From the Principal

The tragic death last week of 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon in North Carlton and the resultant call for men to modify their behaviour towards women brought home many of the values we work to instil in our young men here at Malvern. Respect for all persons is, of course, one of the Five Core Principles of a Lasallian Education, central to all we do and all our relationships here in our College.

It is critical for our young men to be mindful of the way they interact with each other, with their teachers, Coordinators and the wider staff, with their families and with members of the community. It is never too early (or even too late!) to grasp, appreciate and practice the obligation for genuine respect for those around you. Without dwelling on the negative, because anybody who knows our students will report they are tremendous young men, who set such a fine example for each other in so many situations, the call via messages in the media demanding young men be better educated around their treatment of women is worthy of comment.

Perhaps it’s a sad indictment on our community that it takes a needless death like Ms Dixon’s to remind us, but if any good can come out of such tragedy, it does add impetus and emphasis to a boys’ school’s program on supporting our students on their path to being great young men.

An enormous amount of work is being done by our Wellbeing Team is this area via formal programs and informal advice, support, conversations and expectations. The smallest act of kindness to a peer, the simplest act of respect for a staff member, the basic decision-making process choosing right over wrong all build character and responsibility. These are the traits we want in our Lasallians as they navigate adolescence.

Last Sunday’s Gospel was Mark’s Parable of the Growing Seed, with the essential theme of “from little things, big things grow.” The passage tells of a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” The parable of the mustard seed calls attention to the surprising contrast between the small size of its beginnings and the large shrub, which is the fruit of its growth. It is my hope that out of the smallest acts of respect, responsibility and kindness, our students will experience the growth of the mustard bush!

On a similar path, the extract below from a Lasallian text is a salient tale in relation to the simple virtues of respect and inclusivity. It is in these often humble and unassuming ways our young men can prove themselves truly respectful and inclusive and make a positive impact on those around them.

Treated as if I Belonged

The first time I walked through the halls of a Lasallian school, it had been eight years since my last teaching experience. After many years of working in parish ministry, I was living in Denver, Colorado, and returning to the classroom as a high school theology teacher.

Making the decision to leave parish ministry and return to teaching was difficult. I was comfortable with my role and surrounded by people of faith who were also my friends. But the circumstances of my job and the gentle nudging of the Lord were inviting me to something new. At the time, I didn’t know what a “Lasallian” school was, and I had never heard of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. I simply knew that there was a Catholic high school that needed a theology teacher and that I was a person who needed a place to belong.

I was new to teaching high school students, and I was new to teaching theology. I could hardly find my way around the building and taught in several different rooms so that I had to move each period like the students. I could remember only a few of my colleagues by name. I didn’t even know who to ask for help. As I began my first day of school, I was afraid.

I was walking through the hall during a passing period with my arms full of papers, books, and supplies. The hall was crowded with students, and I wasn’t sure how to find my next classroom.

But I knew I had to hurry because I needed to get there, set up, and be ready to teach as soon as the bell rang.

Preoccupied with all these worries, somehow my papers got away from me, scattering across the floor. I thought for sure that I would have to protect my things from students who would mindlessly walk all over them, that I might get knocked down while bending over in the crowd of students. Certainly, they would be laughing at me.

But students I didn’t know stopped and began picking up my things. Not only did they gather my things for me and ask me if I was all right, they offered to carry my things to my classroom. “Where can we take these for you, Ms Niblack?” they asked.

These young men and women called me by name and treated me as if I belonged there. That was the moment that I knew I had found a home. It was my first glimpse of what it means to be a Lasallian inclusive community. Students I didn’t know, knew me and were willing to go out of their way to take care of me, to help me, and to make me feel welcome. That was the moment that I knew how present God was to me, in bringing me to my new job — no, my vocation — as a Lasallian educator. I had found a home.

That one experience led me to develop an induction program at my school to welcome new teachers so that other new teachers might also experience the holy presence of God through others.

Rita Niblack, Mullen High School, Denver, CO

Wishing you all a happy and safe term break.

Mr Peter Houlihan



Deputy Principals’ Column


Flowers, tears and a minute’s silence for Eurydice Dixon

I would imagine that you, like me, were rocked by the news of Eurydice Dixon’s rape and murder last week. It is hard to come to terms with an event like this within our community at large. As I read the newspaper over the course of the weekend, I saw some familiar football jumpers – those of a fellow ACC team – linked, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder around the floral tributes to Ms Dixon. After their game on a nearby football field, members of the St Bernard’s and Melbourne University Blacks VAFA thirds teams gathered around the flowers to observe a minute’s silence for Ms Dixon.

Football can be seen as a bit of a man’s game so we came over here to show a message that we have to show women respect,” St Bernard’s captain Owen McIntyre said. “It’s a big part of society and the incident does not reflect what we think.”

Melbourne University Blacks captain Josh Bowden said the team had trained nearby on Tuesday night – the night before Ms Dixon was killed. “A lot of us live around here and it’s pretty simple – it is just not good enough from men in society. It was a good thing that 24 blokes on each side played this morning and we could come over and pay our respects. We need to change.”

Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack said attitudes towards women were changing, but more needed to be done. “No matter the circumstances, no matter the situation, we really need to challenge the concept of that male sense of entitlement about using violence,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne. “When we think about crime in our community, any type of violent crime particularly, we have an issue around gender. That’s obviously not saying all men are violent and that’s not saying there’s something inherently evil in men, it’s something about our culture.”

Now, more than ever, it is important to think about the values we instil in the young men in our care. As Clementine Ford wrote, “It was not a lack of ‘situational awareness’ that ended the life of Eurydice Dixon – it was a person who made a conscious choice to exercise extreme violence against her.” In short, people’s lives depend on men being nurturing and life-protecting. Our young men will thrive if they have a sense of purpose and an ethos for life.

