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

Local and Global

To be Lasallian is to be part of a community that spans the globe.

Here at De La Salle College, we prepare our students to meet the world beyond the College with grace, humility, compassion and commitment. From language studies and immersion programs to teacher‐training and supporting local organisations, all of our connections, local and global, are nurtured and valued.

Read on to discover some of the ways that De La Salle College students and staff connect and contribute.

Orchestral Connections

Our Music students are out and about in the community, putting the skills they have developed at De La Salle to good use. Pictured below are Year 9 students Ben Selkirk (clarinet), his sister Kallista and Peter Orlando (cello), who participated in the orchestra at Sacré Cœur’s Annual Concert at the Melbourne Recital Centre on Thursday 8 August. Ben and Peter have been rehearsing with the Sacré Cœur orchestra throughout 2019.

Mr Luke Serrano
Music Coordinator

Student Exchange — Hungary

Over the 2018 summer holidays, extending into 2019, I spent my summer in the beautiful country of Hungary. To expand my language skills both written and spoken, I decided to go for the entire summer, as I am doing Hungarian as a VCE subject for Year 12.

After a long trip around the world, I arrived in Hungary, and met my exchange family. The place I stayed was a little town called Kiskunhalas, about two hours from the capital, Budapest. This is where I went to school with my exchange sibling, Aliz. She took me to her classes and showed me around. Aliz and all her friends were very nice to me, making me feel welcome and comfortable. She taught me proper grammar and helped me correct my mistakes.

At home, I bonded very well with her younger brother, Adam, who attempted to teach me slang and the teenage culture of Hungary. Furthermore, Aliz’s parents Aranka and Robi Gajdacsi made me feel safe and at home while staying. I always felt like I could talk to them or ask something.

In addition to taking care of me for the summer, the Gajdacsi family took me all over the place so that my language development could improve. They also showed me great historical, cultural and traditional landmarks; some examples include the Fisherman’s Bastion, the Hungarian Parliament House and the Duna River, which runs across the country.

Less than a year later, it was my turn to host Adam and Aliz in Australia. They both came to live with me and my family at the start of July. To help them enhance their English skills, I talked to them as much as possible. Aside from that, they both attended formal English school at Box Hill Institute. They saw a lot of Melbourne landmarks like the aquarium, Yarra River, Melbourne Zoo, botanical gardens, and Chadstone.

Lastly, I wanted to show them De La Salle College, my school, to show them around and allow them to observe and compare with their own school. I feel sad to see them go but have greatly enjoyed their company.

Találkozunk újra!

Michael Fabian, Year 12


The Languages Department strives always to make links with the wider community and the world every lesson, not only through learning the Italian and French languages and the intricate grammatical systems, but through speaking, listening to, writing and viewing the language in the world around us.

As part of our commitment to the global rationale of languages, De La Salle College offers many opportunities for students to engage in the wider and global communities.

De La Salle College has an extensive and varied program, please click here to learn more about how Language studies prepare our students to take on the world.

Teacher Training in Malaysia

After a successful application process, I’m delighted to say that I’m going to be spending my summer holidays in rural Malaysia. Here I’ll be delivering teacher training in schools where teachers have little or no formal training.

I believe that every child deserves access to a high standard of education, regardless of where they are born. Together with LRTT and Teach for Malaysia, I’m hoping to form collaborative relationships with the teachers in these schools and deliver pedagogical workshops to improve teaching and thus the quality of education for the children that they teach.

This will be the second time that I will be completing a fellowship with LRTT after a successful trip to India three years ago. I’m really looking forward to helping to provide a sustainable solution to the educational disadvantage that children face overseas. If anyone would like to know more about this fellowship, there’s lots of information at or alternatively, if you’d like to contact me by email, I’d love to discuss this with you!

Miss Emma Fairclough
Mathematics, VCAL, 8 Benilde Homeroom Teacher

Faith and Mission

PARC Educational Mission Assembly

From 4 to 6 August 2019 the PARC Educational Missional Assembly gathered in Manila, Philippines. The Assembly is the preparatory committee for the 3rd International Assembly of the Lasallian Education Mission (AIMEL 2020), which will take place in Rome.

I was privileged to accept the invitation which came from Brother Visitor David Hawke FSC and Merv McCormack (Executive Director, Lasallian Mission Council) to be the Australian delegate to take part in the first PARC Mission Assembly. The gathering of 12, representing the different districts/delegation of PARC, and the Visitors and Auxiliary Visitors were also humbled by the presence of Superior General Br Robert Schieler FSC throughout the Assembly.

While in Manila, the main objectives of the assembly were to evaluate the implementation of the decisions of AIMEL 2013 and propose future lines of action for the Association and the Mission of the 46th General Chapter. Guiding the discussions were the themes;

  • Identity,
  • Vitality and
  • Transformation.

As delegates, we worked together, energised by the dialogue, allowing the spirit to guide our reflections, thoughts and sharing. We left hopeful, knowing that the Lasallian Institute will continue to achieve great things if we remain, and are always, together and by association.

