Officer Campus – 8 August 2019


What a great fortnight we’ve had at the Campus. There is so much activity and so much energy building around learning at the Campus. The Hands On Learning Program continues to grow, and the quality of the work is improving with each project. At our last meeting with the Hands On Learning Team, we spoke about connecting more with the children at St Clare’s next door. 

Much planning and preparation has gone into St Francis Xavier Day. We look forward to coming together as a larger community and then celebrating with a carnival at the Officer Campus. Please ensure you have given consent via PAM for your son or daughter to attend. 


Student Leadership Opportunities in 2020

Soon, we will be calling for applicants for the Student Leadership Executive in 2020. We will ask our Year 8 students:

  • Are you supportive?
  • Can you motivate others to accomplish their goals?
  • Do you embody a sense of team loyalty and support your peers when they are experiencing difficulties?
  • Are you respectful?

If this sounds like your son or daughter, please encourage them to apply!


Embracing Challenges (Speech to the Campus Community) 

During our last assembly I spoke about an experience I had two years ago at the Glen Harrow Tree Top Adventure Walk in Belgrave. What I loved about this experience was that it showed me the character strengths of my nieces, Astrid and Zoe. They showed real teamwork on the ropes course. It also showed me the way they approached the challenges with humour and kindness

Both came back to me at times to see how I was going. I could see that they were brave in the way they approached the black run. It made me think about the Outward Bound experience for the Year 9 students. 

Embracing the Challenge of the Outward Bound will give our students an opportunity to lead others, to work together as a team, to achieve goals and to push their own limits. These are skills that are essential to success in life. As I said to the students, walking in to your first job interview you can be confident that you’ve faced similar challenges and on your Outward Bound adventure and overcame them. You will be able to speak confidently and give real examples of leadership, effective communication and achieving goals. These are skills that will put you ahead of the pack! 


Embracing the Challenge of the Tree Top Adventure Walk in Belgrave gave me

An Opportunity to Grow: Challenging yourself can help you reach better achievement levels. You can’t expect to evolve and reach new heights if you only stick to your normal habits and routine lifestyle. Learning new skills and lessons will help you throughout your life. 

An Opportunity to Learn: Taking risks helps you grow as an individual and teaches you about your interests, passions, talents, strengths and weaknesses. Every time you accomplish something you didn’t think you were capable of, you become more confident, knowledgeable and skilled. 

An Opportunity to Expand: It is important to try something new, you may find a new hobby or talent that you didn’t know that you had. 

An Opportunity to Increase Self-Confidence:Tackling the unknown and proving to yourself you can push past your boundaries and limiting self-beliefs builds your self-confidence and self-esteem. Insecurity loves to feed on your habit of not trying. If you stop thinking and start acting, you will realize what is possible. 

An Opportunity to Learn to deal with Challenges: Life is unpredictable and it’s important to have the skills and confidence to face them head on. Knowing that you can overcome something you thought was insurmountable will build your confidence and reinforce your independence as a person. 

An Opportunity to Build new Relationships: Trying something new helps you to meet all sorts of new people you may not have met otherwise staying in your comfort zone. To have good relationships with others, you must have a good relationship with yourself. Trust yourself and be your best self. 

For me, Embracing Challenges is all about Seizing Opportunities


College Colours 

Congratulations to the following students who received their College Colours at the McKenna House Assembly. Well done to these students for all the challenges they’ve been embracing at school. 

Bronze Star: Michaela Hoppner, Lachlan Watson, Mia Dineen, Jacinta Virag

Silver Star: Mikaela De Souza

Gold Star: Ashreena Arul Dass


We grow together. 

Lisa Harkin – Deputy Principal – Head of Campus – Officer 


SIS Book in a Day 

We had a terrific day on the Thursday 25 July attending workshops for SIS Book in a Day at John Paul College, Frankston. The students who are involved this year are Janeesha Digo, Maddy Grabowski, Erin Byrne, Kaitlin Byrne, Dehara Geekiyanage, Jayda Hudman, Jeoff Ramos and Scarlett Johnson. After being inspired by local authors and illustrators, our enthusiastic and dedicated students are eager to start writing their 5000-word book. This will be held on Tuesday 13 August, and we are hosting it this year! Students from Berwick Grammar and our Berwick Campus will be using our wonderful facilities in the LRC to write their books. 

Leesa Gordon and Jarryd Black – Teachers of English – Officer 


Beaumont Oratory 

The Beaumont Oratory is a public speaking competition held annually for all year levels at all campuses. Finalists are selected by English teachers who nominate the best speakers from their classes based on the persuasive speeches that students present as part of the English curriculum. 

The Beaumont Oratory is named after a local historian, Norman Beaumont, who wrote the book, Early Days of Berwick. Mr Beaumont financed a prize for junior public speaking at the College in 1979 after being so impressed by the speaking skills of students who spoke at the opening and blessing of the College in 1978. Over time, the competition expanded to all year levels as the College continued to grow. 

Kane Podesta and Leesa Gordon judged the Beaumonts on the 27 June and said that the standard of public speaking from the finalists was exceptional this year. 