In adolescence, the teaching of the young men in our care becomes more and more specific – handling vehicles, dealing with sexuality, making choices about work and career, responding to choices around alcohol and drugs, and dealing with rejection and loss. As a College community, we are concerned about getting this right. As a broader community, we must do this work together.

Medical Certificates

Medical and/or Dental Appointments should be made before or after school hours. If this is not possible, students should arrange appointments so as to minimise time away from school. The Class/House Mentor and Year Level/House Coordinator should be notified in writing if this is necessary. Following an absence, students are reminded to obtain a Medical Certificate, especially in instances when they have missed a test or an assessment deadline. All Medical Certificates should be passed on to the Year Level/House Coordinator and these will be forwarded on to the Reception to be placed on the student’s file. Please note, VCE students are also required to bring a Medical Certificate, issued on the day of absence, if they miss a SAC.

School Leavers Week (Schoolies) 2018 and Parental Advice for Adolescent Alcohol Use

For many of our Year 12 students, Schoolies is a time to celebrate a milestone in their lives, but this shouldn’t mean attending events that may impact health and safety or cause problems for the communities they decide to visit. Talking to your son about the risks associated with alcohol is an important step in reducing the risk of alcohol-related harm.

For advice to help prevent or reduce adolescent alcohol use, parents are referred to the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines: Parenting Strategies: Preventing Adolescent Alcohol Misuse. If your son is likely to visit Victorian coastal regions during Schoolies, you are encouraged to visit their official website for registration and safety tips.

Here are some tips and advice for preparing your son for Schoolies:

  • Start the conversation about Schoolies early;
  • Set reasonable expectations for your son;
  • Talk to your son about alcohol and drugs;
  • Encourage your son to register with Good Times Great Breaks.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Faith and Mission

Later this week, I will depart to Manhattan College in New York, to commence the second year of my Buttimer Course of Lasallian Studies, focusing on St John Baptist de La Salle’s Educational Vision. Having been introduced to the life and person of St John Baptist de La Salle and the context of the time in which he lived in my first year, I am very much looking forward to deepening my knowledge and further examining the educational vision of this extraordinary man, who is our Founder!

I hope you all have a restful and safe mid-year break, and I look forward to seeing you all at the commencement of Term 3.

St Austin’s House Advocate for Refugee Week

As a Christian, Lasallian community, we believe that we can all make a difference when it comes to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. It need only start with a small act of kindness and hospitality and, by demonstrating more compassionate opinions on refugee and asylum seeker policies.

Back in 2015, the Pope Francis gave an address on the treatment of refugees and the need for compassion. The Pope said:

…view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal…Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” (Mt 7:12).

This week, the students of St Austin’s House have been actively advocating and promoting key aspects of their House charity Melbourne Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office. Throughout the week, published in the Daily Bulletin we have prayed for refugees and asylum seekers and each morning in class and house mentor groups, students watch short videos of testimonials and stories which have brought home to each one of us, the reality of those who have lived through the oppression.

Further to this, the students in St Austin’s House held a ‘Detention for Detention’ at lunchtime on Thursday to raise awareness for the plight of refugees and asylum seekers followed by a casual clothes day on Friday 22 June with a gold coin donation from every member of the community in support of this cause. Money raised will go directly to the Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office.

Sacramental Program

Last Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a very significant liturgy that was prepared under the guidance of Ms Joan Ferguson, our College Chaplain, for the Sacrament of Penance — Cameron Clarke, Finn Edgerley, Jack Lanigan and Ryan Tatlis. Also during this liturgy, we celebrated the baptism of Angus Osborne.

The evening was a wonderful event and a true celebration for the families involved and recognition of the work that Joan does in preparing the boys in making their sacraments. As always, the presence of Fr Martin Tanti SDB as celebrant and the support of Br Mandy Dujunco FSC is most welcome.


Year 9 Reflection Days

  • Students will make their own way to and from the venue.
  • Students are asked to bring their own recess and lunch as per a normal school day.
  • Students will not be permitted to leave the venue to purchase food.
  • Students are permitted to wear sports uniform on the day.
  • Students are asked to arrive no later than 8:30am for roll call and a 2:45pm dismissal.
Wednesday 20 June 9 Dunstan, 9 Roland Rana Brogan, Sharni Folland, Kath Marino, Emily Ryan
Thursday 21 June 9 Hegarty, 9 Solomon, 9 Vincent Stephen Brick, Graeme Lawler, Catherine Loft, Andrew Devlin, Shaun Buckley(replaced by Nic Nicolaou), Patrice McBean
Friday 22 June 9 Benilde, 9 Jerome Stephen Brick, Chris Church, Nicola Mairs, Emma Fairclough

Community Masses

Our next Community Mass is at St Joseph’s Parish, Malvern on Sunday 22 July from 10:00am. St Joseph’s church is at 47 Stanhope Street, Malvern. All are welcome to attend!

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Staff and Operations

Staff News for Term 3

On July 16 the following staff will be returning from periods of leave in Term 2:

  • Mr Andrew Wozencroft (returning as Year 9 YLC)
  • Mrs Carolyn Fitzpatrick
  • Ms Michele O’Mahoney
  • Ms Emily Ryan
  • Mr Shaun Buckley
  • Ms Lisa Harkin
  • Mrs Rana Brogan
  • Mr Paul Coyle

Thank you to Mr Stephen Brick for his work as Acting Year 9 YLC in Mr Andrew Wozencroft’s absence.

