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2019 news

International student debating and public speaking

In 2014, for the first time, our Year 10 and 11 international students became involved in the Northcote High School debating and public speaking program. This initiative culminated in a night-time debate held in the Northcote High School library on September 6th on the topic, “Should eating dog meat be allowed in Australia?”

Since then we have run the program each year to give international students the same opportunities as our local students to learn debating skills such as how to brainstorm, research and write their arguments. Unlike local students, however, international students have to do all of this in a second language.

In a new development, in 2018, Year 11 international students were encouraged to take on the role of team leaders to teach Year 10 team members the skills they need to be successful debaters. Team leaders also adjudicate the debates so they can give teams feedback on their progress. This allows them to develop leadership skills as well as the opportunity to teach the skills necessary to be a good debater.

Finally like our local students, our international students are encouraged to live by our motto; WIN LOSE OR DRAW, WE LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY!

2019 international student debate team leader profile

Dao Phuong Dung (Isa) Pham

As an international student, I believe that it’s very important to have a good relationship with friends, teachers and staff. I’m confident that I have good communication skills.

For my goals as a team leader, I would like to bring more activities to the International Student program. I would like to organise events such as Halloween, April Fools Day, and an end of year party to help international students improve their English skills.

Zhaoying (Helena) GE

As a team leader, my idea is to let international students be more active in school activities and clubs. This will help them to connect more with local culture and the Northcote High School community.

In 2018, I took part in the international student debating competition and I was the best speaker for our team!

Duong Minh Chau NGUYEN

English speaking is an incredibly vital skill in the international community. All students should be encouraged to use their English skills to build a vibrant international student community. This will enable them to have their own voice. When every student in the Northcote High School community has a voice, we will truly be an inclusive school.

Bao Anh (Mia) DO

I have been a class monitor from primary school to high school. Now I have the honour of being selected as an international student captain. I have made speeches in front of my peers a number of times so I feel confident enough to lead the international students. As an international student captain, I want to commit myself to support each and every international student so that their experience is as positive as mine.

Mariah MILLA

My name is Mariah Milla, I am a local student currently in Year 12. I have participated in debating programs such as the DAV competitions and International Student Debating Program for the past three years.

As a team leader for the International Student Debating Program, I hope to inspire my fellow peers to enjoy debating and/or public speaking. Furthermore, I would like to be able to bring a new perspective to the program. The most important thing for a “team leader” to do is to “support” the team members.  Without supporting each other, a team has very little chance of achieving success. This is what I want to bring as a team leader.

Xiaoxuan (Anthony) YE

As an international student captain, I want to spread positive energy and kindness. I want to be approachable and easy to talk to. I want to help others. Mostly, I would like to take this opportunity to improve my leadership skills and contribute to the whole school community.

Happy Middle Autumn Festival

On Thursday, 12th Sep, international students of Asian background enjoyed delicious moon cakes to celebrate their traditional festival. Middle Autumn Festival holds great cultural significance in Asian communities around the world, as it celebrates love, family, completeness and reunion. Middle Autumn Festival is the second largest festival after the Lunar New Year. Middle Autumn Festival takes place on 15th August in the Asian lunar calendar each year, it falls on Friday, 13th Sep. this year.

Happy Middle Autumn Festival to our International Students and their families!

Great International Student Canberra Tour

The year 10 International student group Canberra Study Tour (1st – 4th Sep.) was a great success. Participating student gained much understanding and knowledge about Australia through this great cultural, history and political focused immersion study opportunity.

At the National Science & Tech Centre student was fascinated when going through more than 200 hands-on experiences covering a range of science topics, from astronomy to zoology and everything in between! At the Electoral Commission Centre students learnt the history of Australian democracy. Our students especially enjoyed the hands-on activities which help them to understand enrolment, voting and representation; Visiting National Gallery of Australia was one of the highlight experience for many, where they explored Australian history, cultural and national identity through Australian art collection, including large collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art. Our students spent an unforgettable time at the Australian War memorial, walked through the extensive displays, read moving stories and watched vivid screen shows, to recapture war scenes. International students understood the Australian experiences of war and its enduring impact on Australian society. Students from Vietnam and Korea saw for the first time of many records and evidences of the horrific wars happened in their homelands. Visiting the Parliament House was another highlight of the tour, where students understood how our Parliament works to make Australia a better place to live. National Capital Exhibition offered a vivid display of how the National capital was designed and built.