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission


Here at De La Salle College, we are lucky to have students with huge potential and a wide array of capabilities. We work hard to give our students opportunities to prepare them to be excellent ambassadors for themselves, and for the College, both within our community and in the wider world.  

Student Leadership 2020

The process for electing the Year 12 College Captains has started, with students putting in their applications and staff providing references for them. The candidates for College Captain and Vice‐Captain spoke passionately and proudly in front of their year level, staff and the 2019 College Captain and Vice Captains on Friday 9th August. Each of the ten candidates spoke of their love for De La Salle, their connection with their peers and their enthusiasm for creating positive change while fostering positive mental health and relationships with staff and community. The next stage of the process involves interviews for the prospective captains, with Mr Houlihan, Mr McAlroy and myself, followed by House Leader elections. It is wonderful to see the depth of ability in the 2020 Year 12 cohort.

Uniform Changes

By now, you will have noticed students wearing De La Salle beanies and scarves. We have worked with the students to ask them what they want in order to make them more comfortable, and to better represent the College in public and on campus –  and scarves and beanies were their suggestions.

These items are now for sale in our school uniform shop and will be in stock at Dobsons stores. The College branded beanie is $16.50 and College branded scarf is $15.50. These items are part of the winter uniform and are to be worn in Terms 2 and 3 going forward. The beanies are an outdoor item of uniform and are not to be worn inside classrooms. Scarves can be worn indoors, but in Science and Technology labs, students may be asked to remove them for safety.

In order to ensure that students at the College look their very best, and take pride in their appearance, staff will regularly run ‘blitzes’. These blitzes will focus on different parts of the uniform and will include things like blazers being worn to and from school, shirts being tucked in, hair being cut appropriately (above the collar, not in a mullet or fade) and students being clean‐shaven. We will also be focusing on students keeping their mobile phones in lockers, and keeping their laptops free of stickers.

If your son is found in breach of these rules he may be issued with a Friday detention, and if he breaches these rules on an ongoing basis he will be given a Saturday detention. In some situations, a student may be sent home until he complies with school direction.

Please support us by speaking with your son and ensuring that he travels to and from school in correct uniform, as well as reminding him that his uniform should be worn perfectly while at school. Please assist us reinforcing that there will be consequences for failing to do this.

Ms Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Students

Book Week 2019

Reading is my secret power

Book Week at De La Salle has kicked off early with two fabulous author events. Year 5 and 6 classes had a visit from Melbourne Author Skye Melke Wegner.

Wagner delivered a hands‐on workshop called “Creating a Fantasy World”. By the end of the session, each student had the bones of their individual world; its language, terrain, magic and weather. Classroom teachers were able to continue building these imaginative worlds during class time.

Our feature event was the Blokes and Books Breakfast with guest speaker Morris Gleitzman. Fathers of students in Years 5 and 6 were invited to come along and encourage their son’s reading habits with the inspiration of Australian Children’s Book Laureate, Morris Gleitzman. This really fitted with the theme of Book Week “Reading is my Secret Power”.

Morris talked about how he tries to make everything he writes finish in a hopeful way. A feature of this event was student participation in creating the event. The VCAL Year 11 class got to school at the crack of dawn to cook and serve breakfast. Students also photographed and filmed the event.

During Book Week there will be a range of activities available in the Tiverton Library.

  • All week there will be poetry typewriters available to type poems. Students may enter the poetry competition. There is also a Short Story Competition run by the English Department. (This does not need to be typed on a typewriter)
  • Monday – there will be an event using VR glasses
  • Tuesday – teams have formed for a four‐round literary quiz
  • Wednesday — there will be staff v student Scrabble, there is also an opportunity to use calligraphy pens
  • Thursday – students can make flipbooks
  • Friday – Manga Writing workshop …(this event will be postponed to the following week due to Student Free day)

Reading statistics have shot through the roof this year. 82% up on last year. We believe that celebrating reading at all ages gets results.

Read on!

Ms Catherine Ryan
Library Team Leader

Languages at De La Salle

Language students in Years 5 to 12 are exposed to the world through learning about and engaging in the following topics through their Italian and French studies:

  • Cultural practices including cuisine, sport, traditions, poetry, songs and music, political movements, Bastille, Carnevale, youth culture
  • History
  • Art practice including the Renaissance, Impressionism
  • Societal structures, living standards, patriarchal/nuclear families
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Technology
  • and much more

At VCE level teachers are mandated to teach the language through:

France and Italy Study Tours

  • The Individual
  • The Italian / French Speaking Communities
  • The world around us

In 2018, our French students were given the opportunity to travel to France and be part of an exchange program, staying with host French families in Bordeaux, located in Western France. This year, the French students who hosted our students have spent time at De La Salle College, living with our French students who participated in the exchange last year.

The exchange not only fosters links with the language and culture of the country but also fosters life‐long friendships. It develops in our students an appreciation of our global community and our place in it.

This year in September, a group of 13 students and three staff are heading to Italy to experience their chosen subject in real‐time. They will be touring Venice, Florence and Rome with an extended stay in the tiny medieval town of Orvieto, where they will live in a Monastery and attend Italian classes with locals.

