Messages of Support for Year 12 Students

Dear Year 12,

I am always proud of what each year level brings to their final year but never prouder of what you are achieving in such unusual circumstances. The messages provided from members of our School Community within this page should remind you that there are plenty of people thinking of you and supporting you.

The best support, of course, at this time is coming from one another, from your parents and from our wonderful staff. 

Best wishes as you continue this amazing journey. We look forward to, when possible, celebrating all of you as fine young people.


Mal Cater

Year 12,

Your final year is always a challenging but ultimately rewarding one, providing the opportunity to demonstrate your growth, in every sense, as you finish your time at school. This is indeed true for 2020 and, in the face of unprecedented challenges, you have shown more than you might possibly realise. You have shown endeavour as you approach all that is asked of you. You have shown resilience in the way that you keep moving forward despite the obstacles thrown at you. You have demonstrated such a deep sense of caring as you support each other throughout this final leg of your journey through your school. And you have demonstrated your leadership in the example you have set and the encouragement you have provided for our younger students.

And all this with smiles on your faces and your humour intact.

We could not be prouder of Year 12 2020 and the character you have shown and we certainly look forward to recognizing and celebrating your achievements when the time is right.  

Until then the chase towards your goals continues. Keep persisting and supporting one another.

We are all here for you.

Cameron Lancaster
Head of Frogmore

I am so pleased to be able to send you this note of encouragement during Victoria's stage 4 restrictions.

Our journey through the CV19 restrictions is changing so much of our life as a Nation - maybe permanently -  I am glad that you have had the care of the Mentone Grammar School community to guide and support you while our response to all this takes shape - many others have not had that privilege!

I don't know what you think of your teachers and choice of subjects - everyone had their favourites - but from my experience of the school over a long period of time, I can tell you, there is nothing they would rather do than to try to help you in any way they can.  I have been very encouraged by the way the staff have widened their educational role to include the pastoral care of their students this year.  Believe they are there for you and stay as close to them as you can in these final weeks of your course of study.

And then, well anyone knows!  But with a Mentone Grammar Education behind you, you will be in a great position to make the best of whatever comes your way!

We are proud of you.

Kevin Pedersen (1979!!)
Member of the Board

I can only imagine what you are going through. Year 12 is the biggest rollercoaster I have ever experienced, but this year would be a completely different ride.

All I can advise is that you make the most of what it is. Keep engaging in class, organise little study groups to keep socialising and trust your teachers.
It's uncharted territory of course, but I have full faith that your teachers are doing everything in their power to support you through everything.

Particularly, for the performing arts students. Stay strong, keep practising your solos and don't stop. Lean on your class mates, trust yourselves and work with the system, there's no use trying to fight it. 
Also remember to look after yourselves, your friends and everyone around you - including your family at home! Your family are your biggest support network at the moment, clearly because you're stuck with them... but try and use them to be your escape from the crazy world around you.

My family have made some rules to keep us sane during this stressful time. One is that we don't talk about the virus after 7pm, we have breakfast together on Sundays and we dress up for dinner on Saturday nights. Sounds weird I know, but it helps us spice things up. I recommend you try to jazz things up with your days to try and make them feel different and productive. It could be as simple as playing a board game with your sibling once a week, but I recommend that you still try and keep a balance between your school and "social" life.

The amazing Macca told my drama class something last year that I feel might benefit you now "Be the best you can be, work hard now and reap the rewards later". It may not feel like it now, but I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel and you are so close to getting there!

One thing that I have learnt from the past couple of years as a performing arts kid at Mentone, is that we are a very resilient, strong and caring group of people because of all the discipline from rehearsals and productions and losing hourssssss of sleep... this is a department that is so incredibly supportive of everyone involved no matter what, so make sure you stay connected during a time like this.

If you need help with absolutely anything, please don't hesitate to contact me or if you just want to talk to someone. Everyone knows I love a good chat!

All my love and support,
Meg Bresnehan :)

For what it’s worth, I wished to say a couple of words to you, as it’s the least I can’t do to support you in any way. 

You’re going to leave Mentone Grammar soon, but make sure to remember a few things. 

Remember to always be proud. Be proud you reached those goals you set. Be proud of your achievements. Be proud how you‘ve evolved... and especially be proud of the great person you are today. 

No doubt you will face great challenges in your life ahead; this is a given, but never give up. People might say you can’t do something; never give up. 

You might think you can’t do something; never give up. No matter how hard difficult and challenging and painful some things may become, never give up. Be true to yourself. Live your truth, your life, the way you want to. The way you have to. 

