From the Principal

Welcome back for 2018 and I hope you enjoy reading this first edition of the Duce for the year. As the year gets underway, there is sure to be a wide variety of important and informative news to be made aware of.

If you have been on campus in the past couple of weeks you will have seen the first stages of the Master Plan coming to fruition. The old science labs, canteen, drama and band rooms on the ground floor of the Foley Building have been stripped out, and building on the new Science and Technology Centre begins this week. The flats on the corner of Dalny Street have gone and when the site is cleaned up the buses will park there, creating more space in the yard for our students. A temporary canteen is in place, to open shortly and the landscaping in the front courtyard will begin in the Term 1 holidays. Exciting times indeed!

I was very proud of our 2017 VCE results, with a strong showing almost across the board in our various scores. The most noteworthy statistic is that there was significant improvement in all the key data:

  • The Median Study Score for 2017 is 30, up from 29 in 2016;
  • The percentage of Study Scores 40 and above is 6.43%, up from 5.3% in 2016;
  • Median ATAR is 67.60, up from 64.18 last year;
  • The percentage of students with ATARs in the 90s is 12.03%, an increase of more than 3%;
  • The percentage of students’ ATARs of 80 and above is 28.57%, also a healthy increase from 2016.

My congratulations and thanks to all the Unit 3 and 4 teachers who invested so much time, effort and expertise in teaching, mentoring and advising each and every student in their care. Several subjects had median Study Scores in the 34 – 36 range, figures which sit at the very top of the scale when compared with any of Victoria’s highest performing schools. The overall improvement in 2017 is a testament to the targeted approach and diligent attention of the students and the positive relationships our teachers form with our young men. As ever, the organised and intrinsically motivated students performed to the highest standard.

Congratulations to 2017 College Dux, Sam Callaghan, who achieved an outstanding ATAR of 99.50. Sam’s extraordinary results in perhaps the six most challenging Unit 3 and 4 subjects are the result of a disciplined, organised approach, a dedication to maximising his potential and a willingness to work closely with teachers and peers. Sam’s results in his six subjects – attaining scores in the 40s for five of them – sets a tremendous example for other De La Salle students.

A key focus for 2018 is to improve the level of student engagement at all levels. Our teachers are planning interventions related to the classroom climate that significantly improve student engagement and learning:

  • High expectations
  • Strong teacher-student relationships
  • Clarity and structure in instruction
  • Active learning
  • Encouragement and praise
  • Consistent corrections and consequences.

As I write we are in the middle of a very engaging, challenging and rewarding Year 12 Retreat, being held at Rawson Village in Gippsland. With more than 180 Year 12 students working in their four Houses, it is a big few days – especially feeding them! I cannot speak highly enough of the conduct, application and engagement of these terrific young men as they navigate the various activities centred around themes supporting their transition from adolescence into manhood. The Retreat sessions involve reading, presentations, discussion, reflection and sharing ideas around values, beliefs, affirmation, relationships and resilience. Now in its third year, the involvement of Old Collegians from the previous year’s graduation class has been a most successful and beneficial addition to the program. It is wonderful to see these twelve Old Colls return to support the current Year 12 students on their journey in a mature and thoughtful style. A special thank you to all the staff involved, especially the four House Coordinators, Mrs Brogan as the Retreat Coordinator and Mr Ryan for looking after all the logistics.

We are very excited about the high quality of the new staff we welcome to the College in 2018, each of whom will make a positive contribution in their area of expertise.

Miss Sarah Blaschak — English
Mr Thomas Cairnes — Sports Assistant Trainee
Mr Andrew Devlin — English
Miss Emma Fairclough — Maths/Science
Miss Sharni Folland — Drama
Mr Richard Freeman — Clarinet
Mr Ramesh Gammune — Design Technology
Ms Jennifer Hall — Music
Miss Patrice McBean — Media/English
Ms Lyn McGuinness — Director of Finance & Administration
Miss Lydia Moloney — Media/English
Mr Lachlan Morton — English
Ms Elizabeth O’Connell — Maths, Year 9 Inquiry
Ms Dale Orders — Maths
Mr Benjamin Paine — Sports Assistant Trainee
Ms Pina Sernio — Year 6
Ms Hanna Trewartha — Trombone
Mr Aaron Trusler — Lasallian Youth Minister
Mr Ben Williamson — English Learning Area Team Leader

Finally, a reminder for all families in Year 4 and Year 7 and those others who are new to De La Salle in 2018 – the Opening and Welcome Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral in the city at 6:30pm on Wednesday 21 February. Families will receive specific information, but I would ask that all new families ensure the date is free and students are at the Cathedral by 6:00pm. This is a special event in the life of the College, compulsory for all new students and a great opportunity for the whole family to come along (there’s plenty of space at St Patrick’s) to see the students presented and welcomed to our community.

Mr Peter Houlihan
Principal

Deputy Principals’ Column

Faith and Mission

Happy New Year! Welcome back to all staff, students, parents and members of the community. I hope that the break brought you peace, and that you are all returning well rested and refreshed for the year ahead.

There is always something very exciting about returning for a new school year. Staff commenced our first official day by celebrating the Eucharist next door at St Joseph’s. Fr Martin sdb joyfully reminded us that there was something very good happening in the church that morning,

It is a new beginning, so let’s celebrate this new school year, its challenges, our good work, the fun times, the relationships that will develop and ultimately, the boys, because we are here for them and their futures.”
— Fr Martin Tanti sdb

So whatever part you play in the De La Salle College community, may the beginning of this new school year bring the gift of love, the gift of faith and the gift of God’s blessings to all.

2018 College Theme

I am very excited to announce that our College theme for 2018 is Inclusiveness. This is taken from the Lasallian Core Principle of Inclusive Community. De La Salle College commits itself to this Lasallian Core Principle of being an Inclusive Community. In doing so, we commit to working together to build genuine, authentic relationships whereby all are included and diversity is respected.

God of love, set me aflame with love for you and for my neighbour.”
- St John Baptist de La Salle

From a Lasallian point of view, this principle of inclusivity no doubt refers to the stated purpose of the Institute to educate young people, especially the poor, who were not ‘included’ in education until St John Baptist de La Salle and the early Brothers reformed schooling and made it available and accessible.

The poor of de La Salle’s 17th Century world may not necessarily be the same in 21st century Malvern, but we acknowledge and recognise this in other forms; troubled youth, those on the periphery, unsettled home situations. As well as all of this, it is important to recognise that the educational emphasis on ‘differentiation’ is also a part of being inclusive: we recognise that not all young people (or even staff members), are from the same ‘mould’, and we respect different ‘intelligences’, personal stories and ways of learning.

As Lasallians, our community is accepting and welcoming, one that fosters strong relationships and is inclusive of all.

Opening and Welcome Mass

On Wednesday 21 February, all students new to the College in Years 4 and 7 and all new students across all year levels, will be welcomed into the College with a Certificate of Induction to formally mark their entry into the College community.

All families will by now have received a formal letter, co-signed by College Principal Mr Peter Houlihan and myself, outlining the details and expectations of the celebration evening at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Parents are asked to please arrive at the Cathedral no later than 6:00pm to ensure a prompt start to the Mass.

