Engineers Without Borders Workshops

On Thursday 25th of July Engineering students from the University of Melbourne and Engineers Without Borders came to Rochester Secondary College and ran workshops with the Year 7 and 8 students. The workshops were aimed at inspiring students about Humanitarian Engineering and Global Challenges such as water, sanitation, construction and climate change. The workshops were designed to develop problem solving and time management skills in students whilst also promoting careers in engineering and provided discussion around university pathways.

The students had to develop a house that was adapted to water changes due to climate change, they had a budget to buy equipment and a short time to build. Students whose houses successfully held the most marbles were the winners. All the classes had a great time with the activity and came up with some really creative and effective designs.

Engineers Without Borders is a volunteer-based organisation which promotes humanitarian engineering globally.


SRC Congress in Melbourne

On the 9th July, 2019  –  Haylee Banfield and I had the opportunity to attend the SRC Congress at Ormond College in Melbourne.

This Congress is basically a student led and student focussed conference. It brings together Secondary students from Year’s 7 to 12 form all around Victoria.

Haylee and I stayed at the College for three days and we loved every second of it, we would encourage everyone to participate if you get the opportunity, it was amazing experience.

We learnt how to have a say in what you would like to change in your schooling and  how to make school a better learning experience.

It honestly changed my life, I learnt so much from this experience and will definitely be going back in 2020.

By Georgia Matthews


 Year 11 Work Experience 

The Year 11’s have successfully completed their Melbourne Work Experience from 21st to 26th July, whilst staying South Yarra.   The students arrived eagerly on Sunday for the trip down to practise using Melbourne public transport before getting to work on Monday.  Monday saw 38 students head off to work with many needing to get up early with 9 out of the door by 7 am, the earliest few by 5am.  Students completed work experience across a range of areas including fitness, primary education, social welfare, building, real estate, hospitality, airplane maintenance, mechanics, golf courses, a specialist school, graphic design and others.

Feedback from our employers was very positive and allows the school to continue offering this program to future year 11’s.  Many of our work placements were cold calls by students in the past and such positive student experiences have turned these into regular arrangements and this year students continue with this tradition of impressing employers.  This year is no different. The camp offers more than just work experience, with students needing to budget and manage money for meals, deal with transport timetables, routes and delays.  Activities after work included going to the Queen Victoria Night Market, to the movies and shopping.

Thanks to all those staff and others involved in supporting this major undertaking especially Hayley Gray, Mr Gosai and Mrs Pelligrino who attended during the week.  Special thanks to Christine Hooppell and Mr Huddy who helped organise the placements and paperwork.

Matthew Callaway – Year 11 Coordinator

“I along with two other students completed our Work Experience at the Metropolitan Golf Club. We were lucky enough to experience a number of different tasks working alongside with the trained employees ranging from mowing and cleaning greens, cleaning bunkers, plantation and cutting new holes in greens.” Alex, Nash and Mitchell.

“I did my work placement at Global International Travel, a luxury travel agency in South Yarra. My time around the office was mostly spent filing and organising business cards, or holidays. I also observed the creation of clients’ itineraries and occasionally either making phone-calls or researching hotels in destinations such as Mykonos  –  Greece, Israel or Singapore. Everyone in the office was very friendly and welcoming which was great to ease the nerves on the first day. I enjoyed my time in Melbourne and at Global International Travel.” Emma

“During the week I completed work experience with Ubris. I enjoyed the experience and found it fun trying to find my way through Melbourne.” Rhys H

“We travelled to Melbourne to complete our Year 11 Work Experience in July. I was completing this at Cricket Victoria. I really enjoyed the week and it was a great experience. I enjoyed the freedom as we had a few hours every day to explore Melbourne and go out for dinner. Overall I thought it was one of the better camps I have been on and it was a great week.”  Charles R

“It was a good experience to live as a Melbourne person and work in an area where we are not familiar. Lots of people were nervous about finding their way and working with a team they have never worked with before. Overall the experience was amazing and it was good to get a taste of the city life for a week. If I had the chance I would do it again. I would encourage the Year 11s of 2020 and those students in the following years to take this opportunity and use it to their advantage. You will learn so much when you are participating in this camp. There are very few schools that give their students an opportunity like this one, we are fortunate to have the chance to attend the Work Experience Camp.” Rose McK


National School Trees Day

Rochester Secondary College participated in National Schools Tree Day on Friday 2nd of August.  Students wore green to show their support for the day and our environment.

Members of the RSC Student Green Team who are working to promote sustainability at the College along with students from 7B planted 100 native plants and trees around the ground to increase biodiversity.

Students participated in a lunchtime art activity painting trees and others watched the movie “The Lorax” about protecting the environment.

Many thanks to Rochester Nursery and the Shire of Campaspe who provided the native seedlings for our planting day.

