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Principal’s Comments

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Congratulations to our 2024 College Captains

Congratulations to Lily Cochrane, Mitchell Blackwell, Keilah Dewar and Charlotte Scott on their appointment to the 2024 ESC College Captain portfolio.

The 2024 College Captains will continue to lead the student cohort in building a culture of high expectations and excellence at our college.

The 2023 College Captains, Ethan, Caiti, Jackson and Hayley set a very high bar in their leadership year, and I am sure our new College captains will continue with the good work that has started, to ensure that each student continues to flourish at our school.

We look forward to acknowledging all our school leaders at next year’s investiture assembly.

Building Program

Our appointed architects have been very active in mapping out the various stages of our Master Plan, in several stages, prioritising college needs, in concert with the latest funding.

As you can imagine, our old favourite, G Block is front and centre in our discussions, notwithstanding a look at some of the rooms in E Block and a very leaky roof!

In our next newsletter, I will be able to give you a more definite answer about how the College will move forward with the building project.

Transitions and busy times

Schools are busy places at this time of the year.

This week, our Year 10s going into Year 11 will step up into their VCE subjects for 2024. There will be some holiday work to complete.

Other year levels continue with their assessments, and this is also a very busy time for all our staff as they are marking exams and CATs and writing reports.


Last week we met with our new Year 7 students and their families at our Transition Information Evening as part of our extensive Orientation Program. This is something that we pride ourselves in. Every 2024 Year 7 student has been visited by an Emerald SC co-ordinator in the last month, to make the transition process that little bit easier.

The State-wide Orientation Day is much later this year and will take place on Tuesday, 12 December

James Barut – College Principal

Assistant Principals’ Report

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Reading – thinking outside the box!

The College is currently investigating an exciting opportunity with the potential to update our Library Resource Centre, this would mean that all our students could have wider access to audiobooks and eBooks, in addition to the books we already have available. With the increasing use of digital technology in our society, access to eBooks and audiobooks would not only enable our student’s greater access to resources, but it would also mean that they can access these at home, on their devices, through the platform. These resources would also cater to auditory learners, who could listen to an audiobook to support their reading. We are looking into this as an addition to the teaching and practice of ‘traditional’ reading and to continue to foster a life-long love of reading in our students.

Some of the Senior English classes have already begun introducing audiobooks for texts to students, in preparation for the 2024 academic year, through our recent Kickstart program.

This was met with great enthusiasm from many of our students, who said they loved being able to experience a story being narrated to them.

We will keep you updated as our research continues in this space.

Bushfire Preparation

At Emerald Secondary College, being on the Bushfire at Risk Register (Category 2) we are continuing with our annual bushfire mitigation works in preparation for bushfire season.  It is pleasing to attend bushfire briefings and learn that it is believed that our area is not at threat of a higher than usual bushfire season, as other areas of the state may be; however, we still take our bushfire mitigation tasks each year seriously.

Such tasks include, but are not limited to, undertaking regular checks of our fire and safety equipment, reviewing the condition, and reflecting on our shelter in place facility, vegetation management, regularly reviewing our emergency communications, reviewing, and reflecting on our emergency procedures.

We would ask our college community to:

  • Ensure that your details are up to date, including phone numbers and email addresses.
  • If the College sends communications that you read and follow the information carefully.
  • Download the Vic Emergency App.
  • Review and update your family fire safety plan.
  • Read the attached and previously sent bushfire information carefully.  Emerald SC communications-to-parents-fire-preparation-category-0-1-2-schools (1)

College Captaincy   

Last issue we acknowledged the efforts of nine of our current Year 11 students who were shortlisted for the College Captaincy Team positions.

After lengthy deliberation following an incredibly strong field of candidates it is my absolute pleasure to introduce to our College community our College Captains for 2024:

Lily Cochrane

Mitchell Blackwell

Keilah Dewar

Charlotte Scott

 We look forward to working with this very capable team.

End of Year Activities

End of Year Activities are open to students in Years 7-9 and are offered during the week of December 11-15.

There is a mixture of off- and on-site, free and payable activities for students to sign up to – these have been promoted via Compass, through BEST and on the monitors throughout the College.  Events opened for payment/consent/sign up at 4pm on Wednesday 29th November.  Please contact Tanja Korsten or the office if you have any queries about our End of Year Activities Program.

