15 February 2024 | Newhaven College Newsletter - Issue 1

College Newsletter

In this Issue

From the Principal


Our first All School Assembly was a wonderful way for the school to gather together to commence the school year. One of only three full school assemblies for the year, this assembly focused on celebrating the past and looking to the future. By looking back, we had the opportunity to recognise our VCE High Achievers from 2023 and congratulate them on their exceptional results. Whilst VCE results are only one measure of success, as a school we were very pleased with our results last year. It was a highlight to hear from our 2023 College Proxime, Saffi Campbell-Walker and College Dux, Tess Papas, as they shared their insights into their journeys at Newhaven. Both students provided invaluable advice from a student’s perspective to all those gathered.

We then had the opportunity to look ahead to the 2024 school year by inducting our Year 12 leaders. As part of their investiture, they were asked to go out and “meet the people” by interacting with students of all year levels. This was a metaphoric gesture as they have an important responsibility, in words and actions, in representing and setting the example for all students at the College. A full list of the Year 12 Leadership and photos of the assembly can be found in this newsletter.

Mr Jason Scott

After 14 years of dedicated service to the College Mr Jason Scott, Vice Principal and Head of Senior School, will be stepping down from his role at the end of Semester One. Jason has been the model of a servant leader in his time as deputy under three Principals. His composed, thoughtful and wise approach will be missed. He has accompanied hundreds of students in their final years of schooling and has always strived to provide the most positive experience possible. On a personal level, Jason is a gentleman with high professional standards and a quick sense of humour. Whilst Jason has no intention of slowing down in his commitment to the role throughout this semester, this announcement is an opportunity to thank him for his contribution. The school will be partnering with recruiting agency ANZUK in our search for the best person to fill this important leadership role in the future.

School Closure

After a very smooth start to the school year, we had the interruption of power and network outages that forced a school closure on Wednesday. The closure of the school is a decision never taken lightly, however, the effect of the outages left us with no choice. Fortunately, the impact at our school was for only one day, though I know for many members of our community the effects are continuing. If the school can be of any assistance in helping any member of our community, please let us know. I would like to thank all of our Newhaven families for your understanding, patience and co-operation during this time.

Parents & Friends Association (PFA)

The Parent Welcome Drinks on Friday 2 February was a great way for parents to welcome in the school year. Nearly 200 parents were in attendance, many new to our school. Since then, the PFA have held their AGM. I would like to acknowledge and thank the following parents who have been elected to be office bearers:

President: Angel Chambers

Vice-President: Jenni Lewandowski

Secretary: Lisa Confoy

Camps, Schools and Excursion Fund Claims (CSEF)

The state government provides an allowance to eligible families to offset costs of camps, sports and excursions at school. In order to claim the CSEF allowance one parent needs to hold one of the following cards: Centrelink Health Care Card, Pension Concession Card, Veteran Affairs Gold Card or be a temporary foster parent. More information can be found on the parents page of our website.

Privacy Collection Notice

As a school we are required to provide the Australian Government annual student residential addresses and other information. More information pertaining to this data collection and the purpose of the information collated is provided on the parents page of our website.

In Quietness and Confidence Shall Be Your Strength

Tony Corr


Leadership Team: Leisa Lomax (HR Manager), Karen Milkins-Hendry (Director of Learning), Tony Corr (Principal), Ralph Arceo (Head of Middle School), Brett Torstonson (Director of Operations), Cath Huther (Head of Junior School), Jason Scott (Vice Principal & Head of Senior School)

Calendar Dates

School Photos - Wednesday 21 February

Catch Up Photos and Preps - Friday 23 February

Junior School Information Evening - Tuesday 27 February 6.30pm

Years 5-11 Learning Partnership Evening - TBC

Labour Day Public Holiday - Monday 11 March

Staff Professional Development Days

Over the three days before school came back, our passionate educators, teachers and support staff spent time reconnecting, collaborating, partaking in professional learning sessions and planning for the year ahead.

Everyone is so happy to be back!

