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From the Principal


Hands Up!  Help Out!

The Planning Days at the commencement of the year offered staff an opportunity to reflect on their work as individuals and as a staff team. During these planning days we focused on our College strategy for 2016 – 2020, the ingredients of a deliberate start to the year and how we could serve our students, parents and colleagues in the best possible way.

As I indicated at our Opening Assembly, this year the Australian Catholic Bishops have declared a special year of youth. As part of celebrating the gifts and talents of youth and their leadership potential, we are asking all our community to think about how they can put their hands up and help out.

This theme for the year came from Noel Bull, one of our 2017 Shining Lights; people who are part of our extended school community, and who provide inspiration for us about the way we can lead our own life. 

To hear more about Noel’s thoughts, have a look at this short video here

With the understanding that at Tenison Woods College every learner has a place, every learner has a pathway and every learner will shine, we will continue our deliberate attention to the 2016 – 2020 Strategic Plan, with the foundational areas of endeavour:

  • Catholic Identity and Mission
  • Excellent Learning Experiences – Rigorous, Challenging, Student Focused
  • Proactive Wellbeing Initiatives
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Community Development
  • Ecological Stewardship and Sustainability
  • School Renewal and Staff Development
  • Student Voice and Leadership


Zayed Future Energy Prize – The Journey Begins

Fresh from our representation at the Zayed Future Energy Prize Final and Sustainability Week, Tom Linnell, Dylan Leadbetter and Jean-Claude Cesario have returned with wonderful connections, ideas and aspirations (

Selected as a finalist from across Africa, The Americas, Asia, Europe and Oceania for the 2018 Zayed Future Energy Prize from 2,296 entries from more than 112 countries worldwide was a wonderful experience for our community. However, there is much for us to do now, to

do our small part in addressing climate change, renewable energy education and sustainability. 

I am delighted that last year the College Board endorsed the establishment of the Tenison Woods College - Renewable Energy Education and Sustainability (TREES) Academy to be established by 2020. The TREES Academy will aim to provide authentic learning and educational outcomes, primarily focusing on clean, green energy production, and creating pathways to industry. This further supports the College's ambition to not be reliant on the grid by 2030 and a leader of sustainable education, both at a national and international level.

As a school we plan to make a real contribution towards a more sustainable environment by:

  1. incorporating renewable energy education and sustainability as a focus area of learning and practice.
  2. addressing energy consumption across the school in an innovative, collaborative, fun and transparent manner.  

The first point is vital as we view the youth of today as our hope to help address the major challenges our planet faces.


Targets for Our Community

I am also pleased that we as a community are evolving targets in relation to our ecological footprint; deliberate commitment from the community that supports our aspirational and futures oriented thinking.

Two initial targets are:

  •             30% reduction in paper and printing in 2018.
  •             40% decrease in 2019 booklist costs to families.


I look forward to the community’s efforts and creativity in achieving those targets.

Hands Up Parents and Carers!

As part of our commitment to foster positive parent relationships within our school community, Tenison Woods College will be introducing a Parent Teacher Association (PTA) in 2018 and will also reinvigorate the Class Parent Representative Program. To facilitate these new groups, we are pleased to welcome College parent, Aleathia Holland. Details on what is involved and how to join these groups are detailed below and we ask you to seriously consider joining at any capacity you can.


Parent Teacher Association

As mentioned in a letter that was emailed to families, I urge parents and carers to consider being part of the TWC PTA, which will be led by Aleathia Holland, a parent within our College community who is passionate about involving new and existing families in College based events and fundraisers. Aleathia is eager to get the PTA up and running during term 1 and invites any parents, carers, grandparents and staff to contact her if they are interested in joining the group in any capacity. Aleathia can be contacted via email at:

A meet and greet will be occurring at the Tenison Woods College Reception – Year 12 Information Evening on Monday 12 February. Aleathia will be located in the PRC Common room from 5.30pm to meet with interested parents/carers. A PTA Facebook group will be launched in the coming weeks and will be the main source of communication, as well as a platform for ideas and sharing events occurring within the college.


Parent Representatives

We are looking for interested parents who would like to become a Parent Representative of their child’s class, for classes in Reception through to Year 9.

Parent Representatives will assist the classroom teacher in welcoming families to the class and the school. They will also be involved in liaising with families and the teacher to facilitate strong communication, providing a sounding board for parents in relation to questions or concerns they may have about their child’s learning and wellbeing. A Parent Representative may facilitate or coordinate gatherings for parents and families in the spirit of strengthening positive relationships. 

Aleathia Holland will also manage the Parent Reps for each class and will facilitate the setup and management of closed Facebook groups which will be used to communicate between parents and the teacher of each class. Although we aim for the Facebook page to be the main platform for communicating, email will also be used as a form of communication.

If you are interested in becoming a Parent Representative for your child’s class, please contact Aleathia at:

So hands up parents and carers!  We need your help!


Standing on the shoulders …

During our days of preparation we acknowledged the committed service of the following staff:

10 years of service

Ciaran Buckley                     Vanessa Courtney
Bernadette Fisher                Colin Langford
Mali Edwards                        John MacGregor
Amanda Sinkunas               Joanne Maclean     
Marian Baker                        Sean Quirke
Francine Bannister

20 Years of Service

Adam Taylor
Ursula Ridnell
Nicole Mitchell
Vicki Gleed

30 Years of Service

Chris Lloyd
Annie Clifford
Tory Brett

We greatly appreciate the impact that the above staff have had on the story and culture of the Tenison Woods College learning community and so we acknowledge their contribution with deep appreciation and admiration.  


Renewal Study Leave During 2018

I inform the community that this year I will be completing Principal’s Renewal Leave and completing research in the area of Wellbeing and Resilience under the auspice of Catholic Education South Australia and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI). The research “Positive Education in school communities on scale and over time. What makes it stick?” will consider Positive Education in school communities which have successfully implemented wellbeing and resilience strategies across their whole community, to ascertain what measurable and sustained impacts the application of positive education has had on teacher, student and parent wellbeing behaviours.


To complete the research I will be absent from school during the following periods:

  •             19 February – 2 March
  •             14 May – 8 June
  •             13 August – 7 September
  •             15 October – 26 October

I am delighted and very appreciative that our talented Deputy Principal, Liza Couzens, has agreed to act as Principal during these periods. I trust students, staff and families will offer Liza your characteristic support and enthusiasm to ensure success for all during this year.  


Positions of Responsibility

I offer congratulations and thanks to staff who have taken on new challenges in positions of responsibility this year. I thank staff who offered their talents last year in relation to Positions of Responsibility and I trust the staff who are taking on roles this year for the next two years will build on their predecessor’s efforts in a way that offers our community significant security, creativity and opportunity. 

David Mezinec | Principal