In all, the maiden International Student Canberra Tour was a great success. This immersion study opportunity will benefit participating students immensely for their VCE studies and beyond.

2019 International Student Debating Grand Final – Great Success

On the afternoon of Thursday 29th of August, the International student “Super Debating Team” had a magnificent debate on the topic was “That we should ban mobile phones in school”. Throughout the ‘heated’ debate, the students from both teams presented their arguments well. The speakers demonstrated great English literacy confidence in their 2nd language! The audience was very impressed by their performance. The affirmative team (Daoyoung Jang, Yizhen Li, Minh Nhat Tran) won the debating by 2 point! Congratulating to Sam I Yiao won the best speaker!

This year the adjudicators were from the NHS international student leadership team. Thanks very much Isa, Anthony, Chau, Helena, Mia for being so professional. Thanks very much to Mr Martin Ramsay, Ms Lixia Wang and Ms Jocelyn Hill for presenting certificates to the speakers and they spoke of the importance of these opportunities to the future success of the students. Thanks very much for all the ELC and Year 10 international students for being such a great audience!

Special thanks to Mr Ramsay for his absolute endeavour in organizing and training the international debating team throughout the year.

Special thanks to Marish Milla for her contribution in our IS debating team as a local student, throughout the past three years.

After the debating show, the NHS International Student Debating Team enjoyed a great dinner together in Pizza e Vino at High Street Northcote to celebrate their achievement. Assistant Principal, Ms Hill, Mr Ramsay and staff from the International Student Office, also attended the dinner to support our International Students. It was a very pleasant evening enjoyed by all!

Real Industry Job Interviews

On Tuesday the 6th of August, a selection of our year 10 students were given the opportunity to participate in the RIJI (Real Industry Job Interviews) program. RIJI is a work readiness program aimed towards students in Years 10-12 at school in the cities of Darebin, Moreland or Yarra. The program assists students in developing good job search, resume writing and interviewing skills.

During their tutorial classes over the past few months, Year 10s have been working on creating/improving their resumes and cover letters. After editing them and receiving feedback from both peers and tutorial teachers, they were given the opportunity to submit them in response to a mock job ad of their choice via RIJI.

Then on that fateful Tuesday, NHS Year 10 students made their way to the Fitzroy Town Hall where they participated in mock job interviews. These interviews were conducted by local employers, from police officers to university professors and gave students a realistic idea of what it feels like going into a job interview and a broad idea of some of the questions that might be asked. The interviews were conducted professionally and after they were finished the employers gave students some feedback on different ways that they could improve their resumes, cover letters and interview skills.

Overall students enjoyed the experience, for some it was their first time ever being in a job interview setting and for others it was good practice.

Victorian International Student Public Speaking Competition

The 5th VIC International Student Public Speaking competition was held at Northcote High School on Thursday 15 August. The topic this year was “knowledge is power”.

The event was described by the school Principal Ms Harrap as “a finely tuned, warm and quality evening.” The judges and the audience were truly impressed by the high quality speeches the International Students delivered. In her thank you speech at the event she highly praised the speakers, saying “the confidence and proficiency of the speakers, who were speaking in their second (or in some cases, third) language was truly remarkable and a joy to listen to.”

Two NHS students; Dao Phuong Dung PHAM (Isa) and Yen Nhi(Camila) HOANG were selected to represent the School in the competition, their presentation was indeed amazing. Bei CUI from Bendigo Senior Secondary College won first place in the competition and both Isa and Camila spoke exceptionally well.