Learning partnerships

The start of the year brings optimism and new (or regeneration of )partnerships between students, staff and families. Our Learning Partnerships evening (Grade 5 – Year 11) was unfortunately cancelled on Wednesday, however, we will re-schedule and look forward to seeing everyone then.

All students in Years 5-8 will be issued their Learning Reflection book this week as part of the new Middle School Model. The purpose of the book is to support student reflection on the learning choices they make in partnership with their teachers. A summary of these reflections will then be on the formal school report at mid-year.

Karen Milkins-Hendry

Director of Learning

Watch this space...

We are excited to announce a new Newhaven College website is being created right now and we are hoping to share it with our College community soon.

It will contain everything you are used to finding on our current site, but it will be more up-to-date and navigable.

The newsletter will also be incorporated into the new website, with a new look and feel!

We're very excited!

Steph Thornborrow and Lucy Couper

Marketing and Communications

Parent Welcome Drinks

Thank you to all the parents and guardians who joined our teachers, staff and PFA volunteers on Friday night for drinks and canapes. Musical entertainment was provided by David Prideaux (welcome back David!) and our wonderful PFA volunteers facilitated some fun games, resulting in Principal Tony Corr losing his socks!

Everyone took the opportunity to socialise and create new friendships, enriching our school community further.

We thank PFA members Jenni Lewandowski, Angel Chambers and Kay Kondarios for assisting on the night. New PFA recruits are always welcome, contact the PFA Secretary on newhaven.pfa@gmail.com

Parents and Friends Association (PFA)

The new PFA committee is excited about running activities to make 2024 an extra special year for our students!

With all the events at the planning stage, we need parents/grandparents/friends to help by either:

  • joining the PFA; or
  • registering on our volunteer database for future events.

If you have questions or are interested in supporting the PFA, our next meeting is from 2-3pm Friday, 1 March 2024, in the school boardroom. Please register your attendance by emailing us at: newhaven.pfa@gmail.com

We look forward to seeing you there!

Angel Chambers

President | Parents and Friends Association

Junior School

Head of Junior School

It's been a fantastic start to the school year, and we're thrilled to share some highlights with you.

Settling In: Our Junior School students have truly embraced the new academic year, and we are delighted to see their enthusiasm and positive energy filling our classrooms.

Classroom Expectations: Our dedicated teachers have been working hard to establish clear and positive classroom expectations. These expectations are designed to create a supportive learning environment where every child can thrive. We believe that a positive and respectful atmosphere is crucial for the academic and personal growth of our students.

Learning Routines: Setting up effective learning routines is essential for a successful school year. Our educators have been diligently guiding students through the process of developing strong routines that promote focus, engagement and a love for learning. Our morning blocks consist of a structured literacy program that is based upon ‘The Science of Reading’. The children are responding well to this approach and as we continue to reinforce these routines, we are confident that our students will thrive academically.

Parent-Teacher Partnership: We value the partnership we share with you in nurturing the academic and social development of your children. If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to your child's teacher or the school office. Open communication is key to a successful and fulfilling school experience.

Upcoming Events: Stay tuned for upcoming events, including our rescheduled Information Evening on Tuesday, 27 February, from 6:30 pm to 7:45 pm. It will be a great opportunity to connect with teachers, gain insights into classroom activities and learn more about what's in store for the rest of the school year.

Reading Folders: Exciting news! This year, each Junior School student will receive a decodable reading folder. These folders contain passages comprised solely of words that students can decode or sound out, aligning with the reading and spelling skills they've been explicitly taught. This innovative reading program initiative aims to support both children and parents in reinforcing the reading skills acquired at school. Our goal is for your children to proudly showcase and further enhance their reading abilities to you at home. We believe this program will not only strengthen their literacy skills but also foster a love for reading. Please encourage your child to engage with their reading folder on Monday and Tuesdays and share their progress with you. We will explain our home reading folder and reading program in more detail at the Junior School Curriculum Information Session. Together, let's embark on this exciting reading journey!

