Roll Call Current Issue — September 2020

Due to COVID‐19, we may not have reunions this year but our Old Collegian Community is full of interesting people with interesting lives. Our September issue showcases some of their stories, updates the reader on student and community activities and how our De La Salle community is coping in our new normal. Enjoy!

Roll Call September 2020. Read Here.

If you aren’t receiving your Roll Call online – please email oldcolls@delasalle.vic.edu.au with your current email address or click here to send an enquiry through our Old Collegians Contact Form.

From the Principal

It has been terrific to welcome back all the Year 5 – 10 students in the past week; schools are just meant to have lots of students running around, laughing and learning and simply being the great young men we know, so it’s very nice to be back to something approaching “the new normal.”

I have visited each class across all Year Levels in the past week or two, asking the students what they saw as the positives and the challenges in the six‐eight weeks of their remote learning experience. The feedback has largely been positive with a variety of good habits and improved work practices discovered, but the overwhelming majority were very glad to be back on‐site with their friends — and even their teachers! Many students reported greatly increased levels of responsibility, resilience and organisation on a personal level. Using OLLIE Chat and MS Teams was a great way to work with teachers for part of the lesson, but the ability to set their own timelines to complete work, to push hard then back off when it suited them have been reported as key positives by the De La Salle students.

Other students spoke about the challenge of motivation whilst working alone at home, to keep up to date with the work without teachers and classmates to guide, support and encourage. These young men were grateful for the return to formal classes and the structure and routine this provides. Overall, the students rated the experience a success and felt the College looked after them from learning, wellbeing and organisational perspectives. It was certainly challenging at times to navigate the remote learning landscape and ensure none of our young men slipped through the cracks but a marvellous team approach by many dedicated staff teams meant we have returned in good shape.

The students’ attitude upon resumption is a critical element of restoring their learning and progression; maintaining the good headway they made whilst working at home and for some, catching up where they may have fallen behind. This is where we expect students to rise to our expectations and the simple and fair standards our teachers set. Each young man needs to work to the best of his ability, ensure all work is completed and submitted to the highest standard possible for each individual. It is critical to finish Semester 1 well and for the Year 10s and 11 students in particular, use strong study habits to make sure they have access to the units of their choice in the subject selection process next Term.

The current Black Lives Matter campaign brings into stark reality many of the ugly issues racism brings. In searching for lessons and any positive lessons to come out of this for our students, I have been looking at events in the USA and abroad through a Lasallian lens. A recent article in the
AXIS: Journal of Lasallian Higher Education drew interesting parallels with how our Core Principles can combat racism.

With reference to our Lasallian values, our Lasallian mission compels us to directly engage with racial justice.  We cannot sit idly by, but must instead lead by example in creating change on individual and institutional levels (Young et al, 2018). The Five Core Principles of a Lasallian Education could well be used to adopt a more balanced and Christian approach at a local, national and international level. It is my hope and prayer that the work we do with our students as a matter of course helps them become young men of compassion, character and empathy, perfectly capable of seeing wrong and doing something about it in their own way. An emphasis on “Respect for all Persons” and “An Inclusive Community” for example, can help understanding, tolerance and acceptance in any circumstances. Whether it’s Year 7 students organising a game in the yard or dealing with Indigenous disadvantage in our society, embracing the reality that acknowledging these lived experiences of our peers are ways of helping each other—particularly our students—transform their realities and build bridges to each other and of building community/connection/association.

Peter Houlihan
Principal

Young, Danielle M., Jeffrey J. Sable, and Jack Curran. “Exploring the Intersections: Racial Justice, our Lasallian Heritage, and the Catholic Tradition.” AXIS: Journal of Lasallian Higher Education 9, no. 2 (Institute for Lasallian Studies at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota: 2018).

Faith and Mission

Refugee Week 2020

This year, Refugee week will run from Sunday 14 June until Saturday 20 June. Refugee week is Australia’s peak annual activity to raise awareness about the issues affecting refugees and asylum seekers. This year the 2020 theme for Refugee Week is Year of Welcome.

This week at De La Salle College, the community will all be supporting Refugee Week through the initiatives of St Austin’s House who are proudly committed to advocating for the Melbourne Catholic Migrant and Refugee Centre, who provide pastoral care to migrants and refugees in Melbourne.

