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5 March 2021 Issue 4

Avila College News

Dear Avila Community

Monday 8 March is International Women's Day and our community celebrated this significant date with a wonderful breakfast featuring Alumnae Patricia Nayna Schwerdtle, beamed in from Germany. Trish's experiences working in critical care nursing, public health and academia were both inspirational and insightful and she demonstrated once again, where an Avila education can take you in the world.

As Principal, it is truly a privilege to witness students flourish as creative and critical thinkers and then go on to make valued and meaningful contributions to our local and global society. Watching firsthand girls develop their intellectual curiosity, challenge themselves to develop new skills and then grow in confidence and support each other as they strive for their own personal excellence is what makes working in girls' education so fulfilling.

I wish you all a very Happy International Women's Day and encourage you to talk to and acknowledge the women who are making a difference in your life. Let them know how they are Being the Light for you.

Happy Learning!

Dr Michelle Cotter | Principal
Exec. MBA, M.Ed. Leadership, M.Ed. RE, Post Grad. Dip. IT, Post Grad. Dip. Adult Ed., Grad. Dip. RE, B.Ed

Faith & Mission

Weekly Prayer

Gracious God, we pray for ourselves and all women around the world.
Strengthen us to stand in solidarity with our sisters experiencing poverty and injustice.
Open our hearts to listen and serve.
Give us the courage to hope and work for a better future for all women.
Awaken us, that we may fully realise our interconnectedness to our one global family.
Guide us with your spirit, to welcome, champion, practically and joyfully love each other.

Faith & Mission

Liturgical Calender

Sunday 7 March
John 2: 13-25
Jesus drives the money-changers from the temple.

8 Mar  International Women's Day
8 Mar  St John of God (Commemoration)
9 Mar  St Frances of Rome (Commemoration)

Quick Links

REMINDER | Tuesday 9 March is a Staff Professional Learning Day and a student free day.

Avila Student Leadership

Highlight of the Week

Ready, Set, Debate!
It’s debating season and Avila Year 9-12 debaters are back at it again! After a year of online competitions, the DAV Debating Schools competition made a comeback on Tuesday evening for the first face to face debate at St Kevin’s College, Toorak.

It was a night of great teamwork, spontaneity, and courage! The Year 9’s are to be congratulated for their first inter-school debate, and especially to new debaters who put their hand up for their first ever debating experience! 

Earlier in Week 4, debaters had the opportunity to ‘hone in’ on their skills at an after school’s workshop run by Senior Public Speaking and Debating Captains. They put their skills to use and made new connections. A huge thank you to the senior debaters, friends and parents who came to support and cheer on the junior debaters. Nothing brings more energy to us than to see familiar faces in the audience!

Five out of the ten teams won their debate with best speaker awarded to the students in the following teams:

  • Jocelyn Satya Graha (Year 12, Avila 1)
  • Luiso Oro (Year 10, Avila 1)
  • Eve Feeney, (Year 9, Avila 1)
  • Nehaa Romeshkuma, (Year 9, Avila 3)

Kimberly Berger | Public Speaking and Debating Vice Captain

Community | Parliament

MP Visit

In celebration of International Women's Day, Gladys Liu, Federal Member for Chisholm toured Avila College and presented Dr Cotter with an award. Year 10 students conducted the tour and had the opportunity to ask Ms Liu about life in parliament.

"Today we had the opportunity to meet Gladys Liu. She was such an inspirational advocate for young women who want to accomplish great things. She showed us the importance of being able to achieve so many things and that working towards something will allow you to accomplish great things. What she said shows that everything in life is a lesson and to build on that to build your self-confidence."
Alyssa Gregson | Year 10

"Meeting Gladys Liu was an amazing experience that taught me a lot about leadership, initiative and how to work in such an intense and important environment. Gladys was excited to be able to explore Avila and learn about what it means to be an 'Avila girl'. It was great to be able to chat to her about the importance of balancing work/school life with our social life. One of her statements that resonated with me was when Gladys stated that "learning at an all-girls school was a great environment to learn, because my school in Hong Kong taught each of us how to excel on our own accord". This reminds me of the learning environment at Avila." 
Lucy Donnelly | Year 10

Community | Breakfast

International Women's Day

Thank you to Avila Alumnae Patricia Nayna Schwerdtle (Class of 1995), keynote speaker for the International Women's Day Breakfast. Patricia is currently undertaking her PhD in Germany and shared her story and reflections based on a career in critical care nursing, public health and humanitarian work and research via a pre-recorded Zoom session. Thank you also to our student panel, VET Hospitality students and musicians for a great morning.

