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Phoenix News – Issue 4

“In Knowledge there is Opportunity”

Our Phoenix P-12 Community College newsletters are an important form of communication for our school community.

Each newsletter contains a great deal of information about what is happening in and around the College
including upcoming events and celebration of student success.

Read all the latest news in this edition.


Important Dates

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*Due to the current pandemic, please continually check the online newsletter and COMPASS for important information and sudden changes in the College’s timetable.

17th End of Term 3 – Dismissal 2:30pm 
24th AFL Grand Final Day (Public Holiday)
4th Term 4 Begins
5th General Achievement Test (GAT)
20th Year 12 Farewell Assembly
20th Year 12 Valedictory Dinner
Ballarat & District Trotting Club
7:00pm – 11:00pm
27th VCE Exams Commence
2nd Melbourne Cup (Public Holiday)
8th-12th Year 11 Exams
15th-19th Year 11 Step-Up Week
A preparatory week for students entering Year 12 in 2022
17th VCE Exams Conclude
19th Debutante Ball (Year 12)
20th Debutante Ball (Year 11)
22nd-26th Year 10 Exams
29th Nov – 2nd Dec Year 10 Step-Up Week
A preparatory week for students entering Year 11 in 2022
29th Nov – 3rd Dec Years 7-9 Assessment Week
30th Presentation Evening
7th Orientation Day (Prep & Year 7)
Orientation is an important part of children’s transition to school. It is an event that orientate children and families to the structure and timetable of their new school in preparation for the following year. Alternative timetable for current Years 7-9 students to accommodate for orientation.
13th-16th Activity Week
Students can participate in a range of activities throughout the week.
15th Semester Reports (available via COMPASS)
17th End of Term 4 (Student Free Day)

Student free days will be confirmed throughout the school year. 

Please make sure you continually check our online Newsletter, the College website or COMPASS for updates.

Principal’s Message

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In taking time to pause and reflect on the term, I will be the first to admit this one has not been easy.

As a school community we have faced the difficult terrain of grief and loss again in addition to navigating the uncertainty of entering and exiting lockdown multiple times.  This could lead us to wondering why us, why here and why now? In truth I don’t have an answer for that. What I do know and what I can say with pride, in these very challenging circumstances we have been able to focus on what matters the most and that is our people. We can support one another, take the time to circle back and ensure that we show empathy and kindness and make sure that we keep taking all of our people with us. I have a very deep sense of pride and gratitude in leading this community. I know that together we are enough; we are capable of hard stuff and we are much stronger together as a community.

I do hope all of us have some time in the school break to recalibrate, to think outside of the lens of the Coronavirus and fill our well. Stay safe and well; we look forward to seeing you face-to-face (hopefully) after the term break.

Karen Snibson

Message from Assistant Principal

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Dear Parent & Families

Despite the change and disruption, some students returning to school and others not, we finish the term with the pride of knowing that our community is emerging together from one of the most challenging periods of this pandemic. Whilst we enter the school holidays wearied, the strength that we draw from our community only grows.

I would like to thank all staff and families for all their hard work in assisting students to work through these difficult times and creating stability for students. While I know that students will have had their moments, I would like to congratulate everyone on the resilience they have shown throughout the term. We were fortunate to have Year 12 students back together for a short time and the positivity and sense of community and ability to bounce back was strong.

I wish everyone a safe and restful holiday and encourage students to complete their holiday home work packs. I am really looking forward to the opportunities in Term 4 that will progressively present themselves and celebrate our Phoenix Community.

Grant Luscombe
Assistant Principal – Senior Years

A Message to our Year 12’s

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These messages about resilience are very true and reflective of not just our students, but our wider Phoenix family too.

Emily Lizzul
VCE Transition Coordinator

Now and Then

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Look at the fantastic development of our College throughout the years.

Many of the original buildings have been demolished to make way for various new and updated learning facilities. We have come a long way!

Rube Goldberg Competition Winners

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After receiving 16 submissions from 11 classes, as well as 4 staff submissions! The winners of the Rube Goldberg competition are:






An honourable mention to Wes Carter – His class had the most submissions of any across the school!

Art Project

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During Art class prior to the latest lockdown, students from 8P3 visited the Art Gallery of Ballarat and participated in a group discussion with Education Officer Kate Gorman on Glenn Morgan’s 10m artwork ‘Global Warming’.

