Variety Night 2019

Variety Night 2019 was a joyous celebration of the Performing Arts program at MSJ. Over 100 students participated in music, dancing and acting. The night was hosted by Chloe Smedley and Nina Unsworth who kept the night moving and made the audience giggle. The first musical theatre troupe was a wholly student directed piece and showcased our strength in this genre. A performance from the Year 9 Drama class tackled social justice with a self-devised absurdist piece highlighting the plight of refugees and Australia’s failing policy in this area. Isabel Vella and Ivy Saliba performed a gorgeous lyrical dance and the brand new vocal ensemble sang “First Burn” from the musical Hamilton with exquisite harmonies and stunning vocals. Isabel Vella wowed with her confident solo performance of “Don’t Rain on My Parade”. Bands from Years 9–12 came out of the classroom and rocked the stage.

The Year 9 band presented their first concert performance with the song 'Diamonds' and the Year 10 students came out of the rehearsal room and played their first performance ever. The Years 11 and 12 VET bands showed great professionalism and energy presenting the pieces they are working on in their courses. Lulu Guo from Year 12 performed a stunning piano piece set to film and Amber Wilson showed off her DJ skills playing a set in the break and accompanying Year 8 student Imogen Seward in her original song.

The school music ensembles played with confidence and showed great development. Jazz Cats have expanded over the past year and entertained the audience with the song “This is me” featuring the strong vocal talent of Georgia Dent. A special mention for the brand new guitar ensemble who played beautifully and held the audience's attention. MSJ Voices presented a medley from the legendary band Queen and led the final piece “Joyful Joyful” with their usual confidence and sweet sound.

Year 9 Bloom Project Expo

At the start of the year, the Year 9 students were given the opportunity to design their own projects. Our task was to investigate a need in the community that we were passionate about and from that, design our own Bloom Project. This meant that we had to do all the planning, research and designing ourselves. For my project, I decided to create a booklet aimed towards girls aged 10-13 years. This resource would cover many topics and issues they may face as they entered their teenage years, such as bullying, friendships, self-confidence and growing up. On 23 July, the Year 9 students had their Bloom Expo where many parents, teachers and other students came to see our final projects. I really enjoyed this experience, not only because I could show and explain the work I had done to others, but I was also so amazed at how incredible everyone else's projects were. Everyone put so much time and effort into their projects, and I think we all enjoyed completing this task!

Alannah Te, Year 9

For our project, Teagan and I made a recipe book that was for people who had different dietary requirements, such as gluten, lactose, egg or nut allergies. Over the last few months, we have been baking every weekend together so it was great to see it all paying off at the Expo. We sent our recipe book to anyone who requested it and we gave out many samples of our egg-free coconut balls and nut, egg and gluten-free shortbread. The project itself was very rewarding and it was satisfying to know that we helped out in our community.

Tara Mathews, Year 9

Alannah and Tara's stories are just two of the wonderful ideas that the Year 9 students developed. On behalf of the Year 9 Teachers, I would like to extend my congratulations to the Year 9 students who have identified a need in their communities and, through research, developed a way to address this issue. I would also like to thank the families that attended the Expo, it was a great experience.

Emma Commadeur, Year 9 Student Wellbeing Leader

Family Accounts

A statement was emailed to families during the holidays.

Unless you are on a fortnightly or monthly payment plan or have an alternative arrangement approved:

  • 75% of 2019 fees should have been paid by 28 July 2019, and
  • Accounts should be finalised by 28 September 2019.

It would be appreciated if families could make sure their accounts are up-to-date.

Noel Kennedy, Business Manager

2019 Seirei Visit

A big “ありがとう or "thank you” to the Host families.