The VIC International Student Public Speaking was initiated at Northcote High School in 2015, led by Martin Ramsay and the International Student Office. The program has grown rapidly over the last 5 years; as a great extra curriculum activity, it brings opportunity to international students. Participating schools over the year are very grateful to Martin Ramsay, our Public Speaking and Debating Coordinator for his hard work & commitment to lead this IS public speaking program.

Chinese student visiting group

On Monday, 12th Aug, the school received a student visiting group of 20 people (Year 7-10 age group) from Weihai China. The Chinese students took away a great impression of our school, after a tour with Mr Ramsay. The visiting group leader Ms LIU xiaofang was extremely proud of our current Year 10 international student LI yizhen’s great English language skills and personal growth, after just one year of study experience at Northcote High School. She did an excellent job of translating for Mr Ramsay during the school tour. Yizhen is from Weihai. She made the decision to study overseas and chose Northcote High School after a short Summer Holiday Study Tour to Melbourne.  Our students made a great welcome gesture by jumping into photo opportunities with visitors. Many thanks to Mr Ramsay and Year 10 student LI yizhen, for assisting us to welcome our visitors.

Term 3 new international students’ welcome breakfast

The annual New International Student Welcome Breakfast was a great success on Tuesday 30th of July. All 23 new students in Year 9 ELC (18), Year 10 (3) and Year 11 (2) enjoyed a nutritious and sumptuous breakfast with their teachers, principals and program leaders. Ms Harrap spoke gave a warm welcome and well-wishes to the new international students. Students enjoyed the friendly and happy chats with teachers and felt at home.

International Student AFL Day

On Saturday 27th July, as part of the tradition of Northcote High School each year, International Student AFL day was held in Birraung Marr Park and the MCG.

On the day, our International students enjoyed an interesting footy training session taught by our lovely Year 10 student captains and teachers, Luke, Pierrick, Megan and Martin, in Birraung Marr Park.

Later International students went to the MCG to watch the AFL game, joining the fans to support their teams: Carlton Vs Adelaide. They said it was definitely a great way to experience Australian lifestyle and it was great fun.

All the international students want to express their thanks and appreciation to the teachers and school captains who participated.

Welcome new international students

We welcome our new international students and wish them well in their study journey at Northcote High School.  In Term 3, there are 23 new students joining us in Year 9 ELC (18), Year 10 (3) and Year 11 (2).

For ELC students, they will attend a stand-alone EAL class, a stand-alone Subject Specific EAL class, and then they will be integrated into normal other curriculum subjects. The students will start in Year 9 classes, and also appear in Year 10 maths subjects. We wish these students, and all of the staff who will be supporting them, all the very best of success.

The International Student Office team worked tirelessly over the school holidays to welcome and accommodate 23 new international students and their families (many came with parents) into their new host families.

Our new international students have been thoroughly enjoying the great experience and immersing themselves in the exciting and encouraging learning environment that the school offers.

“Painting the Library Red” – celebrating Language Week

The school library was a happy place at lunchtime on Wednesday (Week 7) when students queued up for face-painting. To help celebrate the school’s annual Language Week, International students LI yizhen (y10) BAO limin (y10) and LI yixiao (y11), who all possess exceptional artistic talent, held a face-painting session to promote Chinese culture and language. Enthusiastic students chose their favourite cultural symbols, from panda, dragon to Beijing Opera Masks and Tang Dynasty beauty patterns. The school community appreciates the international student group for contributing to school events and helping to make school a happy place.

Year 9 local debate team demonstrates a debate for international students

On Thursday of week 6 the international student debate team had the privilege to watch our Year 9 local student debate team debate on the topic of “whether we should abolish standardised testing (e.g. NAPLAN)” to learn more debate skills from our local students. The international student debate team was very impressed by the high quality debate our Year 9 debate team demonstrated!

What an eye-opening experience for international student debaters! Thanks to Mr Ramsay for organising this observation opportunity. Now the international student debate team is working hard to prepare for their round 3 debate, which will be in week 7. We wish our debate team well!