As Lasallian’s, it is important to always recognise that we are called to be people of hope, of justice and inclusivity and that our message is to promote a culture of encounter with the other in an effort to combat indifference.

Pope Francis reminds us that “We ourselves need to see, and then enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved,” (Pope Francis, 2014).

Throughout the week, St Austin’s House will be holding a number of activities to promote the awareness of Refugees and on Friday 19 June students are asked to make a gold coin donation and wear casual clothes to school in support of Refugee Week.

Let us remember we are in the holy presence of God…

Merciful God,
Whose own Son become a refugee and had no place to call his own;
Look with mercy on those who today are fleeing from danger, are homeless and hungry.
Bless those who bring them relief;
And inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;
Guide the leaders of our nation to embrace a spirit of compassion and concern for human dignity, especially when dealing with and developing Refugee and Asylum‐seeker policies.

St John Baptist de La Salle – Pray For Us
Live Jesus in Our Hearts – Forever

Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Students

Life has changed for all of us due to COVID‐19 restrictions. Some people have enjoyed these changes, others have found it challenging and many of us will have experienced a mixture of these things.

You might have had to transition to online learning or study without much warning. You might have had less time to talk to friends, or had to change the way you spend time together. You might have had your work hours reduced or cut altogether, adding huge financial pressure on rent or bills. Spending more time at home may have put additional pressure on already strained family or household relationships, making it challenging for you to find space to look after your wellbeing. You might even be struggling with the transition back to on campus learning.

As a result of COVID‐19 challenges you might find yourself:

  • struggling to find motivation
  • finding it hard to keep a routine
  • not keeping up with day to day chores
  • being less interested in things you usually enjoy
  • sleeping a lot more or less
  • feeling worried about the future

You might be:

  • thinking that returning to your life before COVID‐19 seems like a huge task
  • finding things that used to be easy becoming difficult, worrying or scary
  • finding it hard to get going
  • concerned you might catch the virus
  • realising you want to make changes to the way you live your life
  • wondering if your friendships will be the same

So what can you do?

Prepare yourself by thinking about how your life has changed and what you want your life to look like. You might find that some things are easier to return to than others. This will be different for everyone, and that’s OK. It can be tricky to know where to begin. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

  • think about the fun things you want to do once restrictions ease
  • write out a plan to help motivate yourself. Sometimes detail can help motivate you even if you don’t quite feel like it at the time.
  • ask your family and friends to get involved
  • take it slow. Gradually try new things. You don’t need to do everything straight away
  • start with something that seems easier, before moving to difficult things
  • if you’re worried about catching the virus remember to practice hand hygiene and physical distancing
  • think about what you might need to do if things don’t go well, and write down a few ideas of what might help you get back on track

The easing of restrictions might be an exciting, fun, and enjoyable time for some. For others, it might be scary, uncertain or overwhelming. It’s normal to feel anything and everything, so remember to be kind to yourself.

Where do I go for help?

If you need support – start by reaching out to a trusted friend, family member, teacher or Elder to share what you are going through. Remember that there are lots of people at De La Salle to help you – your mentor teacher, coordinator, Head of Campus/Director of Students, Psychologists. We want to hear from you if you are having a hard time, or even if you are not! If you ever feel unable to cope because of overwhelming or intense emotions or if you have any thoughts of harming yourself, then ask for help immediately.

National Crisis Services:
If you are in an emergency situation or need immediate assistance, contact mental health services or emergency services on 000.
Headspace: visit headspace.org.au to find your nearest centre or call eheadspace on 1800 650 890
Lifeline: 13 11 14 or lifeline.org.au
Suicide Call Back Service: 1300 659 467 or suicidecallbackservice.org.au
Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636 or beyondblue.org.au

Additional Youth Services:
Kids Helpline:
1800 55 1800 or kidshelpline.com.au
ReachOut: reachout.com

Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Stude
nts

Credit: Headspace

Running for a Good Cause

12 Kilometres in 12 Hours

While our students were at home participating in Online Learning, Year 8 Student (Year 8 Solomon) Liam Laidlaw, along with his cousin Ronan, decided they wanted to something active and challenging for charity.

The young men decided they would run 1km each hour, on the hour, from 7.00am until 7.00pm on Saturday 6 June. Liam and Ronan set an approximate target of $500 to which they would donate to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, a very worthy cause. The Great Barrier Reef Foundation is an Australian non‐profit organisation established in 1999 to help protect and preserve the Great Barrier Reef.

