As part of The Path Forward, the school has placed a great deal of emphasis on improving student performance in the GAT. The GAT plays a role in the calculation of students’ ATAR scores. A practice GAT (section A) was held on the 23 May with students receiving feedback on the writing task following the assessment of a VCAA examiner. The 2024 GAT was held on Tuesday 18 June 2024. A GAT Information Session was held on Tuesday 21 May 2024.  This session enabled VCE students to obtain an understanding about the expected rigours of this exam, as well as exposure to the style of questioning.

Co-curricular Programs 2024 – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’
Ashwood High School educational philosophy is centred on developing students as well-rounded people and learners. The school vision is centred on delivering high social and academic outcomes for students. The school’s focus on students’ holistic learning growth is reflected in the school’s outstanding curriculum and co-curricular programs. Once again, I would like to thank the outstanding staff of Ashwood High School for their discretionary efforts in providing a dynamic and diverse range of co-curricular activities. Ashwood High School boasts 26 co-curricular clubs, rivalling many high fee-paying independent schools. It is a pleasure to share this information with you. I am confident that parents of the school appreciate the quality of the programs that accommodate students’ needs and interests, developing their strengths. Co-curricular Programs have included:


  • Years 9 and 10 Interschool Sport Monday 22 July 2024
  • Year 8 Sport Thursday 5 September 2024
  • Mullum Division Athletics Carnival Thursday 12 September 2024
  • Year 7 Sport Tuesday 17 September 2024


  • Woodwind Night 22 May 2024
  • NEVR Performance 29 May 2024
  • Guitar and Drums Night 5 June 2024
  • VCE Year 11 Performance Night 11 June 2024
  • VCE Year 12 Performance Night 12 June 2024
  • Brass Night 13 August 2024
  • Drums Night 20 August 2024
  • Music Soiree 5 September 2024

Co-curricular Clubs including Ashbook Club (Michelle Leane and Van Olst); Creative Writing Club (Michelle Leane, English Teachers); French Club (Delphine Marie, French Teachers); Homework Club (Yonghong Williams, Kai Yin); Humanities Club (Ned Hayward, Andrea Van Olst, Stephanie Poland); Maths Club (Jay Chan, Maths Team); Study Hall (Michael Cifra, Edward Williams and Kathryn Robinson); Aerobics Club (Zoe Schinina, Ruby Cameron, Eirini Vilianioti); Badminton Club (Dr Bruce Verity); Running Club (Jeff Newman); Volleyball Club (James Boarotto, PE teachers);  Art Club (Carolyn Hamilton, Ava Lillywhite); Drama Club (Erin Laffan, Leah Reid and Hamish Lee); Open Studio (Marnie Edmiston); Ashfeed Club (Sachael Miller, Daisy Harvison); Breakfast Club (Long Nguyen, Wellbeing Team);  Chess Club (Rory Fahey, Ryan Lim, JayC Carter); Cross Cultures Club (Kai Yin); Debating Club ( Khwaish Madan, Daisy Harvison, Cormac Morrin, Amy Russo ,Hannah Williams); esports Club (Daniel McBride); Interact Club  (Megan Mooney, Fatema Sajid, Isla Minton, Amasha Gunasekara, Ally Mills, Jennifer Nguyen); Wellbeing Club (Renee Callander) ; SRC Club (Sachael Miller, Andrea Van Olst, Barbra Campelo, Jake Bugeja, Alicia Joseph, Izzy  Gullan, Laura Gosbell, Tom Houghton, Yunal Lutfi,  Georgie Taylor, Amber Balmer, Noah Rostan).  

The outstanding array of high quality co-curricular activities make you proud to be a part of the Ashwood High School community.

Clean Up Australia Day – ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’
Congratulations to the Student Representative Council and student leaders for their outstanding contribution to “Clean Up Australia Day” at ‘The Jewel of the East’ on Wednesday, 19 June 2024. A special thank you and congratulations to Megan Mooney for her dedication and effort in leading this wonderful event. It is a pleasure to highlight our students' respect for their school, as well as their gratitude and commitment to preserving the exceptional facilities and grounds of Ashwood High School. The event was a great success, with strong participation from students across all year levels. Well, done to everyone involved!

Instrumental Music Program – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’
Due to the fine reputation of our Music School, the Instrumental Music Coordination team of the North-Eastern Victoria Region has showcased Ashwood High School students at the NEVR Concert Sonic Canvas at Hamer Hall on Wednesday 29 May 2024. The regional office has acknowledged Ashwood High School’s advocacy for quality public school music education. Congratulations to Liam Headland, Director of Music, the team of instrumental music teachers and students for their contribution to the success of the event. Rehearsals for the event took place in the Performing Arts Centre at Ashwood High School where student bands from high performing public schools in the Inner East came together to develop their repertoires. I am pleased that Ashwood High School is being recognised as a school of music excellence.

Principal’s Awards – Term 3 – ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’
Three suites of Principal’s Awards will be presented in Term 3 for the tenth consecutive year: Academic Excellence, Academic Endeavour, and Citizenship / Leadership Awards. These will be presented to eligible students at the presentation of Principal’s Awards Ceremony on Friday 2 August 2024.

STRIDE – Framework for Sporting Excellence Program – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’, Four Pillars of a GREAT school’
Our school continues to have a creative orientation as part of leading improvement, innovation, and change; never standing still, not resting on its laurels. This creative orientation which has underpinned the school’s transformation along with characteristics such as interpersonal courage and determination has imbued the school improvement narrative with purpose, appreciation, and vision. The Framework for Sporting Excellence Program titled ‘STRIDE’ forms an integral part of the school improvement narrative.

STRIDE is personified by the image of the human figure depicted in the top left yellow quadrant of the school crest, characterising the school motto ‘Vision Inspired Action’. Through STRIDE our school Framework for Sporting Excellence, we advance our proud school culture of empowerment and excellence based on mutual respect, enhancing the attitudes, dispositions, and actions of students and staff in sport. STRIDE is linked with our school values – CHOIR, fostering a shared sense of community through enhanced participation and success in sport. STRIDE is linked with our school wellbeing model – CREATE, fostering health and wellbeing through exercise.

Further to my engagement with Deakin University’s academics in Exercise and Sports Science, I have started collaborating with key health, physical education and sport teachers to put ‘meat on the bones’ of our Sporting Excellence Framework. STRIDE (like all other frameworks and models developed by the school) is informed by evidence, research, and best practice. I am extremely pleased with the progress of the framework, which will be presented for discussion at the Education Sub-committee meeting 7 in Term 4, 2024. Following this discussion, a Sporting Excellence Working Party will be scheduled by Ms Caroline Servadei, Acting Middle School Assistant Principal. Currently, I am working with teaching staff to develop High Impact Sporting Excellence Strategies (HISES) for each of the guiding principles of STRIDE – Success, Teamwork, Resilience, Inclusion, Determination, and Enjoyment. A brief preview of the draft Framework for Sporting Excellence Program has been provided for your information (see below).

