Former students sharing knowledge

The Alumni program at Northern Bay College, now in its second year, has benefitted from talented and knowledgeable alumni who have returned to their own school to share their insights on life post school. This program runs a variety of alumni events, including career panels.

Co-ordinator Alison Meredith said “hearing from real-world people, people who grew up in the same neighbourhood, is so impactful and has hopefully inspired students in our career panels to think about their own future pathway.

“A career panel was held to help Year 9 students start to think longer term, to begin to decide what pathway they might want to get into, and to be exposed to lots of different careers.

“Inviting back five alumni guests to our Goldsworthy Campus, in a question and answer format, we asked them to speak on their career, or study, and to explain what they do, and how they go into their pathway.

“Our panel (pictured) consisted of: Kellee Reissinger (Corio Tech), curator, Geelong Botanic Gardens; Ty Gilson (NBC 2022), Bachelor of Science (Maths and Statistics); Joshua Barling (NBC 2013), industrial electrician; Lisamaree Bottomley (NBC 2020), Bachelor of Environmental Science and working at Corangamite Catchment Authority; and Stephen Kennedy (NBC 2020), timber machinist, A&R Timber.

“An event for Year 7 and 8 students saw many rush up to ask more questions of the featured panel, which comprised Jasmine Lawrence (NBC 2010), In Work support consultant; Luke McConarchy (NBC 2009), electrician and business owner; Samantha Wilson (NBC 2018), Bachelor of Arts and Commerce; and Cody Jeynes (NBC 2022), Bachelor of Space Science Degree.

“Early in the year we welcome back some alumni to speak to our VM (formerly VCAL) students. They were: Tony Harvey (Corio Community College), sport and marketing consultant; Sarah McNiven (NBC 2021), farming apprenticeship; Shae Charlton: (NBC 2020), Interior Design student.”

Are you NBC alumni?

If you attended Corio Tech, Corio North High, Norlane High, Corio Community College, Corio Senior College, Flinders Peak SC, and Northern Bay College, the Alumni program would love to hear from you. Check out the Facebook group for some yearbook photos and updates: or via [email protected].

MusicSpace after school option

Young people who love music can now access a new program, MusicSpace After-School, at Cloverdale Community Centre.

MusicSpace After-School is a Bluebird Foundation program held weekly for young people to get involved in music, or to further develop their music skills. Anyone can join in at MusicSpace After-School regardless of music experience and the program welcomes people with disability and other diverse needs.

Young people work with professional musicians including a Registered Music Therapist to develop their interests, whether it is to learn an instrument, develop vocal skills, be a song writer, play in a band, perform, record or just hang out with fellow music lovers.

Program manager Mel said: “When you come along, you can let us know what you wish to do with your music, and we will support you to follow that dream. Even if you are not sure what you want to do, you will meet other music-loving people, learn a few skills and discover your passions along the way.

“The program is supported by funding from the Cassandra Gantner Foundation and the APCO Foundation. This allows young people to access the pilot program for at least two school terms or until their NDIS funding review comes around. They can then use their NDIS or TAC funding. We will meet with people individually to discuss how this will work for them. For privately funded attendance, please talk to us about costs and payments.”

MusicSpace After-School does not include any personal support needs. If the young person requires a support worker to attend and/or participate, this will need to be sourced and funded separately.

The program runs every Thursday from 3.30om-4.30pm during school terms at Cloverdale Community Centre,167-169 Purnell Road, Corio. It is for 13–18-year-olds who have an interest in music

For more information or to fill out an expression of interest, go to or contact the program manager, Mel on 0448-313-462 or email [email protected].

Playgroups are not just for kids

Parents and carers of young children are encouraged to get involved with a playgroup to help connect themselves and their children to the local community.

A playgroup is a group of parents or caregivers with their babies, toddlers and preschool children who get together regularly for play and social interaction. A range of playgroups are held throughout the Corio and Norlane area. Some are council-run, some are facilitated by agencies and services. All have the common aim of using fun and play to connect with others.

Helen O’Connor, from Northern Bay College’s Family Centre, said playgroup is a fun and playful experience for parents and carers to share with their child and with other families. 

“Playgroups at our centre are run by committed staff who rely on relationship building, sharing ideas and simply brightening the day for the adults and the children. I strongly recommend playgroups. There are excellent ones in our local area.

“Each Northern Bay College campus offers playgroups, and this could be a great starting point if you want to join in. Session times, days and frequency vary across centres and may depend on the families who are attending. Sessions are free and joining a playgroup important for a range of reasons.”

At Our Place Northern Bay there are several choices for parents or carers and their pre-school, aged from birth to five years. No child is ever too young to go to playgroup.

Our Place staff, who are based at Korayn Birralee Family Centre, know that a child’s learning from birth to three years of age is one of the most important and vital stages of their lives. And playgroup helps set them up for the next step in their learning journey to Kinder.

