Skip to content

Principal’s Report

Read Time: ( words)

2024 College Dux

The College Dux Award is awarded to the 2023 Year 12 student who has achieved outstanding results. The College Dux Award is a prestigious one.

The award goes to the Emerald Secondary College student who has, in 2023, achieved the highest ATAR (Australian Tertiary Admission Rank) of their cohort. This is achieved through outstanding dedication and hard work. College Dux is the highest award a school can bestow on a student.

To our College Community, I would now like to present the Emerald Secondary College Dux – Allanah Dean

 Allanah has this year achieved an ATAR score of an impressive 96.25.  She completed studies in English, Maths Methods, Health & Human Development and Business Management. Allanah also completed Units 3 and 4 in Legal Studies last year along with her Year 11 studies, and this year was accepted through the Centre for Higher Education Studies and studied Law as a University Subject through LaTrobe University.  Allanah is planning to pursue further studies in a double degree in Law and Commerce through Monash or Deakin University. 

Congratulations Allanah.

Important Leadership changes at ESC for 2024

 Ms Janine McMahon and Mr Jarrad Donders will be taking leave in 2024, to pursue different interests.

Ms McMahon has been appointed as Executive Director of Governance and Risk in the TAFE sector, overseeing several campuses throughout the outer east.

Mr Donders has been appointed Head Coach for the Eastern Ranges girls U/18’s football team in the Coates Talent League, overseeing their entire development, showcasing, and building talent for the AFLW competition.

We wish them all the best in their new endeavours.

Thus, Ms Melissa Findlay has been appointed to the position of Acting Assistant Principal – Director of Students and Ms Tiana Clayworth has been appointed to the Acting Assistant Principal – Curriculum. Further to these significant appointments, Ms Louise McInnes has been appointed to the position of Acting Learning Specialist, overseeing MYLNS, TLI and Assessment and Reporting.

Please join me in congratulating Ms Findlay, Ms Clayworth and Ms McInnes, as they join the Leadership team here at our college.

2024 Directions

 The major goals for 2024 will strengthen our school improvement agenda, and our entire community will be invited to participate in a couple of significant initiatives that will be implemented.

Please support the school in its significant journey, as we have to work together.

Throughout 2024, the main priorities will include:

  1. Implementing the SWPB (School Wide Positive Behaviours) program into our college – this will involve everybody in our community
  2. Lifting our VCE results
  3. Greater emphasis on creating safe, orderly classroom environments (linked in with SWPB) and in turn, honing and staying innovative in constructing stimulating learning environments
  4. Student accountability in submitting all assessments on time and..
  5. For staff, to ensure work is marked in a timely manner, supported by growth comments in the feedback.

This is the vision for 2024, and strategies and key actions will be implemented throughout.

Emerald Secondary College will support all its learners and its teachers to thrive. Everyone has a right to enjoy their learning without disruption from other students, whose motivation for coming to school lies elsewhere.

There will be a collective responsibility – it’s time to come together.

Building upgrade in 2024

 Plans continue for a new building to replace the outdated G block – plans for a new building also include the construction of new basketball courts and more sheltered outdoor spaces for our students to enjoy.

The process will take some time, as it’s not just a simple renovation. Compliance, tenders, VSBA governance, etc, will need to be ticked off before the first earth moving equipment arrives at the school.

First days back in 2024

 Monday 29th of January – staff return (student free day)

Tuesday 30th of January – 2nd staff preparation day (student free day)

Wednesday 31st of January – Year 7 and Year 11 back to school – Year 12 Study Camp

Thursday 1st of February – all year levels back to school – Year 12 Study Camp continues

Friday 2nd of February – Year 12 Study Camp concludes


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to our entire community – freshen up, relax, recharge and be safe in whatever you’re doing over the holidays.

See you next year.

James Barut – College Principal   







Assistant Principals’ Report

Read Time: ( words)

Presentation Night

Presentation Night is always a fabulous event on the College Calendar that we all look forward to.  It was such a pleasure to acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding achievements of our students – both academic and those recognising students who consistently demonstrate our College values of Respect, Resilience, Harmony and Excellence.  An incredible 93 students from Year 7 to Year 11 were invited to attend to receive their awards.  There were a great number of students who received Subject Dux Awards – students who have been the most high performing students in a particular subject across the whole of the year of 2023. 