The Culture and Study Tours are conducted every year and while students are almost ready to depart for Italy soon, applications for the France trip for 2020 are soon to be made available. For enquiries, please email Ms Grace Giudice

Poetry Competitions

Students of Italian and French are also exposed to the rich culture of poetry and, every year, enter the Berthe Mouchette Competition (French) and the Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition (Italian). Schools around the State compete in these prestigious competitions and De La Salle has had a very good track record of achieving excellent results.

This year we had two finalists in the Dante Alighieri and three finalists for the Berthe Mouchette. The Berthe Mouchette competition is run by the Alliance Française Association of Victoria and the Dante Alighieri Society competition attracts more than 6,000 competitors. In fact, Melbourne is the only city in the world outside of Italy that runs this cultural competition.


At De La Salle College, our Language staff are committed to keeping abreast of the new curriculum and members of the following associations:

  • MLTAV — Modern Language Teachers Association Victoria
  • AFMLTAV — Australian Federation of Modern Language Teachers Association Victoria
  • COASIT — Italian Assistance Association
  • VATI — Victorian Association of Teachers of Italian

Each of these associations offers Professional Learning every year in both new curriculum links and progressive ways to teach language in a global context.

We encourage our students to keep up their language studies and immerse themselves in other cultures. Please get in touch if you would like more information about our wonderful Languages programs.

Ms Grace Giudice
LATL — Languages

Wilcannia 2019

The Year 12 VCAL students met at 6:30am on Tuesday 30 July and left on our way to Wilcannia NSW for the annual Year 12 VCAL social justice trip.

The drive was almost seven hours to Mildura where we all stayed in the caravan park for one night before finishing the drive to Wilcannia, another five and a half hours including stopping off in Broken Hill for lunch.

On arrival at Wilcannia, we all got settled in our rooms and went off to sleep to be ready for an early start.

The town of Wilcannia was very small and didn’t consist of many shops, only a service station, general store and a pub. The town seemed empty as most residents lived on the outskirts.

We were lucky enough to have Tom and Jeremy volunteer and come along for the trip to cook lunches and dinners for us. The meals prepared were great.

The next six days consisted of waking up in the morning and going straight to the local community school to do a couple of hours of work before having lunch and then a couple more hours of work.

The work mainly consisted of landscaping jobs such as garden beds, brick paths, mulching and other random jobs.

Rory, the St Therese Community School Principal, showed us what needed to be done around the school.

While at the school the VCAL students got involved with the local kids — playing soccer with them at lunch break and conducting a PE class.

We spent an afternoon at the local park with all of the kids, we had lunch, played tee‐ball and cricket, and taught them how to kick and handball an AFL ball.

This trip was a good opportunity to see outback Australia.

We went to a national park for a BBQ which was good. We got to see new places and environments.

We packed up, left Wilcannia on Wednesday 7 August, and headed back to Mildura, staying on the Murray for one night, and then finishing the drive back to De La Salle on Thursday.

Will McDonell, Year 12 VCAL

Kinnoull Campus

Police Presence in Legal Studies

On Thursday 8 August the young eagles of the Year 11 Legal Studies class experienced a first‐hand account of the role police perform in enforcing and upholding the law from three officers from the Malvern Police Station, led by Acting Sargent Luke Gross.

The young officers had the tables turned on them as our students questioned them about their role in the local community. We covered law enforcement, dealing with the crimes most prevalent in the Malvern and Chadstone vicinity, their approach to dealing with young people and their overall experiences in the day‐to‐day operations of the station.

As part of their Unit 2 studies, students had been investigating their personal rights when dealing with the police and were able to gain an even greater understanding of their obligations with recent changes to the law regarding DNA and other sample collections.

The officers were able to help the class understand a range of sanctions and discuss the appropriateness of sentences. Furthermore, the students had the opportunity to ask the officers about their work, including their frustrations and challenges, together with the reasons why they joined the force. In return, the officers shared with them stories of scary encounters with the unexpected, the camaraderie of the job, and its moments of joy and satisfaction.

Consequently, our students gained valuable insight into the role of the police, from crime prevention to problem‐solving. Students were amazed to hear the honest responses of the officers and it was an absolute pleasure to witness as they conversed with confidence and developed a wonderful rapport with our guests.

We extend our thanks to Luke, Eliza and Ryan for sharing their time with us so generously. If any student is interested in a career with the Victoria Police, they are most welcome to pop into the Malvern Station.

Our next legal studies adventure will take us to the Dandenong Magistrates’ Court where we will explore the role of the Magistrate in weighing up a range of factors in sentencing, and observe an alternative approach to sentencing, the Drug Court.

Mrs Sarah Blaschak‐Brooks
Legal Studies Teacher, Kinnoull Campus

Tiverton Campus


Our Year 5 and 6 students have been journeying out into their local community to continue their Inquiry focus throughout Term 3.

The Year 5 students travelled to Healesville Sanctuary to explore natural habitats, and the Year 6 students explored the Glen Eira wetlands and planted trees as part of their sustainability focus. The focussed exploration of all things Science will conclude with both classes taking a journey to Scienceworks at the end of Term 3.

