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.

Important Dates

Important upcoming dates in the College calendar.

Fri
15
May
Founder's Day - no classes
Wed
20
May
Ascension of the Lord
Thu
21
May
College Office Reopens
Mon
25
May
Student Free Day
Tue
26
May
Year 11, Year 12, VET and VCE Unit 1 Year 10 students return to on-site classes
Sun
31
May
Pentecost Sunday
Mon
8
Jun
Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday
Tue
9
Jun
Years 5 to 10 return to on-site classes

From the Principal

Welcome to the first Duce of what is obviously a very unusual Term 2. It is a period which has been so strange, so unfamiliar and so challenging in so many ways I have been extremely heartened by the response of all in our community. 

The days I am on campus are a little haunting and underwhelming – usually there are 1000 plus young men running around, talking, playing downball and calling out a greeting, it really seems like a long time since the students were here and things were “normal.” Schools are really only for the students, so the sooner we are allowed to get them back and all the spirit and camaraderie that brings, the better off we’ll all be. 

I have already communicated in various letters and emails my gratitude to the staff, particularly those in key leadership roles who worked so diligently, especially during the recent holidays to ensure all students, staff and systems were set up and ready to go for Term 2. It is largely down to these people that our experience of remote learning has been so successful.

That said, I understand it does present some difficulties for various families. I know our Wellbeing Team is in touch with a range of students and parents and the appropriate advice, support and strategies are in place. I would invite any family experiencing difficulties under the current circumstances to contact us. If unsatisfactory or inadequate study conditions at home make learning difficult for your sons, or if he is having difficulty keeping up with the expectations for whatever reason, please contact Ms Jessica Alger, Deputy Principal — Students jalger@delasalle.vic.edu.au.

Ms Alger and her team are devoting a good deal of time to creative and supportive measures to look after our students, so please let us know if we can help. The boys’ wellbeing and social connection is integral to and just as important as their learning.

On a similar theme, if your son is used to working under the care of the Education Support Department, and there are times when he needs extra support beyond what his teachers and Learning Support Officer can provide remotely, please contact Ms Georgie Skinner gskinner@delasalle.vic.edu.au to discuss your concerns and what nature and level of support may be available and practical. This may include coming into school on some days if that is agreed to be necessary and helpful.

We are all working hard to keep the students on track and the terrific, positive feedback from so many parents has been greatly appreciated. The staff have loved seeing your grateful acknowledgement of their work with the students and the messages on our Facebook page. We are reviewing virtually daily the expectations on the students, the quantity and nature of work, assessment etc and making sure we strike a balance with keeping the students engaged and up to date, bearing in mind what can be best and reasonably achieved remotely.

The school closure obviously meant we were unable to mark ANZAC Day with our traditional ceremony, however thanks to Ms Brogan staff were able to share a mini-liturgy with their classes on Monday morning. It is important our students have the opportunity to understand and appreciate the history, tradition and sacrifice associated with ANZAC Day and the so very many service men and women who gave their lives for their country. I am a little biased as a History teacher, but I do believe the students of this generation need to understand the meaning of ANZAC Day and my experience in boys’ schools is that they do so with respect and reverence. 

My father served in WW2 (he’d be 112 if he was still alive!) and I have fond memories of him marching as an almost 90 year-old ANZAC with the few remaining diggers from his tiny country town of Harrow, where he grew up. These traditions and memories are an integral part of our fabric as Australians, so hopefully we can return to our normal whole-school ANZAC service in 2021.

Finally, on a very sad note, as a Lasallian community, we remember and honour the fallen Police Officers who have so tragically and senselessly lost their lives.

We know that our response needs to be grounded in Jesus’ message of compassion, courage and faith. “Fear not” he tells us repeatedly in the Gospels. 

We hold in our hearts and in our prayers those who are suffering, grieving and pining under pressure. We remember those Police Officers who have given their lives in the performance of their duty and we pray for their families and friends as they carry the grief of this tragic loss. 

We continue to do what we can to alleviate distress and be of service to others and remember those who are always serving others. 

St John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for Us 

Live Jesus in our hearts – Forever 

Peter Houlihan
Principal

Faith and Mission

It is unimaginable how we find ourselves caught up in a time where COVID-19 has crept into our lives uninvited and impacted so many millions of people around the world. 