One student at each of these year levels was also awarded Year Level Dux – for achieving consistent excellence in all of their studies, showing strong academic diligence, high level outcomes in learning and assessment tasks and consistently demonstrating positive learning behaviours.

We would like in particular to acknowledge the following students as well:


Christmas Hampers

Ten wonderful student volunteers assisted in the packing of and delivery of Christmas Hampers for families in need in our community on Thursday 14th December.  We were very proud that these students responded so quickly to the opportunity to selflessly help out for this cause and we look forward to continued partnerships with our community groups.  Thank you to Sam S, Dory and Shelley who took the student team to St.Luke’s and helped out with the morning’s tasks.  Well done Zoe, Ben, Kaylee, Rose, Leila, Elijah, Liam, Calvin Annabelle and Thomas. 

Grade 6 Orientation/Grade 5 Exploration Day/Small School Morning Tea

Over the last two weeks we welcomed our new and future students into the College as part of the state wide orientation day for Grade 6 students and our inaugural Grade 5 exploration day.

The small school’s morning tea provided an opportunity for students enrolling from outside of our zone to build relationships and connect with other peers prior to the state wide orientation day for Grade 6 students.

Our Grade 6 orientation day was fun filled as we welcomed all future Year 7s with a briefing in EPAC as they arrived at the College for their first time. Throughout the day all students were able to experience ‘getting to know you’ activities, a school tour, activities for Science, Food tech & PE while connecting and building student teacher relationships. All Grade 6 students had a wonderful time, and we look forward to seeing you all in 2024 on Wednesday 31st January.

On Thursday 14th December the College welcomed all Grade 5 EDEC primary school students to our inaugural exploration day. All students and staff were collected by bus from their primary school before arriving to complete fun activities such as Creative Stories, Maths Games, PE, and Art. All students then received a packed lunch before heading back on the bus to their Primary School. These students were able to get a taste of Emerald Secondary College and we look forward to seeing them ready for Year 7 in 2025.

Child Safety Standards

A reminder to parents and students that all communication between teachers and students will only occur directly through Compass. All teaching and learning related communication including learning tasks, CATs, curriculum, lesson plans and feedback will be sent via Compass as our Central Learning Management System. Any other platform should not be used for communication between teachers and students. If there is a concern with the platform or form of student/teacher communication, please contact Jarrad Donders (Assistant Principal) on 5968 5388.

Janine McMahon, Tanja Korsten & Jarrad Donders – Assistant Principals


Year 8 Humanities Market

Read Time: ( words)

Year 8 Market Day

On 1 December, our Year 8 Humanities students participated in a ‘Summer Celebrations – Market Day’.  

Students demonstrated their business knowledge and entrepreneurial skills through the planning and operating of a Market Day stall. Our students were able to get a firsthand experience of being business owners. Many businesses were able to recoup their initial investments and make a profit! Profits raised on the day are to be donated to the Emerald-Monbulk Wildlife Shelter. 

Thank you to all those who supported the day and helped to make it happen. And lastly, congratulations to our wonderful Year 8 cohort, who were absolute stars on the day! 

Fiona Minorgan – Humanities Teacher

End of Year Activities

Read Time: ( words)

Surf Tour

As a part of the EOY activities, a group of students (and some staff) made the journey to YCW beach at Phillip Island for some surfing. The conditions were great for beginners and many finished the day having managed to stand up and ride a wave!

History and Donuts City Walking Tour 

Students immersed in the history of the Melbourne tour by taking a walking tour! The 30 degree weather was worth it with the very yummy donuts provided within the trip! 

Connection The Lume

Students visited ‘The Lume’ were they saw the Connections exhibition which featured over 550 artworks from more than 110 visual and musical artists, representing the largest experience of First Peoples’ art ever assembled.

BBC Earth Experience

Students went to the BBC Earth Experience where they explored the diversity of the Earth’s seven unique continents. 

Chadstone Visit         

Students spent a wonderful day walking around Chadstone shopping centre and visiting quite a few shops.  Many walked out with quite a few of bags of shopping and happy smiles on their faces


Gumbuya World

On the last day of activity week 48 Year 7-9 students headed to Gumbuya World, the sun was shining and the waterslides were flowing. Everyone had an amazing day and as always student behaviour was excellent.


Read Time: ( words)

Sport & Athletics News

Last week Nate in Year 7 competed at the Australian All Schools Athletics Championships in WA.                 