My life has seen a lot of difficulties, and at times I thought I would buckle. You can’t buckle either. No Old Mentonian should yield. Labore et Honore. 

Show them your grit. Show them your fight. Show them your strength. Show them your character... Most importantly, show all these things to yourself

Work hard this year. 
Work hard every year. 
Be true to yourself. 
Make it, whatever you want ‘it’ to be, happen. 

Whoever you are, I wish with all my heart, the very best for you in the challenges ahead this year, as well as for the remaining years of your glorious life. 

Your friend,

Vaios Panopoulos
Proud Old Mentonian Class of 97
Finlay Anderson House Captain 

To all the year twelve pupils who must be feeling very lost and confused, I say don’t despair. This crisis will eventually resolve. The remaining challenges need to be looked on as opportunities.

And you are fortunate to be part of a great school which has not only educated you academically, but also equipped you with life skills and resilience. 

Turn to your supportive school community when you feel overwhelmed.

Dr Richard Ranger
1968 (yes, it was a very long time ago)

To all Mentone Year 12 Students,

In your final week of school, our family would like to congratulate you all on your extraordinary efforts in an extraordinary year. You have been a wonderful example of resilience, diligence and strength as you’ve navigated your way through all that has been presented to you in a year which is already difficult without the pandemic crisis on top.  We wish you all the very best for your exams and thereafter. Your efforts this year will hold you in good stead for the future.

The Michell Family

Good luck to our Year 12 students! It's been such an incredible year, but we have no doubt that your time at the school and all the friends you've made are helping you get through this. And your families too. Best of luck - we'll be thinking of you over the coming weeks and we'll be sending you lots of luck! 

Tara and Steve McCormack xx

Wishing each and everyone of you success in your exams and happiness in your lives. You are resilient young adults ready to not only undertake your exams but to tackle positively all that life throws at you. Remember you have your family, friends, school and community behind you.

Stay strong, never stop believing in yourself, dreams do come true.
Libby Chislett

Pleased to have the opportunity to send you collectively a message of support.

I had the privilege / dubious honour to make an address at the 1977 MGS Open Day to an audience made up mostly of new parents and their student sons; as it was of course in those days.

The theme of my talk was that MGS prepares young men well for life as life isn’t always fair, just as life at MGS isn’t always fair!

It was a little tongue in cheek and more than a little ‘out there’ compared to the usual platitudinous outpourings of my predecessors. I got away with it because the redoubtable Keith Jones was on sabbatical and Brian ‘Boof” Lewis was acting head and had a good sense of humour; not common amongst our masters.

Today, we would more eloquently call this ‘resilience’ recognising that you can’t have it all served up to you on a plate and sometimes you just have to 'suck it up’. But the key is not how you absorb these ‘blows’, it is how you respond. As an engineer I would call this tensile strength as opposed to compressive strength.

I have no doubt you are now well placed to respond and absolutely expect you to overcome the challenges of VCE whilst being ‘compressed' by CV19. This is not based on hope but in the full knowledge that during your years at MGS, supported by your family and friends, you have quietly accumulated this ’tensile’ strength and you can now draw on it in spades.

Best wishes for this and the many future years thereafter.

Rgs Ric Clark (1976)

Class of 2020 - not long to go, keep up the great work and wishing you the very best for the home stretch.

Lazic Family

We are in awe and  have been blown away by the resilience, understanding, flexibility, and patience you have shown during this crazy time.

I know you are not quite there yet…. But you are oh so close! 

Keep going guys… are only inches away from the finish line of a race you have been running for 12 years!

Elbow Bumps and Air Hugs

Mat and Tracey Levey

Dear Year 12,

There is always good even in a bad situation, and the winners in life always find a way to shine.

Never be afraid to have a bad day but do keep going and remember that there is always a way forward.

It is so not ideal but you are all in the same situation and when it is over and we all move on it will become a small bump in your long life.

You are in our thoughts and we wish you all every possible success.

Helen Doig

Super proud of all our Year 12’s who continue to amaze me with their spirit just to get on with it, and do their best during lock down. It certainly has been a different year than what we all expected at the start of 2020 but imagine how great 2021 will be!

Keep supporting each other, connect with your teachers and remember to take time out to laugh, relax and spend time with your family.

Just a congratulatory message about how you have handled this extraordinary year! 

Your resilience and fortitude have been inspiring for all, most especially your teachers. What is most phenomenal is your collective preparedness to find the energy, camaraderie and good humour to keep going no matter how many metaphorical curve balls are thrust in your direction.