35 of our students also journeyed to the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) last Friday to undertake the Hoop Time basketball tournament against other local Primary Schools.

Most played four games and performed amazingly, with our Elite All‐Stars team coming very close runners‐up against a strong St Joan of Arc line up. Many thanks to Mr Ben Ahern, Mr Andrew Kearns and Mrs Anette Phillips for their help on the day.

Year 7 Braingrow

The Year 7 students have been exploring a neuroscience approach to student wellbeing called Braingrow as part of the DLS DNA course, undertaking six individual lessons based upon how the human brain develops and its impact on positivity, resilience, decision‐making and optimism.

The program stresses the importance of developing safe and socially connected learning environments to access higher‐order regions of the brain. The overall hope is that participants make better decisions both in and outside of the classroom, and use ‘thinking’ parts of their brain rather than ‘emotional’ parts. We have been looking at examples at school, at home and in the local and global community to drive this understanding. For more information please visit the Braingrow website.

Year 8 Progression and Transition

In recent Year 8 assemblies we have discussed the type of learner students will need to be in preparation for moving to the stand‐alone Holy Eucharist Year 9 campus next year. At this stage of their learning, we are hoping the students begin to develop a sense of who they are, how they learn best, and how they contribute to their community.

Our academic program focuses on developing the different traits of a lifelong learner, including problem‐solving, collaboration, creativity and higher‐order thinking skills. We want to develop their curiosity, extend their interest to the world around them and encounter new situations with confidence. As a result, our Year 8 student leaders will be taking a lead role in organising R U OK? Day on the Tiverton Campus on Thursday 12 September this year.

Some of the activities will include a presentation to all Year 5 — 8 students, as well as a Library display, sausage sizzle, staff vs student’s basketball game and a live music band at lunchtime and recess. We hope to raise awareness in our local community about issues that trouble our students and the importance of talking and asking each other R U OK?

The Holy Eucharist Open Day is in Week 1 of Term 4, on 10 October and we encourage all current Year 8 students and their parents to attend in preparation for the 2020 school year.

Mr Martin Gibbs
Director of Students — Middle Years

Music Notes

Winter is not hibernation time for the musicians of De La Salle. On the contrary, both within and without the school grounds, our students have been delighting audiences with their musical talents, across an impressive range of genres, and instrumental and vocal combinations.

Most recently, 55 of our musicians — accompanied by six staff — completed a four‐day performance tour of primary schools (and a retirement home) in the Murrindindi Shire (northeast of Melbourne), delivering concerts to delighted audiences in Eildon, Yea, Alexandra, Buxton and Marysville.

Our students not only showed great musical skill, but also superb teamwork, as they set up for seven concerts independently of teacher input.

Each student was entrusted with a clear role in the running of the events, while the Year 12 students showed leadership as concert comperes.

When not in concert mode, the students applied themselves in rehearsals and tutorial workshops, which immediately bore fruit in increasingly accurate and expressive performances.

Fine performances were delivered by all ensembles, which included the guitar ensemble, senior concert band, a combined orchestra and choir, string and woodwind ensemble, brass ensemble and stage band.

Looking to the future talent, we welcomed new performers at the Semester 1 Year 7 Bands Concert, whilst each of the Junior and Intermediate Concert Bands will represent the College in coming months at the Victorian School Music Festival. Our percussion and vocal students also participated in recent ACC Music workshops.

Another memorable recent event was the Autumn Concert, the first of two ensembles concerts for 2019. Performances of exciting and delightful music at this event were reprised in the semester‐ending Arts Assembly, which brought the whole student and staff body together in celebration of artistic diversity at De La Salle. The next Winter Ensembles Concert will be held on Thursday 29 August in the PAC at 7:00pm. This concert will feature a sneak preview of an item from the 2020 senior musical, Typhoid Mary.

Underscoring the vitality of the Music Program, there has been a 21% increase in enrolments in the Instrumental Program from Semester 1 to 2, and this individual talent will be on display at the annual Instrumental Program Soirée, which will be held on Monday 9 September, at 7:00pm. There will be four concurrent concerts across the Tiverton campus, and also at Holy Eucharist. We hope to see you there!

Mr Luke Serrano
Music Coordinator

Parent Network News

Father’s Day Breakfast

A reminder that the much anticipated De La Salle College Parent Network Father’s Day Breakfast will be held next Thursday 22 August at 7:15am in the Gymnasium. This event is sold out and we are looking forward to celebrating our fathers and male carers and the important role that they play in the lives of our students.

The Parent Network is looking for volunteers to assist with preparation and set up for this event on Wednesday 21 August from 1:00pm to 3:00pm and serving and clean up on Thursday 22 August from 6:00am until about 10:30am. If you are able to assist during either of these times please advise your availability via the e‐form. Enquiries can be directed to

Year 6 Families Dinner and Games Night

All Year 6 Families are invited to meet for food and fun at the German Tivoli Club, 291 Dandenong Road, Windsor. Please mark Thursday 5 September at 6:00pm in your diary; more details to follow soon.

