Flu Attack workshop

On Wednesday, May 8, students studying Units 3 Biology travelled to La Trobe University in Bendigo to engage in a hands-on activity and use equipment not normally seen school. During the activity students gained an understanding of infectious diseases, influenza in particular. They used microscopy to identify cells of the immune system and learnt about ELISA, a routine technique used for diagnosis in pathology labs. Students also had an opportunity  to understand some of the wider applications of scientific research.

The school gratefully acknowledges the generosity of La Trobe University for providing this program free of charge for our students.

GTAC incursion

Specialist educators from the Gene Technology Access Centre presented three interesting and engaging activities for students on Wednesday, May 1st. Government funding enabled these sessions to be provided at no cost to students.

Grade 5 and 6 students from Rochester Primary School engaged with a real world problem and applied problem solving thinking strategies to create a digital solution. Students collaborated with peers and scientist mentors to explore the application of robotics in the expanding field of medical technologies.

Year 10 students investigated the cellular mechanism and inheritance of a genetically inherited disease, achondroplasia, through a case study of a family. They set up a restriction digest and used E-gels to perform a gel electrophoresis. They analysed the results to determine the genetic status of each family member.

Year 12 Biology students were immersed in an investigation of respiration as they explored a mitochondrial disease. They used a model they constructed to develop a theory as to how a faulty gene might disrupt respiration. They performed an experiment to test their hypothesis.

Feedback left by students rated the sessions very highly.

H R Westcott Oval

We have reinstalled the sign near our oval, the H R Westcott Oval was named in recognition of the contributions of Mr Ron Westcott to the Rochester School Council and the wider Rochester community.

An exert from the 1992 school magazine reads;

“The Rochester Secondary College oval bears the name H R Westcott Oval and is named after a gentleman who served on the School Council for twenty-six years including nineteen as chairman.

Mr Westcott was the Shire Secretary for our local shire for the record term of thirty four years. During that time he was  strong supporter of our school and was able to assist with its progress and development in many ways.

In later years, following his retirement, Mr Westcott was able to speak to groups of students  in relation to the history of the local area and, of course, this school.  He was a regular visitor at our annual Presentation Evening.

Mr Westcott was a long serving member of many organisations in this town including the Primary School Council, Hospital Board, Advance Rochester Association, Show Committee, Lions Club, Presbyterian Church, Local RSL Branch and the local Bowls Club.

The Campaspe News reported Mr Westcott’s passing with the words that he was a man “that more than any other, shaped Rochester’s post war history.” Mr Westcott was a long serving supporter of this school and we deeply regret his passing.”

Thank you – Campaspe Irrigation

A big thank you to Campaspe Irrigation for materials donated to support our VCAL PDS students Nash Hocking, Chase Lind and Mitchell Cricelli.  The irrigation equipment will be installed  in the vegetable garden to return it to a productive site for their Unit 1 project.  The produce grown in the garden will be used by the Canteen and Food Technology students.  Without the support of Campaspe Irrigation, this project would not have been possible.

Official Opening

Our new building was officially opened on Wednesday 13th March by Mr Mark Gepp – Minister VLC for Northern Victoria.  We enjoyed a magnificent morning, Koori Elder Mr Rick Ronnan and KESO Mr Howard Armstrong performed a traditional smoking ceremony to cleanse our school of bad spirits and to promote the wellbeing of people.  We welcomed a number of special guests including the Honourable Peter Walsh MP, Cr Leigh Wilson from Campaspe Shire, Anne Cunniff and Paul Hon representing Campaspe Loddon in North West Victoria Region for the Department of Education, Alan Darbyshire from the Rochester Business Network and the Bendigo Bank and Graeme Hodgens Principal of Rochester Primary School. 

 The morning provided our school community to show our appreciation to former Principal Bernie Altmann and Assistant Principal Barbara McCarty for their foresight, dedication, determination and commitment that has made this facility a reality.  Our School Captains Grace Bubb and Fraser Cleary, Sports Captain Yolanda Foley, Arts Captain Robert Bessell and SRC President Jessica Horkings were magnificent tour guides for our guests and helped cut the ribbon to officially open our building.