The Year 7 winner was McKenna O’Reilly 

Other Year 7 participants were: Ruby Dee, Eshara Gajadeera, Muhammadah Kashif, Aaron Naismith, Robbie Auld, Bec Bateson, Claire Peterson, Matilda Stacey, Blake Swan


The Year 8 winner was Ally Williams 

Other Year 8 participants were: James Abrehart, Charlotte Humphries, Tom Humphries, Charlize Justus, Ria Kumar, Claudia Poblete Bustos, Max Richards and Mitchell Rook 


The Year 9 winner was Mary Wijewardene 

Other Year 9 participants were: Ashreena Arul Dass, Alannah Auld, Olivia Balderstone, Taleisha Bell, Chloe Talaue, Amy Velten


The winners received their awards at our Assembly on Tuesday 30 July. It fit in very well with the theme which was about embracing challenges. We look forward to many more competitions at our Campus. 

Leesa Gordon – Teacher of English and RE – Officer 


Learning Japanese at Officer Campus 

Students doing Japanese this year have learned a lot and did a lot of fun activities. Year 7, 8 and 9 students have gone on incursions and excursions to further their Japanese learning. In the Year 7 incursion, the students learnt how to draw manga and manga characters. The Year 8 students learnt how to make Kyaraben Obento. Kyaraben is the Japanese word used to refer to those incredibly cute and very impressive bento (boxed lunches) based on popular anime. The Year 9 students got to travel to the consulate of Japan to learn about Japan’s robotic sciences. After that they got to travel to Glen Waverley to a restaurant called Waya to eat some authentic Japanese food. The Year 9 students also made a promotion video for the school as one of their assessments. Overall, learning Japanese this year has been really fun and everyone has learned a lot about not only the the language, but the culture too.

Harji Sohi – Year 9 – White House 


McKenna House Assembly 

This week’s assembly really resonated with the students, so I would like to share it with you. The topic was facing fears. It was reassuring to know some of our smartest, nicest and funniest teachers have faced their fears. Ms Harkin, for example, with her fear of heights. Knowing someone else out there has been through it gives confidence to address what worries us. The Year 9 students will face some challenges and fears, as they are going to Outward Bound, but the biggest thing to take out of it was: don’t face your fears alone.  

McKenna O’Reilly – Year 7 – Schneider House 


On Tuesday 30 July, McKenna House had their assembly. The theme was overcoming obstacles and challenging yourself. Based on this theme, the school choir sang A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman. There was a presentation about the Japanese incursions and other excursions that occurred; the Year 7 students learnt how to draw manga, the Year 8 students made obento boxes and the Year 9 students went into the city to learn about Japanese technology and eat traditional Japanese food. Overall the students enjoyed the assembly.

Ella Beasley  – Year 8 – McKenna


On Tuesday, McKenna House Presented an assembly based around the theme of embracing challenges. This assembly gave students a chance to take on the challenge of presenting to the campus either if it was public speaking or singing. During this assembly students were recognised for their academic efforts in Semester 1, we heard the results from the Beaumont Oratory Finals and the Talent show, and we were shown what has been happening in our Japanese classrooms. Overall the Assembly was a great opportunity to celebrate our college community.  

Mia Dineen – House Captain – McKenna 


A Message from our Campus Captain 

The theme for this week’s McKenna assembly was about embracing challenges, we explored the idea of how to overcome and learn from the challenges we have. Throughout our assembly we had several awards for student achievement, performances and updates from many students about upcoming events, results from our talent show and news of what’s been taking place in our Japanese classes. We hope that our students have taken something from our assembly and try to embrace the many challenges they have ahead of them. 

Mary Wijewardene – Campus Captain – Officer 


Learning Resource Centre 

The Officer Learning Resource Centre decided to give the games cupboard a clean out, and it’s amazing what we found! The students have been enjoying playing these board games at lunchtime and it’s been very entertaining for the Learning Resource Centre staff to see how competitive some of the students can be, especially with UNO! 

From left to right – Kyla Dutt, Rhiannon Cooper and Carline Tuazama playing UNO 

Front left to front right – Riley Blackwell, Robbie Auld, Jeoff Ramos and Nathan Williams playing Race to the top 

Front left to front right – Lachlan Watson, Liam McAdam, Vishal Murugan, Max Richards, Nathan Gordon, Thomas Humphries, Matthew Simunic and Chaz Elsegood playing Chess 


Lauren Murphy – Learning Resource Centre Manager – Officer 


SIS Debating 

The following students had a terrific day on the 31 July at John Paul College for Round 1 of SIS Debating. 

Year 7: Ruby Dee, Oli Turner, Muhammadah Kashif, Jack Danahy, Robbie Auld 

Year 8: Ally Williams, Mitchell Rook, Max Richards, Linuki Herath, Claudia Poblete Bustos, Jayden Lazaro 

Year 9: Melanie Fonseka, Osanda Wewalwala, Olivia Kruger, Mary Wijewardene 

We had 6 wins out of 8. We defeated schools such as Cornish College, Flinders College, St Peter’s Clyde and John Paul College. Each team had to do a prepared and an unprepared debate. Out of 24 teams, Max Richards, Ally Williams and Robbie Auld finished at the top of the ladder. All students represented SFXC beautifully and it is a pleasure working with such motivated students. 

We are looking forward to Round 2 which will be on the 29 August. Good luck to all participants. 


Leesa Gordon and Vithiya Sathiavan – Debating Teachers – Officer 


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