Meli provides a free playgroup at Korayn Birralee Family Centre on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. The playgroup is free and is facilitated by experienced and supportive staff. The Thursday playgroup also has a bi-lingual support worker which assists families to feel welcome and supported.

Playgroups provide families with so many benefits. Not only do children have the opportunity to socialise, learn and practice new skills, but parents and carers also benefit in so many ways. It is a place to meet other parents and carers of young children, share ideas and learn from one another.

For more information about Our Place Northern Bay, call in to Korayn Birralee Family Centre, 146 Purnell Road Corio or email [email protected].

The Northern Bay College Family Centre is at 25 Goldsworthy Road, Corio, phone 5224-9791.

More information about playgroups is also available on the Playgroups Victoria website –

Facility supports health and fitness

Northern Bay College has a new strength and conditioning centre, that is proving popular with students and staff. Craned onto the Goldsworthy Campus, the modular complex is attached to the gymnasium and gives students and staff a state-of-the-art facility.

Initially designed to support the Years 7-12 SEED (Sports, Empowerment, Education and Development) Program, it has quickly become a much in-demand facility by other programs, students and staff. Sessions are run as part of the health and physical education program run by college staff.

Before College staff and students access the equipment, they are first given a pre-exercise questionnaire and induction by qualified personal trainer. This includes safety for users and care of the equipment.

Starting in Term 2, lunchtime and after school sessions will be offered to students due to the popularity of the fitness centre. Access is not limited to sport students – any student or staff looking to improve their health and fitness is given a personalised program by an instructor, to support the goals that the individual is hoping to achieve. The strength and conditioning centre is a safe, secure and healthy environment, and regarded by the College as an outstanding long-term asset.

Family, learning and fun

Families in Corio and Norlane can access long-term help to prepare their children for starting school, and to develop their love and confidence in learning in their first year. 

HIPPY – Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters – is a free, fun and flexible home-based learning program for parents and carers, who are guided to use playing with their child as a way of teaching them. Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) is the local provider of HIPPY in Geelong.

Families commit for two years, usually starting in the year before the child starts school. It continues during their first year at school, with activities that support what they are learning. HIPPY families receive free activity packs from five learning areas: Thinking and Exploring, Communication, Creativity, Social and Emotional, and Family and Community.

In the first year of HIPPY, the year before school begins, families learn skills to get their children ready for school. In the second year, parents learn more about supporting their children’s learning and development at school and at home. Families spend 10 to 15 minutes a day doing fun, educational activities with their children.

Each family is matched with a trained mentor who has already completed the program with their child. Mentors are also supported to work on their own professional goals throughout their two years in the role, as well as learning how to work in the Community Services sector.

HIPPY is run all over Australia and results show that children who have participated develop confidence, curiosity, a love of learning, persistence, determination, resilience and a belief in themselves. It is a program that fosters learning and positive relationships in the home that celebrate effort, persistence and connection.

A HIPPY parent recently shared: “HIPPY has opened my eyes to the possibilities to life, not only for my daughter’s but for myself as well. My two girls are more knowledgeable, capable and kinder people because I have been able to support them in the areas that truly matter. Patience. Persistence. Sharing and a love of learning.  They say HIPPY is a two-year program, but what I’ve learned will last me a life time and I can never thank HIPPY enough for that.” 

For more information, contact HIPPY Leader, Rob Evans on 0419-039-869 or via email: [email protected]

Looking into school lunch boxes

Researchers at Deakin University want to talk to parents and caregivers of primary school aged children about packing school lunch boxes.

Honours student Kimberley Watson-Mackie’s research project is “School lunch boxes: are parents and caregivers under pressure?”

“The project aims to explore the experiences of lunchbox preparation by parents and caregivers in Victoria, and their adherence to the school policies,” Kimberley said. “This research will shed light on the lunchbox options of primary school aged children in low-income families, including any challenges in creating healthy lunchboxes.”  

Participation in the research involves an interview, lasting approximately 30 to 60 minutes, that is conducted either remotely or in person.

Parents and carers will be invited to talk about managing their child’s tastes, working with school policies, cost pressures and trying to make the lunchbox as healthy as possible.

Participants will receive a $20 voucher to thank them for their time.

If you receive the Parenting Payment or JobSeeker Payment, have children in primary school and would like to participate in an interview about the pressures associated with lunch boxes, contact the research team.

For more information, contact Dr Fiona McKay, phone 9251-7183 or email [email protected].

Fitness, fun and connection

A group of Northern Bay College’s Year 9 students will this year be the first in Geelong to participate in Blue Edge, the flagship program of Blue Light Victoria.

Blue Edge is based on the concept of local police members engaging with youth in positive ways. It uses a physical activity program to bring local police and students together twice-weekly.

State program co-ordinator Cathy Williams said the program includes 45-minute fitness sessions before school, where the police members are out of uniform and getting sweaty alongside the students. The fitness sessions also include team-building activities.