House Performing Arts Festival – ‘Enhancing the Student Culture’, ‘Growing Pride and Achievement’, ‘Valuing Staff and Building Capacity’, & ‘Increasing Positive Parental and Community Engagement’
Sachael Miller, Director of Student Voice, Inclusion and Agency is the producer of the House Performing Arts Festival in 2024. The theme is centred on Aboriginal art and culture focusing on the Wurrundjeri symbols for each of the four Houses: Cowan - Balayang (Bat), Flynn - Wang (Crow), Melba - Bunjil (Eagle) and Paterson - Berimul (Emu). Students will be developing Aboriginal theme songs and dances for each of their houses based on the Aboriginal icons / symbols. The House Performing Arts Festival will be held on Thursday 12 and Friday 13 September 2024. I eagerly anticipate the opportunity to be an audience member and witness innovation and excellence in the creative arts at Ashwood High School. Over the past 9 years  staff of Ashwood High School have shown incredible determination in bringing to fruition the school vision through a significant commitment to one of the pillars of our great school -the creative arts.

STEAM and Research Centre - Official Opening – ‘The Jewel of the East’
The state government has acknowledged the hard work of state government principals, assistant principals, teaching, and non-teaching staff in supporting the learning and development of Victoria’s children and young adults. Schools previously allocated Capital Works funding have recently been informed that, due to budgetary constraints, the capital works programs will no longer proceed. Ashwood High School's quality funding application for the major Capital Works Program in July 2020 was exceptionally well-timed, resulting in an outcome unparalleled in the government school education system. We are currently working with the VSBA confirming details for the official opening of the STEAM and Research Centre in Term 3 by the Minister for Education, Minister for Medical Research and Deputy Premier, The Honourable Ben Carrol.

A Safe and Enjoyable Term 2 Break – Congratulations Ashwood High School Community
Ashwood High School extends its wishes for a safe and enjoyable break to all members of the school community. I would like to thank all members of the school community for their contribution to a very busy, exciting, and rewarding term at Ashwood High School. I would particularly acknowledge my hard working, competent, and caring staff who deliver on the Ashwood High School vision, values and goals.  Congratulations to all students, you continue to demonstrate appreciation for the opportunities made available to you. Thank you to parents for your gratitude and willingness to work in partnership with the school in support of students in delivering high social and academic outcomes. I wish all members of the Ashwood High School community a rewarding holiday and study break. We look forward to seeing you back at school for Term 3 on Monday 15 July 2024.

Dr Brett Moore
Executive Principal
Friday 28 June 2024


Upcoming Events

Senior School Formal


Middle School News

We're thrilled to conclude Term 2 with a newsletter bursting with Middle School triumphs! This term has been filled with hard work, dedication, and exciting developments, and we want to celebrate it all with you.

 Exam Week Champions
A huge congratulations to all of our Middle School students! You navigated exam week with such focus and determination, and your commitment truly shines through. We know how much effort goes into preparing for exams, so take a moment to be proud of yourselves! Remember, a well-deserved break is on its way to help you recharge.

Beyond academics, we were incredibly proud to see our Years 7 and 8 students light up the sporting field during Interschool competitions. Your teamwork, sportsmanship, and competitive spirit were inspiring. Many students participated in sports that they hadn’t done before and experienced great success with their teammates.

The Year 9 cohort have the opportunity to comence their VCE studies in 2025 and were briefed about the application process of this. Congratulations to the Year 9 students who successfully applied to begin an early commencement VCE subject in 2025! Taking on VCE subject in Year 10 is a significant accomplishment, and we're excited to support you as you embark on this new challenge. Your dedication and ambition are truly admirable.

Empowering Wellbeing for Success
In Tutor Group classes, students have been actively exploring essential life skills, and learning to understand and manage their emotions in healthy ways. They have also delved into developing effective study habits and building strong, positive relationships with classmates and teachers. These tools will empower them not only throughout Middle School but also as you navigate life beyond.

Now, it's time to celebrate all of your achievements and embrace a well-deserved Term 2 break! We encourage everyone to use this opportunity to recharge, relax, and explore personal interests. Remember, taking time to unwind is crucial for returning to Term 3 feeling refreshed and ready to learn.

Mark Your Calendars for Term 3
Get ready for another exciting term packed with learning, activities, and friendly competition! Here's a sneak peek at what awaits you in Term 3:

  • Applications for School Colour House positions open in the first week of Term 3
  • Year 8 Camp to Roses Gap: In week 2 of Term 3, you'll embark on a thrilling adventure camp at Roses Gap. Prepare for exciting challenges, teamwork activities, and unforgettable experiences to bond with your classmates
  • The Year 9 Interschool Sports competition kicks off in Term 3 Week 2.

Harriet Cooper
Middle School Engagement, Wellbeing & Transitions Leader

House Reports

Cowan House
Cowan students have had a busy and productive term, finding time to keep active through participating in interschool sports. Our students have been demonstrating exceptional talent and sportsmanship in various interschool sporting events, including soccer, football, and netball, just to name a few. These competitions not only provide a platform for showcasing athletic skills but also foster friendships and school spirit. We encourage all students to continue participating and supporting their peers in these events.

Thank you to all of the Cowan students who actively participated in the Clean up Australia Day Event. This initiative provided a fantastic opportunity for students and staff to come together and contribute to the preservation of our environment. Thank you to everyone involved for making a positive impact!

Ms Kazis and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with the students and their families in the Cowan community. Our collaboration with Cowan families and students has been instrumental in providing additional support and resources, ensuring that every student has the opportunity to thrive both academically and personally. We deeply value these partnerships and are grateful for the contributions and engagement of all involved.

We are proud of the achievements and spirit of our students and look forward to continuing to work together to foster an enriching and supportive school community.

A special congratulations goes to our Student of the Week recipients from this term.

Asha Ramirez-White, Daniel Balakas, Zachary Hatters, William Tull, Sam Arthur, Keran Zhao and Elka Dench

Megan Mooney
Cowan Assistant House Coordinator

Flynn House
As we approach the mid-year break, I am increasingly proud of Flynn House’s achievements. As the year progresses, many of our students are highlighting their strengths, their positive work ethic, their resilience and the great values they are consistently developing.

We celebrated the winning of the Cross-country and Athletics Carnivals, with our students in our House collaborating in all events to come out overall winners. We congratulate all Houses for their great sportsmanship but there can only be one winner.

There is great optimism building with the approaching School Colour applications in Term 3, as many students are amassing green Chronicle entries on Compass due to incredible efforts in all pillars. It is anticipated that these nominations will continue to increase in Semester 2.

Completing a wide range of the learning modules that incorporate our CHOIR values in Tutor Group has enthused students to reflect upon and set meaningful goals for their wellbeing heading into Semester 2. It is heartening to see our students so connected to their learning and demonstrating great collaboration and mentoring of their peers in Tutor Group. We are grateful for the wonderful team of tutor group teachers who deliver and provide deep insights to our students every week.

With the examination period over, we thank all students for showing great respect for their learning and completing exams in an orderly and well-organised manner.

Furthermore, we congratulate our Student of the Week recipients who were awarded an award throughout this semester for their efforts in a range of areas and exhibiting CHOIR values.

Row 1 left to right: Adam Essex-Roe, Ethan Reedy, Will Thompson, Gargi Karve, Peihua Cai

Row 2 left to right: Danyang Wang, Harley Bongiorno, Christopher Lillywhite, Ashwin Ganesh, Kiana Tomaszewski 


Row 3 left to right: Maaike McMillan, Tegan Hew, Sam Williams, Holly Garner, Matisse Simpson  

Leading into the holidays, we wish everyone a well-deserved break and a successful and prosperous second semester.