Disability Inclusion Transition Events

As our community would be aware, the College Orientation Day for 2024 Year 6 students is on Tuesday 12th December.  Our Disability Inclusion Program extends additional opportunities to some students who might need some extra support.  We invite students to visit the College to ensure maximum familiarisation, to alleviate any worries, to increase opportunities to build new friendships and meet staff, ask questions and strengthen the family/College partnership:

Tuesday 5th December – familiarisation session

Time:     9.15am – 10.45am

Focus on familiarisation and expectations

Presentation Evening

The Emerald Secondary College Presentation Evening is an auspicious event on the College calendar and this year will be on Wednesday, 13th December in EPAC at the College from 7-8pm.  On this occasion we congratulate students who are recipients of subject, sporting, scholarship and other significant achievement awards.  Recipients and their parents/carers will be notified through Compass with email notification if they are invited to this event.  We are grateful for our community sponsors who continue to support this event and look forward to acknowledging the achievements of our students.  The event will be streamed and a link provided to the community at a later date.

Remembrance Day Assembly

On Friday the 10th of November ESC hosted a Remembrance Day whole school assembly for years 7-10. Thank you to Sergeant Kane Falconer from the Emerald RSL for giving up his time to speak to the students and staff about the importance of Remembrance Day. I would like to thank our student leaders Cadence Tyrrell and Claire Aspinall for demonstrating outstanding leadership during this commemorative event.


Important Dates to Finish 2023

As the 2023 school year finishes, we become eager to welcome our new year 7s for 2024 and all EDEC grade 5 students. The Grade 6 students will undertake their Orientation Day while our EDEC grade 5 students will experience a College Exploration Day. Please see the list of key dates below.

Janine McMahon, Tanja Korsten & Jarrad Donders – 

Assistant Principals




Year 12 Valedictory

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Valedictory Celebration   

On Thursday 16th November we gathered to celebrate the ‘Class of 2023’. The evening was a celebration with our students, staff families and friends.

With over 300 people present each of the students were presented with certificates of Year 12 completion, produced by Emerald Secondary College, Subject Dux Awards, Excellence & Endeavour awards, the prestigious college awards and of course naming our 2023 Valedictorian.

The official certificates from the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority will be available at school during the week of Monday 11th December or at the beginning of 2024.  These certificates will need to be collected from the Senior School Office as we cannot post them home. In December students will also receive a statement of results via SMS or online from Monday 11th December.

The Valedictory is not just a graduation, it’s a milestone, a testament to hard work, resilience, and countless hours of dedication to one’s education over many years. It was an evening in which we reflected on the late nights of studying, the camaraderie formed, the growth that each student experienced both academically and personally, the challenges they all faced head on and the valuable lessons along the way. All in which we know that the class of 2023 have all emerged stronger, more capable, and ready to embark on the journey that lies ahead.

We are all very proud of the fantastic young adults that are now embarking on their next journey. You will find below the award winners and some photos from the night.

A message from Learning and Engagement Leader, Mrs Emily Hay:

To the class of 2023.

On Monday the 30th of January you all stood in one big circle at the REACH foundation side by side shoulder to shoulder in one room, where you broke down your walls and let each other in, where, you all agreed that in 2023 “we are in this together” this was a moment for me, and the staff members present where we witnessed a formation of a cohort that has simply been special.

The camp was a steppingstone into the year, where, as a cohort you discovered that success is not solely measured on grades or accolades but by the positive impact you have on the lives of others. It is the relationships that are formed, the kindness that you show and the empathy you extend that truly define your achievements.

The look on your faces when you walked in with your own set of keys as you celebrated milestone birthdays, the delight from ticking each SAC paper off, the relief in your eyes when you had actually finished your last day of school and/or your exams, the athletics and swimming carnivals and of course the staff vs students matches, where can I remind you all, the staff are the mighty victors of 2023. The best part of all was that I got to do all of this as your Learning and Engagement Leader, I couldn’t be prouder.

Let’s not forget the people who stood by you all, the teachers who inspired you, the friends who laughed and cried with you and your families for their unwavering support. Graduating is not just an individual achievement, it’s a collective success, a result of the collaboration and encouragement that define your shared journey.

As you stand at the beginning of your future, embrace the unknown with open hearts and curious minds. The world is vast, and your potential is limitless. You EACH possess a unique set of skills, passions and dreams that will shape your own pathways.

