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 uniform. All 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.
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.
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.
Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission
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 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