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18th August 2023


Throwback: A youthful Mr Blaikie keeping an eye on the current version of himself!

On Tuesday of last week, I informed College Council that after a continuous 43 years serving State Education in Victoria – with 35 of those years at Wellington and 12 as Principal – it is time for me to hang up the boots. I do this with absolutely no regrets – the time is right.

My journey in education has been one of great pleasure, fun and fulfilment – from a debut at Altona North High in 1981, through the sea change of 6 years at Warrnambool High School, arriving at Wellington as the young(ish) history and politics classroom teacher in 1988, through to the Principal role I have enjoyed so much over the last decade. Most importantly, as I prepare to leave, I am supremely confident that our great school is in a brilliant place, ready for the excitement and challenges of the next leadership era.

I will finish at Wellington at the end of the year, before taking some leave next year prior to official retirement. The Department will begin the process of selecting a new principal soon, with the plan to have the appointment completed by the first day of the 2024 school year. I note and stress that I have no role to play in the selection of the next Principal, however our Council President, Cindy and Council will be advised by NEVR regarding this process.

There will be time for farewells and thankyous later in the year, however in the meantime I sincerely thank everyone from our wonderful community for their support of me over many, many years. I look forward to catching up with many of you on Tuesday November 21 at our return to Robert Blackwood Hall for the 2023 Annual Awards Night. Watch this space for more details.

Contact Information

Phone: 9547 6822
Attendance: 9562 4762 or 0484 009 562
IT Helpdesk:


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Upcoming Dates: August

  • August 22 Whole School Athletics Carnival
  • August 25 Wear It Purple Day
  • August 30 Production Evening Performances
  • August 31 Production Evening Performance
  • September 1 Production Evening Performance
  • September 2 Production Evening Performance

Principal’s Welcome

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House Athletics
I remind all parents and students of the upcoming House Athletics Sports – all day next Tuesday August 22 at Knox Athletics Track. This is a whole of school event, and parents must complete the ‘permission process’ on Compass no later than 9.00am on Monday 21 August. Students will not be able to attend unless that permission process has been completed. Year 12 students will have their traditional themed dress up day. All other Year 7-11 students are expected to wear the college sports uniform.

Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey
This is just a further gentle reminder to any family who may have received an invitation to participate in the Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey – if you could please complete it, that would be great and help us with our planning for next year. If you have any questions, please contact Michelle Marsh at the General Office.

Event Planning 2023
As we continue returning to normality in the post-COVID world, the following events can also be locked in:

  • School Production: Wednesday August 30 – Saturday September 2
  • 3 Way Conferences: Wednesday September 13
  • Spring Concert: Thursday September 14
  • Year 12 Valedictory Dinner: Thursday October 12
  • Awards Night at Robert Blackwood Hall: Tuesday November 21

More details will emerge as we move through Term 3 and 4.

Hugh Blaikie

Australian Maths Competition

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The Australian Maths Competition is an annual Mathematics Competition held in Australia for students from years 3 – 12. On August 2, students from all year levels participated in this event with fervour and enthusiasm.

The competition included a series of challenging mathematical problems that require students to apply various mathematical concepts and techniques. These problems covered a wide range of topics such as algebra, geometry, number theory, and probability. The questions were designed to test students’ understanding of fundamental mathematical principles and their ability to think creatively and logically.

The Australian Math Competition was challenging because it requires students to think beyond the standard curriculum, encouraging the application of prior knowledge to solve complex problems. The questions often involved multiple steps, careful reasoning and analysis. Students not only demonstrated their key knowledge but also their ability to approach problems differently and effectively to find innovative solutions. By tackling challenging math problems, students learn to think creatively and apply mathematics to real-world scenarios.

The competition aims at promoting creative and critical thinking along with fostering healthy competition among students, motivating them to strive for excellence. Furthermore, participating in the competition allows students to gain recognition for their mathematical prowess in a challenging environment requires “thinking outside the box”. This year we experienced an increased student participation from the VCE classes.

We congratulate the efforts everyone and wish them all the best of luck.

Ms Anjana Dwivedi
Director of Mathematics

International Programs

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Our Very Short Stay at Wellington

I came to Melbourne from China on a holiday and enrolled at Wellingtons to see what it would be like at an Australian school.  The past 4 weeks is full of laughter and memories.  I not only learned a lot of knowledge through Humanities, Science and other course, but also made a lot of good friends.  I like the teachers and classmates here and I will miss here.