These staff members will be away on leave at the start of the new term:

  • Mrs Joan Ferguson
  • Mr Gerard Barns
  • Mr David Happ
  • Ms Vanessa Marolda
  • Mr Shane Macintosh
  • Ms Christine Cooper
  • Mrs Trish Woodman

We also welcome Mr Warren Bardsley who will be replacing Mr Shane Slavin who is on LSL for the remainder of 2018.

Last day Term 2

Term 2 concludes at the normal dismissal times for all students on Friday 29 June. The College staff wish all students and families a safe and happy holiday break.

Performing Arts Assembly

The Performing Arts Assembly will be held on Friday 29 June during Period 4 in the College gymnasium. This year the event will showcase to the College the talents of our various music ensembles. These ensembles draw on students from the Primary years to Year 12. The assembly promises to be a terrific finale to a wonderful term of achievement for the performing arts groups at the College.

Term 3 Commencement

Term 3 commences on Wednesday 18 July. Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July are student free days. College staff will be undertaking professional learning on these days. The College Office will be open as normal.

Lost Property

There are a number of items of lost property available for collection at each Campus Reception. These include spray jackets, jumpers and rugby tops. We always endeavour to find the owners of lost items. Parents are asked to get their son/s to check the lost property collection if they are missing anything. Also, clearly naming garments is the best way to help us return misplaced items to the owners.

Student Discount at the Cabrini Emergency Department

A reminder to parents that students from the College are eligible to receive a 50% discount on services in the Cabrini Emergency Department. For more details contact Ms Trish Ennis at the Cabrini Emergency Department on 95081489 or

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations

Language Students reach for Les Étoiles

The Languages Department at De La Salle College offers students a choice of Italian and French language studies. As part of these studies, our students are exposed to many different cultural and academic experiences. Our students have been especially active in their language studies this semester and are to be congratulated on their endeavours.

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.

Frank Smith

Berthe Mouchette Poetry Competition

The Berthe Mouchette, run by the Alliance Française of Melbourne, is a prestigious state-wide competition which critiques students on their knowledge and delivery of a traditional or contemporary poem. This year, 34 students entered the competition and we are very proud to say that four of those students achieved ‘finalist’ status!

These students will now compete in the finals at the Alliance Française in St Kilda in July.


Our finalists are (pictured L to R):

  • Jovan Stefanoski — Year 10
  • Antony Valcanas – Year 10
  • Alex Carter — Year 10
  • Khai Pham –Year 9

We wish them all ‘bonne chance’ and thank them for their excellent preparation and commitment to their Language studies!

Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition

Our Italian students from Years 9–12 will also be involved in the annual Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition held at the University of Melbourne on Monday 25 June. Students have been working hard to perfect recitations of their poems, among which are excerpts from Dante’s Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia). After the recitation, students will enjoy an Italian lunch in Lygon St, where they will also document and observe the Italo-Australian influence on the area. We wish our Italian students all the best…in bocca al lupo!

French Language Immersion to Bordeaux

Some of our lucky French students will be travelling to Bordeaux in September this year to participate in a cultural exchange with French students situated in Bordeaux. They will be enjoying and experiencing authentic French life living with their host families and will be further immersed through attending school with their French “brother” and being taken on cultural day trips by our own De La Salle College staff. Preparations are underway and both students and staff are looking forward to their French adventure!

Four of the boys from these host families will be staying with our French students next term and will be attending classes here at De La Salle College. It will be great to have them with us so If you see them around, please say “Bonjour”!

Avila and De La Salle College Pen Pals!

This inaugural collaboration with Avila College was a huge success. The Year 8 Avila students wrote letters to our Italian students in Italian and then awaited the boys’ reply! After much work and support from their Italian teachers, our students were able to send to Avila beautifully presented letters – which the girls were very excited to receive!

From the students’ perspective, the letter task contextualised their Italian language study. They were able to see how the Italian they studied in class had a context, which was that they were able to communicate with others, namely the girls at Avila!

I thank all the staff involved in this collaboration, especially Ms Anna Cornell from Avila College, as it both challenged and broadened our students’ knowledge and appreciation of the language they have been studying. Buon lavoro!

Looking forward to more exciting achievements and experiences next semester!

Viva le lingue! Vive les langues!

Mrs Grace Giudice
Learning Area Team Leader – Languages

Year 12 Formal

On Thursday 14 June, the Year 12 cohort celebrated their Year 12 formal at The Lincoln of Toorak.

The night commenced around 7:00pm and started with Panos saying grace, followed by an incredible entree. Between courses, the DJ (who also played a saxophone) turned up the music and everyone was on the floor having a dance. Mains were then served while awards were read out with Tom Fogarty and his partner named formal King and Queen of the evening, then proceeded to have a slow dance before inviting everyone else onto the dance floor.

The night concluded with dessert and a rendition of “take me home, country road” and the De La Salle Woompa. Everyone on the night looked incredible and we’d like to extend our thanks to Mr Peter Houlihan, Ms Lisa Harkin and Ms Chris Mundy and all the teachers who came for their hard work and participation in such a wonderful evening.

John Beaton, Joshua Paul and Panos Menidis

Wellbeing — Gender violence and men

I was eating dinner with my family over the weekend watching the news report on the death of Eurydice Dixon. I also see that the memorial has been defaced and vandalised, probably by young men. This, unfortunately, is more evidence of the issue facing us as parents and carers for our own young men. The same report noted that domestic violence accounts for 50% of police work. That figure astounded and horrified me.