Upcoming Events

Event Date Venue
Father’s Day Breakfast Thursday 22 August Gymnasium
Year 6 Families’ Dinner and Games Thursday 5 September German Tivoli Club, Windsor
Parent Network AGM Monday 21 October PAC

Please add the dates of our upcoming events to your diary.  We look forward to seeing you there!

Mrs Meagan Selkirk
President, De La Salle College Parent Network

Important Notices

Love the Game – Gambling Harm Prevention

Year 10 and 11 Parent Information Evening

Monday August 26, 2019
7:30pm — 8:30pm
St Miguel Theatre, Kinnoull Campus

For seating purposes, please confirm your attendance by following the link below no later than Friday 23 August. Love the Game — TryBooking

Please note that this is a parent‐only event. We hope that you can join us!

Ms Liz Phibbs
Personal Development Coordinator

Catholic School Parents Victoria eNewsletter

We encourage all in our community to read the latest issue of Catholic School Parents Victoria eNewsletter. If you would like to subscribe to the CSPV newsletter or provide CSPV with feedback on State advocacy issues you are most welcome to do so via the subscribe or feedback button on the link provided. Alternatively, you can send an email to

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates in the College Calendar.

National Science Week - to 18 August
Class of 2009 10 Year Reunion - Racecourse Hotel, 7:30pm - 11:30pm
Year 12 Seminar Day - SMT, 9:00am - 2:30pm
Year 9 Student Led Conferences - Holy Eucharist, 2:00pm - 8:30pm
Father's Day Breakfast - Gymnasium, 7:30am - 8:45am
Year 7, 2020 Allwell Entrance Assessment - PAC, 8:15am - 1:00pm
Year 10 and 11 Parent Education Night: 'Love the Game' - Gambling Harm Prevention - SMT, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
Rites of Passage Workshop Sons & Fathers / Significant Men - Gymnasium, 5:30pm - 7:30pm
Year 10 and 11 Subject Selection Day - Kinnoull Library, Morgan Hall
Winter Music Concert - PAC, 7:00pm - 8:30pm

From the Principal

This week I would like to begin by explaining the Student Progression and Promotion Policy, a process currently underway, which involves a number of our students.

The Student Progression and Promotion Policy is designed to support, monitor, encourage and guide students whose Semester 1 Report and teacher feedback indicated some issues that need urgent attention. These include, but are not limited to; a consistent pattern of non‐completion of work, lack of homework and revision, lower than expected achievement in assessment tasks, poor application in class and/or ongoing behavioural issues in a significant number of subjects.

Interventions are designed and implemented with the express intention of supporting our young men in their required improvement. For some, it’s simply a stronger work ethic, better organisation, setting goals and developing more independence as a learner.

In some classes, it is the teacher who does most of the heavy lifting. Students need to take more responsibility, know what is expected of them and be prepared to work to the best of their ability to meet the demands of the course.

Working in concert with both the student and parents, a variety of Learning and Wellbeing staff will identify areas for improvement and develop strategies to assist each student to achieve his personal best. With this support mechanism in place, staff, students and parents can identify where the gaps are and agree on committing to a series of strategies to improve.

Another critical consideration is to ensure our students achieve the standard required to genuinely earn promotion to secure a position at the next year level. In Years 10 — 12, a student must demonstrate the attitude, approach and work ethic required to access and continue in the elective subjects of his choice.

Each must be aware of and take responsibility for what is required to navigate his various subjects and meets the demands of each to the best of his ability. His teachers will encourage, guide and support him, but ultimately our expectations are that each student is on board with our standards for learning, endeavour and respect.

The review of Semester 1 Reports also provides an opportunity for staff to identify and acknowledge the very many students who have performed exceptionally well. It is always heartening each semester to read and hear of so many of our young men who have worked in a spirit of cooperation with their teacher, pushed themselves and demonstrated clear progression from earlier in the year. This must be the goal of all our students.

On another subject, I am very excited about our inaugural Blokes and Books Breakfast, to be held in the Gymnasium, 7:30am – 8:30am on Tuesday 13 August. We are already nearing our capacity of 100 but elsewhere in this edition of the Duce you can find details of how to book.

The novel concept (excuse the pun) is that students and their dads come and share in the benefits of reading. We are thrilled to have bestselling author Morris Gleitzman as our special guest. Morris will run a variety of activities while we are served a selection of breakfast treats prepared by our very own VCAL students.

While it promises to be a wonderful, enjoyable morning, the Blokes and Books Breakfast is really about acknowledging and celebrating reading and the almost infinite list of benefits it brings. I am admittedly rather biased and pretty passionate about this – I read my current novel of choice each and every night when going to bed. It’s a terrific way to wind down, escape and prepare to switch off and sleep well.

The relaxation and enjoyment to be found in a great story are obvious, but for our students, it is SO important that they are regular and competent readers. The benefits of reading on literacy skills are indisputable, but strong reading habits develop great skills in so many areas of learning and transfer into other benefits as well. It is just superb that library borrowing rates for our students in 2019 are up 150% from last year!

Mr Peter Houlihan


The future is an unknown country. It is an unfamiliar place, imbued with our hopes and desires, our anxieties and uncertainties. As a projection of our present reality, how we conceive our future is largely dependent upon our current frame of mind.

