The Duce Issue 2018 09 - 21 June 2018

From the Principal

The tragic death last week of 22‐year‐old Eurydice Dixon in North Carlton and the resultant call for men to modify their behaviour towards women brought home many of the values we work to instil in our young men here at Malvern. Respect for all persons is, of course, one of the Five Core Principles of a Lasallian Education, central to all we do and all our relationships here in our College.

It is critical for our young men to be mindful of the way they interact with each other, with their teachers, Coordinators and the wider staff, with their families and with members of the community. It is never too early (or even too late!) to grasp, appreciate and practice the obligation for genuine respect for those around you. Without dwelling on the negative, because anybody who knows our students will report they are tremendous young men, who set such a fine example for each other in so many situations, the call via messages in the media demanding young men be better educated around their treatment of women is worthy of comment.

Perhaps it’s a sad indictment on our community that it takes a needless death like Ms Dixon’s to remind us, but if any good can come out of such tragedy, it does add impetus and emphasis to a boys’ school’s program on supporting our students on their path to being great young men.

An enormous amount of work is being done by our Wellbeing Team is this area via formal programs and informal advice, support, conversations and expectations. The smallest act of kindness to a peer, the simplest act of respect for a staff member, the basic decision‐making process choosing right over wrong all build character and responsibility. These are the traits we want in our Lasallians as they navigate adolescence.

Last Sunday’s Gospel was Mark’s Parable of the Growing Seed, with the essential theme of “from little things, big things grow.” The passage tells of a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” The parable of the mustard seed calls attention to the surprising contrast between the small size of its beginnings and the large shrub, which is the fruit of its growth. It is my hope that out of the smallest acts of respect, responsibility and kindness, our students will experience the growth of the mustard bush!

On a similar path, the extract below from a Lasallian text is a salient tale in relation to the simple virtues of respect and inclusivity. It is in these often humble and unassuming ways our young men can prove themselves truly respectful and inclusive and make a positive impact on those around them.

Treated as if I Belonged

The first time I walked through the halls of a Lasallian school, it had been eight years since my last teaching experience. After many years of working in parish ministry, I was living in Denver, Colorado, and returning to the classroom as a high school theology teacher.

Making the decision to leave parish ministry and return to teaching was difficult. I was comfortable with my role and surrounded by people of faith who were also my friends. But the circumstances of my job and the gentle nudging of the Lord were inviting me to something new. At the time, I didn’t know what a “Lasallian” school was, and I had never heard of Saint John Baptist de La Salle. I simply knew that there was a Catholic high school that needed a theology teacher and that I was a person who needed a place to belong.

I was new to teaching high school students, and I was new to teaching theology. I could hardly find my way around the building and taught in several different rooms so that I had to move each period like the students. I could remember only a few of my colleagues by name. I didn’t even know who to ask for help. As I began my first day of school, I was afraid.

I was walking through the hall during a passing period with my arms full of papers, books, and supplies. The hall was crowded with students, and I wasn’t sure how to find my next classroom.

But I knew I had to hurry because I needed to get there, set up, and be ready to teach as soon as the bell rang.

Preoccupied with all these worries, somehow my papers got away from me, scattering across the floor. I thought for sure that I would have to protect my things from students who would mindlessly walk all over them, that I might get knocked down while bending over in the crowd of students. Certainly, they would be laughing at me.

But students I didn’t know stopped and began picking up my things. Not only did they gather my things for me and ask me if I was all right, they offered to carry my things to my classroom. “Where can we take these for you, Ms Niblack?” they asked.

These young men and women called me by name and treated me as if I belonged there. That was the moment that I knew I had found a home. It was my first glimpse of what it means to be a Lasallian inclusive community. Students I didn’t know, knew me and were willing to go out of their way to take care of me, to help me, and to make me feel welcome. That was the moment that I knew how present God was to me, in bringing me to my new job — no, my vocation — as a Lasallian educator. I had found a home.

That one experience led me to develop an induction program at my school to welcome new teachers so that other new teachers might also experience the holy presence of God through others.

Rita Niblack, Mullen High School, Denver, CO

Wishing you all a happy and safe term break.