Vicky Dernikos
Flynn House Coordinator

Melba House
As we approach the end of this term, we are pleased to celebrate the many achievements and exciting events that have taken place in Term 2.

For our Middle School students, Term 2 brings the nerve-racking yet exciting challenge that is Semester Exams. Students revised, developed positive study habits, consolidated their knowledge and should be commended for their efforts. We are immensely impressed with the commitment to learning and perseverance demonstrated.

We encourage everyone to mark your calendars for the upcoming House Performing Arts Festival, occurring towards the end of Term 3. Melba students have been hosting regular meetings and working tirelessly on writing scripts and casting roles. There is still plenty of opportunities for students to get involved including assisting with set design, costuming, dancing and various musical elements.

Additionally, we would like to congratulate the following students on being nominated for Melba Student of the Week. So far this term we have celebrated the achievements of June Badral, Archie Jarvis-Stewart, Cooper Laier, Sienna Bianchi, Charlie Romano, Cooper Portman, Ashley Dubois, Kexin Liu and Mingyao Huo.

Looking ahead, the upcoming school holidays will be a well-deserved break for everyone. It's a time to recharge, reflect, and return refreshed for the challenges and opportunities that await in the new term.

Shenae Dixon and Stephanie Poland
Meba House Coordinators

Paterson House
This term has been incredibly eventful and bustling with activity for our students. Week 7 marked an important milestone as students diligently undertook their exams, demonstrating their hard work and commitment to their studies. The staff couldn't be prouder of the hard work and commitment shown by everyone involved.

In Term 2, interschool sport participation from our Paterson House students was extremely high. Our students have shown exceptional enthusiasm and sportsmanship, representing Ashwood with pride and excellence. We commend all the students for their dedication and effort, and we look forward to more exciting sporting events in the future.

In Week 10, we held an annual Clean Up Ashwood Day, and it was heartening to see a large number of Paterson students volunteer their Wednesday afternoon to help clean and beautify our school community. Their efforts have made a significant impact, ensuring that our school grounds are a cleaner, greener, and more pleasant environment for everyone. We extend our gratitude to all the students who participated and demonstrated such strong community spirit.

Meanwhile, the talented and enthusiastic students of Paterson House are channelling their creativity and dedication into preparing for the highly anticipated House Performing Arts Festival, scheduled to take place in Term 3. We are excited to see the exceptional performances they will bring to the stage!

I'm pleased to announce and congratulate Olivia Carman, Natasha Sturrock, Arnav Ghai, Sofia Reifter, Daniel Arvanitis, Angel Patel, Aarav Sharma, Tilly Greich, Najim Samad, and Jake Morrison for their well-deserved recognition as Students of the Week in Term 3. Their positive attitudes and dedication are commendable.

As the semester comes to a close, students are eagerly anticipating the upcoming holidays. This break will provide a much-needed opportunity for everyone to recharge and prepare for the next term. Exciting times lie ahead, as students will be moving into their new assigned electives. These new subjects will offer fresh challenges and opportunities for growth, sparking renewed enthusiasm and engagement in our students.

We wish everyone a restful and enjoyable holiday and look forward to welcoming you back with renewed energy and enthusiasm for the new term.

Brian Lanigan and Zoe Schinina
Paterson House Coordinators






Middle School Captains' Report

As Semester 1 comes to a close, let’s reflect on the amazing Term 2 our Middle School has had so far.

Our Winter Concert was a great success with so many Middle School students getting involved! Congratulations to all the Middle School students that performed and to our Middle School Music Captain Jane Lee, on presenting so well as Master of Ceremonies.

The school Athletics Carnival and Cross Country Carnival were a great success this term. Many students participated and showed great House spirit. Congratulations to Flynn for taking home the win. A big congratulations to all the Middle School students that were involved!

The House Performing Arts Festival is well underway, with all our Middle School leaders preparing for the event. We are very excited for the fun to continue into next term and to see the final performances in Week 7. We look forward to seeing all Middle School students performing and the show of House spirit!

We hope everyone has a relaxing and enjoyable winter holiday and we look forward to seeing you in Term 3.

Hannah Williams and Ameer Bux
Middle School Captains

Senior School News

Dear Ashwood High School Community,

Ashwood High School values a strong sense of community and the wonderful opportunities community connection provide our students with. This was evident at the Senior School Subject Selection Information Evening held for Years 9 and 10 students on Tuesday 21 May. The evening involved presentations from all the Learning Area Leaders about the VCE and VCE-VM subjects on offer for 2025. A huge thank you all the Learning Area Coordinators for their presentations about their subjects in 2025 to and the successful organisation of the evening.

Our students in Senior School continue to develop high expectations and their drive for excellence, as evidenced throughout the Week 7 Years 11 and 10 Examinations and the completion of the Unit 3 and 4 VCE and VCE-VM GAT. All students undertook the Semester 1 Exams with the utmost professionalism. We as a school are very proud of the way our Senior School students conducted and prepared themselves for their exams and we commend them for their efforts.

The Ashwood High School Course Counselling Process has begun for students enrolling in VCE subjects in 2025. We believe in providing our students with a well-rounded education that caters to their individual interests, strengths, and aspirations. The Year 10 into Year 11 and Year 11 into Year 12 Course Counselling Process is a crucial milestone in helping students make informed decisions about their academic pathways for the years ahead. The Course Counselling Process has been an opportunity for students to reflect upon their academic progress, explore different subject options, and receive guidance from our experienced staff. During this process, we assisted the students in selecting subjects that align with their passions, abilities, and future goals while also ensuring they meet the necessary prerequisites for further pathways beyond school.  

The Year 11 VCE-VM students have been working within our local Ashwood High School community garden to better understand how to develop our community and improve sustainability practices.  The students have also been working on understanding more about how pathways programs in our community work which included an excursion to the Richmond Football Club where keys members of the club discussed and presented how the club works from a business model and how the players are educated including job opportunities in the future. The presentation included details of pathway programs offered within the Richmond Football Club to students who have finished the VCE-VM program at Year 12. The Richmond Football Club Institute and Swinburne University offer programs for students who are interested in business and sports management courses.

Some Unit 3 and 4 students will be involved in the VCE practice exam program led by our Senior School Student Outcome Leader, Mr Dom Holloway in the upcoming holidays. This will give our students the best possible practice for the upcoming VCE Unit 3 and 4 exams commencing at the end of October. Please check Compass for the VCE Holiday Program details.

I wish all members of the Ashwood High School community a safe and happy break over the holidays, and I look forward to seeing you all in Term 3.

Tom O'Toole
Senior School Engagement, Wellbeing and Pathways Leader


School Captains' Report

June signifies the halfway point of both the school year and the year as a whole. As Term 2 comes to a close, students have a holiday break to look forward to after the undoubtedly stressful mid-year exam period that has recently passed.

The exam period took place between 27 and 31 May 2024, during which Ashwood High School students between Years 7-11 were tested on their knowledge across their subjects. Electives subjects for Years 7-10, will conclude for students after this first semester, giving students new classes to look forward to and prepare for going into Term 3.

