Welcome back!

Dear Parents and Carers,

Welcome back!

This new school year presents a number of significant milestones for our community as we continue to develop our bright future at Footscray High School.  We have officially opened our new Pilgrim Campus, the new three-story Community Learning Building at our Barkly Campus, and the new Science Centre at our Kinnear Campus.  On Thursday, 28 January, the Deputy Premier and Minister for Education, the Honorable James Merlino officially opened our new Pilgrim Campus.  It was a great event and attended by key members of the community who were instrumental in visioning and advocating for world class education in Footscray

Maria Chrisant (Pilgrim Campus Principal), Katie Hall (Member for Footscray), Michael Clarke (Mayor of Maribyrnong), The Hon. Melissa Horne (Member for Williamstown and Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation, Minister for Ports and Freight and Minister for Fishing and Boating), Wade Noonan (Former member for Williamstown)
Left to Right (Front): Luke (Year 7 Student), The Hon. James Merlino (Deputy Premier and Minister for Education), Edith (Year 7 Student), Marsha Thompson (Former member for Footscray), Frank Vetere (Executive Principal)

On behalf of all our staff, I thank our parents for supporting students returning to school organised and ready for the year ahead.  If you find yourself in a situation where you cannot access resources or uniform, please contact a member of the principal team at each campus for a meeting.  The conversation will be confidential and focused on support.

I would like to extend a special welcome to all staff, students and families that have newly joined our learning community.  I trust that your association with Footscray High School will be positive.  It was wonderful to see our Year 7 students arrive at both our Barkly and Pilgrim Campuses in their new FHS uniforms.  They have settled in well to secondary schooling and have an exciting year ahead.  Similarly, I was particularly inspired by the Year 12 students and their engagement with their commencement day.  On behalf of our entire school we wish them a great final year of high school.  The Year 8 – 11 students have returned and hit the ground running in all their subjects and programs, we also wish them a great year.

2021 Footscray High School Priorities

I believe it’s important for me to share with you our priorities and goals for 2021.  The goals highlight that our core business is teaching and learning in a positive climate.  We know that healthy happy students do better.

  1. To make explicit the skills and practices needed so that each student is challenged and taught at their point of need in every class and every day.
  2. To improve the outcomes of STEAM education across the school and within the Footscray Learning Precinct.
  3. To improve leadership capabilities with a focus on improved student learning outcomes and leading teams.
  4. Improve the positive climate at Footscray High School.


I encourage you to visit our website and social media platforms regularly.  Please bookmark our website at www.footscray.vic.edu.au

Follow our Facebook and/or Instagram via the links or simply search and ‘like’ Footscray High School. 

In 2021, all relevant correspondence will be sent via the Compass Parent Portal and newsletter items will be published here throughout the term. You can access Compass here on our website under ‘Links’.  Our website includes all current policies and information about programs.  If you have any questions moving forward, please contact us on our central phone number 9112 9500 or by email at info@footscray.vic.edu.au.

In the next few weeks, there will be some important notes and announcements that will be shared on Compass.

I also ask that you inform us of any changes to contact information or student medical information.  This will assist us in taking the best possible care for your child in the event of an incident.

School Review

In April this year Footscray High School will be conducting a whole school review.  The extensive review will examine current performance and practices.  There will be opportunity for community members to become involved in the process.  The result of the review will inform the strategic direction for the next four years and will be developed around the Departments FISO framework (Framework for Improving Student Outcomes)

Kinnear Campus Upgrade

In 2020 the Andrews Government announced a further 25 million dollars funding allocation to upgrade our Kinnear Campus.  As always, we will endeavour to ensure that there is minimum disruption to the students’ learning.  The development of these new resources will further enhance the learning opportunities for current and future students.   I will keep you updated on progress throughout the year.

I am also pleased to inform you that a fence is being erected around Kinnear Campus.  It is a grand project and will take some time to complete.  Works have already commenced.