Mr Peter Houlihan



Deputy Principals’ Column


Flowers, tears and a minute’s silence for Eurydice Dixon

I would imagine that you, like me, were rocked by the news of Eurydice Dixon’s rape and murder last week. It is hard to come to terms with an event like this within our community at large. As I read the newspaper over the course of the weekend, I saw some familiar football jumpers – those of a fellow ACC team – linked, arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder around the floral tributes to Ms Dixon. After their game on a nearby football field, members of the St Bernard’s and Melbourne University Blacks VAFA thirds teams gathered around the flowers to observe a minute’s silence for Ms Dixon.

Football can be seen as a bit of a man’s game so we came over here to show a message that we have to show women respect,” St Bernard’s captain Owen McIntyre said. “It’s a big part of society and the incident does not reflect what we think.”

Melbourne University Blacks captain Josh Bowden said the team had trained nearby on Tuesday night – the night before Ms Dixon was killed. “A lot of us live around here and it’s pretty simple – it is just not good enough from men in society. It was a good thing that 24 blokes on each side played this morning and we could come over and pay our respects. We need to change.”

Domestic Violence Victoria chief executive Fiona McCormack said attitudes towards women were changing, but more needed to be done. “No matter the circumstances, no matter the situation, we really need to challenge the concept of that male sense of entitlement about using violence,” she told ABC Radio Melbourne. “When we think about crime in our community, any type of violent crime particularly, we have an issue around gender. That’s obviously not saying all men are violent and that’s not saying there’s something inherently evil in men, it’s something about our culture.”

Now, more than ever, it is important to think about the values we instil in the young men in our care. As Clementine Ford wrote, “It was not a lack of ‘situational awareness’ that ended the life of Eurydice Dixon – it was a person who made a conscious choice to exercise extreme violence against her.” In short, people’s lives depend on men being nurturing and life‐protecting. Our young men will thrive if they have a sense of purpose and an ethos for life.

In adolescence, the teaching of the young men in our care becomes more and more specific – handling vehicles, dealing with sexuality, making choices about work and career, responding to choices around alcohol and drugs, and dealing with rejection and loss. As a College community, we are concerned about getting this right. As a broader community, we must do this work together.

Medical Certificates

Medical and/or Dental Appointments should be made before or after school hours. If this is not possible, students should arrange appointments so as to minimise time away from school. The Class/House Mentor and Year Level/House Coordinator should be notified in writing if this is necessary. Following an absence, students are reminded to obtain a Medical Certificate, especially in instances when they have missed a test or an assessment deadline. All Medical Certificates should be passed on to the Year Level/House Coordinator and these will be forwarded on to the Reception to be placed on the student’s file. Please note, VCE students are also required to bring a Medical Certificate, issued on the day of absence, if they miss a SAC.

School Leavers Week (Schoolies) 2018 and Parental Advice for Adolescent Alcohol Use

For many of our Year 12 students, Schoolies is a time to celebrate a milestone in their lives, but this shouldn’t mean attending events that may impact health and safety or cause problems for the communities they decide to visit. Talking to your son about the risks associated with alcohol is an important step in reducing the risk of alcohol‐related harm.

For advice to help prevent or reduce adolescent alcohol use, parents are referred to the National Health Medical Research Council (NHMRC) guidelines: Parenting Strategies: Preventing Adolescent Alcohol Misuse. If your son is likely to visit Victorian coastal regions during Schoolies, you are encouraged to visit their official website for registration and safety tips.

Here are some tips and advice for preparing your son for Schoolies:

  • Start the conversation about Schoolies early;
  • Set reasonable expectations for your son;
  • Talk to your son about alcohol and drugs;
  • Encourage your son to register with Good Times Great Breaks.

Ms Lisa Harkin
Deputy Principal – Students

Faith and Mission

Later this week, I will depart to Manhattan College in New York, to commence the second year of my Buttimer Course of Lasallian Studies, focusing on St John Baptist de La Salle’s Educational Vision. Having been introduced to the life and person of St John Baptist de La Salle and the context of the time in which he lived in my first year, I am very much looking forward to deepening my knowledge and further examining the educational vision of this extraordinary man, who is our Founder!