All 2018 College Leaders (Year 12 College Leaders, Tiverton Captains and Primary Captains), will be commissioned into their respective roles and are required to be dressed in full winter uniformAll other new students to the College (those in Years 4, 7 and new to other year levels), are required to be dressed in full summer uniform.

Yaluwo Immersion – Sri Lanka

De La Salle College is proud to offer the Yaluwo Sri Lanka Immersion Experience to Year 12 students. Students in Year 12 are invited to apply to participate in this immersion experience to Sri Lanka to live and work with some of the poorest and most marginalised boys in Sri Lanka where the De La Salle Brothers have established Diyagala, Boystown Technical School in Ragama.

Each day we were reminded of the importance of being present in the life of the other, and that as Lasallians, we strive to fulfil our mission as a member of the Lasallian community, “together and by association.” This immersion challenged our students to stand in solidarity with fellow Lasallians, experiencing genuine need and gave them the experience to reach out to the marginalised by giving back and working with and for the community at Diyagala, Boystown. It was life-giving to be able to travel with sixteen of our Year 12 students and two of our staff and to witness them nurture a visible expression of our Lasallian spirit in action as well as continue the work of St John Baptist de La Salle in the Lasallian tradition.

Our Yaluwo Immersion is a true pilgrimage where we are invited to be in community with each other and fellow Lasallian brothers and sisters, to put our faith into action and to reflect on the part that God plays in our lives.

This is what Jesus asks of you: To do justice, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with our God”
— Micah 6:8

Some of the work we did consisted of restoring the music room (sanding and painting the walls), building the driveway fence, clearing logs and debris after a tropical storm, clearing the coconut and cinnamon plantations, and weeding and clearing the vegetable patch. The late afternoons were spent unwinding, playing a match of either soccer, cricket or basketball with the Diyagala students.

Br Denzil, Br Loyola and Br Granville welcomed the Yaluwo staff and students into their community by allowing us to break bread with them, pray with them, share stories and work beside them to provide support for the Diyagala students. The time spent with students and the members of the Diyagala community, talking, praying, playing games, singing, sharing stories and experiences are so memorable and special they will live in our hearts forever.

Below are a few “2017 Yaluwo Reflections”. I will continue to include these over the next few weeks.

One of many things from the trip which reminded me of what I studied in Year 12 came from a mason we were working with, Vinsun, 29. Being intrigued by his manner of work with the old manual tools which I had learnt at TAFE, I spent a lot of time with him. He was one of 5 masons, working 9–10 hour days, then he played cricket with the students of the school before dinner. As he spoke Sinhala and only a little English, communication involved mainly actions, gestures, learning the names of tools in each other’s language and sharing pictures of family and home life for us both. He is from a very beautiful village in the highland tea country called Talawakele which we (the Yaluwo group), later saw from a train in the touring week. However, the moment in particular was when he showed me a picture of his wife, son and daughter. The immense pride, genuine love and welcoming spirit shown by Vinsun embodied the difference to the sometimes superficial values and ulterior motives of ‘western’ society.

It was also showed how easy it is to enter a third world country and meet people which on face value seem very happy with very little material possessions., but as our time at the school came to an end, it became very evident to us of their deeper complications of family separation, loss and the lack of opportunity for them in their own country. Instead, what they do have is an intrinsic sense of identity and community which, along with their positivity, has inspired me to be more grateful for the smaller things in life, and has built my appreciation and respect for the boys in Diyagala Boys Town. 

Luke Barron
Yaluwo 2017

 My time in Sri Lanka was a life-changing experience that opened my eyes to a world I didn’t know existed. Being able to work hands-on with the boys in Diyagala Boys’ Town was an opportunity that I’m extremely grateful for. Although the boys were aged from 14–19 years old, alongside their study, they worked long, hard hours and they taught me how to be patient with and respect my work. The language barrier made communication difficult, however, there was an unspoken language between us (the Yaluwo) and the Diyagala boys that was priceless and it allowed us to build strong relationships over the three weeks that we were working with them. The hardest part was saying goodbye and knowing that we were going home to our comfortable homes. However, I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity and wouldn’t change it for anything.

James Biviano
Yaluwo 2017

Yaluwo was most definitely an experience I will never forget. It was truly a once in a lifetime immersion. The relationships that developed throughout the trip, both within the Yaluwo group of De La boys and the wider Diyagala Boys’ Town Community, are ones that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Not for a second do I doubt my decision to be a part of such an amazing trip and I am proud to say I was on the first Sri Lankan “Yaluwo” Immersion.

Christopher Groves
Yaluwo 2017

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Students

A Warm Welcome

Happy New Year to all members of our Lasallian community, particularly to the families of our new Year 7 students. I hope you had a lovely Christmas and a relaxing holiday during the extended summer period.

The beginning of the school year can be an emotional time for teachers, parents/guardians and our young men. For many students, the return to school is a time of great change. The new school year brings new routines, teachers, friendships, transport, and new expectations and responsibilities.

 

Whilst, some students will thrive and enjoy these added responsibilities others may feel that they’re not ready to live up to the expectations and demands of school. It is our role to support you through this transition, to reassure you and the young men in our care, and to help you feel safe and secure. Many of you have probably received communication from the College welcoming you to the school and providing you with a little information on what to expect. Please make contact with the College should you require support with your son’s learning.

House Welcome and Liturgies

Our re-energised House structure has seen our young men forge new friendships and develop a stronger sense of brotherhood. Parents and guardians of all students in the various Houses at Kinnoull Campus are invited to attend our House Welcome and Liturgies. Attendance at the House Welcome and Liturgy is compulsory for all Years 10 and 12 students. Students are to attend in their full school uniform. The House Welcome and Liturgy will give you an opportunity to meet your son’s House Mentor and mix with other parents in your House. I hope I will see you on the night.

SunSmart App

SunSmart has a new app, see UV, which uses augmented reality to depict what your skin could look like if you don’t protect it in the sun. We actively encourage all within our community to use a combination of sun protection measures during the daily sun protection times and remind everyone of the need to slip, slop, slap, seek and slide.

Slip, Slop, Slap

One of the most successful health campaigns in Australia’s history was launched by Cancer Council in 1981. Sid the seagull, wearing board shorts, t-shirt and a hat, tap-danced his way across our TV screens singing a catchy jingle to remind us of three easy ways of protecting against skin cancer.

You might remember Sid singing, “Slip, Slop, Slap! It sounds like a breeze when you say it like that Slip, Slop, Slap!” Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat! Most skin cancer can be prevented by using good sun protection. I encourage you to talk to your son about the importance of wearing sunscreen.

Secondary School Vaccinations in 2018

The Secondary School Vaccine Program offers free vaccines to Year 7 and 10 students. These vaccines provide protection against:

  • Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis (whooping cough) – one dose for Year 7 students;
  • Human Papillomavirus (HPV) – two doses for Year 7 students;
  • Meningococcal A/C/W/Y – one dose for Year 10 students.

Parents/guardians of Year 7 and 10 students should look out for the vaccine consent card booklet coming home from school with your son. You need to read the information, complete and return the card regardless of whether your son is being vaccinated at school.

