Profile of past student, Emily Huglin.


Emily is the eldest of three children of Frank and Anne-Maree Huglin. She started at Hawkesdale P12 College in Prep in 1999 and graduated from Year 12 in 2011. Emily recalls some memories from her time at school:

  • Sitting in the rotunda, having crazy conversations with friends at lunchtime that had you laughing so hard you were crying
  • Going on camps every year (I discovered at uni that this wasn’t the case for most schools)
  • Mitchell winning swimming and athletics every year! Go Mitchell!
  • Getting the opportunity to travel on a plane for the first time and travel overseas
  • Performing in Snowdrop (the play)…. as the Prince!
  • The competitive games of 4-square at recess and lunch
  • Making friends that will last a lifetime

Emily chose English, Maths Methods, Further Maths, Studio Arts, Chemistry and Biology in her VCE years, both for enjoyment but also because some were requirements for the area I wanted to further study at university. She undertook Further Maths in Year 11 as an extra unit 3/4 subject. This ensured she would have an extra subject for her ATAR whilst also providing a good opportunity to experience a Year 12 subject and the amount of work required to be successful in obtaining a high result. This gave her experience in undertaking VCE exams in the exam hall and under strict conditions. She found it valuable in giving her an indication in how much time, effort and work was needed to do well in individual subjects and in year 12 overall. Emily also chose a subject for enjoyment:

“Studio Arts was more or less an outlet for me during a very full-on, studious VCE period. I was able to explore a more creative side and it allowed me to focus on achieving an end-product during the year; with less focus on the end of year exam. It was however my most stressful, tedious and time-consuming subject. I spent lots of hours during the year trialing different techniques, researching, creating my final pieces of artwork and putting together a folio that I was happy with. It was hard work but it was also my favourite subject – one that I was happy to put lots of my time into. If you enjoy being creative or want a relief from your typical maths and science subjects then I definitely suggest looking at an art subject – just be prepared to work as hard as, or harder, than your other subjects; it certainly isn’t a bludge subject.”

Though I wasn’t the biggest fan of science during my earlier schooling years, I did enjoy being exposed to Biology and Chemistry in my Year 10 Science classes. This led me to choose both Chemistry and Biology for VCE, of which I enjoyed both classes. They were also a part of the requirements to get into a science degree at university; of which I continued to study both subjects throughout my university degree.”

“Maths Methods was also another requirement of many university degrees, including science and animal-based degrees. Methods was certainly harder than Further Maths but generally had a greater adjusted study score – balancing them out much more. I also enjoyed maths during my schooling.”

“English is a compulsory subject, however it was also a nice change from the maths and science subjects I did. It is certainly an important subject and one that you should want to do well in. Even though the specific content and textbooks may not be applicable to many fields or degrees, the basis of the subject and the ability to write essays definitely comes in handy at university – no matter your course.”

After finishing school, Emily moved to Melbourne to study a Bachelor of Science at The University of Melbourne, Parkville campus. She majored in Animal Science and Management and graduated in 2014. She spent two years living on campus at St Hilda’s College, in Parkville, and for the final year of her degree lived in a house in Brunswick. She says both experiences were incredible – “Living on campus is a great way to meet new people, make good friends and enjoy a less-stressful first year at university whilst moving into a house provided me with more independence and freedom.”

Emily is currently employed as an Animal Health Officer (AHO) with DEDJTR (Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources) in the Animal Health and Welfare Branch. She is based in the South-West region, working from the Hamilton office. She started the job in April 2015, after completing her Bachelor’s degree at the end of 2014. There are four key components to her role as an AHO. Firstly, there is animal disease surveillance and response. She works alongside vets and AHOs to prove disease freedom and responds to any disease outbreaks or suspect cases.

She also has an emergency preparedness and response role, attending fires and conducting stock assessments, inspecting stock for burns and other associated injuries. The third key role is animal welfare. She responds to animal welfare complaints about livestock and aims to ensure farmers and those in the industry adhere to the animal welfare standards and legislation.

The final component refers to regulation and compliance. She spends time at saleyards, ensuring tagging and other compliance standards are being met.

