Deputy Principals’ Column

Faith and Misson

Term 3 Social Justice Mass

The last day of Term 3 concluded in the celebration of the Social Justice Mass where the College community came together to break bread and recognise our call as Lasallians to make a difference to the lives of the poor. Our commitment to social justice and supporting those in need demonstrates directly how we at De La Salle, live the message of the gospel “I was hungry and you gave me food” (Matthew 25:35).

It was a tremendous effort by the students and all families the way they so generously donated food and toiletries throughout the months of August and September. All three of the recipients we are supporting, Sacred Heart Mission, Malvern Food Bank and St Joseph’s Outreach Centre where most appreciative and grateful for the support provided.

St John Baptist de La Salle’s dream was that social justice and a concern for the poor was our shared concern and his dream becomes realised through genuine experiences of solidarity. And it is through the generosity of the students, their families and the staff at De La Salle College that we can all make a difference in the lives of the needy and vulnerable in our community.

A sincere thanks to all the families for their support and generosity. And also to our Property Manager, Mr Michael Bohan and the maintenance team for ensuring all donations of non-perishable food items and toiletries were delivered in the holidays.

Inaugural Staff Lasallian Service Awards

This year, at the conclusion of the Social Justice Mass, we had the presentation of the in inaugural Staff Lasallian Service Awards.

The Lasallian Service Award is awarded to staff in recognition of their commitment to Lasallian education. The Staff Lasallian Service Award is awarded, not for years of service to the College, but for a demonstration of the Five Core Lasallian Principles throughout various aspects of their work.

For the first time, three candidates were nominated by their peers, having strongly, consistently and visibly demonstrated our Five Core Lasallian principles:

  • Faith in the presence of God
  • Concern for the poor and social justice
  • A quality education
  • An inclusive community
  • Respect for all persons

In living out the core principles in so many aspects of their everyday work, the three recipients this year have certainly enriched the College through their zeal and touched hearts of so many students, colleagues and families in a very personal and meaningful way.

Brother Visitor David Hawke FSC the Provincial of the De La Salle Brothers in the region was our special guest for the occasion and presented each recipient with their award.

Congratulations to Mrs Joan Ferguson, Mr Tim Hogan and Ms Christine Thompson on being awarded and recognised in such an honorable way.

Mrs Joan Ferguson

Joan is the very embodiment of Lasallian values. She has worked at the College for many years in a variety of positions and acts as a great role model for all with whom she works.

In her role, Joan is the personification of Christian and Lasallian teachings and values. This is most apparent in the reflections she provides for our community, the liturgies she helps to organise, the sacramental program and the gentle way that she invites others to live the word of Jesus by the way that she ‘leads by example’.

Her commitment to Social Justice and human rights is a big component of her living her life as an active Christian, not just via her work at the College but the volunteer and parish work that she has done for more than 30 years, making a tremendous and generous contribution to the wider community. The inspiration for Joan’s selflessness and community spirit clearly comes from her long association with the legacy of St John Baptist de La Salle.

Joan ensures that she works closely with the Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission and the Religious Education Coordinator to support the faith journey of all those in the College community. She makes a wonderful contribution to the faith life of the College, assisting Year 7 RE teachers in a range of areas, like the running of RE class liturgies and Social Justice prayer liturgies for Year 8 Mentor groups.

Building and supporting genuine, authentic relationships is at the very core of who Joan is as a person. She not only acknowledges diversity, but embraces it and encourages others to be inclusive as well. Many students and Old Collegians have commented on Joan’s gentle nature, that they have never felt judged and that she reminded them that they are all worthy of God’s love.

When members of the College Community are facing moments of struggle, Joan is always there to support. When colleagues are being tested for serious illness, undergoing invasive medical treatments, palliative care and the death of loved ones; Joan doesn’t shy away from the hard moments and to say that it is appreciated and cherished would be an understatement.

Respect for all persons is a core value for Joan. This is most apparent in her dealings with members of the College community as well as the work that she does as a volunteer. There have been many incidents in discussions with students where Joan has reflected on her own humanity and shortcomings and given examples of where she might have given more respect or dignity to a person, and when she did, how it impacted on the individual and herself.

Mr Tim Hogan 

Tim has championed and demonstrated Lasallian spirit for nearly a decade at De La Salle. In his work in the Technology Department, particularly in VET Building and Construction and in leading the VCAL team for the past three years, Tim is well known to many in our community. When we speak of the Lasallian Principle of an inclusive community, Tim’s work and his everyday down-to-earth attitude is at the very core of this concept.

Tim takes a particular interest in providing a wonderful variety of experiences for the young men in his care under the VCAL Program. Tim has received awards for the De La Salle Applied Learning program. His VCAL program recently received an award for the ‘Horticultural Garden’ project.

A significant factor in Tim being nominated for this Lasallian Service Award is the enormous amount of time, energy and dedication he has committed to social justice initiatives. He has been either personally responsible, or at least a leading figure, in creating opportunities for our boys to participate in several terrific trips to support various communities in genuine need.

Tim pioneered and led the VCAL Social Justice trip to Luurnpaa Catholic School at Balgo Hills in remote central WA, which was until recently, a Lasallian school. He also continued the legacy of Br Denis Loft and led the Year 11 Immersion to PNG. In both of these locations Tim, his colleagues and the various teams of students have been able to achieve extraordinary things in a very short space of time. Building, renovating, landscaping and perhaps most importantly, interacting with our Lasallian partners in these very disadvantaged schools and communities has brought wonderful benefits to all involved. Two more recent initiatives have been the addition of the Wilcannia trip for Year 12 VCAL students, whereby they travel to north western NSW and help out for ten days at St Therese’s K‑3 School, within an indigenous community in dire need. With Mr Brian Hayes, Tim has also established the partnership between the De La Salle VCAL cohort and the Yarraville Special Development School. In addition to extensive work currently going on in a school garden project, Tim and the VCAL team provide a genuine service to the students and staff at Yarraville by virtue of their generosity of time and spirit, their acceptance of the challenges and their capacity to make a difference in the lives of all those they visit.