But as Christians, times like these call for us to turn to each other, to stay connected and, most importantly, to remember to look for Christ and see him in the face of everyone we encounter, to remember him daily in our work, and all those men and women who sacrifice so much to do their work in the “front lines” every day.

As Lasallians, we take our steadfast lead from our Founder, St John Baptist de La Salle and like him, we too turn to and trust in Jesus our Lord for guidance. We stand together, we pray together, we support each other and we keep in contact.

Pope Francis recently said, “it is together that we will come out of this situation, moving together with hope”. At De La Salle College, we are a community grounded in the Christian virtue of hope and in our Lasallian Core Principles, and we have already started, despite isolation, to endure while moving forward together, remaining connected and, more than anything, keeping the Lasallian spirit alive through our daily contact with staff, students and families. 

ANZAC Day

ANZAC Day is traditionally a time to gather to remember those Australians and New Zealanders who served and fell in WW1 amidst the valleys and ridges of Gallipoli, on the terraced hills of Palestine, in France, Belgium, Samoa and the Cocos Islands. 

Since then, it is also the day on which we remember all Australians and New Zealanders who served and died in war and on operational service, on the sands of the North African desert, amidst the mountains and olive groves of Greece, Crete and Syria, in the skies over Europe, in Singapore, in the jungles of Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Islands, in Korea and Vietnam, East Timor and more recently in Afghanistan. 

However, this year the day will be rather modest in its exclusion of traditional marches, gatherings and celebrations, but no reason why we should not stop and pause to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, of those who died and those who returned from war wounded in body and spirit. 

We remember Lord, all those who suffered as prisoners of war, and those who died in captivity. Our servicemen and women have left us a proud heritage. May we and our successors prove worthy of their sacrifice. We remember them this day and dedicate ourselves to the cause of justice, freedom and peace, and for the wisdom and strength to build a better world. 

In the Gospel of St John it reads:

As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.  ‘I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another”.  (John 15:9–17)

The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.

The Ode 

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old.

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning. 

We will remember them.
Lest we forget.

St John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us

Live Jesus in our hearts – Forever 

Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal – Faith and Mission 

Class Iso 2020

On Sunday 22 March 2020, we received the news we had been anticipating that all schools across Victoria would close and commence preparations for a move to remote learning, and that a further announcement would be made regarding Term 2 after the school holidays.

The College Health Centre was well prepared. Several infra-red non-contact thermometers, alcohol swabs, disposable gloves and bottles of hand sanitizer had been obtained. Through liaison with the Department of Health systematic tracking of school community members who had been in close contact with confirmed cases was established and every negative test result received brought a small sense of relief, knowing our College community was safe from this virus. However, there was still more work to be done to ensure we were ready for future Government announcements. 

Victoria was fighting a deadly virus, a virus that we couldn’t see, smell, taste or hear and De La Salle needed to be ready. Procedures were written, learning rooms were set up, isolation rooms established, (just in case) and entry/exit processes determined. The holidays provided valuable time to facilitate the requirements at school for the students of “essential workers” and those considered “vulnerable”.

Day 1, Term 2 commenced with a small group of students entering the College, not knowing what to expect. They responded to my requests to adhere to physical distancing and “please apply hand sanitizer and wait whilst I take your temperature” with ease and were then directed to an appropriately spaced-out desk.

Our first recess presented a new problem. How to keep them entertained during recesses and lunch times? We mitigated the risk, asked them to again hand sanitize, disinfected a basketball, and enjoy a game basketball, remembering to go through the whole process every time. By lunchtime, a very unique cohort of students formed new friendships as they enjoyed a sunny day, fresh air and commenced a game of “chasey” (albeit with new rules about non-contact tagging).  Lunchtime ended, temperatures were again recorded and the students returned to their seats for remote learning until 3:05pm, when we were very pleased to announce we had all survived Day 1.

Fast forward to Day 4 and our group of students, now referring to themselves as “Class Iso 2020”, elected a senior student Thomas Simpson as “Captain Iso”. Deputy Principal of Students, Jessica Alger (safely) presented Thomas with a Class Captain Badge, which he pinned it on himself due to the physical distancing rules.