The pictures of local football players paying their respects to Eurydice at the makeshift memorial reminded me of the murder of Masa Vukotic, in 2016. At the time, I was also at football training and distinctly remember the helicopters overhead. I assumed it to be an accident on the freeway. I walk my dog there often and have never felt in danger… but then, I’m a male. While there may be a risk to me, I don’t have to constantly worry that I might be raped or murdered while on an evening walk. In fact, it made me change my own behaviour in that I would often pause if trailing a female walker, just so they wouldn’t feel intimidated or threatened. To this day I can’t walk past the place of that murder without feeling sorrow and anger that a man was able to perpetrate that act of violence on a woman for no other reason than he could. It’s sad that I have to tell my own children to be aware of this fear that women may have of us simply because of our gender.

Over the past week, I have also been preparing for a presentation to our senior school students on gender violence and how the impact of societal views about the role of men and women contribute to this ongoing scourge in our homes. I have two sons, a 14-year-old and an 18-year-old, and I am acutely aware of the necessity to model, teach and act in a way that challenges these gender stereotypes.

At De La Salle College, we are committed to raising young men who are aware of their responsibilities when discussions about gender and role present themselves. It is crucial that we educate your young men about the dangers of gender stereotyping, not only because it can help in addressing gender violence, but also because we know that rigid adherence to the male gender stereotype is one of the leading causes of suicide in men aged 16 to 45. Violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness of women aged 15 to 44 years. It would seem that nothing good can possibly come of sticking to arbitrarily defined roles that developed in different times but no longer serve or suit the world our sons (and daughters) are living in.

One of the most common replies to this argument is that “men are subjected to violence as well.” While that is true, it is men who they are assaulted by in 95% of cases. I would argue that this is again part of the male stereotype, we use violence to resolve issues and worry that a challenge to us must be meet with a violent response or we lose ourselves.

Causes of gender violence

Unequal power – the fact that women and men do not have equal power or resources and that their voices, ideas and work are not valued in the same way.

Rigid adherence to gender roles – for example, the idea that women and men should act in certain ways or are better at certain things based on their sex.

Attitudes, norms, behaviours and practices that support violence – for example, the idea that violent acts are ok in certain circumstances, that some violent acts are not serious and that violence is a normal way of resolving conflict or that men cannot be held fully responsible for violent behaviour.

Blame shifting – violence from the perpetrator to the victim or hold women at least partially responsible for their victimisation or for preventing victimisation (she should not have dressed that way etc.).

Raunch culture – culture that promotes overtly sexual representations of women, for example through the acceptance of pornography, stripping and nudity in advertising.

This last point is pervasive across advertising, music culture and pornography. At the same time that pornography has become more mainstream and accessible, it has also become rougher and more aggressive. A recent content analysis of the most popular porn found:

  • 88% of scenes included acts of physical aggression.
  • 48% of the scenes contained verbal aggression.
  • Slapping in 75% of scenes.
  • In 95% of incidents, the aggression was met with either a neutral or pleasured response by the woman being aggressed.
  • In 94% of cases, the aggressive acts were directed at female performers.

The aggression in mainstream pornography is overwhelmingly directed towards women, and viewers see more than sex, aggression and degradation. They also see the performers’ responses to these acts.

From next year, The College will be introducing the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Curriculum, as all Catholic, State and Independent schools across Victoria are obliged to do. In the meantime, I would ask that you challenge notions of gender inequality in yourself and others at home and in public.

  • Start by looking at your own attitudes and behaviours towards women and men. Do you treat men and women differently? Do you expect them to act differently? Ask yourself why.
  • If you hear someone blaming a victim of sexual assault by asking: “What was she wearing?” or “Was she drunk?” tell them that those kinds of attitudes contribute to a society that excuses violence against women. The only person responsible for sexual violence is the perpetrator.
  • Promote and role model equality and respect between men and women in all elements of your life – at home, at work and in your community.
  • Model equality at home and in your relationships – make sure your children see you talking through problems in an open and respectful way and sharing jobs at home equally. Make efforts to highlight female and male role models who are succeeding in non-traditional careers.

Young men are a joy. They are full of hope, of possibilities, of courage, of ideas, of love and of care. Teaching them to embrace these gentler qualities is our responsibility. Teaching them to support people, male, female, old, young, rich or poor is also our responsibility.

I’ll leave you with a link to a video that shows how gender stereotypes influence our thinking and with three quotes about fatherhood that I love and I think fit well into this topic:

One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Howard W. Hunter

My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass

Mr Anthony Freeman
College Psychologist — Kinnoull 

Parent Network News

All parents are invited to our upcoming major event. Hope to see many of you there.

De La Salle College Parent Network Annual Social Event

A Cocktail Party

Saturday 11 August
GG Restaurant, The Clarendon Room
158 Clarendon Street, East Melbourne

Complimentary drink on arrival (beer, wine, soft drink)
Live Entertainment by “Lady & The Tramp

$75 per person + Cash Bar
Dress: “Go Mad & Dress up” Cocktail

Book now at TryBooking:

We look forward to your support for this occasion.

Mr Anthony Muir
Parent Network Committee President

Important Notices

Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust Scholarships

The Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT) is a national independent charity. AVCAT helps the children and grandchildren of Australian ex-service men and women to a better future by providing tertiary education scholarships. Through the generous support of the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs, ex-service organisations and individual donors, AVCAT offers up to 90 new scholarships each year for students enrolled at an Australian University, TAFE College or Registered Training Organisation. Please contact Ms Lisa Harkin, Deputy Principal — Students, if you are eligible to apply. Please click here to open the information flyer

Mr John McAlroy
Director of Students — Years 10 -12

New Science Labs

The contemporary Science Centre is now open for classes. Students have been observed to walk in with amazement and walk out with excitement; proof that the Centre is a winner already! The centre will not just support Science practicals but other hands-on STEM-based activities such as Robotics and CREST by CSIRO.