The pair set up a Facebook page calling for donations and by the end of the day, they had raised a total of $969.34. We are extremely proud of Liam, who has demonstrated Lasallian values throughout this initiative. Well done!

Lasallian Zeal Awards

The Lasallian Zeal Achievement and Recognition Policy seeks to affirm and develop positive learning behaviours. Lasallian Zeal encourages students to set higher goals for themselves and to achieve their personal best. Motivation to learn is dramatically impacted by being successful.

StudentMentor GroupAward
Joshua MilesYear 9, CusackSilver
Adrian SkutelaYear 9, RummerySilver
Daniel MartinYear 9, CarmodyBronze
Luke HealyYear 9, RummeryBronze

The five Core Lasallian Principles encompass the categories of achievement and recognition and will be known as Lasallian Zeal. Students will build up nominations over the course of their time at De La Salle College. Students will receive a certificate and a Lasallian Zeal badge in the appropriate colour as described below.

  • Bronze Lasallian Zeal 10 awards in any category
  • Silver Lasallian Zeal 20 awards (10 Bronze Lasallian Zeal plus two in each category)
  • Gold Lasallian Zeal 30 awards (20 Silver Lasallian Zeal plus two in each category)
  • Platinum Lasallian Zeal 40 awards (30 Gold Lasallian Zeal plus two in each category)

Congratulations to these students on receiving their awards.

Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Students

Teacher / Staff Q and A

Melissa Walsh, Year 7 Coordinator

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

I am responsible for supporting all the Year 7 students as they begin their secondary school journey here at De La Salle. One of the most important parts of my job is having possession of the Master Key for all the lockers! Lately I have seem to be using it on a daily basis as lots of Year 7 students have forgotten their locker combinations during remote learning!

More seriously, the Mentors for each homeroom do an amazing job with the students on a daily basis, so a key part of my role is to help the Mentors and then, when needed, step in when extra help is required. I also organise the Year 7 Camp, present at Year Level information nights, and visit primary schools to start the transition process into De La Salle. I also teach Year 7 History, English and PD, as well as a Year 11 History class.

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

Since 2018.

Can you tell us something special about teaching at De La Salle?

The students are very appreciative of their teachers. It is very nice to be thanked for doing your job. During remote learning, I also developed a new appreciation for my fellow teachers as we learnt how to teach in new ways. I have had some inspiring discussions with many colleagues about new ways we can teach and learn here at De La Salle. I am very proud of what we achieved this term and excited for the future.

Who is someone you admire and why?

That’s a tough one. I have many people who I know personally who I admire. If I was to consider people in public life, I have a great admiration for journalists who, at this time in history, are subjected to insult and violence and even death for reporting stories that powerful people may not want made public. A free and rigorous press is really important for our democracy. So I admire all those people who try to shine the light of truth in those dark places. Maria Ressa in the Philippines is a good example, as is Carole Cadwalladr in the UK and Ronan Farrow in the USA.

Do you have any pets? Can you share a picture?

We have a family cat called Zimmy. She thinks she is a dog.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually wanted to be an architect, right up to about Year 9 or 10. It was around that time someone said to me that my maths skills weren’t really good enough for me to get into that field. Rather than challenging that assessment and having a growth mindset towards maths, I just kind of accepted it. Even so, I think deep down I always wanted to be a teacher and was always going to end up in the classroom because I just love learning so much!

Which is your House and who do you support in the AFL?

Mighty Austins House and the Mighty Magpies!

Important Notices

Uniform Shop

The ONSITE uniform shop will remain closed until the beginning of Term 3. De La Salle uniforms are available at Dobsons, 667 Glenferrie Rd Hawthorn. Students may wear summer uniform for a week or two without fear of a uniform infringement note. Please be aware that no second hand items will be accepted during this time. Second hand items can be sold via the Sustainable School Shop: https://www.sustainableschoolshop.com.au/

Current Uniform Price List

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates in the College calendar.

Fri
26
Jun
Term 2 concludes
Staff Professional Practice Day - no classes
Mon
13
Jul
Staff Professional Learning Day - no classes
Tue
14
Jul
Staff Professional Learning Day - no classes
Wed
15
Jul
Term 3 Commences - students return to school

From the Principal

The past week has seen things return to something very much like our normal operations at Kinnoull as we welcomed the VCE students back last week.