The Stonnington Council immunisation service may contact you about the Secondary School Vaccine Program. Schools are authorised to provide basic parent/guardian contact details to local councils for this purpose. Contact the school by Wednesday 28 February if you do not want your contact details given to the Stonnington Council immunisation service.

To learn more about the Secondary School Vaccine Program, the vaccines, the diseases they protect against, or how you can prepare your child for vaccination, go to www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au or SSVP-Factsheet-2018.pdf. Additionally, the Commonwealth government is funding vaccinations for all children under 20 years who missed scheduled vaccines. If students have missed vaccines, either in childhood or adolescence, and require catch-up vaccines, they should speak with their immunisation provider, local council or GP.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Chaplain’s Notes

As we launch into the new academic year, all of our new students in Year 7 and Year 4 will celebrate a class Eucharist in the Chapel.

This will provide an introduction to the liturgical life of the College and prepare them for the Welcome Mass to be celebrated at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Wednesday 21 February. The Eucharist is the high point of our faith celebrations and our new students will all have the opportunity to reflect on the importance of the Mass as a path that leads us to greater friendship with God and with each other.

Year 12 Retreat

I have just returned from three uplifting days reflecting with our Year 12 cohort. Our young men are so inspiring and give me such great hope for the future. The Retreat at Rawson Village concluded with a Eucharist celebrated under the beautiful trees. A fitting conclusion to the time spent delving into our life stories, relationships and faith.

Sacraments

The College supports students seeking Sacrament preparation. If your Parish offers preparation, I would encourage you to use these opportunities as your first option. If you do wish to tap into the College program and have not already contacted me, please do so without delay on my direct line: 9508 2161. You may also email me at jferguson@delasalle.vic.edu.au or alternatively, return the form included in the 2018 new student package.

At the start of each year, a Commissioning” ceremony is held in which all students, parents and teachers of candidates for the Sacraments during the current year, commit to the program and receive a blessing. This will take place at St Anthony’s Parish, Cnr Grange and Neerim Roads, Glen Huntly, on Sunday 25 February, but this date is to be confirmed at present.

The Sacrament of Penance or First Reconciliation will be held in the College Chapel at a date to be confirmed. Preparation for this will commence during Term 1.

Lent – Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is early this year and occurs next week on Wednesday 14 February. We mark the beginning of this journey with an outward symbol when each student’s forehead is signed with Ashes in a Homeroom Liturgy – Ashes are an ancient symbol of repentance and humility.

Lent is not just a “Catholic” time. It is a concept that is practised by many religions and also non-religious groups. It has its foundation in the wisdom of ancient Jewish tradition. There is something universal that goes beyond all dogma, which embraces our collective need to be reflective and transformative as persons on this earth.

In essence, Lent is saying – take time out to think about your life.

  • Practice self-discipline
  • Think about the needs of others.
  • Take action to serve.

Each of these concepts is universal and goes to the core of our humanity. The real goal of Lent – is Conversion. The aspiration of every Christian is to leave Lent a stronger and more vital person of faith than when we entered.

I wish all our families every blessing as you progress through the new academic year.

If I can be of assistance to families in any way, you are welcome to contact me at the College. There are times in all our families where we need an extra prayer or some personal support, so please know I am available to you.

Mrs Joan Ferguson
College Chaplain

Welcome Aaron Trusler, Lasallian Youth Minister

Greetings parents, students and staff, my name is Aaron Trusler and I am the new Lasallian Youth Minister for 2018.

I graduated from De La Salle last year, where I was fortunate enough to be a College Vice-Captain. During my time as Vice-Captain, I was able to immerse myself in the Lasallian family, to see all aspects of the Lasallian life and experience the amazing effect it has on people.

I was fortunate enough to travel to De La Salle, Bomana in Papua New Guinea. Being in PNG was my first overseas worldwide experience of the Lasallian family. Seeing how all the students in PNG embraced us and made us feel like family, made me truly appreciate the worldwide Lasallian values. The Lasallian spirit was so strong. I desire to replicate a similar feeling of family and camaraderie here at De La Salle, Malvern by working with the senior students to encourage them to get out of their comfort zone and speak to the younger year levels or even just students in their class that they may not know very well.

I was also fortunate enough to attend the Lasallian Student Leadership Seminar in Sydney, where there were 60 student leaders from 22 Lasallian schools across the ANZPPNG district (Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea). This seminar was run by youth ministers who truly inspired me to become one myself. They taught and lived-out the Lasallian values of faith, service and community, which was an amazing experience to be a part of. They treated everyone with respect and generosity and encouraged every student leader to get out of their comfort zone and get to know the other leaders from across ANZPPNG. Out of the 32 Lasallian schools across the ANZPPNG district, only four do not have a Youth Minister at their school, with some Lasallian schools appointing two Youth Ministers, so this is not an unfamiliar role worldwide.

My role is committed to strengthening the Lasallian charism with the students. It is my job to exercise wise stewardship and provide a point of reference for students to act out the Lasallian values of faith, service and community. This year, the College theme is Inclusiveness so I hope to work closely with the senior students, to ensure the junior students feel welcomed and a part of this wonderful Lasallian family.

One of my key roles is to start a Lasallian Youth Team, a social justice group targeted at Year 11 students. The team will be advocating for social justice and raising awareness of issues around the world. I encourage all students to get involved in this, as it will strengthen the sense of Lasallian spirit, and the teachings of St John Baptist de La Salle.

Mr Aaron Trusler
Lasallian Youth Minister

Learning and Teaching Protocols

Taking into consideration the College’s 2015–2018 Strategic Plan Learning and Teaching objective: To improve student learning outcomes within an environment designed to support contemporary learning and teaching practices, a working group was established in the second half of 2017 to improve learning and teaching across the whole College as a strategic priority.

In the midst of aiming to achieve our College Mission: To be an outstanding school striving for excellence and innovative academic achievement in a supportive community to best prepare young men for our world; the working group developed the Learning and Teaching Protocols.

The protocols acknowledge the shifting roles of student and teacher in the 21st century classroom and the increasingly dynamic global context in which our students live. They recognise the importance of providing an innovative and inclusive education in the Lasallian tradition that allows each learner, student and staff, to experience success and to strive for personal excellence in all endeavours. With all members of the De La Salle College community; students, staff and parents, embracing and committing to the Learning and Teaching Protocols, students will mature as empowered learners who are active, independent and motivated participants in the learning process.

The Learning and Teaching Protocols work to establish consistency of expectation for the student, teacher and parent regarding the learning environment. They call upon students and teachers to set their respective expectations high. Finally, the protocols aim to promote engagement within the learning environment, by defining and emphasising the shared responsibilities of both students and teachers.

Miss Olivia Wenczel
Director of Learning and Development – Curricula Programs

Sport

Athletics

As 2017 drew to a close, Year 12 student Dalton Di Medio and Year 8 student André Di Medio travelled to South Australia to compete at the 2017 Australian All Schools Championships. André took first place in the boys’ Under 14 Pole Vault. After a nail-biting showdown, Dalton came away with second place in the boys’ Under 18 Pole Vault.

