From the Principal

Welcome back for 2015 and a special welcome to all those families who are joining us for the very first time. On behalf of all in the College we certainly hope the transition to a new school has been as smooth as possible, as we make every effort to welcome new students and parents and ensure you have all the necessary information and communication to enjoy becoming part of our community here in Malvern.

The spirit of community is an intrinsic characteristic of our Lasallian ethos. Historically, St John Baptist de La Salle was very keen for his first followers to work as “brothers to one another” in the early communities and we endeavour to replicate this spirit 300 years later to ensure all are comfortable, secure and feel at home in their new environment. In their first vows of consecration in the 18th century the De La Salle Brothers committed to work “together and by association” and this spirit of community has been enshrined in our charism ever since. As such, it is in this spirit that we welcome all newcomers to De La Salle and look forward to working with you in all areas of the wider life of the College.

Staff news

We have nine new staff to welcome into the fold at De La Salle this year:

Wes Agar AFL SportsReady Trainee
William Agar Lasallian Youth Minister
Christine Bassili Visual Communication & Design Teacher
Daniel Charles Economics & Business Management Teacher
Karina Dubroja Student Counsellor
Braedon McLean AFL SportsReady Trainee
Noel Patterson Information Technology Teacher
Loretta Sayers Saxophone Teacher
Emily Scott Mathematics Teacher

We also welcome back Jen Bonnici from parental leave. All have settled in well, hit the ground running and are working well in their respective domains. It has been pleasing to hear their comments on the positive culture, our great students and supportive staff and families, all of which have made their transition into a new workplace much smoother.

At Monday’s Staff Seminar our whole staff took the opportunity to formally consult and provide feedback in the form of written endorsements and/or recommendations for improvements to the College Draft Strategic Plan for 2015 – 18. These various ideas will be woven into the final draft where there’s an appropriate fit. The final version will be published and made available to the wider community.

Congratulations to David Murray (Materials Technician) and Cath Wojtkiw on their engagement over the holiday period.

What does it mean to LEARN LIVE LEAD?

I have been speaking, and will continue in the early weeks of the year to speak, at various assemblies and information evenings in relation to our revised slogan LEARN LIVE LEAD, an abridged version of our previous “He’s Learning to Live and Lead.” In essence, these three principles encompass our focus and direction at De La Salle. Our Latin motto “Deo Duce” (With God as our Leader) remains and I hope always will as its simplicity and directness still provide a relevant, contemporary framework for our work.

The reference to Learn identifies De La Salle as a contemporary learning community striving for excellence, innovation and creativity, engaging the individual learner in the 21st century world. The Live reference is inspired by Gospel values and how, through immersion in our Catholic faith, Lasallian charism and the robust social justice program, our students develop a strong moral compass and sense of compassion. By including Lead we emphasise that, at De La Salle, our students learn to lead. A simple philosophy, but critical as boys learn to take on leadership roles across all areas of the College and become active members of the school community.

Upcoming Community Mass and Year 7 Mass

Following the success of our first De La Salle Community Mass at St Michael’s Ashburton in October last year we will develop this initiative further in 2015. The first Mass for this year will be at St Cecilia’s, South Camberwell on Sunday 1 March at 10:30am. The address is Hillside Parade, Glen Iris. All current students and families who came to us from St Cecilia’s will receive a written invitation, but of course we would like to see as many students and their families as possible. It is a great way to build our community ties, celebrate together and enjoy a cup of tea afterwards with other De La families.

On a similar theme, another new initiative is our inaugural Welcome Mass for Year 7 families. The details are:
Monday 23 February 7:00pm
Our Lady of Victories Basilica
548 Burke Rd Camberwell

This is an opportunity for the Executive and Year 7 staff to formally receive and welcome each Year 7 student into the College (or for our ex-primary ‘veterans’, into the secondary school). Each student will be announced, presented and given a commemorative gift. Year 7 families will receive a formal invitation shortly but all families in the College are welcome to attend.

College leadership

In late January four of our 2015 College Leaders — Elliott Fabris, Matthew Mottola, Stefan Di Medio and Raphael Canty — and newly appointed Lasallian Youth Minister Will Agar, attended the annual Lasallian Leaders Camp in Sydney. Each of our young men returned very enthused about their responsibilities for the year, equipped with new skills and a range of great ideas – plus a lot of new friends from the 53 Lasallian students in attendance from Australia, Papua New Guinea and New Zealand. This is a terrific opportunity provided for several leaders each year and certainly increases their capacity to lead their peers and further establish themselves as Lasallian role models.

This training will certainly enable the young men to take an active leadership role next week as the Year 12 Retreat returns to De La Salle. We are very excited about this initiative and consider it an integral feature of a Year 12 experience at the College. Held over three days and two nights at Rawson Village, the program enables our Year 12 students to explore a range of issues relevant to their transition to manhood, their Catholic and Lasallian identity, relationships and responsibilities, and their role in society.

Swimming and athletics preparation

I’d like to thank Mr Chris and Mrs Gab Windley, ably supported by Mr Tim Hogan, for organising and running the Swimming Team Camp at Phillip Island last weekend. We had 26 swimmers in attendance and all had a great time, braving the surf and sub-par summer weather. The team is training 2 – 3 times a week with about 40 boys on the books in preparation for a return to the traditional De La Salle Championships evening on Wednesday 11 February at Prahran Pool, then of course the ACC Carnival at MSAC on the evening of Friday 20 February. In a similar vein, the ACC Athletics Squad this week began training in preparation for our De La Salle Carnival at Albert Park on Friday March 6 and the ACC Carnival on Wednesday 25 March. All students are welcome to try out; see Director of Sport Mr Edgar or turn up to Kinnoull Tuesdays after school or Friday mornings at 7:30am.

Old Collegians Association

Last Sunday the Old Collegians Football Club held their annual Golf Day, with several staff competing among the 104 golfers. President Richard Williams and Vice-President Brian Waldron have been very active in promoting links between the DLS Old Colls and the College, which is a terrific venture with obvious benefits for both parties. Year 11 Coordinator Mr Michael Petrie is our Liaison Officer for the Old Colls and Head of Kinnoull Campus Mr Luke Kenealy is on the club committee. If you have any questions or would like to get involved or contribute in any way please contact any of the gentlemen above as the club is always working on creating and maintaining a tremendous culture and environment for our young men to be involved in, especially in regards to retaining a connection with the College.

Wishing you all the very best for what is a busy beginning to the term.

Mr Peter Houlihan


Back to The Duce Issue 2015 01 - 5 February 2015