On Thursday 23 May 2024, Ashwood High School hosted a practice General Achievement Test for students enrolled in VCE Units 3 and 4 subjects or Year 12 VCE-VM students, preparing students for the real GAT on Tuesday 18 June 2024.

VCE students were privileged to experience their first Ashwood High School Formal this term. Held at the Grand on Princess, the event was a huge success and fostered core memories for many students.

We have also held a Clean Up Australia Day event, with a gold coin donation non-uniform day. The proceeds from the green themed day will go towards the funding of new bins.

Our music program is thriving, with many concerts being held in the final weeks of school. The talent and dedication of ensembles and bands truly demonstrates the community and commitment within our school. It has been inspiring to witness firsthand, the growth and support of the many artists at our school, led by the immense efforts of teaching staff.

Despite the cold and rainy weather, life at Ashwood High School is still as lively as ever. We hope you have all had a wonderful first semester, and we will see you after the break!

Emma Hew and Miles Guy
2024 School Captains


Careers & Pathways

The Ashwood High School Careers Expo was a roaring success, with excellent feedback from students, parents and exhibitors. Thank you to all students and parents who came in support of the event. Apart from the wealth of information received from exhibitors, students also enjoyed the extra goodies including basketballs, drink bottles, pens, phone accessories and much more.

I would also like to thank all who assisted with the execution of the expo;

  • Mrs Huggins who assisted with set up and engaging exhibitors
  • Ms Robertson for assistance during the organisation process, set up and clean up
  • The Learning Area Coordinators – Mr Boarotto, Mr Chan, Ms Hamilton, Mr Hayward, Mr Headland, Ms Lean, Ms Marnie and Ms Richards with the support of Ms Gannoulis Director of Teaching and Learning, thank you Mr O’Toole, Senior School Student Engagement, Wellness and Pathways Leader
  • The student volunteers – Daisy Harvison, Edyn Buckingham, Yunal Lutfi, Noah Rostan, Cormac Morrin, Emma Hew, Wesley Pryor, Jason Suryanata, Grace Adler, Tom Rao, Fatema Sajid, Molly Brasch, Isabella Keni-Jones, Ameer Bux, Ava Morrin, Tom Houghton, Gilly McCann, Ha Nguyen, Chris Sequeira, Kyle Vu and Lachlan Bugeja
  • Ms Van Olst, Ms Bracegirdle and Mrs Servadei for helping to organise student volunteers
  • Ms Robinson and the Year 11 VCE – Vocational Major class for making the pizza, it was a hit!
  • Mr Georgakopoulos, Mr Dias and Mr Lokuge for their facility and IT support
  • The PE Department for the use of the gym and assistance with set up and pack up
  • Mrs MacLarn and Ms Tan for assisting with refreshments and various supplies
  • Belinda for the use of the canteen.

I am very much looking forward to next year’s Career Expo; see you all there!

Year 11 commenced their Career Action Plans om Tuesday 11 June 2024. Year 11s who have not yet completed their action plans, you still have time. If you need a refresher you will find the student user guide here 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.

Year 9 Morrisby Profiling
On Wednesday 12 June 2024 the long-awaited Morrisby Profiling commenced. Thank you again to all students and teachers who participated in the delivery of this wonderful program. If students haven’t completed the profile, please do so over the holidays – you will still have access.

The Morrisby Interviews will commence early next term, parents and guardians are encouraged to attend. Interview dates will be released once confirmed.

Year 10 completed their last career lesson for the term on Tuesday 18 June 2024. Students have been working towards creating a Career Portfolio including a Resume and Cover Letting as well as working on their interview skills in preparation for the Mock interviews in Term 3.

Year 10 are still working towards arranging their work experience placements. All students can access further information regarding work experience and possible placements via the Ashwood High School Careers Website their Work Experience Information Kit and the Where to Apply for Work Experience resource were distributed in Form Group.

Please ensure completed Work Experience Arrangement Forms are submitted to Ms Robertson as soon as you secure your work experience placement. A placement is only guaranteed when you have had the employer sign on the dotted line.

Completed Work Experience Arrangement Forms are due no later than Friday 28 June 2024.

Ms Robertson’s office is in Building E.

Jodie Hechenberger
Careers & Pathways Coordinator

Kristin Robertson
Jobs, Skill & Pathways Assistant Coordinator



Accelerated Curriculum and Enrichment Program

For June’s ACE newsletter article, we will be shining a light on Ashwood High School's Year 8 ACE class as they have been working on a number of exciting things in Term 2! Most notably in their ACE Humanities/Philosophy Politics Unit. The unit focused on the intricacies of political campaigns and provided students with hands-on experience in creating and presenting their own political parties. This engaging project culminated in lively campaigns where students pitched their platforms to the Ashwood High School Community who then voted on their party of choice.

The unit required students to form political parties, develop comprehensive platforms, and effectively communicate their ideas. Three standout parties emerged from this exercise: The Student Voice Party, The Prosperity Party, and The Ashwood Facilities Party.

The Student Voice Party centred their campaign on amplifying student voices within the school. They advocated for more student involvement in decision-making processes, including more frequent meetings and student representation on school boards. Their platform emphasised transparency, open communication, and student empowerment, which resonated with many.

The Prosperity Party focused on the economic and academic advancement of Ashwood High School. They proposed initiatives such as reducing Canteen prices, student run extra curricular activities and also campaigned for a Teacher of the Week award.

The Ashwood Facilities Party took a pragmatic approach, focusing in on improving the school's physical environment. Their campaign included plans for upgrading the school’s facilities paying particular attention to bins and single use plastics. They argued that a better-maintained school environment would directly contribute to student success and well-being.

Each party had to conduct thorough research, prepare persuasive speeches, and engage in debates. The teachers acted as constituents, listening to each campaign's pitches and casting their votes based on the persuasiveness and feasibility of the proposals.

This practical application of political theory allowed students to gain a deep understanding of the democratic process and the complexities involved in running a campaign. They learned valuable skills in public speaking, critical thinking, and teamwork. The project not only enriched their academic knowledge but also fostered a sense of civic responsibility and leadership.

The Ashwood Facilities Party’s campaign was a personal favourite of mine and I was not surprised when they snagged top of the poll. Well done Tilly Griech, Tvishaa Viswanathan, Ben Knowles and Benji Edwards.

Congratulations to the Year 8 ACE class for their hard work and impressive achievements in this Politics Unit. Their dedication and innovative ideas have left a lasting impact on Ashwood High School, showcasing the incredible potential of our students. Thank you to Ms Jordyn Bracegirdle for facilitating this initiative with students.
Edwina Nolan
Acting Enrichment and Professional Learning Leader




English Learning Area Report

Exploring justice – through song!
In the final weeks of Term 2, the Year 10 English cohort has been busy researching a list of poignant songs, each relevant to a significant political movement or protest. From the likes of Took The Children Away by Archie Roach, who brings to light the harsh injustices of Australian government policies that brought about the Stolen Generations, to Zombie by The Cranberries, which highlights the vicious cycle of war and the plight of those fleeing war-torn landscapes, students have been at hard at work informing themselves about protests and movements that they may not have encountered prior to beginning their research.