Standing out in the car park to greet the boys was a terrific half‐hour, despite the cool morning! It was tremendous to see so many of our wonderful young men in such high spirits and actually conceding it was really good to be able to come to school. The opportunity to return to face to face classroom learning and to connect with friends and staff was a welcome respite from the many weeks of lock down.

These periods of difficulty, inconvenience or even adversity nearly always bring a variety of positives as well. This has certainly been the case since we moved to remote learning from March 23. I have been heartened by the very many stories from staff, relayed with great pride about how well so many of the students dealt with the challenges of the transition to learning from home. For many, it demanded increased levels of organisation, independence and resilience. That so many of our young men at all levels stepped up and embraced this is a credit to them, their families and especially their teachers who provided so much guidance and support from a distance.

I must also acknowledge the many parents who wrote to me and other staff during the past couple of months with positive feedback and gratitude for the way we’d handled the situation. It really was a boost to receive these message of support as everybody in the school worked so hard, navigating literally unprecedented circumstances to ensure classes were delivered, learning continued and wellbeing was monitored.

We are reviewing all that has occurred during the period of remote learning and compiling a list of what strengths and qualities came out of the experience which we would want to take advantage of and keep. These revolve around central elements of our school experience such as effective and efficient use of ICT, pedagogy, independence and responsibilities of staff and students respectively, tracking and monitoring academic progress and wellbeing issues. This will not only assist in the improvement of how we operate under normal circumstances, but better prepare us in the event of another school closure.

There were certainly students who did not find the experience so positive and I am very grateful for the tremendous efforts of our Wellbeing Team who have been in constant contact and dialogue with a broad range of students and parents providing support, a sympathetic ear, advice and reassurance. As the VCE students returned last week, and as we prepare for the Year 5 – 10s to resume on Tuesday the Wellbeing Team’s primary focus is targeted and personal interventions to identify and help solve any issues or anxieties around our students’ learning and wellbeing in the return to working on‐site.

The return to working on‐site has been enabled and supported by an outstanding team effort from a range of staff. Our major focus has been identifying, managing and mitigating the risks associated with moving more than 1000 students and 150 staff back onto our three sites. Much of the detail around this has been covered in my letters and emails to parents already, but the Executive Team, OH and S Committee and staff representatives from each campus have spent countless hours identifying and mitigating potential risks. Strategies, actions, protocols and guidelines covering all these are in place. It has been gratifying to see that when advice comes from the government or CECV around how to prepare schools we have the vast majority of the recommended measures already in place.

With the cancellation of on‐site tours due to COVID‐19 we have quickly moved to launch our very own Virtual Tours and online presentations from key staff outlining who we are and what we stand for as a Catholic, Lasallian community. I would encourage you to take a look at these and share the good news about De La Salle College with any prospective families. The Virtual Tour can be accessed by clicking here. In the next week, 4 parent information videos will also be available online. These are valuable and indeed critical additions to our Marketing and Development arm and I am very grateful to our innovative and dedicated team who are working so hard to promote the College and all we have to offer in these challenging times.

Wednesday of this week marked the beginning of our three‐day cycle of Semester 1 Parent/Teacher Interviews. With the prevailing circumstances necessitating a move to these being conducted online via Microsoft Teams it will be literally a novel experience, but one we expect to work well given the success of this platform in the past few months. Details around booking times and how to operate Teams with your son(s) have been emailed home so I hope you are all working on booking these critical interviews to establish how your son(s) has performed thus far and set goals for further improvement as we move into Semester 2 next term.

This week we have Tiger Turf working in the Tiverton courtyard on the site of the old handball courts to install synthetic turf on the concreted area. This will not only sharpen up significantly the aesthetics but also provide another popular and safe area for the Years 7 students to play when they return next week.

Enjoy your long weekend and we look forward to welcoming the boys back on Tuesday.

Peter Houlihan
Principal

Faith and Mission

Reconciliation Week

Over the past week, Australia has celebrated National Reconciliation Week. The theme this year for National Reconciliation week is In This Together. Dates that signify milestones in the history of our reconciliation journey are May 27, which marks the anniversary of the 1967 referendum when Australians voted to remove clauses in the Australian Constitution that discriminated against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

We remember that June 3, 1992 marks the historic Mabo decision in which the High Court of Australia recognised Native Title—the recognition that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ rights over their lands, did survive British colonisation.