Thank you so much for opening your hearts and homes to our sister school students from Japan. Without your support, our Peace Exchange Program would not have been so successful. Thanks to your warm hospitality and care, all of the Seirei students enjoyed their stay in Australia. If there is any feedback or comments regarding homestay to make our program more meaningful, please do not hesitate to contact me at the College or

Takahiro Hayashi, Japanese Teacher

On 21 July, our families went to the school to pick up Karin and Sana, our third Japanese Host Sisters. Karin and Sana were bright and bubbly girls, and we loved every minute of being their Host Family. We were greeted with gifts of fruit-scented Glad Wrap and at least a kilo of delicious Japanese candy. We went to many places across Melbourne like Queen Victoria Night Market, where we ate street food from across the world, which was a perfect way to display Melbourne’s diversity and multiculturalism. We also went to Moonlit Sanctuary, an open range zoo, the Melbourne Star, and Werribee Plaza and Coles to shop for different foods and snacks. Our families made sure to introduce them to the diverse range of cuisines Australia has to offer and the yummiest Australian snacks (Tim Tams, meat pies and pavlovas!). Needless to say, Karin and Sana enjoyed immersing themselves in the Australian culture, and both of us have made lifelong memories and friendships.

Enakshi Fuloria and Olivia Kelly, Year 10

VCAL Thank You Brand HQ Excursion

On Friday 19 July, the Year 11 and 12 VCAL classes had a trip to the Thankyou™ headquarters, as part of our Work Related Skills and Numeracy outcomes. When we arrived, we were very generously gifted little goodie bags with their water, soap, hand sanitisers, as well as body cream. We were then directed to a very comfy, inviting space to learn all about their mission as a non for profit organisation, which aims to eliminate poverty by donating all their profit to poverty stricken communities. We also learnt about their journey from being sold on the shelves of small stores, to now being stocked in the big retailers like Coles and Woolworths. After that, we were invited to participate in “Squat-o-Clock”, a regular team building activity at Thankyou™, where we squatted to our favourite tunes. Before our day came to an end, we got the chance to talk to all their employees, from finance all the way to social marketing. Many questions were asked and answered about the ins and outs of running a successful business. We finished the day at another non for profit organisation, strEAT. We ate a guilt-free lunch, knowing that our money was going to help people. Thank you to both Ms Stafrace and Mrs Stafrace for taking us to Thankyou™ and strEAT.

Lyneal Wedd, Year 11 VCAL

Forensics Incursion – Education Interactive

The date – Friday 19 July. The place – the TWLC. The question – who killed Sally Kerr? That was the mystery in the minds of 80-odd Year 10 Forensic Science students as they considered all the angles; using their astute powers of observation, analysis, and re-enactment (dramatised for effect) to solve the whodunnit.

Suspicions were high. Theories were complicated.

Rushing between the various evidence stations, which included DNA spectroscopy, fibre analysis, entomological information, GPS tracking, surveillance footage, and more, the hole in the picture of evidence was exactly that – a tiny hole. Pierced into the side of a Coke can lay poor Sally’s ultimate undoing, encouraging our band of detectives to return to the lab for further toxicology analysis.

As they sat in the debriefing room with their fellow crime scene investigators, fingers smeared with incriminating ink, the forensic expert from Education Initiative, Kathleen, revealed all. All 80-odd rookie cops had their instincts validated and questions answered – it was the online stranger all along! Furthermore, these budding forensic psychologists were looking deeper – where is the line drawn between murder and manslaughter? What criminal behaviour patterns can we recognise? How is forensic technology evolving?

The students enrolled in Forensic Science this semester will be exploring these ideas and more through scientific lenses, as well as considering the legal and social implications involved in the study of forensics. Through this unit, we learn about science in context, introduce future career potential, and encourage a heightened sense of scepticism when watching the latest true crime series on Netflix.

Rosalie Steward, Science Teacher

MSJ Hosts Inter-School Chess Competition

On 29 July, myself and several other students from MSJ competed in an inter-schools chess tournament. This tournament had seven rounds and over 80 participants. We began by having the rules explained to us before the draw for the first round went up. We were up against players of different skill levels depending on how many games we won or lost, which was certainly a challenge for many of us.

There was a wide range of competitors from different schools, both primary and secondary. We put our best foot forward throughout the seven rounds up, with many of us winning two or more games despite being up against such experienced players. The MSJ team performed very well, ultimately placing third in the secondary schools' category. I was lucky enough to place first out of MSJ, in addition to placing in the top 25% of the region.

We did extremely well especially as it was most players' first tournament. We learned a lot from our experience in this tournament and it will help us improve in the future. Thank you, Mrs Neenan, for organising the chess club and arranging for MSJ to enter the tournament, we couldn't have done it without you.

Elizabeth Pollard, Year 9