Day 7 brought another new consideration. How to facilitate receipt of VCD folios of our Year 12 students? A contamination site was established, 23 students arrived at Gate E and handed over their folios one at a time to a gloved staff member who went to great lengths to disinfect the folios, place them in a “clean” site, and arrangements were made for the Teacher to collect them.

I am enormously proud of the students who are attending and adapting so quickly to the new normal, even playing a game of “guess your temperature”. They are polite and courteous, self-motivated, highly disciplined and didn’t mind my constant nagging about physical distancing (at least never to my face). 

We will see this through and come out the other side. At the end of “Class Iso 2020”, I want them all to look back fondly on our surreal days spent together and know that De La Salle College and the Health Centre cared about them and went to great lengths to keep them safe whilst in our care, as their parents work to keep all of Victoria safe. The College Executive and numerous staff members continue to support the Health Centre during these times and I thank each and every one of you.

Congratulations “Class Iso 2020”, you will all graduate with “Distinctions in Resilience” Awards.

Kylie Upton
Health Centre

House Swimming Report

St Edwin’s Swimming Win

The 2020 De La Salle swimming carnival held on 6 March was a very successful day for Edwin’s house as we took out the house championship. With a late change of venue to GESAC, a shift from the traditional events held was necessary. This shift saw the inclusion of a 16-man team body board relay and 10 heats for the 50m freestyle and backstroke.

Edwin’s got off to a great start with the Year 7, 8 and 9 body board relay teams dominating in the pool. This set the tone for the rest of the day with the senior swimmers following suit in their relays. 

Later in the day some incredible efforts by Edwinners in the freestyle, backstroke and breaststroke put Edwin’s house in good stead for the trophy to finally reclaim it from Leo’s! A score check from Mr Kenealy later in the events revealed Edwin’s was in the lead by 30 points with only the team 50m freestyle relays remaining.  All that was left then was to fill every single event with two teams.

Perhaps the defining quality that set Edwin’s apart from the other houses was the willingness from all year levels to get involved. Finding the numbers for our final push was easy with volunteers lining up to join relay teams to bring us home.

Edwin’s house showed not only their strength in the pool but also such great team spirit. Inspired by Antony’s soccer chants, the entire group got behind him ensuring that we were the loudest house of all!

Some special mentions go to a few of the senior swimmer: Sean Kelleher, Sebastian Hadaway and Jeremy Grigg, for their amazing work in their individual races. As well as a few of the younger students: Lucas Excel and Alexander Hadaway, for their contributions in their individual races and team relays. There were many champion Edwin participants on the day.

Thanks to our House teachers Mr Di Ciccio and Mrs Kennedy for their tremendous efforts preparing for the event as well as their hard work on the day.

We are the Edwin’s Army!

Keagan Hillemacher
Edwins Sport Captain

Stay Active, Stay Healthy

With the times that we are in, it is super important for young men to stay fit and active wherever and whenever we can. It is vital that everyone is doing at least one hour a day of physical activity of some sort, whether it’s going for a run, walking the dog, or a having a kick in the park, for the sake of our mental health and physical fitness, we should be doing something active. 

As young men, we also need to look after our Mental Health. One way to both stay active and raise awareness for Men’s Mental Health throughout the pandemic is the new ‘Push Up Challenge.’ This is a new campaign that has been introduced to raise awareness of the issue of Male Suicide. 

It challenges participants to do 3046 Push Ups over a 21-day period from 11 May to 30 May. This number reflects the amount of Male Suicides there were in Australia in 2018.

Exercising makes you happy

Exercising each day provides a higher level of blood to your brain, and can also reduce the risk of anxiety, which makes you maintain a higher level of positivity and see an improvement in concentration.

Tips on How to Stay Active:

First thing in the morning, nothing sets up your day better than getting up early and doing some form of physical activity

After long periods of sitting, getting up and going for a walk around the block can be great to reduce stress and regain focus

Getting into a regular sleeping pattern, early nights and early wake ups

Identifying your start and finish times help to give yourself a goal to work towards throughout the day and allow you to rest at night

Lastly — Stay Connected with one another!

