Newsletter 20th August, 2021

Issue 25


Event Calendar

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We respectfully acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Victoria and pay respect to the ongoing living cultures of First Peoples.

Principal's Report 20th August, 2021

Year 9 Environmental Week

Our Year 9 students spent the first two days of this week out and about near the Beazely’s Bridge and Stuart Mill area on their annual Environmental Awareness Week.

The students undertook tree planting and then camped in swags and tents over-night.  They visited an alpaca farm and learned about their origins, as well as several other programs that aimed at saving and preserving our natural flora and fauna.  The students did a great job of their work, and even got to see plenty of the night. Much thanks must be extended to Mrs. Jackson for her organisation and coordination, and to the 10 staff who helped out during the two days.

Primary Students visit the Alpaca’s

Following an approach from the Primary School, the Grade 6 students were able to join the Year 9 students at the Alpacas on Tuesday morning which, was great experience for them, right near our own doorstep.  Thanks to Mr. Marland, Miss. Griffith and Mrs. Weir for making this happen.

Year to 8 Trade Training Centre

On Wednesday, our Year 8 students travelled to Charlton to visit the North Central Trade Training Centre to have an orientation day prior to choosing their Art and Technology electives for 2022.  Having spoken with most of the year 8’s prior to them going, it would be a great experience looking through the state-of-the-art facilities in the TTC.

Joint School Council Meeting

On Tuesday night, for the first time in 2 years, the Primary School and Secondary College School Councils met to discuss some joint issues and plans.  The night began with each Council holding shortened monthly meetings separately before coming together for a light snack – thanks to Peter Anderson for the Pizzas.  We then came together as a group to discuss some items of joint interest.  We first discussed the St. Arnaud Alliance Fete and it was agreed that we would like to continue this event, but this year may not be the most predictable.  We all agreed that we would look at holding the event some time in February or March in 2022 – prior to Term 1 holidays.  We then spent some time discussing our respective camps programs and looking at what we offer, what is repeated and what is possibly missing.  This discussion led to the formation of a joint school sub-committee which will start to have a look at our programs.  A parent survey will be forthcoming to gain parent perspective on this.  Finally, the group was given a run down on the planning and process for the building works at the Secondary College, the planning for which will begin in earnest in the next few weeks, with the expected start of actual works in August 2022.

Year 10 and 11 student subject selections

Year 10 and 11 students have been undergoing course counselling and subject selection over the past two weeks with the aim of building our blockings for 2022.  Unlike many other schools, our Year 11 and 12 blocks change every year in line with student choice of subject.  This enables us to best cater for individual students and different cohorts as they move through their last two years of schooling.

Year 9 into 10 Information night

Next Wednesday we will be holding our Year 9 into 10 Information Evening prior to their course counselling and subject selection.  It is important that both students and at least one parent, are in attendance next Wednesday at 6pm in the Hall.

Parent Opinion Survey

It is that time of year again when we, and the Department, seek feedback from parents in the annual Parent Opinion Survey.  Approximately 30 randomly selected families will have received an invitation to participate in the survey.  We ask that you spend the 10 to 15 minutes completing the survey to provide us with data about what we are doing well and areas for improvement.  If you receive an invitation and do not believe that you can or will complete the survey, please contact the General Office so another family can be allocated.  

Currently we have had 4 families complete the survey.

North West Zone Shooting

In some late breaking news, 8 students travelled to Mildura yesterday to compete in the North Western Zone Shooting Competition.  This was the first time in a few years that our College has entered this competition and we came away with the overall win on the day.   Troy Anderson won his age group and was the overall winner on the day, and Dion Flanagan came third in his age group.  Millie Hando was also only two shots away from a place as well, along with Riley Burke who shot off for a third place but was unsuccessful.

These results are pretty special, especially considering that for some students this was their first time competing in any shooting competition.  Thanks to Miss. Bertalli for her organisation and to Mr. Marland for helping out with the driving.  We now have 5 students who have qualified for the State Competition if it goes ahead this year.  Fantastic work - Congratulations!!


Tony Hand


Year 9 Enviro Week

Year 9 Photo Gallery

Year 9 students are very grateful for the beautiful weather and lovely environments they enjoyed over the past two days.

