The Duce Issue 2017 19 - 07 December 2017

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

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


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: 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 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.

Final Day for Students in Years 4 - 9
School Office Closes, 4:00pm
College Office reopens for 2018
Book collection - PAC, 9:00am - 6:30pm
Term 1 2018 Commences
Uniform Shop Open, 8:00am - 11:30am
Whole Campus Photographs, 8:30am