Sebastian Fernandez
Sports Assistant

Teacher / Staff Q and A

Jessica Alger, Deputy Principal – Students.

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

My position is centered around wellbeing of all students at De La Salle. My role involves ensuring that staff, students and their parents have the information, support and structures available to learn and teach in an environment that promotes healthy people – in body and in mind. 

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

One year and four months, and I’ve loved every minute. 

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

It truly is a community, a space where people care for and about each other very deeply and genuinely. A small example of this is the way the students say ‘Thanks Miss’ on the way out of each lesson. They do it naturally, and without prompting. It’s kind, respectful and appreciated by teachers. 

Who is someone you admire, and why?

At the moment I am watching ‘The Last Dance’ on Netflix, and it has reignited my admiration for Michael Jordan. A phenomenal sportsperson, but, more importantly, a man who knew the importance of his team, of working with others, of putting in effort in order to improve, and staying humble. 

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

I have a cat named Brian. She is 13. 

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

I wanted to be all sorts of things – a nurse, a firefighter, a shopkeeper. Very glad I found teaching as I am not sure how good I would have been at those!

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

I am in Leo’s House, and I support Hawthorn in the AFL. 

Mark Gustincic, Deputy Principal – Learning and Teaching

Can you give us a brief description of your position?

I’m responsible for the learning and teaching that happens at the College. A lot of my work is with other College leaders and the teachers, working out the best ways for classes to operate and learning to happen for students from Year 5 to Year 12.

How long have you taught at De La Salle?

I joined De La Salle in 2013.

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

The students are fantastic young men – clever, personable and fun to be around. I really enjoy teaching Media at De La Salle. I’m so often impressed by the creativity and insight of my students.

Who is someone you admire, and why?

Anyone currently working in health, aged care or education. Everyone’s normal way of being has been turned upside down with the onset of COVID-19. I’ve witnessed genuine heroism and selflessness from people working in these fields in recent weeks.

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

A cat. Her name is Niffy. She’s 14. It’s a love-hate relationship, as they sometimes are with cats!

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

As a small child, either a scientist or Evel Knievel.

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

Austins. Bombers.

Important Notices

The 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 student holds a Youth Allowance Health Card, please complete and return the application form to the College by Friday 8 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.

Roll Call

The May Issue will be available on 4 May. 

From the Principal

Despite how much we all love being part of the community, schools can be complex and challenging places at the best of times. The past few weeks and certainly those to come, are presenting a myriad of issues to deal with. I have written four or five letters to families and staff in the past week outlining the conditions here at Malvern, the measures we are putting in place and the emphasis on the safety, health and wellbeing of our students and staff.

I do not need to go over that information again, even though our situation changes daily. You will have heard yesterday that the government insists schools stay open and at the moment we are still taking the advice and recommendations of the authorities, as are the vast majority of schools.

I want to offer a few comments around what is obviously becoming an increasingly fragile situation for us all. I am very conscious of the unease the literally unprecedented situation we find ourselves in is generating. There are certainly mixed messages coming through the media, but I’m hoping the following can provide some reassurances. 

The Independent Education Union published a helpful comment on Tuesday, which I think sums up our position at the time of writing:

Current advice is that at this stage schools should remain open, except where required for cleaning, contact tracing or isolation. This is supported by public health experts, and it’s important to highlight that (contrary to some suggestions circulating on social media) this is not simply about ‘child-minding’ or keeping the economy going – it’s part of a broader strategy to manage the spread of the virus. It may be the case that at some point there will be a general closure of schools, but it’s crucial that this is timed for maximum effectiveness.

Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Brett Sutton, has stated that “pre-emptive school closures are not likely to be proportionate or effective as a public health intervention to prevent community transmission of COVID-19 at this time…” I know many will question this and some high profile schools have elected to close or have been forced to if they have someone in their community testing positive, but I am comforted by the reality that the vast majority of schools (including all ACC schools) remain open and are being guided by advice from the government and CECV. This has been reinforced by the statements this morning from the Prime Minister and Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Brendan Murphy.