André and Dalton have both qualified to represent Victoria in Sydney in the ultimate Australian Junior Athletic Track and Field Championships in March this year. Congratulations and best of luck to both of these fine athletes!

Golf

It has been a great start to the year for Year 11 student our 2017 Junior Golf Team Captain, Kristoff Soliven, took out first place at the Patterson River Jr Golf Open 2018 with the score of one under 71 (-1). Congratulations Kristoff!

Mr John McAlroy
Director of Students 10–12

Parent Network News

The 2018 school year got off to a fine start with the Parent Network Morning Tea for parents of new students.

On the morning of Wednesday 31 January, the Gymnasium was abuzz with excitement tinged with trepidation from both our new parents and students. New parents were welcomed into the College and also into our Parent Network. A group of parent volunteers worked behind the scenes to make the morning tea a welcoming and successful occasion.

Upcoming Events

Some of our upcoming events are listed below. Be sure to add these dates to your diary!

Year 7 Parents Welcome Drinks
Date: Thursday 15 February 2018
Time: 7.30pm-9.30pm
Venue: Peppercorn Café, Kinnoull Campus — finger food and refreshments provided
RSVP: www.trybooking.com/TXKG

Primary Welcome BBQ
Date: Thursday 8 March
Time: 6:00pm
Venue: Kinnoull Oval

Years 8 to 12 Parents Welcome Drinks
Date: Thursday 15 March
Time: 7.30pm-9.30pm
Venue: to be confirmed

Joining the Parent Network

Volunteers
Thank you to all parents who are returning their Volunteer Forms. If you want to join our team of helpers click here click here to access the form.

Year Level Representatives
We are still looking for more Year Level Reps. If you would like to be involved in the planning and organising of events for your son’s year level please let us know via: parentnetwork@delasalle.vic.edu.au

Mr Anthony Muir
Parent Network President

Important Notices

Education Support Team – replacing MMEC

This year we launched our new Education Support Team. The Education Support Team replaces the Mary Mackillop Enhancement Centre (MMEC).

The Education Support Team consists of a Coordinator, Special Education Teachers (case managers) and Learning Support Officers. The new structure sees the creation of more case manager roles, with each case manager responsible for supporting students across specific year levels only. With more case managers and smaller caseloads students with additional learning needs will receive more tailored support than ever before.

The Education Support Team will also better support to our teaching staff, to ensure they sufficiently cater for students with additional learning needs. The team will work collaboratively with teachers to:

  • Identify and implement appropriate adjustments to support student wellbeing and learning;
  • Enhance teachers’ knowledge of students with learning difficulties; and
  • Inform teaching practices in an environment of inclusivity and success.

The Education Support Team will continue to offer support to Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) funded students, as well as students who do not qualify for CEM-funding. The team will also continue to facilitate our Literacy Support Program to students who meet the enrolment criteria for this program.

For more information about the Education Support Team, please click here or contact the relevant Special Education Teacher:

Year Level Special Education Teacher Email address
Year 7 – Year 8 Miss Georgina Skinner gskinner@delasalle.vic.edu.au
Year 9 – Year 10 Mrs Eve McLellan emclellan@delasalle.vic.edu.au
All other levels Ms Kathleen Holmes kholmes@delasalle.vic.edu.au

Ms Kathleen Holmes
Education Support Team Coordinator

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend

Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend provides an opportunity to invest in your most precious asset… Your Marriage! Forget life’s tensions and interruptions and rekindle the closeness, intimacy, love and romance that brought you together. Recharge your relationship batteries and explore the precious nature of your marriage, allowing you both to share your feelings, hopes and dreams with each other in ways that normal, daily living tends to inhibit. There is no group sharing. Couples and a priest present the weekend. It is based around Catholic values, but couples of all faiths are welcome.

16 to 18 March 2018, from 7:00pm Friday to 5:00pm Sunday. Accommodation and all meals provided.

For more information, contact Andre and Maria on 0411 225 992.
Email: vicbookings@wwme.org.au
Website: www.wwme.org.au

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates on the College Calendar.

Thu
8
Feb
Year 7 Benilde Camp - 7 February to 9 February - Torquay
Year 10 Dance Program - Gymnasium, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Fri
9
Feb
Year 7 Benilde Camp BBQ - Torquay
Mon
12
Feb
Catch Up Photographs, PAC - 12:30pm - 2:00pm
Tue
13
Feb
VCE (Unit 3 and 4) Information Evening, Gymnasium, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Wed
14
Feb
Ash Wednesday Liturgy
Year 7 Dunstan Camp - 14 February to 16 February - Torquay
Thu
15
Feb
Year 10 Dance Program - Gymnasium, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Year 7 Welcome Drinks - Peppercorn Café, 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Fri
16
Feb
Year 7 Dunstan Camp BBQ - Torquay
Mon
19
Feb
Year 7 Hegarty Camp - 19 February to 21 February - Torquay
Wed
21
Feb
College Opening and Welcome Mass - St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne, 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Year 7 Hegarty Camp BBQ - Torquay
Fri
23
Feb
College Tour - SMT, 2:00pm - 3:45pm

From the Principal

As the end of the year draws to a close, with all the attendant celebrations and enjoyment, I would like to thank all in the De La Salle community for another wonderful year.

I will not attempt to summarise here all the events, programs and activities of 2017, but I must say once again, for so very many reasons, this is a terrific environment for all our staff, students and parents to work together. In so many ways, all we do and all we aspire to is underpinned by our Catholic identity and our Lasallian charism. This has once again provided a reliable platform for our academic, spiritual, social and co-curricular endeavours.

While 2017 has seen a vast range of initiatives, developments and improvements aimed fairly and squarely at improving students’ learning and wellbeing there is even more to look forward to in 2018. A variety of teams within the staff continue to collaborate to design and implement strategies and programs to build in our students the motivation, independence, resilience and most importantly, the skills required for success in all elements of their school experience.

At this time of year, we traditionally say farewell to a range of staff who are either moving on to opportunities in other schools, concluding replacement contracts or retiring.

Ms Kerrie Jordan, Director of Finance and Administration, will be leaving us mid-January as she has been accepted for a voluntary position at a hospital in Tanzania for 2018 – our Lasallian ethos has obviously rubbed off! Kerrie has been a valued member of our College Board and Executive Team, taking a leading role in the Master Plan process, managing the College Finances and the administration of the non-teaching staff in the College amongst myriad other duties.

I would like to thank and acknowledge the following staff for their contribution to the College, some for a term or two and others for over twenty years.

  • Ms Nicola Mairs
  • Mr Matthew Morris
  • Mr Ken McAlpine
  • Mr Lachlan McKenzie
  • Mrs Gemma Austin
  • Mr Paul Fegan
  • Ms Marisa Di Giacamo
  • Ms Emily Scott
  • Ms Patricia Burke
  • Ms Marg McPhee
  • Mr Tim Brodrick
  • Mrs Katherine Aldcroft
  • Mr Noel Patterson
  • Ms Jane Robertson
  • Mrs Mary Finn
  • Mr Daniel Van Bergen
  • Ms Rose Connolly
  • Mr Heath Tregear
  • Ms Amanda Wallace

While it is obviously difficult for me to commemorate these individuals’ contributions in this space, it is important to acknowledge the gifts each of them has brought to our Lasallian community in their respective roles. They have provided a wonderful contribution via their teaching, music or administration – some through decades of service — to the Lasallian ethos and of course to the young men with whom they worked so closely and passionately. I thank you all for your contributions and wish you the very best in wherever your next journey takes you.