FHS Food Service

In 2021 Footscray High School is introducing a multi campus food service that is co-designed, integrated, and operated by the school community (students, staff, parents, caregivers, and general community).   The food service will be implemented with the guidance of a nutrition expert in clinical practice (Accredited Practising Dietitian), a nutrition researcher and scientist with project management skills which will enable the school community to achieve best practice guidelines and health outcomes.

Aims of the FHS food service include:

•    To empower and educate students and staff to make informed choices about food and the benefits of healthy eating

•   To create affordable, accessible and enjoyable food that recognises and respects culturally and socially diverse eating environments

•    To promote a progressive food service focusing on ethical and sustainable food systems while minimising food waste

  • To engage in inclusive participation and connection with food within the school and throughout the local community

FHS food service will be managed and run internally rather than an outside provider, allowing the school community of students, staff, parents and care givers to manage and implement a food service system that meets all the aims of the project. 

The project will leverage the wider range of existing educational offerings at Footscray High School including the subjects of Health, Community Action, Foods of the World, Food Technology and Food Studies as well as the VET Hospitality and VET Horticulture programmes.  In addition, the service will provide students with invaluable skills and experience that can be applied in ‘real-world’ contexts and assist in further education or employment opportunities.

We plan to be up and running during Term 1.

Stay tuned for more information soon.

Mobile Phone Policy 2021

You should all be aware by now that a ban on mobile phones has been introduced across all Victorian Government schools.   The rationale of this policy is to provide:

  • a safe environment to learn without inappropriate mobile phone use (including cyberbullying) or distractions
  • greater opportunities for social interaction and physical activity during recess and lunchtimes

Whilst we have made considerable effort to discuss these changes with students, we appreciate that it may create some tension and or confusion.  We thank you for your support with this matter.   Please read the full policy on the school website.

S.E.E. (Social Emotional Education)

In 2021 we are introducing a new class referred to as S.E.E. (Social Emotional Education).  It is a 30-minute scheduled class one day a week.  The initiative has been introduced because, at Footscray High School, we believe we have a collective responsibility to build and nurture a positive climate of learning and wellbeing.

We will be sharing more in the near future.

Our Pillars

Finally, at Footscray High School we aspire to be an educational establishment renowned for its vibrant community, which develops creative thinking and learning dispositions in order for our students to engage with the complex challenges of an ever-changing world.

The community has a collective responsibility to engage in the total life of the school and to actively pursue a range of learning experiences.   Our ultimate aim is to develop compassionate students with the personal qualities and attributes that will enable them to face their future with confidence. 

Footscray High School’s pillars are:


Our school is built on collaboration.  This is where three campuses, many cultures and infinite personal journeys unite with pride and with purpose.  We lift each other up, building on the strength and support of our whole community to achieve greatness.


Respect – for ourselves, our colleagues, our individual traditions and our shared future inspires us in every way.  We treat each other with care, compassion and kindness; we act with integrity; and we are engaged in making a positive impact on our world.


We embrace doing things differently because we want to make a difference.  We draw on wisdom, experience and our own original thinking to create new possibilities.  Future focused, open minded and proudly progressive, we constantly seek a better way.


The boldness of our vision is matched by our relentless spirit, our self-belief and the pride that comes from hard work.  The enthusiasm which drives our endeavour also demonstrates our character: In the classroom and beyond, we strive to be our very best.

I look forward to seeing and hearing these pillars come to life every day at school.

As a community of students, parents and staff, we work together to grow and embrace the learning opportunities that are provided.  This is very much a partnership and I am confident by working together and supporting each other that we can continue to build a culture here at the school that truly reflects our commitment to educational excellence.   In order to do this, we need to have open and honest conversations with each other about any concerns and issues that we face throughout the school year.   I ask you to please contact members of staff here at the school to discuss any wellbeing or academic concerns that you may have regarding your child.

I look forward to working in partnership with you and wish our entire community a wonderful and more importantly safe 2021.

Yours sincerely,

Frank Vetere

Executive Principal