Many thanks to international student debate team leaders, Isa, Chau, Mia, Anthony, Helena, Mariah, for leading your teams! Your hard work is highly appreciated.

Happy Birthday to international students born in April and May

On Friday, 31st of May, the international student office held a massive birthday party to celebrate international students who were born in April and May. The 15 international students are: Helios Jiang, Fiona Feng, Ryan Ho, Chao Xie, Thu Nguyen, Christina Yang, Jin Nguyen, Jun Kim, Rae Huynh, Anthony Ye, Michael Tang, Bill Chen, Christen Liang, Eric Pham and Vandy Kuy.

The birthday students enjoyed two huge cakes which had their names written on. This birthday celebration highlight was that two female students Chau and Jiayi turned 18, the starting point of their adulthood. They both received well-wish flowers to add more celebration spirit.


International students shine through the Northern Metropolitan Regional Badminton Competition

The school’s VCE badminton team, which is mainly composed of international students, played very well in the Northern Metropolitan Regional Badminton Competition on 30th of April. There was an outstanding result for the female team who were promoted to regional finals. The male team lost to just one school, but won over five schools. We hope the female team can achieve a great result in next month’s final competition.

Thanks to international students: Bao Anh Do, Lingtao Chen, Jinxuan Li, Yixiao Li, Ngoc Ha Nguyen, Dao Phuong Dung Pham, Possatorn Rattanasappakuna and Thi Quynh Nhi Vu for their hard work and commitment to training.

International Student Tea-House – Open Day highlight

On 30th April, the annual Open Day International Students’ Tea House become a campus highlight to showcase the school’s multicultural features and to impress enthusiastic visitors.  International students dressed in their traditional costumes to welcome visitors, by offering hot green tea with assorted Asian lollies and biscuits. International students’ warm welcome gestures were certainly well received by the visiting families on the beautiful sunny autumn morning, as parents enjoyed the lovely hot green tea while children were obviously attracted to those colourful yummy sweets! The Tea-House was full of vitality and kept busy throughout with visitors sipping about 300 cups of tea and eating more than 5 kg of sweets!

Visitors were also fascinated by those wonderful traditional costumes like Hanbok (from Korean), Qipao (from China), Han dress (from China) and Ao-Dai (from Vietnam). International students were very proud to answer questions from the visitors and to talk about their traditional costumes to introduce their cultures. 2019 international student leaders were also part of the student-led tour team, to proudly introduce Northcote High School to visitors.

The school wants to thank international students: Zhaoying Ge, Zixuan Gao, Bowen Zhao, Xiaoxuan Ye, Thi Thao Ngoc Nguyen, Nguyen Nhu Quynh Tran and Dayoung Jang for their hard work to contribute to the school annual Open Day.


Year 11 International Student Camp at Marysville 25th – 27th March

The year 11 international student group enjoyed the 3 days of outdoor education experience at Marysville Camp. Camp highlights included climbing, abseiling, canoeing, bush-walking and environmental sustainability education. Students were thoroughly immersed in the eye-opening and very stimulating outdoor experience and were appreciative of the opportunity to experience more of Australian lifestyle.



International student versus teachers basketball game

The annual International Student VS Teacher Basketball Game took place at the school Gym on Friday 22nd of March. The excited student teacher spectators cheered out for their favourite team. The staff team seems forever invincible; however the young International Students fought out, which created a fierce competition for all to enjoy. Thank you PE faculty for your tremendous support.

International student cyber safety training session

On Friday 15th March, Year 10 and 11 international students took their annual Cyber Safety Training Session run by Project Rockit. The session aims to raise international student safety awareness on social media and to promote positive online attitudes. The session covered a range of online issues young people face, and explored safe and socially credible strategies for challenging risks.

The students were thoroughly engaged in the session and gained valuable knowledge, which will empower them to take ownership over core material and create a safe and positive online culture. Simon, James and Troye participated in the activity and won prizes!

