From the Principal

Yet another year has flown by and as we prepare to farewell our young men for the summer at the end of HeadStart, there is so much to reflect on and be thankful for. 

Perhaps the highlight of the year was the establishment of the Year 9 Holy Eucharist Campus, which has been a tremendous success. The year at Malvern East has changed the academic, wellbeing and spiritual experience of so many students. I must thank not only the staff for leading the innovative program but also the Year 9 students themselves for embracing the challenges and making sure the experience was so enriching for them.

This week has seen the involvement of all year levels in various Transition Programs and the commencement of HeadStart, where all 2019 classes roll over to the 2020 timetable. So much work, by so many people, has ensured the value and success of the program. The removal of any perceived downtime at the end of the year ensures students are engaged in valuable preparation for 2020. All classes are now ready to hit the ground running from the very first day of next year.

In February this year, a group of our Year 9 students were filmed at Holy Eucharist working with Arne Rubenstein and Tracey Spicer as part of the Rites of Passage program. Extracts from that day now feature throughout Episode 3 of “Silent No More.”

Silent No More” is a documentary carrying the powerful message and challenge of, “How can we change the culture to respect women and respect each other?” Given the recent negative publicity around the culture of boys’ schools, this is timely. The first episode aired on Monday night and it is uncomfortable to watch and bear witness to some of the behaviours. 

The three-episode documentary, produced by Southern Pictures and presented by Tracey Spicer, an advocate of change in Australia and a supporter of the #metoo movement, investigates the hidden epidemic of workplace sexual harassment and assault, it’s devastating cost and how we can change things for the better.

Having watched Episode 3 in full, I would encourage all staff and parents to find time to watch the documentary in its entirety. Our students discuss issues of respect and disrespect towards women in social media, socially and through teenage peer pressure.  We follow their journey to the end of the documentary, where I can say, with great pride, our students represent themselves, their family and their school in a way that is honourable and poignant as they outline the type of men they would like to become.

Thank you to Mr David Alexander (Head of Holy Eucharist Campus), Ms Lauren Anderson (Year 9 Learning and Teaching Leader) and all those involved in implementing the Rites of Passage program for the first time this year. Our Year 9s have gained a great deal from their involvement and dealing with the issues within.

Silent No More” will be available to watch on the ABC on 25 November (Ep1), 2 December (Ep 2) and 9 December (Ep 3) or via iView.

Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of attending the presentation of the annual Higgins Medal Awards at Sacré Cœur. The Higgins Medal recognises students who excel in their studies and extracurricular activities, show strong leadership amongst their peers and provide exemplary service to the school community. The Higgins Medal is open to all schools who have a campus within the Federal Division of Higgins.

We nominated two students, Lucas Exell (Year 6) and Jude Pabst (Year 9). Both are exemplary students, leaders and role models and both nominations were successful. Dr Katie Allen MP presented them with their medals on Wednesday 27 November. Lucas has been our Primary Captain for 2019, demonstrating great leadership, compassion and strength of character. Jude has been a wonderful ambassador for the new Year 9 Program at Holy Eucharist and has simply shone in all aspects of school life. The boys were thrilled – as were their parents!

I would like to thank all in our De La Salle community for their support and work right throughout 2019. Students, staff in all their various roles, parents, the De La Salle Brothers and certainly the College Board of Directors have all done so much to support the growth, development and success of all areas of the College. We have a wonderful Lasallian community and I look forward to working with you all again next year.

I wish you all a safe, happy and holy Christmas and New Year period.

Mr Peter Houlihan

Back to The Duce Issue 2019 17 - 28 November 2019