Planting trees, interacting with endangered species and learning about our St. Aranud and district bushland biomes were some of our special treats. Andrew Borg was a wonderful presenter and we thank him and his wife, Debra, for allowing us to experience their animals and beautiful property.  Thank you to the Sweeny family of Navarre for the opportunity to help us reduce our carbon footprint by planting native trees on the their property. A win-win for us all. Thank you also to staff at St. Arnaud Secondary College for joining us on our adventure.  It truly was a great couple of days and we are soooooooo lucky!

Construction Induction (White Card) Course

Four students from St. Arnaud Secondary College all successfully completed the Construction Induction (White Card) Course last Friday.

They have each been issued with a Statement of Attainment (SOA) for a nationally recognised unit, and WorkSafe Victoria will provide the students with their “White Cards”.  The Statement of Attainments will cover students on a worksite for up to 60 days until they receive their White Cards.

Students were required to seek a Unique Student Identification Number prior to the course as well as attempt preparation reading and questions.

Well done to everyone who participated.  You are now on your way to being more qualified, understanding certificate courses and adding to your resumes.

Thank you to Dale and Wanda from AllSkills Services in Maryborough for running the course.

Thank you for Neighbourhood House for their continued support and sponsorship of our students.

Congratulations everyone on another successful achievement.

Some of the students' responses were:

"I loved the course. It was engaging, and kept me thinking the whole time. The information was easy to absorb during the course."

 "Not a bad bloke."

"It was a good course.  Thank you to those people organising it."


Book Review

Big Fish
, by Daniel Wallace


“When a man’s stories are remembered, then he is immortal.”

At its heart, Big Fish is a story about a son trying to get to know his father, attempting to reconcile all the stories he has been told with the reality of who his father actually is. Written in the style of ‘magical realism’, it effectively blurs the lines between reality and imagination, creating a humorous, fantastical and entertaining story of discovery.

As Edward Bloom lies dying, his son – William Bloom – comes to visit him, digging into his history and trying to tell the difference between reality and all the tall tales his father tells (or he has heard about his father). The book is filled with these various fantastic tales: his father could outrun anyone, never missed a day of school, tamed giants, saved lives, was loved by animals, loved by people, loved by women and he knew more jokes than anyone else on the planet. But through the myths and legends about his father, William comes to understand him more authentically, both his great feats and his great failings.

Big Fish was Daniel Wallace’s first book and it received critical acclaim for its creativity, humour and sensitivity. It is written in an entertaining and accessible form, with connected stories of different lengths and tone. In the end there is some degree of resolution, but it is the various stories themselves that are the entertaining meat of the novel.

The novel was adapted in to a successful 2003 film, directed by Tim Burton, and starring Ewan McGregor, Helena Bonham Carter, Jessica Lange, Danny DeVito, Steve Buscemi and Billy Crudup, among others. The film was nominated for an Academy Award, seven BAFTA Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, a Grammy Award and two Saturn Awards, among others. It was also adapted into a musical, which premiered in Chicago in April 2013, versions of which have been nominated for and won various awards.   

Wallace’s debut novel is an entertaining read which is light-hearted and funny at times, whilst being poignant and outrageous at others.

The book is available to borrow from the school library.

Dr. Calvin Taylor

Jeans for Genes Day

On Friday 14 August, St. Arnaud Secondary College students dressed up in their Jeans (along with the rest of their school uniform). This was in support of the ‘Jeans for Genes’ day which raises money for the Children’s Medical Research Institute.

The day was begun in 1994 in order to raise money for research into children’s genetic diseases and disorders, given that 1-in-20 kids face a birth defect or disease. Research into how to prevent these disorders and help children with them involves costly and complex research. Every bit of support is helpful.

The day also featured a BBQ sausage-sizzle, with students from the Hands-on Learning Program manning the grill.

Although our fundraiser was a bit late (the usual day being the 6th August), our donation will go towards this important charity.

Further information on the Jeans for Genes Day can be accessed at their official website:

Well done Graeme!

On behalf of the staff, students and wider school community, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Graeme McKenny our school cleaner.

Since the beginning of COVID (2020), Graeme has been meticulous in ensuring that our school and classrooms are clean and sanitised.  Graeme not only has been doing an in-depth end-of-school-day clean, but has been coming up at recess to particularly focus on cleaning and disinfecting high-touch surfaces around the school and the toilets.

Footy Colours Day

Footy Colours day Friday September 17th.

Dress up in your footy colours and enjoy a Sav or meat pie to raise money for Kids with Cancer.

