Deputy Principals’ Column

Faith and Mission

World Youth Day Local Experience

On Saturday 30 July a group of senior students attended the World Youth Day Local Experience, which was held at St Bede’s College.

The event provided the students with an opportunity to explore the Year of Mercy through various activities and reflections on faith, service and community.

The event was a young adults retreat and was open for all young adults from Year 10 to 25 years of age and it featured guest speakers, workshops, prayer, a Camino walk along Mentone Beach and plenty of good food.

It was wonderful to see the young men of De La Salle demonstrate the faith leadership in such a spirited and active way. They engaged whole heartedly throughout the day, attending lectures on the theme of mercy and another on social justice. They also participated in workshops ranging from WYD art mosaics, Christian meditation and an ACRATH session on human trafficking and slavery. There was also time to socialise and enjoy the company of other young people in attendance.

I would like to thank Ms Brenda McCullagh who attended the event with me, and I would also like to acknowledge the following students for the fine way they represented De La Salle College on the day: Henry Barnett, Luke Barron, James Biviano, Joel Caruso, Thomas Cairnes, William Callaghan, Christopher Groves, Oliver Hart, Thomas Ponissi and Anthony Ticinovic.


Staff Formation and Wellbeing Day – Friday 12 August

Next week the De La Salle staff will participate in the annual Staff Formation and Wellbeing Day. It is hoped the day will provide us with spiritual nourishment that will deepen our understanding of approaches to Catholic identity in a Lasallian school.

De La Salle College is committed to providing opportunities which form and enrich our staff and enliven them to reflect on our Lasallian charism.

Our Staff Formation Day is significant in our College calendar and will support us to live the truth of our founder, St John Baptist de La Salle; “This work of teaching is one of the most important in the Church” (MTR7.1 [Med199.1]).

Australia’s first Saint – St Mary Mackillop

Monday 8 August is the Feast Day of Australia’s first saint, St Mary Mackillop, also known as St Mary of the Cross. St Mary Mackillop is remembered for her lifelong commitment to the poor, particularly in setting up schools through the order she co-founded, the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. She had a clear and definite preferential option for the poor.

She defended the plight of the poor and provided counsel and refuge for the week. Her motto “Never see a need without doing something about it”, still has relevance in our world today. More than ever, her message is profoundly relevant to all of us today and one that we should all hear and act upon. When was the last time any of us saw a need and did something about it? Because I am sure, that when we do, we ought to be prepared to also find Christ in that moment.

O God, source of all goodness, who has shown us in Saint Mary a woman of faith living by the power of the Cross, teach us, we pray, by her example to live the gospel in changing times and to respect and defend the human dignity of all in our land. Amen

St Mary of the Cross – Pray for us
St John Baptist De La Salle – Pray for us
Live Jesus in our hearts — Forever

De La Salle and St Columba’s Community Mass

This Sunday 7 August we have our next Community Mass at St Columba’s Parish, 24 Glen Huntly Road, Elwood. The Mass commences at 9:00am. It would be wonderful to have as many families as possible joining us to celebrate Mass.

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Learning and Teaching

Transition and Subject Selection

Throughout term three students in Years 7–11 are involved in activities in preparation for 2017 subject selection. The Transition Program is tailored to the different needs of students at the different levels of schooling, involving extensive information provided through assemblies for each year level, dedicated time in homerooms to plan their courses, Subject Selection Days for Year 9, 10 and 11 students, and the recently held Expo/Information Evening for Year 9 and 10 students and their parents.

In addition, the 2017 Curriculum Handbook, which outlines the Year 4–12 curriculum program, is available via the College website, under the Learning tab. This is a crucial tool for students being as well informed and prepared as possible for this important decision-making time. Parents are encouraged to spend time with their son going through all of the options available for the coming year.

Re-enrolment forms and planning exercises for students are in the process of being sent home via students. Please note the dates of distribution and collection:

Current Year Level Forms distributed Forms Collected
Year 9 Wednesday 20 July Friday 2 September
Year 10 Wednesday 20 July Friday 19 August
Year 11 Friday 22 July Friday 19 August

Dates for the distribution of re-enrolment and subject selection forms for Years 7 and 8 will be advised shortly.

With encouragement and support, serious reflection and careful decision making, it is possible for all students to choose a pathway in which they will be happy and successful, be it in the subjects they undertake in coming years or choice of tertiary study and careers.

Year 9, 10 & 11 Subject Selection Days

As mentioned, all Year 9, 10 and 11 students will be taking part in a Subject Selection Day as part of their Transition Program. This acknowledges the often complex and difficult decisions made as students move into VCE or VCAL programs for Year 10 and 11 students. In addition, Subject Selection for Year 9 students will provide support in the selection of units in Year 10 in 2017, quite a different process for selection of Year 9 subjects.