Armed with their research, students then wrote and presented an informative oral presentation about one song from the playlist, with the specific purpose of explaining the song and its meaning to their peers. These oral presentations were conducted in class, with all students braving the often-daunting task of speaking publicly in front of an audience of their peers.

This assessment task marks the commencement of the Year 10 English classes’ ‘Crafting Texts’ Unit which, in preparation for VCE Units 1-4 English studies, challenges students to ‘craft’ pieces of writing according to set parameters. For example, students may be tasked with writing a) a letter to the editor, which b) is targeted towards an audience of AFL fans, with the purpose of c) persuading them to be mindful of their behaviour in sporting venues.

In Year 10, the ‘Crafting Texts’ unit will proceed with a key framework guiding the subject matter of all the texts students will craft: That’s Not Fair. This statement, which all of us have said many a time before, will prompt students to unpack complex, and highly relevant, ideas, including: injustice, inequality, and fairness.

The Year 10 English teaching team was thrilled to see such enthusiastic approaches to this research task, with many students expressing surprise at the hidden messages behind these songs.

Well done to the students of Year 10 English!

A Spotify playlist curated by the Year 10 English Teaching Team of all the songs for students to choose from. Playlist is accessible at: It needs to change - playlist by katrinaketsakidis | Spotify

[That’s] Not Fair – the framework for the Year 10 English ‘Crafting Texts’ unit

Nick Gale
English Teacher


Mathematics Learning Area Report

Year 11 General Mathematics
‘Units 1 and 2 General Mathematics is a good subject to gain a basis of maths which can be applied in the real world, and allows you to use critical thinking abilities which are also used in everyday life.’  Cooper Stephens


 Year 11 Vocational Major Numeracy
‘VM Numeracy has been very engaging so far this year. The workload is manageable, and what we learn in class is relevant to the real world. For example, we were able to plan a road trip where we calculated the distance, determined how long it would take us, and decided where we would stay and what places we would visit while we were "away."  Numeracy is not only expanding our practical Maths skills but also gave us a taste of real-life planning and decision-making. This hands-on experience showed us how classroom knowledge can be applied outside of school.’  Edyn Buckingham

Year 11 Specialist Mathematics
In Year 11 Specialist Mathematics, we have been studying advanced topics in algebra, arithmetic and geometric sequences and ways of summing the terms in these sequences, polynomial equations, and partial fractions. More recently, students have been challenged by the topics of mathematical proofs and logic, which are new to most students and very different to junior maths.

In semester 2, we will move on to trigonometry, complex numbers, graphs of functions and vectors.

This subject approaches maths in a very rigorous manner and students have learnt not only to be precise in their thinking and in their expressing of maths problems, but also to consider new ways of approaching problems drawing on the full range of their mathematics skills and experience. This subject is enjoyed by students who want to be challenged and extended in their understanding and fluency with maths. The students have proven themselves up to the challenge.

Dr Bruce Verity
Maths Teacher


Science Learning Area Report

Our Year 7 students have been diving into the fascinating world of separation techniques in their Science classes this term. From hands-on experiments to interactive demonstrations, they are gaining valuable insights into how mixtures can be separated into their individual components.

The unit began with an introduction to the concept of mixtures and the various methods used to separate them. Students learned about different types of mixtures, and explored why separating these mixtures is important in both everyday life and industrial applications.

Nothing beats the excitement of practical experiments, and our Year 7s were eager to get started. In our well-equipped Science Lab, they tried their hands at various separation techniques such as filtration, evaporation, distillation, and chromatography.

Stephanie Richards
Science Learning Area Coordinator

Creative Arts and Technologies Learning Area Report

Year 11 Visual Communication Design students have been busy designing a sustainable fruit juicer specifically for children to use. They have documented their ideas working through the design process, completed human centred research and completed technical drawings. Here are just a few of the innovative and child friendly results.

Year 9 Visual Communication Design students designed packaging to convey the purpose and function of consumer products. Working in groups, they constructed a design brief and then applied skills in technical drawing methods and Adobe Photoshop to design packaging nets that showcase their creativity and address the needs of their clients, audiences and user groups.

CDW Studios, a recent attendee at Ashwood High School’s Careers Expo, has offered students the opportunity to develop their creative skills in Character Design. Current Year 12 student Lily Robertson will attend a two-day workshop during the Term Three holidays which will focus on key design principles and drawing skills. Run by CDW Studios’ Peter Yong, students attending the workshop will have the chance to learn from his 15 years of experience working in the design and gaming industries.

With VCE Units 2 & 4 starting and semester based electives swapping over, it is busy and exciting time in the Art Technology Department. Wishing everyone a safe and ‘Arty’ holiday.

Carolyn Hamilton
Arts Technology Learning Area Coordinator

Year 9 Media
During the semester Year 9 Media have investigated representations in the media. They have planned, recorded and mixed soundscapes, developed Treatments, scripts, story boards and shot lists in the preproduction stage of film making. They have performed production exercises learning how to use filming equipment successfully to shoot the various, shot types, angles and camera movements and then learned how to use editing software to bring their footage together in a cohesive form. Finally, they have worked in groups to develop short narratives to work collaboratively to film and edit for class screening.

Students performing their production exercises

Storyboard samples

Year 10 Media
During Semester 1 students in Year 10 Media studied Film narrative and how to analyse scenes using codes and conventions. Additionally they completed a practical unit related to digital photography. Students investigated a photographer and emulated the style of their photographer’s work.

Samples of work by the students related to the Famous Photographer Assignment

Kath Robinson
Media Teacher



Instrumental Music Report

This term, students involved in the Ashwood High School Music Program have once again demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication, setting a new record for the most concerts in a single term. The melodies of Ashwood can be heard echoing through every hallway, testament to the vibrant musical culture thriving within our school.

Ashwood Revealed Performances
A highlight of the term was the stellar performances by our students at Ashwood Revealed. The students showcased their skills and hard work, leaving the audience in awe. Each performance was a testament to the dedication and passion of our young musicians.

Lunchtime Concerts
The tradition of lunchtime concerts has continued throughout the term, hosted by our very own Jane Lee and Tom Rao. These concerts provide an invaluable platform for students to share the pieces they have been diligently practicing. We encourage all students to seize this opportunity and participate in the lunchtime concert series in the coming term.

NEVR Concert Band Rehearsal
In Term 2, we had the honor of hosting the NEVR Concert Band rehearsal, which brought together talented students from several different schools across the state. The collaboration and camaraderie among the musicians created a dynamic and enriching experience for all involved.

Jazz Ensemble at Hamer Hall
Our Jazz Ensemble had the privilege of performing at Hamer Hall as part of the NEVR "Sonic Canvas" concert. The performance was a resounding success, showcasing the ensemble's talent and the high standard of musical education at Ashwood High School.

Instrumental Nights
This term also featured a series of Instrumental Nights, each highlighting different sections of our music program. We had the, Woodwind Night, hosted by Christine Clarke and Dean Kalaitzidis. The Strings Night, Hosted by Navin Gulavita, Jackson Fumberger and Troy Rogan and the Guitar and Drums Concert, hosted by Max Bruten and Jasper Bruten. These concerts gave students the opportunity to play their instrument in front of audiences for the first time. The students played with confidence and gravitas, Thank you to all the parents who came and supported the music concerts.

