From the Principals' Desk 

Tracey Mackin - Acting Principal

Welcome back!

It is a great pleasure to welcome all members of our community back to school for the second term of 2022. Judging by the energy and enthusiasm of our returning students, the holidays were well used by many for both rest and rejuvenation. Term 2 is, again, very full, but with a far different mood. We are now well past the introductory phase of the year, and our classrooms are instead full of the focussed conversation that comes when our staff and students are collaborating on work that requires deeper and more nuanced understanding. This work requires more self-discipline and more active ownership of the learning process, and represents a different sort of challenge to those faced in Term 1. The corresponding sense of achievement, however, and especially those 'Eureka!' moments when a difficult concepts becomes clear, is what drives everyone who loves to learn. There is nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction when you finally "get it" after a period of confusion, and the desire to capture that feeling drives many members of staff just as much as it drives our students. I hope that both groups enjoy the sensation of 'having learned' many times as the term progresses.

ANZAC Assembly

As has become a Nossal tradition, we began the term with a whole school assembly commemorating ANZAC Day and in honour of our defence forces. This year the assembly was held on Monday 2 May, the better to accommodate our honoured guests Mr Ray Heathcote (past President of the Berwick RSL and current RSL Welfare Team Leader) and retired RAN officer Lieutenant Commander Dave Lassam. Both of our guests are long-time friends of the school and it was a very great pleasure to once again be able to invite them to join us in person for this important service. Also in attendance were representatives of the Old Nossalonians Association, alumni Jessie Tang and Thomas Velican, who joined our student House Leaders in the laying of a wreath beneath the school's flags.

Mr Ray Heathcote addressing the school
Nossal Alumni laying a wreath
Our tribute to the memory of the ANZACs
Mr Ray Heathcote addressing the school
Nossal Alumni laying a wreath
Our tribute to the memory of the ANZACs

The assembly was also made memorable by the return of the Wind Symphony, who performed for the whole school for the first time since before the pandemic. It was a very great pleasure to have the assembly area filled with music as Ms Sally Haworth led them through a combination of ceremonial music and performance pieces. 

Beyond the classroom

The first weeks of Term 2 have also seen the resumption of various programs contributing to our students' skills beyond academia. Year 10 students in Griffin and Phoenix House took part in a three day program at Casey Tech School which allowed them to explore the design process in response to a real world problem of their choice. In the same week, our Year 9 students had a Wellbeing Day which included their participation in a series of structured activities with a group of external presenters. The activities they undertook were designed to help them think about the shared challenges they face and (in the second half of the day) the specific challenges which may be facing them depending on their gender. 


Our Year 9 students were also lucky enough to undertake some workshops recently with a group of Nossal alumni. Our past students shared their experience of learning at Nossal, and provided advice on how to study effectively, how to best organise OneNote, and how to form and make use of study groups. It was a pleasure to see our past students passing on their wisdom and ideas so generously.

SRC Assembly

Most recently, our Student Representative Council (strongly supported by Ms Julie Ward and Ms Fiona De Zylva) ran the first student-organised whole school assembly for the term on Monday 9 May. The students' many weeks of planning prior to the event was evident in their seamless presentation and excellent time management. They made very good use of this valuable time with their peers, and acted as excellent models of student leadership.

Our Community Gatherings

In addition to events at the school, we were lucky enough to start the term with two excellent community events. The Parents and Friends Association had its first Term 2 meeting online on Wednesday 4 May, and the Old Nossalonians Association held their first cocktail party since the start of the pandemic, celebrating the transition of the Classes of 2020 and 2021 into the world beyond Nossal. Both events were lively, though in quite different ways! A highlight of the cocktail party was an unexpected cameo by our Principal, Mr Roger Page. Though he is still recovering from the illness which has kept him from us for the start of the year, it was wonderful to know that he now feels sufficiently well to visit. We look forward to welcoming him back when he is properly recovered.

Into the Future

Finally, we are spending some time this term looking towards the future. 


Applications to sit the entry examination for the 2023 Year 9 intake close on Friday 13 May. On Thursday 5 May our Year 9 and 10 students therefore welcomed a group of prospective parents to an information evening which was organised and presented by our students. Our Year 10 students provided tours of the school, and acted as very attentive ushers and service staff prior to the event. Our Year 9 students gave all the speeches and provided a combination of musical and dance performances. Evenings like this, when we hand the reins over to our students and trust them to represent the school and its aims, are always deeply affirming. As staff, we tell stories about what we are trying to achieve and the way we are trying to achieve it, but it is the testimony of our students that reassures us that those stories are not the stuff of myth, but are instead reflections of a reality we are striving to bring into being. I was immensely proud of the vision of the school which our students presented. I congratulate them, and offer my sincere thanks to Mr Rian LaBrooy who (as Director of Year 9 & 10) oversaw this successful event. 


As this newsletter goes to press, we are also preparing for staff to undertake two workshops on Healthier Masculinities under the guidance of the DET's Respectful Relationships liaison for our region. This is part of our ongoing commitment to achieving lasting cultural change in the area of gender equality. These workshops will further supplement our staff's existing understanding of gender, and will aid them in their ongoing work with students on this topic. This type of learning, which contributes to the development of the Respectful Mind, is strongly aligned with the school's founding philosophy, and we are looking forward to this opportunity to strengthen our work in this area, and improve its impact.

Save the date

As you will note when you consult the Important Dates page later in the newsletter, our Autumn Concert is scheduled for Thursday 19 May. After the stirring success of the Wind Symphony at the ANZAC Assembly, and the equally impressive musical performances by our Year 9 students at the Prospective Parents' Information Night, I have no doubt that the quality of the performances will be high. This year is a time to celebrate the return of the performing arts to our lives, and I look forward with considerably excitement to this event and those (like the Unit 3 Theatre Studies Performance) which will follow it throughout the year. 


Once again, it is a pleasure to welcome you back for the start of the term. I hope that it is a productive and satisfying one for you all.


Yours sincerely,

Tracey Mackin

Acting Principal