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Friday 31 July

Jnr & Snr Girls Footy


Monday 3 August

Staff Personal Development Day (Student Free Day)


Wednesday 12 August

Careers in Agriculture 'Taster Day'


Thursday 13 August

Year 11 & 12 Parent-Teacher Interviews 4.30 - 6.30pm.


Monday 17 August

Year 12 Parent Forum 6.00  -  7.00pm in the Library


Wednesday 26 until Friday 28 August

Year 10 Camp


Tuesday 1 September

Immunisations  -  Year 7 & 9 students


Monday 7 September

Year 7 Health & Wellbeing Day


Wed 9 Thurs 10 & Fri 11 September

2015 School Production

"The School Banned"


 Friday 18 September

Last day of Term 3




















Ex-student Returns for Teacher Placement




Ex-student  returns for teacher placement  Sarah Whitworth  OBS 072215




Rarely do students have the chance to see their school from the teacher’s perspective. However, for ex-Portland Secondary College student Sarah Whitworth, the opportunity to learn the craft from the very people who educated her has been grabbed with two hands.Currently studying a double degree in Arts and Education at LaTrobe University, the third-year student will spend three weeks learning as much as she can from new colleagues. "I’ve enjoyed coming back to my old school. I’m learning a lot from my old teachers. I am enjoying seeing things from a different perspective."Working alongside the likes of experienced teachers such as Jill Perkins, as well as the younger teachers like Tom Cain, has given Miss Whitworth insight on working in a government school."My last placement was at Parade College in Bundarra, which is a large, private all-boy school. To go from there to Portland Secondary College is very different."Miss Whitworth noted that knowing her way around the school made the transition from ex-student to student-teacher a lot easier too."It’s been really good to come back because you get a better understanding of what you may have been like as a student," she said. Assistant Principal Jo Logan said it is always an honour to have past students back at the school, especially in a teaching capacity."It’s great to have her back. It’s always good to have old students back and see things from the other side.

Hopefully, we can entice a few of them to come back and teach here too."A graduate of the Future Leaders of Industry program, Miss Whitworth was awarded the Helen Handbury Leadership Award in 2011 and was awarded $5000 of funding towards an international trip to experience community development in another culture.Upon completing the second semester, she plans on visiting Nepal to undertake six weeks of volunteer teaching with Global Vision International."I chose Nepal for a few reasons. After everything that had happened this year, they need all of the volunteers and tourism that they can get. "Upon coming back from the once-in-a-lifetime trip, Miss Whitworth plans on completing her final placement at an Indigenous school, possibly in the Kimberly region of Western Australia. 


To download a pdf of this article click here.


Photo courtesy of The Portland Observer.



Reengagement Program receives ACTON Grant



Although the Portland Secondary College Re-Engagement Program has had to move out of YMCA Community House, the sale of building has benefited the program in another way – with grant funds previously allocated for maintenance now to be directed to funding student placements. The Portland YMCA, together with the re-engagement program, applied for an ACTON grant from Portland Aluminium to paint the Community House, and were given US$3000 for the project. The project was put on hold due to the high cost of the maintenance and painting. In this time, Portland Aluminium put the project up for the Alcoa Foundation’s Special ACTON grant and was successful in receiving a further US$10,000 for the project.However, before the maintenance started it was announced the YMCA would be putting the house up for sale. "After discussions, it was decided the YMCA would keep the money in trust for the re-engagement program to use when needed," Portland Aluminium community relations officer Anna Impey said."Portland Aluminium acknowledged the circumstances had changed dramatically from the original brief, and after talks with Chris Thomas from the re-engagement program, we came to the conclusion the money would be best spent on sponsoring placements to the program, and Portland Aluminium would still up hold their volunteering commitment when the school found a new premises. "To sponsor a placement is a fantastic initiative and ties in with Portland Aluminium’s Education, Opportunity and Leadership strategy."


Reengagement Program YMCA  Funding


To download a pdf of this article click here.


 Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.



Mathematics Perfection




Mathematical Perfection  Obs 0626125




A perfect score is quite a rare achievement; 15-year-old gymnast Nadia Comăneci was awarded a perfect 10 at the 1976 Olympics, and Cy Young pitched a perfect game of baseball in 1904 at age 37.Portland Secondary College student Zak Heppenstall is another person whose achievement will be talked about for years to come, after being the only student to record a perfect score in the Computational and Algorithmic Thinking (CAT) competition this year."I am pleased with my result. It was the best possible outcome," said Zak, 16.Zak beat out 8000 specialist maths students from Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and China and did not study for the test; the only preparation he undertook was a pre-test.The CAT competition is a one-hour problem-solving competition that seeks to identify computer programming potential.There are six multiple choice questions and nine more challenging questions where an integer constitutes the solution to a problem."We presented Zak with the opportunity; he accepted it and took it from there," said Senior Maths coordinator Dale England. "It’s an outstanding individual achievement.""When I asked Zak whether he still wanted to utilise the remaining 10 minutes of his hour-long competition, he replied, No. I think I have done enough."