Mr Mark Gustincic
Deputy Principal — Learning and Teaching

The Role of the DLD — Student Progression

Part of this role is to monitor student progress throughout the College and the work with teachers, mentors and coordinators, to ensure that we are offering support and pathways to individuals and groups of students to achieve their individual success.

Prior to starting at De La Salle College in Year 5 or 7, and again in Year 8 and Year 10, students complete Academic Testing of their skills in;

  • problem‐solving
  • literacy
  • and numeracy

We use this information to identify students who may need support and to make sure we are tailoring our lessons and programs to extend and challenge those that need it. This can include entrance to our GATE and Accelerated Learning Programs at VCE. We track these results alongside our NAPLAN results. We also look at this information when we reviewing student performance to identify those who, through their commitment and effort, are achieving their individual success and those who may need to improve to meet their potential.

Term 3 is a very busy term for the Progression and Wellbeing teams as we are reflecting on Semester One whilst also looking forward to support our students in Years 9, 10 and 11 in choosing their programs and subjects for 2020.

This term we are seeing our Wellbeing team having conversations with students and their parents to discuss strategies to improve their academic performance.

I do the background work to help our Year 9, 10 and 11 students make informed choices about their final years of schooling. However, it is the subject teachers, mentors and House Coordinators who know the students best, and do a lot of the guidance and supporting of individual students.

In Year 9, subject selection runs as part of their Futures theme and the Future Program led by Caroline Fitzpatrick, our Careers Counsellor. I work with students in helping them understand the different options available to them and encouraging them to choose programs where they will be successful, this includes inviting a few very high achieving students to take part in the Accelerated Learning Program.

Similarly, in Year 10 and 11, I work closely with Caroline in providing a structured support program by running the VCE/VCAL, Subject Selection assemblies and Subject Selection Day and helping students prepare for these through their Planning Exercises. 

There are four key messages I have for students to help them be the best they can be:

  • choose the programs and subjects that play to your talents and passions – choose what you enjoy and what you are good at
  • do your research; check prerequisites, speak to people including teachers and older students to find out what it is really like
  • Follow the advice of your teachers, they know your strengths and abilities and can guide you in the right direction
  • Try your best in everything you do, the more you put in the more you get out.

Mrs Lucy Russell
Director of Learning and Development (Data and Student Progression)

Big Choices Ahead

There are many possible pathways leading into the future and at times this multitude of options can be daunting. Although making the best decision for yourself may seem difficult, the first step is to look at the situation as an opportunity for growth. For those big choices ahead are indeed nothing to dread.

To help with the process of pathways decision making, the following steps are a good guide to follow:

Consider all possible scenarios. Where does each choice lead and which decision leads you towards your desired outcome?

Make a Pros and Cons list

Weigh up each possible choice by physically writing out the pros and cons of each potential choice, to ensure you think deeply about a potential decision.

Visualise your final decision, picture how you feel and how you look, what people you respect would think about your decision. Keep this image of your future self in your mind.

What would a younger brother or sister, or your parents say about your decision? If this thought makes you uncomfortable it may be wise to reconsider your choice.

Seek wise counsel

Once you have an idea of what you want, speak to family and friends, talk them through your decision making process and listen to their guidance. It is helpful to receive different perspectives and to have the support of those around you.

Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counsellors there is safety.”

Proverbs 11:14

Make a choice and sit with it, after you have taken counsel, be sure to make firm in your mind the direction you choose, and sit with this decision.

Evaluate how your choice feels. After being with your choice for some time asses if it continues feeling right. If it still feels right you have made a successful decision.

Finally, we conclude with my personal favourite, prayer.

We pray for wisdom and discernment,

clarity and peace as we move forward

and begin to make new decisions that will set us on a new path,

never forgetting all the support we are blessed with

here at De La Salle College.

St John Baptist De La Salle – Pray For Us

Live Jesus In Our Hearts – Forever

Mr James Biviano
Lasallian Youth Minister


Thanks to all parents for their support in getting their sons back to school for Term 3. This can be a tricky term for students, as they deal with assessments, sport, friendships, social pressures and homework – and are often cooped up inside due to winter weather.

During this time, it is important that you keep channels of communication open with your son and check‐in regarding his progress at school and his wellbeing. If you have concerns, do not hesitate to contact his mentor teacher or House or Year Level co‐ordinator.

The Wellbeing and Learning and Teaching teams are working through a process of reviewing the progress of all students here at the College. In the coming weeks, you may hear from staff with a request for a conversation or meeting. These conversations and meetings are designed to support your soon to be his best, and achieve his full potential. Please support us in making sure your son is on the right path and getting the very best out of himself and his education at De La Salle.

School TV

A reminder to all parents that De La Salle offers the School TV service, which can be accessed from Ollie and on the College website’s useful links.

The School TV site provides videos and information about a wide range of topics such as anxiety, depression, social media and cyberbullying, positive parenting and diet and nutrition. The material can be accessed at any time, and the videos are short and easy to engage with.