We remember that on May 26, 1998 the first National Sorry Day was held to commemorate the anniversary of the report of the 1997 National Inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families. A day to remember the grief, the pain, the suffering and injustice experienced by the Stolen Generations. Effects that are so traumatic and painful that these removals are still felt by succeeding generations today.

Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Let us always acknowledge that the disconnection and removal from culture, country and identity was damaging.

Let us always acknowledge and remember those who never found their way back home to family, to community and to country.

May we always acknowledge and offer our support for healing.

Old Collegian and 2018 Vice Captain — Joshua Paul

Many of you will know Josh Paul, Old Collegian and 2018 College Vice‐Captain, who has set aside two years to the Lasallian Volunteer Program. Josh volunteered in 2019 as a Lasallian Volunteer in Middle Swan, Perth and this year again in Balgo.

In the link below, Josh speaks of his decision in Year 12 to become a Lasallian Volunteer and the impact the experience of volunteering has had on him so far.

Please click here to watch the video of this impressive young man, a De La Salle Old Collegian.

Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Students

Asthma and Coronavirus

The Australian Asthma Foundation states: “If a viral illness is a trigger for your child’s asthma, take similar precautions you would take at the start of the cold and flu season but add some of the things we’ve all adapted during COVID‐19.”

The message of hand hygiene and physical distancing continues to be important factors to assist minimizing the risk of contracting coronavirus and transmission of the virus among our community.

  • If your son suffers from asthma, please consult with your Medical Practitioner for individual advice to discuss your son’s triggers, the patterns of their illness (when, how often, and how severely they experience their symptoms) and their current level of asthma control.
  • Discuss the possibility of starting preventer asthma medication.
  • Request an updated written Asthma Action Plan — to be supplied to the College Health Centre.
  • Check that your son’s inhaler technique have been reviewed by your Medical Practitioner to ensure they are receiving the right dosage of medication to their lungs. If your child is using a puffer device, ensure you have a spacer to maximize the benefits of the asthma medications and reduce potential side effects.
  • Keep your son at home if they are unwell and consult with your Medical Practitioner regarding any Asthma symptoms.

The Asthma Foundation has also provided a list of FAQ’s to assist making informed decisions regarding coronavirus and asthma management, Asthma and Coronavirus.

Further resources are available to assist with further information regarding your son’s asthma:

  • 1800 Asthma (1800 278 462) a free service from Asthma Australia for people with asthma and their carers where you can speak to an Asthma Educator about your asthma questions and concerns.
  • Coronavirus Health Information Line (1800 020 080) - for information on coronavirus (COVID‐19). The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Jessica Alger
Deputy Principal — Stude
nts

The CSPV (Catholic School Parents Victoria) has released the latest edition of its newsletter. To access it, please click here.

The New ‘Normal’

Victoria is in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and much has been written and said about the frightening nature of coronavirus, however De La Salle Staff and the Health Centre tackled the reopening of the College with vigour.

The Victorian Chief Medical Officer briefed all Victorians on the restrictions required to reopen and gave two weeks’ notice to implement them.

We were lucky, our College COVID19 Response Team had anticipated most of the brief and our Maintenance Team had already tasked our reliable plumbers to replace all drinking fountains with bottle refill nozzles. A checklist was written and one by one we ticked off the restrictions to meet the strict guidelines mandated by our Government.

There was much to be accomplished in a short timeframe. Policies and procedures were ratified, classrooms and staff rooms were addressed, desks removed and campus libraries reconfigured to accommodate the new “normal”.

Hand sanitiser bottles were ordered and whilst there was a slight delay in rolling out the corridor hand sanitisation stations, exact locations were identified to capture high volume traffic areas and maximise usage of the hand hygiene protocols.

Our College community members will be forgiven if they step inside our gates and think they are entering their local supermarket or shopping centre. They will recognise the now familiar distinctive coloured floor decals reminding us to social distance 1.5 metres and will not have to glance very far to view a series of hand sanitisation posters plastered on our internal and external walls and sign posts.

The uncertainty surrounding this coronavirus is one of the hardest things to handle. We don’t know exactly how we will be impacted, but the College Executive and the Health Centre can assure you, we have taken every step to minimise the risk and will do our utmost to help slow down the spread of the virus. Staff, parents and students alike can assist our capabilities to tackle this coronavirus by doing their bit to “slow the spread”.