HU Zitong (Claire)

Being a student in Wellington Secondary College for me was so happy.  Although I have only been here for 3 weeks. I have fallen deeply in love with this school because I like the students in this school.  They are all very helpful and friendly.  I also like the teachers in this school.  When I have some problems, they always give me a hand. I will miss you forever. I look forward to seeing you again.

ZHOU Muzhi

I have been a year 8 student at Wellington Secondary College for three weeks and I will be leaving this week. I appreciate the chance to study at this school and to interact with new people. I have gained some knowledge from the lessons and the teachers, who have tried their best to teach and guide me. I have also experienced the outdoor environment and the weather, which have been challenging but refreshing. I have found the school culture to be very diverse and lively, with students who have different interests and opinions. I think this school has a lot of potential and room for improvement, and I hope that Wellington will continue caring, striving, and learning.

CHENG Ziwen (Wendy)

What’s On at Monash

Last week Jia Xu, Youth Worker at City of Monash was invited to do a short presentation to Year 10 and Year 11 international students during a flexible learning session.  Jia introduced Monash Youth Services and talked about current events his team are running for all youth who have connections in the Monash area.  Some of these included the Monash Youth Survey which will explore themes such as young people’s connection to their ethnic identity, stress and loneliness, discrimination and gender equality, the Youth Fest Gaming Tournament and the Monash Youth Film FestivalHe also spoke about opportunities available for international students to meet local students through a variety of activities held locally and asked students for feedback regarding what activities would they like to be offered.

Ms Connie Tzelepis
Director of International Programs

They keep coming back… (And we love it!)

We are always delighted to welcome back former international students and hear their news.  Many students have volunteered their time to act as mentors to current Year 10 and Year 11 students to support not only their academic journey but also to support their mental health and wellbeing.  Students are paired to current students with similar interests.

Over the past few weeks we received visits from Ravi Sudewo, Astra Touch and Eva Dong.  Ravi is currently not only a student at Monash University Clayton but also an engaged staff member.  He holds influential positions as a member of the National Union of Students and the National Tertiary Education Union, enabling himself to be a vocal advocate for international students, underprivileged students and staff members alike.  He hopes to continue his journey in the realm of education advocacy and reform.  This is what he had to say about his time at Wellington:

“During my time at Wellington I was fortunate to acquire essential skills and knowledge that now empower me to actively lobby for policies aimed at improving student conditions.  This unique combination of experiences has given me a strong foundation to make a positive impact on the educational landscape.”

Astra continues to do great things at university not only in his studies (double degree in Pharmaceutical Science (Honours) and Engineering) but also as a Monash Uni Ambassador participating in a variety of activities promoting Monash Uni including Orientation Week events and Experience Monash events.  Eva Dong is in her final year of Occupational Therapy at Monash Uni Clayton and is thoroughly enjoying her course although it is quite full on. 

We look forward to seeing more of our graduates return to where it all started.

Ms Connie Tzelepis
Director of International Programs

Mission Control – Preparing to Launch!

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Space X-Plore Tour To NASA USA – Approaching!

In just under five weeks, five students from Wellington will be joining another 35 students from four other network secondary schools as they travel to the United States for a once in a lifetime experience visiting NASA and the Kennedy Space Centre in Orlando, the USS Aircraft Carrier Hornet and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, and the Knotts Berry Farm ‘Energy in Motion’ program and Universal Studios in Los Angeles. Five Assistant Principals and four teaching and other staff will accompany students on this trip.

Haolin Huang, 10E
Ms Marina Stergiou
Nicola Fiumara, 10D
Xiaohan (April) Han, 10D
Pirah Devani, 11B
Muhammed Baig, 10A

This tour promotes student engagement with STEM-based activities which are inquiry-based in real world settings through hands-on, interactive and engaging programs.  The excursion links to the College commitment to STEM and contemporary 21st century learning using the Design Thinking methodology. Students will immerse themselves in a range of learning environments which will enhance their understanding of the critical importance of STEM in tertiary education and career pathways.

In line with the Department of Education objectives to increase understanding of global citizenship and STEM in an increasing technologically interconnected world, this is an authentic opportunity for students which provides educational experiences with real life applications. Students will regularly participate in meaningful discussions with people in STEM careers and in high level STEM workshops, allowing students to draw intimate connections between classroom learning and STEM-based careers.

