News & Events
Year 7 2024 Enrolments close Friday 12 May 2023

Energy Breakthrough ‘Powered by imagination’


At last weekend’s Energy Breakthrough all three teams were amazing ambassadors for Catherine McAuley College (CMC). We were delighted with their excellent results and, more importantly, how they conducted themselves and their intent to get as much as they could out of the process and experience.

  • Years 7 and 8 Team: Pulse (Placed 2nd overall in the B1 Category)
  • Years 9 and 10 Team: Boss (Placed 4th overall in the B2 Category)
  • VCE ‘Open’ Team: Where’s Hogan? (Placed 5th overall in the Open Category)

See below for more details of team results and experiences.

Students enter the program by their own choice. There is a huge time commitment needed as we don’t run it as a subject (as do many schools); CMC students have given up their weekends (Sunday training, night training, practice races and sessions working in the EBT shed) as well as Friday nights after school for the entire year.

Of course, taking part in this event is not possible without a huge amount of support. We are extremely thankful for the support of the College community and we are particularly appreciative of the parents, carers and staff who have supported the team.

A huge thank you and congratulations to Miss Kylie Henriksen (Energy Breakthrough Coordinator), Mrs Maree Pearce, Miss Emily Patterson, Mr Rohan Bowles, Mr Colin Hogan, Ms Amy Clark, Ms Amanda Leonard, Mr Chris MacDonald and Ms Marg White. We also thank the general office staff, finance, promotions and maintenance teams who have been a great support.

We also acknowledge the generous support of our sponsors: Bolts and Fasteners, Dave Bradshaw Tiling, and Avis who helped with materials and discounts for supplies which were needed throughout the year.

It’s been a blast, so thanks to everyone who helped and sent messages of support. It is events like these when you see just how lucky we are to have students of such calibre and people within our College community who go above and beyond to support them.

Years 7 and 8 Team: Pulse

Placed 2nd overall in the B1 Category

(1st Place Display and Presentation, 2nd Design and Construction, 4th in their category for 24-hour Race)

Racing our oldest human-powered vehicle, this team has learnt a valuable lesson about the importance of all elements of the event and how they add up to decide their overall position. They spoke brilliantly in their Display and Presentation, where they engaged a panel of three judges to discuss all elements of their journey this year – including their Aims and Goals, Nutrition, Training, Environmental Awareness, Community Links – as well as how they went about working on their vehicle. They aren’t allowed to refer to cue cards and must simply speak about their topic in detail to show their level of knowledge and how much of the program is student driven.

Years 9 and 10 Team: Boss

Placed 4th overall in the B2 Category

(2nd in Display and Presentation; 3rd in Design and Construction; 7th in their category for 24-hour Race)

This team was lucky enough to earn a new trike this year and trialled a new, lighter and more aerodynamic shape. This will assist our program by becoming the prototype for future vehicles that are designed and built by our students, in partnership with local community groups. As with the junior team, this group of students was elite in their approach to Energy Breakthrough and the ultimate competitors. Every one of them played their role and in the early hours of Sunday morning, caught up a deficit to get themselves into third place in their category in the race. After being hit by other trikes and smashed into the barriers over half a dozen times, the riders changed their approach and were absolutely flying around the track. Disaster struck at around 7am when the chain broke, and a 40-minute pit change saw them drop from the top three to just inside the top ten. They kept fighting and again had a crash in the closing hours of the race, which forced a rider change; things were just not going their way. To end up fourth in their category was an amazing achievement and the future is very bright for these young leaders.

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) ‘Open’ Team: Where’s Hogan?

Placed 5th overall in the Open Category

(1st in Display and Presentation; 3rd in Design and Construction; 7th in their category for 24-hour Race)

The Open team category is made up of any eight riders (you don’t need to have four male and four female riders, as you do in the other categories). Our team had to overcome the challenges of not only completing their VCE studies, but also finding time to do what they needed for Energy Breakthrough. With the Year 12 Graduation on the Thursday night during the event, the late night and subsequent early start to get over to Maryborough certainly took its toll but they pushed through the theoretical sections to achieve some amazing results. On the track, their bodies were fatiguing faster than usual but their fighting spirit and comradery was enough to keep them super-competitive for the entire twenty-four hours without any major mechanical incidents.


CMC Energy Breakthrough Team - pre-race squad
Lucy Terry, Carly Whalen, Emily Brown and Polly Hughes getting ready to ride
Carissa, Oscar, Max and Paddy warming up
Boss support crew fixing a mechanical problem
Where's Hogan during Display and Presentation
Josh and Paddy