NAPLAN: The test window for NAPLAN this year will be from 13 to 22 March. NAPLAN is a national literacy and numeracy assessment that students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 sit each year. As students’ progress through their school years, it is important to check how well they are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and numeracy. NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process. It does not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance, but it can provide teachers with additional information about students’ educational progress.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and we look forward to a fantastic year of growth, learning, and fun in the Junior School!

Cath Huther

Head of Junior School

Middle School

Head of Middle School

Welcome back to another exciting year! As we embark on this journey together, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all Middle School students, parents and staff.

In my welcome to the students and staff, I expressed my sentiments of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming year. I emphasised the importance of approaching this new year with a positive attitude and optimism. As we step into Middle School, we all carry with us a clean slate, ready to inscribe it with our achievements, growth and shared experiences.

To our Year 8 students, I reminded them that regardless of their formal leadership roles, each of them holds a crucial position as leaders within our Middle School community. Their conduct, demeanour and commitment to excellence serve as guiding lights for their peers. From wearing the uniform with pride to demonstrating manners, every action contributes to the success of Middle School life.

I’m delighted with all Middle School students for their commendable and positive start. Your dedication to organisation, responsibility and participation sets a remarkable standard for us all. Let’s continue to prioritise having fully charged laptops, prepared books and wearing correct uniforms daily. Remember, hats are compulsory during terms 1 and 4, so parents, please assist us by ensuring your child brings their hat to school each day.

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of the recent 5/6 House Swimming Carnival. It was a day of spirited competition, sportsmanship, and camaraderie, and it wouldn't have been possible without the enthusiastic participation of students! Special recognition goes to our House Captains for their leadership and enthusiasm and our Year 9 students for their assistance in ensuring the smooth running of the day.

Likewise, the 7-12 House Swimming Carnival was a massive success, with outstanding student attendance. This event provided a valuable opportunity for our students to connect with their peers across different year levels, fostering a sense of unity and community within our school. It was a day filled with healthy competition, fun, connection, participation and House spirit.

Another round of appreciation goes out to all involved in the Year 7 Transition Day. From engaging beach activities to enjoyable bowling sessions, it was heartening to witness our new students seamlessly integrate into our school community.

I want to acknowledge the work, care and support of the Middle School staff, in particular the House Leaders – Melanie Flower, Lachlan Gale, Melissa McMillan and Donna Driscoll.

I would like to thank all parents for their patience and cooperation during the school closure this week. It was a challenging time during which we had limited lines of communication open to us.

As we begin our journey through this year, let’s hold onto the spirit of connection, unity, resilience and respect which I hope will define our Middle School community.

Dates to remember:

School Photos Wednesday 21 February

Year 7 Camp Lyrebird Park Tuesday 5 – Friday 8 March

Labour Day Public Holiday Monday 11 March

Year 5 Camp Sovereign Hill Wednesday 13 – Fri 15 March

Year 5 NAPLAN Writing Wednesday 13 March

NAPLAN Testing Window 15 – 27 March

Ralph Arceo

Head of Middle School

Year 7 Transition Day

Year 7 Transition Day is designed to help Year 7 students get to know each other, their teachers and mentors. It is a long run tradition at Newhaven College and a crucial part of starting Year 7. The students spent the whole day on the beach playing team building games as well as time at the Phillip Island Tenpin Bowling playing pool, table tennis, laser strike and bowling. Also a fantastic BBQ lunch prepared by our teachers.

What a fabulous way to get to know your fellow Year 7 House groups. They are settling in well and are looking forward to the year ahead.

Senior School

Vice Principal & Head of Senior School

Year 12 Leadership Inducted

At the College’s first all-school assembly, our Year 12 Leadership team was inducted by Principal Mr Tony Corr. Each student was welcomed on stage, and applauded by their fellow students, teachers and families. The four College Captains represented their cohort by hosting the assembly. A new initiative for 2024 was the introduction of ‘meet the people’. College Captain, Tahlia Williams explained “Meet the People involves students from the Year 12 leadership team shaking hands with the students from the year level the leadership team started in. This exciting addition intends to build on our community, friendships and connections between sub-schools at Newhaven College. 2024 has already been a whirlwind of different emotions, with feelings of both excitement and motivation for the new year ahead.”