Mr Shardul Kaniera
Learning Area Team Leader — Science

Important Dates

Important upcoming events on the College calendar.

Year 9 Reflection Day (Hegarty, Solomon, Vincent) — Syndal Baptist Church, 8:30am — 2:45pm
Year 9 Reflection Day (Benilde, Jerome) — Syndal Baptist Church, 8:30am — 2:45pm
House Cross Country Championships — Years 4 to 6 — TH King Reserve, 1:30pm — 3:00pm
Years 4 — 6, 2019 acceptance of offers of place
Year 7, 2020 Information Night — Gymnasium, 7:30pm — 8:30pm
ACC Concert Workshop — Concert Bands — Emmanuel College, 10:00am — 2:00pm
Year 8 Football and Soccer Lightning Premiership — Basil Street, Malvern East, 10:43am to 3:00pm
Arts and Co-curricular Assembly — Gymnasium, 12:00pm — 12:53pm
Term Two Concludes
Year 10 New Zealand Tour, 1 – 6 July, Queenstown Park, New Zealand
Students Resume Classes for Term Three
Community Mass — St Joseph’s, Malvern, 10:00am — 11:00am
Year 7 Liturgy Program: 7 Solomon — Tiverton Chapel
Year 10 / VCE / VCAL Expo Night — Gymnaisum, 7:00pm — 9:00pm

From the Principal

In recent weeks I was privileged to attend the annual conference of the Association of Victorian Catholic School Principals, held in Creswick.

The conference theme was “Education From and For Faith” which may initially sound a little heavy but with a terrific presenter, the three days provided rich and fertile ground for discussing how to bring our Catholic faith into the lives of contemporary teenagers in our schools. Dr Thomas H Groome, Professor of Theology and Religious Education at Boston College, Massachusetts, was our keynote speaker. Dr Groome also currently serves as Director of Boston College’s Church of the 21st Century whose mission is to be “a catalyst and resource for the renewal of the Catholic Church”. Growing up in County Kildare, Ireland, the youngest of ten children, Dr Groome is an outstanding speaker, very engaging with many tremendous anecdotes and stories, all illustrating his lifelong passion — that Catholic education be “from and for faith.” His main goal is to present religious education in a fashion which enables people to bring life to faith and faith to life.

The reason I mention my experience with Dr Groome is the way in which he was able to take the traditional messages of our Catholic experiences and make them relevant for education of our young people in our Australian Catholic schools. He believes Catholic education must reflect a “transcendent” take on life – looking a long way forward to the “ultimate horizon,” to make sense, find purpose, forge community, and receive help. Dr Groome’s intrinsic theme is that Catholic schools encourage every student to grow into fullness of life — to realise their potential, to bring values of God’s reign into the public domain and commit to social justice. In considering Dr Groome’s ideas, I couldn’t help but make the connections between his impressions and some terrific examples of our young men living out their commitment to our Catholic and Lasallian ethos.

On Tuesday afternoon I went along to see a group of our Year 9 students presenting their Intergenerational Projects in St Joseph’s Parish Hall in the culmination of their six-week immersion with JoCare. JoCare is a free service supported by St Joseph’s Malvern and Cabrini Health. Their vision is of encouraging friendship and support within neighbourhoods in the local Malvern area. People in the Malvern area are welcome as volunteers or recipients of the services offered by JoCare. Organised by Ms Elizabeth O’Connell, Year 9 In9uiry Coordinator, the 15 students worked with JoCare service as an expression of their Christian faith in action. It was also an opportunity to be of “service to their neighbour as a means of connecting with others and as fulfilling their desire to build community.”

For six weeks these students met with an older person from the community, getting to know them, listening to their stories from a bygone era and providing friendship, support and connection. The presentation on Tuesday was a summary of what they had learned about their JoCare companions’ life and what they now understood and appreciated about people from that generation. The students wondered at the stark differences between their companions’ lives and their own brief and privileged experiences. It was beautiful to see and hear the obvious affection the students developed for their JoCare companions and in presenting a booklet with scanned copies of precious old photos and flowers or a gift, I saw our young men find real purpose, forge community and a commitment to making others’ lives better. The JoCare and Cabrini staff were tremendously impressed with the De La boys, and it was an enriching experience which will remain an integral feature of their Catholic education. Dr Groome would approve, I’m sure!

Mr Peter Houlihan

Deputy Principals’ Column

Faith and Mission

I was sitting in mass last Sunday, listening to Father deliver his homily. I was intrigued as he explained to the congregation the details and history of what was, Sunday’s feast day, The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, which most would still know by its traditional Latin name, Corpus Christi. As he unpacked the origins of this observance, I began to reflect on how nowadays, this feast invites us all to sit at the table with Christ and join in the mystery of Jesus self-gift to us in the Eucharistic meal. St Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, reminds us that our being in communion in the body and blood of Christ makes the Church become one, in the body and blood of Christ,

The blessing cup that we bless is a communion with the blood of Christ, and the bread that we break is a communion with the body of Christ. The fact that there is only one loaf means that though there are many of us, we form one single body because we all have a share in this one loaf.”

1 Corinthians 10:16–17

Jesus’ hospitality is wide; it embraces the whole person. I think it is true that anyone willing to turn up to the table to share in this loaf will find that the hand of the Lord is generous and that they will encounter a welcoming spirit, genuine hospitality, tenderness and companionship.