I hope you all have a restful and safe mid‐year break, and I look forward to seeing you all at the commencement of Term 3.

St Austin’s House Advocate for Refugee Week

As a Christian, Lasallian community, we believe that we can all make a difference when it comes to the plight of refugees and asylum seekers. It need only start with a small act of kindness and hospitality and, by demonstrating more compassionate opinions on refugee and asylum seeker policies.

Back in 2015, the Pope Francis gave an address on the treatment of refugees and the need for compassion. The Pope said:

…view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation. To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal…Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” (Mt 7:12).

This week, the students of St Austin’s House have been actively advocating and promoting key aspects of their House charity Melbourne Catholic Migrant and Refugee Office. Throughout the week, published in the Daily Bulletin we have prayed for refugees and asylum seekers and each morning in class and house mentor groups, students watch short videos of testimonials and stories which have brought home to each one of us, the reality of those who have lived through the oppression.

Further to this, the students in St Austin’s House held a ‘Detention for Detention’ at lunchtime on Thursday to raise awareness for the plight of refugees and asylum seekers followed by a casual clothes day on Friday 22 June with a gold coin donation from every member of the community in support of this cause. Money raised will go directly to the Melbourne Catholic Migrant & Refugee Office.

Sacramental Program

Last Tuesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending a very significant liturgy that was prepared under the guidance of Ms Joan Ferguson, our College Chaplain, for the Sacrament of Penance — Cameron Clarke, Finn Edgerley, Jack Lanigan and Ryan Tatlis. Also during this liturgy, we celebrated the baptism of Angus Osborne.

The evening was a wonderful event and a true celebration for the families involved and recognition of the work that Joan does in preparing the boys in making their sacraments. As always, the presence of Fr Martin Tanti SDB as celebrant and the support of Br Mandy Dujunco FSC is most welcome.


Year 9 Reflection Days

  • Students will make their own way to and from the venue.
  • Students are asked to bring their own recess and lunch as per a normal school day.
  • Students will not be permitted to leave the venue to purchase food.
  • Students are permitted to wear sports uniform on the day.
  • Students are asked to arrive no later than 8:30am for roll call and a 2:45pm dismissal.
Wednesday 20 June 9 Dunstan, 9 Roland Rana Brogan, Sharni Folland, Kath Marino, Emily Ryan
Thursday 21 June 9 Hegarty, 9 Solomon, 9 Vincent Stephen Brick, Graeme Lawler, Catherine Loft, Andrew Devlin, Shaun Buckley(replaced by Nic Nicolaou), Patrice McBean
Friday 22 June 9 Benilde, 9 Jerome Stephen Brick, Chris Church, Nicola Mairs, Emma Fairclough

Community Masses

Our next Community Mass is at St Joseph’s Parish, Malvern on Sunday 22 July from 10:00am. St Joseph’s church is at 47 Stanhope Street, Malvern. All are welcome to attend!

Mrs Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission

Staff and Operations

Staff News for Term 3

On July 16 the following staff will be returning from periods of leave in Term 2:

  • Mr Andrew Wozencroft (returning as Year 9 YLC)
  • Mrs Carolyn Fitzpatrick
  • Ms Michele O’Mahoney
  • Ms Emily Ryan
  • Mr Shaun Buckley
  • Ms Lisa Harkin
  • Mrs Rana Brogan
  • Mr Paul Coyle

Thank you to Mr Stephen Brick for his work as Acting Year 9 YLC in Mr Andrew Wozencroft’s absence.

These staff members will be away on leave at the start of the new term:

  • Mrs Joan Ferguson
  • Mr Gerard Barns
  • Mr David Happ
  • Ms Vanessa Marolda
  • Mr Shane Macintosh
  • Ms Christine Cooper
  • Mrs Trish Woodman

We also welcome Mr Warren Bardsley who will be replacing Mr Shane Slavin who is on LSL for the remainder of 2018.

Last day Term 2

Term 2 concludes at the normal dismissal times for all students on Friday 29 June. The College staff wish all students and families a safe and happy holiday break.

