Shrine of Remembrance Young Ambassador Program

This year has been a crazy and exciting year for me because I was lucky enough to participate in the Shrine of Remembrance Young Ambassador Program. The Young Ambassador Program is a leadership and teamwork course run yearly for year 9 and 10 students from all over Victoria. There are around 9-10 picked each year and they get to partake in ceremonies, commemorations, and talk to people of all ages, backgrounds, and experiences.

As a young ambassador I had many duties that I needed to fulfil, such as acting as leaders and representatives of future generations at the Shrine. Also to encourage peers and other young people to understand the importance of remembering and honouring Australia’s service community and military history. I also got to work alongside Shrine professional staff and volunteers. Another duty we had was to attend special training so we were prepared for events.

Some of my highlights throughout the year was Anzac Day. I attended the dawn service and assisted other shrine volunteers as a host, helping greet VIPs attending the dawn service and handing out poppies to the public. Another highlight was Legacy Day. I assisted with ceremonial duties and managed to be chosen to greet the Governor of Victoria, which on the day ended up being her representative.

The Victorian Aboriginal Remembrance Service was another highlight. I participated in the commemoration which honoured the service and sacrifice of aboriginal men and women. Another highlight was Vietnam Veterans Day. I also got to greet the Governor of Victoria, and this time it was actually her. I also got to welcome many veterans and hear their stories of the war. The biggest highlight was an interstate trip to Sydney where the young ambassadors were welcomed to the Sydney shrine and we were shown a performance and given a tour of the facility. We also got to have some free time around the city as well. My final highlight was Remembrance Day. I handed Premier of Victoria, Dan Andrews, a wreath to lay at the Shrine. I also got to lay a wreath with other ambassadors as we represented the school students of Victoria. I was also on tv during the service and also on the news that night.

Overall, being a young ambassador has been an incredible experience. It has taught me how to be more confident in myself, and also allowed me to learn more about Australian military history. I would recommend this program to anyone and everyone because it is an experience you will never forget. My time as an ambassador will finish at the start of next month after the Young Ambassador’s service which is a special service commemorating us. I am going to miss having this role so much but it has inspired me to continue learning and continue remembering. I certainly will be spending some extra time at the shrine next year and I am so grateful for Chloe and Adrian who are two shrine workers who run the young ambassadors program. They were both such incredible mentors and I wouldn’t have made it through the program without you.

I also have new life long friends, George, Rehan, Rehan (two Rehan’s!), Amelia, Sophia, Darcy, Talia, and Olivia. You are the best and have always managed to put a smile on my face. I will miss you all so much. Being a young ambassador has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Bridget White

BELOW: Bridget presenting a wreath to the Premier, Dan Andrews and Opposition leader, Matthew Guy

Best wishes for your retirement

This week we farewell two long term staff members, Kathy Kalfas and Michael Leonard.

Kathy Kalfas

Kathy has taught many subjects throughout the years but her focus has mostly been Humanities and English. She is a great story teller and has enthralled and inspired thousands of young women over the 36 years that she has taught at the College. We wish her all the very best. We look forward to hearing stories of your further world travels and adventures. Thank you for everything, you are one in a million.

Here are the tributes and memories shared by her former students and current and past colleagues:

You are the kindest of souls and I would've struggled through Year 7 English if you weren't my teacher. I was so lucky to be taught by you even through lockdown you made us smile and work hard. Thanks for everything!!

My favourite memory with Ms Kalfas is when my essay didn't save, so she sat and helped me retype it again! Thank you so much Ms Kalfas for being a part of my learning journey and for all of the stories and chats that we shared during our English classes. I wish you all the best.

Mrs Kalfas, you helped change the course of my life! I will forever be greatful! I hated most things about year 9, you were the shining light xox

Congratulations Kathy on your amazing teaching career. You have had such a positive impact on so many students overtime. Enjoy your well deserved retirement You were such an engaging story teller, & a motivating, caring & supportive teacher to us, I felt very fortunate to have had you teach & support me xx Thank you!

Miss Kalfas, you were one of the BEST! I loved having you as my teacher (class of 1992) and listening to your stories. You always treated us as equals and respected us which you then received in return so easily. Enjoy your most well deserved retirement and thank you for your service.

You were my legal studies teacher back in the hey day. Kathy you were an amazing English teacher to both my daughters the last two years. Your style of teaching is going to be hard to replace. Wishing you all the best with your future endevours. My children will miss you. They will remember you for being their Best English teacher. Best of health and happiness

Goodness me - an MSJ without Kalf’s infectious laugh, her irreverent but astute observations and a big heart with undeniable love of her students. Congratulations on your service to MSJ. Not only on tje outcomes of your senior classes but on the collegiality and friendship you showed your peers, myself included. Best wishes for what comes next

An amazing achievement for an extraordinary teacher and a dear friend I have been blessed to have had you as my teacher both as a student and as a colleague. I love you dearly Kalf and I will always treasure the memories and our shared stories

Congratulations Ms Kalfas! I tell all my year 9 English students about you - every year. I hope I can inspire my students even a fraction of how much you inspired us. I recently gave a copy of Looking For Alibrandi to one of my former students and explained how much I loved studying it with you as my teacher. Good luck!