Ms Haylene Peipert is taking 2018 off to travel, we wish Haylene well and look forward to her return in 2019. Ms Kate McIlroy is commencing parental leave at the end of the year, we wish her all the best for the impending birth.

We are now in the season of Advent leading up to Christmas, traditionally a very happy time of year, full of hope and generosity of spirit. It is my hope and prayer that each of you can reflect on your year, be content with your life and feel you can approach Christmas and the holidays in a positive frame of mind. As Catholics, we are focused on the importance of hope during this liturgical season dedicated to preparing for Christmas. Advent offers us the opportunity to rediscover the beauty of being together during the weeks leading up to Christmas, so keep that in mind and enjoy the time of hope and promise with your family as you prepare for Christmas Day.

Speaking of hope, I have just returned from a few days in Sri Lanka, visiting the Year 12s on their Yaluwo social justice immersion at Diyagala Boys Town, a Lasallian boarding school in a poor area on the outskirts of Colombo. The 150 boys at this technical training school are from impoverished, underprivileged and often broken homes and the De La Salle Brothers provide education, training and employment for them – an inspiring story of hope and success.

However, whilst staying with the Brothers at Boys Town, they took us to the slums of Colombo where – among the very worst of conditions – another team of De La Salle Brothers run Lasallian Community Education Services. This comprises three schools in an environment so harsh none of us will ever experience the like in our typical Melbourne lives. Where permanent unemployment, drug and alcohol addiction, child abuse and neglect and teenage pregnancy is the norm, most parents have no education and most of their kids either never enrol in school or drop out, the Brothers provide hope and a pathway to a better life.

Space will not permit a more detailed account today but suffice to say in the gloom of these people’s lives — in stark contrast with our happiness in the Advent season in Melbourne — the Brothers do provide genuine hope and an alternative to the cycle of unemployment, addiction and poverty.

In my position I read a lot of information, documents and literature about the role of our Lasallian movement in social justice, the obligation to provide a service to the poor, to seek out the poor and the marginalised in our 21st century community and do something about it. We certainly play our part in Malvern as best we can, but I have never before been so humbled or inspired by the relatively young Sri Lankan Brothers operating Lasallian Community Education Services in an environment so challenging, against odds so overwhelming, we can only really imagine as being our daily place of work. Please think of them and pray for them in the critical and inspiring work these men are devoted to in order to improve the chances of the young in the slums of Colombo.

As you approach Christmas with your friends and family I would ask each of you to bear in mind the real meaning of Christmas and give at least a thought to the very many in our society less fortunate than us, even right here in Melbourne.

Thank you to all in our wonderful community of De La Salle Malvern for your involvement, support and contributions in 2017. It has been terrific working with you all, educating your sons and in partnership making our great college an even better place for all of us.

I wish you all a safe, holy and happy Christmas with family and friends and I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Mr Peter Houlihan
Principal

Deputy Principal’s Column

Staff and Operations

Important Dates

A reminder of the following key dates;

  • Friday 22 December College Office closes for the year
  • Monday 15 January College Office reopens for 2018
  • Monday 29 January Teaching staff resume for 2018
  • Wednesday 31 January All students resume classes for 2018. School Photo Day. Photos will be taken on both campuses.

Information Pack for Families

In preparation for the 2018 academic year, an Information Pack containing a range of important documents and general information will be sent to each family shortly after the College Office re-opens in 2018.

Lost property

Tiverton students who have lost uniform items throughout the year (especially Terms 3 or 4) are asked to check the lost property area at Tiverton before Thursday 14 December. Items of uniform not collected will be donated to charity.

Christmas Greetings

On behalf of all College staff thank-you for your support throughout this year as we look forward a very exciting 2018. The Staff of the College wish all families a wonderful Christmas, happy New Year and a safe and restful holiday period.

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal – Staff and Operations

Students

ACC Leadership Launch

Camaraderie is by far the most prominent feature found at De La Salle College. It is a characteristic that is recognised by all of the students at the College. The sense of brotherhood is inspiring to all and is especially prominent when old Collegians return to the College. It is a fantastic attribute of De La Salle and one we are proud to have.

De La Salle is proud to be associated with the league of the ACC. Our rich history has allowed us to continue to bring enthusiasm, commitment, camaraderie… and the greatest cheer squad to every event! But above all, De La Salle brings a deep and abiding respect for all of the Associated Catholic Colleges. On behalf of De La Salle College, we look forward to another fantastic year.

Panos Menidis, 2018 College Captain.

Click here to read Panos’ speech at the ACC Leadership Launch in full.

For this final Duce of 2017, I would like to share this excerpt from my speech to the Year 6 Graduation Class of 2017.

Lesson Number 1: “Persistence trumps talent”
I’ve always admired a student for their persistence more than for their successes. Often, success is defined by adversity. More specifically, success can be a victory in the face of adversity. This means that obstacles, hardships and failures are all part of the game and our Year 6 students have enjoyed the challenge.

Lesson Number 2: “Know what is really important”
Nobody ever gets it right the first time around. What is important is to be brave and kind – both online and face to face. Don’t be a bully. Don’t even be a bully to the bully. When you hurt someone’s feelings remember that it is important to apologise. This is a sign of true courage. Learn to be compassionate and try to always be there for your friends. Be kind to those you meet and listen to those who struggle to be heard. Try to be fun and light.

Be serious when needed, love and forgive always. Remember the times when you felt alone and then try to reach out to others who are alone. Don’t be afraid to tell the truth, no matter how difficult it may be, and no matter what the consequence. In times of need, turn to your family and especially your parents. Know that a true friend is someone who always listens and is genuinely interested in the good and bad.

Lesson Number 3: “Step out of your comfort zone”
Step out of your comfort zone and try new things. It is okay to disagree but it is not okay to be cruel. Never settle for less than you can be. Stand up for yourself and challenge yourself. The worst thing that can happen is that you learn something. When you adopt this mindset, there is no such thing as failure.

Lesson Number 4: “You are enough”
Whatever you do, whatever happens, you are already 100% perfect. There is nothing you have to do to prove that you are enough. You don’t have to prove it to anybody.

Lesson Number 5: “Your life is in your own hands”
You are 100% responsible for how your life turns out. Your happiness, your relationships, your success, your health, your wealth, everything is in your hands. Exercise each day. Send thank you cards and tell those who are important to you that you love them. Say, “I love you.”