Tim continues to be bold and innovative, and is an inspiration for the Lasallian community. Through Tim’s endeavours, a great many De La Salle students have been exposed to life changing experiences and his work has brought joy, acceptance, belonging, inclusiveness, respect and self-esteem to so many young men in our College. This is equally true of the disadvantaged communities Tim works with, where he lives by example and typifies the true Lasallian Principles of respect, inclusiveness, concern for the poor and social justice.

Mrs Christine Thompson

Christine is a staff member who is held in the highest regard among all in the De La Salle community. She always puts others before herself and models Lasallian values at all times.

Christine lives by example and demonstrates the Five Core Lasallian Principles through her everyday work and over the many years she has dedicated to the College:

  • Christine is a regular contributor at school Liturgies, including acting as Special Minister;
  • Over the years Christine has been one of the driving forces behind the Year 12 Coolies immersion trip to India. She volunteered to go on the trip twice and has been instrumental in the organisation of many of the other trips;
  • She has for decades been acknowledged and admired for her skills, dedication and effectiveness as a teacher in a range of subjects. She is highly regarded by her students for her dedication to her subject and is always remembered fondly by Old Collegians. Last year one of her students received a perfect score of 50 for History;
  • Christine is a wonderful mentor to new and younger staff. She has volunteered for numerous committees across the College to improve student outcomes and invariably makes a wonderful contribution. Her students all feel welcome and accepted;
  • Christine has volunteered her time to be a Year 12 Seminar Leader and has guided and nurtured her seminar group through the year;
  • Respect for all persons — Christine is unfailingly caring and approachable, a trait we all recognise in her. Through her daily interactions with others, she always upholds the dignity and worth of all people and recognises the value of positive relationships – ten times over!
  • She is warm, welcoming and encouraging of all staff, but especially takes the time to ensure new staff to the College feel welcome and supported. A true Lasallian trait!

Community Mass at St James Brighton

It was wonderful to recently celebrate our fourth and final community mass for the year at St James in Brighton. Fr Malcolm Crawford was the residing priest and he was most warm and welcoming, as were the St James parish community of the De La Salle students in attendance at mass on the morning. Fr Malcolm invited one of the students to prepare a reflection on social justice at De La Salle College. Well done to Year 12 student, Oliver Hart who took up the challenge and gave the reflection at the conclusion of Fr Malcolm’s Homily.

At De La Salle College, we pride ourselves on our meaningful connections with the local community. Our school makes a conscious effort to provide all the boys, including myself with regular opportunities to give back. 

As a Lasallian School, the idea giving back through social justice activities and service to others is at the core of our faith identity. A key message from our founder St John Baptist de La Salle reads that “example makes a much greater impression than words”. This means that whilst some may voice sympathy to those less well-off then us, acts of selflessness and love can have a compounded positive effect on the lives of others. In our College Prayer created recently by the Lasallian and College Captains, we acknowledge that as ‘De La boys’ our actions are truly ‘inspired by a burning zeal to do what is right and just’. 

Please click here to read Oliver’s speech in full.

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission


Asthma and thunderstorm asthma

Spring marks the beginning of thunderstorm asthma season and our respiratory specialists are urging all in our community to have their asthma plans updated. Last year’s catastrophic thunderstorm asthma event saw 8,500 patients admitted to emergency departments, and nine people lost their lives. Students with existing hay fever and those with a background of asthma are at highest risk.

The Asthma Foundation provide some excellent tips on the management of allergies and asthma. These can be accessed by clicking here.

Always carry your reliever medication with you – this is your emergency asthma first aid medication. Never ignore asthma symptoms like breathlessness, wheezing and tightness in the chest. Start Asthma First Aid immediately and call triple zero (000) for help if symptoms do not get any better or if they start to get worse.

We urge all our students suffering from hay fever and asthma to have regular reviews with their doctor to ensure they have the right medication and updated action plans that includes advice for epidemic thunderstorm asthma.

If you have any queries about your son’s Asthma Action Plan, please contact Ms Kylie Upton at the Health Centre on 9508 2144 for further advice.

Photography at College events

In the interest of safe guarding the privacy of our students, staff and College guests, De La Salle is asking parents to refrain from taking photos on mobile devices and cameras at College events. This includes but is not limited to: College tours, information evenings, liturgies and awards ceremonies.

Parents should approach the staff member responsible for photographing the event and kindly request an official College photo as a record of the moment. The College has excellent history of documenting and distributing records of College life and will continue to do so, but must do so in accordance with our responsibilities to our community.

The College must act in accordance with our duty to comply with section 97(2) of the Children Act 1989 (which makes it an offence to publish any material which is intended or likely to identify any child involved in any proceedings in which any power may be exercised regarding that child under the Children Act 1989 or the Adoption and Children Act 2002). If you have any concerns regarding this matter please contact me at the College.

Henry Prendergast Kruger – Time to Shine

I am pleased to inform you that Year 12 student, Henry Prendergast Kruger has a role in Time to Shine, an event to be performed at the State Theatre on 28 July 2018. Henry had his first meet and greet and rehearsal last weekend and rehearsals will start in full during Term 4 of this year. Congratulations, Henry!

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Back to The Duce Issue 2017 15 - 12 October 2017