Year 9 Lasallian Service Intergenerational Project

This year, a number of our Year 9 students have been working under the guidance of Ms Elizabeth O’Connell completing their Year 9 Lasallian Service. In conjunction with JoCare, an organisation from St Joseph’s Parish in Malvern a group of our Year 9 students volunteered in the inaugural Intergenerational Project sponsored by the St Joseph’s Parish, Cabrini Hospital and Stonnington Council.

Each Tuesday afternoon, the Year 9 group met with an older person from the parish community and compiled a book of the highlights of each older person’s life. These were recently presented at a gathering which celebrated the lives of these older members of our community. Lasallian Service is a ‘community service’ program, structured in a way that allows our students to put into practice the core principles of our Lasallian charism; Faith, Inclusiveness, Justice, Respect and Quality Education. The experience of Lasallian Service encourages students to put their faith into action, as well as enhancing their learning and awareness of social justice in a broader sense.

Please click here to view photo gallery.

We are called to be stewards of God’s creation

 As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.” — Pope Francis, January 18, 2015.

At De La Salle College, we take this call to be stewards of God’s creation seriously. Knowing that solar energy creates clean, renewable power from the sun and benefits the environment, we have recently drastically increased our solar energy generation.

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Staff and Operations

Staff Changes for change of Semester

As Semester 1 draws to close there will be a number of changes to staff that need to be communicated. Planned staff changes for circumstances such as Long Service Leave are part of the regular cycle of College life. In addition to this some staff become ill or change their employment arrangements after the year has started and must be covered. Below is a list of staff changes that will occur either at the start of the new semester on 18 June or the start of Term 3 on 16 July.

Staff Changes from the start of Semester 2 (18 June 2018)

Staff member on leave Duration of absence Replaced by
Mr Shaun Buckley Until end of Term 2 Mr Nic Nicolau
Mr Paul Coyle Until end of Term 2 To be confirmed
Ms Emily Ryan Until end of Term 2 Internal cover
Mrs Caroline Fitzpatrick Until end of Term 2 Miss Olivia Wenczel (Year 12 English), Ms Elena Brasacchio
Mr Kevin Hunter Semester 2 Ms Jennifer Spence
Ms Lisa Harkin 25 June until end of Term 2 Internal cover
Mr Shane Slavin Semester 2 To be confirmed
Mrs Joan Ferguson Until 20 July Internal cover
Ms Michele O’Mahoney Until end of Term 2 Ms Freda Siomos, Ms Catherine Gadzinski
Mr Gerard Barns 25 June until 30 July Internal cover

Staff Changes from the start Term 3 (16 July 2018)

Staff member on leave Duration of absence Replaced by
Mr David Happ Until 30 July Ms Isabella Kottek, Year 8 YLC by Mr Luke Kenealy
Mrs Vanessa Marolda Until 25 July Ms Nadia Pacella-Solace
Mr Shane Mackintosh Until 30 July Mr Matt Jones, Austins HC by Mr John McAlroy
Ms Trish Woodman Until 24 August To be confirmed
Ms Christine Cooper Term 3 Dasha Vorobieva

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations


Are your contact details up-to-date?

There are times when we will need to contact you, including on the day if your son is absent and you haven’t informed the school as to why. Do we have your most up to date contact details? If not, please contact the College on (03) 9508 2100 so we can update our records. Please include parent/carer’s name, address, phone number, email address and emergency contact details. Please remember to contact the College if any of these details or your circumstances change.

Please notify the College of your son’s absence

Protecting the safety and wellbeing of children through the reporting and monitoring of absenteeism is the responsibility of both parents/carers and schools. Please remember to call the College on (03) 9508 2100 or log your son’s absence here early in the morning if your son is going to be away or late for school so your child’s absence can be recorded correctly.

For further information on the processes and procedures our College uses to record, monitor and follow-up student attendance and absence please read our Attendance Policy here.

School Refusal is not the Same as Wagging

Attempting to understand school refusal is no mean feat. Many people still consider it in a similar vein to “wagging” or parent-condoned absenteeism. However, school refusal is an often misunderstood and serious difficulty for many students. To find out more, click here.

Family and Domestic Violence

Family and domestic violence has a serious impact on the community, workplaces, families and individuals. The CECV joins in the sentiment of the Victorian Catholic Bishops’ statement on Domestic Violence: Committing to prevention and response.

Our goal must be a society where all people are safe in their home, families and close relationships; where violence and abuse are not acceptable: and where all relationships respect the equality and dignity of teach person. This is part of the Gospel of love and respect.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Chaplain’s Notes

Year 7 Liturgies

Year 7 Dunstan led the community in prayer on Tuesday morning in the Tiverton Chapel. The students had focused on “disability” and took as their starting point the Gospel account of curing the man born blind. In formulating their liturgy they discussed the many forms of blindness that hamper people in the world today; blindness to God’s love; blindness to the needs of others; blindness to their own faults.

Their contribution to the prayer life of the College was a gift to all present. Parents are always welcome to attend the Tiverton Chapel for an 8:15 am start each Tuesday morning. Please sign in at Reception before heading to the Chapel.


Next Tuesday we pray for Gus Osborne (Yr 7 Vincent) who will be Baptised into the Catholic Church. May God bless Gus and fill him with grace, peace and love as he enters his new life of faith.

First Reconciliation
Father Martin Tanti will celebrate the Sacrament of Penance in the College Chapel on Tuesday evening 12 June. Year 7 students have been preparing to receive this Sacrament for the first time and will gather in community with their families, as we celebrate this wonderful Sacrament of forgiveness.

First Communion has been scheduled for 18 November 2018 at 11:00am Mass at St Anthony’s Parish, Cnr Grange and Neerim Roads, Glen Huntly.