The Health Centre makes no apology if you receive a telephone call requesting you to pick up your son. We all have the responsibility to look after each other according to the message, “If your child is feeling ill or unwell, you must not attend school. You must remain home and seek medical advice”. This instruction will be strictly complied with to protect our entire Community. Please email kupton@delasalle.vic.edu.au or telephone 0427 503 774 if your son has been tested and awaiting results and Kylie Upton will discuss processes to follow.

See: Royal Children’s Hospital informative fact sheets: RCH & Coronavirus and Supporting your child to cope with the COVID19 pandemic.

Kylie Upton
Health Centre, De La Salle

Teacher / Staff Q and A


Luke Serrano, Music Coordinator

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

I manage the day to day operations of the Music Department and lead our efforts to continually improve the provision for Music at De La Salle across the classroom, instrumental and ensemble programs. I teach the Year 8 and Senior Music classes and am the co‐composer and Musical Director of the College Senior Musical Production.

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

Since February 2019.

Can you tell us something special about teaching at De La Salle?

I really appreciate the intimacy of De La Salle College, and the wonderful balance that De La Salle enjoys; it’s large enough that we can aim to achieve terrific educational outcomes across a wide variety of disciplines, yet small enough that we can keep sight of all individuals, staff and students alike.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire anyone who demonstrates kind leadership and thoughtful initiative, using their talents, insights and personal qualities to bring benefits to others. It can be a Head of State or a Year 5 student, it doesn’t matter.

Do you have any pets? Can you share a picture?

My saxophones are my pets, and they bug me for a walk on a daily basis.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I dreamt of being a songwriter as a young child, then a classical composer in my teenage years.

Which is your House and who do you support in the AFL?

Leo, Essendon.


Shane Mackintosh, Director of Students — Senior Years

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

The Director of Students (Senior Years) is responsible for ensuring the Lasallian charism and Catholic values are developed and nurtured within the College community. Primarily, my role is to support the House Coordinators and House Mentors in nurturing and guiding the educational, social, physical, spiritual and emotional wellbeing of students at Kinnoull.

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

15 years.

Can you tell us something special about teaching at De La Salle?

What resonates with me when reflecting on why it’s so special to be part of the De La Salle College is the spirit that exists between all members of the community. There is genuine care for others that permeates across the community. From past experiences, this quality is rarely found to this degree in other industries or work places.

Who is someone you admire and why?

People who’ve had amazing experiences I find fascinating and inspiring. Learning how some individuals have had to overcome significant challenges in their lives reminds me how fortunate and grateful I am for the life that I have.

Do you have any pets? Can you share a picture?

We have a family cat called Jimmy. He’s a rescue cat and we’ve had him for 4 years now. Jimmy was named after the famous musician Jimmy Hendricks because of his crazy mannerisms.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was younger I desperately wanted to play AFL for the mighty Magpies. When that ‘dream’ was unfulfilled, part of me that wanted to become a teacher someday. This realization became a reality after working in the private sector for 5 years, I returned to university as a mature age student and completed my Graduate Dip Ed. I have absolutely no regrets about my career change. I love working in education and feel blessed to be working in this community.

Which is your House and who do you support in the AFL?

Of course my alliance is still with Austin’s House even though I’m supposed to be neutral. I’ve been a lifelong supporter of the Collingwood FC. What can I say, it’s in my family DNA! GO PIES!

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates in the College calendar

Mon
8
Jun
Queens Birthday - no classes
Tue
9
Jun
Years 5 to 10 students return to on-site classes
Wed
10
Jun
Parent Teacher Interview 2.00pm - 8.00pm
Fri
12
Jun
Professional Practice Day - no classes
Thu
18
Jun
Parent Teacher Interviews 9.00am - 3.00pm - no classes

From the Principal

This week’s announcement from the Premier that we will begin a staged return to on‐site learning has indeed been a welcome relief for most students and staff. While we all agree that there is no genuine substitute for face‐to‐face learning and the critical social connection our presence at school provides, there have been many positives to come out of the experience of remote learning.