To download a pdf of this article click here.


Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.





Andrew Jack Trust Portland Reengagement Program Donation






Andrew Jack Trust Portland Re-Engagment Program donation  Observer 050615


The weight has been lifted from the shoulders of the Portland Secondary College’s re-engagement program, albeit temporarily, with the announcement of $100,000 in funding from the Andrew Jack Trust.The 11th-hour reprieve saves the program from imminent closure, securing the positions of 40 students until the end of 2016.Trustee for the Andrew Jack Trust, Portland lawyer Pat Howman, said the re-engagement program was a worthy cause, having seen first hand the effects of disengaged youth."In my role as a lawyer I’ve often seen the impact of kids dropping out of school.


This program tries to bring them back on track for a more positive outlook," Mr Howman said."From a personal view, I understand the importance of the re-engagement program. You don’t want to see people fall through the cracks."Mr Howman said that if the re-engagement program were to close, the prospects of the young students could be dire."How much does it cost the community if there’s no re-reengagement program? If you think about it, it costs more than $100,000 per year to hold someone in prison, so this is money well spent."While visiting the re-engagement program’s Glenelg St centre on Monday, Mr Howman said he hoped the one-off grant would help the secondary college find sustainable funding."I believe the government should fund this type of program for the benefit of local society in general; it shouldn’t have to rely on a charitable organisation," he added."Hopefully this will show the level of local support and need for the program and convince the government to provide ongoing funding."With the program funded for now, supporters are not under the illusion that the program is permanently saved; school principal Toni Burgoyne said the program could still close if long-term support is not found in the next year."It’s great to have this support; however, work still needs to be done to ensure the future sustainability of the program," said Mrs Burgoyne.


"It is now funded to December 2016 but unless we can secure recurrent funding for years to come from the government, we will be in the same position and by July next year will again have to make a decision on its future."It’s clear that this is a stop-gap measure and a one-off grant to help us pursue sustainable funding."Mrs Burgoyne said the school council was continuing to pursue discussions with the Victorian Government to secure ongoing funding."We believe this program is essential considering the high level of disengagement in the Portland community. We’ve made great headway in addressing this important community problem since it was established in 2011, and would hate to see that good work undone because we don’t have any ongoing surety in our school budget."


The Andrew Jack Trust was set up after the death of Portland identity Andrew Jack in 2011. It has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to Portland health and education needs.


To download a pdf of this article click here.


Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.



Reengagement Program Partnership with United Way Glenelg


Re-Engagement Program Partnership with United Way Glenelg Obs  June 2015


United Way Glenelg will continue its strong association with the Portland Secondary College’s Portland Re-Engagement Program by administering all funds raised for the innovative Support a Student Placement Initiative.


Launched last year, the scheme encourages individuals and businesses to pledge to support a local student to continue their education at the Re-Engagement Program.Key partner Anne Murphy from the Glenelg and Southern Grampians Local Learning and Employment Network encourages individuals or families to donate to the scheme, contributing whatever amount they can."It’s a great opportunity for groups of people to get together to sponsor a placement between them, and all donations are eligible for a Tax deductible donation," said Ms Murphy.United Way Glenelg executive officer Nicole Angelino said that taking on the administration of the funds raised was a practical way for United Way Glenelg to support the positive work being done by the Re-engagement Program."At United Way Glenelg we believe that education is a crucial building block for a good life. The Portland Re-Engagement Program is to be congratulated on their hard work re-engaging local young people in education."Ms Angelinio added that United Way Glenelg is thrilled to be able to support the program, and believes it is a great example of what the community can achieve by working together. The Re-Engagement Steering Committee, together with the College Council, developed this initiative as a short term funding solution while lobbying continues to the government to improve funding models for alternative settings."We hope that the government will reaffirm its commitment to young people of our region by securing ongoing funding for this vital program," College Council president, Karensa Smith said.For more information on the Support a Student Placement Initiative contact Nicole Angelino on 0410 51 3305 or via This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Vicki Taylor at Portland Secondary College on 55231344 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


To download a pdf of this article click here.


Photo courtesy of the Portland Observer.



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