The painting documents the wild seasons of extremes in weather and natural disasters in recent years. Illustrating a range of stories in each of its four panels, from drought with exhausted CFA workers fighting fires to flooding rivers full of furniture, vehicles and debris.

The class investigated Glenn Morgan’s art style, researched the theme, split into small groups and started to rough out their initial designs to create their own 10m collaborative artwork.

Once we return to on-site learning the project will be sketched onto a 10m length of card where the class will collaborate to connect each groups’ design and complete as a collaborative painting during Term 4.

Julia Newson
Visual Arts Teacher

Year 7B3 Textiles

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As with all subjects, Year 7 Textiles has obviously been interrupted by lockdowns during Term 3, but we tried to use these as opportunities to get even more creative!

When classes were held in person we actively created a lively environment together, chatting, laughing and making interesting creations. Some students were familiar with the skills we used, such as hand sewing using a running stitch, using equipment safely and persisting when things didn’t quite go as well as we imagined.

When the second lockdown hit, the Textiles Department came together and worked out a variety of fun, hands-on tasks students could enjoy at home, and we worked out ways to get the students what they needed to make these creations.

Throughout lockdown, students engaged in tasks such as making their own scarecrows, finger knitting friendship bracelets and weaving God’s Eyes. We hoped this could evoke some relief from the screen-heavy burden of lockdown, whilst maintaining strong connection with exciting activities and peers.

Great work Year 7’s!

Emily Gray
Textiles Teacher

Nurture Room Program

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We wanted to share some of the moments that we get to see within our Nurture Room program and see the visible difference to these children. This term has been a roller-coaster for all of us but we are really seeing some progress in each and every one of the children in this program. Their capacity to understand their emotions, begin to feel what it feels like in their bodies for them, and to be able to express these feelings is growing. We are seeing them being able to articulate what they are feeling and what their needs are. This allows us to respond to their needs and support their emotional and social development.

This week we had some lovely moments; exploring the reflection created by my watch (they all wanted me to move it onto them, or chase it), building Lego/Duplo together, doing ‘What Am I? activity, sitting on the big boulders in the sunshine and seeing what we could ‘see’ in the clouds (then showing each other). These things may sound like such simple activities, but the learning that takes place within these is what we focus on. Listening, turn taking, team work, creativity, emotional regulation, how to relate to others are just some of the benefits we are supporting through these activities.

Carla Huby
Therapy Assistant, The Nurture Room

SHOUT Magazine

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Jayde Birse and Tyler Bampfield write for The Courier’s youth platform SHOUT:

We still need to break stereotypes about Islam

Dear Australia,

There are some things you need to understand.

We know that some media portray Muslim people in ways that brain washes the rest of the world. There are so many horrible stereotypes about Islam even 20 years after the September 11 terror attacks in the United States where 19 violent men deliberately crashed two planes into New York’s Twin Towers, another plane into the Pentagon and they tried to target Washington DC but this plane crash into the field.

Almost 3000 people from more than 90 nations were killed and 10,000 treated for injuries.

The people who conducted these terrorist attacks were apparently Muslim people but actually are they were extremists as the Islamic faith is all about peace.

There any many negative stereotypes around Islam.

Often people assume that woman are treated poorly, don’t have a voice or that are made to wear hijabs but for many actually it’s a choice to wear their headdress because it’s part of their religion and some women want to maintain privacy and to feel closer to their god.

People think that Muslim people who either wear a hijab, niqab or burka are hiding something because most people don’t understand the Islamic religion and choose to believe everything the media portrays on the news.

People often assume that Muslim people are involved in the terrorist attacks around the world when actually they are the most targeted group of people.

Australia is a country rich in diversity and everyone, no matter their religion and beliefs, has the right to feel safe and included.

In order to stamp out racism we need to never make assumptions based on religion or skin colour.

It is very important that we know that if we are unsure of something we ask questions and learn from what people share with us.

To embrace diversity, we need to think about the language we are using and how words can affect a person.

We need to educate not only kids in schools but our community, our country and the whole world.

I believe that Muslim people shouldn’t have to live under these stereotypes.

We need to have harsher penalties to stop racism or we will never be able to reduce its impact. There needs to be huge on the spot fines and jail time, and we need to call out and stand up to racism in every setting.

