23 February Newsletter 2023

Principal's Message

Opening College Mass – Feast of St Maroun

Our wonderful College Mass celebrated on Friday 10 February, the day after the Feast of St Maroun. It truly was a celebration to have all students from Year 1 to Year 12 fill our Church. This is year we have close to 850 students across both campuses so we well and truly fill the Church. It was a blessing to be together and start the year thinking about our 2023 College Theme, ‘We are Called to care for Creation”.

Click here to view photos

Principal’s Welcome at the Opening College Mass

Welcome to the 2023 school year.

It is wonderful to see you all gathered here today. I have to start by saying congratulations to all of you for the smooth start to the school year. So many of you were ready for school with all your books, resources and uniform organised. Over the many years I have been a teacher, I can tell you without a doubt, that those students who get ready and organised from the beginning of year, are usually the same students who do well over the rest of the year. Being organised, being early (not just on time), being ready – these are the keys to success. So well done to you all!

Happy St Maroun Feast day! Especially to those named Maroun. In today’s Mass, and at school, you will learn more about the great saint that St Maroun is. Taking on his name, we Maronites date back to the fourth century. Our history is one of a people strong in faith, overcoming persecution, to survive into the year 2023 and to be represented all over the world including of course here in Melbourne, in our College and in our Parish.

During the school holidays, there was another important feast day, the Feast of St Anthony the Great (also known as St Anthony of the Desert). This is a feast day, that we usually celebrate later in the year on Antonine Day. But today, I take this opportunity to wish the Antonine Sisters, Sr Mariette, Sr Rita and Sr Veronique a happy St Anthony Feast Day – after all, their Order is named after him, and our College also. We love our Antonine Sisters who founded our College through their hard work as part of their vocation. We are very proud to share in their mission here in Melbourne. Thank you, Sisters.

Dear students, we are all part of God’s creation. Each of you was created in the image of God. You are special. So is the person sitting beside you, in front of you, behind you. We are called to care for all of God’s creation – that means caring for everyone, especially the most vulnerable, and caring for the environment, the animals, the water, all of God’s creation. You may think, no one will notice if I care or not, or what difference will it make if I care or not? But God created you so you can play your little part in the world, and if we each play our part, no matter how small, we will be doing the work that God created us for. So You are special, we need each one of you to play your part. God loves us so much and all he asks is that we love him back and love all he has created – each person and each part of creation.

Each day, wake up and give praise to God. Say thank you God for giving me this day so I can play the part you created me for. In this Mass today, bring your intentions forward, sit still, concentrate on the words and join in the responses – this is how we praise God.

I pray that St Maroun, St Anthony and all the saints intercede on our behalf and pray for our Antonine College. I wish you every success for the 2023 school year.

Ash Monday

Lent is a time to look at our lives, repent of our sins and believe in the Good News. Antonine College students all had the opportunity to receive the Ashes. We had two Masses and Prayer services on the day. See below for more information and photos.

What can I do during Lent?

There are many ways over the next two months to share in the prayer life of the Community. Open your hearts and say ‘Yes’ to God. We are called to renew our commitment to Prayer by:

• attending Church every Sunday with your family

• making an effort to attend Church during the week

• family Prayer, gather your family every day for a time of prayer

• read your Bible, (try Bible in a Year Podcast)

• attend Stations of the Cross in Church, every Friday during Lent at 7.00pm

• Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament every Thursday after Mass

What about Fasting?

In regards to the Lenten penitential practices for the Maronites, and in accordance with the guidelines released by His Beatitude and Eminence Mar Bechara Boutros Cardinal Rai, the recommended practices are summarised below:

• Fasting from midnight to midday on all weekdays from Ash Monday to Saturday of Light (8 April): no food or drink is to be consumed, with the exception of water;

• Abstaining from consuming meat and dairy on the Fridays of Lent; and throughout the first and last week of Lent (Holy Week);

• Fasting and Abstinence on Saturdays and Sundays are not an obligation, with the exception of the Saturday of Light (Easter Saturday), where fasting and abstinence are to be observed;

• In 2023, the following feast days fall within the Lenten Season: St John Maroun (2 March), The Forty Martyrs (9 March), St Joseph (19 March), St Rafqa (23 March), The Annunciation (25 March). We do not fast or abstain on these feast days.