Performing Arts Assembly

The Performing Arts Assembly will be held on Friday 29 June during Period 4 in the College gymnasium. This year the event will showcase to the College the talents of our various music ensembles. These ensembles draw on students from the Primary years to Year 12. The assembly promises to be a terrific finale to a wonderful term of achievement for the performing arts groups at the College.

Term 3 Commencement

Term 3 commences on Wednesday 18 July. Monday 16 and Tuesday 17 July are student free days. College staff will be undertaking professional learning on these days. The College Office will be open as normal.

Lost Property

There are a number of items of lost property available for collection at each Campus Reception. These include spray jackets, jumpers and rugby tops. We always endeavour to find the owners of lost items. Parents are asked to get their son/s to check the lost property collection if they are missing anything. Also, clearly naming garments is the best way to help us return misplaced items to the owners.

Student Discount at the Cabrini Emergency Department

A reminder to parents that students from the College are eligible to receive a 50% discount on services in the Cabrini Emergency Department. For more details contact Ms Trish Ennis at the Cabrini Emergency Department on 95081489 or

Mr Tom Ryan
Deputy Principal — Staff and Operations

Language Students reach for Les Étoiles

The Languages Department at De La Salle College offers students a choice of Italian and French language studies. As part of these studies, our students are exposed to many different cultural and academic experiences. Our students have been especially active in their language studies this semester and are to be congratulated on their endeavours.

One language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.

Frank Smith

Berthe Mouchette Poetry Competition

The Berthe Mouchette, run by the Alliance Française of Melbourne, is a prestigious state‐wide competition which critiques students on their knowledge and delivery of a traditional or contemporary poem. This year, 34 students entered the competition and we are very proud to say that four of those students achieved ‘finalist’ status!

These students will now compete in the finals at the Alliance Française in St Kilda in July.


Our finalists are (pictured L to R):

  • Jovan Stefanoski — Year 10
  • Antony Valcanas – Year 10
  • Alex Carter — Year 10
  • Khai Pham –Year 9

We wish them all ‘bonne chance’ and thank them for their excellent preparation and commitment to their Language studies!

Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition

Our Italian students from Years 9–12 will also be involved in the annual Dante Alighieri Poetry Competition held at the University of Melbourne on Monday 25 June. Students have been working hard to perfect recitations of their poems, among which are excerpts from Dante’s Divine Comedy (La Divina Commedia). After the recitation, students will enjoy an Italian lunch in Lygon St, where they will also document and observe the Italo‐Australian influence on the area. We wish our Italian students all the best…in bocca al lupo!

French Language Immersion to Bordeaux

Some of our lucky French students will be travelling to Bordeaux in September this year to participate in a cultural exchange with French students situated in Bordeaux. They will be enjoying and experiencing authentic French life living with their host families and will be further immersed through attending school with their French “brother” and being taken on cultural day trips by our own De La Salle College staff. Preparations are underway and both students and staff are looking forward to their French adventure!

Four of the boys from these host families will be staying with our French students next term and will be attending classes here at De La Salle College. It will be great to have them with us so If you see them around, please say “Bonjour”!

Avila and De La Salle College Pen Pals!

This inaugural collaboration with Avila College was a huge success. The Year 8 Avila students wrote letters to our Italian students in Italian and then awaited the boys’ reply! After much work and support from their Italian teachers, our students were able to send to Avila beautifully presented letters – which the girls were very excited to receive!

From the students’ perspective, the letter task contextualised their Italian language study. They were able to see how the Italian they studied in class had a context, which was that they were able to communicate with others, namely the girls at Avila!

I thank all the staff involved in this collaboration, especially Ms Anna Cornell from Avila College, as it both challenged and broadened our students’ knowledge and appreciation of the language they have been studying. Buon lavoro!

Looking forward to more exciting achievements and experiences next semester!

Viva le lingue! Vive les langues!

Mrs Grace Giudice
Learning Area Team Leader – Languages

Year 12 Formal

On Thursday 14 June, the Year 12 cohort celebrated their Year 12 formal at The Lincoln of Toorak.

The night commenced around 7:00pm and started with Panos saying grace, followed by an incredible entree. Between courses, the DJ (who also played a saxophone) turned up the music and everyone was on the floor having a dance. Mains were then served while awards were read out with Tom Fogarty and his partner named formal King and Queen of the evening, then proceeded to have a slow dance before inviting everyone else onto the dance floor.