Her job is extremely variable, with plenty of travelling, but she loves not knowing what she is going to do at work each day. Every situation is different and a growing part of the job is extension and education. Spending time at the saleyards or on-farm with farmers, agent and people alike is a great part of the job.

Emily’s advice to current students is to take every opportunity that comes your way, and give things a go.

“As a student at Hawkesdale College I was always encouraged to participate in sporting activities, go to conferences, enter public speaking contests, choir groups, go on school trips interstate and overseas or be a part of the SRC and school-run events. Being a small school, the attitude was generally to have anyone and everyone join in where possible and participate, or at least express interest in participating.”

“This attitude is something that I developed at school and have continued to live by. Throughout college and university, I put my hand up for a number of different sporting teams and activities, participated in the college musical, attended social functions, took advantage of the tutor and study groups available and took on both a mentor and mentee role with a leadership group.

It is these extra things that make life what it is, and you never know how an experience or opportunity may evolve further. I got to experience life on stage during the musical, received career and university advice during my mentoring and study/tutor groups, was a part of the college premiership netball team, travelled overseas numerous times and made many new life-long friends in the process.”

“I was lucky enough that Hawkesdale College were able to provide me with so many different opportunities as a student – this often isn’t the case at many other schools with larger student numbers. I also know that these opportunities dry up as time goes on, so take them while you can! It may be that one thing you do or sign up for that makes a difference in you getting a job, meeting your best friend or discovering something that you love.”

“Don’t get caught up about knowing or not knowing what you want to do after school. The next few years should be about exploring your options, experiencing life and any opportunities that might come your way and discovering who you are and who you want to be. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted after school – go to Melbourne, study my science degree, then do the post-graduate Veterinary course and become a vet. In the end I finished my science degree, declined a veterinary science offer and decided to have a year off working in any field, save money and possibly go travelling. By pure chance I saw the Animal Health Officer role advertised, so applied and was lucky enough to get the job. Now I’m working in a field that I enjoyed studying at university, but had never thought twice about before.”

“Ultimately, don’t back yourself into a corner. Explore all that is offered and keep an open-mind – you never know where you can end up and what you might actually enjoy. Also, Year 12 comes and Year 12 goes – once I was at uni, no one cared about scores and ATARs. Aim for your best. Aim for a score to get you where you want to be but remember that in a few years it won’t matter anyway. You can always take another path if you don’t get what you want or need! It’s certainly not the end of the world! The other bit of advice I have is that don’t feel pressured to go to university or undertake further study. You don’t need a university degree to be successful!”

“If you know what you want, go for it. If you don’t know, develop a plan that will help you discover what it is that you want. You’ve got a lifetime to work, so take your time to find the right life for you.”

Thanks Emily for sharing your experiences and advice for students and we wish you continued success in your field. If any past students of Hawkesdale College are interested in contributing to this project, please contact Britt Gow at school or by email: brittgow(at)

Remembrance Day – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month

remembrance day ceremony

Today the entire school walked to the Reflection Space in the centre of Hawkesdale. A number of community members, including local council member, Jim Doukas, and staff and students from the Pre-School also attended.

The Moyne Shire Youth Councillors capably led the service, which included:

  • Recitation of ‘In Flanders Fields‘ poem
  • A commemorative address
  • Laying of the wreaths
  • Ode to the Fallen
  • The Last Post led into the one minute’s silence, followed by the Rouse.
  • The Australian flag was lowered as Ode to the Fallen was played and raised again as The Last Post was played.

student leaders and flowers

kinder kids

Maker Spaces in our own Backyard!

cubby 2

Primary school children have been busy making all manner of huts and cubbies with natural materials found around our beautiful school grounds. Students have shown spontaneity,  high skill levels and creativity to create wonderful structures that can be ‘lived’ in. Take a look at some of the images below to see this great play time activity.

one cubby

Girls Football

the team

Last Friday saw the VCAL students organise a Girls’ Football match as part of their studies. Girls from Year 7 through to Year 12 formed two teams and under the guidance of two VCAL umpires played an afternoon match. Surprisingly for many, the girls were quite skilled and an enjoyable game was held. The oval was quite muddy after the recent rains and rain fell in the last quarter but this did not deter the girls from their enjoyment and involvement.