It is important to note that school children are not expected to fast and can focus on doing the practices listed above under heading What can I do during Lent? But older school children can decide, with the permission of their parents, to fast if it is right for them.

At Our Lady of Lebanon Parish during Lent:

• Mass: Monday to Thursday at 6.00pm

• Thursday Adoration after 6.00pm Mass

• Every Friday: Mass at 9.00am Stations of the Cross at 7.00pm

• Reconciliation before Mass during the week or during Stations of the Cross on Fridays

At Antonine College during Lent students are encouraged to:

  • Take the opportunity each morning to really listen to the Morning Prayer in period 1.
  • Whole School Daily reflection later in the day where students can stop, close their eyes and reflect on the words and questions for reflection
  • Faith Club – there will opportunities to pray in the Chapel during some of the breaks especially at St Joseph Campus

I wish you all a Blessed Lenten Season.

- Ms Joanne Bacash

Faith Development

Care for Creation Cedar Posters

To begin our Religious Education journey in 2023 at Cedar, we have looked at our school theme of ‘We Are Called to Care for Creation’. In our Religion classes students were given the opportunity to display their artistic skills to create a poster representing their interpretation of the school theme. One was selected from each class to be displayed at our opening school mass and they are now on display in the foyer of our front office for all visitors to enjoy.

Click here for photos

- Ms Tanya Khattar

Ash Monday - Cedar Campus

In the Maronite faith, we begin our Lenten season after Cana Sunday. We mark our foreheads with a cross made from the Ash of the palm trees from the previous year. As we are sealed with the cross, the priests says ‘Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return’. At Cedar Campus we celebrated Ash Monday as a whole school with our parish priest Father Richard. It was a beautiful mass to mark the start our Lenten journey. We pray that this season brings each of us peace and clarity.

Click here for photos

- Ms Tanya Khattar

Ash Monday - St Joseph Campus

On Monday 20th of February, our Year 7-10 students, accompanied by their teachers, attended the 9am Ash Monday Mass at Our Lady of Lebanon. It was a great way to mark the beginning of the Lenten Season with our community. Our VCE students participated in a prayer service in the Chapel at St Joseph’s where they received the ashes and reflected on the Gospel. We pray that God may walk with us and guide us during this Lent.

Click here for photos

- Ms Natalie Saliba

College Theme at St Joseph Campus

To kick start the academic year and for students to have a deep understand of our college theme “we are called to care for creation”, Year 7-10 students partook in an activity during RE classes to broaden their understanding of how environmental awareness is closely linked to our spirituality and faith. Our college theme which was taken during a speech made by Pope Francis during a visit to the Philippines allows students and staff to explore the Catholic Social Teaching ‘care for our common home’ so that all members of Antonine College can reflect on the earth and all life on it that is a part of God’s creation. We are called to respect this gift.

We are responsible for taking care of the world we live in and for sharing all the wonders and resources the earth gives us. Pope Francis is aware that the environmental problems we face extends well beyond us as individuals but asks us to reduce participation in materialistic forms of consumer culture. With this, students reflected and brainstormed the conscious decisions they make in their lives each day and how each one of us have the ability to break the chain of destruction and move towards a sustainable future. Students pledged 3 ways they could make an easy change to their everyday life to care for our home; God’s creation. This mural is now displayed in our Library window.

- Miss Isabella Athaide

Faith Club

Beginning in 2020, Faith Club returned in 2023 with some familiar and some new faces! Faith Club provides our students with a chance to grow in their faith and meet peers from various year levels, discussing different topics and participating in different activities and fundraisers. In our first session, students began discussing different initiatives to organise this term for Project Compassion 2023. It is great to see our students wanting to help others in our global community.

- Miss Isabella Athaide

Year 11 & 12 Mass

Over the past two weeks, our Year 11 and Year 12 cohort have participated in mass, celebrated by our College Chaplain Monsignor Joe. We thank Monsignor Joe for providing our students with this opportunity throughout the term. Our Year 7-10 students will celebrate mass over the coming weeks.

- Ms Natalie Saliba

First Holy Communion 2023

First Holy Communion will take place on Saturday 9 September. To register your interest please click here .

