Deputy Principals’ Column


An Open Letter to the Graduating Class of 2017

Dear Year 12 students,

Recently, I attended the funeral of one of my friends who had passed away following a two year long battle with cancer. My friend, Brian, had lived a great life. He had three children and a beautiful wife. Kindness, a sense of justice and a concern for others were constants throughout his life. At the conclusion of his Year 12, Brian had been invited to train with the mighty Hawthorn and then with Collingwood. His football aspirations reminded me of many of your aspirations.

I’d like to share with you a poem that was read at his service, If by Rudyard Kipling. When it was written in 1909, the poem was addressed to Kipling’s son, John, yet, it was inspired by a great friend of his, Leander Starr Jameson. Two of its most resonant lines, “If you can meet with triumph and disaster, and treat those two imposters just the same,” stand above the players’ entrance to the Centre Court at Wimbledon, and with the pressure of your exam period, many of you are about to have your own “Centre Court” moments over the coming weeks.

If your Final Assembly morning is anything to go by, then I know that you will meet these challenges with the same spirit and gratitude that I saw today. I am overwhelmingly proud of you today. I am proud of the spirit in which you have approached this morning. I am proud of the men you are and the way in which you’ve approached your studies this year. I am proud of the support you’ve been given by your House Mentors and your House Coordinators and the way in which you have recognised these people during your House Farewell Assemblies. Your words are a testimony to the strength of your connectedness to our Lasallian community. You move out into the world with the virtues of strength and courage, responsibility and resolve.


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Rudyard Kipling

Like Rudyard Kipling, I hope that someday, you will pass on the same wisdom to your own children. I hope that you continue to be like the friend who inspired the poem. In my mind, you are already doing so.

I would encourage you to take some time to say thank you to a member of our community who has helped you on your journey at De La Salle. Today, you enjoyed food cooked on the BBQ by Mr Tim Hogan, Mr Dave Murray brought in Leon the Staffy for a final farewell, Ms Jessica Stevenson organised the inclusion of your Prep photos in a slideshow, Mr John McAlroy has done an enormous amount of work to give you a great day at Sidetracked and Mrs Caroline Fitzpatrick has prepared information to support you with accessing your ATAR and course preferences. So many things have been done to celebrate and support you. We are all wishing you all the best with your exams. For those of you finishing your senior VCAL certificate, thanks for the contribution you have made this year as well.

Thank you.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Faith and Mission

Year 12 Yaluwo Immersion

The Yaluwo group is less than a month away from departing to Diyagala Boystown in Sri Lanka. I thought I would take the opportunity to mention the outstanding efforts of the boys and the time they have put into their fundraising efforts. It never ceases to amaze me the generosity of the members of our immediate De La Salle community, and of the wider local community when it comes to supporting projects such as the Yaluwo Immersion. The core purpose of such an Immersion experience is to bring the message of the Gospel to life and to find expression in that from within our Lasallian charism. The generosity of the community towards the young men attending this life-changing experience has been very gratefully received.

The words of support have been wonderfully encouraging, as have been the donations, financial or otherwise. A heartfelt thank you to all students, families and members of the community that have supported the Yaluwo project. In addition to all the community support, it is with thanks and appreciation that I mention the support of Fr Ian, Parish Priest from St Finbar’s Parish, East Brighton for the sponsorship given to the five De La Salle students attending the Yaluwo Immersion from the St Finbar’s Parish.

Thank you also to Fr Laurence from St Joseph’s Parish, Malvern for his invitation for the boys to speak at three of the Sunday Masses to assist with additional fundraising for the Yaluwo Immersion.

Malvern Emergency Food Program School Service Award

Last week, on Thursday 19 October, De La Salle was among several schools to be invited to attend a special twilight celebration of The Malvern Emergency Food Program’s 24+ years of service to Stonnington, providing food parcels to those in need in our community.

As representatives of the College’s Student Leadership Team, the five Lasallian Captains; Joel Caruso, Chris Groves, Oliver Hart, Peter Nikitas and Anthony Ticinovic joined me to represent the College.

The Mayor of Stonnington, Cr Jami Klisaris presented the award of the Proudlock Perpetual Trophy for 2017 to the school which has contributed the highest number of food items on a per capita basis to the program this year. Unfortunately for us, we were runners-up, missing out by a fraction to the victors, Lauriston Girls School.

Chris Groves accepted the certificate on behalf of the College and it was great to hear Chris, when unexpectedly invited to speak about what we do to collect our items, talk about our charism and about how being a Lasallian school is about social justice and service to the poor. Chris elaborated on the commitment to the House Charities, Mission Action Day as well as the collections at Tiverton.

Also in attendance at the awards ceremony were members of the Malvern Police Station, local council members and volunteers from the program.

Mrs Rana Brogan 
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Back to The Duce Issue 2017 16 - 26 October 2017