Lesson Number 6: “You have to finish”
Finish what you are doing, even if it is not perfect. In an ideal world you’d have both, but move on. Do better next time. It’s one thing to give up because you failed. It is another thing to give up even before you finish. Some students do not make the most of the opportunities they are afforded here at De La Salle College. You are very blessed to have been here and we are blessed to have had you here. Try not to take shortcuts. Write your own story. Run your own marathon. Be who you truly are and not what you think others want you to be. Return to the arms of your loving God and your family whenever you need support.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Chaplain’s Notes

First Communion

Congratulations to Lucas, Rick, Ethan, Bailey, Charlie, Alexander and Phoenix who received the Eucharist for the first time last Sunday. Students gathered around the altar during the Eucharistic prayer to give them a more intimate experience of the Consecration. After exchanging the sign of peace with Monsignor Diamond, they returned to their seats to greet their parents. Their parents then accompanied the communicants to the table of the Lord. It was an exciting culmination of much preparation by our young people.

End of year Eucharist

Students from Years 10 and 11 and Years 4 — 9 have celebrated the end of their academic year with Mass followed by academic awards. Both Eucharist gatherings were a pertinent reminder of the great season of Advent that we have just entered.

Year 9 Transition

In the past two days, Year 9 students met in the Kinnoull Chapel as part of their Year 9 Transition Program. Students had the opportunity for meditation, led by Deputy Principal, Ms Lisa Harkin. In the reflection they looked at the footprint they have made and what mark they might make in the future. Their move to Kinnoull campus in 2018 offers them a fresh start and the students were invited to consider what goals they might set; who are their heroes, and what their future footprint might be over the next three years on the senior campus.

Diary Note – for New Families 2018

If you are planning for your son to prepare for the Sacraments of First Penance, Communion or Confirmation through De La Salle during 2018, please ensure you return the enrolment form that has been included in your Communication Pack. Should you have any special enquiries please feel free to email: jferguson@delasalle.vic.edu.au or you may call on my direct line (03) 9508 2161 during office hours.

Confirmation will be celebrated on Sunday 12 August, 2018. Reconciliation preparation will commence in Term 1, 2018, whilst First Communion will be celebrated in Term 4, 2018.

A Blessed Christmas to All

I take this opportunity to wish all our families a blessed and joyous celebration of the Lord’s coming into our lives.

The following prayer, shared during your family preparation, might help to keep a focus on what is truly important at this time.

In this season of rushing and bustle
Help us to focus our hearts on you, O Lord.
Quieten us so that we can be aware
of our waiting and longing for you.

Open our hearts to your words
And make us attentive to your actions
in our lives day by day.

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

St John Baptist de La Salle pray for us.
Live Jesus in our hearts forever.

Mrs Joan Ferguson
College Chaplain

ACC Debating and Public Speaking Competition

On Monday 12 November the Year 7 and Year 8 Debaters and Public Speakers competed in the annual ACC Debating and Public Speaking Competition.

Two of our Junior ACC debaters were awarded Best Speaker in their debates; Oscar Boulter, Year 7 and Lachlan Wong, Year 8. Both Sean MacNamara and Oscar Boulter debated twice on the day, and their team won both of their debates, including the ‘unknown topic’ debate where the students researched whilst at the venue.

William Dwyer, Year 8 has provided this report.

On Monday 12 November a group of Year 7 and 8 debaters and public speakers headed out to St Bernard’s College for the annual ACC debating and Public Speaking Competition.

The skill of debating involves developing a sustained argument between two opposing teams about a specific topic. One team is ‘for’ the topic and the other is ‘against’ the topic. Each team has three speakers who all argue different points in an attempt to persuade the adjudicator that their argument is right and the other team’s argument is wrong. Each speaker gets a score based on matter, method and manner, and the adjudicator decides which team is victorious.

Before the actual Competition, as a team, we started off by deciding on five main points to support our topic. My team’s topic was: That Australia is overpopulated. From this we got facts and statistics to back up our five arguments and then wrote our debate speeches. As the third speaker, I focused on what possible arguments the other team might have so I could rebut it. I wrote down some facts I could use to rebut their arguments. As well as this, I wrote summaries to support our team’s argument.

We arrived at St Bernard’s to a packed out library filled with all different schools from our ACC region. Our Year 8 team was first up against St Bede’s. We put up a good fight but we were beaten (by one point!) on the day by a better St. Bede’s. Our second team to debate was the Year 7 team. They presented some very convincing arguments which persuaded the audience as well as the adjudicator; defeating St Joseph’s, Geelong. Our third and final team to debate was our mixed impromptu team. Working as a team within our 20 given minutes, we came up with five very strong arguments. Everybody in the impromptu team spoke confidently which got us over the line.

From this experience, I have learned many skills that will help me in the future. Debating has helped me a lot with my English capabilities – I have learned many new ways of writing which will help me in the future when writing persuasive pieces. It has helped me to better my skills at working in a team. I have also been taught many new ways to communicate with an audience which has helped with my public speaking skills.

William Dwyer
Year 8 Debating Team

Thank you to William for his report, and to all the ACC Debaters and Public Speakers for their efforts throughout 2017 – Congratulations to the team!

Miss Olivia Wenczel
Learning Area Team Leader — English

Year 7 English – Creative Writing

A possessed scarecrow.

A team of space-cadets embarking on a trip to Mars.

A plane stuck in life-threatening turbulence.

Anything is possible in the mind of a Year 7 writer.

In Year 7 English this year, students engaged with the art of creative writing. They learned the importance of connecting with their inner thoughts, feelings and curiosities to identify their perspectives of themselves and the world around them. They learned the power of the written word by playing with language to move, scare and even entertain their readers.

Throughout the Creative Writing Unit, students engaged with; myths and legends, magical fantasy, horror, teenage romance and historical genres. They experimented with unpredictable plot sequences and characters with bizarre traits. They also inquired about their relationships with themselves and ethical dilemmas in the real world, and how these could be applied to a fictional setting.

The following short story is one example of the diverse and exciting narratives imagined and written by students from Year 7.

The Man in Black by Luca Ficarra

Let your imagination run wild…

Miss Sarah O’ Connor
Year 7 English Teacher

Music Notes

The Annual Victorian School Music Festival

Band Festival Report 

Throughout the last couple of weeks, the Junior Band and Intermediate Band have been rehearsing two pieces: The Forgotten Village and Attack of the Zombie Trombones for the annual Victorian School Music Festival held at Deakin Edge, Federation Square in Melbourne City on Tuesday 14 November.

The two bands rehearsed these pieces alone but came together as one big band in preparation for this event. Each week we would cover small sections of the pieces to play the details written in the music such as dynamics, staccatos and the tempo. We would build on these techniques and with a few added rehearsals, the two pieces really came together on the last day.

After school on Tuesday, we headed out to the city by tram, after some last minute preparations and checks. Everyone was buzzing with excitement but also nerves as for quite a few, this was their first time performing for an audience like this and in front of leading music educators from Australia and overseas. Arriving at our destination of Flinders Street we stopped for rest, a head count and water purchases before our performance session at 4:30pm-6:30pm.

As we arrived at Deakin Edge, students were eagerly awaiting to see other beginner bands from Carey Grammar, Eltham High School and Mentone Girls’ Grammar perform. Everyone was blown away by the other schools’ impressive orchestra of sounds but also a little bit intimidated by the sheer size of their bands, but that didn’t stop us from trying our best. When it was our time to prepare, we headed off stage to practice and tune our instruments before we headed back out to give it our all.

