Deputy Principals’ Column

Learning and Teaching

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

St Francis of Assisi

At the Academic Awards ceremony on Thursday 23 February, our students were challenged to adopt St Francis’ wise words within their studies. As we celebrated our 2016 subject award winners, 90+ ATAR recipients and Year 7–11 Duces, students were asked to look to the award winners for inspiration and consider what they could do personally to better themselves as learners. As we urged to adopt a growth mindset, remembering St Francis’ words, and motivate themselves to do better and achieve success – whatever that may look like – as a community, we reflected on what the impossible may actually look like.

This occasion saw many of our 2016 graduates return with great pride for the College and all they have achieved. 2016 College Dux, Thomas Ponissi, reminisced about his time at De La Salle College and the opportunities it provided him. Drawing on the words of our founder, St John Baptist de la Salle, Thomas encouraged the community to see “that what might seem like [one’s] biggest weakness now may one day just turn out to be [their] greatest strength”. Additionally, Thomas advised students to “pursue [their] own interests as opposed to the expectations of others”, assuring them that “with passion, patience and perfectionism, [they] can succeed in anything [they] put [their] mind to”. (You can read Thomas Ponissi’s 2016 Dux speech in full here)

We are so incredibly proud of all of our 2016 graduates and all they have achieved. On the evening proceeding this celebration of our 2016 award winners, our 2017 Year 12 students and their families gathered in anticipation of the exciting, yet challenging, year ahead. Recognising that success within the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) is reliant on the learning partnership between student, teacher and families, this information evening addressed common questions about the curriculum and structure of Year 12 and provided strategies to assist in the year ahead.

The highlight of the evening was a panel consisting of Benjamin McGaw (Class of 2015), Sonia Agar (mother of Old Collegians from the Classes of 2011, 2013 and 2014) and Jodie McLaren (experienced VCE teacher). Ben, Sonia and Jodie provided the audience with their invaluable hints and strategies for VCE success. Ben stressed the need for the boys to ask questions of their teachers, utilise their time and balance their study and social lives. Sonia recalled the necessity for parents to work with their son’s teachers and be proud of their individuality and the personal excellence they will each achieve. Whilst Jodie emphasised the need for Year 12 students to engage with the VCAA Study Designs for each of their subjects and consistently seek feedback from their teachers. Our sincere thanks to Ben, Sonia and Jodie for their contributions to the evening.

Despite these two events specifically focusing on VCE, the advice provided within each is applicable at any year level. It is important that our boys see their time at De La Salle holistically, building on the necessary skills each year as they progress towards their final years of schooling. Approaching the necessities in Years 7 and 8, allows the possible in Years 9 and 10, paving the way for what may seem impossible in Years 11 and 12.

Ms Rose Connolly
Acting Deputy Principal – Learning & Teaching (Term 1, 2017)
Director of Learning and Development – Curricula Programs




Turn away from sin and believe in the Gospel”
Mark 1:15




Ash Wednesday is a day many Christians set aside as a special day. It is a day to remember our humanity and mortality. It is a day to begin the season of Lent, a time for reflection, penitence, and preparation for Easter.

Last week, on Ash Wednesday, we received a cross of ashes on our forehead and we were reminded of the beginning of the Lenten Season.

At De La Salle, the day began with staff gathering for a morning liturgy in one of the two campus Chapels, followed by class liturgies which were led by class mentors at Tiverton, and the Senior College Leaders at Kinnoull.

Whilst Ash Wednesday is, for us, about traditions and practices that have to do with to do with our humanity, mortality and weakness, it is also a time that signifies hope. Even though the ashes that are imposed on our foreheads in the shape of a cross are a symbol of our mortality and sin, the cross is also a symbol of what will set us free. It reminds us that God has entered into our human condition in order to break the power of sin and welcome us into the fullness of His life.

Matthew’s Gospel last Sunday, spoke to us of Jesus being out in the wilderness, tempted by the devil, and fasting for forty days and forty nights. So, during our own personal journey these next forty days and forty nights, let us step into the desert with Jesus; and find the time for prayer and contemplation, confront and contemplate our purpose and renew our trust in God.

Archbishop Hart’s 2017 Lenten Message 

His Grace, Archbishop Denis Hart in his Lenten message this year, asks us to remember that Lent is a time where Jesus challenges us personally in three areas: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

You can read Archbishop Hart’s 2017 Lenten message here.

