VPC Newsletter - Term 3 2017

Term 3 has been a busy one for VPC!

We were delighted by the fantastic turnout at our 2017 Annual Seminar on September 1, which focussed on supporting young people's mental wellbeing in an increasingly connected world.

Many thanks to everybody who attended, as well as all those who made this seminar possible. We are most grateful to Brighton Grammar School for hosting us in their beautiful new Wellbeing Centre; to Sally Pryde of the Department of Education and Training; and to Tim Wilson, federal MP for the electorate of Goldstein, who officially opened the seminar and kicked the day off to a great start.

And of course, special thanks to all of our brilliant speakers: Christine Ireland, Josh Reid Jones, Dr. Glen Melvin, Martine Oglethorpe, Kylie Warry and Casper Pieters. 

Thanks also to everybody who made our screenings of the documentary Screenagers a sold-out success! We cohosted the nights as part of the Australian Parents Council's national Parentech Campaign. You can read more about it below, and find out about the Digital Detox and Healthy Habits program on the Parentech website.

And because we're fast approaching that time of year - be sure to save the date for our annual Christmas lunch on November 10 at Giorgios, on the corner of High Street and Glenferrie Road in Malvern. We'll have more details closer to the date.

The Department of Education needs your feedback

The Department of Education and Training and the Department of Health and Human Services are leading child wellbeing and safety information-sharing legislative reform work, and they are interested in hearing feedback from parent.

A consultation paper that provides information about the proposed legislative model is available. Please contact the VPC if you are interested in participating in this consultation paper and we will send it to you. The paper provides information about the proposed legislative model and asks a number of questions.

The submission deadline is 25 September, so if you're interested in taking part, please email us at vicpc@vicparentscouncil.vic.edu.au.

Tracy Robinson - Stress, exercise and relaxation

Dr Tracy Robinson is a senior research fellow at the Monash Centre for Health Research & Implementation. As a registered nurse and a doctor of psychology, she has extensive experience working in the field of mental health and supporting the wellbeing of young people. We’re most grateful to her for once again providing an article for this term’s newsletter.

We all have stress in our lives that comes from a variety of sources. At this time of year, many young people are preparing for exams and may become quite worried and anxious about their marks and final results.

Most of us tend to think of stress as a problem but it would be unrealistic to think we could live a totally stress free life. In fact, stress can work as a powerful motivator and if we did not have some in our lives we would feel bored and unchallenged.

However, if we have too much stress in our lives we can become ‘distressed’ and excessive or chronic stress can increase our risk for a host of health problems...

Continue reading

Schools, education and parenting news

  • How can parents best help their children with their schooling without actually doing it for them? Laura McFarland and Angela Fenton discuss the need to reimagine parents' roles in children's learning.
  • We’re always sharing news stories and articles of interest to parents on our Facebook page, so be sure to follow us there.

Some of  VPC Facebook page most reach postings this term

Government news

  • ACARA has released the preliminary summary results for the 2017 NAPLAN tests. While writing scores have shown a slight drop, the long-term data shows a positive trend, with improvements across all year levels since NAPLAN was introduced in 2008. Victorian students achieved the highest average score in 8 of 20 categories, more than any other state or territory.
  • The transition to online NAPLAN testing will begin in 2018 and take place over a three-year period. You can find more information about the change and what it means on the NAP website, here.
  • The Department of Education and Training has introduced a Literacy and Numeracy strategy to support teachers and schools in helping students to reach their full potential.
  • As part of its review of VCE special provision policies and procedures, the VCAA is seeking feedback through and online survey, which will be open until September 15. You can take part by clicking here.


  • This week was National Literacy and Numeracy Week, an annual event celebrating the importance of literacy and numeracy to future learning, life participation and work opportunities. Check out the website for some great learning activities and tips for parents!
  • The Learning Potential app is packed with helpful tips and inspiring ways you can be more involved in your child’s learning, from the highchair to high school.
  • Book your tickets now to attend Educhange, a week-long education festival in Melbourne from September 25-29. With its focus on innovation, diversity and practical tools for change, Educhange is offering a wide variety of free and paid events throughout the week.
  • VPC has an exciting range of programs available to members. Click HERE to take advantage of Successful LearningThe Resilience DoughnutEvery Chance to Dance, SAVV-I Digital Citizen eLearning and Parents and Schools Working Together.                             

VPC news

  • Screenagers: Along with the Australian Parents Council, VPC cohosted two sold out screenings of the movie Screenagers as part of the APC’s national Parentech campaign. We were thrilled by the big turnout, and it was great to see parents, grandparents, teens and tweens all getting involved in the Q&A sessions after the screenings. You can learn more about the film here, and about the Parentech campaign here.
  • DET School Education Roundtable: VPC joined representatives from the Department, Victorian parent bodies, VicSRC and the Principal Association in June to discuss current issues in education. Topics of discussion included the Department’s new Literacy and Numeracy project, ways that schools can support students with anxiety and provide the right advice to families, and ways of increasing students’ awareness of their rights and access to support services.
  • Congress 2017: The Victorian Student Representative Council held its annual Congress in July, with students from across the state coming together to debate and discuss solutions to the issues that matter to them and their education. VPC was delighted to attend the Congress’s Open Morning, where student delegates presented the outcomes of their discussions.
  • VCAA briefing: In September, VPC attended a Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority briefing, together with representatives from Parents Victoria and the Victorian Catholic Schools Parent Body. Topics discussed included the online NAPLAN trial, the ongoing review of VCE special provision policies and the VCE VCAL Administration Handbook (available here).
  • VPC General Committee: We are delighted to welcome Martine Oglethorpe as our newest committee member. Martine is an Accredited eSafety Presenter at the Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner and a mother to five boys, with a background in secondary education and a Master’s degree in counselling.
  • Save the date for our annual Christmas lunch on November 10 at Giorgios, on the corner of High Street and Glenferrie Road in Malvern. We'll have more details closer to the date.

Join the National Parentech Campaign, initiated and led by Australian Parents Council in collaboration with VPC and all States Affiliates. Please see website www.parentech.com.au


Successful Learning: Free online facilitator training

VPC is looking for people interested in taking part in a unique parent-to-parent training program that encourages and supports families to engage in their children’s early learning and literacy. Successful Learning: The Parent Factor is an evidence-based program developed by the Australian Parents Council to provide parents with the confidence and knowledge they need to support their children's education at home.

We are offering free facilitator training to parents, caregivers and school community members interested in helping deliver this valuable support to families. Whether you're an enthusiastic parent, teacher, childcare worker or teacher aide, we would welcome your involvement.

Training consists of a 3 hours' online study and a 3-hour practical and assessment, after which you will be qualified to deliver sessions as a paid facilitator.

If you or someone you know is interested, please email  vicpc@vicparentscouncil.vic.edu.au.