Following the session, the group has breakfast together where there are opportunities for the students to be mentored, learn life skills, goal setting, leadership and opportunities for them after the program – in work, social and sport settings.

Ms Williams said the program aligns well with the school’s SEED (Sports, Empowerment, Education and Development) program. She said Director of Sport Steven ‘Stoofa’ Lewry had played a key part in bringing Blue Edge to Geelong.

Acting Sergeant Shaun Johnson and Leading Senior Constable Alecia Spalding, from Corio Police, will be involved in the pilot.

Acting Sergeant Johnson, who is the co-ordinator, said he and the other officers who will be regulars are excited to be involved in the program, the first of its kind in Geelong.

“This is a way we can give back to the school,” he said. “It’s good for us to work with the kids and important for us to know the up-and-coming youth in the northern suburbs. They are the next generation of community leaders. They will be changing the face of the northern suburbs.”

Students Laura, Elmin and Josh were successful applicants and are looking forward to participating. All three are keen to develop their fitness and skills, have some fun and get to know their local police.

Students name the crane

Young Northern Bay College students have helped name the crane being used on the GMHBA rebuild site in the Geelong CBD.

The new building is rising out of a hole in the ground at the corner of Corio and Moorabool streets, where the large crane is rising high into the sky.

Kane Builders, Quintessential developers and GMHBA recognised that naming cranes is a great community initiative and invited Northern Bay College students to take on the task.

All of the college’s Prep and Kindergarten children across the five college campuses – all 170 of them – were given the opportunity to colour a drawing of the crane and then give it a name. All of the names were then sent off and a winner was chosen by a panel representing the three major stakeholders. 

The children don’t yet know who won the naming rights, but one day in September the lucky youngster will be invited to visit the site, look at the crane up close and have a picture taken with ‘their’ crane. The icing on the cake will be a prize for the College’s Family Learning Centre to say thank you for participating in the naming project.

Kindergarten tours go online

Bethany kindergartens, including Corio’s William Hovell Preschool, have a new way of helping families decide where to enrol their children next year.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, Bethany planned to host tours across its kindergarten as part of its second annual Open Week. Bethany Open Week provides families with an opportunity to walk through kindergartens, talk with educators while viewing the indoor and outdoor learning environments.

BKS Executive Manager Anneliese Knell said Open Week had been a great opportunity for families to experience different kindergarten environments and meet the educator team before deciding on their child’s registration for the upcoming year.

“Kindergarten is an important year for children,” Ms Knell said. “At Bethany Kindergartens, we understand that each child develops and grows at their own pace and in their own way”. 

“Finding the right kindergarten for your child can be hard. It’s important to choose a kindergarten that will support your child’s individual needs and allow them to grow, learn and play.”

Bethany is now providing parents with a tour of all kindergartens through the use of short online videos. The videos allow children and families to view kindergartens remotely, at times convenient for them and in the comfort of their home.

Bethany offers short and long day sessions and provides both three and four-year-old kindergarten programs. To view the videos and register for a BKS Kindergarten, head to

At William Hovell Preschool in Hendy Street, Corio, a new cubby house, deck and garden have been added to the outdoor area.

Educational Leader Sharron German said the kinder funded the project from money raised over the past few years. They have also recently purchase new shelving, lockers and tables for the indoor environment.

If families would like to speak to a staff member at William Hovell Preschool, they can call on 5275-4663.

The SEEDs are sprouting

The Northern Bay College SEED Program has celebrated a success year, with achievements in a range of sports.

SEED (Sports, Empowerment, Education and Development) was highlighted in Northerly Aspects when the program was first introduced in 2017. At the end of its second full year, the college is delighted with the outcomes.

Director of Sport Steven Lewry said College interschool sport achievements have been significant on the back of increased participation in all of the SEED programs and this always gives a sense of school pride and increases interest in sport from other students.

“During 2019 Northern Bay College teams won 12 Geelong-based competitions and a Western Metropolitan competition, which is a great improvement,” he said.

SEED allows students to experience quality coaching from experts across the range of sports including football, netball, softball, soccer, badminton and volleyball.

“In P-6, our school staff prepare the foundations of skills, then the Extended School Day Program has many activities with sports coaching for all age groups.  All Year 7 and 8 students have the SEED 7/8 Program, then in Years 9 and 10 SEED is an elective and enables students to look at pathways in sport, not just as players but in the amazing array of ancillary jobs associated with professional sport,” Mr Lewry said.

“One other noticeable influence has been in the relationships between students. The philosophy behind good participation in SEED is as simple as ABC – A is attendance, B is behaviour and C is character. We show the students the value of these attributes in school and the influence is noticeable.”

Recent student feedback indicated the program is having a positive impact. Student Kamran said: “During recesses students spend much more time playing sport and I have seen a great increase in girls doing sport. People seem happier too. I guess we have great school pride.”