We played our two pieces with gusto and had an amazing range of sound in which impressed the adjudicators. After our own performance, one of the adjudicators came down to do a small workshop with the band to help with our technique and skills on the pieces to help us for the future along with posture and pitch.

It was an amazing experience for everyone especially for those who have only been learning for a short time and may have limited skills but got to strengthen them and develop new skills and lessons in front of a supportive audience but also play in competition conditions.

Huge thanks to Ms Kelly Williams, Mr Daniel Van Bergen and Mr Paul Coyle for their support, views and organisation for this event.

Emmett McCann, Captain of Junior Band

Old Collegians

A message to parents from the De La Salle Old Collegians’ Association

If your son has just finished at the College they automatically become a member of the De La Salle Old Collegians’ Association. Their membership allows them to receive invitations for reunions and copies of the Lasallian Roll Call magazine.

At this time of the year, it is pertinent to remind all Old Collegians to please keep the College updated with their current postal address, email and/or mobile number. Click here to open the Old Collegians Contact Form and update your details.

Mothers of students who concluded their De La journey this year will be invited to a Mothers Of Former Students (MOFS) dinner in 2018. This is an annual event that enables mothers to renew friendships that have developed over their son’s time at the College.

Best wishes to all De La Salle families for a safe and happy Christmas, from the Old Collegian’s Association.

Mrs Trish Woodman
Alumni and Community Relations Officer

Important Notices

OLLIE is coming!

Throughout 2017 the College has been phasing in a new Learning Management System (LMS) to provide students and their families with an OnLine Learning Interactive Environment (OLLIE) that can be used to communicate, collaborate, learn, manage, integrate and create.

In 2018, access to OLLIE will be extended to all students and parents. This access will provide another platform that enables you to be involved in your son’s learning journey and our College community. As parents, OLLIE provides you with a dynamic opportunity to be partners in your child’s learning through an exclusively designed account for you and your family. You will have access to all the information and resources that relate specifically to each of your children, including results and tasks, as well as a central point to communicate with the whole school community.

This cloud-based application enables all users to access the tools they need for learning and teaching – wherever they are – through the click of a button. Keep an eye out for information on how to access OLLIE and our Parent OLLIE User Guide.

Mr Rob Bonnici
Director of Learning and Development – Digital Learning

Year 10 Dance Program 2018

An extra 25 girls now wish to participate in the 2018 Dance Program. We are now seeking more De La Salle boys to sign up for this fun program. All dances are progressive, so participants move around the Gymnasium the entire lesson and have a great opportunity to chat and increase their circle of friends. In fact, this is where most of the boys get their partners for the following year’s Debutante Ball.

If you would like an application form, please email me at tandjbew17@bigpond.com or give me a call on 0422 396 110. Like the coordinator at Star of the Sea College I would hate to see any student miss out on this great opportunity.

Mrs Joy Bew
Coordinator — Year 10 Dance Program

Uniform Shop Opening Hours in January 2018

All students will require their College blazer and correct uniform for school photographs on Wednesday 31 January. Students in Years 4 to 7 should be in full summer uniform with blazer. Students in Years 8 to 12 students in full winter uniform with blazer.

Date Uniform Shop Hours
Monday 15 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Book collection — PAC, 9:00am — 6:30pm
Tuesday 16 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Wednesday 17 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Thursday 18 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Friday 19 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Monday 22 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Tuesday 23 January 10:00am-3:00pm
Wednesday 24 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Thurday 25 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Friday 26 January Australia Day public holiday — CLOSED
Monday 29 January 10:00am — 3:00pm
Wednesday 31 January 8:00am — 11:30am

The College’s onsite uniform shop, located on the Tiverton campus is open regularly, during school terms on Mondays from 8:00am — 11:30am, Wednesdays from 8:00am — 11:30am and Fridays 12:00pm — 4:00pm.

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates in the College Calendar.

Thu
7
Dec
Final Day for Students in Years 4 - 9
Fri
22
Dec
School Office Closes, 4:00pm
Mon
15
Jan
College Office reopens for 2018
Book collection - PAC, 9:00am - 6:30pm
Wed
31
Jan
Term 1 2018 Commences
Uniform Shop Open, 8:00am - 11:30am
Whole Campus Photographs, 8:30am

From the Principal

This time of year brings many roles and responsibilities for our students and in this week’s Duce I would like to reflect briefly on the students’ mindset as they approach the end of the year.

While many students will have one eye on Christmas and its associated holidays and festivities there is still a lot going on in the school as we prepare for the end of the academic year, and, crucially, for next year.

Current Year 10 and 11 students have finished their exams and have now moved into the Headstart program as the 2018 Year 11 and 12 students. It is critical these senior students approach the six days with a positive mindset and most importantly, a sense of purpose. For the Year 4 – 9 students, end of year assessments and preparation for the transition to the next year level also provide opportunities for reflection and planning.

One of the key ideas we are working on this year is the development of a broad range of skills in all our students, regardless of their age or year level. Personal strengths such as persistence, resilience and purpose, and social skills encompassing the domains of collaboration, empathy and communication are becoming an everyday feature of De La Salle student’s learning environment. Courses are currently being redesigned to move from basic knowledge, basic skills and core content to higher order, interdisciplinary concepts.

In a seminar earlier this year I was taken by some comments from Professor Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair, University of Oregon and global author on powerful pedagogies for 21st Century schooling. Professor Zhao proposed education should be strength-based, not deficit-driven, where we give each student the challenge and opportunity to build on his strengths and passions. His definition of a great school was one that provides:

  • A sense of belonging
  • Springboard for success and contribution to society
  • Opportunity

I encourage our students to approach their education with a strong sense of purpose and agency, to value their experiences at school, to take advantage of the opportunities presented and give themselves a reason for getting up and achieving something each day.

I would like to refer you to an email we received this week from Br Bill Firman, Principal at De La Salle from 2005 – 09 which in every sense of the word exemplifies that notion of living your life with a sense of purpose. Br Bill has been living his mission in South Sudan for a number of years supporting communities there under incredible hardship. His email this week really typifies the importance of resilience, purpose and making a contribution to society, a terrific example for our boys as a true Lasallian.

A Reason to Rise

My great friend and mentor, Br Damien Harvey, used to say: ‘A man has to have a reason to get up in the morning’. He was reflecting on the Brothers’ way of life. I am sure he would be equally comfortable with the more general statement: ‘Every person needs a reason to rise in the morning’, to get out of bed and start the day with optimism. The reason may simply be that you have something you really like to do that you are anticipating, e.g. an outing, going to a concert or for a meal with friends. The reason may also be one of deeper motivation that you really believe in what you are doing and are prepared to face whatever confronts you to achieve your goal.

The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, who published extensively in the 1870s and 1880s, offered many criticisms of traditional morality and religion. I am no expert on this very complex thinker whose views, as I understand them, often conflict with my own, but he was a master of thought provoking aphorisms. One fanciful one was, ‘And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.’ As a metaphor, that rings true to me. Too often we only see half the picture and make misjudgements based on our limited insights.