The benefit of the education portfolio extends to the ongoing innovation of teaching and learning and the enhanced experiential learning with the incorporation of inquiry-based, real-life learning across the curriculum.  Students will be involved in programs where they perform in a variety of team roles and accept responsibility as a team member and team leader. They will work in scenarios requiring them to identify the challenges and benefits of living and working in a culturally diverse society. Furthermore, students will navigate independent and collaborative responsibility in the completion of tasks while evaluating behaviours that contribute to the development of their confidence, adaptability and ability to self-reflect.

This overseas tour is the part of the trajectory which enables our students to be successful lifelong learners, active and informed members of a global community, and autonomous agents of their learning, all of which are part of Wellington’s priorities.

Our students are very excited about this tour! We will be keeping journals recording our experiences and we will be sharing these with the Wellington community when we return!

Ms Marina Stergiou
Assistant Principal

Performing Arts

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Springvale Snow Fest

On the 30th of July, some of our talented music students were lucky enough to perform at the Springvale Snow Fest. The Stage Band (Lara Bui, Maytheany Mao, Jonathan In, Henry Hua & Dan Tran), as well as Georgie Karanasios performed throughout the day.

It was great to see such a large turn out from the community, and the students who performed were met with a massive amount of support and praise from the audience, as well as the event organisers. Getting our students to perform outside of school and to the larger community is something that we are trying to push within the Performing Arts department, both to promote the school but also to provide students with an authentic experience of what it’s like to perform in a more professional setting.

Mr Driscoll-Plavins
Instrumental Music Teacher


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Year 10 Jewish Holocaust Museum Excursions

Last week, our Year 10 Humanities students were privileged to engage in a sombre day of learning and reflection on the Jewish Holocaust. The students had the opportunity to attend the Jewish Holocaust Memorial Centre in Elsternwick, working with artefacts belonging to Jewish survivors, ranging from passports and identification bracelets to liberation documents. In further resonating with the history behind these artefacts, our students also had the opportunity to sit and talk with the survivor who had owned one of the artefacts. The stories of these survivors were truly humbling, from being taken from families at a young age, to seeing hatred and violence perpetrated on local communities, to joining armed resistances. Our students have participated in an experience that is truly priceless and will have the lessons and memories shared with them for the rest of their lives.

Ms Katrina Antoniou
Director of Humanities

Visiting the Melbourne Holocaust Museum enriched my understanding of the Holocaust, as we all embarked on an emotional journey to develop a sense of the psychological impact it had on survivors and their loved ones. Solemnly guided by specialist educators, we learnt how the rise of Nazism, deception and dehumanisation lead to unimaginable horrors being committed. The plethora of artefacts, ranging from photographs to letters, passports and a children’s storybook revealed the raw fear and courage of those who endured the unthinkable. Indeed, listening to monsieur Paul Grinwald, a survivor of the Holocaust, live to tell his tale forged a personal connection I could never experience from a textbook recount. His gentle presence and impactful testimony evoked newfound optimism within my heart. Hence, as one of the fortunate students who visited the Melbourne Holocaust Museum, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to visit this poignant exhibit. We are not only students that learn from the past to never relive its regrets, but we are also empathetic human beings that care for each other and strive towards a brighter future with light in our hearts. 

Fiona Wee

VCE Art Making and Exhibiting

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Behind the Scenes at MUMA Excursion

As part of Area of Study 3, Unit 4 Art students viewed artworks in the exhibition ‘Thin Skin’ at MUMA (Monash University Museum of Art) with a focus on conservation, care, preservation and presentation. Students also participated in a behind the scenes tour of MUMA to learn about their conservation practices and methods applied to the artworks currently on display, their storage and transportation procedures. Students gained valuable first hand knowledge that will assist them with their coursework and the end of year exam. 

Mrs Fiona Szabo
Art Teacher

VCAL Work Related Skills

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Trades’ Hall Excursion

On Monday, 7th of August, All Senior VCAL students and teachers Ms Biggin and Ms Jacobs took a train and went to Trades Hall for the young works centre. We had a speaker named Madelyn. She was a union representative and presented a module at the Trades Hall. Madelyn talked about bullying and discrimination. We learnt a lot about the history, fair work and about the building and there was a lot of talk about the “888”.

The ‘8’ stands for 8 hours of labour, 8 hours of recreation and 8 hours of rest. The Trades Hall building was obsessed with the number ‘8’ because there was 8 steps of stairs and ‘888’ on the carpets. We talked about multiple case studies for example, one case study that was shown during the excursion was about a guy named Jae Wassell. Jae Wassell had an apprenticeship and was only paid $9 an hour. He wanted to be a boilermaker. He was abused, bullied, and harassed by his boss.