Careers & Pathways 20/8/21

Department of Health & Human Services Information on Covid Vaccinations

The Department of Health and Human Services how now initiated a mandatory requirement that students on placement in Residential Aged Care facilities are required to have had at least one dose of Covid Vaccine by 17th September 2021.


“COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory from 17 September 2021 for all residential aged care workers, including students on placement. Students must have received a minimum first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by this time.”


As such students will be required to provide evidence to BHS of vaccination prior to commencing any Work Experience or Structured Workplace Learning placements at BHS.


Kind Regards,

Jacqui King | Clinical Practice Development Nurse – Work Experience Coordinator
BBH Education | Ballarat Health Services
Drummond Street North, Ballarat, Victoria 3350

P 03 5320 3805 | M 0417 116 160 | F 0353350524 | E

Defy the Drift and build a great future!

Defy the drift and build a great future!

Defying the drift is a program available to secondary students considering a career in agriculture and related industries. It is an initiative of Rotary District 9780 which includes around 60 Rotary Clubs located throughout western Victoria and into South Australia.

Defying the Drift is run on campus at respected Victorian tertiary rural colleges Marcus Oldham College at Waurn Ponds near Geelong and Longerenong College, near Horsham. In 2021, the program will be held at Longerenong College.

The average age of farmers is approaching 60 years so young people interested in farming are worth their weight in gold!

There are strong economic realities driving prosperous rural futures. The world’s growing population needs to be fed and clothed which means a great future for young people in agriculture. The world needs more and better educated farmers, not less.

Careers include everything from hands-on farming to high-end research and many options in between, and there are also great opportunities in the many professions, trades and vocations needed in every community.

Defying the Drift is a 2 stage Program

Stage 1: Defying the Drift starts with a challenging residential program at leading tertiary agricultural institute, Longerenong College, where participants learn new skills, discover many rural futures, visit a range of rural enterprises, meet some great young agriculture role models and have a great time.

Stage 2 is when participants bring it all together and make a presentation to their sponsor Rotary Club. Presentations are expected to cover what participants have learnt through the Defying the Drift program and their personal reflections on possible rural futures.

Who’s it for?

Years 10 & 11 students (approx. 15 -17 yrs) interested in rural career options.

Stage 1 Residential Course

Longerenong College, Longerenong, near Horsham, Monday September.

Stage 2 Presentation to a Rotary Club

How much? A fee of $350 per participant.

Sponsor Rotary Clubs assist by contributing part of the fee.

Runs for three day on the 20th, 21st and 22nd September 2021

Further details contact St. Arnaud Rotarian Gary Brown on 0419 311 088 or Russell Steel on 0455 133 498.

Office News

Notebook Program - Final payment due NOW!
Food Technology Fee - Due NOW!

Helping families get their kids active

Eligible families can now apply for a voucher that helps subsidise organised sport and recreation activities

Does your child love sport and being active? Does your family have a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card? You may be eligible for up to $200 to put towards the cost of your child’s participation in physical activities. The Get Active Kids Voucher Program helps eligible families get their kids involved in organised sport and active recreation activities. 

Under the program, children may be eligible to receive up to $200 to help with the cost of membership and registration fees, uniforms, and equipment. 

Special consideration also applies for children named on their own Australian Government Health Care Card or residing in care services as well as temporary or provisional visa holders, undocumented migrants or international students. Applications for vouchers in round two of the program close at 5pm Friday 30 July.  For eligibility requirements and to apply, visit the Get Active Victoria website -

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund applications

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities. Applications for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) close on Friday 13 August.

If you have a valid means-tested concession card, such as a Veterans Affairs Gold Card, Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible. The concession card must have been valid on either of the following dates:

  • the first day of Term 1 (Wednesday 27 January 2021)
  • the first day of Term 2 (Monday 19 April 2021)
  • the first day of Term 3 (Monday 12 July 2021).

Payment amounts this year are $225 for eligible secondary school students. Payments are made direct to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions and sporting activities for the benefit of your child.

If you applied for CSEF through our school last year, you do not need to complete an application form this year, unless there has been a change in your family circumstances.

If you would like to apply for the first time, please contact the school office on 5495 1811 and ask for an application form. 

Business Manager – Kerrie Swanton

Student Administrator – Debbie Hancock

Office Hours: 8.30 am – 4.30pm

Phone 03 5495 1811


Work Experience