From the Principal

As always seems to be the case, there is a lot going on at De La Salle this fortnight. 

It was terrific to catch up with so many parents at the Parent-Teacher Interview evenings at Tiverton and the second round of the innovative Year 9 Student-Led Conferences with parents and teachers at Holy Eucharist. 

I always enjoy this opportunity to speak to parents. Your feedback and comments are a good barometer of how we are travelling. The vast majority of conversations are very positive. Parents and students are reporting high levels of satisfaction with their experiences and interactions and making the occasional suggestion or recommendation on how we could potentially improve some aspect of the College. I believe this exemplifies the oft iterated three-way partnership between parents, staff and students.

I also need to inform you of my intention to take a period of leave later in the year. The logistics around that has created a series of opportunities for our staff to apply for Acting Positions in various leadership roles.

The Catholic Education Commission of Victoria’s Recommended Conditions of Employment for Secondary Principals provides for Principal’s Professional Enrichment Leave. 

The aims of the professional enrichment program are to:

  • contribute positively to the educational and spiritual leadership of the principal;
  • contribute positively to the management skills of the principal;
  • demonstrate that it is linked to the key areas of the principal’s responsibilities within the school.

As such, the College Board has approved my application for Professional Enrichment Leave for the final four weeks of Term 3 and the September/October term break. The Board has also approved Long Service Leave for the first five weeks of Term 4. I will return to De La Salle on Monday 11 November. 

My final day will be 23 August, after which I will be travelling abroad, undertaking a combination of Australian Catholic University studies (two MBA units; School Leadership and Catholic Education) and several Lasallian school visits. 

My absence will necessitate a range of replacement positions:

  • Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations, Mr Tom Ryan will be Acting Principal from 26 August to 8 November.
  • Director of Learning and Development — Digital Learning, Mr Rob Bonnici will move into the Deputy Principal: Staff and Operations role.
  • Mr Ben Williamson, current English Learning Area Team Leader, will step into the Director of Learning and Development — Digital Learning role.
  • Mr Andy Devlin will take over as English Learning Area Team Leader.

I am very comfortable with these appointments and have every confidence they will each do a sterling job in these positions in my absence.

While we focus primarily on learning and teaching, wellbeing and positive student behaviour, our staff are also faced daily with wider responsibilities in supporting our students and helping them understand their roles and responsibilities. 

We consider ourselves fortunate to work with such terrific students and families at De La Salle, but having said that, there is an enormous amount of time, effort and strategy put into building and maintaining the most positive environment for learning and wellbeing. This requires buy-in, support and compliance with our standards and expectations around academic work, uniform, grooming, punctuality and respectful relationships. 

The Wellbeing team, in particular, have been very busy in recent weeks with Progression Interviews (as outlined in my last Duce article) to support student’s organisation, commitment and academic improvement. They are also working hard on a process to assist students to make much-needed improvement in their standards of uniform and personal grooming. 

Parents and students will receive a letter about this in the coming days. I am sure I can count on your support to assist our staff in this matter, ensuring our young men wear the Blue and Gold with pride and represent themselves and the College well both on campus and in the public domain.

Mr Peter Houlihan

Back to The Duce Issue 2019 11 - 15 August 2019