History Master Class

7A were fortunate to attend a History Master Class, where the students could ask questions to a real historian, our very own Mr Peter MacIver. Recently, the Year 7s have been investigating the differences between primary and secondary sources and learning how sources are used by historians.

Mr MacIver shared his story about how he worked as a historian, examining sources from Trove, national archives and family trees to help write a book about a famous Australian cricketer, Billy Murdoch. Mr MacIver shared some funny stories about Billy Murdoch and how he had uncovered them by asking the right questions. After the Master Class the Year 7s were keen to explore Trove, reading articles written around the time the first Australian Cricket team played. They uncovered facts about one of Billy’s team mates Harry Boyle, who is buried at the White Hills Cemetery. We would like to thank, Mr MacIver for talking to 7A and sharing his skills and passion with us. It was certainly a lesson we won’t forget.


ARTS Domain 2019

Rochester Secondary College Arts Domain started 2019 with a beautiful new Arts wing, that is spacious, filled with lots of natural light and inviting for students to use their imagination and to create art. With a Photography darkroom, ceramics/3D area and the most compact Art storeroom packed to capacity students have no excuse not to excel in their Art and Design studies.

Pictured are Year 11 students Emma Palmer, Casey Ryan and Year 10 student Bianca Gent. Continuing to display student work at Kits Kafe, Rochester on a monthly basis the display showcases the work that students create at Rochester Secondary College. This month is no exception. Emma exhibits a divine tonal portrait worked with greyed pencils, Casey’s dry point etching incorporates the beauty and intricacy of the human eye and Bianca’s digital photographs which incorporates the use of macro photography are innovative in subject matter and colour.

Next time when you are in town why don’t you pop into Kits Kafe, have a coffee and see the talent of Rochester Secondary College Art/Design students. Congratulations and well done Emma, Casey and Bianca. Whose work will feature next month?

Strategic Partners

We had a very successful meeting with our strategic partners at Elmore/Lockington/Rochester Community Bank Branches, we are very grateful for their ongoing support.  Our Campaspe Academy Sport (CAS) program would not be able to operate without this ongoing financial support.  We look forward to further developing this relationship and building the opportunities for our organisations to work together.


Year 10 Design It Make It

In a dual act of #waronwaste, Year 10 Design It Make It students have been upcycling men’s shirts into cutlery holders. Their fabulous, original designs – including this one by Bianca Gent – will ensure they can confidently say no to single use plastics (and paper serviettes!) when eating on the go.

This upcycle challenge has provided students with an opportunity to apply creative thinking and problem solving, whilst working through the design process and developing practical skills in cutting, ironing, pinning and sewing.

Design It Make It provides a pathway into VCE Studio Arts, Visual Communication Design and Product Design and Technology.


Bendigo Bank House Presentation

We saw the end result of a positive collaboration between Rochester Secondary College, the Elmore/ Lockington/ Rochester Community Bank® branches and Bendigo Health.

Year 8 students, Kody Lees, Josephine Brown, Isabella Miriklis and Aylee Treacy travelled to Bendigo along with Visual Arts teacher, Meg Doller and Assistant Principal Barbara McCarty to officially present two pieces of art to Bendigo Bank House.

The students and Ms. Doller had been approached last year to create art works which would bring the rooms at Bendigo Bank House to life and give patients and their families something vibrant and colourful to lift their spirits during their stay. The process then began of creating two multimedia pieces which represent aerial views of the Rochester, and the Elmore and Lockington, landscapes.

The four students worked on the pieces as a team, with Ms. Doller, in a “masterclass” during blocks of allocated time, to create the final masterpieces. The works now hang in the “Rochester Suite” and the “Elmore/Lockington Suite” of Bendigo Bank House.

Our students were interviewed and photographed by the media and provided with a special morning tea. “We are very proud of our students; their talents and the mature, respectful way in which they presented themselves. They were excellent ambassadors for our school,” said Mrs. McCarty.

Thanks must go to Tracie Kyne, Senior Branch Manager, and the Elmore, Lockington and Rochester Community Bank Branches for playing a major role in this collaboration and a big thanks to Ms. Doller for her assistance, guidance and inspiration.