Lasallian Leaders Gathering

Recently, along with College Principal Peter Houlihan, I had the opportunity to attend the 2017 Lasallian Leaders Gathering in Wollongong N.S.W. Visitor, Brother David Hawke opened the gathering and introduced us to the theme of the gathering Lasallians without Limits, working for a hopeful future. Br David reminded all Lasallians present that we, “live and work in the presence of God, in a spirit faith and zeal. This is what unites us.” It really marked the importance of solidarity among the districts and the importance of Lasallians working together to respond “urgently, boldly and creatively to those on the borders.” As Lasallians we are called in service of the poor. We are called to go beyond the ordinary and into the extraordinary to ensure those in our care have a future of hope. May we, as Lasallians, act without limits, be people of hope and work for a hopeful future.

Lasallian Youth Gathering July 2017

The Lasallian Youth Gathering is an event for Young Lasallians in Years 10, 11 and 12 from the district of ANZPPNG (Australia, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea). The gathering is an engaging experience of faith and embodies our Lasallian zeal, sense of community and zest for life.

Please follow the link for more information: Lasallian Youth Gathering Information

Fairtrade this Easter 

As we begin the season of Lent, I offer you the following notice from ACRATH – (Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking Humans).

In 2015, Pope Francis said that “every person ought to have the awareness that purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act.”

Cocoa is a key ingredient of chocolate. Much of the chocolate sold in Australia is made using cocoa beans picked by children, many of whom have been enslaved, or forced to work in exploitative conditions.

To buy slavery-free Easter chocolate would be a wonderful action of solidarity to end the horrible trade of children trafficked into picking cocoa beans for the purpose of making our chocolate.

Look for any of these three certification symbols on the wrappers: FAIRTRADE, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ.

Visit ACRATH’s Slavery Free Easter for more information and resources.

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission



House Welcome and Liturgy events

Each of the four Houses: St Austin’s, St Edwin’s, St Leo’s and St Mark’s will host the Kinnoull Campus parents and students for a House Welcome and Liturgy. Our newly introduced House system is more than a place for competition, it is a place for connection, engagement and learning; connection to meaningful relationships, engagement in community activities and developing a language for learning. In the longer term, we want the House to feel like a second family for our boys. This is the merit of a Lasallian education that activates the wellbeing of all those in our community. Thanks to all the parents who have attended the St Edwin’s and St Leo’s evenings earlier this month. The St Austin’s House Welcome and Liturgy will be held tonight (Thursday 9 March) and the St Mark’s event is scheduled for Tuesday 14 March.

The Archbishop’s Conversation with Student Leaders

This gathering brought together senior student leaders from Catholic Secondary schools to reflect on their roles as young Catholic leaders today. This year’s conversation centred on the theme “Be Courageous!” The gathering included time for prayer, small group discussion and opportunities to collaborate with other students. Prior to the finish of the day, our College Captain and two Vice-Captains were commissioned before returning to our College community.

To be courageous means to continue to stand up for what you believe in, even in the presence of pain or difficulty.”

Leon Lymbouris, College Vice-Captain.

Our 2017 College Captain, James Biviano gave an inspiring address all students, staff and guests at the Academic Awards and Investiture assembly. Read his address here.

Athletics Carnival

We are looking forward to a warm, 29 degree day for the Athletics Carnival on Friday. Please encourage your son(s) to be sun smart and prepared for the warm conditions. Our House Sport Coordinator, Michael Wilson has done an enormous amount of work to develop an action packed program for the boys. Please note, student absence must be supported by a medical certificate issued on the day of the absence. The boys will also need to have their Student ID Card with them to have their attendance recorded at the beginning and end of the day. Parents are most welcome to come along on the day and will be asked to sign in upon entry into Lakeside Stadium.

The nearest train station to Lakeside Stadium is Southern Cross and the linking tram from there is the Number 96 (East Brunswick to St Kilda Beach). The closest stop to the stadium is Stop 129.

Tram Number 12 (City to South Melbourne/St Kilda) is a good alternative route. If arriving on Route 12, Stop 131 is closest to the stadium.

Finally, the Domain interchange is only a short walk away. For timetabling information, please visit

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students


Back to The Duce Issue 2017 03 - 9 March 2017