Learning | Teaching

Learning Hub

To support senior student learning, a new initiative has been launched for 2021. The Learning Hub is a place where senior students can;

  • undertake individual study
  • catch up on missed lessons and homework
  • complete rescheduled SACs, or 
  • find support by studying in a supervised environment 

During timetabled study periods this year, the Learning Hub will be staffed and students will be able to complete study and build their work ethic in a supported environment . The Resource Centre is also available for students when the Learning Hub is not staffed or if students wish to complete group study.

When students are studying on-site they must;

  • sign in and out electronically at either the Learning Hub when staffed or the Resource Centre

  • use their study time effectively to consolidate learning through revising or completing learning and homework tasks

A reminder that common study periods on Wednesdays period 4 and Friday Day 10 period 1 are opportunities for students to access the Learning Hub to study.  At times students may be required to attend a scheduled common study period and students will receive notification via email.

We are working on some new programs to support student learning during common study periods and will keep students and families updated about these opportunities.

VET | Sport and Recreation

Holy Family Athletics Day

Last week 9 students from Years 10 and 11 who are undergoing their first year of VET Certificate III in Sport and Recreation, were invited to help run the Holy Family School’s athletics day at the Bill Sewart Athletics Track.

We helped with both the setting up and packing up of the equipment and moved around the athletics complex to assist with sports like triple jump, long jump, high jump, discus and shot put.

Our responsibilities included organising the students into name and house order, demonstrating the activities and recording their results. It was a fantastic opportunity and great to put our learning into action. We all found it a really valuable experience to see what goes on behind the scenes at events like these and to develop further understanding of what it is like in the sporting industry. 

Charli Nagel | Year 11

Our responsibilities included organising the students into name and house order, demonstrating the activities and recording their results. It was a fantastic opportunity and great to put our learning into action. We all found it a really valuable experience to see what goes on behind the scenes at events like these and to develop further understanding of what it is like in the sporting industry. 

Charli Nagel | Year 11

Learning | Teaching

Learning in Action

Year 8 | Geography

Year 8 students went on a field trip to Sorrento Back Beach and the Rye Foreshore to study coastal landscapes and landforms.

Year 8 | Medieval History

VCE | Physical Education

Year 10 | Mitosis Meiosis Cell Cycle

Music | Masquerade

Orchestra Camp

Community Announcements


Baptised young people in Years 10, 11 or 12 who have celebrated First Reconciliation and First Eucharist are invited to participate in our Program to prepare for the Rite of Confirmation, which will be celebrated at Holy Saviour on Friday 30th April at 6.00pm.

Parents and Candidates are invited to a ‘taster’ and information session on Wednesday 17 March in the Church from 6.30pm to 8.00pm.

Supported by the Candidate's family and Holy Saviour Parish, the short program structure includes one retreat day and six compulsory attendance sessions (the first session is with parents), on consecutive Wednesday evenings from 6.30-7.30pm.

Please complete and return the Enrolment form, Retreat Day permission and enclose copies of the relevant Baptism/First Eucharist certificates (if not celebrated at Holy Saviour) with your payment.  Forms can be downloaded from the Parish website (

Page Turner Project

The Avila Library is collecting pre-loved books and educational materials for the Page Turner Project.  Donations will go to the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation, West Welcome Wagon and the Give a Textbook Foundation, where they will be sent to disadvantaged communities in Australia and remote schools in the Philippines.

Flu-Like Symptoms

Experiencing flu-like symptoms? Please get tested and isolate at home until you receive your results.

Avila Calender

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. 
Matthew 5:16
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