The 2024 Year 12 Leadership Team consists of: College Captains - Alice Mabilia, Max Arceo, Tahlia Williams and Tom Bird; House Captains – Will Campbell, Becky Heffer, Sienna Michie, Jack Ryan (Bass), Daniel Caffieri, Neave Dunstan, Jade Ruffin, Leo Savona (Clarke), Ella Berry, Archer Herbert, Sonny McMillan, Sienna Steiner (McHaffie), Claire Banks, Heidi Driscoll, Finn Russell, Amelia White (Sambell); Sport – Harry Butcher, Lily Mewett; Drama – Jemima Aitken, Dean Lyle; Music – Liam Fuery, Jasmine Turton; Visual Arts – Chloe Harris, Philippa Thompson-Lord; Wellbeing – William Bar Bar, Georgia Reich; Social Justice – Tilia Peres-Anderson, Gabriel Winterson; Environment & Sustainability- Tahlia Lindley.

As part of the first All School Assembly, several high achievers from 2023 VCE were welcomed back and congratulated. Dux of College Tess Papas and proxime accessit Saffi Campbell Walker spoke passionately about their time at Newhaven College and what exciting adventures lay ahead.

SEISA Leadership Retreat

On Friday 9 February some of Newhaven College’s Year 12 Leadership Team attended the 2024 SEISA Leadership Retreat.

This is a chance for the leaders from all South Eastern Independent Schools Association (SEISA) Schools to come together to meet each other, share ideas and build networks to rely upon in 2024 and beyond. The retreat began with an IKEA Flat Pack challenge where it was clear that some bookcases were useful only for resting the lightest of feathers, whilst others were sturdy enough to actually hold a book or two. A highlight of the first day was a presentation by Mat Bowtell from Free 3D Hands. An interesting facet of Day Two was a presentation by Mrs Milkins-Hendry, using the Myers-Briggs test as a way to explore one’s personality and using everyone’s strengths to build great leadership teams.

Some student reflections about the camp:

"The retreat was a great way to make connections with students from other schools and to develop leadership skills not only for this year, but for life. Mat Bowtell the guest speaker was my highlight as he provided a genuine and modest talk about how a willingness to take risks and a want to help people has gotten him where he is today."

"I really enjoyed meeting the other House Captains from other schools, and hearing about the different things they do at Assemblies and with the junior students. I feel excited that we can bring those ideas back to Newhaven."

"The testing part of the second day was really fun. I learnt quite a bit about myself and others who I will be working closely with. I think that my team will work better together because we know each other’s strengths."

"Mat Bowtell’s presentation was a highlight for me. It reminded me that leaders choose their own path, and that service and giving outwardly can make for a great community. I liked spending time with the other Year 12 students, they had some different ideas that I’d really like to try in my House."

Sharon Paterson

Year 9 Races Out of the Gate in Term 1!

Term 1 has started with a bang in Year 9! Students were right in the thick of things on Day 1, with 9K taking an early lead in the race for Community Games Points. Throughout the rest of the year, they'll face off in competitions against other Year 9 Home Groups for the coveted Hiking Boot Trophy.

I've been incredibly impressed by the students' response to the challenges set so far, and their embrace of our Term 1 theme of Respect. While new home groups and teachers can make for a challenging start, this group has seized the opportunity of a fresh start in Year 9 and run with it. There's a real sense of anticipation around what they'll achieve this year.

Over the next few weeks, students will dive into community projects around the school and the wider Bass Coast area. They'll volunteer at nursing homes and community gardens, lend a hand at Newhaven College Junior School, and even help build our new College Mountain Bike Trail. Stay tuned for more information on that soon! This week alone, our students have tackled first-aid training, explored the geological wonders of Phillip Island, and learned how to craft impressive resumes. It's sure to be an action-packed term!

Important Reminders:

Mark your calendars for the City CITE Information Night! Join us on 21 February at 6:30 pm to learn all about the exciting City CITE program happening in Term 2. It's your chance to ask questions and get pumped for an amazing experience.

