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Mansfield Secondary College was privileged to welcome the Minister for Education Hon James Merlino MP, to officially open the new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) building on Thursday March 14.

A crowd of several hundred people; students, staff, parents, friends, architects, builders and a media cohort, gathered for the ceremony.

At the Minister’s invitation, the whole student body counted in Indonesian to herald the cutting of the ribbon and unveiling of the plaque.

Both the opening and closing of the ceremony show-cased skills developed in Mansfield Secondary College’s outstanding Music program. The VCE band accompanied Allison Crawford, who sang several songs. Charlotte Howie and Sally Beautyman also performed musical items.

When welcoming Minister Merlino, Principal Mr Timothy Hall expressed excitement about the opportunities the new facility will provide, to deliver high end academic outcomes for students.

 ‘Maths, Science and Technology classes have already been held in the new, state-of- the art building since the start of the 2019 school year. When the second stage of the building is completed next year, there will also be state of-the-art facilities for teaching Creative Arts, Manufacturing and Design’, he explained.

Prior to declaring the new building open, Minister Merlino spoke at length with school captains, prefects and year 9 students Mitchell Russell, Max Bennett, Alicia Fox and Kate Thomson, about their school, tertiary education aspirations and career plans.

Year 12 prefect, Jacinda Dixon-Rielly later commented that in discussions with the Minister, students had explained that,

‘Mansfield Secondary College offers students a variety of unique opportunities, from the school music program to Agribusiness, the ski program, Mt Buller Annex, School Based Apprenticeships and a popular Indonesian language program from years 7-12. VCE Indonesian classes are currently studied by Distance Education. Hopefully, there will be Indonesian classes at VCE level soon.’

In his opening address Minister Merlino noted that the students had expressed their desire for more new facilities, to match the high quality teaching at Mansfield Secondary College.


Minister Merlino drew attention to the fact that students who are 15 years old now, can expect to have 17 jobs, across five different careers in their lifetime.

‘75% of our growth industries will need employees with Maths and Science skills,’ he said.

‘To grow those industries, employers will need people with skills in collaboration, leadership, initiative and innovation’.

Both Mr Hall and Mansfield Shire Council Mayor Mr Harry Westendorp highlighted the changing demographics of Mansfield.

Young families make up the biggest growth sector.

 According to Mr Hall, this has dramatic implications.

‘The number of students attending Mansfield Secondary College is predicted to grow from 440 this year to 770 by 2023. That is an extra 320 students.

So, we need to plan for a lot more facilities and more staff to cater for so many more students.’

Shire President Harry Westendorp highlighted how Mansfield Secondary College and Mansfield Shire Council enjoy a close working relationship for the benefit of the whole community.

‘Together, we provide shared facilities for the Secondary College, community groups and individuals. The Performing Arts Centre, owned by Mansfield Shire, is located on school land and the Shire’s Sports Stadium is extensively used by College classes. The school is an integral part of our community.’

If funding is provided for a second indoor basketball court, the Secondary College’s new basketball stadium will meet the burgeoning needs of not only schools, but also the community.


Team Churchill swam back into the record books at Mansfield Secondary College’s annual swimming carnival after temporarily giving up its triple crown to Landy in 2018. Led by stalwarts Cecelia Walker and Dylan Konig and ably supported by younger swimmers Amelie Walker and Archie Storer, Churchill was the team to beat from the opening race. The atmosphere at this year’s carnival was one of pure joy. The perfect summer weather, Lachie Edward’s excellent music play list and the natural enthusiasm of Mansfield’s young people all combined to make for a day of celebration. Whilst teachers Julie Anderson and Dallas Daniel had the younger students grooving to the music on the side of the pool, even staff members were seen shaking and moving to the beat.

Whilst the Year 12 group dressed up to enjoy their final swimming carnival, seasoned swimmers took to the pool and showed us their best. Hillary’s Tom Bolitho’s sublime butterfly has been one of the highlights of the swimming sports since he joined us four years ago. Fellow team mate Jamie Hickson’s races are always a ‘must see’ as he powers down the pool. The younger swimmers, many of them members of the Mansfield Swimming Club, thrilled spectators with their superior techniques and overall fitness. Bader team mates Anais Gould, Talia Appleton and Ruby Dobson as well as Hillary’s Josie Reid dominated many races. The Dean brothers, Seth and Ashton left many in their wake as they sprinted down the pool. Many of the younger students swam well above their age level supporting older team mates including Hunter Reeve, Eadie Lindsay, Jaycee Murphy, Chloe Cash, Oscar Clelland, Tom Fox, AJ Thomson, Adele Leon, Harry Purcell, Zac Empey, Lenni Pinder and Dan Young. However, the accolade for most races of the day goes to Archie Storer who seemed to be filling in for every boys’ race possible; a quiet night in the Storer household for sure!

