Senior School News
On Saturday 6 December, William Mackie and Ryan Cosgrave (College Leaders) attended the annual Lourdes Day Mass. The Mass is a religious occasion which is jointly organised by the Order of Malta (Victoria) and the Archdiocese of Melbourne. It’s purpose is to heighten the awareness of the Victorian Catholic Community to the significance of Lourdes and to call upon Our Lady, in particular, to bring her love and healing to all those in attendance, especially the sick.
The Mass provided a service opportunity for two 2015 College Leaders, William and Ryan, and a chance for De La Salle to engage with the wider community. The leaders look forward to being able to attend similar events in the future and living the example of our founder.
College Leader Retreat
At noon on Friday 28 November, 13 College Leaders departed for their annual retreat in Lysterfield. It was an opportunity to get to know one another, form a bond and delve into the meaning and purpose behind their roles for 2015.
Friday’s sessions focused on exploring what it meant to be a leader. Session 1 was conducted by Nigel Abello (a Lasallian Youth Leader). Nigel reflected on his experiences as a vice captain and his initial undertakings in a leadership course at Monash University. He questioned the incoming leaders’ understanding of Lasallian leadership and enabled them to identify with ways in which St John Baptist de La Salle led within his own life and amongst his brothers. Session 2, conducted by myself, asked the leaders to look at ways of leading and perspectives on leadership. Students were asked to consider how the Aspen tree (unique in that trees can sprout from the one root system, renowned for phenomenal longevity and entomologically means ‘shield’), could become a symbol of the way in which their leadership group works and is tied together as one through their Lasallian heritage. Students then dissected the physical language of leadership and were introduced to the concept of social capital. The students also developed a greater awareness of conflict management styles and were asked to discuss an example scenario and identify issues, perspectives and possible solutions given what had been addressed within the session overall.
Saturday’s undertakings were less theoretical and more hands on. After gathering most of the leaders and attending staff for a 6:30am run, Mr Bonnici began the day’s proceedings. Team building activities, where leader communication skills and ability to work cooperatively were put to the test, created room for leaders to think laterally and challenge themselves. The main focus for the day, however, was strategic planning for 2015. These sessions were led by incoming College Leader Coordinator Ms Peipert. Leaders discussed the De La Salle theme for 2015, their objectives and guiding principles, and made significant headway in planning initiatives and events for next year. At times focus was difficult to maintain, when the two resident pets (a Jack Russell and golden retriever) intermittently competed for attention as they moseyed through the seminar room. Yet, there’s no doubting the leaders’ enthusiasm and fervor for their roles next year.
The retreat concluded with a Liturgy by our College Chaplain Ms Ferguson. The leaders were given the opportunity to look back on the weekend’s proceedings and reflect on significant moments, ideas that were influential and ways they had been enriched by the experience. Feedback was positive and affirming for all involved – leaders and staff alike.
Below are two reflections from attending College Leaders:
The activity that left the most impressionable memory was the personal treasure stories that we shared Friday night. By doing this, we were able to better connect with each other. Furthermore, through the ‘Aspen tree’ we learnt that we will also be connected by the Lasallian legacy that we leave behind. Next year we will aim to make every small achievement into something, as although an achievement may not be applied to me, as a connected brotherhood we must help to celebrate and acknowledge these successes in order to grow.
The Leaders Retreat in Lysterfield was a great bonding and learning experience for the 13 of us. We managed to fit a lot into the short time we had together, but the most significant task we participated in was preparing for what our plans are to implement for the school in 2015! We brainstormed many possible ideas that would help the school come together as a whole in the hope to reduce the distance between the two campuses of Tiverton and Kinnoull. I now know that we all have the same vision for next year and will work well together to implement our goals and aspirations to make our last year at De La the most memorable.
ACC Leadership Launch
To help celebrate the appointment of school leadership positions the ACC principals hold an annual launch, incorporating the member colleges of the association. Hosted by St Bernard’s College on Thursday 27 November, the launch involved the presence of 2015 College Captains and two accompanying College Leaders from each of the schools. Each school came together to recognise and celebrate both the inter-connectedness and the unique identity of the members.
The launch commenced with a celebration of the Eucharist, followed by the sharing of a meal and a short two minute presentation from each 2015 College Captain espousing the charism of their school. Each captain was given four questions to reflect on:
- What is one core element that is a unique feature of your school?
- What is the heritage of your school?
- What does your school want to be known for in the community?
- What does your school bring to the ACC?
Below is a transcript of our De La Salle 2015 College Captain’s (Elliot Fabris) address:
Good evening fellow ACC representatives, staff, fellow leaders and esteemed guests. De La Salle College Malvern is a unique place to attend school because of the lasting brotherhood and camaraderie developed by all students. Those who attend the College create lasting relationships that carry on past one’s time at De La Salle. They form an identity that influences and carries them into the future; often resulting in a life long association with De La Salle.
De La Salle College Malvern was established in 1912 by the religious Brothers in a small flat near our current junior campus, Tiverton. From there, the Brothers moved; expanding to the evergreen Tower building that began the Tiverton Campus, which is still used today. Our founder is the patron saint of teachers, St John Baptist de La Salle. This year’s focus was on ‘Being men of prayer and men of action’. This phrase stems from the quote of our founder — “Example makes a much greater impression than words.” In 2012, we very successfully celebrated our centenary, and in 2014 appointed our first lay principal – Mr Peter Houlihan.
In the wider community, we would like to be known for our spirit. By spirit, I’m referring to the heart, pride, perseverance and giving shown by our students in all aspects of the life of the College. Whether it’s acts on the sporting field, in a social justice sense or in the arts; De La students are always open to, and gain new experiences by, getting out of our comfort zone.
To the league of the ACC, as a school we bring a strong sense of team unity, representing our rich history in the ACC. This unity, ties in with the brotherhood and spirit that underpins De La Salle as Lasallian a school.
Ms Olivia Wenczel
College Leader Coordinator