It’s time for the world to come together, and fight this together, so we can embrace diversity.

Yours sincerely,

Jayde Birse


Growing up Indigenous and becoming proud Kamilaroi man

One thing I’ve always had a problem with, and I know other young indigenous people do too, is being told I’m too “white” to be Aboriginal.

I have never really felt like I was an Aboriginal man until this year, actually. Since speaking to my mother about it, she told me this great analogy: “It doesn’t matter how much tea you have in a cup, it’s still tea”.

So, we’ve all heard about the debates about the change of Australia Day, I personally believe that the date should be changed due to the amount and severity of the actions done on the January 26 when Australia was invaded.

A lot of things changed for our First Nations people on this day: they were tricked with poison, thrown off cliffs and murdered in a lot of different ways.

A lot of the Aboriginal culture has been lost since that day.

And then there is the Stolen Generation – some of our grandparents suffered from those actions, some of them still not knowing where they originally came from or even who they are related to. They were stolen from their parents at a young age, weren’t allowed to contact anyone they were related to, not allowed to speak their own language and had to marry white men or women to get rid of the colour of their skin and any facial features that resembled their Aboriginality.

For me now, I’m proud to be an Aboriginal man, I know what tribe my ancestors were from Kamilaroi Country and I love learning more about it.

One thing I would like to see changed isn’t just the treatment of lighter skinned Indigenous people, but I do I want to see the stereotypes eventually disappear such as “Aboriginals are just alcoholics” and “Aboriginals are violent, thieves and get free stuff from the government”.

I am a proud Kamilaroi man. Aboriginal to me means STRONG.

I want to see our culture and our past taught in our younger generations. Not only will these change the stereotypes, it will bring back our culture and other young men and women will begin to be proud of who they are as an Aboriginal just like I have since being taught about my culture, my ancestor past and actually being recognised as a Kamilaroi man.

– Tyler Bampfield

Cricket Club

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Alumni News

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Jessica Keen – Class of 2014

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

I spent my early secondary school days uncertain of what I wanted to do as a career. It wasn’t until my senior years of school I realized I should pursue a career in something I enjoyed learning about, Science. I studied Physics, Chemistry and Biology in Year 12 and wanted a career that encompassed all those areas.

Initially I thought I would follow in the footsteps of my family and become a Nurse. I undertook Work Experience at the Ballarat Base Hospital, however it didn’t feel like the right fit for me. I then attended a Careers Expo and started looking into Medical Imaging, thinking Radiography would suit me better. By trial and error, attending another Work Experience placement at the Base Hospital, I decided against the area of Radiography and found another area of medical imaging called Nuclear Medicine.

Nuclear Medicine is an area of Radiology which involves using radioactive isotopes (known as tracers) which are typically injected into a patient and are targeted to detect various diseases and conditions within the body. Some tracers can detect cancers in the body, others are targeted at imaging the heart, bones, lungs, brain function and the list goes on. Different to Radiography which involves using X-rays and CT scans to see how the body looks, Nuclear Medicine can look at how the body functions on the cellular level. Nuclear Medicine involves a mixture of lab work, working with patients to perform imaging and working with specialized scanners (SPECT/CT & PET scanners) and equipment to take images.

I focused my sights on meeting the prerequisites and ATAR requirements to study Nuclear Medicine as I went through my final year of school. Thankfully I met all the prerequisites and received an offer from RMIT University in Bundoora, Melbourne to study Nuclear Medicine!

University saw me undertake various clinical placements in Radiology Departments in Ballarat, Melbourne and Tasmania over the 3 years of my course. In 2017 I graduated from University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Nuclear Medicine (Distinction) and went on to do my internship year. I was lucky enough to work at 3 major metropolitan hospitals; The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Monash Health.

After completing my training and gaining my registration I then snapped up a full-time job working for Monash Health where I am currently employed as a Nuclear Medicine Technologist. I love my job; I get to look after some really unwell patients that range from infants to the elderly. Most excitingly I play a role in providing them with a diagnosis so that they can get back to good health. My role also involves teaching students and interns during their clinical placements and I love sharing my knowledge and passion for medical imaging with them.

My advice to current students would be, find something you find interesting and love doing and see how you can translate that into a job! Also hats off to all of the teachers I had at Phoenix College over the years who inspired and supported me along my schooling journey.


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