One of the highlights of the day was the 20 year old girls’ butterfly race where school captain Tess Cunningham beat a field of inflatable toys including a duck and shark steered by competitors Chloe Garoni and Faith Howland. No records were broken but the girls certainly provided plenty of laughs with their various accoutrements such as rubber rings and angel’s wings.

Age championships were won by: 13 year old girls and boys – Josie Reid and Ashton Dean; 14 year old girls and boys – Talia Appleton and Seth Dean; 15 year old girls and boys – Amelie Walker and Billy Revell; 16 year old girls and boys – Cecelia Walker and Dylan Konig; 17 year old girls and boys – Grace Hood and Jamie Hickson; and 20 year old girls and boys – Belle Edwards and Tom Bolitho.

Only one new record was set, the boys’ 17 year old freestyle relay won by Hillary in a time of 1:25.56 (previously 1:25.72 set by Hillary in 2001).

In the overall championship, Churchill’s final score of 480 points convincingly surpassed its competitors, Hillary (457 points), Bader (429 points) and Landy (403 points).

The College’s captains and prefects supplied a delicious BBQ lunch for the participants, whilst sports captains ensured that their team members filled every race. Thank you to the parents who came to support their children, and to Sport’s Coordinator Ross Gray for another fine event in the Mansfield Secondary calendar.

Jane Herbert

With the second round of university offers now released, 94% of Mansfield Secondary College’s 2018 Year 12 cohort have received offers for their preferred courses for tertiary education. A substantial number of last year’s graduates are seeking careers in the health industry as midwives and nurses reflecting the caring and compassionate nature of many of the students, as well as in business and sports management.

Former College Captain, Ely Hardiman received her first preference in the first round of university offers and will commence a Bachelor of Business at Deakin University, Burwood this year. “I was very excited to receive an offer; beyond happy. I decided to do a business degree to build upon all the great opportunities I had at school to organise events.” Fellow Captain Nelle Cousins is “absolutely stoked” to be starting a Bachelor of High Performance Sport at the Australian Catholic University (ACU) this year which she hopes will lead her to a career as a strength and conditioning coach in a sporting club.

Tilly Appleby and Bec Watson are thrilled to be pursuing degrees in nursing. Both young women are taking a gap year before beginning their degrees by working in the local community. Bec has been accepted into Charles Sturt University in Albury to study nursing and midwifery whilst Tilly has been accepted into nursing at Latrobe University in Bendigo. For both women, the courses were their top preferences. “I’m very excited, this course was exactly what I wanted,” said Bec. As for Tilly, nursing has been her life-long goal. She completed a school-based apprenticeship as a Personal Care Attendant working at Bindaree and Buckland House whilst completing her VCE.

College dux Klodi Ward will begin a Bachelor of Nursing and Midwifery at Latrobe University, Bendigo this year having attained a number of scholarships to assist with her education. In particular, Klodi won the McPherson Smith scholarship, now known as ‘Youthrive’, which assists young people in rural areas. Klodi is very grateful for the assistance from college staff in helping her to secure these scholarships.

Ethan Lee has opted for a gap year in Mansfield whilst he weighs up his options. However, a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management at Charles Sturt, Albury is a likely choice for him.

In addition to those planning to attend university, a large proportion of students have attained apprenticeships and traineeships. Many of these students have completed TAFE courses whilst attending Mansfield Secondary College. Around the state, normal completion rates for TAFE courses are in the order of 40%. With our support structure, our students’ completion rate is close to 90%.

We are proud of our students and their wide-range of achievements across a range of academic, sporting and co-curricular areas whilst they are with us at Mansfield Secondary College. Of the cohort who graduated from Mansfield Secondary College in 2018, more than 90% of students have indicated to the College’s Careers Guidance staff that they are pursuing their preferred pathways in 2019. In recent years students have been accepted into a broad spectrum of courses across a wide range of tertiary institutions. Of the universities this year, Deakin, Australian Catholic University, Latrobe, Charles Sturt, Swinburne and Victoria University have been the preferred options.