Reminder about Newhaven College hats:

Many students still need their official Newhaven College hats. To participate fully in all Year 9 program activities this year, please check with your students and make sure they have one. Hats are essential for ensuring everyone has a safe and inclusive experience.

See you at the Information Night! Let's make this a fantastic year in Year 9!

Sam Foura

Head of Year 9

Pigtails to Pigtails

Remembering where it all began, our Year 12 girls decided to wear pigtails to school for their first day of school. Just like they did when they were in Prep.

Year 12 is going to be an exciting year for this year's cohort!

Japan Tour 2024

We are excited to announce the highly anticipated cultural and educational exchange to Japan again this year. The experience includes students living with a local family for a week, studying at Ibaraki Christian Junior High School plus a bit of sightseeing.

The exchange is available to students in Year 10 and Year 11, with a maximum of 16 students participating. All students in Years 10 to 11 are welcome to apply, and they do not need to be studying Japanese.

Dates for the tour will be Saturday 14 September - Saturday 28 September.

If you're interested, please contact Ms Horiguchi via SEQTA.

Mitsuko Horiguchi

Japanese Exchange Program Coordinator


As Careers Practitioner, my role is to engage with students across the College in regards to all things careers. This involves working with students on an individual basis to research, discuss and plan career aspirations. Other aspects of my role include working with year level cohorts to facilitate specialised sessions on topics such as Resume Writing, Interview Techniques, Industry insights and Morrisby Profiling .

Year 12 students are supported with their post-school pathway and for many the completion of their higher education applications. The Careers team also connects a large number of students in Years 10-12 with work placement which provides valuable opportunities for students to prepare for the workforce.

I welcome the opportunity to work with students and families. Please contact me via SEQTA if I can be of assistance.

Anthea Bennet

Head of Careers


2025 Year 7 Academic Scholarships

Applications are open for Newhaven College Academic Scholarships for students entering Year 7 in 2025. Tests will be held at the College on Saturday 23 March 2024.

Apply Here

Applications close Friday 15 March 2024.

Visual & Performing Arts

Little Shop of Horrors

Rehearsals are in full swing with the cast embracing the quirky, powerful and melodic numbers in this entertaining and feisty show!

The musical is such a wonderful celebration of talent across multiple areas and we can’t wait to showcase the talent in May.

Bookmark the show dates!

Friday 3 May

Saturday 4 May

Sunday 5 May

Karen Milkins-Hendry


The Dropkicks to Perform at VCE Showcase

We are so proud of our 2023 VCE and VET Performing Arts students. Two perfect scores in VCE Music, six students progressing to further study in the performing arts and one of our bands, The Dropkicks, received a rare invitation to perform two songs at the state-wide VCE showcase concert, Top Class Music 2024, where they’ll perform to the next generation of aspiring musicians at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

The Dropkicks formed during our annual Bands Camp in 2022 and they’ve been rehearsing, writing, recording, and performing ever since, with all band members completing a VCE/VET Cert III in Music followed by VCE Contemporary Music the year after. Make sure you check out The Dropkicks’ Instagram account, or catch them at The Westernport on Saturday 23 March, where they’re playing support for Ozone Street and Nick Carver & The Mean St Butchers.

Rob Turton

Music Teacher


SM Mountain Biking

During our first Mountain biking lesson, the Coach and Teacher, Mr. Wale discussed riding safety, bike maintenance and riding skills. The students navigated a range of terrain, such as tight tree turns, downhill slalom, cross country and descended steps!

The students were enthralled throughout the lesson and are keen to learn more!

Andrew Schmutter

House Swimming Carnivals

The year has started off with a bang, with the College running three Swimming Carnivals.

First off the blocks was the Years 5/6 swimmers, followed by the Year 2-4s. This week the Senior School had their turn.

There was plenty of red, blue, yellow and green on display as the competitors were cheered on from the sidelines.

Chaplain's Corner

Wellbeing Team Welcomes New Chaplain

Our Wellbeing Team is excited to announce the arrival of our new College Chaplain, Andre Whitton.

