From the Principals' Desk 

Fiona Vanstan - Acting Assistant Principal

International Women’s Day Assembly

On Monday 6 March, the Nossal Formation students organised the annual International Women’s Day Assembly. Ama and Muthuli hosted the assembly program which included many powerful speeches addressing the IWD 2023 theme “Embrace Equity”. 

Irvanpreet, Vinamraa, Sejal, Gemma, Ya Wen, Kerthik and Ms Mackin provided numerous arguments which included challenging the Nossal community to consider defining “Equity” as separate to equality. We were reminded that equity aims to acknowledge the different challenges and circumstances that may be faced by individuals throughout their lifetime and to then address any inequity through the provision of appropriate resources which can be used to overcome these differences. In addition to clarifying this definition, we were reminded that problems do exist in our world in relation to everyone, particularly women, feeling safe, valued and respected. Changes have occurred over time in relation to women’s rights, such as giving women the right to vote and challenging the expectation that women needed to leave school early and marry, because of ongoing persistence and opposition to societal norms, however, inequity still persists in many communities. 

Most importantly the Nossal community were challenged to embrace equity and make it an actionable goal. We were provided with a reality of creating a gender equal world, free of stereotypes and discrimination, where differences are celebrated, and women’s experiences and strengths are respected and encouraged. Just because one individual is empowered this does not lead to other individuals or groups losing or being disempowered. Succeeding in this goal to embrace equity relies upon all members of the community being open and receptive, and actively calling out behaviours that are inappropriate, discriminatory, sexualised, or misogynistic and do not lead to equity or safety for all. As eloquently posed by one speaker, “as the leaders of tomorrow, we ALL not only have the willingness for change, but to act on it in order to achieve equity for everyone”. As a community let us empower all to support everyone to reach their full potential.

School Council 2023

As you will be aware parents / carers were recently given the opportunity to elect the School Council members for 2023/2024. Principals must conduct school council elections in accordance with Ministerial Order 1280: Constitution of Government School Councils, and must include three mandatory membership categories:

  1. parent members
  2. school employee members
  3. student members — for schools with students enrolled in years 7 and above.

The School Council functions to establish the broad direction and vision of the school, participating in the review process, (which the school is currently undertaking) of the School Strategic Plan and Annual Implementation Plan. The School Council also has oversight over grounds and facilities, school finances, and entering into contracts and agreements which will benefit the school community.

On behalf of the Nossal High School Community, I would like to acknowledge and thank the following members who have ended their elected term on School Council for their service throughout 2022:

  • Shefali Gupta (Parent)
  • Sandy Xu (Parent)
  • Manish Beheti (Parent)
  • Emma Winton (DET representative)
  • Pathiksha Asho Raj Kumar (School Captain: Community)
  • Sunghwan Min (School Captain: Community)

Also, on behalf of the Nossal High School Community, I welcome the following members who will comprise the School Council this year:

Dr John Inns

Dr Angavai Swaminathan

Mr Subhash Abhayawansa

Ms Tracey Mackin

Ms Fiona DeZylva

Mrs Suthagini Subakaran

Ms Sivanthi Gurumurothy

Mr Satheesh Kumar Siddaiyan Pachiappan

Ms Fiona Vanstan

Ms Lydia Sayer

Ya Wen Chong

Javeesh Chopra

Max Richards

Sanuka Gunawardana


Information Session: How Parents Can Best Support Students With Their Learning 

I invite you to register your interest to the first of a series of presentations that focus on promoting ongoing mental health and wellbeing. This first session is designed to help parents understand how best to help their student maximise their potential including,

  • Identifying and Focusing on the strengths of your student
  • Supporting your student’s wellbeing, particularly in times of stress. 
  • Building self-esteem and self-confidence in your student
  • Understanding the Adolescent Brain and how it develops

Parents and students (Years 9-12) are invited to attend this session together and listen to health professionals discuss the statement: What I wish my parents knew about my mental health when I was at school. 