VCE Concerts
The VCE concerts for the Year 11 and Year 12 music classes were standout events this term. These concerts allowed our senior students to demonstrate their advanced skills and the culmination of years of hard work and practice.

Ashwood High School Winter Music Concert
The term concluded with the illustrious Ashwood High School Winter Music Concert. This grand event brought together over 100 of our finest musicians, delivering performances of an incredible standard. A special thank you all those involved in helping with this concert, in particular the students who helped, Ryan Granig, Joe Giummarra, Cormac Morrin, Jonathan Evans and Robbie Baleisuva and to the entire music team for their tireless efforts in organising and ensuring the success of this spectacular evening.

Liam Headland
Director of Music

Health & PE Learning Area Report

Term 2 has been a fast paced and productive term for students and teachers.

Year 7
The Year 7 students enthusiastically attended swimming lessons during their PE sessions, and the importance of these lessons cannot be overstated. Swimming not only enhances their physical fitness and endurance, but also teaches essential life skills such as water safety and confidence in the water which is extremely important seeing as we live on an island. The students had a blast in the water, learning new strokes, new safety strategies along with some healthy competition. This engaging experience is creating a love for swimming while ensuring students stay safe, active, and healthy.


Year 10 – Health and Physical Education, Sport Science

 Year 11 – Health and Human Development & Physical Education

 The four subjects under the HPE umbrella in Years 10 and 11 all had students complete their first semester exam for these subjects. All exams modelled the typical expectations of a Year 12 VCE exam, having students complete 10 minutes of reading time and 90 minutes of writing time.

It was excellent to see students demonstrate their understanding of the knowledge they have gathered in their respective subject.

I wish everyone an enjoyable and relaxing term break.

James Boarotto
HPE Learning Area Coordinator

LOTE Learning Area Report

The French Poetry Competition; Berthe Mouchette took place on Wednesday 15 May 2024. Over 120 students took part in the competition from Year 7 – 10. This year, they performed live online in front of French native assessors. As nerve wracking as it might have been for them, our students were proud to recite their poem and show their ability of speaking French thus upholding our CHOIR values.

Our Ashwood High School finalists are:

Year 7                                
Claire JIANG
Katania MAJOR

Year 8

The date for the final is on Sunday 23 June2024, online. We wish our finalists Bonne Chance et Bon Courage!

Our students wanted to share their experience, here is what they had to say:

‘I walked into the dark room and faced the camera “Bonjour” the lady on the screen said. I was extremely nervous, but I managed to pull myself together and the lines came back to me in a flash. I began to recite the poem and it just flowed out of my mouth.’ Samuel WILLIAMS, 7Z

‘My experience at the Berthe Mouchette poetry competition was fun and speaking with French people really made me happy. At first, I was nervous because of the long lines and my remembering  skills, but after I warmed up to the poem, I was excited because of the poem being in a different tongue. This was a wonderful experience.’ Kapil THIMAPURAM, 7Z

‘Today I did the Berthe Mouchette French Poetry competition. I had to recite the poem called Les Patineurs, or The Skaters. It was quite awkward speaking to a computer with nobody else in the room, but it was quite easy to finish the poem.’ Shunsuke SATOYOSHI, 7Z

‘When I first walked into the room, I was really nervous. I was so worried that I would skip a line or forget something. But because the lady on the Webex meeting was so sweet and kind, it was a much less scary experience. When I forgot a line, she was so kind and wasn’t judgemental at all. Though I had messed up, it wasn’t as bad because of her kindness. This whole experience was stressful yet fun and I am glad had the opportunity to participate.’ Minseo KIM, 7Z

‘When I first heard that all ACE students had to participate in the French Poetry Competition, I went through the five stages of grief in under thirty seconds. The thought of having to memorise a whole poem in FRENCH was really daunting, and having to talk to a computer sounded a little awkward. I tried my hardest to memorise the whole poem over term break, and eventually the day of the competition rolled around. I was quite nervous, but I tried my best and got through it. Overall, this was a challenging but enriching experience for me, I hope I can make it to the finals!’                      Ira VIVEKANANDA, 7Z

‘Every year a French Poetry Competition is held where we memorise a poem in French and then recite it in front of an examiner. It was nerve-wracking at first, speaking a different language in front of an examiner, but once I finished reciting the poem, I felt proud of myself. Overall, it was a very fun way to improve my French pronunciation and it was a great experience.’ Emily CHEW, 8Z

‘I arrived at Building B for the French Poetry Competition at 10:00am as I was in one of the last groups. Madame Marie gave us some last instructions, encouragement and recommendations for the poem recital. I felt quite well prepared for the session as I had practiced the poem for a while and knew the routine because of my participation last year. However, I was still a bit nervous of making mistakes.

I grabbed my nametag, lined up with some others and went first out of the people in my group. I came up to the examiner, introduced myself and began my recital. The recital went quite quickly, probably due to the adrenaline. I believe I did quite well overall with my pronunciation, but I may have been a bit quiet. After I finished, the examiner thanked me and I left the room. I was congratulated by Madame Marie and some friends and left soon after.

Ultimately, the Poetry Competition was something I fondly remembered from last year, and was glad to go through the whole process again with a more challenging poem. Overall, it was lots of fun to practice it in class and at home, and the recital itself was challenging and engaging. I am looking forward to learning an even more challenging poem in Year 9 next year!’ Jayc CARTER, 8Z

‘The French Poetry Competition was an incredible experience set up by the Alliance Française de Melbourne. It is always such a great time when learning French and the added competitiveness between schools and individuals is fruitful.’ Cj BAKER, 10Z

‘The French Poetry Competition was a great event that I participated in last Wednesday. I love the French Poetry Competitions as they broaden my thoughts and ideas about French and make me feel more involved in the French community and learning their language. I would recommend younger students to participate in the competitions as it is a great skill to learn on your French pathway.’ Amy NOY, 10E

‘The French Poetry Competition has been one of many pleasures in taking French for the past 3 years. This year as the poem got longer and more difficult it challenged me to try even harder on my pronunciation and grammar. This experience has been very beneficial once again advancing my French knowledge with every line learnt.’ Abi BAKER, 10C

‘In the Berthe Mouchette poetry competition, I had to memorise and learn a verse from a rap by Blacko to present to a judge, and through this I could improve my French vocabulary and pronunciation.’  Thomas DUCKWORTH, 10Z

‘Last Wednesday, we took part in the French Poetry Competition. The theme for this year's poem was the Olympics. I presented my poem with confidence; I hope I did well on it.’  Evelyn CHEW, 10Z

‘Through the French Poetry Competition, I was able to gain a deeper insight into French pronunciation. This has allowed me to further develop my overall French skills.

The LOTE faculty were very proud of the students’ involvement in the Poetry Competition this term and are already looking ahead to Term 3 for more events involving our VCE students, namely the French language Model UN and the French Poetry Competition. We wish them all the best!’ Sasha DUBRAVAC, 10C

Delphine Marie
LOTE Learning Area Coordinator




Director of Sport Report

Years 11/12 Interschool Sport
The Senior cohort turned out in strong numbers to participate in Senuior Interschool Sport on Tuesday 7 May 2024. The Seniors were able to field teams in Boys AFL (with the help of some Year 10 students), Girls Netball and Boys and Girls Badminton. The highlight of the day was the winning Girls Badminton team consisting of Esther Cheon, Xuan Lu, Arunali Mularachchi, Ha Nguyen and Leah Ried. Congratulations girls and good luck in the EMR round!