Nate achieved an amazing result, 1st in the 90m Hurdles in a PB time of 12.90.  Congratulations Nate!

Angelika competed in Perth from 23rd – 26th November in the Youth International Gryphon Cup for Bobby’s Coaching Australia team (BCA) in field hockey. 

The weather was extreme with every day of competition being over 38c. 

Angelika got to play against some extremely hard opponents from Australia and Internationals like Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, but her highlight was playing against the Japan team who were very well oiled and drilled and ran out with the gold medal. They were able to swap uniforms with other teams but, as the Japanese were a national team, they weren’t able to swap any uniform. This didn’t stop Angelika as she gifted 2 of her goal keeping tops to the 2 Japanese goalkeepers after the medal winning game.

Angelika’s team finished 9th out of 14 teams but had the time of her life and walked away learning new skills at this top elite level and made friendships. 

Year 7 PE

Year 7 students have explored the sport of T-Ball this term. They have developed their skills in batting, catching and moving from one base to another. We went on regular excursions to Chandler Reserve to utilise the pristine oval. Students would walk and take all the required equipment with them. They participated in multiple games of T-Ball with many ‘home runs’ hit and dramatic results, with some games coming right down to the wire. We are proud of our Year 7’s for working hard on this unit and improving their T-Ball skills over the term.

The Arts

Read Time: ( words)

ESCape into the Arts       

As part of the recent ‘ESCape into the Arts’ week a group of Middle Years students started work livening up the Quadrangle with a pair of murals, the first of which was recently completed by Year 10 student Luka. The colourful, geometric abstraction has been a vibrant addition to one of the busiest areas of the College, and we’re proud and grateful for the additional effort Luka has put in to realise it. We also look forward to the second mural being completed in 2024.

Yr 11 Art Making and Exhibiting

Inspired by artist Andy Goldsworthy, Year 11 Art Making and Exhibiting students experimented with ephemeral artworks during Kickstart. In the space of a single lesson, students planned and created works using only found objects, exploring ideas around temporary pieces, public locations, and unconventional materials.

Dale Fyfe – Arts Domain Leader


Read Time: ( words)

Wellbeing support – Christmas holidays 2023
2023 is almost finished and it has been another challenging, wonderful and exciting year.  Please take time over these school holidays to have a break and rejuvenate. 

There are some small things we can do during the holidays to improve our wellbeing.

  • When the sun is shining, sit outside
  • go for a walk
  • continue to catch up with friends and family
  • create a project
  • Start something you have always wanted to try – eg -painting/drawing

Below you will find some support services that will be available during the holidays and beyond.

School wellbeing will not be available during the holidays.

Support numbers for young people:

Kids Helpline: 1800 55 1800 – provides 24-hour counselling for young people aged 5 to 25

Kids Helpline webchat:

My Place Youth Centre: 1800 4 Youth (1800 496 884)

Headspace: 1800 367 968

E Headspace:

 Support numbers for families:

Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14

Lifeline Australia TEXT : 0477 13 11 14 (6pm to midnight, 7 days a week)

Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636

Parentline: 13 22 89

FrontYard Crisis Housing & Support: 9977 0077

WAYYS Housing: 9791 6111

MensLine Australia : 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Relationships Australia: 9725 9964

EACH Family Relationships Centre : 1300 00 3224

Child First: You can self-refer by calling 1300 369 146

Safe Steps (1800 015 188) – provides 24-hour statewide family violence support

1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – provides 24-hour sexual assault and family violence information, counselling and support

The Orange Door – supports families experiencing family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children

What’s OK At Home? – a website for children and young people aged 10 to 17

Support for members of diverse communities:

Djirra (1800 105 303) – offers phone and face-to-face legal, emotional and cultural support from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, for Aboriginal people experiencing family violence

InTouch Multicultural Centre Against Family Violence (1800 755 988) – offers specialist family violence support from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, for migrant and refugee women

Rainbow Door (1800 729 367) – free service by text, phone and email from 10 am to 5 pm daily, for LGBTIQA+ people and allies

No to Violence (1300 766 491) – works with and helps men who use family violence

WIRE (Women’s Information and Referral Exchange) (1300 134 130) – free support, referrals and information by phone, web chat and email, from 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday, for all Victorian women, non-binary and gender-diverse people.

Apps you might find useful:


Felicity Wooden – Wellbeing Co-ordinator



Community News

Read Time: ( words)



Skip to content