Timothy Hall

Mansfield Secondary College’s annual Athletics Sport was held in perfect autumn weather on 8th March. Following Landy’s win in 2018, Team Hillary returned to triumph this year led by its senior boys Patrick Smith, Pat Mahoney, Huon Madden, Nick Watson, Colby Croxford-Demasi and Geordie McLennan who dominated many of their track and field events. Senior girls, Jacinda Dixon Rielly, Angela Polkinghorne and Belle Edwards were also strong, with younger students Tom Dunstan, Emily Gannon, Alicia Rowe, Bella Green, Hayley Cotterill, Tahlia Browning and Year 7 newcomers, Kevin Gannon and Charlotte Atherton also controlling many events. Team Bader was also strong, particularly in the younger age groups and will be a force in coming years; Bader’s last place in consecutive years from 2015 to 2018 a distant memory. Hillary finished with 736 points to Bader’s 674, followed by Landy (656 points) and in last place Churchill (593 points).

Competition was keen across all age groups with many students participating in track and field events. The sprint events provided many of the day’s highlights with students from years 7 to 12 vying for a top place. Bader youngsters Talia Appleton, Eadie Lindsay, Brayden Van Winden, Cody George and Year 7 newcomers, Hannah Allen, Indi Nicholls, Jack Marks and Max Mahoney led their team’s resurgence from the lower age groups, whilst veteran athletes Harry Mahoney, Cooper Fletcher, Chloe Rekers and Flynn Butterworth features in many races along with recent import Jai Alfonso-Hine. However, Landy and Churchill were not without their heroes with senior girls Hayley Buntman, Grace Hood and Maggie Worts all achieving age group championships, whilst Churchill’s Connor Humphrey, Lily Bennett, Dylan Konig, Kade Spencer, Mac Greene, Elise Empey, AJ Thomson and Charlie Stephens won a range of events. Many Year 7 students stepped up to compete with the older age groups, with Zoe Greene and Max Mahoney appearing in multiple events on the day.

A number of new records were set with Landy girls, Matisse Gardiner and Madi Cronin setting two records each. Year 7 students Charlotte Atherton and AJ Thomson each broke a record, with Charlotte breaking Matisse Gardiner’s 2017 girls’ 13-year-old High Jump record with a jump of 1.38 metres and AJ breaking the boys’ 13-year-old 800 metre record set by R Gronn in 1995 with a time of 2:44.63. Matisse Gardiner broke the girls’ 15-year-old high jump record set by Jessica Walker in 2004 with a jump of 1.55 metres as well as the girls’ 15-year-old 80m Hurdles record set by Simone McInnes in 2006 with a time of 14.08 seconds. Madi Cronin broke two shot put records: the girls’ 14-year-old record set in 2004 by Lauren Sanft with a throw of 10.32 metres, and the girls’ 15-year-old record set in 1993 by K Roberts with a throw of 10.16 metres. Further records in the girls’ competition for High Jump and Shot Put could fall in subsequent years as these two young women continue to mature as athletes.

Age championships were won by: 13 year old girls and boys – Hannah Allen and Kevin Gannon; 14 year old girls and boys – Talia Appleton and Brayden Van Winden; 15 year old girls and boys – Elise Empey and Cody George; 16 year old girls and boys – Chloe Rekers and Maggie Worts (joint winners) and Dylan Konig; 17 year old girls and boys – Grace Hood and Nick Watson, and 20 year old girls and boys - Hayley Buntman and Pat Mahoney. As a matter of note, Talia, Dylan and Grace also won their age group championships for swimming earlier in the year. Congratulations to Hayley Buntman and Pat Mahoney in their final athletics carnival. Hayley has been age champion each year since she joined Mansfield Secondary in 2016; this year was her fourth win. Pat’s win this year was his second after a win in 2016.

Congratulations to Team Hillary and all other competitors; a fantastic sporting event on a perfect autumn day. A big thank you to Ross Gray and his team for organising the event, and the College’s captains and prefects for running the BBQ which provided food, drinks and icy poles all day.

Jane Herbert


We have received the news that the nomination of former Mansfield Secondary College student, Tim Hume, was successful in participating in this year's Nobel Foundation Lindau meeting. Tim will spend a week with 42 Nobel Science Prize winners in Germany this July. Click on the below link for more details:

A great achievement, congratulations Tim.