Years 9/10 Interschool Sport
Another big day on the sporting calendar as Ashwood sent out teams for Boy’s AFL, Girl’s Netball, Boy’s Soccer and Badminton on Thursday 16 May 2024 . It was a dominant and clinical display for the Boys Soccer team, who progressed to the EMR round. Likewise, both the Boys and Girls Badminton won the day and displayed excellent sportsmanship. Congratulations to the Badminton students –

Girls: Grace Amin, Consuelo Chilcumpa Diaz, Angel Jimenez, Eleanor O’Brien, Matilde Ridgewater and Phoenix Steyn.

Boys: Lachlan Bugeja, Aidan Doyle, Alexander Forgione, Beli Ng, Jonathan Ryan and Nathan Thea.

Mullum Division Cross Country
59 dedicated Ashwood students descended on HE Parker Reserve to do battle against the other schools in the Mullum Division Cross Country on  Monday 27 May 2024. The Ashwood students had been training hard with the Running Club. A total of 30 students made it through to the EMR Cross Country, a huge achievement! Some highlights of the day included the following:

Year 8 Interschool Sport
A large number of students represented Ashwood in the sports of AFL, Netball, Badminton and Soccer at the Year 8 Interschool Sports Day on Tuesday 4 June 2024. Winning teams included the Boy’s AFL, Boy’s Soccer, Boy’s Badminton and Girl’s Badminton.

Congratulations to the Boy’s AFL, Boy’s Badminton and Girl’s Badminton teams – a fantastic effort and good luck in the EMR round.

Year 7 Interschool Sport
The Year 7s participated in Interschool Sports on Thursday 6 June 2024, representing Ashwood High School in AFL, Netball, Badminton and Soccer. Another fantastic and successful day on the sporting front was had, the Girl’s Netball and Girl’s Badminton Teams winning and displaying girl power at its finest. Congratulations to the winning girls and good luck in the next round:

Girls Netball: Daisy Doyle, Holly Gallienne, Alexandra Kolivas, Hadassah Ligalevu, Leah Newton, Olivia Sheehan, Neve Simpson and Kiana Tomaszewski.

Girls Badminton: Shirley Choi, Tegan Hew, Minseo Kim, Alice Lee and Hasti Navaei Ardeh.

EMR Year 8 Boys AFL
On Tuesday 11 June 2024 a week after their dominant performance at the Mullum Division round, the boys came up against some stiff competition. On a horrendously cold and wet day, the boys never dropped their heads but despite the masterful pep talks from Mr McMahon were unable to break through for a win on the day. Congratulations on making it to the EMR round boys. We are very proud of you!

EMR Cross Country – Thursday 13 June 2024
On Thursday 13 June 2024, Ashwood had 30 students participating in the EMR Cross Country, running against other schools all around the Eastern Metropolitan Region. 5 students qualified for State Cross Country an unbelievable effort and our best ever result at the EMR round. Congratulations and good luck at State Cross Country to the following students: Nati Stefanou (1st place!!), Ava Lillywhite (4th), Kaiah Norton (5th), Gilly McCann (6th), and Leah Ried (10th).

It is a privilege to represent Ashwood High School at Interschool Sports and demonstrates our School CHOIR values within the broader community. Students representing our wonderful school are expected to uphold our CHOIR values and demonstrate respect for all participants and officials.

Tom Grbac
Director of Sport


Student Culture

Student Voice, Inclusion and Agency

House Performing Arts Festival 2024
I am excited to announce the theme for this year’s House Performing Arts Festival:

Our House; Our Past, Our Future

The House Performing Arts Festival’s vision for 2024 is to celebrate our school’s diversity, where we come from and where we are going. In support of Ashwood High School’s Strategic Plan for 2023-2026 students will be provided with the opportunities to influence their House story and legacy.

I would like to congratulate the following students for their amazing contribution so far. Students have been working collaboratively at lunch times to produce a script, cast and audition their performance work and overall, produce an amazing show that reflects their House story and what they stand for.

Leah Reid - 2024 Performing Arts Prefect

Cowan: Imogen Roder - House Captain, Gilly McCann - House Vice Captain, Jack Newton - Middle School House Vice Captain, Izzy Gullan - Middle School Vice Captain, Amy Russo - Sport Vice Captain

Flynn: Maddy Rado - House Captain, Matilda Rostan - House Vice Captain, Kaiah Norton and Lily Wingate - Middle School House Vice Captains, Hannah Williams - Middle School Captain and Matisse Simpson, Ava Lilywhite - Visual Arts Prefect

Melba: Leah Reid - Performing Arts Prefect, Ryan Lim - House Captain, Tom Houghton - House Vice Captain, Elisabeth Oh and April Golz - Middle School House Vice Captain, Ameer Bux - Middle School Captain

Paterson: Wesley Pryor - House Captain, Ava Morrin - House Vice Captain, Lachie Bugeja and Tvishaa Viswanathan - Middle School House Vice Captains, Hamish Lee, Jane Lee - Music Vice Captain

After school rehearsals will begin next term for all students involved in this year’s House Performing Arts Festival.

Performances will take place in Term 3, Week 9 Thursday and Friday evenings. Keep an eye out for more details coming next term!

Sachael Miller
House Performing Arts Producer

Our first nations students have been invited to attend an upcoming event hosted by Headspace which will take place in the upcoming school holidays. We wish you a great day out and look forward to hearing about your experience when we return from holidays in Term 3!

Clean Up Australia Day
Join us in making a difference! As part of the nationwide Clean Up Australia Day initiative, our students stayed back after school on Wednesday  19 June to pick up rubbish and help keep our environment clean. This event was a wonderful opportunity for students to learn about the importance of environmental stewardship and actively contribute to the health of our local and school community.

  • Environmental Impact: By picking up rubbish, students helped reduce pollution and protect wildlife, contributing to a healthier ecosystem.
  • Community Service: This event fostered a sense of community and responsibility, highlighting the importance of caring for our shared spaces.
  • School Spirit: Students who participated  received a school colour nomination, celebrating their dedication and service to the environment.

A big thank you to all students involved in the Interact Club and Ms Megan Mooney for her organisation of this important event! Thank you also to Mr John Sheehan for all of his help and for all the amazing students who came along to clean up the school!

Poster created by Ally Mills 8D

Student Clubs 

Homework Club
This year the International Student Program team has invested a lot of effort in running after-school homework club to help improve international students’ academic outcomes.  Our efforts, in particular, Mr Kai Yin’s diligent work, are much appreciated by the students and their parents.

We have also used Homework Club to organise international student events. In April, we ran an international students’ parent meeting to teach them how to use Compass. In May, we held a Student Learning Experience Sharing session to encourage high achieving students to share their practical experience with their international peers in Middle School. In June, we invited a Department accredited education agent to run a VCE Information Workshop for all Senior School students on campus.