For more information please contact Sr Veronique on 9354 1377

Deputy Principal - Cedar Campus

A Prayer for Lent

Dear Lord,

Forgive those things we have done which have caused you sadness,

and those things we should have done that would have brought you joy.

In both we have failed ourselves,

and you.

Bring us back to that place

where our journey began,

when we said that we would follow

the way that you first trod.

Lead us to the Cross and meet us there.


God Bless,

Please remember that school finishes at 3:20pm. I ask that parents wait in the car park area to collect your child. Entry to the college is to be made via the gate in Harding Street, reporting to reception at all times. Parents are not permitted to enter the school building and classroom without an appointment.

The Teachers’ Car Park is a NO GO ZONE for Parent Parking. Please remember your children’s safety is our number one priority.

At our school, we aim to create a safe and supportive school community for everyone. Sometimes, it can be difficult for parents or carers to know what to do when their child talks to them about various incidents.

You are an important part of our work to prevent incidents and to respond effectively if it happens. Stopping incidents involves everyone. If your child talks to you about any issues:

Listen calmly and get the full story. Your calm response is important to allow your child to tell you all about the situation. After they’ve told you their story, ask questions to get more details if you need to: who, what, where, when. Although you may feel some strong emotions about your child’s experience, try to keep calm to avoid more distress to your child.

Reassure your child they are not to blame. Many children blame themselves and this may make them feel even worse. You could say things like, ‘That sounds really hard to deal with. No one should have to put up with that.’ or ‘I’m so glad you told me. You should be able to feel safe at school; that’s not fair at all’.

Ask your child what they want to do and what they want you to do. A critical part of your response is to avoid jumping in to solve the problem. While it is natural to want to protect your child, helping them to find their own solution is a better option. It helps them feel they have some power in the situation.

Visit to find some strategies. The website has tips and ideas for different situations.

Contact the school. Your child may be reluctant for you to do this, so discuss the idea and reassure them that the school would want to know and is able to help.


Every Friday teachers nominate students for showing YCDI qualities. Students are presented with a certificate and star. All the stars placed on our Stars of Antonine pinboard. Congratulations to:

  • Mary Chebl FA
  • Miriam Taouk FB
  • Lara Ibrahim FC
  • Isaiah Goro 1A
  • Khloe Boulos 1B
  • Elena El Saleh 1B
  • Zayn Ibrahim 1C
  • Nana Skaf 2A
  • Lilia Ibrahim 2B
  • Bernadette Shahin 3A
  • Bernadette Hurmiz 3B
  • George Farhah 4A
  • Elias Diab 4B
  • Leah Eid 4C
  • Lourd George 5A
  • Crystal Fedhail 5B
  • Lucas Zakharia 6A
  • Issah Mahfoud 6A
  • Cruz Semaan 6B
  • Fadia Semaan 6B

Learning and Wellbeing

ICT Acceptable Usage Agreement

We are seeking a PAM permission from all families to acknowledge they have read and commit to the ICT Acceptable Usage agreement. All students will read and sign the agreement this week. It is important we all understand how to keep ourselves and others safe online and use, store and manage our devices appropriately.

Please see a link to our Digital Technology Handbook that includes our ICT Acceptable Usage Agreement and all relevant information:

For further information and resources regarding online safety:

Year 3, 5, 7 & 9 NAPLAN

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) for students in Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 will be held in March. NAPLAN tests assess student knowledge and skills in Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy. The results of the tests provide information for students, parents, teachers and principals and can be used to target areas for student achievement.

See below for 2023 testing dates:

  • Wednesday March 15 – Writing (Year 3, 5, 9)
  • Thursday March 16 – Writing (Year 7)
  • Friday March 17 – Reading (Year 7, 9)
  • Monday March 20 – Conventions of Language (Year 7, 9)
  • Tuesday March 21 – Reading and Conventions of Language (Year 3, 5)
  • Wednesday March 22 – Numeracy (Year 3, 5, 7, 9)
  • Thursday March 23 – Catch up opportunity (Year 3, 5, 7, 9)

All tests (except Writing at Year 3) will be delivered online. Students at Year 5, 7 & 9 will use their own device (iPad or MacBook) and headphones (students need to ensure their device is charged). Students at Year 3 will use school iPads and their own headphones to complete the tests.