Well done to all concerned!

kicking the footy shannon

Melbourne Work Experience

work experience

Year 11 students are currently undertaking a two week program of work experience. The majority of students are working in Melbourne. For many this means exposure to a ‘whole new world’! The city is so different to the country. Students have to be able to self navigate themselves to work catching a variety of transportation – trams, trains, buses and walking. They are exposed to many different cultures and types of food. Budgets are limited so keeping their finances in order is a priority and finding healthy but cheaper eats essential!

There are night activities to undertake – exploring the nature of the Melbourne CBD, ice skating, lighting festivals, public gallery walks in the laneways, the movies, risk taking by going out on “The Edge” at the top of Eureka Sky Deck and so much more.

A variety of work experiences have been organised for these students giving them a taste of what big cities offer, as exposure to a variety of businesses and occupations, is limited in small country towns or rural areas.

Anzac Day Ceremony


IMG_1061Our  ceremony began with our two junior school captains carrying the Australian Flag across the stage, draping it over the steps leading up to the stage and then standing beside the flag.

The program was as follows:

    1. Welcome and introduction by Mr Ralph
    2. ANZAC Requiem (In memory of the Fallen) presented by Ruby and Elektra
    3.  P-6 students, then 7-12 students/staff/parents came forward to lay their flowers on the flag –  symbolic of the beauty that exists in the world around us, and of respect to those who are no longer able to enjoy that beauty.
    4. Sarah  read The Ode (traditional element of every ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremony;They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
      Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
      At the going down of the sun and in the morning
      We will remember them.
    5. Students listened to the Last Post, then observed one minute of silence – heads bowed –  at the conclusion of the Ode)
    6. REVEILLE  was played as heads were raised … note that flags are raised to full mast at this point in proceedings
    7.  Kailyn  – recited ‘In Flanders Fields’ (poetry is another traditional element of every ANZAC Day and Remembrance Day ceremony):
    8. The Classroom Work was demonstrated (see below)
    9. Closing remarks by principal Colan Distel explaining the significance of the Lone Pine and the tree that has been donated to the school by the Moyne Shire


P/1       Mrs Davey                           Poppies … students place on stage Explanation by HARRISON

1/2       Mrs Brown                           Soldiers and writing pieces … class will hold up Explanation by REGAN or TYSON

3/4       Mr Huglin                            Gallipoli mural … class holds up Explanation by class

4/5       Mrs McCartney                   Cardboard wreaths … displayed Explanation by BAILEY

5/6       Mrs Butters                          School Honor Roll; ex-scholars and local

Hawkesdale residents who enlisted in the Great War … students read out individual biographies of those included on the roll; play Thalia Ubergang’s PhotoStory about the Gallipoli Landings

Please listen to the research from our year 5 and 6s


School Anzac Day Commemoration

150 poppies made by the students

150 poppies made by the students

In this centenary of the Gallipoli Landing, our school will hold an ANZAC Day commemoration on Friday, April 24th. The commemoration will be held in the College stadium beginning at 10:15am. Students from a number of year levles will be involved in public speaking at this event and a range of classroom work will be on display during the course of the commemoration.

Students are invited to bring a flower or a posy of flowers from home, to be laid on the Australian flag during the course of our school ceremony. These flowers will be collected following the commemoration and then presented and laid at the Hawkesdale Memorial Hall during the ocmmunity ANZAC ceremony to be held at 6am on Saturday the 25th.

Parents, friends and relations of students are invited to join us to commemorate ANZAC day on Friday, 24th.

“Body at War” at Federation University, Ballarat


On Friday 17th April, four VCE Biology students attended the “Your Body at War” program, facilitated by the Gene Technology Access Centre at Federation University. Kiri, Leah, Che and Stephanie travelled to Ballarat to participate in the program, which celebrates the “Day of Immunology”.

Together with about 100 students from three other schools, they had the opportunity to hear from Associate Professor Robyn Slattery (Monash University) about the history of vaccination, current research in immunology and exciting new discoveries about immunotherapy in cancer treatment.

They then donned lab-coats and entered the science laboratories at Federation University, where they learned how to use specialist equipment and techniques, such as the Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA). They also had the opportunity to discuss career perspectives in science with staff and Dr Misty Jenkins from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

One of the sponsors of this event is the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Later this year we have three Year 11 students who have been very fortunate to obtain a work experience placement at WEHI in Melbourne. This is an exciting opportunity for them to find about authentic medical research, working with expert scientists in a world-leading facility.