The end is nigh. One day life will return to a greater sense of normality and you will have learned a multitude of life skills, well beyond the realm of any academic curriculum.  

You can proudly move through life and continue to be immensely proud of the superlative efforts you have made through such a challenging year.


Well done Class of 2020!

Karen Kennedy (Year 12 English Teacher)

To all Year 12 Mentone Grammar students, 

Best wishes for this unique and challenging time in your lives. Year 12 is hard enough at the best of times without this added stress thrown in, but so far you have conducted yourselves with resilience and determination and tackled everything the year has thrown at you. 

Don’t forget to find time to enjoy yourselves, exercise and schedule regular study breaks!

I taught many of you as Year 6 boys and I’m so proud as your former teacher of how far you’ve come. 

Mrs Wright (Leneghan)

To all the Mentone Grammar Year 12 students  - keep going strong and keep well !

The whole Mentone Grammar community is behind you and wishing you all the very best in what is a very “unique” year .

Am sure you will all look back and think “wow we did a great job”  and it will all be a memory of 2020 as you continue on with your plans post year 12.

All the very best from the Iatropoulos family

To all Year 12’s, 

We admire every single one of you – the way you have adapted to ever changing study conditions, the way you have handled the pressure, the way you have supported each other, the way you still connect with your amazing school, the way you still find a way to laugh and “be with” your families and most importantly, the way you have shown all of us how to handle change and crisis. We are hopeful, because you never seem to give up. We won’t either. Good luck for the final part of this crazy journey. You know you will be the historical stars of the future and people will want to interview you on TV about your Covid 19 experiences even when you are old grannies and grandpas! Tell them you smashed it cause you were so courageous.

Grant Holland

Dear Year 12 2020 cohort of the mighty Mentone Grammar,

What an extraordinary experience for you all. I write to simply to let you know that the whole Mentone Grammar Alumni community is behind you. As Co-Presidents of the Old Mentonians football club who finished our schooling long ago, Sharon and I can only marvel at your resilience during this period in your school lives. As the father of one of your year group I have seen first-hand the missed 18th birthday celebrations, informal gatherings and just general catch ups. You are a wonderful group of men and women. the Old Boy/Girl network will be there to give you these opportunities when our society permits. Sharon and I extend a warm invitation to join with all of us at the football club when this is over. You don’t even have to want to play. Be part of a vibrant social community who will support you now and post your superb schooling experience at MGS.  We and all at the club are behind you all the way as you head to the business end of this incredible challenge. Keep talking to each other, lean on your teachers and your parents.

You and your support network will never forget what an incredible effort you have put in to achieve what we all know you will.

Good luck, our thoughts are with you and the Panthers will welcome you in 2021!

Kindest regards,

OMFC Co-Presidents Tim Appel and Sharon Ericksen.

You are facing a most unique situation, probably not experienced since the MGS  boys in the early 1940s came through World War II restrictions.

When you finish this year, you too will have come through a war.
You have a couple options. You can cave in and blame the Covid lockdown and the associated interrupted schooling that may or may not affect your later life.
Alternatively you can stick together now and also in the years after you leave this fine school; being strong together, staying in touch and knowing you were proudly undefeated.
Generations of past students and their teachers will support you. 

Best of luck!

Dr Max Simmons (1957)

You guys rock! 

Your resilience, positivity, calmness and compassion for one another is an inspiration to every adult watching on. This year has taught me many things, with the most important being that the future is in mighty good hands. Be kind to yourselves and know our little village has your back, we’re here for anything you need - you’ve got this! 

BIG love from 

the Mairs family xx

“The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda”


Alice & Kenny Hsu

We are all so proud of you and think of you often as you head towards the end of year finale!

Please know you have so many people wishing you great success for exams and of course in the years ahead whatever you have planned. 

You have totally got this!

Our warmest wishes, 

The Jacobs Family x

If I asked you to duck as I am about to punch you on the nose you would probably not as I am old and seem to be of no threat. it’s hard to take advice from an old bloke but you will from a book? probably written buy an old bloke. Acquire your knowledge from all available  recourses throughout life, apply yourself ,improvise, be smart!

I was never an academic but  MGS gave me the tools to have a better understanding of myself and beyond. Take on board now what you can but don’t burden your self unnecessarily the sun will come up tomorrow. We are older longer than we are young so do your best now catch up latter just absorb the now as it in its self is a great knowledge you can take forward to become a stronger person.

You will never forget your time at MGS, its teachers, your friends, your achievements so make us old blokes proud and push on though these times, you will succeed where ever your journey is to unfold  just remember to duck when you need to 😊

Ian Wallis (Class of '73)

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