All students are expected to participate in the NAPLAN Online tests unless an individual exemption has been granted. Catch up tests will be available for students who are absent on test days. NAPLAN tests are delivered at school and are considered a part of the curriculum. It is important for you and your child to know that NAPLAN is not a pass/fail test. It demonstrates the level students are achieving and their growth in literacy and numeracy against National Standards and compared with other students throughout Australia. Later in the year you will receive your child’s personal NAPLAN report.

Students will practice for NAPLAN in class and there are practice tests available through the link below for further study.

For more information about NAPLAN Online and to access practice tests, please visit the VCAA website at:

If you have any concerns, please contact me through the College Office.

- Ms Ria Coffey

Earth Warriors Garden

You may see a little greenhouse along Waverley Parade. Our Earth Warrior team today filled it with soil and some veggies. Some lettuce, carrot, beetroot, onions, beans and of course parsley. The kids were excited to be a part of the first planting and are even more excited for them to grow! The concentration and smiles on their faces says it all.

"The gardening was magnificent experience, I enjoyed planting even though I don’t really do gardening at home. We were able to poor the soil in while placing my plants into rows. It wasn’t perfect but I am still learning. I’m lucky to have Earth Warriors and Ms Hartnup helping us, it is a great opportunity and I can’t wait to see how well they grow."

- Ali El Saleh

Click here for photos

- Ms Stephanie Hartnup

7 – 9 Learning Leader

It has been lovely to see all the students working hard in their new classes and challenging themselves to work to the best of their ability. From an introduction to the Science Laboratory, Dance classes, essay writing to PE games students have been participating in a variety of learning experiences. Most students should be now be completing homework tasks, this may be completing work not completed in class, a task on SeeSaw (Year 7 and 8 only), revision or reading a novel. If you have any questions at all about your child’s learning please do not hesitate to get in contact –

Click here for photos

- Ms ​Stephanie Monds

Year 7-12 Certificate Presentation

At our recent Year Level assemblies it was our pleasure to present certificates to students who achieved an average of 80% or above on their Semester Two Report.

We congratulate the students on their achievement and wish all students to strive for excellence in the 2023 academic year.

Click here for photos and a list of students

- Ms ​Stephanie Monds & Ms Fran Cometti

Year 12 Jacket Presentation

On Tuesday 21 February, in our Year 12 Assembly, the Year 12 cohort came together to celebrate what is special about being in Year 12. Ms Bacash welcomed the students and the idea that ‘nothing stands alone, we are one but part of the whole’ was introduced.

The students who achieved an academic award for their 2022 Semester 2 results were celebrated and Ms Cometti, our Senior Teaching and Learning Leader handed each recipient a certificate. Our Year 12 College Captains, Wellbeing and School leaders, Faith and Social Justice leaders and College House Captains were presented to the Year level. A prayer for guidance and integrity was recited to help these individuals in their roles as leaders within our school.

  • College Captains – Amani Alkichani & Nancy Taouk
  • Wellbeing and School Leaders – Andre Fatoul & Rand Farrouh
  • Faith and Social Justice Leaders – Lojain Alsaloum & Emmy Yaekoub
  • Mackillop House Captains – Zaya Zado & Eva Harika
  • Patterson House Captains – Jezelle Gerges & Yasmin Saleh
  • Nassar House Captains – Isabel Mousa & Jawan Younan
  • Maroun House Captains – Layal El Saleh & Cynthia Hanna

Then the moment all the year 12’s had been waiting for since orders were put in last year. All students are called to be leaders in all that they do, in the way they conduct themselves and their interactions with their peers. This is critical in Year 12 when students are role models to the rest of the college students. The Year 12 main theme is ‘Integrity’, we ask students to display integrity in all that they do. Students received the college pin to wear on their uniform, another symbol of belonging to our college community.

Click here to read more and for photos

- Mrs Maureen Vitetta

Year 10 Chemistry

The Year 10 Chemistry class have been learning about the properties of elements and trends in the Periodic Table. To consolidate this knowledge students tested the properties of various metals.