Also in science news, students in Year 10 have the opportunity to attend the Science Experience Ballarat, at Federation University from 29th June to 1st July. This three day, hands-on program is a great introduction to the diverse world of science and it’s connection to a range of interesting careers. Please apply online prior to 8th June. Speak to Mrs Gow for further information.

2015 Investiture Ceremony

Mr Bob Handby (left) with Senior College Captains.

Last Wednesday we conducted the school investiture ceremony to recognise our school leaders. Mr Bob Handby, Victorian State Finalist Senior Australian of the Year in 2011, with 25 years in the Red Cross, gave us an insight into what it means to be a good leader, with examples from his experiences in disaster zones across the world.

Senior College Captains: Nick Hausler and Leah Drendel

Senior Vice Captains: James Gow and Stephanie Tanner

Junior College Captains: Charlie Edney and Destiny Kelly

Spring House Captains: Aaron Seabrook and Chris Gurney (Vice) Shiloh Capuano and Leah Drendel (Vice) Emily Gordon and Fletcher Cozens (Juniors)

Mitchell House Captains: Lachlan Tanner and James Gow (Vice) Carly Watson and Che Johnson (Vice) Angela Sanders and Alexandra Lewis (Juniors)

Bus Captains: (Broadwater) James Cassidy, Jobe Hollard, Carly Watson (Koroit) Tamiko Walter-Stones, Kiri Barber, Tayla Love (Macarthur) Aaron Dyson, Leah Drendel, Sarah Herring, Stephanie Tanner (Minjah) Kaylee Beard, Sam Bruce, Shilo Capuano (Penshurst) Rubylee Fuss, Daniel Rentsch, Matthew Rentsch

Student Leadership Group: (Year 6) Charlie Edney, Destiny Kelly, Ashleigh Mansell, Zahli Adams (Year 7) Kiara Esh, Milla Fuss, Emersen Fuss (Year 8) Kailyn Edney, Dharma Bailey (Year 9) Sophie Hines, Harrison Cozens, Hayley Keane (Year 10) Sarah Cassidy, Nikki Milgate, Peter Amess (Year 11) Jobe Hollard, Elektra Scholtz-Talbot, Sam Bruce and Tayla Love.

Beacon Foundation: Nikki Milgate, Toby Bruce, Isaac Walker, Sarah Cassidy, Kirsty Hausler, Alannah Gow, Matthew Rentsch.



The doves have mailed in!

Opening the parcel from Israel

Opening the parcel from Israel

This term Go-Getters grade under the guidance of their teacher, Tyna Lee,  have linked up with a Grade 5 class at Huberman School in Israel. We have been emailing with their teacher, Mrs Hanita Han and decided to have a toy-exchange. This week we received a large parcel from them which included many goodies & letters.

The contents included a huge Israel flag, lots of mini-flags and a giant toy caterpillar. Another of their gifts were some toy doves as a symbol for peace. The Go-Getters class have decided to take turns taking responsibility for the doves. This will include taking them home for a few days and keeping a diary of their adventures. Pupils will write about their lives in Australia and where possible include photographs. At the end of term we will send the scrapbook diaries back to Israel.

go getter

What we learnt from the contents of the box and from connecting with Hanita Hen’s class:-

Logan: they write in different to us

Max: I learnt that the doves were white and not black as I thought

George: that they have different letters in alphabet to us

Emily: they have 22 letters in the alphabet, we have 26

Kayden: what the flag looks like

Adam: I didn’t know the flag was blue

Nigel: I liked the caterpillar

Max: that they write from the bottom to the top and from right and left

Hudson: they right from top to bottom and right to left and that they are the same age as us, mostly.

Lana: There can be lots of war around them

Alice: that Hanita couldn’t find a stuffed dove, so she sent little feathered doves instead with a stuffed caterpillar

Felicity the doves mean peace

Jemima: the houses look different to ours in Jerusalem

Jessie: I learnt where they live – petach, tikva Israel

tom: They have different letters to our alphabet. We saw them on the caterpillar that they sent us