Confirmation will be take place on Friday 10 August 2018 at 7:00pm at St Anthony’s Parish, Cnr Grange and Neerim Roads Glen Huntly.

Important Dates for Confirmation Candidates

Some important dates for Confirmation Candidates and families:

Confirmation Information night
Thursday 7 June, 7:30pm
Padua Pavilion, St Anthony’s Parish, Cnr Grange and Neerim Roads, Glen Huntly.
It is important that all families attend this night. Please note it is for parents and the Confirmation Candidates.

Retreat Day
Wednesday 1 August, 8:45am

Bishop’s visit with the Confirmation Candidates
Monday 6 August, 10:00am
St Anthony’s Parish, Cnr Grange and Neerim Roads, Glen Huntly.

Family Mass, Practice and Shared supper
Tuesday 7 August, 7:00pm
St Anthony’s Parish, Cnr Grange and Neerim Roads, Glen Huntly.

Mrs Joan Ferguson
College Chaplain

In9uiry Intergenerational Project

The Intergenerational Project has been a Lasallian Service collaboration with JoCare, St Joseph’s parish, Malvern.

A chance to relive some of the things I have done in my life’ was how Mr John Horan (class of 1944) described his part in the Intergenerational Project. John, together with Ms Claire Kelly, Ms Maureen O’Bree, Mrs Mary Thomas and Mrs Marie Grafen, bravely led 15 of our Year 9 students along voyages of remembrances in this project, recounting their life stories.

Over the past seven Tuesdays, culminating in a presentation on 5 May, these St Joseph’s parishioners and ‘their’ De La Salle students created ‘This is your Life’ books. These books were presented in a ‘Celebration of Life’ in the presence of family, friends and members of the Malvern and De La Salle communities. Both the Mayor, Cr Steven Stefanopoulos and Principal Peter Houlihan acknowledged the importance of these types of projects, both for an understanding of the past but, more importantly, for the creation of community.

All participants enjoyed the experience and have forged strong and respectful relationships. I would like to thank the supervisors of this project: Kerri Anne, Br Michael, Br Paul, Sr Julia and John. Special mention must go to our Master of Ceremonies, Thomas Hobbins — you did a marvelous job! Please enjoy a photo gallery of images from the afternoon’s celebration below.

Ms Elizabeth O’Connell
In9uiry Coordinator

Sustainability at De La Salle

The College has recently installed an extensive photovoltaic solar power generation system onto rooftops across the Kinnoull campus.

Three hundred and five 325 Watt panels are now installed on all roof surfaces (except Saint Miguel Theatre). Most face north however, there are some facing west to harvest the afternoon sun.

The new system is a 99.125 kWh system which is enough power to replace the equivalent of approximately two months of total power consumption for the school (on average), and equate to $21,452 off our annual power bills. The new system will go live later in June 2018 when United Energy connect us to the grid.

The College had earlier invested in LED lighting right across both campuses, mainly over the last Christmas Holidays. There are some additional fittings being changed out on 15 June. Overall this has contributed to a power consumption reduction over the last 4 months of 51,000 kWh (approximately 12,750 kWh per month) up to 1 June 2018 compared to the same period in 2017. This is equivalent to one month’s consumption under the old lights and equates to a 25% reduction in overall power consumption with the advent of LED.

De La Salle also recently converted all of the chemicals used in the daily maintenance and cleaning of the College to green versions and were awarded the Hunter Green certificate of compliance.

Future Work Summit Report

On 31 May, I had the privilege of attending the 2018 Future Work Summit. The event featured a mix of experts from industry, management and academia. They spoke of informing curricula that will shape the mindsets of future leaders.

The room was asked to consider the following quote from Warren Bennis:

The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.”

According to recent data, automation threatens 800 million jobs globally. Anything that is “dirty, dull or dangerous will be a target for automation”, said Hon Craig Laundy, Minister for Small and Family Business. However, it appears the real issue is whether we as a nation are able to keep up with this displacement, and more so, whether we are skilling and willing the students of today for a workforce with so much uncertainty.

Consider this:

  • 70% of current jobs will be lost to automation by 2030
  • 65% of children in primary school today will work in jobs that don’t yet exist
  • 60% of current university students are studying for jobs that will either not exist, be disrupted or be radically changed
  • A child today will have a predicted average of 17 jobs in five industries during their working life.

De La Salle College is always evolving. Our Year 9 In9uiry program currently adopts several project-based tasks where students are encouraged to lead their own learning and learn from failure. This model of learning was backed by Sally-Ann Williams, Engineer of Google AustraliaShe said, “students should fail fast and learn from it.” Sally suggested that inter-disciplinary skills like leadership, communication, collaboration and time management were the non-negotiable skills students must have when entering the workforce in 2020. “These skills are best learnt through trying to solve complex problems”, she said.

Keynote speakers agreed that resilience would also help students prepare for the periods of transition they will confront both now and in the future of the workforce. Contemporary schools, like ours, have the opportunity to prepare our students for the impacts of digital disruption on their work lives. It is critical we continue to implement the curriculum in ways that give our students opportunities to develop the critical and creative skills that they will find so invaluable in the future.

Mr David Alexander
Director of Learning and Development (Experiential Learning)

Time and Space Mother and Son Night

Time & Space programs are designed to strengthen and grow relationships, especially during times of change and transition. Time & Space for Mothers and Sons focuses on the big step from primary to secondary school.

On Monday 21 May, De La Salle College hosted our Time & Space Mother and Son event and it was a great success. Every year we receive wonderful feedback from both the students and their female guardians and carers. Thank you to Bill Jennings for his work in this space, and we hope you enjoy these reviews from two participants, Mrs Sally Ashe and Ellis Ashe, Year 7.