While this official advice is for all schools — and a lot of it is reassuring — I am acutely aware of our local context at De La Salle, my responsibility to students and staff wellbeing and the increasing anxiety and questions the situation is generating. I, along with the Executive Team, will continue to monitor all aspects of our situation and provide updates as regularly as practical, particularly if the situation changes. You can also be assured of a sympathetic ear and ongoing support from the Executive Team if required.

In the short term, please be reminded of the Covid-19 symptoms 

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore Throat
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • A general feeling of being unwell

At present we have NO person in our community who has tested positive, with families providing a terrific level of cooperation with the Health Centre and me in dealing with any perceived symptoms/issues. As you can see above, schools are advised to remain open but we will close if there is
(a) any confirmed case of Covid-19 among staff, students and potentially parents or
(b) DHHS, DET and CECV advise us to do so.

If there are specific concerns we may be able to address, it is important you speak with members of the Executive Team or other senior staff, ask questions where need be and be reassured by the measures we are taking. Likewise, we need to work together to keep things in perspective, remain calm, and support each other and, most importantly, our students.

Many of our young men are confused, anxious and seeking advice and reassurance. While none of us knows how this is going to ultimately pan out, I have advised staff it will be helpful to engage in sensible conversation with the students, reiterate helpful facts, don’t buy into their rumours or scaremongering among each other but be the voice of calm, support and reason. A consistent message from all staff is very important here. The two articles attached to my letter on Tuesday and the info at Whole Child Counseling may be helpful for you.

I am also writing to all students and have been visiting classes to answer questions, clarify grey areas and generally trying to put the boys at ease in this difficult situation.

As the days unfold staff welfare/wellbeing is also very much on the agenda, as well as the obvious duty of care to the students. Yesterday’s staff collaborative planning time was important in supporting each other to develop the process for remote learning but also an opportunity to speak, share and support. 

In closing, below is a prayer shared with me this week – a nice beacon of hope as we look forward to better times.

Peter Houlihan
Principal

Lockdown

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

But,
They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.
Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighbourhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.
Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
To Love.
So we pray and we remember that
Yes there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul
Yes there is even death.
But there can always be a rebirth of love.
Wake to the choices you make as to how to live now.
Today, breathe.
Listen, behind the factory noises of your panic
The birds are singing again
The sky is clearing,
And we are always encompassed by Love.
Open the windows of your soul
And though you may not be able
to touch across the empty square,
Sing.


Richard Hendrick
13 March 2020 

Faith and Mission

Opening and Welcome Mass 

On the evening of March 5, all new students in Years 5 and 7 at De La Salle College were welcomed warmly at the Opening and Welcome Mass held at St Patrick’s Cathedral. 

Fr John Sherman OMI celebrated Mass before a filled Cathedral of students, families and staff. We also welcomed the presence of De La Salle Brothers, Br Peter Smyth FSC and Br Michael Carroll FSC. 

The evening was also special for our senior Year 12 Captains, our Tiverton Campus Captains, Holy Eucharist Captains and Primary Captains as we witnessed their acknowledgement as the 2020 Leadership group. 

Fr Sherman delivered a beautiful homily that gave witness to the words from Matthew’s Gospel (5:13–16), during which he invited our three College Captains to join him on the altar. 

The Opening and Welcome Mass is an important annual event in our College Calendar. It brings students, families and staff together to celebrate the commencement of the year ahead, allows us to acknowledge those new to our community and, by celebrating the Eucharist, we recognise what is central to whom we are as a Catholic and Lasallian Community.

Lent

As we continue to journey through the days of Lent and realise that these days are almost over, we remember that we began with Ash Wednesday and received the mark of ashes on our foreheads, and have continued to keep the weeks of prayer and good deeds. Some of us have contributed to the almsgiving that is asked of every Christian. 

Soon we will be ready to celebrate with our families the Triduum, the three holiest days of the Christian calendar; Holy Thursday, Good Friday And Holy Saturday. 

During this time, we become aware of Jesus dying on the cross and rising again. As we prepare these coming holidays for Easter, I hope that all families find the time to reflect on the story of Jesus. And that this Easter season, as we endure the troubles and complexities that the world is facing, may his teachings remind us to rejoice in his cross and praise him in his resurrection. 

Ms Rana Brogan
Deputy Principal Faith and Mission