Birthday celebration for international students born in March

The International Student Office celebrated all born-in-March international students’ birthdays at lunch time on Thursday, 14th of March. There are 12 international students who were born in March. They are: Jason Dao, Cynthia Nguyen, Monica Jang, David Li, Isa Pham, Gloria Zhao, Jocelyn Huang, Richard Liu, Lily Tran, Cynthia Dou, Lester Li and Marcus Vo.

The International Student Office ordered a huge birthday cake with all 12 birthday students’ names on it. Each of the birthday students invited their best friends to join the celebration and enjoy the delicious cake. Thanks goes to LiMin Bao and YiZhen Li from Year 10 for decorating the room.

International student VCE forum with Ms Scott

On Tuesday 12th of March, all Year 10 & 11 international students received a great VCE information session from the Head of Senior Years, Ms Allira Scott. During the annual international student VCE forum, students grasped a good understanding of the term of VCE and its related terms such as VACC, VTAC, SAC, GAT. Ms Scott led the students to have a good plan for VCE studies and study life beyond VCE. Students also learnt that the school has rich resources and comprehensive support measures for VCE students to achieve success. Ms Scott highly praised international students’ track record for being high achievers during their VCE years at Northcote High School. International students are grateful to Ms Scott for delivering such an informative and fun session.

International students celebrate Lantern Festival


On Tuesday, 19th February, our international students had sticky rice dumplings to celebrate the Lantern Festival. The students felt very grateful to the International Student Office for organising the celebration to make them feel at home when they are far away from home.

Acknowledging and celebrating international students’ cultural events can help them to ensure their cultural identities and create a sense of belonging.

International student Health and Safety training session





On Thursday 21st February, the Year 10 international student group took their annual Health and Safety Training Session run by the school wellbeing team and local police officers. The aim of this session is to raise international students’ awareness in youth health and social safety, and to promote healthy lifestyles. The session covered a range of topics including healthy living, general youth wellbeing, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse prevention, social and community safety and protection. The students thoroughly enjoyed the session and have gained valuable knowledge, which will certainly help international students to build a healthy lifestyle and to bear safety in mind all the time. The students especially showed curiosity and interest in police officer’s duty gear and equipment like the gun, capsicum spray, spontoon, handcuffs and bullet-proof vest. They had a chance to ask questions about these weapons. Simon, Jason and Anh even got a chance to put the vest on! Many thanks to school nurse Helen for organising this special annual session. Our appreciation also goes to the youth police officers from Northcote police station.

Birthday celebration for international students born in January and February

Happy Birthday to all the international students who were born in January and February.

The celebration was successfully arranged during lunchtime on Thursday 14th February in Room 18. All 12 students from different year levels received presents and cards from school and enjoyed a surprise birthday celebration. This wonderful celebration gathering indeed made international students feel at home.

Thanks goes to Bao Li Min and Li Yi Zhen from Year 10 for decorating the room.





New international students’ welcome breakfast


The annual New International Student Welcome Breakfast on Tuesday 12th February was a great success. All 30 new Year 10 and Year 11 international students enjoyed a nutritious and sumptuous breakfast with their teachers, principals and program leaders. Ms Harrap spoke to give a warm welcome and well-wishes to the new international students. Students enjoyed the friendly and happy chats with teachers and felt at home.

International students celebrate Lunar New Year

On Tuesday, 5th February, the actual Lunar New Year’s Day, all international students at Northcote High School enjoyed a sumptuous New Year celebration dinner at Gold Leaf Restaurant Preston with school principals, program leaders and the teachers. International students felt very grateful to the school for getting all international students together to celebrate their most significant traditional festival when they are so far away from home. Acknowledging and celebrating international students’ cultural events can help them to ensure their cultural identities and create a sense of belonging.

School leaders spoke at the dinner party to wish our students a very happy Lunar New Year, as well as a very successful school year. In return, international student captain (Isa Pham) spoke to thank the school for being caring and thoughtful, as this wonderful dinner gathering indeed made international students feel at home.

International Student News 2017-2018

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