The night concluded with dessert and a rendition of “take me home, country road” and the De La Salle Woompa. Everyone on the night looked incredible and we’d like to extend our thanks to Mr Peter Houlihan, Ms Lisa Harkin and Ms Chris Mundy and all the teachers who came for their hard work and participation in such a wonderful evening.

John Beaton, Joshua Paul and Panos Menidis

Wellbeing — Gender violence and men

I was eating dinner with my family over the weekend watching the news report on the death of Eurydice Dixon. I also see that the memorial has been defaced and vandalised, probably by young men. This, unfortunately, is more evidence of the issue facing us as parents and carers for our own young men. The same report noted that domestic violence accounts for 50% of police work. That figure astounded and horrified me.

The pictures of local football players paying their respects to Eurydice at the makeshift memorial reminded me of the murder of Masa Vukotic, in 2016. At the time, I was also at football training and distinctly remember the helicopters overhead. I assumed it to be an accident on the freeway. I walk my dog there often and have never felt in danger… but then, I’m a male. While there may be a risk to me, I don’t have to constantly worry that I might be raped or murdered while on an evening walk. In fact, it made me change my own behaviour in that I would often pause if trailing a female walker, just so they wouldn’t feel intimidated or threatened. To this day I can’t walk past the place of that murder without feeling sorrow and anger that a man was able to perpetrate that act of violence on a woman for no other reason than he could. It’s sad that I have to tell my own children to be aware of this fear that women may have of us simply because of our gender.

Over the past week, I have also been preparing for a presentation to our senior school students on gender violence and how the impact of societal views about the role of men and women contribute to this ongoing scourge in our homes. I have two sons, a 14‐year‐old and an 18‐year‐old, and I am acutely aware of the necessity to model, teach and act in a way that challenges these gender stereotypes.

At De La Salle College, we are committed to raising young men who are aware of their responsibilities when discussions about gender and role present themselves. It is crucial that we educate your young men about the dangers of gender stereotyping, not only because it can help in addressing gender violence, but also because we know that rigid adherence to the male gender stereotype is one of the leading causes of suicide in men aged 16 to 45. Violence is the leading contributor to death, disability and illness of women aged 15 to 44 years. It would seem that nothing good can possibly come of sticking to arbitrarily defined roles that developed in different times but no longer serve or suit the world our sons (and daughters) are living in.

One of the most common replies to this argument is that “men are subjected to violence as well.” While that is true, it is men who they are assaulted by in 95% of cases. I would argue that this is again part of the male stereotype, we use violence to resolve issues and worry that a challenge to us must be meet with a violent response or we lose ourselves.

Causes of gender violence

Unequal power – the fact that women and men do not have equal power or resources and that their voices, ideas and work are not valued in the same way.

Rigid adherence to gender roles – for example, the idea that women and men should act in certain ways or are better at certain things based on their sex.

Attitudes, norms, behaviours and practices that support violence – for example, the idea that violent acts are ok in certain circumstances, that some violent acts are not serious and that violence is a normal way of resolving conflict or that men cannot be held fully responsible for violent behaviour.

Blame shifting – violence from the perpetrator to the victim or hold women at least partially responsible for their victimisation or for preventing victimisation (she should not have dressed that way etc.).

Raunch culture – culture that promotes overtly sexual representations of women, for example through the acceptance of pornography, stripping and nudity in advertising.

This last point is pervasive across advertising, music culture and pornography. At the same time that pornography has become more mainstream and accessible, it has also become rougher and more aggressive. A recent content analysis of the most popular porn found:

  • 88% of scenes included acts of physical aggression.
  • 48% of the scenes contained verbal aggression.
  • Slapping in 75% of scenes.
  • In 95% of incidents, the aggression was met with either a neutral or pleasured response by the woman being aggressed.
  • In 94% of cases, the aggressive acts were directed at female performers.

The aggression in mainstream pornography is overwhelmingly directed towards women, and viewers see more than sex, aggression and degradation. They also see the performers’ responses to these acts.