While it has been difficult in many ways for the students, I have had so many staff speak glowingly of how their students have adapted, developed, increased independence and resilience and taken responsibility for the higher levels of organisation demanded. While preparing, delivering, monitoring and assessing online learning brought significant demands on their time and flexibility, teachers have developed new skills in many areas. In a variety of ways, this has resulted in improved pedagogy as students and staff explored new ways of learning and teaching and perhaps most importantly, built even deeper trust in each other and their respective abilities.

As we acknowledge – if not exactly celebrate – Founder’s Day on Friday, it is pertinent to relate this remote learning experience to our Lasallian ethos. The nature of our student – teacher relationships in a Lasallian school is pivotal and provides a point of difference. De La Salle the man invariably viewed learning as a relational process. Lasallian teachers must be aware of and committed to their obligations as a role model and demonstrate commitment, competence and passion to the students before delivering content. The Lasallian student’s classroom is characterised by warmth, humour, interaction and rigour. Contemporary and relevant wellbeing structures, guidelines and processes create a school community of solidarity and fraternity – brothers and sisters to one another. This has certainly been evident during these challenging weeks.

I must also thank our wonderful parents for your faith and trust in the school, in our strategies and our staff as we worked as best we could to ensure the effective delivery of learning this term. The staff have been buoyed by the regular positive emails from parents commending them on how we’ve handled the situation and the level of care extended in supporting your sons’ learning, wellbeing and responding to various anxieties around the experience.

The Catholic Education Commission has essentially duplicated the Department of Education’s guidelines around the staged return to on‐site learning. I will write in more detail in the next day or so, but in essence:

  • Monday 25 May is a student‐free day to allow staff to plan for the return to on‐site classes. There will be no online lessons posted for the students on this day. This replaces the student‐free day we had set aside on Tuesday 26 May.
  • Tuesday 26 May now reverts to a normal day of classes – on‐site for Year 11 and 12 students, including VET and VCAL and Year 10 students undertaking VCE studies, and online at home for Year 5 – 10 students.
  • Year 5 — 10 students remain on remote learning, returning to on‐site classes on Tuesday 9 June.
  • For those students whose parents are in essential services or cannot be supervised at home, the existing model of onsite schooling will remain in place during the two‐week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part‐days for which onsite schooling is required will continue for this two‐week period. The contact person is Ms Jess Alger, Deputy Principal — Students jalger@delasalle.vic.edu.au

A good deal of planning and preparation for the transition back to on‐site learning is now well underway. Preparing for a broad range of OH&S issues, learning, wellbeing and practical considerations is proving time‐consuming, but we will be well set up for a smooth and safe return for our Year 11 and 12 students on May 26.

Take care and stay safe and well.

Peter Houlihan
Principal

Faith and Mission

Founder’s Day 2020

Each year we would traditionally celebrate Founder’s Day with the staff gathering early to share breakfast in the staffroom. This would soon be followed by the celebration of a whole school mass in the College gymnasium on the Tiverton Campus, concluding with festivities such as food vans, carnival rides and activities, a live DJ, an ‘open mic’ for talented singers and musicians and more, on the Kinnoull Campus.

However, this year, while we are all in isolation, we will be doing things a little differently, but still providing the time and space to stop, remember and acknowledge our Founder, St John Baptist de La Salle, and to give thanks for being a part of the rich Lasallian story and a wonderful school community.

On Thursday May 14, the day before Founder’s Day, staff and students will gather in virtual Live Event where the Principal, Mr Houlihan will commence proceedings with a welcoming address and then read out a letter from Br Visitor (Provincial), David Hawke FSC. Following this an address from the Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission who will lead a prayer reflection and to conclude, a celebratory video from the Lasallian Youth Ministers.

Despite our distance and isolation, we are remembering the legacy of our Founder and coming together in prayer as a community and having Friday May 15, Founder’s Day itself, as a day of rest for De La Salle staff and students.

Live Jesus in our hearts!

Catholic Education Melbourne – News

The second edition of Catholic Education Today for 2020 is now available on the Catholic Education Melbourne website.

The Term Two edition focuses on ‘keeping the light of Christ’ with articles that reflect Catholic schools’ point of difference: from supporting local communities by providing fee‐relief to promoting slavery‐free resources to make a difference on a global level. This issue explores the interreligious culture in our schools, contains guidance to help families with remote learning, and celebrates student achievement in the digital Creative Arts Exhibition and events ‘Around the Archdiocese’.

Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Sports News

Results for the first round of the META eSports league saw a comprehensive victory for the De La Salle Knights!

Well done to the students involved and to Mr Justin Bourke, with a very welcome return from exile in a support role by Mr Stephen Brick.

De La Salle Knights (31) Win over Narara Valley High school (8)

League of Legends Team:

  • Captain: Chris Semaan 
  • Andrew Andaloro
  • Jack Orrell
  • James Pascal‐Therios
  • James Semaan

Congratulations!

Mark Gustincic
Deputy Principal — Teaching and Learning

Teacher / Staff Q and A

Martin Gibbs, Director of Students — Middle Years

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

I look after the Year 5 — 8 Tiverton campus at De La Salle which involves leading our amazing Primary School, helping Year 7 and 8 students transition to the Holy Eucharist campus, and try and get enrolments each year, so lots of school tours and enrolment interviews which I love!

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

18 months (one and a half years).

Can you tell us something special about teaching at De La Salle?

I love walking into my Year 12 Economics and Legal Studies classes every day. The students are motivated, with a great work ethic and we have lots of laughs and seriously bad dad jokes along the way.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire anyone who has a strong work ethic, who is positive and not negative, who really listens and takes the time to really talk to people, and who sees the good in people and their strengths rather than weaknesses. We can all aspire to this …. The whole student wellbeing team are good people like this!

Do you have any pets? Can you share a picture?

I have a six month old puppy called Lenny. He has been a life saver during lockdown. Lots of walks and lots of fun.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be Michael Jordan but then I realised I was a skinny white boy from Doncaster who couldn’t jump. Missed it by *this* much…

Which is your House and who do you support in the AFL?

I am a blue boy through and through – Leo’s and Carlton. Go blues!

Rana Brogan, Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

The Deputy Principal — Faith and Mission is responsible for the Lasallian and Faith Formation of staff and students, overseeing the liturgical life of the College and supporting the goals of the College in the areas of Education, Spirituality, Student Wellbeing, Community and Social Justice.

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

Five Years.

Can you tell us something special about teaching at De La Salle?

A tremendous sense of community and care among the staff and students. The sense of what it means to be Lasallian and care for others resonates through the community. There is a genuine concern for “the other” and wanting to make a difference.

Who is someone you admire and why?

My grandmother. She had 11 children and worked hard to raise them as best she could. Her parents (my great grandparents), couldn’t afford to put her through school so she did what she could to teach herself. I knew she was a smart lady from the conversations we used to have when she was alive, but she just never had the opportunities given to her.

Do you have any pets? Can you share a picture?

I have two Golden Retrievers, Biskit and Colby.

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

I wasn’t exactly sure. But I knew I wanted to help, or work with people, or animals, or paint. But my mum always told me I was going to be a teacher. Which is weird, because that is how things turned out and I love it!

Which is your House and who do you support in the AFL?

Edwin’s House. And I am categorically and unapologetically a Carlton supporter!

David Alexander, Head of Campus – Holy Eucharist

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

I oversee the operation of the Year 9 Campus. My job description is vast. On any given day I can wear a number of hats: my student welfare hat, my daily organisation hat, my staff operations hat, my community liaison hat, my Discovery Teacher hat or even my ‘unblocking a toilet’ hat.

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

I have been at De La Salle since 2007, 14 years.

Can you tell us something special about teaching at De La Salle?

Over the journey, working at De La Salle has allowed me to work with some great people. I have learnt a lot from these people. Our students are extremely lucky to be educated by these teachers. Many only realise this when they leave the College.

Who is someone you admire and why?

I admire my wife. She has unparalleled patience having to deal with me and our two sons Billy (6) and Lenny (3).

As a child what did you want to be when you grew up?

An Architect.

Which is your House and who do you support in the AFL?

I am a proud Edwinner and an even prouder Richmond supporter.

Important Notices

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend activities including:

  • school camps or trips
  • swimming and school‐organised sport programs
  • outdoor education programs
  • excursions and incursions.

If you still hold a current Concession Card or Health Care Card, or your son(s) hold a Youth Allowance Health Card, please provide a copy to the College together with the attached application form by Friday 29 May 2020 – if not sooner.

Please return your form to familyaccounts@delasalle.vic.edu.au.

Government funding assists De La Salle in providing quality education to your son, so we encourage you to apply if eligible. For more information on CSEF please click here.