From the Principal

Last week we farewelled our 2014 Year 12 graduates. I was very impressed by the mature, responsible and cooperative manner in which the students finished their formal schooling at De La Salle. The final day of classes, a celebration day and the final Year 12 Breakfast and Assembly were all terrific examples of young men who respect their College and were keen to leave a fitting legacy.

The Year 12 Assembly was a very enjoyable experience as the whole school acknowledged and sent off the Year 12 students. After the presentation of a range of significant annual awards outgoing College Captain James Benton delivered a memorable speech, reflecting on his cohort’s time at the College, their fondness for De La and the tremendous bond which comes from six to nine years here. This was a final example of James’s excellent leadership throughout his term, resulting in an unprecedented standing ovation by all in the gym; a remarkable experience.

To conclude the formalities in farewelling the Class of 2014 the Final Mass and Valedictory Dinner, held for the first time in the Olympic Dining Room at the MCG, were truly memorable events. To witness almost 170 young men, with justifiably proud parents, celebrating the culmination of their secondary schooling in a formal environment was very rewarding and made all teachers present proud of the style of graduate our College produces. A rousing rendition of the College Hymn as a tribute to their school was another highlight of the evening.

I have included below an extract from my Principal’s Address from the Valedictory Dinner, reflecting on the students and parents finishing Year 12:

Valedictory Dinners are poignant occasions; such a range of emotions and certainly as a student – let alone parent, teacher or principal — one never really knows which is most appropriate. By definition a Valedictory is a farewell and I suppose we are farewelling our young men from formal schooling, but as 101 years of tradition demonstrates all too clearly, once you are a De La boy you never really leave. I certainly hope each of you will feel that way in years to come and as a true Lasallian you know you are always welcome to return. You are also part of a significant international Lasallian network with hundreds of schools and universities, with 900,000 students in 80 countries. This in itself will present opportunities for some of you.

The Valedictory is always very exciting in many ways because it does signal the end of school after 13 years but it is also tinged with sadness. So many memories, so many friendships, experiences, achievements, and yet it seems like no time since you started in Year 7 in 2009 or indeed for 13 of you – I think my information is accurate — on day 1 of Year 4 in 2006! 

This evening also brings a little trepidation about the future, but hopefully more a sense of excitement as you are now entering into a whole new world where you will make your mark, follow your dreams and become whatever you want to be. 

I have every confidence in each of you as men of great potential, you just have to take advantage of the gifts you have and the support, opportunities, camaraderie and sense of responsibility your Lasallian education has given you. While we continually strive for improvement and push each member of the Year 12 cohort to achieve your personal best in the academic arena, there is one constant in our graduates each year. De La Salle turns out fine young men with a keen sense of social justice who are ready to contribute to society and become leaders in their own right. I know this is the case with the tremendous group of students I see in this dining room. 

At the beginning of the year, they committed to the theme “Men of Prayer, Men of Action” and as a cohort they have certainly embraced this theme. I have witnessed it in academic performance, in social justice and charity events, in the Arts, sport, faith and liturgy, leadership and in the abundant positive relationships they have established in all areas of the College. You are well equipped to step out into the real world — make the most of it, gentlemen. 

To the parents, thank you for the privilege of educating your sons in a Lasallian environment, the privilege of working with them in the classroom, getting to know them in Homeroom, and in building relationships in the less formal settings of a wide range of co-curricular activities they have so enthusiastically embarked upon.

The lot of a VCE parent is not guaranteed to be a happy one. The nightly responsibility of governance and management of a Year 12 candidate, which you have all successfully managed this year, is a big job, but ultimately rewarding.

Thank you for your support of the College and the influence, love, guidance, patience and the obvious superb role models you provide for your sons. As I often tell people in less formal settings, De La boys are just good old- fashioned ‘good kids’; what you see is what you get. They are a credit to the school and to their families, so I thank you as parents for all that your sons have brought to the College.

Join us for the inaugural College Mass

On Sunday 9 November the College is holding our inaugural De La Salle Community Mass. It will be held at 10:30am at St Michael’s, 268 High St Ashburton. The College is looking for opportunities to increase our community involvement, connect with families and their local parishes and create opportunities for staff, students and parents to come together more often outside the formal setting of the school environment.

Various ex-students from St Michael’s and the 2015 College Leaders will be actively participating in the Mass in the form of readings, offertory and other prayers throughout. We are hoping families will be able to come along to what we see as an excellent opportunity to celebrate Mass as a College community in conjunction with St Michael’s parishioners.

Morning tea will be served after Mass. I look forward to seeing as many families as possible on the day.

Weightlifting Reunion

Last Friday 24 October we hosted a reunion to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Weightlifting beginning at De La Salle and formally opened the Damian Brown-Harvey Goodman Weightlifting Centre.

It was tremendous to see a range of Australian Olympic, Commonwealth and World Championship representatives return to reminisce and celebrate where their careers began, followed by a dinner together in Caulfield.

 Student achievements

Congratulations to Harry King (below), Year 4, on his efforts in completing a 20km bike ride with his dad for Round the Bay in a Day. It was the second time he has completed the event. Next year Harry hopes to tackle the 50km event.

Mackenzie Turley, Year 7, has been selected in the Victorian Under 12 Softball Team. He will be representing Victoria in the National Championships in Queensland. We wish Mackenzie all the best for a successful campaign.

Staff congratulations

Finally, I would like to congratulate two of our staff members:

Our College Archivist Luisa Moscato received a President’s Award at the ASA Conference in New Zealand for conducting an Australian Society of Archivists workshop at the recent biennial international Educate Plus Conference in Melbourne representing De La Salle College. Congratulations and well done, Luisa!

Congratulations also to ICT team member Anthony Prescott and his wife Li Ann on the safe – if early – arrival of twin boys Ben and Daniel. All are doing well but things are a little hectic as one would imagine with newborn twins!

Mr Peter Houlihan


Back to The Duce Issue 2014 12 - 30 October 2014