Andre arrived in Australia in 1965 as a ’10-pound Pom’ with his parents and siblings, speaking only French and Greek. He grew up and was schooled in Geelong before moving to Melbourne in 1976. Andre married Ruth, our much-valued middle school teacher, in 1986 and they moved to Red Cliffs with their children.

Andre was ordained as a minister in 1996 and served the local church for 20 years before becoming School Chaplain for two local high schools in 2015. Andre and Ruth moved to Phillip Island in 2021. Andre has continued working as a school Chaplain, finishing at Wonthaggi Primary School in 2023 and joining Newhaven College in 2024.

The College Chaplain supports the emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing of students, staff and our community.

Community Links

Healthy Lunches and Nude Food

As we venture into the rhythmic, yet all-consuming routine of the school week, one key routine which may require significant planning is making lunches, and we all try to make our children’s lunches healthy, balanced and environmentally-friendly lunches. It is important to Newhaven College that we work with parents to foster in students a value for nutrition and their world through their lunch and snack choices. Across all sub-schools we encourage students to pack nude food, eat a wide range of fruit and vegetables, and eat from all the food groups in balance. In accord with Jamie Oliver’s assertion that “Real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food is ingredients”, students are shown the value of eating whole foods, unpackaged and free of preservatives.

Whilst we are all perfectly aware that, ‘nutritious lunches and snacks help to provide the energy your child needs to concentrate, learn and play throughout the day’, the lure of the simple, salty and sugary can be powerful. To make the routine of creating healthy, environmentally conscious lunches almost automatic, here are some useful lunchbox ideas and the Sanitarium ’12 Before 12’ guide to encourage kids to develop independent healthy shopping, growing and eating habits, no matter what their age.

The Sanitarium ’12 Before 12’ Guide

8 tips for how to pack a healthy lunchbox for back-to-school

Alycia James

Middle School Teacher

Support Michael's Run for Beyond Blue

Former Newhaven College student Michael Finn is set off on an ultra-marathon on 1 February, raising money for Beyond Blue.

Michael, who graduated from Newhaven College in 2016 is running from Melbourne to Sydney.

He expects the 900km run to take between 18 and 23 days, starting from Flinders Street Station and arriving at the Sydney Opera House, travelling through Seymour, Eurora, Wangaratta, Albury, Yass and Goulburn.

He hopes to raise $2500 for Beyond Blue, a service he’s used himself when he found it “difficult to cope with life”.

Please support his efforts: team.beyondblue.org.au/michael-finn

Photo: San Remo and Phillip Island Advertiser.

The Wellbeing Barometer 2024

The Wellbeing Barometer survey has proven to be an invaluable tool for schools, providing insights into the state of youth mental health and wellbeing. Whilst last year’s results focussed the spotlight on areas of concern, there were also many highlights that demonstrated the resilience and adaptability of students and emphasised the necessity of prevention strategies.

Participating in this year's survey, will assist in identifying areas of strength and concern, as well as pinpointing opportunities for early intervention. Previously gathered information has helped support families as they navigate difficult conversations that enable understanding and foster connections to build relationships.

This survey is part of an ongoing, longitudinal study, with the results being instrumental in tailoring support for students and their families. Participation is strongly encouraged, as it provides a comprehensive view of students' experiences, challenges, and achievements over the past year. Its aim is to capture a comprehensive picture of young people's lives, allowing for a tailored approach to enhance mental and emotional wellbeing.

We encourage you to take a few moments to complete a survey for each of your children. This will help us determine the nature and extent of your concerns and how best to support families in the months ahead. Responses remain anonymous and will only be reported on an aggregated basis. You are asked to base your responses on observations made in the last 12 months.

Acquiring the skills for future independence, taking healthy risks, and giving young people the opportunity to emancipate from parents, are key developmental tasks that are essential if we are to stave off the impact of mental illness in the future. Please reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback. If this raises any concerns for you or your child, please reach out to the school or seek professional medical advice.

Here is the link to your special report.

For girls who love to kick a footy!

This Sunday!

Newhaven College is proud to host this event on our spectacular oval for the Phillip Island Football Netball Club.

Come along.