Ms Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Students

Learning and Teaching

The future is an unknown country. It is an unfamiliar place, imbued with our hopes and desires, our anxieties and uncertainties. As a projection of our present reality, how we conceive our future is largely dependent upon our current frame of mind.

Learning can be thought of as an activity conducted for the benefit of days yet to come. What will be useful for me to know to go on to a successful, fulfilling future? How can I best invest in myself today, in order to reap the benefits at a later time? It is not all that long ago that schooling was considered to be an exercise in preparing young people with the knowledge and skills for adulthood. In this paradigm, students are often seen as empty vessels, waiting to be filled with information that they will draw upon at some point down the road, within a chosen vocation.

This view of formal education is problematic within our contemporary context. The ready accessibility of information through the digital revolution has changed our emphasis on what it is important to learn about at school. Dramatically increasing levels of student retention through to Year 12, expanding opportunities for tertiary study and shrinking industry demand for unskilled labour has caused an adjustment in what is emphasised in school learning.

Last week, a number of our students were conferred with Academic Achievement and Endeavour Awards, at two ceremonies.

Please click here for more photos from the Academic Awards ceremonies for Semester 1, 2019.

In addressing the attendees of those ceremonies, the central point I was hoping to convey was in relation to the importance of academic growth for all students. To summarise, growth in learning is the demonstrable progress that a student has made over a period of time, regardless of their starting point. Seeing growth in learning has been made easier in recent years due to developments in electronic data collection and analysis, supported by appropriate assessment regimes.

The message for students was that irrespective of their current level of academic achievement, maintaining healthy growth and improvement is critical. Over a period of months or years, it is possible for a student exhibiting a commitment to improvement and growth to achieve success. Conversely, those who do not may encounter significant difficulties as they progress through school. Analysing our students’ results over time has shown us that capable students, without applying sustained effort, have underachieved. On the other hand, a number of students coming from lower achievement levels, through a deep, ongoing commitment to improvement, have seen remarkable success by the conclusion of their time at the College.

Throughout the coming term, as students face decisions about their future through the many activities of the subject selection season, it is appropriate for them to consider their choices carefully. Students who choose subjects in areas of prior strength will be in a position to capitalise on their learning successes to date. Those who are seeking new experiences in areas that they are unfamiliar with are encouraged to do so. This, however, requires that study habits, attention to homework, assessment preparation and overall application to their learning are well in place. Students choosing subjects in unfamiliar areas, simply due to a lack of previous success in others should do so with caution. Irrespective, each student going through subject selection over the coming weeks is advised to take advantage of access to advice from the resources provided to them, from families and the teachers who know them.

There is no doubt that students who are showing growth in their learning will increasingly discover that options and possibilities will emerge for them. Those yet to show that they are able to focus on improvement over an extended period of time may find the reflections on what lies ahead for them through the subject selection process to be an opportunity to exert constructive changes. For all students, an honest appraisal of where they sit in terms of their progression in learning, coupled with a positive conception of what the future may hold, will no doubt assist in opening exciting and fulfilling possibilities ahead.

Mr Mark Gustincic
Deputy Principal — Learning and Teaching

Faith and Mission

Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies

Recently, along with colleague and fellow Deputy Principal – Students Ms Jessica Alger, my path led me to New York to complete my third and final year at the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies at Manhattan College.

Each day began as we entered into very meaningful and intentional community prayer, reflection and learning. We received wisdom and insight from the Brothers, practicum lecturers, fellow classmates, and the texts and meditations of St John Baptist de La Salle. 

Words such as “you have been entrusted with this mission” inspired and reminded me that through this experience of Buttimer there is a responsibility to return to and continue the work of St John Baptist de La Salle and the Lasallian Institute.

The opportunity to study at the Buttimer Institute has been both a blessing and a privilege that has reminded me that at the heart of being Lasallian is learning, prayer, building community, caring for those who are entrusted to us and working for those on the periphery. On my return from this experience, my prayer for us as a community at De La Salle College is that we always remember the ones entrusted to us and that we build our community on the virtues and principles that St John Baptist de La Salle modelled with the first Brothers.

Live Jesus in our hearts!

Br Garry Coyte FSC visit to De La Salle College

Students at the College are encouraged to follow a Lasallian pathway after school, should they feel that a life of vocation is calling them. Recently Br Garry Coyte FSC visited De La Salle College to talk to a group of interested Year 12 students on Lasallian Vocations: Youth Ministry, Brothers Vocations and the Lasallian Volunteer Programme.

Most students were particularly interested in the Lasallian Volunteers Programme. Br Garry spent time talking to the Year 12 group about the impact they would be making to the communities they could potentially be working in work in, from outback Australia all the way to Papua New Guinea.

Br Granville Perera Visit from Diyagala Boys’ Town, Sri Lanka

Last Friday, Br Granville Perera FSC, a very special guest from Diyagala Boys’ Town in Sri Lanka spent the day visiting the College. De La Salle Malvern and Diyagala have a very special relationship that has been cultivated in the Yaluwo Immersion over the past couple of years. Br Granville expressed his gratitude and joy in the way that the two organisations work together and it is his hope that we eventually return to Sri Lanka on the Yaluwo Immersion given the Easter Sunday bombings have hindered our return this year due to the heightened security warnings.

