Introduction to Tyson Day and Careers Services

I’m personally very excited to be involved with the Fitzroy High School community as the Careers Counsellor, supporting Sandra Dickens while she is in her role at the Department of Education. It is my third year of being involved in the school, as in 2018 I supported the Year 10s with VCE subjects, 2019 I supported Years 10s and 12s with subjects and pathways, so it’s great to feel a deeper connection to the school community in 2020. When I’m not at the school, I’m working in my own business, Arrive & Thrive, supporting young people in the transition process through workshops and individual counseling. I have worked in all aspects of career development, including universities, corporate, athlete transitions and secondary education. My main priorities in the school are supporting students in career exploration, bringing further awareness to the support that they have and working closely with teachers to help each student develop a career plan that aligns with their personality, interests and strengths. I’m looking forward to working with parents in this process and bringing about further discussions and career conversations at home while further embedding the amazing work that Sandra has been doing over the past few years. Please feel free to contact me on

Tyson Day

Principal’s Report, March 2020

Dear families

I hope you have had a successful start to the school year and, for Year 7 families, I trust that your children are settling gradually into high school. Reports from the Year 7s so far are very promising. They really enjoyed the camp at Lady Northcote and they have already shown us what keen and able students they are. I hope that other students new to the school have also settled in well and encourage any families who need extra support with transition to contact their advisors, year level leaders or team leaders.

Senior Programs Results and Destinations

As promised in the last Principal’s report, we are proud to share with you some of the results and destinations of last year’s Year 12 students.

In 2019 we saw Year 12 students achieve fantastic results, with100% completion rate in VCE and many students completing VCAL and VET certificates.

As mentioned in the previous report, our Dux of Year 12, 2019 was Massimo Codognotto-Parry with an ATAR of 97.55. He was also awarded the University of Melbourne Principal’s Scholarship and has gone on to study Mathematics. In a new tradition for Fitzroy High School, Massimo received a Dux certificate at our recent whole school assembly. He also spoke to the students, providing some valuable tips and insights into his learning and development story.  

In 2019 we had 7 students who achieved ATAR excellence in the 90s, which equalled 10% of the VCE cohort, an increase in the last 3 years by 3%. 19.73% of students had an ATAR in the 80s and above, 38.15% of students had an ATAR in the 70s or above with 53.94% of students with an ATAR in the 60s or higher.

We have received many exciting and good news stories from last year’s cohort, with 81.3% of students receiving December round offers into further study, and a total of 93.3% of students receiving an offer so far. We are currently working with the students who have not received an offer to ensure that they feel confident in their direction after Fitzroy High School.

There are students taking up opportunities in many different fields, both in Melbourne and across the globe, including Kievan Van Dyke-Goodman, who will be attending college in the US, to pursue his passion for politics with an offer and scholarship at Lewis & Clark College in Portland Oregon.  

Again the theme of amazing achievement carried through our Arts community, with students achieving top results and offers. Eve Quartermaine, whose work made it into Top Arts, has also been accepted into RMIT for Visual Arts. Camille Allen was accepted into the Visual Arts stream at VCA Fine Arts alongside Leon Tran, who received a scholarship for the Animation stream. Finn Milne was another standout: as well his own composition being chosen for Top Sounds, Finn received a December round offer to Music at The University of Melbourne, College of the Arts. 

Since the last report, three more students have been confirmed in the VCAA Season of Excellence: Matilda Komene and Tallulah Thorton-Lawrence have been selected for Top Acts due to their amazing Theatre Studies monologues. They completed Year 12 Theratre Studies in Year 11 and are continuing their Year 12 studies this year. We also congratulate Ivy Windred-Wornes, a Collingwood student who did Media Studies at Fitzroy High School, and who was chosen for Top Screen for her incredible music video “Lies”. This is available on YouTube if people are interested to have a look. Along with the other students already mentioned in the last report, this makes a total of six students chosen for VCAA Season of Excellence, a first in the history of the school and something of which to be extremely proud.

Molly Blood is another student following her dreams, gaining entry into Biomedicine through the Aspire Program at LaTrobe University. Molly has been active in her community for some time and was rewarded with an offer in December. She was also one of the first students on School Council and we thank her for her passionate work.

In our VCAL cohort we have Masina Taule’alo following his passion at Swinburne University in Screen and Media, and other VCAL students landing apprenticeships and a range of further study offers. Other students who completed their Intermediate VCAL certificates in Year 11 are continuing onto Year 12 to complete their Senior certificates, while others are taking their time to complete certificates over three years.