Enjoy retirement Ms Kalfas - definitely well deserved! Thank you for teaching me legal studies and inspiring me to become a lawyer! And then being my daughter’s favourite teacher by far!

Miss Kalfas! Congratulations on your retirement! You have such a kind heart and always made me smile, even when I was having a rough day. Thank you for all your support and making every student feel noticed and cared for. Wishing you every bit of happiness and more!

Wishing you all the very best in your retirement . You taught me legal studies many years ago and as a result I was fortunate enough to spend many wonderful years working in the legal field. Thank you for all your encouragement and for always inspiring and believing in us.

Kathy! How awesome are you? Amazing achievement and duly deserved. You taught me in your first year out and later on we became colleagues. It’s been such a pleasure working with you. Enjoy retirement.

Michael Leonard

Michael "Mick" Leonard has shared his passion and vast knowledge of Mathematics, Catholicism, Religious Education and the charism of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart with the MSJ community. As a true gentleman and kindly teacher, his gentle approach and warm heart has made him a favourite among staff and students. Michael has been at MSJ fof the past 14 years and his presence and wisdom will be greatly missed. Mick is a very proud grandfather and an avid Carlton fan. We hope he enjoys pursuing his passions and enjoying the quieter life in his retirement. We know however, that he will keep himself busy with his community based projects that he has planned in the future.

Career News

ATAR registration

Year 12 students are to register now for the VCE Results and ATAR service by creating a secure password which they will use to access their results and ATAR from 7am, Monday 12 December. Students in lower year levels who are completing a Unit 3 & 4 study can also register for the service to access their study score.

Change of Preference - Year 12 students and families

This is a reminder that the change of preference deadline is 4pm on Wednesday 14th December. If you are in need of expert advice regarding your change of preference, see this document for dates, events and contacts for all the tertiary institutions.

Also be advised that Ms Vranes will be available for phone consultations on Monday the 12th December on 83982000.

Career newsletter

In this edition:

  • Careers in disability services
  • Careers in sport
  • Calling all entrepreneurs
  • Jobs – Christmas casual positions
  • Policing and criminology
  • Fine arts and music
  • Fee-free and low cost TAFE courses
  • Tourism and travel
  • Journalism course
  • Summer schools
  • Dates for your diary

Read the full newsletter HERE

College Uniform Christmas Hours

Please note that the Academy Uniform Store at Deer Park will close on 23 December 2022 at 5pm and re-open on 3 January 2023 at 9:00am.

Please click HERE for online orders.

Deer Park Store

Phone: +61 3 8385 9111

10/85 Mt. Derrimut Road,
Deer Park VIC 3023

Opening Hours:
Mon – Fri 9am-5pm, Saturday 9am-12pm

Office Hours Christmas Break

The College Reception and Office will close on Tuesday 20 January 2022 and re-open on Wednesday 18 January. From 18 January, the office hours will be 8:00am-4:00pm. Regular office hours of 8:00am - 4:30pm will resume from Monday 30 January.

Important Dates


Wednesday 18 January

College Office opens
Tuesday 31 JanuaryYear 7 & 12 students commence
Wednesday 1 FebruaryYears 8 - 11 commence
Friday 3 FebruarySchool Photos

Happy Christmas from the Learning Resource Centre

We hope everyone receives lots of great books for Christmas!

The LRC had a super busy and exciting end to the year. In addition to packing up 2022 and setting up for next year, we finalised three projects:

  • MSJ’s cookbook, Lunchbox Recipes;

  • the latest edition of Lilium Scribes, our student-run magazine;

  • and the school holidays reading program Book Bingo.

The Lunchbox Recipes cookbook was inspired by one student’s quest for a more exciting lunchbox. When library staff couldn’t find a suitable cookbook, they decided to make one. The finished product includes more than 60 recipes from staff and students. It's multicultural, fun and fairly healthy. There are three copies in the library available for borrowing.

The Term 4 edition of Lilium Scribes is out now. The student magazine includes a critical look at the ad 'Run Like a Girl'; 10 things you might not know about King Charles III; 5 Summer Trends; and Advice from the Class of 2022. There's also student photography, digital art and so much more. Students can read through the magazine online here or via the LRC homepage.

Book Bingo is the summer school holiday reading challenge. Students can earn a House Point for 2023 by reading five books that make a row on their Book Bingo sheet. Book Bingo can be downloaded here.

Enjoy your holidays. Remember to exercise your brain and read.