From next year, The College will be introducing the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Curriculum, as all Catholic, State and Independent schools across Victoria are obliged to do. In the meantime, I would ask that you challenge notions of gender inequality in yourself and others at home and in public.

  • Start by looking at your own attitudes and behaviours towards women and men. Do you treat men and women differently? Do you expect them to act differently? Ask yourself why.
  • If you hear someone blaming a victim of sexual assault by asking: “What was she wearing?” or “Was she drunk?” tell them that those kinds of attitudes contribute to a society that excuses violence against women. The only person responsible for sexual violence is the perpetrator.
  • Promote and role model equality and respect between men and women in all elements of your life – at home, at work and in your community.
  • Model equality at home and in your relationships – make sure your children see you talking through problems in an open and respectful way and sharing jobs at home equally. Make efforts to highlight female and male role models who are succeeding in non‐traditional careers.

Young men are a joy. They are full of hope, of possibilities, of courage, of ideas, of love and of care. Teaching them to embrace these gentler qualities is our responsibility. Teaching them to support people, male, female, old, young, rich or poor is also our responsibility.

I’ll leave you with a link to a video that shows how gender stereotypes influence our thinking and with three quotes about fatherhood that I love and I think fit well into this topic:

One of the greatest things a father can do for his children is to love their mother.” – Howard W. Hunter

My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” – Clarence Budington Kelland

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” – Frederick Douglass

Mr Anthony Freeman
College Psychologist — Kinnoull 

Parent Network News

All parents are invited to our upcoming major event. Hope to see many of you there.

De La Salle College Parent Network Annual Social Event

A Cocktail Party

Saturday 11 August
GG Restaurant, The Clarendon Room
158 Clarendon Street, East Melbourne

Complimentary drink on arrival (beer, wine, soft drink)
Live Entertainment by “Lady & The Tramp

$75 per person + Cash Bar
Dress: “Go Mad & Dress up” Cocktail

Book now at TryBooking:

We look forward to your support for this occasion.

Mr Anthony Muir
Parent Network Committee President

Important Notices

Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust Scholarships

The Australian Veterans’ Children Assistance Trust (AVCAT) is a national independent charity. AVCAT helps the children and grandchildren of Australian ex‐service men and women to a better future by providing tertiary education scholarships. Through the generous support of the Australian Government Department of Veterans’ Affairs, ex‐service organisations and individual donors, AVCAT offers up to 90 new scholarships each year for students enrolled at an Australian University, TAFE College or Registered Training Organisation. Please contact Ms Lisa Harkin, Deputy Principal — Students, if you are eligible to apply. Please click here to open the information flyer

Mr John McAlroy
Director of Students — Years 10 -12

New Science Labs

The contemporary Science Centre is now open for classes. Students have been observed to walk in with amazement and walk out with excitement; proof that the Centre is a winner already! The centre will not just support Science practicals but other hands‐on STEM‐based activities such as Robotics and CREST by CSIRO.

Mr Shardul Kaniera
Learning Area Team Leader — Science

Important Dates

Important upcoming events on the College calendar.

Year 9 Reflection Day (Hegarty, Solomon, Vincent) - Syndal Baptist Church, 8:30am - 2:45pm
Year 9 Reflection Day (Benilde, Jerome) - Syndal Baptist Church, 8:30am - 2:45pm
House Cross Country Championships - Years 4 to 6 - TH King Reserve, 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Years 4 - 6, 2019 acceptance of offers of place
Year 7, 2020 Information Night - Gymnasium, 7:30pm - 8:30pm
ACC Concert Workshop - Concert Bands - Emmanuel College, 10:00am - 2:00pm
Year 8 Football and Soccer Lightning Premiership - Basil Street, Malvern East, 10:43am to 3:00pm
Arts and Co-curricular Assembly - Gymnasium, 12:00pm - 12:53pm
Term Two Concludes
Year 10 New Zealand Tour, 1 – 6 July, Queenstown Park, New Zealand
Students Resume Classes for Term Three
Community Mass - St Joseph's, Malvern, 10:00am - 11:00am
Year 7 Liturgy Program: 7 Solomon - Tiverton Chapel
Year 10 / VCE / VCAL Expo Night - Gymnaisum, 7:00pm - 9:00pm