From the Principal

As I write this week’s contribution to Duce it is actually May 15 – the Feast Day of St John Baptist de La Salle. I will paraphrase a little of the message from the Superior General of the Lasallian Order, Br Robert Schieler, FSC and add some local context as well.

On the Founder’s Feast Day, we celebrate the memory and legacy of John Baptist de La Salle and reflect on his feeling compelled by the Holy Spirit to announce the Gospel to the poor. We gratefully acknowledge that he established the landscape for today’s thriving Lasallian ministry of human and Christian education across the world, with over one million students currently in Lasallian education in 81 countries.

Br Robert Schieler, FSC

As we celebrate Founder’s Day on Friday with the three other Melbourne Lasallian schools and during this Lasallian Tercentenary Year, we look to work together and increase our efforts to ensure that our educational communities continue to be experiences of the presence of God.

It is gratifying for all of us at Malvern to witness so many regular examples of our young men demonstrating positive behaviours as modelled and taught by St John Baptist de La Salle. It is through their actions and example, via their behaviours and attitudes, that our students show themselves to be young men of character.

In the last week, we have seen our students intervene to protect a woman attacked by a stranger on a train, acting as tour guides for the visitors and guests at Holy Eucharist’s Official Opening, leading a House prayer service, perform magnificently in the choir at St Patrick’s Cathedral and demonstrate tremendous sportsmanship and discipline in ACC sport. I am sure the Founder would be proud.

On Thursday 10 May we celebrated the official opening of our new Year 9 Holy Eucharist Campus at Malvern East. Our guest speaker was an Old Collegian from the Class of 2005, eminent scholar and lawyer, Charles Noonan. Charles has had an amazing career in his 14 years since graduation, beginning with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws from Monash University, graduating with First Class Honours in Law. While working as Associate to The Honourable Justice Bernard Murphy of the Federal Court of Australia, Charles was awarded the Charles Allen Scholarship (Cambridge Australia Scholarship) to study a Masters of Law at the University of Cambridge. Before taking up his current role last year as a Senior Associate with Maurice Blackburn, Charles was an Associate in the London office of US litigation firm Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher LLP.

Consistent with our Lasallian values, Charles is also a strong advocate for access to justice and has extensive pro bono experience. He has been a research volunteer at the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, and has worked for the Barristers’ Animal Welfare Panel, the Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic, the Human Rights Law Centre and the Refugee Legal Service.

I would like to convey a little of Charles’ presentation and the key message. His theme was the importance of and advantages to be gained by moving beyond your comfort zone. This resonated strongly with all that has been undertaken by not only the staff at Holy Eucharist, but most certainly, the students as well.

Charles’ emphasis on taking risks, having a go, stepping up when circumstances are challenging, then giving your all, is tremendous advice for our young men. It is particularly relevant to the Year 12s who need to look very closely at how they are travelling after a few months into their final year of VCE. It is easy to coast, stay where it’s comfortable and let the world move around you. However, those who take the initiative, are true to themselves, their peers and families and give of their best because that is what is required – are the students who will succeed. I encourage all our students, but especially the Year 12 students to challenge themselves, move out of their comfort zones and be the best possible version of yourselves.

Mr Peter Houlihan

Back to The Duce Issue 2019 07 - 16 May 2019