On Subject Selection Days, students will not take part in normal classes. They will be allocated a fifteen minute appointment time with a Course Advisor, a staff member who will guide them through completion of the subject selection form. A summary of key reminders for students regarding Subject Selection Days:

  • Students will be required to attend their appointment on time, in full school uniform.
  • They will be required to bring their completed planning exercises booklet, which they will have received and have been working on throughout the beginning of the term, as well as their Semester 1 reports and completed re-enrolment form. Year 11 students will also be required to bring their completed Careers Passport.
  • Students who come to their appointment unprepared will be sent home without filling in a subject selection form on the day. This will jeopardise their chances of being placed in the subjects they wish to choose.
  • Parents are invited to attend the Subject Selection Day with their son.
  • Students who come without a parent will receive a record of their subject selections to take home to parents. We ask that the slip at the bottom of the form is returned to Homeroom teachers on the following Monday to acknowledge parental endorsement of the selected subjects.

Subject Selection Day for Year 10 and 11 students is Friday 19 August
Subject Selection Day for Year 9 students is Friday 2 September

Mr Mark Gustincic
Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching

Staff and Operations

Parent/ Teacher Interviews

Parent /Teacher Interviews commence next week.

The schedule for booking arrangements is:
Mon 1 Aug PTO bookings open to parents for Session 1 (6:00am)
Tue 9 Aug PTO bookings close to parents (11:55pm)
Thu 11 Aug 2:00pm-8:30pm Parent/Teacher Session 1
Fri 12 Aug PTO bookings re-open to parents for Session 2 (6:00am)
Mon 15 Aug PTO bookings close to parents for session 2 (11:55pm)
Wed 17 Aug 2:00pm-8:30pm Parent/Teacher Session 2

Parents please note that there are some times in the schedule when staff are blocked out as unavailable. There are a number of reasons that may have caused this including ACC sport fixtures, part–time staff and staff illness. All teaching staff will make every effort to make contact you if they are away and you cannot see them. Please contact them to let them know you were unable to make an interview time with them.

Error in the College Diary – Year 8 Benilde/Dunstan Camp

Parents please note the College Student Diary indicates the Year 8 Benilde/Dunstan Camp is scheduled for 23–26 August. This is incorrect. The Year 8 Benilde/Dunstan Camp will occur from 16 -19 August. Unfortunately a change in the schedule had to occur due to camp availability after the diary dates were submitted. We apologise for any confusion.

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal – Staff and Operations


Election of the College Captain and Vice-Captains (2017)

We are in the process of electing our College Captain and Vice-Captains for 2017. Close to fifty Year 11 students have applied for a position of leadership at Year 12. The boys have submitted a written application, sought feedback from staff through a confidential referee’s report and will deliver their speeches over the coming weeks. Once elected, our Year 12 Student Leaders will attend a Leadership Retreat where they will identify their leadership values, affirm and strengthen their existing leadership abilities and talk with leaders who inspire them and enhance their ability to effect positive change. I’m sure you’ll join me in wishing our applicants all the best.

General Expectations – Electronic Devices

Recently, a number of students have breached our General Expectations — Electronic Devices Policy. It seems timely to remind students that the mantra of “think before you post” is really the golden rule of online communication. Online communication is instant, wide-reaching and difficult to retract, so you need to be sure you want it out there before you put it out there. A couple of seconds re-reading your post, thinking about the photo, or running the worst-case scenario through your head can save you a lot of real-life pain. Essentially, the only person you can trust to keep your private photos private is you. Once you send them to someone else, they’re out of your control and you’re relying on the discretion and good judgment of other people to stop them ending up on every phone at school or on a public site. If you don’t want everyone to know about it, don’t post it. Once it’s out there, it could be there for life.

Do Sports Drinks Fuel or Fool Young Athletes?

With the success of our Cross Country Carnival yesterday and as we sprint towards the Olympic Opening Ceremonies, sports-drink marketing is at a fever pitch. Coca-Cola, owner of Powerade and Vitaminwater, is the longest continuous Olympics sponsor, and the company is clearly cashing in on this connection. Children across the globe aspire to be as fast, strong and skilled as our Olympic athletes, so marketing Powerade as the drink of an Olympic winner is certainly a gold-medal strategy.

Commercial sports drinks were initially designed for athletes who, like the Olympians, train and sweat so vigorously and for such prolonged periods that they sufficiently deplete their bodies to require the rehydration and calorie replenishment these drinks provide. But here’s the thing — the elite athlete market is tiny, and our children, even the most athletic ones, are not part of it.

The sports-drink market was recently estimated at a whopping $US 6.81 billion. Children and adults want something to drink besides water but many of these contain sweeteners that are chemically processed additives. The American Academy of Paediatrics recently published findings that showed that “routine ingestion of carbohydrate-containing sports drinks by children and adolescents should be avoided or restricted. Water, not sports drinks, should be the principal source of hydration for children and adolescents.”

I applaud all the boys who competed in the Cross Country event yesterday. As a marshal on course, it was wonderful to see the sense of comradery and brotherhood amongst the boys and their peers.

(Adapted from an article by Casey Seidenberg)

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal — Students


Back to The Duce Issue 2016 11 - 4 August 2016