I have often observed the incredible efforts made by highly motivated students who want to succeed and once again, a Nietzsche aphorism comes to mind: ‘He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how’. It is amazing how much can be achieved and how long and hard we can work if we really are focused on a clear goal. Yes, there are often problems, obstacles, distractions along the way and we can make the mistake of focusing on those rather than our goal.

Which brings me to the situation in South Sudan. Too many have been killed or driven from their homes, hundreds of thousands too many. But we cannot bring back those who have been so unjustly and mercilessly killed. What we must do primarily is to focus on those who are still able to dance. In 2005, the published statistic for South Sudan was that only 23% of children ever got to attend primary school at some stage – not finish, just attend long enough to be registered. Only 35% of those were girls. So only 8% of girls ever went to school.

By independence in 2011, the percentage had risen sharply to 46% of children going to school. Good progress, but still the majority of children were not going to school. But let us think about the 8 percent. It takes 12 years to complete primary and secondary. 12 years added on to 2005 takes us to 2017. So every young woman undertaking tertiary studies now was lucky enough to be in that 8% who were attending primary before 2005 – or they were educated outside the country in refugee camps such as Kakuma. This week, 14 women and 18 men will graduate as registered nurses or midwives, after three years of full-time study in residence at our Catholic Health Training Institute in Wau. That is quite a select achievement.

On a similar theme, Pope Francis dedicated last Sunday 19 November as the World Day of the Poor. This recent article from Pope Francis implores Christians everywhere to consider in practical terms what we may be able to do to support the poor in our own communities and further afield if practical.

As a group of our Year 12 students head to Diyagala Boys’ Town in Colombo to bring material, physical and spiritual support to that community, Pope Francis’ message is a timely reminder that we can all do something somewhere to support those less fortunate than ourselves. This, of course, can be very rewarding and regardless of how we live our mission individually, service in any form gives us all a reason to rise.

Mr Peter Houlihan
Principal

Deputy Principals’ Column

Students

Risk Taking in Young People

Heading into the long summer break means lots of things – Christmas, the beach, 2020 Cricket, music, food, and time with friends and family. With the freedom of the holidays, our young men are often trying new things and testing the boundaries. Sometimes that boundary testing also involves risk-taking.

Risk-taking is engaging in activities that have the potential to result in harm – to oneself or to others. Young people, however, may not understand the potential for negative outcomes from their behaviour, particularly if it seems exciting or likely to improve the way their friends see them.

Some of our young men may engage in smoking and binge drinking. It is well documented that smoking impacts the sexual organs, the respiratory system, the circulatory system, the immune system and the musculoskeletal system. Nicotine is the addictive drug in tobacco smoke that causes smokers to continue to smoke. Along with nicotine, smokers inhale about 7,000 other chemicals in cigarette smoke. What seems so obviously harmful can be alluring to our young men.

Kids Helpline, a Lasallian organisation, have some great advice for parents about the range of health, legal and social consequences from engaging in risky behaviour. Parents have a number of options available to them to actively promote the avoidance of harmful risk-taking.

  • Having good communication is the best way to know what young people are doing when they’re not at home. This way, you’ll know if what they do is likely to result in some type of harm.
  • Find safer alternatives to alleviate boredom and to give them a feeling of excitement. Engaging in physical activity such as joining a sports team is one option, as are more creative outlets such as performing arts.
  • Be a good role model and avoid doing the things you don’t want your young person to do, showing them how to have a good time while still keeping safe. Young people often emulate the behaviours of their parents, whether positive or negative.
  • Talk about peer pressure – Young people cannot avoid peer pressure in one form or another. The only thing they can do learn to handle it well.

For more information, go to Kids Helpline.

Be well. Be safe. Be happy.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Faith and Mission

Yaluwo Sri Lanka Immersion

This Thursday 23 November, I along with the Yaluwo group, made up of two other staff members and 16 recently-graduated Year 12 students, will be embarking on the immersion experience to Sri Lanka. This experience will provide an opportunity for the group to discover firsthand the Church at work amongst the poorest of the poor, and an opportunity to reflect on and to walk in the footsteps of Jesus and our founder, St John Baptist de La Salle. We pray that in our motivation and vision for the realisation of a just world where the dignity of every human person is recognised we can bring real change to the lives of our brothers and sisters in Sri Lanka. St John Baptist de La Salle stated “God has chosen you to do his work” (MTR 4.1 [Med 196.1]), and this exactly what the Yaluwo group hopes to set out to do.

During our month away in Sri Lanka, we will be challenged to think of others and work together to make a difference to the community. The experience will allow us to put our faith into action by getting involved in various development and renovation works as well as immersing ourselves in the daily life, culture and traditions of the local community at Diyagala, Boystown.

Please keep the Yaluwo group in your prayers.

Let us remember we are in the Holy presence of God…

We pray that Jesus is with them always to give them strength, to endure the situation and to find the blessings and lessons that their daily encounters will bring.

We pray that the zeal and spirit of St John Baptist de La Salle fill’s them and inspires them each dawn and each dusk.

We pray that our Lord, Jesus protects them daily in their travels, remains at their window and carries them safely to their destination.

And we pray that…

May the light of God surround them and the love of God enfold them.

May the Power of God protect them and Presence of God watch over them.

May the Mind of God protect them and Life of God flow through them.

May the Laws of God direct them and the Power of God abide within them.

May the Joy of God uplift them and the strength of God renew them.

May the Beauty of God inspire them, wherever they are, God be with them.

St John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts — Forever

Christmas Giving Tree Donations

Recently, families would have received information regarding donations for the Christmas Giving Trees. De La Salle College is asking families to think of those less fortunate in our community and how we may be able to assist. An intrinsic mark of being Lasallian is to identify a need in the community and then take action to address that need. As such the College is supporting a Christmas Giving Tree for St Joseph’s Outreach Services and we invite each student to place a gift on behalf of their family under the tree. Students may donate a gift for either a boy or girl of open age, however, we do ask that you please consider the need for gifts for teenagers as a priority.

We have two Christmas Giving Trees, one each at the Tiverton reception and the Kinnoull reception areas.

The joy your gift will bring to a child on Christmas morning is immeasurable, and value of the smile on their face will be priceless. Thank you to all the families who have already left gift donations under the Christmas Giving Trees.

Preparing For Advent

Advent is a time of preparation for the coming of the Lord. It is a time of hope and mystery, of anticipation and preparation for a kingdom of this world and the next, and a king appearing when we least expect. I pray for all our staff, students and families, that this Advent season will open eyes and hearts, so that hope and peace are brought to all.

Finally, because I will be away in Sri Lanka on Immersion with the Yaluwo group, this will be my last Duce article for 2017. Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy, holy and safe Christmas break. I look forward to seeing everyone return safely in the New Year.

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Staff and Operations

Annual Christmas Concert

De La Salle Music will hold the annual Christmas concert in the PAC at Tiverton on Wednesday 6 December. This is always a wonderful finale to the year and will include a terrific evening of Christmas music with some surprises. Music staff and students have been working very hard over recent weeks in preparation for this event. All members of the College community are warmly invited to attend.

Evacuation Drill

In the week of 4 — 8 December the Tiverton Campus will conduct a trial evacuation drill to test out emergency management procedures. Phone calls into the College may be disrupted during the drill.

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations