VAGTC Parent Seminar Series

The Victorian Association for Gifted and Talented Children (VAGTC), in partnership with the Department of Education and Training, is hosting free online parent seminars which aim to educate and support parents of high ability children.

The Parent Seminar Series is an initiative of the VAGTC and funded by the Department of Education and Training.

Seminar topics

Based on feedback from the 2020 seminars, these seminars are designed to support parents in their parenting journeys, to foster positive and collaborative home and school partnerships and to connect parents with each other to provide networking and support

The seminars will explore:

* the definitions and identification of giftedness and talent

* how to understand the characteristics and needs of gifted kids

* how to advocate for your child

* how to build positive home and school partnerships

* how to enrich your child’s learning at home

* where to go for resources.

Seminar information and registration

The below online seminars are open for registration.

* Working collaboratively with your child’s school — Thursday 2 September, 7:30pm-8:30pm
Register via Link:

* Gifted & high ability children 101 — Monday 13 September, 7:30pm-9pm
Register via Link:

* Thriving through educational transitions — Thursday 21 September, 7:30pm-8:30pm
Register via Link:

* Expert panel Q&A — Tuesday 9 November, 7:30-9pm
Register via Link:

For more information, and to register, refer to the VAGTC website

​Participants in the ‘Gifted & High Ability Children 101’ seminar are encouraged to watch a pre-recorded video presentation in advance and attend the Zoom session for discussion. The links to the video presentation and Zoom session will be sent to participants after registration.   

2021 Arts Party!

Towards the end of November, Fitzroy High School will hold an Arts Party, including the Arts Party Show! This is in place of the school production which would normally have been held this year, as well as an acknowledgement that the school cabaret last year was an online event instead of a live one.

We are very hopeful that this year we can have a festive, live event, which will showcase the creative work in all of the arts and from all year levels. This will be a wonderful opportunity for people to get together and to celebrate, after what has been a difficult time for us all.

One of the ways in which we are making this happen is to use the work that students are doing in Excel. So whether you want to make something to present, or help to organise the backstage planning, there will opportunity in the Excel subjects, ‘Performance’ and ‘Backstage,’ which will specifically focus on the Arts Party Show. Please make sure that you sign up for these Excels if you are interested in being part of the that.
Other Excels, as well as Specialist, CRE8 and some senior subjects, will also contribute to the Arts Party.

We very much look forward to this event and hope that you are as excited about it as we are!

Players wanted for Summer

Youlden Parkville Cricket Club are now promoting opportunities for seniors (men and women), and especially juniors – they have both mixed and girls teams.

It’s a fantastic community cricket club offering opportunities and support for all age levels and abilities. They are located in the beautiful surrounds of Royal Park.

See attached flyer for registration details.

Book Week 2021

We are very happy to announce that Friday 27 August we will be celebrating Book Week with a costume day!

The theme for this year’s Book Week is “Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds”. The costume possibilities are endless and it would be great to see as many staff as possible join in and help promote reading in our school.

We will also be using this as an opportunity for raising money for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, an organisation that supports schooling access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children across the country. A gold coin donation per person – both staff and students – will help us on our fundraising journey.

Stuck for costume ideas? These costume hacks could be a place to start.

Looking forward to seeing the halls filled with Dumbledores, Katniss Everdeenes, Frodo Bagginses (or is it Frodos Baggins?), Grinches, and Frankenstein’s Monsters.

Imogen and Clare.

Fitzroy High School student wins top honours

Congratulations to Lana Knezevic who has been recognised with a Premier’s VCE Award for her outstanding academic results in 2020.

Lana received a Study Award for excellence in Croatian at The Victorian School of Languages.

The annual Premier’s VCE Awards recognise the top-performing students in the state. This year, 297 students were recognised with awards for their outstanding results.

The entire Fitzroy High School community is proud of Lana and would like to congratulate her on being the recipient of such a prestigious award.

Lana is currently studying at the University of Melbourne.

To read more about the Premier’s VCE Awards, visit:

Design Talk

We hosted a virtual School Design Talk on 22 July 2021. This included showing a video with design insights, and campus principal Chris Millard hosting a live Q&A webinar.

Our presenters answered pre-submitted questions on topics ranging from subjects to be offered, teaching styles, specialist facilities, the food and café precinct, 21st century learning skills, independent learning, university-style settings, learning environment types, outdoor space, interdisciplinary learning, Indigenous consultation interpretative design elements,  community use, sports facilities, specialised equipment, terrace form, sustainability, student safety, local product and more.

Answering the questions were:

  • Director of Major Projects, Victorian School Building Authority: Wayne Alford
  • Senior Project Officer, Victorian School Building Authority: Anne Vella
  • Project design team: Martin Palmer and Paul Thatcher – GHDWoodhead; Alexandra Griffeth – Grimshaw
  • Principals: Sam Luck, Collingwood College; Linda Mitchell, Fitzroy High School; and Chris Millard Senior Campus Principal

We recorded the event, so you can view the design insights video and tune into the Q&A webinar.

For enrolment inquiries at the new campus or partner schools please contact your nearest school:

Collingwood College

Fitzroy High School

This design talk is brought to you by the Victorian School Building Authority.

Follow the VSBA’s latest news on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

VSBA website Fitzroy Gasworks (Senior Campus) (interim name) project page.

VSBA project inquiries email telephone 1800 896 950.

Year 12 Formal

The 15th of July marked the 2021 Year 12 Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College Formal. After the original event date was pushed and another lockdown seemed all but imminent, it was such a relief to squeeze in this celebratory night. Hosted at the San Remo Ballroom by the Collingwood College Formal Committee, the night was a huge success. When everyone wasn’t busy tucking into the venue’s three-course meals or bottomless soft drinks, it was straight to the dance floor. A combination of music was supplied by Collingwood student Olive, and a live DJing performance by Fitzroy’s Zac Manias and Zeke Joyce-Robertson. Votes were cast for novelty prizes including best dancer (Marley Ford-Dekleyn), best-dressed (Freya Van Dyke-Goodman), and best dressed couple (Ying Ooi & Matthew Federico), with an awards ceremony that involved beautiful sashes and silver tiaras. We were lucky enough to have a professional photographer capturing all of the night’s best moments, and were thoroughly entertained by our teachers’ somewhat uncoordinated but nevertheless epic dance moves. 

To all of the teachers, staff, students, and helpers; thank you for all your hard work putting this night together. It was such a great way to celebrate our final year of high school and is a night I’m sure all of us will remember for years to come. 

Freya Van Dyke-Goodman 12X

Solar Panels at FHS

Powering for the future and the bigger picture at Fitzroy High School
Recent visitors to Fitzroy High School (FHS) may have noticed an addition to the roof of the Science-Technology building. A few weeks ago a large bank of solar panels were constructed in this location. The installation of solar panels at FHS will make a large contribution to reducing the carbon footprint at the Falconer Street Campus and the overall aim of promoting Education for Sustainability (EfS) in every aspect of the life of the school.

Solar Panels and the Victorian State Government
At a recent meeting of the School Council the Principal, Linda Mitchell, the President, Ralph Saubern and all members of the Council expressed their gratitude to the Victorian State Government for providing the program ‘Greener Government Schools’ which the school was a successful applicant to have panels located on campus. The school will pay back their share of the project cost – $60,000 over the next five years and will share in the ongoing cost savings
created by the solar generated energy. The installation of solar panels at Fitzroy High School (FHS) will make a small but significantly ‘inter-connected’ contribute to the Victorian Government’s Renewable Energy Target (VRET).
The placement of solar panels at the school links the whole FHS community with other changes that are taking place nationwide. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) was established in 2012 and has successfully promoted innovation in clean energy technologies. Australia has one of the highest uptakes of rooftop solar globally, with 2.6 million homes and businesses already using solar power. This rate is predicted to rise to one in two homes within a decade. In Victoria, half a million home systems generate renewable energy, almost a third of the state’s residential electricity demand. Victorian State Government subsidies and interest-free loans have encouraged uptake and solar feed-in tariffs (money paid to solar system owners for exporting excess power back into the grid) have also provided an incentive.
It will be a magnificent outcome if, in the future all of Victoria’s schools sourced electricity from 100 per cent renewable sources, which is an aim of the State Government, and that FHS was one link in this connecting and sustainable sequence.

Solar Panels and Education for Sustainability at FHS
The School Council hopes that the installation of the solar panels demonstrates an unreserved commitment to Education for Sustainability (EfS), to the whole FHS community, but in particular to the students – their future very much depending on these links in a vast sustainable chain. FHS has a history of challenging students to be active citizens, raising awareness or taking personal action in terms of their own impact on the planet.

Since November 2018 the Alicia Flynn (Melbourne University Graduate School of Education) report has enhanced and guided the schools EfS program; it identifies:

  • ‘ecological education’ as synonymous with FHS education, not a minor program or add-on and
  • the ‘Four Commitments’, place i.e. the school site and surrounding human and biophysical environments; eco-ed subjects and ecopedagogy i.e teaching with the head and heart.

As examples of the last commitment, sustainable governance and eco-praxis i.e. the ‘hidden curriculum’, the school’s holistic approach has been to integrate EfS into the work of School Council, parents, the wider community as well as the teachers and students. This has prompted many projects such as:

  • undertaking a native garden and grounds enhancement program (FHS won an Environmental Award from the City of Yarra for this program) – involving parents in creating environmental learning areas;
  • constructing a community/school compost bin – involving a community organisation;
  • building a school weather station – involving the science industry.

Understanding and continuously improving the relationship between students, teachers and the school’s physical infrastructure is also fundamental to providing support for their health and wellbeing and the school’s sustainability program. The solar panels which were added to the school in 2021 will provide a very tangible link in achieving these goals. With the help of the Victorian Government we have been able to do this together. These new solar panels at FHS will be part of, ‘the hunger to know, too understand, to advance…to brighten the future…to look to the core ingredients we’ve relied on before…imagination, curiosity, respect and investment…investing in our future’. (The Hon. Anthony Albanese, National Press Club Address, June 2020).

The Solar Power Systems at FHS
The school does have an existing system consists of 32 panels which is located on the north- facing roof of the FHS Gymnasium See Figure 1 (Source: Aerial base, Google 2020) below.
The most suitable roof for the location of the new solar panel system was that of the Science/Technology building. See Figure 2 (Source: Aerial base, Google 2020) below.

136 new panels installed during term 2. The system is made up of 132 panels and has a generating capacity of 61.2kW.

In addition to the panels, an inverter and smart logger are installed on the eastern wall of the building to feed the generated electricity to the school network and to provide an interface for use by the school and energy providers to monitor system performance and usage data in real time.

The solar panels are intended to link energy efficiency and sustainability program activities with the school curriculum. Subjects such as Science, Maths, Technology Studies and Integrated Studies are amongst a range of curriculum areas which will use the solar panels, their technology the data they generate and their links to the wider world as a basis of unit studies.
The Falconer Street Campus solar system provides a tangible link with the new Fitzroy Gasworks (Senior Campus) where the architects and the Victorian School Building Authority have included a bank of solar panels on the Level 6 Rooftop Court.

The Solar Power Systems and the work of the Buildings and Environments
Subcommittee of FHS Council
The submission to the Greener Government Schools Building Program that successfully achieved the addition of the solar power system at the Falconer Road Campus was the work of the school’s leadership team and members of the Buildings and Environments Subcommittee (B&ES) of FHS Council.
The work of the B&ES involves reviewing, commenting upon and making recommendations to the School Council regarding:

  • finance – i.e. the status of the Building Fund;
  • EfS and general matters relating to Environmental Education and Eco Pedagogy;
  • a coherent plan for the school’s grounds and buildings – to include all related matters such as bicycle parking, car parking, composting, drains/drainage, fences, eating areas, edges, industrial bins, compost bins, gardens and biota, kitchen garden, lighting, notice/information boards, paths, seating, service boxes, shade and shade structures, signage, specialist buildings, surfaces, recreation areas, recycling, rubbish bins, under-utilized spaces, walls; weather station etc;
  • matters concerning neighbours and the community living within the immediate school precinct;
  • the ‘Operations Report’ presented to the Subcommittee at each of its meetings;
  • other matters as they relate to the Subcommittee implementing the school’s strategic direction, programs and initiatives.

At the moment the B&ES is a very small Subcommittee. We are in need of new members. If there are any parents, carers or community members of FHS who are interested in the work of this Subcommittee and would like to make a contribution you would be most welcome. The meetings of the Subcommittee usually take place, late Thursday afternoon, at least ten days before the School Council meetings which usually take place on the last Wednesday of the month.
To find out more about the B&ES and volunteering opportunities, contact Roger Smith, Convenor of the Buildings and Environments Subcommittee, by email at

Roger Smith
Buildings and Environments Subcommittee of FHS Council

Community Talks Sex – Online panel

Community Talks Sex is a parent led sex education program, hosting researchers and stakeholders from multiple institutions to discuss the various things that impact our kids as they navigate intimacy, relationships, sex and sexuality.

Our online panel tonight features Jenny Walsh, long time sex educator and researcher, Andreas Waling, researcher at Latrobe into men, bodies, sexualities and intimacies and technology, she will be reporting tonight on sexual health information seeking, Miranda Millen whose work explores the ways that the representation of sex workers in film and media impacts public opinion, misconceptions, and sex worker rights.

Please book online here:

Jenny Walsh teaches families and professionals how to teach and talk about growing up, sex and relationships, consent, safety and pleasure, with humour and compassion. 

She has created some of Australia’s most popular sex and relationships curriculum-based teaching resources for the Australian Government including The Practical Guide to Love, Sex and Relationships for Years 7-10, addressing porn, sexual and gender diversity, and sexual consent. Her primary school program for the Victorian Department of Education Catching On Early is taught throughout the state. Recently she co-wrote The Foundation (Prep) to Year 10 Diocesan Scope and Sequence for Relationships and Sexuality Education (RSE) resource, called Fullness of Life for All with the Catholic Education Office Ballarat (CEOB) in response to the Victorian Government child safety reforms. 

She is also a mum, has tried out all her theories on her 18 and 21-year-old sons – and they are still talking to her. 

Dr Andrea Waling is an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow (2020-2023) at the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society (ARCSHS), La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. Waling is leading M-SEX (, an ARC-funded program of research exploring men, bodies, sexualities, and intimacies. She is a co-investigator on TechSex ( which explores the use of technologies in the sexual and intimate lives of Australians. Alongside this, Dr Waling has conducted research exploring young people’s experiences of relationships and sexuality education, knowledge around sexual health and well-being, and sexual health information seeking. She is a co-investigator on a project funded by the Department of Health exploring effective ways to improve young people’s sexual health knowledge and literacy. She recently published her first sole-authored monograph in 2020, ‘White Masculinity in Contemporary Australia: The Good Ol’ Aussie Bloke” with Routledge Press. She is now writing her second sole-authored book, ‘Unwrapped: Exploring the Cultural Phenomenon of the Dick Pic’ as part of Professor John Mercer and Clarissa Smith’s Masculinity, Sex and Popular Culture series. 

Miranda Millen is a sex worker, artist, and researcher. Her work explores the ways that the representation of sex workers in film and media impacts public opinion, misconceptions, and sex worker rights. While interning for Fiona Patten MP, Miranda researched sex education in Victorian schools, advocating and moving in parliament for more consistent and expansive sex education for young people. Miranda uses her lived experience in the sex industry to shine a light on the taboos around sex and issues surrounding sexual literacy.

Kind regards
Carmen Lahiff-Jenkins

The new Gaga Pit!

Gaga is a fast paced, high energy sport played in an octagonal pit. The more players the better! Dubbed a kinder gentler version of dodge ball, the game is played with a soft foam ball, and combines the skills of dodging, striking, running, and jumping, while trying to hit opponents with a ball below the knees. Players need to keep moving to avoid getting hit by the ball. Fun and easy, everyone gets a serious workout.