CyberCop visits Rochester Secondary College

We were lucky enough to host Susan McLean – Cybercop at our school.  All students had the opportunity to hear her speak about the dangers of social media and the internet.  Susan reinforced “You are not a number of likes and no one is ever going to know anymore because likes are now hidden”.   Susan stressed to the students to be aware of their online presence and the footprint they leave behind.  Susan’s number one tip was “you do not talk to people you do not know in real life.  You wouldn’t talk to a stranger in the real world, so don’t talk to them online.”

Susan was able to use real-life examples to explain the many dangers to the students and she also stated the legal precedents that had been set.  It was explained that by standing by – or being a part of a group chat – where inappropriate things were said, that you are guilty by association.  Her parting line to the group was “No-one at school or at home or in the wider community has a right to harm you in any way, shape or form. You have got to be prepared to speak up.  Set the bar high.  And do not tolerate behaviour that is disrespectful, harmful and illegal.  Because you are better than that”.

“I thought it was very interesting that some of the things you would think are innocent acts that you do on social media or towards another person on the internet, can lead to serious charges and crimes, no matter who you are. I also found it very sad that the leading cause of death for young Australians is suicide and 80% per cent of that is caused by some type of bullying. Even the smallest things by even liking, sharing or commenting on someone’s social media post, can affect the person’s mental health, self-confidence and worth greatly as well as the people around them who are involved”.

Denvah Matthews


Vehicle Maintenance Tutorial

On Monday 3rd June Matthew Coghill gave his presentation about basic car maintenance. Our group braved the chilly winds of the College’s rear carpark so that Matt could take us through the basic checks required to keep a vehicle running smoothly. His own perfectly maintained vehicle was brought in so that the class could see how it’s done, including the fitting of extra features such as lights.

Matt then took the class through the process of locating the correct oil and other products for specific vehicles. He provided a great deal of information in simple and easy-to-understand language and answered a wide range of questions with patience and confidence.

As he plans to work in the automotive industry, Matt’s ability to communicate with customers will be a crucial skill in his working future. The success of this session made it clear to everyone that he has excellent communication skills, even though he often prefers to remain quiet in class.

Ruth Borger, VCAL Coordinator


Murray River Culinary Challenge Round 1

What an amazing group of students we have representing Rochester Secondary College in VET Hospitality.

They were well equipped to hold their own at the first round of the Murray River Culinary Challenge. Each student had to present a three course meal to be judged on the following criterias: presentation, taste and seasoning. The students were also judged on how well they worked in the kitchen and how well they worked to a plan.

Some amazing dishes were presented with two top scoring students  from each school chosen to represent their school at the regional finals in August.

Congratulations to Casey Ryan and Jasmin Malham (both pictured left) who will be our representatives.

Colin Huddy Careers Coordinator


Amplifying Student Voice

On Monday the 17th of June, Emily Giffin and I attended a workshop called ‘Amplifying Student Voice’ which was held at the All Seasons in Bendigo. It was great to hear from other schools and meet new people with some wonderful ideas. There were both Primary and Secondary schools present and everyone spoke with confidence. Learning new things was exactly what we did!!

We learnt the importance of the students’ voices and the convenient and not-so-convenient ways that students speak up. ‘Convenient’ covered data from surveys, speaking up or anonymous messages in school mailboxes; ‘inconvenient’ could be graffiti, going on strike or behaving badly. Although the inconvenient way is not always the right way to go about sharing your voice, it should still be listened to as it is still the expression of student voice.

We also talked about collecting data, on any idea or suggestion we would like to try, using a model called ALTER (Ask, Listen, Think, Enact, Reflect). This is a useful tool that will be extremely helpful for our school, along with all of the other great tips and ideas we brought back with us.

Our school will use this advice to keep ideas coming out stronger and turning up the volume on student voices. Overall it was a great day!

Jasmin Malham, SRC Executive 2019



Year 7 Creations

Year 7 Integrated Technology students in 7B and 7C made pencil holders. Students were given a design brief and asked to design their own model considering the type of animal, how many pencil holes to include and the type of surface decoration that they would incorporate.

Mr Mackay and Ms Nichol are particularly proud of their Year 7 classes and congratulate the students on their and creativity.

VCAL Out and About

After lots of planning and organising around everyone’s work placements, last week Stacey Sanders’ project took place at REDHS in the aged care section. With lots of help from Deb and the rest of the wonderful staff there, our class took seven batches of gingerbread dough to the hostel. Stacey read the story of the Gingerbread Man to the residents, who then set to work with our class.

We returned three days later to ice and decorate the many gingerbread people. Deb said the whole facility filled with the wonderful scent of them cooking – and that was one less job for us! There were lots of stories about biscuit making and other baking; all in all it was a relaxing and fun way to spend time with the older generation. We thank Heather Watson for helping out, Heather Matthes for driving and everyone at REDHS (Rochester and Elmore District Health Service) for making us so welcome.

Stacey Sanders & the Year 12 VCAL class