The above students represent only a handful of achievements captured from the cohort of 2019. The school community is confident that all members of the student cohort will thrive in their chosen field in the knowledge that they have the continued support of the school beyond their graduation year.  

School Review

I thank the students and parents who have been involved in focus groups over the past few weeks. There will be further opportunities to be involved during March. As part of the review, there will be members of the review panel, including principals from other schools, visiting classrooms and talking to students and staff about their experiences. There will also be another parent focus group which I will inform you about when details come to hand.

School Dress Code Review

Separate to the School Review, School Council will be leading a review of the FHS Dress Code. Late last year the Feminist Collective approached School Council about some issues with the implementation of the Dress Code and School Council responded to say that it will conduct a review. This is by legislation part of the role of School Council and needs to involve a wide range of stakeholders and input from all members of the school community. It will be happening soon and you will be invited to take part.

Bogong Outdoor School Extension Programs

Students in Year 9 are given the opportunity to participate in the Bogong Outdoor School camp. This year, five Fitzroy High School students have been accepted into a range of extension programs offered by the Outdoor School. They are all great candidates and we are excited that they are able to further extend their learning with the Outdoor School. Delilah Hart and Erasmus Toscano have been accepted into the Summit to Sea program; Gypsy La Rocca Mitchell into the Nepal CEDA program; Nevenka Thomas-Rezo and Peru Renkin into the Kimberley program. We look forward to hearing from these students later in the year.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Term 1 School Council President Report

Dear Fitzroy High School Community,

For those new to the school this year: welcome to Fitzroy High School!  We are so happy that you have chosen to be a part of our wonderful school community and look forward to getting to know you as you explore the many opportunities for learning and growth that Fitzroy High School offers our young people.  For those returning: welcome back! We hope you had a great break over the summer and have come back refreshed and ready to engage with our outstanding program.

The start of any school year is always a busy time for teachers, school leadership, parents and students.  This year we have the added task of completing a formal school review in Term 1. School reviews are undertaken every four years by the Victorian Department of Education as part of their improvement and quality assurance cycle.  School leadership and School Council have been engaged with this since late last year, as we work through the process of completing the school’s Pre-Review Self- Evaluation and move on to the site visits by the review team in March. The school has run a number of focus groups with parents and students to gather feedback and teachers and school leadership have been examining policies, practices, strategies and outcomes to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are and where we’d like to get to.  I’d like to thank all the parents and students who have come along to the focus groups for their input. And special thanks to members of School Council, school leadership and teachers for all the work they have put in and will continue to put in through the review process. We will keep you informed of the results of the review and the goals established for the next four year cycle. 

The first regular meeting for School Council for 2020 was on Wednesday 19 February.  In that meeting, School Council reviewed and approved the Year 8 Roses Gap camp and the Year 9 Bogong Leadership camp.  Monitoring camps and major excursions is one role of School Council, which has an oversight role in relation to risk/child safety and financial/equity issues and can provide support and advice around education and other matters.  School Council also resolved to undertake a full review of the Fitzroy High School dress code. As you know, Fitzroy High School does not have a uniform but there is a dress code and dress code policy, which must be regularly reviewed and endorsed by School Council.  Late last year, students from the Feminist Collective club (FemCo) wrote to School Council with a number of concerns around the dress code relating to both the substance of the code and the manner of its implementation. School Council has now commissioned the Community Subcommittee to undertake a community consultation and full review of the dress code. Sharlene Farrugia, a parent member of School Council, will lead that review.

If you want to know more about our February meeting, you can find the minutes for that meeting and all School Council meetings in Compass in the documentation section.

The next meeting of School Council on Wednesday 25 March will be the last meeting for School Council members whose two-year terms are expiring and the first for newly appointed members.  It will also be the meeting at which we elect the office bearers (President, Deputy President, Treasurer) for 2020 and appoint the heads of the three subcommittees. There are four parent member positions, two Department member positions and up to two community member positions that need to be filled.  Parents who are interested in joining School Council are encouraged to nominate. You don’t need any particular experience or knowledge, just a willingness to participate and make a contribution. Information about the nominating and voting process has been posted on Compass. 