After that, we had a tour with the speaker and then we had lunch. The teachers said that we were able to have a 45-minute lunch and was able to buy something. We then came back to a spot at 1:30 and head back to Melbourne central and took a train back to Springvale station. A few of us were able to be dismissed in another station if we had a note from home. And that was the excursion to the Trades Hall.

The Young Youth Centre is a valuable resource for anyone who need help in the workplace. Thank you to Ms Biggin for taking us.

VCAL Student (name withheld)

Student Voice

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Student Partnership Forums

This year during selected period 5 Flexible Learning blocks, Wellington’s SRC invites students and leaders to partnership forums with the idea of encouraging students to share their expertise, perceptions and skills with a group to recognise issues and brainstorm solution-oriented actions as well as other initiatives around the school. In the first forum, we invited all captains and vice captains of all areas, Year 9 High Flyers students, curriculum-associated teachers as well as house-associated teachers to discuss how Year 9 Global Citizenship can be advantageous for all students as well Wellington’s House Culture and how we could promote participation and support in house events.

In global citizenship, we aim for students to enjoy their time more in the subject as well as increase the teacher’s confidence in teaching the subject. We came to the conclusion that students wanted more life-skills, such as how to write a resume and how to work with strangers to be taught. They preferred individualised assessments over common assessment tasks, they found that some content doubles up with humanities and health, they would like to have votes on topics to be assessed, and would love more excursions!  

The SRC then held their second forum to continue the discussion about house culture. We found that more incentives to participate in events needed to be included and that there was a lack of diversity of activities for students of all interest. Students also needed a visual representation of how many points their house has to be encouraged to increase them. To promote house culture, we will aim to display house points on compass and sub schools as well allocate house points for activities such as free dress day or any event participation, grades and awards and regular sports classes. We also aim to implement house representation such as badges on our uniform and plants in our shared garden. We wish to have incentives such as year level-excursions and end of year activities. Overall, the forum was an excellent opportunity for students and leaders to collaborate on resolving issues in the school and we, as leaders, are working to implement these ideas!

Arushi Tandon

Professional Learning Day

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Pressure-proof Teachers Who Thrive!

As part of our post-COVID investment in staff wellbeing, last Friday, August 11, staff at Wellington had the opportunity to ‘take a break’ from their teaching commitments and focus on their own empowerment to be stronger, more adaptable and resilient educators.

We invited Michael Licenblat, an expert in professional resilience, who facilitated two sessions during the day. Drawing on his background in Psychology, Shiatsu therapy, and over 25 years of Martial Arts experience, Michael engaged staff in discussions on resilience during the first session, and culture during the second. Both sessions were upbeat, interactive and hands-on. Staff were invited to participate in a variety of activities which demonstrated theories Michael discussed.

The first session focused on how staff are able to ‘bounce back’ and perform better in times of disruption and pressure. Michael took staff into the world of reading ‘pressure patterns’ and building personal resilience so that they could walk away with practical ideas on how to ‘keep your drive alive’. Outlining six levels of resilience, he pointed out that it is not the strongest or the most intelligent that survive and thrive, but the ones who are most adaptable to change. Some of the activities staff were involved in this session included understanding your pressure patterns, building a resilient mindset; creating drive and persistence; becoming adaptable and solution-focused, and managing your energy.

How the College motto is part of our ethos was the centre of discussion in the second session. Working in their Professional Growth Teams, staff were led by Michael is an open conversation about our College values and how these values come alive in our community. Taking ‘Caring’ as the first value, we looked at how we ‘define’ this; what behaviours demonstrate this; what might be some barriers and solutions to these barriers; and finally how we make ‘Caring’ a habit in our College culture. Through our discussions, Michael invited staff to see that creating an environment of care and trust is a way of bringing people together, and that culture is a form of ‘group think’ which highlights ‘the way we do things here’ and comes alive when you can ‘do it’.

The final session of the day was facilitated by four of our Middle Leaders, Jackson, Simon, Brooke and Tray who organised a series of enjoyable mindfulness activities, giving staff the opportunity to interact in a light-hearted and relaxed way.

I would like to thank all families for their support of staff at Wellington. Using our professional learning days to enhance staff learning and wellbeing allows staff to be reflective and work collaboratively to improve the performance and wellbeing of our students.

Ms Marina Stergiou
Assistant Principal

Community Noticeboard

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