This event will be supported by members of the Nossal alumni including Jagesh Panchal (Founder of Shakthi Mental Health), Naveen Jagadeesan (Old Nossalonian) and Irene Martin Provisional psychologist will be available to respond to how to support their students.


Date:               Wednesday 29 March 2023            Time:              7.00pm start (expected to be 40 minutes in length) with Q&A session           Where:           Nossal High School, Jean Russell centre (tbc)            

Cost:               Free


Registrations are now open and will close on Tuesday 28 March 2023. 


Camps and Pathways Week

In Week 8 (Monday 20 March – Friday 24 March), Nossal High School will again run Camps and Pathways Week. The purpose of this is to enable students to explore pathway options including writing resumes and cover letters, upskilling in VET courses or undertaking volunteering to improve their employability and skills, or visiting Universities. 

During this week the Year 9 students will attend the Roses Gap Camp (Tuesday 21– Friday 24 March) and the Year 12 students will attend the Lord Somers Camp (Wednesday 22 – Friday 24 March). We hope that all students and staff have an enjoyable time at their respective sites.

Events are now being uploaded to Compass, with some confirmed placements still to be made. I ask that you regularly check Compass Events to ensure that permissions have been approved where appropriate and payment has been made for VET courses, if your student has elected to participate. Thank you in advance for your support of this valuable program.

Survey Completion

Please see below the survey links that were included in the last newsletter to provide valuable feedback for the focus groups engaging in the school review over the next few weeks.

Unit 1/2 Surfing and Aquatic Experiences

Unit 1/2 Physical Education students engaged in three days of learning new skills and reflecting on the barriers and enablers that may impact on whether individuals elect to engage in regular physical activity. On Wednesday 1 March and Friday 3 March, students were taught the basics of surfing at Smith’s Beach, Phillip Island. There were many wipeouts, a good reminder to all that learning new skills requires practice and persistence. In this case, the persistence meant paddling out into deeper water to ‘catch the perfect wave’ and balance standing on the board.

On Thursday 2 March, students travelled to Melbourne Cable Park, where they had the opportunity to learn how to wakeboard. It was terrific to watch the students putting the instructor’s feedback into action to master the skills, rejoicing when they were able to stay on the board and enjoy the sport of wakeboarding and supporting and cheering on their peers.

Events like this do not occur without the support of our wonderful staff. I would like to thank the PE staff for attending these excursions – Ms Pumphrey, Mr Haverfield, Ms Coffa, Mr Christiansen, Mr Rule and Ms Villiers – and providing guidance and support to encourage students to try new activities for lifelong engagement in physical activity.

Mobile Phone Reminder 

Mobile phones were banned by the Department of Education during the school day unless a specific educational request was made for students to use them as a tool for their learning. Students are permitted to bring their phone to school, but it must be turned off and secured in their locker from the start until the end of the school day, and not used. Students cannot carry the phone with them in their pocket. Any breach of these rules will result in the phone being confiscated.

According to the NHS Mobile Phone Policy:

First Offence:

Phone confiscated but returned at the end of the day.

Second Offence:

Phone confiscated, and student will be required to discuss this with their Head of House and participate in a Nossal service duty.

Third / subsequent offences:  

Parent interview requested with the Head of House and/or Principal class (as per Student Engagement Guidelines).

Road Safety

Over the past few years there has been extensive road works undertaken on Clyde Road, the Berwick train station and surrounding streets. The roads around Nossal are extremely busy and dangerous, carrying high volumes of traffic and the inclusion of many new signs and turning lanes. It is important that all students are always aware and alert when walking or cycling on these local roads, including checking traffic in all directions before walking onto the road. It is important that students are behaving safely whenever crossing ANY roadway, using traffic crossings appropriately and crossing only on the green walk signal.

Drivers are also asked to be aware of the new conditions leading into Nossal High School and follow the road rules including the appropriate use of roundabouts, observing the “shared zones”, and driving at a safe speed through Federation University and Nossal High School.


Ms. Fiona Vanstan

Acting Assistant Principal