Special congratulations to Br Granville on his fifty‐year jubilee as a brother.

Staff “Fanning the Flame of Faith” PL Session

To prepare for the new term, staff participated in a second formation session with how we, as Catholic educators, ought to go about fanning the flame of faith within our students. We were reminded that to do that, we need to ensure that the fire is alight within us and that if we are called to be participants of Christ as teachers, then we need to know it, we need to live it and we need to model it to those in our care.

To fan the flame of faith in our students, we need to fan the flame within our hearts first and recognise that we are all participating in the mission of Jesus. We must allow ourselves to be drawn to the heart of Jesus, to understand the humanity of Jesus and this, in turn, will increase our desire to fan the flame and increase our love for our students.

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Holy Eucharist Campus

Year 9 Career Pathways — Futures

The theme for Term 3 at Holy Eucharist is ‘Futures’. On Wednesday 23 July, the 2019 Year 9 Careers Program was launched at our innovative, dedicated Year 9 Campus.

The Year 9 Campus stands on the traditional land of the Wurundjeri people. The protocols for formally welcoming guests to Country have been part of their culture for thousands of years, a tradition they call ‘Tanderrum’. Mr Perry Wandin, a Wurundjeri elder welcomed the assembled students in Woiwurrung language and spoke about his family’s history in Victoria.

Our keynote speaker, Mark George, a past student from De La Salle College’s class of 1983 had a remarkable story to share. The theme for Mark’s speech — ‘Anything is Possible’, resonated strongly with our students, as they begin to navigate through the possibilities for their own futures.

As one of the few people to climb the seven summits‐ the tallest peaks of each continent in the world, Mark’s story epitomises the achievement of making a dream become a reality, but not by accident.

In 2012, he became the first and only Australian to reach the South Pole solo and unsupported on skis from the Antarctic Coast, a journey taking just over seven and a half weeks. Amongst other adventures, he has Sea‐Kayaked across Bass Strait leaving from Apollo Bay and recently completed a world record crossing over 1000 sand dunes in the Simpson Desert dragging 200 kilograms of water behind him.

The second week of the Careers program, ‘University Whispers’ featured representatives from four Universities. Monash’s Rock Precinct, Deakin University’s Cyber Security programs, RMIT’s Architecture and Design Facility and the ACU’s Paramedicine course were all showcased to our students.

The third week will take students through a Career questionnaire on WIRL, which will generate pathway suggestions based on students’ responses, helping to guide these students as they begin their subject selection process.

Mrs Caroline Fitzpatrick
Careers Counsellor

Tiverton Campus

Primary School

The Primary School Year 5 and 6 students have finished Semester One, making great gains in their literacy and numeracy skills, as well as posting some terrific results in their specialist subjects of Italian, PE, Music and Drama.

We congratulate the following students in receiving awards for their academic studies in Term 1 and 2 this year:

Semester Awards for Achievement

Year 5 Thomas James
Year 5 Robert (Thomas) Clemow
Year 6 Ethan Eustace
Year 6 Aidan O’Flynn

Semester Awards for Endeavour

Year 5 Christopher Wilson
Year 6 Tom Skaro

Many things to look forward in Term 3 for the Primary School with more details to come in upcoming newsletters and emails:

  • Excursions to Healesville Sanctuary and Scienceworks
  • Dendy Athletics Competition
  • Hoop Time Competition
  • Australian Maths Competition
  • De La Salle Primary Debating Cup

We are always looking for parent involvement so please let Mr Ahern, Mr Kearns or myself know if you are available for any of these excursions or would like to help out in the classroom.

Year 7 and Year 8

The class mentor teachers have been working hard in the first two weeks of Term 3 unpacking all the student’s results and data from the first semester reports. All students have data collected on the following habits and behaviours:

  • Work conducted in class (effort and behaviour)
  • Level of participation and engagement within class
  • Level of completed homework
  • Overall result for assessment tasks in individual subjects

This has allowed staff to track individual performance within specific classes but also gives a clearer picture of the level of progression of students compare to Victorian Curriculum standards, as well as a comparison with various NAPLAN and ALLWELL testing results. We believe this level of evaluation is important to create greater communication between the students, the parents and the Tiverton teaching staff and to raise the academic performance of our students before they enter the Year 9 campus and the Senior School.

As a result of this data, some students who have set personal benchmarks and exceeded expectations will receive academic awards or zeal nominations for all their hard work and effort. Well done boys!

However, those students who fail to reach De La Salle expectations will receive a synergetic notification, parent meetings will be conducted, and a progression contract for that individual student will result. This contract will be reviewed regularly by the class mentor and teaching staff. The aim is to better the work ethic of some of our boys and to strive for personal best whatever that may be.

We thank all parents for their support of this program and we thank Director of Data and Assessment Ms Lucy Russell and Tiverton Progression Coordinator Mrs Emma D’Angelo, and Year Level Coordinators Dr Melissa Walsh and Mr Stephen Brick for their work in this space.

Mr Martin Gibbs
Director of Students — Middle Years