Mother’s review by Sally Ashe

The Time and Space evening, hosted by Bill Jennings, was an evening dedicated for mothers, female mentors and their sons to reflect on their important relationship. At the beginning of their De La Salle journey our boys are experiencing a major transition from primary to secondary school and this evening allows us to share our experiences of this big step. Throughout the evening Bill led discussions about how times of transition can be major events in a boy’s life, bringing many challenges, joys and emotions for mother and son.

I was looking forward to spending some quality one-on-one time with Ellis, away from our busy day-to-day lives, to chat, laugh and reflect on our relationship. The evening also allowed me to share discussions with other mums and their boys regarding their experience of starting at De La Salle. The boys were fantastic and I was impressed how confidently they spoke to openly share insights into their lives.

As part of the evening, we were each asked to bring along a treasured item to share with one another that said something about our relationship. The highlight of the evening was seeing all these treasures from every mother and son displayed at the front of the hall.

Overall, the evening was an extremely positive experience that Ellis and I were able to share with other families at De La Salle. By allowing ourselves time and space we will continue to strengthen our relationship as mum and son.

Son’s review by Ellis Ashe

I expected the night just to be mainly speaking one-on-one with my mum but it was a nice surprise to speak to the others boy’s parents. I think it was really good how they structured the night to make sure we weren’t just speaking with our mums but with other mums too. To begin the evening we went off and spoke to another parent and student and I think this was a really good way to find out what relationships other people had with their mums/mentors. We then moved into small groups and were asked to discuss questions about our transition from primary to secondary school. These questions allowed us all to talk about our experiences of starting at De La Salle and it was reassuring to find that we all felt the same about this big step. Finally, we spoke with our mums/mentors and shared our treasures with them. As part of the evening, we had to share a treasure that meant something with our mum/mentor. I brought in a photo of my mum and me when I was just born and my mum brought in the ultrasound picture of when she was pregnant with me and wrote me a letter. This night allowed me to talk one-on-one with my mum without having the distractions of everyday life. I think the night was a great experience to have and I recommend it to the future year 7 boys.

Ms Sarah O’Connor
Personal Development Coordinator

Parent Network News

Year 7 drinks and conversation

On a chilly winter’s night, in front of a cosy fire at the Rosstown Hotel, 75 keen Year 7 parents gathered to share stories of their boy’s journeys so far and also to get to know each other.

Thank you everyone for attending our first function with such enthusiasm. It is always nice to seek out the parents of your son’s “new” best friends, swap strategies for ‘Fortnite’, listen to any teething issues with school and realise that after half a year everyone is ok and having a great time at De La Salle. Thank you also to the Rosstown who made us feel very welcome as we took over the Front Bar. Drinks and conversations were flowing free and easy which made for a great night. If you were unable to attend this time, don’t worry, there is always the upcoming function in August which is our major fundraiser for the school. Put Saturday 11 August in your diary and we hope to see lots of Year 7 parents attending.

Thanks again,

Sam Pickering and Lisa McCormack (your happy Year 7 reps!)

Mr Anthony Muir
President of the Parent Network

Important Notices

Time to Shine 2018

Time to Shine 2018 is a musical celebration to showcase the extraordinary talents of youth – featuring singers, dancers and musicians from Catholic secondary schools across the Archdiocese of Melbourne. This year’s production will be staged at the State Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne on 28 July 2018 with two shows at 2 pm and 7.30 pm. Tickets now on sale at the Arts Centre Melbourne website. Discount tickets for group bookings (10 or more) are available by phoning 1300 182 183. Featuring almost 400 students from over 50 secondary schools, this event has become a key celebration for Catholic secondary schools in Melbourne to display the performance talents of their students. Time to Shine will also be screened on the Seven Network after the event.

Catholic School Parents Victoria Newsletter

We encourage all in our community to read the latest issue of Catholic School Parents Victoria eNewsletter. If you would like to subscribe to the CSPV newsletter or provide CSPV with feedback on State advocacy issues you are most welcome to do so via the subscribe or feedback button on the link provided. Alternatively, you can send an email to

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates on the College calendar.

Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday
Year 8 Camp — 12 May to 14 May — Phillip Island
General Achievement Test (GAT) — Gymnasium, 10:00am — 1:15pm
Year 7 Band Concert — PAC, 7:30pm — 8:30pm
Semester One Examination Period Concludes
Year 12 Formal — Lincoln of Toorak, 7:00pm — 11:00pm
Report Writing Day — No Classes
Semester One Concludes
20 Year College Reunion — Prahran Hotel, 7:30pm — 11:00pm
30 Year College Reunion — The Village Belle Hotel, St Kilda, 7:30pm — 10:30pm
Semester Two Commences
Year 10 Academic Assessment Services Catch Up Testing — Morgan Hall, 8:50am — 1:00pm
House Cross Country Championships — Years 9 and 10 — TH King Reserve, 1:30pm — 3:00pm
Year 8 Parent Information Night — Gymnasium, 7:30pm — 9:00pm
Year 9 Reflection Day (Dunstan, Roland) — Syndal Baptist Church, 8:30am — 2:45pm
House Cross Country Championships — Years 11 and 12 — TH King Reserve, 1:30pm — 3:00pm
Year 9 Reflection Day (Hegarty, Solomon, Vincent) — Syndal Baptist Church, 8:30am — 2:45pm

Examination Timetable Semester 1 2018

The Semester 1, 2018 exam timetable is hosted on OLLIE for access by current students and their families.

For the Year 9 exam timetable, please click here.

For the Year 10 and Year 11 exam timetable, please click here.

Please note you will be required to login to OLLIE to access the timetable.


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