Of course joining School Council is not the only way to get involved and make a contribution to our wonderful school!  One possibility is to join a School Council subcommittee. School Council has three subcommittees: Education, Community and Buildings and Environment.  These subcommittees are a critical part of school governance and provide essential support to School Council and core and extra-curricular school programs.  All parents and teachers are welcome to join those subcommittees, which usually meet two weeks before School Council to review and discuss work in their area and make recommendations to School Council.  You don’t have to be a member of School Council to join a subcommittee and subcommittee meetings are open to all members of the school community. The dates for the subcommittee and School Council meetings are published on Compass. 

If you want to know more about joining School Council, participating in a subcommittee or other volunteering opportunities, please feel free to contact me.  My school email is

Ralph Saubern
President, School Council
Fitzroy High School

Instrumental Music Program 2020

Fitzroy High’s Instrumental Music Program is well and truely underway. We have a great lineup of ensembles again this year and some new faces that have joined the team. I would like to introduce Matt Sheers our new Strings teacher who is leading both The String Ensemble and Filharmonica and teaching violin, viola and the Uke. Another new face is myself, Emily Wearne! Taking the lead from Matthew Hovell who did a terrific job last year coordinating the Instrumental Program, I will be answering your emails, facilitating performances and helping out in anyway possible to ensure a smooth year of lessons and performances, if anyone has any suggestions or questions regarding the program please contact me at this email , and I will endeavour to help where possible. 

For this year we hope to have a few external and internal concerts to showcase the hard work put in by both student and teacher to learn an instrument and play in an ensemble. I encourage staff, friends and family to attend these events and support students in their extra curricular activity. That is it for now, I hope everyone is settling into the new year with ease and we can all have a fab 2020!!

Emily Wearne

TARA workshop (Teenage Aggression: Responding Assertively)

The T.A.R.A Program – A workshop for parents of adolescents who are behaving with aggression and violence – is a Course that runs over two mornings (attendance required for both sessions) Thursday 12th and 19th March at 9.30am -12.30
Please call intake to secure a place on the number below.

Collingwood Basketball

Collingwood Basketball Club is a community based, not for profit sports club. We offer a variety of basketball opportunities for beginners, experienced and high performance players.

Registrations for our Summer domestic teams, for players from under 9 to under 19, are now open, and I am hoping that you can place either the attached notice, or the text based information below, in your next newsletter, in order to promote the program to your students and their families. The teams are open to beginners and experienced players.

Information and online registration:

Footy’s in the air.

The Women’s (AFLW) season has opened with a bang, featuring plenty of young women not long out of school. And where did their journey begin? At clubs such as Fitzroy Junior Football Club.

At Fitzroy – the Lions – we cater for girls from Under 8s to Under 18s. February is recruitment time, when our dedicated group of parent coaches look forward to seeing new faces and their families.

This year, our Welcome Day will feature a tackling clinic for girls, to be run by a couple of AFLW/AFL experts. It’s open to current and new players, parents, and anyone else who might be interested.

Principal’s Report Term 1

Dear families,

Welcome to 2020! I hope you had a relaxing and productive break, despite some very
difficult and troubling events that have been occurring in the world.

The updates on Compass about the coronavirus are sent to us by the Department of
Education. I thank you in advance for keeping up with these and informing the school as
required. To reiterate the most recent advice, posted on Compass:

What if my child is well, and returning to school after being in Hubei province, China or
other countries with cases in the last 14 days?

All students and staff members who have travelled to Hubei Province, China, are advised
to stay at home and avoid public settings, including attendance at schools and early
learning centres, until 14 days after last being in Hubei province, China.

Children and staff who are well and have travelled to other provinces in China, or any other
areas where there have been reported cases, are NOT recommended to be excluded from
schools and child care services unless the following applies:

• The person is a confirmed case of novel coronavirus
• The person is a close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the past 14
What if my child feels sick now or within 14 days of being in Hubei Province, China or
another part of China?
• If your child has a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, they must be excluded from
school and be reviewed by a doctor.
• Seek medical attention but first place a mask on the student if you have one and call the
doctor or hospital before you attend. Tell them your child has been in Hubei province,
China, or the location of travel within China.
• When you get to the hospital or doctor’s clinic, tell them where your child has travelled in
China and whether this included Hubei Province. Ensure a mask is placed on your child
before or as soon as you arrive at the medical facility.

Other News

As mentioned in the December newsletter, this term we have a school review as part of the
usual four-year Strategic Plan cycle. This is part of the normal cycle of school improvement
and all stakeholders will be given opportunities to reflect on the past four years and to
contribute to future plans. I am now inviting parents and students to become involved in
focus groups over the next few weeks. The focus groups will look at school data and
elements of the DET FISO (Framework for Improving Student Outcomes) continuum. If you
are interested in contributing please email me on

There will also be briefings for staff, students and families about the development of the
Gasworks senior campus project. These will be held by the architects and the Victorian
Schools Building Authority. There will be more information to follow as we find out dates
and times.

I would like to welcome some new staff:
Anna Pilkington, Team Leader Indigo 7 and 8
Sara-Jane Smith, Drama/English, Indigo 7 leader
Lucy Marshall, Team Leader Scarlet 11 and 12
Julian Stickland, VCAL and Production Coordinator, Scarlet team
Kylie Easterbrook, Italian/English, Indigo team
Rebecca McAllan, Phys Ed/Sport, Jet team
Emma Jones, English/Media, Scarlet 10 team, replacing Travis McKenzie for Term 1.
Suat Osman, our new IT technician and Bill Theodoropoulos, our new Science technician.
Both of these roles are shared with Collingwood College as we move towards developing
common practice and the new Gasworks senior campus.

I would also like to welcome back Olie Balestra and Nellie Morales from leave, as well as
Lucy Honan, Mac Humphries, Elizabeth Campbell and Adrian Pattinson, who are replacing
staff currently on leave. Kathryn Taylor will continue to work in the library on Mondays and
Emily Wearne is taking over from Matthew Hovell as the Instrumental Music Coordinator. I
would like to thank Matt for his work in the role over the past year.

Tyson Day will be continuing his work as a Careers counsellor throughout the year. He will
be at school on Tuesdays and other days depending on requirements. Many students have
expressed their appreciation of Tyson’s knowledge and approach and we welcome him back
to our school. James Hardie, one of our Food Technology teachers and an ex-chef, will be
featured in the DET “In Our Classrooms” February 5th edition. The link is as follows:

We will be sharing details of the 2019 VCE, VET and VCAL results and destinations with you
shortly. A large number of students have been successful in gaining tertiary places at their
preferred institutions. In the meantime, I am very pleased and proud to announce our Dux
of Year 12, 2019, Massimo Codognotto-Parry, who was also the recipient of the University of
Melbourne Principal’s Scholarship. I also congratulate Ingrid Borrell, Year 11 this year, who
was awarded the Kwong Lee Dow Young Scholars Class of 2021 by the University of

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority Season of Excellence directly supports
the VCAA’s goal to support high quality education, recognise student achievement and best
practice for teaching, and encourage students to move into allied work areas and further
study. I have received invitations to several performances and showing of works by students
from Fitzroy High School who have been chosen for their work in Year 12 last year. These
include Finn Milne, whose original jazz composition written for VCE Music Styles and
Composition has been chosen for Top Class Sounds; Eve Quartermaine, whose artwork for
VCE Studio Arts has been chosen for Top Arts; and Harriet Norman, whose original dance
piece has been chosen for Top Class Dance. There may be others to come and I will let you
know about these in the next newsletter. Congratulations to these students, their families
and their teachers on being selected for such prestigious events.

Kind regards
Linda Mitchell (Principal)

Heat Health Alerts

Heat health alerts and fire danger warnings

How you can prepare and stay safeThis week — between Wednesday 18 December and Friday 20 December 2019 — Victoria will experience hot and dry conditions which will elevate the potential for heat illnesses and fires.

With maximum temperatures forecast to reach over 40 degrees in parts of the state, the Victorian Government’s Chief Health Officer has issued a number of heat health alerts about the heat wave conditions.  Alerts have so far been issued for Wednesday and Thursday and for the affected weather districts of the Mallee and North Central.  However, further Heath Health alerts are expected for Friday, when temperatures are forecast to soar more broadly across the state.

At the same time, the fire danger rating for a significant part of Victoria has been forecast at very high and severe levels 

Prepare for the heat with the following tips:

  • help save energy by turning off all unnecessary electronic devices and lights
  • when gone for 30 minutes or more, turn off computers, monitors, copiers, and printers whenever possible
  • close all exterior windows and doors and lower blinds to reduce the heat coming through windows
  • monitor conditions at locations for planned excursions and camps, and re-assess the need for any travel (including staff travel)
  • be alert to children, adults or pets being left in cars, as the temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes
  • listen to local radio, download the free VicEmergency App on your phone or call the VicEmergency Hotline number 1800 226 226 for warnings, advice and up-to-date information.

For more information

To clarify if your service operates within this/these district/s, read Victorian Forecast Areas Map

To subscribe directly to heat health alerts and advisories, visit Health Victoria – Heat health alerts

Principal’s Report, December 2019

Dear families

Timetable Changes

I am writing to let you know that we are implementing changes to the school timetable structure commencing in 2020. There are several reasons for the change which are outlined in this message.

The key changes are:

  • There will still be four periods per day.
  • Instead of 30 minutes of Advisory and three 90-minute subject sessions there will be four 75-minute sessions per day.
  • Advisory will no longer run every day – instead, students will have longer (75 minute) Advisory sessions, allowing more time to focus deeply on learning.
  • Recess will begin 30 minutes later (11.15-11.45) and lunch 15 minutes later (1-1.45).

What stays the same?

  • There is no change to the start and finish times of the day (8.45am to 3pm).
  • There is still two sessions before recess, one session between recess and lunch and one session after lunch.
  • The role of the Advisor as the key contact for students does not change. In years 7-10 the Advisors will continue to teach their Advisory for at least one other subject, as has been the practice.

Session Times for 2020

  • Session 1: 8.45-10am
  • Session 2: 10-11.15am
  • Recess: 11.15-11.45am
  • Session 3: 11.45am-1.00pm
  • Lunch: 1.00-1.45pm
  • Session 4: 1.45-3.00pm

Why are we changing?

The key reasons for the change are to benefit the languages, Health and Physical Education, and Advisory learning outcomes. We expect that these changes will not only give more time to the study of Languages and Health and Physical Education, but will also help the school to improve attendance and punctuality, as well as student engagement.

In my October Principal’s Report, I outlined the work of the Languages Working Group, which developed a vision for languages in the school and how to foster greater participation in the learning of Italian. The frequency of language classes was raised as an important component of engagement and sense of progress for students learning a language.

The school was also keen to enable more Health and Physical Education time for students, which will have the additional benefit of including the health curriculum in that subject, rather than in Advisory sessions. 

This will mean that Advisory teachers can use the Advisory time to focus on the student’s Personal Learning Plan and developing the strengths of individuals as well as the group as a whole.

Senior School Considerations

For years 11-12 the Advisors will also continue in their current role of being the key contact and will also focus on the Personal Learning Plan. Senior students will also have a weekly ‘Tutorial’ session, which will cover topics such as study skills, exam preparation, workshops on particular learning areas, and so on.

Our Senior Program is run in partnership with Collingwood College. Collingwood has also reviewed its times of the day and our timetables will now align which has benefits for Senior students travelling between Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College.

There will be no need to travel between sessions 1 and 2, just as there hasn’t been up until now. The bus will be provided as usual so that students who choose to travel this way and who purchase a bus pass will be able to move between campuses at recess and lunchtime.


We have been talking to students about the changes and receiving feedback. School Council and Education sub-committee have also been considering the changes and their impacts. The response so far has been extremely encouraging. Parents are welcome to contact any member of School Council or the school leadership team with comments or questions. 

Other News

In Term 1 2020, the school will have a school review of its four-year Strategic Plan. This is part of the normal cycle of school improvement and all stakeholders will be given opportunities to reflect on the past four years and to contribute to future plans. At the beginning of the year we will be asking parents to become involved in focus groups.

Andrea Thompson will be continuing as Acting Assistant Principal next year and Paul Cahill as Acting Team Leader for Years 9 and 10. Congratulations to Chris Millard, Senior Programs Leading Teacher across Fitzroy High School and Collingwood College, who is now Acting Assistant Principal in that role. I would also like to thank Rainer Parker-Stebbing for his work in the role of Indigo Team Leader and John Hinman for his work in the role of Scarlet Team Leader for the past three years.

Congratulations to Neil McLean and the other staff for the highly successful Great Victorian Bike Ride, which had the greatest number of students ever, including year 12 students. Congratulations also to the Senior Arts team on the combined art show and media night. The quality of the work was astounding and we will be hearing early next year about students whose work was chosen for the VCE Season of Excellence. Congratulations to all year 12 students who have finished VCE exams or completed VCAL.

Thanks to all of the staff who have worked hard to see our students through to the end of the year and I wish all families a safe and happy festive season.

Kind regards

Linda Mitchell (Principal)