Click here for photos

- Ms Stephanie Monds

SACCSS Premier League Tournament - Soccer

Congratulations to the Year 9 and 10 Boys soccer team, on winning their first game of the SACCSS Premier League Tournament. Beating St. Francis 10-1 at Latrobe University. Player of the match scoring 5 goals goes to Parlo Elisha demonstrating excellent skill and sportsmanship attributions.

- Mr Emile Fakhry

Year 9 Outdoor Education

The Year 9 Outdoor Education class enjoyed the summer day at Port Melbourne Beach. Students were able to see the fairy cruise ship that travels to Tasmania as well as have some fun playing beach Volleyball.

Click here for photos

- Mr Emile Fakhry

VCE Parent Information Session

Thanks to all those who attended the VCE Parent Information Evening, which was held on Wednesday 22 February. The focus of the session was to provide information on the learning and wellbeing support provided at the college in your child’s quest for their VCE certificate and pathway options beyond VCE. For those who were not able to attend, a link to the presentation is available on our college website.

Click to view 2023 VCE Information Session February

- Fran Cometti, Maureen Vitetta and Josie Rovetto

Learning and Wellbeing

New Child Safe Standards for Victoria

In July 2022 the Victorian Government implemented a new set of standards that apply to all schools and organisations who work with or care for young people.

Why the new Child Safe Standards are so important.

  • The current and new Child Safe Standards recognise that all children are vulnerable
  • The Child Safe Standards require schools to take steps to prevent child abuse and build a culture of child safety

All Antonine College staff have participated in professional learning that addresses the new standards and must undertake yearly mandatory reporting training and assessment before they start the year.

Our College is committed to ensuring that all students in our care are safe and can share their concerns if they feel unsafe. Students are made aware of how they can report their concerns via lessons plans, assembly presentations, educational posters, bulletin notices and a direct email.

Students can simply start typing “Report My Concern (Cedar or St Joseph)” in the address line of a blank email to quickly and safely report any immediate concerns or worries about their safety at school.

The College Child Safety Commitment Statement can be found on the college website or through the following link:

02 Child Safe Standards Information Sheet

03 Arabic New Child Safe Standards Information Sheet

- Mrs Helen Diab

Human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine information for parents/guardians

From 6 February 2023, the routine two dose HPV vaccine schedule provided to young people aged 12-13 years through the National Immunisation Program (NIP) has become a single dose schedule using the same Gardasil®9 vaccine.

What is the HPV vaccine?

The Gardasil®9 vaccine protects against HPV infection, which is a common viral infection, usually affecting the genitals and spread through sexual contact. The vaccine is most effective when given before exposure to the virus, that is before a person becomes sexually active. More information about HPV and the HPV vaccine can be found on the Better Health Channel.

How has the HPV vaccine schedule changed?

From 6 February 2023, the recommended HPV vaccine schedule for most people has changed from two-doses to a single dose course using the same Gardasil®9 vaccine. There is no change to the amount of vaccine that is given in the single dose.

The schedule has not changed for immunocompromised people. A 3-dose schedule of HPV vaccine is recommended for people with severely immunocompromising conditions, regardless of their age when they started vaccination.

Why was this change made?

The change is based on advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation (ATAGI), who have considered and reviewed the latest international clinical evidence. ATAGI support the large volume of clinical findings that a single dose of HPV vaccine provides about the same protection as two doses of HPV vaccine.

What do you need to do?

Your council immunisation service will seek your consent for vaccinations delivered to students at school as usual.

If you would like to discuss the change, or clarify any information about the HPV vaccine please contact your local council.

Further information

Better Health Channel

Click here to read Secondary School Immunisation Program Collection statement

- Mrs Helen Diab

Upcoming Event

Upcoming Dates:

27 February - 3 March: Year 8 Camp

13 March: Labour Day Public Holiday

30 March: Parent Teacher Interviews (No classes)

3-5 April: Year 7 Camp

6 April: St Joseph Campus House Athletics Carnival

6 April: Last Day of Term One

7 April: Good Friday

We are called to care for CREATION - 2023 College Theme

Antonine College Reception

P: (03) 9354 1377


Cedar Campus (Foundation - Year 6
130 Harding Street, Coburg VIC 3058
Saint Joseph Campus (Year - Year 12)
71 Grandview Ave, Pascoe Vale South VIC 3044