Monday - Years 7 and Year 9 NAPLAN Help Sessions
NAPLAN is a big challenge for our new International Students. To help the Years 7 and 9 students to prepare for the test, in Term 1, Mr Kai Yin ran the NAPLAN help sessions on Monday. Mr Yin introduced the requirements and structure of the test, such as what to bring to the exam, test duration, quantity of the questions, different types of articles etc. Mr Yin also provided some sample test papers for students to practice, helping them familiarise with the test requirements and content.

Wednesday - Homework Club for Years 7-11 students
Homework Club on Wednesday is an opportunity for students to attend afterschool and receive additional support from their teachers. The Club operates on a voluntary basis with students attending requiring their parents’ approval. Our focus in these support sessions include offering individuals academic support, checking homework submission and providing additional opportunities to practice skills.

Tuesday and Thursday - Year 10 EAL Club
Mr Yin offers support to our Internation Students in English, Science and Maths based on the requests from our students. Mr Yin taught the students how to read textbooks, provided more explanation or clarification on English writing structure and techniques, and has helped students with their understanding of worded questions in Maths and Science.

With consistent support through Homework Club, we are delighted to see the majority of our international students achieve satisfactory or even excellent learning outcomes in the Semester 1 Exams.  We will continue this service to our international students and further improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our Homework Club in the future.

Mr Kai Yin and Mrs Yonghong Williams
‘I am an international student who is attending the International Student Program Homework Club this year. I got a lot of help from Mr Yin who supervises the Homework Club, I feel free to ask questions if I don't understand. Mr Yin knows how to teach students and support us. Our International Student Program Manager Ms Williams, always takes care of us. She often comes to see how the Homework Club is going. It is amazing for me to see my peers show their studious side and their curiosity in learning. At the Homework Club, we share our learning experiences, tips, methods and support each other to make progress together.’  Manchengyan (Lima)  Li , 8E             

Badminton Club
The Badminton Club started in 2023 and has continued to be a popular club at Ashwood High School. The club meets after school from 3:30-4:30 in the gym – on Monday for students in Years 7-9 and on Friday for students in Years 10-12. We typically have 45-50 students on Monday and 20-30 on Fridays, which makes for a crowded gym!

The club is very relaxed and informal – students are welcome to come on any days they wish to. The club caters for student at all levels and with varying degrees of competitive intensity! The Club successfully provides a safe place for students to get some active indoors exercise and also to mix with other students of different year levels and different friendship groups. The students who attend have developed a camaraderie that spills over into the schoolyard, and they all enjoy the time together.

All students and staff are welcome to join, but please email Dr Verity to be added to the event on Compass so your parents or carers can give consent first.
Dr Bruce Verity


International Student Program

VCE Information Session and Dragon Boat Festival Celebration
The Dragon Boat Festival is a traditional Chinese festival that occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the lunar calendar. The holiday commemorates Qu Yuan, a beloved politician and famous patriotic poet during the Warring States Period, about 600 B.C. to 200 B.C. who made a magnificent contribution to the establishment of Chinese culture. The Dragon Boat Festival is celebrated by holding dragon boat races and eating sticky rice dumplings called Zongzi. In September 2009, the Dragon Boat Festival was approved by the UNESCO as the first Chinese holiday to be included in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.  

To incorporate the celebration of the Dragon Boat festival, on Thursday, 6 June, we invited the Department accredited education agency, Auswin International Group to run a VCE Information Workshop for our Senior School International Students. William Wang, Director from Auswin provided valuable information on prerequisites of some popular university courses, e.g. nursing and teaching. William advised what is the best time to undertake the required additional language proficiency tests and also introduced the process of scholarship applications for international students. A lot of questions were raised from students and answered by Auswin Group staff at the session.

Auswin International Group staff brought Zongzi and chocolates for our international students for their Dragon Boat Festival celebration. This international student event demonstrated our respect to our international students’ cultural heritage. It not only reinforced our school CHOIR values, but also strengthened our international students’ belongings to the supportive Ashwood High School community.

Semester 1 Exams
This year, the International Student Program Team has invested significant efforts in helping improve international students learning results. We are very pleased that all our international students have worked very hard to prepare for their exams with a positive attitude.

Mr Yin has offered lots of academic support to help international students, e.g. supervising EAL Club and Homework Club, providing additional EAL classes, exam practices to help students as well as organising a meeting to teach parents how to use Compass.

We are very proud to acknowledge that most of our international students have improved their learning results. We would like to congratulate the below students whose have made great progress and improvement this year.
Magic Moments Youth Leadership & Business Summit 2024
Congratulations to Xuan Lu for having been selected to participate in the Magic Moments Youth Leadership & Business Summit 2024 in Sydney from 29 June to 3 July 2024.

Xuan’s parents would like to thank Ashwood High School for offering this great opportunity for Xuan to indulge in the unique experiences and develop her overall skills in particular, leadership skills.

We look forward to hearing from Xuan following her participation in the Summit.

Global Learning Awards Ceremony
Congratulations to Jason Suryanata, our school International Student Captain for winning a Global Learning Commendation Award in the Year 11 Academic Excellence category.

The awards ceremony was hosted by the International Student Division, Department of Education, Victoria and held on Friday 17 May 2024 at the RACV City Club, Melbourne. Awards winners from both government schools and independent schools attended the ceremony together with their school staff and family members. At the ceremony, Jason received his award certificate from Mr Paul Hamer, MP, Parliament Secretary for Economic Growth, Victoria.

Here is a quote from Jason’s application:

‘In the realm of academic challenges, my journey at Ashwood High School exemplifies unwavering dedication and a relentless pursuit of excellence. It's a story of pushing boundaries and thriving in the face of formidable academic trials alongside the challenges of living as an international student. My achievements represent a commitment to learning and the passionate pursuit of the acquisition of knowledge as well as a burning desire to surpass my previous self.’
 We are so proud of Jason’s achievements at Ashwood High School and we wish Jason all the best in his future study in the United States.

Yonghong Williams
International Student Program Manager



Library Report

In term 2, National Reconciliation Week, and Pride Month provided opportunities to focus attention on some library resources that relate to specific subjects and themes that have continuing importance within our community.

On display in the library during Reconciliation Week was a selection of non-fiction books which highlight the great diversity that exists within traditional First Nations cultures. Also on display was a selection of biographies and novels by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors that share important insights into the perspectives and experiences of First Nations peoples. It is an area of Australian literature that is building momentum and making a valuable contribution to the national dialogue of reconciliation.

Following Reconciliation Week, Pride Month was a time to celebrate, and appreciate the struggles of the LGBTQIA+ community and its individual members. It was also an ideal time to spotlight books in the fiction collection that reflect LGBTQIA+ themes and issues. For the LGBTQIA+ members of our community, these books can offer reassurance. In the broader community, they can encourage empathy and help create a culture of awareness, acceptance, and inclusivity.

The library’s collections are continually developing to meet the needs of our diverse community. As well as helping to promote our resources, curating displays like our National Reconciliation Week, and Pride Month displays helps to identify areas of the collection that may need updating or expansion.

The Premiers’ Reading Challenge

The Premiers’ Reading Challenge continues until September. All Year 7-10 Students have been registered and it is not too late for them to participate and earn points for their House. Full details are on the Library Homepage.

Remember to find time to enjoy reading every day.

Matthew Feeney


Parents & Friends Network Committee