It’s farewell for now, not goodbye. Thank you and good luck.

ESCape into the Arts Festival

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ESCape into the Arts Festival!!! 

Last week saw our first ‘ESCape into the Arts Festival’, which was a huge success!!!  Throughout the week there were a huge array of activities covering a wide range of artistic endeavours involving students from across the school and the whole Arts faculty.  We had some rousing karaoke in the courtyard, painting to music and mindfulness colouring happening at lunchtimes, as well as an open gallery showcasing student work.   

Wednesday saw the whole school a hive of activity as things ramped up.  There were Year 10s bringing life and colour into the grounds by painting murals, a pop-up photo booth, live artworks being created throughout the day using acrylics and oils, band rehearsals, the creation of a ‘Humans of ESC’ photo gallery, production rehearsals, and a short film being scripted, shot, and cut together.    

Wednesday evening saw the opening of our gallery, showcasing the fantastic skills and talents of the visual artists in our cohort, from Senior Art and Visual Communication, to Year 7 self portraits, Middle School pop art, some incredibly detailed surrealism, abstracts, magazine covers, photographs, design drawings, sculpture, architectural models, timber products, and more.  It truly was amazing how high the standard of work was. 

In conjunction with the gallery opening was a performance of three small plays as part of the junior production, performed by Year 7 and 8 students, and directed by 9s.  The stage was graced by a rendition of The Three Little Pigs, Henny Penny, and Cinderella, and the students really shone whilst on the stage.  Their performances were simply incredible. 

To close the night, the EPAC stage took on a life of its own as the music talents of our cohort performed their hearts out.  From the rousing Taiko, to classical piano, Aussie rock, folk and blues, a Radiohead cover like no other, to some incredible vocal/piano duets, there was so much going on, and such diversity, it was truly inspiring. 

Thank you to all those people who supported this festival and helped make it happen, and congratulations to all those students involved. 

We’ve already begun planning for next year…  

Peter McKenzie & Dale Fyfe – Arts Domain Leaders

Year 8 Life Skills

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Year 8 Life Skills Program

The Life Skills program was aimed to assist students learn important skills to help navigate their way through the world, giving them the confidence to take on anything.

Our first program consisted of a bus trip to Emerald. We had a game of ‘bingo’ where students had to find landmarks and some random acts of kindness which was a lot of fun and gave us many laughs.

We went to meet with John and Robbie at JL Automotive with the first group, they showed us how to change oil, water, wiper blades and a tyre and everything they needed to know about maintenance on a car.

From there we went to Emerald Library to get a tour, explaining how to borrow a computer, print and scan documents.

Then we walked up to CommBank and had Dylan explain features of an ATM, loans and the importance of savings. The students were keen to hear about personal loans and how interest works. We were feeling pretty hungry after this so went to get some lunch from The Chookery, where we compared prices and estimated change we would be given.

As it was the week of Remembrance Day, we took the opportunity to enjoy the poppies and pay our respects, we took the long way back to the bus stop along ANZAC walk.


The following week, again we caught the bus to Emerald and today’s game was to try not to say certain words, such a “What” and “Question” which we all found very difficult and it wasn’t long before we started losing tokens!

First stop was the CFA where Klaus spoke to us about all the amazing benefits of being a volunteer. The boys were encouraged to join the cadets and had a tour of the station and inspect the trucks and all the equipment they hold.

Will Robinson put his hand up to put on a uniform and use the hose, although just as he’d finished gearing up – the alarm went off and before we knew it firefighters were running about and screeching into the car park.

We promptly got out of their way, yet waited outside to see them leave, with lights and sirens!

After the excitement we walked to the Martial Arts Gym to begin our self defence training with Sensai. We all found this session extremely interesting and the smile on students’ faces doing the practical drills said it all!

Our final adventure was a trip to the movies. We worked on resumes and caught up on any extra work while the students planned the movie session times around public transport. We went to the Cameo to see ‘The Creator’ which brought up some interesting conversations about artificial intelligence. By the time we got back to school it was home time.

We reflected on our time together and what we all had learnt. Everyone had different feedback about their favourite outing during the Life Skills program and were very polite, thanking the Inclusion Learning Assistants and volunteers for the experience. Initially the students were anxious about a range of things, but their feedback reflected they’d feel more confident completing these tasks in the future.

Tanja Korsten – Assistant Principal

Community News

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